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Suspension Tuning Tips

Note:  Unless noted otherwise these tuning tips apply to both forks and rear shocks.

For more information about how to fine-tune your damping with shim valves, see General Rules Of Thumb For Damper Shim Valve Tuning.

Symptoms: Not using full travel, feels harsh, poor traction while making turns

Causes: Overly stiff spring or compression damping

Solutions: Lower air pressure or softer coil springs; reduce compression damping


Symptoms: Bottoms out, soft throughout travel

Causes: Spring rate too low throughout travel or too little compression damping

Solutions: More air pressure or stiffer coils springs; increase compression damping


Symptoms: Harsh over large bumps, but good over small ones

Causes: Compression damping too high

Solutions: Reduce compression damping


Symptoms: Excessive sag, feels soft initially but does not bottom out

Causes: Initial spring rate or preload too low

Solutions: Increase air pressure or spring preload


Symptoms: Harsh over small bumps but uses full travel

Causes: Initial spring rate or preload too high, or too much compression damping

Solutions: Lower air pressure or install softer springs; reduce compression damping; reduce spring preload


Symptoms: Takes first bump in a series well but harsh over later bumps, poor traction in washboard corners

Causes: Too much rebound damping

Solutions: Reduce rebound damping


Symptoms: Springs back too quickly after bumps, poor traction in bumpy corners

Causes: Not enough rebound damping

Solutions: Increase rebound damping


Symptoms: Lockout not working

Causes: Not enough suspension fluid in the damper; RLC forks only: blowoff threshold knob is fully counterclockwise (soft)

Solutions: Check damper suspension fluid level; RLC forks only: turn blowoff threshold knob fully clockwise (firm) then cycle fork a few times


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