So what is rebound damping in a MTB suspension fork really?
Think about this - every time you ride over an obstacle on the mountain bike trail, your front wheel takes the shock. The suspension fork compresses as to absorb the impact shock and then it bounces right back. The rebound damping mechanism controls the speed at which the the fork comes back.
Keeping the tire in permanent contact with the ground is the main job of this mechanism. You can control the rebound depending on the terrain you're rolling. Leaving the rebound in the fast mode means your fork will bounce back quickly, transferring the force into your arms through the handlebar and making the front wheel loose contact with the ground. Instead of having a smooth ride you get a bumpy run. That's why keeping the rebound lever somewhere in the middle is advisable.
If it takes a fraction of a second for the fork to sink as you hit a rock or dip into a hole in the trail, then the fork will come back to its initial state in more than one second when the rebound is on slow mode. This is good for you (the cyclist) because you can keep control of your bike (direction) due to the permanent grip between the tire tread and the trail - which is granted by the slow rebound.
Adjusting Front Suspension Damper Settings on Downhill Mountain Bikes
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