Suspension tuning is not black and white. Most tuning issues are multi-dimensional and require an analytical approach to resolve. Always start with the basics and proceed from there.
Inspect/service all components for wear, dirty fluids, stiction, and binding.
Check spring pre-load settings and component installation according to our “suspension set-up” page.
Always refer to the factory settings as a baseline. It’s easy to feel changes made to the compression adjusters, but use caution when changing the rebound settings. It’s very easy to make the bike handle worse with incorrect rebound damping settings. Clicker settings should be made in 2 click increments/decrements and the high speed compression adjuster should be changed 1/4 – ½ turns at a time.
The compression damping is too stiff, soften the compression clickers. Spring rate change and/or internal damping adjustments may be required. Can also be caused by too much rebound damping creating “packing” that holds the fork down in a firmer part of the travel, but it is usually compression related.
Too much fork spring pre-load, stiff spring rate, too much compression damping, high oil level, or too little shock spring pre-load.
Not enough fork spring pre-load, soft spring rate, too little compression damping, low oil level, broken fork spring,or too much shock spring pre-load.
Soft spring rate, too little low speed compression damping, low oil level, worn internals, leaking seals
Back End Kicks to the Side/Poor Tracking
Usually caused by too much compression damping. Excessive high speed compression damping can cause the back end to kick to the side on square edged bumps, rocks, and roots. Compression issues usually need to be resolved internally. Too much rebound damping can cause the same problem by packing, which holds the shock down in a stiffer part of the travel.
Back End Kicks Straight Up
If the back end kicks straight up after a G-out, jump, or large compression, it is generally caused by too little rebound damping, but it can be caused by worn internals. Slow/stiffen the rebound adjuster 2 clicks at a time. NOTE: On most shocks, when you stiffen the rebound damping it also stiffens the compression damping at the same time.
Adjustments for Various Conditions
Hard Packed Terrain
Soften compression damping only
Soften compression damping several clicks and soften the rebound damping 2-4 clicks to make it more responsive.
Intermediate/ Medium Loam
2-4 clicks stiffer on the compression damping only.
Several clicks stiffer on the compression damping and 2-3 clicks stiffer on the rebound damping. The firmer compression damping will help keep the bike on top of the terrain and the increased rebound damping will add stability for the large whoops that develop on sand/deep loam tracks.