when do i really know what good susp is like

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#1
I am wrestling with this question a long time.
How do i really know when my suspension is oke.
I mean with this bike being mine first i find it difficult to know what to expect from mine suspension.
Offcourse i did the obvious to my bike like measuring the bike sag and riders sag etc, but .... when it really comes to clickers ... or feeling the suspension, i was lost.
After reading a lot of threads here and there... i started to ask other people, to let me push down on there bikes in the hope i cld make up some thoughts about suspension.
Then one day i decided to revalve my suspension although it was more out of curiosity that i did it then i thought it needed it.
So when i started to revalve i merely did to see what wld happen.
Now i can tell that my shock rebound and compression really needed a revalve and that mine forks really had to be stiffened up a bit.
I just wonder how other riders got the experience and the feel for suspension.
Every time now i see a bike i try to get my hands on it and push the suspension up and down. Not that it says much but i think it is a start.
Or do i have to state myself to others as being a suspension guru so they will give me their suspensions and i can open them up to have a look inside. ha ha ha
I don't expect a answer to this thread as there probably is none,...........
 

marcusgunby

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#2
I fall into the trap of thinking it can always be made better-in reality its a compromise and we trade plushness for bottoming control.There are ways to improve this(eg enzo fork cannisters) but you will always get to a point where little or no gains can be made.IMO the showa suspension has the most potential so if your not happy modify you bike to use showas-that will keep you busy:)
 
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#3
Luckily wrenching on my bike is a kind of a hobby to me, but like you said sometimes it is like falling into a trap. I remind something my father used to say: don't fix it if it ain't broke.
Well my suspension never broke but i fix it anyway. Not always for the good.
But Marcus can you explain why the showas are potentional the best you can have? Maybe that explains to me what i have to look for.
I hope yr answer won't reveal too much pro secrets!
 

marcusgunby

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#4
georgieboy-no secrets here, its well known all the factory forks are based on the showa twin chamber design,the twin chamber is almost like a shock in its operation, it has a spring loaded piston that places pressure on the damper-this means the fluid behind the midvalve doesnt cavititate(on fast fork movements) like on a kyb-so its super consistant in its damping.Also the spring gives the fork a secondary(or third with the air spring) spring effect.So you have the fork springs, the air spring and the ICS(inner chamber spring)all helping the damper control hard and soft hits.

I dont think i have explained it that well so if anyone wants to chime in please do-also im sure it has many more advantages i have forgot.
 
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#5
georgieboy, you said you did not know what the suspension should feel like until you had the revalve? did the revalve fix your problems or did you have some tuning to do with the suspension even after the revalve? the reason i ask is becasue i am in the same situation right now, i am not sure exactly how a good suspension should feel. i plan on getting the forks revalved during the winter, but another problem is i ride woods and motocross often in the same day, so i still would have some tuning to do even after the revalve. right now i think the forks on my 250f are too stiff but im not quite sure, my arms get tired trying to steer and move the bike around and in rocky terrain i seem to be all over the place bouncing around, when jumping i dont seem to have any problems when landing. i really wish there was somewhere i could learn what do do. i thought about getting my friends but none of them are the same weight and have the same riding style as me. what im going to have to do is just start playing around an to see what i can come up with. i also dont unserstand what is concidered compression and rebound so i dont know what to adjust.
 
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#6
I get to where I hate to come in here for fear of opening my mouth and removing all doubt that I"m a fool when it comes to suspension.

The biggest problem I have is listening to friends I think. A few weeks ago I was doing MX and mentioned to one of the guys there that my bike was kicking up in the back a lot. He softened my compression and cranked the reb so much that the back of the bike when pushed down was so slow I could eat a donut waiting for it to rebound. At any rate I rode it like that and thought it helped. Yesterday I was back at the same track and realized I wasn't happy with the settings. Luckily for me (I think) a pro SX rider was there and I asked for some help. He out weighs me by about 30lbs so all he could do was guess. He ended up turning the rebound off on the shock and setting the comp about midway. To my surprise it was pretty good except the back was a little "springy". I added 3 clicks of reb, softened up the comp on the forks and it seems pretty good. Only thing is I seem to catch a lot more air now. It makes it easy to clear jumps because of the height I get but I'll need to see how it "hooks up" in the rough sections. It does feel like it's a little more "all over the place" on the track but in the same sense more controlable. He seemed to think I may need a shock rebuild???

The suspension was done for a 150lbs rider, my weight, by FC just before I got it. It seems to feel more like it did when I 1st got it and maybe I've just ridden it so long not being set up right that I'm just not used to how it really is supposed to feel. I guess that's the hardest part of being a spode.
 
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#7
Oke let me try to explain why i think my suspension work helped me.
When I bought this bike i was so happy with my first ever real enduro bike i did not care about anything then that i had finally an one year old 2stroke that was of nowadays standards. My baby was called Husk WR250 from 1998.
With marzocchies conventional 50mm upfront and a boge sachs shock.
This for the details.
After a few years, getting used to the power(i came of a XR250 from 1988), and discovering this forum, I started to think about suspension as i already worked myself tru the engine(grin, numerous times). I then realised that my weight of 62kgs normally wld ask for revalving and softer springs etc.
It was since last year that i really had the feeling i needed to do something about the suspension after i entered my first enduro. The other guys were so much faster over the rough stuff i was blaiming myself at first for being a chicken. The guys looked so smooth over the ruts that it opened my eyes and directed me to my suspension. With my eyes opened i glared to my competitor bikes and asked anybody to let me push and try their suspension. It was then that i realised that my shoch was waaayyyyy off. The rebound was tooooo slow, compared to their bikes, so the first i did was back off the rebound. Well, finally the reb clickers were full open, and still the rebound was too slow. So, now i had a reason to open the shock and see what i cld do about it. With doing all the reading on this forum i removed low speed shims and created a better rebound. At the same time, considering all the info, i went also softer on the compression stack to get more reaktion out of the comp right away.
Putting everything back together i pumped the reservoir to 160psi.
I had to open the shock another few times to arrange the stack a little but now i am happy for the moment, and it is so must more lively. Unbelievable.
Same shock day and night.
At the same time when looking to the shock i found my forks to fast on the rebound. So the other way around. Also when i filled up the bike it wld sack 60mm, that i thought was too much. I found the bike very mushy tru the singletracks and thought if i stiffened her up in the front the steering wld become more direct. I was riding competition mtb with rigid forks tru the woods at that time and that always gave me a precise steering feeling although the bumps wld kill you in the end.
So i made a few spacers for the fork spring and rearranged shimstacks.
There are more topics concerning what i did to the cartridge etc.
So now i have the feeling i customised my suspension a bit to my satisfaction but still keeps me thinking if it can be improved still.
But like Marcus said, maybe it is just a search for the wholy grail. U maybe never find it.
 

marcusgunby

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#8
Lonewolf the 250f has a reasonable shock but all the YZ forks need revalving IMO.They have a very old fashioned shim stack.
 
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#9
the problem i have is i dont know how to dial it all in so it will work for me. i was hoping to get the revalve and maybe it would work better for me. like i mentioned before, i have problems on rocky ground and roots, i seem to be all over the place and i cant mantain a fast speed. i also have been thinking about a steering stabilizer but i want the suspension tuned in first before i spend the money on the stabilizer. this really frustrates me, i never even adjusted anything on the suspension.
 

marcusgunby

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#10
its unlikely you ever dial in the std forks-no adjustments will make up for a badly valved fork-save up and get it dialed in.
 
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#11
Although, after the revalve you still don't know how to dial in yr suspension, sorry lonewolf(just kidding)
I suggest that you first learn what the clickers can do for you, in what area they do their work, not that they will make your suspension work(probably the revalve is what you need) but at least you know something more about yr suspension.
I must admit that feeling the difference in compression when turning clickers on my fork is hard to feel. Form wide open to fully closed i can feel more comp but it is not at all like the rebound. On the rebound i really can feel the difference between full open and full closed.
So, Lonewolf, go for extremes. Turn yr clickers completely closed and push on the seat and steer. And full open and feel the difference. For the rebound and compression. Come back and try to explain yr feeling. With full open my back is very lively, with everything closed it is hard as a rock.
Till later.
 
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#13
thank you all for offering to help. i got some info from mx-tech site on tuning so im going to play around and see what happens. i was hoping to go out today and ride but i have my wheels of the bike, im waiting for my new tires that were supposed to be here today. i am going to get a revalve there are som small shops in my area that do suspensions and im going to check them out, if in comes sown to it ill take forks to pro-action since the main headquarters are fairly cose to where i live.
 

kevin5758

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#14
The first question was a good one. "When do I really know what good suspension is like?"

After riding and tuning for several years, that question has crossed my mind several times. Here's a typical scenero. You try something new, and compared to the previous settings you may think it's great. The next time you ride at the same track, it doesn't feel as good. (that happens all the time) Then you ride a buddies and it feels different and good in other areas. (probably bad in yet another area) So, as someone stated, it's all a trade off. I think you will know when it's good when you can ride hard and aggressive and the bike doesn't kick, swap, bounce or do anything it's not supposed to. It should also feel plush, judging by whatever standards you use to determine plushness.

For plushness I go for this feel when riding: It should feel firm initially, where I can feel it absorbing bumps upon first contact. (not stiff at this point) Then, no matter what size bump you hit, it should absorb it and feel like it could have taken a bit more. When you get kicking, swapping, harshness, compression spikes etc is when you know it probably NOT right.

Here is an area where you can read read about changes others have made to their valving. You may find it informative.

http://www.shimprogram.com/major_disclaimer.htm
 
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#15
the kicking, swappinng, harshness, etc...that all me. im going out today to play around with the settings. i would like to get a revalve but now im concidering buying a new crf250 during the winter, so i dont know if i want to pay the money to get the suspension done if i going to get rid of the bike.