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  1. #1
    NWS
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    Regressive spring rate on 2009 Wolf Ridge

    I just noticed that the effective spring rate curve on the rear of my 2009 Wolf Ridge (with the same Fox Float R shock that it came with) is basically U-shaped. It gets progressively stiffer for the first three-quarters of its travel, then goes regressive and blows through the last quarter.

    Is this normal, or is my shock busted? It rides fine, but it seems like with this rate I'm basically only really able to use about 3/4 of the mechanical travel because it blows through the rest with just a tiny bit more force. Given a choice, I'd have a full progressive curve, so I could soften up the rear a bit and use all of the travel that the frame allows.

    If this is in fact how they all behave, then could it be cured with a coil shock? Or just a different air shock?

    Thanks!

  2. #2
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    I'm pretty sure the Wolf Ridge (and any quad link 2 design) is a rising rate suspension design, so something may not be right with your shock.
    I don't crash, I just have slightly uncontrolled dismounts!

  3. #3
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    I have this same bike but with an rp23. It is definitely a progressive spring rate. I actually find even with 225 psi ( i weigh 175 geared up) i can still blow through about 80-90 percent of my travel with ease. Great bike, but im really thinking of moving to a rockshox monarch rct3 or whatever it is.

  4. #4
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    It's definately progressive. I've done plenty of experimenting with shocks in here.
    Anyone try the XV2 high volume air cannister on a Mt Vision?

    I'd ditch the R or get them to completely remove the built in propedal when you send it in.
    These bikes do not like excess compression damping. It sounds like that's which is causing the problem anyway. The wolf ridge has plenty of anti squat and climbs really well with out any propedal.
    Last edited by gvs_nz; 10-11-2012 at 08:53 PM.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by sra1218 View Post
    I have this same bike but with an rp23. It is definitely a progressive spring rate. I actually find even with 225 psi ( i weigh 175 geared up) i can still blow through about 80-90 percent of my travel with ease. Great bike, but im really thinking of moving to a rockshox monarch rct3 or whatever it is.
    That's curious as I'm 160 lbs nett , I must be at laest 170 geared up, and I ride 165 psi in the rear without having trouble blowing through. I may just squeeze out full travel on a very big seated G out. That's with either the stock RP23 with xv2 sleeve or a L tune RT3 with large air cannister and minimum IFP pressure.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by gvs_nz View Post
    That's curious as I'm 160 lbs nett , I must be at laest 170 geared up, and I ride 165 psi in the rear without having trouble blowing through. I may just squeeze out full travel on a very big seated G out. That's with either the stock RP23 with xv2 sleeve or a L tune RT3 with large air cannister and minimum IFP pressure.
    Which of the two shocks do you prefer?

    What type of terrain do you typically ride?

    What. Size fork do you use?

    Just curious these things play a huge role in a rear shock.

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    On this bike the two shocks are fairly similar. On other bikes the L tune RT3 spikes less over sharp edge hits and squeezes out more travel. The RT3 is much better than stock RP23 with smaller xv sleeve. In my case I had to lower the IFP pressure.

    The difference in pressure we are riding the shock is night and day. Maybe you have a faulty shock or swinging a huge fork out front? This is a very progressive suspension design. I find adding just 5 psi makes a noted difference let alone 50 psi. from memory I think I'm running about 16 to 17mm sag.Are you running a boost valve shock? My boost valve shocks need more pressure than my pre boost valve ones.
    It uses the initial 3/4 of travel relatively easily but it squeezes out nicely with the last 5mm of travel. I can't go any lower in pressure or it actually gets harsher.

    I've got a range of 140 and 150 forks I can use on it. I run 140 as it balances out the bike better. With a 150 fork I will add 5+ psi. I quite often run 650B in which case I have to run a Float 140 anyway. The Float gives the best balance to the very active initial travel at the rear.

    On this bike,I'm just riding average trail up to 4ft drops. It's the G outs which use the most travel rather than drops. I do run a soft setting to use all the travel. The initial travel is plusher than my Meta 5 and 6 but the M 6 especially opens up more after mid travel.
    Last edited by gvs_nz; 10-13-2012 at 12:51 AM.

  8. #8
    NWS
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    Quote Originally Posted by gvs_nz View Post
    These bikes do not like excess compression damping. It sounds like that's which is causing the problem anyway. The wolf ridge has plenty of anti squat and climbs really well with out any propedal.
    This has nothing to do with damping or platform. I let a bunch of air out of the shock and moved the rear suspension slowly through its whole range of travel just by pushing down on the seat with my hand. I just wanted to make sure my new chain is long enough to not bind when the suspension bottoms out, and the spring rate curve really caught me by surprise.,

    I could feel the spring rate increase gradually for about 3/4 of the travel and then the rate would just plummet for the last quarter. I did it several times trying to figure out what was going on, and damping wasn't a factor, it was strictly related to where the shock was in its stroke.

    Am I the only person who has ever tried this?

    From the frame geometry you'd think it was progressive, at least that's what my intuition tells me from just looking at it... but that's not at all how mine behaves.

    Maybe the shock is just f'd but I pumped it back up and it feels about the same as ever while riding. And I like the way it rides, which makes me think that I'm probably just not getting past the 3/4 mark very often. I read a while back that Marin has Fox use a special tuning that avoids the exponential spring curve that's typical with air shocks, and I wonder if they just over-compensated for it on this bike.

    But I'm totally fine with "bad shock" being the diagnosis here. I like to tinker with adjustments and see how they affect things, and the Float R doesn't have nearly enough of those.

  9. #9
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    I see what your getting at now . I thought you were talking about how it rides. Yeh it is slightly regressive at the end. Not as extreme as some.
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  10. #10
    NWS
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    Ugh. Yeah, that U shaped curve matches what I was feeling.

    Leverage ratio basically acts like a multiplier on the shock's own spring rate, am I right?

    Sounds like a more conventional rising-rate air shock might be what I need to compensate for the u-shaped leverage ratio.

    Unless the shock's own rate curve changes shape significantly when the air pressure goes up. I'll have to try some experimenting before I run out and buy a new shock.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by gvs_nz View Post
    On this bike the two shocks are fairly similar. On other bikes the L tune RT3 spikes less over sharp edge hits and squeezes out more travel. The RT3 is much better than stock RP23 with smaller xv sleeve. In my case I had to lower the IFP pressure.

    The difference in pressure we are riding the shock is night and day. Maybe you have a faulty shock or swinging a huge fork out front? This is a very progressive suspension design. I find adding just 5 psi makes a noted difference let alone 50 psi. from memory I think I'm running about 16 to 17mm sag.Are you running a boost valve shock? My boost valve shocks need more pressure than my pre boost valve ones.
    It uses the initial 3/4 of travel relatively easily but it squeezes out nicely with the last 5mm of travel. I can't go any lower in pressure or it actually gets harsher.

    I've got a range of 140 and 150 forks I can use on it. I run 140 as it balances out the bike better. With a 150 fork I will add 5+ psi. I quite often run 650B in which case I have to run a Float 140 anyway. The Float gives the best balance to the very active initial travel at the rear.

    On this bike,I'm just riding average trail up to 4ft drops. It's the G outs which use the most travel rather than drops. I do run a soft setting to use all the travel. The initial travel is plusher than my Meta 5 and 6 but the M 6 especially opens up more after mid travel.
    Current setup:

    20011 Rockshox Revelation rlt ti dual air 107/100 psi 150mm
    2009 Fox Rp23 (came on frame) 220 psi
    2012 Specialized Command Post ( Alot of seat adjustment going on. I go down 5 inches for downhill putting my weight over the rear.)
    2011-26" atomlab pimplites (considering trying 650b)
    27.5" bars
    60mm stem

    I don't know if any of this really plays a role, but i also bike often bike over 9000 feet as well. I initially had is at 180 psi for the first month i had the bike but i found i was bottoming out quite regularly. I ride similar terrain as well.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by NWS View Post
    Ugh. Yeah, that U shaped curve matches what I was feeling.

    Leverage ratio basically acts like a multiplier on the shock's own spring rate, am I right?

    Sounds like a more conventional rising-rate air shock might be what I need to compensate for the u-shaped leverage ratio.

    Unless the shock's own rate curve changes shape significantly when the air pressure goes up. I'll have to try some experimenting before I run out and buy a new shock.
    If you like the way it rides what do you want to achieve with a new shock. The R has built in platform so will pedal well but rattle your dentures.

    The WR needs a large air volume shock to get close to the way contemporary designs rides like[ more linear] . That's why an XV2 air sleeve is a good mod.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by sra1218 View Post
    Current setup:

    20011 Rockshox Revelation rlt ti dual air 107/100 psi 150mm
    2009 Fox Rp23 (came on frame) 220 psi
    2012 Specialized Command Post ( Alot of seat adjustment going on. I go down 5 inches for downhill putting my weight over the rear.)
    2011-26" atomlab pimplites (considering trying 650b)
    27.5" bars
    60mm stem

    I don't know if any of this really plays a role, but i also bike often bike over 9000 feet as well. I initially had is at 180 psi for the first month i had the bike but i found i was bottoming out quite regularly. I ride similar terrain as well.
    I couldn't get the Rev Rlti to ride well, especially with the WR. It's way to linear and you need to much air pressure to stop it blowing thru it's travel. I believe they have fixed that now with the 2013 solo air models. I now run it on another bike with it travel spaced down to 130 and it's a sweet ride. The drop in air volume means I can drop the pressure down to 70 psi and get a much more supple ride, and a nice squeeze out at the end of it's travel.

    I should have experimented a bit more and reduced the air volume a bit with a few elastomers chucked in to the +air chamber to reduce the air volume.
    I've now got a EXM 150 for AM duties and it's a much better AM fork, especially with it's travel adjust.
    Last edited by gvs_nz; 10-19-2012 at 05:28 PM.

  14. #14
    NWS
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    Quote Originally Posted by gvs_nz View Post
    If you like the way it rides what do you want to achieve with a new shock.
    If I could run the rear softer, and still not bottom out, that would be even better.

    And I just like to experiment.

  15. #15
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    Unfortunately I have never ridden the WR with an R shock. I have others.
    What sag are you using. I've got a lot of bikes so i'm just going off memory, but i think I found i couldn't run more than 16 to 17mm sag on the WR. Any lower feels harsher. That's due to the loss of support mid stroke, increased comp damping due to the higher shaft speed, and it then sits in it's last 1/3 of travel where it has a much lower leverage ratio. It kind of feels like it's riding on a rubber bumper. Since it's very progressive and also uses a short shock for 145mm of travel, it's very sensitive to air pressure changes. 5 psi at a time. It's got a very small sweet spot with the stock shock. the xv2 sleeve increases the sweet spot. With the R shock I think you will find it sags less for any given air pressure so maybe aim at 15 to 16 mm of sag?
    Try and lay your hands on another shock to compare. The XV2 sleeve has most benefits with the MV as the WR is much less progressive.But it still benefits the WR as it makes the 2nd 1/2 of the travel more linearand gives more mid stroke support. The extra air volume has more affect on the end stroke ratherr than the initial travel. Unless you top up with more air pressure it wil bottom easier but that extra air pressure supports the mid stroke and so you ride higher and it feels like there's more travel. Bottoming is not a bad thing. I don't even notice when I have. There's no evil clunk.Measure your travel . Are you bottoming or does it just feel like it. Fox shocks are very hard to squeeze out that last 3mm of travel. If not, you may just be running too low pressure and the shock, although not bottoming is riding in that zone were it's compressed but not bottoming in the last 5mm of travel[ like a rubber bumper].

    You could also be riding with to low a pressure to smooth out the in built propedal of the R? In which case you will bottom easily on G outs as compression damping has less affect with the low shaft speeds of G outs.

    Unless you live for climbing I think you will find that next time you take it in for servicing if they remove the in built propedal, keep it about a mid comp tune, and add an xv2 sleeve you should really notice a positive difference on everything but the climbing.
    Last edited by gvs_nz; 10-26-2012 at 06:44 PM.

  16. #16
    NWS
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    Thanks for all the info!

    I just realized that I really should have noted the pressure before I deflated the shock... I have no idea what my sag was either. I just tinkered with the pressure between rides until it felt "right." Since I didn't note the pressure before I started testing the travel, I'm going to have to start all over.

    I never bottomed on g-outs but I did on some jumps/drops (rarely, but occasionally), and it would be nice to run it a little softer without any additional bottoming.

    I'm not at all picky about climbing, in fact I have a hard time understanding why so many people get so excited about it. Far as I can tell, every bike climbs just fine, as long as I can put the seat high enough to get full leg extension with my butt planted on the seat. Even my 8" FR/DH bike.

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    I'm not too sure about the sag either, as I say I'm just going off memory. I do remember I could run lower sag with the xv2 sleeve so maybe I was running about 15 to 16mm sag?With so many bikes I do keep a record of the pressure though.

    I think it climbs well anyway.

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