What do all the suspension adjustments do?

What do all the suspension adjustments do?

This is a guide to the various external suspension adjustments.

  • In most cases each adjustment affects something else. For example; reducing the rider sag may require you to make the shock rebound slower because you have made the spring stiffer.
  • Always make notes so you can keep track of the action and the result.
  • All adjustments are made from fully in (clockwise) and then measured as turned out – either number of clicks or number of turns.
  • Tip: If you make ½ turn / 2 click adjustments it’s often much easier to feel the effect of the change. When you’ve gone too far, go back ¼ / 1 click.

Shock Adjustments

Rider Sag

Position: Shock Spring Preload

What it Does: Changes bike geometry – Increasing the sag dimension makes steering more stable and makes the rear less likely to kick off jumps and into corners. Decreasing sag makes the steering sharper and stops the bike squatting out of turns. Rider sag also has an effect on traction.

How To Adjust: Tighten spring down to decrease sag dimension Loosen spring to increase sag. A Good starting point on most bikes with a linkage is 105 to 108mm

Low Speed Compression

Position: Screw on Top

What it Does: Low speed compression controls how much the rear end moves out of corners, over rolling bumps and landing from jumps.

How To Adjust: Turning the screw in clockwise stiffens the damper and makes the rear ride higher. Turning the screw out softens the damper and absorbs the bumps better, but also allows the rear to ride lower.

High Speed Compression

Position: Large Nut on Top

What it Does: High speed compression controls how much the rear end moves on square edged bumps like braking bumps and sharp whoops.

How To Adjust: Screwing the nut in clockwise stiffens the damper and makes it more resistant to bottoming in whoops, etc. Screwing it out softens the damper to absorb the bumps better.

Rebound

Position: Screw on Bottom

What it Does: On most shocks the rebound adjustment also has an affect on compression damping (resistance to bottoming) so the further in the screw is, the slower the damper returns and the stiffer it is

How To Adjust: Turning the screw in makes the damper return slower; turning the screw out makes the damper return faster.

Fork Adjustments

Compression

Position: Screw on Top

What it Does: Compression controls how high the fork rides and resistance to bottoming.

How To Adjust: Turning the screw in clockwise stiffens the fork and makes it ride higher in the turns; turning the screw out softens the fork and makes it ride lower in turns. Normally this adjustment also has an affect on steering.

Rebound

Position: Screw on Bottom

What it Does: On most forks the rebound adjustment also has an affect on compression damping (bigger affect than a shock). The further in the screw is, the slower the fork returns and the stiffer it gets.

How To Adjust: Turning the screw in makes the fork return slower, turning the screw out makes the fork return faster.

Common Problem Resolutions

Fork bottoms out

Resolution: Adjust compression (top screw) in. Note: If the fork also feels bouncy you can also turn rebound (bottom screw) in.

Shock bottoms on whoops or big breaking bumps

Resolution: Adjust high speed nut in. Note: If the rear feels bouncy you can also turn rebound (bottom screw) in.

Fork bounces after landing

Resolution: Adjust rebound in (bottom screw)

Rear wheel kicks off jumps

Resolution: Adjust rebound in (bottom screw)

Steering lazy

Resolution: Tighten shock spring preload to decrease rider sag and/or lift fork in the triple clamps

Fork feels stiff

Resolution: Bleed the air out and/or adjust compression (top screw) out.

Shock bottoms on jumps

Resolution: Adjust low speed (top screw) in. Note: If the rear feels bouncy you can also turn rebound (bottom screw) in.

Front wheel has no traction in bumpy corners

Resolution: Adjust rebound out (bottom screw)

Rear wheel swaps in whoops

Resolution: Adjust rebound out (bottom screw)

Steering too sharp or nervous

Resolution: Reduce shock spring preload to increase rider sag and/or lower fork in the triple clamps

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