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THE 3 PILLARS Free Suspension Setup Clinic At Black Rock November 4.

Updated: Nov 2, 2023

I'll be out in the woods working with riders to hone in on their perfect setup and hopefully make some big gains in performance.

After working with the Motion Instruments Data Acquisition tools this year, I've really come to appreciate just how much can be gained by properly setting up the Fork and the Shock. After a bit of testing on various bikes, and observing the results, It's really driven home to the fact that the biggest gains in suspension performance come from the 3 most fundamental pillars of setup. These are:


Finding the proper spring or air pressure/volume spacer combination. This is done by tuning how deep the fork or shock sits into its travel under rider weight. With the proper spring rate or air pressure, the SAG should be around 30% in the rear and 20% in the front. You can be in the ballpark and get good results. Not all bikes operate ideally under the same sag numbers, so you really need to use these numbers as a jumping-off point.

Rebound Speed

The right rebound speed can be tricky to find, especially given the commonly used high and low-speed rebound adjusters. But, the rebound is very important to nail because it can very much affect the comfort level of the rider. Too fast and it will be unpredictable and feel like it wants to bounce off objects instead of absorbing them. To slow, and the fork or shock will operate too deeply in the stroke, making the ride harsher because it is effectively limiting its travel. If you push down on the seat hard and quickly, then pull your hands away, it should be able to follow your hands as it extends. This is high-speed rebound. If you are sitting off the bike, and ride off a curb, the rebound should be slow enough that only one overshoot of the sag point is allowed. This is low-speed rebound. Finding the right rebound speed front and rear will get you closer to....


When the sag is set correctly, and the rebound is just right, you can unlock the next level of suspension performance. It sort of feels like you are riding down the trail on a trampoline with wheels. It feels like one piece of equipment underneath you, rather than a separate fork and shock.

These three basic pillars of setup will be covered during our free suspension setup clinic at Black Rock Mountain Bike Area on November 4. You don't have to have a lift ticket to take advantage of the clinic, and the gains are sure to be worth it.

Copy of 3 Pillars of a Base Setting_
Download ODT • 75KB

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