The first thing to do on any new bike is to set the spring stiffness using sag on the front and rear suspension. This establishes a baseline suspension setup that you can fine-tune on the trail. We suggest starting at 20% fork sag and 30% rear shock sag, meaning the suspension travel used by the weight of your body sitting on the bike statically as a percentage of total travel. Using spring rates in the recommended range is the first and most important step to maximizing the ride performance.
Important details to note when setting sag:
- Weigh yourself wearing your standard kit, helmet, and shoes.
- Include water weight in your pack.
- Use the buddy system. Setting sag is much faster with a friend.
How to set sag:
- Set all compression dials to their fully open positions.
- Sit on your bike in a seated climbing position with your hands on the bars. In our experience this is more repeatable compared to measuring sag in the attack position.
- Bounce up and down to get the suspension moving, once it stops, sit back down, then slide the O-rings around the fork and shock shafts down to the wiper seals.
- Observe how much travel you are using and adjust air pressure to achieve the recommended 20% fork sag and 30% shock sag. A good starting point is to adjust forks in 5 psi increments and shocks in 10 psi increments until you get to the sag point.
- When adjusting air sprung suspension, cycle it a few times after making a pressure adjustment to equalize the air pressure in the negative chamber.
- On a coil shock you will need to use a tape measure to compare the eye-to-eye length of the shock at the sag point. The eye-to-eye lengths noted below are for the recommended sag on each model:
- The Smash: 210-213 mm
- Megatrail: 210-211 mm
- Shred Dogg: 212-213 mm
- Trail Pistol: 194-195 mm
Putting it all together:
- You may need to check sag and adjust spring rates a few times to find a front-to-rear balance that you like. Decreasing sag on one end of the bike can increase sag on the other, shifting your weight forwards or backwards.
- Use the spring to support the rider and the damper to control the spring.
- Blowing through your travel even when sag is correct? Add volume spacers to increase the progression of your spring.