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Discussion Starter #1
I have a 07 10R, I have set sag for my weight (35mm) and have had a little fiddle with my rebound and compression damping.
Currently I have a cable tie on my fork leg to monitor my fork travel, I think the fork is travelling too low, my understanding is it needs to be somewhere in the middle to be the most effective, here is a pretty simple pic
http://i962.photobucket.com/albums/ae108/chicken_fart/before.jpg
I increased compression damping, went for a spin again and am now getting the fork to travel in the middle more, like this
http://i962.photobucket.com/albums/ae108/chicken_fart/after.jpg

I notice after the adjustment I had sigificantly less front end dive and it held a line through the corner a lot better.
I have read plenty of write ups on this forum but none of them address my cable tie question.......
I am just wondering if this is the right way to gauge my adjustment of compression damping?
With this new setting my clickers are 3 turns from seated and as seen in my beautiful illustrations it currently goes just a bit below the middle of the fork leg, just wondering if I should get it even closer to the middle or if how I have it now is ok, cheers

I am aware of all the things I can do to improve the forks by spending money but I can't at the moment all I got is the clickers :(
 

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The "cable tie trick" is to make sure you are using all of your suspension travel without bottoming-out.

You adjust the pre-load on your forks until the cable ties are 10mm from bottoming out.

More pre-load = less suspension travel

Less pre-load = more suspension travel

It has nothing to do with compression/rebound adjustment.

You don't want to restrict suspension travel, unless for a specific reason.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
The "cable tie trick" is to make sure you are using all of your suspension travel without bottoming-out.

You adjust the pre-load on your forks until the cable ties are 10mm from bottoming out.

More pre-load = less suspension travel

Less pre-load = more suspension travel

It has nothing to do with compression/rebound adjustment.

You don't want to restrict suspension travel, unless for a specific reason.
So my initial (before) picture was in the ballpark?
My understanding is that the compression damping will slow the forks upward movement but not affect travel, I figured that if I hit bigger bumps (which I didnt on my quick ride) or brake harder than I did on my ride the suspension will compact further and bring that cable tie further down on the fork leg.
Are you saying that the after picture is too much comp damping?
 

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I would recommend you checking out onthethrottle.com or onthethrottle.tv it is done with the help of Dave Moss.... Suspension GOD!!! Click on the "HOW TO" tab near the top right corner.
He also has a bunch of situational videos on that website and youtube videos of WERA riders having different problems with their bike suspension setup. I learn something everytime I watch a new episode which are posted almost weekly and they have live "feeds" on Wednesday for QnA's.
You riding style dictates how much travel you want to use in the front forks. If you are hard on the brakes before a corner then ease off them and turn then you want to be in the 2/3 range. If you trailbrake into the corner then you want to you almost all the travel available. But either way you want it to be a smooth perdictable drop in the forks.. not a sudden drop and slam, that would mean your compression is set too soft.
I wish I could see the damn pics but they are blocked through the military internet....Stupid Iraq....:thefinger
 

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Discussion Starter #5
they are nothing special, it just shows my cable tie position, before is about 10cm from bottoming out, after is just below the middle of fork travel.
I will check out this site, thanks
 

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So my initial (before) picture was in the ballpark?
My understanding is that the compression damping will slow the forks upward movement but not affect travel, I figured that if I hit bigger bumps (which I didnt on my quick ride) or brake harder than I did on my ride the suspension will compact further and bring that cable tie further down on the fork leg.
Are you saying that the after picture is too much comp damping?

Compression and Rebound only refers to the speed of suspension travel, not the distance .

The suspension travel(distance) can only be set by pre-load adjustment, as per my first post.

I repeat, you cannot alter the fork travel(distance) by adjusting your Compression or Rebound Clickers, you can only do that by adjusting pre-load.

Regarding your pics, the first one is more to the mark than the second.

Be carefull with suspension settings! Make sure you understand what the adjustments are before you start fiddling. Better yet, take it to a professional.

Good Luck.
 

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Preload should be used to set your sag. Keep in mind if your spring rate is off much you are pretty much wasting your time. Fork rider sag should be around 30-35mm. Bike sag should be around 2/3 of rider sag. ie 30mm rider should produce 20mm bike sag. Street riders would tend to be near 35, track nearer 30, but no sag numbers are absolute.

There is all kinds of tricks to help address lack of a good suspension (stock). Like adding a little preload to speed up the rebound if you are out of adjustments. Buy the Dave Moss DVD set. It is well worth it.

Learn to do your own suspension. As conditions change it will continue to need adjustments.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Compression and Rebound only refers to the speed of suspension travel, not the distance .

The suspension travel(distance) can only be set by pre-load adjustment, as per my first post.

I repeat, you cannot alter the fork travel(distance) by adjusting your Compression or Rebound Clickers, you can only do that by adjusting pre-load.

Regarding your pics, the first one is more to the mark than the second.

Be carefull with suspension settings! Make sure you understand what the adjustments are before you start fiddling. Better yet, take it to a professional.

Good Luck.
I agree with what you say but am still unsure about compression damping.
If I increased CP and my cable tie now stays higher up on the fork leg has it not decreased travel hydraulicly? I understand that the fork can still travel the same distance but it now requires greater force to reach the lower position it was at before adjustment. Much the same way as you can increase repound damping so that the fork doesn't return to the top and settle when pushed on?
This is doing my head in, just when I think I understand it gets confusing again, no matter how much I read about it :(
Although I will say that onthethrottle website has been the most useful and informative, I will buy that Dave Moss DVD.
I really want to learn this so I can help myself and my mates out, to take it to a pro is probably best but they were all beginners once too, tinkering and finding what makes the bike better is half the fun but i imagine its a lot more fun when you can fully understand what each adjustment does.
 

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what sort of spin did you go for after you changed the settings mate?

you need to find one piece of road that you know well and can ride hard and go back to where you started. push the cable tie back up and see how much it travels down. then add preload and see how much it travels.

then put the preload back and add compression and see how much it travels. it will give you a good idea.
 

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An observation...

You want to have the compression damping so the bike is compliant over the bumps, whether you are upright, or leant over.
What you don't want, is for the bars to start waggling either in a straight line, or mid-turn, because the compression damping is too stiff, resulting in the forks not absorbing the bumps/ripples, more skipping over the top.

A similar situation for rebound. Too much rebound will result in the fork compressing over the bumps (say on the brakes into a corner, called packing), then maybe rebound too slowly to effectively absorb bumps through a turn, possibly resulting in minimal actual suspension travel, leaving the tyre to do all the work.

Sag is probably the most important aspect to establish, since this determines where the suspension is operating within its stroke. Too stiff and it may be topping out. Too soft and it could bottom out too easy. After that, damping is a personal thing. Some people like stiff, others soft. Arguably, you want it as soft on the road as what you can get away with, while remaining compliant and stable.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
I have ridden the same road and done the previously described test as for sag it is set at the recomended street measurement of 35mm.
 

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Does the road you're riding/testing on have a wide variety of conditions and speeds/surfaces? Different speed corners, uphill braking, downhill braking etc?
 

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If you have the right springs to hit your recommended sags, and you are happy with your handling, but occasionally bottoming over bumps you can add a little oil to the forks. Just 10cc per leg makes a big difference, and doesn't affect any other characteristics until you approach bottoming.
 

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Just 10cc per leg makes a big difference, and doesn't affect any other characteristics until you approach bottoming.
Suspension is always a trade off. Adding oil does stiffen the suspension like you state. The negative is that you decrease the amount of air in the fork, which also tends to make the suspension more harsh.


Setting fork compression base line is easy. Just start with too much damping (slow). Take it out over some bumps and it should feel like hell. Decrease the damping (speeding it up) a click or two and ride again until the harshness goes away. This should be your baseline. You may find you like it a few clicks softer, but you know not to go back the other way. This assumes you have your rebound close to start with. Most set the rebound too slow. It should return pretty quick. In short, you want the forks to "rebound" from a bump fast enough to be ready for the next bump. Dave Moss shows some good examples. Stick with his DVDs and it will all come together.

As you get faster you will generally need more compression damping and less rebound damping.


You're over thinking the zip tie thing way too much.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Suspension is always a trade off. Adding oil does stiffen the suspension like you state. The negative is that you decrease the amount of air in the fork, which also tends to make the suspension more harsh.


Setting fork compression base line is easy. Just start with too much damping (slow). Take it out over some bumps and it should feel like hell. Decrease the damping (speeding it up) a click or two and ride again until the harshness goes away. This should be your baseline. You may find you like it a few clicks softer, but you know not to go back the other way. This assumes you have your rebound close to start with. Most set the rebound too slow. It should return pretty quick. In short, you want the forks to "rebound" from a bump fast enough to be ready for the next bump. Dave Moss shows some good examples. Stick with his DVDs and it will all come together.


As you get faster you will generally need more compression damping and less rebound damping.


You're over thinking the zip tie thing way too much.
Point taken, I will keep fiddling until I find something I like, I have noticed that with more compression damping it feels more planted throughout the corner, beforehand it felt more jittery in the front end.
I will follow dave moss's examples in one of his vids and get both the front and rear to work together, I've been so focused on the whole cable tie thing that I havent actually made sure the bike moves at the same rate front and back.
I'm not racing for sheep stations here I just want to improve handling overall without too many compramises after all I ride it to work every day its not a track bike.
 

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Dave Moss shows some good examples. Stick with his DVDs and it will all come together.
I just got the DVDs in and watch through most of them. The Twiddling Knobs DVD is all about exactly what this thread is talking about and has sections describing the function of the adjustments and then sample rides he takes and shows you the different those adjustment actually make in the real world. Very informative. Its well worth the investment. Also look he up on YouTube. There are tons of videos he does on there, but the DVDs are made in more of a way for you to learn and understand where as the YouTube videos are mostly just him doing adjustments at the track for people.
 
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