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  1. #1
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    Tuning a Manitou Swinger Air x4 (or similar pedal platform shock) on a Heckler

    Not sure if anyone is running the Manitou Swinger Air on their Heckler, but I just got one and am trying to figure out the best way to set it up. It has a main air spring, rebound damping, and a pedal platform air chamber and volume setting in the reservoir.

    As I understand it, the volume of the pedal platform affects the progressiveness of the shock. The smaller it is, the more the shock ramps up in the last 50% of travel. The more pressure the pedal platform runs, the firmer the shock becomes when pedaling, but it still absorbs hits.

    For trail riding, it seems like I would want a small volume with lower pressure, to work well on small bumps but not bottom out on bigger drops. Is this correct? Any tuning tips would be appreciated - other shocks may work similarly so I'd love to hear how yours is set up.

    Thanks!


  2. #2
    TNC
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    That's a great shock for a bike like the Heckler, a trail Bullit, etc. I've used a Swinger 4-Way...basically the same shock...for a long time on a trail Bullit build, and it's excellent. You have an additional feature with that X4 if I'm not mistaken...an actual lockout...so it can affect how aggressively you want to set up the pedal platform if you want to incorporate the use of the lockout frequently.

    While you're learning to tune that shock, make sure you maintain at least 50psi in that SPV chamber...and remember...you're changing pressure in that piggyback when you move the volume adjuster...so realize that if you have 50 psi in the chamber while it's set at minimum volume, you drop below the required 50 psi if you open up the chamber with the adjuster. If you ride a bit with lower pressure, you run the risk of air in the SPV chamber slipping past the SPV piston and into the damper oil...resulting in bad damping. So while getting familiar with this shock, just be aware of that. Keep your shock pump handy. This is not a big deal when you find your preferred "sweet spot", as you'll probably do nothing from that point but occassionally check to maintain desired pressures in the two chambers.

    I'd start by opening up the SPV chamber to maximum (all the way out) and inserting 50 psi. Then add air to the main air chamber to achieve a 30% sag. From this point, you can experiment with how much pedal platform you want by turning in the external SPV adjuster...red 16mm hex knob on the piggyback in the pic...and/or additionally adding air to the piggyback. This adjustment also affects the bottomout characteristics of the shock, but frankly it's much more effective on the pedal platform. While this sounds complicated, this type of shock allows a degree of tuning not available on most shocks. Take advantage of it and enjoy it. If you take the time, your Heckler will have a balance of pedaling efficiency, small bump compliance, and big hit control that will be awesome.

  3. #3
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    Thanks TNC! I actually have the 03-04 model, I just couldn't find a picture of it (so I have no lockout). I have the volume set almost all the way out now, maybe 1 1/2 turns back in, and about 100 psi. I'll lower it a tad and see how I like it.

    May I ask what pressures you run, if you can recall?

    Cheers!

  4. #4
    TNC
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    Remember, mine is for a Bullit. I weigh 185 without gear. I run 120 in the main chamber, 110 in the SPV, fully open SPV chamber...for a 2005 Swinger 4-Way Air.

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