How To Adjust Front Suspension On The Mountain Bike?

How To Adjust Front Suspension On The Mountain Bike

Mountain bikes need maintenance now and then. Their components tend to get damaged easily, and others will wear and tear. One of the most common problems that mountain bike riders face is the suspension of the mountain bike. So, in this post, we will be discussing how to adjust front suspension on the mountain bike.


It is a system in mountain bikes that insulates the rider and bike from the path’s roughness. It could be of many types, but the most common is the front suspension. When the rider feels uneasiness in riding a bike, he gets the feeling that something is off. And in most cases, there is something wrong with the suspension of the bike. So there is a question in the rider’s mind. How to adjust front suspension on the mountain bike?

Before you know how to adjust the mountain bike’s front suspension, you should know that it is only a compromise. It is always finding the right balance between support and sensitivity. So it is recommended that you do it yourself to know the balance that suits your riding style and track.

How To Adjust Front Suspension On The Mountain Bike

There are seven steps that you should follow to get your bike’s suspension fixed.

Step 1: sag setting

Sag setting means putting the amount of weight that a bike bears when you ride it. It will tell you how your bike responds to the contour in its trail. For this, bounce up and down on your bike while sitting in your usual posture. With the help of someone, push the rubber O-ring. Now move forward and backwards with all your weight. Measure the distance in mm and divide it by the number of shock strokes. 

Step 2: air-spring rate optimization

 If your bike is bottoming out easily, you need to add pressure up to 10 psi in on time because your shock spring rate is too low. 

If your bike feels harsh over jumps, you need to remove pressure almost ten psi a time because your shock spring rate is too much.

If your suspension fork seems to dive when you apply the brake, your fork- spring rate is too low. You need to add five psi pressure to it.

If the suspension fork seems harsh, you need to remove five psi at a time to balance it.

Step 3: progression of spring rate

If you notice that your bike is still bottoming after adjusting the air-spring rate, you have to reduce the air in the fork or add a 1-2 volume reducer to shock the air-spring chamber. 

If you notice that you are struggling in riding, you have to increase the air volume in the fork. Or add 1-2 volume reduces to the air-spring chamber. 

Step 4: rebound damping

Rebound damping on shock

  • Add full rebound damping to the shock.
  • Select a small obstacle to ride off to see how rear suspension springs back. 
  • Repeat it by reducing the rebound damping every time by clicking one. And notice the recovery of shock. 
  • End it when the rear shock recovery in no time.

Rebound damping on the fork

  • Start by fully closed rebounding. Stand beside your bike and put all the weight on it. And let it bounce back.
  • Keep adjusting it when it starts bouncing in no time without lifting the tire.
  • After it is done, repeated this twice or more with two clicks on both sides to know which one is more comfortable and controlled.

Step 5: compression damping at low speed

  • Ride a test trail by zero low-speed compression damping. And keep riding by increasing two clicks to the low-speed compression damping every time.
  • Notice the movements of the bike under different circumstances. Keep doing it until you feel supportive in mid oar of travelling. 

Step 6: compression damping on high speed

  • Start the rest ride with zero high-speed compression damping. And add one or two clicks each time.
  • Notice the bike movements at high speed when it passes through any obstacle. Stop when you feel the right movement.

Step 7: balance check

When you have done everything, you have to check the balance. Balance suspension check is very important as a final test start riding a bike.

How To Adjust Front Suspension On The Mountain Bike


Is it bad to bottom out the suspension of a mountain bike?

Bottom outs are not a good thing to happen. There would be a reason why are you travelling every day on your bike. It would be best if you did not put your suspension up to do all the travelling on a flat XC ride. Bottom outs can happen in most mountain bikes, but harsh bottom outs are not a good thing to happen with a bike. 

How to adjust a coil suspension?

There are just three steps to adjust a coil suspension

  1. Identify the preload adjuster. Turn maintenance.
  2. Turn the preload adjuster clockwise. Turn it to only two full turns. That will decrease the sag of the coil spring.
  3. To change the higher or lower rate of spring, you should know about the ratio of sag and travelling distance.

How do I adjust my mountain bike shocks?

  1. Bounce firmly up and right down to charge the negative spring and unlock the travel.
  2. Assume your usual sitting position, and once permitting the bike to accept a minimum of five seconds, have your assistant push the rubber O-ring on the shock post up or down to the rubber wiper seal.

How much air should I put in my mountain bike shocks?

You can either eye all the whole thing or can take measurements with the help of a ruler. Look at the O-ring. If the stanchion shows more than 30 per cent, you need to unscrew the cap or valve on the shock. Now take the pump and start adding air bout 10 PSI at a time.

Can you use WD-40 on bike suspension?

WD- 40 is not a lubricate at all. Please do not use it as a lubricant. It is a degreaser. So if you want to clean your bike’s chains, you can use WD- 40 to remove any lubricant. Then it will be fine to use. 

Final Thoughts

Adjusting front suspension is very important for every mountain bike rider. Because if it is working fine, then your every ride will be enjoyable and pleasant. But keep in mind if you change one setting of suspension, you have to adjust the other one according to it, and your bike riding will go all good.

Johan Oakley

Hi, I am John Oakley- The Guy behind this site. I am an avid hiker and love to try new mountain bikes. I love to experiment with new gear for biking and cycling and this site is a result of my passion for reviewing and checking the best mountain bikes and accessories.

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