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Is suspension supposed to bottom out?

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as title says, are you supposed to be using full travel ie wheel touching mudguard lightly, forks going very close to the bottom and does it do any damage to the bike? thanks in advance

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No, it doesn't damage the bike and I've heard that it should bottom out once or twice during a race so that you know that you are using the whole range.

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thats how i have set mine up and a friend has told me different but i just wanted to check for sure before i bought new springs again, can any one else confirm this please?

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I think the key is how hard it bottoms. If you swallow your denture every time it does there is a problem.

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If it did bottom out, you most likely wouldn't fix it with springs anyway. First, try turning your compression clickers in to firm things up.

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well i seem to have got the back feeling really nice and it does touch the mudguard very lightly but i never feel it so i guess this is set up as it i supposed to be, i have got 100mm ride height and 25 static so im on the limit of this spring anyhow but it does feel good as it is. i was told it shouldnt bottom by a friend but i read its supposed to, just as i have it set up properly so just wanted to make sure its right.

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Generally, you want your suspension to bottom out once every lap on a mx track, so your getting everything you can out of your suspension. I always try to go as soft as possible and lightly bottom it out on the harshest landing on my track. No damage to the bike. Your tire will only touch your fender if your forks are raised in the triple clamps.

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so are forks supposed to bottom too?

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so are forks supposed to bottom too?

I wouldnt say I would want your forks to bottom but would want to know that they are getting down in the stroke a good ways,like about a half inch from the bottom.

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so are forks supposed to bottom too?

The objective is to use the entire stroke of both your forks and shock. Not bottoming out means not using the suspension to its full potential. If your getting pretty close to bottoming out (3/4in-1/4in), thats probably close enough.

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What is the point in 300mm travel if you weren't supposed to use it? Companies would simply design shorter stroke shocks and forks to save some weight if you didn't need the entire stroke. Also, if bottoming were bad for the fork/shock there be a safety of some sort to prevent a bottom out? Think about your engine, its not ok to try and make it spin at 25 000 rpm so there is a rev limiter set in place and it is ok to hit this rpm and let it do its thing. So back to the fork, if bottoming out were a problem there would be a "rev limiter" to prevent you from causing damage.

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If the tyre is hitting the mudguard it may not mean you are useing all your travel! the mudguard will flex downwards on impacts, mud will make this matter worse and if you can see scuff marks at the rear of the mudguard by the down tube try putting a couple of small washers on top of the front mounting bolts this will cure it

there is nothing wrong with bottoming your forks but if it is a harsh clunk then you need to look into more work

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just realize that the mechanical limit of forks is most often reached before the outer wiper would touch the lug. So if this is how you are measuring, you'd be off.

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Suspension should bottom lightly once or so a day on a H/S or Enduro. About once a lap on a MX track. I adjust mine by setting the sags correctly which means you have the correct springs and then adjust the compression damping to bottom lightly on a G-out or ditch when hitting it as hard as I dare without driving the footpegs through my boots or metallic bottoming. Then I go in two more clicks to comprensate for heated suspension or surprise impacts.

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I don't understand the term "using the entire stroke". Could someone explain?

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I don't understand the term "using the entire stroke". Could someone explain?

I would think of it this way, say your fork has 10 inches of travel. If your only ever using 7 inches of travel on the whole track, you suspension could be adjusted (clickers, sag, oil levels, valving) to use the full 10 inches or 9-1/2 inches of travel. This would make the suspension feel better across the board. For the forks, our local shop here puts a rubber ring around the lower tube. Before you ride the track you push it up 2 inches. Then check it when you come back to see how far down in the stroke (travel) you are using.

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I would think of it this way, say your fork has 10 inches of travel. If your only ever using 7 inches of travel on the whole track, you suspension could be adjusted (clickers, sag, oil levels, valving) to use the full 10 inches or 9-1/2 inches of travel. This would make the suspension feel better across the board. For the forks, our local shop here puts a rubber ring around the lower tube. Before you ride the track you push it up 2 inches. Then check it when you come back to see how far down in the stroke (travel) you are using.

Thank you. :smirk:

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i have a 2007 rmz 250, stock suspension and i weigh 200 pounds. it bottoms a good bit and i havent set my sag yet, i want to get new springs for the forks but i havent done any adjustments at all.

:smirk:

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Someone else brought up a good point yesterday while I was at the track. If you aren't using the full travel of your fork than the bottom portion of the inner legs are always getting mud caked on there and then once you do hit something unexpected all that rock hard mud gets driven up into the seals. On the other hand, if you botttom once a lap or so then there is never anything dried on to hurt your seals, just fresh wet dirt that is easily wiped away by the outer wiper.

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I would say it depends on the track and riders preference.

We have some huge jumps and I'm no pro - means, sometimes I am too short, sometimes I overjump one. For these "oh my god" moments I gave up my former attitude towards "use every mm of your stroke"

a few years ago I ended up with forklegs moved upwards until they were stopped by the handlebar, or a handlebar turned all the way down after such landings...

now I use approx. 300 of 310mm stroke. a huck-valve like unit makes it almost impossible to bottom out. now I have the best working forks ever, not too soft but plush, and every "damn, let me survive" jump ended up with no harm.

if these "oh my god moments" ever happen to one of you, or even worse, you got hurt, think about my words...

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