Looking to get my suspension on my Scalpel dialed in and ShockWiz looks promising. Anyone here have experience positive or negative about them?
I rented one from my local shop- which is probably the best option for most people. Spent a day at my local trails dialing it in and was well worth it for me.
I think it’s a good option for those of us that don’t want to tinker too much or have a ton of experience.
If you go the rental route I would read up beforehand and plan on some trails that represent what you normally ride just so you don’t spend a bunch of time at the trailhead just figuring it out.
I don’t want to get into the weeds here, but those things really aren’t very accurate. I used to work as a suspension technician and I wouldn’t recommend them. The Scalpel doesn’t have much going on in terms of adjustments available, so once you have set sag, rebound is a personal preference, there’s not much in terms of compression damping adjustments. Really, you’re looking at volume spacers and double-checking your sag.
What are you experiencing on your rides that you’d like to improve from a suspension set up standpoint?
I’m firmly in the “I don’t know what I don’t know” camp at this point. My last full suspension bike was a K2/Proflex Oz. with a noleen steel spring shock out back and Marzochi fork up front.
My Scalpel is the 2021/22 Carbon 2 so Ocho 100 up front and Fox Float DPS out back. I got a shock pump and have put the pre-load up to the range suggested in “the manual” and added a click of rebound on each end because I’m just north of 200lbs with gear and hydropak. I honestly don’t know if I have it in the right zone or not, but checking sag is something that I haven’t done yet.
Even if it’s not remotely correct, the bike is so much better than my last XC bike it’s almost comical. Now I’m curious as to if the suspension being dialed (if I haven’t already got it there by sheer luck) will make a noticeable difference.
- DO IT NOW!
Seriously, skipping this step is a mistake. Those setup charts are to be considered a loose starting point only. Following immediately with sag check & adjustment (in riding gear with pack, water and whatever you ride with regularly) is essential IMO.
Then adjust rebound to preference if the result from the sag adjusted pressure and initial rebound setting from the charts doesn’t suit your preference.
From there, it is a matter of riding and determining if the feel and performance match your expectations. even when sag is done perfectly, I find that I adjust up or down to meet my needs. Sag is a better start after the charts, but it is also not the be-all, end-all either.
What Chad said.
This is one of the best setup videos out there. Anything further than this is fine tuning/preference.
You’ll find with most suspension they have quite a narrow window in terms of actual adjustment; even if they have 22 clicks of rebound, you’ll find that only 6 somewhere near the middle actually do anything tangible. Same for compression. (Obviously all suss is different but the general statement is sound )
If i had a friend with a ShockWiz I’d give it a shot out of curiosity, but I don’t think renting one is worth it for most people. Get your sag right, then do some bracketing with rebound and compression adjustments if you have them. Ride, see how things feel and what you’d like to change, then figure out what you need to do to change that. It’s a learning process that’s fun, and not very difficult once you decide to pay attention to it.
I’ve found the ShockWiz useful during setup of several XC bikes and to some degree it helped validate my intial set up and then apply some tweaks. The algorithm tends to favor spacers and lower pressure, or at least that’s what I found as I went through the set up. It probably was most helpful in getting the rebound dialed.
For someone really experienced it probably isn’t going to add a lot, but for newer riders I think it is a very useful tool to get things dialed in and help understand the impact of the different changes.
I used a shockwiz to help setup my XC bike. It sort of helps you get in the right direction and at the very least become more aware of what the changes you’re making change how the bike feel. I was doing the same loop every day for 2 weeks trying to dial it in. One thing I found is that one ride it will say to make X change then the next ride will have you reverse it. After 2 weeks I had a much better idea what felt better but the shockwiz disagreed with it.
A group of four of us all went in on one together and just kind of rotate when someone needs to use it. Been good getting my enduro bike dialed.
I haven’t used one but looked into it as well. The feedback I heard was that it wasn’t all that useful/accurate for XC bikes with 100mm of travel. Really designed around longer travel. That seems to align with several of the comments here.
I borrowed one and used it for a week. Honestly had no idea what or how to use it and felt the recommendations were very rockshox focused. That 10 minute tune video is pretty spot on and really it comes down to 3 things 1)sag 2. Full travel being utilized (which spacers help) and 3) rebound depending on the terrain
Sag is very important, but unless you know how much sag is recommended for your bike, it’s a bit of a pointless statement.
Start with the fork at 25%… you’ll need to adjust pressure to achieve this.
The rear shock is recommended at 10mm, which works out at about 20%.
It can be of benefit too to find and read online reviews, such as from Pinkbike, or Flow Mountainbike, as reviewers tend to say how they set the bikes up, what pressures and sags they ran, and if the manufacturer recommended settings worked OK.
Pictures even show the correct color which always makes suspension settings more accurate.
I think those are the numbers I used out of the box, just never measured the sag.
One more suggestion since you haven’t been on newer suspension for a long time.
Once your sag is set properly, write down where you have your rebound set. Then go find a a short test loop or section of trail. Put your rear rebound fully closed and ride your test section. Then do the same section with the rebound fully open. This will give you an idea of how changing rebound feels at the extremes. Often when someone is new to dialing suspension it can be difficult to feel much difference with just a single click or two of adjustment. Then do the same with the front.
I’m NOT suggesting you go hammer anything or hit big jumps for this testing. Rebound fully open will “kick” back quickly after compression so be aware.
Now try your original setting and and you should have a better feel if you are close.