Rockshox Motion Control

supersonicsupersonic Posts: 82,708 Lives Here
edited September 2011 in Tech FAQs
Many people are unimpressed with the Rockshox website, including myself, as it is very hard to find manuals, a confusing name system and inadequate explanations of what the adjustments do. Add to this the wrong pictures for many of the forks (or none at all!), and in some case wrong feature list, then it is no wonder people get confused! Here is a guide to Motion Control.

2011 forks.

Motion Control is an adjustable low speed compression damper, with a blow off valve. Models named RL on the Sektor and Recon have a fixed blow off valve (Floodgate), otherwise for the Reba, SID and Revelation needs a 2.5mm allen key (ie the rebound adjuster rod that pulls out). RLT has an external gold dial for adjusting the Floodgate. Black Box and RLT Ti gets a fixed internal high speed damper and is lighter, being made of titanium.

So how to set it up? When the blue compression dial is fully anticlockwise there is minimal damping in the compression stroke. As you progressively turn it clockwise, you progressively add damping, which resists the compression of the fork. This is useful for dialing out bob and dive of the fork, especially when pedalling. At full clockwise the fork locks out, but be aware it retains a small amount of movement to aid traction.

So what does Floodgate do? If too much pressure builds up in the damper, the compression damper port is bypassed allowing the fork to move. Adjusting the Floodgate dial allows you to tune when the bypass cuts in. If set full anticlockwise the valve opens very easily, to the extent that the compression damper and lockout may not appear to do anything. Set fully clockwise and it takes a big hit to activate - so much so that even when the comp damper is not fully turned it may seem the fork is extremely stiff. The use of the Floodgate is usually only apparent near full compression damping.

The trick is to experiment to get a setting you like. XC riders can get the fork to only move on medium and big hits by using lots of damping and high floodgate. Others may like a more compliant fork that moves on smaller hits - lower floodgate is required. And further, some may prefer a fully active fork and not use any compression damping at all, or very little

2012 forks.

2012 sees a new Motion Control damper with a lighter 'DNA' spring stack. Unfortunately the RL models on Revs and Rebas lose the Floodgate adjust and is factory set. RLT is as before, but the new variant is the RCT3. Rather than having to turn the compression damper all the way to lock the fork, the lockout is independant of the comp adjustment, allowing you to return to your previous comp setting. Instead there is a 3 position 'open' - fully open, 'threshold' for some compliancy and movement on medium hits and 'lock': will onlymove on the biggest of impacts.

One thing is obvious: the Rockshox naming makes absolutely no sense! R = Rebound, L = Lockout, C = Compression, T = Threshold. All of them have compression damping adjustment, but not all have C... some have Threshold adjustment, but not a T... and so on. But the above guides will show what the forks do, and how to use the adjustments.
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