Plushness question- Mtbr.com
Results 1 to 5 of 5
  1. #1
    mtbr member
    Reputation: vibiker's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Posts
    203

    New question here. Plushness question

    I have an Ellsworth Id (4 bar w/ Romic shock). I also have a DC Sherman Slider. 6" front and rear. I have the compression and rebound dampening setup kind of slow. By doing so I am able to keep my take-offs and landings from jumps and drops very straight and controlled.

    However, with the slower suspension the ride is not at all plush. I tested a riding- buddy's DH bike (single pivot rear with 7.5" travel) and the difference was astonishing. It was so incredibly plush, it seemed to float over any bump or hit.

    Not that I expect my bike to perform like a full on DH rig with 25% more travel, but am I missing something? Is there a way setup my suspension to have more plushness yet still have solid feel?

    Thanks,
    John

  2. #2
    mtbr member
    Reputation: konarider's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2003
    Posts
    176
    I'm by no means an expert BUT... I have a Kona Dawg set up with 5/5 inches travel. And I also have a Stinky Deluxe 7/7 inches travel. I put a Vanilla RC on the back of the Dawg. Now the Dawg still seems "stiff" on the small stuff but when I hit a 4 footer its smooth as silk. The Stinky is just smooth all the way around. You can try to tweak the rebound and compression but when you have 5 inches or less of travel your gonna feel the bumpy stuff.
    Harry......I took care of it!!

  3. #3
    Jm.
    Jm. is offline
    mtbr member
    Reputation: Jm.'s Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Posts
    7,131
    There's a lot of little things here that can be contributing, some that you can control, some that you can't. IT would help to know what kind of bike the other guy has that you thought was a lot better, it could provide information for comparing your bike to it and making some generalizations.

    Anyhow, for maximum bump absorbtion it is often necssary to set your rebound fairly "fast", with basically "not a lot". What works at a slow speed when you are not riding too agressively may feel horrible when you go faster down a rough hill, because your suspension is not able to extend fast enough to take the next hit, it is what is known as "packing up". When I set up my rebound in my forks and shocks it does feel "faster" than I would normally think would be adaquate, and at real slow speed it can feel a little "bouncy". I've found that the benefit at medium to higher speeds with this setup is worth it. There are those that like to say you should err on the side of "too much" rebound because it is safer and will keep your bike from "bouncing" on you and possibly ejecting you, but from a "plushness" point of view this is not the best way to look at it. If you do it from the other way, run just enough rebound to keep it from being "too bouncy" (make sure you test it at high speed in rough terrain first), then IMO you'll be a lot closer to finding the perfect amount of rebound to make it work as well as possible.

    On compression, it usually does NOT help you absorb bumps. It helps the bike pedal better, but with a shock like the romic, it is not helping at all. On the romic the compression adjustment affects low-speed compression, and there is a "blow off" which allows it to be bypassed if enough force is encountered. This "low speed compression" is basically resistance to movement. Any resistance to movement will mean decreased suspension ability and performance. This means that when you turn the blue knob up to make the bike pedal better, it WILL pedal better, but it will also decrease the suspension performance. At low speed I found that my romic would "buck" me on impacts because of this low speed damping. It's the reason that it pedals so well, but at low speed especially, it made the bike's suspension feel fairly inactive and "harsh".

    Single pivot bikes, ones with fairly high pivots, can have a much more optimal wheelpath for absorbing bumps as well. Your ID has a more "vertical path", while a long travel single pivot bike has the wheel working in an arc and it moves up and back at the same time. This means that if you have two bikes with the same travel, and one has a fairly vertical suspension path, and the other one has a rearward one, the one that is more rearward may feel "plusher", especially on sharp-edged hits. This kind of design is not without disadvantages. There's the problem with single pivots not being progressive, but there's another problem with a rearward axle-path, it usually means that you have excessive chain growth. Excessive chain growth can cause "feedback" in the suspension and when you are trying to pedal through really rough terrain it can feel very harsh in the rear, this is especially bad when you are trying to climb up a really rocky face on a single pivot. Your pedal strokes are basically causing torque forces that are opposite to the way the suspension should work, so it creates a lot of percieved harshness and pedal-feedback. So while a single pivot might be "plush" just coasting through a nasty section, it's not allways that way. This varies with the design of the single pivot bike, not all will be in this catagory, but some such as the santa cruz bullit and older super8 will be.

    Then there is the issue of sag and progression. Just because your bike is a linkage bike doesn't mean the progression of it is optimal. I've found that "too much" progression can feel pretty harsh. Your ID is also probably designed to operate with a lot less sag than a DH bike and this combined with the exact suspension rate and spring weight, can vary the "plusness" of a bike. If you have an extreme falling-rate like many single pivots have (but some linkage bikes have it too) you often have to have a much higher initial spring rate to keep the bike from bottoming. This can easily make a bike feel "less plush". There are some cool shocks these days from manitou, curnutt, and progressive that are "progressive" and get around this. So a few years ago it was easy to say that most single pivot bikes were not progressive and many were falling rate, these days the effect has been minimized by a new breed of shocks and we can say that many of them are very "plush" indeed, as you have found.

    Also, the degree of stiffness in your bike can also have a lot to do with the percieved plushness. A bike like the ellsworth (an FSR type bike) is difficult to design to be "stiff". The wheel mounts to the chainstay, but the chainstay effectively "floats" because it is not directly connected to the main frame. So this means that in between the rear wheel and the main frame, you have more pivots and more opportunity for flex. I haven't been able to really recall how "stiff" ellsworth bikes felt, but usually at first ALL bikes feel very stiff. As they break in and loosen up then you start to feel more flex. What flex does is it causes binding and keeps the suspension from working as well as it could. This is especially true when you are riding off-camber in rocky terrain. Foes for example builds bikes that are extremely stiff and are nearly impossible to flex. For this reason when you are riding off-camber it can feel a lot more "plush" than a cheap mass-produced bike that has a good amount of flex in it. I'd imagine that ellsworth uses a bearing setup that prevents excessive flex, but just to give you an idea turner uses bushings that can carry a huge radial load and keep the bike "stiff". Bearings can be designed in such a way to do the same thing, so there is no hard rule about which is "better", but it is an issue in frame design, and especially for FSR type bikes like your Id. Single pivot bikes can be flexy as well, but it's usually more difficult to get the same kind of frame stiffness, and have it hold up at the same stiffness over a long period of time, with an FSR.
    I know in my heart that Ellsworth bikes are more durable by as much as double. AND they are all lighter...Tony Ellsworth

  4. #4
    mtbr member
    Reputation: Dougal's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Posts
    6,471
    Quote Originally Posted by vibiker
    I have an Ellsworth Id (4 bar w/ Romic shock). I also have a DC Sherman Slider. 6" front and rear. I have the compression and rebound dampening setup kind of slow. By doing so I am able to keep my take-offs and landings from jumps and drops very straight and controlled.

    However, with the slower suspension the ride is not at all plush. I tested a riding- buddy's DH bike (single pivot rear with 7.5" travel) and the difference was astonishing. It was so incredibly plush, it seemed to float over any bump or hit.

    Not that I expect my bike to perform like a full on DH rig with 25% more travel, but am I missing something? Is there a way setup my suspension to have more plushness yet still have solid feel?

    Thanks,
    John

    I've found the key is to use more low speed compression damping on each end with less high speed damping. I'm running a stock romic with my revalved Xverts on a Turner with good results. I'm running the springs a little softer than most and letting the oil do the work.
    Owner of www.shockcraft.co.nz, Mech Engineer, Tuner, Manitou, Motorex, Vorsprung EPTC, SKF, Enduro
    www.dougal.co.nz

  5. #5
    mtbr member
    Reputation: vibiker's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Posts
    203
    Quote Originally Posted by Jm.
    There's a lot of little things here that can be contributing, some that you can control, some that you can't. IT would help to know what kind of bike the other guy has that you thought was a lot better, it could provide information for comparing your bike to it and making some generalizations.
    Thanks all for your input, especially Jm for the thoughtful and very useful info. BTW, the other rig was an '02 Turner DHR w/ a 5th Element.

Similar Threads

  1. Introduction and question
    By jlphotog in forum General Discussion
    Replies: 3
    Last Post: 05-17-2012, 12:48 AM
  2. Brake response question? and Slider pressure question?
    By Gnar in forum Downhill - Freeride
    Replies: 5
    Last Post: 09-05-2004, 03:20 PM
  3. Front derailluer sizing question
    By fiveohhh in forum Drivetrain - shifters, derailleurs, cranks
    Replies: 1
    Last Post: 05-06-2004, 10:37 AM
  4. A couple of question...
    By bike_riot in forum Beginner's Corner
    Replies: 5
    Last Post: 03-14-2004, 06:48 PM

Members who have read this thread: 0

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •  

THE SITE

ABOUT MTBR

VISIT US AT

© Copyright 2019 VerticalScope Inc. All rights reserved.