Mountain bike suspension tuning tips … top 10
1. You can use a small zip-tie as a makeshift O-ring if your fork doesn’t have one
Ideally, your suspension has a rubberized O-ring that allows you to easily set your sag; however, if for some reason yours is missing, a zip-tie snug enough to stay in place but loose enough to slide can be used instead. Carefully remove the zip-tie before riding to prevent scratching your stanchion. Handy trick, or? Next tip is a term which is also important for mountain bike suspension tuning.
2. What is a steering angle? A important term also for mountain bike suspension tuning.
The steering angle is, the smoother the bike is, the steeper it is, the more maneuverable/agile. In recent years, steering angles have become much slacker across all categories.
3. What is reach?
The reach describes how much/little your stretch forward when you are on the pedal. The longer the reach, the faster the bike rides and the better integrated the rider is into the bike. The trend is towards very long reach values.
4. Wheel Travel VS. Stroke
WHEEL TRAVEL is the actual distance the rear wheel moves when the rear suspension compresses. STROKE refers to the distance that the shock’s shaft compresses. WHEEL TRAVEL is the actual distance the rear wheel moves when the rear suspension compresses. STROKE refers to the distance that the shock’s shaft compresses.
5. What is stack?
The stack shows how high the front is in relation to the bottom bracket. The higher the value, the more upright you stand on the bike. By the way, you can find a manual on how to use the mountain bike suspension tuning app sagly here.
6. Bike cleaning for mountain bike suspension tuning enthusiasts
Spray your bike down with a water hose immediately after use before the dirt dries. Avoid the hard jet of high-pressure cleaners. Avoid using high-pressure air or water when cleaning around these areas, as they can force dirt or water in. When cleaning suspension, wipe around the seals and stanchion with a clean microfiber rag. Keep stanchion and fork/shock seals clean to increase the longevity of your suspension components.
7. Maintenance for mountain bike suspension parts
If you ride often we suggest to service your mountain bike suspension parts every 20 – 40 rides. For more recreational styles of mountain biking, we suggest to do it once per year during an annual overhaul/tune-up. Every 6 Months-1 Year. Make sure to do regular maintenance on your suspension components. Average riders should have their forks and shocks serviced about once a year. If you race or ride frequently, this maintenance interval may need to be shorter
8. How much does a shock service cost?
Basic service is just that: basic. You will need some tools and supplies which will likely cost you $80-150 depending on what you got and what you want to do. For your annual service, you should do lowers service on the fork and your air can on the rear shock
9. How do I measure stroke length?
Stroke length refers to the total distance the shock can compress. You can measure the stroke length by subtracting the eye to eye length when the shock is fully compressed, from the eye to eye length when the shock is fully extended – you should get relatively close to the shock’s stroke length.
10. When should I service my fork?
We recommend performing such a service at least once a year. The manufacturers are much stricter, e.g. Rock Shox: A lubricating oil service should take place after 50 operating hours.
More Tips and Know-How on mountain bike suspension tuning you find directly in the SAGLY mobile app. Download for free and become and mountain bike Suspension tuning expert.