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Rollin 29s
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I’m considering a Vorsprung Luftkappe in my 2019 Fox 36 on a Ripmo. Small bump and early stroke compliance is petty harsh on this fork, and beats up the hands as well as hard my arms and head causing blurry vision on chatter bumps.

I’ve already removed the single volume spacer from my fork when I converted from 160 to 170 shaft. Luftkappe suggests removing 2 tokens from your pre Luftkappe setup.

I would definitely benefit from small bump and early stroke compliance, but it sounds like the effect of Luftkappe installation will be like adding two VS. that will be way too fast ramp up mid stroke. At least this is my assumption.

Does anyone have experience with zero volume spacers pre and post Luftkappe install?

I don’t want to spend the money to solve one problem while creating another.


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I'm considering a Vorsprung Luftkappe in my 2019 Fox 36 on a Ripmo. Small bump and early stroke compliance is petty harsh on this fork, and beats up the hands as well as hard my arms and head causing blurry vision on chatter bumps.

I've already removed the single volume spacer from my fork when I converted from 160 to 170 shaft. Luftkappe suggests removing 2 tokens from your pre Luftkappe setup.

I would definitely benefit from small bump and early stroke compliance, but it sounds like the effect of Luftkappe installation will be like adding two VS. that will be way too fast ramp up mid stroke. At least this is my assumption.

Does anyone have experience with zero volume spacers pre and post Luftkappe install?

I don't want to spend the money to solve one problem while creating another.

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I used Luftkappe on my pike without changing volume spacers. It made a big difference on small bump and traction on rough corners. Also firmed up mid stroke. You might not use full travel after installing it but if everything else is better it might be worth it.
 

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Rollin 29s
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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I used Luftkappe on my pike without changing volume spacers. It made a big difference on small bump and traction on rough corners. Also firmed up mid stroke. You might not use full travel after installing it but if everything else is better it might be worth it.
I'm glad to hear about small bump improvement, but as I don't use nearly all of my travel as it is, losing more travel is concerning. I weight 205+, and run 65 to 70psi, and use 3/4 of the travel. I've never bottomed out.

It may still be worth it for taking some of the roughness out early in the compression.

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Rollin 29s
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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Your pressure seems really low for your weight. Have you tried going higher?
Yes, and I only use half of the available travel. The fork has been apart 3 times, and I've been on forums about this many times. I am thinking that I don't need this much fork. My weekly rides consist of 1300 - 1500' elevation gain, and rocky descents with small drops and small jumps (2 - 3' of air), so not flat bike paths or Northstar Downhill runs.

Still searching for the solution, and while I think a softer initial travel would benefit me, I'm not wanting any part of the travel to become stiffer. At 40psi, I still had 1/2" left before bottom out, but it was too squishy for regular descending or climbing over roots/ rocks where it nose dove.

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Yes, and I only use half of the available travel. The fork has been apart 3 times, and I've been on forums about this many times. I am thinking that I don't need this much fork. My weekly rides consist of 1300 - 1500' elevation gain, and rocky descents with small drops and small jumps (2 - 3' of air), so not flat bike paths or Northstar Downhill runs.

Still searching for the solution, and while I think a softer initial travel would benefit me, I'm not wanting any part of the travel to become stiffer. At 40psi, I still had 1/2" left before bottom out, but it was too squishy for regular descending or climbing over roots/ rocks where it nose dove.

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if it's in the budget, give the Lyrik a try. you'll be glad you did.
 

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I'm glad to hear about small bump improvement, but as I don't use nearly all of my travel as it is, losing more travel is concerning. I weight 205+, and run 65 to 70psi, and use 3/4 of the travel. I've never bottomed out.

It may still be worth it for taking some of the roughness out early in the compression.

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Sounds like you have two different issues. One is lack of small bump compliance and the other is feeling the fork is too progressive/difficult to use full travel. The Luftkappe will definitely improve the small bump issue. I put one on the 36 on my Spot Mayhem and was blown away by the difference. It was like getting a new fork. That said, the Luftkappe will make the fork slightly MORE progressive assuming the same number of volume spacers. The design of Luftkappe increases the negative spring volume, but takes up a little more space in the positive chamber. The end result is more small bump sensitivity, but a firmer more controlled mid stroke.
Interestingly, the 36 Performance that came on my Ripmo (with the Grip 1 damper) feels great and I haven't felt the need to put a Luftkappe on it.

One thing to keep in mind is the 36, by design, is a progressive fork. It's intended use is all mountain/enduro racing, where riders are traveling fast and sending big features. Not much in the way of modifications are going to change that. Honestly, I wouldn't worry so much about not using full travel if you can get the small bump/comfort issues resolved.
 

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Sounds like you have two different issues. One is lack of small bump compliance and the other is feeling the fork is too progressive/difficult to use full travel. The Luftkappe will definitely improve the small bump issue. I put one on the 36 on my Spot Mayhem and was blown away by the difference. It was like getting a new fork. That said, the Luftkappe will make the fork slightly MORE progressive assuming the same number of volume spacers. The design of Luftkappe increases the negative spring volume, but takes up a little more space in the positive chamber. The end result is more small bump sensitivity, but a firmer more controlled mid stroke.
Interestingly, the 36 Performance that came on my Ripmo (with the Grip 1 damper) feels great and I haven't felt the need to put a Luftkappe on it.

One thing to keep in mind is the 36, by design, is a progressive fork. It's intended use is all mountain/enduro racing, where riders are traveling fast and sending big features. Not much in the way of modifications are going to change that. Honestly, I wouldn't worry so much about not using full travel if you can get the small bump/comfort issues resolved.
This.

Luftkappe is a huge positive change in small bump and mid support, but you should also be removing spacers.
I would do it and maybe reduce your fork to 160 with zero spacers. I would also swap out the seals to push ones. This will give you the lowest friction setup available.

Check out the setup guide that I put up too. It might sound counter intuitive, but you might need more LSC to keep the fork up in it's travel where it is plusher. Don't go beyond 12ish clicks of HSC as it will open up fully and nullify the LSC.
 

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Rollin 29s
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Discussion Starter · #13 · (Edited)
I decided to give Luftkappe a try. While waiting for it to arrive, I reached out to Steve Mathews at Vorsprung, and he shared some interesting information and suggestions.

Based on my desire to reduce weight on my hands and keep the bottom bracket higher, he suggested staying with 170mm. As echoed above, he suggested not using travel as a measure of correct suspension setup, and shared the link below.

In this podcast, Darren Murphy of Push Industries gives a lot of great insight into suspension setup, and helped me to realize that my assumptions, and some of the general advice on forums about what 'should' or should not be done to optimize suspension tuning are not necessarily correct.

https://www.vitalmtb.com/interstiti...SH-Industries-on-The-Inside-Line-Podcast,2748

Finally, I have done the cable tie trick, but misunderstood the intent of it, as I think a lot of people have.

Steve sent me the following link which describes a better way to negate the effect of the lower fork (bath side) being over pressurized and reducing the effectiveness of the positive air chamber.

In fact, my fork felt pressurized even when all of the air was let out of the positive air chamber

https://mailchi.mp/0154723934e1/its-forkin-friday-291205?e=ca07b28eed

I performed the above procedure and depressurized the 'secret' air chamber completely.

My shock has always remained close to fully extended when all air is out of the positive chamber, but now for the first time ever, the fork was fully depressed. Aired up incrementally 10psi at a time followed by pushing and pulling the fork through travel balanced the positive and negative chambers. At 40psi, the fork still wasn't fully extended under the weight of the bike. A definite first, as even at zero psi previously, the fork was fully extended.

At 60psi, the fork was nearly fully extended, and 80psi made it feel pretty good, which is also a first. Anything above 65psi previously made the fork feel like blocks of wood were wedged between the uppers and lowers preventing movement.

One more observation is that the fork is now compressed about 1/4" under the weight of the bike, and initial travel is much easier to initiate without the sticking I felt before.

I haven't ridden yet, but will tomorrow. It will be an interesting comparison, and then I'm looking forward to installing the Luftkappe.





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This is the same as letting the air out and doing the cable tie trick - it makes a second negative spring in your lowers. It will feel plush but will dive excessively, and it also won't last - air will get sucked in through the seals until the lowers equalise with the ambient pressure within the length of a decent ride. This is the reason that Fox recommend inflating the air shaft before putting the lowers back on, i.e. to ensure the lowers have ambient pressure in them.

Not sure why you would start a thread if you aren't going to listen to any of the advice, but good luck with it.
 

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I installed the Luftkappe in my 160 mm 36 Factory Grip2 just a few days ago, and got my first ride in yesterday. I didn't have any tokens prior to the LK install. I increased the air pressure from 61 psi to 65 psi. I weigh around 62 kg w/o gear.

Some impressions from my one and only ride so far with the LK:
My normal rides is always start with a climb and then pretty flatish terrain for a one or two km. I didn't notice any real difference during these initial kilometers. I hit a mid-sized drop and was surprised to see that I used all the travel up front (which I also used to do prior to LK i should add), given I had read that the Luftkappe provides some progression over a stock setup. Then I hit a short but steep descend, which includes a pretty sharp compression that you roll into, and I could immediately tell that the fork had stayed up much higher in its travel than the prior times I had ridden the same section.

The rest of the ride kept revealing the subtle but very tangible improvements of the LK. I found myself hitting rough sections with higher speed and increased confidence with the fork staying up much better in the travel, without sacrificing any small-bump compliance. The easiest way to describe the difference is that it feels akin to a slacker head angle.

I think this is a no-brainer upgrade, and well worth the price considering it's less than 10% of the cost of the fork, but really provides a big performance increase.
 

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Rollin 29s
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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
This is the same as letting the air out and doing the cable tie trick - it makes a second negative spring in your lowers. It will feel plush but will dive excessively, and it also won't last - air will get sucked in through the seals until the lowers equalise with the ambient pressure within the length of a decent ride. This is the reason that Fox recommend inflating the air shaft before putting the lowers back on, i.e. to ensure the lowers have ambient pressure in them.

Not sure why you would start a thread if you aren't going to listen to any of the advice, but good luck with it.
I'm aware it's doing the same thing as the cable tie method, but not potentially damaging to the seals. I didn't realize it wouldn't last, and the air would suck in through the seals until equalized, but that makes sense.

Regarding advise, not sure what you're on about there. This thread helped me decide to pull the trigger on the Luftkappe based on the feedback, I'm hearing Alex and Ripn's suggestions about not using travel as a gauge of proper setup, HSC / LSC adjustments, etc. and will try those things on the trail. Based on the advise of Steve at Vorsprung, I'm starting with 170mm and the Luftkappe. I have already played with every configuration and setting with my 160mm shaft except adding the LK, but can go back to that later if I find the 170 setup too progressive.

Your advise is the only thing that I'm not going to do because I've already been there and it didn't work for me. I started at 160 at Fox's recommended pressure for my weight and 1 VC. It was harsh. I went to 2 VS and progression was too fast. Lower pressures and increasing to 170 was better.

It sounds like the LK will be a big improvement.

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Rollin 29s
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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
I installed the Luftkappe in my 160 mm 36 Factory Grip2 just a few days ago, and got my first ride in yesterday. I didn't have any tokens prior to the LK install. I increased the air pressure from 61 psi to 65 psi. I weigh around 62 kg w/o gear.

Some impressions from my one and only ride so far with the LK:
My normal rides is always start with a climb and then pretty flatish terrain for a one or two km. I didn't notice any real difference during these initial kilometers. I hit a mid-sized drop and was surprised to see that I used all the travel up front (which I also used to do prior to LK i should add), given I had read that the Luftkappe provides some progression over a stock setup. Then I hit a short but steep descend, which includes a pretty sharp compression that you roll into, and I could immediately tell that the fork had stayed up much higher in its travel than the prior times I had ridden the same section.

The rest of the ride kept revealing the subtle but very tangible improvements of the LK. I found myself hitting rough sections with higher speed and increased confidence with the fork staying up much better in the travel, without sacrificing any small-bump compliance. The easiest way to describe the difference is that it feels akin to a slacker head angle.

I think this is a no-brainer upgrade, and well worth the price considering it's less than 10% of the cost of the fork, but really provides a big performance increase.
Great ride report feedback, thanks! I'm feeling very confident with these reviews that this is going to solve many of my fork related problems, including small bump compliance, traction on fast cornering, vibrations through arms and hand pressure.

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One thing to note, it is my understanding the 36 is more progressive as the travel increases. There is a reason it comes with four volume spacers at 140mm and none at 170mm Once you get the LK installed, if it still feels too progressive, dropping back to 160mm (with no spacers and LK) might get you into the sweet spot.
 

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Rollin 29s
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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
One thing to note, it is my understanding the 36 is more progressive as the travel increases. There is a reason it comes with four volume spacers at 140mm and none at 170mm Once you get the LK installed, if it still feels too progressive, dropping back to 160mm (with no spacers and LK) might get you into the sweet spot.
Good point. The LK bought from someone on this thread is coming installed on a 160mm shaft, so it probably makes sense then to start with that and see how it feels. I don't have the roll pin removal tool yet anyhow.

Question about the PUSH low friction O-rings: Will they replace the Fox Orings only, or the LK O-rings as well? Are they even necessary if you have LK installed?

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