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Baby Bear is in the house
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Discussion Starter #1
I've read in some posts that certain suspension forks and designs "wallow" in their travel.

What does this mean?
 

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The Ancient One
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rigel said:
I've read in some posts that certain suspension forks and designs "wallow" in their travel.

What does this mean?
The way I use it, it means the bike overcompresses from hitting a bump or landing after a drop.

An obvious reason would be too soft springs. But more often I would use the term when there was too little compression damping.
 

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www.derbyrims.com
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wallow is boat-like handling

rigel said:
I've read in some posts that certain suspension forks and designs "wallow" in their travel.

What does this mean?
There is a full suspension handling balance, between the front and rear, through a range from allowing too much irregular wallow like a boat rocks about in bumpy water or being too firm, harsh, and choppy handling. It's tunable by adjusting springs and damping. There is almost always much more weight on the rear suspension, except during hard braking, so the majority of the adjustment for stable handling is tunable at the rear suspension.

Before platform damping, firming up rebound damping to tune out wallow was the common way, particularly with rebound-only adjustable shocks. Any firming of compression adjustment tends to result in harsher bump compliance. Before travel-speed-reactive platform damping, long travel bikes with their softer spring rates, or shorter travel bikes that squat and bob a lot and steep seat and steering angles placing the rider up high, tended to need firmer rebound damping and over firm springs that reduced usable travel to tame the boat like wallowy handling to be more stable and predictable in bumpy conditions. But firmer rebound damping packs down the spring (not allowing full rebound recovery) and becomes increasingly firmer as speeds increase over repeated bumps.

Platform damping firms up very slow speed compression damping which is the only travel speed where wallowing boat like handling needs a firming reaction to stabilize handling. Bump hits are sharp and cause fast shock travel and the firmer very slow speed platform damping blows open the damper valve for softer and freer acting medium and higher speed main circuit damping. So springs and rebound damping can be tuned for higher speed uses, while the slower speeds are stabilized by the platform damping reaction.

Platform shocks produce add-on reactive suspension when the built in suspension path geometry is not advanced enough in design to produce stable pedaling and handling without wallow or over sprung to be firm and choppy. Long travel bikes have enough leverage and soft rate springs where the platform reaction is a great benefit without reducing any noticeable low-speed small bump compliance. Shorter travel suspension combined with platform reactive damping produces some more noticeable loss in smaller bump compliance and choppier handling at lower speeds except when the rear suspension is fully weighted during slow climbing or hard acceleration.

The very few advanced stable-platform path geometry designs only firm suspension to be more stable when tensioned by rider modulated pedaling or braking in sync with rider positioning and effort. They are more completely free of unnecessary suspension reactive input, having freer acting damping at all speeds, more “fully active”. The advanced designs are subtly smoother and better handling over a greater range of speeds, without the compromises of platform reactive damping. Or if platform damping is used on a more advanced design the reactive damping does not need to be adjusted as firm for stability without handling wallow.

- ray
 

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Great explanation!

I was curious to see if you have had much experience with the propedal damping. If so does it perform as well as you described. Can you run less air pressure than a standard air shock? I am currently riding an Id and am struggling to get the rear set up. I actually tried a propedal and a standard fox ava. The standard ava handled extremmely well donhill but suffered badly on really steep technical climbs. WALLOW BIG TIME! Where it seemed to be the opposite with the propedal. It didn't seem to downhill as well but steep technical climbs didn't suffer as bad. Is this the trade off?
Any info would be greatly appriciated.

I [email protected] w/gear
propedal ava was set at full volume 100 psi and 8 clicks out from full slow
regular ava was set at full volume 125 psi and 8 clicks out from ful slow
 

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tom schoonveld said:
I was curious to see if you have had much experience with the propedal damping. If so does it perform as well as you described. Can you run less air pressure than a standard air shock? I am currently riding an Id and am struggling to get the rear set up. I actually tried a propedal and a standard fox ava. The standard ava handled extremmely well donhill but suffered badly on really steep technical climbs. WALLOW BIG TIME! Where it seemed to be the opposite with the propedal. It didn't seem to downhill as well but steep technical climbs didn't suffer as bad. Is this the trade off?
Any info would be greatly appriciated.

I [email protected] w/gear
propedal ava was set at full volume 100 psi and 8 clicks out from full slow
regular ava was set at full volume 125 psi and 8 clicks out from ful slow
I don't have more than a few hours experience riding various platform shocks (Romic, Propedal, and 5th Element) during tests on different bikes and my own Tracer. My Tracer rides better for my interests without a platform damping. But most bike ride better with some amount of platform damping.

With more compression damping (including platform compression damping) a lighter spring air pressure or coil spring can be used, particularly with the 5th Element (and Manitou Swinger which is licenced 5th Element SPV design). However you should experiment with lower (air) spring rates with a platform shock to find your own best feel of performance on familiar trails.

Increasing compression damping in a suspension will raise dynamic sag (average sag while riding) slightly when riding through bumps. And greater platform type compression damping allows softer springs to accomplish the same travel requirements producing smoother bump compliance while controling wallow better than other combinations of damping settings to control wallow (and pedal squat and bob). A pltform shock design should greatly improve the handling of the Id for most rider's interests, particularly when climbing.

- ray
 

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Thanks

I really like the positive aspects of the forums. Sometimes they get a bit out of control.
Any other info you can think of would be greatly appriciated.
 

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tom schoonveld said:
I really like the positive aspects of the forums. Sometimes they get a bit out of control.
Any other info you can think of would be greatly appriciated.
You might go to the Ellsworth forum and get some opinions on the best shock to use on the Id. For air shocks I think the Manitou Swinger is best because it has the most adjustment in platform (it uses Progressive 5th Element design with great reliability). But for many riders the complexity of adjustments of the Swinger or 5th Element may be hard to learn about and a more simple adjusting design such as a Romic (coil) or Fox Propedal may suit just fine.

I agree with you that the MTBR forums are really helpful (almost always). I've learned so much in the 4 years I've participated. By far most of the participants are trying to be helpful and we all just offer our own experience and theories without disrespecting other people and just criticize the issues when we don't agree. Theres also some really good riders who gather sometimes in various locations in the country to ride, check out the Passion Forum for more infor about that.

- ray
 
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