Suspension setup.

Tim29

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#1
Just wondering how many of you guys actually spend time setting up your suspension and have any of you had your suspension re- valved.
If you setup your own, did you change tokens, bands, spring rates etc.
I’m finding on the trail almost everyone who has ridden with me or around me has never setup there suspension properly and they just ride it.

Edit,
the post went the wrong direction so going to try a different approach.
I’m trying to write a setups tips and bracketing format for suspension setup for a bike company. As per our conversations i find this information Hard to find and not available for many new bikes purchased. So my question is how many of you will actually use this information and what part of suspension are you comfortable doing and or not doing.
Maybe this will help the direction of the thread.
 
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Japuserid

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#2
Always searching for the perfect setup, which does not actually exist of course, it's always going to be a compromise and what works well at one location nearly always works less well at another location. For me finding a good base setting is the key and then being able to adjust it to work well at any given location is the goal. Having a good range of adjustability is obviously important to be able to achieve this I find my MRP Ramp control really helps to dial things in.

Just play with it and see what things help and what doesn't, not doing anything makes absolutely no sense at all.

Just remember the golden rule.......one thing at a time, if you change multiple things you will never know what change really made the difference.
 
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Taffyteg

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#3
Just wondering how many of you guys actually spend time setting up your suspension and have any of you had your suspension re- valved.
If you setup your own, did you change tokens, bands, spring rates etc.
I’m finding on the trail almost everyone who has ridden with me or around me has never setup there suspension properly and they just ride it.
Lol I am one of these people, sometimes I forget to unlock the rear shock on a decent and wondering why things feel different, sometimes I do unlock it and it feels worse. I am not good enough to setup the suspension, but I know it works and helps to stop me being thrown off the bike or giving me a sore a**e when it gets whacked by the saddle.
Great topic though, I will be interested to see what people say.
 

Tim29

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#4
Always searching for the perfect setup, which does not actually exist of course, it's always going to be a compromise and what works well at one location nearly always works less well at another location. For me finding a good base setting is the key and then being able to adjust it to work well at any given location is the goal. Having a good range of adjustability is obviously important to be able to achieve this I find my MRP Ramp control really helps to dial things in.

Just play with it and see what things help and what doesn't, not doing anything makes absolutely no sense at all.

Just remember the golden rule.......one thing at a time, if you change multiple things you will never know what change really made the difference.
You say you always search for best setup but you never mentioned what changes you make to get there.
I have had my last two ebikes apart close to 20times re- valving, changing pistons, tokens, bands, oil bath, oil types.
I’m personally not a fan of the ramp control as it leads most users to utilize air ramp to control bottoming and tha also seems to be the industry standard as no one places much value on low and high speed compression Dampening force.
 

Gary

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#5
Yes to both and have done for over 20 years.
it's a bit pointless buying a bike with expensive/sophisticated/adjustable suspension components if you don't even understand how they work or learn how to set them up. it's nowhere near as dificult as many people seem to think it is.
I've only ever run custom shimming on coil shocks and DH forks. But other than a 2010 Reba I fitted to save weigt on a DJ bike (and then bent sideways) I've only really been riding air sprung suspension for the last few years as it used to offer nowhere near the performance of coil sprung.. Suspension out the box is so good these days I honestly don't see any need for custom tuning unless you're racing fairly competitively or happen to be at the extremes of the weight range your suspension damping was designed for..

I like my forks fairly stiff, with minimal sag, minimal compression and as linear as possible so don't run any tokens in either of my Lyriks (being 170mm they don't need any end stroke ramp). I run X-firm boxxer springs (despite being the weight for firm) again so there's minimal sag, I do run a little compression damping on a DH fork though.
Rear suspension I prefer more progressive, a little more sag and again minimal compression. but as progression depends on the suspension leverage curve I do run tokens in some shocks, none in others.
Rear shock set-up on my DH bikes is different again but I won't bother going into that here.
And with all my hardtails I run a short travel fork super stiff as anything else just robs the bike of pop.
 

Japuserid

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#6
You say you always search for best setup but you never mentioned what changes you make to get there.
I have had my last two ebikes apart close to 20times re- valving, changing pistons, tokens, bands, oil bath, oil types.
I’m personally not a fan of the ramp control as it leads most users to utilize air ramp to control bottoming and tha also seems to be the industry standard as no one places much value on low and high speed compression Dampening force.
Luckily for me I am smack bang in the middle of the range of adjustments that my Rockshox suspension package cater for, so no need for revalving.

I have fitted the new 2019 air spring to my 2018 RCT3 Lyrics and the Super deluxe coil RCT shock needed a different weight spring, but that's all. The Ramp control I find superb for adjusting the spring rate of the fork quickly and easily, way better than than adding and removing tokens trail side. To necessitate all the changes you have been making, I assume you are either very light or very heavy?
 

Gary

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#7
The Ramp control I find superb for adjusting the spring rate of the fork quickly and easily, way better than than adding and removing tokens trail side.
Why would you ever want to alter the progression of your spring trail side?
 

MattyB

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#8
Lol I am one of these people, sometimes I forget to unlock the rear shock on a decent and wondering why things feel different, sometimes I do unlock it and it feels worse. I am not good enough to setup the suspension, but I know it works and helps to stop me being thrown off the bike or giving me a sore a**e when it gets whacked by the saddle.
Great topic though, I will be interested to see what people say.
Not good enough to setup the suspension? Sorry, that’s rubbish. Anyone can get a good base setting in 15-20 mins in a car park riding over a kerb, then you just adjust it for taste with a click or two of rebound here or there or a token or two; ride it over the same section of trail to see how it changed the experience and whether you like it.

In a morning you can get a setup that suits you and understand 95% of what you need to know about suspension setup, it’s really not that hard. Watch this video for a basic step through to get your base setup right.

 

Japuserid

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#9
Why would you ever want to alter the progression of your spring trail side?
For exactly the same reason as if you changed it in the workshop, to try a different setting of course! What is your point?
 

Taffyteg

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#10
Not good enough to setup the suspension? Sorry, that’s rubbish. Anyone can get a good base setting in 15-20 mins in a car park riding over a kerb, then you just adjust it for taste with a click or two of rebound here or there or a token or two; ride it over the same section of trail to see how it changed the experience and whether you like it.

In a morning you can get a setup that suits you and understand 95% of what you need to know about suspension setup, it’s really not that hard. Watch this video for a basic step through to get your base setup right.

You can set the basics but the pro's out there are amazing at getting the most out of the suspension and getting it spot on. You might be one of those people who knows how to setup bikes and think you are justified in your replies saying rubbish to people who you dont know and who don't fully understand it, I was just giving my personal opinion.
 

Japuserid

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#11
Not good enough to setup the suspension? Sorry, that’s rubbish. Anyone can get a good base setting in 15-20 mins in a car park riding over a kerb, then you just adjust it for taste with a click or two of rebound here or there or a token or two; ride it over the same section of trail to see how it changed the experience and whether you like it.

In a morning you can get a setup that suits you and understand 95% of what you need to know about suspension setup, it’s really not that hard. Watch this video for a basic step through to get your base setup right.

Really good video, well worth watching.
 

Gary

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#12
Ah... sorry @Japuserid. Reading what you'd written I thought you meant you liked being able to adjust it trailside during rides. Yes. I can see it'd be far easier to use for finding your preferred set-up than tokens.
 

Tim29

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#13
Luckily for me I am smack bang in the middle of the range of adjustments that my Rockshox suspension package cater for, so no need for revalving.

I have fitted the new 2019 air spring to my 2018 RCT3 Lyrics and the Super deluxe coil RCT shock needed a different weight spring, but that's all. The Ramp control I find superb for adjusting the spring rate of the fork quickly and easily, way better than than adding and removing tokens trail side. To necessitate all the changes you have been making, I assume you are either very light or very heavy?
I’m 190lbs, but i hate stiff high speed and soft low speed compression as it makes the bike chatter and loose grip and wallow . It also makes for needing to change air spring which shouldn’t be terrain dependent, only weight.
But the mountain bike industry has taken short cuts on dampening force and utilized air spring ramp up to control bottoming
When in fact it should only be used for setup to your weight. So the very soft low speed dampening i don’t care for and i don’t want to add 3 tokens to control brake dive and bottoming.
Having been a test rider for suspension company for almost 20yrs and ridden large number pre-production bikes and how good they get setup in there development stages and then seeing what compromises the beam counters make to reduce the suspension cost then riding the production model is always such a let down. You expect the finish product to rival the prototype and so far it hasn’t even been close.
Bean counters always take out THe good stuff and go cheap and the finish bike ends up being a dyno graph simulation to the dampening graph tested in the fold for months
 

Tim29

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#14
I don’t ever use the trail to set spring rate. I don’t even have the dampening side of the fork installed when i set my air pressure base and token values. Same way thefox engineers do it when developing the air pressure to weight scales. The scales printed do not incorporate head angle and fork offset, this why there a 10+psi variance and the scales are bracketed.
Also relying on air ramp the control bottoming makes for a overly fast deep stroke rebound which causes violent front end blow outs and usually leaves you on the dirt!
 
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Tim29

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#15
Tha
Really good video, well worth watching.
that video it quite good but there one thing that i feel is critical they left out. After u set your sag before you do the bounce test you need your comp and rebound clickers fully open so your actually using air volume and the least amount of dampening force. If you don’t have them in the same place every time you affect he bounce test with dampening.
 

Al Boneta

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#16
I don’t place a lot of faith in other people’s opinions of suspension set up.
The video above is good on the basics for the novice tuner.
However it ultimately comes down to what feels good to the individual rider.
When I was a professional racer I was fanatical about my suspension set up. What I found worked best for me was 40-50% sag for my forks and 45-50% sag on my rear shock. I stole that directly from Nicolas Voullioz when I was racing for GT.
Now that I weigh 50lbs more than in my heyday, it takes me some time to find what works best for me.
Sometimes a shock with too many adjustments is more of a pain in the ass than it’s worth.
I can’t count the number of times I see someone with the newest latest and greatest fork or shock and it setup terribly.
There has been a lot of buzz about Öhlins the last couple of years and I have been continually disappointed by these over priced suspension components.
The Push elevensix is the best rear shock I have ever ridden, but they don’t make them for Specialized bikes.
53ea36e2-1bb7-47c8-8302-39472f43f5c1-jpeg.3791
 

Tim29

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#17
I don’t place a lot of faith in other people’s opinions of suspension set up.
The video above is good on the basics for the novice tuner.
However it ultimately comes down to what feels good to the individual rider.
When I was a professional racer I was fanatical about my suspension set up. What I found worked best for me was 40-50% sag for my forks and 45-50% sag on my rear shock. I stole that directly from Nicolas Voullioz when I was racing for GT.
Now that I weigh 50lbs more than in my heyday, it takes me some time to find what works best for me.
Sometimes a shock with too many adjustments is more of a pain in the ass than it’s worth.
I can’t count the number of times I see someone with the newest latest and greatest fork or shock and it setup terribly.
There has been a lot of buzz about Öhlins the last couple of years and I have been continually disappointed by these over priced suspension components.
The Push elevensix is the best rear shock I have ever ridden, but they don’t make them for Specialized bikes.
View attachment 3791
What kind of racing where u doing when you ran those kind of sag numbers?? I run 35 and 40% on fast downhill coarse but on chunk i like to keep my bottom bracket higher reduce pedal strikes so i stay at 25-30%
 

Al Boneta

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#18
What kind of racing where u doing when you ran those kind of sag numbers?? I run 35 and 40% on fast downhill coarse but on chunk i like to keep my bottom bracket higher reduce pedal strikes so i stay at 25-30%
Downhill, back in the Mammoth Kamikaze days
 

Tim29

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#19
Downhill, back in the Mammoth Kamikaze days[/QUOTE that makes sense. 8-10yrs almost all the forks where open bath so running that low sag would greatly reduce your fork cavitation on low speed rebound and settle the bike better, but now all the upper end forks. Lyric, pike, fox factory all have closed chamber dampening so there no need for that much sag anymore.
You can valve it to give you that dead hard hit rebound feel without being 40% into the stroke so you have more suspension for multi chunk hits.
 
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Doomanic

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#20
I do set my suspension up, but I'm sure it could be better. To that end I have secured a Shockwiz. It will in time become a Forum resource, more details will follow after I've thrashed it out with the boss.
 

Tim29

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#21
I do set my suspension up, but I'm sure it could be better. To that end I have secured a Shockwiz. It will in time become a Forum resource, more details will follow after I've thrashed it out with the boss.
I have one i been playing with. And i think there a great tool for simple setup help, but I’m not finding it a lot of help for developing better valve code
 

Dax

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#22
I spend a fair bit of time tweaking suspension tune until it feels right then tend to leave it alone, unless I ride a trail and it feels wrong. I'm running a custom valving on my XC bike, to tune the shock to the linkage design, and running a andreani piston kit on my pikes which made a big difference. Next up is a luftkappe to try and improve the small bump feel, if it goes well I may fit one to the lyriks on my ebike too.
 
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#23
I don’t place a lot of faith in other people’s opinions of suspension set up.
The video above is good on the basics for the novice tuner.
However it ultimately comes down to what feels good to the individual rider.
When I was a professional racer I was fanatical about my suspension set up. What I found worked best for me was 40-50% sag for my forks and 45-50% sag on my rear shock. I stole that directly from Nicolas Voullioz when I was racing for GT.
Now that I weigh 50lbs more than in my heyday, it takes me some time to find what works best for me.
Sometimes a shock with too many adjustments is more of a pain in the ass than it’s worth.
I can’t count the number of times I see someone with the newest latest and greatest fork or shock and it setup terribly.
There has been a lot of buzz about Öhlins the last couple of years and I have been continually disappointed by these over priced suspension components.
The Push elevensix is the best rear shock I have ever ridden, but they don’t make them for Specialized bikes.
View attachment 3791
Could you use a bikeyoke for the levo to get the push coil shock to fit

c8ecfb0e-f3e7-4202-91dc-95be0f8a44ad-png.3819
 

Tim29

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#25
there one thing i learned dealing with suspension, very few bikes come with a tailored valve code.
Example Rockshox monarc rear shock has a light/light- med/med- hard/hard /med-hard / hard/ med valve code. Those be fitted into 100 different types of bikes. Mass produced valve codes keep the company been counters smiling and there for we get stuck with the best fitted mass produced shock. Give you an example couple years ago i was testing the Kenevo with 180x170 and it was an animal of a bike, i couldn’t wait to buy one when they came out, i put a deposit at the local bike shop 6 months before they scheduled release and even surprised the bike shop as they didn’t know about it.
The bike came in and i was oh WTH?? This isn’t right, doesn’t have anything like what i rode?? Took it for a demo and had to pass on the bike as it was such a disappointment after spending a month with a completely different setup preproduction unit and rear shock was one i have never enjoyed or worked with so i just had to pass on the bike. But if you never ridden better you would have a completely different perspective of the production bike.
 

Tim29

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#26
There been some good answers but no one is saying what here tweaking.
Do any of you take the suspension apart and actually make a different setting then what came with the bike??
Example i had my bulls forks apart almost 20times changing the internal, piston, valve code and changed yari Internal to a Pike internal so i get a closed chamber dampener with a bladder. Then made several different bladder rings to change the expansion rate of the bladder as the fork was still cavitation on hard hits. Making these changes i went from 3-1/2 tokens to 1-1/2 tokens and have same amount of brake dive and travel usage but lost that harsh air spring spike of high token counts.
 

Doomanic

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#27
I suspect the answer will be no.

I certainly don’t have the knowledge required to do that and would use a specialist to do work like that.
 

Gary

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#28
There been some good answers but no one is saying what here tweaking.
Do any of you take the suspension apart and actually make a different setting then what came with the bike??
I have done in the past. I don't anymore as I don't feel there's any real point. I'm no longer racing and suspension is pretty good these days.
Certainly better than it was back when I was at my fastest on a DH bike.
Plus. I'd rather be riding than taking apart dampers.
I definitely still have have a very strong preference towards certain suspension characteristics and set-up preference though.
As for sharing what I have done and what my preferences are. I don't really see the point. I don't know you, how or where you ride. so it's fairly long and mostly irrelivant list of information.
eg.
Making these changes i went from 3-1/2 tokens to 1-1/2 tokens and have same amount of brake dive and travel usage but lost that harsh air spring spike of high token counts.
it's fairly irrelivant how many tokens a random bloke on the internet uses in their fork.
FWIW. I don't suffer noticably from brake dive or reduced travel and don't suffer air spring spiking.
 
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Dax

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#29
There been some good answers but no one is saying what here tweaking.
Do any of you take the suspension apart and actually make a different setting then what came with the bike??
I usually pay someone else to take my suspension apart :)
 

Japuserid

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#30
There been some good answers but no one is saying what here tweaking.
Do any of you take the suspension apart and actually make a different setting then what came with the bike??
Example i had my bulls forks apart almost 20times changing the internal, piston, valve code and changed yari Internal to a Pike internal so i get a closed chamber dampener with a bladder. Then made several different bladder rings to change the expansion rate of the bladder as the fork was still cavitation on hard hits. Making these changes i went from 3-1/2 tokens to 1-1/2 tokens and have same amount of brake dive and travel usage but lost that harsh air spring spike of high token counts.
@Tim29 I love that you are so passionate and knowledgeable about suspension but to be honest most of of us do very well on the standard specced equipment and I doubt many of us, my self included would ever notice the difference the type of work you are talking about would actually make to us. I love fettling my bike and trying to get the best out of it, I too am passionate about my hobby but at the end of the day it's just that.

There are one or two on here who talk a good ride and a few I'm sure are pretty damn hot but in the main most of us own bikes way more capable than we are riders, It's great that you have this knowledge and are willing to share but I doubt there are more than handful who have a real scooby of what you're on about.
 
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