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  1. #1
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    2013 Fox 36 Float 160 Issue

    Hey All,

    Hoping you can provide some insight on an issue I am having with my brand new Fox 36 Float 160 FIT RC2 - it is topping out with only around 147mm of usable stanchion exposed. I've attached 3 photos of my situation:

    (1) - All the air let out of the fork to show where it bottoms out. I left the o-ring in this position in order to show the 'usable' travel in the next pics. You can see this is around ~6mm.

    (2)- This is with the fork pumped up to my typical riding pressure of ~54 psi. You can see there is about 147mm of usable and 153mm of total stanchion exposed.

    (3)- This is with the fork pumped way up to around ~95 psi (topped out) to show where full extension is. You can see there is around 164mm of usable and 170mm of total stanchion exposed.

    With 55 psi in the fork I can pull down on the lowers and feel somewhat stiff resistance against the fork topping out the last ~17mm of travel.

    Anybody seen this before? I called up Fox and they claimed that while I am riding I am achieving full travel even if it doesn't seem like it in a static position. I don't see how this is possible given how much negative force I have to apply to the lowers to pull the last 17mm of travel out of it. To their credit they did offer to take a look at the fork if I sent it in, I'm just hesitant to park my bike for a couple of weeks to do this.

    Thanks for any insight that you can provide.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails 2013 Fox 36 Float 160 Issue-stanchion-compressed.jpg  

    2013 Fox 36 Float 160 Issue-stanchion-typical-situation.jpg  

    2013 Fox 36 Float 160 Issue-stanchion-fully-exposed-1.jpg  


  2. #2
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    It's a fox (seriously), they're notorious for not having the full stanchion exposed, and not utilizing full travel. Just go ride it.

  3. #3
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    pic #2 looks pretty darn close to a 160mm fox to me. i have personally never seen one that is bang on 160, as arkon said, pretty common problem.

  4. #4
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    Yeah fox has integrity issues. My buddies who are on fox 160mm forks ride my lyrik and are blown away at how plush it is. "Wow your fork actually uses all of its travel this is kinda dangerous". No actually its normal to have a fork that uses all of its travel, you paid for that extra 10mm, you better get it! I've seen some fox forks only use 140ish mm of travel on 160mm forks. Fox might have all the snobs convinced but I think rockshox is years ahead.

  5. #5
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    Yeah I used to be a huge fan of Fox forks (I love their 32mm line when I road mostly XC, and some "all mountain"), but as soon as I started getting into their bigger forks, it was clear that Rockshox was eons ahead.

    I'd take my coil Lyrik over a Float or Van any day.

  6. #6
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    Also many people consider 160mm 6 inches of travel. It's actually 6.3 inches. The third picture is the only one close to that measurement and its nearly double his normal PSI which would make this bike a rigid bike. What's the point of having a fork with that much travel when it can only use it's full travel at a PSI that makes it impossible to access the full travel?

  7. #7
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    Do you have a Gibson SG?

  8. #8
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    If this is indeed an issue i think fox needs to address it. There is no need to advertise a product that it doesnt live up to. I have a fox 36 and i noticed that the fork doesnt use all of its travel all the time only with big hits. I know you can modify the fork to help this issues but i dont feel that i should have to do that.

  9. #9
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    I too have a Fox 36 Float that I feel has been pretty crap performance wise so far. This fork came on my NOS 2011 GT Sanction and it just is "blah". The seals are somewhat sticky and I am only getting about 4.5" of travel out of it, and that includes hitting some 4 foot jumps with it. Thinking of going rock shox instead......

  10. #10
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    i haev a Rock Shox Revelation (140) that is the same way. If I measure the same way you are (to the O-ring after releasing all pressure), i dont get close to 140. It is what it is and its not just Fox. If it rides well, does it really matter that much?

  11. #11
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    What I've understood is that the most usual problem with Fox air forks(especially 36's) is that they have too small air spring volume. This creates very progressive spring rate and often causes this kind of symptoms(mostly for small riders who need lower pressures) that if you set air pressure to get decent sag, it is impossible to get full travel, and if you set low enough pressures to get full travel(bottom out) the air spring is too weak to pull against the negative spring and fork does not get fully extent...

    This problem can be solved by shortening the air piston rod, which effectively increases the air spring volume and makes spring rate more linear. By doing this you are able to use higher pressures which will overcome the force of negative spring while more linear spring rate allows fork to fully extend while you are still getting full travel.

    I have a 160mm Fox Float R on my Covert, before the modification I ran with pressures between 15 and 20 psi!(sag about 30% and got almost full travel) After I shortened the air piston rod about 20mm, I can use pressures of about 45...50psi with getting 20% sag and using the full travel...

    Modification is fairly easy and instructions easy to find. Just disassemble fork so that you get the air piston rod out, remove pin&piston, shorten the rod by ~20mm, piston back, drill new hole, insert pin back, and re-assemble the fork. However, I understand that this can be a bit of a question mark whether or not to do this for a brand new fork, since this understandably voids the warranty...
    Last edited by Verttii; 07-12-2012 at 05:11 PM.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by Verttii View Post
    What I've understood is that the most usual problem with Fox air forks(especially 36's) is that they have too small air spring volume. This creates very progressive spring rate and often causes this kind of symptoms(mostly for small riders who need lower pressures) that if you set air pressure to get decent sag, it is impossible to get full travel, and if you set low enough pressures to get full travel(bottom out) the air spring is too weak to pull against the negative spring and fork does not get fully extent...

    This problem can be solved by shortening the air piston rod, which effectively increases the air spring volume and makes spring rate more linear. By doing this you are able to use higher pressures which will overcome the force of negative spring while more linear spring rate allows fork to fully extend while you are still getting full travel.

    I have a 160mm Fox Float R on my Covert, before the modification I ran with pressures between 15 and 20 psi!(sag about 30% and got almost full travel) After I shortened the air piston rod about 20mm, I can use pressures of about 45...50psi with getting 20% sag and using the full travel...

    The interesting thing about this fork is that it is actually the most linear feeling Fox fork I have ever ridden. I'm not sure if they finally got it figured out but I actually don't think that it is too progressive and have been able to get it to bottom with the pressure correct for my sag/feeling and the HSC set very low.

    I also like the RC2 damper. The adjustments make a noticeable difference. The HSC adjustment with the linear feeling air spring have allowed me to have reasonable sag but not bottom out.

    Small bump compliance and stiction totally suck still. I am hoping that after a bit of riding it will smooth out.

    Now if I could just get it to actually have 160mm of travel, I would be happy with it. I understand the people who say 'just ride it' but when I paid $1000 for a fork I sort of expect it to have the advertised travel.

  13. #13
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    You are not going to notice that last 10mm of positive travel at your pressure. Besides, Fox says 160mm. They don't say all positive travel. Negative travel is still travel, and it is very important for traction. Just ride the fork.

  14. #14
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    To all the Fox skeptics, one more reason to get an Xfusion. I had a Lyrik for awhile and it was plush, but it definitely felt a little noodley! The Vengeance is ridiculously stiff and damn plush too.

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by Verttii View Post
    What I've understood is that the most usual problem with Fox air forks(especially 36's) is that they have too small air spring volume. This creates very progressive spring rate and often causes this kind of symptoms(mostly for small riders who need lower pressures) that if you set air pressure to get decent sag, it is impossible to get full travel, and if you set low enough pressures to get full travel(bottom out) the air spring is too weak to pull against the negative spring and fork does not get fully extent.
    This trade off issue should be solved with the RC2 cartridge as you can set the proper sag, have good small bump sensitivity and still have good support for big fast hits. I have a 2013 170 RC2 and I am using ALL of my travel. I am actually very impressed with this fork (coming from a TALAS 32 140). Sorry to hear the OP is having problems.

    Sent from my SGH-I897 using Tapatalk 2

  16. #16
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    Sounds like the negative spring is too strong. Not sure what the fix is, but it should be a full travel when not loaded. Sounds like a BS story from Fox to me. Wouldn't be the first time.

  17. #17
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    When you pumped it up to 54 psi, did you bounce/push on the fork a few times? This should be done when measuring sag and I would imagine the same principal applies here.

  18. #18
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    This is not a Fox-only problem, my Rock Shox does the same, my F32 100mm did the same until i played with the oil levels and my 32mm Float doesn't use the last few mm's either but it has 6mm extra of exposed stanchion.

    My Fox is actually much plusher than my Revelation but the Rev is stiffer and has more adjustments ( which i don't use anyway ).

    There will always be advantages and disadvantages to each, just ride the thing.

  19. #19
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    When Rockshox came out w/ travel gradient's on their forks there were a few folks reported their forks didn't measure the proper travel. Usually the threads would end like "just ride the fork, you won't even notice the difference". I had plenty of Marzocchi forks that would not measure the listed travel. The negative coil springs had more spring rate then the main spring. A simple test for the negative spring was to pin the front wheel down then pull up on the bars. OP send it to Fox or just ride it.

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by Adaptive View Post
    This trade off issue should be solved with the RC2 cartridge as you can set the proper sag, have good small bump sensitivity and still have good support for big fast hits. I have a 2013 170 RC2 and I am using ALL of my travel. I am actually very impressed with this fork (coming from a TALAS 32 140). Sorry to hear the OP is having problems.

    Sent from my SGH-I897 using Tapatalk 2
    This problem most likely does not have anything to do with the damping side, whether it is with basic open bath R or RC2 cartridge or anything. Problem is on the air spring side, and most likely related to negative spring. Negative spring is too strong or adjusted incorrectly, and it resists positive (air)spring too much with reasonably low pressures... When increasing pressure on air spring, its force will increase and overcome the negative spring.

    To demonstrate this on your own fork, just let all air out from the air side, at some point the negative spring starts pulling the fork in some, but not all the way to bottom. I don't remember now how long the negative spring was on my 36, maybe ~50mm or so...

  21. #21
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    I have the 12 talas rlc so I know the fork, if you need that extra travel you are fuc#ed. If it's really a problem sell it and get something different. I worked in a shop while I put myself through college and I've seen people worry about things like that. Gear whores looking to blame the bike, you will never notice it and it will not hold you back (my boss raced dh and wasn't that good had a 10k bike and always found something to blame, a guy put in a faster time on a hardtail). Personally I rarely use above 130 on my fork, if your hitting something that big your low speed compression will suck it up, if you do in just normal riding you don't have enough air in it.

  22. #22
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    I have the same problem on my talas 32 150. Some of it the negative sag issue, lift the bike off the ground and you'll see another 2-3 mm stancion, but I was still ~7mm short. Fox stretches the truth a tad, It's like horsepower ratings in cars, good luck ever reaching the car's advertised 0-60 time. But they are still great forks, I don't sweat it.

  23. #23
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    I was just about to grab one of these forks, thanks for posting this & letting us know.

  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by Brian_Pal View Post
    The interesting thing about this fork is that it is actually the most linear feeling Fox fork I have ever ridden. I'm not sure if they finally got it figured out but I actually don't think that it is too progressive and have been able to get it to bottom with the pressure correct for my sag/feeling and the HSC set very low.

    I also like the RC2 damper. The adjustments make a noticeable difference. The HSC adjustment with the linear feeling air spring have allowed me to have reasonable sag but not bottom out.

    Small bump compliance and stiction totally suck still. I am hoping that after a bit of riding it will smooth out.

    Now if I could just get it to actually have 160mm of travel, I would be happy with it. I understand the people who say 'just ride it' but when I paid $1000 for a fork I sort of expect it to have the advertised travel.
    I know this modification works. I cut about 1 cm from the air piston shaft on my 32 float 150 RL. I weigh in at 155. I went from running 45-48 psi and getting 130 mm travel on the harshest rides. Now i run 70 psi and get full travel on most all rides. Cutting the air piston shaft creates a more linear spring rate. Thus you can run a higher PSI, the fork rebounds and uses the negative spring rate much better, and you still get full travel on big hits. This is something to consider. . .

  25. #25
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    It's the Negative Spring Rate. FOX only has one spring they put in so it's designed to work through out the whole PSI range of all riders. The 2011 FLOAT I had, it's negative spring was too soft so I would top out/clink when I pulled up and the fork sat at 170mm with only 50PSI.

    I'm going to say that FOX improved their design by installing a stronger negative spring. This also helps with initial travel/small bump.

    Can you tell me at what PSI does the fork sit at 160?

  26. #26
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    I just measured mine and there is 170mm of stanchion exposed sitting at 60 psi.

    Sent from my SGH-I897 using Tapatalk 2

  27. #27
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    My 2012 float rlc 160 has 166mm of exposed stachtion at 65psi. I weight 190 geared up and have never been able to use last 1" of travel.

  28. #28
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    I know there are lots of useful comments in here, but it very widely known that the 36 160s have faulty foam rings which allow oil to migrate up top, reducing travel and over time seriously "firming" up the ride. If you remove the left leg, youll probably find little to no oil in the lower, because its all up top.

    Have a look at this thread, the fix is easy, you'll have full travel again.

    Thread:Bath Oil Migrating to top of Air Piston

    Scroll to like page 7 and you can see which foam seal should either be removed or replaced with their new one which actually lets the oil migrate back down into the lower.

    rodeo

  29. #29
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    If you read the Thread......he's concerned about the top out/negative spring. Fox isn't using the foam wiper anymore...this is a 2013 fork.

  30. #30
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    What is fox now using for the 2013 fork? Does this mean that the 2013 fork can get the Slick Honey treatment the Rockshox guys are raving about?

  31. #31
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    I'm not defending a fork/manufacturer or getting down on a rider, but

    You are using the 36mm-stanchioned fork. The 36-160 and 36-180 are the biggest single-crown forks in the Fox line (and the RS Totem is the only bigger single-crown fork I can think of). These are capable of going _huge_. That capability adds to the breadth of situations in which the fork must work (think of a continuum from small bump performance all the way to landing a huge huck to flat). You bought the 36 because you wanted a fork that was stiffer and could go bigger. But you also want the fork to work optimally (use full travel on _your_ ride, at _your sag_, etc) under a much narrower set of circumstances. You have six inches of travel. Think of the last inch as "for giant drops or cased landings". It is simply not just one more inch just like the first five inches were for. Your expectations, based on too simple an idea (every inch of suspension is equal to every other inch, in a linear, additive way), are one issue. And the realities of air sprung forks [that with only one adjustment (pressure) you can only tune the spring rate to one optimum, a. sag or b. just barely bottoming on your ride's biggest hit]. If you want to tune for two optima, you need to adjust at least two variables, like pressure and volume. Be happy you have that little extra bottoming resistance and don't resent carrying around that "unuseable" last inch of travel. Or step down to a 32mm fork that you can push to the limits if that makes you feel better.
    Last edited by Snfoilhat; 07-20-2012 at 11:30 PM. Reason: grammar

  32. #32
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    His problem is not getting the last inch of travel. It is getting the first inch since it sounds like there is an issue with the negative spring.

  33. #33
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    Quote Originally Posted by Adaptive View Post
    What is fox now using for the 2013 fork? Does this mean that the 2013 fork can get the Slick Honey treatment the Rockshox guys are raving about?
    Fox has had top out spring issues for some time and they use a very stiff spring to try to keep them from collapsing at higher pressures.

    Just did a 2012 to 2013 32mm Float air piston warranty replacement today for a very tall heavy guy. He needed slightly over 100psi to set sag which collapsed the top out spring after 6 months of use.

    The new piston assembly uses 2 rubber(piston) rings instead of one rubber(piston) ring on top and foam on the bottom. A light coating of SH on/between the two rings really makes it slide nice(without the aid of the lube/foam ring).

    Tried running the fork at less pressure/higher sag with more LSC to try and hold the fork up in the travel but this made the fork feel horrible. You could really notice it in tight switch backs. The fork would drop to far into travel causing the front end to tuck under even with LSC at 0.

  34. #34
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    Looks pretty close to me.

  35. #35
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    Glad I found this as I have a 2013 RC2 36 Float on the way! Any more issues to report?

  36. #36
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    Quote Originally Posted by Snfoilhat View Post
    You are using the 36mm-stanchioned fork. The 36-160 and 36-180 are the biggest single-crown forks in the Fox line (and the RS Totem is the only bigger single-crown fork I can think of). These are capable of going _huge_. That capability adds to the breadth of situations in which the fork must work (think of a continuum from small bump performance all the way to landing a huge huck to flat). You bought the 36 because you wanted a fork that was stiffer and could go bigger. But you also want the fork to work optimally (use full travel on _your_ ride, at _your sag_, etc) under a much narrower set of circumstances. You have six inches of travel. Think of the last inch as "for giant drops or cased landings". It is simply not just one more inch just like the first five inches were for. Your expectations, based on too simple an idea (every inch of suspension is equal to every other inch, in a linear, additive way), are one issue. And the realities of air sprung forks [that with only one adjustment (pressure) you can only tune the spring rate to one optimum, a. sag or b. just barely bottoming on your ride's biggest hit]. If you want to tune for two optima, you need to adjust at least two variables, like pressure and volume. Be happy you have that little extra bottoming resistance and don't resent carrying around that "unuseable" last inch of travel. Or step down to a 32mm fork that you can push to the limits if that makes you feel better.

    Absolutely this. Per Fox's recommendation, and even just plain common sense, your last 5-8 maybe even 10mm of travel should be reserved for the "once in a while" type hits. Especially on forks like this that are essentially designed around being able to take monster hits. If you're bottoming out on your relatively average ride (assuming you're not doin huge drops, g outs, etc) regularly, then you're doing something wrong. The nice thing about the RC2 is that you can set it to a somewhat lower PSI so you get that nice smaller bump compliance, but then ramp up the HS damping as an added layer of compression, but only for the bigger hits.

  37. #37
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    Quote Originally Posted by socalMX View Post
    Glad I found this as I have a 2013 RC2 36 Float on the way! Any more issues to report?
    Nope, I have been using and abusing mine for a few months now and absolutely loving it - I am not experiencing any issues with using all available travel either

    Is a really really good fork.

  38. #38
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    Good to hear! I was not too keen on the 2011 Float 160 RLC I had. I have the 2013 Float RC2 and a RC2DH Lyrik Solo Air sitting here and trying to decide between the two!

  39. #39
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    Resurrecting this old thread....

    Quote Originally Posted by Brian_Pal View Post
    Hey All,

    Hoping you can provide some insight on an issue I am having with my brand new Fox 36 Float 160 FIT RC2 - it is topping out with only around 147mm of usable stanchion exposed. I've attached 3 photos of my situation:

    (1) - All the air let out of the fork to show where it bottoms out. I left the o-ring in this position in order to show the 'usable' travel in the next pics. You can see this is around ~6mm.

    (2)- This is with the fork pumped up to my typical riding pressure of ~54 psi. You can see there is about 147mm of usable and 153mm of total stanchion exposed.

    (3)- This is with the fork pumped way up to around ~95 psi (topped out) to show where full extension is. You can see there is around 164mm of usable and 170mm of total stanchion exposed.

    With 55 psi in the fork I can pull down on the lowers and feel somewhat stiff resistance against the fork topping out the last ~17mm of travel.

    Anybody seen this before? I called up Fox and they claimed that while I am riding I am achieving full travel even if it doesn't seem like it in a static position. I don't see how this is possible given how much negative force I have to apply to the lowers to pull the last 17mm of travel out of it. To their credit they did offer to take a look at the fork if I sent it in, I'm just hesitant to park my bike for a couple of weeks to do this.

    Thanks for any insight that you can provide.
    Resurrecting this old thread....

    I have the same 2013 fork with five rides on it now. The description above is EXACTLY how mine is. Tons of stiction, it feels like indexed travel in its initial stroke. I re-lubed the outers, but am thinking I also need to put some slick honey on the air seals and maybe this whole new air-side spring assembly (way different than 2012 and previous).

    Brian_Pal - did it ever get better through just use? Any one else have these initial stroke issues like Brian_Pal and me?

  40. #40
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    Quote Originally Posted by bikedrd View Post
    Resurrecting this old thread....

    I have the same 2013 fork with five rides on it now. The description above is EXACTLY how mine is. Tons of stiction, it feels like indexed travel in its initial stroke. I re-lubed the outers, but am thinking I also need to put some slick honey on the air seals and maybe this whole new air-side spring assembly (way different than 2012 and previous).

    Brian_Pal - did it ever get better through just use? Any one else have these initial stroke issues like Brian_Pal and me?
    I've got a few months of riding on this fork now, including about 5-6 lift days. It is significantly better now than it was when I first got it. I now have ~163mm of exposed stanchion, which means I am getting just about exactly 160mm of travel. The fork feels smoother, not perfect but ok.

  41. #41
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    Hello guys.
    I'm waiting for a 36 float RC2 160 mm 2013 for my new Mojo HD and I don't find an information that I need.
    What is the postmount size for this fork ? 160 or 180 mm ?
    I have a 36 van 2009 on another bike so I know that it's a 160 mm postmount, but when I see pictures, I feel that 2012 or 2013 forks have longer legs, maybe for 180 mm disc ?
    My front brake is a avid x0 trail 180, so I'd like to know if I need an adapter ?

  42. #42
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    Sent from my SCH-I605 using Tapatalk 2

  43. #43
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    Quote Originally Posted by bikedrd View Post
    160

    Sent from my SCH-I605 using Tapatalk 2
    Thanks.
    I'm going to order an adapter.

  44. #44
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    Quote Originally Posted by canuck_tacoma View Post
    It's the Negative Spring Rate.

    I'm going to say that FOX improved their design by installing a stronger negative spring. This also helps with initial travel/small bump.
    ^^THIS...negative travel is a GOOD THING if you want your fork to be active

    ALSO, I recently got a full rebuild on my 2011 float, and needed a new negative top-out spring. I got to talking to the service tech, and he said that Fox has moved to a longer negative spring that is active through a larger portion of the forks travel...I would assume it is a bit more powerful, too

    the negative spring tension is the same on every fox fork, so getting it to top out at different PSI should just be a function of how well lubed everything in the fork is....dust seals, air spring seals, etc...i've also started using slick honey in addition to suspension oil on my forks and its real nice

    Lol at all the people that instantly jump into the Fox V. Rock Shox squabbling...that is completely irrelevant for this topic, and the OP has an awesome fork

    EDIT: haha, didnt see how old this thread was at first...hopefully everyone's happy by now...
    Last edited by ride the biscuit; 01-14-2013 at 07:38 AM.

  45. #45
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    Quote Originally Posted by KeMicK View Post
    Thanks.
    I'm going to order an adapter.
    My X0 Trail came with the adaptor for 180mm (using 2013 Talas 150mm).

    dave
    SB66c

  46. #46
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    Quote Originally Posted by rael View Post
    My X0 Trail came with the adaptor for 180mm (using 2013 Talas 150mm).

    dave
    SB66c
    Yes, my front one came with the adapter but not the rear one...
    I need inevitably an adapter for the rear, so I hoped that fork was direct in 180 mm.
    It was maybe a forget...

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