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How to Adjust Bike Shocks

author image Bryan Lutz
Bryan Lutz began writing professionally in 2009. He has been published in his collegiate newspaper, "The Signal," as well as various literary magazines. Lutz holds a Bachelor of Arts in English and creative/professional writing from The College of New Jersey.
How to Adjust Bike Shocks
Mountain biking requires accurate suspension to ensure a smooth ride.

Riding a bike is a great way to get some exercise. Riding a bike also minimizes the strain on your body that running can put on your knees and ankles, which can lead to complications later on in life. If you're riding a bike that has a suspension system, it's important to make sure the suspension is set to the proper levels, depending on your weight and the type of bike riding you plan on engaging in.

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Adjusting Your Bike Shocks

Step 1

Determine the "sag" of your bike's suspension system before you adjust it. The sag is how much the suspension will drop down from your weight alone.

Step 2

Have a friend hold you up, or lean against a wall and sit on the bike without touching the ground. Your sag should be about a quarter of the suspension's full "travel," or how far the suspension goes down.

Step 3

Adjust your suspension to make sure the sag is correct. To do this, twist the knobs on the top of the suspension, clockwise to tighten to reduce the sag and counterclockwise to loosen to increase the sag.

Step 4

Adjust the dampening of your suspension. Dampening refers to the speed at which your bike's suspension will bounce back up after being compressed. The controls are usually located at the bottom of the suspension system.

Step 5

Try taking it out on a trail to see how you feel about it.
Try taking it out on a trail to see how you feel about it.

Test your bike's altered suspension. Ride over some bumps or a sidewalk curb and judge the comfort in which your bike sags and springs back. Try adjusting by a single click until you achieve the results you're looking for.

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