To set the sag you need to:
Setting the fork sag
While sag directly corresponds to how heavy the rider is, progression represents the force it takes for your suspension to bottom out, or in other words, use the full travel.
When riding on your chosen terrain you don’t want to use the full travel of the suspension.
Rebound, or damping, refers to how fast the suspension returns to sag after being compressed. You want this neither too fast nor too slow. Too fast, and the bike will react violently to bumps, while too slow and the shock won’t decompress fully before you hit the next bump resulting in a sluggish feel.
Ideally you want to hit the sweet spot, where the bike reacts to bumps without giving a bouncy ride. Let’s take a look at how to achieve this.
Setting rebound on the rear shock
Setting rebound on the front fork
At this point, on a hardtail bike, the configuration is complete. However, on a full-suspension model there is one further check to carry out.
On the flat, while standing on the pedals, bounce the bike forcefully. Ensure that both the front and rear suspension return to sag at the same rate. If one returns faster than the other it can be dangerous on rough terrain. Tune the rebound accordingly to match both the front and rear shocks as closely as possible. If it proves impossible, err on the side of having the front suspension slightly faster than the rear.
In conclusion: The world of mountain biking can seem like one steep learning curve, but once you have configured the basics, you can tweak as you go.
The terrain you navigate will dictate the optimal suspension settings. And finding the sweet spot for a given terrain and riding style is where the secret lies.
Welcome to the cycling discipline that will test much more than just your legs! Mountain biking is one that’s constantly evolving and consistently pushing the boundaries for what’s possible.