Sag is an important setting on a mountain bike that uses either front or full suspension. It is basically a measurement of how much your suspension compresses when you sit on the bike. Sag should be set so that it is 20 to 25 percent of the total travel of your suspension. Setting the sag correctly ensures that your bike's suspension responds the way it was designed without being too stiff or bouncy. Setting the sag is merely a matter of taking a quick measurement and adjusting your preload accordingly.
Tips & Warnings
Set the sag when you first get your new bike and check it periodically.
Check your bike or suspension manual for recommended sag, as this can vary by mountain bike type and manufacturer.
In general, cross-country riders may consider less sag, as they want to keep the bike more stable for long ascents, while free ride and downhill riders could benefit from more sag.
If you are using a coil shock and cannot get the appropriate sag by preload adjustments, you may need a heavier or lighter spring.
Article Written By Joe Fletcher
Joe Fletcher has been a writer since 2002, starting his career in politics and legislation. He has written travel and outdoor recreation articles for a variety of print and online publications, including "Rocky Mountain Magazine" and "Bomb Snow." He received a Bachelor of Arts in political science from Rutgers College.