How to Adjust Your Mountain Bike Suspension - Contender Setup Guide
You’re not a number. Neither are the trails you ride, the bikes you choose, or how you enter into a corner on your mountain bike. That’s why we’ve set up this mountain bike suspension tuning guide, as an easy - and complex if you want - way to make sure your suspension works best on local trails. Doing so won’t just make your bike feel better, but it can also improve your safety and fun out on the mountain bike.
Some manufacturers like Santa Cruz and Orbea offer premade guides for how to choose your shock pressure, rebound settings, number of volume spacers, and more. However, because you’re not a number, you’ll want to optimize suspension to your needs. Suspension setup is often trying to balance having the right amount of sensitivity - so your tires stick to the ground better - with the right amount of support as well to ensure the bike pedals and climbs well.
What Do You Need to Get Started?
The best way to follow this guide is to prepare as if you’re going out for a ride. That means grabbing everything that you’ll wear. Shoes, helmet, pack, or anything that will be attached to the bike, should be included in the suspension setup. Additionally, you’ll need a shock pump to add air pressure, and some sort of measuring device like a ruler. If you have one, a second set of eyes to confirm what you’re feeling is helpful too.
From there we'll go over what sag means, where your air valve is on your fork and rear shock, what an O-ring is, and more.
Let's Really Dial In Your Suspension
Want to go past basic suspension setup and into the nitty gritty? Our Advanced MTB Suspension Tips and Tricks Video.