Suspension Tuning Made Easy
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Ever thought that the tuning your suspension was a dark art? I know that I thought this in the early days of shocks with more than a lockout lever, luckily now we have technology like the Quark ShockWiz to make things simpler.
We brought in 2 of these units so you will have the ability to get a good picture of what needs to change on your rig. We will have a few options for you to choose from on how to get you set up.
Each unit will demo for $30 a day and we suggest you getting both so you have a better collection of information.
They require a proper "Static" suspension set-up before use. If you want us to do this it will only be $15
If you would like us to analyze the data and set-up the suspension it is $100 for both (includes 1 day rental) or $50 for one (if you have coil in the rear)
We also offer a "Dynamic Tuning" session for $200. The Dynamic Tune involves taking one of us out the trail and going through how you ride and setting up the suspension properly for your riding style and terrain
After you have ridden we have the ShockWiz app installed on a tablet to analyse the data and dial in your suspension at the shop. At that point we can talk about further tuning options and upgrades to maximize the potential of you bike. We can also offer custom tuning services with our suspension shop Traction Works to do anything from Andreani pistons to custom valving to get the right results.
You can reserve the ShockWiz on our website or contact us for details on how to schedule a tuning session with us.
Below are some useful guides for setting it up by Quark
Basics of the ShockWiz
Data storage: All data collection and analysis is performed within the ShockWiz device itself; no computation occurs within the app. The app is only a means to display the collected information and to interact with the device; such as to calibrate or to start a new session. Since the data is stored directly on the ShockWiz device it is not necessary to carry your phone during a ride. However, once you have the ShockWiz app open and connected to your device you can check the results at any time. This could be at the end of a segment, the end of a ride or in three weeks time, it doesn’t matter. Your data will be saved until a new session is started.
Using two devices: If you have a dual suspension bike, then it is beneficial, but not essential, to use two ShockWiz devices simultaneously. The process of using two devices is very similar to using one. You simply have to connect to each device individually to set them up and review the results. To switch between devices, simply tap the device name at the top of the app page and select your other device from the list. On some phones it may be beneficial to first disconnect from the current device before you connect to the other.
There is no communication between ShockWiz devices, only from each device to the phone/App. Tuning, however, does become much faster with two devices because you are capturing twice the data at once and there is no need to swap from the front to the rear. Typically, but not always, both the front and rear of a dual suspension bike should be set up and tuned with the same Tuning Style.
Tuning Styles Explained
There is a lot of variance in how people like to ride and the different styles of bikes for different terrain and disciplines. The Tuning Styles within the ShockWiz algorithms try to account for these variances.
Some people like to use every last millimeter of travel, while others like to have a large travel buffer in reserve for any unforeseen obstacles. Additionally some riders like to have the bike be lively underneath them and be able to ‘pop’ off small mounds and kickers, where others like the wheels to be very planted to the ground and controlled.
There are quite a few things that change between Tuning Styles, but the following descriptions give an overview of the main differences.
Efficient – Focused purely on pedaling efficiency. Efficient will keep you higher in your travel and minimize pedal-induced suspension bob. Efficient produces the firmest suspension tune.
Balanced – The middle ground that provides an overall compromise between traction, suppleness and pedaling efficiency. Balanced serves as the default ShockWiz Tuning Style.
Playful – Similar to Balanced but with a more lively feel to give the bike ‘pop’.
Aggressive – Focused on a supple and active ride, caring very little about pedal-induced suspension bob. Aggressive makes sure you use all of your travel and produces the softest suspension tune.
You can always pick and choose what you like from each Tuning Style. Eg: Tune the Baseline pressure and ramp from one Tuning Style and then switch Tuning Styles to tune the dampers.
Tuning Style is independent of the length of travel of the suspension, for example, there is no requirement for all 8” bikes to be in
Tuning suspension is about balancing forces. When one force dominates bad things happen. The adjustments in forks and rear shocks exist to balance the forces that are propelling and retarding the suspension’s motion – so tires stay planted on the ground and you are faster, safer and more comfortable.
To get the best results from ShockWiz, we recommend tuning in the same order that the suggestions are shown in the app. This is because some changes affect others. Rebound, for example, should follow Air Spring Ramp because a different combination of Baseline Air Pressure and Air Spring Ramp will have a different Rebound requirement.
Going further, Baseline Air Pressure and Air Spring Ramp are a tuning pair that should be done together. Then Rebound and High Speed Compression should be done together. Finally, Low Speed Compression and Bottom Out Resistance should be done individually.
There is an exception to the order. If one of the tuning pairs has a red indicator and the other has green and/or yellow, the one with red should be corrected first.
What to Ride Next
A common question is “How long does it take to tune my fork or shock?” Like most things with suspension tuning, the answer depends on many factors. The most important one being the number of detections ShockWiz has seen. ShockWiz relies on detecting trail obstacles in order to build a picture of how the suspension is responding. The more detections that ShockWiz sees, the better this picture will be. Depending on your riding style and the type of trail being ridden, it may take a matter of minutes or multiple rides to build this picture – so the trail type and how you ride matter more than how long you ride. Confidence and What To Ride Next look at the amount of input ShockWiz has received and offer guidance on how to increase it.
Confidence, which is displayed as a percentage, is calculated by looking at the number and spread of the current detections across all detection categories. The more detections that are seen by ShockWiz, the larger this value becomes. To ensure the tuning Suggestions can be trusted, we recommend that you do not make any changes to your suspension until a Confidence of 50% or higher is reached. For tuning procedures that require more effort, such as taking apart a shock to modify ramp, we recommend a Confidence of 80% or higher to ensure that Suggestion can be trusted.
What To Ride Next, as displayed on the Home page, tells you the type of riding you need to perform in order to increase Confidence and obtain higher quality feedback. For the quickest and highest quality results, simply follow the riding advice provided by What To Ride Next.
The table below gives a general summary of the different Tuning Styles.
As a very rough guide, the following table shows the expected break down of the percentages of riders who will use each mode in a given discipline.