Nerding Out: How Temperature Affects Your Suspension

Dec 1, 2023 at 9:09
by Seb Stott  
photo

As summer turns to winter here in the Northern Hemisphere - and visa-versa down south - you may be wondering how the changing temperature affects your suspension. You might have noticed that your suspension feels softer and more sluggish when you go out in chilly conditions. This article is about why that is and how much of a difference seasonal temperature changes make to air-sprung suspension.

A little science

To understand what happens to your suspension when the temperature changes, it helps to understand the Kelvin temperature scale. A temperature change of one Kelvin is the same as one degree Celsius; but while zero Celcius is defined by the freezing point of water*, zero Kelvin is defined as absolute zero - the temperature at which molecules stop moving around and things literally can't get any colder.

*I'm pretty sure nobody really knows how the Fahrenheit scale is defined.

Absolute zero is minus 273°C, so freezing point is 273 Kelvin (K). A warm summer's day (27°C) is 300 K, which you'll notice is a nice round number.

The other piece of information we need is that if a fixed amount of air is trapped in a fixed volume (like the air inside your air-spring), then its pressure is (to a good approximation) proportional to the temperature in Kelvin. Also, the stiffness or spring rate of your air spring (how much force it generates over a given amount of travel) is proportional to the pressure inside the spring when fully extended.

Allemand Kein SR Suntour

What does that mean in practice?

So, if you set up your suspension in summer at 27°C or 300 K, then without adjusting it again, go for a ride in winter when it's 30K colder (-3°C or 270K), then the pressure in your air springs will be about 10% less than in summer. So if you put 100 psi in your fork in hot weather, it would be at 90 psi when the temperature drops below freezing, or if you set 30% sag in your shock, it will now sit around 33%.

In a back-to-back test, that's a very noticeable change. But since there might be several months between these temperature extremes you may not be aware that your suspension has softened since the summer - much like how you never noticed how much you were growing as a kid until your granny told you so.

Arguably, you may want softer suspension in the winter to improve traction, but it's still worth bearing this in mind. Or if you're setting sag in the warm indoors but plan to ride in very cold conditions, you may want to compensate - or brave the cold and set your bike up outside.

Cane Creek Kitsuma review

What about damping?

In colder weather, the viscosity of the damping oil will increase, which increases low-speed damping forces both for compression and rebound. The increased compression damping may partially offset the softer spring rate by providing some extra support. But on the rebound stroke, the increased damping and softer spring combine to slow the rebound speed, which could lead to more packing and worse traction on high-frequency bumps (if not adjusted for).

How much of an effect this will have depends on the damping oil used in the damper - higher oil weights are generally more affected by temperature - and temperature has very little effect at high suspension velocities (such as hard landings). But in general, the change to the air spring is probably far more noticeable than the damper when riding in colder (or hotter) weather.

When you start riding over rough terrain the damping oil will heat up - which will warm the air in the shock spring too - but this also happens in summer so this doesn't offset the effect of colder weather.

photo

How does altitude play into this?

Coil spring advocates sometimes argue that temperature and altitude play havoc with air springs, while their coil springs stay consistent no matter what. As we've already seen, the effect of temperature on air suspension is modest unless large temperature changes are concerned (you're unlikely to notice a few degrees) and this is easy to account for when the seasons change.

As for altitude, atmospheric pressure drops by about 12% for every 1,000 m of height gain. That's about a 1.7 psi difference in atmospheric pressure when going from sea level to one kilometre up. For an air shock, this has a negligible effect. For forks, the main effect is on the chassis, not the spring. If there is 1.7 psi less pressure outside the lower legs than inside, then it will take about 2 Kg (5 lb) worth of force to push the stanchions into the lower legs at every point in the travel (including from full extension). This extra force may be noticeable in terms of the "touchdown feel" at the start of the stroke, and this is why lower leg bleeder valves (AKA fart buttons) exist. But note that this applies to coil forks just as much as air.

Altitude has a much larger effect on your tires. They are held up by the difference in pressure between the inside and outside (it's this pressure difference that you measure with your pressure gauge so you don't need to compensate for it). So when the outside pressure drops 1.7 psi, that effectively increases the tire pressure by the same amount, which could be almost 10%.




Author Info:
seb-stott avatar

Member since Dec 29, 2014
288 articles

146 Comments
  • 150 2
 What about damping?

That's what i'm asking my X2 every time...
  • 4 0
 oh man,
A good one :-)
  • 20 2
 The X2 is all about dampening, not damping.
  • 17 0
 @WRCDH: mine dampens all kinds of things with shock oil.
  • 7 0
 But does it squelch?
  • 4 0
 I’m curious about tires in the cold. I’ve heard the schwalbe soft and super soft compounds substantially outperform the Maxxis tires in cooler temps - even at 5C.
  • 1 0
 @shredddr: I haven't tried schwalbes in the cold, but my maxxgrips' performance gets pretty terrible
  • 3 0
 I would say, what about bushing binding in lower temperatures. The increased slide resistance is much more affecting performance than air chamber, compression damping or tires.
  • 2 0
 @kostanev: don’t know about that specifically - but can confirm my Manitou Mastodon works great (no small bump compliance issues) down to -26 C.
  • 1 0
 @husstler: it's a fork made for winter. It may have a winter weighted oil in it...?
  • 2 0
 @skiboot1: no, same as a Mezzer.
  • 2 0
 @Sardine-Vladu: I've ridden schwalbe soft and ultra soft compounds in cold temps (down to -5C yesterday anyway) and found to be very consistent on dirt/frozen dirt/rock/leaves. I ran just 1psi lower than normal (because the ground was hard so i didnt need it to cut through mud), i especially enjoy how the tyre damping gets nicer making the tyre a little less reboundy (technical term). I havent been on Maxxis for years so cant comment on that.
  • 2 0
 It's all about oil viscosity index. Low viscosity index and your oils really suck in the cold (and hot). But there's also a split between mineral and synthetic. Minerals do better in the deep cold. The Fox R3 5wt and PTFE 5wt are not good in the cold.
  • 1 0
 @Dougal-SC: So you are saying ports and valves should be designed around a high-VI oil in order to work in a broader temperature tange. I guess the urge to make everything smaller/lighter is what’s driving the development towards smaller port sizes more dependent on flow rate and lower VI oils…
  • 1 0
 @Ynotgorilla: There doesn't need to be any change in ports/valves. Just better oil specs. Low VI damper oils suck at everything.
  • 56 1
 Pinkbikers riding 2018 forks that haven't been serviced now finally understand why they can't KOM their favorite double black; suspension settings in the parking lot at 10:00 don't work at the top of the fireroad at 12:00.
  • 2 2
 At least those people are focused on riding and not gear?
  • 57 7
 A British comedian I saw defined Fahrenheit as “percent hot”. In other words, 0 degrees Fahrenheit = 0% hot, while 100 degrees Fahrenheit = 100% hot. Really the only thing you need to know from there is that water freezes at 32% hot and you’re golden. Makes perfect sense.
  • 14 1
 Being a guy who routinely rides in 100% hot, and has worked on 190% hot, I don't think it scales.
  • 13 1
 But 30% hot is already f** cold! Fahrenheit was an idiot!
  • 62 0
 @chrsei: Well that’s because 30% hot is also 70% cold
  • 4 4
 Obviously Celsius makes way more practical sense. It was defined with respect to states of matter: 0% liquid to 100% liquid H20.
  • 7 2
 @cuban-b: at 100 C water is vapor not liquid. It’s the 99 degrees between 0 and 100 that water is liquid.
  • 46 2
 Celsius is how hot water feels, Fahrenheit is how hot humans feel, and kelvin is how hot atoms feel
  • 2 0
 @NERyder: At sea level atmospheric pressure.
  • 5 10
flag justridingalong1 (Dec 2, 2023 at 20:07) (Below Threshold)
 Here’s a hot take. Obviously the metric system is far better than the imperial for almost everything, but honestly for temperature I’d argue it doesn’t make a difference. There’s nothing more intuitive about making a temperature scale based on the phase changes of H2O than some other arbitrary scale
  • 3 0
 @justridingalong1: I kinda like it.

Zero degrees or 32 degrees: Expect ice & snow when riding or driving.

32 makes zero sense.
  • 5 0
 @JSTootell: being a guy who doesnt ride anything but perfect biking weather i can say the cold does not affect my bicycle , nor the rain
  • 1 0
 @cuban-b: For science and engineering purposes, Kelvin > Rankine > Celsius > Fahrenheit. Any non-absolute temperature unit is pretty useless whenever you need to calculate anything using it
  • 1 0
 @NERyder: close.. it depends on pressure.

100 C is the boiling point at STP (Standard temperature and pressure). As the pressure reduces, so does the boiling point. You can see videos of water boiling in the Himalayas at way less than 100 C.

And good luck to you if you can get water to boil at 2-3 atmospheres (29-42 psi).. It is how power plants work.
  • 1 0
 @roadie-ottawa-64: I mean, if you really want to get pedantic, might as well toss in enthalpy too.
  • 2 0
 @roadie-ottawa-64: Sure. I mean I wasn't trying to go full "Bill Nye the Science Guy" on this thread. It also assumes pure H2O. If you dissolve something in with the water the boiling point drops as well
  • 33 0
 I think Kelvin is a nice enough guy, absolute zero seems a bit harsh.
  • 22 0
 PV = nRT. Ideal Gas Law is all you need to know
  • 10 7
 Well you do need to know one other bit... no gases are ideal
  • 5 19
flag cuban-b (Dec 1, 2023 at 16:10) (Below Threshold)
 @boozed: go back to school
  • 3 0
 Use it for tires as well suspension
  • 1 0
 @mrkkbb: Bontrager/Trek has a great little chart for this. It's on my shop wall for winter fat biking when the temp delta between my shop and the outdoors can often be 50 degrees F, which matters a bunch once you're an hour into the ride.
  • 3 0
 Is that what they mean by a nRT gas?
  • 20 0
 I always found the changes to the tires rubber to be more significant to anything suspension wise.
  • 15 1
 MaxxTerra is particularly not great in the 30%-38% hot range.
  • 10 1
 Agreed. Maxx Grip and other soft compound tires turn to wood below about 45 degrees F. They seem to get harder than standard compound tires at low temps. Definitely more noticeable than suspension changes.
  • 2 0
 @Philphun: I've also experienced this with sticky rubber approach shoes. My incredibly sticky 5.10 guide tennies may as well be made of a bar of soap once temps drop below freezing.
  • 3 0
 omfg is % hot going to be a thing now
  • 6 1
 @chaoscacca: better than % bar soap
  • 5 0
 @Philphun: Depends on the tire company. Maxxis rubber hardens a lot in the cold. As does Michelin.
While Conti, Schwalbe and Specialized rubber doesn’t change as much.
  • 1 0
 I agree. Tires go to trash below ~48F
  • 19 0
 Durrrrr Fahrenheit is a silly imperial unit no one understands…

Now let me explain the ***Pounds per inch^2***in your suspension
  • 2 0
 How many Pascals do you put in your Minions?
  • 10 0
 @st-lupo: depends if he's french or not
  • 6 0
 @st-lupo: 207 kPa in my minions, don’t care about you opinions…
  • 11 2
 Also worth noting your shock pump reading will vary with altitude because even though the air spring is sealed system the pump displays gauge pressure (relative to atmosphere).
  • 15 0
 Also worth noting that even if you took your bike into outer space, your shock pump would only be off by 15 psi.

Jumping between sea level and 10K ft (3000 m) is worth about 4 psi
  • 8 1
 This was one of the least nerding out nerding out articles ever.

As pointed out above, not only does pressure drop with temp in a closed system, the viscosity of the suspension and lubrication oil increases to the point you are overdamped and bearings seize, but also everything plastic/rubber stiffens.

You air shock will therefore have an incredible amount if stiction, or main seals or +/- chamber seals will fail.

If you are riding in winter, regrease all your cartridge bearings (including opening all seals) in all pivots, hubs, ++ with waterproof low temp grease, ditch your air shock (time to practice hardtail skills?!?), and opt for your old open-bath zocchi where changing to a low viscosity oil is a breeze.
  • 4 0
 Agreed Seb could've gone way harder on fully nerdin out. Not even a single graph or chart!
  • 3 0
 I think you're being a bit dramatic, air shocks work just fine in winter with some adjustment. Though maybe it's different in Norway...
  • 5 0
 Kind of on topic, but do pro downhillers preheat their suspension like in motorsports for consistency? Or is there a temperature difference by the time they get to the bottom of their runs in their suspension?

I don't ride hard enough to heat things up. Or maybe I'm just so smooth that it doesn't happen. I'll go with the latter for my ego...
  • 3 0
 When Brooke McDonald was on Trek these used to use these black warming cases for the bike prior to their finals run.
  • 8 1
 If you take your bike to Whistler on a cold day and ride the gondola you can notice the bike warm up and suspension change. By noon when the air is warmer and you have hit a million braking bumps because everyone was working on 1199 which never opened, your suspension will feel quite different than when you arrived.
  • 8 0
 Great question! I was doing a little tech consultation with a top EWS rider and we had a great chat about exactly that. There was a long stage that was roughly freezing at the top and, if I recall, around 12°C at the bottom with considerable elevation change. Combine all those factors with the amount of warming (oil viscosity and air pressure) from riding and it was like two different bikes at the start and end.

One rider was using some fancy moto gear that circulated hot oil through the fork, then the mechanic reassembled the fork at the last minute. Definitely posh, but another racer just took off their front wheel and soaked the fork in a bucket of hot water! (Didn't hear whether he did the same with his shock.)

The rider for whom I was consulting didn't do any of these things and had a terrible result on that stage, with a bike that started out with poor traction and high rate of fatigue from impacts, then felt like a pogo stick in a pinball machine by the end of the stage.
  • 3 0
 @s100: 1199 was open, just not to the public.
  • 2 1
 @Comatosegi: correct: and they didn’t have it ready in time for Crankworx but raced it anyway. It sucked a lot of season pass money away from other trails and we weren’t even supposed to ride it.
  • 2 0
 @s100: As a DH race fan, I fully support the 4 year project that was 1199. As great a place to ride as Whistler, it should have a matching DH race track. I agree it didn’t have to be that binary in terms of resource management, but they have a a lot of turnover in personnel. But that has to do with the current economics of mountain towns.
  • 2 0
 @R-M-R: You'd think top EWS riders would have access to better oils. That would solve ~90% of their problems. Many stock oils have low VI and perform terribly in the cold. This is easily rectified with better oils. Not thinner oils, just better oils.
  • 1 0
 @Dougal-SC: It's surprising how little thought is given to such things. That said, there's no viscosity index that will stay uniform from 0°C to 12°C ambient with pro-level riding! Also, my understanding is that VI and lubricity tend to be inversely related, though I don't know the extent of this, nor whether the trade-offs favour one parameter or the other.
  • 1 0
 @R-M-R: you don't need to keep viscosity level. You've just got to keep the viscosity low enough that it doesn't create huge port effects and have bath oil that doesn't turn to glue.

A 12c window is pretty small and easy to cover. A 40c range is harder.

All the motorex damper oils have vi over 250 and lubricate better than all the 100 vi damper oils. Cartridge dampers also don't give a damn about lubricity.
  • 1 0
 @Dougal-SC: 12°C ambient change plus however much it changes due to riding is what I meant. That's going to be closer to your 40°C number.

True about distinguishing the different requirements for the damper fluid and the bath fluid. The MTBR discussions on Supergliss as a bath oil inspired me to a slideway oil from a local vendor and it was a big improvement.
  • 1 0
 @R-M-R: Fork dampers and bushing lube doesn't heat much at all riding. They basically stay at ambient.

Compared to the rear shock the spring and damper rates are a magnitude less so there's not much energy input. There's a lot more surface area exposed to wind and great heat-sinking.
  • 1 0
 @Dougal-SC: Perhaps. It's not something I've looked into. Less than a shock, certainly, and I would think a pro rider could put a few degrees into the relevant parts of the system.
  • 1 0
 @Dougal-SC: When Henry did the podcast with Ohlins, TJ mentioned that mitigating heat was an issue even for a 4 minute run. Are you saying that really only applies to the shock? Or is their situation unique b/c they are running more damping?
  • 1 0
 @Comatosegi: yes rear shock only.
  • 5 0
 Can SRAM add a heating coil running on their battery to maintain my oil at a fixed temperature? I could also adjust the temperature target based on elevation to compensate for the pressure change. Seems like the easy solution to me.
  • 1 0
 Tesla does this for their electronics.
  • 1 0
 I think you are underestimating the amount of power heating the oil given the density and packaging of a lithium battery. Heating an EV with a resistive grid takes a lot of power.

@s100 Which IC electronics get heating? The only ones I am aware of are the thermally controlled battery pack and the radar unit. And that they use some waste heat from the motors to heat the pack pushed through the octavalve.
  • 1 0
 @Comatosegi: yes. They thermally control the motors and the battery. Which is the drivetrain. They also control the computer and screen with cabin overheat protection to cool it as well.

All that is left is the wiring connecting these parts. And that they do not thermally regulate.
  • 1 0
 @s100: Those are different things than running heat to "electronics." Cabin overheat protection is a function of the HVAC. If I remember correctly Tesla 3/Y has about 6 ICs to control most function in vehicle under a unified computer platform. Most other manufacturers use 40-50 individual computers to control these functions. None of those are heated, from my knowledge. The x86 computer for cockpit interface and FSD computer is thermally cooled but I doubt it gets heating.
  • 1 0
 @Comatosegi: Please let's stay focused on my need for electronically controlled oil viscosity for the purpose of maintaining optimal shock and fork performance
  • 6 2
 For me if I increased air pressure in my shock and fork for cold weather I'd have no teeth left in my head. The suspension gets WAY firmer for me as soon as the weather changes. This has been on 3 diferent bikes but all using Fox factory suspension. The oil thickening I'm assuming is having way more effect then a few PSI drop. So I usually set the suspension up on the low-end of recommended air pressure for my weight and it seems to help. Dropping pressure to adjust for thicker oil is not a perfect solution but for my moderate skill set it seems to make the bike less painful.
  • 3 0
 I changed my oil, replaced it with some 0w stuff a friend liked and it works well.
  • 2 0
 Another reader smartly answered my question - retracted.
  • 4 0
 Years ago, pedaled to work on a -4f day. When I went to leave, the almost brand-new rear air shock was totally deflated with a puddle of oil under it. More extreme temps than most of us would actually ride in, but the cold totally destroyed the seals.
  • 7 0
 Was your bike built by NASA?
  • 4 0
 I remember when all forks in our riding group 10 years ago were simply steel coil only. No poor air. We never discussed this topic, before winter, during winter rides. Those with functional dampers changed some clicks, me with Lyrik Mission control changed nothing because the fork changed its demeanour only with spring rate, oil density and damper shims.
  • 6 0
 I find that rebound speed is the most noticeable for me, I usually have to speed it up a click or two when it’s really cold
  • 1 0
 Found that today -felt super slow on the way to the trail. Reached under the fork to speed it up and the knob had fallen out somewhere. Grrrr! And my one up multi tool isn't long enough to reach inside a Pike. Double grrrr!
  • 1 0
 Ports are way more sensitive to oil viscosity than shims. The rebound damping relies the most on port flow so that's where you feel it more. Better oil (higher VI) helps a lot. Many stock oils are terrible in the cold.
  • 3 0
 When I was a freshman in college and dead broke, I got a Gary Fisher Opie at shop cost from the shop I wrenched at during the summer - A 2004 Opie was a shittie DJ bike, but it was a bike and I needed one. It came with an elastomer fork, and I found it getting harsher and harsher as the fall progressed, until one day after a late class I jumped on my bike, hucked a small staircase and about broke my wrists... the elastomers at or around freezing turned into rocks. Rather than deal with the poor performance an unpredictability, I put a used Surly Instigator fork on there... first of many rigid MTBs for me. I miss that stupid bike.
  • 4 0
 Another important question is, how cold temperatures affects your tires! Softest Maxxis compounds becomes hard, some other brands seems to work better. It would be nice to have a test about tires in cold.
  • 7 0
 N/A full coil!
  • 2 0
 Just one more thing I dislike about air sprung suspension. I miss my full coil F&R bike. To each their own I suppose, but I'm a "set it and forget it" kinda guy personally.
  • 1 0
 Full coil esp in the winter! I run coil front and rear on my FS fat bike (Fatillac) and I never have to adjust a thing, boom!!
  • 4 0
 Okay so did anyone else notice in the first picture the guy on the right has clipless shoes on but there's flat pedals on his bike. What going on?
  • 1 0
 No Ben, but sharp eyes... All I noticed were the clear BMX background on those wheel stands.
  • 1 0
 No but did anyone else notice in the first picture the guy on the left has clipless shoes on but there's flat pedals on his bike. What going on?
  • 2 0
 This is a well-rounded article for me. My lovely Durolux slowed way down last winter as temps approached freezing, (knobs full open and still too slow) something I hadn't really noticed much on previous Fox and DVO forks. Just today I changed the oil in the damper to the lightest Motorex I could find in hopes of counteracting this. It feels too fast in my warm shop now, so tomorrow will be the first test.
  • 2 0
 Damper design plays a major role in how much temperature will affect the damping characteristics. Dampers that rely more on pushing oil through ports as apposed to shim stacks tend to be slow down more dramatically as the temperature drops and oil viscosity increases. In my experience, the rebound damping tends to be the first area a rider will notice changing due to manufacturers relying heavily on a large bleed port as a way to have a lot of adjustability with the rebound clicker. Changing oil viscosity can really change a dampers ability to dissipate energy. It is better to look at the oil manufactures 40C cst viscosity than the listed wt on the label. You may also find that changing your oil viscosity gets you in the right adjustability range for say compression but then you will need to re-shim the rebound stack or visa versa.
  • 3 2
 I don't think it really matters. By the time that it gets cold enough to make a difference, its usually dark by 5pm, wet and/or snowy. So you're going slower anyways and being cautious, the slower rebound can help in some cases.

Same with tires. In late fall riding, especially at night, I find I can get away with lower pressures. Passively going slower due to the environment has a lot to do with this.
  • 2 1
 Have you considered that with your suspension better set up you might not need to be as cautious?
  • 1 0
 @notthatfast: it's setup correctly, I'm not saying I just ignore it. It just seems to not matter as much, compared to having messed up suspension when you have the ability to ride at full speed like during the day.

Once we start getting snow or ice ontop of wet leaves, which are on top of greasy mud, which hide those pesky diagonal roots - sometimes you just have to tip toe down sections. Or across, I mean it is pretty flat and tight here.
  • 1 0
 @Canadmos:
That’s fair. Less of a problem on the North Shore. Unless it snows the trails don’t change a whole lot here.
  • 1 0
 @canadamos
But the 10 people that ride in freezing rain and snow all winter need to proclaim how tough they are so the rest of us can recognize our humanity
  • 2 0
 ah, i lived in Asia with high heat and humidity, moved to Canada: i had to change the oil thickness on my suspension and level of oil in the damping system. Also readjusted all the settings.
  • 1 0
 The volume is not fixed "over a given amount of travel" , so you really need the total volume and the volume change per travel to know "how much force it generates over a given amount of travel".

You're also assuming it's from fully extended, but "given amount of travel" is unbounded: you really need the volume and pressure of the starting travel and the volume delta to the ending travel.
  • 4 0
 How does increased viscosity of the damping fluid only effect low-speed damping? Why not other shaft speeds?
  • 6 0
 Just a guess: once the high speed circuit it activated, the orifices are large enough that the viscous terms don’t dominate the equations any more.
  • 3 1
 @pmhobson: upvoted for 'orifices'
  • 2 0
 Because shims don't care about oil viscosity much but ports do. High speed damping is shims with only small port effects (in a correctly designed damper). Rebound is where you notice it because that's a lot more port flow.

That said. Bath oil will suck the life out of everything in the cold if your oil spec and bushing clearances aren't right.
  • 1 1
 @Dougal-SC: Don't pistons have ports? Do you mean "_orifices_ care more about viscosity more than shims"?

Because shims opening rely on the velocity of the fluid rather than the flow, and the ports on the piston are big enough to reduce the effect of flow viscosity. Makes sense.
  • 1 0
 @justinfoil: Ports are orifices. Shims react to pressure.
  • 1 0
 The pressure will not change because it is a sliding sealed unit. The pressure will stay the same but the volume will change. This will cause the shock to compress. Charles's law - volume is proportional to temperature

Just to be pedantic as we are after all "nerding out". Water freezes at 273.15 K. at 1 atmosphere. As you increase your elevation the temperature at which water freezes is higher due to less pressure but not that you would actually notice.
  • 1 0
 @boozed: PV=nRT, bruh. Get down with the ideal gas law. For a simplified model of how this works, however, the Gay-Lussac's is robust enough, P1/T1=P2/T2.

P=pressure
V=volume
n=moles (# of molecules/atoms)
R=a constant that makes that math work and changes depending on the units used elsewhere
T=temperature in Kelvin
  • 1 0
 Lots of comments to read but have not seen one that mentions warming blankets. It’s just like tire warmers for F1 or moto GP. SRAM/RockShox was messing around with these the 2011-2012 seasons. Haven’t seen any one do it since. Makes total since with fork and shock oil. If it’s warm and at the proper viscosity it’s gonna work better.
  • 1 0
 When I feel winter has arrived I add 5psi to the fork, 15 to the shock, and open my compression and rebound 2 clicks ish. Tires depends on what type of trail I ride so I consider it differently and change it time to time, sometimes.
  • 1 0
 Easily remedied, if you ride from your door, it shouldn't affect the spring rate as you are activating the suspension and it will stay warm. If you drive to the trailhead, put it in you r car and it should be good to go when you get there. I've done it this way for years to not damage the damper circuits and it seems to work well for me.
  • 2 0
 I am old enough to remember the old forks with elastomers in them as the bumpers (springs). Went fully rigid if it was cold enough. How times change.....
  • 1 1
 Been thinking about this a lot lately. Noticed a huge negative impact on performance in my Fox 34 as the weather got cold. Ended up changing the damper and lower bath oils out for lower viscosity and it's feeling better. Rear shock not as affected since it uses a very high viscosity index oil and produces more heat anyways.
  • 1 0
 -13C (8.5 Freedom units) on todays ride. I spent my brain cells on what to wear. Bike just works. Studded tires also mean you could faff suspension for hours with no noticeable effect.
  • 1 0
 I would also like to know how the temperature affects a coil spring, and what about the effects of the cold weather on the human body?
  • 2 0
 Fat bikers with suspension forks are gonna have a field day when they read this article.
  • 2 0
 Nah, just run coil front and rear and it’s all good !
  • 1 0
 What about damaging suspension due to cold temperatures? Oils will not to as well of a job lubricating
  • 2 0
 Steel. Coil. Spring. Nah. That was just a winter wind's whisper.
  • 1 0
 I have been more worried on my brakes being shit at 4000m and 0 degC than about my suspension..
  • 3 2
 Where's the advent calendar comp?
  • 2 0
 No kidding. Bike industry is hurting that bad is it?
  • 1 0
 @cazman727: An editor has now confirmed it's not running.
  • 1 0
 Did that Nathan Hughes photo win any contests? It should.
  • 1 0
 I'm probably incorrect here but shouldn't it be "effects"?
  • 3 0
 Nope. You can remember it as -A-ffect is an -A-ction. Effect is (generally) a noun.

So weather can affect your suspension performance.

Also, weather can have effects on your suspension performance.

And then there’s that phrase “effect change” where the effect noun becomes a verb.
  • 1 1
 Lots of words for a very simple message. I’d probably stay in your lane a bit better with this stuff.
  • 1 0
 My take away from this is to set it and forget it.
  • 1 0
 -23 zeb is totally dead in cold.
  • 2 3
 Every 10F drop in ambient temperature = approx. 3psi drop in both fork and shock, in my experience.
  • 4 1
 How does that work? Forks and shocks aren't remotely similar in terms of their operating pressures.
  • 1 0
 *well-timed
  • 2 5
 Fahrenheit is king of units
Below threshold threads are hidden







Copyright © 2000 - 2024. Pinkbike.com. All rights reserved.
dv65 0.026439
Mobile Version of Website