If you’re interested in offroading, what kind of suspension you are working with is critical. What separates offroading from standard on-the-road driving is the kind of shocks and bumps your vehicle’s chassis is going to be subjected to, and how it absorbs those shocks and bumps is largely a function of what kind of suspension for offroading you have.
What is the best suspension for offroading? The answer, as it so often is with these kinds of things, is “it depends.” Here are a few of your suspension options when offroading and some help determining which one is going to be right for you.
A digressive suspension is produced by a digressive piston, and it produces a digressive damping curve. The damping force increases quickly and starts to level off as velocity increases. This type of suspension is better for G-Outs, slow speed bottoming events and any situation where handling is more of a priority than absorbing bumps.
The greater force early in acceleration gives you more control over flatter terrain, but you may have problems with both small and large bumps. Small bumps are a problem because you may have to deal with small, quick movements before the valve disks have a chance to open, and the digressive pistons can be harsh and stiff.
If you hit large bumps at high speed, you may blow off too much load with digressive shocks and not be able to raise the chassis enough. You may also find that the wheel in a digressive suspension pulls the chassis into the bumps before you get speed, causing a feeling of loss of control.
A progressive suspension produces a progressive damping curve, where damping force starts low and jumps up as velocity increases. It is produced by a linear piston tuned for progressive performance. This is a much better suspension for both small and large bumps.
Because damping force ramps up progressively, you have time to adapt to the bumps, and you should find the shocks to be quite smooth — with better control and a more fun ride. However, in general, digressive suspensions tend to produce the best handling when you are not hitting bumps.
A linear suspension uses a linear piston and produces a linear damping relationship, where damping force increases directly with velocity. The linear suspension gives you the best of both worlds.
You get handling more like that of a vehicle with digressive shocks, without the stiffness that can interfere with a bumpy ride. However, you will not get as full of an offroad experience on bumpy terrain as you get with a progressive suspension.
Contact Southern Style OffRoad for More Information on Offroad Suspensions
Whatever type of offroad suspension is best for your plans, Southern Style Offroad can help. For more information on the different kinds of offroad suspensions and on suspension installation for your own offroad vehicles, contact Southern Style OffRoad and schedule a free consultation today.