The Tuesday Tune Ep 16 - Bump Compliance and Harshness
For better or worse, Vorsprung's location in Whistler gives us exposure to some of the harshest, most violent conditions bikes ever see. From A-line's infamous braking bumps (that the trail crew, fortunately, iron out a few times a year!) to the sheer brutality of In Deep, there are plenty of reasons why many riders here end up feeling like their hands are broken after a few days of riding.
Consequently, one of the biggest issues we deal with on a day to day basis is minimizing ride harshness. To achieve this, it is necessary to understand the physics behind bump absorption, which is what we are delving into on this week's Tuesday Tune. Rather than simply handing you a set of instructions saying "reduce X, increase Y, set Z to extra medium", we're presenting an introduction to the fundamental ways in which your suspension responds to encountering a bump. We hope that by doing this, that you can relate this to your own adjustments and find yourself making more productive changes when you are adjusting your setup.
This week's video is pretty heavy in theory, and it does assume that you are familiar with the basic functions of a spring and a damper (if you aren't, check out our video on the functions of springs and dampers).
As usual, this is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to in-depth analysis, and should not be considered anything like a comprehensive explanation of everything to do with a smooth ride. Many factors not directly related to your mechanical suspension can influence the perception of harshness (and hand pain), including rider variables such as strength, fitness and fatigue levels, as well as cockpit setup and brake configuration. Tyre pressure is invariably part of the equation, and should always be the first thing to check when something feels exceedingly rough. It's also worth noting that your priorities for suspension setup may not be the same as the next rider - some people want the smoothest ride possible, some people want the fastest thing they can hold on to on steep terrain, most people lie somewhere in between. Setup is all about finding the compromises that work best for you.