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Does a big lad need more mm's??

Hey guys,

Looking at an upgrade from Ht to Full sus, at 19 stone I am pretty hefty and was thinking do I need bigger size fork and Rear shock?? I currently ride a Ht with 120mm up front which can bottom out from time to time, should I be thinking of more to compensate the bulk ( I am aiming to reduce this over time!!)?? Any advice/thoughts appreciated. I ride mainly Bridleway with some visits to Trail centres.

Posts

  • webboowebboo Posts: 3,140
    I would have thought that at 19 stone you should be laying off the mm’s and stick to lettuce.
  • steve_sordysteve_sordy Posts: 2,129
    edited May 2020
    The answer is no, "a big lad" does not need a bike with more travel on the suspension.

    What you need is to adjust the spring to suit your weight. If you have a coil fork, you can fit a stronger spring. If you have an air fork, you just pump more air in until you get the % sag you are looking for.

    One thing that you should do as "a big lad" is to stay away from narrow stanchion forks. So no 32mm stanchion forks and for heaven's sake no 30mm either! :s
    Forks with stanchions as narrow as that will defect in use and not work properly. Your steering will also be affected.

    You need to go for a 35mm stanchion (Rockshox) or a 34mm (Fox). Once you have the fork, there will be other things you can do to make the fork work better with your weight, depending upon which fork you have or are planning to buy. Shocks are short in length and protected well inside the frame, so they don't tend to suffer from heavier riders in the way that forks can do. They too can be spring or air. Most bikes above budget level tend to be air springs, until they get really expensive when coil springs can start to make a reappearance.

    This article on how to set up your suspension is from Bike Rumour and is well worth a read. It covers everything from a simple %sag set up right through to tuning the fork or shock for particular needs. It is very well explained and with lots of helpful illustrations and pictures. It gets a bit technical towards the end, but just take from it what you need.

    https://bikerumor.com/2014/10/30/bikerumor-suspension-setup-series-full-series-pdf-free-download/

    Another thing you can do is to fit wider tyres. The width you can go to will depend upon clearance with the frame, which is usually only a concern at the back. The other thing to take into account is the internal width of your wheel rim. If you don't know it you will have to remove a tyre to find out.
    This link will help you to choose a tyre width that will fit your rim. Do not try to fit lightweight XC tyres!

    https://www.schwalbe.com/en/reifenmasse

  • webboo said:

    I would have thought that at 19 stone you should be laying off the mm’s and stick to lettuce.

    Ouch...…..true though!
  • The answer is no, "a big lad" does not need a bike with more travel on the suspension.

    Steve thank you for the reply that really helps, will have a look in more detail at all that information, appreciated.

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