Jade

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This is the Set Up page for the Jade.

To access the Service page click HERE

To access the Tuning page click HERE

To access the OWNER’S MANUAL click HERE

Owners Manual
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Choose Language:

English | French | German | Italian | Spanish | Japanese

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Installation
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Hardware Installation

The Jade Coil comes equipped with high performance, low friction Igus bushings and mounting hardware specific to your frame manufacturer’s specifications. The Igus bushings contain a dry lubricant; they do NOT need to be lubricated.

1. Insert pin into upper and lower eyelet. Make sure the pin is spaced evenly in shock eyelet.
JadeHardware1

2. Insert hardware in the order shown. Apply a light layer of grease to the rubber O-Ring before putting on the mounting pin.
JadeHardware2

Spring Installation

Installing your spring correctly is extremely important for performance. If installed incorrectly, the shock can experience unnecessary wear.

1. Insert spring onto shock body. Make sure the spring is seated evenly on the preload collar. (upper eyelet shown)
JadeSpringInstallation1

2. Move the spring away from the lower eyelet by turning the preload collar. Then insert spring clip.
JadeSpringInstallation2

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Preload / SAG
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Preload

By adjusting the preload, we change how much the shock initially resists being compressed.

1. The maximum amount of preload length is 5mm. Going further can cause the spring to be loaded outside of it’s intended design that could result in a failure and void the manufacturer warranty.
JadePreload1

2. Rotating the preload collar clockwise will increase spring preload.
JadePreload2

3. Rotating the preload collar counter-clockwise will decrease spring preload.
JadePreload3

SAG

SAG is the amount your shock compresses under your body weight. Since this is a Downhill specific shock, measure SAG by mounting your bike in the “attack position”.  Proper SAG is 25-30%.  Below is a chart and steps you can use to easily calculate your sag. You will need a friend (or someone nice enough to help you) to help you calculate your sag because it can be difficult to take measurements while you are on the bike in step 2.

1. First measure the uncompressed eye to eye length. If you know the size of your shock you will use this number.  For example if your shock size is 9.5×3.0″ (240x76mm) then your eye to eye is 9.5″/240mm. The number 3.0″/76mm is the stroke. The stroke is the distance the shock compresses.

JadeSpecificationExample

2. Now we measure your uncompressed eye to eye. It might be easier to put your bike next to a wall to help keep your bike stable while your “friend” takes the measurement. While in the attack position measure the eye to eye.  Measuring in ‘mm’ will be easier to calculate. If your measuring tape doesn’t have ‘mm’ then inches will be fine.

CompressedEye2Eye

click on image to view full size

3. Now calculate the sag by taking the uncompressed eye to eye distance and subtract it from the compressed eye to eye distance.

Examples

Inches: 9.5″ (uncompressed) – 8.7″ (compressed) = 0.8″ (sag)
Millimeters: 240mm (uncompressed) – 220mm (compressed) = 20mm (sag)

Take the sag value and look at the chart below. If you are between 25%-30% then you have a good starting point. Keep in mind that this is the recommended sag and depending on your riding style and terrain you might want more or less sag. You can adjust your sag by changing the preload or spring rate.

SHOCK EYE TO EYE AND STROKE SAG %
25% 30%
10.5 x 3.5″ (267 x 90mm) .875″ (22mm) 1.05″ (27mm)
9.5 x 3.0″ (240 x 76mm) .784″ (20mm) .901″ (23mm)
8.75 x 2.75″ (222 x 70mm) .688″ (17mm) .827″ (21mm)
8.5 x 2.5″ (216 x 64mm) .625″ (16mm) .748″ (19mm)
7.878 x 2.25″ (200 x 57mm) .562″ (14mm) .673″ (17mm)

Sag Formula

If you would like to calculate your exact sag in percentage use the following formula:

Sag ÷ Stroke  x 100 = Sag %

If you measured your sag to be 20mm and your shock stroke is 76mm then your Sag is 26.31%

For example: 20mm ÷ 76mm x 100 = 26.31

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Air Pressure
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The Jade Coil features a bladder in place of a traditional IFP (Internal Floating Piston) for optimum small bump sensitivity.  The purpose of the bladder is to separate the air from the oil in the reservoir. To achieve the best performance and durability, it is extremely important to set the air pressure to the proper range (170-200psi).

JadeAirPressure

1. Remove air cap (A) to access air valve (B). Thread on a suspension specific pump and apply the recommended air pressure.

Rider Weight Air Pressure
 120-139lbs | 54-63kg  170psi
 140-159lbs | 64-72kg  175psi
 160-179lbs | 73-81kg  180psi
 180-199lbs | 82-90kg  185psi
 200-219lbs | 91-100kg  190psi
 220+lbs | 100+kg  200psi

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

2. After you are done setting the air pressure, remove the shock pump and securely attach the air cap.

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Rebound
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Rebound controls the speed at which the shock extends after compression. Rebound damping control is relative to the spring rate used. Higher spring rates require more (slower) rebound damping and a lower air pressure will require less (faster) rebound damping so please adjust accordingly.

1. Turning the knob counter-clockwise will decrease the amount of rebound damping. (making it faster)
Rebound1

2. Turning the knob clockwise will increase the amount of rebound damping.  (making it slower)
Rebound2

*If you are out of the range of our stock rebound adjustment then custom tuning might be for you. Check out our Custom Tuning Page for more details.

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Compression
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Low Speed Compression

Low speed compression (LSC) controls the influence of the rider’s weight and the bike’s attitude under slower suspension movement regardless of riders speed. Low Speed controls suspension performance in braking bumps, pedaling, & slow technical trails.

1. Turning the knob clockwise will increase the amount of low speed compression. (making it firmer)
JadeLowSpeedCompression1

2. Turning the knob counter-clockwise will decrease the amount of low speed compression. (making it softer)
JadeLowSpeedCompression2

High Speed Compression

Low speed compression (HSC) controls the damping force under faster suspension movements regardless of the riders speed. This effects drops, big hits, take offs, landings, and square edge hits.

1. Turning the knob clockwise will increase the amount of high speed compression. (making it firmer.)
JadeHighSpeedCompression1

2. Turning the knob counter -clockwise will decrease the amount of high speed compression. (making it softer.)
JadeHighSpeedCompression2

 

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Base Tune
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Properly setting up your shock is one of the most important things you can do to get the most out of your suspension. Keep in mind that we cannot account for every single frame and leverage ratio on the market but the base tunes below is a good starting point.

For the rebound starting point, turn the knob all the way clock-wise until it stops.

For the high & low speed compression starting point, turn both knobs all the way counter clock-wise until it stops.

Air Pressure Range: 170-200psi
Rebound Range: 37 clicks total
High Speed Compression (HSC) Range: 24 clicks total
Low Speed Compression (LSC) Range: 22 clicks total

200×57/7.875×2.25 & 215×63/8.5×2.5

Rider WeightPSIReboundHSCLSCSpring Rate
120-140lbs/55-64kg170-175 PSI34-32 CCW3 CW1 CW400lbs
140-160lbs/64-73kg175-180 PSI33-31 CCW4 CW2 CW450lbs
160-180lbs/73-82kg180-185 PSI32-29 CCW4-6 CW3-5 CW500lbs
180-200lbs/82-91kg185-190 PSI31-28 CCW6-9 CW5-8 CW550lbs
200-220lbs/91-100kb190-200 PSI29-26 CCW6-9 CW5-8 CW600lbs

221×68/8.75×2.75 & 241×76/9.5×3

Rider WeightPSIReboundHSCLSCSpring Rate
120-140lbs/55-64kg170-175 PSI34-32 CCW2 CW1 CW350lbs
140-160lbs/64-73kg175-180 PSI33-31 CCW3  CW2 CW400lbs
160-180lbs/73-82kg180-185 PSI32-29 CCW3-5 CW2-5 CW450lbs
180-200lbs/82-91kg185-190 PSI31-28 CCW5-8 CW5-8 CW500lbs
200-220lbs/91-100kg190-200 PSI29-26 CCW5-8 CW5-8 CW550lbs

267X89/10.5X3.5

Rider WeightPSIReboundHSCLSCSpring Rate
120-140lbs/55-64kg170-175 PSI34-32 CCW4 CW1 CWNA
140-160lbs/64-73kg175-180 PSI33-31 CCW5 CW2 CWNA
160-180lbs/73-82kg180-185 PSI32-29 CCW5-7 CW2-5 CW275lbs
180-200lbs/82-91kg190-195 PSI31-28 CCW6-9 CW5-8 CW300lbs
200-220lbs/91-100kg195-200 PSI29-26 CCW6-9 CW5-8 CW350lbs

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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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