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Enduro settings for aer 48 fork


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I've been fighting harshness in my airfork for almost a year now.  I started with settings in the book of 154 psi, and comfort settings for my fork clickers.  It was very stiff, so I got on the internet and started reading.  

Everyone goes on and on about how plush this fork was and I just wasn't feeling it.  Seems the consensus was almost always "let some air out."  I did in small increments until I ended up at 118 psi, still on the comfort setting of 20 clicks out for rebound and compression.  

I rode on those settings for a full season and felt the aer fork was pretty over rated.  I had a harsh feeling in most slow speed Rocky sections, and also in high speed light front end situations (accelerating out of corners, tapping tops of bumps) as well. It blew through the midstroke on hard hits and would bottom harshly. I knew there had to be a better way to setup these forks.

I recently read an article about the 2019 SX-F bikes and how the light riders had gone out to 35 clicks on compression to get a plush fork!  What?! 35 clicks out? For some dumbass reason I had this mental road block that comfort setting was as far out as I should go, especially since I had been blowing  through the stroke and bottoming hard so often...Around the same time I listened to a podcast about relating suspension sensations into setup adjustments.  

I started over and set my PSI WAY UP to correlate to the spring rate through the race tech calculator.  I then turned my clickers all the way out.... 38 clicks!!!!   I had only been using a little over half of my clickers range! 

After riding and messing around with clickers I have finally found the amazing plush aer fork everyone was raving about!  It has an amazing intial stroke that flows progressively into an amazing bottoming resistance!!!  I have been running way too low of psi, running in my midstroke instead of my initial stroke!  DON'T LET AIR OUT CHASING THAT PLUSH FEELING!  Race techs calculator is dang close for a start, once you find your psi (usually within 3 psi up or down, 2-3psi is equal to about 1 spring rate.), just keep clicking those compression and rebound clickers out until you find that sweet spot!  There is a ton of adjustment!!!!

I'm a 150lb b class Enduro rider. Here is my bike setup.

145 psi, 29 out compression, 30 out rebound, lowest line in triple clamp (3rd line), SDI linkage, stock spring, 105mm race sag.  

 

Hopefully someone that is struggling with the wp aer 48 fork will read this and hopefully it will be helpful.

Edited by jacobdewey
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On 2/23/2019 at 9:35 AM, drtywhat said:

What year AER fork are you running? I am B rider and have gone to 133 LBS and 21 out compression and 18 out rebound. I am on a 2017 AER. I know after 2017 they made significant valving adjustments.

I'm on a 2017 350sx-f, setup for Rocky singletrack/hare scramble type riding. The biggest changes to the fork were on the air side, replacing the quad seal.  On the rebound compression leg, the mid valving is slightly different to allow it to settle the front a bit more for cornering. That's the way I understand the changes to the 18's.

The owners manual "comfort" setting is still way stiffer than what most guys would like. Crank the air up and clickers out.  I have found that I like the rebound usually 1-3 clicks further out than the compression on hard Rocky trails.  It seems to follow the ground better.  More air gives you a better bottoming resistance, and the clickers out gives you a plusher ride.   

What weight are you? 

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7 hours ago, californiacarver said:

Interesting might have to give it a try. Bike seems a little harsh in the roots and rocks I feel like it could be better. New to me 2017 350 XC-f  220lbs need more time to ride to be certain.

At 220lbs, I'd recommend trying 165-170psi and 28-32 clicks out on compression and rebound for a start point.  Hope it's as much better for you as it was for me.  Good luck!!

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It's way to easy to think plushness comes from low PSI. While this can give you that feel it's doesn't make it correct. Just like a spring, PSI is to hold up the forks not control the speed of movement, that's the valving. Next is the mid valve or lack of valving and should be looked at closely. You can swap out to a better design like MX Tech, cheap fix but a bit more labor in the AER. Bottoming should not be dealt with via PSI but oil level, Huck valve or tanks.

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I do think that air pressure settings are the biggest misnomers and bad info for this fork. 

Everyone needs to quit thinking of this as an adjustable setting.  It's more of an intial set up parameter.  Just like your rear shock spring.  It's a set spring for your weight and riding style.  Sure, you may deviate a spring weight up for faster riders and maybe down 1 for beginners.  Guys don't pull up to the track each week and change out the shock spring for conditions...

The book recommends 154 psi for a 170 lb rider.  Roughly every 3 psi is a spring rate.  So I'm 145 lbs and ride Enduro/singletrack so I want a soft/plush feel for rocks and roots... I run 145  psi so I effectively went down 3 spring weights.  Two for my weight, one for my riding type. 

Guys that weigh 180 lbs and are running 120 psi are not even tapping the awesomeness of the fork!!  It would be like running KYB with a spring that's 12 steps too light!!!

Set your PSI to the recommended psi and then use your freaking clickers.  Each click makes a huge difference on these forks, and there's almost 40 of them!  If you do this and still aren't satisfied, then look into revalved suspension.  These are some of the best factory forks out there right now... Set them up right so you can experience them!

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3 minutes ago, jacobdewey said:

I do think that air pressure settings are the biggest misnomers and bad info for this fork. 

Everyone needs to quit thinking of this as an adjustable setting.  It's more of an intial set up parameter.  Just like your rear shock spring.  It's a set spring for your weight and riding style.  Sure, you may deviate a spring weight up for faster riders and maybe down 1 for beginners.  Guys don't pull up to the track each week and change out the shock spring for conditions...

The book recommends 154 psi for a 170 lb rider.  Roughly every 3 psi is a spring rate.  So I'm 145 lbs and ride Enduro/singletrack so I want a soft/plush feel for rocks and roots... I run 145  psi so I effectively went down 3 spring weights.  Two for my weight, one for my riding type. 

Guys that weigh 180 lbs and are running 120 psi are not even tapping the awesomeness of the fork!!  It would be like running KYB with a spring that's 12 steps too light!!!

Set your PSI to the recommended psi and then use your freaking clickers.  Each click makes a huge difference on these forks, and there's almost 40 of them!  If you do this and still aren't satisfied, then look into revalved suspension.  These are some of the best factory forks out there right now... Set them up right so you can experience them!

I do on my XTrainer and I don't even notice it in the rocky, rooted woods. I Think KYB's are the best stock fork available, that's why I have them on two out of three bikes in my garage.

 

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On 2/27/2019 at 12:01 PM, jacobdewey said:

I do think that air pressure settings are the biggest misnomers and bad info for this fork. 

Everyone needs to quit thinking of this as an adjustable setting.  It's more of an intial set up parameter.  Just like your rear shock spring.  It's a set spring for your weight and riding style.  Sure, you may deviate a spring weight up for faster riders and maybe down 1 for beginners.  Guys don't pull up to the track each week and change out the shock spring for conditions...

The book recommends 154 psi for a 170 lb rider.  Roughly every 3 psi is a spring rate.  So I'm 145 lbs and ride Enduro/singletrack so I want a soft/plush feel for rocks and roots... I run 145  psi so I effectively went down 3 spring weights.  Two for my weight, one for my riding type. 

Guys that weigh 180 lbs and are running 120 psi are not even tapping the awesomeness of the fork!!  It would be like running KYB with a spring that's 12 steps too light!!!

Set your PSI to the recommended psi and then use your freaking clickers.  Each click makes a huge difference on these forks, and there's almost 40 of them!  If you do this and still aren't satisfied, then look into revalved suspension.  These are some of the best factory forks out there right now... Set them up right so you can experience them!

Ok what would be your recommended starting setup for a 175 lb rider that is C class.  What PSI pressure and what Compression and Rebound.  Currently I am running 145 psi and 16 clicks out compression and 14 clicks out rebound.  It feels good but I am always willing to try something else if its better.  I kinda started with the MXA chart and adjusted from there.   

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Each year varies as does each model ,I use the brake test theory ,I start at ktm recommended pressure ,then do a lap to see the general feel ,then brake hard and see if the fork dives excessively

If it does increase pressure ,if it doesn't decrease till it does and then back up 3psi ,then dial in damping g for feel on breaking bumps etc

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2 hours ago, hotwhls said:

Ok what would be your recommended starting setup for a 175 lb rider that is C class.  What PSI pressure and what Compression and Rebound.  Currently I am running 145 psi and 16 clicks out compression and 14 clicks out rebound.  It feels good but I am always willing to try something else if its better.  I kinda started with the MXA chart and adjusted from there.   

150-155psi, and 30 clicks out on both rebound and compression.  Start there, and then stiffen/soften clickers as needed.  I will say that I prefer a faster rebound than a track rider would want.

The biggest thing I wanted to get across in this thread is that 80 or 90% of the forum posts about this fork are bad information.  I can't feel your suspension for you, but I can tell you where I'd start trying now.

This podcast has good information ?

 

http://pulpmx.com/podcasts/170716_keefer.mp3

Interesting talk about suspension.

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17 hours ago, jacobdewey said:

150-155psi, and 30 clicks out on both rebound and compression.  Start there, and then stiffen/soften clickers as needed.  I will say that I prefer a faster rebound than a track rider would want.

The biggest thing I wanted to get across in this thread is that 80 or 90% of the forum posts about this fork are bad information.  I can't feel your suspension for you, but I can tell you where I'd start trying now.

This podcast has good information ?

 

http://pulpmx.com/podcasts/170716_keefer.mp3

Interesting talk about suspension.

I am not a suspension guru at all and I know what the clickers do and how they work.  But your setup seems like it has almost has no compression and ton of rebound.  I went to Keefers website and he just tested a 2019 350 FC and his numbers are totally on the opposite end of the spectrum as yours.  Here is his comments

" With the stock clicker settings and at 10.8 bars the fork was fairly compliant through the beginning part of the stroke. Although when hard on the front brake (on downhills) the fork would sit a little too far down in the stroke causing a stiff or harsh feeling through braking bumps. At the end of the day I found a good overall fork setting at 10.8 bars, 10 out on compression, and 9 out on the rebound. This gave me the best balance of hold up and comfort and allowed me to push my hardest without giving me an uncomfortable feel. Slowing down the rebound on the fork definitely gave the front fork a more predictable feel lap after lap. " 

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1 hour ago, hotwhls said:

I am not a suspension guru at all and I know what the clickers do and how they work.  But your setup seems like it has almost has no compression and ton of rebound.  I went to Keefers website and he just tested a 2019 350 FC and his numbers are totally on the opposite end of the spectrum as yours.  Here is his comments

" With the stock clicker settings and at 10.8 bars the fork was fairly compliant through the beginning part of the stroke. Although when hard on the front brake (on downhills) the fork would sit a little too far down in the stroke causing a stiff or harsh feeling through braking bumps. At the end of the day I found a good overall fork setting at 10.8 bars, 10 out on compression, and 9 out on the rebound. This gave me the best balance of hold up and comfort and allowed me to push my hardest without giving me an uncomfortable feel. Slowing down the rebound on the fork definitely gave the front fork a more predictable feel lap after lap. " 

I'm not a guru at all. I ride nasty rocks, roots, logs and ledges.  The softer compression and faster rebound is my preference... Think constant sharp edged braking bumps.  If I slow down the rebound my fork wouldn't have time to ever extend back to the intial stroke.

If your settings are good, then why mess with a good thing?

Keefer is an expert rider riding mx tracks.  When I go to the sand dunes, I'll probably run in the 12-17 click range on compression and rebound.

2018's have a softer mid stroke valving, and 2019's valving is changed even more.  

I don't disagree with you at all, but I do think Keefer's settings are way stiffer than the average Joe would need or like.  I'm nowhere near that level or speed of riding so I don't expect those settings to work for me.

Here is my skill level and terrain I ride.  I've tried the settings in magazines and forums and everything in between.  This is where I've found an awesome setting.  One other note is that I am running mousse inserts, so that gives a "deader" feel, hence the faster rebound and softer compression.

 

 

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26 minutes ago, jacobdewey said:

I'm not a guru at all. I ride nasty rocks, roots, logs and ledges.  The softer compression and faster rebound is my preference... Think constant sharp edged braking bumps.  If I slow down the rebound my fork wouldn't have time to ever extend back to the intial stroke.

If your settings are good, then why mess with a good thing?

Keefer is an expert rider riding mx tracks.  When I go to the sand dunes, I'll probably run in the 12-17 click range on compression and rebound.

2018's have a softer mid stroke valving, and 2019's valving is changed even more.  

I don't disagree with you at all, but I do think Keefer's settings are way stiffer than the average Joe would need or like.  I'm nowhere near that level or speed of riding so I don't expect those settings to work for me.

Here is my skill level and terrain I ride.  I've tried the settings in magazines and forums and everything in between.  This is where I've found an awesome setting.  One other note is that I am running mousse inserts, so that gives a "deader" feel, hence the faster rebound and softer compression.

 

 

No probelm...  I just like to see what everyone is running on their setup and compare.  You never know someone may have a better setup and if they don't share and me try it then you may never know.  Thanks for your info.    

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I'm on a 2017 350sx-f, setup for Rocky singletrack/hare scramble type riding. The biggest changes to the fork were on the air side, replacing the quad seal.  On the rebound compression leg, the mid valving is slightly different to allow it to settle the front a bit more for cornering. That's the way I understand the changes to the 18's.
The owners manual "comfort" setting is still way stiffer than what most guys would like. Crank the air up and clickers out.  I have found that I like the rebound usually 1-3 clicks further out than the compression on hard Rocky trails.  It seems to follow the ground better.  More air gives you a better bottoming resistance, and the clickers out gives you a plusher ride.   
What weight are you? 

I am currently 210. How about you?
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  • 4 weeks later...

I ride east coast style harescramble races and trail in gonna give this a try i weigh 230 6'3" have been running the forks at 150 and 20 to 22 out on the clickers. Ill give this a try only worry is that i dont do as much of the high speed riding. Only a few races or places i ride have much open trail where you can really get moving.

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6 hours ago, Jacob Staten said:

I ride east coast style harescramble races and trail in gonna give this a try i weigh 230 6'3" have been running the forks at 150 and 20 to 22 out on the clickers. Ill give this a try only worry is that i dont do as much of the high speed riding. Only a few races or places i ride have much open trail where you can really get moving.

I'm at 260 right now and use 148-150 psi currently on my AERs, and this is racing (and crashing a lot this year) in the desert.  Even when I was over 300 I never ran more than 154 psi.

The way to determine the air pressure you need to run is to put a zip-tie or o-ring on a lower fork tube and ride the bike normally.  Adjust the air pressure until after normal riding the zip-tie has about 1 to 1-1/2 left to hit the bottom of the lug.  That is the pressure for you.

The pressure setting will be different for everyone, even among those that weigh the same.  Not a one of us rides a bike in the same position, corners the same, stands the same, has the same style, etc...  The pressure setting will also vary depending on what the rear shock is doing (weight pitching back and forth).

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