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Thread: Reduce sag: New springs or more preload?

  1. #1
    Senior Member
    Bike: '12 NC700XC
    Join Date
    Nov 2012
    Arizona, USA

    Reduce sag: New springs or more preload?

    I have too much sag in my bike's forks, so I'm going to reduce it to where it should be. I have Race Tech springs and Gold Valves already, and I picked a spring rate as recommended by RT. However, it turns out that I do not use this bike for anything but highway/pavement riding, so if I was to do it over again I'd most likely pick the next stiffer springs. According to their calculator, I need exactly halfway in between. :-)

    So, if it was you, would you prefer to replace the springs, or just add in preload? I need about 2/3 of an inch less sag up front. I changed rear sag recently, and based on the difference between static and race sag out back, that spring is a bit too soft. However, race sag is right on the money now, so I'm leaving the back end alone (unless one day I can afford and justify an Ohlins).

    If I replaced the front springs with one step stiffer, I bet I'd be right on for sag. One of the main reasons I'm even asking this question is that the front end of the bike feels a bit soft anyway. The nose dives a little more under braking than I would prefer, for example.

    I suppose I'll probably start with preload, and maybe fiddle around with oil height and possibly weight, but I'm curious as to what you all think as well.

  2. #2
    Senior Member Reduce sag: New springs or more preload?
    Reduce sag: New springs or more preload?
    DirtFlier's Avatar
    Bike: 2013 NC700x/w DCT
    Join Date
    Dec 2014
    Troy, Ohio


    Everything in regards to suspension is a compromise. If you stiffen the front, it will be more harsh over things like expansion joints on highways, etc and some of that can be minimized by using thinner fork oil but it won't go away completely. One thing to keep in mind is that preload doesn't change the spring - it just makes it stiffer or softer for the first inch or so of travel. Oil height only affects the last bit of travel as the fork nears fully compression and changing oil weight affects both compression and rebound. There is no free lunch!

    On my other bike (NT700V) I had Gold Valves then tried Ricor valves after hearing from a friend about their anti-dive function under hard braking. Once the forks were reassembled with the Ricors, I tried a test ride and squeezed hard on the front brake lever from around 45-50 mph. The forks compressed a tiny amount then it stayed steady!
    Last edited by DirtFlier; 29th May 2015 at 05:59.

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