Suspensin setups on rocks

I am just now taking the initiative to learn how rebound and compression damping work together (after nine years).

What I am looking for are your opinions on a starting setup for riding moderate to narly rocky terrain. Stuff you find in Moab (rocks, steps, ledges, etc).

Yeah, I've been there many times. And am always fiddling with my suspension. But truth is, I never knew what it all meant. Do I adjust compression and rebound softer at the same time or harder at the same time. (Am I right in believing hard = slow and soft = fast?)

Anyway, what is a good rebound setting coming off a rock? Would I want it slower or faster?

I've been riding by feel for years and usually prefer a stiffer setup. But that is only because I didn't want to fiddle with the suspension too much. So I probably have been riding with the wrong setup for years.

I want to learn more and get it correct for aggressive trail riding on moderate to very narly terrain.

I have always been one of those guys that just rides it with out knowing anything about how it works. This site has challenged me to learn more and more.

Thanks guys

By the way, if interested, there is a good article on how to dial in a shock for rebound and compression, explaining the theories pretty well in this months MX Action. But it is for track setups, not trails. That is the reason for this post.


Dougie, '99 WR400

Mods: YZ timing, Race Tech Suspension, FMF PC IV, FMF Hi FLo Moto, YZ seat, IMS 3.3 tank, One Industries Graphics, Renthal bars, 14/52 gearing.

[This message has been edited by Dougie (edited 05-20-2000).]

[This message has been edited by Dougie (edited 05-20-2000).]


In the July 2K MXA, there is a seemingly good article on shock setup. Check it out.


I am a Dynamics Engineer and the best thing to do for suspension setup is keep a log or record of your setups from ride to ride to see what works best for you. Compression and rebound adjusters are mostly low speed adjusters. Try each at it's extreme to get a feel. Too soft ends up with a loose and mushy ride that can be hard to steer on narrow trails. For rocks I prefer soft compression (but not mushy) and stiffer rebound (to keep precision). As speeds get faster, they shift the other way.

Hard could be referred to as slow to compress or slow to rebound.

Soft could be referred to as fast to compress or fast to rebound.

I do my own valving on the shim stacks internally for high speed adjustments like sharp impacts. Shops that do this need alot of input on your preferences, weight, terrain, etc. to get it right for you. When it's right, things just seem to click.....

Good Luck

James Dean

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