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Suspension optimization #1 for the SENDuro

Many of the current shocks offer very a wide range of adjustments. In addition, special tunes can be ordered from many suspension manufacturers. To find the best possible setup for the SENDuro, we visited Stefan from insanityofgravity. Stefan is passionately dedicated to all topics related to mountain bike development, optimization and tuning. On his blog https://insanityofgravity.blogspot.com/, Stefan challenges prevailing opinions and tries to confirm certain theories through calculations and experiments. Also through his mountain bike projects, every ambitious tech nerd should have come into contact with Stefan in the media. His Ultra High Pivot Enduro has at least generated some interest: https://www.pinkbike.com/news/bike-check-insanityofgravitys-titanium-ultra-high-pivot-freeride-bike.html

To get reliable data, Stefan does not rely on the manufacturer’s data, but measures the spring and damping characteristics himself.

The self-designed test rig for the spring characteristic compresses the shock step by step and records the resulting force.

The measured values are transferred to a table and output as a curve. The spring curve can then be superimposed on the leverage ratio curve of the frame using special software. The result of this measurement confirmed our impressions from practice: The Fox X2 with its relatively high air chamber volume harmonizes very well with characteristic of the SENDuro frame.

In the second step, the damping characteristic is measured. Missing adapters are made by Stefan in his own workshop.

A dynamometer is required for recording the damping curve. The shock is compressed at different speeds and the resulting forces are measured and recorded. By compressing the shock at different speeds, a very precise distinction can be made between high- and low-speed rebound and compression.

Different settings of the compression and rebound damping can now be used to try to approximate an ideal damping characteristic. If the adjustment range of the shock does not allow this, special tuning of the shock can be considered. However, since personal preferences, the personal fitness level and the preferred trails also play a role in the selection of the damping curve in addition to the theoretical values, a great deal of intuition is required here.

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