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2015+ fox 36 harsh

92SE-R

piston slapper
Feb 5, 2004
272
13
San Diego, CA
Just got my 36 back from Fox today. I'm gonna give it a go on Thursday and see if it's any better.

I'm pretty sure they think I am full of shit when I tell them this fork is harsh. I got the fork back with nothing in a form of response or anything after I spelled out specifically what I was experiencing. The tech guy I talked to before I sent it in was a douche, basically saying I wasent riding it hard enough. I guess riding Windrock trails on a single crown fork at 240lbs is taking it easy on a fork.....

I'm gonna change the part out that 92SE-R made after I give the rebuilt fork a thrash and compare.
Pm'ed u
 

tacubaya

Monkey
Dec 19, 2009
720
89
Mexico City
This is made out of a high end plastic that is chemical resistant and dimensionally very stable. It doesnt swell from chemicals and machines well so you are able to hold tight tolerances with it. The first pictures were of a prototype i ran made out of aluminum lying around machine shop. If the main air seal fails, there is potential for scoring on the inside of the stanchion. That is why Fox and Rockshox also use plastic. They either cheaped out on their plastic or cheaped out on machining labor for keeping tight tolerances, or maybe a combination of both.

I didnt want to do backup rings because thats just a pain in the ass.
The scoring (which I pointed out on the mtbr thread) doesn't come from air seal failure, it comes from contact from the air piston with the stanchion due to sideloading.

Soooo.........uhmw

bitchin
Delrin/acetal is what everyone uses for air pistons and IFPs.


Basically the air seal head on forks that are harsh may have bad tolerances and cause a ton of stiction if I understand correctly. The link a page back to 92SE-Rs post on mtbro sums it up pretty good as well.
I think you are confusing air sealhead and air piston.
 

92SE-R

piston slapper
Feb 5, 2004
272
13
San Diego, CA
Im not convinced there is that much side loading when everything is bolted up to the lowers. Especially when the potential for side loading is highest when negative air bushing is furthest from piston dee in the travel, the stanchion has engaged two sets of bushings in the lowers. Either way, not an issue here.
 

Happymtb.fr

Turbo Monkey
Feb 9, 2016
1,980
1,341
SWE
does one of you guys have the dimensions of the x-ring fitting the air piston? I think it would be good to change it when I swap the piston and it would be nice to not have to buy a complete service kit from Fox to get one! :)
 

mrgto

Monkey
Aug 4, 2009
295
118
does one of you guys have the dimensions of the x-ring fitting the air piston? I think it would be good to change it when I swap the piston and it would be nice to not have to buy a complete service kit from Fox to get one! :)
X2
 

mrgto

Monkey
Aug 4, 2009
295
118
Just got the 36 back from Fox. Took it out on a wet ride on a not so technical trail. I'll have to admit it does feel better. Initial stroke was very soft. I almost slid into a few trees pushing the fork so I slowed down. I'll have to give it a proper test when ever it drys out down here....
 

mrgto

Monkey
Aug 4, 2009
295
118
I should have mentioned I got my air piston from 92SE-R and it is machined very well. I need to get the old part out and measure the two to compare.
 

tacubaya

Monkey
Dec 19, 2009
720
89
Mexico City
Also available from Fox if you wanna spend a dollar more but save on shipping (assuming you are already ordering more stuff from them), PN 035-06-214
 

ocelot

Monkey
Mar 8, 2009
395
10
Canadastan
Seeing that we're on the subject of 36s, excuse my mini thread-hijack.

I'm on the verge of ordering a 2018 36 to go on my 2017 Trance Advanced 1 (haven't ridden it yet). Coming from a DH background and wanting the bike to ride more aggressively, I figured it would be a good idea to swap out the 34 factory that was on it for a 36. Through my connections, the upgrade cost would be very minimal.

Now here's my debate, Fit4 factory (with the open mode adjust) or RC2? I'm still not sure whether I would be using the firm mode on the fit4 other than a handful of times where I will be climbing long gravel roads to reach a trail. Is the trail mode significantly better when the ride is sinusoidal vs leaving it in open all the time? Will having a climb switch on the rear shock be good enough to forego the one of the fork?
 

Happymtb.fr

Turbo Monkey
Feb 9, 2016
1,980
1,341
SWE
Porque el FIT4 apesta.
I wonder why it is so. I have the Fit4 on my 36 and changed the shim stack for a stiffer one which made for a slightly better ride combined with a complete rebuild...
I wonder if the flow capacity of the piston is too restricted for the high speed circuit making it harsh at higher speed?
 

tacubaya

Monkey
Dec 19, 2009
720
89
Mexico City
I wonder why it is so. I have the Fit4 on my 36 and changed the shim stack for a stiffer one which made for a slightly better ride combined with a complete rebuild...
I wonder if the flow capacity of the piston is too restricted for the high speed circuit making it harsh at higher speed?
Crappier performance and adjustability compared to the RC2 as well as a retarded retainer ring on the LSC adjuster you have to fiddle with to bleed the damper, plus a non-sealed base stud which results in a corroded detent ball and spring (a more serious issue on 32/34 FIT4 which doesn't have a rebound cap). Also, E16 tune is dumb.
 

ocelot

Monkey
Mar 8, 2009
395
10
Canadastan
Crappier performance and adjustability compared to the RC2 as well as a retarded retainer ring on the LSC adjuster you have to fiddle with to bleed the damper, plus a non-sealed base stud which results in a corroded detent ball and spring (a more serious issue on 32/34 FIT4 which doesn't have a rebound cap). Also, E16 tune is dumb.
Well, Fox's solution to use waterproof grease for the rebound rod is actually quite effective. Haven't seen any seized rods that have been greased. Yet.

I agree with you on the retainer ring. Not that easy to remove, but with the right pick, it's a piece of cake. I've had quite a few fly away into the netherworld, so that's a different problem haha

So is anyone going to give a more complete/clear answer as to how the RC2 is better for me?
 

FarkinRyan

Monkey
Dec 15, 2003
611
192
Pemberton, BC
The Fit 4 is a compromise, it's little more than a re-work of the CTD damper which performs accordingly and as tacubaya mentioned the new E16 tune is pretty much just nonsense. There is also a special place in hell for the man who designed those retaining rings and hopefully I will get the chance to fight him some day. The RC2 is more supportive overall and obviously has independent high and low speed compression adjustment, it's an objectively better performing damper if downhill performance matters to you. The Fit 4 is for people who don't know any better and need their adjustments simplified. Given that you have the option to get the RC2 on the cheap I think you'd be mad to settle for the Fit 4.
 
Last edited:

Udi

RM Chief Ornithologist
Mar 14, 2005
4,917
1,211
So is anyone going to give a more complete/clear answer as to how the RC2 is better for me?
As a blanket rule, if Fox offers the RC2 damper in any fork that you're considering, you should always take that option over whatever the latest flavour of compromise is that year (RLC, CTD, CTD trail adjust, FIT4, etc).

To add to what Ryan said, in practical terms a proper HS adjuster (i.e. sprung preload on outer shim) gives you flexibility in generating greater mid-speed compression damping to allow support in situations where it's actually required, without having an excess of compression damping at low to very low shaft speeds where all it does is increase bump transmission to the rider (i.e. harshness). This excess is exactly what you get in the "compromise flavoured" dampers - so for aggressive riding you have to choose between more harshness (than required) to get the support you want OR less support than required to get the compliance you desire.

This is one reason I'd still buy a Fox fork over an RS (for both Enduro and DH), even given the air piston drama that's unfolded. If you don't want the RC2 damper (and/or 20mm axle) you may as well consider a Pike/Lyrik, but both of those factors make for a superior aggressive-use trail fork.

As for your trail-mode question - compression lockouts on forks are stupid because they lock the bike into the worst geometric configuration for climbing - which is fully extended. A far more beneficial lockout would be a lockdown (i.e. rebound lockout) but this isn't an option, so I'd rather forego the feature altogether instead of compromising your descending performance for a mostly-imaginary benefit. I'd even rather have the increased compliance on a technical climb (plus any small amount of dynamic squat) than the minor reduction in oscillation-fueled energy losses you'd get from the compression lockout.

You can extrapolate from that how a compression lockout on the rear is actually far more useful since it forces the bike to be in the steepest geometry that the rear suspension allows. So if you're someone who uses it regularly (and remembers to unlock it) then it's beneficial on the rear, far less on the front.

Hope that helps.
 
Last edited:

tacubaya

Monkey
Dec 19, 2009
720
89
Mexico City
Well, Fox's solution to use waterproof grease for the rebound rod is actually quite effective. Haven't seen any seized rods that have been greased. Yet.
Hahahaha no it's not.

We've seen tons of seized rebound rods, and most of them sheared by the customer trying to unseize them with brute force. We stock all rebound rod sizes in considerable quantities because of this, and we recommend our customers (on 34 and 36 FIT4) the installation of an OD threaded nut (like the Fox 40) and protective cap to eliminate the possibility of corrosion, plus of course using a very hush hush grease and super corrosion resistant detent balls.

Engineering fail, common across all products and brands to be honest tho.
 

ocelot

Monkey
Mar 8, 2009
395
10
Canadastan
Thanks for your input Udi!
I knew that the Fit4 was a compromise over the RC2 but wasn't sure to what extent. It kind of makes sense on the 32 and 34 but I figured that it may possibly work well with the 36 also.

So good news. I ordered the Fit4 version. Why? Because I got hooked up with a slightly broken RC2 cartridge which I'm going to rebuild. I will therefore have both cartridges to test back to back, for the sake of putting this debate to rest hahaha

And Tacubaya, like I said, I haven't seen any seized rods happening after being packed with waterproof grease yet. If you don't see them, they don't exist right? ;)
 

slyfink

Turbo Monkey
Sep 16, 2008
9,568
5,345
Ottawa, Canada
As a blanket rule, if Fox offers the RC2 damper in any fork that you're considering, you should always take that option over whatever the latest flavour of compromise is that year (RLC, CTD, CTD trail adjust, FIT4, etc).

To add to what Ryan said, in practical terms a proper HS adjuster (i.e. sprung preload on outer shim) gives you flexibility in generating greater mid-speed compression damping to allow support in situations where it's actually required, without having an excess of compression damping at low to very low shaft speeds where all it does is increase bump transmission to the rider (i.e. harshness). This excess is exactly what you get in the "compromise flavoured" dampers - so for aggressive riding you have to choose between more harshness (than required) to get the support you want OR less support than required to get the compliance you desire.

This is one reason I'd still buy a Fox fork over an RS (for both Enduro and DH), even given the air piston drama that's unfolded. If you don't want the RC2 damper (and/or 20mm axle) you may as well consider a Pike/Lyrik, but both of those factors make for a superior aggressive-use trail fork.
How does one go about doing this (the underlined part) in the RC2 damper? with tokens? because my understanding is the RC2 allows you to tune at what shaft speed the high speed compression damping kicks in, not the amount of HSC...
 

Jm_

sled dog's bollocks
Jan 14, 2002
19,443
10,076
AK
As for your trail-mode question - compression lockouts on forks are stupid because they lock the bike into the worst geometric configuration for climbing - which is fully extended.
I disagree to a point, for the 3-5" xc/race forks, it makes a lot of sense. You get a lot of chassis movement when pedaling wildly at max exertion, no matter how hard the low speed compression is. For the hardcore xc crowd, it's a necessity and they don't have to worry about trying to pedal uphill with 180mm forks. Now, a quick-range low speed compression adjuster might be even better, but we all know fox has been saying F-you to riders for years, preferring "quick range" adjusters with compromised damper performance. So yeah, a lockout on a 36 is dumb and they need true low speed compression adjusters, but the hard climb setting on my 32sc was very helpful for the 50 mile xc race last weekend that consisted of just about every type of terrain imaginable, from steep loose rock strewn descents to fireroad climbing and everthing in between.
 

jackalope

Mental acuity - 1%
Jan 9, 2004
7,657
6,036
in a single wide, cooking meth...
You can thank us later, but me and @Udi have been working on an alternative solution to the current (i.e. shitty) single crown fork offerings...The Monster Carbine



#soenduro

pm us for pricing details and/or desiccated Zoch pr0n model availability.
 

StiHacka

Compensating for something
Jan 4, 2013
21,560
12,507
In hell. Welcome!
You can thank us later, but me and @Udi have been working on an alternative solution to the current (i.e. shitty) single crown fork offerings...The Monster Carbine



#soenduro

pm us for pricing details and/or desiccated Zoch pr0n model availability.
Will those take rim brakes? Asking for a friend.
 

slimshady

¡Mira, una ardilla!
You can thank us later, but me and @Udi have been working on an alternative solution to the current (i.e. shitty) single crown fork offerings...The Monster Carbine



#soenduro

pm us for pricing details and/or desiccated Zoch pr0n model availability.
Are you guys aiming to release on MY18? will Jenna Jameson's pictures be the old ones or are you gunna grab new ones?
 

ChrisRobin

Turbo Monkey
Jan 30, 2002
3,378
198
Vancouver
I finally went on a ride with 92SE-R's upgraded seal head. Here are some thoughts, which is pretty much what I put up on MTBR's version of "My Fox 36 sucks" thread:

I decided to give this a try since Push Industries still hasn't come out with their rumored coil conversion kit for the Fox 36. My current setup is a 29er Fox 36, 160mm with Andreas/Ohlins piston and Push factory tune (revalve and highspeed spring). After all of that, I still found the fork was harsh in the high speed hits and found the lousy small bump sensitivity was hurting technical climbs. My hands would hurt after an extended descent over rocks and rough terrain. I hated air springs and wished I had a coil fork like in my Marzocchi 888 with Ti spring and Avalanche cartridge.

My base settings were 95psi, 1 orange and 1 blue spacer, Rebound -8, LSC -10 and HSC -12.

After installing the new seal head, I noticed the sensitivity of the fork increased dramatically; you barely had to press down on the fork to move it. I increased my air pressure to just around 100psi just in case. I didn't noticed a difference really riding on flat ground or on fire roads, but did when I had to start climbing over rocks and roots. Basically I found the fork much more supple in the initial stroke and I found the front wheel tracked better while climbing; I was able to climb sections that I've had trouble with before. On the regular ups and downs of trails I rode, when the fork absorbed an impact, I felt the impact a lot less through the handlebars. Overall it was just smooth! Descending: I was worried the fork was going to dive a little too much during the steeper trails but it wasn't that bad. I wasn't sure what to expect since the RC2 doesn't have dedicated mid-valves that I'm used to having in my 888, so I had to rely on the spring curve of the air spring and HSC. Either way, descending was smooth and controlled. Not harsh at all and I felt like the fork at higher speeds really matched up well with my Push'd rear shock. At the end I found I used just a little over 4" travel of my total 6". There's a section leading back to the parking lot that's made up of just rocks and switchbacks. This section usually hurts my hands and I've tried alleviating that with different grips and possibly a different handle bar... but this time I felt fine!!

I think for next ride I'm going to stay at 100psi and go to 2 blue spacers and see if I get deeper into the travel.
 

mrgto

Monkey
Aug 4, 2009
295
118
I finally went on a ride with 92SE-R's upgraded seal head. Here are some thoughts, which is pretty much what I put up on MTBR's version of "My Fox 36 sucks" thread:

I decided to give this a try since Push Industries still hasn't come out with their rumored coil conversion kit for the Fox 36. My current setup is a 29er Fox 36, 160mm with Andreas/Ohlins piston and Push factory tune (revalve and highspeed spring). After all of that, I still found the fork was harsh in the high speed hits and found the lousy small bump sensitivity was hurting technical climbs. My hands would hurt after an extended descent over rocks and rough terrain. I hated air springs and wished I had a coil fork like in my Marzocchi 888 with Ti spring and Avalanche cartridge.

My base settings were 95psi, 1 orange and 1 blue spacer, Rebound -8, LSC -10 and HSC -12.

After installing the new seal head, I noticed the sensitivity of the fork increased dramatically; you barely had to press down on the fork to move it. I increased my air pressure to just around 100psi just in case. I didn't noticed a difference really riding on flat ground or on fire roads, but did when I had to start climbing over rocks and roots. Basically I found the fork much more supple in the initial stroke and I found the front wheel tracked better while climbing; I was able to climb sections that I've had trouble with before. On the regular ups and downs of trails I rode, when the fork absorbed an impact, I felt the impact a lot less through the handlebars. Overall it was just smooth! Descending: I was worried the fork was going to dive a little too much during the steeper trails but it wasn't that bad. I wasn't sure what to expect since the RC2 doesn't have dedicated mid-valves that I'm used to having in my 888, so I had to rely on the spring curve of the air spring and HSC. Either way, descending was smooth and controlled. Not harsh at all and I felt like the fork at higher speeds really matched up well with my Push'd rear shock. At the end I found I used just a little over 4" travel of my total 6". There's a section leading back to the parking lot that's made up of just rocks and switchbacks. This section usually hurts my hands and I've tried alleviating that with different grips and possibly a different handle bar... but this time I felt fine!!

I think for next ride I'm going to stay at 100psi and go to 2 blue spacers and see if I get deeper into the travel.
What's your weight?
 

mrgto

Monkey
Aug 4, 2009
295
118
Just got mine installed. It took a total of about 30mins to do.

I should be able to get a ride in tomorrow if all goes well. I'll report back with the results.