Basic Suspension Setup for DH Bikes - Part 1

Feb 24, 2010 at 14:13
Feb 24, 2010
by Tyler Maine  
You must login to Pinkbike.
Don't have an account? Sign up

Join Pinkbike  Login

Source: Transition Bikes

Winter is winding down in most places (unless you live in the PNW and in which case, it totally passed us by this year) and a lot of you are chomping at the bit to get out on your DH bikes again. Your bike could likely use a little early season set up and today Lars is gonna take you through a general suspension set up for your DH steed.

Video inside,

Suspension Setup for DH Bikes with Lars Sternberg:
Views: 48,460    Faves: 524    Comments: 38
Must Read This Week


  • + 32
 I'm all for instructional videos of this type, however, I'm a little disappointed, and I hope you'll take this as constructive criticism. Yes, it was (very) basic instructions on how to get started on setting up the suspension, but really didn't get into how to adjust your suspension to suit your riding. The idea of "playing around" with settings doesn't really help when you don't know what to look for. When you are riding, what should you be feeling to know that you should speed up or slow down LSC? or HSC? or Rebound? And what about the fork? The Boxxer WC's beginning stroke and end stroke rebound is even more confusing. I'm afraid this video didn't cover anything more than what's in the manufacturer's documentation.
  • + 1
 very well put
  • + 1
 like most other instructional videos
  • + 3
 This is where the "part 1" comes in I think..implying there will a part two which will more than likely go into more detail.
  • + 1
 I feel the same way about videos like this giving set up tips on suspension.
I think in this video they were just trying to give the most basic information in video form that you dont get in the regular instructions.
The problem with the situation about going into detail on this shock would mostly only help people with this same bike as the suspension rate is different on every bike. Also his weight and riding style is particular to him and would differ for each person even with the same bike!
I agree with you though. I would have also like to have seem more detail, maybe explaining something new or special but then they might have to deal with claims from fox. Its also very difficult to explain somthing that the rider must feel for themself,like sag! I only run 20-25% as I like to jump and play and even in rocky areas I love the feeling of a snappy rear end. I have tried 30-35% but usually feels very slow and sluggish for me! However another person with the same bike as me would say different,making this sort of video a tough area to hit.
Great video and nice snot rocket! somthing my Japanese friends dont like.hahah!
  • + 3
 Also, they don't really say how to adjust your sag.... They say ok here is how you check your sag, and then "Oh look, ours is perfect, great, done". They limit your spring adjust to two turns, and shock pressure at 150, so I guess you have to somehow guess the right spring, and buy it and hope the sag is right?
  • + 1
 if you have to make more than two full turns on any spring; from, (lets call it the "start of preload", where the spring preload nut first comes into full contact with the end of the coil spring) then you need to go up too a heavier rate spring, this is common to all manafacturers of coil springs. If you don't, you can get some coil bind issues.
  • + 9
 i prefer to set sag standing on the bike in a riding position. good tutorial though.
  • + 5
 Great vid let down by a misleading written intro which led to the negative comments. Brilliant for the new comers to our sport. Well done. To those that have complained, film a guide that covers what you know and post it, if you have the balls. TR450 looks sick!
  • + 3
 Nothing mattered from the start. All your settings can be negated by having the wrong spring rate. My system is as follows:

Step one: Spring Rate- which will give you sag. Nothing else matters if you have this wrong.
Step two: Rebound... parking lot trials.
Step three: Compression... start full open. High and low.
Step four: Ride

Find your local street session spot with lots of stairs.... long, short, gaps, hucks and such.

Rebound- Use long sets to dial in rebound. Fast and slow runs will get a good gauge. Fast bottoms outs at the end will tell you how well your rebound reacts deeper in the travel. Too fast you bike will feel like it pogo'ed. Slow roll-ins on steeper sets will help you dial in the beginning stroke... slower speed rebound. Too fast your rebound will kick your rear-end up and not track, forcing you over the bars. Too much rebound will pack up your suspension... feels good on the first two or three hits then gets stiffer or less able to track.

HS Compression- Use small hucks to flat (3-4stairs) to dial. Test by doing stair gaps. If you're bottoming then turn it in. Use this in conjunction with Bottom Out dial. Personally I can't figure how to dial the LSC when doing stair sessions. In stead, I use Berms and Rhythms to determine this. Turn it up when you feel like your loosing momentum exiting them.... or to match the squat of the frt suspension. Caution... too much will give you less traction in high speed chatter.

Okay... flame away.
  • + 2
 That is a decent place to start. I would set the air pressure and volume in the ball park before measuring sag though. On the HS setup, stair drops are more of a low speed event after the initial spike. Your pressure and volume adjustments will do more to combat bottoming there. Just ride down the stairs or better find an extended rocky trail and session it until you find a good HS balance.
  • + 7
 Colonel Sanders said it best--"Finger Like'n good"
  • + 2
 This is horrible. He sets bottom out volume after setting the pressure, which completely negates your initial pressure setting. Also he doesn't really explain adjuster setup besides saying "put about in the middle." I want the 11 minutes of my life back I wasted watching this video.
  • + 3
 The bottom out chamber volume adjustment is completely isolated from the air pressure on the RC4. This means you do not have to reset the air pressure every time you make an adjustment to the volume knob.
  • + 1
 Que? Sure looks like a standard air chamber to me...
If that volume adjust is isolated from the pressure adjustment I would really like to know how.
  • + 1
 the pressure and the bottom out control work toghether, how can u say that they are isolated from another? of course not..the only thing u have to do (according to Fox manual) is open the bottom out all the way out (complete open) and set the pressure..u then just give some turns to the knob if the existing pressure isnt enough..but primaraly, the knob is supposed to be full open..the adjustment only exists to ramp up the graph-curve to fit different types of frame designs..
  • + 1
 Agree with pperin, coz i actually knewd every move or step wht he was taking, i was quite suprised coz i wanted to set up my suspension too, but now i don't have an idea, how i should do it in different tracks. but hey, good work anyway's..
  • + 1
 What the majority of people said.hopefully "part 2" will redeem itself.I was kinda expecting a tutorial as to how to adjust ur suspension veering into the more techie side of things,much like what they had on the " fundamental" DVD way would have been nice and really helpfull for us to somewhat get an idea as to how pro's set they're bikes up.but yah that's one Sick bike right there.
  • + 6
 nice snot rocket, lars
  • + 4
 Great tutorial but the switch between audio sources or something is SO annoying.
  • + 1
 its not audio sources. its just he turns his head a lot....
  • + 4
 Winter isn't even close to ending here Frown
  • + 0
 yeah i agree with the majority on this one, however not as bad as i thought it would be. One small note is that you need to familiar with the fox dhx rc4 to understand WHY he did things in the order he did. As a final thought i believe people wouldnt be so negative if it had been named more apropriately.
  • + 4
 sick bike!!!!!!!
  • - 7
flag pperini (Feb 24, 2010 at 14:40) (Below Threshold)
 wow..can those crankbros wheels really take this abuse?
  • + 60
 first, if you are going to make a vid about how to set up your bike, then explain what to do in what type of terrain, and why would u want more of compression/rebound in this situation, or why would u want less comp-reb on that etc etc etc....he basicaly just told us (in a very sleepy way) what knob is used for..everyone able to read a manual know what the knobs do..but knowing HOW and WHEN to use them is another story...and another time u do a video, have in mind what ur going to say cuz damm, it was boring waiting for u to think what ur going to say..nice bike and riding btw..cheers..
  • + 4
 pperini: Agree!
  • + 4
 It is PART 1 of basic suspension set up, more to come once the season really gets firing and more footage can be gathered.
  • - 4
flag nightfox (Feb 24, 2010 at 15:21) (Below Threshold)
 I think those Crankbros wheels are half made using CNC...anyways it's pretty damn strong from what I heard.
  • + 5
 You really need footage of how compression and rebound damping works? It won't be really that much visible on the camera. Graphs from data aquisition stuff etc might help but it's already there on the net. It's nice to have a cool looking movie but really you don't need any of this if you can google "fox suspension". If you want an example how it could be done look at the tech reviews in dirt magazine. Compared to it this is more silly than Palins handnotes. Maybe it's a better way for Transition to market their new bike (and I really like the TR450, same for the company). I'm pretty sure it won't help people who have trouble with setting rc4 up after reading the manual. Also saying that LSC is rider imput is a big understatement.
  • + 1
 It looks pretty dry there, why Wetscreams?
  • + 4
 no offense but this vid was really confusing and some of what he said is totally wrong....there are far better tutorials on shock setup out there than this but nice bike! For one, setting up your comp and rb at any setting before sag is a fail. One day hopefully shock manfacturers print graduated markings onto their coatings on all shock shafts and stancions to make setting sag easy as pie. Like the 2010 World Cups.
  • + 2
 I get that it is Part 1 but still the basics should be done correctly or why bother with Part 2?
  • - 9
flag trdracer94 (Feb 24, 2010 at 20:16) (Below Threshold)
 i think "pperini" bitches to much
  • + 4
 I think it's funny how you guys are critizing over it being a basic run through of suspension adjustments when 5 seconds into a sentence he says "Today we're going to go over some very basic suspension setup and overview for downhill bikes." Obviously he isn't going to go into detail how you should set up your adjustments for Utah or some other random place.
  • + 1
 Read again - some of what he says is not 100% correct and it's not for utah or specyfic tracks. I setup my rear max 3 times/year but still if you want it really properly setup you need more info that what has been said.
  • + 2
 i think "trdracer94" is gay...u gotta problem with me u just say it..why am i bitchin? did i say anything wrong?? no...
  • + 1
 instead of having the racer talk about suspension setup, they should have had his mechanic talk about it. this guy knows just as much as any 12 year old here on pb. his mechanic probably knows the fork/ shock inside and out, and could do a way better job, and he would also speak at more than one word every 3 seconds. IMO this was just an advertisement for transition.
  • + 1
 Spaced, I said Utah because it's an example for a place where you will have to change you're settings when coming from say a wet foresty trail, like where he is doing the interview.
  • + 0
 Isn't it obvious that transition just want to have publicity for their new bike? They don't want to help you they want you to buy THEIR BIKE!
  • + 0
 well, by the speed of you´re riding seems like you´re suspensions is really dial in... :p maybe mine´s not so good... humm... thats why i´m so slow... gone tune it up!!
  • + 1
 nice snot- shot at the end!! haha i laughed so hard! good vid
  • + 1
 Thanks a lot for this, great video.
  • + 1
 i think i see Kashima coating on the fox....
  • + 1
 His buddy measured his shaft near the stream! Ha Ha!! Good info though.
  • + 1
 let me do you video next time Transition Smile
  • + 0
 it snowed yesterday........
  • - 1
 it snowed here and we rode today, it was amazing and a blast, even wore shorts and just a windbreaker t6 try and stay dry

Post a Comment

Copyright © 2000 - 2017. All rights reserved.
dv65 0.043441
Mobile Version of Website