Tuning at La Costa

Yesterday I went out for a spin at Rancho La Costa Preserve. It was a pretty sweet day to be out on a bike. In addition to getting in some exercise I was planning on tuning up my suspension.

Climbing up the Vista Del Mar trail

I have been very much an “under-adjuster” when it comes to suspension. I tend to set it once and forget it. The latest bike I have has a cane creek DB Inline Air shock which has both high and low speed compression and rebound adjustments. The Fox Float Air fork also has plenty of adjustments. I had recently had both serviced/overhauled and I going to be more systematic about tuning them and recording the setup.

SDMBA Bike Care station!

My shock actually has a companion app to help you tune and record your settings. On a previous outting I had set the shock up and recorded those settings. My focus on this day was going to be on the fork. I started with using a small digital tire pressure gauge to get accurate readings of my tire pressure. I’m planning on keeping this in my camelbak so I can reliably check my pressure at anytime. I took a shock pump with me and over the course of the first half of the ride I tweaked the pressure of the fork’s air pressure several times. I was a bit surprised what just a little bit of pressure change can do for getting that plush feeling and typical small terrain stuff while not easily bottoming out.

The view from the top.

Plushness was what I was really looking for over handling big hits. I just did not want it to dramatically dive while braking. I have been struggling with tendonitis in my elbows for several years so plushness (or is supple the right term?) on the front of the bike is what I’m looking for.

I went up Vista Del Mar, down the backside to Copper Creek, up to the water tower where I snooped around a bit before dropping back down to Copper Creek. I connected back up with Vista Del Mar and climbed back up to the top. At this point I felt I had the front end dialed for what I wanted. The optest was let things go for the run down the switchbacks trail. I’m pretty happy with the results as does not brake dive to much and the small rock chatter is very well damped. Now that the front is down, I will probably further tweak the rear.

There was a whole lot of geeking out with numbers on this ride, but it was still a great day to be out on a bike.

A Shocking New Toy

Time to tinker with the bike so I’m trying a new shock out.  My Intense 6.6 has been a really killer bike so far and it has played a part in helping me to push myself.  I have been getting more comfortable getting the bike in the air lately.   I am at the point with my Fox RP23 air shock on my bike that when I put enough air to keep from bottoming out harshly on larger jumps,  I loose small bump compliance.   Time to try out a coil shock.  Enter the Cane Creek Double Barrel.


This is going to add some weight to the bike, but at this point, I got more than a couple of pounds of beer reserves around my belly to be more concerned about.   Why not a Fox DHX Air?  Well I rode a 6.6 with a DHX-Air for a few months and the difference between the RP23 and the DHX Air on the 6.6 just did not seem to be all that much all things being considered.   I got a steel spring on the CCDB for now.  I just could not see dropping the cash on a Ti-Spring until I know for sure what spring rate coil is going to work for me.  One bummer is that I’m heading out of town for a couple of weeks and will not be able to test it out until I return.  But man, does it look prudy!