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Preload & Lockout

Old 12-25-20, 01:51 PM
  #1  
Texboy
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Preload & Lockout

I recently pickup a Marlin 7. There is Lockout on right of suspension and Preload on the left side of suspension. The manual doesnít explain very much.
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Old 12-25-20, 02:26 PM
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You didn't explain much either!
What brand of fork is this?? Airfork or spring?
Lookup the brand and model on internet to get the manual!
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Old 12-25-20, 03:12 PM
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The preload does nothing, it might as well not be there. The idea is to compress the spring a bit and make the fork stiffer but it doesn't work like that on inexpensive forks. The lockout is just that...turn it clockwise and it will stop the fork from moving. Useful on pavement only, really.
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Old 12-25-20, 03:55 PM
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So, I lock the fork from moving. What is the benefit for riding on a smooth payment?
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Old 12-25-20, 04:27 PM
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We have the internet now!
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Old 12-25-20, 06:23 PM
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I'd suggest you ride with the fork unlocked for awhile, then locked for awhile or vice versa. You can judge for yourself which you prefer.
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Old 12-25-20, 06:28 PM
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Originally Posted by Texboy View Post
So, I lock the fork from moving. What is the benefit for riding on a smooth payment?
Well...it's SMOOTH pavement, suspension isn't needed.
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Old 12-25-20, 09:44 PM
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Originally Posted by Texboy View Post
So, I lock the fork from moving. What is the benefit for riding on a smooth payment?
If the fork isn't locked out you lose energy to the suspension as you pedal. On pavement, you can lock it out when you don't actually need the suspension working for you, and unlock it to allow the suspension to work for you on rougher terrain when it makes sense to sacrifice a little bit of energy for a more comfortable ride.
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Old 12-26-20, 01:11 AM
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Originally Posted by Skulking View Post
If the fork isn't locked out you lose energy to the suspension as you pedal. On pavement, you can lock it out when you don't actually need the suspension working for you, and unlock it to allow the suspension to work for you on rougher terrain when it makes sense to sacrifice a little bit of energy for a more comfortable ride.
+1
It is most noticeable on steep climbs. When suspension is locked, it feels as if you're riding about "2 gears" easier (slower) gearing.
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Old 12-26-20, 10:16 AM
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Originally Posted by Skulking View Post
If the fork isn't locked out you lose energy to the suspension as you pedal. On pavement, you can lock it out when you don't actually need the suspension working for you, and unlock it to allow the suspension to work for you on rougher terrain when it makes sense to sacrifice a little bit of energy for a more comfortable ride.
You think so? Seated or standing...or both? Even though you pedal through the rear wheel? Still think so? Still think it's about 'comfort' off road? Not efficiency? Think about this a little, don't reply based only on your 'feelings'.
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Old 12-26-20, 11:03 AM
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Originally Posted by cxwrench View Post
You think so? Seated or standing...or both? Even though you pedal through the rear wheel? Still think so? Still think it's about 'comfort' off road? Not efficiency? Think about this a little, don't reply based only on your 'feelings'.
I do think so, as do manufacturers it seems, or why else would lockout forks exist? I realize they weren't all professional team mechanics, but let's assume that they might have some idea of what they are doing.

Now as for your other questions.
Seated or standing...or both?
Energy loss would be more pronounced standing that sitting given the more intense weight shifts which occur during standing pedaling, but it will occur to some extent during seated riding. To answer a question unasked, locking out the front suspension is going to make the most difference when riding uphill. When the front tire and therefore the front suspension becomes less loaded, the energy lost increases as the shock becomes for lack of a better description more bouncy.
Even though you pedal through the rear wheel?
Yes even though when you pedal you are driving the rear wheel. The front tire is in contact with the ground, and the suspension is loaded. As you pedal the suspension load changes, and that is lost power.
Still think so? Still think it's about 'comfort' off road? Not efficiency?
I do still think so. Perhaps I would have been better served by saying smoothness off road rather than comfort. I believe it is about smoothness off road with an option to lock the fork out on road to improve efficiency.

I'm curious why you have taken issue with my reply given that you yourself acknowledged that the lockout is useful on pavement only. Perhaps you would care to enlighten us all by actually explaining why the lockout exists if you disagree with what I have said? But please do remember to think about a it a little rather than replying based on your "feelings".
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Old 12-26-20, 11:09 AM
  #12  
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Originally Posted by cxwrench View Post
You think so? Seated or standing...or both? Even though you pedal through the rear wheel? Still think so? Still think it's about 'comfort' off road? Not efficiency? Think about this a little, don't reply based only on your 'feelings'.
These are interesting questions. Not sure if my interpretation is right.

For years I’ve heard about climbing efficiency loss from a suspension fork (hard tail). If I’m seated, with my weight on the rear wheel, I just can’t see how much it matters; even if I’m grinding up slowly it still seems like pulling the bars and using my butt as leverage.

I can see where there can be an energy loss when standing and someone is using their upper body as leverage against the handlebars. If you are pushing against the bars, then the a locked or rigid suspension is better.

John
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Old 12-26-20, 12:45 PM
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Originally Posted by 70sSanO View Post
These are interesting questions. Not sure if my interpretation is right.

For years Iíve heard about climbing efficiency loss from a suspension fork (hard tail). If Iím seated, with my weight on the rear wheel, I just canít see how much it matters; even if Iím grinding up slowly it still seems like pulling the bars and using my butt as leverage.

I can see where there can be an energy loss when standing and someone is using their upper body as leverage against the handlebars. If you are pushing against the bars, then the a locked or rigid suspension is better.

John
Have you tried it?
Find a steep hill and do a test/compare.
Shock absorber effectively transfers movement energy into heat.
The more "steady" power output you provide, the less bike will hop up and down, and less energy will be lost. But if a climb is steep enough, difference is noticeable (at least for me - maybe my "pedalling technique" isn't nearly smooth enough).

As for the use - a friend rides with a front shock even on pavement - most of our pavement is rather poor quality and he's got some health problems so is sensitive to those shocks. While I, on the other hand, ride with no shocks even when we go into the woods - and have no problems with that (more adrenaline on descends when there's no suspension ).
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Old 12-26-20, 01:13 PM
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Originally Posted by Bike Gremlin View Post
Have you tried it?
Yeah.

John
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Old 12-26-20, 01:16 PM
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Originally Posted by 70sSanO View Post
Yeah.

John
Our experiences differ.
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Old 12-26-20, 02:17 PM
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Originally Posted by cxwrench View Post
The preload does nothing, it might as well not be there. The idea is to compress the spring a bit and make the fork stiffer but it doesn't work like that on inexpensive forks. The lockout is just that...turn it clockwise and it will stop the fork from moving. Useful on pavement only, really.
I don't agree with this. I mostly always lock my fork when pedalling standing up, even on rough trails, and it avoids losing quite a bit of energy.

When seated it does almost nothing as the front won't compress on each stroke.
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Old 12-26-20, 09:26 PM
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Originally Posted by Amt0571 View Post
I don't agree with this. I mostly always lock my fork when pedalling standing up, even on rough trails, and it avoids losing quite a bit of energy.

When seated it does almost nothing as the front won't compress on each stroke.
You're confused about suspension and efficiency. It's like high vs lower tire pressure, or even 29ers being more efficient than 26" wheels. Allowing suspension to absorb the bumps/rocks/whatever of rough terrain is always more efficient than a rigid fork bouncing off that stuff. You're not 'losing' any energy by not locking a fork out offroad. I think we're running into some Dunning/Kruger in this thread.
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Old 12-26-20, 09:48 PM
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Wow, that went bad fast.

I did some writing in the Commuting forum a month or two ago about inexpensive suspension forks like these. They're not as nice as nice ones, but they can take a hit. The lockout is probably more useful on models like this that do not have damping. That's why it's the very first or second upgrade level while damping is more expensive.
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Old 12-27-20, 02:58 AM
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Originally Posted by cxwrench View Post
You're confused about suspension and efficiency. It's like high vs lower tire pressure, or even 29ers being more efficient than 26" wheels. Allowing suspension to absorb the bumps/rocks/whatever of rough terrain is always more efficient than a rigid fork bouncing off that stuff. You're not 'losing' any energy by not locking a fork out offroad. I think we're running into some Dunning/Kruger in this thread.
If I'm pedalling while standing, I'm probably climbing. If I'm climbing I'm going at a slow enough speed that the tire is not going to bounce off anything.

If I'm not climbing, I don't lock the fork.
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Old 12-27-20, 09:59 AM
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Originally Posted by Amt0571 View Post
If I'm pedalling while standing, I'm probably climbing. If I'm climbing I'm going at a slow enough speed that the tire is not going to bounce off anything.

If I'm not climbing, I don't lock the fork.
If you're moving fast enough to stay upright you can and do bounce off rocks etc.
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Old 12-27-20, 10:43 AM
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Originally Posted by cxwrench View Post
If you're moving fast enough to stay upright you can and do bounce off rocks etc.
I can stay upright at 0km/h. So, yeah.
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