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Ibis Ripmo with RideFast LocoMoto Rims

Ibis Ripmo with RideFast Rims

Enjoy some shots of this Ibis Ripmo with RideFast LocoMoto rims laced to Industry Nine hubs.

This build started with the Ibis XT Complete. The XT Ibis build features the 1×12 HyperGlide + drivetrain as well as Shimano’s most popular 4 piston XT brakes.

From there our team worked with the client to understand their riding needs to dial in the spec.

Industry Nine Hubs on RideFast LocoMoto rims

Industry Nine Hubs on RideFast Rims

The industry Nine Hydra hubs provide riders quick engagement, a variety of awesome colorways and are Made in the USA.

RideFast LocoMoto rims are a cost conscious aluminum option with attention to detail across the design. In particular these LocoMoto rims feature a 30mm internal rim width, a popular width for a lot of riders.

Slightly narrower than the stock Ibis 35mm internal width rims the LocoMoto creates a bit more radius on the mounted tire’s shape.

RideFast LocoMoto rim with tire mounted

Rim Width: Cornering & Support

Wider rims benefit many riders providing increased volume which allows a lower PSI to support the same weight. This lower PSI allows more conformity in the tire which translates to increased grip.

The other side of the coin with wider rims is the effect on cornering lugs. The wider mounting surface slightly “squares off” the tire pulling the cornering lugs more vertical. This can compromise traction during high lean angle corners.

Narrower rims, and when we say “narrow” we mean the kind of 29-33 range these days, with the increased tire radius pull the cornering knobs outside of the sidewall shape. This allows riders to lean deep into corners without riding past the cornering knobs.

The lower volume of a narrower rim will require greater PSI for support. This can compromise traction if it takes so much pressure to keep you off the rims that the tire can’t conform and stick to the trail. This is where the wide range of sidewall support options helps dial in performance by the way.

CushCore: Support & Protection

An option to help keep your rims true and minimize snake bite tire cuts is to add CushCore rim protection to your setup.

CushCore protection is available in both PRO and XC. Many riders mix and match or run only one CushCore depending on their requirements.

You can shop rim protection options here or use the chat, email or call and our team will help dial you in.

Ibis Ripmo with RaceFace Stem and Bars

Other Popular Upgrades

Have other ideas for your dream build? Stoked! We can help you dial them in.

Popular upgrades include cockpits, like the 35mm RaceFace shown above, frame protection, and brakes.

Wondering about your dream bike’s availability? Check out what we have in-stock, in-production (soon to be available) and in-bound here.

 

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Adjustable Travel on Dropper Posts

Adjustable Travel on Dropper Seatposts OneUp & PNW

Adjustable Travel on Dropper Posts

Fine tune your MTB fit with these MTB  seatposts featuring adjustable travel on dropper posts.

Adjusting adjustable travel? Isn’t that like a double negative? No, not really.

For riders who are looking for the maximum travel on their dropper post the adjustable sizing from OneUp Components and PNW provides a wide range of fit options.

Your adjustable post fit is based on your leg length and frame size. While many riders are content running a size that will have the seatpost collar a touch above the frame collar others want all they can get.

If you’re one of those riders a post with travel adjustment is what you’re looking for.

You can purchase a slightly longer travel post than would normally fit and shim down the travel slightly. (we touch on sizing adjustable posts here)

So why not just stop the post where you want it? Well, most riders want the seatpost to sit at full XC pedaling position so they can quickly get back on the power. Having to adjust it each time is slower and will result in different lengths almost every time. (I’ve seen a DIY “travel stop” with a cable to the saddle – but I’m not sure I’d be looking for another cable looped trying to catch my legs, pants, trees, branches, whatever while I’m descending…)

OneUp Dropper V2

One of the most popular adjustable posts thanks to its compact total size combined with long travel the OneUp Dropper V2 features a toolless travel adjustment.

Watch the video to understand how to quickly adjust your OneUp Dropper V2 travel with the provided dowel spacers.

OneUp Dropper V2 Travel Adjustment

Adjusting the travel on your OneUp Dropper V2 is quick and easy.

First loosen the collar. Typically you can do this with your hands, although sometimes a soft strap wrench is needed to get the collar free.

You’ll need to bump the travel, in the video I do it on the post – it’s much easier with a remote installed, to free the white retainer.

Once the collar and the retainer are out of the way you install the desired amount of spacers for the proper travel adjustment in the three channels around the dropper post shaft.

Ensure that you have the same amount in all three channels before continuing.

Similar to removing the retainer a bump down in travel will help reseat the retainer in place.

Tighten the collar appropriately and test the function.

PNW Loam & Rainier Gen 3 RAD Seatposts

PNW posts are made to handle the rigors of the Pacific North West – often wet and muddy. The Rainier in particular is designed to compensate for these factors. Both the Loam and Rainier offer toolless adjustable travel to fine tune fit.

Watch the video to understand how to quickly adjust PNW Seatpost Travel.

How To Adjust PNW RAD Seatpost Travel

The PNW Rainer and Loam seatposts feature toolless travel adjustment. Adjusting seatpost top out allows riders to maximize their total seatpost travel with the seatpost installed as deep in the frame as possible.

Start by lowering the seatpost from full extension, but not so low that you can’t loosen the collar and move the adjuster. About halfway is fine.

Loosen the collar. Typically you can do this by hand, but a soft strap wrench might be needed to get it moving.

Carefully move the collar up the seatpost shaft. Do not scratch the seatpost shaft or you’re likely to have issues with the internals seals, etc.

Rotate the seatpost to expose the arc allowing you to get under the lip of the plastic adjuster. Pull the adjuster up to allow it to rotate.

Realign the adjuster’s arrow to the number corresponding to the amount of travel you’d like to limit.

Tighten the seat collar and check the post’s function.

Questions on which adjustable post is best for you? No problem, our team has you covered.

Call, email, chat or fill out the form below for more details!

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Four Best MTB Dropper Posts

Top Four MTB Dropper Posts

Which are the best MTB dropper posts? The features, reliability, and frankly a bit of bling go into narrowing our list to the best MTB dropper posts on the market.

One thing about the MTB industry – it rarely stands still. MTB Dropper posts have gotten more functional, longer travel with increased service life. The seatposts we’ll examine are class leaders available in a variety of sizes to dial in any rider.

Most riders start their search by determining the size range they’ll need.

What Size Dropper Post Will Fit?

Starting with your inseam measurement you can deduce what size dropper posts will fit your needs.

Subtract the frame collar to pedal surface as well as saddle rail to saddle seating surface from the inseam measurement.  This will get you in the neighborhood to size you dropper.

Remember to leave some wiggle room to go down. Spec’ing a post that is required to sit collar to collar on your bike means if you need it shorter you’re going to have to adjust it in the seatposts’ travel. (either with PNW or OneUp style adjustments or by slightly lowering the saddle each time (less than ideal))

Further down in the post you’ll find dimensions comparing the travel, collar to rails, overall length as well as min and max insertion of our four favorite brands of post.

What are our Top Four MTB Dropper Posts?

This list shows our four favorites, in no particular order. It’s up to you to review sizing and features to decide which of these posts best suits your needs.

FOX Transfer Factory Kashima Dropper Post

It’s not all about the Kashima coating – well – some of it is about how good the Kashima coat looks with your FOX Factory fork and rear shock I suppose for sure!

200mm, 175mm, and 150mm travel options give riders of all sizes options.

The new seat clamp is designed to sit lower allowing riders more travel per size. The revised FOX Transfer is also notably lighter than it’s predecessors. FOX has improved the Transfer’s internals providing longer service life with easier serviceability. Perhaps as notable as the seat clamp is the reduced insertion depth, again, allowing longer travel in smaller frames.

FOX Transfer Seatposts

FOX Factory Transfer Seatpost. New head for lower overall length.

PNW LOAM & Rainier Gen 3 Seatposts

Compare PNW Loam and Rainier Gen 3 Seatposts

PNW Loam & Rainier Gen 3 Posts

PNW’s MTB dropper posts lineup feature some unique design advantages.

First, like the OneUp, the adjustable travel allows riders to maximize dropper travel. Looking for maximum travel? Well with the tool-less adjustability it couldn’t be easier to run the most seatpost your frame will allow.

PNW posts are cost conscious as well. The Loam post features a revised cartridge designed for ease of maintenance while the Rainier Gen 3’s cartridge absolutely shines in cold, wet, conditions.

The PNW travel adjust system provides 5 settings, each reducing travel by 5mm (total of 25mm).

This produces the available popular travel lengths:

200-175mm
175-150mm
150-125mm

Bike Yoke Revive 2.0 Seatpost

The Revive 2.0 MTB dropper seatpost features a unique “reset” capacity.

Utilizing an internal cartridge capable of purging air from the hydraulics with external controls you can eliminate any squish in your seatpost faster than your buddy can get his shoes on.

Simply engage the quarter turn access hardware near the seatpost head, compress the seatpost, and release the bleed hardware. It’s that easy.

The Revive 2.0 is available in long travel options making it popular with riders looking for maximum drop. 213mm and 185mm posts are available.

The Revive 2.0 has a max rider weight of 250lbs.

Bike Yoke Revive Seatposts

Bike Yoke Revive 2.0

OneUp Dropper V2

OneUp Dropper Seatpost V2

OneUp Dropper V2 Seatpost

The OneUp Dropper V2 seatpost is a cost conscious, long travel, adjustable travel option appropriate for a variety of riders.

The Dropper V2 can have it’s travel reduced either 10mm or 20mm below its stock height allowing riders some wiggle room on fine tuning their fit.

The V2 post also has a user replaceable cartridge available for $60 for the home mechanic.

Some of our favorite poits on the V2 dropper are its low overall length and stack meaning longer travel options will fit in smaller frames.

Popular travel sizes are 210mm, which can reduce to 200 or 190mm,  180mm (170,160mm) and 150mm (140,130mm)

Compare Dimensions on our 4 Favorite MTB Dropper Posts

Review Travel, Collar to Saddle Rails, Overall Height as well as Minimum and Maximum insertion of the FOX, PNW, Bike Yoke and OneUp dropper posts.

Seatpost Dimension Diagram
Measurements in MM
Travel Collar to Rails Total Length Max Insertion Min Insertion
FOX Transfer 200 238.9 530.7 291.8 150
FOX Transfer 175 213.2 475.1 261.9 100
FOX Transfer 150 188.2 418.3 230 100
PNW Loam 200* 250* 540 290 145
PNW Loam 170* 220* 480 260 120
PNW Loam 150* 200* 440 240 190
PNW Rainier Gen 3 200* 255* 555 300 180
PNW Rainier Gen 3 170* 225* 493 268 150
Bike Yoke Revive 2.0 213 255 582 327 130
Bike Yoke Revive 2.0 185 227 517 290 130
Bike Yoke Revive 2.0 160 202 467 265 100
OneUp Dropper V2 210* 243* 540 297 150
OneUp Dropper V2 180* 213* 480 267 120
OneUp Dropper V2 150* 183* 420 237 90
* PNW & OneUp posts have adjustable travel options
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Mondraker SuperFoxy R Carbon 2021 Details

Mondraker SuperFoxy R Complete

We’re excited to introduce the Mondraker brand to our BikeCo.com clients. Enjoy some detail shots of the 2021 Mondraker SuperFoxy R Carbon 29er. This is a 160mm travel frame with a 170mm fork setup. Keep reading for more details and photos.

Mondraker SuperFoxy R

Mondraker was ahead of the curve with the longer top tube / reach measurements and steeper seat tube angles. What was named “Forward Geometry” has become the new expected standard as bikes are capable of bigger speeds in gnarlier terrain.

The SuperFoxy R has a variety of unique aspects both visually and performance oriented that put it on the short list for Enduro riders shopping new bikes.

Mondraker SuperFoxy R Front Triangle

One of the first things to jump out at you visually on the Mondraker lineup is the top tube design. The “short” vertically while normal width tube saves considerable weight while providing plenty of strength and lateral rigidity to the bike.

This thin top tube also creates the visual illusion that the bikes are really, really long – but when you check the numbers they’re absolutely in line with the modern expectations.

Mondraker SuperFoxy R Forward Geometry

Another look at the top tube. As mentioned Mondraker was ahead, or Forward on the geometry changes – but as the rest of the leading manufacturers saw the benefits the Mondraker’s aren’t ridden any different positionally than other modern bikes per class.

Another thing to look at – the web images of the Mondraker SuperFoxy R don’t do it ANY justice. In the natural light the metal flake blue and the yellow accents are both stunning!

Mondraker SuperFoxy R Axle Flip Chip

Mondraker Chainstay Flip Chip

Riders can adjust the axle flip chip to modify the chainstay length. This helps fine tune the balance point for varying steepness in terrain. It also modifies the wheelbase and chainstay versus front center balance by 10mm depending on setting.

Mondraker SuperFoxy R rear brake mount

Another look at the chainstay flip chip. You’ll also notice the unique brake mount on the lower stay. Using the lower stay as the brake mount allowed designers to minimize the seat stays saving weight without sacrificing performance. The SuperBoost rear hub also provides additional stiffness allowing a lighter rear triangle on the Mondraker.

Mondraker SuperFoxy R Suspension Design

Here’s a look at the non-drive side of the SuperFoxy R. Suspension linkage points are visible as well as the Ohlins’ shock on the Mondraker Zero design.

Mondraker SuperFoxy R Lower Pivot

Drive side of the SuperFoxy R with cranks, chain slap protector and lower linkage areas.

Ohlins MTB Shock

Ohlins HSC (Compression) adjuster switch.

Ohlins Shock Adjustment

Ohlins LSC (Compression) and rebound adjustment.

Mondraker SuperFoxy R Carbon Monoblock

The carbon monoblock upper pivot on the SuperFoxy R illustrates a couple of key design concepts.

First notice the double shear rear triangle mounts – this again allows a lighter rear triangle to stand up to the modern trail riding. The robust connection between left and right linkage helps minimize deflection.

By minimizing deflection your bearings are less likely to be thrust loaded which will notably increase service life – and quiet performance.

Mondraker SuperFoxy R Headtube

I love the way the top tube and top tube gusset blend into the Mondraker Headtube.

This is a bike that really comes alive in the natural light…

Mondraker SuperFoxy R Profile

The 2021 Mondraker SuperFoxy R is an enduro proven, long travel 29er with enough nimbleness to be fun on everything from your medium chunky local trails all the way to big race course or lift assist riding.

The most popular upgrades on this build are Magura Brakes (usually MT5 or MT7s), a GRIP2 damper for the fork (adds high and low speed compression as well as high and low speed rebound controls) as well as a rider’s favorite (if you have one) cockpit and saddle.

Currently we have the SuperFoxy R available in Size Large ready to ship! Check it out below

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Ibis Exie Frame Detail Photos

Ibis Exie Frame Details

Enjoy some photos of the new Ibis Exie frame detail. The Ibis Exie is a cross country bike, but like it’s Ibis siblings it’ll be at home in gnarlier terrain than you’d picture 100mm being confident in.

The Ibis Exie Frame is hand made in the U.S.A.  The attention to detail, like all Ibis mountain bikes, is second to none.

Check out some closeups of our favorite Ibis Exie Frame Details below.

Ibis Exie Frame Detail Photos

Ibis Exie Frame Detail Made in USA branding

Made in the USA. Right on your downtube.

Ibis Exie Frame Detail Upper Suspension Linkage

The upper DW Suspension linkage shaves out as much material as possible while retaining great lateral rigidity for on trail performance and confidence.

DW Link Logo on Ibis Exie Frame Chainstay

The Ibis Exie Frame features an included chainstay protector to minimize noise and damage from chain slap.

Ibis Exie Chain Guide

The unique chain guide for the Exie mounts directly onto the DW Suspension’s lower link.

Ibis Exie Frame Details

Looking into the lower triangle of the Exie. Ibis’ attention to detail includes a guard to minimize rock ingress.

Ibis Exie Frame Rear Triangle

Minimizing the amount of material on the through frame internal cable routing gives the Exie a clean look as well as saving a little bit of weight in carbon and resin.

Exie inboard brake mounts

Inboard rear brake mounts are the new standard for XC rigs. The Ibis’ has them.

Ibis Exie Top Tube Graphics

Bold branding on both top tube and down tube is perfect for the XC racer and trail rider.

Ibis Exie Headtube Badge

The iconic Ibis’ headtube badge looks perfect on the new Exie.

Ibis Exie Frame

This Ibis Exie was one of the original limited edition 40 released in July of 2021. Depending on how quickly you see this it might be yours!

Shop the Ibis Exie, Ripley, Mojo 4 and Ripmo from The Bike Company. Our attention to detail during spec, setup, tune and after sales service are unmatched.

All bikes are frame prepped to ensure the best performance and the longest service life.  (want something a little more burly? Chat with our team about BikeCo Race Frame Prep)

Custom suspension tuning is available for all FOX forks and rear shocks.

We look forward to dialing in your next bike with you.

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Top Eight MTB Flat Pedals

Top Eight MTB Flat Pedals

Top Eight MTB Flat Pedals

At BikeCo.com we’re often asked what our favorite products are. It’s a bit of a loaded question because different riding styles prioritize different features. But when it comes to flat pedals, or platform pedals we can put together a list of our top eight mtb flat pedals – but you’ll have to look at the factors and decide which is the best for your use!

To begin are you a rider who is testing the flat pedal waters or are you committed to platform pedals?

If you’re testing the waters there are great composite pedal options that are cost conscious while providing a variety of colors to highlight your build. Composite pedals can be slightly lighter; however they tend to weigh in pretty close as the composite generally requires a taller pedal than aluminum for support. Most MTB composite pedals will feature pins similar to the aluminum offerings – these aren’t your barefoot beach cruiser pedals…

Riders that will be riding mtb flat pedals for some time tend to gravitate to the aluminum options. As mentioned above the aluminum pedals can be thinner based on material properties. This allows extra clearance as well as slightly lowers your center of gravity by sitting lower over the pedal spindle.

Another aspect to consider is shoe size. While you’ll find most quality platform pedals are somewhat similar in size there are variations. It’s worth a consideration particularly if you’re on one side of the shoe size scale.

On a side note, whether you ride clipless or flats proper cornering footwork is important. When you turn left you have your right foot down, and vice versa. Riders getting used to flat pedals who forget this often find the wider flat pedal can contact the ground, like a peg on a motorcycle, and stick or slide. I’ve seldom had it happen on the trail, but occasionally I’ve been on the road or bike path and turned my brain off ending up in a quick pedal slide. If it slides and you don’t panic it’s pretty easy to ride out of. If it sticks you need to act quicker.

Want to compare flat pedal dimensions? No problem. Scroll through the images below and you can see some of our favorite pedals contact patches highlighted. The black outlines represent the available contact points while the semi-transparent white illustrates the “other side” of the pedal.

So, let’s get down to it.

What are our Top Eight MTB Flat Pedals?

This list isn’t going to be a #1 is the best and #8 is a sacrifice since there are so many personal aspects on pedal selection. But here are, in a somewhat arbitrary order, our favorite platform pedals.

Favorite Aluminum Pedals

Race Face Atlas Pedals

A super popular option for a variety of reasons. Notably the large inboard bearing makes this pedal robust even for heavier riders.

The advertised platform size includes the ramp for the lower side, but it’s close to a 101x104mm useable surface.

The pins are based on bolts which can tend to add a tiny bit of weight to a pedal design, however, they can be easier to remove if substantially damaged.

The Race Face Atlas Pedals are available in a handful of colors: Black, Blue, Green & Red. Some of the earlier favorite colors have been sacrificed for SKU minimization it seems.

HT ANS10 Supreme Pedals

An evolution from earlier HT pedals, the ANS10 Supreme Pedals are slightly thicker than other HT models coming in at a published 16.6mm.

Featuring a familiar HT profile the ANS10 Supreme features bolt pins on the leading and trailing edge with threaded studs on the outboard edge.

HT pedals are available in wide spectrum of colors, however availability post-Covid production / shipping may limit your options depending on time frames.

DMR Vault Pedals

The DMR Vault Pedals have that classic pedal shape. DMR advertises tune-able pins which would allow you to fine tune grip and a bit of shape.

The Vault pedal is designed with a concave footbed for improved contact and feel.

Built with a high load DU bushing and cartridge bearing the Vault Pedal is fully serviceable.

Signature models are available like the popular Lacon Oil-Slick, Brendog Stealth and the Brendog Ice. DMR also offers the Vault in; Sandblast Black, Gloss Black, Copper Orange, Lem Lime & Full Silver.

Deity TMAC Pedals

Tyler McCaul’s signature flat pedals, the Deity TMAC Pedals have a 105×110 contact patch, one of the longer contact patches on our list.

The pedal is 14mm thick and designed with a 2.5mm concave to keep your foot confidently planted in the pedal.

The symmetrical pedal profile provides that large contact patch and allows for weight to be shaved from the vertical blank.

Available in some great polished colorways, our favorites are the Black, Blue, Platinum Silver and Bronze.

OneUp Aluminum Pedals

Like the Race Face Atlas Pedal the OneUp Components Aluminum Pedal features a large inboard bearing for improved service life and performance.

One potential downside to the larger inboard bearing is fit with deep counterbore cranks, ie OneUp advises that the Aluminum Pedals are not compatible with SRAM carbon cranks or many protective crank boots.

The OneUp Pedal has a 115mm usable platform, making it one of the longer contact patch pedals in our selection. This is great for riders with bigger feet. Another interesting aspect of cranks without a lot of fore / aft taper – the spindle sits more “truly centered” rather than slightly forward. It’s probably not enough to notice, but, it’s there.

Best Composite Pedals

What are our go-to composite flat pedals? Check it out.

OneUp Components Comp Pedal

This composite pedal shares the same contact patch design as the OneUp Aluminum Pedals at a cost conscious price point.

Traction is provided with 10 rear loading steel pins per side.

The 115mm long contact patch is great for riders with larger feet.

Available in Black, Red & Orange to highlight your build details.

Crank Brothers Stamp 1, Large Pedals

Like the OneUp Comp Pedal the Crank Brothers Stamp 1 in Large offers a great contact patch for riders with larger feet. This is accomplished with minimal taper from “top” to “bottom”.

The Stamp 1 are one of the thinner composite offerings published at 13mm. 9 adjustable hex traction pins per side for confident grip in any terrain.

Shop Tag Metals T3 Flat Pedals

Tag Metals T3 Pedals

In the MTB world Tag Metals name can seem a bit misleading. Tag Metals produces quality carbon fiber handlebars as well as great composite T3 pedals.

The published dimension is the entire pedal, the contact patch is more like the Race Face Atlas around 105mm give or take (not the 110 published)

Tag Metals T3 Pedals are available in Black, Orange, Red and Gray.

Didn’t see your current or favorite pedals on this list? Well, we are serious about curating product for our clients. We work with the best brands with product riders can trust and vendors can stand behind.

Check out the rest of our flat pedals here.

 

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Understanding MTB Suspension Controls

Comparing How Pressure on Air Suspension Is Applied

Understanding MTB Suspension Controls

Air Pressure, Volume Spacing, Rebound and Compression work in concert to fine tune you bike’s performance.  Watch the video and read through the blog to be a step closer to understanding MTB Suspension Controls!

Video: MTB Suspension for Beginners

Click through the tabs below to learn more about the specifics of Air Spring Pressure, Volume Spacing, Compression and Rebound tuning.

PSI / Spring Rate

MTB suspension must accommodate a wide range of rider weight. To achieve this nearly all forks and rear shocks use an adjustable air spring.

By varying air pressure riders set a desired sag, or percentage of travel that the bike “sits into” under neutral loading.

Modifying this sag percentage will change small bump compliance as well as bottom out characteristics.

Learning how to Pre-Charge your suspension pump will help you make finite adjustments to sag.

Typically 15% sag is for a firm setup and 20% sag is considered plush.

Fine Tuning Control: Volume Spacing.
Air springs ramp rate, sometimes called Spring Rate, is based on how air compresses in the containment cylinder. As the air is compressed the PSI increases according to the decreasing volume of the containment. This is done via non-compressible volume spacers in the air chamber.

Opposing Control: Rebound.
Higher spring rate will drive the suspension back to neutral with more force than a lower spring rate. To keep the bike from skipping across trail rebound damping is utilized.

“Helping” Control: Compression.
Compression controls provide hydraulic damping to slow the fork through its travel.

Volume Tuning

As suspension compresses (travel reduces) a piston moves closer to the end of a sealed container. By decreasing the volume of the container the PSI pushing back on the piston is increased.

By adding or removing non-compressible volume spacers riders modify the air spring’s ramp rate which directly changes the amount of support and bottom out feel of the fork or shock.

By removing volume spacers a rider increases the available volume in the suspension. The larger volume compresses less per mm of travel resulting in a lower PSI per mm of travel. This creates less support and is utilizes more travel.

Adding volume spacers decreases the available volume. With less air volume the PSI per mm of travel increases providing more support and greater resistance to bottom out.

Opposing Control: Rebound.
Rebound may need to be adjusted for volume tuning depending on how drastic of a PSI change is being tuned in or out of the suspension.

“Helping” Control: Compression.
Compression provides additional support and bottom out resistance.

Compression

Compression controls provide damping to slow suspension travel as a load is applied and the suspension is compressed. (easy one right?)

When riders have found sag and volume spacing preferences compression controls provide minute adjustments to dial in performance. Adding compression provides more support allowing the suspension to ride taller in its travel which is important when dialing in a bike’s personality in corners, etc.

With too little compression a bike will sit deep in the travel. This compromises cornering and braking force resistance. Headtube angle, bottom bracket height, front to rear weight bias, etc are modified as a bike goes through its travel. Maintaining control of the use of travel is paramount for good performance.

Since compression hydraulically slows the suspension’s use of travel it therefor lowers the air spring’s PSI. Properly setting compression controls will help ease the load on the rebound system by controlling the air spring’s push back onto the rebound circuit.

Too much compression will cause a bike to feel harsh and not use appropriate amounts of travel.

Generally, compression settings are fine tuned after sag and volume spacing have riders “in the ballpark.”

Low speed compression controls mid-stroke as well as support in cornering and against brake dive.

High speed compression helps with bottom out and high shaft speed inputs.

3 positions switches are a type of compression circuit with Open the most plush, Mid providing some additional support and Firm for climbing. If you climb in firm remember to put it back to plush for the downhill or you’re in for a potentially rough ride.

Rebound

Rebound damping controls a suspension’s shaft speed returning to a neutral position. Or, how fast the air spring pushes back as the load changes.

More rebound damping slows the suspension by decreasing the amount of fluid allowed to pass through the hydraulic design.

Less rebound damping allows the suspension to return faster with less hydraulic restriction on the damper.

Rebound setting is based on weight, ground speed, terrain and aggression. Setting the rebound properly means finding the right frequency or feel for your riding.

If your rebound is too fast, or doesn’t have enough clicks of rebound, the bike will tend to skip and suffer poor small bump compliance.

When the rebound is too slow, or you have too many clicks of rebound, the suspension may “pack up” creating a harsh ride as each bump uses progressively more travel forcing the suspension deeper into the travel, which will have higher spring rates.

Opposing: Air Spring PSI / Spring Rate.

“Helping” Control: Low & High Speed Rebound.
Some suspension is designed with 2 rebound circuits. The High Speed Rebound circuit is designed to provide additional control resisting increased PSI late in suspension travel. Typically High Speed Rebound settings are used as the Low Speed Rebound controls edge towards closed. Example: you might not use any clicks of High Speed Rebound until you reach “X” clicks on the low speed.

More on Understanding MTB Suspension Controls

While illustrating what started as a real basic, kind of introduction to understanding mtb suspension controls there were some visualizations of “oh, I knew what that felt like, but when I ‘see’ it it makes even more sense”.

Getting a proper suspension setup involves balancing the available adjustments into windows where each characteristic functions. Quality suspension manufacturers tend to have their adjustments in a ballpark for about 140lb to close to 275lb riders.

What this means is that the 20 some clicks aren’t  all “for you” all the time. (which is one of the big benefits of our BikeCo Pro Tunes where we narrow the performance window for your riding style, goals, weight, ground speed etc meaning each click is controlling a smaller performance window giving you more options but more on that another time).

Your needs will dictate a smaller window of adjustment “works” for you. Then you have to find the sweet spot that all of the adjustments are in a functional state.

It’s kind of like a mixing board with a bunch of slider adjustments. There’s settings that produce a great sound – even, balanced. But if you get one of the dials way out of it’s sweet spot you’re going to have to try to use the other controls to compromise the sound (or bike performance in our case) but it’s never going to be that real true, great sound.

Understanding MTB Suspension Dial Comparison

If you want your suspension to work at it’s best you need to identify the “green” zones for your setup and work to keep Air Pressure, Volume Spacing, Compression and Rebound in high functioning areas.

Really the most influential animation in the video, for me at least, was the visualization of when rebound slows the air spring’s return to neutral creating a momentary impact until the forces trying to compress the suspension equalize and overtake the air pressure.

Let’s look at this a bit further.

Simplified Air Spring (eliminating heat) Equation

Pressure A / Volume A = Pressure B / Volume B

The smaller the volume the more the air compresses and pushes back on the walls and piston head.

It doesn’t matter if its your riding weight, an ACME anvil from a cartoon, a tie down strap or a hydraulic circuit that “keeps” the air spring compressed – when the suspension compresses and lowers the volume the PSI rises.

For the following example we’re going to look at too much rebound, or a setup where the rebound is too slow. Mind you this is happening in instants – but it is happening.

The suspension compresses and begins to return for the next feature.

Ideally the system resets with the air spring returning able in a range to support the next input as evenly as possible.

If there is too much rebound dialed in the suspension isn’t going to return to the ideal extension. This does a few things all kind of instantly.

It may change the roll over angle or approach on the next feature. It also may effect the bike’s geometry. This is particularly a bummer in square edge hits that might try to stop the bike while you go flying over the top.

Even in less consequential terrain you lose the suspension’s float momentarily. Since the air spring is being held compressed more than ideal its PSI is higher than ideal. This means when the suspension reengages it might as well be rigid until the forces applied over take the PSI on the piston and allow it to begin to compress.

As an extreme example imagine the difference between punching a padded wall or missing and putting your fist into the block wall behind it. The pad, or air spring, begins to absorb and dissipate that energy so there isn’t the “hard stop”.

This is also the reason you pump the trail when riding. Pushing the bike down and pulling it up give you a secondary, active, suspension system to minimize the shock loads.

Want the worst of all worlds? Set your bike to ride unbalanced on the air spring and then go ride it dead sailor! It’s going to rattle your teeth out, hurt your hands and skip of trail. Exactly the opposite of the balance we’re looking for when understanding MTB suspension controls!

Comparing How Pressure on Air Suspension Is Applied

In the image above we’ve illustrated what we’re using colors to represent loads (or weight, or pressure depending on what makes it easiest for you to understand).

On the left we show a setup with ideal rebound allowing the air spring to extend into a range equal to the next input load. The air spring will absorb the increasing forces from yellow into the orange range.

On the right we show a slow rebound setup. Slower rebound keeps the air spring compressed, lowering the air volume and thus raising the PSI / spring rate.

This means the energy from yellow to orange is forced back onto the rider until the darker orange of the air spring equals the load applied at which point the air spring will begin to carry the load.

This translates as a harsh feeling through the bars or pedals.

Similarly compression settings ideally work in a range with the air spring to allow a comfortable pickup during the suspension travel. If the compression setting is too aggressive the suspension will suddenly come “off” the air spring’s ramp rate and work only off the hydraulic damper.

This creates a harsh ride and sometimes will actually feel quite “notchy” as the suspension transitions from air to damper and back.

All of this circles back to a basic understanding of the ideal ranges of setup and performance and trying to find that sweet spot where the systems are truly working together and helping fine tune performance throughout the travel.

We thank you for the read and hope you took something away that will help you better understand how to dial in your MTB suspension.

We invite you to check out the other content and the best products in MTB here at BikeCo.com

BIkeCo clients have access to our team to help them fine tune stock or Pro Tune Suspension.

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Interactive Ramp Rate Comparison with Graph

Ramp Rate Graph Blog

Ramp Rate Graphing Example

To help our clients better understand volume spacing and ramp rate we built an interactive google sheet.

This google sheet may not work with all browsers and navigation – if you find issues please let us know and we can help you navigate as needed.

Ramp Rate Comparison: How It Works

In short, viewers are invited to modify Rider Weight as well as choose Sag and Volume Spacers (the white boxes) for up to three setups. This will produce both a chart of PSI at travel percentage as well as a comparative graph with the three series for review.

Now we don’t claim these numbers are “go-to” for your setup – rather they are a reasonably accurate comparison to help you visualize how you can modify your air suspension. This example allows you to visualize differences modifying Sag % (15, 18 or 20%) and Volume Spacing (0-5).

What you’ll notice is how relatively small variations can make a big difference. Particularly in the 60% to bottom out portion of travel.

We hope the additional understanding of how the air system is actually behaving will help riders better modify setup to hit their goals.

After working with the google sheet you can read more below to better understand what the graph shows and why as well as the formulas and reasoning we’ve used.


NOTE: Mobile Users – most mobile applications will require opening the sheet in Google’s App using the link below (but we suggest you check it out on your computer for full functionality)

Ramp Rate Comparative Graph Google Sheet

More About Ramp Rate Comparison

Did you see how the ramp rates vary depending on setup? Some changes and the series are very close to each other, while other changes make large swings.

That’s why its’ important to have some basic ideas, or access to a team to help you determine what your suspension is actually doing versus what you’d like it to be doing.

Each point on these graphs represents an “instant” as the air suspension is either rebounding to extension or continuing compression based on load. Understanding the ramp rate will help you fine tune suspension, particularly on components without compression controls.

Forks and shocks with compression controls offer another level of performance hydraulically damping (slowing) the shaft input adding resistance with the air spring. Understanding how to setup compression to balance small bump compliance, mid-stroke support and bottom out can make a big difference in the direction your setup takes.

What Does Ramp Rate Change

How much pressure your suspension produces effects support. Without enough support (too low of PSI) the suspension will sit too deep “eating” up more suspension travel then required by the terrain. Too much support tends to produce a harsh ride as the bike skips across trail.

Ramp Rate effects bottom out and total amount of travel used. With too little air pressure to resist the compression riders suffer hard bottom out, excessive dive, etc. Too much pressure will limit amount of available travel. Remember to mentally review your ride when you compare travel – just because you have the travel doesn’t mean you’re always going to use it. Riding in steep terrain or smooth lines often use less travel than say, slamming straight into a curb.

Using this graph you will have an idea of changes available to you with ramp rate. If the bike “is close” minor sag or volume spacing differences may help with the dial in along with using compression controls if available. If you need larger changes this graph can help you visualize directions that will make bigger impacts.

Other Factors on Setup

So you’ve got your sag, volume spacing and compression pretty good, or even really good in portions of the travel. But, you’re still struggling to really get that “dial in”?

There are other factors to consider, and frankly few “magic bullet” options. Let’s look at some of the common culprits.

Poor Small Bump Compliance

Too much air pressure for your ground speeds is a common cause of a bike skipping across the trail. Tip-toeing down trail tends to be hard on suspension as well. Sometimes, as counter intuitive as it may sound, a bit more speed will smooth out your ride.

Remember force is mass times acceleration – so to add some force to drive the suspension speed is your friend.

Other factors to consider include rim and wheel build spec based on your size and ground speeds. Some rims are very stiff and take pretty high forces to be compliant.

Are you a very light rider? Or medium weight and medium ground speed? Having your wheels built to accommodate you will dramatically help with small bump compliance and traction.

Air pressure comes into play on both poor small bump compliance as well as higher speed “shouldering” issues.

Un-Damped Air Springs

Your fork and rear shock have rebound and compression dampers. But, you know what doesn’t? Your tires.

Remember how hard it was to dial in suspension for Plus tire bikes? With such large masses of air the tires became very efficient secondary suspension but without the ability to really be tuned.

Wider rims and higher volume tires, although not the plus size the marketeers all said we’d be running by now – just sayin – sometimes the hype is just hype eh, but wider rims and higher volume tires made this secondary suspension more of a factor.

Luckily riders have access to different sidewalls which help to damp the tire’s air spring. Rubber is an effective vibration isolator and the additional sidewall technologies help control terrain inputs through the wheels and into the suspension.

Setup & Tune

One of the things we pride ourselves on is unmatched after sales service. Helping client’s take their setups from “decent” to “dialed in” is truly gratifying. Is bottom out, ramp rate, rebound, compression and how they interact confusing? No problem. When you purchase a bike, suspension or Pro Tune suspension our team is here to help you. We can walk you through what the concepts mean and help you articulate what’s working well and where adjustments may be needed.

Our Pro Tune Suspension is a popular option for riders of all levels. Taking the industry leading FOX suspension and narrowing the performance window for individual riders based on ground speed, aggression, riding setup, terrain, goals, etc means that every click of compression or rebound has a narrower adjustment window. Each click has more minute adjustment allowing a more precise dial in.

Questions? Call, chat or email our team today!


Formulas and Concepts for Ramp Rate Comparison

Some insight on the concepts and formulas we used to produce this graph.

Suspension setup has a couple quirks that muddy the water conceptually.

We work with PSI values at full extension during setup to achieve a specific sag. At the sag point, where the suspension settles based on weight, the air pressure has increased from the PSI at full extension (the value we read). Using the same air piston size to support a given weight requires a certain pressure is achieved no matter at what point in the sag.

For our example rather than working with the starting PSI (at full extension) we are using a calculation to determine approximate PSI at sag. This calculation is based on rider weight and starting PSI averages between FOX & Yeti’s FOX 38 170mm setup for 18% sag.

Once we have the PSI at 18% sag with 2 volume spacers we are able to extrapolate a variety of different setups using the support PSI in the proper configuration.

These setup numbers are calculated using volume changes as the fork is compressed in ratio with the defined PSI times Volume at defined Sag. This is done with Boyle’s Law of Pressure1 x Volume1 = Pressure2 x Volume2 which becomes Desired PSI = KnownPressure1 x KnownVolume1 / KnownVolume2

Now, these numbers in the real world would be effected by heat and a handful of other variants that aren’t critical to our reference graphs. Since this is a conceptual visualization for teaching a concept our numbers provide reasonable accuracy.

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Yeti SB130 Lunch Ride Custom: Enve, King, Magura

Yeti SB130 Lunch Ride Custom

Yeti SB130 Lunch Ride custom with Enve, King, Magura & More

Since it’s launch the Yeti SB130 has been a bike confident in all terrain. Trail rip after work? Fun bike. Big enduro adventure on the weekend? Ya, that’s what this bike lives for!

This Yeti SB130 Lunch Ride custom features bits from all the leading manufacturers. USA made parts are well represented with ENVE M730 rims and M7 stem as well as Chris King hubs and headset. Magura MT7 Raceline brakes provide great modulation and stopping power. Ergon saddle and Deity grips not only have the right accent colors but provide confident, comfortable options for a wide range of riders.

The SRAM AXS drivetrain provides crisp shifting and clean installation. XX1 10-52t rainbow cassette and chain bring a touch of bling to the black and teal build.

 

Yeti SB130 Custom SRAM AXS Drivetrain

 

Cane Creek eeWing cranks have been gaining momentum on bikes at this level. Designed as a titanium alternative to carbon fiber cranks Cane Creek advertises the eeWings as lighter and stiffer than carbon. The titanium fabrication adds a touch of elegance. Small welds remind riders of previous dream bikes when metal builds were more common.

The OneUp Bash and Guide is the perfect accent hue while helping keep the chainring off rocks or logs you’ll encounter ripping down trail.

 

Magura MT7 Raceline Lever detail

 

Magura’s HC3 lever provides riders the ultimate adjustability. Easily control reach as well as leverage. One of the best aspects to the adjustments of the HC3 lever is the delineation lines to help you fine tune setup. Magura offers riders the ability to continue to fine tune setup with a range of brake rotors and sizes as well as pad materials with different personalities. Questions on what Magura setup is right for you? Our team of experts is here to help you get the right brake for your riding.

 

Custom Yeti SB130 Lunch Ride

 

The lines on the modern Yeti Switch Infinity bikes look fast evening standing still. In a industry that can goes in and out of overly complex shapes Yeti’s straight, no-nonsense tubes – particularly the top tube and parallel seat stay just look so mean!

 

In the market for a new MTB? Well not only can BikeCo.com bring you the best bits on the market we bring unmatched attention to detail before, during and after build. Our after sales service is second to none. Staff devotes time and energy to ensure your new bike dial in is a quick and smooth as possible. Our team is also available to help you fine tune your setup as your riding progresses. From cockpit setup, suspension settings, tire pressures and choices – there are a lot of factors that go into making your MTB work. BikeCo.com has all of those factors covered.

Chat with us about a custom, semi-custom, factory build with upgrades or a stock build today!

 

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