Suspension testing on my Sight- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    Suspension testing on my Sight

    Love my Sight - such a capable and rewarding bike. BUT - i've felt i could be more plush and eat the big stuff better.

    I decided to take a plunge and move up to a 160mm travel fork on the Sight.

    Doing it with the MRP Stage and whats intriguing is the axle/crown measure is 10mm less than the pike - so gaining the extra travel w no change to geometry.

    The Stage has numerous reviews of being better in small bump compliance and has an adjustable ramp control you can tune on the fly for how progressive or linear you like.. All intriguing to me after 2 years on the pike and having played w all settings and mainly air pressures, tokens etc... to get the feel Im personally looking for. Still not sure I've ever gained the softness combined with the support via the pike. First world problem - i get it.

    Should be installed soon - I'll let you know my thoughts on this fork and riding.

    Also - on advice from some experts in suspension to gain a more "plush" feel to the rear with the inline i am installing some volume reducer bands and will run lower pressures, and also "open" the HSR as a result. I had proposed lower pressures and a bit more HSC to avoid bottom out but was offered guidance this was not the way to go, but volume reducers are.

    Again - will post up my experiences when I've had a good chance to really test.

  2. #2
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    Can't wait to see your results. Looking for plush. Why not just go to 160mm pike or are you worried about messing up the geometry.

    Erik

  3. #3
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    Erik

    Mostly Im intrigued to try the Stage. Many reviews claim it bests both the Pike and new Fox's. Also my suspension shop have never tried to sell me on it - but they now almost all ride it as their personal fork on their personal bikes. I also got to sort of test it when i demoed a guerrilla gravity megatrail as they too spec it as a preferred option. it was a short ride, but felt great.

    I decided to keep the Sight for 1 more year, and this is one of the areas I want to try to improve on. It's more about the overall feel than the extra 10mm - but to gain that and not mess w the geo seems a side benefit to me.

  4. #4
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    Kamper11

    I'm very curious to see you results on the inline volume reducer bands. I personally tried the lower air pressure and upped the LSC and HSC and the shock completely sucked. I'm happy you are not going that route.

    Another fork that look intriguing is the new X Fusion Sweep with Roughcut damper.

    Erik

    Erik

  5. #5
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    So you have the DB Inline rear shock I'd guess? What kind of settings you run now and what have you tried..?

    I have a Range with X-fusion Vector HLR, so not the same but linkage functionality is quite similar. If you want more sensitivity or small bump compliance, I'd try decreasing LSC and increasing pressure on the shock. I've set up the Vector also as linear as possible(adjustable piggyback volume&pressure) but I have a bit smaller sag(~20-25%) than before. Normally one would think that decreasing LSC would have big effect on pedalling, but difference wasn't that big. Sag on the other hand seems to have quite big effect, with 30% sag it is bobbing noticeably more than with 20%... Probably has something to do how the antisquat properties of the linkage works..

  6. #6
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    Good to hear about the geo not being changed. That is the biggest reason I wouldn't switch to a 150mm or 160mm fork. The swap will void your warranty and is one of the biggest reasons they changed manufacturing of the 2016 models to handle a 150mm fork.

    Can't wait to hear your review on the new setup.

  7. #7
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    I hear the perspective on geo and don't disagree - yet seems most who have posted Sight builds to the forum pre-2016 changes all swapped to 150 pikes... HA. I know a Sight dealer and shop owner who has been running a 160 since day 1. Personally i believe this is what the spec should have been from day 1 (150) - and also suspect that Norco likely anticipated these changes to the build once the bikes hit the streets - just my opinion, but being the north shore company they are - id be willing to place money on it.

    Should have the stage mounted later this week -and hope to ride next week a long weekend vacation back home to see some fam. I'll post a first ride impression and will have shop take some before and after measures of things like BB height, etc...

  8. #8
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    Its about a week later than even I anticipated but finally got my first ride in on the MRP Stage. I got a late 2015 but has the new 16 ramp control which is hydro and not magnetic.

    The shop i purchased from helped me setup based on their own personal use of this for on their own bikes. Also MRP have a "dyno card" that come with and provides some recommended settings - my setting are pretty close to the card, but air pressure a bit lower.

    Seated Sag = 25% (or approx 55psi) I weigh in at approx 162-165 geared riding weight.
    Rebound - 10 from closed/slowest or full clockwise.
    Ramp = 8 clicks from full clockwise. Total of 16 clicks.
    - The more clicks the more progressive the fork will react at the end of the stroke
    HSC = 2 clicks from clockwise. Total of 8. 8 being near "locked out", but has a blow off valve.

    Travel = 160mm. My pike was 150mm. I went w the 160mm setup as the axle to crown length is near identical to the 150mm pike. 10mm extra cush with no geo change

    Trail = moderate front range CO trail. Has a fw features - steps/square edge, some baby heads, loose river rock, loose over hard and "cement" type conditions when dry. Some parts are still muddy today, but overall not bad. It was however like a early spring ride, where the trail is a chatter fest - trail get's hiker and equestrian use while still wet, and drys like washboard. The kind of chatter that will shake a filling or molar loose. Funny thing is this is one of the conditions that I never felt the pike handled well. No matter my setup - from slow to near wide open rebound speed. So a really good test.

    All i can say after first ride is - "Daaaaaaaaannnnggggg" this fork is good!! Great actually. On the trail the rebound felt a bit pogo - so i took of 1 click - down to 9. Never touched the fork again. it is so freeking smooth and supple at the top - just completely floats over anything on the trail. pick up the speed and size of features - just stays composed! Plush yet firm enough to not stay down in the travel. Chatter be gone - my bike remained more composed like it's never been on this type of condition. Blew me away really that i didn't have to mess with the setup and yet was so freeking good right away.

    FWIW - i'd had my Pike fully serviced approx 10 rides/20 hrs or so - so it was at its best upon the swap out. Never ONCE - from new til day i took it off - did it ride like the Stage. Lot's of similarities, but for me personally the Stage is exactly what I've tried to find in the pike. In 2 seasons I tried:
    - higher pressures (20% sag)
    - lower pressures (30% sag)
    - fast rebound, slow rebound - many times trail tuned
    - not LSC, some LSC, lots LSC
    Now - I'm really not trying to bag on the Pike - cuz we all know its a truly great fork. I called it a "bacon saver" as it works so well in all conditions and unlike my previous Fox 34, never erratically deflected or bottomed and spiked - sometimes causing OTB incidents. in 2 seasons - i've had 1 OTB w a Pike and that was likely MY error.

    So - Pike for me is still a great fork. the MRP Stage just kinda takes the goodness of the pike and makes it better.

    Will gain a more serious ride tomorrow that will push the Stage into deeper weeds to speak.

    More after.

  9. #9
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    so today - ride 2. as the fork worked so well - i didn't touch a setting, altho was tempted as I still had a full inch of travel untouched in ride 1. Cool thing is they have a bleed off valve on the top of fork - so i could have easily done so on the trail w a glove on. I decided to leave it - still left a full inch of stanchion - will likely pop the valve and bleed a few pounds off next ride.

    My first ride impressions hold just as true and maybe more so as I hit some stuff faster and bigger than ride 1. This fork rocks and in all the right ways.

    HOWEVER - what i did do was play w my DB Inline a bit. When i had the fork mounted I also had a couple of volume reducer bands installed. Other than air pressure and sag setting left all other settings the same for ride 1. I guess the fact I didn't notice anything 'bad' happening - thats a good thing. However - today i did some on trail tuning. Opened up HSR another 1/4ish turn, opened LSR 2 clicks. The bike was overall more balanced and dare i say FUN than I've ever known. Like the fork - I left "travel on the table" so i can adjust that w a little less HSC to take advantage of full travel. That said - that bike was buttery smooth and controlled, yet some nice playful pop available basically on command. It just simply worked on everything today better than anytime in the past and thats saying a lot as much as I worked to get the setup dialed previously.

    SO - my takeaways after 2 rides:
    - The Stage is a really great fork, might be better than anything in it's class and gave me
    exactly what i was missing from the Pike.
    - - So supple off the top, smooths the trail without any strange traits - and with current
    setup - ramps about perfect for my riding and the terrain.
    (i do look forward to some of the trails that will really press the issue).
    - the volume reducers seemed to have helped me find that little 'missing link' feel in the shock. it just felt better - even before i made some on trail adjustments - it was better yesterday. today was like a magic carpet ride.
    - seems the Stage and Inline are a perfect match on the Sight.

  10. #10
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    Thanks Kamper,

    Great post !!!!!

    Can you post your weight and exactly what your shock settings are?

    Erik

  11. #11
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    Great review Kamper! The Stage is an excellent fork!

    Just to clear up a bit of misinformation for future readers: the Ramp Control (air spring progression adjustment) is unchanged between 2015 and 2016.

    The 2016 damper loses the magnetic LSC valve for a full hydraulic one. This gets rid of the "notch" that is easily felt with full LSC. Additionally, the rebound circuit has been revised to cut down on noise and new wiper seals for even better small bump.

    The 2016 improvements are noticeable but probably not worth the price difference (we have the 2015s on closeout for $700).
    Dirt Merchant Bicycles
    Providing unrivaled support and unbeatable pricing on all cycling goods to riders near and far.

  12. #12
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    Just a little update on my suspension. I went 2 for 2 the last 3 weeks. Cane Creek Inline blew up and the Pike started to get real harsh and needed a service. For all the people who have the inline. It is a 2-3 week process but cane creek is awesome, so be prepared for some down time.

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