Sag: The correct air pressure or coil spring choice is determined by measuring sag, which is how much the suspension compresses simply under the rider's weight when sat on the bike, this is with no further input from the rider or the trail. Mastering Mountain Bike Skills by McCormack and Lopez). When deciding between bikes, typically more expensive bikes will be equipped with more expensive suspension, but what does that mean? connected to the frame. The numbers above are all swags, but the general properties are true. Correct pressure adjustment is critical to a safe, controlled ride. As is, it’s based on MM of travel, so it only works on forks. The degree of adjustability and tuning is near infinite in an air spring. You measure the bike sag, which is how much The purpose of suspension is to dampen the roughness of the terrain, providing the rider with a smoother, more controlled ride. We’ll start with sag, which is the amount of travel your suspension moves through just by adding your own weight (body, clothes, pack, etc.) Bikerumor.com is the world’s largest cycling tech blog. Get New Leaf Springs at General Spring Now that you know how to measure leaf spring length as it applies to your vehicle, the time has come to swap your old, worn down springs for fresh new ones. The feeling makes me sick and generally makes the bike ride bad. When he was racing downhill, it was more like 30% to 35%, depending on the bike and the course. Rebound is recommended to be set after setting your sag. Even if you think you’re happy with your current set up, I’d recommend experimenting throughout your next few rides. Good. That is true even if you are pushing fairly hard on the pedals. If it’s a shorter travel bike, then you’ve got less to work with and should start off on the lower end of the spectrum, around 25%. will feel harsh! You've probably seen spring rates described as being so many pounds per inch, or kg per mm. You might hear these referred to as ‘full-sus’ or ‘duallies’ in mountain bike vernacular. Too little pressure and the suspension will ‘bottom out’ on larger impacts, causing a hard stop to your suspension when you need it most, and potentially leading to component damage. Using this method does have some value as a rough guide, but only on bikes of a certain type. It does, In many cases, less preload will make the bike somewhat. When it comes to front and/or rear suspension, the functions and adjustment options are often very similar. Our next series will look at what is involved in a suspension set-up, how to upgrade and why with first-hand advice from suspension experts from Cyclinic and MTBSuspension. It would have opened a can of worms but it’s worth talking about. The parking lot is not the trail set the bike up for the trail. The Suspension set up is deserving a whole other article, so stay tuned later in the series for our guide to setting up your suspension. Bikerumor.com reaches close to one million passionate cyclists per month. Riffle’s preferred starting point is between 25% and 30% for his 160mm to 200mm travel bikes. Suspension savvy mechanics will tell you that cheaper suspension will simply not have the same quality internals, the implications being that the internals break down under repeated usage due to the heat and friction generated from riding. That means no matter what you’re driving, it’s vital to have optimized leaf springs. In this first edition, we’ll take you through the basic function of mountain bike suspension and demystify the common features and adjustments on offer. Thanks for being there…… J.J. in Houston. If your bike has a high leverage ratio, then it can muscle through the travel too easily if you’re running too much sag, too, so start on the low end. harsh on bumps, twitchy (front) or slow turning (rear). Trail/Enduro bike: Set Sag in a seated position for every day riding and standing if you are bike park riding, Cross Country bike: Set sag in the seated position. Determination of the number of active coils varies according to spring design. story is the same at the rear, but complicated by, Note that, with some exceptions, thats all it does. When measuring sag, it’s important to do so with your riding gear, so if you typically wear a hydration pack, be sure to wear it here. In summary, a more expensive suspension will get you: Better ride feel, best described as plusher and lighter, More adjustability to suit the riders style, terrain and preferences, More reliable and consistent performance due to better build quality, Lighter weight, stronger materials, specifically the internals like cartridges, seals. Mind you, I was happy with the bike’s performance before, but setting the shock up a little softer made a noticeable improvement in its small bump absorption with no discernible downside. skittish on bumps when accelerating (front) or braking You seen how much extra the springs have compressed when the extra We cover the shiny new things, with in-depth interviews and detailed stories about how the bicycles and components work, plus reviews to see if they live up to the hype. This puts the suspension into an active state, letting it react in both directions, keeping your tire glued to the dirt. (above the ideal sag point) is stiffer, typically by 30-40%. I’m surprised their hasn’t been more development on Active Suspension for mountain bikes, e.g. Getting sag dialled is a priority as it dictates the balance of your suspension, and we are going to suggest balance on a mountain bike is quite important! The damping system regulates the rate at which the fork compresses and rebounds back from compression by way of a controlled restricting or releasing of oil. I’m pretty sure it has something to do with resonance between the front and rear suspension. far for the spring to get its 50mm, so the bike will sit a little higher at the front. Great tip! need one apparently. Great article! 1) The bike you’re riding – how much travel does it have? From my own experience, after talking to Riffle on the trail, I ended up running more sag on the rear -changing from roughly 22% up to 30%- which let my 100mm Niner JET 9 RDO really soak up the little stuff. Modern mountain bikes are nearly all equipped with suspension. Setting the sag on your fork can be a little different. So instead of needing to compress 50mm to hold up the bike, only 30-35mm are needed, from the point where the springs balance each other out.
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