Setting rebound: the curb test?

hey Lee,

I got a quick question for you about shock rebound settings (DHX Air). I read somewhere that rebound should be tuned by setting the rebound to fastest position and riding off curb, each time adding another click of rebound until the bike doesn’t oscillate (the travel compresses and then returns to its static position).

I did so and in the parking lot test (didn’t take it to the trails yet) it seems pretty slow to what I was riding before. Is that a correct setup method? Is it applicable to forks as well?


Hey Gal,

I’d never heard of that test, and I first thought it would result in a too-slow rebound setting. But — wow — there it it on the Fox bike suspension tuning tips page. They suggest the curb test for your shock but not your fork. (But your fork shouldn’t bounce either.)

All suspension settings are compromises. Faster rebound makes your suspension responsive to bumps, but it can make your bike bounce and wallow so much you sacrifice control. Slower rebound makes your suspension more “stable” feeling, but your suspension can pack down until it skips across bumps instead of following the terrain. Your ideal setting is, of course, somewhere between too fast and too slow.

That curb test sounds like a good starting point (I believe what Fox says). Be sure to add just enough damping to stop the bounce.

If you really want to dial in your setting for actual conditions, try suspension bracketing:

– Take a run with no rebound damping, then one with full rebound damping. Say no damping felt better.

– Do another pair or runs, this time with no damping and half damping. Say half damping felt better.

– Do another pair of runs, this time with half damping and one-quarter damping. Keep this up until you converge on your ideal setting.


Also read:

Fox ProPedal and suspension bracketing

Suspension tips from Fitz

Suspension damping for trail riding

Setting sag: Let’s ask Fitz

Be systematic about this. Once you find a good setting, leave it alone.

Rip it!

— Lee

Know more. Have more fun!

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6 replies
  1. Gal says:

    the curb test result in a much slower rebound than the one i’m currently riding with, is there a point in slowing down the rebound ?

    my fork (2009 fox 36 float rc2) oscillates once on a hit like that (compresses, extends and then sags a little bit).
    how can that be stopped without a significant addition of rebound damping which again result in a pretty slow rebound ?
    my fork settings are 50psi, 3 clicks of HSC, 2 clicks of LSC and 2 clicks of rebound. – i would like to hear opinions about those settings and the possibility to improve them. i’m 78kg without gear, riding style is singletrack oriented AM and occasional DH.

  2. leelikesbikes says:

    If your bike isn’t bouncing and wallowing, I see no need to slow your rebound.

    I can’t comment on those settings. The man himself, Fitz at Fox, recommends that riders do the bracketing test. You’d do that for each setting individually.

  3. Joe Kim says:

    Is it fair to say that a light rider will have less rebound damping than a heavier rider? I tried this out and I can almost go full open on rebound without any bouncing.

  4. hugo aguiar says:

    come on whe are talking about averege people (some are most talent than others)i´ts a good starting point but are we realling use it, because there are so many diferent sYstems in bikes today that 1 click 2 cliks doesn´t make a diference in a usal rider, because they are not using the full pontencial of the bike or the brother likes to ride the suspencions hard and fast and i call him crazy ,but hey is fast and he runs his tires hard.So for me just ride the way you like´it because if you ask the “PROS” there are so many different setings that can make a “normal” rider ask why why why and why not that, and why that,that”he he” eaven the rider can´t response because it´s is the way he or she FEEL´S GOOD and what are you going to say? so there is a sentence that is one truth that is SHUT UP AND RIDE. make im bether and i´m bether,or at least im thinkink to my self that i im.he he don´t go with the hype just “ride on”and be happy.sorry for my whriting.just let your self go whit the flow

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