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Rollin 29s
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Discussion Starter #1
I bought my 2019 GX build XL Ripmo in October, 2018. It of course comes with the Fox Float 36 Performance fork and Fox Float DPX2 Shock. 160mm/ 145mm travel respectively.

I weight 207# and ride fairly aggressively.

In January my shock rebound seemed to have stopped working and the shock felt harsh, so I took it in and my LBS verified there was a problem. They disassembled the shock and found an internal seal that was leaking. They rebuilt the shock under warranty.

In April the fork felt harsh, and was not using as much travel as it should. The LBS took it apart, replaced the thick grease with Fox recommended oil, and replaced the seals under warranty. The fork felt better, but not as plush and controlled as it did initially.

In June, I took the bike back into the LBS because the fork was very harsh. I previously rented two Shockwiz tuners, and had to reduce fork air pressure to 40psi for it to feel compliant, and optimize the tune according to Shockwiz. Even at 40psi, it would still not use all of its travel at that pressure. While at the LBS, I also had them install a 170mm travel kit and perform a full fork rebuild at the same time. The rebuild was done under warranty. The fork still feels stiff and harsh at anything over 45psi. It has 2 volume spacers installed.

Shortly after getting the bike back from the second fork service, the rear shock started making squishy sounds like fluid and air pushing past a seal.

Now the bike is back in the shop and they have sent the shock back to Fox for repair. They claim that Fox uses a Nitrogen charge process when fully rebuilding shocks, and it must be done by the factory. This will take 2 to 3 weeks.

They are still not sure what’s going on with the fork, but have not sent that back yet. They think they can figure that out in the shop. So far, they have removed the two volume spacers. I will not be able to ride and verify until after the shock has returned from Fox.

This seems like an excessive amount of issues from both front and rear suspension on a new bike.

Also frustrating to be without my bike for the better part of July.

Makes me wonder if there is such a thing as a ‘Lemon’ from suspension manufaturers like you sometimes hear about from car manufacturers, or if this is just a really unfortunate fluke.


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Not sure what to make of your issues but Fox reliability issues aren't a big story line with their products (no more than other current manufacturers at least). I have had some issues with rear suspensions in the past and they turned out to be caused by a slight rear triangle misalignment (not an Ibis product) putting excessive torque on the air shaft. Once corrected, by my LBS under warranty, the problems were resolved. (The LBS didn't correctly diagnose the issue originally)

This all said, I would recommend paying for the service. Seems like a strange idea as it is a warranty problem, but waiting also has its costs and I would rather ride than save a couple of bucks. Send the suspension off to DirtLabs in Longmont, CO. They are a fully authorized FOX service center and have a two day turn around.

Good luck!
 

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this is sorta basic and probably not overlooked, but did you ensure the negative spring is effectively equalized and the equalization ports are clear?

that grip damper is as plush as they come really.
 

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Rollin 29s
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Discussion Starter #5
I’ve not called Fox yet. LBS said they would loan me a demo bike (maybe Hightower, Pivot 429, Stumpjumper) based on what’s available, so I’m calling them in the morning.

I will call Fox and see what they say, but that will be on Monday.

The company in Colorado - Dirtlabs - May be a next step. Do they have improved internal components, or just do more custom tunes? What has failed twice are internal seals in the shock.

When pumping up the fork, I’ve cycled it every 10psi, which I was told would keep the balance between the negative and positive springs. It’s in the shop now because it feels like it gets stiffer and less travel each time I ride. They’ve taken apart the lowers and there is no obvious oring or seal issues, and they have replaced the seal kit for good measure, but the fork is still too stiff.

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fork seals sucking in air maybe. wonder if they tried to burp it.

company in colorado? RS super deluxe has a larger dia damper body - might be worth a try for you if you're heavy and aggressive. make sure all your suspension pivots are torqued and all that. i don't think clevis bikes are the easiest on shocks but i have no data on ibis bikes specifically.
 

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Your bike set up may also aggravating the situation.

Your tall bars could be unweighting the front (hence low psi) and over weighting the shock (hence unhappy shock).

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Your bike set up may also aggravating the situation.

Your tall bars could be unweighting the front (hence low psi) and over weighting the shock (hence unhappy shock).

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Doubt a tall bar is going to make 40 psi feel stiff


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Rollin 29s
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Discussion Starter #10
See post # 3 in this post why you are unhappy with your Fox suspension:

https://forums.mtbr.com/shocks-suspension/fox-36-rs-lyrik-rs-pike-one-damper-1106947.html


I am of course kidding and I feel for you. As you say the fork gets harsher and harsher the more you ride, it sounds like the fork is accumulating air in the lowers and you need to burp the fork.
There’s certainly some truth in post #3. I’m no Spring chicken anymore, and at 50 I’m finding myself migrating toward a more upright position to stay comfortable (hand pressure, low back, saddle comfort). The front of my bike definitely feels lighter than it did when it was setup as stock, and I’ve even experienced a little front tire wander on steep climbs, where it felt planted before I raised the bars. It’s definitely in the acceptable range, and is still more planted in those situations than my old Niner Jet-9, but geometry has changed as I’ve adjusted for comfort. A ride on the Niner since the Ripmo has been in the shop confirmed also that I felt the hand pressure on that bike now too. A swap from the OEM Ripmo grips that I transferred to the Niner to my Ergon grips helped significantly.

I don’t think the unweighting of the front has made 40psi feel harsh. Sag is still at 30% for the shock at 258psi. Something else is going on there.


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There’s certainly some truth in post #3. I’m no Spring chicken anymore, and at 50 I’m finding myself migrating toward a more upright position to stay comfortable (hand pressure, low back, saddle comfort). The front of my bike definitely feels lighter than it did when it was setup as stock, and I’ve even experienced a little front tire wander on steep climbs, where it felt planted before I raised the bars. It’s definitely in the acceptable range, and is still more planted in those situations than my old Niner Jet-9, but geometry has changed as I’ve adjusted for comfort. A ride on the Niner since the Ripmo has been in the shop confirmed also that I felt the hand pressure on that bike now too. A swap from the OEM Ripmo grips that I transferred to the Niner to my Ergon grips helped significantly.

I don’t think the unweighting of the front has made 40psi feel harsh. Sag is still at 30% for the shock at 258psi. Something else is going on there.


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I'm 54. 6' 1" and at 200# rtr. Riding since 1992.

Ride Annadel on occasion.

Not setting any records but not the slowest either.

I did not enjoy my 36 at first either.

Also had hand numbness.

Read a lot of Ripmo setup posts and dropped forks sequentially. They are currently at around 78 psi. This made for very reasonable small bump compliance. Also led to excessive dive on drops etc. Added a volume spacer (two total). Now it's a very nice blend of supple bottom and good ramping without being harsh.

For numbness I looked at the cockpit not the forks. I found the bend of the stock bars to be no good for me and the stock lizard skins were hard AF and zero grip when sweaty.

Switch to RF Next bars with a smidge of rise and Ergon GE1 grips and numbess was history.


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It seems like Fox has more initial quality issues to me. I’ve had several fork and shocks have damper issues over the years. The good news is that they’ve always fixed it under warranty and never saw an issue on those components again.

While a bummer to wait, I’d have Fox look at the fork too and ensure everything is right.
 

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Rollin 29s
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Discussion Starter #13
I tried the GA1, and they were still too hard. The GA3s solved my problem as far as grips go, but I think more handlebar compliance might help with overall rigidity. I hate to continue to throw money at it, and I’m on my third set of bars, including the Spank high risers and SQlabs (and Ibis bars).

Ideally, I’ll find something that will have more flex and damper, and allow me to lower my stack height to weight the front like it was designed to be weighted while not bringing back the hand pain.


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There’s certainly some truth in post #3. I’m no Spring chicken anymore, and at 50 I’m finding myself migrating toward a more upright position to stay comfortable (hand pressure, low back, saddle comfort). The front of my bike definitely feels lighter than it did when it was setup as stock, and I’ve even experienced a little front tire wander on steep climbs, where it felt planted before I raised the bars. It’s definitely in the acceptable range, and is still more planted in those situations than my old Niner Jet-9, but geometry has changed as I’ve adjusted for comfort. A ride on the Niner since the Ripmo has been in the shop confirmed also that I felt the hand pressure on that bike now too. A swap from the OEM Ripmo grips that I transferred to the Niner to my Ergon grips helped significantly.

I don’t think the unweighting of the front has made 40psi feel harsh. Sag is still at 30% for the shock at 258psi. Something else is going on there.


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Yeah, I just turned 50 as well and it sucks!

Also, have you tried burping your fork?
 

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Rollin 29s
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Discussion Starter #15
Yeah, I just turned 50 as well and it sucks!

Also, have you tried burping your fork?
I have let all of the air pressure out, cycled it full stop to stop and aired it back up in 10psi increments while cycling as far as I can each 10psi. But something tells me this isn’t the same as burping. So no, I haven’t burped the fork.

As I have no idea what that is, I’ll look it up and try that!


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I have let all of the air pressure out, cycled it full stop to stop and aired it back up in 10psi increments while cycling as far as I can each 10psi. But something tells me this isn’t the same as burping. So no, I haven’t burped the fork.

As I have no idea what that is, I’ll look it up and try that!


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Air builds up in the lowers outside of the stanchion tubes and causes the fork to feel very stiff. The classic sign is if your fork gets stiffer the more you ride it. You can "release" the trapped air by venting the wipers with a zip tie. You will actually hear air escaping if it is the case and the fork will feel much better.
 

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I find my 36 on my HD4 a little harsh when riding slow. Messed around with airspring and LSC HSC. Feels smoother, unfortunately I lose control at limit.

Believe it's the design of this fork to be ridden aggressively. It really does shine when hammering it.

May try adding one more volume spacer from stock.

200#'s running 85PSI and 15 clicks from closed.
 

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^^ 36s with the newer air springs ('18 and later) can be set up to be as plush as you want them to be. Most people that complain of harshness are running rebound too slow and/or too little air which causes pack.

That said, OP sounds like he has a bigger problem. We're a similar weight and I'm running 90 psi and 2 tokens in my 160mm (equivalent to 1 token in the 170). It's plush and supportive. From what you've said I would consider getting a second opinion other than your LBS.
 

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At your weight 40psi is absolutely going to feel horrible. On any sort of rough track your suspension will be constantly operating too far into the stroke and yes it will feel harsh.

Shockwiz uses your dynamic sag numbers a lot to make air pressure suggestions. If you are tuning with high bars on a track with a lot of climbing this will tremendously throw off these numbers. Going to 170mm will only make this worse as your front end is now even higher.

My suggestion would be take out the volume spacers (if you're not using full travel these are not helping the situation) and raise your psi to something closer to fox recommendation for your weight. Run compression damping full open to start. Make sure you have bumped up rebound damping to compensate for your increase in psi. Lower your bars a bit especially at 170mm of travel.

If you are going to tune with Shockwiz use it only on a downhill track for the fork and see how it goes.

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