How bad should a good 150mm shock feel?

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How bad should a good 150mm shock feel?
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Posted: Apr 22, 2021 at 16:50 Quote
So I sent my Super Deluxe Ultimate out for a custom tune and am trying to come to grips with what I've gotten back. Shock is mounted to a V3 Bronson and my main complaint was a lack of mid stroke support. I'm 200 pounds, selected 6 or 7 /10 for my skill level on each of the questions, and on the question of preference between comfort vs support I think I checked 8/10 towards support. Shock has MegNeg with 1 volume spacer, and I am mostly riding single black BC trails.

Man did I ever get exactly what I asked for. I've only got 2 rides on it so far, but it was immediately noticeable just from a parking lot bounce test that the shock was way firmer. First short ride felt terrible, the shock was just incredibly harsh and jarring. Second ride I took out 5 psi and backed LSC most of the way out and it was noticeably better. Still a bit harsh on square edged hits but good through chatter, still used 95% of travel on a relatively tame ride, and actually feel like I have better rear grip in flat corners and small berms from the increased support.

So that begs the question, how harsh should a 150mm shock feel when setup properly for going fast? I've only been riding for 4 years and am constantly improving, so there's part of me that wonders if what I need for this shock to feel great is to just ride faster. Currently I have the MegNeg installed with all 4 bands and will probably do some testing with the stock air can back on as that will reduce a bit of mid stroke support. Going to try to put in at least 3 more rides with the current setup before changing anything to have a good base line.

Any thoughts or similar experiences with setting up 140-160mm shocks for

Posted: Apr 22, 2021 at 17:15 Quote
You don't have a 150mm shock. That's just how much travel you have.

Posted: Apr 22, 2021 at 18:39 Quote
the-one1 wrote:
You don't have a 150mm shock. That's just how much travel you have.

Exactly, the V3 Bronson has a 210 x 55 shock which equates to 150mm of travel because of the leverage curve. The shock only moves 55mm and uses a linkage so it actually moves the wheel 150mm, not 55mm. Not all bike have the same leverage ratio. The Yeti SB130 also has a 210 x 55 shock, but only 137mm of travel. You could attempt adding some volume spacers so the shock becomes more progressive. Run it at slightly lower PSI and because of the tokens you should not bottom out as often.

Posted: Apr 22, 2021 at 18:44 Quote
Kidklayko wrote:
the-one1 wrote:
You don't have a 150mm shock. That's just how much travel you have.

Exactly, the V3 Bronson has a 210 x 55 shock which equates to 150mm of travel because of the leverage curve. The shock only moves 55mm and uses a linkage so it actually moves the wheel 150mm, not 55mm. Not all bike have the same leverage ratio. The Yeti SB130 also has a 210 x 55 shock, but only 137mm of travel. You could attempt adding some volume spacers so the shock becomes more progressive. Run it at slightly lower PSI and because of the tokens you should not bottom out as often.

Yeah the point was shock setup on bikes in the 140-160mm travel range but you guys seem like fun. Also I'm well aware of how volume spacers work. The question was more to do with getting feedback from faster riders in terms of the feel they are looking for from the rear shock.

Posted: Apr 22, 2021 at 19:50 Quote
I have an Ibis Mojo HD3, it fits a 200 x 57 shock, it has 150mm of rear travel. The shock is a RockShox Monarch RT3 which is the older version of the Deluxe, the younger brother of the Super Deluxe. It has a 3 position lever (High-speed, Low-speed, Firm), and low-speed rebound adjustments (No low-speed compression). I am 140lbs, have 2 tokens in it and it feels very plush, supple, bottomless, and the opposite of harsh. I run about 25% sag too. Another thing to note is that I bought this Monarch, aftermarket, it was speced with a DPS which I blew out.

Does this answer your question? If it doesn't let me know, I know riding with harsh suspension is really annoying.

Posted: Apr 23, 2021 at 0:14 Quote
It just seems like they modified it to a custom tune that is a bit too much for you. It could be just fine if:
- you race (efficiency » comfort);
- you take weight;
- you become stronger, faster, and accept the lack of comfort on high speed chatter;
- you keep it for park days, and other «artificial» trails that mainly consist of big jumps between clean lines.

It will obviously suck in rock gardens, roots and such.

Now maybe there is a way to dial that back a bit through volume spacers, pressure and settings; you will have to try different combinations.

I would probably try something like removing volume spacers, decreasing pressure, opening LSC and making the rebound faster.

But we cannot tell you precisely what will work for you. You will have to modify settings, ride a section of trail you know well, take notes, modify again, ride again the same section etc.

Posted: Apr 23, 2021 at 6:02 Quote
friendlyfoe wrote:
so there's part of me that wonders if what I need for this shock to feel great is to just ride faster.

That's possible but the hardest solution. I think there's a misnomer that firm setups are simply less comfortable or feel worse all the time. If a really fast rider sets up their suspension to feel stable for blasting through rock gardens, it will feel great to them for blasting through rock gardens. It will probably feel overly firm for cruising around and slower riders might find it feels terrible all the time. If you're fast through the rock gardens or rough sections, a setup that feels good for a slow rider will not feel more comfortable to the faster rider. IOW, if you set your compression up based on speed through a rock garden and that's your 'firm setup' then lowering the compression will not only slow you down but likely not improve comfort and it can feel scary and uncontrolled when the compression is too soft. The misnomer is that you're always trading comfort for performance. The reality is that the level of firmness that constitutes comfort is speed dependent.

This is of course an over simplification of the situation...you can have suspension that's overly firm at the wrong part of the spring or leverage curve, damper spiking, etc.

Posted: Apr 23, 2021 at 20:28 Quote
jeremy3220 wrote:
The misnomer is that you're always trading comfort for performance. The reality is that the level of firmness that constitutes comfort is speed dependent.

Lol yes I think this is the point. I'm not a racer but my goal was to have more support at higher speeds on chunky black diamond trails. From their suggested settings I dropped 5 psi and opened LSC basically all the way and am actually really happy with it right now. Got my third ride in on it today and the faster I go the better it feels, and my goal is definitely to be faster over the rough sections. I just can't believe how bad it feels at low speeds! It's almost like having the shock half way locked out. With just my body weight it's hard for me to go through more than half of the travel, so lower speed janky sections don't feel great. In the faster sections it is so much more confidence inspiring and it's letting me carry way more speed through the hardest sections of trail. I'm going to play around with putting the stock air can back on but overall I'm pretty happy with it. And there totally was the option in the tune questionnaire to ask for a softer tune lol, I went 8/10 firm. It has also helped eliminate a lot of pedal strikes because the shock is riding way higher up in its travel, but it is a bit hard on the ankles when riding around in slower speed chunk!

Posted: Apr 27, 2021 at 6:18 Quote
friendlyfoe wrote:
jeremy3220 wrote:
The misnomer is that you're always trading comfort for performance. The reality is that the level of firmness that constitutes comfort is speed dependent.

Lol yes I think this is the point. I'm not a racer but my goal was to have more support at higher speeds on chunky black diamond trails. From their suggested settings I dropped 5 psi and opened LSC basically all the way and am actually really happy with it right now. Got my third ride in on it today and the faster I go the better it feels, and my goal is definitely to be faster over the rough sections. I just can't believe how bad it feels at low speeds! It's almost like having the shock half way locked out. With just my body weight it's hard for me to go through more than half of the travel, so lower speed janky sections don't feel great. In the faster sections it is so much more confidence inspiring and it's letting me carry way more speed through the hardest sections of trail. I'm going to play around with putting the stock air can back on but overall I'm pretty happy with it. And there totally was the option in the tune questionnaire to ask for a softer tune lol, I went 8/10 firm. It has also helped eliminate a lot of pedal strikes because the shock is riding way higher up in its travel, but it is a bit hard on the ankles when riding around in slower speed chunk!

Sounds like you've got a great shock. This is how I would tune my shock if it was my personal. I don't pay attention to how much travel I use in the slow stuff, as long as it doesn't bottom out *harshly* on the big stuff.

Posted: Apr 27, 2021 at 19:01 Quote
TibZ wrote:
It just seems like they modified it to a custom tune that is a bit too much for you. It could be just fine if:
- you race (efficiency » comfort);
I would probably try something like removing volume spacers, decreasing pressure, opening LSC and making the rebound faster.
sdken wrote:
Sounds like you've got a great shock. This is how I would tune my shock if it was my personal. I don't pay attention to how much travel I use in the slow stuff, as long as it doesn't bottom out *harshly* on the big stuff.

So I found a solution to get it right and am now comfortable mentioning who did the tune. I ordered a "tractive tune" from Vorsprung for my super deluxe ultimate. Said I'm a 6.5/10 skill level and want 8/10 firm.

The problem: I'm 200 lbs and for black diamond trails and drops around 5 feet to flat the super deluxe is incredibly under damped. This is not surprising as an under sprung bike just feels crappy whereas an over sprung bike is unrideable so I understand why most bikes come damped for lighter riders. Last year I purchased a MegNeg air can as a band aid for how severely underdamped the shock was so that I could have a bit more mid stroke support. It never felt great.

The solution: I emailed vorsprung and was told that the tune is completely independent of the spring (makes sense) so I could absolutely play around with throwing the stock can back on there. It is absolutely perfect now!! So for my bikes leverage curve the ramp up in the spring was just way too aggressive with MegNeg. With the smaller can I was able to go back to their recommended LSC setting and could not be happier. Tons of mid stroke damper support gives less pedal strikes when going up and over obstacles as well as more traction in flat and shallow bermed corners. Hit a 5 foot drop to complete flat today and the shock was so firm it actually forced me to bend my legs on the landing (a bad habit I have from not learning on a hardtail) but still used full travel without a harsh bottom out. I have 1 volume spacer in at the moment and could probably go down to none but I think I'll just ride faster instead Big Grin . I could not be any happier and this is probably the single greatest upgrade I could have installed on my bike!!!

Posted: Apr 27, 2021 at 19:39 Quote
Kidklayko wrote:
I am 140lbs, have 2 tokens in it and it feels very plush, supple, bottomless, and the opposite of harsh. .

Us heavier riders have a bit of a different problem. Shocks are generally going to come tuned for someone around your weight leaving heavier riders severely under damped!

Posted: Apr 27, 2021 at 20:13 Quote
@friendlyfoe
After reading sounds like you've probably got it figured out. I didn't think I'd be able to help, I just started reading the thread out of curiosity. The way people solve these problems helps me learn. Most often it's typically no issue I have myself, but interpreting different adjustments from different riders in different conditions is the key for me.

I WAS going to mention this:
https://cascadecomponents.bike/products/bronson-link-no-anno
But if you've gone to vorsprung, they seem like they really know what they're doing there. Makes sense if something they had solved your issue. If I didn't have the Cascade I'd STILL be somewhat satisfied, just not nearly as much as I am WITH the link. In fact I've said here many times that this thing functions and responds exactly as I imagined I wanted it to, once I put the Cascade in.

I'm glad you're getting it dialed in. There's nothing better than riding once you have modified to a NOTICEABLE improvement, man it feels awesome and gets me psyched to ride more when the suspension is behaving how I want it to. I swear when something's just "not right" it's like riding w/a flat tire or something lol!

Example; I had plans for different forks. Was told to give these a go for a few BEFORE you change out the forks. You're really gone like these (RS PIKES 35mm stanchions 150mm travel). I thought, they're good forks of course, sure why not. I can buy anything else and just sell these or keep them for spares. No way! I love these way more than I expected. I've been riding on varying terrain ok, and every time I go out riding now I think of them less and less. I totally forget all about my previous "fork" options. Never really notice anything "abnormal" or sub-par with regard to the forks. So needless to say I'm keeping these on there indefinitely.

~JSV

Posted: Apr 27, 2021 at 20:50 Quote
ScaryGuiTarS wrote:
I WAS going to mention this:
https://cascadecomponents.bike/products/bronson-link-no-anno
But if you've gone to vorsprung, they seem like they really know what they're doing there. Makes sense if something they had solved your issue. If I didn't have the Cascade I'd STILL be somewhat satisfied, just not nearly as much as I am WITH the link.

So one obvious fact about suspension is that riders of different weights and skill levels are going to need different setups. On the spring side the ability to change air pressure and volume spacers addresses that. On the damper side rockshox only offers LSC adjustment on the highest model and no HSC adjustment. Suffice it to say this is a problem as most bikes come damped towards the lighter end of the scale.

I don't know enough about suspension to be able to comment on the Cascade link, as I couldn't tell you exactly or to what ratio that a change in leverage reduces the need for damping. What still holds true though is there is still going to be a range of weights and skill levels that the shock will have the proper amount of damping. What you get going with a custom tune (from anyone, I'm just very happy with mine from Vorsprung) is the right amount of damping for your weight and riding style based on how the engineers designed your bike. The Cascade link completely changes the way your suspension works, and may have some benefits as long as your weight/skill level is in the operating window with that link and your shock. If not though you'd be kind of stuck as it is unlikely anyone would be able to offer you a custom tune. This is especially true for Rockshox as they have less adjustability, but the other thing about the tractive tune is they actually replace some of the lower quality internal components. You'll notice they don't have this upgrade for fox shocks lol.

Also worth mentioning that FOX has tried to address this with VVC in their fork dampers. Their high end shocks have more damper adjustment which still doesn't completely address the need for a revalve but makes it a bit less of an issue.

ScaryGuiTarS wrote:

Example; I had plans for different forks. Was told to give these a go for a few BEFORE you change out the forks. You're really gone like these (RS PIKES 35mm stanchions 150mm travel). I thought, they're good forks of course, sure why not. I can buy anything else and just sell these or keep them for spares. No way! I love these way more than I expected. I've been riding on varying terrain ok, and every time I go out riding now I think of them less and less. I totally forget all about my previous "fork" options. Never really notice anything "abnormal" or sub-par with regard to the forks. So needless to say I'm keeping these on there indefinitely.

~JSV

What was it that you thought you would benefit from switching to another fork?

Posted: Apr 27, 2021 at 21:47 Quote
@friendlyfoe
See, you have a lot of valuable insight though that seems to make sense. Factoring in the weight too is something I sometimes forget and overlook (I got that though when you originally posted about it).

That Cascade though IDK if it's really doing the same modification to ALL the different frames they make it for. I was saying though that it clearly hit a home-run w/the SJ and EVO riders. I HAVE heard good things with a few SC riders too. Since the link behaves as if it's altering the progressivity of the suspension, it then subsequently makes the shock work differently (as a secondary or supplemental effect--I guess). I, as well as other SJ riders that got the link, even had to ADD like 20 extra PSI to get the same sag I had BEFORE the link was in, that's how different the shock (DPX2 with Stumpjumper tuning) was interpreting the modification.

What you're doing w/the vorsprung is maybe more advanced and specifically tuned to the RIDER and not just to the bike itself, however the bike being altered to supposedly "correct" something desired by a wide variety of riders is what I think Cascade was aiming at. Who knows, maybe the TWO things would work fantastic in tandem. Wonder if anyone's tried that? I was just sharing a point of curiosity and interest with you, obviously not suggesting one thing over another. You clearly have seemed to target the exact thing you needed if it's working for you, that's obvious.

As far as the "fork" thing goes, no I was just assuming I had a fork picked-out for the bike; either getting the bike WITH that fork or installing it AFTER I got the bike, either-way. But as as was saying I was floored at how simple it was to get the PIKE feeling just about perfect. So, why fix it it if it ain't broken lol right. I WILL get the RTC3 damper though, but that'll just make it so that one extra nose-hair of adjustment is available.

~JSV

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