So you’ve been thinking of upgrading your rear shock or busy with a build and in need of a shock. Depending on your budget for many folks the Bike Hub – Classifieds section would be the first port of call. Finding a shock that has the right measurements as mentioned below is not the only consideration and that is what this article will focus on.
The first consideration when replacing or installing a new shock is to get your required eye to eye and stroke length:
On FOX shocks 2013+ you can normally find a shock custom tune id printed on the label around the air sleeve:
In the above picture we can see the ID being C372. Once you have this code you can head over to the FOX website and enter the information on this page: https://www.ridefox.com/help.php?m=bike
The page will list information regarding the specific code, the above shock gives us:
2017, FLOAT DPS, F-S, K, 3pos-Adj Evol SV, FOX, AM, 7.875, 2.0, CL, RM, Climb F, Orange Logo
Fantastic but what does this all mean? Let’s break down the info, some of it more obvious than others:
- 2017: Year of manufacture
- FLOAT DPS: Model
- F-S: Factory Series
- K: Kashima Coating
- 3pos-Adj Evol SV: 3 Postion Adjuster, Evolution air chamber with Standard Volume/Eyelet
- FOX: Manufacturer
- AM: After Market i.e. not OEM/Stock with a bike
- 7.875: Eye to eye length in inches
- 2.0: Stroke length in inches
- CL: Compression Light
- RM: Rebound Medium
- Climb F: Climb Mode Firm Lock Out
- Orange Logo: Decal Color
Now that we know what the codes mean let’s explore some of them a little further.
F-S: Factory Series
Other options could include E-S – Evolution Series, P-S – Performance Series. This is the spec of your shock model and they each have different features such as more refined tuning on the high-end models and Kashima coating as listed above on the Factory Series.
3pos-Adj Evol SV: 3 Position Adjuster, Evolution air chamber with Standard Volume/Eyelet
Lever actuated Open, Medium, Firm modes. Open mode adjust tuning range (1, 2, 3) on the Factory Series as above.
Other options are Remote actuated Open, Medium, Firm modes or iRD electronic activation.
Evolution air chamber is an optional air sleeve upgrade that improves responsiveness and sensitivity.
SV refers to the air chamber size and eyelet size. Other configurations could be LV – Large or XV – Extra Large. This is important when upgrading and builds as the shock might not fit in your frame and cause issues under compression. For more information on this visit this page on the FOX website.
The last three codes we are covering can get very detailed and deserves a post of their own which we will cover at some stage. Herewith a short explanation of each.
CL: Compression Light
This refers to the level of compression damping of the shock so “L” is light compression. You will need to consider your type of riding as well as frame leverage ratios and take this into consideration. Other options are M – Medium, F – Firm.
RM: Rebound Medium
This refers to the level of rebound of the shock so “M” is medium rebound. You will need to consider your type of riding as well as frame leverage ratios and take this into consideration. Other options are L – Light, F – Firm.
Climb F: Climb Mode Firm
When you are in your firm mode on the adjustment lever or lock out as it is also known this will give you a firm feel with the least amount of pedal-bob. Other options are L – Light, M – Medium.
Shock tunes are set from the factory for the manufacturers frame and leverage ratios to cover as many bases as possible. The settings are predetermined to allow for lighter riders and heavier riders to get a good base setting that would let them enjoy riding. The range is set to cover a wide range of riders. If you get to the point where you feel you need fine control over a certain aspect of your suspension, it’s generally accepted you know what you’re missing from the basic setup. Then you get into custom tuning.
One way of finding the right match for your bike or frame is to get the original shock spec and tune id and looking at something that matches up with that.
Suspensions are all different and can get quite technical and there is a lot more detailed information that we can go into when it comes to some of the above parts of the code but we will leave that for future articles.
If you need assistance on FOX shocks contact us and we will gladly try to assist you in making the right decision.