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Old 02-22-2013, 04:46 AM   #3342
Gnarly Adventurer
Joined: Oct 2007
Location: Cambodia
Oddometer: 369
Originally Posted by team ftb View Post
Bill - My thoughts are that suspension geometry performance is very personal. The truth is that very few people in the world push the bike to its performance limits through the corners where they are riding the bike to its adhesion limits. Yes a proper geometry raises the bar of those limits, however if you are tooling along the fire roads taking in the sites and don't have your weight forward, chin over the numberplate, and front tire struggling for grip, then in my eyes you've got a lot more flexibility in your geometry setup. Meaning if you don't push the bikes limits then you have the freedom to set the bike up in ways other than optimum grip.

The Best Dual Sports mods suggests lowering the rear shock. This will provide more trail that will result in increased stability. Whether you want that trait is up to you. By lowering the rear you take weight of the front tire of the bike and this will effect front tire grip. Whether you notice this change or not can only be determined with testing. Case in point; Recently I spent a day on a track setting up my 250 XCFW juggling preload settings on the rear spring and fork tube height settings only. I could only feel differences in the rear spring preload when utilizing changes in rear sag of 5mm, less than that I could not notice the differences in handling, my pro friend could feel 2mm changes in the handling of the bike. The point is that the bike may handle one way or another due to the changes but it is only our own personal experiences that will dictate whether we notice those changes or not.

So if you goal is increased stability and the current set-up on your bike you feel completely happy with the front end bite, then you can try lowering the rear, testing and see if the lower rear effects the bikes front end to the point you will notice it or not. A quick easy test to see if lowering the rear will effect your front end bite too much is to simply lower the forks in the triple clamps, try a large change like 1/4" and see if you notice the changes and what you feel.

Personally I liked my 250XCFW handling with less sag than normal, however the seat height was too much for my 5'5" frame to ride in the jungle comfortably so am riding with more sag than optimum so I can get a toe on the ground. In my eyes though the handling is not my favorite, i crash more often due to not being able to get a foot down than because I have asked too much of the front tire grip (crashed only once because of this) in the corners.
Great explanation.
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