I recently aquired a full suspension bike. However, I have had a hard time finding resources which tell me comprehensive strategies for setting up the suspension (Air pressure, adjustment, dial settings) for my fork and rear shock. What resources are available (outside of individual product manuals) to teach me more about how to set up my suspension properly for optimal performance.

Sheldon brown just doesn't cover supension tuning for 5k wonderbikes, who would have guessed.

  • What bike is it and what fork and shock does it have? – cherouvim Dec 7 '14 at 16:14
  • It's a gary fisher hi-fi pro, but I think it's just hard to find this information presented in a way that's non-specific to a particular shock or bike. I really want some best practices based on different types of riding (xc vs trail vs downhill vs bikepacking) or what to do if you climb a lot versus decent on lift serviced hills. – Benzo Dec 7 '14 at 16:41
  • 1
    Have a look at the 4 videos of my answer. I think it's exactly what you are looking for. – cherouvim Dec 7 '14 at 17:25

General for fork and shock:

troubleshooting a shocks behavior with the dials (it's from cane creek but applies to anything):


Lee likes bikes has some good info on this stuff,


There are two basic things.

  1. Air pressure in shock

  2. Tuning the various damping parameters

The first is done by setting the appropriate sag for the kind of riding you do. The sag is the amount of compression in the shock when you are riding on flat ground in your normal position. The more "extreme" your riding the more sag you want, XC racers aim for about 20%, All Mountain 25%, Downhill 30%. These are just rough places to start.

The shock or fork generally comes with a rubber ring for helping you to set the sag. If it's not there you can use zip tips for the same purpose. Put the marker at the top of the shock, ride around the block and record how far down the ring has moved.

Tuning the various knobs is done via bracketing. Ride at the lowest, then ride at the highest, pick which one is better and then repeat the test with one lower, one higher etc.

After 5 years of riding a full squish, I've not really found much benefit in tweaking the various knobs once you get the sag correct. But don't ride at anywhere near the limits of my bike.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.