How To Use Lockouts On Your Mountain Bike Suspension

How To Use Lockouts On Your Mountain Bike Suspension

(upbeat music) – Today we’re out here on the trails, and we’re going to talk to
you about suspension lockout. We’re going to tell
you exactly what it is, how it works, and when
you should be using it. (bike skidding) Most suspension forks have externally adjustable damping options. Common ones are compression and rebound. Rebound is usually found at the bottom of the fork, just down here, and compression is found
at the top of the fork. This particular model of
fork is a RockShox Lyric, and its got a very simple
single dial on the top, just to close the low-speed
compression damping. We’ll fully open it. So, low speed compression damping is the sort of damping that you want to stop the fork moving to your movements, and also to help keep the fork extended. Like, keep it up a bit when you’re riding through turns and stuff like that. Quite often you hear us refer to lockout, if you run this fully closed. Makes the fork feel a bit more firm, so if you’re climbing
up a hill for example, Antler Saddle, you’ll stop
it bouncing around too much. Just controls the stroke,
firms it right up. Again if you open it,
becomes a lot more plush, straightaway. The same thing applies to shocks, and there’s different
settings on the shocks. So the same adjustments can be found on a lot of rear shocks. On this one, I’ve got rebound adjustment, which is this clicky dial here. Again that’s to control
the extension of the shock. But for compression, its got a three-stage lever here, and it’s kind’ve indexed like the gears are so
you can easily find those indented positions. So there’s fully opened, there’s midway, and then there’s closed. So open, you want to use that when you’re just riding sort
of rooty, rough trails, where you just want the suspension to give you the maximum
control and grip out there. The mid setting becomes
really useful for climbing, where you just want to keep the bike sitting up slightly so you’re not going to strike your feet as often, but still allows a lot of
traction to the back wheel. Fully closed, or, locked-out,
is the sort of setting you want if you’re riding,
perhaps, on the road, or, on a fire road. The perfect sort of thing
for an Enduro event climb. Okay so a rooty climb like this is the perfect way to demonstrate
how effective lock-out can be. I don’t really want to
lock out the suspension fully, because it’s quite rooty, and I want the maximum traction I can get. If I run it fully open, it’s
going to give me that traction, but, as the suspension is actuating, my feet are going to be really close to striking these roots. I need to get the best of both worlds, and that is that mid setting, and it works really well for this sort of occasion. So, engage your mid mode. Make sure you’re in a
nice low gear, and then, hopefully I can get up this
without any, sort of, strikes. As you can see here, look how close my pedal is to this root. You imagine if my body
weight on this bike, and the, sort of, sagging
motion that you get when you’re actually really
digging in that climb, you’re gonna strike that. Running in the mid setting is really, really helpful for this. Just to keep the bike a little bit higher. But I’m still getting suspension use, so, still getting the most of the traction to the back wheel. – So this is my Nukeproof Mega, and I’ve got lockout options
on the front and rear, but do I use them? Well, actually, yes and
no, which I’ll go into now. So, this is an Enduro bike. It’s 165 millimetres travel. To me, it feels like a mini downhill bike. So, I do take it on those
sorts of rides where, there maybe one big climb, and
then I’ll ride a pretty much downhill track, and then
do that big climb back. It’s by no means a cross country ride, where I maybe would use a
lock-out on and off quite a lot. With this, it’s either one or the other. So I open it up for the down hills, and then I close it for that
big climb back to the top. It’s also a reason why I don’t feel I actually need a remote lever, for this lockout, on my handle bars, because I’m not using it that much. Like I said, it’s on or off. I’ve got a two-stage one. It’s either open or firm,
as Dotty’s Explained. When I put it to firm, for pedalling, it just firms everything up,
makes that bike more efficient. But, something that I also like is it keeps me in that nicer
position when I’m climbing. So I’m not sagged in, I’m still sat up on the
bike in that good position. However, I do also have
lock-out options on my fork. This Fox 36 with that fit for a damper. I’ve got open, mid, and then closed. And that close is fully lock tight. But, I don’t use that to be honest. Again, this is an Enduro bike. I feel like that is enough for me. Just locking the shock helps me climb that a little bit better, and I don’t mind leaving it in that open
setting all the time on fork, cause’ it just sags in that little bit, and again, keeps me in that
good position for climbing. – Right, when it comes to
my Scott Genius 700 Tuned, this has a remote lock-out
system right up top here, which actuates both
shock, front, and rear. So, it starts out, it’s 150 mil of travel, but then you click it, like this, and it goes down to 110. But, this is a clever little system. Scott called this traction control, and it’s pretty unique little system because that adjusts
the dampening in there to give you a little bit more traction on those technical climbs. And then, with one more click,
that is fully locked-out. And that is great for those flat surfaces, AKA fire roads, long tyre roads, anything with no bumps at all. It kind’ve locks it out so you can get as much power down to
those wheels as possible. So, Neil and Dotty Are
using their lockouts, and it’s perfect for them for climbing. For me, this is a little bit different. I like to use it when it comes to jumping. I tend to flick it straight to 110, and that kind’ve stiffens it all up, to give me a little bit
more pop on those jumps, because I don’t really want to run it at 150 on these little steep jumps, where it kind’ve sags in. – So for me, I really do
like having a lockout. It makes the bike so versatile. You can have, actually, a
pretty long travel bike, and turn it into, almost, a rigid bike. And it does make a big
difference for climbing. – Yeah, just a flick of a
switch or a turn of a dial can really change the ride
characteristics of your bike. – For see some more
videos, click over here for a tack from the
EWS, where the mechanics talk about how they set up the bikes. – Yeah, and if you want to find out about how to tune the air spring in
your bike, click down here. – Click on the logo to
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About the Author: Michael Flood


  1. I got my first lockout shock when i was about 16 years old. The remote-lockout system broke after about a year. Now, almost 10 years later i sometimes still try to push a lockout button the way i did back then. Clearly, my brain just can't lock it out… 😀

  2. Love those NukeProof bikes. What is the difference in the rear geometry of the NukeProof bike and the Scott? I have always wondered why some shocks are parallel to the top tube and others are up and down.

  3. Mine is broken. I have the TwinLoc or whatever it's called on a Scott bike with fox fork. But I once had a Lockout on a rather cheap SR Suntour that worked perfectly

  4. How to use lockout on an MTB
    Step 1: Switch it on for the climb
    Step 2: Bomb the rad downhill
    Step 3: Get half way down and realize you're still locked out

  5. #askgmbn I have just got a new full suspension bike and it has one cable going under the frame (hydraulic brake) and I use roof racks to transport it, any suggestions on how to not damage the wire by tightening the roof rack clamp on it

  6. Just a suggestion here. Some videos covering advanced skills would be nice. Washing your bike isn’t too damn interesting ya know..

  7. Well, this is a video about professor Doddy and his associates. Everybody want to know that much about bike mechanics as Doddy does. Anyway, good stuff guys. Please do more …

  8. Man, the number of cables on the Genius is absurd.. Does not look good. Remote shock is not needed on an enduro bike, reaching down to press the lever is fine.

  9. Yo boys, I have noticed there is starting to be a trend on XC races using "hard fork" – carbon fork without suspension. I saw some guys finished on 1st positions with that. Myself I own new bike with hard fork for half a season and so far I really like it. Riding those races really became more challenging but the weight savings is significant.
    In my opinion its all about training. Just have to remmeber not to lock the elbows during downhills and let them absorb the shocks.
    My question is: have you ever consider bringing hard fork into your life, into your videos? It for sure requires some aditional skill to learn. So I wonder if you are that crazy as I am.

  10. Vid ideas, how to choose your tyre for wet dry and rocky terrain, how to train for MTB, how to pack gear for a little MTB edit and what to bring, good energy bars and when to eat them on the trail, how to prepare the night before, what happens when you have wrong suspension settings, what to pack for downhill bike parks, explaining wheel size, what the tube coming of the rear suspension does and why some bikes don’t have it

  11. Im with Neil. Definitely dont use the fork's compression settings but ill flick my shock to the climb setting on long, flat climbs.

  12. How to use lockout. Over use it when you get your first dual suspension then about a week later don’t ever touch it again

  13. Ride a Trek with a REaktiv damper in the rear shock and you'll never have a reason to lock out your suspension unless you're riding a fire road

  14. notes: the remote lockout is not specific to scott. you can also order the equivalent from fox (its a different level and does not reduce full travel, but in practice, it feels the same). Also to note, fox shock and fork will almost near fully lock out while rockshox will leave quite a bit of sag at the top when in the "lock out" mode. finally, the way you use open/mid/firm depends a lot on the suspension total travel and the bike geometry. Many trail bikes will be great in full open mode, better for jumps and certain drops on mid mode so that you dont bottom out and get more pop (as blake said), and firm only for fireroads/road of course. For enduro/longer travel, this is closer to what is said in this video. As for XC, i tend to ride stuff locked out quite a bit for efficiency and switch modes often (a remote is really, really needed in this case). Its great to be able to switch from open to firm to lock in a climb as well as it means you'll save energy (basically you use open or mid depending on the bike, when things need more grip and immediately lock when not needed, and you might switch every few seconds even – it saves a lot of energy) – am done!

  15. when you lock out the fork on a climb it means that the fork will not go as far into the travel giving you a slacker head angle, in a climb i leave it open so i compress the suspension More, as a result the head angle is steeper thus making it easier to control the front end

  16. man, I wish rebound can be changed easily aswell and you don't have too go down to the fork or shock to change it

  17. I literally was riding today and having to lockout and unlock as I had a lot of big climbs. I tend to lock front and not back unless really steep. My back is an old Fox RP2 shock and does a good job of stiffening up when pedaling hard. But I was thinking today how i was hoping you would make a video about lockouts. Thank you.

  18. Hi guys ..just got my GMBN HOODIE 🤘🤞😎 thanks guys..really smart..and thanks for the stickers and piccy.😂

  19. My X2 is a non-lockout version and I never bothered with the upgrade because I would NEVER remember to use it. I specifically bought the HSC/LSC version of the 36 for the same reason. I would never remember to use the lockout anyway, so at least this version gives me the most adjustability. Invariably, on bikes that had lockout, if I remembered to lock out on the climb, I'd forget to turn it off on the descent.

  20. I appreciate the work for the vids, but it would have been more useful around 2:30 if you videos the same section of root climbing with the rear shock compression settings in all three settings so we could see the difference on video.

  21. can i engage my lockouts while im on my bike riding, as im about to go uphill or do i need to hop off ? i have been turning on my lockouts while im riding on my bike before going uphill but am unsure if this locks my suspension normally or if it locks the suspension at the weight i've applied to it.

  22. Anyone ride a 27.5 Giant anthem here? it's 2015 with Rock Shox Fork and shocks. 100mm each. No lockout on the rear shock just rebound, the fork has a rebound and manual lockout but, that's it.
    This shit drives me crazy because I don't know how to climb in it without bobing like a son m bitch. I can't sprint and can't climb effectively. What can I do to make a bike without a lockout stiff?

  23. I’ve got a Hillbrick X police bike I got at an auction. The bike was fine after the police logos were removed and the only problem was a bent seat post. The suspension has somehow been permanently locked out. It’s got rock Shox Recon race suspension on it. The dial on the top flicks back to the locked position straight away after switching it off. It’s spring loaded so it won’t go back. Any ideas? I’ve put up with it for a while now but its driving me insane and it’s extremely uncomfortable v

  24. So you guys run your lockout closed when riding jumps?
    Will hard impacts on a locked out fork cause damage over time?

  25. I have the marlin 6 and I want to find out what its called amd so i can upgrade it to where i can lockout without reaching down the front forks.

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