I have been trying my Rockshox Pike fork with different numbers of volume spacers in my last few ride. For todays ride I removed them all. This would give me a more linear spring rate, rather than starting soft and ramping up as the spring compressed.
The expectation is that the fork wouldn’t perform as well over repeated small bumps and may bottom out on big hits. The picture at the top shows that I used all the travel front and rear. There’s also a good picture of a finger, I’m no photographer!
I used a familiar trail and I’ll admit that the front wheel felt closer to losing grip than when I had 2 or 3 spacers in the fork. Since I’ve reduced the rebound damping close to the minimum level, though, it wasn’t too bad. What has greatly improved is the performance on rocky or technical climbs. It’s so much easier to get over repeated rocks because the fork is so much less soggy at the beginning of its travel.
I would like slightly better small bump performance, especially for when the trails are dry and fast. I don’t want the front wheel washing out then. So it appears I’ll be going full circle and returning to the way the fork originally was, with one spacer. The valuable lesson I’ve learned is that I needed less rebound damping so the whole exercise has been useful. For me it’s more important to have the bike riding well on difficult, technical sections rather than just maximising the performance on downhill.
This picture was the view in a northerly direction from the top of Healey Nab today.
The white building with tower in the middle distance is a Mormon temple. On the horizon somewhere is Blackpool tower which is a poor man’s Eifel tower! The lake district would have been visible if it had been clearer. To the left of this picture I could see the hills in north Wales where there is some very good riding. I hope to ride the trail centre at Llandegla in the summer.
From 680 feet the horizon will be approximately 32 miles away. (Multiply the height above sea level in feet by 1.5 and take the square root. This means that stood on the beach the horizon is only about 3 miles away. Every day’s a school day!)