Use of front fork lockout

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Dabber
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Use of front fork lockout

Postby Dabber » Sun Sep 22, 2019 13:46 pm

As a roadie who has just started to do some mtbing I first of all resurrected my 30 year old+ Scott Sawtooth. Having got the bug I've just treated myseldf to a full sus new bike.
I've got a question regarding the fork lockout (Rock Shox Recon RL 130mm). I understand the basic pronciples of using the lockout feature but would like to know if one can progressivley apply the lockout anywhere from zero to full?

If you can do this (and from playing I think you can) if you were doing a climb that wasn't that uneven but more long and steep (perhaps more sandy) would it make sense to apply the lockout but say only 80/90%?

Any thoughts?
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Wilier Cento Uno SR/Wilier Mortirolo/Giant Defy 3/Specialized Roubaix Pro/Calibre Bossnut

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steve_sordy
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Re: Use of front fork lockout

Postby steve_sordy » Sun Sep 22, 2019 19:24 pm

The lockout lever just alters the compression damping to "a lot". It should not actually "lock" the fork because if you do what we all have done at some time, ie pedal uphill with the lockout engaged, forget to release it and then plummet down a descent, you will be pleased to know that the fork can blow though the lockout and prevent you from going OTB. :)

By asking for a progressive lockout, what you are actually describing is a low speed compression damping dial (or lever). These most certainly do exist, and very nice they are too. I don't know without looking it up if your fork has that function.

I have had bikes with a lockout and I very quickly stopped using it (see above). I know that when you are labouring up a long and steep hill you feel that you need all the help you can get and will happily engage the lockout function. I agree that some bikes will pedal bob more than others (yes single pivot, I'm looking at you!). But also, all those out-of-the-seat pedallers that hero-heave their way to the top are equally guilty of generating pedal bob and wasted effort. Unlike road bikes that are without suspension and do not suffer from pedal bob, mtbs have suspension and do (suffer). The way to climb with an mtb is to stay seated (except for occasional heaves to get over a really short extra steep bit). That way the legs do not have to bear your weight and get less tired. Technical climbs are different because you need to be moving your weight about, but you wouldn't have lockout engaged for them anyway. Stop using lockout and learn to pedal smoothly, spin don't heave. :D

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Dabber
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Re: Use of front fork lockout

Postby Dabber » Sun Sep 22, 2019 20:18 pm

Thanks for the reply Steve. The fork lockout has what Rock Shox call "Motion Control" which has multiple clicks not just Lock On/Lock Off so I guess this gives a form variable (progressive) damping....this I discovered after my original post.
I'm still learning on this suspension business and keen to have a better understanding so I can get the best from the bike given my limited capabilities :?

As to my riding/climbing style.... I predominately sit even on the road. However, there are occasions when I get out of the saddle - eg. if the climb starts ramping up above say 18% or when I've been on long Pyrenean climbs when I've just needed to change my position for a short while.
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The Rookie
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Re: Use of front fork lockout

Postby The Rookie » Mon Sep 23, 2019 05:42 am

Your tuning guide

https://www.servicearchive.sram.com/sit ... ev_a_2.pdf

You have rebound adjustment on the bottom of the leg, the clicks at the top are for high speed damping and doesn't adjust the lockout.

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Dabber
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Re: Use of front fork lockout

Postby Dabber » Mon Sep 23, 2019 08:11 am

Thanks a lot Rookie. That's a usfulguide, I'll spend a bit of time understanding it more.

The sag and rebound are set up and I understand how they work and will tinker with those as I get more familiar with the bike.
Back to this lockout.... attached is a photo of the adjuster. You'll see it's labelled "Compression" and has the Lock symbol.
Between the "Open" position and "Lock" there are 5 clicks. In the "Open" position there is full fork movement. In the "Lock" position there is only minimal compression of the fork. At each intervening click there is increasing movement of the fork.

ImageIMG_1045 by Derek Jordan, on Flickr
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JBA
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Re: Use of front fork lockout

Postby JBA » Mon Sep 23, 2019 09:57 am

You can set the compression knob to whichever position best suits what you are doing - e.g. 'lock' for flat roads and smooth trails, fully open for lumpy, bumpy downhill stuff and anywhere inbetween for everything else.
With a bit of trial and error you'll soon work out what works best for you.
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And it all promised so so much”

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Dabber
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Re: Use of front fork lockout

Postby Dabber » Mon Sep 23, 2019 16:35 pm

JBA wrote:You can set the compression knob to whichever position best suits what you are doing - e.g. 'lock' for flat roads and smooth trails, fully open for lumpy, bumpy downhill stuff and anywhere inbetween for everything else.
With a bit of trial and error you'll soon work out what works best for you.


Thanks JBA, what you've said is confirmation of what I originally thought the situation would be. In reality I doubt that play around with it too much to begin with. I did put it into "Lock" position for a couple of mile on-road ride to my off road route today. Seemed OK.
As I said previously, I don't tend to climb out of the saddle much and I certainly wouldn't want to do that with the forks in the unlocked position.
“You may think that; I couldn’t possibly comment!”

Wilier Cento Uno SR/Wilier Mortirolo/Giant Defy 3/Specialized Roubaix Pro/Calibre Bossnut

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steve_sordy
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Re: Use of front fork lockout

Postby steve_sordy » Mon Sep 23, 2019 19:34 pm

Here is the best guide to setting your suspension that I know about. Initially it will tell you more than you want to know. But you will keep coming back to it.

https://bikerumor.com/2014/10/30/bikeru ... -download/

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Dabber
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Re: Use of front fork lockout

Postby Dabber » Mon Sep 23, 2019 20:04 pm

steve_sordy wrote:Here is the best guide to setting your suspension that I know about. Initially it will tell you more than you want to know. But you will keep coming back to it.

https://bikerumor.com/2014/10/30/bikeru ... -download/


Excellent! Thanks Steve
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Wilier Cento Uno SR/Wilier Mortirolo/Giant Defy 3/Specialized Roubaix Pro/Calibre Bossnut

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BillyCool
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Re: Use of front fork lockout

Postby BillyCool » Wed Sep 25, 2019 15:34 pm

On a MTB I use lock-out on the roads, flat (smooth) trails where suspension isn't really needed and on some climbs.

Like you have probably noticed, the forks can bob up and down when out of the saddle and you lose/waste some energy that way.

My older forks tended to be locked out, or not, without the progressive stages that you have. Once you have your sag set up and have got a bit more used to the bike, the additional settings almost become redundant.

Have fun tinkering and welcome to the Dark Side!
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Dabber
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Re: Use of front fork lockout

Postby Dabber » Wed Sep 25, 2019 18:10 pm

Thanks BillyCool. It's all slowly making sense and I'm getting the feel of it. I did a short ride today with a mile or so each way to get to the off-road bit and I locked the forks out for that. I unlocked them fully for the off-road part of the ride. I think it's probably lucky for me that my road riding climbing rarely has me climbing out of the saddle so I don't get tempted to do it when I'm climbing off-road. If I did get out of the saddle I'd have to lock the forks as I couldn't handle the pogo-sticking.
Anyway, all great fun and brings back good memories when I used to do motorcycle trials.
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Wilier Cento Uno SR/Wilier Mortirolo/Giant Defy 3/Specialized Roubaix Pro/Calibre Bossnut


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