Wednesday, 16 March 2011

Adjusting the Hi-Lo compression adjuster on the RC3 damper

A little tech today; one of the most frequently asked questions I receive is for set up help with the compression adjuster on the RC3 damper.

The first thing to understand is the compression adjuster will affect both high and low speed damping, simply put if you set the adjuster all the way to “+” it will give you maximum low speed damping, set the adjuster all the way to “-“ will give you maximum high speed damping.

Both high and low speed damping curves cross in the middle so the adjusters neutral position is in the middle (count the clicks/ turns). Adjusting out from the middle with give you a varying combination of both high and low speed damping, so in theory you have all the combinations of damping you would normally have in two separate adjusters, but in one easy-to-use adjuster.

About Compression DampingCompression damping is the oil flow resistance felt when compressing the fork. Compression damping is categorized in two ways: low speed compression and high-speed compression. Low speed compression refers to when the fork is compressed slowly and gradually, for example during rolling impacts and rounded bumps. High-speed compression refers to the resistance felt during multiple, hard impacts and square-edged bumps.

Too much compression damping creates a harsh ride because the suspension cannot compress rapidly enough to absorb large impacts. Compression damping is not a substitute for proper spring rate and should not be adjusted until the fork has the proper spring set-up for the rider.

Low speed damping is typically used to dial out excessive fork dive or rider induced movement. High speed is typically used to make the forks action more progressive and resist bottoming out.

*graph image shown for visualization purposes only

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