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I have a question for everyone: Does one have to adjust the suspension if they are going to carry a passenger? I have heard differing opinions, where some say that it should be adjusted, while others just put a few extra psi in their tires. What do you think?

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Depends on the total wight of both of you. For a small child probably not. Drive over a speed bump carefully and if it bottoms out then go up a number or two.
Keeping the tires a bit over the factory recommendation is better for the tires anyway.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
That's great to hear. I really only plan to take my wife with me every once in a while, so adjusting the suspension was not something I wanted to do. Thanks a lot!

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You may have the spanner wrench in your tool kit if you have one. If not, some guys can turn it by hand or a pipe wrench wrapped into a rag may work.
 

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The suspension adjustment increases the preload on the springs on what is effectively a stepped ramp.

If i'm just going for a short ride with a passenger I usually just leave it all alone.
If going more than a few miles I increase both the preload a notch or so and the tire pressure.

Say "I'm just checking the tire pressure before our ride."
Do not say "I'd better crank some more air in there, what do you weigh?"

Say "I tried these shocks softer, but I didn't like it, just give me a second to set them back."
Don't Say "I need to allow for your weight with the spring adjustment."
Definitely not "Holy cow these only go up to 5."
 

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LOL.



I ride at 3 by myself at 190 lbs. It's a little stiff but then my wife can climb on for a short trip and that works as the middle of the road setting. My wife rides with my at least weekly. On a longer trip I go up to the 4th setting. If I could do it quickly and easily I would ride at 2 and 4 with my wife on the back. Depends on what your passenger and you weigh?



Same with air pressure. Longer trip with my wife, up goes the tires pressure a few lbs. Around town by myself factory air pressure seems right to me.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
LOL.



I ride at 3 by myself at 190 lbs. It's a little stiff but then my wife can climb on for a short trip and that works as the middle of the road setting. My wife rides with my at least weekly. On a longer trip I go up to the 4th setting. If I could do it quickly and easily I would ride at 2 and 4 with my wife on the back. Depends on what your passenger and you weigh?



Same with air pressure. Longer trip with my wife, up goes the tires pressure a few lbs. Around town by myself factory air pressure seems right to me.
That is really helpful! I plan on taking her with me every once in awhile, so I might make the changes then. Thanks!

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Yeah, it really depends.
Your weight, passenger weight, how far your riding, how often, extra gear.

Due to my fat butt, I had to get some heavy duty shocks. The regular Progressive shocks I had was on the highest setting and it was not enough. My 140 lb daughter would get on and it rode horrible, but nothing I could adjust to make it better.
With the HD shocks, I initially set it on 4. With me alone, it was rough. at 3 it was OK, but with me and my daughter is was decent.
I put it at 2, and was perfect for me alone, and a bit soft for me and my daughter.

I leave it at 2, even with my daughter, unless we are going on a ride longer than 30 minutes , then I go to 4 and it is better. My Progressive shocks are easy to adjust by hand.

For tires, I tend to run pressure a touch higher in front than stock @34-36 PSI (not that your supposed to adjust the front PSI based on weight), and when I had a bike tire on the rear, I also always ran at the higher PSI due to my own weight.
Now that I have a car tire on the back, I don't run it at the "recommended" pressure, I have it set to what rides best, and for me it is 38 PSI, regardless of weight on it.
 

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I can't switch my shock settings quickly because the saddle bags are in the way. Without the bags it's easy but the bags just make it hard for me. iI almost bought a more expensive shock that adjusted on the top by hand but it wasn't worth the money. Bought my bike for $1,200 so I really can't justify putting $600 shocks on it. I'm running progressive 412's BTW. Just replaced the old ones a few weeks ago.
 

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LOL.

I ride at 3 by myself at 190 lbs. It's a little stiff but then my wife can climb on for a short trip and that works as the middle of the road setting. My wife rides with my at least weekly. On a longer trip I go up to the 4th setting. If I could do it quickly and easily I would ride at 2 and 4 with my wife on the back. Depends on what your passenger and you weigh?
Interesting. I always get people wanting me to give them lifts on the bike so It's good to have that reference. I weigh about 150 lbs. No idea what I have mine set to, I'll have to go check.
Does adjusting that raise or lower the seat height? Dumb questions but I'm short and on an 1100 so I gotta ask haha
 

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Here is my post from another thread. Note my brilliant use of deductive reasoning:

"When I first got the VT1100C2 I wanted to figure out the best preload settings but could not find an easy way to determine sag without measuring each time so I made a simple chart. Here's my logic:
My 95 MOM states that the maximum load is 380 lbs so lets say preload setting #5 is for 380 lbs. An average man in 1995 weighed 180 lbs and lets assume 10 lbs of clothes, helmet etc. so that's 190lbs (setting #2). A little math and that would mean each setting represents about 65 lbs from standard:

Setting 1 125 lbs. If you are thin as a rake
Setting 2 190 lbs. Standard
Setting 3 255 lbs. Saddlebags filled and backpack, heavier rider.
Setting 4 320 lbs. Average rider with Passenger or possible obesity
Setting 5 385 lbs. Fully loaded, two up, long distance.

When you are carrying a passenger or have added weight, do the 2 minute adjustment and you will be amazed. I have not tried setting 5 even with passenger as I do not go long distances with passengers. My numbers were guesses but they work for me so if anyone has done the actual sag measurement at each setting it would be nice to know. "

G.

PS. Loaded sag is the name given to the amount of suspension travel used up when the bike settles with a rider on board. To alter the sag you need to adjust the spring in the rear shock: pre-load. As a very broad guide a road bike should have 25-30mm of loaded sag at the front and 20-22mm at the rear.
 

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Does adjusting that raise or lower the seat height? Dumb questions but I'm short and on an 1100 so I gotta ask haha
Just sitting there, no it does not change the height of the bike.
It basically makes the springs "stiffer" by loading them with tension (hence the term preload) while at rest.
So a setting of 1 has 10 pounds of force pushing back (made up numbers, just used for examples), a 2 has 20, 3 is 30 etc.
So if you sit on the bike with the springs set on 1 (the "softest" setting") the bike may sag 2 inches (again, this is exaggerated for clarity) before the resistance of the spring overcomes your weight, while set on 5, it may only say 1/2 an inch before it matches your weight.
The stiffer the preload, the stiffer the suspension, and less travel available. If you have the preload to high (stiffer), it is a rough ride with less suspension travel, if you have it too low, it is bouncy and bottoms out easily.
 

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thanks for the info on this guys. I'm not original poster but this helps lol. Ends up my bike was set to 4. I brought it down to 2, definitely more spongy now lol.
 
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