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I remember an old rule of thumb when setting up motorcycle suspension: push down on the center of the bike and make sure both front and rear shocks rebound at the same rate. - Does this apply to our FS bikes as well?

I tried this with my FS mtn bike by lifting it off the ground (about a foot) and dropping it on the garage floor. The front fork seems to absorb the whole impact without a single bounce. The rear however, will bounce off the ground like 3 times before settling down again. I also see this when Im out on the trail: I take a jump and the fork just absorbs most of it, but the rear end wants to come up and tilt my weight forward, almost throwing me over the bars.

So my question is, do I increase the rebound on the fork? Or do I lower (slow down) the rebound on the shock?

07 Fisher hiFi
120mm Reba. Rebound set about half way out
FOX float RP3 (push). Rebound set about half way as well

Thanks
 

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Keep in mind the tires can cause some bouncing when you drop the bike to check the damper rebound, but it sounds like your shock may be rebounding way too fast.
Slow down the shock until it doesn't kick back (or bounce when dropped), then see just how slow the fork is rebounding - too slow and it can pack down, feel harsh and skid in choppy corners.

Generally it's better if the rear shock rebounds a bit slower than the fork, which should reduce the "endo" factor you're getting.
 

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You need to bounce on the bike in a riding position and see if both ends feel the same. Even better is to setup an obstacle and keep riding over it and tweaking until it feels right.

Dropping an unloaded bike shows nothing.

Your riding problems could be more compression and spring rate related than rebound. You need to go through a setup starting with all damping wound right open, sort the spring rates out and go from there. There's a guide on Dougal.co.nz
 

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dropping an uploaded bike won't even overcome the preload on the rear suspension. The bounce is just the tires and doesn't indicate anything about the shock setup IMHO.
Because the front carries less weight than the rear suspension the fork may compress slightly on a drop test but it still doesn't show anything important.
You need to ride the bike and hit some dips and bumps to start fine tuning the rebound. I would start with both a few clicks in from full open and adjust from there.
 

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Gangreen
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ride off a curb slowly while seated. Increase rebound damping until it stops pogo'ing. Start with the rebound full open (no damping) and dial in a click each time - you'll find the threshold where it stops bouncing.
 
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