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I have some new TW tires which I haven’t installed yet. On gravel and dirt roads with some trails, I like 8 psi rear and 11 or 12 front so far. On pavement with that pressure the tires get a little squirmy if I try pushing in corners. My tires are old and I think they were giving fair warning… Sticker pressure would net more milage I’m guessing, but I didn’t notice improvement on pavement from 12-14 rear and 16 front after moving up to the sticker number. Every tire will be a little different due to the construction and loaded weight of the bike. The tire acts as another spring in the suspension and even has some of its own damping. Off-road I think I would ride even lower pressure like 5 and 10 or something similar. I’m surprised by how little my big butt compresses the tire with 8PSI. On the other hand I run 6-8psi on my KTM off-road so it makes sense. I’m a pretty big fan of the “tread lightly“ mantra so I like the BIG tires for that. Frankly, I’m surprised by how good the bike feels on our tight twisting roads here. The TW for sure gives me time to think about the next corner, particularly up-hill! :love:
 

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Unlike “most” bikes, the TW relies on the fat tires for at least some of the suspension “bounce “or “absorption”. Sure, there is always room for improvement from the forks and rear shock, but don’t forget to factor in tire pressure

Yer average road bike needs high pressure to keep a constant profile, trail bikes are a bit different. Then there’s “compound”, stiff tires don’t flex as much

It all adds up, riding conditions, rider weight – compared to how the TW comes as stock from the showroom, there’s probably more room for improvement in the suspension than there is for the carb jetting

I just wish we could keep the “clack” ……
This “clack”? Is is similar to purple beer? I’m feeling rather uninitiated ATM… :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #43 ·
thanks for the input! 2 turns increases the spring preload by 3mm. I’m feeling a bit under the weather atm but we should discuss this once you have ridden the bike some more. I am really comfortable with the added preload but if your rider sag is not close to what we are looking for, we may want to move in spring rate. We spoke about my concerns about making the bike too stiff. My riding so far (using my own “butt feel”) was that it could be easy to make the shock too stiff. I also suggest using the damping control knob if the ride feel seems soft or the bike rides a bit low dynamically. The damping control is most easily reached with the seat off but can be changed form the right side of the bike with a little finger contortions with the seat in place. Looking at the knob from the end of the shock (from the top as installed in the TW) 3 clicks clockwise would be a good change to try. I so much appreciate your input and look forward to more riding opportunities for all of us!
Here are some questions that I hope will help me understand suspension springs.

According to Procycle the stock shock spring on a current TW is 15KG/mm. According to my math that equates to 840 Pounds/inch. (FYI Pro also indicates that model years 87-16 had spring rates of 12KG/MM-672 pounds/inch)

Does this mean that if you put 840 pounds on top of this spring it would compress the spring 1”?
Does this mean that if you put 1,680 pounds on top of this spring it would compress the spring 2”?

Tomorrow I plan to check out the suspension sag and will have a better idea. If I am understanding these dynamics then if I currently have the right preload, or if I need to back it off a bit, then I likely have the correct spring rate. BUT if I find that I have to add another 3mm (for a total of 6mm added) or more of preload to maintain the 2” of sag then I may need a stiffer spring rate.

What I noticed most on the stock shock was the rebound. I am not sure I ever bottomed out the stock shock, but I do know it felt like it wanted to bounce the rear wheel back up off the ground when it rebounded.

More to come.
 

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Here are some questions that I hope will help me understand suspension springs.

According to Procycle the stock shock spring on a current TW is 15KG/mm. According to my math that equates to 840 Pounds/inch. (FYI Pro also indicates that model years 87-16 had spring rates of 12KG/MM-672 pounds/inch)

Does this mean that if you put 840 pounds on top of this spring it would compress the spring 1”?
Does this mean that if you put 1,680 pounds on top of this spring it would compress the spring 2”?

Tomorrow I plan to check out the suspension sag and will have a better idea. If I am understanding these dynamics then if I currently have the right preload, or if I need to back it off a bit, then I likely have the correct spring rate. BUT if I find that I have to add another 3mm (for a total of 6mm added) or more of preload to maintain the 2” of sag then I may need a stiffer spring rate.

What I noticed most on the stock shock was the rebound. I am not sure I ever bottomed out the stock shock, but I do know it felt like it wanted to bounce the rear wheel back up off the ground when it rebounded.

More to come.
Fantastic questions. If we assume that the procycle numbers are correct (I spent a lot of time rating and characterizing the stock spring) then yes, if you take an 840 lb weight and place it on the spring, it would theoretically compress the spring by 1“ and that’s a good way to think of it and yes the 1680 lbs would compress the spring by a total of 2 inches.
with our Covid problems here I can‘t easy find the preload we put on your shock sending it out but I think it was about 5-8 mm. I know that your spring is a smidge stiffer than mine and I have less than 5 mm on my spring total preload. For sure you are good adding preload.
this goes beyond your questions but I’ll anticipate and ask you to imagine your spring with the 840 lb weight on it and adding preload will be kind of like putting an inch board on the spring before adding the weight. Preload is not making the spring stiffer (in our theoretical model) only bringing the 840 lb. weight up the one inch higher. We want to use the preload to put our “static” load (that’s the weight of rider and luggage distributed in the normal fashion as if we were riding) at about 1/3rd of the available travel. The reason for that is that we need the excursion for a bump or some “drop away” of the road. I have been using about two inches as my static sag.

another characteristic we want to maintain is that with an unloaded bike the suspension should not top-out. We measure unloaded or unladen sag and it should have a value even if small.

I’ll stop at that unless there are more questions.
 

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This “clack”? Is is similar to purple beer? I’m feeling rather uninitiated ATM… :)
I believe he is speaking of the "clunk" noise that some but not all TW's have upon compression of the front end sometimes.
 
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Here are some questions that I hope will help me understand suspension springs.

According to Procycle the stock shock spring on a current TW is 15KG/mm. According to my math that equates to 840 Pounds/inch. (FYI Pro also indicates that model years 87-16 had spring rates of 12KG/MM-672 pounds/inch)

Does this mean that if you put 840 pounds on top of this spring it would compress the spring 1”?
Does this mean that if you put 1,680 pounds on top of this spring it would compress the spring 2”?

Tomorrow I plan to check out the suspension sag and will have a better idea. If I am understanding these dynamics then if I currently have the right preload, or if I need to back it off a bit, then I likely have the correct spring rate. BUT if I find that I have to add another 3mm (for a total of 6mm added) or more of preload to maintain the 2” of sag then I may need a stiffer spring rate.

What I noticed most on the stock shock was the rebound. I am not sure I ever bottomed out the stock shock, but I do know it felt like it wanted to bounce the rear wheel back up off the ground when it rebounded.

More to come.
Not sure what year you have but if you get down and look at the shock you will see a circlip on the shock. It's adjustable. It is probably in the middle position. You can see one groove below it and one above where you can't see until you remove the shock and unload the compression on it. Try changing this before running out and buying new springs. The position you have it in does make a difference.
 
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The newer model OEM shocks have a different method of setting preload, but the cogent shocks are far better in that regard; even when compared to the latest generation of OEM shocks.

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Here’s the shock from one of my 2021 bikes as compared to the shock from my 1990 model. Just more info for anyone who wants it.
 

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Thank you so much George for sending that new shock! I wondered if the technical manual for the TW discusses the potential adjustment. To me, it seems the manufacture went out of their way to make the preload nearly impossible for the average owner to change. The new shock really supports my thought based on the lack of any ramp or tool engagement provisions. So far I haven’t seen any basic performance differences. To me it looks like just a change in manufacturing which maybe factories and or brand. I consider the new spring to be better quality based on visual inspection in that it is made with closed and ground ends on both sides.

I have more testing to do and the testing includes measuring on our damper dynamometer. Since we do this more often, I am building new tooling to adapt the unusual shock mounting system so we can more quickly adapt our instruments to make the measurements.
 

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NC Rick,
It's nice to see someone working on the suspension for these TW's.
I'm not complaining but just making an observation which I know can't really be satisfied without a test ride, but it's hard to compare TW new shocks with the old without one. I won't soon forget what the OEM shock feels like so I wouldn't need to ride back to back to notice a difference. The best we can do as these new shocks are rolled out is to believe the word of those who have switched. I'd like a test ride but know that's not practical in this case and must rely on others' "seat time".
I did switch and use the procycle heaviest front & rear springs a few years back and it did make a change. It doesn't pogo stick in the rear as bad as it used to and I think it rides better over washboard roads. Since I got the heaviest rear it is stiffer but I guess that's the tradeoff for less pogo and I'd take that every time. I don't notice the front change much other than I don't bottom out when descending Moab steps any longer so that's a plus.
Anyway, I want to thank you for all the hard work you're doing to try and improve the TW riding experience! (y)
 

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Discussion Starter · #51 ·
Fantastic questions. If we assume that the procycle numbers are correct (I spent a lot of time rating and characterizing the stock spring) then yes, if you take an 840 lb weight and place it on the spring, it would theoretically compress the spring by 1“ and that’s a good way to think of it and yes the 1680 lbs would compress the spring by a total of 2 inches.
with our Covid problems here I can‘t easy find the preload we put on your shock sending it out but I think it was about 5-8 mm. I know that your spring is a smidge stiffer than mine and I have less than 5 mm on my spring total preload. For sure you are good adding preload.
this goes beyond your questions but I’ll anticipate and ask you to imagine your spring with the 840 lb weight on it and adding preload will be kind of like putting an inch board on the spring before adding the weight. Preload is not making the spring stiffer (in our theoretical model) only bringing the 840 lb. weight up the one inch higher. We want to use the preload to put our “static” load (that’s the weight of rider and luggage distributed in the normal fashion as if we were riding) at about 1/3rd of the available travel. The reason for that is that we need the excursion for a bump or some “drop away” of the road. I have been using about two inches as my static sag.

another characteristic we want to maintain is that with an unloaded bike the suspension should not top-out. We measure unloaded or unladen sag and it should have a value even if small.

I’ll stop at that unless there are more questions.
Here is my TW loaded how it will be all of the time. In this condition and with me sitting on it there are 3” of sag on the rear. (The front only has 1” of sag but without shorter springs or softer springs that cannot be changed)

Do you think I can safely increase the preload to lessen the sag to 2”? I am assuming there is a ratio of mm of preload and how many inches of sag would be diminished. I think I will try another two full turns and check the results. (That would be a total of 4 turns from what it had when I received it.)



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Discussion Starter · #52 ·
Here is my TW loaded how it will be all of the time. In this condition and with me sitting on it there are 3” of sag on the rear. (The front only has 1” of sag but without shorter springs or softer springs that cannot be changed)

Do you think I can safely increase the preload to lessen the sag to 2”? I am assuming there is a ratio of mm of preload and how many inches of sag would be diminished. I think I will try another two full turns and check the results. (That would be a total of 4 turns from what it had when I received it.)



View attachment 221810
After increasing the preload by two more turns (now has 4 turns total from what Cogent sent) I now have 2.25” of sag. Following Rick’s suggestion I also closed the rebound damping knob by 3 clicks (clockwise). I rode the bike up and down the sidewalk again hitting the previously mentioned 3” rise on the sidewalk.
Dropping off of the 3” rise the suspension seems perfect.
Hitting the 3” rise (this is like hitting a step) the suspension works great, but it does bottom out the shock. It is by no means a hard bang. It does not affect control of the bike. The shock handles it perfectly, but it does bottom out.

At this point, unless Rick tells me otherwise, I plan to leave it alone and see how it works when I can actually ride the bike in real life conditions. To me it feels far superior to the stock suspension now, both front and rear.

The spring may be a bit light BUT this should make it better for washboard roads. I don’t ride aggressively (can you actually ride a TW aggressively?) so unless I notice it bottoming out excessively in the real world riding that I do I think it is good to go.

For anyone looking into these shocks here is some information that might help you in your decisions.
I weigh 230 without clothes
I have a 1 gallon rotopax on each side of the bike (so about 20 total pounds total)
I carry about 15-20 pounds of tools etc on the front rack.
I carry about 3 pounds in the tank bag.
I carry 25 to 35 pounds in the rear top case.
The paperwork I got from Cogent indicates my shock spring is 750pounds/inch.
 

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After increasing the preload by two more turns (now has 4 turns total from what Cogent sent) I now have 2.25” of sag. Following Rick’s suggestion I also closed the rebound damping knob by 3 clicks (clockwise). I rode the bike up and down the sidewalk again hitting the previously mentioned 3” rise on the sidewalk.
Dropping off of the 3” rise the suspension seems perfect.
Hitting the 3” rise (this is like hitting a step) the suspension works great, but it does bottom out the shock. It is by no means a hard bang. It does not affect control of the bike. The shock handles it perfectly, but it does bottom out.

At this point, unless Rick tells me otherwise, I plan to leave it alone and see how it works when I can actually ride the bike in real life conditions. To me it feels far superior to the stock suspension now, both front and rear.

The spring may be a bit light BUT this should make it better for washboard roads. I don’t ride aggressively (can you actually ride a TW aggressively?) so unless I notice it bottoming out excessively in the real world riding that I do I think it is good to go.

For anyone looking into these shocks here is some information that might help you in your decisions.
I weigh 230 without clothes
I have a 1 gallon rotopax on each side of the bike (so about 20 total pounds total)
I carry about 15-20 pounds of tools etc on the front rack.
I carry about 3 pounds in the tank bag.
I carry 25 to 35 pounds in the rear top case.
The paperwork I got from Cogent indicates my shock spring is 750pounds/inch.
That is super helpful input! I have been hiding the actual spring rates because I prefer opinion based on feel and not prejudiced by assumption. The stock spring is really not easy to rate since while it is ”progressively wound” the allowable travel really doesn’t hit that part of the spring. At 200 without gear I have a lighter spring on mine but have yet to try a jump or anything similar.

as we discussed, I’ll be more than happy to up your spring rate and it sounds like that may be the way to go.

your bike feel taller at the rear compared to stock?

thanks!
 

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Playdirt, we have Had a DDC (Drop in Damper Cartridge) kit for about 6 months now. We developed them together with Procycle and have a pretty good installed base already. I strongly agree with all of your points and purchased a TW myself to really optimize how these parts and adjustments work together. Procycle’s input along with our Dyno testing, experience and design are what has gone into both the fork kit and the shock. My objective is to build custom suspension which suits individual riders and in the early days, customer input has a huge impact on how we improve the setup. Making the suspension best for me won’t insure that others will want the exact setup. Part of my owning a TW is to gain a stronger perspective of what the community of TW200 riders really look for. The new rear shock didn’t first go to a customer until this late fall with @mrbracket with additional shocks being sent later. For sure the weather has slowed the rate of progress. I have personally used three different spring rate / damping setups on the shock on my bike. I’m a 200 lb old fella with no luggage or anything on the bike yet. I have other bikes including DR650, KTM350 EXCf and an XT 225 with our custom suspension on them. The TW is a fun and different animal with its lower travel and different tire characteristics. The tire plays a big part of our TW suspension and I have been using different pressure ranges during my testing.

as with all our products, we work with each of our customers to ensure their satisfaction with our products and setups.

Procycle have fork springs and we are working on manufacturing our own also. I expect another month or so will pass before we are also offering custom fork springs for the bike. I love hearing what folks find as shortcomings on the stock suspension as well as any upgrades they may have done. The bike Mike at Procycle has DDCs installed on had RT Gold valves prior to the installation of our valves.

I hope this helps. I’d like to have all the answers but don’t and won’t. I also don’t tire of making our bikes as good as they can be.
Slap that XT225 engine of yours in your TW and away you go! Shifting into sixth and there Really is a Sixth!!! Oh what a feeling when those revs drop!!!!
 

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Questions for Rick.

I'm ready to order up a shock and Drop in Dampers Cartridges. In reviewing the order process there are selections to make regarding the shock, for the "Rider". I thought this topic would be helpfull for me and any others considering ordering a shock. Could you provide for a brief discription on what those actually mean with respect to the shock and the rider?


Rider Preference; Plush, Standard, Firm

I'm guessing that at 155lbs without gear I would probably go with "Standard" for rider preferance. Plush sounds like maybe it's for lighter riders like me with Firm for larger riders or those packing extra gear/gas, etc., guessing here. I probably will never carry more than a small back pack maybe 15-20 with hydration and some tools, no racks, 90% trail riding 10% street.


Rider Type; Mild, Wild, Just a Regular Rider

Clearly the TW is a trail bike, however in some conditions it's fun to get a little racy, or come up on an unexpected bit of terrain which is were the stock suspension weakness tends to show up.

I'm thinking "Standard" and "Regular" on Pref/Type, but "Plush" and "Wild" sound interesting, would that be a little conflicting in setting up a shock.

Based on the above what settings would you recommend. In that context what fork spring rate would you suggest (Procycle or Progressive)?

Thanks for you time!!!
 

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Discussion Starter · #57 ·
That is super helpful input! I have been hiding the actual spring rates because I prefer opinion based on feel and not prejudiced by assumption. The stock spring is really not easy to rate since while it is ”progressively wound” the allowable travel really doesn’t hit that part of the spring. At 200 without gear I have a lighter spring on mine but have yet to try a jump or anything similar.

as we discussed, I’ll be more than happy to up your spring rate and it sounds like that may be the way to go.

your bike feel taller at the rear compared to stock?

thanks!
Here is my continued thinking.

I need to go ride! Cannot tell much more without some good riding to see how things are. And as I told you in our phone call I’d prefer to keep it as lightly sprung as possible. I think this spring will be very close. It may need a bit more preload, but I will be surprised if I need to go up in spring rate.
 

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Questions for Rick.

I'm ready to order up a shock and Drop in Dampers Cartridges. In reviewing the order process there are selections to make regarding the shock, for the "Rider". I thought this topic would be helpfull for me and any others considering ordering a shock. Could you provide for a brief discription on what those actually mean with respect to the shock and the rider?


Rider Preference; Plush, Standard, Firm

I'm guessing that at 155lbs without gear I would probably go with "Standard" for rider preferance. Plush sounds like maybe it's for lighter riders like me with Firm for larger riders or those packing extra gear/gas, etc., guessing here. I probably will never carry more than a small back pack maybe 15-20 with hydration and some tools, no racks, 90% trail riding 10% street.


Rider Type; Mild, Wild, Just a Regular Rider

Clearly the TW is a trail bike, however in some conditions it's fun to get a little racy, or come up on an unexpected bit of terrain which is were the stock suspension weakness tends to show up.

I'm thinking "Standard" and "Regular" on Pref/Type, but "Plush" and "Wild" sound interesting, would that be a little conflicting in setting up a shock.

Based on the above what settings would you recommend. In that context what fork spring rate would you suggest (Procycle or Progressive)?

Thanks for you time!!!
Thanks for the great questions! Those are both difficult questions for us to ask as well. Basically, since we build each shock to order for our customers, we need to now as much as we can about a customer needs, expectations and use. At 155 lbs, we can setup a shock with a spring and damping to match. From that information alone, we wouldn’t know if we were building a shock for a female new rider or for Ricky Carmichael. A rider’s preference is the most difficult information for us to ascertain. When I ask if you prefer a firmer ride or a softer ride the answer and question is kind of loaded. Not softer or stiffer than what you have but more of a “I like Cadillac better than a BMW ride kinda thing. Even that is not the exact thing because all of this is so subject to our prejudices. We want pretty simple answers without our customers “second guessing“ us. Many times people have told us they weigh 200 in place of the actual 250 because they were afraid we would make them a shock which was too racy. We always work with our customers to ensure their satisfaction and these are extra bits of information which help us to decide on spring rates, preload and damping choices. Rider type is more a psychological thing. Say we are riding down a trail and there is an obvious fork with the choice of crossing a 10” log and riding down some jagged rock steps or taking a more easy path around, we make a choice easy path around wouldn’t be “wild”. We have some fun with those questions.
I hope that makes sense!
regarding fork spring, in your case I might suggest using the DDC valves with the stock springs. If your ”wild” go with ProCycle. We don’t like progressively wound springs unless there isn’t a better choice. Often an OEM will use them because they don’t know anything about who will own the bike. We have a huge advantage on that with our questionnaire.
 

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Thanks for the quick reply. I'm actual 5 lbs over my normal, too much comfort food with all the cold and snow and not riding enough! I'm sure 5 lbs will not matter. I'll just ad I have been progressively down sizing from a KTM500 exc I had for a desert play bike when I retired and moved to Idaho, it's a beast in tight trails. So I dropped down a KTM150 xc-w, much more suited for the terrain around here, perfect for woods riding, still have both and plan on keeping them. The TW's fill a gap for casual riding, however I'd still like to be able to get a little more sporty with it. I have 2, bought the whole box (they come two to a crate for those that might not know), even have sequential serial numbers. One for me and one for whom ever, #3 and #4, last digits, had to sticker them so I can tell them apart. I was going to leave one alone and modify one, famous last words. Both have the all the typical upgrades as they make the bikes much better than stock and safer in my opinion. Now it's time to do something about suspension which I'll do to #3,.. I don't need it to go any faster, just want a better handling TW and make the occasional 30-35mph in the dirt more capable and safer. Then who knows, #4 may get jealous!

Sorry for the background ramble, but thought it might help.

Thinking maybe "Firm" & Wild 😆

Probably best I call you tomorrow and order up over the phone.

Thanks!
-Greg
 

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Mines parked next to my 350EXC both bikes are fun but I’m happy they are not alike! A day out on the TW takes me places I wouldn’t go on the KTM and hurts less too.
 
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