Suspension Tuning Guide- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    Suspension Tuning Guide

    I was always curious about how to properly tune a suspension setup.

    Assuming we set up the sag properly for the frame design, where do we go with compression adjustments?

    I like to run very light low speed compression, and a bit more high speed compression.The bike pedals pretty well, and is very compliant over small/bumps. Thanks to the bottom out damper, I don't notice harsh bottoming either.

    Then I was reading a thread, and someone commented how it's silly to run little low compression. Is this true? If so, what is the situation where I need to up the low compression?

  2. #2
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    For a suspension with multiple adjustments (typically LSC, HSC, BSR such as my Bos Deville) I work with a chart that has a set of variation settings against a baseline median setup. (This is derived from Rockshox' Mission Control setup sheet) Step 1 is to find the median setup. Step 2 is to consider any particular adjustment for your riding conditions on the day.

    In terms of Deville clicks, my variations are something like:

    LSC -12, HSC -4, BSR 0: Loose flat (Maximise grip/bump absorption)
    LSC -6, HSC 0, BSR -2: Fast rocky, sweeping corners (Maximise bump absorption)
    LSC -6, HSC 2, BSR 0: Fast rocky, aggressive corners (Maximise bump absorption and resist body roll when weight shifts in corner)
    LSC -3, HSC 0, BSR 0: Wet muddy, rooty, rocky (Maximise front wheel traction)
    LSC 0, HSC 0, BSR 0: Normal trail <<<<<< MEDIAN SETUP
    LSC 0, HSC 4, BSR 0: Launch drop to transition (Landing control)
    LSC 0, HSC 10, BSR 0: Launch drop to flat (Landing control)
    LSC 12, HSC 0, BSR -1: Fast bermed corners (Fork higher in stroke for faster movement corner to corner)
    LSC 12, HSC 0, BSR -3: Slow technical (trials type moves, minimize fork movement for slow speed balance)
    LSC 12, HSC 0, BSR -3: Slow steep (minimise endo potential)

    The Deville has 25 clicks of adjustment on the compression settings and 30 clicks on BSR. Default settings are 15 clicks out from full slow on all controls.

    Hope this makes sense. It is obviously slightly different for a rear shock.

  3. #3
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    The way I have the above list in sequence shows:
    1. LSC is being used mostly for making the bike more responsive to rider input.

    2. HSC is tunable to keep the deep travel events under control and avoid bottom out (conversely reduced HSC will maximise grip when the terrain isn't going to give any deep travel events)

    3. BSR is only ever adjusted minimally away from the median setup and is for one of two reasons: a) avoiding packing down in very high speed repetitive bump situations; b) compensating for when more bump energy is being absorbed on the compression stroke (so less needs to dissipated in rebound).

    The last thought is that suspension setup is always a compromise and relates a lot to riding style.

  4. #4
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    Thanks for the suggestions! I have a CCDB with H/L comp and H/L rebound adjustment, so I'll play around with them when the snow is off the trails

    I'll have to think about these settings more closely as well after I get home!

    Quote Originally Posted by petercarm View Post
    For a suspension with multiple adjustments (typically LSC, HSC, BSR such as my Bos Deville) I work with a chart that has a set of variation settings against a baseline median setup. (This is derived from Rockshox' Mission Control setup sheet) Step 1 is to find the median setup. Step 2 is to consider any particular adjustment for your riding conditions on the day.

    In terms of Deville clicks, my variations are something like:

    LSC -12, HSC -4, BSR 0: Loose flat (Maximise grip/bump absorption)
    LSC -6, HSC 0, BSR -2: Fast rocky, sweeping corners (Maximise bump absorption)
    LSC -6, HSC 2, BSR 0: Fast rocky, aggressive corners (Maximise bump absorption and resist body roll when weight shifts in corner)
    LSC -3, HSC 0, BSR 0: Wet muddy, rooty, rocky (Maximise front wheel traction)
    LSC 0, HSC 0, BSR 0: Normal trail <<<<<< MEDIAN SETUP
    LSC 0, HSC 4, BSR 0: Launch drop to transition (Landing control)
    LSC 0, HSC 10, BSR 0: Launch drop to flat (Landing control)
    LSC 12, HSC 0, BSR -1: Fast bermed corners (Fork higher in stroke for faster movement corner to corner)
    LSC 12, HSC 0, BSR -3: Slow technical (trials type moves, minimize fork movement for slow speed balance)
    LSC 12, HSC 0, BSR -3: Slow steep (minimise endo potential)

    The Deville has 25 clicks of adjustment on the compression settings and 30 clicks on BSR. Default settings are 15 clicks out from full slow on all controls.

    Hope this makes sense. It is obviously slightly different for a rear shock.
    Quote Originally Posted by petercarm View Post
    The way I have the above list in sequence shows:
    1. LSC is being used mostly for making the bike more responsive to rider input.

    2. HSC is tunable to keep the deep travel events under control and avoid bottom out (conversely reduced HSC will maximise grip when the terrain isn't going to give any deep travel events)

    3. BSR is only ever adjusted minimally away from the median setup and is for one of two reasons: a) avoiding packing down in very high speed repetitive bump situations; b) compensating for when more bump energy is being absorbed on the compression stroke (so less needs to dissipated in rebound).

    The last thought is that suspension setup is always a compromise and relates a lot to riding style.

  5. #5
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    wow, any type of analysis/tune tips for the rp23?

  6. #6
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    Idea! You betcha

    Quote Originally Posted by darnelli View Post
    wow, any type of analysis/tune tips for the rp23?

    Yea sell it and get a PUSHED Monarch RT3
    Early to bed early to RIZE makes a man healthy, wealthy <(scratch that) and wize.

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  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by darnelli View Post
    wow, any type of analysis/tune tips for the rp23?
    Unfortunately, the RP23 doesn't have much of an adjustment. You can set the sag and rebound, and that's pretty much it. If you have already played with all those settings and still find it's not satisfactory, I'd send the shock to push

  8. #8
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    bsr?

    Quote Originally Posted by petercarm View Post
    ....
    3. BSR is only ever adjusted minimally away from the median setup and is for one of two reasons: a) avoiding packing down in very high speed repetitive bump situations; b) compensating for when more bump energy is being absorbed on the compression stroke (so less needs to dissipated in rebound).

    The last thought is that suspension setup is always a compromise and relates a lot to riding style.
    What is BSR? Haven't seen that acronym before for shock damping.

    Google found nothing related to the BOS shocks.

    "Berry Slow Rebound"?

    "Bump Sensitive Rebound"?

    "Bull S.. Rebound"? ....just kidding!

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by derby View Post
    What is BSR? Haven't seen that acronym before for shock damping.

    Google found nothing related to the BOS shocks.

    "Berry Slow Rebound"?

    "Bump Sensitive Rebound"?

    "Bull S.. Rebound"? ....just kidding!
    It is a phrase I don't particularly like, but it is "Beginning Stroke Rebound", meaning "low speed rebound" in anybody else's money.

    I don't like it because it sounds like position sensitive damping when it it's really just shaft speed sensitive, same as normal.

    My table is an adaptation of Rock shox source material and I carried it forward from that source.

    Sent from my GT-I9100 using Tapatalk

  10. #10
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    It might sound shitty, but what about tuning suspension with has only basic adjustments ? Any tips to get the most out of it ?

    Like for say I have a XC bike with could fork that has preload and rebound and a rear shock that has only pos and neg air chamber. After setting the SAG using the preload and positive air chamber, how would you make it balanced for aggressive trail riding (100mm front/1.5" stroke back) ?

    On the other hand, I have a FR bike with 150mm air fork that has pos and neg air chamber plus rebound adjust and a coil rear shock with only rebound adjust. Again, after setting the SAG with positive air and preload of the rear coil, how to make it feel balanced for aggressive AM riding (150mm front/8" rear) ?

    Thanks
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  11. #11
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    ah ok what about tuning settings for fox forks? i have a '12 talas RLC 36 160mm and looking to get it more bump/rock garden sensitive

    Quote Originally Posted by petercarm View Post
    For a suspension with multiple adjustments (typically LSC, HSC, BSR such as my Bos Deville) I work with a chart that has a set of variation settings against a baseline median setup. (This is derived from Rockshox' Mission Control setup sheet) Step 1 is to find the median setup. Step 2 is to consider any particular adjustment for your riding conditions on the day.

    In terms of Deville clicks, my variations are something like:

    LSC -12, HSC -4, BSR 0: Loose flat (Maximise grip/bump absorption)
    LSC -6, HSC 0, BSR -2: Fast rocky, sweeping corners (Maximise bump absorption)
    LSC -6, HSC 2, BSR 0: Fast rocky, aggressive corners (Maximise bump absorption and resist body roll when weight shifts in corner)
    LSC -3, HSC 0, BSR 0: Wet muddy, rooty, rocky (Maximise front wheel traction)
    LSC 0, HSC 0, BSR 0: Normal trail <<<<<< MEDIAN SETUP
    LSC 0, HSC 4, BSR 0: Launch drop to transition (Landing control)
    LSC 0, HSC 10, BSR 0: Launch drop to flat (Landing control)
    LSC 12, HSC 0, BSR -1: Fast bermed corners (Fork higher in stroke for faster movement corner to corner)
    LSC 12, HSC 0, BSR -3: Slow technical (trials type moves, minimize fork movement for slow speed balance)
    LSC 12, HSC 0, BSR -3: Slow steep (minimise endo potential)

    The Deville has 25 clicks of adjustment on the compression settings and 30 clicks on BSR. Default settings are 15 clicks out from full slow on all controls.

    Hope this makes sense. It is obviously slightly different for a rear shock.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by David C View Post
    It might sound shitty, but what about tuning suspension with has only basic adjustments ? Any tips to get the most out of it ?

    Like for say I have a XC bike with could fork that has preload and rebound and a rear shock that has only pos and neg air chamber. After setting the SAG using the preload and positive air chamber, how would you make it balanced for aggressive trail riding (100mm front/1.5" stroke back) ?

    On the other hand, I have a FR bike with 150mm air fork that has pos and neg air chamber plus rebound adjust and a coil rear shock with only rebound adjust. Again, after setting the SAG with positive air and preload of the rear coil, how to make it feel balanced for aggressive AM riding (150mm front/8" rear) ?

    Thanks
    With simpler suspension, I believe it's easier to set them up. Aim for proper sag front and rear, then set the rebound to a position you like (it doesn't kick you off the bike, and it doesn't pack down over a series of bumps). Suspension tuning is always a compromise, so I'd just shoot for a setting that you can live with.

    Quote Originally Posted by darnelli View Post
    ah ok what about tuning settings for fox forks? i have a '12 talas RLC 36 160mm and looking to get it more bump/rock garden sensitive
    You can reduce air pressure and lower compression to gain small bump performance. It also helps to have large volume tires running tubules at lower air pressure.

  13. #13
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    i guess another question, any tuning guide/tips similar to this for the fox talas 160 rlc (36)? thanks in advance

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by darnelli View Post
    i guess another question, any tuning guide/tips similar to this for the fox talas 160 rlc (36)? thanks in advance
    Bump.. I have a 12' Fox talas 140 rlc "34", and I'm looking for tuning tips also. Thanks.

    Capt. Cobb

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