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Who the hell does fox tune their forks for?

March 9, 2021, 6:11 p.m.
Posts: 1136
Joined: May 11, 2018

I'm 225lbs and running a fox factory 36 at 160mm on my Chromag.

I used a shockwiz to help me tune the fork.

My pressure and tokens are perfect.

The low and high speed compression damping are all the way open and I am being told to turn them lower (which I cannot)

The low and high speed rebound are both cranked to max and I am being told they are perfect

From this I interpret their base setting as rebound shim stack for a 170lb person and compression for a 250lb person?

Anyone else have this same experience? I am going to get the shim stack tuned with my next service. Don't even get me started on how overdampened my wife's suspension is always.

March 9, 2021, 6:45 p.m.
Posts: 919
Joined: March 15, 2013

I've been a Fox guy for nearly all my riding life and I had literally the exact opposite thought about the Rock Shox suspension on my bike on the ride home today. My air spring is over 15 psi higher than recommended (on both bikes) and my damper feels like it has no compression at all lol

March 9, 2021, 10:45 p.m.
Posts: 834
Joined: June 29, 2006

I find that both angles can work. I swap between 2020 Grip2 36s and a 2021 Lyrik Ultimate and 2021 Pike Ultimate on my two bikes with different travel amounts. 

I feel that the RS forks are a lot more active both in compression and rebound motions. The Fox ones feel pretty wooden, until you really start stuffing them in rocky and harsh terrain. Then they feel awesome.

Rock Shox 2021 feel awesome pretty much everywhere. But I need a little bit more bar height/spacers with them, like 5-10mm.

Where Rock Shox beats Fox easily imho - the forks practically don’t need dial-in sessions. Just set sag and rebound. Fiddle one, two clicks of compression from the middle setting. Feels like a dream.

Fox Grip2 needs much more fiddling and can feel shitty when set up not 100%.

Also, over here in Germany every equivalent fork from Fox will be 1.8 times as expensive as its RS counterpart. 

For chargers the Fox might be better though.

March 10, 2021, 7:49 p.m.
Posts: 1136
Joined: May 11, 2018

Posted by: Znarf

I find that both angles can work. I swap between 2020 Grip2 36s and a 2021 Lyrik Ultimate and 2021 Pike Ultimate on my two bikes with different travel amounts. 

I feel that the RS forks are a lot more active both in compression and rebound motions. The Fox ones feel pretty wooden, until you really start stuffing them in rocky and harsh terrain. Then they feel awesome.

Rock Shox 2021 feel awesome pretty much everywhere. But I need a little bit more bar height/spacers with them, like 5-10mm.

Where Rock Shox beats Fox easily imho - the forks practically don’t need dial-in sessions. Just set sag and rebound. Fiddle one, two clicks of compression from the middle setting. Feels like a dream.

Fox Grip2 needs much more fiddling and can feel shitty when set up not 100%.

Also, over here in Germany every equivalent fork from Fox will be 1.8 times as expensive as its RS counterpart. 

For chargers the Fox might be better though.

This is pretty spot on I would say. I find my lyric with the new debonair very easy to love. I also find the compression and rebound adjusters are more useful in that their range is usable. My fork will need its damper service soon, I thinkni will get the shim stacks custom tuned at the same time.

March 11, 2021, 12:46 a.m.
Posts: 1686
Joined: July 11, 2014

RAH what are your settings? I'm 215lbs naked, running a 2019 36 Factory GRIP2 160mm (27.5), 100psi, 1 token, LSR -5, HSR -5, LSC -7, HSC -11. Usually increase all damping settings by 1 in the summer when it warms up. Gonna go back to two tokens for more bottom out support as I'm going into the end travel too easily. Other than that it feels good... If I wind LSC all the way out it feels super divey.

March 11, 2021, 1:06 a.m.
Posts: 1136
Joined: May 11, 2018

I'm running 105 - 110 with two tokens. Rebound is all the way slow and compression all the way fast. The fork feels pretty good and the shock wiz says it is pretty close to neutral. I just don't get how I can not use any compression and all the rebound. It's like they set the tune wrong. 

I sent the fork back last year as it had a lot of play. Apparently the "lowers were too big". I think I got a lemon. They replaced the lowers. 

It sounds like your fork has very usable damping settings.

March 11, 2021, 2:56 a.m.
Posts: 834
Joined: June 29, 2006

I do find that the amount of travel and the wheel size seems to make a big difference on the FOX 36 series (at least for the 2020 or older models without air bleeders). 

At 170mm and 29" the pneumatic compression in the lowers is very dramatic. Loads of progression even without tokens. It might be less a problem for heavier riders, as pressure in the lowers isn't weight dependent, compared to the actual air chambers. That might give the impression of lots of compression damping and have an effect on rebound in the last 30-40% of travel.

March 11, 2021, 8:19 a.m.
Posts: 816
Joined: Jan. 31, 2005

Posted by: RAHrider

I'm 225lbs and running a fox factory 36 at 160mm on my Chromag.

I used a shockwiz to help me tune the fork.

My pressure and tokens are perfect.

The low and high speed compression damping are all the way open and I am being told to turn them lower (which I cannot)

The low and high speed rebound are both cranked to max and I am being told they are perfect

From this I interpret their base setting as rebound shim stack for a 170lb person and compression for a 250lb person?

Anyone else have this same experience? I am going to get the shim stack tuned with my next service. Don't even get me started on how overdampened my wife's suspension is always.

As a rider in your weight category: no you or I. I just gave up and switched brands. Fox and RS are optimized for some person right up the center of the bell curve of height and weight and everyone else can suck it. And there's not much else you can do except warranty it when the CSU starts creaking and get a Cane Creek. The new bigger Zeb and 38 forks just wrap this same lack of versatility in a visually bigger package.

March 11, 2021, 11:20 a.m.
Posts: 1136
Joined: May 11, 2018

Posted by: craw

Posted by: RAHrider

I'm 225lbs and running a fox factory 36 at 160mm on my Chromag.

I used a shockwiz to help me tune the fork.

My pressure and tokens are perfect.

The low and high speed compression damping are all the way open and I am being told to turn them lower (which I cannot)

The low and high speed rebound are both cranked to max and I am being told they are perfect

From this I interpret their base setting as rebound shim stack for a 170lb person and compression for a 250lb person?

Anyone else have this same experience? I am going to get the shim stack tuned with my next service. Don't even get me started on how overdampened my wife's suspension is always.

As a rider in your weight category: no you or I. I just gave up and switched brands. Fox and RS are optimized for some person right up the center of the bell curve of height and weight and everyone else can suck it. And there's not much else you can do except warranty it when the CSU starts creaking and get a Cane Creek. The new bigger Zeb and 38 forks just wrap this same lack of versatility in a visually bigger package.

So true. I've been on my new helm for just three rides. I've never had a fork feel so good right outa the box. I like it better than both my lyric and 36. Will definitely buy cc again (baring any disasters down the road with this one.

March 12, 2021, 7:45 a.m.
Posts: 164
Joined: Jan. 21, 2013

Question about Shockwiz, because I've never used one:

Does it know you're riding a hardtail? Does that matter?

I think it does make a difference, what the rear suspension (or lack of it) is doing.


 Last edited by: mrbrett on March 12, 2021, 7:45 a.m., edited 1 time in total.
March 12, 2021, 8:15 a.m.
Posts: 816
Joined: Jan. 31, 2005

Posted by: RAHrider

Posted by: craw

Posted by: RAHrider

I'm 225lbs and running a fox factory 36 at 160mm on my Chromag.

I used a shockwiz to help me tune the fork.

My pressure and tokens are perfect.

The low and high speed compression damping are all the way open and I am being told to turn them lower (which I cannot)

The low and high speed rebound are both cranked to max and I am being told they are perfect

From this I interpret their base setting as rebound shim stack for a 170lb person and compression for a 250lb person?

Anyone else have this same experience? I am going to get the shim stack tuned with my next service. Don't even get me started on how overdampened my wife's suspension is always.

As a rider in your weight category: no you or I. I just gave up and switched brands. Fox and RS are optimized for some person right up the center of the bell curve of height and weight and everyone else can suck it. And there's not much else you can do except warranty it when the CSU starts creaking and get a Cane Creek. The new bigger Zeb and 38 forks just wrap this same lack of versatility in a visually bigger package.

So true. I've been on my new helm for just three rides. I've never had a fork feel so good right outa the box. I like it better than both my lyric and 36. Will definitely buy cc again (baring any disasters down the road with this one.

You can totally get the Fox stack reshimmed. That was pretty much standard operating procedure for me. It bums me out that after spending $1200+ on a fork now I have to pay extra just to get it to work. I'm told that's pretty standard in the moto world so who knows. It's nice that the CC seems to have enough range and support for me right out of the box. Also the metal internals are a joy to behold - almost like they want you to know it's not a toy. I've got two Helms so far and both have been great. I have yet to try DVO, Ohlins or Suntour or the new Marzocchi so there's others at least.

March 12, 2021, 10:43 a.m.
Posts: 52
Joined: Feb. 24, 2017

Maybe the Shockwiz is wrong? Not saying it is, but there's more than one variable at play here. How does the fork feel?

March 12, 2021, 4:30 p.m.
Posts: 1136
Joined: May 11, 2018

Good questions. I'm not sure if the shockwiz works differently for full sus or ht. I suspect it doesn't really make a difference.  I agree that it's a bummer to fork out (ignore the pun) for a custom shim stack on a brand new fork. The thing that really gets me though is that the compression is way too much and the rebound way too little. Who would make a fork with too much compression for a 225 LB rider?

As for if the wiz is working, I'd say it is. I don't follow it religiously. For instance, I usually use less low speed compression than it suggests. That said, suspension usually ends up feeling better following its suggestions. As long as you ride the suspension hard it tends to make consistent suggestions that improve the feel. If you ride mellow trails or don't push the bike, the suggestions tend to be less consistent.

March 12, 2021, 4:34 p.m.
Posts: 1686
Joined: July 11, 2014

That is odd to me, wonder if there's something off in the damper (even if brand new)? If I wind my LSC/HSC all the way out the fork is really divey even just braking on flat ground or doing a nose wheelie. Rebound feels really slow all the way in as well. Could try for warranty.

March 12, 2021, 6:39 p.m.
Posts: 1136
Joined: May 11, 2018

Yeah, odd for me too. It's not a big deal because I can get the settings I'm looking for but I just don't understand why they tune their fork this way.

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