BikeRadar have produced this really straightforward tutorial on setting up the suspension on your bike – it’s one of the best explained and easy to follow guides out there.
Watch it now and get your suspension dialled in…
How much bounce should you buy?
In cross country racing speeds tend to be lower and the emphasis is more on a forks weight rather than damping prowess. Although down in travel, these forks often utilise exotic materials and advanced manufacturing techniques to keep weight to a minimum.
Short on travel, heavier weight yet big on strength. The emphasis with these forks is on retaining stiffness and strength through big hits and compressions. Generally feature 20mm bolt-through axles, except on the most budget models.
Forks in the ‘mid-travel’ range can vary from lightweight to burly, depending on intended use, with adjustable travel also a popular option. Forks for general trail riding typically hit the ‘sweet spot’ of 120mm travel, while beefier All-Mountain forks come in around 140mm and are often available with 20mm or 15mm bolt-through axles for extra stiffness. Longer-travel forks are generally heavier as they need to be overbuilt to prevent flex. Enduro racing bikes can have between 150-170mm travel on average and being able to adjust the forks set-up for different riding conditions and races is a bonus.
Once you crest the Enduro plateau of 150mm travel things start to get burlier. Stanchion size swells from around 34-36mm to add stiffness and smoothness of travel and adjustability move to being of key importance. Many forks in this bracket will now feature internal spacer systems which allow the home mechanic an easy way to custom tune their performance.