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Scotts Damper: lo-speed adjustment


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Well after a few months of procrastinating I finally fitted the Scotts damper and went out for a couple of rides.  Of course with a standard damper you don't actually notice any difference to the ride as it's primary purpose is to save you from the consequences of hitting a tree root or a pothole while lent over.  It will activate only when the front wheel is deflected very fast, basically preventing it from doing so and preventing a full lock and a crash, or in the case of highway riding at speed, a case of speed wobbles.  


The scott damper though has an additional low speed adjustment circuit which you can change on the fly with a simple twist of a lever.  This low speed hydraulic circuit is separate from the main damper circuit and effects damping as the bars are turned slowly, or to put it another way, effects how the front wheel behaves on a rough road, when the bars tend to jigger back and forth.





The slow speed knob comes from the factory set at 8-clicks out and it's recommended you leave it there until you have ridden for a bit and then progressively adjust it to suit your purpose and the terrain.   I have begun experimenting with it, I dialed it up an additional 2 clicks and noticed the steering was a bit smoother over the rougher sections of road. 


Steering Response Time:   (or how quickly you can turn the bars during normal riding)


There is quite a bit of adjustment on this slow speed circuit, 20 clicks out, or 3 full rotations from fully off to fully on.  You wouldn't want it fully on that's for sure, the bars are hard to push at that setting, though it might be useful in some instances when transporting a bike?  It would certainly be a deterrent for bike thieves, they wouldn't get around the first corner lol.   But somewhere there is a sweet-spot for every road surface, either a couple of clicks more or less than factory I suspect.  This aspect of the Damper is not a safety one but more a comfort one as you can well imagine. 


In the weeks ahead I'll be doing some experimenting on different roads and hope to get back and post reports on what I find useful as far as settings go.  I would love to hear from others who have fitted this steering damper and what results they have got adjusting the Low-speed knob.



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I have the same Scott's damper and usually keep the slow speed circuit set where I can barely feel that is is working.  I read somewhere that the lower you set the low speed circuit, the more high speed damping you have available.

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Similar to @Hollybrook I generally leave the slow speed damping close to minimum but justify having the damper installed more for the benefit of the high speed circuit.

Edited by Uncle M
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My general settings:


1 turn = 360 of rotation from off/counter clockwise


½ - ¾ - everyday riding

1 - 1 ¼ - general off road

1 ¼ - 1 ¾ - rocky stuff

1 ½+ - sand


I have the bigger knob (ha), so the clicks are almost impossible to feel. Using it in sand is interesting, it definitely gives you feedback on your technique. If you fight the bars with the damper cranked up, you'll be down pretty quick!


I think you can get about 3 full rotations before maxing out. I rarely go over 2. Not sure what the use case is for being maxed out because it feels like you can't turn at all.


I use mine all the time and love it. It definitely gets more use out in the desert. Be mindful of your setting! I've had mine cranked up, forgot about it after pausing for a bit, and wondered why I couldn't turn!


I've also had the collar on the pin come loose a couple times. Red threadlocker holds it back in place.

Edited by random1781
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I set it and forget it.  You have inspired me to experiment more off road and see how it responds.  I know it has worked wonders on rocky terrain keeping me pointed in the right direction.  That is a big win. 

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2 hours ago, random1781 said:

My general settings:


1 turn = 360 of rotation from off/counter clockwise


1/2 - 3/4 - everyday riding

1 - 1 1/4 - general off road

1 1/4 - 1 3/4 - rocky stuff

1 1/2+ - sand



Good review randy, but I'm a little confused with the fractions?  11/4= 2.75 turns.   Are you saying you wind the slow circuit up to nearly full strength for some general off-road riding?   And 11/2 = 5.5 for sand?  What am I missing here.

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