Tuesday, August 9

Tuning Fish

You really can't blame me.  In the past, suspension fork manuals have been relatively worthless.  I hate using "sag" as a guideline.  Give me realistic weight/air pressure charts, and I'll go from there.

Even tho most of the time I would initially adhere to the charts, I would go out, have a shitty ride (or two), and adjust from there.  Usually, the suggested air pressures for my weight would be too low.


As far as all the knobs and buttons go on my more modern forks, fast'ish rebound, crank the low speed, rarely ever use anything other than "climb/lockout" and "trail" modes... since the fork would dive too much in the slow chunder on a sick descent (we have that on the Right Coast).

So, I can't say I looked too hard at the Step Cast manual.  This time, it was admittedly a mistake.

Suggestions for rebound speed based on air pressure which is based on weight?  That seems more scientific than "of course I don't want the fastest rebound, so mebbe few clicks in because... burrito?"

Also, those volume spacers.  It should have been an obvious thing to look at in regards to the limited travel I was getting last week.  Feeling shitty physically in addition to Basil saying he has a Fox fjork do something similar in the past... I was thinking that maybe there was too much oil in it.

Didn't really figure they already had two volume spacers in the fjork straight from the factory.  I guess not everyone weighs as much as Emily Batty, so they shot for the middle.  Derp.

So, take out the volume spacers, put the same amount of air back in, one click out on the rebound and full-on low speed compression damping.

Testing it by squishing it up and down in the bike room not good enough this time (not that it was good enough last time).


Hubbs had told me that the Tech Loop at the Backyard Trails was going to be shut down after the weekend for greenway construction.  I told him that as much as I will miss it, I don't ride BYT in the summer anymore.  Too much poison ivy and it's the most humid place in Charlotte (maybe on the planet).

But it is the closest place and it does have plenty of smaller hucks and such, not to mention there's a few flowy downhill'esque sections.

Shit. I'll go to the BYT.

Jump, flow, jump, huck on to the Tech Loop... run into Hubbs on his respective farewell ride.  Chat about the future of the BYT.

Finish talking to him, get bit/stung in the neck, run into him again (such is the nature of the BYT, insect encounters and running into the same people over and over).

He tells me that he was attacked by fire ants the last time he was there.  The fact that he didn't refer to them as "spicy boys" affirms my belief that Hubbs does a good job keeping his distance from the internet.

In the end, it was just enough of a ride to prove what a moron I can be, if I allow it, which I do... often.

My original tooo-slow rebound setting was causing the fjork to pack up on the gnar downhills and when added to the limited air volume, I had minimal useful travel when things were getting hairy.  This affected traction, kept the fork compressed too much (making the HTA wonky), and also made it hard to get the front end off the ground to get over obstacles (stupid but sexy rebound knob).

I should mention this is the first fork I've owned with three settings/compression damping modes that I've actually enjoyed riding in the "open" or "descend" mode most of the time.  Had I remembered what I read oh-so long ago in Michael Cushionbury's review on Dirt Rag...

"I mostly kept the fork in open mode, rather than the middle setting, because compared to pre-2016 offerings, that setting now performs very well. Only when the trail smoothed out for longer stretches did I go to medium. And of course firm was great for pavement and gravel riding to the trailhead."

Yeah, had I remembered, perhaps I woulda figured out I was doing something wrong from the get-go.

A ride at BYT does not equate to a ride in the mountains tho.  I'm looking at one more ride next week (prolly local) and then SSUSA in Allegrippis (which is pretty rigid frok friendly)... and that's it until SM100.

Still on the fence, but one leg is closer to the ground than the other right now.


Anonymous said...

Yeah! Score one for the New and Improved "Squishy Dicky".

Anonymous said...

time to get off the squish and back on the dish... I don't do squishy anymore, shit breaks and then yah be flat... I ride the front fork locked out. If I can't handle the terrain then I shouldn't be riding the terrain. Much more challenging and skill bar raised by riding locked out. My rear is HT.

AdamB said...

What about the egg shaped ring dude? That's what I'm interested in!

dicky said...

It's still egg-shaped.

Anonymous said...

Wow you apply the shit out of he pronoun I! Just in the last week the tally blew up the bot!

Anonymous said...

*the not he

Mike Rotch said...

^^wow you're incredibly observant...

Love squishy, hate money pits.