Suspension Set-up Basics for the Beginner- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    Suspension Set-up Basics for the Beginner

    Where do you start and what does it all mean ?


    Here is a starting point :

    Sag: Sag is how much the fork or shock compresses under a static load (i.e. rider sitting or standing in normal riding position). Sag allows the wheel to follow terrain better. When you encounter a ‘dip’ or ‘depression’ on the trail, the sag will allow the wheel to track down into the dip.

    Generally this is 20 to 35% of the total available travel. A very common sag value is 25%. For example, a fork with 100mm of travel this equates to 25mm of sag. A simple cable tie around the fork stanchion can be used to measure the sag.

    The stroke of a shock is a ratio of the total rear suspension travel. For a 5” travel bike with an average leverage ratio of 2.5, the shock stroke is 2” (50mm). To sag the rear travel 25% you would have to measure 25% of the shock stroke. In our example 25% of the shock stroke is 0.5” (12.5mm).

    This can be measured by the o-ring around the shock shaft on an air shock. Measure the distance between the shock body and the o-ring. For coil shocks, sag can be measured by using the shock eye-to-eye length, and deducting the sag from the eye-to-eye length. Also, coil shocks generally have a rubber bumper, you can use this bumper as explained above with the o-ring on air shocks, if the rubber bumper is tight enough on the shaft.


    Compression Damping: Compression damping controls the speed the fork or shock will go through its travel (or compresses). Compression is controlled by forcing oil through an orifice (small hole) and/or an elastic element covering an orifice that can be either flexible damping shims or a spring loading a stiff shim. The resistance of the oil to go through the aforementioned orifices is what provides damping.

    Low-Speed Compression controls the riders input on the suspension at ‘slow’ shaft speeds. Adding more LSC to a fork will help reduce brake dive or help keep the front end up in corners, and can also reduce suspension movement resulting from mass shifting due to pedalling (i.e. ‘bob’). Generally the more LSC that is added, the slower the suspension will react to bumps. This can result in a ‘rougher’ ride and traction can be compromised. On the other hand, if too little is used, forks tend to have “brake diving” (i.e. the fork will sink too much into its travel when the brakes are applied) and the bike can feel nervous.

    High-Speed Compression controls the terrain input on the suspension at ‘fast’ shaft speeds. This typically means the force needed to move the shock or fork through its travel from the terrain during bigger bump or hits. Adding more HSC can provide more ‘bottom-out’ resistance. Adding too much HSC for your given terrain may result in not using all the available travel.


    Rebound Damping: Rebound damping controls the speed the fork or shock extends (i.e. returns back to full travel after compression).

    When the rebound is set too slow the fork or shock will not extend fast enough in time for the next bump in terrain. The suspension may feel ‘packed-down’ or ‘wallowing’ in terrain with repeated hits like in rocks.

    When the rebound is set too fast it will extend the fork or shock too fast. Your control may be compromised and you could be bucked off the bike or may feel ‘harsh’. Rebound is often set a bit slower for terrain with more big bumps resulting on drops and jumps. Rebound is often set a bit faster in faster terrain with smaller bumps occurring more often.

    A rough guideline in setting rebound initially is to set slow enough that you can almost feel the fork or shock’s extension slow. Then try moving it faster or slower to suite your conditions.


    How to set up your suspension?

    Even though, there will be several methods a guideline is described below.

    1. Set Sag first. Start by setting sag to 25% as explained above. This is your starting point. Even if the other parameters are “wrong”, if the sag is set properly, the suspension will ride acceptably.
    2. Set Rebound. Start with your rebound adjuster in the faster or the wide open position. Look for a curb. Ride down off it and notice how the suspension rebounds. It should rebound only once and it should not feel violent. Start adding rebound until it only bounces once. Then, back off the adjuster a click or two or a ¼ of a turn. This is because riding off-road requires faster rebound due to the terrain being more irregular than the road.
    3. Set Compression. This last adjustment preferably could be made on the trail. Simply, ride with it wide open and increase compression until you feel the fork not to dive while braking while still retaining acceptable small bump compliance.

    At any rate, sag and rebound should be set first and before hitting the trail. This is critical and failure to do so could lead to an accident or damage to your equipment. If sag is not properly set, you could bottom your suspension causing severe damage to it and the bike, while a rebound set too fast or slow could lead to loss of traction or the suspension rebounding violently after a jump, both leading to an accident.

  2. #2
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    great sticky, AM!

  3. #3
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    how do you adjusted the sag?
    i have tora 318 forks

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    maybe this is a dumb question. is "preload" considered sag as explained above?

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    Quote Originally Posted by bschanz
    maybe this is a dumb question. is "preload" considered sag as explained above?
    actually this answer's jack's question - adjusting preload is how you change the amount of sag.

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    Anybody can give a full explaination of FOX DHX5.0?
    It has pro pedal, and bottom out...and IFP pressure... confusing.
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    Should we add in a Step 0 before setting sag?

    Step 0: Turn off Propedal (if any), set the IFP pressure to minimum (50/60psi?) Set compression damping to minimum. Set rebound damping to medium/minimum.

    This is in case someone has already fiddled with the other settings before doing the sag....

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    Quote Originally Posted by fsrxc
    actually this answer's jack's question - adjusting preload is how you change the amount of sag.

    for coil shocks, you should change out the spring for the correct one for your weight to give you as close to the correct sag as possible. Preload adjustment should ONLY be used for fine-tuning sag. Never do more than 2 or 3 full turns of spring preload, you won't get full performance out of the shock, and you could damage the shock on big hits if the
    overly-tightened spring bottoms out before the shock shaft does (coil bind) and all the force
    is concentrated on the preload threads on the shock body. Ideally for the mostle supple small-bump feel you should run the stiffest spring possible, with the least amount of preload (1/2 to one turn of the preload collar) but sometimes this isn't possible if theres a big jump betweeen spring rates, you may have to experiment with small preload adjustments.
    Air shocks are easy-change the air pressure. Some air shocks also have negative air pressure valves and air platform valves-refer to its manual for the correct sequence as to which valve to air up first. Most of my experience is with coil shocks.
    Last edited by dwyooaj; 06-29-2008 at 05:13 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by foxracing
    Anybody can give a full explaination of FOX DHX5.0?
    It has pro pedal, and bottom out...and IFP pressure... confusing.

    I have a fox dhx 5.0 coil on my heckler. i think I have it dialed in pretty good. The IFP pressure controls both the bottom out and the propedal. I don't know the formula for that,
    usually your bike's manufacturer will have a recommended pressure. The bottom out control is basically a high-speed compresssion adjustment for the last 25% of travel;it's a really nice feature. Leave it open for wheels on the ground trail riding, and tighten it up for
    bigger stuff. Fox's pedaling platform, the blue propedal knob, really works, and its nice to change it with a knob on the fly instead of changing the spv pressure (manitou). Turn it counterclockwise for downhill, fully clockwise for hard climbing, and about 7 clicks from fully closed for all-around trail riding. And, the red knob is rebound. There are other recommendations on this thread for that, and they are accurate.
    What kind of bike do you have? If the dhx came with it as original spec, the manufacturer will have recommendations for all the settins for your weight; they're usually a tad off but it's a good starting point.

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    Check this out, its the best I've found so far to help explain the DHX Air at least.

    http://www.foxracingshox.com/fox_tec...uning_tips.htm

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    Quote Originally Posted by dwyooaj
    I have a fox dhx 5.0 coil on my heckler. i think I have it dialed in pretty good. The IFP pressure controls both the bottom out and the propedal. I don't know the formula for that,
    usually your bike's manufacturer will have a recommended pressure. The bottom out control is basically a high-speed compresssion adjustment for the last 25% of travel;it's a really nice feature. Leave it open for wheels on the ground trail riding, and tighten it up for
    bigger stuff. Fox's pedaling platform, the blue propedal knob, really works, and its nice to change it with a knob on the fly instead of changing the spv pressure (manitou). Turn it counterclockwise for downhill, fully clockwise for hard climbing, and about 7 clicks from fully closed for all-around trail riding. And, the red knob is rebound. There are other recommendations on this thread for that, and they are accurate.
    What kind of bike do you have? If the dhx came with it as original spec, the manufacturer will have recommendations for all the settins for your weight; they're usually a tad off but it's a good starting point.
    Thanks!
    I have a 2007 demo8.
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    I've been riding a 2002 RockShox Duke XC for the last 6 years, after riding full rigid for the preceeding 10 years. I've tried more air, less air, and the full range of rebound adjustments. I haven't notice a difference. I like to ride the most technical trails I can find. It gets pretty rocky in eastern PA, but I still haven't seen the benefit of the shock. Am I missing something, or do I not have it adjusted properly?

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    Quote Originally Posted by tduro
    I've been riding a 2002 RockShox Duke XC for the last 6 years, after riding full rigid for the preceeding 10 years. I've tried more air, less air, and the full range of rebound adjustments. I haven't notice a difference. I like to ride the most technical trails I can find. It gets pretty rocky in eastern PA, but I still haven't seen the benefit of the shock. Am I missing something, or do I not have it adjusted properly?
    Sounds like your fork is fed up. Something is not working on it.
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  14. #14
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    I have a Duke on one of my bikes. Adjustments don't seem to do much on mine either, even after replacing the always leaking fork seals. Performance is just about what I'd expect from a $120 fork.

  15. #15
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    Fox DHX coil 5.0

    Does the boost valve have any effect on sag or rebound once its been initially set?
    Less air = less rebound? vice versa?

    Also, on coil forks does having no pre-load & the correct sag equate to less rebound setting?
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  16. #16
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    hello, new to the forum and i'm from the philippines. anyway, my ride is a KHS XC 204 2008 model and most of my components are shimano lx deore. i was wondering if anyone has a knowledge on the rear shock adjustment for my Rock Shox Bar. i'm having a hard time adjusting it. my weight is about 180lbs. any help will be greatly appreciated.

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by nuj
    hello, new to the forum and i'm from the philippines. anyway, my ride is a KHS XC 204 2008 model and most of my components are shimano lx deore. i was wondering if anyone has a knowledge on the rear shock adjustment for my Rock Shox Bar. i'm having a hard time adjusting it. my weight is about 180lbs. any help will be greatly appreciated.
    Just inflate to any given amount of pressure and measure sag as explained in post #1.

    If you have too much sag (shaft enters the shock too much when you sit on the bike), then increase the shock's pressure with your pump.

    If you get too little sag (shock barely compresses), then release some air off the shock.

    Then go to the "How to Set Up your suspension" part.
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    I could use some help setting up my 07 Stinky.
    I bought the bike used so I don't have any of the original paper work that would have the factory settings. I have looked on line,but can't find any info.
    I am about 170lbs and race begginer DH and do some Freeride.
    The fork is a Marzocchi 888rcv and the shock is a Rocco tstr.
    Any help would be great.
    Thanks.

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by Wrench Monkey
    I could use some help setting up my 07 Stinky.
    I bought the bike used so I don't have any of the original paper work that would have the factory settings. I have looked on line,but can't find any info.
    I am about 170lbs and race begginer DH and do some Freeride.
    The fork is a Marzocchi 888rcv and the shock is a Rocco tstr.
    Any help would be great.
    Thanks.
    Don't mind other's settings. You want 30%-35% sag and for that follow the procedure described in the original post.

    As for the particulars, you have coil sprung suspension front and rear.

    Firstly, you need to calculate the spring rate needed for your shock. Mojo Suspension and Fox both have spring calculators online.

    I'm positive I've seen instructions on how to remove the spring off your shock... and most probably they're in the Service Info Thread which is also as sticky at this board.

    As for the 888, I can't remember if it has air preload... but being RCV, it probably has. So, if you can't get enough sag (and you should as you're pretty much "target user weight" meaning that most bikes are designed around your weight) then you may need lighter springs and if you have too much sag, then you need heavier springs.

    I think instructions are on windwave.co.uk for the 888 spring change.
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    just made the transition from ht to fs and am setting up my new rig.... a cherry bomb.

    on setting up the rear suspension, do i need to have the coil fully extended (a no-load position?) before figuring out the sag & other settings? i have a manitou metel with a 550 x 2.0 coil.

    thanks...

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by essworks

    on setting up the rear suspension, do i need to have the coil fully extended (a no-load position?) before figuring out the sag & other settings?
    thanks...
    Yes. Indeed.
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    thanxs warp...

    figured out my springs are waaaay too over-spec'd for my weight... got manitou metel with a 500x2.0 springs & i'm a scant 130 pounder.

    would taking out the springs outright screw up the frame? am into fr.

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    Quote Originally Posted by essworks
    thanxs warp...

    figured out my springs are waaaay too over-spec'd for my weight... got manitou metel with a 500x2.0 springs & i'm a scant 130 pounder.

    would taking out the springs outright screw up the frame? am into fr.
    What do you mean "taking out the springs"? The rear shock needs a spring right? So find the right rate spring for your weight and swap it in (online spring calculator might help).

    If you are asking about fork springs, then if it's a Marz fork, and it's too stiff even with 0psi preload, then yes some people have good luck removing one or both springs and using air instead (but it might get a bit more sticky).

  24. #24
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    nice thread, gonna try its knowledge on me 09 66's when they get here

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    I too am new to pedal bikes, if your fork does not have a pre-load adjuster how do you adjust the sag? I just ordered a Manitou R7 and I believe it is an air fork. I'm used to being able to turn an adjuster on my motorcycle to increase/decrease pre-load. Do you just addd or remove air from the fork to adjust the sag?

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    question a little off topic but will the Marzocchi Bomber Mr-T Triple fit on my 2009 iron horse yakuza aniki im a new rider dont know much about specs

  27. #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by Donnie Brasco
    I too am new to pedal bikes, if your fork does not have a pre-load adjuster how do you adjust the sag? I just ordered a Manitou R7 and I believe it is an air fork. I'm used to being able to turn an adjuster on my motorcycle to increase/decrease pre-load. Do you just addd or remove air from the fork to adjust the sag?
    An air fork has a valve where you have to pump air to set preload. Most probably your fork will come with the pump and the adaptor if it's necessary.

    On a coil sprung fork, you're SOL and have to open the thing to get a different spring in there or a few spacer if the manufacturer allows for that (you could have coil binding if you put too much spacers).

    Bikes are catching up, but not that quick...
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  28. #28
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    So....do you set sag on Fox shocks with/without propedal on???. It was mentioned but not agreed upon.

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    Quote Originally Posted by cooleymtnbiker1
    So....do you set sag on Fox shocks with/without propedal on???. It was mentioned but not agreed upon.
    I do it with propedal off to keep sag from being too high when going downhill (when I turn propedal off)

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    hi guys! back into mountain biking after a 5 year rest from all things mountain bike! getting back into it in a big way, just got myself a new orange evo8 08 standard bike for a rather cheap amount, seen a few peoples reviews about this, even though it gets mixed reviews, its alot of kit for what i payed brand new...any ways im totally lost with the suspesion, it has changed a hell of a lot since i last was into biking...

    the bike has rock shox recon race air - 100mm travel.....

    these so far seem like really decent xc style forks, to which the length of travel will be plenty for me....i kinda gathered with my limited knowledge that the you adjust the air intake with a ermmm pump, with the psi amount according to your weight..ok i get that...

    now what on earth is external damping? damping? compression? lockout and the sorts??? i have absolutely no idea? do i even have any of the above? do i need to alter anything on the forks to get the best setup other than the amount of air?? please help guys!

    the fork has a compression screw on the top of the fork on the right, and im guessing where the air goes in on the left hand side, then a red screw type thing on the bottom of the right of the fork?

    i really wanna set it up right please help me guys! pm's are welcome ps i have read the beginners thing on this section and i cant make head nor tale of it cos im not sure if ive even got half these things, and i dont wanna break it! thanks guyss

    cheers

  31. #31
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    Quote Originally Posted by Didzy2009
    hi guys! back into mountain biking after a 5 year rest from all things mountain bike! getting back into it in a big way, just got myself a new orange evo8 08 standard bike for a rather cheap amount, seen a few peoples reviews about this, even though it gets mixed reviews, its alot of kit for what i payed brand new...any ways im totally lost with the suspesion, it has changed a hell of a lot since i last was into biking...

    the bike has rock shox recon race air - 100mm travel.....

    these so far seem like really decent xc style forks, to which the length of travel will be plenty for me....i kinda gathered with my limited knowledge that the you adjust the air intake with a ermmm pump, with the psi amount according to your weight..ok i get that...

    now what on earth is external damping? damping? compression? lockout and the sorts??? i have absolutely no idea? do i even have any of the above? do i need to alter anything on the forks to get the best setup other than the amount of air?? please help guys!

    the fork has a compression screw on the top of the fork on the right, and im guessing where the air goes in on the left hand side, then a red screw type thing on the bottom of the right of the fork?

    i really wanna set it up right please help me guys! pm's are welcome ps i have read the beginners thing on this section and i cant make head nor tale of it cos im not sure if ive even got half these things, and i dont wanna break it! thanks guyss

    cheers

    Check out SRAM's website and RTFM (Read The Frigging Manual)

    Seriously, if there's a manufacturer that has decent Use and Service manuals is SRAM. Go check them.

    Then, read the first post of this thread...

    Also posted in this thread before:

    "Just inflate to any given amount of pressure and measure sag as explained in post #1.

    If you have too much sag (shaft enters the shock too much when you sit on the bike), then increase the shock's pressure with your pump.

    If you get too little sag (shock barely compresses), then release some air off the shock.

    Then go to the "How to Set Up your suspension" part."
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  32. #32
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    The Fox manual does not describe whether or not to put the shock into propedal or not. But thanks for the help!!

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    Quote Originally Posted by tduro
    I've been riding a 2002 RockShox Duke XC for the last 6 years, after riding full rigid for the preceeding 10 years. I've tried more air, less air, and the full range of rebound adjustments. I haven't notice a difference. I like to ride the most technical trails I can find. It gets pretty rocky in eastern PA, but I still haven't seen the benefit of the shock. Am I missing something, or do I not have it adjusted properly?
    Quote Originally Posted by ronbo613
    I have a Duke on one of my bikes. Adjustments don't seem to do much on mine either, even after replacing the always leaking fork seals. Performance is just about what I'd expect from a $120 fork.
    I'm a little late to this party...

    I didn't have the patience to try it that long. The first one leaked, and the warranty fork could not be adjusted to suit me. I went back to rigid.

    ...until now.

    I have the Recon 5" fork on an Iron Horse MKIII Comp.

    Is it possible to make this fork a progressive (if that's the right word) rate fork, either by making the air chamber smaller, or doing something with the valving?

    On the Duke, I was instructed to add oil to the top air chamber, thus decreasing its volume. This would cause the pressure to build faster as the fork compressed. This way, the 1" of sag on a 4" fork would be at about the same pressure, but the fork got stiffer faster as it compressed. I still never got it to work right. Can the Recon be modified that way?

    Just bumping up the pressure doesn't allow enough sag.

    At normal sag pressure, the front end is sloppy under braking and on steep descents unless my weight is kept well behind the seat (which maybe that's how it's supposed to be?). Maybe I just need to spend more $$$ on a fork.
    Maybe after so many years of rigid bikes I'm just not used to that much travel.
    ???

    Oh, I weigh 185#.

    Thanks,
    -F

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    Im just setting up my 36 TALAS' and im struggling to get a decent sag happening. Mainly because whenever i go to set sag i tend to get too much stiction until i squish down slightly on the fork and then i get too much indicated sag from the ziptie. Anyone know of a solution?

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    Quote Originally Posted by takai
    Im just setting up my 36 TALAS' and im struggling to get a decent sag happening. Mainly because whenever i go to set sag i tend to get too much stiction until i squish down slightly on the fork and then i get too much indicated sag from the ziptie. Anyone know of a solution?
    Squish your fork around first, then push the ziptie down against the seal while you're sitting on it.

    -F

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    Sitting on it?

    I get what you mean now, was too late last night when i was trying to decide. I think it will need 2 hands.

  37. #37
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    When I set the sag in my rear shock it is a Fox Vanilla R without the piggy back, I set it to 25% and when I have the right sag i can bottom it out just bouncing really hard up and down on the pedals. Is this normal? It has good rebound and I can't adjust compression so I don't know what to do. To get 25 percent sag I have to have the preload collar just barely touching the spring.

  38. #38
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    Quote Originally Posted by drain bamage
    When I set the sag in my rear shock it is a Fox Vanilla R without the piggy back, I set it to 25% and when I have the right sag i can bottom it out just bouncing really hard up and down on the pedals. Is this normal? It has good rebound and I can't adjust compression so I don't know what to do. To get 25 percent sag I have to have the preload collar just barely touching the spring.
    Yes, it's normal...

    Keep an eye on it though, and if it bottoms on the trail, get a higher spring rate.
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  39. #39
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    Ok thanks it doesnt usually bottom out just rolling over rough terrain, mostly when It itake a hit.

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    the ride: Cove G-spot with DHX5.0 coil, Fox talas 140mm. Pretty dialed, I'm constantly adjusting with the terrain.

    Here's one for you. Did a city ride yesterday and ended up descending a flight of wooden steps cut into the hill (walking steps, the wood approximately fencepost diameter). I'm always fiddling with the suspension as I go through different terrain, but this was the first time i felt something this specific.

    Firstly, I hadn't switched off the Pro-pedal on the shock because I had just finished climbing. Secondly, I always run the low speed compression on the forks fully off (no compression damping).

    I approached the stairs relatively slowly and started rolling down them. I got lots of feedback from the bike initially until i reached a certain speed when it seemed like suddenly everything opened up and the bike soaked it all up. I want that feeling again, except I don't want to go that fast (always) in order to get it. It could easily have something to do with the spacing between the steps and it's relationship with my wheelbase.

    Tuning tips? My initial guess is a little bit more rebound damping will smooth things out at the lower speeds. I'll try one click tonight and any other ideas from this strange interworld.

  41. #41
    RBSBiking
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    is it possible to install lockout on a fork that doesnt have ?

  42. #42
    "El Whatever"
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    Quote Originally Posted by amirwhite View Post
    is it possible to install lockout on a fork that doesnt have ?
    It depends on the specific fork. Most lockouts are built in the compression damper, so it may be just enough with replacing the compression damper for one with lockout. Others may need a complete damper cartridge replacement. Others simply can't.

    With your fork brand and model, check the Suspension board and make a search for "[model]+lockout". Search before opening a specific thread. If you don't find a thing, then open a thread for it.

    Cheers!
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  43. #43
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    Awesome info. Just the thread I was looking for

  44. #44
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    This information is great but does anyone know where I can get the specific instructions on how to set my RockShox Monarch RT3. They came with my new Giant Anthem x 29er but no operating instructions came with them and there isn't a operators manual on the RockShox website

  45. #45
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    Quote Originally Posted by steve tm View Post
    This information is great but does anyone know where I can get the specific instructions on how to set my RockShox Monarch RT3. They came with my new Giant Anthem x 29er but no operating instructions came with them and there isn't a operators manual on the RockShox website
    You should really ask Giant. Rear shocks can be very dependent on the application.

  46. #46
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    need a set up suggestion for my fox dhx rc4...ride a santa cruz driver 8..currently have about 1 inch of sag...i cant seem to get good "pop" off of the jumps...spring is 475 x 2.80 and I weight 175...not sure if it can be resolved with compression adjustments.

  47. #47
    Big Boy
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    you guys have any tips for taking a shock pump off without losing air. Im pretty heavy(260) and when i pump my shock a little bit of air makes a big difference in psi. any way to take the pump off without losing 5 or more psi?
    -It's time to shred some mild to moderate gnar!! :cornut:

  48. #48
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    Quote Originally Posted by texasnavy05 View Post
    you guys have any tips for taking a shock pump off without losing air. Im pretty heavy(260) and when i pump my shock a little bit of air makes a big difference in psi. any way to take the pump off without losing 5 or more psi?
    A common misconception. Assuming you are using a decent shock pump in good working order, the hiss of air you hear when removing the pump is the sound of pressurized air leaving the pump, not the shock. When you unscrew the pump, the valve in the shock closes before the seal uncouples. (Trust me if it didnt it would lose a lot more than 5 psi, were dealing with small volumes and high pressures here.).
    People also have this misconception because lets say you pump it up to 100 psi, and remove the pump. then the next day, put the pump back on and it reads 85 psi. so it is assumed that when the pump was removed the day before, some psi was lost. Not so. The reason that the pump registers lower psi the next time is because when yo install the pump the next time, the pressurized air in the shock will escape into and pressurize the space inside the pump, and as volume goes up, pressure goes down (under constant temp, P x V = constant) so it will then read a lower pressure. But the shock had 100 psi before you attached the pump. Of course, thats assuming the shock isnt leaking air!
    '18 banshee rune

  49. #49
    wuss
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    Quote Originally Posted by All Mountain View Post


    Rebound Damping: Rebound damping controls the speed the fork or shock extends (i.e. returns back to full travel after compression).

    When the rebound is set too slow the fork or shock will not extend fast enough in time for the next bump in terrain. The suspension may feel ‘packed-down’ or ‘wallowing’ in terrain with repeated hits like in rocks.

    When the rebound is set too fast it will extend the fork or shock too fast. Your control may be compromised and you could be bucked off the bike or may feel ‘harsh’. Rebound is often set a bit slower for terrain with more big bumps resulting on drops and jumps. Rebound is often set a bit faster in faster terrain with smaller bumps occurring more often.

    A rough guideline in setting rebound initially is to set slow enough that you can almost feel the fork or shock’s extension slow. Then try moving it faster or slower to suite your conditions.
    One catch regarding rebound damping that had me confused for a while back in the day.

    I was often told I should start with a lot of damping (slow) and speed it up until I feel it kicking back. What this resulted in is having too much damping (too slow) because IMO there is a point in this method when the suspension kicks back a lot, but it's not because it's too fast, rather because it's too slow.

    Say you are going over a root at speed, it will compress your suspension leaving your saddle at pretty close to the same height as it was before the root (if it's small enough).

    - With too fast suspension the kick you would feel is the suspension extending while the tire is still on the root raising your saddle higher.

    - With a lot too much rebound damping it will compress on the root and stay slightly compressed after the root, leaving your saddle a bit lower then it was before. If the rebound is slow enough it will still feel smooth as it will extend so slowly.

    - When you start reducing the damping (speeding up the rebound) you will end up in a situation where it compresses on the root, stays compressed after it (leaving your saddle lower) and then extends rather quickly raising you back up. This feels like a pretty strong "kick back" which might make people think that it's too fast, while in reality it's still too slow.

    - However if you reduce the damping further you might reach the situation where the shock compresses from the root and extends right on the back side keeping your saddle at the same height all the time and not letting you feel any kick back.

    From what I found the feeling of kickback from the too slow rebound (second to last description) was stronger then the feeling of kickback from the first example, though in regards to control it could be that having rebound really too fast is probably more dangerous (especially going downhill).

    Anyway, while trying to set the rebound I'd recommend not only adjusting it from slow to fast, but also from fast to slow.

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