This been done yet? (MBUK, suspension progression, getting all travel)

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  • This been done yet? (MBUK, suspension progression, getting all travel)
  • deanfbm
    Member

    Was reading MBUK and for once there was an article that i was remotely interested and actually agreed with. It was a suspension article, asking some industry members Qs, suspension progressiveness was explored.

    This bike radar article covers it in more depth –

    http://www.bikeradar.com/gear/article/interview-the-industrys-suspension-experts-35162/

    The article in MBUK was basically of the opinion of that the market wants their suspension to feel “plush” in the “car park test” at detriment of good quality travel. The market getting too hung up on using all travel on trails that don’t require all available travel, manufacturers compromising on quality travel just so the end user can get what is actually worse for them.

    Anyone else give it a read and formed opinions?

    I bought a Pitch, it comes with the normal air can and I never used full travel even on uplift days in Spain, rocks + drops + fast should have mean it was running on the bump stops IMO! Also the high speed rebound seemed too quick as it felt fine over normal trail features, but big compressions made the back end kick right up on the rebound.

    I swapped to the can to a high volume when I got back, then added the medium volume spacer. It’s now brilliant. Masses more grip, doesn’t kick back up after bombholes/big takeoffs, uses all the travel (but doesn’t feel like it bottoms out) and generaly feels like it’s got far more travel than it does. All round, it’s significanlty better.

    I’ve not ridden enough bikes to say that some are set up badly. But I think I know enouh to get my setup right. And maybe the small can works better with a less hefty rider so it might not have been Spesh’s fault that it just didn’t work. I’d say that very few people are average, so if buying a FS bike in the future I’d budget to have the shock tuned within a few weeks/months once I’d got an idea of where it could be improved.

    Premier Icon Northwind
    Subscriber

    Loads of people have told me my suspension’s set up wrong, and I should be getting all the travel out of it on every ride. I’ve no idea why anyone could think that’s true- maybe they only ever ride the same trail over and over?

    Quite a good wee article I thought.

    I’ve no idea why anyone could think that’s true

    because the mags and other so-called experts regularly trot out “your sus is sorted when it bottoms out once or twice per ride”.

    alex222
    Member

    Weโ€™re in a fashion industry โ€“ if it was an engineering industry, the rear derailleur would have been consigned to road bikes years ago.

    Chris Porter talks a lot of shit.

    Chris Porter talks a lot of shit.

    +1

    thepodge
    Member

    Interesting to see the UK seems to buy suspension then lock it out more than any other country

    Chris Porter All MTBers talk a lot of shit.

    Trimix
    Member

    Most riders dont understand suspension. All they do is bounce it round the carpark as if that will tell them something about the bike.

    What that tells you is they have no idea, and will probably agree with whatever marketing / internet tells them.

    Some riders understand suspension, but being able to tell whats happening with your suspension on your ride is very hard. So an even smaller number of people get it right.

    Most people can only cope with black and white answers and easy to understand physics – so marketing is dumbed down to that. Most people ride their bike as it came and ride round its compromises.

    Gunz
    Member

    I know I’ll (probably rightly) get slagged off for this but all of the above is the exact reason I stick with a hard tail.
    I just can’t be bothered with all the faff when my bike will get down 90% of stuff a full sus will, am I the only one?

    PeterPoddy
    Member

    Wot Trimix said.

    I’d also add
    MTBers like lots if knobs to twiddle and show off to justify their ยฃ700 forks. Give them preload and rebound and nowt else and they think a fork is crap. But that’s all you need. The rest is just frippery.

    alex222
    Member

    All MTBers talk a lot of shit.

    Fair point.

    wors
    Member

    I just can’t be bothered with all the faff when my bike will get down 90% of stuff a full sus will, am I the only one?

    Nope same here, I still want a Transition Bandit though ๐Ÿ˜†

    MTB Rob
    Member

    +1 for wot Trimix said.

    Some of IMO notes…..

    A lot of riders don’t adjust the bike after getting the bike from the shop/online.
    A lot are afraid to adjust the settings.
    A lot do not notice the diffence when they adjust the setting by one or 2 clicks so don’t bother after.
    Xc racers tend to find the setting they happy with and leave it for the year, and once in a blue moon do a small adjustment to it for a one course.
    DH adjust to each course.

    I feel riders just need to be shown what the adjustments do, by basiclly going from end of the adjustment to the other (real fast rebound to real slow rebound) and saying what might happen/feel if you have it to fast or to slow rebound.

    On “forks should use all the travel” I feel is a good place to start, which oftern come form setting the right amount of sag. then adjust from there to the rider feed back.
    BUT it also depend on the type of trail you ride/how fast and the feel the rider likes.

    Premier Icon D0NK
    Subscriber

    If a rider canโ€™t understand what high and low speed compression, rebound, preload, etc, is all about after so many decades

    I know what these all these things do and I can have a go at setting them all up but I’m buggered if I can ride a bit of trail and be able to say “yep a wee bit more high speed compression would make that section much easier/better/faster”

    Really you need time to session a mixed terrain downhill with a notebook and fanny around with all the setting but TBH I just don’t have the time/inclination. Setup sag, ride around on pavement and check how sus reacts under weight shifts, ride down a long flight of steps, ride off a few 3′ drops, ride back up steps. Set my sus so it handles all those as I’d like, then go ride ride. Might make the odd tweak a knob or add/remove a few psi now and again but not much.

    as for full travel, i’d expect to get it on some hard landings or fast repeated hits, if that sort of stuff isn’t on a ride I’m happy with 80% travel. If you’re not bottoming out at the limits of your riding then it would suggest your suspension is set up too firm or you’re carting around too much travel….no?

    Gunz – Member
    I know I’ll (probably rightly) get slagged off for this but all of the above is the exact reason I stick with a hard tail.
    I just can’t be bothered with all the faff when my bike will get down 90% of stuff a full sus will, am I the only one?

    There’s a differance between ‘get down’ and ‘get down fast’. I can get down most things on a HT, possibly even ‘get down’ more. Trying to ride the same stuff quickly is easier on the FS though. andmy enjoymentis derived from going fast on technical stuff, not just getting down it.

    I know what these all these things do and I can have a go at setting them all up but I’m buggered if I can ride a bit of trail and be able to say “yep a wee bit more high speed compression would make that section much easier/better/faster”

    Try it and see. I regulalry ride the same track a few times on a ride and tweak the copression adjusters on the Lyrics one way or the other. It’s usualy cyclical and I’ll end up back where I started, but it’s usualy possible to say “that rooty bit after the drop felt horrible”, add another click of LSC to prop them up a bit and the front doesn’t dive after the drop, then try again, better/worse, try the high speed (maybe it;s not that the forks dived, it’s just compressing too much on the repeated roots). If that doesnt cure it then maybe your just crap ๐Ÿ˜›

    druidh
    Member

    How does this work then? I go around Glentress a few time, making some adjustments until I’m happy. Do I then write it all down somewhere for the next time?

    I turn up at Golspie and so the same again. Laggan, Innerleithen etc. Now I have a handy record of exactly what setting I need for all of these palces.

    Then I head off into the Highlands for a 60 miler…….

    Nah. Just give me some suspension that “works” without having to fanny around with it. Climb-Trail-Descend? That’s enough.

    Premier Icon D0NK
    Subscriber

    Just give me some suspension that “works” without having to fanny around with it.

    agreed but you’ve got to get the “working” settings somehow and bouncing around the shop car park doesn’t really cut it.

    I seem to remember mbuk way back saying quite a few downhillers were setting up their suspension to a happy medium and leaving it like that all year, might not be the best setup for that days race but they knew how their bikes would react to various stuff, no surprises. How true that was/still is I dunno.

    edit just seen this

    Josh Kissner, product manager, Santa Cruz:

    โ€œBoth major suspension companies Both? Both? zocchi no longer major? just fox n rockshox?

    How does this work then?

    RS have a list of recomended setings for various descriptions of trails in the handbook for the lyrics. I’ve never started on anything other than the basic (4,4,2 IIRC). If I do GT then i might add some LSC for berm baby berm, and take it off for innerleithen, but it works well enough in the normal setting, just tweak it every now and again if the trail isnt quite average.

    It’s not something I agonise over though.

    deanfbm
    Member

    “I seem to remember mbuk way back saying quite a few downhillers were setting up their suspension to a happy medium and leaving it like that all year, might not be the best setup for that days race but they knew how their bikes would react to various stuff, no surprises.”

    This is my approach. If i know what is going to happen, im going to be confident. When setting up, I iron out any anomalies, keep everything predictable, job done. Whilst out riding, my buddies know im mad keen on the tech (mechanical engineer) pointed out i hadn’t touched my suspension in hours when they had been twiddling all day, i simply responded “it’s set up, no need”.

    I dont buy into this DHers make adjustments based on what they’re riding, most i know dont get suspension, and just leave it where they’ll know what happens. It’s normally the ones looking for excuses, dont know what they’re doing which do the constant knob twiddling.

    legend
    Member

    How true that was/still is I dunno.

    It’s very true. The most you’ll ever hear of is a slight tweak here n there to cope with rough/smooth/fast/slowl/etc tracks. Same with MX stuff, I remember the American coverage trying to do weekly setup interviews with Carmichael’s mechanic but canned it when they realised it barely changed!

    I think the ‘set your suspension up to use all your travel on most rides’ quote leads to way too many riders having squidgy suspension to the detriment of their riding as they go faster and harder.

    Trimix
    Member

    Rebound is probably more important than “using all your travel”.

    People also seem to forget that adjusting the sag adjusts the geometry of the bike.

    Premier Icon somafunk
    Subscriber

    Most riders dont understand suspension. All they do is bounce it round the carpark as if that will tell them something about the bike.

    What that tells you is they have no idea, and will probably agree with whatever marketing / internet tells them.

    Well said Trimix, i work in a bike shop, pretty much every bike we sell/service is a full suspension model of some kind or if it’s a hardtail it has decent front forks, i’d say 90% of the folk who either buy a bike or bring their bike in for servicing have absolutely no idea when it comes to setting up or adjusting their suspension with any kind of knowledge as to why they’re changing one setting for another, preload? – what’s that?……..rebound? – what’s that?…..low speed compression damping? – Huh?……High speed compression damping? – wtf are you on about?………spring rate?…….yeah…i like them springy & bouncy as they feel to be working better (i genuinely heard this from a customer).

    I raced motocross for years so i have a pretty decent knowledge of suspension set-up and how to adjust it so i get the feel i desire as i used to have my black book of suspension, gearing and tyre choice settings written down for each motocross track and terrain conditions etc.. but to the average joe who buys a bike they have not got the slightest clue as to what works,why it works and frankly they couldn’t give a toss either as long it bounces up and down they’re happy, if the general state of bikes we get in for servicing is anything to go by then anything past occasionally throwing a bit of oil at the chain is above them.

    Why don’t the manufacturers offer one set of forks with a limited on/off switch on the crown for the generally inept and a full specification all singing/dancing special for those of us who know what we’re doing rather than dumbing down our choices to their binary level of understanding?.

    wrecker
    Member

    Interesting to see the UK seems to buy suspension then lock it out more than any other country

    I haven’t had a bike with rear lock out for years. Propedal is a completely different thing, obviously.
    Never used the lockout on my forks but then I hate riding on roads and fire roads.

    Premier Icon tomaso
    Subscriber

    Must ensure all settings are adjusted for oil tempreture :mrgreen:

    If it’s working well, you don’t notice it, you just feel fast. You only notice it if there is a problem. Fork dive, for example.

    If it’s working well, you don’t notice it, you just feel fast. You only notice it if there is a problem. Fork dive, for example.

    But what if it could work a lot better for the sake of a couple of adjustments and you’ve never noticed it…?

    For most riders once their settings are properly dialled in there shouldn’t be much reason to change.

    bwaarp
    Member

    What’s hilarious is because Fox listened to idiot consumers as opposed to racers, the new forks are divey pieces of crap and have been roundly slagged by reviewers/good riders!

    Anyway, I use much firmer compression damping at places like Chicksands to give more trail feedback and pop off jumps and back off on rooty techy trails. I also alter rebound depending on the trail as well – eg do I want it fast or are there lots of big hits that give me a bucking sensation (so that I have to back it off a bit). It does genuinely alter the ride quality. I really despise these new CTD forks.

    Premier Icon Northwind
    Subscriber

    buzz-lightyear – Member

    If it’s working well, you don’t notice it, you just feel fast. You only notice it if there is a problem

    True dat. But doesn’t follow that if you don’t notice a problem, that it’s working well- lots of people are oblivious.

    druidh
    Member

    Tomas wrote:

    What’s hilarious is because Fox listened to idiot consumers as opposed to racers, the new forks are divey pieces of crap and have been roundly slagged by reviewers/good riders!

    Yep – imagine listening to the folk that actually have to buy the stuff ๐Ÿ™„

    bwaarp
    Member

    Well, they ended up with a far worse product. The forks are actually less forgiving on steep descents for the average consumer as the diveyness whacks the geo out!

    There have been lots of other products in the past that were ruined when the consumer got what they asked for and then suddenly realized they hated it. Just wait till the 2013 fox stuff has good circulation amongst the consumer base and they’ll be whining about the brake dive and wallowyness!

    Now whilst I’ll slag Bos off for their customer service, haven’t you noticed that a lot of average riders have been raving about their products! Bos forks are harder too achieve full travel with than the new Fox stuff – but they are controlled! That’s what counts!

    _tom_
    Member

    Druidh +1. My favourite forks are my Pikes and my old Boxxers both of which only really have a rebound adjust. And they both feel awesome. I have a 55 rc3 which i just can’t get to feel nearly as good, it also has more to faff with.

    soobalias
    Member

    im a set and forget rider, i appreciate the tunability of the forks shocks to get it right initially and i want the happy medium to be slightly DH biased

    ive ditched every fork lockout/lockdown/poploc/pushloc/compression-on-the-fly-adjusting/travel adjust for a change in riding style (i liked the spv on my old minutes – fit and forget)
    i have the propedal “on” my rear sus almost all the time, only flicking it off when ive a particularly fun descent ahead

    dual air revs
    fox 36van RC2
    RS Monarch

    all understandable, tunable, but most importantly once set, dont need any pratting about with

    “i ride bikes”

    *sits back down*

    loddrik
    Member

    All MTBers talk a lot of shit.

    I like this!!

    I really like this statement, and I absolutely include myself in this. We really do talk and obsess about utter utter shite as if it is even remotely important.

    We said that man.

    thepodge
    Member

    I think very few people ride to such a level where suspension setup really matters

    It could be better but it’s fine how it is

    Trimix
    Member

    What is also interesting (annoying) is that with the group of guys I ride with only some fully understand suspension, however there are some who dont have a clue, never even adjust their saddle/bar/tyre pressures and still manage to ride really well and often better than me. Basturds.

    Whereas I spend time on my own, tweaking settings, pressures etc, noting them down, comparing runs, sessioning bits of trail and I do this from a background of racing Enduro motorcycles to a good standard.

    So its clearly possible to ride round any issues your poorly set up bike presents you with.

    Premier Icon Northwind
    Subscriber

    thepodge – Member

    I think very few people ride to such a level where suspension setup really matters

    I think that’s absurd tbh. Everyone can benefit from their bike working properly.

    druidh
    Member

    There are degrees of “properly”. For 99.999% of the population, it doesn’t have to be that precise.

    The 0.001% obviously includes professional riders, journalists and forum members that would like to be one of the aforementioned.

    thepodge
    Member

    druidh has it

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