The Tuesday Tune Ep 20 - Preload and Sag Posted on 03 Dec 00:00 , 0 commentsThis week on the Tuesday Tune, we go right back to the basics to take a look at the function of a preload adjuster and its purpose.
The Tuesday Tune Ep 19 - Rebound Damping Posted on 03 Dec 00:00 , 0 commentsThis week in the Vorsprung workshop, we delve into the basic ways in which rebound damping affects the behavior of your suspension, as well as touch on some of the fundamentals regarding grip, stability and the considerations involved in optimising the two - whilst also looking at the necessary compromises.
The Tuesday Tune Ep 18 - Setup for Pros vs Setup for Mere Mortals Posted on 02 Dec 06:00 , 0 commentsWe've brought bike park destroyer Remy Metailler in to the Vorsprung Suspension workshop to discuss setup, and the differences in setup priorities for pro riders like Remy compared to the rest of us mere mortals.
The Tuesday Tune Ep 17 - Moar Shimz (and what they do) Posted on 01 Dec 00:00 , 0 commentsAlright, here it is; shim stacks. Shimmed valves are the most common form of high-performance valve in suspension dampers, and the raison d'être for many forums and indeed entire websites to exist.
The Tuesday Tune Ep 16 - Bump Compliance and Harshness Posted on 30 Nov 00:00 , 0 commentsOne of the biggest issues we deal with on a day to day basis is minimizing ride harshness. To achieve this, it is necessary to understand the physics behind bump absorption, which is what we are delving into on this week's Tuesday Tune. Rather than simply handing you a set of instructions saying "reduce X, increase Y, set Z to extra medium", we're presenting an introduction to the fundamental ways in which your suspension responds to encountering a bump.
The Tuesday Tune Ep 15 - The Concept of Correct Setup Posted on 29 Nov 00:00 , 0 comments"How do I set my suspension up correctly?"
"How do I know if my suspension is set up correctly?"
There's a good chance you've asked that at some point in your bike riding life if you're a mountain biker, either to yourself or somebody else. We get the question at least once a day here at Vorsprung, so we would be remiss not to address it head on.
The Tuesday Tune Ep 14 - Busting Myths Posted on 28 Nov 00:00 , 0 comments
This week in the Vorsprung Suspension workshop, we decided to clarify a few things. There are many common misconceptions regarding suspension (including the concept of a "correct" setup!), so we arbitrarily picked a few to clear up, from foamy oil to midstroke support. No rhyme or reason, just ranting and rambling.
The Tuesday Tune Ep 13 - Inside Fox's "Budget" Fit Grip Damper Posted on 27 Nov 00:00 , 0 comments
It seemed like only a matter of time until one of the major manufacturers developed a light, cheap, reliable fork damper with true shimmed valve performance. Fox's primary trailbike offering, the Fit4 damper cartridge - functionally an updated variant of its largely unloved CTD FIT cartridge predecessor - has got low friction nailed, along with (slightly) more support and somewhat more useful compression adjusters. The expanding bladder system and SKF damper sealhead means it gives up nothing to anyone on the smoothness front. All in all, while it's not for everyone, it's not bad.
However, while the CTD Fit cartridge attracted its share of criticism from riders and the media, it was a beacon of sheer brilliance compared to its Open Cartridge brother, found in the Evolution Series CTD forks. Cheaply made, with little regard to durability, smoothness, outright performance, adjustability or even serviceability, the Open Cartridge CTD damper may well be the product that Fox are the least proud of ever producing. Being fair and putting this in context though - initial expectations were relatively high, because Fox usually do their homework quite thoroughly, and it caught a lot of consumers off guard when they purchased a bike with Fox plastered all over it, that didn't deliver the performance or durability they were expecting from the Fox brand name. You'd be more than a bit upset if you bought a Mercedes AMG that blew up in the first week you owned it too. Had this kind of thing come from some of their competitors - and it routinely does - perhaps the media and market response would have been a bit less negative. Nobody wants a Koeniggsegg that's slower than a Ford Mustang though.
Regardless, a lack of shimmed rebound and a pressed-together compression assembly, with an oil-ingesting sealhead and lack of effective volume or pressure compensation meant that there really was no polishing that turd - it couldn't be made to be reliable or to perform very well without changing pretty well every part in the entire damper. And that wasn't for lack of trying either - we prototyped dynamic bleed compression assemblies and shimmed rebound pistons for these, but the cost of fixing every issue simply became too high to be realistic.
Anyway, the good news is that Fox have listened and built the Fit Grip damper for their more budget-conscious forks. Calling them low-end would be doing everyone a disservice because Fox don't actually cater to the low-end market per se, but they are Fox's lower-end damper right now. Especially in light of Mike Levy's recent review of the Performance Series 34 featuring this very damper, we thought it'd be appropriate to dedicate this week's Tuesday Tune video to investigating the innards of the Fit Grip cartridge here in the Vorsprung Suspension workshop.
Our conclusion? Simply put: it's a MASSIVE improvement over the previous generation Evolution-series Open Cartridges. While the compression assembly is a little basic and doesn't have a true shimmed valve as such, the adjustment is effective and the lockout/climb switch is cleverly executed. Meanwhile, the rebound assembly is a fully functional and effective shimmed valve with a wide range of adjustment. As you'd expect from its lower pricepoint, it's not quite as refined as the Fit4 or RC2 cartridges, but with decent performance and being designed in such a way that we expect better reliability than ANY other damper they currently make, Fox have done a solid job on the Fit Grip damper.
The Tuesday Tune Ep 12 - Leverage Rates Posted on 26 Nov 07:00 , 0 commentsMountain bike frames have various forms of what we broadly refer to as suspension design, but more specifically could be termed kinematic design. Kinematic design refers to the ways which each member of the suspension linkage move, particularly relative to one another. In other words, the suspension kinematics are the geometric motions of the linkage, before we start introducing force or mass to our considerations.
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