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I emailed Rocky about my '21 Altitude to get clarification on the ride9 settings, specifically about which settings are progressive and regressive, and which settings are for geometry. I noticed the commonly-linked 2018 guide showed the opposite of what youtubers (like Jeff Kendall Weed) were saying as well as what the '21 Altitude manual said. The response is interesting, and not what I expected:

There indeed seems to be a mistake in the 2018 guide. The best way I can explain Ride 9 is the following. Horizontal adjustments affect the geometry and vertical adjustments the suspension curve. Positions 1,2,4 are slack geometry, 3,5,7 neutral geometry and 6,8,9 steep geometry. Positions 4,7,8 are the most progressive, 1,5,9 are neutral and 2,3,6 are regressive suspension curves.

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Does the travel still decrease in the new models as it gets more progressive?
Yes/no. Look at the leverage rate graph I posted above. The design hasn't changed, and the base leverage curve shape hasn't changed much - R.M. Altitude 29'' 2021. For each vertical grouping (123, 456, 789) the travel is least and the leverage rate is most progressive in the lower setting (1,4,7) and in the highest setting (3, 6, 9) the suspension has the most travel and least progression (however compared to most bikes every setting except 8 and 9 would be considered high progression). So some positions have higher progression AND more travel than others. For example, position 5 has 100% of travel and 34% progression, while position 3 has 103% travel and 40% progression.

If you normalize the data from the graph above and apply it to the 160mm of travel in the current gen Altitude it looks like this:

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Yes/no. Look at the leverage rate graph I posted above. The design hasn't changed, and the base leverage curve shape hasn't changed much - R.M. Altitude 29'' 2021. For each vertical grouping (123, 456, 789) the travel is least and the leverage rate is most progressive in the lower setting (1,4,7) and in the highest setting (3, 6, 9) the suspension has the most travel and least progression (however compared to most bikes every setting except 8 and 9 would be considered high progression). So some positions have higher progression AND more travel than others. For example, position 5 has 100% of travel and 34% progression, while position 3 has 103% travel and 40% progression.

If you normalize the data from the graph above and apply it to the 160mm of travel in the current gen Altitude it looks like this:

View attachment 1981268
This is incredible. Thank you so much for this. I may try out position 2 and remove the stock volume spacer to try and get the rate closer to position 3. I liked the rate of position 3, but 2 is a touch more slack, albeit quite miniscule of a difference. Probably should just throw in an angleset. Thanks for this!
 

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This is incredible. Thank you so much for this. I may try out position 2 and remove the stock volume spacer to try and get the rate closer to position 3. I liked the rate of position 3, but 2 is a touch more slack, albeit quite miniscule of a difference. Probably should just throw in an angleset. Thanks for this!
Right on, glad it was helpful! Something to keep in mind about the geo adjustment - the static geometry gets progressively steeper as you go from 1 through 9, however the geometry at sag is a different story since the amount of travel and leverage rate is changing. For example, position 1 is the slackest position from a static perspective, however with the same spring rate position 2 is slacker at sag (I'm running a coil spring, with an air spring it's easier to correct for this to some extent).

Right now I'm running a -1 deg angleset and a -.5 deg offset bushing so I can have the travel/progression of position 5 with the geometry I prefer.
 

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Ah I didn't know there would be a difference in HA at sag! I'll definitely try out position 2. Is there data out there on how much removing a spacer would reduce the leverage rate? I found position 1 to be too progressive for my body weight so position 2 will just be too progressive I think. Position 3 seems ideal rate wise so far, just would prefer it to be slacker.
 

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Ah I didn't know there would be a difference in HA at sag! I'll definitely try out position 2. Is there data out there on how much removing a spacer would reduce the leverage rate? I found position 1 to be too progressive for my body weight so position 2 will just be too progressive I think. Position 3 seems ideal rate wise so far, just would prefer it to be slacker.
I find position 1 to feel more supportive off the top than position 2. I think it's well worth your time to try each of the settings to see how each feels, keeping your shock tune and spring rate constant. Then you can figure out which ones you like and optimize spring rate and tune, as well as geometry with things like offset bushings and anglesets etc. Personally I like 2, 4 and 5 the best.
 

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Just found this on a german forum. It's for the previous gen Altitude, but generally should be applicable to any of the current gen Ride 9 frames.

View attachment 1980075
You seem to understand this platform very well. I am on the 2021 Altitude with the DPX2 shock. I am 200 lb all kitted up.

I was on setting 2 and felt like I had no mid stroke support and plenty of pedal stroke. I am pretty sure the DPX2 could use a tune for my weight. I felt like I hit a wall of pregression at about 80-85% travel.

I changed to setting 4 yesterday without checking changing pressure, and felt that the progression was smoother and in the begining of traval and mid stroke. I felt like I had a it more support. Looking at the graph, it doest make sense. The progressivity seems similar, but the rate is higher on the setting 4.

If I'm reading the graph correctly, i should have been feeling LESS support from setting 4. Because higher rate = more force sent to the shock by the suspension.

Am I reading this right? If I transpose the old Ride 9 chart to the new one. Settings 4-7-8 should feel better for lighter rider and 2-3-6 for heavier rider.
 

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You seem to understand this platform very well. I am on the 2021 Altitude with the DPX2 shock. I am 200 lb all kitted up.

I was on setting 2 and felt like I had no mid stroke support and plenty of pedal stroke. I am pretty sure the DPX2 could use a tune for my weight. I felt like I hit a wall of pregression at about 80-85% travel.

I changed to setting 4 yesterday without checking changing pressure, and felt that the progression was smoother and in the begining of traval and mid stroke. I felt like I had a it more support. Looking at the graph, it doest make sense. The progressivity seems similar, but the rate is higher on the setting 4.

If I'm reading the graph correctly, i should have been feeling LESS support from setting 4. Because higher rate = more force sent to the shock by the suspension.

Am I reading this right? If I transpose the old Ride 9 chart to the new one. Settings 4-7-8 should feel better for lighter rider and 2-3-6 for heavier rider.
  • Support at any part of the stroke is dependent on the shape of the leverage curve and the shape of the spring curve. For a baseline imagine that leverage charge above with a perfectly straight line sloping upwards at a 45 angle. For the spring that's what a coil theoretically does (for example if you have a 500lb spring, every inch you compress it takes an additional 500lbs of force), air springs don't work this way - they have more of a U shape to their spring curve.
  • Imagine a straight line as well for the leverage ratio - in that scenario the suspension would feel very neutral in terms of support at all points in the travel.
  • On the Ride 9 system you are not only changing travel and level of progression, but also the leverage curve. If you look at the whole of the curves for setting 2 and 4, you'll see that 2 has a little bit more sag, and it's earlier in the travel. That's why you feel #2 has less mid-stroke support.
  • In reality all of the settings are VERY progressive overall compared to most bikes - you can make any of them work for any weight rider
  • You can get more mid-stroke support out of the DPX2 by pulling out any tokens and increasing air pressure. If you're not happy with that the next step would be a coil shock
 

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  • Support at any part of the stroke is dependent on the shape of the leverage curve and the shape of the spring curve. For a baseline imagine that leverage charge above with a perfectly straight line sloping upwards at a 45 angle. For the spring that's what a coil theoretically does (for example if you have a 500lb spring, every inch you compress it takes an additional 500lbs of force), air springs don't work this way - they have more of a U shape to their spring curve.
  • Imagine a straight line as well for the leverage ratio - in that scenario the suspension would feel very neutral in terms of support at all points in the travel.
  • On the Ride 9 system you are not only changing travel and level of progression, but also the leverage curve. If you look at the whole of the curves for setting 2 and 4, you'll see that 2 has a little bit more sag, and it's earlier in the travel. That's why you feel #2 has less mid-stroke support.
  • In reality all of the settings are VERY progressive overall compared to most bikes - you can make any of them work for any weight rider
  • You can get more mid-stroke support out of the DPX2 by pulling out any tokens and increasing air pressure. If you're not happy with that the next step would be a coil shock
I missunderstood the graph thinking the higher the value, the bigger the force going to the shock was. It's actually the bigger the value, the harder it is to MOVE the shock, so the higher the Y axis, LOWER the force going the shock is.

What I noticed in the position 4 was that I got more support AND less travel. So it was actually my plan to take a spacer off before next ride.

My next question, the shape the curve is pretty similar for the position 2 and 4. is there a difference in damping effectiveness if I use one or the other while adjusting sag to be same in both position? The dpx2's compresion damping effective range is pretty slim and if one of these setting could get me close to it, i would have to change it down the road. I am thinking the #4 is best because a lower pressure is needed to get the right spring rate for me, so it's like I am lighter.
 
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