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

Loamy Conditions
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.

Sandy Conditions
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

Overly stiff springs or compression damping
Reduce compression damping; softer coil springs

Bottoms, soft throughout travel

Spring rate too low throughout travel, or too little compression damping
Increase compression damping; stiffer Coils Springs

Excessive sag, feels soft initially

Initial preload too low
Increase spring preload

Harsh over small bumps but uses full travel

Initial spring rate or preload too high, too much compression damping
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

Too much rebound damping
Reduce rebound damping.

Too Much Compression

Ride is harsh, but not as bad as too much rebound. As speed increases, so does harshness. Rear end will want to kick up when going over medium to large bumps (shock resist movement even on medium size bumps)
Decrease compression until harshness is gone
To learn what damping can do for your ride, experiment with the compression adjustments and rebound adjustments. We suggest you start with compression damping. Turn the compression adjuster to full firm, ride your bike for a while, and then turn the adjuster to full soft. This will give you an idea what compression damping can do. Likewise do the same with your rebound adjusters; feel what fast rebound is like, feel what slow rebound is like

Wheel chatters over small bumps during braking or downhills

Too much preload, causing suspension to top out; possibly too much compression damping
Reduce preload, decrease compression

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

Not enough rebound damping
Increase rebound damping

Rear Tuning tips

Compression damping, rebound damping. The spring preload sets the ride height of the vehicle, and determines how much of the total travel will be available for compression and how much will be available for extension. Damping keeps the vehicle 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.

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

An overly stiff spring rate or compression damping; possibly too much preload

Rear shock Lack of Compression

The rear suspension will feel too active (wallow excessively). On jump landings, the shock bottoms too easily.
Increase the compression "gradually until the balance/feel is optimized". You will notice better bottom out control, and the wallow symptom will go away.

FOX glossary of terms

Coil Spring
Consists of a metal wire formed into a coil which can store energy when compressed, and releases energy as the load is relieved.

Compression Damping
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.

Damper Speed
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.

Damping Circuits
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.

Suspension packing
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.

Rebound Damping
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

Valve Shim
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
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.

Un-sprung/Sprung Weight
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.

Distributor and OEM service documents access


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