If you’re an enduro rider, setting up your bike’s suspension is crucial to ensuring a smooth and comfortable ride. The suspension system is responsible for absorbing the impact of bumps and rough terrain, making it a crucial part of your bike’s performance. In this blog post, we will discuss how to set up the suspension on your enduro bike.
Step 1: Determine your bike’s sag
Sag is the amount of suspension travel used when the rider sits on the bike. To know how to determine your bike’s sag, you’ll need a measuring tape, a friend to assist you, and a few minutes to spare. Start by setting your bike on a stand, then have your friend hold the measuring tape vertically from the rear axle to a fixed point on the subframe. Next, sit on the bike in your normal riding position, then have your friend measure the distance from the rear axle to the same fixed point on the subframe. The difference between the two measurements is your sag.
We recommend a sag of 100-110mm for the rear suspension and 25-35mm for the front suspension. Other popular suspension setups use a rear sag of 95-105mm for enduro riders or a range of 95-105mm for both front and rear sag. It’s really about personal preference and depends on the kind of suspension you’re running on your bike.
Step 2: Adjust the preload
Once you have determined your bike’s sag, you can adjust the preload to fine-tune the suspension. Preload is the amount of tension on the suspension spring when the bike is at rest. To adjust the preload, you’ll need a spanner wrench or a C-spanner.
For the rear suspension, turn the adjuster ring clockwise to increase the preload and counterclockwise to decrease it. For the front suspension, use the adjuster bolts located at the top of each fork leg. Turning the bolts clockwise increases preload, while turning them counterclockwise decreases it.
For most riders, we recommend a preload adjustment of 1-2mm for the rear suspension and 5-10mm for the front suspension. Popular ranges also include a preload of 1-4mm for the rear suspension and 5-10mm for the front suspension or preload adjustment of 5-10mm for both front and rear suspension.
Step 3: Adjust compression and rebound damping
Compression damping controls how quickly the suspension compresses, while rebound damping controls how quickly it rebounds. To adjust compression and rebound damping, you’ll need a screwdriver or a damping adjustment tool.
For the rear suspension, the compression and rebound damping adjusters are usually located on the top of the shock absorber. Turning the adjuster clockwise increases damping, while turning it counterclockwise decreases it. For the front suspension, the compression and rebound damping adjusters are located at the top or bottom of each fork leg. Turning the adjuster clockwise increases damping, while turning it counterclockwise decreases it.
For most riders, we recommend setting the compression damping to 12 clicks out and the rebound damping to 10 clicks out for the rear suspension. For the front suspension, we suggest setting the compression damping to 15 clicks out and the rebound damping to 10 clicks out.
Your individual compression and rebound damping setting will depend on a few different factors such as your riding style, your weight, the type of suspension you’re running, etc. As with all suspension settings, we recommend you do a few test runs using different compression and rebound settings to get a feel for how your bike performs, before settling on one you think is best. (See the next point.)
Step 4: Test ride and fine-tune
After making the necessary adjustments, it’s time to take your bike for a test ride. Start with a few easy trails or tracks and gradually increase the difficulty as you get more comfortable with the changes you’ve made. Pay attention to how the suspension feels and adjust as needed.
If the bike feels too harsh or stiff, try decreasing the compression and rebound damping. If it feels too soft or bottoms out easily, increase the damping. If you’re having trouble finding the right balance, you may need to adjust the preload or sag again.
Setting up your enduro bike’s suspension is a process that requires patience and attention to detail. By following these steps and guidelines, you can achieve a suspension setup that’s tailored to your riding style and preferences. Remember to test ride and fine-tune as needed, and don’t be afraid to seek the advice of a professional if you’re struggling to get it right. A well-tuned suspension can make all the difference in your riding experience, so take the time to get it just right.