E-Bike Suspensions Myths

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E-Bike Suspensions Myths
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Posted: Jun 1, 2022 at 13:44 Quote
I've ordered a Giant Reign E+1 2022 and it comes with Fox 38 elite forks and a Fox X2 elite rear shock. I've been trying to workout where these items differ compared to non e-bike Fox suspension and the only thing I can come up with the tuning.

I have a set of Factory Fox 38's and a factory X2 both the same size/type on another bike and would like to install them on the reign but I'm not 100% positive that it should be done (should being the operative word here as it certainly COULD be done).

If you go to the Fox website and choose the E-38 it takes you straight to the 'standard' 38 page and after searching the internet high and low, again all I can come up with is the difference in tuning. Same with the X2.

Now, I'm new to the e-bike life so I'll await to be corrected here... I know an e-bike weighs considerably more than a non e-bike but surely there's no difference between a 85KG person and a 90-95KG person riding the same bike, you just optimise the suspension setup by settings and tunes anyway.

So what I'm saying is, the bike industry skeptic in me is saying it should be fine, maybe just alter the settings and away we go, but if anyone can educate me that would be excellent!

Posted: Jun 1, 2022 at 15:16 Quote
Yeah, i'd like someone to back me up, but im 99% sure its just a different shock tune

Posted: Jun 2, 2022 at 9:22 Quote
Rockshox use identical components with the Zeb being the only exception. The pressure charts recommend that you add 10psi to the base settings on ebikes. The Zeb is available with adjustable travel and is a bigger diameter straight steerer for ebikes.

I would be shocked if there are any differences in the Fox 38, but the shock might have a different tune.

Posted: Jun 2, 2022 at 11:57 Quote
Big manufacturers like Giant can get custom tunes considering the amount of products they order, like Rockshox does (and it's not that much custom, it's usually a preset from factory, when you see Compression L/Rebound M on the shock for example), but I doubt Fox does that. It's not in their spirit.

You can check the specs from both your shocks and forks using their 4 character code and put it on their website. There shouldn't be any mention of specific compression or rebound tune, other than the adjustments. The fork will most likely mention e-bike on it, but for the Fox 38 both ebike and regular forks are the same. They might have changed the air pressure chart though, like Rockshox does with a +10psi ebike sticker.

The Fox 36 ebike is veeery different from a stock 36, it has a thicker steerer and thicker stanchions, which as a result forces the insides of the fork to be of a Fox 34. The air piston is from a Fox 34, the GRIP damper is from a Fox 34, and if you need to change the travel or add volume spacers, you need to get the Fox 34 ones.

On a 38, there's only 1 part number for the air shaft for a specific travel for both ebike and regular forks, so the stanchions are the same. I believe there's also only 1 part number for the damper, so no trickery on this part. The steerer is the same, with the weird oval shape I think, and to me, they're both 100% identical.

For the shock, I'm not even sure they have an ebike series of shocks, and your Float X2 will be identical to a non ebike Float X2. They also both share the same appalling reliability issues of air getting in the oil (and vice versa) that Fox refuses to fix and that is plaguing even top riders at DH WC or EWS events ... But officially, doesn't exist and it's your fault you haven't serviced it soon enough ... But I digress.


And as you mention, in the end if an ebike weighs 10kg more than an ebike, how is that different from having a 10kg heavier rider... (center of gravity aside, where the weight of the engine and battery is located is better than having 10kg 'round the waist lol )

Posted: Jun 2, 2022 at 21:38 Quote
Well she’s arrived and to be fair one very large and noticeable difference that I can see on the forks at least is the physical size of the steerer tube base/top of the crown, around 70mm (ish) diameter where the headset race sits compared with 60mm (ish) of the non e-bike 38’s, pretty significant difference to be fair.

O+
Posted: Jun 3, 2022 at 2:16 Quote
Ploutre wrote:
...appalling reliability issues of air getting in the oil (and vice versa) that Fox refuses to fix and that is plaguing even top riders at DH WC or EWS events ... But officially, doesn't exist and it's your fault you haven't serviced it soon enough...

Mine failed after 20 hours lol

Posted: Jun 9, 2022 at 19:57 Quote
Ploutre wrote:
Big manufacturers like Giant can get custom tunes considering the amount of products they order, like Rockshox does (and it's not that much custom, it's usually a preset from factory, when you see Compression L/Rebound M on the shock for example), but I doubt Fox does that. It's not in their spirit.

You can check the specs from both your shocks and forks using their 4 character code and put it on their website. There shouldn't be any mention of specific compression or rebound tune, other than the adjustments. The fork will most likely mention e-bike on it, but for the Fox 38 both ebike and regular forks are the same. They might have changed the air pressure chart though, like Rockshox does with a +10psi ebike sticker.

The Fox 36 ebike is veeery different from a stock 36, it has a thicker steerer and thicker stanchions, which as a result forces the insides of the fork to be of a Fox 34. The air piston is from a Fox 34, the GRIP damper is from a Fox 34, and if you need to change the travel or add volume spacers, you need to get the Fox 34 ones.

On a 38, there's only 1 part number for the air shaft for a specific travel for both ebike and regular forks, so the stanchions are the same. I believe there's also only 1 part number for the damper, so no trickery on this part. The steerer is the same, with the weird oval shape I think, and to me, they're both 100% identical.

For the shock, I'm not even sure they have an ebike series of shocks, and your Float X2 will be identical to a non ebike Float X2. They also both share the same appalling reliability issues of air getting in the oil (and vice versa) that Fox refuses to fix and that is plaguing even top riders at DH WC or EWS events ... But officially, doesn't exist and it's your fault you haven't serviced it soon enough ... But I digress.


And as you mention, in the end if an ebike weighs 10kg more than an ebike, how is that different from having a 10kg heavier rider... (center of gravity aside, where the weight of the engine and battery is located is better than having 10kg 'round the waist lol )

You sound like you really know what’s going on with these newer fox shocks. I just got a canyon spectral with fox evol shock. It does say ebike tuned but Was looking to upgrade it. It’s the only lacking part of the bike. Would a Rockshox or something else be a beefed up better option

O+
Posted: Jun 10, 2022 at 5:17 Quote
Like some said above, differences are minimal and most of the times are limited to the actual tune of the suspension.

All of the eMTB stuff could apply to heavy riders with regular bikes. That whole eMTB rated components is 90% marketing...

Enjoy the bike, it's truly awesome...suspension & geo is on point!

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