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The compression regulates how fast the shock compresses. If, for example, you are experiencing unwanted suspension bob on your bike, you can counteract this by adjusting the hardness of the compression. This also helps when the suspension fork compresses too far when riding down steps or bottoms out with hard shocks.
The adjusting screws for compression are often blue and located near the screws for adjusting the rebound. However, please note that the not all shocks allow the rider to adjust the compression.
The lower the compression, the more sensitive and comfortable the suspension performance will be.
The Lockout function allows the rider to effectively switch off the shock’s compression. RockShox suspension forks allow you to activate the lockout via the PopLoc lever on the handlebar. Picture 1 Magura forks also have the Lockout lever on the handlebar. DT Swiss forks can be blocked by turning the silver knob on the top right of the fork crown.
FOX RL and RLC forks allow you to intensify the level of compression right through to total Lockout via the blue lever. Picture 2 The fork then only compresses when the bike hits extremely hard bumps. On FOX forks with RLC technology the breakaway torque can be adjusted. The breakaway torque can be adjusted via the black knob on the top right of the fork crown. If you turn the knob clockwise, you increase the trigger force that is required to make the fork compress. Picture 3
With some RockShox and FOX models you can adjust the high speed and low speed compression separately, i.e. the speed dependent damping.
High speed compression absorbs shocks which only affect the fork very momentarily, for example roots, stones or steps. The higher the high speed compression is, the greater is the protection against bottom-out. The low speed compression, however, counteracts loads which affect the suspension for longer periods, for example when riding through banked bends, during shifts of weight or when braking. The low speed compression prevents the fork from sinking further down which would result in a reduction of travel.
With the Totem Gabel you can adjust the high speed compression via the blue adjusting wheel at the top right of the fork crown. The low speed compression is adjusted via the smaller silver adjusting wheel. Picture 4
With FOX RC2 models you can adjust the high speed compression on the upper blue adjusting wheel at the bottom of the right-hand fork stanchion. Picture 5 Picture 6 The low speed compression regulator is somewhat smaller and is positioned directly below it. Picture 7 On RLC models the blue low speed adjusting knob is at the top right of the fork crown. Picture 8
Older RockShox Totem and SID forks are fitted with the Floodgate system. If the Floodgate is activated negative influences created by the drive-train such as bob are suppressed. Shocks from the trail are, however, absorbed. FOX RLC forks and the RockShox Monarch 4.2 shock are fitted with a platform. This overrides the Lockout function when the severity of shocks reaches a certain level and the fork compresses.
With platform systems trigger force can be adjusted. The trigger force is the force which is required to override the lockout and to make the fork compress.
The above mentioned FOX forks allow you to adjust the trigger force using the black wheel on the fork crown.
With Totem forks you need to press on the silver button, which is on the top right of the fork crown. The button then jumps out and must be turned 90° anticlockwise. In the middle of the screw the intensity of the Floodgate can be adjusted using a 2.5mm Allen key or you simply turn the screw by hand. When the Floodgate is activated, ensure that there is sufficient clearance between the down tube and the adjuster knob. With the Monarch 4.2 shock you can switch the Floodgate on and off via the blue lever. Picture 10 By using the golden buttton you can adjust the intensity of the Floodgate. Picture 11
The strength of the platform depends on the ground and the weight of the rider. The heavier the rider and the more uneven the ground is, the stronger the platform strength adjustment should be.
We recommend the following Floodgate adjustment for RockShox forks with the above mentioned adjustment ranges:
Turn the Floodgate adjuster wheel out and then clockwise right to the end. Then turn it anticlockwise as indicated in the table below:
< 63 kg: 4 – 5 Revolutions
63-72 kg: 3 – 4 Revolutions
72-81 kg: 2 – 3 Revolutions
81-90kg: 1 – 2 Revolutions
99 kg<: 0 – 1 Revolutions