A tuning specialist with a difference
Roll into the Pedalabikeaway Centre, deep in the heart of the Forest of Dean on the gloucestershire/Wales border and you'll hit a hive of mountainbike activity. It's here that you’ll find Sprung, a new servicing and tuning suspension specialist, set up and run by Jake Ireland. We popped in for a chat, a brew and a quick tune up on a rear shock.
The Pedalabikeaway is the go-to destination for riding in the Forest of Dean, it’s a busy place, even on a weekday in early March. With a growing number of marked DH runs, great off piste trail biking, and the ever-popular blue and red routes it’s a popular meeting place. With the the FlyUp uplift service shuttling riders to the top of the hill, DH bikes are everywhere.
Jake has been spannering in the centre’s workshop on and off since 2004 and has mixed this in with most aspects of the sport over the last fifteen years. He’s been a race mechanic (for Katy Curd), tested bikes and written words for Dirt and MBUK, got involved with bike development, as well as the usual selling in a bike shop. He’s a very handy rider too with plenty of DH race experience and growing up only a few miles down the road he’s built a few cheeky test tracks too…
So, Jake’s very well qualified, knows mountainbikes from front to back and can set up and tune a bike to extract all the potential from it.
Sprung Suspension tuning has been in Jake’s mind for sometime. For many riders, knowledge and an understanding of suspension set up is limited. Jake’s been setting plenty of bikes up at the Pedalabikeaway workshop but there are loads out there that not only need a tweak but either a service or a tune. It’s an area that is often overlooked. With Sprung’s workshop sitting at the start of the trails, Jake and his tools are right there, ready to help.
The name ‘Sprung’ is synonymous with DH riding being the name of the series of mountainbike films that kicked off back in 1998, with World Cup DH footage, local riding action and general mucking about in the woods. If you’ve not seen them then check them out.
So what does Sprung offer?
The Sprung workshop has been equipped for a quick in-house turnaround and has a comprehensive stock of spares and small parts for most popular brands of forks and shocks. Jake’s tools are the best in the industry and the workshop has that reassuringly clinical pro look and feel that you’d want to see when you’re dropping off a top end pair of forks or shock for work.
Fox, RockShox, DVO, Marzocchi, BOS, X-Fusion and Cane Creek are all brands that Sprung are qualified to work on. Sprung is the UK’s ‘WSS’ centre for CaneCreek, offering exclusive upgrades for their Double Barrel shocks. Here Sprung will replace the piston in the DB shock’s piggyback with a unique bladder, reducing friction through the stroke and giving better small bump compliance. This looks like a useful upgrade that’s well worth considering.
How does Sprung work?
Sprung have only been open a few weeks and the work is already stacking up. Word is getting out there and with Jake’s reputation for a no-compromise approach and attention to detail, he’s sure to be busy over the season ahead. You can book your fork or shock in for work via Sprung’s website or give Jake a call to discuss your requirements. Why not time your service with a ride, dropping your shock off afterwards and collecting it a week later? You can take it straight out onto the track to see the results. Otherwise your shock can be posted safely back to you.
Anything else unique to Sprung?
As well as the Cane Creek shock upgrades, Jake is offering ‘Suspension Clinics’ to improve your understanding of bike set-up and suspension theory. There will be 3 hour or 1 day options with riding on the Forest’s tracks to test the theory and adjustments. With the multiple trails on Sprung’s doorstep, just seconds from the door, this looks like it will be a benefit to many riders especially if they've just jumped in to the world of racing DH or enduro.
It’s all happening at the right time, with loads of direct sales bikes and internet bargains available, many riders are not getting these bikes set up to achieve the best performance straight from the box. A spot of fine tuning can make a real difference.
SMOOTH AND SWEET
With a cup of the café’s finest coffee on the go and Jake putting the final touches to our Monarch Plus shock, he introduced us to another secret weapon of his… the ‘Third drawer up from the bottom’, a tray stacked full, not with tools but biscuits. ‘They’re here to keep me going late into the night’
With six pairs of well-used forks waiting in the queue for some love and at least two riders knocking on the door while we were there it looks like busy times ahead for Sprung suspension.
Jake’s knowledge, experience and enthusiasm (as well as his tea drinking) is well known. Your shocks and forks will be in very safe hands.
SPRUNG SUSPENSION: 01594 800910