Suspension MX - Hard Pack
The absolute first step to dial in your bike is to contact us.
We will let you know if you have the correct spring rates for your rider weight.
Step 1: FORK LOW SPEED REBOUND.
The forks rebound is adjusted FIRST because there is no point in adjusting the compression if the rebound is way out of whack. This is first adjusted with the compression in the middle of the range. Therefore later compression adjustments will be WAY more accurate!
This is also the first step because the front tire usually hits an obstacle PRIOR to the rear wheel. If the forks rebound adjuster is way out of whack, it will transfer the wrong loads into the chassis at the wrong times.
ALL THE OTHER ADJUSTERS ON THE BIKE WILL BE VERY HARD TO SET-UP!!!
Find a fairly flat, somewhat smooth hard-pack corner, preferably one that is slightly off-camber, with no berm.
Ride through this corner several times to get used to the way the forks react coming OUT of the corner, paying attention to HOW FAST the forks go back out to the extended position, when coming OUT of the corner, ROLLING ON THE GAS.
Turn the forks rebound adjusters IN (2 click intervals) until the front of the bike wants to KEEP TURNING to the INSIDE of the corner, after the apex, when you are on the gas, trying to accelerate straight out. Having a very light grip on the bars helps to feel this.
Once you notice the front end wanting to turn MORE and LONGER than you want it to, STOP! Turn the rebound adjusters OUT (1 click intervals) until the front end comes out at a rate that you feel safe at.
WRITE DOWN THIS SETTING!!!
On the exact same corner, do the exact same thing with the fork rebound adjusters, but test how FAST you can safely stand the rebound being set at.
Turn the adjuster OUT until the forks want to drift to the OUTSIDE of the corner, while exiting, ROLLING ON THE GAS. Test different settings to come to a conclusion about how FAST and how SLOW the rebound adjuster can be.
Find a bunch of closely spaced square edged bumps, usually braking bumps. The forks must rebound fast enough to absorb every bump, otherwise the forks will stick down in their travel, and pack. Set the rebound adjuster fast enough to work in this condition, but not so fast as to effect cornering!!!
WRITE DOWN THESE SETTINGS!! This is the range of rebound clicker adjustment which you will be using. Running a rebound setting out of this range will be DANGEROUS! Both forks must have the same setting.
Step 2: FORK LOW SPEED COMPRESSION.
Ride the track and find a spot where there is some good sized, square edged bumps, braking bumps or whoops are ideal. Turn the compression adjusters IN until the forks get harsh, then go out a click. WRITE DOWN THIS SETTING.
Find the part of the track which will require the most bottoming resistance. Turn the compression adjusters OUT until slight bottoming is felt. WRITE DOWN THIS SETTING. You want your forks to bottom slightly on the worst bump, this means that you are using the maximum amount of travel, without being harsh.
WRITE DOWN THESE SETTINGS!! This is the usable range of compression clicker adjustment for your bike, for that track. Going out of this range, will result in poor/dangerous handling on that track. Both forks MUST be set at the same setting.
OIL LEVEL: Most forks have an certain amount of "compress-able air space" in the top of the forks. This air space acts like an "extra spring". This is usually measured in millimeters, with the forks compressed, and the springs removed.
This "oil level" is adjustable. The more oil in the fork, the stiffer it will be in the last third of its travel, and the opposite with less oil. (More oil means less air space, the less air, the stiffer the "air spring" is).
Most forks have an adjustable range around 80mm-140mm. CHECK YOUR MANUAL FOR YOUR SPECIFIC BIKE!!! and DO NOT ADD TOO MUCH OIL!!
As a rule of thumb, 5mm in oil height is the same as 5cc's, or 5 ml's.
Increase the oil level in 5mm increments until the forks start to get harsh in the last third of their travel, then suck 5mm back out (with a syringe).
This effects the compression adjusters usable range. Test and adjust as required, as I said earlier.
WRITE DOWN YOUR OIL HEIGHT!!
STEP 3: SHOCK LOW SPEED REBOUND.
This adjustment on most shocks is the REBOUND/COMPRESSION adjustment. Not just rebound. Therefore the rebound is set prior to the compression.
Ride through a good set of evenly spaced whoops. Turn the rebound adjuster IN until the shock "packs", then go out a click. WRITE DOWN THIS SETTING!
Packing is when the shock hasn't rebounded back to its fully extended length before hitting the next bump. This will feel like the shock is very stiff, and the rear ride height will squat on consecutive bumps. It will be more noticable at the END of a whoop section.
Hit the same whoops, but test how FAST you can have the rebound. When the rebound is too fast it will be extremely obvious because the rear of the bike will start to swap from side to side.
Once swapping occurs, go IN one click. WRITE DOWN THIS SETTING.
This will be the usable range of shock rebound.
STEP 4: SHOCK LOW SPEED COMPRESSION: (for single adjuster shocks).
Find the same big square edged braking bumps you rode on to set up the fork's compression, and/or a good set of whoops. Turn the shock's compression clicker IN until a harsh feel is felt, then go out one click. WRITE DOWN THIS SETTING.
Find the same big bumps that required the most bottoming resistance when setting up the forks, and/or a good set of whoops. Turn the shocks compression clicker OUT until slight bottoming is felt, then go in one click. WRITE DOWN THIS SETTING.
This is the usable range of compression clicker adjustment for that bike, on that track. Test and find a happy compromise between both extremes, on all the suspensions adjusters.
Note: The shocks rebound/compression adjuster setting will effect the bikes attitude in the air. If the shock is rebounding too slow, the bike will jump nose high. If the rebound is set too fast, the bike will jump nose low. Test and adjust as necessary, without going out of the "safe" range. Perfectly shaped table tops or doubles (without kickers) are the ideal place to dial this in.
STEP 5: SHOCK HIGH SPEED COMPRESSION (for dual compression adjuster shocks only).
Adjust the low speed compression the exact same way as you would with a "single compression adjuster" shock. This is done with the high speed compression adjuster in the middle of it's range.
The high speed compression adjuster is a big aluminum nut, located AROUND the outside of the low speed compression adjuster. It can usually be turned easily with a 14mm or 17mm box end. It is adjusted in the same basic manor as your low speed compression. In is firm, out is soft. There is usually about 3-4 turns of an adjustment range. When this adjuster is at "full stiff", or "full soft", it only needs to be LIGHTLY SEATED!
Once your low speed compression is set correctly, you can then adjust the high speed.
The high speed compression adjuster only works on a high speed impact. A high speed impact happens any time the rear shock gets a firm spike applied to it.
Example: under or overshooting a jump, big hard whoops, nasty braking bumps, etc.
Note: the high speed adjuster has NOTHING to do with how many MPH the bike is moving!
Stupid Example: If you accidentally dropped your bike out of the back your truck while you were loading it, and the rear wheel hit the ground hard, this would be considered a "high speed impact". A high speed impact can occur even without the rider on the bike. The MPH of the bike has NOTHING to do with how this adjuster is set.
This adjuster helps the rider balance the shock's high speed impact absorbing characteristics to the forks. Turn this adjuster in until the shock is obviously stiffer than the forks, in large whoops or anywhere the suspension's bottoming resistance could be tested. Turn the adjuster out in 1/4 turn increments until a nice balanced feel is achieved between the front and rear wheel.