Which pro athletes do you work
most closely with?
I work closely with World Cup downhill
athletes and Enduro World Series racers,
including Aaron Gwin, Danny Hart, Greg
Minnaar, Rachel Atherton, Richie Rude,
Tracy Moseley and many more.
How should a rider go about setting
For our World Cup racers, we follow a
bracketing chart. This is done by making
minor adjustments to see if they positively
or negatively affect the bike’s suspension.
For a trailbike, you should first set your sag
to 25–30 percent in the rear and 15–20
in the front. Make sure you can achieve all
of the bike’s travel without bottoming out
hard. Next, move to hydraulics and make
minor adjustments one click at a time.
Ride a section of trail and determine if
that adjustment made the suspension feel
better or worse. Make one small change
to your setup at a time, and follow up that
change with another lap on that same section of trail.
How can riders take better care of
Suspension needs to be serviced regu-
larly—about once a year—to work proper-
ly. It’s impossible to tune suspension to feel
good if it has not been serviced in a while.
Contrary to popular belief, riders in dry
and dusty conditions will need to service
their suspension components more often
than riders in wet and muddy conditions,
because the small bits of dust, sand and
debris can more easily pass the seals into
What are some of your favorite suspension tips?
Here is a list of a few helpful tips.
1) It’s important to keep seals clean,
but avoid using high-pressure water or
compressed air to clean them. It’s best to
just use a clean rag and wipe the seals and
2) A zip-tie can be used as a bleeder
valve to help release air trapped in the lowers. This can happen when a bike is transported to higher elevations. Take a small
zip-tie and gently push it past the seals
until you hear a small release of air.
3) Hang your bike vertically on a wall
with the front wheel up. This will allow the
oil in your fork to work its way up and help
keep your suspension lubricated.
4) Keep a suspension log and note
changes you’ve made. Detail is key here.
Write down the psi in both your front and
rear suspension and make note of the
number of clicks you’ve made to your
rebound and compression dials.
What are your favorite tips and
tricks for setting up suspension?
1) The bike is a system; make an effort
to balance the front-to-rear spring behavior.
This can be accomplished most easily with
the dampers set fast (open) in order not to
mask the spring’s influence. This can be
done with a few simple tricks. Start with
sag set equally (spring preload). Next, while
holding the bars with some down pressure
similar to an aggressive riding position
(seated for XC) and standing on the pedals
with your weight centered, lightly bounce
up and down. This demonstrates the rate
of the spring system around the sag point.
Both ends of the bike should compress
and extend equally, or just slightly faster in
the rear. Next, ride around some bermed
corners or a flowy section. The bike should
still be balanced, not dropping more on one
Dialed in just right: Aaron Gwin
works closely with Fox Shox
suspension tech, Jordi Cortes, to
get his bike dialed in just right.
Take a look at Gwin’s racing career
and it’s clear to see that he has
his suspension set up to match his
riding style perfectly.