Extra-extra heavy fork spring?

Hi Lee,

I’ve got a question for you that I can’t find an answer for. Do you know of a source to get an extra-extra-heavy spring for a Fox 36 Van? The heaviest one Fox sells is for a weight range of 210-240 lb and I need one for a rider weight of about 275 lb. Any help you can provide would be most appreciated. Thanks!


Hi Jennifer,

I sought advice from two suspension tough guys: Mark “Fitz” Fitzsimmons at FOX Racing Shox and Jimmy “JIMMY!” Donahugh at PUSH Industries.

Grammar note: I’m using the second person singular because it’s easy. I know this isn’t your fork.

You can order a custom spring from a spring company, but Fitz says at that heavy rate the coils will bind, and the spring will likely break.

If you’re sagging more than 20% with FOX’s firmest spring, here are your options:

1. Dial in full compression. Those are the blue knobs on the bottom of the right fork leg. This will hold the fork higher in its travel and resist bottoming. Those blue knobs are the secret weapon of a FOX fork. (Fitz)

2. Clean up your riding style. Make sure you’re riding with your feet, and that your hands stay neutral. Your weight should almost always drive into your pedals, not your bars. 99.99999% of riders ride with their weight too far forward. (Lee)

3. Shift your riding position rearward with a shorter stem, higher bars and an offset seatpost. (Fitz)

4. Switch to an air fork like a 36 FLOAT or TALAS. You can add air pressure until you get the spring rate you need. (Fitz and Jimmy)

5. Have the rider lose 50 pounds. That was Jimmy.

Start at the top of the list and work your way down. It would be smart to start chipping away at No. 5, but I guess that’s where the bike comes in!

Good luck and say braaap!

— Lee

5 replies
  1. Daniel says:

    If you can find a float air cap (non-talas) then you can use it like an air assist similar to how marzocchi does their DJ forks. Keep the spring in there and run low pressure in the fork. Reliable, cheap, easy.

    Might want to check with the experts if I am right on it but I can’t think of a reason why it wouldn’t work.

  2. leelikesbikes says:

    Something tells me the VAN’s seals aren’t made to contain air like that.

    Once reason VANs are measurably more supple than FLOATS.

  3. leelikesbikes says:

    Fitz says:

    “Lee, You are dead on. The seals will pop out. And the air volume will be so large that it wouldn’t effect the progression.”

  4. paul says:

    Agreed w/ comment 1 & 2. My 36VanRC2 always felt good but it used to dive occasionally & bottomed on weird hits. I first checked to make sure the bottom out was on highest setting (via Fox tune). But, what really made the difference was the blue knobs.
    I had another rider on-line give me some settingsto try and once I dialed them in it was perfection. Supple 100% of the time & no bottoming. RC2 adjustability is well worth it for those looking to buy.
    For comment #2 I’d say make sure your bike is “balanced” out (if it is full suspension). Rear may be set too stiff or soft (wrong spring/ air) or too much pro-pedal (or whatever term). My riding went through a huge change once it was dialed w/ respect to front and rear setup/settings. I’d say it was like I felt the bike through my feet quite a bit more like I was neutral on it.

  5. paul says:

    BTW I’m 155#s and ride stock springs. My settings: high speed->full on, low speed minimum 4 + clicks (try 1/2 on). Just works this way.

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