Last year I used spacers to reduce the air volume in my forks. I had noticed that the performance on repeated small bumps wasn’t as good as my older bikes on a bike less than 2 years old. Unfortunately I made 2 changes to the fork at the same time so I never really knew which one had improved its small bump performance. In addition to adding  2 spacers I’d also reduced the compression damping by 2 clicks.

Today, having removed one of the spacers, I tested the bike and found that the rather dead feel when I tried to lift the front wheel over obstacles had improved a lot. I’d got the pop back!

I still need to get the air pressure better since I didn’t use all the 140mm of travel despite doing some jumps but since the small bump performance still seems very good then I’ve started to think that the improvement my have been due to the adjustment to the damper. I now feel like I need to try the fork with no spacers at all. This would make the spring as linear as possible rather than starting soft and ramping up as the fork compressed. With a more linear fork I will be setting the ride height higher and making more use of the full 140mm of travel. I’ll report back after my next ride.

I know this is all a bit technical so I’ll add a bit of history connected to my ride.

I started in Duxbury woods which start  a few hundred yards from home. I’ve walked the dog along a path a couple of times which I hadn’t ridden on a bike for many years so today I rode it. Duxbury means nothing to people in Britain unless they live nearby but it was the name given to the first town in America established by the Pilgrim father around 1626. The Duxbury estate had been split into 3 parts due to there being no male heir, at some point. The family of Myles Standish, the military leader of the Pilgrims, had the lower Burgh part of the estate near Birkacre, which has provided me with some good winter riding. The trail I rode today starts near the site of Duxbury Hall which was demolished in about 1950 after the structure had become unsafe. Many of the barns and out buildings are now used for businesses and a golf club. Golf is a good walk spoiled. I’d rather be on a mountain bike!

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