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  1. #1
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    More or less sag?

    I have a bike thatís older but new to me and in excellent shape. It has 2014 fox float CTD rear shock (165/38). We hear a lot about setting sag at 30% plush but looking at the manual it says 15-20%. Right now when I ride a really bumpy chattery trail it feels like my rear end just skips along the tops of the bumps. Iím at 30% sag. 9 clicks of rebound (I used the curb method to set rebound)

  2. #2
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    The CTD shock hardly works, it'll always feel like that, unfortunately.

    It sounds like thats an xc bike, so you might want to pump the shock up for pedaling performance. It'll never handle bumps well, so it might as well pedal!

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    It feels better than other shocks Iíve run for this size. I donít need it pumped to pedal I get no pedal bob on this bike, itís designed not to. I also sent it to fox and itís been totally rebuilt so it like new. Maybe more sag

  4. #4
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    Basically there is a sweet spot. If your shock is too soft it will be harsh and if it is too hard it will be harsh. That sweet spot is different on different bikes and different terrain. A good rule of thumb is steeper your descents are the more sag you want to run (at least in the rear suspension the front is opposite)

    You could do some experimenting. Do a ride at 30% then do one at 15%. If you like 30 more try 25%, if you like 15% more try 20%. Slowly find out which feels best. Just make sure you are adjusting your rebound when you increase of decrease airpressure.
    "The best pace is suicide pace, and today is a good day to die." Steve Prefontaine

  5. #5
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    I donít have a real bike park or many trails. What I end up riding are single track game trails. Sometimes sheep and free range cattle roam around and destroy trails so more plush would be smoother. Thanks for the advise Iíve got to find that sweet spot.

  6. #6
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    When you say 9 clicks of rebound do you mean in or out? The usual is to start from closed (fully clockwise) and count clicks opening from there. If you're 9 clicks out, that sounds like more than usual.

    Either way, put a mark on the rebound knob with a magic marker so you can see where it's set and experiment with closing/opening it while out on a ride. Make some big adjustments first so that the effects are obvious, then hone in on the optimal setting.
    What, me worry?

  7. #7
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    I didnít know thatís how some people did it. I was taught to go fully open and ride off a curb and keep dampening until you donít bounce when you roll off a curb. So 9 clicks is from fully open.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by wtwilkes View Post
    I didnít know thatís how some people did it. I was taught to go fully open and ride off a curb and keep dampening until you donít bounce when you roll off a curb. So 9 clicks is from fully open.
    That is useless for trail riding. Rebound needs to be set for repeated hits. Higher speed and more frequent impacts require faster rebound. Slow rebound will cause the shock to pack out deep in its travel causing the suspension to feel harsh.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by wtwilkes View Post
    Right now when I ride a really bumpy chattery trail it feels like my rear end just skips along the tops of the bumps. Iím at 30% sag. 9 clicks of rebound (I used the curb method to set rebound)
    Seems like you need more rebound damping and more psi.

  10. #10
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    You should add steps and a decent drop to your tuning. Now riding up a curb might help with HSC.

  11. #11
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    More or less sag?

    Quote Originally Posted by Fajita Dave View Post
    That is useless for trail riding. Rebound needs to be set for repeated hits. Higher speed and more frequent impacts require faster rebound. Slow rebound will cause the shock to pack out deep in its travel causing the suspension to feel harsh.
    This is good for a baseline but I agree not useful at all for trail riding.

    Order for settings:
    - sag
    - rebound
    - low speed compression

    Measure rebound and compression settings from full close, or full slow.

    Basically your shock should feel 80-90% of where you want it with zero compression set, then dial in the compression.

    You need to take a shock pump with you, something to take notes on, and ride the same section of trail repeatedly until you get it to feel right.

    I donít think your rear shock has high speed compression except maybe a three settings. So worry about that last. Leave that fully open for now.

    Some other advice. Make sure your rebound on your fork doesnít feel slower than the rear. Itís the quickest way to end up lawndarting.

  12. #12
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    Is this the CTD with boost valve? If so I found it to be total dogsh!t. When you needed it to work the most, it would spike like crazy.

    Add that boost valve to the brilliant ideas over at Fux.


  13. #13
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    Well itís what I got. Not too many great 165 shocks out there.

  14. #14
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    165x38? tallboy?

    manitou Mcleod. great shock. i replaced a CTD factory with one. night and day

    maybe Dougal (look him up) has these in stock. seems like they are mostly out of stock these days.

  15. #15
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    I'd bet even a cheap Monarch would be magnitudes better.

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    This one is nearly brand new. I sent it to fox for a total rebuild. I used to have an x-fusion RL. It was way too linear. At least this one I can put in volume spacers, run a lower pressure and has more rebound options

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by wtwilkes View Post
    This one is nearly brand new. I sent it to fox for a total rebuild.
    I learned that lesson the hard way.

  18. #18
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    More or less sag?

    Quote Originally Posted by wtwilkes View Post
    This one is nearly brand new. I sent it to fox for a total rebuild. I used to have an x-fusion RL. It was way too linear. At least this one I can put in volume spacers, run a lower pressure and has more rebound options
    Itís architecture is limiting it. Nothing a service will help.

    You want supportive and plush, you need another shock.

    This is my experience with it.
    Oren


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  19. #19
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    Everybody is going to have a recommendation on a shock. Maybe this will help. I have a GT Distortion. By design itís shorter travel in the rear(120) and 150mm in the front. Itís really a surprising bike. Itís a 165 rear shock non turnion style.

  20. #20
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    We're not just trying to be dicks and knock your equipment. The CTD had a lot of known problems that can not be resolved by any adjustments.

    You're not doing anything wrong, and your setup is likely fine. Its just the way the CTD shock works. Its going to spike when it gets rough.

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by One Pivot View Post
    We're not just trying to be dicks and knock your equipment. The CTD had a lot of known problems that can not be resolved by any adjustments.

    You're not doing anything wrong, and your setup is likely fine. Its just the way the CTD shock works. Its going to spike when it gets rough.
    Im new to the full suspension bike world so itís all new to me really. The options are overwhelming untill their not (165 shocks). I do know what it SHOULD feel like and itís not happening so Iím making the assumption itís a setup issue not an equipment issue. But because my shock is 165 that translates to roughly 3 inches rear tire movement going by a 3:1 normal travel ratio.
    I thought about running lower pressure 30-40% sag with a volume spacer to make it more progressive.
    But Iím open to selling this CTD and getting another shock also.


  22. #22
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    Luckily the 165x38 shock is extremely common, its used on many (or most) 100mm travel bikes.

    The air in the shock is the spring, but there is a hydraulic damping circuit in there too. On the CTD shock, the hydraulic portion can not flow oil fast enough to allow the rear wheel to absorb bumps. So while lowering the air pressure will lower the spring rate, it does nothing for the hydraulic side that is causing your problem. To make it worse, the hydraulic side can not be adjusted or modified at home to flow more oil. It just doesn't work.

    When you drop pressure and add a token, you're actually removing the spring support so the shock now attempts to move faster through the top of the stoke. Since the hydraulic portion is the issue, it'll still be harsh and still spike, but you'll also blow through your travel excessively, and then ramp up quickly and harshly. Its just a different kind of bad.

    The distortion is designed to be firm, but it doesnt have to be THAT harsh. A monarch, or even better a mcleod, would really transform that bike.

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by One Pivot View Post
    Luckily the 165x38 shock is extremely common, its used on many (or most) 100mm travel bikes.

    The air in the shock is the spring, but there is a hydraulic damping circuit in there too. On the CTD shock, the hydraulic portion can not flow oil fast enough to allow the rear wheel to absorb bumps. So while lowering the air pressure will lower the spring rate, it does nothing for the hydraulic side that is causing your problem. To make it worse, the hydraulic side can not be adjusted or modified at home to flow more oil. It just doesn't work.

    When you drop pressure and add a token, you're actually removing the spring support so the shock now attempts to move faster through the top of the stoke. Since the hydraulic portion is the issue, it'll still be harsh and still spike, but you'll also blow through your travel excessively, and then ramp up quickly and harshly. Its just a different kind of bad.

    The distortion is designed to be firm, but it doesnt have to be THAT harsh. A monarch, or even better a mcleod, would really transform that bike.
    sounds like i'm going to be buying a mcload. i mean of the two Mcload or Monarch are they about the same?

  24. #24
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    What about switching to a coil?

  25. #25
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    Yeah, Go coil. Coil wins the chattery trail hands down.

    Side note. Tires and tyre pressure make a HUGE difference.

  26. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by wtwilkes View Post
    Im new to the full suspension bike world so itís all new to me really. The options are overwhelming untill their not (165 shocks). I do know what it SHOULD feel like and itís not happening so Iím making the assumption itís a setup issue not an equipment issue. But because my shock is 165 that translates to roughly 3 inches rear tire movement going by a 3:1 normal travel ratio.
    I thought about running lower pressure 30-40% sag with a volume spacer to make it more progressive.
    But Iím open to selling this CTD and getting another shock also.
    The problem might also be that it is or becomes too progressive when you increase sag. What I mean by this, is that an airspring is by its nature progressive, and if you have too big (static) sag, it might be that when you are actually riding the bike, the dynamic sag point is just where the spring rate curve starts increasing more steeply and it feels as harshness. The solution might be counter intuitively to set up smaller sag, so that the "dynamic range" is on the lower part of the spring curve that is more linear and the higher part of the spring curve is only used on bigger hits.

    So as recommended also on some previous posts, experiment with air pressure to both directions. Look for some good test section with type of bumps you feel you need better performance, then try riding that same part of trail with 15, 20, 25, 30 & 35% static sag setting. While doing this, you can probably feel the differences better if you set the sag values in mixed order instead of increasing/decreasing, as the change between set points is bigger. So go for example 25, 35, 20, 30 & 15% so you should have noticeable difference between each test. From these tests you should be able to figure out what sag setting works the best for your application.

    Another thing to experiment is the rebound. Do first the sag setting mentioned above and whatever you find the best sag, use that. Then try the same part of trail with different rebound settings, start with your usual 9 clicks in, then try full open, then 7 clicks in, 2 clicks in, 5 clicks in, etc... I'd guesstimate that more likely than not, you have too much rebound instead of too little, but feel free to go crazy with the rebound(as well as the sag) setting, it is easy and cheap to test and you aren't gonna break anything with that...

    Experimenting with air pressure and rebound is easy and cheap, buying new shock is expensive and might not provide desired result anyway...

  27. #27
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    A McLeod would almost always be an improvement, no matter what you were running before.

  28. #28
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    Iíve found on long chattery trails where fee range cattle have made a mess of the trail, more rebound seams to make things a little smoother and quieter. Iíve tried starting out with 5 clicks or so from open and I always end up back at 8-9. Tire pressure does matter a lot too I ride at about 25psi front and back. Which is usually a little harder but when thereís a random big rock it helps

  29. #29
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    Quote Originally Posted by NordieBoy View Post
    A McLeod would almost always be an improvement, no matter what you were running before.
    No.
    "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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  30. #30
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jayem View Post
    No.
    Please explain

  31. #31
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    Quote Originally Posted by wtwilkes View Post
    Please explain
    It's a roll of the dice with the McLeod, as it is with most aftermarket shocks. The difference with the McLeod is they don't offer different factory tunes, you are expected to disassemble it yourself and modify it. While this is not over the top hard, it's definitely out of the realm of most home mechanics. They came with some pretty jacked up rebound damping circuits as well. The there's the air can. The stock McLeod is a fairly traditional small-volume air shock and most bikes these days take a larger can. Not an insurmountable problem, Manitou offers the King Can at $80-100 depending on where you can find it. Then there's the hardware, it's rolling the dice whether fox hardware and bushings work, a lot of the shocks end up with play in that case, so you have to order the manitou hardware, which is simply not as good a design and also harder to come by (more often out of stock). So I'm into the shock for a fair amount of $$$, way over what is reasonable and after a few modifications of the damping stack, it does work pretty well, but I can't recommend it for the same reasons, it simply may not work well with your bike and it's NOT a guaranteed performance improvement as the guy a few posts above claims. Stock it wouldn't get full travel even at a low 90 psi (I'm 170lbs) and it was harsh like a jackhammer. My avalanche-tuned DPS still edges it out, but again, I've gotten the McLeod to a pretty nice tune...but not without spending hundreds of dollars beyond the cost of the shock (hardware, king can, damping shims, damping fluid, etc.).

    The thing about other aftermarket shocks though is you can usually order a specific tune, like Medium rebound and Low compression, to closer match what came on your bike, after asking the manufacturer or checking what came on it stock. Some, like the Cane Creek shocks, are simply far more tuneable without having to take them apart. Pairing up a rear shock is almost always a roll of the dice due to differences in leverage ratio and curves and rider weight. It's not as simple as just slapping another shock on there, but sometimes that does work.
    "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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  32. #32
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    What would you recommend them for my GT. In a 165 shock

  33. #33
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jayem View Post
    It's a roll of the dice with the McLeod, as it is with most aftermarket shocks. The difference with the McLeod is they don't offer different factory tunes, you are expected to disassemble it yourself and modify it. While this is not over the top hard, it's definitely out of the realm of most home mechanics. They came with some pretty jacked up rebound damping circuits as well. The there's the air can. The stock McLeod is a fairly traditional small-volume air shock and most bikes these days take a larger can. Not an insurmountable problem, Manitou offers the King Can at $80-100 depending on where you can find it. Then there's the hardware, it's rolling the dice whether fox hardware and bushings work, a lot of the shocks end up with play in that case, so you have to order the manitou hardware, which is simply not as good a design and also harder to come by (more often out of stock). So I'm into the shock for a fair amount of $$$, way over what is reasonable and after a few modifications of the damping stack, it does work pretty well, but I can't recommend it for the same reasons, it simply may not work well with your bike and it's NOT a guaranteed performance improvement as the guy a few posts above claims. Stock it wouldn't get full travel even at a low 90 psi (I'm 170lbs) and it was harsh like a jackhammer. My avalanche-tuned DPS still edges it out, but again, I've gotten the McLeod to a pretty nice tune...but not without spending hundreds of dollars beyond the cost of the shock (hardware, king can, damping shims, damping fluid, etc.).

    The thing about other aftermarket shocks though is you can usually order a specific tune, like Medium rebound and Low compression, to closer match what came on your bike, after asking the manufacturer or checking what came on it stock. Some, like the Cane Creek shocks, are simply far more tuneable without having to take them apart. Pairing up a rear shock is almost always a roll of the dice due to differences in leverage ratio and curves and rider weight. It's not as simple as just slapping another shock on there, but sometimes that does work.
    So if Iím looking at shocks Iím looking at a McLeod, monarch RT3, or a fox DPS

  34. #34
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    Quote Originally Posted by wtwilkes View Post
    So if Iím looking at shocks Iím looking at a McLeod, monarch RT3, or a fox DPS
    They are all decent and can all be re-worked by various companies (the manitou is more self-tuned). IMO, reading the McLeod threads, a majority of the riders use the King Can and I'd plan on getting that with the McLeod. The Fox bushings are better than both RS or Manitou and RS can accept the Fox bushings no problem. The nice thing about the Fox IGUS bushings is they are fairly easy to deal with and replace, vs. the DU impregnated bushings of Manitou and RS. The Manitou is much more hit and miss on being able to take the Fox Bushings. Bushings should be replaced every season or so. Also, something that can be served every season or two is important too, whether it's sending it to fox or a tuner like Avalanche.

    In your shoes, I'd probably go for what's cheapest, but keep in mind if you have a fox with the IGUS bushings, a manitou won't just bolt up, you need to get the manitou hardware for your bike. The spacers sizes are different due to the different bushing arrangement. You also probably want to invest in a bushing removal/installation tool.
    "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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  35. #35
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    Not mine, but...
    https://www.pinkbike.com/buysell/2884378/



    I still think Mcleod should be a great match, but this definitely looks like a right price.
    No experience with RS shocks or forks here...


    Oren

  36. #36
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    Quote Originally Posted by OrenPerets View Post
    Not mine, but...
    https://www.pinkbike.com/buysell/2884378/



    I still think Mcleod should be a great match, but this definitely looks like a right price.
    No experience with RS shocks or forks here...


    Oren
    This Jayem fella makes a good point though about McLeod, i do use the three piece fox INGUS bushings. And Iíd probably feel like I needed a king can, and I can see this getting financially out of control.

    I just want a smoother ride!

  37. #37
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    Quote Originally Posted by wtwilkes View Post
    This Jayem fella makes a good point though about McLeod, i do use the three piece fox INGUS bushings. And Iíd probably feel like I needed a king can, and I can see this getting financially out of control.

    I just want a smoother ride!
    My experience with mcleod is different to jayemís.
    Really like that shock on VPP bikes. much better than fox ctd/ dps.

    I guess it could improve but as stock itís better (to me) than the fox shocks I had.

    Oren


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  38. #38
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    I bought this guys monarch. I would have to have bought a McLeod new which was a little more than I wanted to spend.

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