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Gifting Bike To Wife- Suspension Question


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I must be in love. I'm giving my beloved 2002 F4i to my wife of nearly 7 years and mother of my 3 children. That bike has been with me before her and several girlfriends before. Now, it's hers. But I want to set it up correctly before I emotionally part with it.

 

The bike has customs suspension up front with Racetech 1.0 springs and Ohlins 46PRCLS shock on the rear. I had the suspension done about 2007 and at the time I weighed 210lbs. My wife is.....she might kill me to say (LoL) but she's 180lbs. Should I have the springs changed now or wait until a bit later? Possibly those springs aren't what they used to be either. The bike and suspension are 100% functional, but I recently had some TLC done to it and had it cleaned up, new tires, fluids, chain and sprockets..the works. It's going to get new bodywork and/or paint job soon to make the transition complete.

 

I'm on the fence about what to do about the suspension. Racetech recommends 0.97kg for 210# and 0.925kg springs for 180# but they say to use the closest springs available, which are 0.95 for both weights. I suspect it would be similar for the Ohlins shock.

 

She'll mostly ride on the street but we're going to try to get to a trackday before 2016 ends.

 

Thanks.

 

 

 

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Have you attempted to set the sag? This will give you an idea if the springs are too soft if you end up running out of preload adjustment trying to get your sag numbers.

 

For the street It's fine as if you are topping out or bottoming out the suspension there you probably have a lot more problems than the suspension with the police helicopter following you. :)

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I just got a response from Ohlins. It turns out that the stock spring (which I have) works well for her goal weight numbers, She's just 5lbs shy of the recommended range.

 

It sounds like her losing 5+ lbs and THEN changing the springs is the ideal solution.

 

We haven't attempted to set sag, which I know is the correct order of operations to know for sure if the spring needs to be changed out. I figure they usually get you in a good ballpark with math calculations on spring selection which makes setting preload a breeze.

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I just got a response from Ohlins. It turns out that the stock spring (which I have) works well for her goal weight numbers, She's just 5lbs shy of the recommended range.

 

It sounds like her losing 5+ lbs and THEN changing the springs is the ideal solution.

 

We haven't attempted to set sag, which I know is the correct order of operations to know for sure if the spring needs to be changed out. I figure they usually get you in a good ballpark with math calculations on spring selection which makes setting preload a breeze.

 

I have two suggestions:

1) You should NOT, under any circumstances, suggest to her that she ought to lose 5 lbs. :)

2) Consider including suspension setup at her first track day with the track day suspension guy (if your trackday provider has one) as part of the gift, they can set sag for her with all her gear right there at the track. It's usually not very expensive, in the $40-$60 range. Usually the fee includes setting sag first thing in the morning, then making a few adjustments throughout the day to dial in the settings to the rider's liking. Then she and the suspension guy can evaluate whether the current springs and valving will work for her, and whether there is any maintenance that needs doing.

 

You can have a local bike shop set sag but I haven't had the best luck with that myself (I even had a tech at a shop tell me "you don't need to set sag, it doesn't matter"), the trackday suspension guys are usually much more efficient with it, and understand more clearly why it is needed!

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I just got a response from Ohlins. It turns out that the stock spring (which I have) works well for her goal weight numbers, She's just 5lbs shy of the recommended range.

 

It sounds like her losing 5+ lbs and THEN changing the springs is the ideal solution.

 

We haven't attempted to set sag, which I know is the correct order of operations to know for sure if the spring needs to be changed out. I figure they usually get you in a good ballpark with math calculations on spring selection which makes setting preload a breeze.

 

I have two suggestions:

1) You should NOT, under any circumstances, suggest to her that she ought to lose 5 lbs. :)

2) Consider redirecting the money you would spend on changing springs and instead pay the local trackday suspension guy to set up the bike (with her and her gear) on her first track day, if your local trackday provider has a suspension person. Usually the fee includes setting sag first thing in the morning, then making a few adjustments throughout the day to dial in the settings to the rider's liking. It's usually not very expensive, in the $40-$60 range.

 

You can have a local bike shop set sag but I haven't had the best luck with that myself (I even had a tech at a shop tell me "you don't need to set sag, it doesn't matter"), the trackday suspension guys are usually much more efficient with it.

 

Thank you for suggestion #1. She sets her own goals and I just keep them in the back of my mind (silently, I might add).

2- Between a combination of myself and my local shop owner (who's key player in a trackday org) we should be able to get it in the ballpark for street riding. I do recall (with the help of old emails) the bike giving me fits going from street to track with those settings until I had it dialed in, but it was fine going from track back to street. I'm thinking rider technique had a lot to do with that. That was also before L1/L2 at CSS.

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I just got a response from Ohlins. It turns out that the stock spring (which I have) works well for her goal weight numbers, She's just 5lbs shy of the recommended range.

 

It sounds like her losing 5+ lbs and THEN changing the springs is the ideal solution.

 

We haven't attempted to set sag, which I know is the correct order of operations to know for sure if the spring needs to be changed out. I figure they usually get you in a good ballpark with math calculations on spring selection which makes setting preload a breeze.

 

I have two suggestions:

1) You should NOT, under any circumstances, suggest to her that she ought to lose 5 lbs. :)

 

Hotfoot, you just made my day there.

Your advice is very well dispensed, and to my knowledge covers all women that walk this earth.

It's like trying to say that a woman is older than 29 years old :)

 

More seriously, what I'd recommend you to do is to have the shock serviced by an Ohlins technician (new oil and Nitrogen gas, checking if any gaskets etc needs replacement. Fairly inexpensive stuff). I don't ride competitively on the track, so I keep my service interval to every 2 years (both for the roadbike and the racebike) - otherwise I would be looking at once a year.

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