My front suspension seems to have gotten softer since I first bought the bike (might just be my imagination), and since I've been only riding around town, I was hoping the "preload" adjust could help me make the front stiffer. I've heard that the harder your front suspension is, the easier it is to go up hills and such. I've experimented with turning it clockwise (it says "+" for clockwise, "-" for counterclockwise) but I didn't notice any difference. Can you enlighten me on this?
My next question is about tire pressure... what PSI should these tires be at?
Yep, most forks should loosen up over the first 3hours of riding usually. Infact it might seem like a bit of a surpise when it does! I'm not too farmilier with the J1, but i think thats the lowest RockShox fork...so i wouldn't excpet wonders from the adjustment unfortuently.
RE: Tyre pressure - It will depend on how much you weigh and what conditions you are riding in. I run 50PSI on road in general, but when doing XC i'll run about 40PSI...and if the conditions are really bad i'll just drop it down a bit more. Tyre pressure is a personal preference though, you will need to experiment. I suggest starting it off at a certain pressure and seeing how you feel, then adding a bit more and testing that pressure etc. Remember, you will use different pressures for different conditions (e.g. the higher the pressure, generally the faster the tyre will roll but the less grip it will provide).
Tire Pressure: What does the tire mfg. recommend?...this is always on the sidewall...its important to keep it between the min/max, whatever suits you best
Fork: adjusting the preload will only adjust the sag...what you need is a fork with rebound adjustment to be able to adjust the "cushion", and yes, a stiff fork helps on climbs and when racing, but you would need a fork with a lockout or a serious rebound control (but then you would have to keep resetting it on the decents)