I just rebuilt my Pike 409 front shocks. First time using the bike and first time rebuild. I have a question on the lockout. When you turn the knob to complete lock out, should there be any dampening? If so how much?
The thing is the lock out is the compression damper. Almost all modern fork lock outs are hydraulic. If the fork has a compression damper it is built into the compression damping circuit. Basically it closes off the compression damper so the fork doesn't compress. So technically when you turn the compression adjuster to full on you are adjusting the compression damping to it's most extreme limit.
To prevent damage should you forget to unlock the fork for a descent most lock outs also use a blow off system that will allow the fork to unlock and compress should you take a big enough hit. Some forks like the Pike (and many other RS models) use and adjustable blow off valve. Rock Shox calls their adjustable blow off the "Flood Gate". This can be an internal or external adjustment. The Pike 409 is internal. Adjusting the flood gate allows you to custom tune how hard a hit the fork has to take before the blow off engages, or in other term how firm the lock out is. The reason I mention this is, that if the flood gate is set to it's lowest setting it is possible to move (compress) the fork by hand just leaning pretty hard on the bars. When set to the firmest setting it takes a pretty good drop or a very heavy hit to get the fork to compress. Also with rock shox forks when in the lock position it is designed so that the fork has a small amount of "free travel" so that it can follow terrain even in the locked out mode. But this is a very small amount, just enogh to keep the tire in contact with the trail.
Anyway, the answer to your question is yes, there is still damping going on when the fork is locked out. And it is still possible to compress the fork in lock out as well. How easily the fork can be compressed while in lock out is adjustable through the flood gate feature.
Are you having a problem with the fork moving too easily when locked out? Or is this just a "curiosity" question.
Thank you for the reply. My question was for curiosity knowledge. When I received the bike, the forks were not locking so I figured I should rebuild. Not having a working set originally I was not sure of the correct working mode. Your explanation makes complete sense that they need a slight amount of travel.
Thank you for the knowledge,
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