Setting sag: sitting or standing?


I came across an interesting idea on a forum on — someone was saying that you should set up the sag on you suspension while you’re standing. Everything I’ve come across previously says set the sag when you’re on the seat but the more I think about it the more it makes sense to set it while standing — when you are in attack position.

So when you’re in attack position you’ve got the correct sag front and rear and the suspension works at its best. When you’re sitting the forks will be a bit stiffer and the rear shock will be a bit softer so maybe you’ll get a bit more pedal feedback when you climb but maybe this is a good trade off? What do you think?

PS – link for that forum is:

regards, Paul

In moments like this, you really want correct fore-aft suspension balance. Brandon Sloan Himself rolls the Manager in Whistler.

Hey Paul,

Great question. I’ve also read to check sag sitting, but let’s think this through:

Question: Which position are you in when you want your suspension to work best?

A. Sitting there all stiff and lame

B. Crouching in your attack position all balanced and awesome

For most of us, the answer is B.

When you’re Riding (capital R), your weight should be driving through your feet, and your hands should be pretty neutral most of the time. On most bikes, that give you a 40/60 to 45/55 front/rear weight distribution. Set your sag with heavy feet and light hands.

If you set the sag sitting, you’ll end up with a too-stiff rear and too-soft front. That’ll encourage your bike to dive, which will make it feel sketchy — and maybe scare you into sitting there all stiff and lame.


— Lee

5 replies
  1. Gareth says:

    How does the fact that while Riding you are not on level ground affect this question?

    Also, what if frame manufacturers recommend a given sag assuming that you will be sitting, but knowing that the sag will change while in riding position?

  2. leelikesbikes says:

    The setup videos on say to set sag while sitting.

    Brandon Sloan, director of high end mountain bikes, says:

    Most people are setting up bikes for XC, where sitting is more important. If you’re sitting and your suspension is off, you’ll suffer more than if you’re standing and your suspension is off.

    The standing argument seems plausible, especially on big bikes where you’re moving around a lot.

    But the terrain and your position are always changing on any bike — so any sag setting is just a starting point.

    — — —

    Not the scientific answer I was hoping for!

    I’ll keep researching.

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