Adjust Damping Compression for Mountain Bikes

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Tips for Damping Settings to Affect Mountain Biking....5

Get tips for adjusting mountain bike suspension damper compression settings in this free online bicycle parts and maintenance video.

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So, most high-end parts, suspension components, have external adjustments where you, the end user, can change how the shock damps--damps things that you hit. So how it slows down the spring rate, versus what the spring rate would naturally do. That's what damping is. A lot of people say dampening--that means something is getting wet. Things are only getting dampened if your shock is broken. On this Rockshox pike suspension fork here, the compression damping that we have is all adjusted up top here. The damper in this fork is very similar to this. We've got this ported damper, we've got a shim stack in the bottom, and basically, by moving this blue knob which you can see--it says compression on it, which is really handy, and it has a lock with an arrow pointing towards it. If I move the compression damper all the way to the locked position, the fork doesn't move. If I unlock it, it moves very easily. So, there's more of a range than just from lock out to full open. So, across there it changes what the low speed compression damping is, which is the chassis--the stability of the chassis. The more low-speed compression damping you dial in, the less the fork is going to bob when you're out of the saddle climbing or pedaling, the less it's going to bob when you're breaking, and it's going to keep everything more consistent. Some people like lighter damping because soaks up tiny little trail irregularities better and stuff like that, but I really prefer firmer damping because it gives me a more consistent feel. Things are going to feel the same every time I hit them, going to ride higher in the travel, and I feel like it's going to make a better use of my travel.

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