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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello, I just got my first full suspension mt bike. I have been riding hardtails for 15 years and wanted to finally try a full suspension to hopefully get a more comfortable ride. The bike gets 4 inches of travel. I filled the rear shock to the recommended air pressure for my weight and took it out for a test. I first rode off some curbs and it "gushed" nicely a big difference from the "thud" of my hardtail. I then took it out on some trails. I rode some rocky, bumpy singletrack and some washboard sections of gravel road and did not notice a difference from my hardtail. I'm wondering if full suspension is really worth it? If I'm not getting an improved ride over my hardtail could that mean that I have too much air in the shock? I plan on experimenting with different amounts of air pressure in the rear shock when I get more time.

-So what kind of diffference should I expect with a full suspenson?

-Is full suspension only noticibly different on big drops and when going very fast?

-Should I notice a difference on a washboard section of a road?

-Will full suspension benefit me when riding about 5mph through bumpy technical singletrack?

-What is the theory with bikes that have 6+ inches of travel? More travel = softer ride? or does more travel only benefit riders doing bigger drops?

Thanks for any info or advice you can provide. Its much appreciated.
 

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Freshly Fujified
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Welcome to the forums

It sounds like from the way you've described things that you need to do some work on dialling in the rear shock. You should notice a difference in the washboard sections and other small bump type terrain once you get the shock set up properly. I would start by decreasing the air pressure a little bit. It will take some time to get the balance between minimizing pedal bob ane getting the shock to engage on the smaller bumps.

As for the travel question, in general terms, the more aggressive the riding style and terrain, the potential for the need for more travel. It's often a matter of rider preference, but there is also a reason that bikes marketed for XC riding typically have 3-4 inches of travel, AM bikes 4-6 inches, Freeride/DH bikes 6-8 inches, etc. Again, these are generalizations, but they typically hold true.

I hope this helps.

Bob
 

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MTB Monkey
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Your shock probably has a rebound adjustment on it as well. Coming from a hardtail, you are likely to set this too high (too much damping) initially. Try running about 25% sag in the shock and start with the rebound minimized. Try jumping off some curbs and increase the rebound until the bike is not bouncing you around.

What bike did you get, and what type of rear shock is on there? I am sure people here will have some specific suggestions for you.
 

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montanabiker said:
Hello, I just got my first full suspension mt bike. I have been riding hardtails for 15 years and wanted to finally try a full suspension to hopefully get a more comfortable ride. The bike gets 4 inches of travel. I filled the rear shock to the recommended air pressure for my weight and took it out for a test. I first rode off some curbs and it "gushed" nicely a big difference from the "thud" of my hardtail. I then took it out on some trails. I rode some rocky, bumpy singletrack and some washboard sections of gravel road and did not notice a difference from my hardtail. I'm wondering if full suspension is really worth it? If I'm not getting an improved ride over my hardtail could that mean that I have too much air in the shock? I plan on experimenting with different amounts of air pressure in the rear shock when I get more time.

-So what kind of diffference should I expect with a full suspenson?

-Is full suspension only noticibly different on big drops and when going very fast?

-Should I notice a difference on a washboard section of a road?

-Will full suspension benefit me when riding about 5mph through bumpy technical singletrack?

-What is the theory with bikes that have 6+ inches of travel? More travel = softer ride? or does more travel only benefit riders doing bigger drops?

Thanks for any info or advice you can provide. Its much appreciated.
I'm sure people could be more helpful if you mentioned what bike and what shock it has on it. You can't just pump some air into it and expect it to function as it should. Firstly the pressure needs to be set to allow the correct sag. Most modern shocks have some kind of compression platform which is set-able to taste, so the shock will only function at a predetermined threshold. That may be why your shock does not absorb washboard bumps.

As to what you can expect, in rough sections you can remain seated where you would have to stand on your hardtail. The bike does a lot of the work and you can pedal more efficiently. It has been shown in practical trials that the same riders are faster with full suspension than on a hard tail. I'm not talking about manicured race courses.

I ride a long travel trail bike and sometimes when I feel I'm getting into trouble, I just hang on and in most cases the bike will ride over things that would throw me off on a hardtail.

Ronnie.
 

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To much rebound damping on that washboard stuff allows to shock to ramp up and feel rigid.
Remember to record your settings once you get your shock set-up the way you want it.
I to stuck with a HT for 13yrs before going f/s and won't go back.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
It is a Jeep Rubicon Classic AWD. Its the christini awd bike except with some cheaper parts and the jeep name on it. I love the awd, works well!! Rode some deep snow yesterday. I know people will bash this and the whole awd system, but don't bash it until you try it, its a revolution in mtn biking. The parts are actually not that bad xt drive train, hayes hyraulic disc brakes. Better components than my rockhopper anyway but I got it at a good price so if upgrades are needed than thats fine. The rear shock is a dnm with adjustable rebound and lockout and the fork is a dnmtoo, and I think its got springs and I just have that cranked as loose as it will go. .

 

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Five is right out
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-So what kind of diffference should I expect with a full suspenson?

-Is full suspension only noticibly different on big drops and when going very fast?

-Should I notice a difference on a washboard section of a road?

-Will full suspension benefit me when riding about 5mph through bumpy technical singletrack?


I just moved from a hardtail to a full susser. The difference is incredible. I can handle much more challenging terrain on the new bike, both at fast and slow speeds.

When moving fast, I can pretty much point the bike at most obstacles, and it'll roll over them. When moving slowly, I can handle long rocky downhill sections (like extra-large stairs) without being bounced off the bike. Washboard-type terrain gets soaked up by the rear too.

So yes, you should notice improvements at whatever speed. The only disadvantages I notice with the full suspension is hammering out of the saddle (where the suspension bobs) and carrying the bike uphill on my shoulder- full suss frames really suck for shoulder carrying.


-What is the theory with bikes that have 6+ inches of travel? More travel = softer ride? or does more travel only benefit riders doing bigger drops?

"Drops" is probably a bit misleading of a misleading term. Longer travel generally suits more rugged terrain and tend to have relaxed geometries that lend themselves to going downhill. There's an mountain nearby which really suits long travel bikes, but it has almost no "drops" as such. Just very steep, rocky downhills.

Lastly, when it comes to shock pressures, I have found that the manufacturer recommendations are way off. To get the desired travel and sag on my Rockshox front and Fox rear, I'm running 60-80% of what the manuals recommend. So my advice would be to experiment with your pressure settings and ignore the manuals.
 
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