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Love My Baby
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1,165 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Want to adjust my rear shocks to 20 PSI before taking a long ride (400 miles round trip) with a passenger and some light luggage. Trouble is, all I've got is a regular bicycle pump and tire gauge. Pretty sure I'm supposed to use a shock pump and gauge, but does it REALLY MATTER ALL THAT MUCH?

If it does, I'll have to go to AutoZone or Pep Boys and buy a shock pump with a built-in gauge. Is it worth it?

Will 20 PSI make a big difference, or should I go for more? It's at atmospheric pressure now, and I'll have a touch over 300 lbs total weight, including me, my passenger and some luggage.
 

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Premium Member
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5,236 Posts
twenty psi sounds to me like it will make a pretty big difference,and if you are careful I think about any kind of hand pump will do,just don't stick an air hose on it,you probably won't be able to control it,unless you have a low pressure regulator that will turn down to th pressures you are looking,Like say for an airbrush or paint gun,the han pump is the easiest to control though an you already own one,always a plus,Denny P.S. Amen to the last part of your signature
 

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The Professor
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3,147 Posts
Want to adjust my rear shocks to 20 PSI before taking a long ride (400 miles round trip) with a passenger and some light luggage. Trouble is, all I've got is a regular bicycle pump and tire gauge. Pretty sure I'm supposed to use a shock pump and gauge, but does it REALLY MATTER ALL THAT MUCH?

If it does, I'll have to go to AutoZone or Pep Boys and buy a shock pump with a built-in gauge. Is it worth it?

Will 20 PSI make a big difference, or should I go for more? It's at atmospheric pressure now, and I'll have a touch over 300 lbs total weight, including me, my passenger and some luggage.
Proper air setting is 10 percent of rider and carry on weight, I.E 300 lbs. = 30 psi. in shocks, set rebound dampening setting at 3. :smiley_th
 

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Super Moderator
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11,866 Posts
A bicycle pump is fine, you just do not want to use a high pressure air hose like they have at a garage.

The real problem is the shock is so small it is hard as hell to get the amount of air you want in the shock...because when you remove your pressure gauge to check it, it loses quite a bit of air.

My solution was to fill it abit over what I wanted and then take readings to check how much air I lost yanking my gauge off.

For instance, say I wanted 25 psi in each shock. I filled it with around 40 lbs of air and then took readings with the gauge. First check showed 35 psi, but when checked again it showed 28 psi due to the loss of air removing the pressure gauge. Another check now showed 21 psi, the next about 14...so, I could see that each time I checked the pressure with my gauge I lost about 7 psi just taking the gauge off.

So, I filled the shock with near 40-50 psi and then checked the pressure again, but stopped when the gauge said I had 32 psi. Because I knew I lost about 7 psi taking the gauge off, and that meant I now would have 25 lbs in the shock.

And yes, most go by "Knifemakers Rule" and add up the total amount of weight going on the bike -passenger , piliot and luggage. and use 10% of that figure for the amount of air in each shock in psi. Those adding hard cases should weigh the luggage empty along with the needed mounting hardware and remember to add that to the figure also.

And do not go by your weight stepping on that bathroom scale getting out of the shower. Put on all your gear, boots to helmet and weigh yourself then.



KM
 

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Love My Baby
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1,165 Posts
Discussion Starter #5
Thanks guys. But I had to go and AutoZone and PepBoys both didn't have a shock pump, so I took off without adjusting the shocks. Just put the dampeners on 4. The ride was okay but probably would have been a bit nicer with some air in the shocks. I'm going to my bicycle shop Monday, they have a shock pump for a mountain bike that has a built-in gauge and a quick release that won't loose much air. Then I'll play with it a bit like knivemaker said, just to get to know how much air pressure is lost when disconnecting.

Thanks...
 
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