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May 30, 2022, 7:56 p.m. -  Mike Ferrentino

I had a "friend" help me break in a new-to-me Husqvarna 501 on some of the super narrow high-country jank above Downieville last winter. These trails used to be my daily diet when I lived up there, and I could almost ride them blindfolded, pedal or throttle. So it was kind of a bummer to spend a whole day just flailing miserably. I could not get the front wheel to go where I pointed it, up or down, and the only way I could get it to turn was if I basically perched my taint on the gas cap and super aggressively squared off every apex, which is really hard to do and also kinda sketchy in these 120-degree dip and squirt turns with super high exposure. Got home, finally decided to check the rear sag. Turns out I was running about 20mm more than recommended (stock seated sag for these things is around 105mm, and I was squatting somewhere around 125-130mm), on a spring that was probably good for someone about two-thirds my weight. Ordered new spring, installed, ripped a few flat-track slides in the driveway, and felt like maybe I hadn't forgotten how to ride after all. Night and day difference! So, yeah, correct springs are up there for sure. Although, it could be argued that while damping will not save the wrong spring rate, the correct spring won't necessarily gloss over shitty damping either. But at least the bike won't resemble a plow.

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