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I'm kind of a n00b to the world of full suspension bikes, and I was wondering how exactly a well set-up bike would ride. I've had my suspension set rockhard stiff, and super cushy, and I seem to lose an awful lot of pedaling energy when the shocks are soft.

I have an 05 BigHit with a Swinger 4-way coil rear w/SPV, and a Sherman Slider Plus SPV fork, it's about 7" in the front and 8" in the rear.

I know I probably should have searched, but I also hope that occasionally MTBR forum members will have a beer or 4 and forget that all important rule.

I know I sure would... :D
 

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What is more important to you, getting to the top of the climbs with the least effort or having ideal traction and bump absorption on the descents? Suspension setup involves compromises, so you have to make a decision.

I have my bike setup for the best bump absorption, because the whole reason I climb is for haulin' a$$ on the way down. Based on your bike choice, I'm guessing that you feel the same way. Try setting your sag to 25% of your total shock/fork stroke in the front & rear. Next, try a rebound setting that is fast enough to 'keep up' with your hands after you compress and quickly release pressure on the bars (and also try the same on the rear by compressing the pedal & seat). The front and rear should rebound together at the same rate.

Try a SPV pressure that is just a few psi less than zero bob. This should give you responsiveness over small bumps, but not feel like a sponge on the climbs. Try full counter-clockwise on your front & rear bottom-out adjusters, at first and then dial in clockwise if you are bottoming too often.

From there, if you want more cush, then try 30% sag and see how that feels.

Again, a lot of what I'm suggesting is based upon your riding style, terrain, and preferences, so results may vary but these may be some things to try.
 

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there is no real yes / no answer- but what feels best to you is usually best. Geenrally you will have to play with more than the air pressures and spring weights to get the bike feeling right. Set it so it's about corrrect for your weight or so that it utilizes most of the avaliable travel- I tend to like the harder side, as I used to ride an XC hardtail, and I even had my DH bikes setup pretty stiff..


Now- play with settings such as rebound and compression (SVP Pressure in your case). Rebound will be how hard the shock will kick back, and compression how hard a hit will move the shock initially. You want the rebound as fast as you can, without being all over the place. I set my rebound so it gives a little kick off the corners. Compression or SVP pressure in your case, should be set appropriatly- I have no idea on Manitou shocks, so I will leave this one to the experts.
 
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