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    Fuji Auric 1.7 Modifications

    I bought my 2016 Fuji Auric 1.7 without much research last year after my old frame cracked a chainstay. I was looking at bikes similar to a Stumpjumper FSR or Trek Fuel EX8 when I saw this at my local performance bike and decided to take it out for a spin.

    After living with the bike for a while I began to notice a few flaws. First flaw -- I couldn't get enough travel from the front fork, a Fox 36 Performance. Removing the volume spacer and lowering the pressure didn't help.

    The solution to the lack of fork travel was a fork upgrade to a custom-tuned Speed Sensitive Damper from Avalanche racing. What a difference! The front fork now swallowed up big rocks and chunky sections of trail with no problem.

    With the fork sorted out I began riding a lot faster on the bike and the next issue popped up. The rear shock, a Fox DPS Performance EVOL, was using up too much travel and even bottoming out on small two foot jumps. The shock also wallowed on climbs. The first thing I tried was to add volume spacers to the shock. Unfortunately, this turned the back of the bike into a pogo stick -- hitting a large bump with the rear wheel would pitch the bike forward. Not good.

    Next I tried increased pressure on the shock. Climbing was amazing, but the reduced sag changed the head angle too much by jacking the rear wheel. I fixed this problem with a Vorsprung Corset mod. I could run higher pressure and still have normal sag and geometry, but even with the higher pressure the shock would still occasionally bottom. A side effect of the high pressure was harshness on small bumps.

    With the idea of sending in the shock for a tune to Avalanche, I bought a Rock Shox Monarch plus RC3 in Medium / Medium tune. (Stock tun is softer.) The new rear shock fixed my problem. I'll still get that avalanche tune so that I have a spare shock, but the Monarch is amazing. The increased damping over stock allows the bike to function well with only three rebound spacers.

    The final problem with the bike for me is that I just didn't feel safe on steep rocky downhills. I solved this with a Cane Creek AngleSet to slacken the head angle by a degree to 66 from 67, plus the addition of a Butcher 2.6 front tire to raise the front back up to keep the bottom bracket clearance the same. This modification makes a huge improvement in the feel of the bike on steep sections of the trail with no effect when climbing, at the slight cost of a bit of wandering or imprecision on twisty sections of trail.

    With these changes the bike is perfect for the rocky trails here in Southwest Arizona and perfect for me.

    Update:

    I got the Avalanche Downhill Racing tune for the Fox DPS Performance rear shock. Craig Seekins of Avalanche recommended that I use the stock can or reduce the volume of the negative side of the can because of the initial rising rate of the suspension and the modified fox shock is working well. (Tip - the volume reduction rings that Rock Shox sells for the Monarch Plus fit in the negative chamber of the Fox after cutting out a small section.)

    The Avalanche'd Fox has a much different character -- with the negative volume reduced it operates at much less pressure but oddly has much less wallowing -- out of the saddle climbing even in open mode is very supportive but at the same time bump absorption at high speed is very good but now without blowing through the travel. So now the Monarch Plus shock has been demoted to being the spare.
    Last edited by hikerdave; 06-17-2017 at 09:53 AM.
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