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fr8dog

Suspension Upgrade

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Been reading everything suspension related. Looking to upgrade on the cheap. Weight is 215 lbs., bike wallows and is harsh over bumps. Mostly used for commuting and ride on the weekends in the twisties. I've ridden 19000 since 8/17. I don't ride hard. I had wear bars showing on OEM tires at 14000 miles.
 
Terry at Norwest has an OEM shock he's done some work to and will spring for my weight. $300.00, seems like a good deal. Probably go that route. Was thinking Nitron before that option came up.
 
Found out about Racetech reading the thread from @piotrek. I have a Racetech shop a few miles away. Cruised over there on the bike on Saturday. Looked closed, but a truck parked out front. Mike came out and we talked for a bit.
 
We talked Ohlins, Andreani, Nitron. He sat on the bike. He mentioned I said it was harsh, but it feels spongy to him. Suggested I back out the preload about half of what I cranked it down to.
 
Anyway, he suggested either changing out the springs or go with Andreani cartridges. Both quotes seemed reasonable.
Sunday I back out the preload, leave the shock as is, take a ratchet wrench and screwdriver (forgot preload spanner) and go for a ride. Right away I notice bumps are more tolerable(huge difference) up front and still harsh in the rear. Riding in the hills was a great. No negative feedback up front when riding in the hills.
 
So, probably just re spring up front, but the Andreani cartridges look tempting. On sale too. 
 
 
 
 

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In my experience, the shock was much more of a weak spot than the forks and needed more immediate attention. Depending on how you ride you might be able to get away with the correct spring rate in the front and back, however that reworked shock from Norwest for $300 doesn’t sound like a bad deal.

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Folks on here seem happy with the reworked OE shock. I'd considered Andreani carts, but there were some mixed thoughts on harshness of the compression circuit. Some chose running very light oil in the compression leg to fix that. Matt (@pattonme ) has a hardware fix, that is probably a better option. Another item of note would be making sure they (whoever) absolutely ship with the springs that you want. If you buy from Matt, he can get all that taken care of.
 
 
That said... I found that just re-springing and running thin oil was a very effective and inexpensive way to improve the front. Should you consider going that way... watch the oil's cST@40C specifications and not the 'W' or 'WT' numbers, which are not standardized across manufacturers. I ran 10.8 cST@40C (RockShox 2.5W). Ended up with damping screw 9-10 clicks CCW from full hard, depending on outdoor temps. Worked very well for me. For reference, the OE oil is ~16 cST@40C.
 
 
 
Have fun with this... and good luck.
 
 

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After the 150 mile ride yesterday, the shock definitely felt like it was the weak spot.
 
Funny to hear the Racetech guy say don't worry about sag numbers, just ride it. If you're over 200 lbs. the adjustments have to be pretty extreme. The ride was too harsh. With correct springs, setting the sag is probably easier and more effective.
 
 

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Terry at Norwest suggested springs and an oil from Redline. Something about the oil made for a better ride.
Waiting on a quote from Matt. PM'd him last week. Was looking at the Intermediate upgrade. I might respond to his thread in case pm isn't working. 
 
 

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@piotrek - thanks for the info. Just what I was looking for. Stoltec has some good stuff. I think I need 95kg. Was looking at his drop in cartridges and springs.
 

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Yes... forgot about Nick's drop in fix (one leg only). Looks to be a good low cost option. Springs are on top of that price... but not expensive.

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Terry at Norwest suggested springs and an oil from Redline. Something about the oil made for a better ride. Waiting on a quote from Matt. PM'd him last week. Was looking at the Intermediate upgrade. I might respond to his thread in case pm isn't working. 
 

 
 
I've been working with Matt Patton to upgrade my fork, and it seems a phone call is the best way to get in touch. Contact info is on his website.
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On 12/3/2018 at 9:29 AM, fr8dog said:

So, probably just re spring up front, but the Andreani cartridges look tempting. On sale too. 
 
 
 
 

Whatever you decide on, let us know what you purchased and your impressions on the improved ride.

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On 12/7/2018 at 9:54 AM, betoney said:

Whatever you decide on, let us know what you purchased and your impressions on the improved ride.

Will do. Should have the shock Tuesday or Wednesday. So far Terry at Norwest has been great and etdbw!

Rode for a few hours today. Front end feels pretty good after backing out the preload a ways. I had it almost maxed out. Think it's half way now. I backed off the shock one more click. Softer, but might be bottoming out. Still feels harsh. Kind of doesn't make sense. Huge difference from front to rear. Bike felt pretty good in the twisties.

 

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