Saturday, September 20, 2008

First ride with the Trance

Finally. After waiting for two months to get the bike and a week and a half to get a chance to ride it, we went out. I thought it was going to be a no-go as there was a customer taking their sweet time buying a bike and a half dozen people standing in bike gear and talking about how great it would be to get to go for a ride together for the first time in a while, if it did not get dark to soon, had no observable effect. But that column is for another day.

So. The Trance X 0. I got this bike a little over a week ago. No chance to ride due to weather and other obligations. I spent some time setting up the suspension. Good thing I had time, because the the Fox instruction is pretty much limited to, "You need 15-20% sag" Yeah, thanks. How about some freaking starting numbers. I don't expect Fox to give a word for word explanation of the setup with full color photos and a roll out mat of test obstacles. But how about a damn starting point. An, " If you weigh this, try this pressure for a start point" You are not going to find that ANYWHERE in Fox setup. Thank goodness you have me. Fox wants you to look for specific a sag measurement. So to do it their way you will need to increase the shock/fork pressure in one pound increments until you get the number you are looking for. I, however, have some ball park numbers, that will get you started and they are easy to remember. For the fork start with half your body weight. I have tried this with both Float and Talas forks to good effect.
For the shock. This is for the air sprung Float shocks, use body weight(Your body weight, I get to ask women how much they weigh all the time. Sag does not lie, sag is the only one not lying)
These numbers are only a starting point. You will still need to tune for the right sag. Around 15% for cross country, 20% for fun riding(The best kind), and up to 25% for freeride or downhill(This is usually only with really long travel bikes)
Another thing to keep in mind when you set up your new suspension is that there is stiction with a new bike because everything is not broken in yet. You can try whispering gently in to your bikes ear but stiction will remain a problem(for setup) until the suspension breaks in.
Now set up your rebound(and compression if it is adjustable) I set my rebound at the half way point and tune from there. I do this based on how the suspension feels to me. The easiest way to describe it is to bouncy(or not bouncy enough, this is packing up) If the bike feels bouncy then you need more rebound. Rebound is the return speed of the fork after being compressed, just to clarify that. I might have been a little quick and as I get better at this, I hope to lay out this stuff a little better. If the susoension keeps getting shorter after running over a set of stutter bumps(Around here that is an old potato field), then you need to reduce your rebound.
Tomorrow I will get into the compresion setup, more on rebound, sag, and how the bike actually worked. The big plus for my contrived suspense is one more day of riding to get my thoughts together and play with the setup.

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