Manitou SPV Suspension Technology and Set-up Tips

In 2003, Giant featured Manitou’s SPV (Stable Platform Valve) rear shocks on its DH, AC and VT bikes. These were so well received by the market that we now feature SPV technology in front forks on DH, AC, VT, NRS and XtC bikes.

Benefits of Manitou Swinger SPV Air and Coil Shocks:

The Manitou Swinger rear shock was designed to improve the bike's pedaling and handling efficiency without sacrificing the plush, bump-absorbing ride. This is a result of SPV’s unique stabilizing valve system, which controls how sensitive the shock is to low resonance input (such as pedaling). This sensitivity is externally adjustable as well. The Swinger shock lets you set the compression damping characteristics and position sensitivity with a simple shock pump. Pump in more pressure and you have a firmer pedaling platform. Decrease the pressure and the bike has a suppler ride (the pressure range is between 75 and 150 PSI in the shock’s “piggyback” reservoir).

Improved pedaling efficiency isn’t the only advantage of SPV technology. SPV is also position sensitive, which means that compression damping is firmer at full compression than at the initial compression of the shock, allowing for a plush ride with no bottoming.

Another adjustment feature located on the reservoir of coil shocks or top-cap of forks, allows riders to fine-tune the shock’s progressivity. With a 16mm socket wrench or the SPV 16mm Volume Tuning Socket (available after market from Answer Manitou), you simply turn in the adjustment nut to make the shock more progressive at the end of it’s stroke, or turn it out to make the finish more linear. This feature helps control bottoming of the shock, allowing a much wider range of rider styles and weights to benefit from each suspension system.

Setting up the Manitou Swinger SPV Air and Coil Shocks:

Step 1: (AC and VT only): Choose how much travel you want by positioning the rocker arm anchor bolt in either the fore (VT 5.75 inches, AC 5.3 inches) or aft (VT 5 inches, AC 6.3 inches ) setting.

Step 2: Set the SPV pressure for your body weight by pumping 50-75 percent of your body weight into the SPV valve. This is the red valve on 3 way shocks, or the black valve in the middle of the red 16mm adjustment nut on the remote reservoir of 4/6 way shocks and on the top cap of front forks. The pressure should be within a range of 50-175 psi on the pump’s gauge. The higher the pressure, the firmer the pedaling platform will be.

Step 3: (6 or 4-way coil rear shocks and front forks only): Adjust the SPV’s position-sensitive air volume setting by using a 16mm socket wrench or Manitou’s SPV Volume Tuning Socket. The least amount of resistance is achieved by turning the dial counterclockwise to the fully open position. To increase the shock’s compression damping and to make the shock more resistant to bottoming out, turn the SPV Volume Dial clockwise. The more sag you run (or the heavier you are), the more clockwise turns you make on the SPV Volume Dial (six turns total).

Step 4: Set up shock/fork’s sag (on air shocks pump air into the black valve; on coil shocks wind preload on to the coil spring*). This is the amount that the shock/fork compresses when the rider is sitting motionless on the bike. This will vary depending upon the type of bike, the rider style, terrain etc. Typically this will vary between 10-20% of available travel for XtC and NRS forks and between 25-35% of available travel for VT, AC and DH bikes.

* If more than 8mm of preload on the coil spring is required, contact Answer Manitou for a different spring.