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Got Air? In your suspension?

The importance of properly setting the air in your suspension each time you ride.
Michael Seffren
Michael SeffrenPublished on August 29, 2023
Michael Seffren

Hey fellow riders,

Today, I want to talk about something that might seem simple but holds immense power in transforming your biking experience – the importance of setting the right air pressure in your suspension. Now, I'm no biking expert, but I recently had an eye-opening revelation that I believe is worth sharing.

A few days ago, I hit the trails at Cottage Grove Bike Park (CGBP) with my trusty 8-year-old Diamond Back Mission 1 All-Mountain bike. I was excited but soon found myself struggling to keep up, even on the green line. I watched 9-year-olds cruise past me effortlessly, and I couldn't help but feel a bit embarrassed. This situation hit me harder, especially as someone who's trying to make a mark in the biking industry by creating an indoor mountain biking park.

But here's the kicker – my struggle wasn't just limited to that day at CGBP. It had been going on for a few years. I always thought it was just me – either I was weak or my form was off. It was disheartening to see my buddies revel in the adrenaline rush that I so desperately wanted. It felt like I was at a dead end with no way out.

Then, fate stepped in, and I met Trevor Crawford, one of the founders of CGBP. He saw my plight and decided to help. He not only guided me through the techniques but also towed me into the line. After some attempts, he asked me a question that changed the game – "What's your 'sag' at?" I had no answer because I had no clue what he was talking about. Trevor then explained it to me, and after checking, I realized my rear shock was at a 60-70% sag – far from the optimal range for having a good time.

Despite feeling a bit discouraged, I left that day feeling empowered with a solution. The following week, I headed to White Tail Ridge with my friends. I made sure to set my shocks right – around 80 PSI in the front and approximately 150 PSI in the rear. And let me tell you, the difference was nothing short of astounding.

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For the first time in a long while, I found myself soaring through the air. I tackled jumps that I had consistently skipped before, fearing I'd case them. I cleared the downed-tree jump, the gapped jump at the top near the cornfield, and even the creek gap. I emerged from that ride a different rider – a rider with newfound confidence and a rekindled love for the sport.

So, here's my humble takeaway: never underestimate the power of setting the proper suspension air. It's easy to overlook, but it can be a game-changer. My journey of realizing this lesson wasn't graceful, and I can't deny feeling a bit embarrassed about it. But hey, sometimes we learn the hard way.

Check out this video to help you set your suspension air correctly.

I'm excited to continue learning more tips and tricks to enhance my riding experience. Speaking of which, considering my recent mishap with torn casing due to loose zip ties at the Outerbike Event ( ), I'm pondering a shift to Electronic Shifters. What are your thoughts? Maybe a post on rebound and compression settings? Feel free to share your insights in the comments below.

Until next time, keep the wheels rolling and the spirit high!

Happy riding,

Michael Seffren
CEO - Freeride MN X Freeride Indoor