Whether you are competing in a high-intensity race or simply taking your bike out for a ride on the trails, having your ride be smooth and comfortable is essential to have a successful and enjoyable time out.
To create as much comfort possible, one of the most important elements is getting your suspension as dials in as possible. Your suspension will lead to you having softer and smoother landings which will lead to less strain on both your body and your bike in the long run.
To help get your suspension right where it needs to be, follow a few of these simple tips and tricks.
No bike can truly be dialled in and have its suspension be in top for until your bike's SAG is taken care of. Once you have your proper SAG set up, you can dial in your suspension to where it needs to be.
So what exactly is your bike's SAG?
To properly set your SAG, there are two measurements you will need to take into account. The first measurement is the distance from the inside left fender bolt to the rear axle. Your bike should also be on a stand with no weight on it when taking this measurement.
For the second measurement, having someone sitting on the bike with their feet resting on the ground. Measure the same two points from the first measurement. You will then take the second measurement and subtract it from the first measurement.
For a quality SAG measurement, the number should be anywhere from 95mm-110mm. This measurement is known as your "rider SAG." If the SAG is too much, you will need to turn the pre-load adjuster clockwise. If it is too little, simply turn it anticlockwise.
The final measurement will be to figure your static SAG. For this measurement, simply push down on the back end of the bike and measure the same two points you did twice before. Simply subtract this number from your first measurement and your optimal distance will be 25-45mm. This final number is known as your static SAG.
Once you have your SAG dialled in, you can properly get the suspension taken care of. Some of the most common issues you will see with poor suspension are:
If the rear of the bike slides side to side, you will need to reduce some of the compression in the rear so the shock can "feel" the ground better.
Is the rear of your bike kicking up? You need more rebound dampening in your back shocks.
Does your bike bounce hard when you hit the ground off of a jump? Make sure your compression is even between the front and rear shocks to better feel the landing.
Follow these simple steps and you will have your bike's suspension in the perfect shape in no time.