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Preload is the amount of load placed on a spring to increase the spring rate in the initial part of the travel. All of our shocks feature adjustable preload. Preload is used to achieve the proper amount of suspension sag for your bike or fork. Remember: You must first start with the proper spring rate in order to get the correct amount of sag.

Preload is governed by a few guidelines:

Measuring Optimum Suspension Sag

  • 1.

    All springs should be preloaded at least 1-2mm in order to hold the spring in place firmly.

  • 2.

    The correct amount of preload can only be achieved with the proper suggested spring rate. See the spring

rate charts to find the correct spring for your weight.


Never increase the preload on a spring past 5 full turns of the preload adjuster. If you have tightened the preload adjuster over five full turns and are still getting too much sag, move up to the next spring rate.

Spring Preload Adjustment

1. Tightenpreloadadjusteruntilthespringisheldfirmly(1-2mm)andmeasurethedistancebetweenthepreload adjuster and the bottom containment washer.


Position the bicycle beside a wall and get on. Place your fingers lightly on the wall to steady yourself, and put your feet on the pedals and sit on the seat. Have a friendre-measure the new distance between these two points. Subtract the seated measurement from the unseated measurement to find the amount of sag. Refer to the Suspension Sag chartfor the proper amount of sag for your bike or fork.


If the bike compresses under the rider more than recommended, tighten the preload a bit at a time and re- measure the compression until you hit the right amount. If the bike is compressing less than recom- mended, loosen the preload to get the right amount of sag.


If the preload is at full loose and the bike still won’t compress enough, you probably need softer springs. If you have preloaded the spring more than five full turns, try stiffer springs.

Setting Spring Preload


Rider Variables

Rebound Damping

Compression Damping

Lighter Riders Heavier Riders Aggressive Riders Recreational riders many small bumps big hits and bumps Cross Country riding Downhill riding

need less needmore needmore need less need less needmore need less needmore

need less needmore needmore need less need less needmore need less needmore

The damping action that a rider is looking for is a controlled suspension action. This controlled feeling may vary according to rider preference, terrain, and may other factors. Experimenting with different levels of damping helps a rider "dial in" their preferred level of suspension damping. With shocks that have adjustable damping, like the Noleen NR-2 and NR-4, riders should try riding with the damping dials at the full off position and the full on position. The desired adjustment will probably fall somewhere in between, ending up closer to the full on position.

Noleen shocks can also be ”revalved“ or ”customized“ to suit a particular rider's needs. This work should only be completed Noleen or by another authorized Noleen Service Center. Do not attempt to work on the internals of any shock.

Damping is the action of controlling shock shaft speed. The rate at which a spring compresses and extends can be controlled by a number of ways. Our Noleen Shocks use hydraulics to control the motion of our shocks. There are two types of damping: rebound and compression.

The first type of damping that effects shock performance is rebound damping. Rebound damping controls the rate at which the spring extends back to its optimum sag length. If the spring extends too quickly, the suspension will exhibit a “bouncy” or “overly lively” feel. Too much rebound damping will cause the shock to feel ”dead“ or “unresponsive”. The chart below provides guidelines to adjusting your shock damping.

Adjusting Damping

The second type of damping is compressiondamping. Compression damping assists the spring to control the rate of shock compression. Adjusting the compression damping will make the shock feel essentially harder or softer. Compression damping becomes more important as suspensiontravelincreasesandasshockshaftspeedincreases. Refertothechartbelowtoseewhenmoreorlesscompression dampingis preferred.


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