MXA TEAM TESTED: XTRIG PRELOAD ADJUSTER

September 12, 2011
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XTRIG PRELOAD ADJUSTER

WHAT IS IT? The Xtrig preload adjuster allows precise adjustments of your bike’s shock spring without the use of a hammer, punch, screwdriver or crowbar.

WHAT’S IT COST ? $149.99.

CONTACT? www.xtrigusa.com or (909) 949-4155.

WHAT STANDS OUT? Here’s a list of things that stand out with the Xtrig preload adjuster.

(1) Function. The Xtrig preload adjuster replaces both preload rings on your shock. In their place is a mechanical device that uses the shock body’s threads to move an adjuster up and down with the twist of an 8mm socket. The Xtrig preload adjuster makes race sag adjustments quickly and easily.

(2) Mechanical advantage. Turning the adjuster bolt will net you a 24:1 ratio. What does that mean? It means that spinning the 8mm bolt 24 turns is the equivalent of one turn on your shock preload ring. And, as you know, one turn of the preload ring translates into a 3mm change in race sag. The 24:1 ratio may seem like a lot of spinning of a T-handle, but there is a trick. We put an 8mm socket on a Makita power tool and spun the Xtrig preload ring without doing any physical work. We could put two or three turns on the preload ring in about 30 seconds.

(3) Installation.
Step one is to measure the static length of your shock spring. This allows you to get the Xtrig adjuster in the ballpark on the first try. Step two is to remove the stock preload rings and shock spring. Once you have a bare shock body, clean the threads and spin the Xtrig preload adjuster in place (put it on the shock body so that the spring will mount in the exact same place that it was with the two preload rings). Be careful to thread the Xtrig pieces on straight and true. Test the mechanism to make sure that it moves up and down freely. The final step is to reinstall the shock spring and its collars.

(4) Performance. The German-made Xtrig preload adjuster can move up and down the complete length of your shock body’s threads. That gives it a 4-inch range. On every shock but the 2010 Yamaha YZ450F, there is a sticker with a millimeter scale on it to visually see how far the Xtrig adjuster moves the spring (the sideways shock reservoir on the YZ450F defies the sticker’s logic). MXA test riders check their sag before every race (and normally have to make some minor adjustments). With the Xtrig preload adjuster, we can make minuscule or major adjustments in the blink of an eye. To a rider who can feel the difference, this is invaluable.

WHAT’S THE SQUAWK?   The price is a biggest setback, plus the fact that for the average rider adjusting the preload has never been as big a priority as it should be. At $150, you might be happy with a hammer and punch.


Many riders never adjust their shock’s preload. They aren’t candidates for the Xtrig preload adjuster. This is a five-star product for a special rider who cares about getting the most out of his suspension, but, in truth, it is really a lazy man’s luxury.

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