Posts in the category How To

Suspension Setup Series #2 – Run It Wide Open…Mostly.

Bikerumor Suspension Setup Series shows how to properly tune your mountain bike fork and shock

For as long as there’ve been multi-mode rear shocks with some manner of pedal platform, I’ve been trying to set up my shock for optimum performance in “Pedal” mode. My thinking was, by running it in the middle setting, I could keep the shock ready for anything. Switch it one way to climb and the other to descend. In reality, that might just have been limiting the performance of the shock, not letting me get the most out of it.

Since all manufacturers suggest setting sag with the shock and fork in full open (or Descend, etc.) mode, it stands to reason you’re setting it up to perform best in that position, right? We asked Duncan Riffle (SRAM MTB marketing manager and former 2x Nat’l DH Champ), Eric Porter (veteran pro MTB’r, now riding for Manitou), Mark Fitzsimmons (Fox Racing Shox’s pro athlete suspension tuner) and Josh Coaplen (Cane Creek’s VP of engineering).

First up, a little clarification of what exactly we’re talking about: When you’re setting your fork or shock to a particular mode (open, descend, trail, pedal, climb, whatever), you’re changing the low speed compression. For Fox forks, that means anything in the zero to five inches per second compression speed. Other brands are likely similar. This affects the suspension’s performance when you’re braking (at the fork), pedaling hard or while standing, railing corners and rollers and anything else that’s not a quick hit or hard landing. Those quicker, bigger hits are controlled by your high speed compression, and most products out there have fixed high speed circuits that are not easily user tunable. Cane Creek’s Double Barrel is the obvious exception.

We started this series with a look at setting your sag properly in Part One, now it’s time to tune those compression settings…

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Suspension Setup Series #1 – Set Your Sag Properly

bikerumor guide how to set up mountain bike suspension sag

At virtually every mountain bike and suspension launch we attend, we’re told to simply sit on the bike while someone slides the “fun-o-meter” ring to the base of the fork or shock, then we hop off and see where it lies. If it’s in the ballpark, we gear up and head out, fiddling with the settings as we ride.

Recently, I had some time with Rockshox brand ambassador and SRAM MTB marketing manager Duncan Riffle, who also happens to be a 2x U.S. National Downhill Champ and former World Cup DH competitor, so we discussed the finer points of suspension set up. The result is this 6-part series, with additional input from Manitou’s Eric Porter, who’s raced professionally in XC/DH/DS/DJ over the past 11 years, and Mark Fitzsimmons, Fox Racing Shox’s race program manager and pro athlete suspension tuner. As you’ll see throughout the multi-part story, there’s quite an art to getting it all dialed, but when you do, it’s pure magic on the trail.

So, ready to rethink everything about how your suspension is set up? Good. We’ll start with sag, which is the amount of travel your suspension moves through just by adding your own weight (body, clothes, pack, etc.) to the bike. This puts the suspension into an active state, letting it react in both directions, keeping your tire glued to the dirt. To get it right, there are two things to consider: Rider position and amount of sag. We’ll start with properly positioning yourself on the bike so that sag is set based on your actual riding.

But first, make sure your fork and shock both have their compression damping set to their fully Open/Descend positions, then hop on the bike…

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Quick Fix: Easily Pull Hydraulic Brake Hoses Through Internally Routed Frames

easily run hydraulic brake hose through bicycle frames internally with brake cable and end cap

With hydraulic brakes poised to explode on the road bike scene, both as OEM and aftermarket, the number of bicycles with internally routed designs can be a real source of headaches. Ever one for simplified solutions, this gem of a problem solver from Dave Bethea at The Bike Shop/Extreme Cycles in Ormond Beach, FL, did the trick for our SRAM Red Hydro-RD install.

All you need is a spare brake cable, cable end crimp, a hose block to hold the hose tight, adjustable pliers, cable cutters and a small hammer. You’ll want the smaller, thinner end crimps since the inside diameter of most hydraulic brake hoses are pretty small. Here’s how it’s done: READ MORE ->

Quick Fix: True A Bicycle Wheel Without Tools & Get Back Home

how to true a bicycle wheel on the road or trail without tools so you can keep riding

I carry a mini tool on virtually every ride, so it was with some surprise that I ended up stuck on the side of a road when a wheel went out of true enough that the tire started rubbing the frame. Turns out, my mini tool didn’t have spoke wrench slots built into it. Surely, I thought, this was a fluke and all the other myriad pocketable multi tools I have included them, right? No. In fact, of the fifteen or so mini tools I have laying around, very few actually do.

This can happen for a number of reasons – you hit something, someone hits you, or spokes just gradually detension. Whatever the cause, it can quickly ruin a ride and leave you calling the support vehicle (aka: significant other).

So, the easiest fix is to make sure your tool has spoke wrenches. Failing that, here’s an easy way to get back on the road…

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