Rear Suspension.

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  • Rear Suspension.
  • I_Ache
    Member

    Ok this is a proper question. My bike rides as most 6″ bikes probably do and smoothes the trail a bit too much. As I have coil suspension finding this out will cost money so Im asking on here.

    I want my bike to ride a bit more like a hard tail with the suspension there for insurance. If I get a heavier spring for general trail duties will the bike have less wallow and be easier to bunny hop and generally throw off small trail features or will it just be more bumpy and no fun at all? Obviously if I had an air shock I could just pump it up a bit or turn up the propedal to find out but I dont. And I know the thing to do is have one bike for everything but I just cant afford that right now so I want to see if my bike will do the job for now.

    steve_b77
    Member

    Surely if you put a spring in that is too heavy for you the resulting ride will be horrible, bouncing everywhere with a complete loss of grip.

    It’s like putting stiffer springs on a car, less compression but the ride and grip go to absolute shit

    IWH
    Member

    Get your shock tuned properly for your weight and riding style. Makes a huge difference.

    Olly
    Member

    propedal SHOULD, do exactly what you want.
    its stiff for general pedaling, but gives way like a softer shock when you impact something.

    a stiff spring would certainly make the bike more hardtail like, but would also be more hardtail like on the downs, and without sufficient weight on it,it will probably spike quite harshly?

    i would suggest an RP23 air shock, but as you say, quite an expensive experiment.
    how about trying out (borrow or at a test day) a 6″ bike with propedal on it, to see how it feels in comparison?

    what bike is it?

    Premier Icon snotrag
    Subscriber

    What frame/shock is it?
    There are options available to you.

    First step – make sure you got the right spring.

    Second step – get it properly tuned. This makes a huge difference as stated above – in particular to the compression damping cicruits.

    I_Ache
    Member

    I would like an RP23 but unfortunately I have a silly sized shock on my bike and they dont sell them in a size that would fit aftermarket but some Santa Cruz frames run a size that would fit so there is a faint possibility I could get an OE one.

    My spring is the correct weight and my shock has been custom valved by TFT but apparently they cant put much of a platform on my shock because it doesnt contain enough oil so it would overheat. After tuning it was loads better and I can actually pedal up hill instead of bouncing up it.

    I_Ache
    Member

    Frame is an 06 Spech Enduro and shock is an 06 Fox Vanilla R

    BTW

    solamanda
    Member

    A single pivot will give you more of a hardtail feel. You could try running a narrower rear tyre.

    IWH
    Member

    Oh. There isn’t a huge amount that can be done with that shock unfortunately. Perhaps give them a call about getting one of their pushed shocks?

    MrNutt
    Member

    get a compound density spring.

    😉

    Premier Icon molgrips
    Subscriber

    Fox DHX air could help you. Tuneable.

    I don’t think running it harder will help. Presumably you’ve tried increasing the preload on the shock by turning the collar? Of course, don’t to it to much as the coils get too close together which means that the shock bottoms out too early with an expensive bang. Running it harder will also give you less sag, which will in turn mean steeper angles. Which you might not like. If you had an air shock like the DHX 5.0 you can (I think) tune the spring rate – so you could have it quite soft in the first bit of travel, where you’d sit normally, and then have it ramp up hard at the end which could give you the firmness you are looking for.

    You could try running with less rebound and then bouncing it to get into the air. Some bikes can be run very active without kicking you off big hits – like my 5. On the other hand, my GF cake, whilst riding nicely no normal stuff with the shock set really active, would really kick me up in the air on bigger hits.

    To be honest tho, if you want a more hardtail feel you might just have to change the frame. A 6″ bike needs to be appreciated for what it is.. dig that smooshy travel, let rip on the rocks and aim for the bigger obstacles for air. When I’m riding mine, instead of plonking down the drops and over rocks I just hit them and fly. Usually the right way up 🙂

    richc
    Member

    For gods sake don’t get a DHX air, they are shite. Watch ebay or speak to TFTuned as they do Van R’s in that length.

    glenp
    Member

    You need to add some preload – is there a preload nut on the shock? Just wind some of that on and you should find that the initial force required to get the bike bouncing is increased, but the shock will still do its stuff and go through its travel when subject to a big input.

    I_Ache
    Member

    The 5 does ride very nicely my mate has one and rarely lets me have a go because its so nice.

    I do ride it like a big bike but it is my main bike and the normal stuff around here doesnt really justify 6 inches (mrs). Im trying to come up with a shorter travel solution and transferring all the bits from my seldom used Kona onto it, its going to be a bit of a frankenbike. The wife will then get the Kona after a facelift (the bike not her shes only 25) as its way too small for me.

    MrNutt where can I get such a thing TF dont seem to have any.

    I_Ache
    Member

    glenp I thought preload stiffened the shock up throughout its whole travel.

    Oh and Im already experienced with the DHX Air. Never again!

    glenp
    Member

    The great big nut that the spring mounts on on one end – tighten it up to increase preload. The shock is already fitted with the adjustment you need, unless you’re already using the max.

    glenp
    Member

    Increasing preload does not alter spring rate, but it will do the very thing that you’re describing. In other words it will stiffen the initial feel, but once you’re into the travel the rate will be the same.

    I_Ache
    Member

    glen I know what the preload is and how to adjust it but I thought that it stiffened up the spring for the whole stroke of the shock.

    glenp
    Member

    Sorry I_Ache – thought you didn’t realise. Adding preload will effectively use up the very soft initial part of the suspension – it is true that it is a somewhat crude way to tune but it is definitely worth trying because you already have it there and I’m pretty sure it will do some of what you are looking for. Certainly I think you’d be crazy to spend on something else without trying the preload setting, because it wsii so quick to try. And Free!

    Premier Icon wwaswas
    Subscriber

    what you need is another bike as any sane person on here will tell you.

    6″ bike for mucking about

    4″ bike for getting the miles in.

    you know it makes sense.

    In reality I think you’re always goign to be hampered by the type of bike the enduro is designed to be (ie. it’s not a hardtail with a bit of extra cushioning for the bumpy bits).

    I_Ache
    Member

    On my next ride I will wind it on to see if that makes it feel better. I had a little mess with it before and did find the shock went from pretty soft to reasonably firm but that was just pushing down on the saddle.

    I_Ache
    Member

    Bloody hell MrNutt that is a very convincing story!

    james
    Member

    “6” bike for mucking about

    4″ bike for getting the miles in”

    And what about those rides that call for a bit of both? What then?

    glenp
    Member

    Be interested to know the result.

    I don’t think a heavier spring will be ideal, because you’d need tons of rebound damping to keep it under control and your ride height will be increased even more than with extra preload.

    Another suggestion (and this isn’t a joke!) – something as simple as using a firmer saddle will change your perception of the way the bike pedals, as will using slightly slimmer tyres (if your current tyres are big’uns).

    AndyPaice
    Member

    I’ve got a DHX 5 coil on my 06 enduro, and the propedal doesn’tmake that much difference. I’m not sure however if my shock is set up for the enduro as it was a 2nd hand shock. even with the propedal on max it does still feel like a ‘big’ bike, it doesnt magically tun into a nice light and lively bike 🙁

    I think anything with that much plush travel, and a frame that weighs nearly 9lb with a coil shock is going to struggle to be a lively XC/trail bike unfortunately. When I switch between my subzero and my enduro it is a big differnce even though the subzero is built up with similar weight kit.

    I also tried running a higher air pressure in the DHX5, and it did stiffen things up, but it felt as if it raised the BB height and the bike lost the nice planted feel on fast downhills. The ride also became nasty and harsh.

    Premier Icon aracer
    Subscriber

    And what about those rides that call for a bit of both? What then?

    5″?

    Premier Icon wwaswas
    Subscriber

    what aracer said.

    see you can justify 3 bikes already and you’ve not even started on anything really niche 😉

    I_Ache
    Member

    Oh I can justify a lot more than 3 bikes even if they only get ridden once a month each I just cant afford it.

    Dont get me wrong the Enduro is fantastic at what its supposed to do I just want it to be able to be the light stiff flickable bike too thats still tough and will take the hits.

    But I know it will never be that and I should just dig deep and buy another bike.

    matthew_h
    Member

    What weight spring have you got in your shock at the moment? I’ve got a spare spring or two that would fit that I would happily lend you.

    Premier Icon molgrips
    Subscriber

    Just wind some of that on and you should find that the initial force required to get the bike bouncing is increased, but the shock will still do its stuff and go through its travel when subject to a big input.

    I don’t think it works like that, unless it’s a progressively wound spring. If it’s not (I didn’t think most were) then it would just increase the rate across the whole stroke.

    To be honest mate, you could get a 456 frame for much less than the price of a new shock, and transfer the bits. It’d be way nicer. You really can’t change a leopard’s spots that much. If you want it lively then you can save some weight on the bits but even then it’s going to cost you and it’ll still just be a lighter bike with 6″ travel. Won’t do what you want – just not designed that way.

    glenp
    Member

    Preload does not alter spring rate, progressive spring or otherwise.

    Increasing preload cannot affect spring rate unless its a progressive spring – all you are doing is increasing the ride hight. a 120lb / inch spring is a 120 lb inch spring throughout its travel. Thats what spring rate means. every 120 lb of load on it it compresses an inch. Preload it an inch and it take 120 lb to move it off its stop. put another 120 lb on it and it moves an inch.

    IWH
    Member

    I think anything with that much plush travel, and a frame that weighs nearly 9lb with a coil shock is going to struggle to be a lively XC/trail bike unfortunately.

    I’d have to disagree there (sorry), my FXR is a 6.5″ single pivot and came with a coil shock (that I just swapped out for an air shock) and it runs rings around all the 5″ bikes I tried out (and there were a lot of them) pretty much everywhere. I think it really depends more on the design than the amount of travel. But that’s just IMO of course 🙂

    If you’re just wanting a cheap(ish) air shock then the Manitou range comes in some pretty odd sizes so should have you covered and the SPV shocks are surprisingly really very good – and importantly very tunable.

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