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Old 01-26-09, 12:59 AM   #1
kmart
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Which setting for adjustable rear travel?

I have a Sette Flite frame (http://www.setteusa.com/flite_frame.htm) which has 3 mount settings for the rear shock, for 4", 5" or 6" travel. Right now I ride XC with a few small jumps and I have it on the 5" setting. However, I'm wondering what benefit I would get from switching to the 4" setting. I suspect the main tradeoff is that shorter travel lets the shock react to and damp small hits quickly, such as a washboard, while the longer travel settings make the shock less sensitive to small hits but takes big hits really well. Does that sound about right? Is there anything else I should be aware of?

Also, just to make sure I have this right - the longest travel setting is using the mount hole closest to the seatpost, and the shortest travel setting is using the holes farther from the seatpost, right?

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Old 01-26-09, 08:28 AM   #2
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It's your bike, try it out.
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Old 01-26-09, 08:40 AM   #3
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6" for XC...it's a sin, but you may just like it.
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Old 01-26-09, 01:18 PM   #4
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It's your bike, try it out.
I will certainly do that, but I'm just trying to understand the mechanics of it before I start messing with it. So, if you have some experience with a bike like this, tell me if my assumptions are correct.
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Old 01-26-09, 01:45 PM   #5
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I have a Sette Flite frame (http://www.setteusa.com/flite_frame.htm) However, I'm wondering what benefit I would get from switching to the 4" setting.

Also, just to make sure I have this right - the longest travel setting is using the mount hole closest to the seatpost, and the shortest travel setting is using the holes farther from the seatpost, right?
The 4" travel position will have a lower leverage ratio. Most XC racers prefer a 2:1 leverage ratio but it is all personal preference. the 4" travel setting will have a higher rate of spring progression do to the ratio. So yes, the first inch of travel would be easier to squish while it would get considerably harder as stroke was taken up. While the 6" setting would be more linear but would still get harder obviously.

To your second question, the further your shock is to your pivot point the lower the leverage ratio. So probably yes. The further your lever arm extends away from your pivot point the less travel you will have and the more leverage your shock has against the swingarm.(2:1)

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Old 01-26-09, 02:25 PM   #6
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I will certainly do that, but I'm just trying to understand the mechanics of it before I start messing with it. So, if you have some experience with a bike like this, tell me if my assumptions are correct.
Remember your original settings and just mess with it. You'll learn a ton more that way than asking questions on the ol' www.
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Old 01-26-09, 03:08 PM   #7
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To your second question, the closer your shock is to your pivot point the lower the leverage ratio. So probably no. The further your lever arm extends away from your pivot point the more travel you will have and the more leverage(3:1)
I thought that the leverage ratio would be (distance from rear triangle pivot to frame pivot) over (distance from shock mount point to frame pivot)? In that case, mounting the shock closer to the frame reduces the denominator and increases the leverage ratio.
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Old 01-26-09, 03:37 PM   #8
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Geeks
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Old 01-26-09, 03:41 PM   #9
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Old 01-26-09, 03:53 PM   #10
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ya, take what I said and do the exact opposite.
It is the further the shock hole is from the pivot point the more leverage the shock has on the rear suspension therefor lowering the leverage ration(2:1). I confuse myself sometimes.
i'll edit the post above so some noob later down the road doesn't stop there.

The first answer still stands just my explanation of hole position was ass backwards

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Old 01-26-09, 03:56 PM   #11
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6" for XC...it's a sin, but you may just like it.
I'm going to hell.

Sweet.
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Old 01-26-09, 04:22 PM   #12
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I'll see you in Hell my friend.
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Old 01-26-09, 04:37 PM   #13
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Oh, for pity's sake kmart - - try out the different settings and see which feels best to you. You can type on the forum all day, bat around theoreticals and even talk leverage ratios with someone who is at best guessing at numbers. You'll find out by riding it one of a dozen different things, including:
  • You like the 4" setting
  • You hate the 4" setting
  • You love the 5" setting
  • You hate the 5" setting
  • You love the 6" setting
  • You hate the 6" setting
  • It was really a 4"-travel bike that they gave 5 and 6" capabilities to but the shock spring isn't enough for the other travel settings
  • It was really a 5" bike that they gave 4 and 6" capabilities to and is too bouncy on 4 and too soft on 6
  • It was really a 6" bike that they gave lesser settings to but it really is in its sweet spot at 6
  • It does all settings equally adequately
  • It sucks equally at all settings
. . . and so on. RIDE THE %^^*&*$@ THING!
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Old 01-26-09, 04:53 PM   #14
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What you need is a bike that has a lever on the bars so you can change the travel while you ride ...

... Say between locked out, 80mm and 165mm. Then depending on yer mood you could change the travel any time.
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Old 01-26-09, 04:55 PM   #15
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Felt1, thanks for the explanation.

dminor: Riding my bike outside and having a friendly technical discussion on the forums are not mutually exclusive. I asked a simple, direct question, so lighten up. Sorry to make your brain hurt so much.
Anyway I'm waiting on the UPS man to stop driving circles around my block and deliver the mounting hardware I need to get my new shock mounted properly, so until then I can't go ride because my old shock is busted.
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Old 01-26-09, 04:58 PM   #16
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...
Anyway I'm waiting on the UPS man to stop driving circles around my block and deliver the mounting hardware ...
Hopefully he/she is not like our local driver as he drives by around noon but does not get to our house until 5 or 6.
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Old 01-26-09, 05:26 PM   #17
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Felt1, thanks for the explanation.

dminor: Riding my bike outside and having a friendly technical discussion on the forums are not mutually exclusive. I asked a simple, direct question, so lighten up. Sorry to make your brain hurt so much.
Anyway I'm waiting on the UPS man to stop driving circles around my block and deliver the mounting hardware I need to get my new shock mounted properly, so until then I can't go ride because my old shock is busted.
thats what is so weird about this mtn. bike thread. it's dead to begin with and every time someone posts a question or wants to discuss something someone always says: "search function" or "just go ride."
On the trail or even racing mtn. bikers are way nicer and laid back than roadies but the exact opposite is true when it comes to internet play. I'm not perfect either, sometimes I just want to battle and talk "S" with trolls but today is not one of them so I concede.
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Old 01-26-09, 05:56 PM   #18
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Another thing to know Kmart(if I'm still aloud to continue this discussion) is when you increase the leverage ratio you need to change your spring rate or pressure to optimize the new setting.

For instance running 185 psi with a 2:1 ratio will give you a different sag number than running say a 3:1 as the swing arm can produce more force on the shock.(the higher the ratio the higher the air pressure)
Same with small bump absorption. You might want to run a lower pressure with a lower leverage ratio since the shock has greater force pushing back on the swing arm and a higher rate of spring progression. so by running a lower ratio you can run a lower pressure to get small bump absorption while having a higher spring progression rate to give you larger bump absorption. All the while running lower air pressure is better for shock maintenance as it's less likely to blow seals.
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Old 01-26-09, 06:18 PM   #19
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Felt1, thanks for the wisdom! Exactly what I was looking for in this thread. Makes me glad that I am switching from a coil shock to an air shock, since adjusting spring rate doesn't require me to pay $70 for a new spring, or swap springs every time I change the travel. 3 leverage settings + air adjustable spring rates = a lot of fun stuff to tinker with for this engineering student

EDIT: UPS driver got confused by my dorm address, as usual. Delivery rescheduled

dminor: I don't want to offend anybody in this thread. Like I said, there's nothing wrong with thinking things through in your mind before trying it out. In addition to safety and proper operation concerns, it's just the way I do things.

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Old 01-27-09, 06:00 PM   #20
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dminor: I don't want to offend anybody in this thread. Like I said, there's nothing wrong with thinking things through in your mind before trying it out. In addition to safety and proper operation concerns, it's just the way I do things.
No offense taken. Anyone who knows me will tell you that I get off on the engineering backcurrent of everything and enjoy dabbling in its black arts. There comes a time occasionally, though, when one must fish or cut bait and all of the theoretical discussion needs to be either born out or debunked by real-world experience.

However, in the interest of continuing useful technical discussion . . .

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Old 01-27-09, 07:09 PM   #21
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Just installed the new rock shox mc3.3 today and WOW, what a difference. The old 5th element coil shock must weigh something like 3 lbs with a steel spring, the air shock weighs less than half a pound. And, thanks to the adjustable air spring I was able to pick the spring rate suitable for ME, not the previous owner of the bike. So, now that I get the full range of travel my bike was intended for, as well as floodgate and rebound adjust, it's time to put down the slide rule and go for a ride

Capacitive Diractance. LOL
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