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  1. #1
    Golden Bears United
    Reputation: TeeKay's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2005

    SOLO owners--What's wrong with my Fox Float fork?

    I got my white Solo (not 5010) alloy bike a week ago. The LBS said to give it 20 hours of riding and report back before they sort out the suspension, cutting hoses, etc.

    After about 7 hours of riding on it, I'm not sure if my front fork is normal or wrong. I'm a FS noob, so please bear with me.

    Here are some of the problems I noticed with the fork, 32 Fox Float CTD:

    1. It does not have 130mm of travel. I let out all the air, pushed the fork down as much as possible until complete bottom out, and it measured 112 mm from tob of seal to bottom of O-ring . There's still about 25+ mm of exposed, unused stanchion above the O-ring.

    2. With air in, the recommended PSI by Santa Cruz/Fox is way too stiff. To get the proper sag and possibly use all of the travel (112 mm of it) I would have to use about 65 psi (front) and 125 psi (rear). I'm 160 lbs fully-geared. But that pressure is about 20 or so psi lower than recommended settings.

    3. But at the lower PSI, the front dives noticeably when braking.

    4. Fork has LOTS of stiction. LOTS.

    Is this normal? Anything wrong with my fork?

    What should I tell by LBS to adjust, configure, rebuild, etc?


  2. #2
    mtbr member
    Join Date
    Aug 2010
    I had similar issues with mine. I'm also 160 lbs.
    - If I let all the air out of the fork, it bottoms out around the middle of the Kashima logo on the stanchion, which is about 120mm.
    - It felt like it had lots of stiction.
    - With proper fork sag, it would blow through its travel and gets lots of brake dive.

    I opened up the fork and checked the oil levels. Some oil came out of the legs, but it didn't look like much. I soaked the foam rings and added the proper amount of oil to the legs. I also checked the float fluid level, which looked okay, but I drained it and added one pillow pack to make sure. After this service, the stiction was greatly reduced. Before, I had the rebound set all the way fast and it still was still kind of slow. After, I had to dial in about 4 clicks of rebound.

    I have been running the fork around 80 psi to keep it from diving under braking, and usually have the damper in the Descend setting. I'm getting close to full travel, so this seem to work pretty well. I can use lower pressure if I run the damper in the Trail setting. Either way, there still isn't very good small bump compliance. I'm not sure if it's better with lower pressure and more damping or vice versa. I'm thinking of adding some more float fluid to the air chamber to make the spring rate more progessive, which should allow for lower pressure without blowing through its travel. This might improve small bump compliance, but I'm not sure.

    For the rear shock, I'm running the SC recommended 150 psi, and this works pretty well for me. I'm running the damper in the Trail-1 or Trail-2 setting. I tend to like my rear suspension pretty firm, though (I ride a hardtail about half the time).

    I would have your LBS at least check the oil levels in the shock.

  3. #3
    Golden Bears United
    Reputation: TeeKay's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2005
    Thanks Jabrabu. I relayed my problems, your advice, and other guesses as to problems found on this forum to my LBS and they forwarded them to Fox. Fox responded today that it would likely be an "oil migration" problem -- apparently, "sounds like a common problem to Fox" according to my LBS - and asked that it be sent back to its HQ in Morgan Hill. So I won't get it back until next week.

    Back on the rigid, 0 mm travel bike for me this weekend.

  4. #4
    mtbr member
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    If that's the problem, it is common. Thankfully, it's an easy fix. Though I thought Fox already fixed the problem on the newer models.

    Bath Oil Migrating to top of Air Piston

  5. #5
    Golden Bears United
    Reputation: TeeKay's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2005
    Wow! Thanks for the link; it has been bookmarked. Sounds like a common problem and the 2014 version is not necessarily immune.

    I would think that Fox would have replaced that foam ring with the new seal kit by now. We'll see after I get my fork back next week.

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