What’s what

We thought we would use this space to explain some of the ‘Ins and Outs’ or should that be ‘Ups and Downs’ of the terms used in suspension (towards the end we will give some more detail on what a Revalve,a Service and a Spring and Oil is) and cover off some of the ideas and philosophies we have when setting up a bike for the individual and whether you as the customer need to have higher quality suspension, be that a new shock, a revalved set of forks, a service or new springs, we want you to spend money, after all we are in business, but spend it for the right reasons, and as far as is possible, understand why you have just had your forks revalved, to appreciate the cost and not just have it done because someone said so…..We fully understand that many know what they want from a bike and will always look to improve their bike, this section is designed around those who feel less confident in that decision……. This is not an explanation on how to set up a bike, what compression is or how rebound works or what to do if the bike does X Y or Z, it is purely an attempt to explain in fairly easy terms why a standard bike potentially needs adjustment and ultimately money spending on it and how we come to some conclusions and what to do next………

One of the first things to clear up is that most bikes are perfectly rideable, in essence there are no bad bikes but there certainly are degrees of ‘how good’. When we are at B.S.B or Club Racing or Testing these bikes all work, what we are looking for is that bit extra, to be able to brake that bit later or to be able to get on the gas that bit earlier, these bikes are certainly in a more accurate part of there performance range than a road/track bike but even so we are looking for more, that’s the principle behind the track day set up service…..Your bike has settings in it from the manufacturer,they work but can your bike be made better ?, to brake that bit later with more control or get on the gas that bit earlier and harder but still hold its line?……That’s what we are looking for, and in most cases, to some degree, your bike has the adjustment range to achieve this. So the set up process is know where the bike is now and then for any given issue or problem choose the most appropriate solution and try it……

Once that process has been completed you end up with a setting….a certain amount of rebound,compression and pre-load at each end…. if,at that setting, the bike is giving you everything you need then maybe its not the time, or indeed there is not the need, to spend any more money other than the set up fee, but at sometime in the future that’s maybe what needs to happen as generally suspension performance degrades as it gets older. So if your settings are near to an extreme IE nearly fully in,then its ability to be adjusted further as you ask more from it is small, then in most cases the answer is to improve the performance range of what you have got, another factor often over looked is the one of mass production and never before has the term ‘Friday Nighter’ rang so true in that 2 different bikes of the same model achieving the same result can be set very different purely down to the difference in manufacturing tolerances as 1 was built with a little more care and attention than the other… the set up process illustrates this by logging all the settings tried and proving what needs to be done next, the result is you may need to improve it not only because its not giving you what you want but because it doesn’t have enough range to cope with the future or it just plainly isn’t working as well as needed

So having used the set up process to find out what the larger issues are some of the solutions maybe (beyond just simple adjustment) a Service,Springs,a Revalve/Re-cartridge or New Shock.At this point we shall explain in straight forward terms what each of these are and represents…

The Service……this is a strip of the forks or shock down to its basic components with a full clean and check and then rebuilt using high quality fluids and fresh seals, this generally does not overcome the issue of mass production but brings the unit back to the performance level of when it was new, so if your suspension is feeling tired and its known that in general the unit does perform better than the level being experienced (we know this from setting up many thousands of bikes)the service can be a cost effective solution, it should be noted that this is something that should be carried out an a regular basis what ever the suspension you have fitted in order to maintain its performance level and avoid unwanted and premature wear

Spring and Oil….this is the service with the addition of springs being fitted more appropriate for the use of the bike, at this point it is worth mentioning that although springing a bike for a riders body weight is important (we call this the starting point) what the rider wants from the bike in terms of feel and performance is greater and if that dictates a spring rate different to that from the ‘book’ then that is the one to be used.

The New Shock…this is straight forward, you replace the unit with an aftermarket item, this new unit is likely to have greater range of adjustment to either offer something new that is not possible from the basic unit or has the adjustability to eradicate a problem caused by the standard unit, it is a much higher quality unit giver higher levels of feel grip and confidence.

The Re-Valve….this is the more complicated and involved process where the components within the fork or shock that cause the problems are either changed or removed all together. the easiest way to explain the revalve is to describe the fork internal or cartridge as like a ‘syringe’ and in a revalve you change the ‘plunger and the spout’ these can be considered as the valves. You also get new springs’ compression and rebound adjusters this gives a much wider performance range more accurate adjustment and finer control of the wheels resulting in more feel, control and grip

The Re-Cartridge…is like the revalve but instead of changing the plunger and the spout you change the whole cartridge to a larger one to flow more oil thus extending the performance range still further an added advantage is a ‘quick change system’ for easier and faster spring changes which is extremely usefull when racing.

We have covered these in an extremely brief way but the idea is to give you the rider a bit more of an insight into some of ideas and philosophies behind how we work, the whole ethos is to use the set up process to find out what needs, if anything, to be done and choose the most appropriate solution because not all bikes react the same to the same solution, one model responds well to simple service where as another requires a Spring and oil as a minimum, and the next a full revalve, our goal is to guide in the right direction, for the right reasons to get the best solutions for you.

Get the best from your Suspension give it……


For further information or prices please call Colin or Diane on 07715490888