Founded by the legendary Kenith Ohlin in 1976, Ohlins suspension products quickly became a running theme on the winning machines of racers across the world in MotoGP, MXGP, F1 and now MTB!
And that's where we step in!
Plush is an official Ohlins service centre which means we have all the expertise, training, tools and knowledge to not only work on and service your Ohlins suspension but to fine-tune your setup and optimize your suspension for you and your bike.
So let's take a closer look at what that means!
During our Ohlins suspension service, we completely strip and rebuild your fork or shock with Ohlins original equipment service parts and Ohlins performance suspension fluids and greases.
The technology in your Ohlins DH38, RXF 36 or RXF 38 or TTX rear shock is some of the leading suspension technology in the world and needs proper maintenance to keep it running Plush!
Alongside the standard Ohlins service procedures we like to add a few extras to your service options to give you the ultimate performance!
Custom tuning is often seen as a dark art however with 40+ years of suspension knowledge and thousands of hours of Dyno testing Ohlins provides us with a bank of "tunes" to get your suspension running perfectly for your weight and riding style.
These are offered to us in a "settings bank" tuning solution from which we can pick ideal damper shim arrangements.
These shim arrangements work like leaf springs in your damper, restricting the flow of fluid past the damper piston. The firmer the shims the harder it is for fluid to flow through the piston.
The low-speed rebound and compression damping forces are controlled via a needle that sits inside the damper shaft and controls the flow of fluid by being advanced and retarded to restrict or increase the flow of fluid. This is all dealt with via the gold rebound adjuster on your Ohlins TTX shock or fork. See Fig 1
The high-speed damping force is dealt with through the lift of the shims on the main piston (See Fig 2) but also via the HSC valve assembly.
Tuning your Ohlins forks or shock compression allows us to optimize performance for low-speed damping and high-speed damping inputs.
For compression, these inputs can be considered to be your bodyweight affecting the damper (low-speed, LSC) and terrain inputs (high-speed, HSC).
These compression inputs are "damped" by the TTX twin-tube damper which features in both the TTX shocks and the RXf and Dh forks.
Your LSC and HSC adjuster on the top of your fork or on your TTX shock allow us to fine-tune the overall damper setting that is built into your damper.
With the Ohlins settings bank, we can customise the damping force that your fork exerts irrespective of your adjuster settings and we have a wide range of tunes available for all weight ranges and riding styles.
The shim arrangement on the main compression piston dictates how much fluid is displaced into the HSC and LSC valve (Gold and Blue valves available. See below). Once we select the correct shim arrangement for your weight and bike leverage this force can be fine-tuned on your adjusters.
Tuning rebound is ultimately more complex due to the high-speed rebound system in all Ohlins products being internally adjustable rather than externally adjustable but again we have got you covered with a wide range of settings available to us from Ohlins.
Your HSR and your LSR inputs are related to your spring rate/air pressure as well as the "unsprung" mass of your bike (the weight of your wheel/tyre/swingarm etc) so generally arent track/terrain induced and its important to get this right before you ride the shock.
Once we have calculated your spring rate we can then determine whether or not the stock tune that your damper comes with needs to change. For instance, there's a high chance that with spring rates above 580lb your shock will need a firmer rebound tune to deal with higher forces store and the release by the spring.
Below you can see the rebound and compression tunes available to us and the force curves that apply to those tunes but don't worry we will figure out what's right for you and your bike/riding style.
Ohlins also offer two compression valve options. Gold valve gives you 3 HSC options whilst the blue valve gives you a pedal platform.
BLUE HIGH SPEED COMPRESSION VALVE
The blue high speed compression adjust valve assembly is trail optimised offering 2 positions of tuning to suit varying terrain. The 3rd position 'lock out' the shock by closing the high speed compression circuit to enable a more efficient pedalling platform when required
GOLD HIGH SPEED COMPRESSION VALVE
The downhill specific gold high speed compression valve assembly is only found on 225 and 250 length shocks. It offers 3 positions of high speed compression control for on the fly adjustment to help find the sweet spot on varying tracks and conditions.
So what does all this mean to you out on the trail?
A re-valve is still very much a fluid part of the setup process and needs to be balanced with the correct spring rate, sag, tyre pressure even stem length can have a bearing on where your body weight sits in relation to the balance of suspension sag front to rear.
We always recommend having us run you through a full suspension setup before having a re-valve so that we can ascertain that it is the direction you need to go in.
On the trail, the correct tune will result in more control. This comes from a bike that has balance in the way that it absorbs bumps on both the front wheel and rear wheel.
Once we get your shock tuned correctly you should be near the middle of your adjusters allowing you to have the flexibility on your adjusters to use them as tuning tools on the trail and allow you to adapt your suspension setup to the terrain you're riding.
For instance, if you are riding somewhere very steep you may want to consider adding some low-speed compression to hold the front of the bike up a little more to keep the head angle more consistent under braking.
Or if you're riding in very muddy conditions you may want to consider more rebound as your tyre weight will increase with the sticky mud.
All of these adjuster changes are ideally carefully considered but can come from some trial and error testing out on the trail by doing some "bracketing" and recording the clicks when you feel best on the bike.
Or we can help with a full Plush Suepsnion setup! Read more below!
Tuning suspension correctly is all about understanding the dynamics of your bike and understanding the tools available to you to control those dynamics in your suspension systems adjusters.
If any of us mere mortals were to jump on one of the top DH riders bikes, most of us would probably go slower than we do on our own bike and especially slow compared to the actual bikes’ owners!
Aside from the immense bike skill and talent gap, the main reason would be the bike isn't set up for us.
The riders speed, weight, where they ride and the conditions they ride in all affect how the shock should be set up.
Take a Fox Float X2 for example:
8 clicks of high-speed damping on both the compression and rebound circuit.
16 for both low-speed circuits.
This gives you 16,384 possible permutations of set up and that's before you factor in air pressure and volume tokens. It's no wonder that people can get a little overwhelmed with setting their own bikes up.
At Plush Suspension, the aim of our setups is for you to not only leave us with a bike set up that works best for you and your local riding spot but for us to pass on as much knowledge as possible about why we are doing what we are doing to your bike. That way, when you ride different tracks/terrain, you have a fighting chance of knowing which of the many dials you should either turn or leave well alone!
The setup session is based at Plush Suspension in our suspension workshop however, do bring a jacket and jumper as you will be required to ride the bike outside to get a feel for the changes.
Your setup will take roughly an hour and will be in a maximum group of 3 people with your actual setup being completely 121
Any volume spacers required to optimize your setup are included in the booking price as well as a full settings sheet recording your settings and all the time you need to ask questions.
During your setup we will cover:
An introduction to the fundamentals of suspension setup.
Explaining the available adjustments on your bike and their intended uses.
Analyzing your current setup.
Making changes to ascertain your "base" suspension settings.
Optimizing those settings to give you the maximum performance from your suspension systems.
Click the link below to get booked onto a setup!