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  1. #1
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    Bad small bump sensitivity on my Bronson- ?s

    3 months ago I upgraded from a 2008 Heckler to the Al Bronson with Kashima Float CTD rear and non Kashima Float front. It's been an awesome bike and I love it but I recently borrowed a Stumpjumper and it has way better small bump sensitivity. The VPP sits higher in the travel and the FSR feels softer but I don't know if its the suspension design or the shock on my Bronson, but the Stumpy smooths out trails way better than the Bronson. Is my shock not set up right, is the shock low end and needs to be replaced, or is FSR better with small bumps? Anybody ridden both? I love my Bronson, but if I could get it to track like the Stumpy did, I'd be in heaven.

  2. #2
    Slower But Faster
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    Set your sag to what's recommended here:

    Santa Cruz Bicycles Bronson Carbon

    and run the CTD switch in the D position all the time. VPP doesn't need much platform assistance to ride without bob.

  3. #3
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    Agreed, I have both a Nomad and a BlurLT and they had harsh small bump with the Float CTD until I really got that sag right, measure don't go off the recommended psi, even a few psi changes made a big difference to me, and I normally run it in D also, sometimes Trail in 1.

    Quote Originally Posted by BrentD View Post
    Set your sag to what's recommended here:

    Santa Cruz Bicycles Bronson Carbon

    and run the CTD switch in the D position all the time. VPP doesn't need much platform assistance to ride without bob.

  4. #4
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    What I really like about VPP is the stiff pedaling platform. The Stumpy seemed really soft and definitely needed ProPedal to climb efficiently, but it was soft and supple on the downhills which made me wonder if that's the difference between FSR and VPP. VPP is stiff all around and FSR is soft all around. But I guess back to the drawing board and I'll reset my settings to see if I can dial it in. Thanks!

    BTW, what is everyone running for rebound? I ride fast rocky terrain with multiple hits if anyone rides in an area like that.

  5. #5
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    Re: Bad small bump sensitivity on my Bronson- ?s

    Quote Originally Posted by jmallory View Post
    BTW, what is everyone running for rebound? I ride fast rocky terrain with multiple hits if anyone rides in an area like that.
    If you want supple over small bumps, then rebound should be just about wide open fast.

  6. #6
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    I ride in Phoenix, so it's a little rocky. I agree with others that something is off on your setup.

    I've owned a grip of FSR and Horst bikes. I like FSR a lot personally. It does sag into its travel on climbs a bit, which can bother some folks and suck up a lot of energy.

    I don't have a ton of VPP experience, but I owned an aluminum Bronson with the CTD and currently have a carbon Bronson with CCDB-A.

    On the Fox, I left it always in D, rebound full fast minus 3-4 clicks and 30% sag.

    It's hard to compare the two suspension designs. Was the VPP as plush as FSR with the Fox shock? Maybe not quite, but pretty close, equal on big hits or very high-speed stuff, much better climber.

    The CCDB-A, once dialed, on the carbon frame is a game changer.

    Only you can say what your preference is, but you should be able to get your rig plush and dialed.

  7. #7
    Slower But Faster
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    Quote Originally Posted by jmallory View Post
    What I really like about VPP is the stiff pedaling platform. The Stumpy seemed really soft and definitely needed ProPedal to climb efficiently, but it was soft and supple on the downhills which made me wonder if that's the difference between FSR and VPP. VPP is stiff all around and FSR is soft all around. But I guess back to the drawing board and I'll reset my settings to see if I can dial it in. Thanks!

    BTW, what is everyone running for rebound? I ride fast rocky terrain with multiple hits if anyone rides in an area like that.
    My Nomad is plush as a plush thing yet still climbs great running an RC4. VPP isn't stiff in my experience.

  8. #8
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    FSR isn't affected by braking like VPP is. If you're a "security braker" kind of rider then the Bronson will be stiffer no matter what you do.

    The whole sag thing is interesting tho - SC's recommendation of 15mm max is only 26% sag while they've maintained a 30-33% sag for almost all of their other FS bikes! That might be the reason you hear a lot of complaints about the Bronson's ride as being "on" the bike rather than "in" the bike? Anyone riding at 30-33% sag for the most part? Any pedaling problems at that sag? I prefer a lower BB height anyway!

    Have FUN!

    G MAN
    Last edited by Gman086; 12-10-2013 at 09:34 AM.
    "There's two shuttles, one to the top and one to the hospital" I LOVE this place!!!

  9. #9
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    Whats your ready to ride body weight, and what psi are you running in the shock and fork, exactly?

  10. #10
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    And you typically want your rebound on the faster side for repetative hit rocky riding. You want it to bounce back at you at the same speed that it pushes down (good starting point) which is pretty neutral, then maybe one click faster from there.

  11. #11
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    Some riders who want more small bump sensitivity and plushness have switched to Float X. Even some Syndicate team riders have been riding it. And one easy and cheap option would be to try needle bearing on rear shock mount.

    OR you could wait for April the 1st when 27.5 Nomad successor is released. That should deliver more of the plush sensitive feel.

  12. #12
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    Additionally, try air-volume reducers in your Fox shock. That helped my Float shock on Nomad. I have 1 spacer about 8mm wide in there. Tried up to 3 pcs of spacers, but started to be odd on stand up pedalling (climbing short bursts uphill). This helps as you can put lower pressure to shock and adds bottom out and middle support, because its mre progressive.

    Now I've got RC4 with Ti spring on Nomad, which is superior as what comes to quality of suspension.

    MBUK tried a small volume Kashima factory shock on their Bronson (latest issue has test of Bronson), and they say it helped Bronson rear suspension.

  13. #13
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    I'm 175lbs geared up running the front at 70psi and the rear at 175psi. I will start over and focus on sag rather than pressure and feel.

    I was thinking of upgrading to a Float X or Monarch Plus but maybe I should just bite the bullet and get a CCDBA CS if I can't get the OEM working how I want.

  14. #14
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    I'm thinking reducing the volume of the air shock will help. the bronson is also I believe pretty linear in the end travel so this will help with bottom out. By adding the shim in the shock you are reducing the air volume, so you can run a little less air pressure and the top part of travel will feel super supple but it will ramp up harder at the end of the stroke so you won't bottom out as easy, with the lower psi. I'd go right inbetween 25-30% sag. NO lower than 30. Reduce volume and see if 160-165psi in the shock doesn't sound better. Fork sounds about right, try 60-65 psi and run your fork in the T mode (if you have a ctd)

  15. #15
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    The Bronson ramps up at the end of travel and the standard can is the low volume one so those points are moot. The guys at SC worked closely with Fox on getting the right spring curves. The CTD just isn't a super plush shock even with Kashima marketing .

    Have FUN!

    G MAN
    Last edited by Gman086; 12-14-2013 at 06:54 PM.
    "There's two shuttles, one to the top and one to the hospital" I LOVE this place!!!

  16. #16
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    Well, as of this morning I got an unexpected Xmas bonus so if I can't get the Float to feel good, I'm gonna splurge on a CCDB CS.

  17. #17
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    If you're not a DH rider then consider a custom tuned X-Fusion O2. They have a tune for the Bronson that will blow you away and is HALF the weight (and far less expensive) than a CCDB Air.

    Have FUN!

    G MAN
    "There's two shuttles, one to the top and one to the hospital" I LOVE this place!!!

  18. #18
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    True Bronson ramps up some. Have a few fast friends on em, and they have said for racing, it doesn't ramp up enough for them. Just sayin, put a small shim in it and drop a few psi in the shock before shelling out dough for a whole new shock.

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gman086 View Post
    If you're not a DH rider then consider a custom tuned X-Fusion O2. They have a tune for the Bronson that will blow you away and is HALF the weight (and far less expensive) than a CCDB Air.

    Have FUN!

    G MAN
    What do you mean "DH rider"? DH terrain or ride like a downhiller? What doesn't it hold up to?

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by jmallory View Post
    I'm 175lbs geared up running the front at 70psi and the rear at 175psi. I will start over and focus on sag rather than pressure and feel.
    Sounds like a little too much pressure in the rear/not enough sag. I'm 185 without gear and run 155 - 160 psi.

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by jmallory View Post
    What do you mean "DH rider"? DH terrain or ride like a downhiller? What doesn't it hold up to?
    Yes and yes and it holds up to anything but will fade sooner as will any non-reservoir shock for prolonged DH runs/park riding. The CCDB Air is more on par with the Vector Air - more DH oriented (more oil and air volume) and overkill for 90% of Bronson Riders. The O2 is more of a direct offset to the CTD with better damping characteristics (smoother ride - just what you're after).

    Have FUN!

    G MAN
    Last edited by Gman086; 12-14-2013 at 06:55 PM.
    "There's two shuttles, one to the top and one to the hospital" I LOVE this place!!!

  22. #22
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    When I rode the bronson at the demo day the guy set me up so what seemed too much sag for me... Apparently not though because it felt sweet. Super plush compared to the Solo's suspension which was much firmer. Same terrain suspension for suspension the bronson walked over the solo as far as smooth ride.

    I'm with the others, check you sag and make sure you are in the trail setting on your fork/shock when you do... Too stiff of a front fork can put more weight on the back and/or too soft of a front end can leverage the bike foreward making the rear end seem lighter and stiffer...

    Suspension tuning is like trying to pick someone their next girlfriend or wife... It just don't work 98% of the time... You and only you know what you want and like on suspension.. I would suggest playing with the sag, easy to do on a ride or at home. I never had a problem with it from what I remember. Frame has been ordered now for like 1-2 months... Wish it would get here soon...

  23. #23
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    Bottom line, too much air. I'm roughly 195 in gear. If memory serves on my alu Bronson with CTD, I ran maybe 160 psi.

  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gman086 View Post
    The Bronson ramps up at the end of travel and the standard can is the low volume one so those points are moot. The guys at SC worked closely with Fox on getting the right spring curves using the standard can with no shims. The CTD just isn't a super plush shock even with Kashima marketing .
    Are you on your brakes a lot jmallory? The speshy is still fully active under braking and would certainly explain the difference if both bikes using the same shock technology (assuming proper sag).

    Have FUN!

    G MAN
    FYI, I was told today by a trusted source that Bronsons already come stock with a reducer in the shock to help with the spring curve.

  25. #25
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    I think it has to be remembered that while soft and plush suspension feels good, it is not always the fastest setup. From what I have understood, the top guys in downhill and enduro set up their suspension quite firm. Partly because they are hitting stuff so fast. But on mere mortals' bikes firm suspension often translates to better pedaling efficiency. I would guess that in the case of Bronson, they were trying to nail compromise between pedaling efficiency and downhill capability while at the same time working with Float CTD that has its limitations. There's a reason people update to CCDB Air, Vivid Air and Float X... Santa Cruz said that they are very happy how the combination of linkage and shock tune came out on Bronson, but it's probably not to everyone's taste. This is why I'm waiting for the 27.5 Nomad replacement. That will deliver more of the sensitive plush downhill-oriented feel out-of-the box and other bonuses like slacker angles, more travel, etc.

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