When you want to challenge some tough terrains, you must need a unique bicycle designed for your adventure. For example, if you want to experience a downhill, you may need to install the suspension to help you reduce the impulsion from high speed.
The suspension of a bike is the system or systems that are used to suspend the rider and bicycle in order to insulate them from the roughness of the terrain, which is used primarily on mountain bikes but is also common on hybrid bicycles. Bicycle suspension can be implemented in a variety of ways and any combination to adapt different terrain. Here, I will introduce the front suspension and rear suspension for you as well as how to prepare and install.
Before you install your front and rear suspensions, the first thing you have to do is setting the sag. Sag is known as the amount the suspension compresses when you sit on the bike, which defines the way the bike performs. Setting up sag is also referred to as “preload” or “spring” setup.
In order to ensure your suspension fork to perform correctly, sag must be able to conform to the trail as you pass over it. When you hit an object, your suspension will compress and the impulsion back from the impact is released by extending back out again or through damping.
More or less, this process is the same no matter what spring type that you will use. The only caveat is that coil springs must have a limited range of adjustment. So you have to make sure that you have the right weight spring. To let the suspension both compress and extend, you can preload the suspension with your own body weight.
•Front suspension is often implemented using a telescopic fork. The specifics of the suspension is depending on the type of mountain bike’s fork and what is designed for. Generally, it can be categorized by the amount of travel. For example, manufacturers produce different forks for cross-country (XC), downhill (DH), etc. According to the different demands for the amount of travel, weight, durability, strength, and handling characteristics, your choice of front suspension should depend on your own situation.
The front suspension forks have become increasingly sophisticated. Usually, 80–100 mm of travel, which means 80-100mm compress, was considered enough for a downhill mountain bike. Now, this amount of travel is common for cross-country events, but downhill forks typically offer 200 mm of travel for handling the most extreme terrain. Furthermore, there are other advances in design, such as adjustable travel, which allows riders to adapt the fork's travel to the specific terrain. For instance, less travel is for uphill or paved sections, more travel is for downhill sections. The feature of many forks is the ability to lock out the travel, which completely eliminates or drastically reduces the fork's travel to efficiently ride on smooth terrain.
•Before your install work of front suspension, you have to ensure that your fork is in the good working order. If your fork is creaking and wheezing on your way down the hill, it is too late to optimize your front fork. You don’t need to worry if you’re setting up a new bike. But if you have seen something wrong, it’s essential to first check that your servicing is new. If your fork is clunking and feels rough, it is better to send it to a service center for an overhaul.
Correct setup depends upon weight, so you have to get a perfect tune before strapping on a 5kg backpack. You can wear your normal riding clothes, your helmet, and backpack with full of tools and water, all of which are the things you will carry with your cycling. You need to choose a short section of your favorite technical trail. Bring a shock pump, a measuring device (ruler or tape), a calculator, and a willing assistant as well and measure the travel range that fit your coming cycling.
•Of cause, the first thing is setting preload. You can also set sag yourself by leaning against a wall or solid object. Measure the inner shock shaft which refers the shiny bit that moves inside the larger outer can, then divide that by four to get the figure. You should aim for 25% sag, but some can adjust this to suit.\
Most shocks will have a small rubber ring or foam bump stopper and it can let you measure the sag. If your shock doesn’t have one, you can tie a rubber band around it. Don’t use a cable because it will leave it on the shaft. The dirt combining with the hard plastic will scratch the surface, and usually, the things will not be cheap to remedy.
Set the compression damping switch to its open position, reset the sag ring, and gently mount the bike. Set the compression as the description of front suspension on above. Carefully dismount and check the sag distance – how far the small rubber ring has moved. For most people, you should be aiming for 25 percent sag, so adjust the pressure in the shock to suit.
•There are so many different rear-suspension designs and most of them use a shock absorber, sometimes with a larger coil spring. It makes one bike different from another by designing of the frame and the linkage
The rear suspensions usually need bigger spring as the linkage makes the wheel advantaged in mechanism over the spring. The rear wheel may have to move 3 inches to the spring and shock to be compressed 1 inch, which means the force on the shock is three times the force on the tire.
For rebound, you can adjust the rebound according to your riding style. Generally speaking, rougher trails are more helpful for a faster rebound setup. Smoother flow trails and jump trails are more helpful for rebound settings. The amount of rebound damping depends on how much spring force is being used in sag. Less sag means you will need to use more rebound damping to slow down the increase in spring force.