The Privateer: Factory Pro Suspension Testing & Setup in Portugal

Jun 20, 2019 at 9:19
by Pinkbike Originals  


THE PRIVATEER

SEASON 2



Anyone with money can buy a bike and travel the world racing. However, access to the world's best suspension techs and athletes is something money can't buy. So, before the season starts Adam heads to Lousa, Portugal, for the Fox Suspension testing camp to dial in his suspension.


We'd like to extend a big thank you to all of the sponsors who will be supporting Adam this year.

Adam Price is trained by Todd Schumlick @performx_training

Special thanks to GoPro.


MENTIONS: @pinkbikeoriginals



134 Comments

  • + 108
 I changed the settings on my own bike to match these. Still just as slow.
  • + 74
 First things first, how many tokens are in that fork?
  • + 5
 When your this fast, then you need a token. Just one!
  • + 1
 Chose not to answer this time. haha
  • + 40
 They should have suspension clinics like this around the country to set up rider's suspension as a service. Initial setup then progressively tweak settings after a few runs. Fox, RockShox, etc could set up touring dates at local trails. Local bike shops could possibly do it, but they have to really know their sh*t.
  • + 1
 and who pays for it?
  • + 24
 @dario-l: Well, at 1300EUR for that 36 Factory GRIP2, at least one clinic should be fair ;D
  • + 20
 @dario-l: people who want to take part?
  • + 4
 @dario-l: I'de pay for that service!
  • + 1
 @dario-l: It is just a brainstorm I have. Lol. It would be great if suspension companies set up the clinics as demo days across the country. Not sure if they would do that because not a ton of competition in suspension compared to the ton of bikes manufacturers that are competing for customers. Fox and RockShox basically have a monopoly on suspension.

Also, it is possible that suspension companies could setup professional training. Some sort of suspension certification programs for local bike shop staff. Then local bike shops could do the suspension clinics and could reach riders easier locally on local trails.

Basically, it would be a service that would save consumers a lot of time fiddling with their suspension and get their suspension set up by the experts like the pros do. I'm pretty sure lots of people would want that and everyone would learn something.
  • + 2
 Rockshox usually have a tent during whistler opening weekend, and crankworx whistler. free service or free labour - don’t recall the specifics (but insane wait times because everyone shows up). and during crankworx they host free suspensions seminars - it’s not one on one but it’s pretty good
  • + 2
 buy of Mojo / Mojo Rising in Wales and this is sort of what they offer. Well actually, they are happy to support you until you are happy with the set-up.
  • + 0
 Any suspension company can likley create a "Suspension Table/Grid" similar, but more thorough to the ones posted on the forks themselves. Fox did this, to a degree with their Grip forks. They included not only air pressure setting but also compression and rebound settings for each weight range. I'd take that table just one step further. Of course it would be more detailed and need to be posted on the makes website. Or, the table could come in a "cool poster" format to hang on your garage wall - free advertisement. I'd like to see a table with recommended setting for of course air spring, rebound/compression (both HS and LS), but also settings adjusted for maximum support on high speed, high traction, aggressively ridden trails, vs maximum traction for the more slick, off camber, janky trails - for example a rider on the latter turf would likely want less compression damping and slower rebound, all other things being equal. I think this approach would get the average rider much closer to where they should be, rather than all the guesswork I see people doing.
  • + 1
 Find a local suspension service and tuning shop. They can help you/point you in the right direction.
  • + 24
 I don't understand how he was so far off on fork pressure... 66psi to 90psi w/ same volume. That's huge. His sag must've gone from like 35% to like 20%.

I am about the same weight as Adam running basically same fork at similar pressures. I guess I will try going up in pressure again (started at 78psi factory recommended settings out of box) but it felt terrible and i've only just started getting along with the bike at mid 60's psi (fully open LSC/HSC & ~7-10 rebound clicks depending on psi).

I know Adam is hitting stuff faster and harder than I can but I am still shocked at the fork changes.
  • + 84
 When I went to the Fox Camp I thought the one thing I could leave at home was my shock pump, I had to let the air out of my fork to travel and I squeezed 65psi in there with a hand pump to get to testing from accommodation!! I would have had about 82 psi in there at least normally. 82psi - 90psi isn't as big of a jump but still a fair leap. Firmer is faster!! The fork PSI should be roughly your weight in Kilos.
  • + 12
 @adamprice: Thanks Adam that makes a lot more sense now; 66 to 90psi just seemed way too extreme of a jump.

This was a cool video, I've shared with a bunch of friends (even those who don't MTB). Good luck this year.
  • + 10
 @loudv8noises: Thanks boss
  • + 18
 I've heard this multiple times now, from EWS to DH to experienced average riders to suspension techs.... setting your fork based on sag is not nearly as relevant as it is to the rear shock. You should be setting your fork up to suit your preferences, feel and riding style... and generally ignore sag.

Also keep in mind, that unless your riding at EWS pace or even Adam's pace (whatever that is), it's likely that these settings would feel very harsh, oversprung and overly progressive to the average rider. I think the average rider would be shocked at just how hard and fast these racers are actually hitting stuff.

On the flip side, for some... who may be on a similar pace to Adam or approaching the average EWS rider. They may not realize how fast they can go and how much more control they can have with settings that initially feel too harsh... but when the speed ramps up and riding gets real, they're dialed in. Which I think is evidenced here... I think it still shows that Adam can handle more than he thought?... that he can actually handle a more intense set-up. Just look at the spacers and high speed compression that was added to his set-up.
  • + 2
 @adamprice: Did you do any timed runs in order to check if you were actually faster with the new settings? Also didn't you have a similar session last year with Vorsprung Suspension? I am asking because with your previous experience and after a year of racing I can't understand how far away your initial settings were vs. the recommended. Unless of course the whole thing is scripted which is OK since it is business after all.
  • + 1
 Depends on a lot of things really. I'm in pushing 190 geared also started with my Grip2 36 in the 50-60psi range with more compression just as he was running his initially. Honestly it didn't feel bad at all but I knew it could be better so I kept tinkering. (I was getting some hand fatigue) As this season progressed and my speed has picked back up I've ended up running almost exactly the settings they concluded with.
  • + 12
 @gpgalanis: For context. I hadn't had any riding time on the new bike due to an Artic Outflow making the trails icy and snowy in Canada at the time in late Feb. So when I went to Portugal that was the first proper riding time on the new bike the suspension and bike are very different from last year, settings from last year don't directly translate.

So it was perfect in many ways as we were starting from scratch and FOX had a clean slate to work with, hence the big changes. Not just made for TV!!
  • + 1
 @islandforlife: Sag is just an initial guideline. You could have correct sag but fork could be diving on big hits or your rear could be bottoming out if all the other settings (volume spacers, compression, rebound, etc). Suspension has to be balanced and tweaked regularly to suit the trail.
  • + 1
 @adamprice: There is nothing wrong doing it for the TV and the sponsors since otherwise the whole thing wouldn't have happened. Coming back to the settings would you say that an average rider would be benefited from your final settings or would it better to have a more "friendly" less setup?
  • + 10
 @gpgalanis: I think you have to figure out your own settings and find what works for you. The video hopefully showed the testing process.

Anyone could get their setup dialed by doing a day or three of deliberate testing.

Get a note pad. Note your existing suspension settings down. Make some changes, change it back, make more changes...
  • + 1
 @adamprice: great video and impressive to see how much faster the right setup can make you. I’m about your size and was wondering if the LSC and HSC were set from full open? Lot more clicks than I run, but maybe that’s the issue. Thanks.
  • + 9
 @vertex66: The settings of compression and rebound are always from fully closed.
  • + 7
 @adamprice: I think what frustrates me about suspension setup, even as someone who technically knows what each setting does and how to approach a specific problem, is feel vs speed.
Do you veer towards a harder setup that is likely more supportive and therefore faster? Or towards one what's softer, more comfortable and provides more feel?
And knowing when you've gone too far in the speed direction is what seems really tough to gauge (at least for me).

I find it hard when there isn't anything specifically WRONG that the bike is doing but you just know there is more to be found in the setup.
  • + 2
 @PhoS: that's crazy. I'm 195 geared up, and I thought that 80psi was too divey and soft. I run 95psi +/- depending on the terrain. If the terrain is too mild, there's a good chance that I'll be on my hardtail instead
  • + 3
 @gpgalanis: Jordi has done a video on Fox's youtube channel addressing the starting points of front and rear shock settings - really insightful without too much tech talk.
  • + 1
 @adamprice: Is the "roughly a PSI per KG" relevant to everyone or just a pro racer looking for a really firm setup?
  • + 5
 @adamprice: "The fork PSI should be roughly your weight in Kilos."

Yep, thats my general starting point, my weight in kg in the fork and my weight in lbs in the shock.
  • + 1
 @adamprice: Maybe the question is how far is your settings now compared to your own set-up and FOX tech assisted set-up? We want to get a feel of how you can achieve an ideal set-up. Most of us are weekend warriors who thinks that what we have is optimal.
  • + 2
 @fcdelacruz22: you mean sunday warrior? lol...
  • + 2
 As Jordi says somewhere, start in the middle. It sounds cool to have your HSC damping fully open, but why would you want high-speed compressions to be undamped? Also Adam is 87kg kitted, so not sure how you're getting 78psi. Many problems.
  • + 2
 @Van-kiwi: most folk, I'm always this plus 10% in most forks. Some with tokens.
  • + 4
 @lp130i: Right, and Jordi says in the video "we'll open up HSC" and then the grid shows (+3)15, so from fully closed for sure.
  • + 1
 @islandforlife: 100%. I set my shock on my 170mm Enduro on the soft side and didnt check pressure regularly. I rode like that for a while. Bike felt nice and comfy at slow speeds but was horribly harsh as I started riding faster. Now at around 190psi the bike floats the rough stuff and does not bottom on compressions. It also pedals far better. We also forget that our body weight fluctuates seasonally and how much we exercise making suspension adjustments necessary
  • + 2
 @loudv8noises , Try a Luftkappe, if your a hard charger it is the answer !
  • + 1
 @darkmuncan: funny it basically works that way for me too. 80ish kg rider
  • + 2
 @vertex66: I am wondering the same, because normally clicks are stated from fully closed, but Adam had 0 to start with! Which would mean fully closed compression?! Surely that can't be right...
The final numbers you show are from fully closed?
  • + 1
 Here is what they do not tell you about suspension setup. Your setup is not unlike mine. I ride basically rock gardens up and down. Few super fast downhill sections. I average around 10mph on my rides. If I set my bike up like the video I would get the crap kicked out of me. I've tried it. So I run lower pressures and open up the LSC. When I go to a bike park everything changes. The pressures go up and the damper settings change. If you are a racer and always pinning it, that is another setup. Shock settings are as dynamic as your riding style, what you like and where you normally ride.
  • + 1
 @adamprice: to travel? As in on the aeroplane? If so don't bother next time. the pressure increase due to the holds pressure change is not that significant - especially when considering pressure chambers within suspension components.
If you're a roady / track rider with your tyres inflated to the absolute max, then yes you need to let some air out
  • + 3
 @Van-kiwi:
Its more for normal riders. Then add/remove some to fitt your taste.

Pros are on race day maybe 10-15psi more.
  • + 2
 @Sirweste: Thanks for this. The main reason I let PSI out was to get it in the box.
  • + 1
 @adamprice: Hi Adam, have you gone from slowish to fast rebound or viceversa in the rear shock ? I got a rear shock with an open rebound tuning, and I had to slow down the fork and somehow it fells great. I used to be scared of fast rebound, but somehow I'm not being buckled over as I though would happen. Hope you go full gassss to the top 30 man !!
  • + 3
 @darkmuncan: If I'm not mistaken using the weight for the rear shock might make sense for some bikes, but it really depends on the leverage ratio for each specific bike.
  • + 1
 @lp130i: not in this video.
look at the settings at the start. and then they say they add 3 clicks. add! and it goes from 12 to 15. so it looks like it is from full open.
  • + 3
 A little trick I figured out was to attach a zip tie or something to my frame and fork so that it just touches the tire near bottom out. O-rings are good for showing you how much travel you used but how often are you that deep in the travel? With a 'buzzer' you get a really good idea how often you're blowing through and can make adjustments accordingly.
  • + 2
 @saruti: 15 clicks from full open is a recommended set up for a 250lb setting. Surely it's clicks from closed, because 15 from closed is equivalent to 10 from open, which is in range for 190lb setting.
  • + 1
 You may need to have the damper custom tuned internally and lower bushings resized.
  • + 2
 @islandforlife: If they were counting clicks from fully closed(Which I believe they were or at least should) they actually softened compression quite a lot.
  • + 13
 "However, access to the world's best suspension techs and athletes is something money can't buy." - hmmmmmm yeaaaaaahhh I beg to differ.......
  • + 5
 Get back to us when you’ve booked Jordi for a day of suspension tuning
  • + 4
 @lognar:
Could have before fort William. Cathro and one of the top fitness coaches were there too. Was reasonably priced too.
  • + 10
 For anyone coming to Portugal to ride these trails and check out next years World Cup track,don't type Lousa on your GPS. Lousa is next to Lisbon,200km away from LOUSÃ (or Louzan,easier to read and write for most of you).
Wyn Masters made that mistake a few years ago!
  • + 22
 If you did, you'd be a lousa.
  • + 6
 Lousa next to Lisbon is quite cool nonetheless, it could be worse, like a swamp or somethin;d
  • + 2
 @t-stoff: Just having fun with words! I spent a few weeks in Portugal years ago, including time in Lisbon and the Estoril Coast - it's lovely and I'd very happily go again.
  • + 4
 And even Lousa isn't spelled "loosa" like in the video but "lowsa". And Lousã is something like "lowzhan". As you obviously know.
  • + 5
 Are the settings on the clickers from fully open or fully closed? For example, final setting on shock's LSR is 12 ... is that 12 from fully open (ie. 0), so slowed it down, or from fully closed (ie. 22), so sped it up?
  • + 6
 From fully closed.
  • - 3
 I think usually clicks for rebound from fully closed, and for compression from "lightest" (fully open? I'm not sure what to call this).
  • + 13
 It is always from fully closed. Because closed is always the same. But depending on the oil volume and viscosity open position can have few "blank" clicks until something starts to happen so counting from fully open can lead to different settings from time to time(after service, different temperature, altitude etc.)..
  • - 7
flag jjhobbs (Jun 20, 2019 at 13:40) (Below Threshold)
 Both from - to + surely?? Nothing added,then add one click at a time from fully undamped to fully damped.. same as volume spacers, start at 0, add one at a time.. think closed is a bad term to use, and everyone gets confused, as you adding more resistance to movement
  • + 3
 @lp130i: not always. for example, in pivot's suspension setup guide that they give to you with your bike shows all clicks from fully open. and fox recommends setting your sag with all clickers open so no forces are affecting the spring rate.
  • + 2
 @novajustin: sag is set open, correct. In the case of damping adjustment Fox says to start fully closed and work your way out to the chosen setting. It's best to just follow the manufacturer and as you mentioned, sometimes it may vary.
  • - 3
 @scrippsranchDJ: you mean fully open ? As your reducing down the flow, from the fork being at it's fastest...you can't" close" rebound or compression,just more/less
  • + 4
 @jjhobbs: no, definitely meant from fully closed. Everywhere on the fox website (and they know a lot more about suspension than you do), it says to go all the way clockwise(closed) and then open up the damping to your preferred setting. Closed is certainly not a bad term to use because when you have a damper closed, you have the most resistance as allowed by the internal cams, and at opened the least allowed. Those are the ranges for damping in that suspension unit so the slowest makes sense to be closed and the fastest to be open, because without taking apart your fork these extremes are the most opened and closed as you can get.
  • - 4
flag jjhobbs (Jun 21, 2019 at 5:32) (Below Threshold)
 @TheSlayer99: AHH, don't think that makes sense... See what I mean ;-)
  • + 2
 @jjhobbs: that sounds like a you problem then. I don’t see what you mean, suck it up buttercup
  • - 2
 @TheSlayer99: you must be fully closed yourself,and unfortunately too slow,add a few clicks , should be okay then , when your up to speed...
  • + 1
 @jjhobbs: it makes perfect sense for people with normal levels of intelligence, I’m pretty sure you’re the slow one here bud
  • - 1
 @TheSlayer99: bud?!? I ain't your bud chum, you may be slightly patronising, but hey, let some air out, lighten your load, and I'm sure you'll bounce back...
  • + 4
 Question: After getting these baseline settings in place, how much do EWS racers adapt their settings to a particular venue? I guess optimising can give some performance gains, but at the same time there’s got to be something to be gained by staying consistent for predictability?
  • + 2
 Probably less than you think, +/- 2-3 clicks compression/rebound is usually plenty.
  • + 1
 @PhoS: unless you're Cecile and just leave it the same for everything Big Grin
  • + 1
 If you go by the amount the fox team we’re changing the DH boys and girls setup at the last World Cup in the fox video series, probably quite a bit. I was surprised just how little the riders knew about the suspension themselves.
  • + 1
 Gess depends on the tracks.. If its muddy and slow i gess many go a bitt softer then if its dry and fast.

Or thats what i do normaly..
1-2 klicks of rebound and add/remove 5-10psi.
  • + 3
 Very cool and very helpful for the rest of us out here. And in case anyone else needed to see the settings before/after side by side.

Fork

PSI 82 -- 90
TOKENS 0 -- 1
LSC 10 -- 10
HSC 10 -- 15
LSR 9 -- 6
HSR 4 -- 6

Shock

PSI 195 -- 190
TOKENS 1 -- 3
LSC 16 -- 16
HSC 12 -- 15
LSR 0 -- 12
HSR 0 -- 14
  • + 3
 Will be very interesting whether there is a differences between the tuning between different expert. The episide from the first season, with the guy from Vorsprung just looked like something else
  • + 5
 Thanks to Adam for being so responsive and interactive on this comment thread!
  • + 4
 I think it's is high time for PB to make an in depth tutorial, at least team up with fox on how to set our fork and shox to maximize the use of it.
  • + 3
 Grip 2 with the vorsprung lufkappe has been an amazing upgrade.

In my opinion, the fork feels best when going fast! The harder the Fox stuff is pushed the happier it feels.

It’s an awesome fork once it’s dialed..
  • + 2
 I find it hard to make your set up better when the set up is the best you've ever felt. It like you have to go from good to excellent then go back to worse to know what the best set up is. I find like my set to skip over stuff and not wallow, it hard to achieve a good set that skips over and not reflect and beat you up....Then I got DVO diamond fork with the OTT brilliant! Higher fork pressure will less sag, OTT at near quickest plenty of low speed compression and rebound and now just adjusting the highspeed to suit tracks....
  • + 2
 @adamprice Can you chime in on what you guys where trying to accomplish by opening up the HSC/HSR circuits so much? I know what fox recommends for HSR based on your weight is quite a bit more damping than what you ended up with. Surprised that rebound rates (which are air spring pressure dependent) would be so off from what they would recommend.
  • + 1
 Why volume spacers are not install one against the other ? There is three places for volume spacers on the X2. The first place for the first two spacers, in the second just one volume spacer can be installed, then in the third place three volume spacers can be install. We can notice that each volume spacer are install alone in each place. Why ?
  • + 1
 Why volume spacers are not installed one against the other? There is three places for volume spacers on the X2. The two first volume spacers can be installed one against the other in the first place, then in the second place you can install only one volume spacer, and in the third place it is possible to install three spacers one against the other. We can notice in the video that each spacer are installed alone in each places. Why? That is the question !
  • + 2
 where did his clicker settings start from? all the way in or all the way out? on the initial shock settings, he was running 0 clicks for rebound. how was the bike even rideable???
  • + 0
 Clicks are from fully closed. 0 rebound isn't that strange, depends on the tube. My deluxe shock is currently on 0 clicks of rebound and I need it retuned as I want it faster now
  • + 3
 @CalumL92: 0 clicks would be unbelievably slow. The fox website doesn’t recommend running this much damping unless you’re near the max spring rate, so yes it is a bit strange to run that.
  • + 3
 @CalumL92: I dont get what you are saying, you say you have 0 clicks of rebound but you want it faster. So add more clicks of rebound as you are on the slowest setting currently. Unless you mean you want slower rebound??
  • + 3
 What I want to know is whether Jordie was making adjustments based upon some kind of instrumentation, or just Adam's verbal feedback.
  • + 15
 Seems to be grunts and half sentences based on this and the Dialed series.
  • + 5
 No rebound in the shock? How did he not get bucked off before
  • + 2
 I read that as max rebound, as its set from closed ( full clockwise)
  • + 4
 Money can buy tuning from Anthony Diaz, Vorsprung, Avalanche, Farrhad, etc. Worth it
  • + 4
 I suspect my fork is too soft too, but if I added 15 psi all at once I don't think I could hold onto the bars
  • + 1
 They even added 1 volume spacer. I am mind blown.
  • + 5
 Adam is looking fast and so much more pinned , and these tracks look sick
  • + 3
 I feel like money can buy access to the best technicians as well as the best gear.
  • + 3
 6 HSR and LSR on the fork?! Welp, time to go out testing for a bit.
  • + 1
 You'll find this is on the faster side for 90psi. Couple clicks more if you're riding rough stuff.
  • + 1
 6 hsr and lsr seem really fast for 90psi. I am running 2 hsr and 3 lsr with 90psi on 36 grip2.
  • + 1
 @Ed284:

Yea, I thought so too. I think Adam plows a lil more, I wouldn't be able to keep it on the ground with it that fast.
  • + 1
 i think its from open?

than there are 2 on hsr vom closed and 3 on lsr from closed. in total 9 LSR and 8 HSR

makes more sense to me... you definately not able to ride 6 hsr vom closed with 90 psi when its 25-30 grad celsius.


i am on 84-85 psi with 1 token and 4 lsr / 3 hsr from closed. yesterday there was 33 grad celsius and the fork was ridicously fast!!
  • + 1
 @weaknesseightyeight:

It's never from open, thus especially with Fox involved. I'm running the same rebound as you with 90psi and it feels pretty neutral. You should check your air spring for excess grease. These have been commonly arriving over greased from the factory and it causes some issues with setup.
  • + 3
 Is this series gaining traction?
  • + 1
 Suspension setup is basically magic if you ask me. It seems absurd that Adam didn’t adjust or dial in his settings on his own. Ah well - time to go ride!!!
  • + 1
 It's a freakin mystery to me. I weigh 160 lbs and run my shock at 190 psi cause I like the way it rides at high speed going down but I'm sure that amount of pressure wouldn't make sense to most people in the context of normal baseline settings.
  • + 6
 @gally-nh: I think the rear is tough to judge bike to bike because the linkages in the rear suspension make a big difference. The fork is easier to compare bike to bike because the differences between head angle & front center will be pretty small factors if riders are basically same weight.
  • + 1
 Nice work on that edit gentleman. Camera work was spot on and the music didn't suck. Cheers
  • + 1
 Adam, hope you enjoyed those trails.... I really miss that place!!

And this year,...no Enduro Race @Lousã?
  • + 1
 90 psi in that fork and it was still blowing through travel on berms and small jumps? That seems not ideal
  • + 3
 Shockingly dialed setup
  • + 2
 UGH! Pivot bikes are the sex!
  • + 1
 So am I right in thinking Adam is now not on a Deviate Guide after the theft for this season?
  • + 1
 @ovadebarz that’s a different series we do called EWS or BUST which stated a couple years ago following EWS rider Richard Payne around the EWS and race season.

There’s no factory fox set up but a mate of his did lend him a ShockWiz also the kind guys at Deviate got another bike together to keep him racing so expect the next episode soon ????????????
  • + 1
 @Remap: thanks!! my bad!
  • + 1
 Man, Dr. Mark Greene really rips. Which is weird since I thought he died in season 8...
  • + 2
 When will Sram start doing set up videos. ????
  • + 2
 I wonder the same...with all the Fox Dialed Series and the coverage Jordi is having....this is making me want to try FOX for the very first time..
  • + 1
 Officially the first time I’ve heard Feeki in a bike video. Love it!
Looking forward to another great season!
  • + 1
 Love this series! Thanks.
  • + 1
 Jesus. I have no F***ing clue how to set up my X2. Fox... HALP!!
  • + 1
 Set sag, fast end of recommended settings. Ride fast.
  • + 1
 @PaulieAU: Fox recommends different sag than Banshee... which to use? Base Compression and rebound settings differ depending on sag.
  • + 1
 @teethandnails: Try setting the sag recommended by Banshee, and then, based on the pressure you're using to obtain that sag, tune the rebound and compression as Fox recomends.
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