How to adjust the suspension setup
Here we'd like to give you some general tips for setting up your suspension fork and your rear suspension. For further information and fine-adjusting, please use the manufacturer's manual which is handed out to you with your bike.
1. Preload of the spring
When adjusting the preload of your spring, you're adjusting how hard / soft the suspension of you bike feels. When using an air-spring, you can easily use a high-pressure-suspension-pump to harden or soften your suspension system. If your suspension works with a coil spring, you can adjust the preload only in a fixed range. Some manufacturers offer softer or harder replacement springs for riders with a higher / lower weight than the average. When setting up your suspension, it's important to have approx. 25% of SAG. SAG means the negative travel and it defines the compression of the fork / rear suspension when sitting calmly on the bike. To setup the SAG, push the thin rubber ring of the fork all the way to the dust-wiper so that it will move if you compress the system. Then sit on the bike and move into your driving position. Then get off the bike again (carefully to not compress the system any further). Now you can check the new position of the rubber ring. It should have moved by 25% of the total travel. If it's less, lower the pressure. If it's more, increase the preload.
The knobs for adjusting the rebound-rate are oftenly designed in red color. The rebound-rate controls the decompression speed of the suspension system. The slower rebound prevents an increase in swinging when hitting many bumps and obstacles in a row. For the best control possible, the wheels should always stick to the ground. The rebound of the suspension fork should be adjusted to a rate that doesn't allow the front wheel to jump from the ground if the fork is compressed completely when released all in a sudden. The rear suspension should be as fast as possible, but without feeling nervous. As a rule of thumb you can drive off a higher kerb stone with your rear wheel, the suspension then will compress, decompress and finally compress to the starting point (SAG level). If it keeps bumping much longer, the rebound is probably too fast.
The compression rate defines the compression speed. Another distinction is made between the high-speed and the low-speed compression. Whereas the high-speed compression is for very fast hits such as landings, roots and curbs, the low-speed compression determines the compression speed in berms and when braking. Please note: compression rates only determine the speed, but not the amount of compression, which is controlled by the preload / pressure. There is no formula to quick-adjust the compression rates. We suggest you to take some time and testride different setups. The easiest way to find the right setup step by step is to start with the slowest setting and to move from slow to fast. The setup of the high-speed-compression rate also has an influence on the low-speed-compression and vice versa. Long story short: If you want it perfect, take your time to figure it out.
When buying a bike with air suspension fork or / and rear suspension we suggest to buy a high-pressure-pump as well. This will add approx. 20€ to your shopping cart, but it's absolutely worth it. Electric compressors may damage your suspension if the pressure provided is too high!