Tuesday Tip: Relieve Some Pressure

This week’s Tuesday Tip is a quick and simple one, but has to do with one of the most asked about parts of your bike: the suspension. While in Atlanta for Supercross last weekend we asked Showa’s man in the pits, Johnny Oler, for some quick and easy suggestions that the average rider could put into use to immediately improve the performance of his suspension.

Johnny first recommended the old standard, setting your sag. “Sag is a very important thing, it allows the whole geometry of the bike to work properly,” explained Oler. If for some crazy reason you don’t have the sag dialed in on your ride, click over to this previous Tuesday Tip before you do anything else to your suspension.

The next recommendation Johnny had for us is to ensure your forks are properly aligned; “When you’re putting the axle through your forks, the axle can catch and cause the fork to bind. If this happens, it will bind and prevent the fork from performing properly when it goes through its travel.” Check out this previous Tuesday Tip for more info on fork alignment.

Johnny Oler’s last tip was one that people often overlook, but it’s actually the easiest one to do: releasing the air from your forks. “Releasing the air from your fork is simple, but actually makes a big difference in keeping the fork tube properly pressurized. If you go up in elevation, or it’s hotter or colder than normal outside, the pressure is changing inside the fork. If there is a lot of air built up in the fork it can actually make it really harsh. Every time before you go riding, release the air to allow the forks to work under optimum conditions,” explained Johnny.

Friction inside the fork tube during normal riding conditions can also cause pressure to build up, so it is a good idea to release it between motos as well.

Releasing the air from your forks is simple! Here are the steps:

  1. Put your bike on a stand, and make sure your front tire is completely off the ground.
  2. Open the pressure release screw/valve at the top of each fork. Depending on the type of forks you have on your bike, this may require a screwdriver, or just simply push the valve in on some of the newer setups.
  3. Close the screw/valve and go ride.

Like we said...easy! But as Showa’s Johnny Oler explained, these simple tips can have a big impact on the performance of your bike’s suspension.