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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Not sure if this is the right place but if not point me in the right direction.

I have a section of steep, technical, windy, rocky and rutted single track that I ride frequently. On my old bike, I was just not in great shape and my boat anchor coil sprung sun tour fork was pretty much useless for adjustments so it didnt really matter if I locked it out or I didnt. Now I have a new bike with a Rockshox Judy Silver, and its MUCH better than the previous fork, and when riding this technical section, I am not sure if I should lock the fork out to get more power down or if I should leave it open so it can absorb the ruts and bumps. Ideas? I have tried both ways and neither jumps out to me to be better...I am still getting my endurance up to climb this hellish section of trail, so I will take any bit of help I can get.
 

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high pivot witchcraft
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I never screw with the lock out settings on my fork. Never. But especially not in technical climbing.

Maybe I'm in a minority on this, but I have little use for a lock out on a fork. In fact, I don't have one at all on my go-to FS trail bike, now that I think of it...
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I never screw with the lock out settings on my fork. Never. But especially not in technical climbing.

Maybe I'm in a minority on this, but I have little use for a lock out on a fork. In fact, I don't have one at all on my go-to FS trail bike, now that I think of it...
Interesting...on my previous bike it didnt do much...but on this bike, with the shock adjusted properly for my weight, if I stand and pedal the fork dives and absorbs some of the power, so I use the lockout in this situations, and of course on downhill sections its open. I have seen people on the trail standing and pedaling and the front end pogoing and maybe it doesnt matter to them, but to me its a HUGE difference in pedaling power transfer to the ground...When seated, its much less noticeable...but I would bet there is SOME power loss...maybe not alot and maybe not enough for some riders to reach down and lock out the fork, but on this fork, it makes a pretty big difference in some situations...Im just wondering what the consensus is in slow, seated, bumpy and technical climbs.
 

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high pivot witchcraft
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Interesting...on my previous bike it didnt do much...but on this bike, with the shock adjusted properly for my weight, if I stand and pedal the fork dives and absorbs some of the power, so I use the lockout in this situations, and of course on downhill sections its open. I have seen people on the trail standing and pedaling and the front end pogoing and maybe it doesnt matter to them, but to me its a HUGE difference in pedaling power transfer to the ground...When seated, its much less noticeable...but I would bet there is SOME power loss...maybe not alot and maybe not enough for some riders to reach down and lock out the fork, but on this fork, it makes a pretty big difference in some situations...Im just wondering what the consensus is in slow, seated, bumpy and technical climbs.
I am generally a seated, quiet climber. I stand when I have to. I still wouldn't think of ever locking my fork out in anything technical - seated or standing. Probably crap teck-neek on my part. Take it with a grain of salt. That said, nobody I know locks their fork out on technical climbs.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Cool...thanks for that info. My initial though was dont lock it on that climb...but just wanted to throw it out there because I am still learning.
 

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high pivot witchcraft
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Cool...thanks for that info. My initial though was dont lock it on that climb...but just wanted to throw it out there because I am still learning.
So am I brother. After 20+ years. Get used to it.

I may very well be wrong in my response to your question. I would wait for others to chime in as well...

PS - I have owned 2 Scotts with the bar mounted thingamajig, which I rarely used, apart from buff fire roads and pavement (and even then I didn't bother fiddling with it much). So maybe I am just a set it and forget it kinda guy.
 

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Elitest thrill junkie
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Useful? Sure, during longer XC races for me. If it's a shorter XC race or one with some real steep descents, I'll go with my bigger-stanchion one that doesn't have a lockout, but specially for stuff that has flat road segments, it's useful in the XC race.

Would I use one in a non-race setting? Nope. No point. No one really rides that hard day-to-day where the fork bob matters.
 
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I never lock my fork either. I have a grip damper. Sometime I'll firm it up a bit if I'm on a fire road but that's it. In fact I also rarely lock my shock. My bike is a good climber and most of the time, I prefer having good traction. I rarely stand up for technical climbing except for steep and punchy moves, so more for body positioning than power. So having my fork diving a bit at those moment don't do any damage...
 
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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
The more I read responses, and the more I think out loud.I got my answer...lol. Dont lock it on technical climbs, let the fork work and do its job of keeping the front wheel planted. I also see that maybe its a having better weight transfer technique as well to maximize efficiency...so more practice.
 

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Cycologist
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I don't lock my fork out on my full suspension, nor the shock. I also ride rigid and find technical climbing to be more of a challenge with the fork not giving any when the tire hits an obstacle.
 

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I'm in the same boat having gone from a crappy suntour coil fork to a FS with Rockshox pike dual air. Techy uphill was/is challenging for me. At first I didn't lock out the Pike at all, just everything wide open all the time. Then I discovered my sag was not set right, so I wasn't using very much of my available travel. Fixing that made a huge difference! Having the suspension absorb the chatter improved my uphills a lot. (lower tire pressure would probably also help).

After the sag was set right, I figured out how to set the rebound where I like it. That also improved uphill tech. Still, I wasn't locking anything out. Then I started doing uphills measured in miles, not feet. Locking out the compression, and going to the shorter travel setting on the dual air, makes a very noticeable difference. The energy saved over miles of uphill really does add up. The caveat is that even locked out, my suspension is doing quite a bit of work.

So now, I suppose my answer would be yes, locking out for techy uphill does help. But, if the uphills are super short than it might not be worth the effort to switch back and forth all day.
 
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Elitest thrill junkie
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Really, most lockouts are meant only for smooth surfaces. Some bikes have "trail" modes that increase compression damping for less movement on the climb, but generally the rougher the climb is, the less you can use this kind of stuff, because you need traction to keep moving forward. Locked out shocks don't give traction.
 

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Me never. On a road transiion or long fire road climb I will add some low speed compression, but never lockout. Locking out raises the front ride height which is not desirable on steep climbs.
 

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I never use my lock out unless I’m on the road or a fire road on a long climb.
 

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I only firm up my fork when standing pedalling or sprinting on the road or a steep fireroad. This doesn't happen often and when it does it doesn't last long anyway.

Seated climbing the fork works for you in two ways, it allows the wheel to ride over obstacles helping you keep moving, and by settling into sag it lowers the front end of your bike giving you a more efficient climbing position. Techy climbs you definitely want the fork open.
 

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I dont find much benefit using front lockout. Rear feels like it helps though on long climbs.

In saying that, I forgot to open up my 170mm of rear the other day on a rocky black downhill after trying the lockout on the climb, didnt notice until cleaning my bike. I figured the trail had just gone to **** due to dry weather. So maybe you can just ignore my response since I dont notice much at all apparently…
 

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I never lock out the fork or shock, never even thought about it really.

Sent from my moto g(7) supra using Tapatalk
 

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Elitest thrill junkie
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And to add some context, in the races where I’m locking out (on smooth long climbs), it’s so I can pedal like a madman and not lose any efficiency to motion. When you sprint, not just pedal out of the saddle, but sprint beyond what feels comfortable, that front end moves all around.
 
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