When I swapped my Rockshox Lyrik with a Fox 36 Grip 2 fork on my Specialized Enduro, the first thing I noticed was that at bumpy sections especially small rock gardens or rooty sections, the fork felt extremely harsh and my hands and arm started to feel pain a lot quicker compared to my previous fork which was the Lyrik as well as the Ohlins M1 on my other bike. Initially, I watched multiple videos changing the settings on the fork countless times until I came across a thread online whereby many other folks experienced the same problem!
The first clue that came out of the thread was that when people sent it in for service at a Fox authorised dealer, the issue went away but no information of it was ever shared out. When people started sending their forks out to other independent service teams, the first issue popped up the moment the fork was opened. The amount of excessive grease was found.
In some cases when the grease was removed and a sane amount of grease was applied, the issue went away for most users. Seeing that it worked for a group of users, I decided to send mine in for a check as well.
Lo and behold, my fork had the same issue as well when I sent my bike into Hanif of The Chain Lab. As part of the fork service, Hanif helped me remove the excess grease and fitted my fork back into place.
After testing out the solution, I went and tested the bike at my local trails at Bukit Kiara. The difference was definitely there (it was a noticeable improvement) but it didn’t feel as plush as my Rockshox and Ohlins especially at the initial stroke as well. So again I went back online scouring through the posts and came across another solution.
Another post in the forums here showed that the solution which other folks around the world use or diagnose that the fork is harsh is tight bushings. What some shops will do would use a fork bushing sizing tool which will help adjust the size within the fork. Mind you, different fork have different diameter stanchion and thankfully my local shop which does service for Ohlins (36mm stanchions) had the bushing tool for the Fox 36 (also running on 36mm stanchions).
Usually, if the bushings are tight, when you try to slot in the uppers into the lowers you would need a bit of force but once you actually resized them properly, the uppers would drop into the lowers thanks to gravity itself.
Here is an example when the bushings are tight – https://streamable.com/fo2mqs
Here is an example when you have resized the bushings – https://streamable.com/gi5pwj
I definitely feel some difference, but still not as plush as my Lyrik or Ohlins. I will give it a bit more try but now thanks to COVID, most of the mountain bike areas in my area are closed so I will have to test them out once the situation has improved.
Happy cycling everyone!