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tmckeen

Fork Travel

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I've done a little googling, but I can't seem to find a good answer to this question

 

 

How much of your total fork travel should you be using ??

 

 

obviously you don't want to be bottoming out your forks, but should you be fairly close to using all of it ? or 3/4 of it ??

 

after a few track days with a Zip Tie on my front fork , and some very aggressive braking on the straight at SoW I've only managed to use 84-86 mm of my 120 mm's of total travel. Should I be using more or is that perfectly fine ??

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T,

 

From my understanding, there are two contradicting points/opinions:

1) The fork (damping system) work best in the mid-1/3 stroke

2) You want to utilize as much stroke as possible, so as much oil is flowed through the valves and that you can adjust the valves best.

 

For me, I try to adjust the fork so that I use almost all the travel - e.g. 110-115mm out of 120mm. I find that this gives me the best feel and feedback, without compromising stability. On my streetbike, I keep fighting with too little stroke: here the fork feels overly harsh, because the spring is so hard I can't get any stroke and thereby any damping going.

 

As always, YMMV.

 

Kai (off to Sepang tomorrow for the races B) )

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I like to run my suspension set up so I am using about 90%;

front example is I like the feel of the set up when using up 100-105mm of the 115mm of available travel

 

On the track I find this pretty easy to accomplish, however

 

On the street if I set it up this way or leave it how the track settings are I often will bottom the front suspension on sharp edged bumps or broken pavement and that isn't good. As loss of traction is likely, not too mention the harm it does to the bike.

So I Run my front so I am only using about 90mm most of the time on the street, and then when I hit those broken pavement sections or sharp edged bumps I am not bottoming out the front susension. I often times will see the ziptie within a couple mm of the lower triple after hitting those, but when usually riding it is more like 1/2" - 3/4" away from the lower triple.

My sag settings typically are 32mm-35mm for street riding and down closer to 26-29mm for track riding, using only the spring preload adjuster to make those changes, I do add in a little bit of extra damping (rebound and compression) when I have more preload added.

I video taped the rear suspension in action once on a street ride, I was using nearly all the travel from end to end and a couple times had even bottomed it out. I since went to the next stiffer rear spring but have not since video taped it. But I did notice that it feels better even though it has far less spring preload to achieve the same sag numbers.

But I by no means am a suspension expert

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I've done a little googling, but I can't seem to find a good answer to this question

 

 

How much of your total fork travel should you be using ??

 

 

obviously you don't want to be bottoming out your forks, but should you be fairly close to using all of it ? or 3/4 of it ??

 

after a few track days with a Zip Tie on my front fork , and some very aggressive braking on the straight at SoW I've only managed to use 84-86 mm of my 120 mm's of total travel. Should I be using more or is that perfectly fine ??

I think you have to go by feel on this, if the bike feels good to you (front end planted, good feedback, bike is holding a line, and is stable under braking) AND you are using at least 60-70% of the travel, you should be fine. SoW is not necessarily a track that would use all of your front compression - the same settings at Fontana, for example, would likely put that zip tie lower on the fork.

 

However if you were using less than half of the travel and the clickers were set at or near full soft, I'd want to check whether the front spring was too stiff for your weight and riding style, or if there is some other problem (oil or valving or bound forks).

 

If the bike feels stiff in front to you, where do you have the clickers set? If you haven't changed those at all, consider doing the suspension set up drill available from CSS, it goes through a settings checklist that allows you to try a full rage of settings to see how the bike feels in various scenarios, it helps a LOT in getting a good feel for what happens when the front is too soft or too hard, rebound is too slow or too quick, and various other setup problems.

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Thanks for all the responses,

 

I guess my main issue is the bike feels exactly like its always felt, it isn't bad or unstable or anything, but I don't know if it could be better as I have nothing to "benchmark" it against.

 

My current setting for the forks according to my notes are as follows

 

Sag Front: 33mm ( Travel 120 mm )

Compression Fast: 0.374" ( Range 0.31" - 0.47" )

Compression Slow: 10 clicks ( Range 1 - 16 Clicks )

Rebound: 7 clicks ( Range 1-17 Clicks )

 

the stock spring rates should be right on for my weight, according to the online calculators I've looked at, assuming that the forks have the stock springs in them

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Thanks for all the responses,

 

I guess my main issue is the bike feels exactly like its always felt, it isn't bad or unstable or anything, but I don't know if it could be better as I have nothing to "benchmark" it against.

 

My current setting for the forks according to my notes are as follows

 

Sag Front: 33mm ( Travel 120 mm )

Compression Fast: 0.374" ( Range 0.31" - 0.47" )

Compression Slow: 10 clicks ( Range 1 - 16 Clicks )

Rebound: 7 clicks ( Range 1-17 Clicks )

 

the stock spring rates should be right on for my weight, according to the online calculators I've looked at, assuming that the forks have the stock springs in them

Sag Front: 33mm ( Travel 120 mm ) = 27.5 % of total travel

 

>which is within range for a track day setup ~

 

(25-30% for track , on streets I personally use 30-33% as its bumpy around here)

 

I recently read an article by dave moss, seems that you like your bike to have less "pogo"-ing

 

Quoted from his FB:

3. Weight transfer can be visualized as a clock face, the front wheel at 9am the rear at 3pm. As we brake the weight will move from noon towards 9. How far & how fast? Spring tension and compression damping will determine that. Therefore the same is true under acceleration with shock preload and compression. Do you want to go from 3-9 with weight transfer or 10-2, or 11-1. That's your choice and you set the bike up to your needs.

 

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