There is a lot of buzz about the importance of wheel travel, in the Off-Road Industry and ROGUE RACING'S Lead Engineer and Co-Owner, Robby Woods, has taken the time to explain the truth and clear up the common misconceptions.
As a professional Pro 2 Racer, Woods has taken the same core concepts that have led to his success on the track, and applied them to ROGUE RACING'S Performance Suspension line. We asked him to explain one of the most commonly asked questions of our industry, the importance of wheel travel, and you might be surprised to hear what he has to say:
"When it comes to wheel travel people tend to think, "More is better," and in some cases, this is true, but this simplistic way of thinking does not take into account many factors. These factors usually aren't addressed or advertised because most suspension companies have one objective: to sell you a kit. A smart off-road consumer will do their research before purchasing a mid or long travel suspension kit. The easiest route of marketing is more, more, more; More wheel travel, and people usually buy the kit with the "most" wheel travel, not understanding the key factors that most manufacturer's don't address. Factors such as; the adverse effects on components that absolute maximum wheel travel will have. CV joints have an operational range that they will survive within, or a maximum angle that the joint will even travel. All CV joints have a maximum travel range of 28-32 degrees of maximum angle, not all are the same, some have more, some have less. This is a compound angle (hence the wheel travel and the steering angle COMBINED.) If you look at any new 4 wheel drive vehicle, the Ford Raptor included, they have steering stops that are only effective at bump and droop. This allows full travel and limited steering to protect your CV joint, furthermore, all of the heim joints and uni-ball pivots have a maximum angle as well.
Here at ROGUE RACING, we build all of our components with two things in mind: PERFORMANCE AND LONGEVITY. We limit the last 1 inch of wheel travel in all of our kits to ensure you dont have to replace your CV joint commonly. With an extensive background in off-road racing and tuning, and I believe without a doubt that the determining factor between the best performing trucks are the shocks.
Travel does not determine performance alone, in our form of racing all of the trucks have about the same amount of travel. Performance actually comes down to how well the shocks are TUNED. All shocks are hydraulic cylinders that provide resistance to load or force. At ROGUE we have taken this key concept and translated to our suspension kits. We build our own shim stacks with multiple rates to allow the suspension to have different characteristics over different terrains or inputs. In short, all wheel travel is not created equally and not all suspension manufacturers take the time to focus on a well tuned system. Our custom tuned ROGUE shocks have proprietary high speed, low speed valving, bleed, spring rates, and multiple spring rates in our bypass shocks giving you the most control over the wheel travel available.
If you are considering purchasing another system I encourage you to call those other companies and ask them about the spring rate they use, or if their shocks have speed sensitive valving and what goes into the development of their kit, including the shocks.. chances are you might hear crickets on the other line. So break off from the rest of the pack, and think differently about what you want from your off-road experience and what you want to get out of your truck!