Bike Setup

motas

Likes Bikes
Hey guys,

Ended up getting a GT Force Carbon Expert for a really good price, but having some trouble getting it to feel nice.

It feels kinda twitchy and uncertain in the front end, especially over bumps or sharp corners, almost like the front wheel wants to go sideways and under the bike. It's taken me back a notch and made me a lot less confident. The back feels a little firm, but overall not too bad, but the front just feels really wrong.

So far all I've done is fiddle with the fork and shock pressure a bit, but doesn't seem to make a big difference, reverted back to the recommended sag. Also switched to tubeless and lowered the pressure to 25ish.

It has Magic Mary tyres front and rear, which I suspect might add to the squirminess on hard pack. I've also heard that bumping it up to a 170mm fork might help balance it out a bit better, but that's an expensive experiment.

Any advice on what to change to get it feeling better?

Cheers.
 

JTmofo

XC Enthusiast
Hey guys,

Ended up getting a GT Force Carbon Expert for a really good price, but having some trouble getting it to feel nice.

It feels kinda twitchy and uncertain in the front end, especially over bumps or sharp corners, almost like the front wheel wants to go sideways and under the bike. It's taken me back a notch and made me a lot less confident. The back feels a little firm, but overall not too bad, but the front just feels really wrong.

So far all I've done is fiddle with the fork and shock pressure a bit, but doesn't seem to make a big difference, reverted back to the recommended sag. Also switched to tubeless and lowered the pressure to 25ish.

It has Magic Mary tyres front and rear, which I suspect might add to the squirminess on hard pack. I've also heard that bumping it up to a 170mm fork might help balance it out a bit better, but that's an expensive experiment.

Any advice on what to change to get it feeling better?

Cheers.
Set front and rear sag to the recommended %, not pressures (20-30%).

Depending on your suspension' s available adjustments, rider weight, riding style and preference, it's going to be trail and error.

Tyre pressure has a bearing, but 25 psi is not way outside the norm so that should be sweet.

The "tucking" feeling can be from a number of things, but most likely is suspension damping settings.

Ask yourself the following questions, along with the tucking front end, does the bike feel
  1. Harsh through the bars over small repeated chatter hits?
  2. Like it bogs down in the travel?
  3. Wallowing either front or rear?
Throwing money at a problem usually doesn't fix it. Going up in travel will likely have little effect unless the suspension is tuned/dialled for your liking.

If you are in the position to get into one of the better suspension specialists in Aus (ns dynamics, mtb suspension center etc), have a chat with them and spend $200 getting your fork and shock blueprinted for you.

Or.... learn what each adjustment does, how they effect each other and what, if any, hardware changes are needed to suit you.






Sent from my SM-G975F using Tapatalk
 

motas

Likes Bikes
Test a longer stem or wider bars or both.
One issue raised in the reviews is the grips, which have an alloy end cap which supposedly reduce the effective bar width. Might at least swap those out for a cheap trial.

Set front and rear sag to the recommended %, not pressures (20-30%).

Depending on your suspension' s available adjustments, rider weight, riding style and preference, it's going to be trail and error.

Tyre pressure has a bearing, but 25 psi is not way outside the norm so that should be sweet.

The "tucking" feeling can be from a number of things, but most likely is suspension damping settings.

Ask yourself the following questions, along with the tucking front end, does the bike feel
  1. Harsh through the bars over small repeated chatter hits?
  2. Like it bogs down in the travel?
  3. Wallowing either front or rear?
Throwing money at a problem usually doesn't fix it. Going up in travel will likely have little effect unless the suspension is tuned/dialled for your liking.

If you are in the position to get into one of the better suspension specialists in Aus (ns dynamics, mtb suspension center etc), have a chat with them and spend $200 getting your fork and shock blueprinted for you.

Or.... learn what each adjustment does, how they effect each other and what, if any, hardware changes are needed to suit you.






Sent from my SM-G975F using Tapatalk
I've set the suspension to recommended sag (from memory 30% front 25% rear). It has a Pike front and Deluxe RL rear. I am very light for my height at 57kg and 173cm tall, so I'm not sure if that makes a difference to setup.

The suspension definitely feels slightly harsh, but I wouldn't say I've noticed it bogging down or wallowing, but I don't think I'm really good enough to tell the difference. I've randomly fiddled with the compression and rebound, but I don't really know what I am doing and can't really tell a huge difference. Sounds like making the rebound quicker might be the ticket? It does kinda feel like it needs to sit higher in its travel, but be softer at the same time.

I'd obviously prefer not to spend money (since I spent it all on this bike!) which is why I started this thread hoping from some advice from someone a bit more experienced than myself! The fork thing was just from a guy I bumped into riding the same bike.

Thanks!
 

creaky

The obviative
Light rider and RS suspension = harsh unless recently serviced (flame suit on).

You will most likely need to run the lightest low speed compression settings on the fork and shock.

Give that Pike a lowers service with fresh oil (easy to do, YouTube it). It will run in over time and smoothen up.
 

motas

Likes Bikes
Light rider and RS suspension = harsh unless recently serviced (flame suit on).

You will most likely need to run the lightest low speed compression settings on the fork and shock.

Give that Pike a lowers service with fresh oil (easy to do, YouTube it). It will run in over time and smoothen up.
I've got compression set about halfway so I'll drop that to nothing and see how it goes. I assume similar idea with rebound?

Will servicing make a difference if they are brand new? I've only ridden it like 3 times so far. Any noticeable advantage to low friction seals or the fancy airspring upgrades?

Cheers.
 

creaky

The obviative
I assume similar idea with rebound?
Well rebound is roughly in proportion to your spring/air pressure. Since you should be running low air pressure at you weight I’d expect you to be in the lightest 20-40% of the rebound range.
 

creaky

The obviative
Will servicing make a difference if they are brand new? I've only ridden it like 3 times so far. Any noticeable advantage to low friction seals or the fancy airspring upgrades?
Some forks (esp RS) can be crap from the factory and a good service makes a big difference.

If it’s a new pike, I expect it has the debonair shaft already? If not, that is the best value upgrade you’ll ever do to that fork.
 

motas

Likes Bikes
Some forks (esp RS) can be crap from the factory and a good service makes a big difference.

If it’s a new pike, I expect it has the debonair shaft already? If not, that is the best value upgrade you’ll ever do to that fork.
Doing some internet reading and a lighter weight oil also sounds like a decent idea.

It's a Debonair spring already. The bike I was riding had a Lyrik (and my Ragley has a Yari), which all feel fine, and I believe all have similar spring and dampening?
 

creaky

The obviative
Lyrik has a similar damper. Yari has a simpler damper setup. They will be tuned differently to a Pike though.
 

Flow-Rider

Wheel size expert
It has Magic Mary tyres front and rear, which I suspect might add to the squirminess on hard pack. I
Yep, piss that tyre off for hard pack, it will be half the problem. I own that exact bike and have done so for a few years, you need to run the bars low and they seem to still handle ok with 50mm stems. I got rid of the Revs before I even rode it for the first time, not sure what year model you have as they come out with a few fork models but I went straight up to Marz 350s and set them at 150mm.

The rear shock on the AOS platform has to run within the 30% mark on the frame indicator while you are on the bike or the bike will handle like absolute crap. You've got to spend a lot of time setting the rear shock up with volume spacers to get them to feel right. The Athertons actually helped with the design of the bike when they were with GT so they're not a bad handling bike overall, the only thing I hate about the bike is the low susp linkage and BB, you get tons of pedal strikes and frame hits on tech trails while you climb.
 

motas

Likes Bikes
Yep, piss that tyre off for hard pack, it will be half the problem. I own that exact bike and have done so for a few years, you need to run the bars low and they seem to still handle ok with 50mm stems. I got rid of the Revs before I even rode it for the first time, not sure what year model you have as they come out with a few fork models but I went straight up to Marz 350s and set them at 150mm.

The rear shock on the AOS platform has to run within the 30% mark on the frame indicator while you are on the bike or the bike will handle like absolute crap. You've got to spend a lot of time setting the rear shock up with volume spacers to get them to feel right. The Athertons actually helped with the design of the bike when they were with GT so they're not a bad handling bike overall, the only thing I hate about the bike is the low susp linkage and BB, you get tons of pedal strikes and frame hits on tech trails while you climb.
I don't generally ride if it's too wet so I think they're just a waste of energy even if it doesn't fix the handling. It has a 60mm stem on it from factory, not sure how long I can go without running into other handling issues though.

Mine is the 2019 model after they ditched the AOS. I nearly ate s**t earlier with a pedal strike though. Has a Rockshox Pike 160mm on it.
 

motas

Likes Bikes
Usually fork at around 20% and shock at 30%. But of course that’s just a starting point.
GT says to set the rear shock at 25% and it seems about right. I've bumped the fork up to 25% sag for now to see if it feels any better.

I also took the cap off the fork intending to take out a volume spacer or two, only to discover there aren't any in there.

I assume adding volume spacers would only make the situation worse?

Thanks!
 

Flow-Rider

Wheel size expert
I don't generally ride if it's too wet so I think they're just a waste of energy even if it doesn't fix the handling. It has a 60mm stem on it from factory, not sure how long I can go without running into other handling issues though.

Mine is the 2019 model after they ditched the AOS. I nearly ate s**t earlier with a pedal strike though. Has a Rockshox Pike 160mm on it.
I haven't heard any complaints about the newer ones in handling wise but sorry, other than what others have mentioned above I can't help any. There's a few owners of your model on this FB page and it might be worth asking. https://www.facebook.com/groups/198352466536/
 

motas

Likes Bikes
Frame too small?
I sit smack bang in the middle of medium on pretty much every size guide I've seen, including for the GT. But in saying that it is slightly smaller than the Kona, and the Ragley feels very long.

What negatives are there to a longer stem on an enduro? Everything seems to go for the short stem these days which makes me think it may not be the greatest option.
 
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