DO NOT READ IF U LACK PATIENCE AND DO NOT WANT AN ALTERNATIVE PERSPECTIVE, thanks!
(just plissing about whilst waiting for something, so one thing lead to another and I typed a bit much, mea culpa!)
Yeah, tend to dabble: this being a job, my sole transport and I still like it after lots of "time" (ha ha)
Spring rates are more to do with design than people think, so they will always tend to advise with a certain hit/miss relationship to this as a result!
Nobody would say each bike model uses the same springs or damping (would they?) - I mean, they would get it that they all move and have been designed differently enough to need different specifications to these details, roger? (ditto tyre construction/pressure)
..so, it follows that this shock brands will tend toward this spring rate and preload over that shock's type/brand/design/patent, yes? So this null and voids any spring calculators being universally used across the same bike model with different equipment on it, for one. And we should also be able to see that from this there is more at work than just a linear change when movement happens. Be that from the wheel accelerating up, or down; or be that as induced by the motor's twisting lurching upon the chain, which as a result move the wheel down and up too. So all that is meant is to establish that when springs and damping are being selected, they are for one some form of compromise and two somewhat mutable too.
Of course weight changes things - nobody is wrong to pick up on the concept of needing to change a spring if one's weight alters; but neither is it that massive a deal if compromise is already at work and it may lead one to greener pastures! Honda's for one are designed to be suited to a larger spectrum of people, over something like an R6 (for an EG) - anyone wish to guess how that works in their design philosophy?
As far as not altering one's suspension goes? Why? If one understands enough is it not OK? Personally I will change mine as I like to, as and when the mood takes me. Like going to the rifle range, or playing darts; or shooting pool, just because one gets a bull's eye or sinks a ball, does not mean one does not ever play again, surely?
I tend to struggle with this ultimate right/wrong thing really ('cause it is a croc). As in I have a lot of different fork and shock settings that as alluded to, are down to what I feel like for the weekend, or evening. I may decide to use Ohlin's 20mm with X spring rate, or 30mm version 1 on Y spring rate, or version 2 with another spring rate - indeed my 20mm use a different rate to my 30mm. And just this week alone, being as it takes 30 minutes to alter the setting, or just 5 for a spring, I have started the first half of the week on 30mm version 2, and the last 24 hours have been back on version 1. The shock setting has been static for the last 3 weeks, utterly untouched. When I say version one or two, I mean piston and needle types, and not the shim spec.'s, as such.
But back to the fork, I really like both settings. There is no real point in slitting its throat yet just because it was superseded! Indeed this was precipitated a little this week from updating a bike for a geezer from Medellin (who said he knew Martin, which I thought was funny, being as I really like watchin him on telly), who could afford the 2012 shock upgrades I do, but not the fork re-set. So I got pondering over what his fork would be like with this year's shock, and its increased functionality and feedback. So, yeah, put a set together last night and rode home and back - adjust them a few clicks and I can not see any reason why they cannot still work nicely. They passed all my control tests fine, and even offer a different steering character (for the moods, right?), which of course in some scenarios will mean this or that road is nicer to ride on.
I feel that whilst the internet has come along and made people more in touch with tech in some ways, giving them more perspective than ever possible before. It has also frightened them off a lot too. Of course it is easy to get confused or discombobulated by it all. But this should never lead to more stringent hierarchical knee-jerk cognition and prescriptive living (tell you how to think and/or do by intimating things to a pattern/meme decided in your absence); more narrow-minded fear or pseudo-put-downs from adherence to publicly described extended rules (based on arbitrary data!). In fact, I would imagine everyone thought the internet would actually lead to more freedom than it has; rather than this indecision and fear of the unknown.
My point here is that fear comes along surely (actually, it is probably not fear, just cognitive dissonance), but so too does a whole smÍrgasbord of industry experts that do not know things from a 1st person perspective enough - one must know motion properly, hopefully through riding! In other words, it is the end-result of forming a rule-making mindset which is exactly what opens the door for the used TV salesperson type to convince you of something untrue. As it tends to be this sort that can sell/convince you of something, rather than the hands-on R&D scientist/tech-type whom struggles to make points clearly - a certain irony, in that the person whom may be best suited, or at the least with the most background and empirical comprehension, is exactly the type not selected (by you), which is akin to the example of the boy or girl selecting a spouse in a nightclub where best liar wins, hilarious i.e. So yeah, welcome to the future where we all got smarter! ha ha
So yeah, play with it if it feels right! LOL