Suspension Upgrade?

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Re: Suspension Upgrade?

Postby Roy » May 16th, 2013, 7:29 pm

I think you are stuck with what you have, a race bike. 100 mm of travel is more like 75 0r 85mm after you subtract for sag.
You might switch to a zero sag shock. (The Manitou Radium R with Platform Plus Damping is a no sag shock)
Once you adjust the all the knobs for summer or winter temperatures there is not much point of messing with them.
If you can, remove most of rebound damping to avoid stacking. Stacking occurs when the suspension does not fully rebound before you hit the next bump.
Increase the compression damping to where it is to harsh. The energy the shock absorbs is force times distance. The force can be spring force or hydraulic force.

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Re: Suspension Upgrade?

Postby b_b » May 16th, 2013, 9:24 pm

Nothing wrong with occasionally using all of your suspension.
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Re: Suspension Upgrade?

Postby bikerector » May 17th, 2013, 5:04 pm

300hp wrote:
Generally, on a bike like yours, you should set sag for weight, and tune compression for rider ability. With the shock full open (rebound all the way out, CTD in "D") set sag to 15-20% of the length of the stanchion.

If your bike still blows thru the travel, and you have a high volume air shock, consider this very cheap, highly effective mod (you can do the same thing for free if you have a high volume shock by shimming the high volume can....search MTBR for that). http://www.pinkbike.com/news/tech-tuesd ... -2011.html


This is perfect, I had asked fox if they could tune the shock for me after having to send it in for warranty (ball detent for CTD selector was a PITA to turn and eventually came out) and they said there was nothing they could do to tune it. I think I specifically mentioned revalving it or something since that's how i thought damping would be altered, besides changing oil weights and volumes, like suspension forks. I assume that can be done with mtb forks, I know it can be done with motorcycle forks. Since I'm heavy, 220, it seems like I might be a good candidate for some volume reduction, albeit maybe just a little. Seems like fox has gone out of their way to make their newer air shocks and forks more linear with CTD, according to pink bike. If nothing else, would be worth a try just to see.

I set the sag per fox's instruction the day I got the bike. I'm pretty happy with the sag setting in that I think it's where it should be. My last outing I used probably 80% of the travel and I wasn't being aggressive in regards to hopping off of stuff, was there more for the workout and to get used to the new race tires. The trail is bumpy but there's not much for drops on most of the trail, you have to make the drops bigger by jumping a little and going into them faster.

I have some things to start messing with anyway. I have all of my various settings trials written down since I've had the bike in March and notes next to them, good to go back to if I'm off the bike for a few weeks when I'm getting ready for other types of racing. I know what too much and too little psi is so I have a range to work within anyway.

:icon_thumright: Thanks guys. Weekend is here and the weather is going to be good.
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Re: Suspension Upgrade?

Postby bikerector » May 18th, 2013, 7:37 pm

The bike was new this spring, doesn't seem like I should need new seals but will get them if it's still recommended. Might be good to add them to get free shipping (LBS can't get fox shock stuff through their distributors).

Had the bike out at Bass River, not exactly a place to kill the suspension but that where the couple of us were riding at. Made a few changes to air pressure before hand to see how much higher I could go, the answer was not much or I would be around 10% sag. Went back to the settings I've been working on all week and they felt really good during the ride, but again, nothing resembling a big hit, people frequently ride cyclocross bikes on the course. Did feel controlled over a few log piles though which was nice.

The real testing came afterwards when I was just noodling around the area and noticed a car going down the long entry drive to the lake in the middle of the area and noticed it was about bottoming out from the pot holes in the gravel drive. Figured why not, so I took off hitting every pot hole I could for about a mile of the gravel road, many were a good 1-2 feet deep and many in a row. The good news was that I didn't blow through all the travel, so I must have gotten something right while tinkering. I think I had about 20% left in the rear, not as much in the front but that's because at some point I turned the knob to descend mode to see what it would do, doesn't feel like much but it used more travel so it must have done a little.

Okay, so the biggest thing I learned from the gravel stuff was what the rebound damper does. A question, the knob has clicks, but do you have to adjust to the click or are they more for reference? With the knob where I had going to the trail, some of the time the fork would come off the ground from the force of the rebound combined with the upward motion of the "out" side of the pot hole is this about where you want it? if I went one full click harder, about one full turn I think, it seemed like the fork never fully extended before hitting the next hole, and the difference was very obvious. Should my setting be somewhere between the clicks or is one of those seem like where it should be?

Back to the air pressure and volume change thing, my under standing is that I would want the more progressive rate, take out volume/add insert, for being able to take bigger shocks, but it would have little affect at the top of the travel, small bump compliance, because it more progressive nature of the shock affects the end of the travel more than the top of the travel. Do I have this figured out? I feel like I have the small (roots and such) to mid bump (pot holes/ steps) stuff figured out, so probably 90+% of XC riding, it's just the harder hits or "oops I took that log pile wrong" that needs the tinkering still.

Might be going to Copper Harbor next month for a week so it would be sweet to have this figured out in case I can get the time off work to go. I've never been there but it seems like this bike should be good for it. Hope so, everyone else in the group is on hardtails.

Again, thanks everyone for the help. It greatly helps to know what's going on underneath me to put "sensation" to "what the suspension is doing."
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