How do you ride a full sus then?
it would take a few months getting used to riding in a completely new style.
Load of pish. Riding a full-sus is not fundamentally different to riding a hardtail. Some small tweaks in body position and rider input to take advantage of/compensate for the differences in the bikes, but you'll be straight out and riding it just as well as your hardtail.
Main difference for me is in things like jumps and bunnyhops. A full-sus definitely absorbs a lot of your input and can make your hops & jumps pretty feeble. For example, to bunny-hop on flat ground on a full-sus, it's important to drop your weight hard onto the bike as you start the hop, in order to compress the suspension and take it out of the equation (the pre-load you've been hearing about). Similarly, you may find yourself pushing the bike harder through corners for the same reason (I rode a fully-rigid bike recently and nearly killed myself on the first corner when I pumped the bike like I would my full-sus!).Posted 8 years agomildredMember
Can't say I alter my style much between hardtail, full sus' or bmx. I think that I may hover on the seat more on a hardtail – i.e. take more of my weight on my legs to absorb bumps, and let the bike move around a bit under me, but this is only on bumpy trails.
I've never ridden a ST4 so can't really comment, but unless you're a complete off-road newbie I think "a few months" is a little on the long side for getting used to something (unless, of course, you only ride once per week).
Pre-load is when you "pre-load" a spring. That is, put some load or slightly compress a spring so that it is slightly harder to compress further. I'm guessing you'll have an air shock on the ST4 so this won't be an issue. Just follow the frame manufacturers advice about setting sag, or have a look at Mojo's website for a good explanation, and away you go.Posted 8 years agojamesMember
You don't have to worry about snake bites (as much)
Make sure you get to grips(/obsess over it a bit and know what pressures and how many rebound clicks you want to run at) with setting up the rear shock. Pressures and rebound speeds can make all the difference between a choppy/sloppy/energy sapping ride and a well behaved/well controlled ride that doens't dive through its travel (up or down) at every given oppurtunity.Posted 8 years agothisisnotaspoonMember
same way you ride a hardtail, but your legs ahve to to the same as your arms, if that makes any sence?
Rigid bike – stay loose over the bike and let it do its thing, pump in time with the bumps
hardtail – stay loose of the bike and let it do it thing, foreward weight bias over rough bits, pump the suspension on the way into bumps, pump the rear end in time with the bumps (i.e. your still lifting it over a rock, whereas the front you bounce the forks before the rock to spring the front up and over it).
Sull sus – as above, but you need to bounce the rear end before the bump to spring it up and over it, just like you would the fork. And theres no/less need to bias your weight over the fork appart form in corners.Posted 8 years agoddmonkeySubscriber
There is a difference, and its in jumping and bunnyhopping as stevomcd describes, in order to jump you need to load the suspension up first by pushing down. I don't really notice I'm doing it as I ride full sus most of the time but when I occasionally ride a hardtail on a jump I try to preload the back end and it doesn't work.. Only takes a few minutes to adjust though and then all's well.Posted 8 years agojonbMember
Do you manual over drops on your hardtail? (Wheelie).
I found that moving to a full suss made things like that harder as the shock absorbs some of you intended movement. Things like bunnyhops, wheelies etc. have to be done fractionally earlier.
Still learning myself. There isn't a different style completely but a few subtle changes to riding a hardtail.Posted 8 years ago
ST4s almost built and this is my first foray into the bouncy-both-ends world. I was chatting with the manager at the LBS last night and he was telling me how it would take a few months getting used to riding in a completely new style.
What is there to know? I've been riding trail centres and welsh hills on a 100mm hardtail until now. I've heard terms like pre-load being banded around but not really sure what they mean. Educate me in the ways of the bounce 🙂Posted 8 years ago
I can't manual yet but am learning on my jump bike. I just loft the front wheel momentarily over drops but theres nothing more than 18" on my local trails (Nant-yr-Arian). I think I get the pre-load thing and will be reading the Fox manual on how to tun the RP23.Posted 8 years agos8tannormMember
Somewhere up there ^^^ It says sit down more … don't. Suspension is there to keep the wheels tracking the ground and aid grip, not to give you a comfy ride, thats just a little bonus. The most dangerous place to be on technical trails is sat down, regardless of bike.
Sermon over, ta.Posted 8 years agoLemurianMember
As has been mentioned, bunny hopping/jumping is slightly different on a full-sus in that you have to compress the bike before you pull up. Apart from that it's just a bit more squishy than a hardtail. In terms of shock setup, it should run at about 25-30% sag (amount of travel you go through when stationary on the bike – increasing or decreasing preload tweaks this). Also make sure the rebound isn't too fast otherwise you could get bucked up/off/over.Posted 8 years agoglenpMember
Sorry to chip in to repeat the blimin' obvious – as several have said already (but others have contradicted) Do Not Sit Down! The very first thing novices get told, and one of the golden rules, is offroad, we freewheel standing up. fs or no fs, drive the bike with your feet – do not sit upon it passively.Posted 8 years agostonemonkeyMember
As someone who has just bought a hardtail for time in 10 years i would say you can sit a little heavier on the climbs using the suspension to track the ground a dig in for grip, my first ride on a hardtail I found it realy dificult to climb rocky tracks . The solution for me was to sit lighter on the seat/ more weight over the front / use legs for susspension and speed up to carry my momentum on the rougher sections. Ie Hardtail get speed up where you can and skip over bumpy bits . Full suss : more steady all the way .
Descents : stand up for both Ht/full suss! and ride as normalPosted 8 years agomboySubscriber
Just a note to add…
Each full sus bike will have its own traits, and characteristics. Some are very good climbers, others not so, some great at descending, others not so. Trying to give "general" advice on how to ride a full suspension bike compared to a hardtail is quite hard, other than what Jedi said… ie. you have to react a bit earlier, and preload the bike on jumps.
Of course, the more suspension travel you have, the earlier you have to react, and the more preloading you have to do. With the Orange ST4 you've only got a 4" travel bike, so to be honest, as a first FS bike, it'll probably be great. If you jumped straight in with 7" of travel both ends, you may end up a bit overwhelmed.
What some people have said about the sitting down thing… Well… What full sus does in particular is allow you to get away with sitting down a bit more when you're tired. That is not to say you should be sitting down where you were standing up on your hardtail, but more that when you're tiring a bit, you can get away with sitting down over a few bumps whereas you wouldn't get away with it on a hardtail.
Oh, and some full sus designs bob more than others under climbing. I've not ridden an ST4 before so don't know, but on most full sus bikes pedalling "smooth circles" when climbing is much much better than just stomping on the pedals. And this is where sitting on the saddle helps a bit.Posted 8 years ago
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