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I just purchased my first FS bike and I really like it. I had been riding a HT for about 2 years. What a huge difference in ride and control. I really am still a beginner. Could you all give me a few suggestions as to what proper suspension should feel like? As far as set up goes, on sag and rebound etc. I have read the instructions for the Fox Float R and Manitou Mars Comp. I made some adjustments and the bike seems to ride okay. I just want to get the most out of my new bike and ride. I want it to feel plush and take the harshness out of the trail, yet pedal,climb and corner effectively. Any suggestions about how it should feel? I understand some of this is personal preference. I'm just looking for experienced riders hints and suggestions.

BTW I'm an xc weekend warrior 5'6" 130 lbs. My bike is Marin Rift Zone.

Thanks
 

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Old man on a bike
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A lot of it is personal preference as well as tuning for your regular terrain. Starting with the recommendations of the fork and shock manufacturers is usually a good starting point. You can start making small changes from that starting point to see how they affect the ride parameters you're seeking, it just takes a while and some patience (and memory or some note-taking, too).

Check around the let's talk shocks board for some ideas on experiences and setup options. If you're getting a good balance between climbing and descending attributes you're well on your way to a good xc setup; you can make specific tweaks for extended climbs or downhills once you've got an idea how your shock settings affect the ride qualities you're after.
 

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Linoleum Knife
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Grindmonkey7 said:
I understand some of this is personal preference. I'm just looking for experienced riders hints and suggestions.

Thanks
It's really all personal preference. Like Bikinfoolferlife said, go by the mfgr's recommendation for base setup and tweak it to your satisfaction. I sometimes take a shock pump out on the trail with me and fiddle with air pressures to see what makes a positive or negative difference.

Some basic hints - if you don't bottom out the shock a few times per ride, you've got it set too firm. If you bottom out all the time, or it rides like a pogo stick, you;ve got it too soft.

I use zip ties to measure how much travel I am getting on a ride.
 
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