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  1. #1
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    Avalanche fans, tuning tips please!

    So I can home from work the other day with a big ol Woodie. That doesn't happen too often!

    I found a great thread a few weeks ago and have not been able to find it. It went into detail about the best way to tune the right high and low speed compression positions. Does anybody have that link, or remember that info?

    It seems the Hi/Low knobs turn together. I assume this is normal, and you just have to hold one while turning the other?

    There is a fair amount of break in time for this shock, correct?

    When setting the preload, is it like the DHX-C, where you need to tighten the spring one full turn before you start counting turns?

    Thanks again Homers for putting up with my questions. With all this DW stuff going on these days there hasn't been much Highline content. So, here is my meager contribution.

    Just for the record, there is no problem fitting a Woodie on the 06 large front triangle. And I got the Woodie because Craig said so.
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  2. #2
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    i believe it was based on the ccdb for tuning on a 5-spot if i remember correctly. Do a search on the ccdb and see what pops up.
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  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by scepticshock
    So I can home from work the other day with a big ol Woodie. That doesn't happen too often!
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  4. #4
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    Sceptic, I think this is the thread you are refering to;
    RFX (again)
    In FM's first post, he includes a link to another thread as well.
    Nice bike!
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  5. #5
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    Send it to Push.

    But on a serious note, let me know how it compares to the push'd DHX when you get some time on it.
    Last edited by El Chingon; 03-13-2009 at 11:04 AM.
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  6. #6
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    It is never going to function correctly with the PUSH decal on there .

    Anyway, I have a DHS on my HL, and dirtbag has a Woodie on his HL. I would suggest riding the bike for a while in the stock setting from Craig. Just riding around in the parking lot test, it might feel too firm in both compression and rebound. Once you get out on the trail though...forget it.

    I spent a ton of time asking the same questions on this board, I played to no end with the settings. After a conversation with Craig, I set everything back to stock and WOW. I know dirtbag has only made a few minor rebound adjustments.
    "Three balls at once...who knew?" - Cotton McKnight

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by tiSS'er
    I would suggest riding the bike for a while in the stock setting from Craig. Just riding around in the parking lot test, it might feel too firm in both compression and rebound. Once you get out on the trail though...forget it.

    I spent a ton of time asking the same questions on this board, I played to no end with the settings. After a conversation with Craig, I set everything back to stock and WOW. I know dirtbag has only made a few minor rebound adjustments.
    What he said.

    It should really be set pretty close to optimal from Craig so very minor adjustments to taste will be needed, if any, provided you gave Craig all the right info.

    BTW, do NOT hold the LS adjuster in place while you turn the HS.
    Last edited by SCUBAPRO; 03-13-2009 at 04:54 PM.
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  8. #8
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    I have a chubie on my frankenRFX and played with the settings a little bit when I first got it because it felt a little overdamped than what I was used to (pushed van rc), and I was curious about the range of adjustments and what they would do.

    After 2 or 3 rides the shock broke in and my final settings ended up being very close to what Craig had initially set. It's an awesome shock!

  9. #9
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    FWIW, here's my settings:
    Sag = ~33%
    Preload = 3T (starting from just touching to held just enough to keep the spring from rocking)
    LSC = 1.5T (4-5C) from full out
    HSC = 1.5T from full out

    Break-in plays a factor.
    I always hold one of the compression knobs while adjusting the other... but no that you ask I wonder if that actually is altering it's relative position. I'll ask about it the next time I send my shock in for service. I thought I asked about it already and sort of recall Craig saying yes, hold the LSC but now I don't remember.

    There were a few good threads. Jayem's thread here had lots of good info Read it all the way through as it was a developing trend of thought. If you're in a hurry start around post #44

    super summary:

    Quote Originally Posted by FM
    In my tuning, I had only tried increasing the LS damping in an effort to improve the pedaling/climbing performance. At some point I had also backed off the HS 1/2 turn since the shock felt smooth and bottomless on my biggest hits.

    Craig explained to me that the HS and LS damping overlap, so in reality I still have four holes fully open in my damping circuit. So, basically no resistance to squatting at all. He mentioned if I were to turn my high speed in any amount, the shock would firm up quickly..

    He suggested the following process for tuning;
    1. Turn HS and LS in all the way
    2. back off LS until you feel satisfactory small bump compliance
    3. back off the HS until pedaling performance begins to suffer, then add 1/4 turn or so.
    As always, Craig was very helpful. Great when the guy who built the product also answers phones and questions.


    Quote Originally Posted by Bikezilla
    In general he said just what your 3-step list indicated: Start with both HS and LS full in, back out the LS until it's plush enough then the HS until pedaling suffers. (Still not sure what that last bit means but I'll try it and see for myself)

    Some other tips he offered

    For super techy low-speed trail riding: HS mostly in LS mostly out.
    For General Trail: HS mostly in & LS mostly in. Back out the LS just enough to eliminate chatter maintain traction and follow the terrain.
    For DH: HS 1-1.5T in & LS 8-10T in if it's fast rolling & swoopy or a less LS if the DH is fast & chattery.
    For FR with Drops: Much more LS...like 1/2T from full in.
    *NEVER full out on both HS & LS*


    He explained another chronic user error was ppl would open the HS adjuster full open and try to compensate with the other controls. He went on to explain that the HS & LS controls tune 5 oil ports. One large center port for the LS and 4 smaller ports around it for the HS.

    He added that the HS adjuster must be at least 1-1.5 full turns in from wide open or the ports would be wide open for any movement and then add to the flow effects of the LS port leaving you with 5 ports flowing oil when you should have one.

    There is also this and this.
    Last edited by Bikezilla; 03-13-2009 at 10:54 AM.
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  10. #10
    FM
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    After experimenting, I agree that Craig's stock settings are near perfect.

    I find this shock a little counter-intuitive to tune, since increasing high-speed compression gives the shock more of a platform w/blow-off feel whereas the low speed is pretty subtle. It's just because of the interaction between the adjustments.The range of adjustment is amazing though, increasing the high-speed can really make for an efficient firm pedaling shock without losing too much small bump compliance. You just trade off some ablility to compress the shock with your body weight, pumptrack style, when set up this way.

    On my chubie, I'm digging the stock settings with one extra click of high-speed, which firms up the pedaling just a bit.

  11. #11
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    I wish I remember what my stock settings were!
    Faster is better, even when it's not.

  12. #12
    FM
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bikezilla
    I wish I remember what my stock settings were!
    Stock chubie settings:
    High speed (blue hex) 1.75 turns out from full clockwise (hard). Total range of adjustment 3.25 turns
    Low speed (Brass screw) 12 clicks out from full clockwise (hard). Total range of adjustment 22 clicks. 4 clicks per turn IIRC.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bikezilla
    I always hold one of the compression knobs while adjusting the other...I wonder if that actually is altering it's relative position.
    Yes, it is if you hold the LS knob while adjusting the HS (the other way around is fine). Look at the innards below and you'll see what I am talking about:
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  14. #14
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    Weeeeellll.... that explains a lot!
    Faster is better, even when it's not.

  15. #15
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    A shock is a shock is a shock. Tune it like any other. Set your sag, Set your rebound, Set your low speed, Dial in the high speed as you go. I have an Avalanche on my RFX, it's like every other shock I've owned, only WAY better.

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by tiSS'er
    I spent a ton of time asking the same questions on this board, I played to no end with the settings. After a conversation with Craig, I set everything back to stock and WOW. I know dirtbag has only made a few minor rebound adjustments.
    Yes, and I think there is a tendancy to want to change it because the seals and bushings are breaking in at first. It does seem to have a short break-in period IMO (I've done it twice now). Just DON'T mess with the settings for the first 3 rides or so.
    "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

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  17. #17
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    I know I held the LS adjuster in place while turning the HS. DOH! Is there a way to set things back to the original positions?

    It did seem a bit over damped on the beginning of the first ride so I started messing with it.

    Thanks for digging up the treads, and the info everyone!

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by scepticshock
    I know I held the LS adjuster in place while turning the HS. DOH! Is there a way to set things back to the original positions?
    It did seem a bit over damped on the beginning of the first ride so I started messing with it.
    Thanks for digging up the treads, and the info everyone!
    Man, good thing you didn't get a CCDB!
    BTW, FM already posted the stock settings:
    Quote Originally Posted by FM
    High speed (blue hex) 1.75 turns out from full clockwise (hard). Total range of adjustment 3.25 turns
    Low speed (Brass screw) 12 clicks out from full clockwise (hard). Total range of adjustment 22 clicks.
    "The best you've ridden is the best you know" - Paul Thede, Race Tech

  19. #19
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    scepticshock just ride your bike up a smooth hill and tune out the pedal bob with the LSC (low speed comp) adjuster. If you want more efficiency on the climbs give it more LSC, if more sensitivity is what your after give it less. If you want more big hit comp, add more HSC. For rebound I'll just sit down and ride off a curb and give add rebound damping until it goes down and comes up ONCE. If it wallows a bit add more rebound, that will get you really close. From there try your favorite rock garden a few times with a click or two more/less rebound until you find the sweet spot. don't worry about writing sh!t down, you can always start over by setting sag, ride up smooth hill, tune out bob with low speed, adjust rebound riding off curb sitting, and adding or subtracting high speed for big hits. BTW if your avy is custom tuned there are no bad settings just good and great. Enjoy!

  20. #20
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    If you want more big hit comp, add more HSC.
    I'm pretty sure big hits... as in drops are LSC events.
    If you're talking about hitting rockgardens at speed well yeah then it's HSC but if you're talking ladder drops etc, the relative vertical speed is much slower than the vertical component of a square edge of a rock passing horrizontally under the wheel at a typical decencing pace.
    Faster is better, even when it's not.

  21. #21
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    I don't feel any "clicks" on the brass adjuster screw. The only clicks I feel are on the rebound knob.

  22. #22
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    I spoke with Craig yesterday about whether or not to hold the hold one adjuster while adjusting the other or not and SCUBAPRO is exactly right but I thought I would add a word of caution. Craig said to be very careful and do not hold the LSC while turning the HSC because it would be very easy to damage the LSC adjuster by over-tightening it that way (I assume if you tried to back off the HSC too much).

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  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by nacho
    scepticshock just ride your bike up a smooth hill and tune out the pedal bob with the LSC (low speed comp) adjuster. If you want more efficiency on the climbs give it more LSC, if more sensitivity is what your after give it less. If you want more big hit comp, add more HSC. For rebound I'll just sit down and ride off a curb and give add rebound damping until it goes down and comes up ONCE. If it wallows a bit add more rebound, that will get you really close. From there try your favorite rock garden a few times with a click or two more/less rebound until you find the sweet spot. don't worry about writing sh!t down, you can always start over by setting sag, ride up smooth hill, tune out bob with low speed, adjust rebound riding off curb sitting, and adding or subtracting high speed for big hits. BTW if your avy is custom tuned there are no bad settings just good and great. Enjoy!
    This advice is exactly the opposite of what Craig says. I would not follow this tuning procedure.

    As it has already been stated by FM and Bikezilla in this and other threads, HSC on the Avy is largely responsible for pedaling efficiency vs square edge bump performance, not big hits.

    In Craig's words, the HSC should be set at least 1.5 turns in for the LSC to do anything. The reason he doesn't add a preload shim so that at 0 turns of HSC the four big ports start closing is because he wants to give the option to give the shock the "old Van RC" feel (Craig's comparison).

  24. #24
    FM
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    Quote Originally Posted by nybike1971
    This advice is exactly the opposite of what Craig says. I would not follow this tuning procedure.
    yep....Honestly when I first got my avy I tried to tune it as I would any fox or 'zocchi.
    Backed off the HSC, then starting increasing the LSC to filter out pedal bob on a long fire-road climb. The bike bobbed and squatted and the more I tried to tune it, the worse it felt. Fortunately a call too craig got me all straightened out. As nybike1971 mentioned, if you want any compression damping you have to run some LSC. The simple way to think of it is that the LSC and HSC do the same thing, but the HSC is 4x as powerful and also has a blow-off valve (this is where the LSC should kick in).

    I have been really impressed with this shock. It can feel platformy like an old 5th element on a fire-road climb, then swallow up a rock garden like 2.7 tires at low PSI, all with the same settings.

    Quote Originally Posted by scepticshock
    I don't feel any "clicks" on the brass adjuster screw. The only clicks I feel are on the rebound knob.
    I wouldn't sweat that. They are subtle (there are actually clicks on both circuits). My guess is that you might not feel them with a larger screwdriver, but a smaller tool with less leverage might let you feel them. The brass has 4 clicks per full turn.

  25. #25
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    Thanks! That helps. At least I can count turns if I can't feel the clicks.

    So... to reset the shock back to stock is it best to close both down, and then start with the LS screw first?? Or is order not important?

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