What Is Preload On Mountain Bike Suspension?

The fun part of the game of Mountain biking involves riding over rough and uneven terrains usually at a quick pace! Therefore, a vast majority of mountain bikes come with suspension forks. Several of those even have some basic adjustability to enhance the suspension effort. So, What Is Preload On Mountain Bike Suspension?

Coil forks are the foremost common of late and offered on entry-level bicycles as they’re typically quite a low cost. Air forks, on the opposite hand, are typically only found on mid-range to top-end bikes, and end up being a lot additional advanced and lighter too.

Knowing the way to adjust the various knobs and dials on your suspension isn’t solely geekily exciting, however, it conjointly permits you to improve your overall ride expertise by playing around with some basic settings.

Preload On Mountain Bike Suspension

Guide On What Is Preload On Mountain Bike Suspension?

The preload dial is sometimes seen on budget forks in just one aspect. Typically, on the left side, some forks have it on both sides. The preload dial seems like a circular knob with a “+” on one aspect and a “-” on the other aspect

What Is Preload?

The preload refers to the number of sags the shock can enable once the bike is at rest with the rider’s weight bearing down on it. Determining the correct preload is very important as a result of if it’s too high, it takes additional energy to move the shock and compress the springs, leading to a more durable and desensitized shock system.

If it’s too low, your shocks won’t be supportive once you want them to be. you may also have expertise in what’s referred to as “brake dive” once you get on the brakes hard. Preload pre-compresses your spring so that it takes more/less force to begin pressing the fork. Increasing the preload can increase the stiffness of the fork (like increasing air pressure in an air fork).

Decreasing preload can decrease the stiffness of the fork, almost like decreasing air pressure in an air fork. Hard braking, landing exhausting once a jump and pedaling to accelerate suddenly have the potential to bottom or high out the suspension through its travel. Bottoming or topping your hand isn’t a good plan particularly if you’re out on riding hard.

Either of the extremes can cause you to lose traction. under less intensive usage, the preload can verify however plush or stiff your fork’s responsiveness to bumps is. Adding preload to the spring can increase the force required to start pressing the spring. Similarly, too much preload can keep the fork from reacting to small bumps, creating it harshly.

Positive Preload Springs

Positive preload springs are the mainsprings found in coil shocks and are responsible for keeping the bike level while you’re riding over rocky terrain. when you increase the preload on the positive fork, the positive spring can have an additional load on that than the negative spring. It’ll end in a lower sag. It’s vital to stay these 2 springs balanced or your bike’s shock system can become uneven and potentially dangerous if you’re biking on a very rough parcel.

Negative Preload Springs

Negative preload springs on a fork are responsible for disgustful the force generated by the positive preload shock spring. Keeping the 2 balanced and keeping the sag from turning too nice or from the shocks pressing too quickly.

Negative preload springs may be found in air shocks; however, they need a different role than coil shocks. A Negative air chamber in AN air shock is comparable to the negative preload springs on a coil shock

How Do I Set The Preload On My Bike?

Coil sprung forks have a way to compress or relax the spring by turning a knob on the fork. Adjusting the forks preload needs measurement of the sag and how abundant the fork compresses once the rider is sitting on the bike. usually, you wish the fork to sag about thirty – 400th of its travel. This enables the fork to increase into depressions and absorb all minor path chatter.

Turning the preloaded dial towards the negative image can decrease the preload on the spring. On the opposite hand, if you discover the fork to be too stiff, backing off the preload can soften the fork. If you would like to fix up the fork, flip the preload dial towards the positive symbol. This will compress the spring and stiffen up the suspension.


Now we know What Is Preload On Mountain Bike Suspension? Adjusting preload will play a pretty big role in how your bike rides. A 30 minutes preload on MTBs and a 400th preload on Downhill bikes are standards most riders gun for. Having the same that, realize a good balance on your fork in keeping with your riding vogue and weight is kind of important.

Frequently Asked Questions

How will Preload work on bike suspension?

Preload is employed to regulate the shock or spring to the proper vary of operation inside the suspension’s travel-more preload can raise the bike on its suspension, keeping you close to the highest of its travel. With less preload, the bike sits lower and nearer to the bottom of its suspension travel.

Does increasing preload increase ride height?

As you increase preload, you are turning the collar further clockwise(south). This in turn pushes the spring that extends the overall ride height. Decrease the preload, and also the spring moves up that lower the ride height.

How will preload affect handling?

Preloading isn’t the same as using a stiffer (higher spring rate) spring. Preloading doesn’t change spring rate however preload will change the force to start moving the shock and high preload dramatically reduces shock performance over smaller bumps and makes for an additional harsh ride and worse traction.

What happens after you increase preload?

Increased preload increases stroke volume, whereas decreased preload decreases stroke volume by altering the force of contraction of the muscle.

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