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Five basic adjustments of the suspension of your bicycle that you can do at home

Five basic adjustments of the suspension of your bicycle that you can do at home

There are few Bikers What are you practising Mountain Bike usually and do not pay attention to the adjustments or maintenance of the suspension system of their bicycle. It is a serious mistake, which is unforgivable if it is due to neglect, since with dedicating a few minutes a week or every fifteen days to this aspect, it is possible to extract the full potential of the suspensions, make the bicycle work better and increase thus The performance. In this article we will focus on explaining five basic and maintenance adjustments of your suspensions, both of the fork and the shock absorber (if you have a double suspension MTB). Remember that, in addition to these adjustments, it is advisable to perform deep maintenance and cleaning of the suspensions every year, either on your own if you have the tools and knowledge for it or perform it in a specialized workshop. This period is shortened in the case of long -distance suspensions (enduro and descent), which will be six months.

The SAG or prehundimiento

Suspension fork of a mountain bike Adjusting the SAG or prehundimiento of any suspension is practically mandatory, if you want it to work with guarantees. It is the percentage of the damping bar that is introduced into the bottle (which is the thickest lower bar in the case of the fork, or the air sleeve in the case of the shock absorber) when climbing on the bicycle. Adjusting the suspension to have more or less SAG will determine the behavior of it when rolling. Greater SAG or prehundimiento implies a softer and more absorbing suspension and less hard and more rigid SAG.

Steps to adjust the SAG of your suspension

The adjustments must be made based on your weight, suspension route (or career, in the case of shock absorber) and modality practiced. Each brand and suspension model has its recommended SAG tables and air pressures, very practical as a starting point to make the adjustment. Although you can customize these measures depending on the type of route of the route or your driving style. An example is the tables with the SAG percentages and Fox pressures.

Step 1: Tools to adjust the SAG

To adjust the SAG of your suspensions you will only need a specific suspension pump (it is not worth one to inflate the wheels) and a tape measure. The latter is not necessary whether the tour or damping bar comes with painted SAG guides (common already in mid -range suspensions). If the suspension does not have a rubber tied to the bar, you must tie a flange, without tightening it very strong, to guide you.

Step 2: Open compression dials

Leaves compression dials to the fullest (generally blue) and of the suspension (red).

Step 3: Get on top

Dress with your usual equipment, including shoes, helmet and hydration backpack if you usually wear it. This will allow you to determine the correct SAG based on your real weight during the route or training. Get on the bike static, leaning on a wall or helping you from another person, who will hold the bicycle for the handlebar.

Step 4: Check how much the suspension has sunk

Once up and sitting on the bicycle, the suspension will be partially sink due to the extra weight of your body. It is time to get off of her and examine how much she has sunk. For this, a tape tape can be useful.

Step 5: Calculate the percentage of SAG

The SAG of the suspension will be the distance between the top or retainer of the damping bar and the rubber or guide. If you have an XC fork of 100 mm of travel and the bar has sunk 15 mm, its SAG will be 15%. In the case of the shock absorber, the length of the race (length of the damping bar) will have to be attended. For example, in a shock absorber Cross country With a 52 mm race, if 10 mm sinks the SAG will be 19%. The formula is simple: divide the distance that has sunk the bar between the total suspension route and multiply it by one hundred.

Step 6: Adjust the SAG to your liking

If you want more or less SAG, depending on the recommendations of the manufacturer or your own tastes, you must introduce the suspension pump in the valve of each suspension and inflate or eliminate the pressure. Once adjusted, get on the bike again to check the adjustment.

Step 7: Repeat this process once a month

Remember to point in a note the percentage of SAG or the pressures of each of your suspensions to remember them for the periodic adjustments. As a general rule, it is recommended to review the SAG and the pressure every month.

Suspension compression

Rebume dial of the suspension fork of a mountain bike A good part of the forks and buffer for mountain bicycles have compression adjustment dials, which turning them in one direction or another increase or decrease the hardness of the same, based on a certain air pressure. For example, Fox owns in its fork 32 for XC a blue dial installed in the upper part of the right bar with three positions: open (Open), medium (medium) and blocked (FIRM). Touring the dial towards one or another position we will obtain a softer suspension for obstacles or more irregular terrain (Open), harder or even completely blocked. This last position is ideal for completely plain and firm land, such as asphalt sections or site without potholes. Another option of compression adjustment dial is the remote block controls from the handlebar, from which the suspension can be opened or closed without the need for the handlebars to turn the dial. The design and operation of this dial is different depending on the brand or suspension model. Rockshox, the other great world manufacturer of suspensions together with Fox, has dial options per click of several positions (8 or 10) and also remote blocking. Also, in the most radical discipline models, such as enduro, this dial is divided into two, having one to adjust low -speed compression (behavior during pedaling) or at high speed (obstacles and jumps).

The rebound

Another basic adjustment of the suspension is of the rebound or return speed of the suspension route. Like compression, in the fork and descent bullfights and descent there is low -speed rebound, which regulates the pedaling behavior, and high speed, for obstacles and jumps. Likewise, the rebound has its own adjustment dial with a certain number of clicks, slower to faster. It is generally located at the bottom of the bottle in the case of the fork and at the top of the air sleeve in the rear shock absorber. In this way you can adjust the rebound speed to your liking.

Progressivity or tokens

It is also possible to make an adjustment of the progressivity of the suspension from home, although this maneuver is somewhat more complex than the previous ones. Progressive refers to the speed with which the suspension hardens, depending on the pressure of the air chamber. This progressivity can be modified by introducing or removing plastic pieces that depending on the brand or model have a thickness or another, called volume or tokens spacers. To more tokens, the greater the progressivity of the suspension and before it will harden. On the other hand, if the suspension takes advantage of the entire route and makes it stop, it is very soft and linear. It will then be necessary to introduce a spacer to gradually take advantage of the entire route. So you can avoid staying in a point of point absorption and compromise bicycle control. Add or remove tokens in the fork is a simple operation if you have a game of Allen -type keys and another Hyper glide of cassette. In this video of Core Bicycle they explain how it is done step by step: https://youtu.be/cpCEBsZKIms On the other hand, for the shock absorber it will be necessary to disassemble it almost completely to install the tokens, so we recommend taking it to a professional.

Dock suspension setting

The adjustments and modifications explained so far in this article refer to air suspensions, the most extended currently in mountain bicycles. But there are also assemblies with spring suspensions, especially the rear shock absorbers of enduro bicycles and descent. Both are equally valid, although their behavior, maintenance and adjustments are different. In the case of the dock it is also possible to adjust the SAG both, through a nut with which we will compress more or less the dock, such as compression or rebound. The spring suspension also has dials such as air, which control the oil inlet and output of a hydraulic cartridge, thus calibrating the speed and hardness of damping. In this video Fox graphically explains how this system works through its famous x2 shock absorber: https://youtu.be/oiANiwCzqZE In addition, spring shock absorber, although it does not have the almost millimeter adjustment of the air, is nevertheless easier to maintain and does not present the problems of variation in air pressure due to weather conditions. That is why it is an alternative to assess whether you want efficient damping to practice trail or enduro and do not want to pass every year through the most cumbersome and faces ready of the air suspension.
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