Here are some frequently used tuning tips for your suspension.
Don't see the tip you're looking for? e-mail us
Tuning for Conditions
Hard Pack Conditions
Generally adjust compression damping as soft as possible, to handle square edges while still having some control with bottoming.
Adjust damping a little firmer for the loamy terrain, jump faces and bottoming. Optimum settings still should be on the softer side for square edges and rutted corners.
Adjust damping towards the firmer side... increase your fork compression and increase your shocks rebound. In general, two (2) clicks each. You want the bike to ride on top of the terrain, allowing the forks to ride up a little higher.
Rocks and Roots Conditions
Adjust compression more towards the soft side of your baseline settings; this helps to absorb the small sharp hits. You can also speed up rebound both front and rear; this adjustment helps wheels react quickly from rock to rock. This will also produce a very soft plush feel and help reduce arm pump/fatigue. This type of setting is good for woods or trail riding, however it will not be firm enough for fast MX track conditions; the bike will have a wallowy feeling, and will have bottom out issues in woops and jumps.
Not using full travel, feels harsh, poor traction while making turns
Bottoms, soft throughout travel
Excessive sag, feels soft initially
Harsh over small bumps but uses full travel
Takes first bump in a series well but harsh over later bumps, poor traction in washboard corners
Too Much Compression
Wheel chatters over small bumps during braking or downhills
Front end springs back too quickly after bumps, poor traction in bumpy corners
Rear Tuning tips
Not using full travel, feels harsh, poor corning and braking traction
Rear shock Lack of Compression
FOX glossary of terms
Consists of a metal wire formed into a coil which can store energy when compressed, and releases energy as the load is relieved.
The damping circuit that absorbs the energy of compression forces on the damper.
A fluid chamber with a means of regulating the fluid flow, to govern the speed of the moving end of the damper during compression or rebound strokes.
The relative speed in which the moving end of a damper compresses or rebounds.
The process of absorbing the energy of impacts transmitted through the fork or rear shock on the compression stroke, and the process of absorbing the energy of the spring on the rebound stroke.
There are normally four damping circuits which affect the damper's speed. There is both a low and high speed circuit for the compression and rebound strokes.
High Speed Compression damping is the damping circuit in the shock absorber or suspension fork that is tuned to provide suspension travel control at high speed over square edged bumps. All Fox products are HSC tuned by extensive lab and field testing. Too low of HSC damping will cause excessive bottoming out in rough terrain. Too high of HSC damping will minimize suspension travel in rough terrain and cause loss of traction.
Low Speed Compression damping is the damping circuit in the shock absorber or suspension fork that is tuned to provide suspension travel control at low damper speed conditions. All Fox products are LSC tuned by extensive lab and field testing. Too low of LSC damping will cause the excessive travel use, brake dive and wallowing of the bike on small bump terrain. Too high of LSC damping will cause loss of traction on small bump terrain.
A term used to describe the ride characteristics of a rear shock or fork that has too slow of a rebound setting. A damper with to slow of a rebound setting will stay compressed after hitting one bump and cannot rebound quickly enough to absorb the impact of the second or third bump. The solution is to adjust the rebound to a faster setting.
Preload is applied to the fork and shock springs in order to bring the bike to the proper SAG dimension. Adjusting preload to the proper SAG dimension insures traction as wheel load gets light and drops into bumpy holed sections of terrain.
The damping circuit that controls the stored energy release of the compressed spring, in order to reduce the rebounding speed of the damper.
To sink, droop, or settle from pressure or weight
A thin, spring steel flat washer used to exert resistance on the oil flow through a piston. A series of valve shims (valve stack or valving) with varying outer diameters and thicknesses are arranged in sequence to provide a particular damping effect.
SLT (Scraper Lip Technology) Oil Seals
Patented scraper lip technology excludes outside dirt and retains internal fork oil. The rubber in the seal is specially compounded for extremely low friction and wear.
Spring rate is described by force, in pounds or kilograms, needed to compress the spring one inch or centimeter.
A combination of the words static and friction. This word is used to describe the tension exerted on the moving damper parts by the stationary parts like the bushings, seals, and wipers. Low stiction is more desirable, because it has less of a negative effect on the damping.
The un-sprung weight of the motorcycle are parts like the wheels, brakes, swingarm and suspension linkage, and the lower front fork legs. The sprung weight is the sum weight of all the parts of the motorcycle that are supported by the suspension.