The Golden Wrench

A blog about bicycle repair and maintenance by the mechanics at Freewheel Bike.

Friday, December 16, 2011

Real World Suspenion Tuning

Whoa! This could be the future of rear sus.
...This is the true story... of a room full of suspension tuners... picked to learn in a together and have their lives taped... to find out what happens... when people stop being polite... and start getting real...SRAM TECHNICAL UNIVERSITY, 2011 TunerPalooza.

Dbl D and a tool I just gotta have!
Many years ago I went to the RockShox compound in Colorado Springs learn about their forks and stuff. It was a different time in suspension. The Pure system was king. Names like Duke and Psylo were the hot topics of the day. Hippie Tech and the Angry Asian were the big tuners at the time and PUSH was about to happen in California. There was change in the air.

We spoke of Nitrogen! Unheard of.
Back then the education I got at Rock Shox was pretty wide open, I don't think anyone told my tutors not to tell me everything. For the last decade things have been different for sure. At best training from the factory was based on eye candy, sales pitch, free lunch, swag and then a trip home. You tended to feel a little dirty and guilty when it was all done; after a shower and some introspection you went back to the shop and figured out how to fix things on your own.

Well, what I am calling "TunerPalooza" was definitely a different beast entirely! Rock Shox spilt out all the pixie dust and unicorn oil for us to see. Illicit secrets were confessed and dirty laundry was aired and we all spoke freely (I did hold back a little as I have learned people look at me funny when I don't).

For me it was a great opportunity to connect with old friends and meet some legends of the industry.

With the major suspension companies really taking an "open source" policy with professional tuners and service centers the future is bright. The Shockspitals, Suspension Experts, Garage Works, Dirtlabs and Push' of the world have been tuning, rebuilding and repairing better than anyone for a long time (most have worked for the big three). It will be really beneficial for the companies like SRAM and Manitou that are building a nest in the trust tree for all of the professionals. Performance and Customer service will only improve with policies like this.

FOX is still keeping its secrets; we will see how that works out for them.