Tuning Tips

Tuning Tips

Here are some frequently used tuning tips for your bicycle suspension.

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Not using full travel, feels harsh, poor traction while making turns

CAUSES
Overly stiff springs or compression damping
SOLUTIONS
Lower air pressure; reduce compression damping; softer coil springs
 

Bottoms, soft throughout travel

CAUSES
Spring rate too low throughout travel, or too little compression damping
SOLUTIONS
More air pressure; increase compression damping; stiffer Coils Springs
 

Excessive sag, feels soft initially but doesn't bottom

CAUSES
Initial spring rate or preload too low; spring too progressive
SOLUTIONS
Add air pressure or increase spring preload
 

Harsh over small bumps but uses full travel

CAUSES
Initial spring rate or preload too high, springing not progressive enough, or too much compression damping
SOLUTIONS
Lower air pressure or install softer springs; reduce compression damping; reduce spring preload
 

Takes first bump in a series well but harsh over later bumps, poor traction in washboard corners

CAUSES
Too much rebound damping
SOLUTIONS
Reduce rebound damping if adjustable - Non adjustable - reduce oil weight
 

Too Much Compression

SYMPTOM
Ride is harsh, but not as bad as too much rebound. As speed increases, so does harshness. Rear end will want to kick when going over medium to large bumps ( shock resist movement even on medium size bumps)
SOLUTIONS
Decrease compression until harshness is gone
TIP
To learn what damping can do for your ride, experiment with the compression adjustments and rebound adjustments ( if your shock model has them ). We suggest you start with compression damping... Turn compression adjuster (blue knob Vanilla RC & Vanilla DH only) to full firm ride your bike for awhile and then turn the adjuster to full soft. This will give you an idea what compression damping can do. Like wise do the same with your rebound adjusters..... Feel what fast is ..... Feel what slow is
 

Wheel chatters over small bumps during braking or downhills

CAUSES
Too much preload (perhaps because of soft springs) causing suspension to top out; possibly too much compression damping
SOLUTIONS
Reduce preload decrease compression
 

Takes first bump in a series well but harsh over later bumps, poor traction in washboard corners

CAUSES
Too much rebound damping
SOLUTIONS
Reduce rebound damping if adjustable - Non adjustable - reduce oil weight
 

Front end springs back too quickly after bumps, poor traction in bumpy corners

CAUSES
Not enough rebound damping
SOLUTIONS
Increase rebound damping if adjustable
 

Rear Tuning tips

TIPS
There are three major adjustments for FOX Racing Shox for Bicycles: Springs / preload, Compression damping, Rebound damping. The spring preload sets the ride height of the bike and determines how much of the total travel will be available for compression and how much will be available for extension. Damping keeps the bicycle from behaving like an old Sacked out Cadillac - i.e., still bouncing 10 seconds after hitting a bump. Compression damping slows the shock when it is being compressed. Rebound damping slows the shock when it is rebounding.
 

Spring preload Tips

TIPS
PreLoad is adjusted at the shock body ( silver knurled ring ) Shaft sag setting too much - Increase preload - maximum two full turns. In many cases you will need to purchase a new spring for correct sag settings. Set up your bike correctly to keep repair cost down ! Shaft sag setting too little - Reduce preload or use a softer spring.
 

Fox rear shocks spring preload warning

WARNING
If you need more than two turns of preload you will need a higher spring rate. To much preload will cause the spring to coil bind and in some cases damage to the shock may result. Typical coil bind dam-age - Vanilla RC body end caps cracked or broken and Pre-load and spring retainers bent or broken... and in some cases bent damper shafts.
 

Not using full travel, feels harsh, poor corning and braking traction

TIPS
Overly stiff spring rate or compression damping, possibly too much PreLoad
 

Shock Damping Adjustment Locations

TIPS
Rebound adjustment (if applicable) is located at the shaft end of rear shock ( red knob ). Compression adjustment (if applicable) is located at the top of the Vanilla's reservoir (Blue Knob). The Float RL and the Vanilla RL have a blue compression damping lock out lever.
 

Too little Rebound

SYMPTOM
Ride the bike slowly off a curb and if you get after bounce ( Boing, Boing, Boing) you will know the setting a little to fast
SOLUTIONS
Increase rebound "gradually" until the wallow is gone and after bounce from curb drop gone
 

Too Much Rebound

SYMPTOM
Ride is harsh, suspension control is limited and traction is lost. Rear end will pack down, forcing the suspension of the bike to skip over bumps instead of following the terrain
SOLUTIONS
Decrease rebound "gradually" until harsh ride is gone and braking traction is regained. This will also keep the rear suspension from packing down
 

Rear shock lack of Compression

SYMPTOM
The rear suspension will feel too active (bounce and wallow excessively) After big jump landings the shock bottoms to easy
SOLUTIONS
Insufficient compression - Increase compression "gradually until the balance / feel is optimized. You will notice better control over the Bounce and wallow symptoms