Problems and Solutions
Fork feels harsh
• Try winding the compression dampening out 2 clicks at a time.
• Check if the springs are the correct weight for you.
• How long has it been since the fork was totally disassembled and rebuilt? Fork internals do wear out, shims do bend, and chamber valves bleed more than they were designed to. Inspect don't neglect.
• Look at the bikes intended usage; are you trying to use a SX set-up for outdoors?
• Increase the compression dampening, go 2 clicks at a time.
• If that makes the suspension feel harsh and does not help the bottoming, try increasing the oil height 5-10mm at a time don’t go higher than your manual suggests.
• Do you have the correct springs for your weight?
• Be sure the fork is not abnormally soft and doesn't bottom. If it is, go through the steps above.
• Reduce the rebound dampening.
• Try sliding the forks down through the clamps.
• Check the steering head bearings, be sure there is a slight amount of preload on the bearings and they are well greased.
Front end knifes or over steers
• If the fork isn't bottoming, reduce the oil level and go up on the spring rate. This will raise the front end during braking.
• Try more rebound on the rear shock.
• Decrease the rear shock preload.
• If all else fails, try sliding the forks down in the clamps if they are not flush with the clamps already.
Bike does not want to turn
• Try increasing the rear shock preload. Don't go under 15mm of static sag.
• Slide the forks up in the triple clamps 5mm.
• If the rear is not too stiff try increasing the rear compression dampening (low speed if you have a 2 way compression adjuster)
• If you have no problem with headshake, try increasing the forks rebound dampening two clicks at a time.
• If you have no problem with the fork bottoming, try decreasing the forks compression dampening 2 clicks at a time.
• Are the forks centered in the axle, has this problem just occurred after removing and refitting the forks?
• Getting desperate now! If possible, reduce the amount of fork spring preload, or go to a softer spring as a last resort. Some bikes are just slow steerers.
Rear end does not hook up
• Recheck the rear suspension sag. Not enough preload can cause this.
• Reduce the rears rebound dampening, this allows the rear wheel to get back on the ground faster and increase traction.
• Check the rear axle position, if it has been moved all the way rearward, then shorten or replace the chain.
• Recheck your HSC adjuster if the problem is more predominant on rocks and roots. Decrease (wind out) the HSC adjuster.
Rear end kicks when braking
• A common mistake is to increase the rear shock rebound dampening. Usually faster (reduced) rebound dampening is the cure. Have a friend stand next to the corner in the braking zone to see if the suspension extends when leaving the ground, so you can determine if the rebound is too fast or slow.
• Check your static sag, too little will cause the rear to kick.
• Be sure the forks are not too soft and diving too much under brakes and 'unloading' the rear. Put a cable tie around the fork tubes to check travel under brakes.
Can't take the whoops
• Try increasing the rear compression dampening, especially hi speed if you have it.
• Increase the rebound dampening but not so much that it 'packs' in repeated bumps.
Rear end bottoms
• Increase compression dampening.
• Increase spring preload but don't go more than 5mm under the recommended rider sag for your model.
• Decrease rebound dampening.
IMPORTANT NOTE: Any time you reach the outer limits of adjusting it's time to become suspicious. You might be mis-diagnosing the problem. Restart from baseline settings and only adjust one set of adjusters at a time and re-evaluate. This will give you a better feel and understanding of what each adjusters responsibility is. Remember take your time.