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Setting up an air fork

simonp123simonp123 Posts: 490
edited September 2009 in MTB general
I have recently been doing some more serious & qucker off road riding after my first year doing mostly bridleways etc. I am now discovering a bit of an issue withthe setup of my RockShox Tora 318 Solo Air.
I am on the heavier side for a rider at 17 stone, and have quite a lot of pressure in the fork to get the required 20mm (fork length set to 100mm) of droop whilst sat on the bike. What I am finding is that when riding over bigger roots and bumps, the fork is just hard an uncompliant, making riding at speed difficult and uncomforatble, even after backing off the compression damping to minimum. I also find that I am never hitting maximum travel.

I am switching to a tubeless tyre setup (No Flats kit) to help a little, but am wondering whether I would be better off sacrificing a little more droop to gain some fork compliance?

The obvious answer is dropping (my) weight, which is part of the plan, but would like to ease things so I ride more which will help teh ultimate goal.

All comments appreciated.



  • supersonicsupersonic Posts: 82,708 Lives Here
    The fork can take a while to bed in so may feel a bit stiff for a while. I would try more sag however - 25%. Or even 30% if that is not enough. If the fork then appears to dive too much add a little compression damping.
  • RealManRealMan Posts: 2,166
    Well yeah, try it.

    Also, stans kit is better then joes.
  • simonp123simonp123 Posts: 490
    I've been running the fork for about a year, so ought to be reasonably bedded.

    As for kits, Stan's was £20 more and seemed a lot for what it was. Looking at them I couldn't see much difference, what makes Stan's better?
  • RealManRealMan Posts: 2,166
    Better rim strips. Possibly better sealant, although that's arguable.
  • simonp123simonp123 Posts: 490
    RealMan wrote:
    Better rim strips. Possibly better sealant, although that's arguable.

    £20 better? Seriously though, both are overpriced really. I'm guessing that the difference is around the valve area, which on the No Flats ones ends up pushing up the strip around the valve and taking quite a time to settle down to the level around. This was certainly my experience and made initial inplation hard, though if I had used soap suds I think things would have been easier.

    Anyway hopefully the tubless plus seome fork tweaking will avoid another episode like the weekend before last where I (not sure how) lost control over a medium sized root on some downhill singletrack and ended up hitting a brabmle bush and a tree!! Many cuts, a tree shaped bruise on my back and a trip to casualty for an ankle x-ray (nothing broken) due to a Crank Brothers pedal shaped dent :lol:
  • The forks might need servicing as the foam wiper may have dried out. It is not a difficult job if you are fairly mechanical.
  • bails87bails87 Posts: 12,998
    Possibly increase the amount of rebound damping too, if it feels like the front is bouncing back up too fast after hitting something.

    "As I said last time, it won't happen again."
  • Well, I dropped the pressure to get 25-30mm of droop and adjusted the rebound damping to suit, and that has improved things quite a bit. The fork floats quite well over bumps and roots now, and the compression damping actually has some effect.
    Shame that I fell off avout 3 minutes into my first offroad test ride :oops: I lined up to go over a wooden plank bridge over a ditch and the bike just skewed sideways into the ditch. Half of me followed the bike and the other half stayed on the bridge. Unfortunatley my knee ran along the chicken ire covered surface and left a fair bit if my skin there :( Boy does that smart!! I carried on riding for about an hour after mopping up the blood, but I think that might have been a mistake as it turns out to be quite deep in places. Chicken wire acts much like a cheese grater.
    No riding for a while, I can't even walk properly after 4 days :evil:
  • RealManRealMan Posts: 2,166
    Was cringing gratuitously while I read that. Sounds painful, unlucky. Come off a bridge before myself, just a load of planks over a ditch, no chicken wire or anything, and it was iced over. No grip whatsoever.
  • I still feel a bit sick thinking about it.
    Not sure what happened though as I was lined up well, and not going fast. I did find my recently tubless kitted front had leaked and gone soft, so might not have helped. Even pumped up though the bike does not want to turn well and I struggle to place the front where I want. Need to sort things out before I do more damage!!
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