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How to Set-Up Your Bike Suspension

person setting up bike suspension pushing handlebars

So you just bought a new full suspension bike. Congrats! Setting up your suspension correctly is crucial to getting maximum performance out of your bike. Watch our tutorial to receive step-by-step guidance on how to do this so your new ride is ready to shred!

Watch this video to learn how to set-up your bike suspension:

Step-by-step Instructions

Get Ready to Ride!

  1. Put on your normal riding gear; helmet, bike shoes, filled backpack and/or hydration pack, and anything else you normally wear. Fill up your water bottles and add any tool bags.
  2. Pump your tires and fill them to the air pressure level you normally ride at.
  3. Open up any rebound or compression adjustments you have on your suspension (rebound is typically red and compression is typically blue).
Man pumping up bike tires

Set Your SAG

SAG = Amount of suspension taken up by your body weight

  1. Check the manufacture’s suggested PSI settings for your weight (remember to factor in all the extras – helmet, backpack, etc.)
  2. Fill the shock or fork to the recommended PSI.
  3. Cycle the suspension by sitting on the bike while holding onto a wall for balance and jumping up and down a few times.
  4. Sit in a neutral riding position and move the O ring up to the suspension component.
  5. Carefully get off your bike as to not compress the suspension.
  6. Measure the space between the suspension component and the O ring — this is your SAG.
  7. Compare your SAG measurement to the manufacturer’s recommendations and add or remove air from the shock until correct.
Person bouncing on bike to measure SAG
SAG measurement example on bike

Set Your Rebound

Rebound = How fast the suspension rebounds after it compresses

  1. Be sure your tire pressure and SAG are already set.
  2. Set your compression adjustment in the fastest, most open setting.
  3. Adjust the rebound adjuster to the slowest setting.
  4. Firmly press down on the seat or handlebars, hold for a moment and then release allowing the suspension to quickly return.
  5. Observe the front tire on the ground and watch for it to barely leave the ground.
  6. Turn the adjuster towards the faster setting until the tire jumps off the ground.
  7. Slow the rebound down one click.
  8. Set the blue compression adjuster based on the terrain you are riding. More open compression absorbs bumps better in rough, technical terrain. Closed compression will give more support on smoother terrain.
Set rebound adjuster to slowest setting for SAG settings
Person pressing down on the seat or handlebars to set rebound on SAG settings

Repeat!

Repeat this process regularly — especially if you changed your gear set-up or you’re riding in a new environment.

Enjoy your ride!

Having trouble? Swing into your local shop and we’ll give you a hand. And be sure to check out our awesome selection of full suspension bikes here if you’re ready for an upgrade!