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  1. #1
    eBiker
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    FOX 36 R forks go open bath, Good or Bad?

    The 36 R version of the Float/Van/Talas is an open bath damper. This is new of 2010. In the service section it states different oil volumes for the "Open Bath" R version, and the RC2 version; for previous years it has the oil volumes the same.

    This new open bath damper is worth some discussion. What are the pros and cons of going open bath?

    Probably removes the bladder.

    Potentially easier to service - Drain & refill.

    Easier to contaminate the damper sauce. (note the Fox weaksauce "seals")

    At more risk of damping cavitization due to air in the oil (but I have never felt cavitization... I think...)

    More tweakable? faster easier access to shimz. Oil weight change direct to damper.

    More oil = cooler oil?

    Any loss of performance?

    P

  2. #2
    mtbr member
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    Also,
    open bath would mean adjustable damping curve (progressive) through oil volume, right?

    Altough open bath could also just mean, no bladder and still seperate lubrication and damping chambers?

    Otherwise the wipers would need to hold up to the immense pressure at (almost) bottom out?

    Greetings Znarf

  3. #3
    eBiker
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    Quote Originally Posted by Znarf
    Also,
    open bath would mean adjustable damping curve (progressive) through oil volume, right?
    That would only be for Marzocchi forks as their seals as they are designed to be air tight and locked in. Fox's seals/wipers will not hold air. So no end stoke spring rate adjustment via oil level for the Fox's.

    I think the R dampers still have the BO damping control adjustment.

    P

  4. #4
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    Hm, but maybe they´d rather have an "open bath" system enclosed in the stanchion. But then that wouldn´t be open bath?

    Hehe, you see I am wandering in the darkness of not-knowledge...

  5. #5
    eBiker
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    Quote Originally Posted by Znarf
    Hm, but maybe they´d rather have an "open bath" system enclosed in the stanchion. But then that wouldn´t be open bath?

    Hehe, you see I am wandering in the darkness of not-knowledge...
    Yep, the one unit of oil would be in the stanchion & lowers. I think Fox did this to save costs on the bladder & bladder install/bleed. On the plus side, that leg should have enough oil for lubrication (cue Jerk...)

    P

  6. #6
    Where's my funny hat?
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    Fox weirdness

    So for 2010 some of the forks (32's) have gone to cartridge, and some others have gone back to open bath? Surely it is more about cost saving, although I don't really have an issue with open dampers if the seals are good (so maybe need to replace the fox ones)..

  7. #7
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    I get the impression 32 models have gone with FIT to save weight and 36 models have gone for open bath to improve reliability.

    Seems a load of ballcocks to me as 32's are now far more expensive for the sake of a 100g or so.

  8. #8
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    should I go for the float 36 RC2 or just the R? I dont really need the compression adjustment but does the FIT cartridge have noticeably less friction over the open bath? If so, that would justify the difference in price for me.

  9. #9
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    The FIT cartridge in the Fox32 line does two things:
    - It saves weight.
    - It increases performance be eliminating oil aeration. This has always been an issue in Fox open bath forks since on compression the oil is forced to the top cap, and then cascades down inside the fork. As a result, on longer hills the damping can start to get weak.

  10. #10
    endorphin addict
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    Any idea if the RC2 is worth the extra money for trail and light freeride type use?

  11. #11
    i like rocks
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    yes
    Tim M Hovey

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  12. #12
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    Fox claims to have the best suspension one year and then promptly trashes it the next year.

    Fox forks already go through stanchions at a rapid rate. The movement away from an oil bath system in the 32 series will only increase this.

    On a side note, I miss Jerk Chicken...
    Last edited by Vespasianus; 10-18-2009 at 02:05 PM.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by Vespasianus
    On a side note, I miss Jerk Chicken...
    Hell yah.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by Vespasianus
    Fox claims to have the best suspension one year and then promptly trashes it the next year.

    Fox forks already go through stanchions at a rapid rate. The movement to an oil bath system in the 32 series will only increase this.

    On a side note, I miss Jerk Chicken...
    What are you talking about? How did they trash it? The 36R model is a step down from the FIT equipped RC2, and they did it because a complex damper like the RC2 wasn't needed for a simple, one adjustment fork. If you're talking about the 32 series moving to FIT, then it's an evolution of their already excellent damper.

    Fox stanchions are fine so long as their rubbish seals are replaced with Enduros. They were because the oil either becomes contaminated or exhausted. Do you mean "the movement from"?

  15. #15
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    A few thoughts on open bath vs. cartridge dampers. I think most advantages of open bath have already been mentioned.

    A larger volume damper can be tuned to limit fork dive (or shock squat) with a wider range ability of tuning for speed sensitive big hit blow off without affecting low speed bump sensitivity as much.

    The small bump sensitivity should be about the same smaller volume cartridge systems have about the same seal stiction considering there is a rebound piston shaft seal and smaller piston seal vs. just a larger piston seal for an open bath. And if the main slider bushings are sloppy a cartridge shaft increases binding and rebound shaft cartridge seal leakage.

    Cartridges are potentially lighter needing less oil, smaller pistons, shims, springs, etc.

    Bladder or floating piston systems might not feasible with open bath forks. But is fork damper oil aeration really a noticeable issue outside of DH racing?

  16. #16
    endorphin addict
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    Good information. I had already pulled the trigger on ordering a Float 36 R before I found out they changed the design for 2010, and not familiar with the ins and outs of cartridge vs open bath. I don't regularly do alot of long rough descents so maybe not such a big issue. At $700 OTD seemed like a good deal. Not really wanting to cough up another $150 for the RC2. Sounds like at first service should switch to the enduro seals. Thanks

  17. #17
    rider of bicycles
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    Background info: I haven't ridden a Fox open bath damper fork, but I do own (and have worked on) an '06 40R FIT fork and I'm very familiar with how it works. I also have a '10 36 TALAS RC2 FIT on order...

    One advantage of an open bath damper I haven't seen mentioned so far is a bigger piston. Bigger pistons can generate the same forces as a smaller piston, but at a lower pressure, which is generally a positive aspect.

    That being said, with my experience (listed above), and without actually seeing the dyno plots of the two, I would prefer the FIT damper due to contamination and cavitation possibilities on an open bath damper.

    I've experienced cavitation before in the rear shock on my DH bike, which is a circa '06 Manitou Swinger 6-way. I was experimenting with low air pressures in the reservoir, and it would cavitate when riding over choppy terrain. Basically, all damping goes away completely for a second or so. It's horrible. Once raising the pressure back up to more common values, it hasn't happened since. I've also experienced it in an '09 Marz 66 with their super-crap RCV damper. Neither of those situations were DH racing, but they were on DH bikes at Winter Park.

  18. #18
    all your base
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    subscribing...please continue to enlighten us.

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by Vespasianus
    Fox claims to have the best suspension one year and then promptly trashes it the next year.

    Fox forks already go through stanchions at a rapid rate. The movement away from an oil bath system in the 32 series will only increase this.

    On a side note, I miss Jerk Chicken...
    Why what happened to Jerk? Is he suffering from "post burnout" already?

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by cort
    Why what happened to Jerk? Is he suffering from "post burnout" already?
    He was banned.

  21. #21
    cyco biker
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    Soap Opera

    I just became a member here & have been sucking up some awesome & valuable info from hardcores that seem passionate about their free time . The threads that go on seem to morph into their own being & suddenly I'm lost . Sheesh. I'm picturing JerkChicken having toasted his testes cuz his adjustable seat post ignited from riding some sick rolling single track. I wonder if he sprained his thumb at the same time?

    Jerk, we may not be thinking of you but I hope you're thumb is OK.
    My hobby is keeping wood alive

  22. #22
    all your base
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    Quote Originally Posted by RTrainer
    I just became a member here & have been sucking up some awesome & valuable info from hardcores that seem passionate about their free time . The threads that go on seem to morph into their own being & suddenly I'm lost . Sheesh. I'm picturing JerkChicken having toasted his testes cuz his adjustable seat post ignited from riding some sick rolling single track. I wonder if he sprained his thumb at the same time?

    Jerk, we may not be thinking of you but I hope you're thumb is OK.
    Pinky, actually.

    Welcome Sir!

  23. #23
    wuss
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    Sorry to raise such an old thread

    So after 2 years of open bath and FIT fox 36's what is the current thought people have? All the "pro" suspension tuners I have called mention that the FIT cartridge creates a lot of stiction, either recommending going with the R and internally tuning the low and high speed compression to suit the rider, or to go with RS.

    I seem to have the urge to try a 180mm Fox 36 about two times a year, and with the Autumn discounts starting I can feel that urge building up again.

  24. #24
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    I just bought a fox float open bath fork. What does open bath mean?

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