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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm running a Romic on an Intense Tracer. Not real happy with the plushness factor. I origianlly had a 550# spring that took 3 turns(max) preload to set the correct sag. I have gone to the 600# sping which only requires a small amout of preload to set the sag. However, the shock still feels harsh. I've adjusted the compression dial to full soft and the rebound has been adjusted up and down.

By increasing the sag will that increase the plushness of the shock?

I've heard people say a stiffer spring with no/slight preload is softer than a softer spring with alot of preload can someone explain how that works?

Also does anyone know where I can get a ti spring in the 600x 1.5 size?

Thanks
 

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Phantomtracer said:
I've heard people say a stiffer spring with no/slight preload is softer than a softer spring with alot of preload can someone explain how that works?

Thanks
Not true. The spring rate and the sag are only slightly related. A lower spring rate will be plusher than a higher spring rate, regardless of sag.

A 550# spring will be plusher than a 600# spring. You may have too much sag with the softer spring, which will use up some of your travel, but the lower spring rate (550) wll be plusher than the higher one (600).

If you can achieve the correct sag with both springs....you have a choice. A softer ride with the 550 or a firmer ride with the 600....period.
 

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Yes, and ...

Blue Shorts said:
Not true. The spring rate and the sag are only slightly related. A lower spring rate will be plusher than a higher spring rate, regardless of sag.

A 550# spring will be plusher than a 600# spring. You may have too much sag with the softer spring, which will use up some of your travel, but the lower spring rate (550) wll be plusher than the higher one (600).

If you can achieve the correct sag with both springs....you have a choice. A softer ride with the 550 or a firmer ride with the 600....period.
On my Tracer, I've noticed that less sag feels much more smooth than deep sag using the same spring. That's probably due to the greater rising rate shock linkage geometry higher in travel than deeper in travel. I like using a softer spring with some preload for setting about 20 - 25% sag. I've found the Romic isn't smooth enough or has too much compression damping to bring out the best ride qualities of the Tracer compared to a Vanilla-R (without Propedal).

- ray
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
derby said:
On my Tracer, I've noticed that less sag feels much more smooth than deep sag using the same spring. That's probably due to the greater rising rate shock linkage geometry higher in travel than deeper in travel. I like using a softer spring with some preload for setting about 20 - 25% sag. I've found the Romic isn't smooth enough or has too much compression damping to bring out the best ride qualities of the Tracer compared to a Vanilla-R (without Propedal).

- ray
Derby,
I didn't know the linkage had a rising rate designed into it. Do you have specifics about its progression throughout the travel(range)?

I'm kind off disapointed in the Romic for the lack of plushness. I'm gonna play around with the shock alittle more and then decide on sending it back for a revalve(maybe they can take out the reactor valve or see if Darren from Push can help me. Also trying to get the suspension to work with the front. I currently have a 2001 Psylo, but its getting tired. I think you mentioned a Vanilla R in another post today. Is that what you have? I was thinking of the same upgrade. Any thoughts on Tracer suspension tuning tips you can throw my way are appreciated.

Thanks,
Phil
 

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What do you weigh?? I run a Romic w Ti spring, weigh 185 and run a 600 lbs. spring and it is so much plusher than both the Swinger 3-way and Fox Float (I have not tried a Vanilla)Also, did you buy the Romic direct from them .... b/c tehy custom tune their shocks to match the specific bike. A Romic would be valvd differently for a Tracer as opposed to an Ellsworth Truth.....
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
[]D[][]v[][]D said:
What do you weigh?? I run a Romic w Ti spring, weigh 185 and run a 600 lbs. spring and it is so much plusher than both the Swinger 3-way and Fox Float (I have not tried a Vanilla)Also, did you buy the Romic direct from them .... b/c tehy custom tune their shocks to match the specific bike. A Romic would be valvd differently for a Tracer as opposed to an Ellsworth Truth.....
I did purchase it directly from Romic. I weigh 165 plus riding gear. Romic originally sent a 550 lb spring, but it took all 3 turns to get the correct sag. It felt harsh and I heard it would ride plusher with a 600 lb spring, because the preload would be less. Not sure if they set it up correctly, when I ordered it they said it would take 2 weeks then they called back that day and said they found one in stock. I did send it back after a few weeks becuase I installed it wrong and broke the compression knob off. Thats when they swapped springs and supposidly revavled it for a softer ride, but I suspect they didn't revalve it as the work order had no mention of that.
 

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Phantomtracer said:
Derby,
I didn't know the linkage had a rising rate designed into it. Do you have specifics about its progression throughout the travel(range)?

I'm kind off disapointed in the Romic for the lack of plushness. I'm gonna play around with the shock alittle more and then decide on sending it back for a revalve(maybe they can take out the reactor valve or see if Darren from Push can help me. Also trying to get the suspension to work with the front. I currently have a 2001 Psylo, but its getting tired. I think you mentioned a Vanilla R in another post today. Is that what you have? I was thinking of the same upgrade. Any thoughts on Tracer suspension tuning tips you can throw my way are appreciated.

Thanks,
Phil
I talked with Jeff Seiber of Intense (he designed the Tracer) about the linkage one time a couple years ago. He mentioned that at the top end of travel it is quite rising rate, but digresses in ramp-up rate into a little falling rate just before bottom out. I found with an air shock it felt smoother and more plush riding with higher pressure and less sag than lower pressure and lots of sag. I noticed that raising the sag with a coil using more preload also softened the small bump feel of the ride. When Jeff rode a Tracer before the VPP days he used a Vanilla-R with ti spring to keep the weight down, and ti springs are typically a little more rising rate that the similar steel springs made for a given shock length).

Rising rate suspension geometry on shorter travel XC bikes produces a smoother small bump feel without bottoming as easily as a more liniear rate suspension geometry. And nearly all, if not all, mountain bike suspensions have a digressive rate of suspension geometry (from rising towards linear or further into falling rate, the suspensions geometry's that are more tuned for naturally rising rate air spring suspension often digress deeper into falling rate. Falling rate geometry near top out produces a platform effect, even with non-platform damped shocks. Platform rate suspension from geometry or damping reduces small bump compliance but increases middle and deep travel bump compliance when tuned for a given suspension travel range.

Some other things I've noticed on the Tracer: (Using the lower 4 inch travel upper link shock mount setting) the shorter wheel base (16.5 inch) reduces travel to 3.75 inches and the frame seat and head/fork angles are the same as a RacerX, but the BB is about 3/4 inch higher with the same tires . The long wheelbase (17 inch), making no other changes, feels softer (probably more leverage on the shock), lowers the BB height ¼ inch, and the higher speed handling and the fork's bump compliance is much improved (I like this in very rocky desert conditions, but use the short wheelbase setting where there is much climbing).

Try to borrow an old Vanilla-R (without Propedal damping) using the same spring weight you use on your Romic. The Tracer suspension is as good as it gets for 4 inch travel and doesn't really benefit from platform damping like lower quality suspension designs do for XC trail use handling. I hope to soon send my old Vanilla-R to Push Industries for a quality rebuild but with no change in slow speed compression damping rate.

- ray
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
derby said:
I talked with Jeff Seiber of Intense (he designed the Tracer) about the linkage one time a couple years ago. He mentioned that at the top end of travel it is quite rising rate, but digresses in ramp-up rate into a little falling rate just before bottom out. I found with an air shock it felt smoother and more plush riding with higher pressure and less sag than lower pressure and lots of sag. I noticed that raising the sag with a coil using more preload also softened the small bump feel of the ride. When Jeff rode a Tracer before the VPP days he used a Vanilla-R with ti spring to keep the weight down, and ti springs are typically a little more rising rate that the similar steel springs made for a given shock length).

Rising rate suspension geometry on shorter travel XC bikes produces a smoother small bump feel without bottoming as easily as a more liniear rate suspension geometry. And nearly all, if not all, mountain bike suspensions have a digressive rate of suspension geometry (from rising towards linear or further into falling rate, the suspensions geometry's that are more tuned for naturally rising rate air spring suspension often digress deeper into falling rate. Falling rate geometry near top out produces a platform effect, even with non-platform damped shocks. Platform rate suspension from geometry or damping reduces small bump compliance but increases middle and deep travel bump compliance when tuned for a given suspension travel range.

Some other things I've noticed on the Tracer: (Using the lower 4 inch travel upper link shock mount setting) the shorter wheel base (16.5 inch) reduces travel to 3.75 inches and the frame seat and head/fork angles are the same as a RacerX, but the BB is about 3/4 inch higher with the same tires . The long wheelbase (17 inch), making no other changes, feels softer (probably more leverage on the shock), lowers the BB height ¼ inch, and the higher speed handling and the fork's bump compliance is much improved (I like this in very rocky desert conditions, but use the short wheelbase setting where there is much climbing).

Try to borrow an old Vanilla-R (without Propedal damping) using the same spring weight you use on your Romic. The Tracer suspension is as good as it gets for 4 inch travel and doesn't really benefit from platform damping like lower quality suspension designs do for XC trail use handling. I hope to soon send my old Vanilla-R to Push Industries for a quality rebuild but with no change in slow speed compression damping rate.

- ray
Thanks for the great reply!
I'll let you know what happens.
 

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Preload does affect a spring rate.

As it compresses the end coils close up, reducing the number of free coils which increases the rate a little.
It's subtle but the difference is there and can be felt by some.
 

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Dougal said:
Preload does affect a spring rate.

As it compresses the end coils close up, reducing the number of free coils which increases the rate a little.
It's subtle but the difference is there and can be felt by some.
I'd wager that you cannot tell if the spring rate increases just by feel....unless, that is, you are the Princess from The Princess and the Pea.

I'm not denying that the rate increases very slightly....It very well may, but I do take you to task on whether you, or anyone else, can tell the difference just by feel.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Dougal from NZ

Dougal said:
Preload does affect a spring rate.

As it compresses the end coils close up, reducing the number of free coils which increases the rate a little.
It's subtle but the difference is there and can be felt by some.
Ha, Dougal you're from NZ, Where?
I took my honeymoon there for 3 weeks 2 years ago. Traveled the North and South Islands. Awesome Country!!!!!!
I rode cross country with a tour guide outside of Christchurch one day, and did a downhill run another time. I did check out the Rotarua trails but didn't ride them.
 

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"El Whatever"
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Compression Damping

Is your guilty one. SPV shock are designed to not compress that easily at low compression speeds. Check out some other threads and you'll hear about people who would like to turn the SPV completely off in order to get more plushness.

As someone said, get a fox Vanilla without Pro-Pedal and you'll see the difference. Another SPV shock will behave quite equal.

And yes, a stiffer spring with less preload will be plusher than a softer spring with more preload. We're talking about your case where there's a difference of 50-100 lbs.in... obviously a 400# spring will be softer than a 600# one.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Thanks!

Warp2003 said:
Is your guilty one. SPV shock are designed to not compress that easily at low compression speeds. Check out some other threads and you'll hear about people who would like to turn the SPV completely off in order to get more plushness.

As someone said, get a fox Vanilla without Pro-Pedal and you'll see the difference. Another SPV shock will behave quite equal.

And yes, a stiffer spring with less preload will be plusher than a softer spring with more preload. We're talking about your case where there's a difference of 50-100 lbs.in... obviously a 400# spring will be softer than a 600# one.
So basically: There is a slight ramp-up in spring tension even on a standard (non-progressive) spring. That would account for a slightly stiffer spring being softer if the spring is just starting to be preloaded.

I think you're right - the compression is the culprit and perhaps I can get Romic to render the reactor valve useless. I'd hate to buy a new shock, but then again Its cheaper than buying a new bike. The problem is I don't think Fox makes a non propedal coil shock do they?
 

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"El Whatever"
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Not Fox but....

Push Industries can tune almost any Fox to your like. They do have a SPV built in but I only had heard marvels out of the Pushed shocks.

Another option is to have it Romic to tune it to your like. I'm positive that if you complain about your problem and ask for revalving, Romic will do fine.
 

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Phantomtracer said:
So basically: There is a slight ramp-up in spring tension even on a standard (non-progressive) spring. That would account for a slightly stiffer spring being softer if the spring is just starting to be preloaded.

I think you're right - the compression is the culprit and perhaps I can get Romic to render the reactor valve useless. I'd hate to buy a new shock, but then again Its cheaper than buying a new bike. The problem is I don't think Fox makes a non propedal coil shock do they?
The Romic reactor valve (bob knob valve) isn't this problem. The overall compression on the Romic has initially slower compression and has a firmer compression-damping rate throughout travel speed than an old Fox Vanilla-R without Propedal. The Romic with the bob reactor valve set fully fast is much like a current Fox Propedal, but does not have quite as slow (firm) compression damping as Propedal. I asked Darren when he worked for Romic if they could reduce the main compression to old Vanilla free initial damping, but it was not possible then, more than two years ago, maybe it is possible now. But I doubt it because dialing up the bob reactor platform blowoff would be more noticeable and possibly more awkward to handling.

I'm curious if any shock company will come out soon with a variable platform, which is adjustable to zero initial compression. I think one Fox OEM shock for Specialized now has a 3 way setting, zero platform, propedal platform, and lockout. But it is not available aftermarket (yet). I want more range in adjustment and don't need a lockout.

I've gone back in forth on my Tracer between a 700# with 3 - 4 turns preload, and a 750# spring with no preload. The 700# spring with preload is definitely smoother riding and more plush, no question it is very obvious. I'm coil binding the 700# spring occasionally according to a Fox tech, which he said caused my spring's faceplate to break, and he said it could damage the frame (and which possibly accelerated my seat tube to crack - thanking Intense for a no questions speedy warrantee frame replacement). I want to see if Push Industries can revalve my old Vanilla-R to be able to use the 700# spring with preload again without coil binding (with more rising rate compression damping ideally with no platform effect, or using a bigger and more progressive bump stop?).

I think that preloading a spring causes the coils to wind up tighter, increasing initial compression resistance, but it reduces the rising rate of the coiled wire wind, producing a lower rate of increasing resistance during the travel range of compression below sag. And preloading a spring produces a higher sag level than no preload, and more so when the adjuster is on the swingarm side rather than frame side of the spring (fork preloading from the top or frame side typically doesn't change sag very much, only firms up the compression resistance). This reduces the spring's natural rising rate or increases any leveraged falling rate, and increases the commonly digressive rate of leveraged rear spring resistance to compression, producing a slightly greater platform effect. However, I can't tell that the preloaded lighter spring had any "platform effect", rather the firmer spring feels more spiking in ramp up on deeper compressing hits and needed a click or two slower rebound to avoid feeling more bouncy, reducing overall compliance to bumps especially at speed.

Too much preloading can produce a harsh topout if rebound damping or a negative spring isn't firm enough to handle the preloaded rebound tension, so massive preloading in forks can feel less smooth if rebound must be cranked overly firm to compensate. I suppose that could happen with rear shocks also if the spring is preloaded over a hundred pounds or so.

- ray
 

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"El Whatever"
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You might be looking for ...

the new RP3 or DFX (not sure about this last one designation) from Fox. The first is the aftermarket version of the Triad shoc on Specializeds. Three positions: Firm ProPedal, Low ProPedal and No ProPedal.

The another one is a coil shock which can be set to turn the SPV off.
 

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Blue Shorts said:
I'd wager that you cannot tell if the spring rate increases just by feel....unless, that is, you are the Princess from The Princess and the Pea.

I'm not denying that the rate increases very slightly....It very well may, but I do take you to task on whether you, or anyone else, can tell the difference just by feel.
The increase depends on the spring.
If you've got a spring where the end coils aren't completely closed, then you can end up with half a coil closing up on each end. If you've got 8 coils total then that's a rate increase of more than 10%.

But if your coil has closed up ends and lots of coils then you're not going to feel a thing.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Romic valving

Dougal said:
The increase depends on the spring.
If you've got a spring where the end coils aren't completely closed, then you can end up with half a coil closing up on each end. If you've got 8 coils total then that's a rate increase of more than 10%.

But if your coil has closed up ends and lots of coils then you're not going to feel a thing.
Thanks, for all the great advise.
I called Romic and they told me to send it in and they can revalve it. After this weekend I'll send it in and let you know how it feels.

Thanks,
Phil
 

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The Ancient One
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derby said:
The Romic with the bob reactor valve set fully fast is much like a current Fox Propedal, but does not have quite as slow (firm) compression damping as Propedal.

- ray
Since I own both I can say categorically that is not true. About 4 clicks on my Romic reduces bob about the same as the propedal. All the way open on my Romic leaves me with less compression damping than I would want in any circumstances and I never run it that way. About 2 clicks seems to give the best performance for pure downhill.

Lately I've been riding it at 2 clicks all the time unless I have a long stretch of pavement. I'm convinced that the small bobbing from pedaling at that setting wastes no energy and has no downside as far as recreational trail riding is concerned.
 
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