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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
There seems to be several stages to tightening a rear spring.

You first get to the point where the rotating clamp touches the spring and there isn't any more up and down play (referring to my rockshox super deluxe coil r trunnion's 200mm rear spring that is in a vertical orientation)

At this point it feels basically tight but you still can wiggle it slightly from side to side. By this i mean grabbing the spring itself and jerking it it side to side (not rotating it). It's a pretty subtle wiggle.

1-2 more rotations past that point, and you get rid that subtle wiggle.

So are we just trying to get rid of the up and down play or also the side to side wiggle?

This is based on theory that you should have your ideal spring rear rate first and you shouldn't have excessive preload. i've stumbled across this piece of advice a few times in my research.

Since the max number of rotations you can do is not even that much, it seems like every rotation can be significant.
 

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Single(Pivot)and Happy
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You want to snug up the preload adjustment collar to the spring so there is no excessive movement of the spring. Once you start compressing the spring you begin adding preload.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Today i noticed something that makes this whole thing even more confusing.

I had the bike upside down (sitting on bars and rear seat) and happened to grab the rear coil.

It was completely loose. I mean fully uncompressed, very obvious up and down play (not even just side to side)/

I flipped the bike over back onto two wheels, felt the coil; no more up and down play!

Now, the obvious assumption is that the weight of my 40lb bike is compressing the coil while on two wheels. Therefore no up and down play in this mode.

The bike shop guy that first introduced this 'barely compressed coil' idea actually winded down the collar while the bike was standing on two wheels.

However, i can also see many bike shops working on a bike in a bike stand which would replicate more the upside down scenario.

In that upside down position, it took an addition two more rotations to remove up and down play, and one more rotation after that to get rid of any side to side wiggle.

What do you guys think?

Again, i remember hearing in a video where you should be in the range of just 1-5 turns max in dealing with rear coils. We're not just splitting hairs here trying to nitpick whether or not it should be 1-5 turns out of 100 potential turns.
 

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Single(Pivot)and Happy
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1,778 Posts
There seems to be several stages to tightening a rear spring.

You first get to the point where the rotating clamp touches the spring and there isn't any more up and down play (referring to my rockshox super deluxe coil r trunnion's 200mm rear spring that is in a vertical orientation)

At this point it feels basically tight but you still can wiggle it slightly from side to side. By this i mean grabbing the spring itself and jerking it it side to side (not rotating it). It's a pretty subtle wiggle.

1-2 more rotations past that point, and you get rid that subtle wiggle.

So are we just trying to get rid of the up and down play or also the side to side wiggle?

This is based on theory that you should have your ideal spring rear rate first and you shouldn't have excessive preload. i've stumbled across this piece of advice a few times in my research.

Since the max number of rotations you can do is not even that much, it seems like every rotation can be significant.
The answer to your question is: YES.
 

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Single(Pivot)and Happy
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Today i noticed something that makes this whole thing even more confusing.

I had the bike upside down (sitting on bars and rear seat) and happened to grab the rear coil.

It was completely loose. I mean fully uncompressed, very obvious up and down play (not even just side to side)/

I flipped the bike over back onto two wheels, felt the coil; no more up and down play!

Now, the obvious assumption is that the weight of my 40lb bike is compressing the coil while on two wheels. Therefore no up and down play in this mode.

The bike shop guy that first introduced this 'barely compressed coil' idea actually winded down the collar while the bike was standing on two wheels.

However, i can also see many bike shops working on a bike in a bike stand which would replicate more the upside down scenario.

In that upside down position, it took an addition two more rotations to remove up and down play, and one more rotation after that to get rid of any side to side wiggle.

What do you guys think?

Again, i remember hearing in a video where you should be in the range of just 1-5 turns max in dealing with rear coils. We're not just splitting hairs here trying to nitpick whether or not it should be 1-5 turns out of 100 potential turns.
You seem to understand what preload is for, so I do not understand what you are questioning.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Im not totally sure what your verdict is. I get the getting rid of even the side to side play part.

I'd say my intuition at this point is to get rid of all the looseness even in the upside down mode.

The reason i'm still skeptical is because, the first shop guy at Jenson usa and another guy at the snow summit bike shop both were adjusting the preload collar while the bike was on two wheels and not upside down or on a bike stand (the summit guy actually had a totally different theory on preload).

And on top of that, i've been riding the rear coil every weekend in this 'tightened-from-an-upright-on two-wheels-adjustment" for the last 2 months and it feels generally ridable. The caveat is that i am a beginner and this is the only bike i've ridden so i have no idea how a properly dialed rear suspension is supposed to feel.
 

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Single(Pivot)and Happy
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My mistake. I don't know what you have been told but this is what I do:

Bike upright, wheels on ground, preload collar tightened to the point my spring does not make a metal-to-metal noise if I lift both wheels off the ground and drop;

I put a couple drops of oil on shock shaft;

With rebound wide open (or full fast), compression wide open, I sit on my bike, riding gear on, leaning against wall;

Oil on shock shaft shows how far shock shaft has traveled;

Measure from shock body to oil line, figure out percentage of distance from full travel, add or remove preload to get between 20%-35% travel;

Leave compression alone, add a couple clicks rebound, go for test ride on a 1.1 mile loop that has a small rock garden, a short but steep uphill, one long and low jump and one 8' gap jump;

Check oil line on shaft to see how much travel I used;

Leave rebound alone, add a little LSComp, ride another lap;

By having a short distance lap that includes a variety of terrain and features, by only changing one variable at a time and by writing all of this down, I have been able to dial in almost any bike within a couple laps.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
I've been following the suspension setups from these 3 videos:

rear preload:

rear rebound:

I settled on these theories because my rear shock is very basic (no low speed compression for instance) and those videos seem to address a pretty minimal setup. My fork only has a 1 compression knob and 1 knob for rebound.

Thanks for sharing your setup advice boulderpilot, but i'd need to research a few different things before i understand what you're talking about. I'm new to this so there's a lot of terminology i'm not clear on.

Another issue is that I don't know what to even look out for when testing my suspension this early on. For instance, the only variable i can even think of is me nosediving on jumps. But then someone told me to lean back way more and it kind of helped.

So this early into it, i don't know if i can blame my suspension setup or just a lack of skill.
 

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Single(Pivot)and Happy
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Whoever told you to "lean back way more" as you take off of a small jump is not a person to listen to. While you may be able to keep your nose up now, when you attempt any 2' or taller jump will find yourself on your ass.

You have a full blown DH rig, a very competent and well designed DH rig. Your bike excels at a bike park and downhill only trails. If you do not have the basic understanding of bike suspension, nor the ability to know what proper suspension set up should feel like, I strongly suggest you invest some time and money and hire someone that can work with you and your bike.

Before anyone feels the need to tell me I'm being harsh, which I could care less, understand this: We are not discussing a trail bike. The Kona Operator is a DH/Park bike, a very capable bike. The OP will find himself way over his head if his bike is not base line set up suspension wise. The OP has stated he doesn't know what/how/why/when proper suspension is.

I suggest the OP get a trail bike and learn suspension tuning on trails without consequences or hire someone to set up and teach him suspension tuning for DH rigs before the OP is given more poor advice such as the jumping technique mentioned above.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
I'm going to start another thread on how to do a suspension setup for beginners with low end bikes that don't have too much adjustment. Something for people who are trying to make the best out of a compromised budget bike.

Admittedly, this Kona Operator purchase was actually a pretty haste one. It went on sale and was very cheap compared to other 27.5 dh bikes. The catch was that they only had XL's at that price. Later i found out the the 550lb spring rate was too much for me (i weigh 155lbs). I even just found out this weekend that i had more rebound clicks than i thought. Some shop guy said there's 10, but it turns out there's 19. Boulder, I know you're probably cringing so hard at this point.

I'm actually interested in getting a lower travel bike like you mentioned after I'm ready for a more informed purhcase.

Can't say i didn't have a dam good time these last 2 months though.
 
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