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Goldilocks Rebound

If Goldilocks rode a mountain bike she would want her rebound set not too fast and not too slow, but just right.

Goldilocks would make a sound suspension tuner, but what is ‘just right’? Like most things with suspension it is different for different riders, and influenced by the bike and trail. Other settings on the fork or shock alter the rebound requirement too, most noticeably air pressure.

In general terms, just the right amount of rebound will yield an on-trail dynamic response that is between pogo and packing.

Pogo is the effect felt when the rebound is set too fast. After a large impact, the bike bounces back quickly, overshoots its natural position and then settles down. It feels uncontrolled.

Packing is the result of the rebound set too slow. Following an impact the suspension doesn’t recover quickly enough to properly absorb the next bump, creating a harsh feeling over multiple bumps.

You want the rebound to be somewhere in the middle, where the bike can recover fast enough over multiple bumps yet remain controlled over a single bump.

There is a bit of leeway here; often 2 or 3 clicks of rebound between the two phenomena. Some people prefer to ride on the verge of pogo for a livelier ‘playful’ feel and others on the verge of packing to be more controlled and planted. There is no hard and fast rule, it comes down to personal preference and riding style.

The tuning styles in ShockWiz account for these personal preferences. Once you have your base tune dialed, experiment with different tuning styles – you can always go back. You can even ‘bracket’ your rebound: Try 1-2 clicks one way, and then the other. Try and feel the differences over different terrain — rock gardens, roots and flowing trails — and see what suits you and your riding.

Photo: Adrian Marcoux / @amarcouxphotos.