Springs vs Damping

December 17, 2016 2 min read

Spring Rate Determination

There always seems to be a lot of confusion as to when to adjust the springs vs the damping. The best way to look at it is that springs are static and will always react the same way to a given force. If you apply 50 lbs of pressure it will always compress the same amount. Springs will dictate how the bike sits under any given load. Damping is dynamic and will respond differently depending on the speed of travel, clicker settings and where the shock or fork is in the stroke. I see too many people tighten their spring to prevent bottoming out. This is actually very dangerous as you will find yourself with a very sketchy ride at speed. The correct approach is to add damping. If we apply 50 lbs of pressure to the bike the spring is just going to compress to a given resting point where it can support the load. It is the damping that dictates how fast it reaches that point. If you soften the damping, it will get there a lot faster than if you have very stiff damping. Any given bike should sit exactly the same way wether it has a 200 lb rider or a 130 lb rider on board, this is why sag is so critical. It will keep your chassis balanced and preserve the factories geometry so the bike handles properly. It is the baseline setting and nothing else will work properly if this basic foundation is not setup right. Remember, springs dictate how far the suspension will compress under a given load. Dampers will dictate how fast it gets to that resting point. Remember to get your sag set properly so you can just Enjoy Your Ride!

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