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  1. #1
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    MARZOCCHI 44 rc3 ti how "should" it feel???

    Hey gents....need some input here.

    Just bought a mildly used marz 44 rc3 ti and am not so sure I am happy with it out of the box or should service it. Looking for input on how this thing should feel with the old "living room" test ie ...not on the bike.

    -there is noticeable initial stiction with no air in it. Also if I stop while
    cycling it in its' travel (say one inch compressed) and continue there is
    noticeable stiction.

    -there is no discernible difference compressing the fork (off the bike) with
    the compression knob all the turned on high versus all the way turned on
    low

    So does this sound normal, or should I pull this thing apart and service it?

    Thanks for any input

  2. #2
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    I always service a used fork before use. While its apart you can check damper operation and bench test for stichion. I gave up trying to test ride forks off the bike or in the driveway.

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by keen View Post
    I always service a used fork before use. While its apart you can check damper operation and bench test for stichion. I gave up trying to test ride forks off the bike or in the driveway.
    Hey thanks for the response, and yeah servicing a used fork is certainly not a bad idea. While I have no problem dropping the lowers cleaning seals & adding fresh oil, I would rather not get into the damper if possible just yet. I guess I'm wondering if my fork's behavior is normal or not as I definately expected to feel a difference with compression on or off. Furthermore marz stated the fork is good to go without service for 3 years....

  4. #4
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    The oil should be changed every 100 hours of riding. and dissasembly of that damper is impossible and not necessary, but you will have to stroke the damper rod while refilling with oil, at this time you can play with the adjustments to verify that they are working.

  5. #5
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    Ok, will go ahead and do the oil/clean seals etc before running it (makes sense).

    Anywhere I can find oil weight and voulme etc?

    I saw the pinbike vid on the 44 but they used the tst or whatever

  6. #6
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    factory fill oil is golden spectro 125/150 aka 7.5 wt. The damper side oil level is measured fully bottomed out both stancion and damper rod, and is 50mm from the top of the stancion to the oil. Make sure when measuring oil level you have bled all the air out of the damper and stancion/slide interface by stroking both the damper rod and stancion till there are no more bubbles and the oil level stops dropping and the damper cycles through the full range of travel smoothly.


    Tenneco Marzocchi Suspension

    The spring side uses around 50 cc's of oil to start with, but can use more if you want the spring rate to ramp up more/faster. The max oil level on that side is 50mm I beleive though I doubt you would ever want to run it that high on that side.

    To remove the damper side top cap you need a cassette lock ring tool to remove the cap from the crown and a 10mm box wrench to loosen the jam nut and seperate it from the damper rod. Grease the footnut seals well on this side as the damper will want to just spin while tightening this down, a small impact wrench with a very light touch makes this much easier.

    The spring side requires a little creativity, but a park cone wrench with the padded handle can fit the handle in the slots to loosen it without marring it up.

    When reassembling the sliders to the CSU remove the foam rings from under the dust seals and pack the space between the dust seals and oil seals with a good suspension grease, I prefer RockNRoll superslick, others like slick honey. And make sure not to fold over a lip on the seals during this process. Watch the vids from marzocchi and pinkbike out there for more info.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by AlienRFX View Post
    factory fill oil is golden spectro 125/150 aka 7.5 wt. The damper side oil level is measured fully bottomed out both stancion and damper rod, and is 50mm from the top of the stancion to the oil. Make sure when measuring oil level you have bled all the air out of the damper and stancion/slide interface by stroking both the damper rod and stancion till there are no more bubbles and the oil level stops dropping and the damper cycles through the full range of travel smoothly.


    Tenneco Marzocchi Suspension

    The spring side uses around 50 cc's of oil to start with, but can use more if you want the spring rate to ramp up more/faster. The max oil level on that side is 50mm I beleive though I doubt you would ever want to run it that high on that side.

    To remove the damper side top cap you need a cassette lock ring tool to remove the cap from the crown and a 10mm box wrench to loosen the jam nut and seperate it from the damper rod. Grease the footnut seals well on this side as the damper will want to just spin while tightening this down, a small impact wrench with a very light touch makes this much easier.

    The spring side requires a little creativity, but a park cone wrench with the padded handle can fit the handle in the slots to loosen it without marring it up.

    When reassembling the sliders to the CSU remove the foam rings from under the dust seals and pack the space between the dust seals and oil seals with a good suspension grease, I prefer RockNRoll superslick, others like slick honey. And make sure not to fold over a lip on the seals during this process. Watch the vids from marzocchi and pinkbike out there for more info.
    Ok, good stuff here thanks! Not sure how one is supposed to measure the oil level from the top of the stantion with damper in the way, but am sure once I get it apart and in my hands it will make sense

  8. #8
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    The spring may be binding, check that the support rod is sitting is square in the leg

  9. #9
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    i have a 44 RC3 and i like it for the most part. I've seen a lot of forums with people complaining about the lock out not working after x amount of time. I had mine for a year now, i average 3 rides a week, im a bit hard on my forks and my lockout still works.

    how does it feel? as you described the initial inch of no air, i've had the same feeling in mine from day one. also, the shock feels a little sticky compared to other shocks i've tried but it's not too bad.

  10. #10
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    Lockout? The RC3 has no lockouts.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by JohnnyC7 View Post
    The spring may be binding, check that the support rod is sitting is square in the leg
    Doesn't feel as though the spring is binding at all nor does it make any noise to indicate so.

    The stiction is deffinately either seals or in the damper. Most concerned that the compression knob does nothing.

  12. #12
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    See Adjusting the Hi-Lo compression adjuster on the RC3 damper - dan jones's posterous

    Put it on the bike and ride it. It's a coil sprung marzocchi and they can feel a little notchy on a 'push down the fork' test. Likewise the range on the compression adjustment is not great - they don't let you screw up the fork.

    Get out there and ride it - this is the best 150mm trail fork you can buy.
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  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by AlienRFX View Post
    Make sure when measuring oil level you have bled all the air out of the damper and stancion/slide interface by stroking both the damper rod and stancion till there are no more bubbles and the oil level stops dropping and the damper cycles through the full range of travel smoothly.
    I know this is a bit old, but I have a question on this. ...bought a '12 66 rc3 evo ti, and there was a TON of bubbles as i was stroking the damper (with spring out and fork bottomed out).

    I didnt know both the stanchion and damper needed to be pumped...and to be clear, by pumping stanchion, you mean cycling the fork through its travel a bunch? then cycling the damper with fork bottomed out?

    I did this a good # of times, but the bubbles kept coming, and I just closed it up since I didn't know they could eventually be completely bled out.

    will the bubbles eventually go away if i keep pumping it? the oil looked completely clean.

    i posted a separate thread with some other questions, but im good on those others

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by nicolai-uk View Post
    See Adjusting the Hi-Lo compression adjuster on the RC3 damper - dan jones's posterous

    Put it on the bike and ride it. It's a coil sprung marzocchi and they can feel a little notchy on a 'push down the fork' test. Likewise the range on the compression adjustment is not great - they don't let you screw up the fork.

    Get out there and ride it - this is the best 150mm trail fork you can buy.
    Hey thanks for the link Nicolai, it's a good link and I didn't realize the rc3 compression worked that way.

    Anyway your advice is prolly good advice however my right fork leg leaks a bit. I was messing with the air to check & see if my old ifp chamber tool would work with pump/fork to fill it with air. So I think I overfilled with air a bit and maybe forced some oil past the oil seal. Not sure if this damaged the oil seal or not. Getting ready to build this bike now & still debating to rebuild the fork or not. Also have read of bigger guys (I'm 225 pounds) using 10 weight oil instead of the 7.5 weight. Good idea bad idea?
    Last edited by WHALENARD; 04-09-2013 at 11:23 AM.

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by WHALENARD View Post
    using 10 weight oil instead of the 7.5 weight. Good idea bad idea?
    I am way lighter than you but ride very hard. Was never happy with the fork - way too little compression damping for my needs. Recently rebuilt it and changed to 10 weight oil thinking it may make a small difference. Well is has made a HUGE difference and the fork now feels like I dreamed it would. I thoroughly recommend this to anyone running this fork.

  16. #16
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    Good to know gravityfreak! I actually just rebuilt mine & am glad I did as the spring side was bone dry. I used the 7.5 weight so if it feels meek I will switch over to 10 weight. Only got a couple rides on it so far (dang Oregon rain!) but the damping feels ok. However it is flexy so thinking of going with a bigger fork anyway
    It is no measure of health to be well adjusted to a profoundly sick society.

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    Here is the text from that link that is now dead for adjusting the Hi-Lo compression. (Thanks to "The Internet Archive")

    "A little tech today; one of the most frequently asked questions I receive is for set up help with the compression adjuster on the RC3 damper.

    The first thing to understand is the compression adjuster will affect both high and low speed damping, simply put if you set the adjuster all the way to “+” it will give you maximum low speed damping, set the adjuster all the way to “-“ will give you maximum high speed damping.

    Both high and low speed damping curves cross in the middle so the adjusters neutral position is in the middle (count the clicks/ turns). Adjusting out from the middle with give you a varying combination of both high and low speed damping, so in theory you have all the combinations of damping you would normally have in two separate adjusters, but in one easy-to-use adjuster."

    By Dan Jones

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by biomagx View Post
    Here is the text from that link that is now dead for adjusting the Hi-Lo compression. (Thanks to "The Internet Archive")

    "A little tech today; one of the most frequently asked questions I receive is for set up help with the compression adjuster on the RC3 damper.

    The first thing to understand is the compression adjuster will affect both high and low speed damping, simply put if you set the adjuster all the way to “+” it will give you maximum low speed damping, set the adjuster all the way to “-“ will give you maximum high speed damping.

    Both high and low speed damping curves cross in the middle so the adjusters neutral position is in the middle (count the clicks/ turns). Adjusting out from the middle with give you a varying combination of both high and low speed damping, so in theory you have all the combinations of damping you would normally have in two separate adjusters, but in one easy-to-use adjuster."

    By Dan Jones
    Thanks for posting that again as it's very useful to anyone who finds it. As of right now I'm very impressed with my marz 44 ti. Awesome dampening and great adjustability. As little as 2 clicks on the compression knob is very noticeable. I can't say that about any mtb sus product I've ever used including "pushed" ones.

  19. #19
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    I have a hard time buying this inverse compression curve idea...has this been confirmed or suggested by marzocchi or anyone else?

    Aside from that when I had the fork open and cycled the damper after playing with the compression settings, it was easy to see just how big of an impact one or two clicks of this damper makes.

    I know that's the slow speed compression I'm feeling so I can't prove the inverse compression idea wrong. But it just seems odd

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by ride the biscuit View Post
    I have a hard time buying this inverse compression curve idea...has this been confirmed or suggested by marzocchi or anyone else?

    Aside from that when I had the fork open and cycled the damper after playing with the compression settings, it was easy to see just how big of an impact one or two clicks of this damper makes.

    I know that's the slow speed compression I'm feeling so I can't prove the inverse compression idea wrong. But it just seems odd
    What I can say is that 1,2 or several clicks just pushing down or the fork or when I had it apart seemed to do absolutely nothing (resistance wise) . However, 2 clicks on the trail is very noticeable for me & is inline with affecting high speed in one direction versus another. I'm half wondering if psi in the air chamber is the culprit with some having lack luster performance with this fork, that or perhaps oil level in the spring side.

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by gravityfreaky View Post
    I am way lighter than you but ride very hard. Was never happy with the fork - way too little compression damping for my needs. Recently rebuilt it and changed to 10 weight oil thinking it may make a small difference. Well is has made a HUGE difference and the fork now feels like I dreamed it would. I thoroughly recommend this to anyone running this fork.
    I can see going with heavier oil now. 10 wt fork oil is not that common what did you use?

  22. #22
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    Fox fork oil is 10 wt. Maybe check a motorcycle shop for 10 wt. I have some Fox oil and plan to give it a shot. I too find the damping just a bit too light. Maybe I'll blend some 8.75 wt oil???

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    Another big ride on this fork (including biff & dang sprained wrist). One thing I'm picking up on, the fork settles way to deep into it's travel on steep to steep/fast terrain. That's with a enough air to not get full travel & have < ideal sag. Wondering if heavier oil would help? Thinking no.

  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by WHALENARD View Post
    What I can say is that 1,2 or several clicks just pushing down or the fork or when I had it apart seemed to do absolutely nothing (resistance wise) . However, 2 clicks on the trail is very noticeable for me & is inline with affecting high speed in one direction versus another. I'm half wondering if psi in the air chamber is the culprit with some having lack luster performance with this fork, that or perhaps oil level in the spring side.
    i should note that I have the 55 and 66 rc3 ti's. should be same or similar equipment but stock setting mabye set up to behave a little different for intended riding

    i have gotten some good advice to use a lot more oil spring side than 'zoche recommends, as well as making sure there is the right amount damper side. i did put 10wt in my 55 and the 7.5 wt in my 66. didnt have enough time on the 55 with 7.5 wt oil to isolate its impact

    i think where i stand on the inverse curve of compression thing is that the clicks impact slow speed compression and that high speed compression is stock and doesnt change via external adjustment. However, since slow and high speed work in tandem, lower low speed compression setting will necessarily cause the high speed compression to do more work

    i think the winning recipe is to set the air assit (in conjunction with preload) with the smallest amount required to reach propper sag...i had to really feel this out and didnt try to measure sag or anything. And by the way, i did find the preload to have a material change in the spring rate...i think it does more to the spring rate than it does to sag (ie: change the mid and bottom out part of travel). after that starting point, start with the compression know smack in the middle of range and go from there. lastly, take care to remember to adjust rebound accordingly...small adjustments in air assist and preload can make a big difference in rebound damping needed

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    I had a question regarding this fork since I've thought about grabbing one of the 150mm versions. Will I be able to get proper sag on the stock spring at 140lbs without gear? Supposedly they make a softer spring than stock but I have yet to find it.

    On my coil converted 150mm rev I needed the extra soft spring just to hit 25% sag.

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    If the dropout are a little wide, or hub a little narrow can cause binding. If it feels fine w/ the wheel in there loose, or removed, that's the issue.
    Nice KOM, sorry about your penis.

  27. #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by WHALENARD View Post
    Another big ride on this fork (including biff & dang sprained wrist). One thing I'm picking up on, the fork settles way to deep into it's travel on steep to steep/fast terrain. That's with a enough air to not get full travel & have < ideal sag. Wondering if heavier oil would help? Thinking no.
    do you already have your spring preload fully cranked down? if not maybe try, take air out, dial full preload and then set sag with air as needed

    the heavier oil and more of it certainly couldnt hurt but no idea if it will do enough to solve.

    issue sounds odd that you have that much air but cant even bottom out, somthing aint right. it almost sounds like too much rebound compression and its getting packed down and cant get back to propper ride height before the next hit.

    sounds like you pretty sure its not just dive that should be tuned out with other ways

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    Quote Originally Posted by kan3 View Post
    I had a question regarding this fork since I've thought about grabbing one of the 150mm versions. Will I be able to get proper sag on the stock spring at 140lbs without gear? Supposedly they make a softer spring than stock but I have yet to find it.

    On my coil converted 150mm rev I needed the extra soft spring just to hit 25% sag.
    im not exactly sure but i think you may be OK. zero preload. and you'll actually set negative air pressure in teh air assist by opening the valve, compressing the fork, then closing it. could be tricky to get exactly the right sag but i think you'll find your sweet spot with the stock spring doing that

    man, im really tweaking out in this thread this morning...too excited for the weekend!!

  29. #29
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    I don't believe the 44 Ti RC3 has a coil spring preload adjustment does it?

  30. #30
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    MARZOCCHI 44 rc3 ti how "should" it feel???

    Quote Originally Posted by dascro View Post
    I don't believe the 44 Ti RC3 has a coil spring preload adjustment does it?
    No. It's air preload only. Unless you fabricate some kind of spring shim.

  31. #31
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    Quote Originally Posted by ride the biscuit View Post
    do you already have your spring preload fully cranked down? if not maybe try, take air out, dial full preload and then set sag with air as needed

    the heavier oil and more of it certainly couldnt hurt but no idea if it will do enough to solve.

    issue sounds odd that you have that much air but cant even bottom out, somthing aint right. it almost sounds like too much rebound compression and its getting packed down and cant get back to propper ride height before the next hit.

    sounds like you pretty sure its not just dive that should be tuned out with other ways
    Like the guys commented below there is no spring preload on the 44. Whish there was, it would be a good feature. Definitely not rebound, I like my rebound fast for trail riding. I can get full travel on jumps & drops. I was speaking to how deep the fork goes into it's travel on steep terrain with no brake. The fork is just to linear I find myself getting so far back on my bike that the front tire starts to lose traction. I weigh 230+ so that's definitely a factor. Really I need a heavier spring. Anybody know of other springs that are compatible?

  32. #32
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    Quote Originally Posted by ride the biscuit View Post
    i should note that I have the 55 and 66 rc3 ti's.

    i think the winning recipe is to set the air assit (in conjunction with preload) with the smallest amount required to reach propper sag...i had to really feel this out and didnt try to measure sag or anything.

    And by the way, i did find the preload to have a material change in the spring rate...i think it does more to the spring rate than it does to sag (ie: change the mid and bottom out part of travel). after that starting point, start with the compression know smack in the middle of range and go from there. lastly, take care to remember to adjust rebound accordingly...small adjustments in air assist and preload can make a big difference in rebound damping needed
    It's a low pressure air assist so this is correct - if you think about it, there is always some element of air spring in a fork as it compresses (the spring chamber gets smaller). On the Zocchi you add a bit more air which increases the natural air effect. Fully extended the pressure remains really low - your weight is still being supported by the coil, not by the 'air spring'. The air will only have an impact on the last part of the travel as the chamber gets smaller and the pressure increases.

    This will naturally not feel as plush as the coil but the damping on this fork is so good it's still useful to extend the range you're bottoming out. It won't help an overly heavy rider as the fork will settle to a lower sag point.

    I'm about 80kg and it's spot on for me. I can imagine at 100kg+ you're probably at the upper limit
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    Quote Originally Posted by nicolai-uk View Post
    It's a low pressure air assist so this is correct - if you think about it, there is always some element of air spring in a fork as it compresses (the spring chamber gets smaller). On the Zocchi you add a bit more air which increases the natural air effect. Fully extended the pressure remains really low - your weight is still being supported by the coil, not by the 'air spring'. The air will only have an impact on the last part of the travel as the chamber gets smaller and the pressure increases.

    This will naturally not feel as plush as the coil but the damping on this fork is so good it's still useful to extend the range you're bottoming out. It won't help an overly heavy rider as the fork will settle to a lower sag point.

    I'm about 80kg and it's spot on for me. I can imagine at 100kg+ you're probably at the upper limit
    That's some good info. Unfortunately I weigh around 107kg so I'm having a hard time getting this fork to do what I want. Going to switch over to heavier weight oil this weekend & hopefully that helps. Going to try 10wt...any thoughts on going heavier or oil volumes for a guy my weght?

    Also, another thing I've experienced with this fork, is it suddenly using all it's travel without much force 3-4 times......very unnerving. Feels almost like once in a while the dampening just lets loose & it blows through it's travel. Possibly the air has escaped as I haven't checked it since it did this last ride

  34. #34
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    Quote Originally Posted by WHALENARD View Post
    That's some good info. Unfortunately I weigh around 107kg so I'm having a hard time getting this fork to do what I want. Going to switch over to heavier weight oil this weekend & hopefully that helps. Going to try 10wt...any thoughts on going heavier or oil volumes for a guy my weght?

    Also, another thing I've experienced with this fork, is it suddenly using all it's travel without much force 3-4 times......very unnerving. Feels almost like once in a while the dampening just lets loose & it blows through it's travel. Possibly the air has escaped as I haven't checked it since it did this last ride
    Well at 230+ lbs I am quite certain its a general problem of being out of the stock springs range. I was told that fox and RS springs work in the 55 but I don't want to spread any moremisinformation about the 44 haha.

    You can probably call zokes office in Canada and see if they have a heavy spring around. If not, the good news is that I bet your fork will hold good resale value if you just can't get it set up right for your weight

    At 230 I'm sure you basically are forced to use too much compression and air assist to make it function properly

  35. #35
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    Quote Originally Posted by WHALENARD View Post
    That's some good info. Unfortunately I weigh around 107kg so I'm having a hard time getting this fork to do what I want. Going to switch over to heavier weight oil this weekend & hopefully that helps. Going to try 10wt...any thoughts on going heavier or oil volumes for a guy my weght?

    Also, another thing I've experienced with this fork, is it suddenly using all it's travel without much force 3-4 times......very unnerving. Feels almost like once in a while the dampening just lets loose & it blows through it's travel. Possibly the air has escaped as I haven't checked it since it did this last ride
    I am 99% sure heavier oil isn't going to do the trick...all heavy oil does is increase compression damping...will help but you really need more spring

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    Quote Originally Posted by ride the biscuit View Post
    I am 99% sure heavier oil isn't going to do the trick...all heavy oil does is increase compression damping...will help but you really need more spring
    No doubt a heavier spring would be the ideal solution, but I could definitely use more compression dampening to. It's kinda funny how much rebound dampening you can dial in on this thing yet the compression is a very small window. I made a couple of plastic pucks to try and use for some preload on my spring. Wondering if I will get full travel using them though? Also going to step up the oil weight. Did a BUNCH of reading on "labeled" oil weight vs actual viscosity and think I may just go with 15wt. Going to make the changes tonight & have a 30 mile ride planned for tomorrow so....

  37. #37
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    Quote Originally Posted by WHALENARD View Post
    No doubt a heavier spring would be the ideal solution, but I could definitely use more compression dampening to. It's kinda funny how much rebound dampening you can dial in on this thing yet the compression is a very small window. I made a couple of plastic pucks to try and use for some preload on my spring. Wondering if I will get full travel using them though? Also going to step up the oil weight. Did a BUNCH of reading on "labeled" oil weight vs actual viscosity and think I may just go with 15wt. Going to make the changes tonight & have a 30 mile ride planned for tomorrow so....

    good idea but make sure you can get full travel and arent bottoming out on coil bind, since that can damage the fork.

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