And to clarify about springs since I've read so much misinformation on here:
The spring rate is not higher when you cut a spring down. It's exactly the same. Ignoring the issue of pre-load, a spring's rate is the same when its unloaded or on a shock. Variable rate springs are really just like having 2 different spring rates.
The force felt against a spring increases as it's compressed a certain distance. When you pack lots of coils into a space, the travel is distributed across each coil and therefore there is less change over that distance of compression in the force of the spring (not to be confused with the spring rate).
If you have an identical spring rate and fewer coils (even with less pre-load) in the same compression space, the force felt from the spring would ramp much faster than many coils. That is why it feels stiffer. It's due to the spring RATE remaining constant and each coil compressing further than the first example.
Wait, I guess that means it has a higher spring rate = force / displacement. So in my case, with cutting the springs down, it starts from a lower initial force (pre-load in the same space) and ramps up faster, as opposed to starting at a higher initial force and ramping up more slowly.
So with the variable rate springs, I've trimmed the stiffer part, making it respond more abruptly when active (as the lower rate part finishes compressing), while retaining the lower spring rate part for smoooooth action. I guess that's kind of intuitive. I just like talking through this stuff.
Edited by kanurys, 16 April 2013 - 11:20 AM.