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montytess

How to know when to re-do suspension?

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I"m brand new to trials and got a 2006 Montesa 4t. It was ridden pretty hard for 5 years before I bought it. I've noticed I have a lot of front fork bottom-out on small jumps. The rear seems really soft but not near as bad as front. Simple front tire bouncing takes a ton of knees and it barely moves. I see videos of so many riders who seems to flick the front tire around with easy hopping. I've tried all adjustments.

Question is, how long does the suspension on a cota 4t last before springs are giving out and losing life? I had the fork oil changed recently by a tech and he said it hadn't ever been done. Does anyone know what it takes to "re-build" the front suspension? Cost and labor?

Thanks very much for any input!!!

Rick

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I"m brand new to trials and got a 2006 Montesa 4t. It was ridden pretty hard for 5 years before I bought it. I've noticed I have a lot of front fork bottom-out on small jumps. The rear seems really soft but not near as bad as front. Simple front tire bouncing takes a ton of knees and it barely moves. I see videos of so many riders who seems to flick the front tire around with easy hopping. I've tried all adjustments.

Question is, how long does the suspension on a cota 4t last before springs are giving out and losing life? I had the fork oil changed recently by a tech and he said it hadn't ever been done. Does anyone know what it takes to "re-build" the front suspension? Cost and labor?

Thanks very much for any input!!!

Rick

Most trials riders ignore suspension until it leaks. The fork springs don't really "give out" unless it suffered some serious abuse in its previous life, the oil change and proper adjustment is all it needs. If as you say it "barely moves" then something it not right.

You say the forks "bottom easy" and then you say it takes a "ton of knees" to make it hop. These statements seem contradict each other. Where are your settings? Back to standard?

A rebuild on the rear shock it a good idea. Fresh oil and a recharge will breath new life into it.

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Sorry to hijack the thread but what about changing the top & bottom shock bearing/bushes. Is the worth doing?

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good question. I'm not sure what function the bushings have.

I take it from lack of response that it must be true, most riders ignore their suspension unless it leaks??? Seems strange when suspension is such a vital part of techinques. But I'm new so hey, maybe you just learn to ride what you have. I just watch these guys literally bounce around from front to back wheel hops or both wheels at the same time, and I know my bike isn't capable of that.

So if anyone has experience in re-doing their suspension, let me know what kind of a difference it made? Thanks.

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"I just watch these guys literally bounce around from front to back wheel hops or both wheels at the same time, and I know my bike isn't capable of that."

Bike is probaly capable !!!!I've seen Grahamm Jarvis jump on a B40 Pre 65 and do more tricks than I could do on a modern lightweight trials bike.

Best suspension for a clubman rider is soft and compliant to maximise grip. Not hard and springy to make you look good in the car park.

If suspension is working then should be nice and smooth but have good damping (if its springy and topping out or leaking oil then time for a service). Any play in bushes or bearing will be evident if you put the bike on a stand and lift each wheel. Minimum play should be felt before suspension starts to be compressed. Any sidways movement is also bad but robably wheel bearings, steering head bearings or swing arm bearings.

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Best suspension for a clubman rider is soft and compliant to maximise grip. Not hard and springy to make you look good in the car park.

If suspension is working then should be nice and smooth but have good damping (if its springy and topping out or leaking oil then time for a service). Any play in bushes or bearing will be evident if you put the bike on a stand and lift each wheel. Minimum play should be felt before suspension starts to be compressed. Any sidways movement is also bad but robably wheel bearings, steering head bearings or swing arm bearings.

Above is correct.

Use standard settings when you first get a bike so you get a feel for what the designers intended.

Change the fork oil. Do this at least every year. It only takes 60 minutes to do.

Remove the swing arm and shock linkage bushes. Clean and grease. Do this every year - again it only takes 60 minutes.

Set suspension sag to 1/3 total travel when stood on the bike in riding gear - have a friend help, check it a few times to get a good average, and get it mm accurate!!!!!!!!

Rear shocks should be serviced/rebuilt but it is difficult to tell when they are due. Every 2-4 years would be normal. Tip - your shock is likely to have a rebound damping adjuster, unscrew it to make the car park bouncing up and down test damping overly-bouncy-no control-highspeed kick back-fast, turn it in 1/2 turn, feeling for some speed control coming into it's action, turn adjust in again, and feel the difference, turn in and test again, and again.

Rebound damping makes a HUGE difference to traction and slightly slower normally gives more traction. You are looking for a smooth but controlled rebound action and not too fast.

If the rebound adjuster makes little or no difference your shock needs a rebuild.

Ralphy

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Above is correct.

Remove the swing arm and shock linkage bushes. Clean and grease. Do this every year - again it only takes 60 minutes.

Set suspension sag to 1/3 total travel when stood on the bike in riding gear - have a friend help, check it a few times to get a good average, and get it mm accurate!!!!!!!!

Rear shocks should be serviced/rebuilt but it is difficult to tell when they are due. Every 2-4 years would be normal.

Rebound damping makes a HUGE difference to traction and slightly slower normally gives more traction. You are looking for a smooth but controlled rebound action and not too fast.

If the rebound adjuster makes little or no difference your shock needs a rebuild.

Ralphy

Thanks a lot for the replies. I think I was too anxious to get more rebound out of it and start hopping. I spoke to the trials mechanic here who said he'd change the springs in the front forks for $30 each plus cost of spring ( not sure what spring go for?). I wonder if that's a cheap and decent solution to the bottoming out I get when doing small jumps? The damper adjusting didn't help more than a tiny bit but still bottoms out. Back doesn't bottom. this bike has 4 to 5 years hard riding on it, so I see reccomendations above for a "re-charge". What exactly can be done to the rear suspension to give it some life back? Can the gas inside be re-pumped in or....? I adjusted the damper knob on the rear both ways and it's hard to tell a difference but it's made some. THANKS for your help.

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Hi and first up how heavy are you?

I'd say change the fork oil before you buy new springs (unless you are heavier than approx 95kg) I could be wrong and the springs may be knackered but it is rare.

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