Monday, September 05, 2005

Some thoughts on short travel mode vs long travel mode on HP

I have an 04 HP with a 100mm Black Super Air up front (remote lockout-NO compression damping). Sag on the rear set to 25%. I weigh 135 lbs and have a soft spring kit in the fork. Rear shock is swinger air with 55 in SPV.

Had been riding it in long travel mode:

and just changed to short travel today to compare:

Some thoughts:

The short travel mode felt better in terms of overall feel on the bike. I just felt more balanced. It seemed that I was able to get more weight onto the front. In the long travel mode it seemed more weight biased towards the rear.

Both long and short travel modes are efficient. The long travel mode actually seems to climb a little better in certain situations. The short mode spins out a little easier on really loose stuff. And with the fork unlocked and active the short mode seems to impart more energy to the front that goes into fork bob.

The short mode felt better when climbing through rock gardens though. I think the longer travel mode would allow the rear to wallow in the dips more which caused a sort of pause in forward motion. I'm not explaining it well I know.

Downhill through the rock gardens the long travel was better.

Smoother flowing single track felt tighter in the short mode, and I felt more connected with the bike. My timing just felt better in the short mode over the long mode.

On long technical downhills both were pretty fast, longer travel feeling faster. Though when using the travel on the short mode I felt as if I could feel it using the travel more than in the long mode. In the longer mode it just used the travel more transparent to the rider.

I honestly don't know which is faster. Short mode feels faster but most likely because more shock is transmitted to the body. But I did feel the rear slip more when climbing and felt the front bob more as well in the short mode. I need to do a timed loop or something to see if it can be quantified. Also I'm not sure if the additional fork bob could be controlled more with the TPC w/ compression damping installed in place of the remote lockout.


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