Friday, October 07, 2005

DW-link tuning thoughts

I'm still dialing in the suspension on the Hollowpoint. It is a real iterative process zeroing in on the best sag. There is a lot of good info at the DW link Website

There has been some confusion on how to set up the sag. And the sag point is CRITICAL to the performance. Some info said to set the sag point based on your intended application, such as 25% for XC or 33% for trail, but this does not work. The reality is that there is a sag point that is going to give you the best performance and pedaling efficiency, and it is going to be very unique to each rider. And most likely it will fall somewhere between 25-33%.

It can be real counter intuitive sometimes. If you see the shock bobbing on flat ground, the general tendency is to air it up more (which decreases sag). This is how I did it with the Salsa I had earlier. Bobbing too much, air it up more. Firm it up. But with a DW link what can happen is that it will bob even more at this higher air setting. And counter to what you think, actually dropping some air smooths out the bobbing.

Or you want to mess with the platform settings such as the SPV to tune out bob.

The reality is for a DW link bike the SPV or platform needs to be set to the absolute minimum. In fact a lot of people use non platform shocks such as the Cane Creek AD12 or Cloud 9. IH specs the platform shocks more for their ability to resist bottom out than for any low level compression damping.

For example, yesterday I was riding in the 3.75" mode (short travel). Sag was set to 25% (9.5mm) It felt tight and good on the single track but was really slipping out a lot on loose climbs. I aired it down some, and it hooked up better, but with the lower air pressure it did not bob any more than before when on smooth ground.

I measured sag later and it was 11.5mm (30%).

So the key is not to be fixated on a certain # but to keep going up/down until you find that perfect balance point where the shock remains fairly motionless when you are on smooth ground but will activate across any variation in the terrain (pebble, rock, root,etc.)

The swinger Air Ive got is pretty nice. But I'd love to try out a non platform Cloud 9

the swinger blows through it's travel once the platform is broken. Something with better compression damping at the end of travel might be nice to try. And if the sweet spot is found, than there is no need for any platform valving to minimize bob.

I am going to stick in the short travel mode for a little while. It does feel better to me and more balance with the front shock. The long travel mode pedals great for riding around, and can climb anything, but when really hossing on it the tighter short travel mode seems to be better for racing.


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