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What's involved?

There's a lot to talk about here so I'll stick to what we're typically looking for. The software is capable of much more though. Feel free to ask questions via email, contact form or social media platforms.

 

Roughly how your suspension set-up day will proceed

Setting up

One of the major advantages of the Motion Instruments kit over other telemetry systems on the market is its simplicity.

A fork tracer will be fitted to your fork. Motion's patented fork tracer is incredibly versatile and can be fitted to any fork ranging from a 100mm travel XC fork through to a 200mm triple clamp DH fork.

A potentiometer will be fitted to the rear. Usually it will be placed in parallel to the rear shock but it may be placed anywhere that can measure travel. 

Both sensors are then calibrated so that we can measure front and rear axle position for a fair comparison. Sensors connect to an iphone that you will carry in your pocket via bluetooth. So no need for bulky units, wires and laptops. There is also no need to return to the vehicle after each run so more time on the trails.


The iphone also acts a GPS device for timing and route comparison if required/desired.


The process of setting typically takes just an hour. We'll arrange to be at the bike park early so that we have a full day of uplifts to get as much work done as possible.

Average axle position

Whether you've had a pro set-up in a shop or done your own, you have probably set up using sag before. 

Sag is important to the ride of the bike. However, it is not very good at 'knowing' how you ride. You may set equal sag both front and rear but then when riding place yourself over the front in an aggressive riding position. By contrast you may think you ride over the front but in reality you sit quite neutral or even off the back. It's really difficult to know exactly how you distribute your weight without seeing what happens when you ride.

So, we'll do a few runs and use them to look at the average axle position of your front and rear wheels. To keep things simple, this is like sag but measured during riding. This can be set to a personal preference or I can make recommendations based on experience of working with both pro and amateur riders.

The orange chart shows that this guy was running an average axle position of 52% (20-25% is a good guy for the average person). He had had a shop set up. This shock needs a lot more air pressure! (notice that the lower orange chart show 7 bottom outs in a short section of trail centre riding. I don't know how this guy was getting down the more gnarly stuff)

At this stage we'll also spot things like incorrect springs on coil shocks.

Progressiveness

Now we have your axle position sitting where you want it we can look at how much travel you are using.

Axle position histograms give use a detailed breakdown of how much of your travel is being used. Deep axle position histograms will tell us exactly how many times you've gone really deep into your travel. Modern shocks are so good at 'cushioning' bottom outs that you may even be hitting the bottom regularly without even knowing. By contrast the data often reveals that riders are not using all of their travel because they have it too progressive.

We can use the data to optimise the number of volume spacers you are using and/or decide on which spring is best for you.

The blue charts show that this guy is running a 25% average axle position. That will give a nice plush feeling over the 'chatter'. Probably a bit soft for a racer but this will be fun to ride. In spite of it being quite soft the second chart shows that he never goes beyond 120mm travel on a 160mm fork. His fork is way too progressive and needs volume spacers removing. 

Rebound speed

Now that we have the foundations we can start looking at really dialling the bike in!

Rebound damping is important to the ride but often riders are aver damped resulting in the suspension packing up. The problem is that it is really difficult to tell if your bike feels harsh because it is packing up, has too much compression damping or you simply has the air pressure too high.

The data, along with experience with it, will reveal if your rebound speeds. Rider feedback along with the data and experience of interpreting it, will tell us if we need to speed things up or slow them down. We can also see how the front rebounds compared to the rear. We'll teak these until we find that 'sweet spot' where the rebound is as fast as possible without your bike becoming a pogo stick.

When you rebound is right the bike will start to come to life. More 'pop' on jumps and faster out of corners and berms. We may even solve that packing-up problem at this stage.

The data shows that this rider has very similar max rebound speeds. More importantly, 95% of the rebound speeds on the front and rear are extremely close in velocity. This is based on a full run of Fort William world cup track. These rebound speeds suit the rider and are near perfectly balanced front and rear.

Compression damping

In reality we'll probably work with this simultaneously to the rebound damping.

We're looking again to find a sweet spot. We want enough compression damping to stop the fork packing up under our now established rebound speed. We want as little as we can though to allow the suspension to move freely underneath you.

People often overdamp the front in particular. They do it to stop the bike 'pitching' under braking. We will have ironed that out by getting the average axle position correct. 

We'll use the compression damping to establish a real nice relationship between the force through you suspension and the amount of travel it uses, the result is a very predictable and controlled feel.

The data above shows that this rider has slightly higher max compression speeds on the rear - this is not unusual as more weight often goes through the rear depending on riding style. We'd like the 95 percentile values to be a bit closer though. We're probably one or two clicks out at this stage.

Fine tuning

We can now do some fine tuning. This is where the Motion IQ software really exceeds other packages in my opinion. The data is used to quantify the balance of the bike so meaningful adjustments can be made. There is no guesswork anymore.

We can break the data down into high and low speeds. This allows us to balance high and low speed compression damping and likewise with rebound.

At pro/semi-pro, serious racer level, it's worth looking at a 2 day set-up so that we can get down to this level of detail.

The charts above show compression speed speed balance. The chart on the left shows that the bike is very well balance and for the average rider this is going to feel great. If you're racing or want your bike fully optimised we really need to break the data down further. The charts on the right show that under low speed compression the rear moves slower - there is probably too much low speed compression damping on the rear (or maybe too little at the front). On the far right the chart shows that under high speed compression the rear moves faster. We need more high speed compression damping on the rear shock

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