Rockshox Pike - What is LSC and rebound in physical ride characteristics?
Sorry if this sounds like a dumb question, but I'm really struggling here. I own a Pike 140mm. The manual with the fork is joke. The manuals on the website are lacking.
In real world ride terms, what does turning each knob due? If I adjust the red rebound knob, I can turn it toward fast or slow. I think if I go all fast this means the fork will return to max travel after a big hit more quickly. If I go full slow, then this will return more slowly. Does this also mean as I ride over things the fork will be less responsive?
Next up we have this LSC knob at the top of the fork. For this we have some letters that say LOW and SPD with an arrow that points from low to speed and a plus sign. When I look at the diagram it looks like everything has a right handed thread. So you spin this knob, the pin would look to rise up toward the top of the fork creating a larger opening at the bottom. Ok... so what does this mean when you ride? What physical ride characteristics will change?
Sorry for the noob questions. I'm looking to know the intended ride characteristic changes that follow after adjusting each of these items.
wow, nobody... ok
pardon if this is too basic background:
a shock consists of a spring and a damper. The spring stores energy, the damper converts kinetic energy to heat, or put another way, the spring exerts a force (trying to extend the fork) as a function of it's displacement from free length, the damper exerts a force (opposing motion) as a function of the shaft speed, so damping slows the movement of the fork in the respective directions.
So when you hit a bump, most of the energy is stored in the spring for an instant, but some is converted to heat by the compression damper. The LSC and HSC knobs control, in essence, the fraction that goes each way depending on the shaft speed.
Then, as soon as it stops compressing the spring returns the energy by extending. Again, some of the energy goes to extending the fork/pushing the wheel down, some is converted to heat by the damper.
Starting with the rebound, since that's the more important function: too little rebound will cause the fork to 'buck'... imagine compressing a spring on the ground, then just letting go of it - it will jump off the ground a little. You wouldn't want your fork to do that, it wouldn't absorb shock, just delay it.
Too much rebound on the other hand will keep the fork from extending between consecutive hits ('packing up'), if the rough section is long enough and rebound slow enough, you'd bottom out even from tiny bumps.
LSC, I use mostly to control non-bump inputs that I don't want the fork to respond to. Things like brake dive, weight shifting, cornering pressure. More LSC will reduce movement from those things, but make the fork respond less to the trail. You're kind of adjusting trail feel and how much unwanted movement you're willing to live with.
I won't go much into how to find the right settings, as there are a couple techniques that can work (and you could easily write books about them). I will suggest the order should be 1: spring, 2: rebound, 3: LSC, 4: HSC if you have it.
I use less LSC when I'm climbing, so the fork will react and be supple for the bumps, this also allows me to maintain traction as best as possible.
I use more LSC when bombing on DH runs, because if I don't the fork will dive through it's travel and be compressed when the next bump comes (can also happen from running too much rebound), which makes the impact harder, not to mention on bigger jumps and drops more LSC will prevent bottoming/make it more firm. In really rough/chunky terrain I've also found that running more LSC helps the damper transition to the high-speed circuits easier, which means it's plusher on the sharper edged hits, although this is very similar to the before mentioned "a little more LSC on the rough downhills" effect.
On a very smooth DH I may only use a bit of LSC, depends on if there are big jumps or not, if there are, I still may run more than "a bit".
If I'm riding to/from the trail on the road, that's when I'll use max LSC.
"It's only when you stand over it, you know, when you physically stand over the bike, that then you say 'hey, I don't have much stand over height', you know"-T. Ellsworth
You're turning black metallic.
Thank you very much for your words, they make a lot of sense.
In fact, on my 1st ride, I had set the rebound to fast. The Pike rides high in the travel and the rear was at 20-25% sag... so I had everything set on full open. When I would come upon a technical rocky climb with this brand new bike, I would go easy. When going slow, the bike would tend to catch two rocks, compress, then unload sending me off balance. After this happened twice, I simply pointed the bike straight (it is a FS right?) and peddled hard. Had I tweaked the rebound, perhaps this effect would be diminished.
I can now understand what was happening a little better. I can also begin to understand why you may use at least two positions on a fork/shock even if bob isn't an issue.
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