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· Registered
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
My suspensions setups are pretty simple. I like coils, and I play with spring weight to get the feel right and to eliminate bottoming out. Then I adjust the rebound until I get that state where I'm not popping off jumps but at the same time not riding too deep in travel when floating over chunk. I run compression wide open or just BARELY set if needed (and tune with spring force).

That's it. And for me it's worked well. Maybe because I don't know the possibilities, but seems all is well on the descents.

Furthermore, I am a big believer in not changing something if I don't need it. If it works, why "upgrade"? might be useless to me, and parts are expensive.

I'm looking at swapping rear shock damper, and I was looking at doing it to save weight (cane creek DB IL coil). I realized that I'll save 40-50 grams and costs me $400. So, nuts to that. But the shock has HSC, LSC, HSR, LSR. Well, I don't know how that would benefit me, so nuts to that too.

But in an effort to educate myself, I want to know what degraded performance I should look for on the trail that tells me I am riding up to the capability of my rear shock, and would benefit from the adjustability the CC DB IL would afford me. That way, if I never experience it, I'll never spend the money. And if I do, I know I'm spending good money.

For you guys, when is a single rebound and compression adjustment not enough?
 

· Resident Gear Head
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What shock are you currently running? Back in 2016 I swapped a base model Fox DPS for a CC DB air and the performance gains were amazing. The rear suspension just tracked the ground so well and I started setting PRs while climbing. What I am trying to say is that you might not realize what you are missing until you ride good suspension. However there are some things that may stand out as red flags of bad or poorly set up suspension such as:

Loss of traction while climbing tech trails, inconsistent suspension feel on long descents, pedal bob, feeling dialed in one scenario like climbing but the shock feels non-optimized for descending.

Dont focus just on the number of adjustments. The design of the damper has a significant impact on performance. Too many settings to tinker with can actually lead to poor suspension performance if you dont know what you are doing or are not willing to experiment.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I am running a Frankenstein shock on my Frankenstein bike. it is a Fox Vanilla that has been modified with a pro pedal damper (do I know what that is? nope!). Has adjustable rebound and damping.

The "best" shock I have ridden is my Kenevo which is the Marzocchi Bomber CR coil shock. Perhaps not any better, since it has "adjustable rebound and damping" :)

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I've been monkeying with my geometry on the frankenbike but am in a place where I had a step function gain in climbing ability recently. So if I am held back in climbing because of the shock, now's the best possible time to evaluate it. haven't been tech climbing with the bike lately (that's what the Kenevo is for, right?) so I'll make some time to do that in the coming weeks.

Descending is pretty dialed for what I experience as dialed, so from you it sounds like for now I should focus on climbing feel. Then if that is good try to figure out if I can differentiate how an advanced shock might keep my rear wheel down more, if at all. For now, with a solid spring and fine-tune adjusted damper (down to the click for the trails I ride) and sticky tire, the rear wheel gives me darn predictable performance!

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I read you loud and clear about the focus on number of adjustments. Didn't mean to come out that way, maybe my thoughts are more clear since I'd be comparing a Vanilla to a CC DB IL. On the other hand, if the optimum setting for each results in the same wheel response on the same trail, then they are effectively the same shock, right? understanding the minimal likelyhood of that...
 

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Sounds like you don't need any of those adjusters. Most people don't.

I have a dhx2 on my Bronson v2. I use hsc and lsc adjusters to create a more progressive ramp because the bike's leverage curve is pretty linear. I also use the hsr to add some dampening for big hits, while keeping lsr pretty fast for riding chunk. This set up makes it possible for me to really enjoy the bike park, as before the dhx2 I just couldn't get the rear to feel right. It would bottom out too easily on jumps and would start to lose damping on fast chunk (meaning it turned into a pogo stick toward the end of a long run).

Outside the park on normal single track, the stock RS monarch was fine. If I never visited the bike park I probably never would have replaced it. So I'd say if you don't have a performance issue now, there's no need to upgrade.
 

· Elitest thrill junkie
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Just because your shock doesn't have HSR, LSR, HSC and LSC adjusters doesn't mean it doesn't have those circuits. The Bomber CR is widely regarded as very good. Most high speed circuits don't properly adjust either, because they simply preload valves, which is not the same as re-tuning the valves with heavier spring stacks. Preloading the valve just increases the break-away force, where the stack adjustment can give more or less support for different size hits. That's really where the magic lies and to that extent, a perfectly tuned shock would have no adjusters, because there would not be a need to make adjustments. To some extent, these things become gimmicks and the useful range of adjustments is extremely narrow and within that you don't have enough clicks or sensitivity to tune correctly. And that's when the things work, like when low-speed or high speed compression adjusters just make things more harsh. Why are you giving me an adjustment that just makes things more harsh? How is that helpful? Proper circuits and valves allow us to increase damping in specific areas without turning them into jackhammers, but that is usually more costly and may require custom tuning beyond what mass-produced manufactures can do. Realize the MTB industry is scraping the bottom of the barrel, you gotta take a pretty big hit in pay to be working here in the first place, as compared to high end automotive engineering or other fields.

So don't fret that your shock doesn't have more turny-knobs. If you do want a good improvement, consider a custom-tuned option, like a super-deluxe and Vorsprung, or the ultimate, a custom-tuned coil.
 

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My suspensions setups are pretty simple.... .

But in an effort to educate myself, I want to know what degraded performance I should look for on the trail... .

For you guys, when is a single rebound and compression adjustment not enough?
It is not what knobs the damper has, but how the internals are constructed and whether that corresponds with your style of riding.

You mentioned some basic requirements. Some more are:
  • should work after half a mile down the trail too (overheating)
  • no harsh feeling on chunky terrain, no bouncing around, not packing
  • no rocking horse on the way up
  • reliable for at least one season without rebuilding it
 

· always licking the glass
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My suspensions setups are pretty simple. I like coils, and I play with spring weight to get the feel right and to eliminate bottoming out. Then I adjust the rebound until I get that state where I'm not popping off jumps but at the same time not riding too deep in travel when floating over chunk. I run compression wide open or just BARELY set if needed (and tune with spring force).

That's it. And for me it's worked well. Maybe because I don't know the possibilities, but seems all is well on the descents.

Furthermore, I am a big believer in not changing something if I don't need it. If it works, why "upgrade"? might be useless to me, and parts are expensive.

I'm looking at swapping rear shock damper, and I was looking at doing it to save weight (cane creek DB IL coil). I realized that I'll save 40-50 grams and costs me $400. So, nuts to that. But the shock has HSC, LSC, HSR, LSR. Well, I don't know how that would benefit me, so nuts to that too.

But in an effort to educate myself, I want to know what degraded performance I should look for on the trail that tells me I am riding up to the capability of my rear shock, and would benefit from the adjustability the CC DB IL would afford me. That way, if I never experience it, I'll never spend the money. And if I do, I know I'm spending good money.

For you guys, when is a single rebound and compression adjustment not enough?
So I'm not a fan of analysis paralysis and I went the custom tune route. I have Ohlins coil front and rear on my enduro and short travel plus, and my dh bike has an Ohlins rear and a Boxxer front.

The only shock currently stock is the Boxxer. More on that later, as this relates to your question.

My Ohlins has user controls (knobs) for HSC, LSC, and LSR. Even with those, I have the bike tuned to my riding style, and only requires a few clicks of any of those (primarily HSC and LSC on the rear shocks), depending on the type of riding I do.

Before my DH bike had a CCDB on it. Can change all four LSC HSC LSR HSR and I could never get it to feel right. But throw on a custom tuned shock? I'm a happy camper.

HSC affects things like square edge hits and drops. It also affects how high suspension will sit in the travel. Too much makes the suspension feel too tall, too little and you might have too much chassis movement for your taste.

HSR affects the way you feel coming out of a berm or a g-out. Too fast HSR will launch you, too slow you stick too much to the ground.

My 2017 Boxxer WC has an air spring and a not very impressive 5 click damper for HSC only. After taking out the tokens (grrr POS pieces of plastic), the fork is good enough for the end of DH season. At the end? It goes off for a custom tune, a coil conversion, and an upgraded damper to something that is more usable than 5 clicks of HSC. This is the opposite end of the spectrum from the CCDB, but just as frustrating to me.

With LSC and R (usually LSR only), you'll be fine. But custom tuning can make a good bike awesome.
 
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