How do i select a spring rate?
To make selecting a spring rate easier, we took a different approach. When you arrive at the product page and are ready to add a fork cartridge, valve kit or shock to your cart, you will have to select a spring rate. There will be a dropdown list of rates for you to choose from. This list contains only spring rates that are appropriate for the bike you selected under “My Bike”. In most cases there will be five rates to choose from. The site will select, by default, the rate most appropriate for a 170-200 pound rider. (Without Gear) The next softer rate covers 140-170 pounds and the softest under 140. The two stiffer rates are recommended for 200-225 and over 225 respectively. If you weigh between 170 and 200 you don’t even have to click on the rate, the site does it for you. On all the spring options there is a “Help Me!” option. If you select this one, we will contact when we process the order to discuss your needs.
A quick note on spring rates and ride quality: First it should be understood that there is no such thing as “The spring for my weight”. Spring rates are a tuning variable and should be changed for different track, road and load conditions. We realize that this is impractical for street riders as changing springs when you pick a passenger and then changing back when you drop them off is far too much work. Racers on the other hand, will change spring rates with changing track and weather conditions. The appropriate spring rate also depends on where you ride (Southern states don’t have the frost heaves and pot holes prevalent in New England), how you ride (Sport touring, track day, long distance), and what if any accessories are on the bike like luggage and passengers.
When selecting a spring rate remember that a firm spring rate will not make a bike ride “Stiff”. In fact a firmer rate with less pre load gives a plusher ride than a softer rate with more preload. Spring rates and preload will determine the range of stroke that the bike uses. Soft rates allow the chassis to ride deeper into the suspension travel and therefore into the stiffer part of the stroke. (Leverage ratio curve for the geeks). If you are on the fringe of the spring rate range, don’t be afraid to select the firmer rate. Lastly remember we will swap springs with you if feel that after riding your new suspension that you would like a different rate. (No charge of course). Now if all this is still too confusing, just click the Help Me option and we will contact you.