Bike Park..Suspension...please help!

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Bike Park..Suspension...please help!
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Posted: Oct 6, 2019 at 9:06 Quote
I ride an Specialized Enduro with the Shox Yari fork, and Monarch RC3 rear shock. I just can’t even seem to get it dialed when I hit a bike park.

I’ve got a couple of good settings for my local trails, which tend to be pretty slow and mellow. Some small jumps, a few roots, etc.

However, when I take my bike to the park, I just can’t seem to find a comfortable setting. The trails are much much faster than my local trails, with big jumps, big berms, chunk, and big hits. Typically, I air up for the park. I set my sag between 20-25% front and back, and the rebound right in the middle. This is where I start the day at the park. I make a few rebound adjustments throughout the day, but I never seems to be entirely comfortable and I can’t stop wondering if I can get more out of my suspension.

How do you set your bike up for the park? What adjustments do you make at the park and how drastic are they? Do you like your rebound fast or slow? Just looking for some advice or tips to try next time I ride the fast stuff.

Posted: Oct 6, 2019 at 11:10 Quote
I usually add some progression to my fork, this can be done with either volume spacers or something like the MRP ramp control cartridge (what I use) in order to absorb the larger impacts found in bike parks. For rebound it depends on what types of trails I am doing. If I am doing big jumps and flow lines, I usually go for a slower rebound so I don't get bucked off my bike when I land. For fast techy trails, I would go for a slightly faster than normal rebound so my shocks don't pack up after repeated hits. I would also recommend seeing if any shops near you rent out ShockWiz sensors to really get your suspension dialed (or just buy one if you have some spare change lying around, which is also nice to have so you can know what settings to use depending on the different trails you do)

Posted: Oct 6, 2019 at 18:34 Quote
I'd go with more sag, like 30-33%, and adjust your rebound as needed.

A good guide to remember is, if the front of the bike is pushing to the inside, less rebound, to the outside, more rebound. ( I could have these backwards, someone correct me if I do!!) I also run a little less compression damping on the hi-speed side. Low speed compression I run wide open. I want my fork 100% functional, for better control. If you're sag is too high, you're ot gonna get all your travel, and that makes for a shitty riding bike.

I'm on a Transition Scout, 150mm Pike up front, 125mm Rock Shox in the rear. Just got back from Angel Fire in June.

Posted: Oct 8, 2019 at 3:48 Quote
Matt7082 wrote:
I ride an Specialized Enduro with the Shox Yari fork, and Monarch RC3 rear shock. I just can’t even seem to get it dialed when I hit a bike park.

I’ve got a couple of good settings for my local trails, which tend to be pretty slow and mellow. Some small jumps, a few roots, etc.

However, when I take my bike to the park, I just can’t seem to find a comfortable setting. The trails are much much faster than my local trails, with big jumps, big berms, chunk, and big hits. Typically, I air up for the park. I set my sag between 20-25% front and back, and the rebound right in the middle. This is where I start the day at the park. I make a few rebound adjustments throughout the day, but I never seems to be entirely comfortable and I can’t stop wondering if I can get more out of my suspension.

How do you set your bike up for the park? What adjustments do you make at the park and how drastic are they? Do you like your rebound fast or slow? Just looking for some advice or tips to try next time I ride the fast stuff.


In a nutshell, you are not going to get a specific answer that gives you bike park friendly settings on this thread.

Getting your suspension dialled is a multi step process and 100% individual to you, your bike, the terrain you ride and your riding style.

Be very wary of anyone giving you definitive settings advice without watching you ride.

A good starting point, assuming you have bike fit and tyre choice and pressures dialled is to go to the park, pick a 'typical' run and do some repeatable testing.

Take a shock pump and note book. Start with your bike set up as you would for general trail riding and start increasing your pressures and damping rates incrementally, 1 adjuster at a time and noting their effect. Ideally you will need a stop watch to check whether the adjustment has made you faster as 'feel' doesn't always result in the optimum setting. The stop watch never lies.

As you increase air pressure (spring rate), it will have effectively reduce the level of compression and rebound damping you have set as there will be more force working against those circuits so do it steadily and incrementally. If you get to a stage where you have bike feeling great smashing through rock gardens and heavy/big landings but you have very little sag then it's time to start adding volume spacers to get the end stage ramp up so you can drop your pressures a bit to get some small bump compliance back.


You are not riding a full on DH rig so don't expect to be able to run 30% sag and get magic carpet plush without bottom out. Rebound is basically fighting the effectiveness of your bikes abilities to absorb bumps so you want as little as possible to keep it controlled and not pogo.

Getting the front and rear balanced can have a big impact on how the bike takes off and lands and so affect it's attitude in the air for example run the back end too soft in relation to the front and you may well find the back end getting thrown up on take off making for an uncomfortable experience.

There is a whole load of stuff going on when you start pushing both yourself and your bike to your limits and getting a coaching session from a pro would be money well spent. It's pretty common in a lot of other sports but seems less common in mountain biking.

I set my mates bikes up for a recent event and they were all running their suspension way too soft and under damped for groomed stage riding but had been perfectly happy with their set ups for general trail riding.
Another aspect is you are probably comfortable on your local trails, know what is coming up and so will be more tolerant of a bike that may not be set up perfectly. Coming into a fast blind corner that you've never ridden full of adrenaline is another story....

Getting to grips with understanding how suspension works, how it interacts with geometry and the impact can have on your speed is really worth doing and can make a huge difference to your riding experiance but it takes time and patience and there is no easy/quick solution.

Good luck, take your time and have fun with learning about it.

Posted: Oct 10, 2019 at 7:47 Quote
I have the same but opposite problem. My bike is always way too stiff at bikeparks, and I never end up softening it enough throughout the day. I think bringing a shock pump in a pack is a really good idea.

Posted: Oct 11, 2019 at 6:59 Quote
Matt, Kev, and Pigglet...I really appreciate the advice! I know there isn't a magic formula for suspension. Lots of different things to consider. Ultimately, I think I need to stiffen it up a bit more to avoid bottoming out so quickly, and slowing the rebound dramatically. I will continue to mess around with different settings. Thanks again folks!

Posted: Oct 14, 2019 at 18:04 Quote
Matt7082 wrote:
Matt, Kev, and Pigglet...I really appreciate the advice! I know there isn't a magic formula for suspension. Lots of different things to consider. Ultimately, I think I need to stiffen it up a bit more to avoid bottoming out so quickly, and slowing the rebound dramatically. I will continue to mess around with different settings. Thanks again folks!
you need to add volume spacers not stiffen it, if you stiffen it up it's going to ride like crap on small bumps. You need to get the progression right so it doesn't bottom hard at the correct sag, don't reduce the sag. The general rule of thumb for rebound is to set it as fast as possible without it feeling like it's kicking back, if you slow rebound too much the suspension packs up at high speeds or in quick bumps and feels super harsh. What fork and shock are you running?

Posted: Oct 16, 2019 at 5:33 Quote
chize wrote:
Matt7082 wrote:
Matt, Kev, and Pigglet...I really appreciate the advice! I know there isn't a magic formula for suspension. Lots of different things to consider. Ultimately, I think I need to stiffen it up a bit more to avoid bottoming out so quickly, and slowing the rebound dramatically. I will continue to mess around with different settings. Thanks again folks!
you need to add volume spacers not stiffen it, if you stiffen it up it's going to ride like crap on small bumps. You need to get the progression right so it doesn't bottom hard at the correct sag, don't reduce the sag. The general rule of thumb for rebound is to set it as fast as possible without it feeling like it's kicking back, if you slow rebound too much the suspension packs up at high speeds or in quick bumps and feels super harsh. What fork and shock are you running?

Makes sense. Thanks! I've had no idea where to set my rebound, which is mostly why I probably haven't been entirely comfortable in the park. I think have my rebound set way too slow. Usually it's between 5-8 clicks up from the slowest setting. I'm always afraid to get bucked off a jump. I have a Rockshox Yari fork, and Rockshox Monarch Plus RC3 in the rear. I actually sent the shock out for service last week. They are putting a gnar dog in it while they have it apart. Hopefully that helps too!

Posted: Oct 17, 2019 at 20:43 Quote
Check this video out https://youtu.be/BiHQd4mzl3Y
He goes into a lot of detail and theory but you can skip to 4:15 to get the initial rebound set up demonstration

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