Emerald

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This is the Set Up page for the Emerald.

To access the Tuning page click HERE

To access the Service Guides click HERE

To access the Owner’s Manuals click HERE

Owners Manual
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Choose Language:

English | French | German | Italian | Spanish | Japanese

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Headset Information
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The DVO Emerald uses a Tapered 1 1/8″ to 1.5″ steer tube. Your frame must have a straight 1.5″ head tube or a tapered 1 1/8″ to 1.5″ head tube. Depending on your frame manufacturer you will either have a external cup press-fit or integrated style headset. Please contact your bike manufacturer to make sure you have the correct headset configuration that can accept a tapered steer tube for your frame.

Common Headset Sizes and Styles
EC49 – External headset lower 1.5″. This is a pressed in headset where the bearing sits in a cup on the outside the frame
ZS56 – Internal headset lower 1.5″.  Internal cups press almost completely into the frame. These are often preferred for their low stack height and clean look.
IS52 – Integrated headset lower 1.5″.  A bearing (usually a sealed cartridge unit) sits directly into the frame eliminating the need for cups.  Found on many carbon fiber bikes today.

Headset Styles

 

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Installation
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Emerald Fork Installation Tire Clearance

Emerald Fork Installation & Tire Clearance

Tools and Parts Needed for installation

  • 3mm, 4mm, 5mm, and 6mm allen wrenches
  • 1 1/8 star nut and star nut setter
  • Hacksaw or pipe cutter for steerer tube
  • Crown race setter

 

 

Warning!
All DVO Suspension forks come with a threadless steer tube. Do not add a thread to it! DVO Suspension fork steer tubes are for one-time press fit only which cannot be removed. Do not try to replace the steer tube with a threaded steer tube. This will void the warranty of your fork and result in a failure of the product or cause serious injuries or even death to the rider.

Note! All fixing bolts have to be tightened with the proper fastening torque stated by the manufacturers.

1. Remove front brake from fork and existing fork from your bicycle. Afterwards remove the headset crown race from the fork.

2. Using a headset race installer, install the headset crown race on new steer tube making sure it’s firmly against the fork crown. For fitment information see dvosuspension.com/tech

3. Remove top and bottom clamps from fork assembly to ensure proper mounting. Install the lower fork clamp on to the bike with all the headset parts included and a minimum 3mm spacer on the top of the headset.

Now install upper crown ensuring headset operates smoothly and is just snug. Mark steer tube just above the top of the upper crown (only if using a direct mount stem otherwise you must also install the stem before marking the steer tube). Remove clamps from bike and cut steer tube. You can also use the following formula for steer tube length:

Frame head tube + headset stack height+ 3mm + top clamp(12mm)

Warning!
Minimum total stack height = 120mm and a maximum total stack height = 165mm

4. Install the lower fork clamp on to the bike with all head set parts and a minimum 3mm spacer on top of the headset, then the upper fork clamp.

5. Install remainder of fork assembly ensuring that the upper legs are tightened to the lower clamp at or within 8mm of the step in the upper tube. The upper legs must be the same on both sides. Tighten lower clamp bolts to the appropriate torque value of 7 N.m / 62 in.lbf

Do not tighten any of the upper clamp bolts until Step # 8

6. Install front wheel back on your bike. Insert the axle into the right drop-out / non-disc brake side then tighten axle bolt to the appropriate torque value of 7 N.m / 62 in.lbf.

Leave drop-out pinch bolts loose until step #9.

7. Install the front brake according to the manufacturer’s instructions and fasten brake line to guard. Make sure you adjust the brake pads properly. Ensure that brake line length is the appropriate length to not effect steering or compression and extension of fork.

8. Remove bike from stand. With the front brake on, lightly rock the fork back and forth to ensure the headset preload is at the appropriate torque value. Now tighten the upper fork clamp bolts to the appropriate torque value of 7 N.m / 62 in.lbf.

9. Holding the front brake, using your body weight compress your fork. Do this a few times to allow the fork legs to self-align on the axle. Now tighten the drop-out / axle bolts down to the appropriate torque value of 7 N.m / 62 in.lbf.

TIRE CLEARANCE

DVO Suspension forks are designed around both 26” and 27.5” tires; make sure you have the correct wheel size for your fork model. Each tire and manufacturer has a different outer diameter (tire width and height). Therefore the clearance between your tire and fork needs to be checked to make sure it does not come in contact with any part of the fork.

Warning!
Inadequate tire clearance will result in an accident, personal injury or death.

Tire Clearance Test:

1. Release all air from your fork.

2. Compress your fork completely

3. Measure the distance between the top of the tire and the bottom of the crown. Make sure this gap is NO LESS than 6mm! Exceeding maximum tire size will cause the tire to jam against the bottom of the crown when the fork is fully compressed.

4. Inflate the fork again.

Keep in mind that if you are using a mudguard the clearance can be even more limited. Repeat the “Tire Clearance Test” again to make sure the gap is big enough. Every time you are going to change your tires you have to repeat the test.

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Air Pressure Guide
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To access the air valve you must remove the air spring cap that is found above the OTT adjuster. Attach your shock pump securely and inflate the air spring to the recommended air pressure. After you have added the proper amount of air pressure remember to securely replace the air spring cap so that no dirt or moisture can get inside.

Air Spring Cap

To access the air valve you must remove the air spring cap by rotating the cap counter clockwise.

Shock Pump Attachment

Keep in mind that when attaching the shock pump some pressure will be lost. The amount being displayed will be less than what was previously set at.

Air Pressure Range: 60-100psi
OTT Range: 6 clicks = 1 full rotation. 15 full rotations total. (OTT settings start from completely open counter clockwise)

Rider WeightAir PressureOTT
120-139lbs | 54-63kg60-65psi0-2 rotations
140-159lbs | 64-72kg65-70psi3-4 rotations
160-179lbs | 73-81kg70-75psi5-6 rotations
180-199lbs | 82-90kg75-80psi6-7 rotations
200-219lbs | 91-100kg85-90psi8-10 rotations
220+lbs | 100+kg95-100psi11-14 rotations

*If you are out of the range of our recommended base tunes then custom tuning might be for you. Check out our Custom Tuning Page for more details.

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SAG
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SAG is the amount your fork compresses under your body weight (don’t forget to include your riding gear), also referred to as Rider Weight. Since this is a Downhill specific fork, measure SAG by mounting your bike with your riding gear on, standing up and in the ready position. The ready position is basically, knees and elbows slightly bent, bars weighted but body weight on your feet. Do not sit on the saddle while measuring SAG. Every rider has a different riding weight and ready position based on rider height and style.

1. Before adding air to the fork make sure that both high speed and low seed compression is turned all the way counter clockwise and release all the air out of the fork.

2. Set the correct amount of rotations to the OTT knob based on your weight. Refer to the OTT Guide or basetune to find the recommended setting for OTT.

3. Add the recommended air pressure to the fork based on your weight. Refer to the basetune to find the recommended air pressure setting.

For detailed instructions on measuring and setting up sage check out this video and step by step instructions.

  • Why do you need SAG?
    Sag is how far your suspension compresses when you sit on your bike. Sag is set to insure that the suspension works in its most effective range and to keep a good weight balance, front to rear. It can also determine if you have the proper spring rate. Proper sag is essential because it allows the suspension fork to absorb holes and bumps without making the fork too soft or hard.
  • What happens if you have too much SAG?
    The quality of the ride will suffer. Too much sag may result in the suspension diving and bottoming out too easily. If you have too much sag, increase spring rate or increase preload on the spring
  • What happens if you have too little SAG?
    The quality of the ride will suffer. The suspension will feel harsh on small bumps, traction will be reduced and you may not be able to use all available suspension travel.

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OTT Guide
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OTT gives you the “Best of Both Worlds” for softer initial feel while being firm in the mid-stroke…run higher air pressures without the harshness

OTT exclusive performance features:

  • Externally adjust how the initial 70mm’s feel no matter what your air pressure is
  • Improves small bump traction and sensitivity
  • Increases comfort & reduces hand and arm fatigue
  • Improved vision

Higher air pressures allows fast moving riders to skip over bumps and holes but the downside is the harshness. With the OTT feature, the initial 70mm’s of travel can be independently tuned regardless of air pressure. Heavier or fast riders can run higher air pressures while still having amazing small bump sensitivity & traction by simply increasing OTT.  Lighter riders who run lower air pressures will use less OTT allowing use of all the travel without having the fork sack or hammock in the middle of the stroke. The Best of Both Worlds!

Important
To adjust the OTT knob you must remove the air out of the fork. After you are done making the adjustments set your air pressure back to your previous setting.

Clockwise = Softer | Counterclockwise = Stiffer

Air Pressure Range: 60-100psi
OTT Range: 6 clicks = 1 full rotation. 15 full rotations total.

Rider WeightAir PressureOTT
120-139lbs | 54-63kg60-65psi0-2 rotations
140-159lbs | 64-72kg65-70psi3-4 rotations
160-179lbs | 73-81kg70-75psi5-6 rotations
180-199lbs | 82-90kg75-80psi6-7 rotations
200-219lbs | 91-100kg85-90psi8-10 rotations
220+lbs | 100+kg95-100psi11-14 rotations

*If you are out of the range of our recommended base tunes then custom tuning might be for you. Check out our Custom Tuning Page for more details.

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Rebound
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Rebound controls the speed at which the fork extends after compression. Turn the knob clock-wise for SLOWER rebound and counter clock-wise for FASTER rebound. Rebound damping control is relative to the amount of air pressure used. Higher air pressure requires more (slower) rebound damping and a lower air pressure will require less (faster) rebound damping so please adjust accordingly.

Rebound_Definition_Image


  • Why do you need rebound?
    Rebound is how fast the suspension returns after it is compressed. It needs to be slow enough so the rider isn’t bucked off their bike but then fast enough so that in a series or impacts, the wheel returns in time to absorb the next impact
  • What happens if your rebound is too fast?
    If rebound is too fast, your wheel will fall into more holes, instead of skipping over the top of them. Handling will feel twitchy and hard to control, it will be easier to be thrown out of control on jumps and landings.
  • What happens if your rebound is too slow?
    If rebound is set too slow it will pack on successive hits because the fork cannot extend fast enough keeping you in the mid stroke. This will result in the wheel going deeper into the travel on every hit and riding towards the end stroke.

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Base Tune
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Setting up your fork is one of the most important things you can do to get the most out of your suspension. Follow these base tunes and get your suspension dialed. Remember, these are starting-points. Rider ability, preference and track conditions will vary.

When setting up your suspension, start from Wide-Open. Wide-Open is characterized by taking the adjuster and turning it counter-clockwise until it stops. Turn each adjuster to the Wide-Open setting before starting your base tune. Each adjustment below refers to making adjustments clockwise from the Wide-Open setting

Air Pressure Range: 60-100psi
OTT Range: 6 clicks = 1 full rotation. 15 full rotations total.
Rebound Range: 40 clicks total
High Speed Compression (HSC) Range: 33 clicks total
Low Speed Compression (LSC) Range: 27 clicks total

Rider WeightAir PressureOTTReboundHSCLSC
120-139lbs | 54-63kg60-65psi0-2 rotations3-7 clicks0-1 clicks0-1 clicks
140-159lbs | 64-72kg65-70psi3-4 rotations5-8 clicks0-2 clicks0-2 clicks
160-179lbs | 73-81kg70-75psi5-6 rotations6-10 clicks2-3 clicks2-3 clicks
180-199lbs | 82-90kg75-80psi6-7 rotations7-11 clicks2-4 clicks2-4 clicks
200-219lbs | 91-100kg85-90psi8-10 rotations8-12 clicks3-5 clicks3-5 clicks
220+lbs | 100+kg95-100psi11-14 rotations10-14 clicks5-7 clicks5-7 clicks

*If you are out of the range of our recommended base tunes then custom tuning might be for you. Check out our Custom Tuning Page for more details.

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Owner’s Manual
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Choose Language: 

English | French | German | Italian | Spanish | Japanese

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Diamond Tuning
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This is the Tuning page for the Diamond.

To access the DIAMOND BOOST TRAVEL CHANGE GUIDE  click HERE

To access the DIAMOND NON BOOST TRAVEL CHANGE GUIDE  click HERE

To access the OWNER’S MANUALS click HERE

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Topaz
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This is the Tuning page for the Topaz T3Air.

To access the Service page click HERE

To access the Set Up page click HERE 

To access the OWNER’S MANUAL click HERE

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Emerald
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This is the Set Up page for the Emerald.

To access the Tuning page click HERE

To access the Service Guides click HERE

To access the Owner’s Manuals click HERE

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Diamond
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This is the Set Up page for the Diamond.

To access the DIAMOND BOOST TRAVEL CHANGE GUIDE  click HERE

To access the DIAMOND NON BOOST TRAVEL CHANGE GUIDE  click HERE

To access the OWNER’S MANUALS click HERE

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Garnet Seat Post
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Topaz
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This is the Set Up page for the Topaz T3Air.

To access the TUNING page click HERE

To access the Service page click HERE

To access the OWNER’S MANUAL click HERE

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Topaz
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This is the Service page for the Topaz T3Air.

To access the TUNING page click HERE

To access the Set Up page click HERE

To access the OWNER’S MANUAL click HERE

We recommend all DVO Suspension service should be performed by a qualified bicycle mechanic. Terrain, location and riding ability can greatly affect the interval in which maintenance should be performed. Always inspect your products, and lean towards caution if maintenance is in question. When in doubt, consult a qualified bicycle mechanic, or contact DVO Suspension directly.[/box]

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Air Pressure
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Setting the air pressure in the DVO Diamond is setting the spring rate for your fork. This is what is going to make the fork firmer or softer. Below is a base setting chart for air pressure to get you started. Set your pressure to the recommended PSI then check your SAG point. If you are sagging too much, add some air pressure, if you’re sagging too little, remove air pressure.

Proper Set Up

The Diamond uses an external negative spring adjust (OTT) to tune the beginning of the travel  (sensitivity of the fork). Once you get into the mid-stroke of the fork, the air spring (air pressure) is active. This controls your mid-stroke support and your bottom out. In simpler terms, set your air pressure for your mid-stroke and bottom out then set your OTT to fine tune how it feels off the top.

How do I know how much OTT is right for my air pressure? 

Lighter riders (lower air pressure) will use less OTT. (less sensitive) Heavier riders will need more OTT (more sensitive). The reason for this is because the OTT is there to counter-act the forces of a higher air pressure so you don’t loose small bump sensitivity. When you are using a lower air pressure, you don’t need as much to counter-act the air pressure. If you run too much OTT with a light air pressure, the fork will suck itself down and you will loose travel.

View one of the lower tabs to learn more about your OTT

To access the air valve you must remove the air spring cap.  Attach your shock pump securely and inflate the air spring to the recommended air pressure. After you have added the proper amount of air pressure remember to securely replace the air spring cap so that no dirt or moisture can get inside.

Access air valve by removing air cap

Access air valve by removing air cap

Attach shock pump to air valve and inflate to recommended pressure or proper sag is achieved

Attach shock pump to air valve and inflate to recommended pressure or proper sag is achieved

Air Pressure Range: 90-170psi

Rider Weight Air Pressure
120-139lbs | 54-63kg 90-100psi
140-159lbs | 64-72kg 100-110psi
160-179lbs | 73-81kg 110-125psi
180-199lbs | 82-90kg 125-130psi
200-219lbs | 91-100kg 130-135psi
220-239lbs | 100-108kg 135-140psi
240+lbs | 109kg+ 140-170psi

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Suspension Terms & Definitions
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Base Valve
Bottoming Out
Closed Cartridge Dampers
Compression Damping
Fork Oil Level
Free Sag
High-Speed Damping
Low-Speed Damping
Mid-Valve
Negative Spring
Open Bath Dampers
Packing
Platform Damping
Rebound Damping
Spring Preload
Spring Type
Stiction
Twin Tube Dampers
Valving


Base Valve
Base valves are located at the base of the fork leg or on the shock’s reservoir  and generally function to control high speed compression. Base valves or “BV” are fixed & the piston that is attached to a shaft is referred to as the mid-valve or “MV”. Both forks and shocks can have a “BV” and a “MV”.

Bottoming Out
When your suspension reaches the end of its travel on an impact. You generally want to reach full bottom on occasion but NOT all the time. Continual bottoming can wreak havoc on the suspension system leading to breakage.

Closed Cartridge Dampers
Closed Cartridge Dampers are the opposite of an Open Bath Damper, in a closed system the oil solely contained within a cartridge tube and does not flow into the fork leg. Therefore, additional oil or lubricant is added to the inside of the leg to lubricate the seals and bushings.

Compression Damping
This is what gives your bike it’s feeling of plushness, or stiffness. Compression determines how fast the suspension can compress when hitting a bump. If your suspension is too “stiff”, the system won’t compress fast enough to absorb a bump force. When there is not enough damping, the bike has soft, mushy feeling to it and will compress through its travel with little damping resistance.

Fork Oil Level
The level of oil inside the fork. It’s typically measured in cc’s by fully compressing the fork without the spring installed. It is used in tuning the amount of air contained inside the fork. Since compressing air acts like a spring, raising the oil level leaves less room for air, resulting in a rising rate throughout the fork’s travel.

Free Sag
The amount the bike settles under its own weight without the rider. With mountain bikes becoming lighter and lighter, free sag is really not a critical tuning element but still worth mentioning.

High-Speed Damping
Damping feature that controls fast suspension movements. High-speed damping comes into effect on fast, rough, technical trails, g-outs, hard landings. HSD refers to the shaft speed of the suspension and not the actual riding speed. HSD is controlled through a high speed oil circuit best located in the base valve.

Low-Speed Damping
Damping feature to control slower vertical movements such as climbing or slower paced trails and bumpy whoop sections. A good example of low speed is rolling slowly over a large rock and riding to its downside, this is where the suspension will fully compress but at a slower rate and low speed compression circuit comes into play.  LSD refers to the shaft speed of the suspension and not the actual riding speed. LS damping is best controlled through a low speed oil circuit and or shim stack.

Mid-Valve
Mid valves are located on the piston shaft and function in the middle part of the stroke. Mid valves can play an important function in keeping a long travel fork from diving too far into its travel. Mid valves “”MV” function when oil passes through the “MV” from one side of the chamber to the other. The rebound valve is also located on the “MV”.

Negative Spring
A negative spring functions to control the return of the suspension when it reaches full extension. Negative springs can be air, coil spring, rubber bumper or a combination of both. A negative spring also functions to soften the “top out feel” when the wheel/suspension rapidly extends and it also helps initiate compression providing a smoother or more sensitive initial feel. An adjustable negative spring offers the greatest tuning range for riders weight, for example a heavy rider will need a higher or stiffer spring to resist pre-compression, but the high spring rate may also completely compress the negative spring rendering it ineffective to control top out.

Open Bath Dampers
Open Bath refers to a cartridge that is NOT closed and allows oil to flow from the inside of the damper to the outside of the cartridge or inside of the fork legs. Open Bath Dampers use oil for damping, lubrication, cooling, and end stroke “ramp up” or “progression”.  But the downside of all this oil is the added weight of all the excess oil that is used to fill the entire fork leg.

Packing
An issue caused from too much rebound damping. When a series of bumps are encountered, the suspension doesn’t rebound fast enough to absorb the next bump. The suspension keeps compressing more and more after each bump and it gives the rider a very harsh feeling and even loss of traction and control because the wheels no longer follows the contour of the terrain.

Platform Damping
A platform is generally referred to as resistance to initial suspension compression usually generated by pedaling or rider induced forces. A platform can be achieved by various methods and usually the best way to limit suspension “bobbing” is to restrict oil flow through the low speed circuit. Depending on what technology you have and there are various designs out there, choking off the low speed circuit can be achieved by either adjusting a pressure spring on the shim stack, adjusting the depth of a bleed needle or changing the size of an orifice via a slide. These are just a few of the most common methods to deliver platform damping feel to improve pedaling efficiency.

Rebound Damping
Once your suspension has hit a bump and compresses, now its time for your rebound damping to kick in. Rebound controls how fast the fork extends back from compression to keep the wheel on the ground. Rebound can affect your traction as well. Too much rebound damping will keep the suspension compressed when it should be extending to stay on the ground on the downside of a bump, and the wheel will loose contact with the ground. This is called “Packing”. Too little rebound damping will cause the suspension to “bounce” and “hop” also causing a loss of traction and control. Proper rebound control is equally important as compression and it is very important to properly tune this performance feature. The rebound valve is best located on the “MV” with a tapered shim stack controlling oil flow. Damping systems that use oriface or small holes to control damping simply cannot control the dynamics of high performance suspension.

Spring Preload
The preload ring or collar compresses the shock or fork spring and either shortens or extends the spring to its original length. Preload is used to adjust the suspension to the correct range of operation within the suspension’s travel- more spring preload will the raise the bike up and less preload will lower it.

Spring Type
Springs can either be coil or air and both are widely used in mountain bike suspension systems. Springs work to resist pre-compression of the suspension under the riders weight and is independent of the compression system which refers to damping. Too stiff of a spring rate delivers a harsh and uncontrolled feel, if your spring rate is too soft, the suspension will sit too far into its travel and will feel mushy and easily bottom out . Its important to have the correct spring rate for each rider and setting up “SAG” will determine whether you have the correct rate or not.

Stiction
Or static friction, is a term that describes friction that occurs from parts rubbing or gliding across one another. For example, on both the rebound and compression stroke, the stanchion tubes must glide against the bushings, o-rings, seals, and other parts. The parts that come in contact with one another create friction and when a bending load is applied the stiction can increase causing the suspension to bind and feel notchy. Stiction can also dramatically increase after seals become dry resulting in the loss of small bump sensitivity.

Twin Tube Dampers
Twin Tube systems generally combine the technology of an “Open Bath” Damper and a “Closed Cartridge” system. With a Twin Tube design, the cartridge damper is inside of a tube (hence twin tube) allowing oil to flow from the cartridge damper into and from the twin tube providing additional oil flow and damping performance without the added weight of “excess” oil that is needed to fill the fork leg.

Valving
The mechanical hardware that creates compression or rebound damping. Valving is a combination of check valves, holes, ports, shims, springs, etc. The best valving arrises out of piston with a series of tapered shim stacks which are very thin high quality steel “washers” that when combined together produce a smooth yet linear flex pattern when oil flows around them. Shims provide the resistance to the oil flowing through the piston at various speeds.  The lower amount of shims used typically means the damping quality is less. Systems that use one or two shims deliver a harsh feel on high speed hits, unfortunately, many so-called high performance suspension designs use very few shims and/or only small holes to control damping forces. If your clickers are ineffective or have a very small range, this is due to improper piston & shim stack design.

 

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Owner’s Manual

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Choose Language: 

English | French | German | Italian | Spanish | Japanese

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Diamond Tuning

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This is the Tuning page for the Diamond.

To access the DIAMOND BOOST TRAVEL CHANGE GUIDE  click HERE

To access the DIAMOND NON BOOST TRAVEL CHANGE GUIDE  click HERE

To access the OWNER’S MANUALS click HERE

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Topaz

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This is the Tuning page for the Topaz T3Air.

To access the Service page click HERE

To access the Set Up page click HERE 

To access the OWNER’S MANUAL click HERE

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Emerald

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This is the Set Up page for the Emerald.

To access the Tuning page click HERE

To access the Service Guides click HERE

To access the Owner’s Manuals click HERE

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Diamond

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This is the Set Up page for the Diamond.

To access the DIAMOND BOOST TRAVEL CHANGE GUIDE  click HERE

To access the DIAMOND NON BOOST TRAVEL CHANGE GUIDE  click HERE

To access the OWNER’S MANUALS click HERE

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Garnet Seat Post

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Topaz

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This is the Set Up page for the Topaz T3Air.

To access the TUNING page click HERE

To access the Service page click HERE

To access the OWNER’S MANUAL click HERE

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Topaz

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This is the Service page for the Topaz T3Air.

To access the TUNING page click HERE

To access the Set Up page click HERE

To access the OWNER’S MANUAL click HERE

We recommend all DVO Suspension service should be performed by a qualified bicycle mechanic. Terrain, location and riding ability can greatly affect the interval in which maintenance should be performed. Always inspect your products, and lean towards caution if maintenance is in question. When in doubt, consult a qualified bicycle mechanic, or contact DVO Suspension directly.[/box]

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Air Pressure

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Setting the air pressure in the DVO Diamond is setting the spring rate for your fork. This is what is going to make the fork firmer or softer. Below is a base setting chart for air pressure to get you started. Set your pressure to the recommended PSI then check your SAG point. If you are sagging too much, add some air pressure, if you’re sagging too little, remove air pressure.

Proper Set Up

The Diamond uses an external negative spring adjust (OTT) to tune the beginning of the travel  (sensitivity of the fork). Once you get into the mid-stroke of the fork, the air spring (air pressure) is active. This controls your mid-stroke support and your bottom out. In simpler terms, set your air pressure for your mid-stroke and bottom out then set your OTT to fine tune how it feels off the top.

How do I know how much OTT is right for my air pressure? 

Lighter riders (lower air pressure) will use less OTT. (less sensitive) Heavier riders will need more OTT (more sensitive). The reason for this is because the OTT is there to counter-act the forces of a higher air pressure so you don’t loose small bump sensitivity. When you are using a lower air pressure, you don’t need as much to counter-act the air pressure. If you run too much OTT with a light air pressure, the fork will suck itself down and you will loose travel.

View one of the lower tabs to learn more about your OTT

To access the air valve you must remove the air spring cap.  Attach your shock pump securely and inflate the air spring to the recommended air pressure. After you have added the proper amount of air pressure remember to securely replace the air spring cap so that no dirt or moisture can get inside.

Access air valve by removing air cap

Access air valve by removing air cap

Attach shock pump to air valve and inflate to recommended pressure or proper sag is achieved

Attach shock pump to air valve and inflate to recommended pressure or proper sag is achieved

Air Pressure Range: 90-170psi

Rider Weight Air Pressure
120-139lbs | 54-63kg 90-100psi
140-159lbs | 64-72kg 100-110psi
160-179lbs | 73-81kg 110-125psi
180-199lbs | 82-90kg 125-130psi
200-219lbs | 91-100kg 130-135psi
220-239lbs | 100-108kg 135-140psi
240+lbs | 109kg+ 140-170psi

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Suspension Terms & Definitions

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Base Valve
Bottoming Out
Closed Cartridge Dampers
Compression Damping
Fork Oil Level
Free Sag
High-Speed Damping
Low-Speed Damping
Mid-Valve
Negative Spring
Open Bath Dampers
Packing
Platform Damping
Rebound Damping
Spring Preload
Spring Type
Stiction
Twin Tube Dampers
Valving


Base Valve
Base valves are located at the base of the fork leg or on the shock’s reservoir  and generally function to control high speed compression. Base valves or “BV” are fixed & the piston that is attached to a shaft is referred to as the mid-valve or “MV”. Both forks and shocks can have a “BV” and a “MV”.

Bottoming Out
When your suspension reaches the end of its travel on an impact. You generally want to reach full bottom on occasion but NOT all the time. Continual bottoming can wreak havoc on the suspension system leading to breakage.

Closed Cartridge Dampers
Closed Cartridge Dampers are the opposite of an Open Bath Damper, in a closed system the oil solely contained within a cartridge tube and does not flow into the fork leg. Therefore, additional oil or lubricant is added to the inside of the leg to lubricate the seals and bushings.

Compression Damping
This is what gives your bike it’s feeling of plushness, or stiffness. Compression determines how fast the suspension can compress when hitting a bump. If your suspension is too “stiff”, the system won’t compress fast enough to absorb a bump force. When there is not enough damping, the bike has soft, mushy feeling to it and will compress through its travel with little damping resistance.

Fork Oil Level
The level of oil inside the fork. It’s typically measured in cc’s by fully compressing the fork without the spring installed. It is used in tuning the amount of air contained inside the fork. Since compressing air acts like a spring, raising the oil level leaves less room for air, resulting in a rising rate throughout the fork’s travel.

Free Sag
The amount the bike settles under its own weight without the rider. With mountain bikes becoming lighter and lighter, free sag is really not a critical tuning element but still worth mentioning.

High-Speed Damping
Damping feature that controls fast suspension movements. High-speed damping comes into effect on fast, rough, technical trails, g-outs, hard landings. HSD refers to the shaft speed of the suspension and not the actual riding speed. HSD is controlled through a high speed oil circuit best located in the base valve.

Low-Speed Damping
Damping feature to control slower vertical movements such as climbing or slower paced trails and bumpy whoop sections. A good example of low speed is rolling slowly over a large rock and riding to its downside, this is where the suspension will fully compress but at a slower rate and low speed compression circuit comes into play.  LSD refers to the shaft speed of the suspension and not the actual riding speed. LS damping is best controlled through a low speed oil circuit and or shim stack.

Mid-Valve
Mid valves are located on the piston shaft and function in the middle part of the stroke. Mid valves can play an important function in keeping a long travel fork from diving too far into its travel. Mid valves “”MV” function when oil passes through the “MV” from one side of the chamber to the other. The rebound valve is also located on the “MV”.

Negative Spring
A negative spring functions to control the return of the suspension when it reaches full extension. Negative springs can be air, coil spring, rubber bumper or a combination of both. A negative spring also functions to soften the “top out feel” when the wheel/suspension rapidly extends and it also helps initiate compression providing a smoother or more sensitive initial feel. An adjustable negative spring offers the greatest tuning range for riders weight, for example a heavy rider will need a higher or stiffer spring to resist pre-compression, but the high spring rate may also completely compress the negative spring rendering it ineffective to control top out.

Open Bath Dampers
Open Bath refers to a cartridge that is NOT closed and allows oil to flow from the inside of the damper to the outside of the cartridge or inside of the fork legs. Open Bath Dampers use oil for damping, lubrication, cooling, and end stroke “ramp up” or “progression”.  But the downside of all this oil is the added weight of all the excess oil that is used to fill the entire fork leg.

Packing
An issue caused from too much rebound damping. When a series of bumps are encountered, the suspension doesn’t rebound fast enough to absorb the next bump. The suspension keeps compressing more and more after each bump and it gives the rider a very harsh feeling and even loss of traction and control because the wheels no longer follows the contour of the terrain.

Platform Damping
A platform is generally referred to as resistance to initial suspension compression usually generated by pedaling or rider induced forces. A platform can be achieved by various methods and usually the best way to limit suspension “bobbing” is to restrict oil flow through the low speed circuit. Depending on what technology you have and there are various designs out there, choking off the low speed circuit can be achieved by either adjusting a pressure spring on the shim stack, adjusting the depth of a bleed needle or changing the size of an orifice via a slide. These are just a few of the most common methods to deliver platform damping feel to improve pedaling efficiency.

Rebound Damping
Once your suspension has hit a bump and compresses, now its time for your rebound damping to kick in. Rebound controls how fast the fork extends back from compression to keep the wheel on the ground. Rebound can affect your traction as well. Too much rebound damping will keep the suspension compressed when it should be extending to stay on the ground on the downside of a bump, and the wheel will loose contact with the ground. This is called “Packing”. Too little rebound damping will cause the suspension to “bounce” and “hop” also causing a loss of traction and control. Proper rebound control is equally important as compression and it is very important to properly tune this performance feature. The rebound valve is best located on the “MV” with a tapered shim stack controlling oil flow. Damping systems that use oriface or small holes to control damping simply cannot control the dynamics of high performance suspension.

Spring Preload
The preload ring or collar compresses the shock or fork spring and either shortens or extends the spring to its original length. Preload is used to adjust the suspension to the correct range of operation within the suspension’s travel- more spring preload will the raise the bike up and less preload will lower it.

Spring Type
Springs can either be coil or air and both are widely used in mountain bike suspension systems. Springs work to resist pre-compression of the suspension under the riders weight and is independent of the compression system which refers to damping. Too stiff of a spring rate delivers a harsh and uncontrolled feel, if your spring rate is too soft, the suspension will sit too far into its travel and will feel mushy and easily bottom out . Its important to have the correct spring rate for each rider and setting up “SAG” will determine whether you have the correct rate or not.

Stiction
Or static friction, is a term that describes friction that occurs from parts rubbing or gliding across one another. For example, on both the rebound and compression stroke, the stanchion tubes must glide against the bushings, o-rings, seals, and other parts. The parts that come in contact with one another create friction and when a bending load is applied the stiction can increase causing the suspension to bind and feel notchy. Stiction can also dramatically increase after seals become dry resulting in the loss of small bump sensitivity.

Twin Tube Dampers
Twin Tube systems generally combine the technology of an “Open Bath” Damper and a “Closed Cartridge” system. With a Twin Tube design, the cartridge damper is inside of a tube (hence twin tube) allowing oil to flow from the cartridge damper into and from the twin tube providing additional oil flow and damping performance without the added weight of “excess” oil that is needed to fill the fork leg.

Valving
The mechanical hardware that creates compression or rebound damping. Valving is a combination of check valves, holes, ports, shims, springs, etc. The best valving arrises out of piston with a series of tapered shim stacks which are very thin high quality steel “washers” that when combined together produce a smooth yet linear flex pattern when oil flows around them. Shims provide the resistance to the oil flowing through the piston at various speeds.  The lower amount of shims used typically means the damping quality is less. Systems that use one or two shims deliver a harsh feel on high speed hits, unfortunately, many so-called high performance suspension designs use very few shims and/or only small holes to control damping forces. If your clickers are ineffective or have a very small range, this is due to improper piston & shim stack design.

 

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