Fox Sues SRAM Over Fork Bleed Valves

Jul 20, 2022 at 10:49
by Alicia Leggett  

It's only been a matter of months since SRAM and Fox ended their six-year legal battle over chainring and axle patents, but the two bike industry giants are at it again.

Fox Factory, Inc. last week filed a complaint - available here - with Central District of California courts seeking actual and punitive damages from SRAM, LLC for supposed patent infringement related to the bleed valves on RockShox's 2023 forks. The filing references United States patent #US10746250B2 for a "Method and Apparatus for an Adjustable Damper" that is described as such:

bigquotesAn air bleed system for a suspension fork or shock absorber includes: a fluid passage between an interior of the suspension and an exterior of the suspension; and a manually operable valve having a first position substantially closing the fluid passage and a second position allowing fluid flow between the interior and the exterior.

Bleed valves on mountain bike forks aren't entirely new - companies like MRP, X-Fusion, Manitou, and others have used different iterations of the concept, but Fox was granted the patent in 2020 and RockShox introduced its version of the valves for its recent launch of the 2023 ZEB, Lyrik, and Pike models.

The battle of the bleed valves: Fox vs RockShox.

Fox is not only requesting damages but demanding that RockShox stop selling the forks immediately and hand over all unsold inventory to be destroyed.

At the beginning of this year, when the two companies ended their series of claims and counterclaims against one another over chainrings and axles, both ended up licensing technology to each other - Fox granted SRAM a non-exclusive royalty-free license for its axles, and SRAM granted Fox a non-exclusive license for its chainrings, but one that demanded that Fox pay royalties to SRAM.

Many speculated that the battle ended because legal fees simply became too high, with estimates that both companies spent millions on the claims. It'll be interesting to see how long this round continues, and whether it results in Fox licensing the bleed valve design to SRAM.

We have reached out to both companies for comment and will update this article with any statements we receive.


393 Comments

  • 630 21
 Fox should just ask rockshox if they can copy their CSU's as a compromise....
  • 80 2
 But I keep getting new CSUs every two years. Nice to have brand new uppers.
  • 25 4
 Wish I could give this +100 props.
  • 130 23
 Worth an upvote, but...

I've owned 4 Fox forks, 0 with a creaky CSU (it seems I'm just lucky here).

I've owned 3 Rockshox forks, all 3 started with or developed bushing play.
  • 51 55
flag conoat (Jul 20, 2022 at 11:59) (Below Threshold)
 @DaneL: let's admit it.....Rockshox starting with sloppy bushings is a total genius move....this way, you just never think the thing is shit, because it's always been shit....*mindblown*
  • 8 7
 @conoat: I thought that when cold, there should be a little bit of play in the bushings as it would allow for some expansion as things warm up during use. At least, that is what I recall reading from one of the Fox user manuals. Wasn't it like that? Do you still feel play in your bushings after a bit of riding? I also recall Chris Porter used to ream the bushings to the exact size suitable for the stanchions, which could vary. At least that's a service he offered back when he was tuning and servicing Fox suspension.
  • 25 11
 @vinay: you only need slop if the expansion rates of disperate materials are different enough to matter. think F1 engines: when cold, they are fully locked up and would not turn over. they need to be preheated to operating temp just to fire them up. why? the expansion rate of the pistons is less then the expansion rate of the block. so when you warm it, the block expands away from the pistons and you get the correct tolerance.

two things: no way in hell a fork sees anything close to enough thermal gain to matter vis-a-vis tolerances. also, there needs to be some amound of play to make the fork as stiction free as possible while maintaining integrity. it's a fine line, one that Ohlins got wrong with their first entry with Spesh back a number of years ago. those bushings were waaaaay too tight and it led to stanchion wear and sub par small bump compliance.
  • 14 0
 @DaneL: Not enough cushion for the bushin?

I've never had this issue w/ my RS Lyrik but maintained it meticulously and (still) beat the F out of it. Rode it every May-Oct in park three years and its been a dream really. I have a manitou mezzer now so I don't have a team on this one but hey, legals are gonna legal.
  • 19 1
 @vinay: That's what I keep telling my wife.
  • 31 9
 @DaneL: same I have had 6 fox forks none of which had csu issues i swear most of the time people dont realize there headset is actually the problem hahahaha.
  • 8 3
 @conoat: Yeah, I honestly don't know how much these bushings heat up. As they're plastics (is it POM?) they don't conduct the energy they dissipate as well as the metals in a motor. So the surface could actually heat up even though it isn't the complete bushings heating up that much. I just looked up and found the thermal expansion coefficient of POM is about 12*10^-5/degC (so 0.00012/degC). A sliding fit has somewhere between a 0.02 and 0.05mm gap so if you have, say, a 1mm thick layer of the bushing heating up, it would require a temperature increase between 0.05/(1*0.00012)=417degC and 0.02/(0.00012)=117degC for the gap to close. Obviously this is simplistic as I'm not taking into account how much the rest of the bushing heats up nor that things are already bad well before the gap closes completely. I do agree that the stanchions will conduct well enough to not heat up because of the friction.

Well, that's about how much math I can do in a PB post. And the big elephant, I honestly don't know how much your bushings heat up during use. I am usually impressed though by how hot stuff gets when there is friction.
  • 10 2
 @dsheffer: Yeah, I've had all kinds of things on the front of the bike creak, but it always turned out to be something other than the fork itself. It's usually the headset or stem.
  • 3 5
 @slayersxc17: how to get new CSU for fox forks? mine isn't creaky (maybe it is i just dont notice), but ive scratched my stanchion a few times. the repairs ive done work, but if i could get a new CSU i'd be stoked
  • 2 1
 @DaneL: veeeeery lucky
  • 5 3
 @Mrtonyd: ride bikepark DH tracks for a bit, it'll start creaking quickly, then make a warranty claim, tada new CSU
  • 5 1
 @vinay:doing tolerance stack ups and getting a 20 micron running fit over a 150mm travel whilst it’s being bent is not going to happen I can Bend a fork more than that with it sat on the bench in fact I’d hazard it might sag that far under its own weight when the oil film thickness diminishes stood still theres a whole world of surface tribology when it comes to bushes that is slightly different to oil film thickness type affairs reaming exact on exact fits mean it wouldn’t go together at all there always has to be a running clearance
  • 2 1
 @JohSch: you have to send the old csu back?
  • 1 0
 Touchè
  • 13 1
 so can we all go buying manitou now
  • 3 0
 @Mrtonyd: You can send into them and they can check it out. I believe the CSU has a 18 or 24 month warranty on it. I live two miles from the east coast headquarters so I’m able to just pop in.
  • 4 2
 @conoat: Downvoted by the 25 people with rockshox in the buy/sell section.
  • 2 0
 @Compositepro: Some forks of which include - as you may guess - "trail side relief" (TSR) ports. SUE THEM!
  • 1 4
 @vinay: One follow up question for ya pal... Is math related to science?
  • 2 0
 @Mtn-Goat-13: I have a trail side relief port I wonder if I will get sued
  • 2 1
 After thinking about this what maybe SRAM should do is pay them their damages on the 50 sets they sold and put some oil inlet ports in the holes instead fox valves far more valuable than having to strip a fork then they queue massive press campaign to prove if the air outlets were needed at all finding I bet that they’re a waste of actual time all together
  • 2 0
 @conoat: Expansion rates are definitely a consideration for shock bushing and seal pack designs...
  • 2 0
 @Mrtonyd: any bike/suspension shop should be able to order you a CSU
  • 5 0
 If Fox lose will Rockshox make them ride Reverbs?
  • 2 0
 @Mtn-Goat-13: the newer RS fork routing maintenance is an example for the industry. Car motor oil compatible, and no special tools to drop the lowers. I bought a stash of foam rings and crush washers and could do it in under 30mins. Still trying to decide what to do on my MY22 Fox 36 - they say to just do the lowers service when the damper overhaul is due. Not sure if I should drop the lowers at say 50h and do a minor service.
  • 2 0
 @islander: the cool part of the bleed damper design is that while you need damper, you have more of it, so when you service the lowers you are changing out half or more of the damper oil. Much like a transmission that makes service pretty easy and keeps the fluid pretty clean.

I really enjoy it
  • 2 0
 @Compositepro: Better buck up my man… be ready. Forkwise tho, Ive bled my ports but havent heard any sounds at all - have u?
  • 1 0
 @islander: Ive never ridden Fox but seems like the lowers service shouldnt be too rough (?) Hanging confidently serviced my RS x number of times (Manitou Mezzer even easier) I assumed I could help a buddy service his Fox 36 recently. Oops. Takes a few specialty tools. He got it done but it wasn't as easy as RS… cant recall what hung us up, had to ride out & leave him forkless but… glad RS is simple.
  • 1 1
 I think we need a counter lawsuit from MRP… they did this before Fox.
  • 1 0
 Comment of the year!
  • 1 0
 Zing!!!!!!
  • 1 0
 @Ashe14: You can order that from online distributors (e.g. Jenson). If you can do a lower leg service - you can replace your CSU.
  • 2 0
 @DaneL: dvo have had bleed ports since 2016 or 17 so they should just stop suing each the big giants
  • 256 6
 Both companies are gonna be bleeding after this battle.
  • 101 1
 getting all pumped up for nothing IMO
  • 103 2
 We'll have to see if RockShox can handle the pressure.
  • 49 2
 This all seems like a lot of hot air.
  • 64 2
 @reindeln: I have a feeling they'll both bottom out...
  • 43 1
 @ckcost: They'll probably let it slide.
  • 66 1
 @jesse-effing-edwards: let's hope they can rebound from this.
  • 58 1
 Fox wants RS to fork over the cash. Kind of shocking.
  • 80 2
 if every fork intends to be exactly the same, then the market is ripe for a boutique brand to turn things upside down
  • 10 1
 @MT36: That's just to lubricate things a little and blow off some steam.
  • 18 1
 Really puts a damper on RS's new product range launch
  • 7 1
 They just need to dampen down the rhetoric...

[Holy eff, do you see what you caused here???]
  • 23 1
 token lawsuit...
  • 15 1
 Sounds like there is a lot of friction here
  • 5 3
 Definitely bluffing, I think they are all just blowing a lot of hot air
  • 11 1
 @IUChris: The fact that the impact of their disagreement has ramped up to this stage showcases the volume of the friction between them and how they don't see eye to eye.
  • 5 9
flag aka-bigsteve (Jul 20, 2022 at 14:24) (Below Threshold)
 Not until the bloodsucking lawyers have had their fill.
  • 5 4
 I want to join, but I’m afraid I’d dampen the pun fun
  • 4 4
 The real question is can you patent a FART...
  • 2 1
 Fox and RS both losing their grip. Don't want to charger down the road of wasting perfectly good forks.
  • 4 1
 It'll be a relieve when this lawsuit is over
  • 3 1
 On the contrary, it should go all smooth like butter in a cup
  • 2 0
 Once again, Fox are trying to bleed SRAM dry. SRAM are pretty slippery though. Who'll take the crown as market leader after this?
  • 4 0
 @MT36: “kash” would have been punnier
  • 3 0
 @fartymarty: no farts are a byproduct of arseholes and everyone has one
  • 3 0
 This is going to cost someone a lot of Kashima
  • 154 0
 I'll... uh... take all those forks and destroy them. don't worry
  • 24 1
 my friends: Hey man, your new fork looks an awful lot like a '22 lyrik...

me: Nah, it's definitely Fox..
  • 16 0
 @danielfloyd: Paint them Orange and order decals from Stikrd.com that say "Definitely A Fox" in the Fox font. Would be pretty funny actually.
  • 4 0
 Just slap a Fox RAD sticker on them
  • 30 1
 Just the idea that they want to bin a metric sh×t ton of new forks makes me not want to buy any more Fox stuff.
  • 12 1
 @Chonky13: Just their prices do that for me.
  • 10 0
 @Chonky13: Fox - destroying the competition.
  • 1 0
 @Chonky13: yeah, in this supply shortage of all things.
  • 123 6
 "Fox is not only requesting damages but demanding that RockShox stop selling the forks immediately and hand over all unsold inventory to be destroyed."

Why not license the air bleed system? Avoiding the landfills should be a priority
  • 125 43
 Fuck fox
  • 61 0
 Well my guess is they'll negotiate from there. "Ask for reasonable damages" said no litigation attorney ever.
  • 106 22
 Loosing lots of respect for Fox after that statement, cry baby energy. Bad for the environment, bad for supply chain and bad for my wallet. Lick nutz Fox
  • 10 7
 @maxhajdu23: Suntour for the win. They provide foam rings and the lowers are sealed, but no fluid inside because of fox and rockshox patents.
  • 24 7
 it's an obvious warning shot. it will never.....NEVER get to that point. you need to learn how to interpret legalese in these situations, my friend....
  • 6 2
 @lenniDK: bruh, they are fiesty and can have rabies....but hey...I ain't here to kink shame
  • 3 1
 Really hope that doesn't happen. I want that green lyric, just my luck they'll all be destroyed before I ever get one.
  • 1 0
 @DylanH93: yeah, that is not gonna happen. They will just release the fork without the vent port IF fox laweyers are that good.
  • 1 3
 It would be more damaging to rockshox if fox would have asked that all allocated forks be sold at no cost. Keeps them out of landfills and rockshox loses out on any profit. Destroying them just lets rockshox fill the orders with new forks and still make a profit.
  • 7 0
 Avoiding the land fill is only the priority when they are trying to sell you some sort of sustainable bullshit. When it comes to money they'll fill that landfill right up and build another.
  • 13 4
 @lenniDK: "...estimates that both companies spent millions on the claims." The cost will certainly be passed on to us consumers. f*ck you Fox. How about you invest in making CSUs that don't creak and rear shocks that don't blow up after 6 months instead of lawsuits.

"You can't sue yourself into orbit" - Elon Musk on Blue Origin's lawsuit against them for getting the NASA contract. (he was a lot more sane when he said this, pre Twitter buyout stuff lol)
  • 1 0
 @schulte1400: but now you have that many more people with fresh RS forks shrinking your market and potential sales
  • 8 3
 @Jcolis1904: Fox has shrunk its own market by making overpriced stuff. RS is cheaper and gets better every few years and the problem is that they are now as good or even better. Stupid holes in lowers is not their problem. Ultimately it's a nice feature, but not vital.
  • 2 2
 @lkubica: agreed. I would prefer to get a bike with Rock Shox suspension everyday. I just wish it was like the old days where you could always find an oem build of a bike you wanted with RS suspension and Shimano drivetrain.
  • 2 1
 Perhaps (and hopefully) Fox is hoping that SRAM will compromise at licensing. Personally I think they both should be fined for trolling each other which inevitably leads to higher cost for the consumer. Dicks.
  • 4 1
 @gravitybass: Blowing up after 6 months ? More like 6 rides before an X2 goes squishy!
  • 2 0
 @jaytdubs: It is like any negotiation. You don't end where you start.
  • 1 0
 Most of a fork is recyclable.
  • 4 0
 @lkubica: The big difference is Fox actually supports their products on service small parts side of things. If you need a small part like a bladder for a current charger damper RS tells you to get f*cked and throw that old damper away and buy a new one (outside of warranty you spend $300 when a $10 part is all you need, thankfully some 3rd parties are stepping in to make these now). Not to mention they force the new new on the market by not supporting the old and not making new dampers backwards compatible when there is no other reason to this other than to sell more shit filling landfills in their own way. I will always support Fox over RS for this reason alone. No serviceability equals no sale for me.
  • 2 0
 @willdabeast410: I’ll admit it’s been a few years since I’ve owned a RS fork, but when I did have an issue with a couple of small internal parts, my local service centre sold them to me at reasonable prices. RS did tell my LBS that they don’t offer the parts and an entire internal replacement was required, but service centre had no problems selling me what I needed. They even told me how to install them the easiest way.
  • 121 7
 Patent is invalid if there is prior art (e.g., MRP)
  • 35 4
 Yep, my MRP Ribbon had this a while ago
  • 93 2
 That's what I don't get. Fox was not first to market with this technology. Let's go MRP!! Time to sue Fox!!
  • 24 1
 A patent is only invalid if you don’t have any money anything is fair game for the cash rich even if protected
  • 7 0
 Maybe, but it depends on the implementation since patents on physical items are quite specific. I don't know anything about forks, but maybe they could do a release valve without the oil passage phrase I don't understand.

If it was done via the same method, then you have to show prior art in court (I.e. $$$). Fox probably wouldn't bother I'd it were a cut and dry case of prior art, but we are in an era of patent trolls where it's often a case of who has the better legal team and the biggest legal fund.
  • 4 1
 Didn't old Marzocchi forks have this too? Maybe the Marzocchi patent hasn't expired yet so that Fox now owns it and RS can't use it. That said, I know little about legal stuff.
  • 8 0
 @eh-steve: "maybe they could do a release valve without the oil passage phrase I don't understand".

The phrase is "fluid passage", and air is a fluid.
  • 18 17
 It's not the "bleed" technology that's the issue. It's that they literally stole the valve.

When you get awarded a patent, you defend it. Period.
  • 4 0
 @eh-steve: there you go biggest cash pot takes all
  • 5 0
 @onemanarmy: Yea, am wondering about this too. Looks like an exact copy rather than their own take on it.
  • 8 1
 @Rexuis-Twin: fox was doing this a decade ago on 40's
  • 48 1
 The patent received priority (aka filing date) in 2012, so predates MRPs art. It wasn't granted until 2020, so there would have been nothing to defend when MRP showed up with theirs in 2018. Once granted though, Fox would have been within their rights to send a cease and desist for all future forks from MRP (assuming it is substantially the same design) and any other fork manufacturer that used the design, including SRAM/Rockshox. I'm not sure why they didn't go after MRP - maybe altruism, or maybe the MRP implementation is a little different.
Patent defense is super ugly, but if you don't defend them, you lose them, AND the fact that they exist helps companies make the investments to innovate. It always feels like the consumer is losing in the short term, but in the long term we have lots of innovations we wouldn't if it weren't for this system.
  • 3 0
 @vinay: They did. Most of the old ones I had had a small 1.5mm bolt you had to loosen and then the air would release. Monster T/Shiver/888
  • 8 0
 What I can't get is how a company like SRAM, which 4/5 of their staff appear to be lawyers, would do something so stupid on its face. I can only think they knew this coming in, thought the patent wouldn't hold up in court, and were willing to roll the dice.
  • 1 0
 @streetfighter848: they can’t if MRP did not secured a patent back then, then the technology is free to use for anyone
  • 3 1
 @ohio: how come they have been keeping this patent pending for a decade. A patent usually requires 2-3 years max to be granted..
Crazy stuff
  • 3 0
 @ohio: You are correct, but prior art would not be constrained to MTB forks. As others have noted, this tech has been around on moto forks since well before 2012.
  • 12 1
 @hamncheez: Wrong, 2/5 are lawyers and 2/5 are in marketing. The rest do the actual work.
  • 14 1
 The "tech" is nothing new and has been implemented in MX for decades so who is the moron that decided to give Fox a patent for something that is common tech in suspension ? Suspension is suspension otherwise they should try to patent coils and telescopic layout while they are at it ... pretty ridiculous really, never liked Fox much this won't help their case for me for sure.
  • 2 0
 that's it, you've solved and closed the case in one sentence. Yet it will take years of legal battle to get to the same conclusion! Lawers will be the only winners, then able to buy dentists bikes !
  • 4 1
 @Balgaroth: agreed they're trolling! We're the losers cuz the legal cost will get past down to us in parts cost inflation. Fml.
  • 2 1
 @onemanarmy: yeah I’m guessing this is the real issue. A bunch of other brands have bleeders, but non of those look EXACTLY like the fox one.

Seems like the RS one is copy and pasted.
  • 1 0
 @henryz4: not exactly. Between the filing date and the patent application gets public, it generally takes 18 months. If, in the meantime the search report done by the patent office require further work, the publication date of the patent application is later.
  • 1 1
 @henryz4: not exactly. If the product was made commercially available by MRP between the first patent application and the publication date, a gentleman agreement is usually done.
  • 1 1
 @BlackstoneBicycles: yes probably coming out of the same factory in China, Fox should sue their manufacturer rather than RS but sure it is easier to sue another client of a Chinese manufacturer rather than suing a Chinese company.
  • 2 0
 @thelibrarybiker: you are right, I spaced it; I just remembered it and then saw your perfectly spicy reply

Weird to wait this long to go after people.

A personal concern is that I believe some moto manufacturers had this prior to the patent
  • 2 0
 Fork bleed valves have existed in the motorcycle world for decades, Perhaps Showa and Kyaba should get in on this action...
  • 2 0
 @ohio: You are spot on with the first paragraph. However, the second paragraph confuses trademark with patent law. You don't lose the right to enforce patents even if you wait to enforce it.
  • 2 1
 @Compositepro: In the US, patents are routinely invalidated by the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO). Right now, it invalidates 80+A% of all patents the USPTO issued in the first place. No, it doesn't make any sense.
  • 1 0
 @streetfighter848: Fox filed the patent application long before MRP developed its version. It can take years - in some cases a decade + - to be issued a patent after you start the process.
  • 1 0
 @streetfighter848: If MRP doesn't have a patent they can't sue, If they were the first they gave the idea away. Motorcycles have used bleeder valves long before MTB's so that should invalidate it. I will be surprised if Fox prevails.....
  • 4 0
 I did a quick google patent search "fork bleed valve" and got:
patents.google.com/patent/US7370670B1/en
Long before Fox's priority date.

I did a search of Fox's patent for this patent # (they are supposed to cite prior art) and it was not listed, Wonder why?!?
  • 1 1
 @EuroinSF: 80 percent of patents are scrapped
  • 1 0
 @tcmtnbikr: somehow Fox managed to convince a patent examiner... I'm not saying that examiner is right. I've had legit patents rejected, while watching ridiculous patents get approved. Now, it'll be up to a court to decide if there was prior art. Maybe that's SRAM's bet - they may have felt that the prior art was so obvious that they know if it goes to court the patent will be tossed?
  • 1 0
 @thewanderingtramp: I assume you are referring to my earlier comment. 80+% of patents reviewed in IPR proceedings are at least partially invalidated - not all patents. Important nuance. Lots of reasons for that, some more controversial than others.
  • 88 0
 If it bleeds... We can kill it.
  • 9 0
 Choppa!
  • 4 0
 I ain't got time to bleed!
  • 1 0
 You're one ugly m.......
  • 68 15
 Fox is stressin out man. Warranty boiz are nervous. Have you ridden the new RS stuff? If you have, you know that Fox is in deep shit. I truly believe they ride the finest of lines with the best suspension on market that ISNT reliable AND is a PITA to service in your shed. Rockshox should take this as a win.
  • 8 35
flag TheOriginalTwoTone (Jul 20, 2022 at 11:58) (Below Threshold)
 Why would the be nervous, forks with bushing play don't ride well.
  • 30 2
 @TheOriginalTwoTone: My Fox 34 factory with substantial bushing play/knocking has entered the chat.
  • 19 1
 @TheOriginalTwoTone: Neither do squelching rear shocks or creaking forks...
  • 13 7
 True that, fox forks aren't even on the same planet as RS the last few years.
  • 11 11
 The RS products are so much easier to maintain and cost less to do the maintenance too. Can't say there is really that noticeable of a difference in ride quality, either.
  • 17 10
 As someone who services a lot of suspension...
Fox fork chassis are far superior to RS. Just much much much less friction, and the parts dont wear as fast. Couple that with replaceable bushings (RS solution to worn bushings is you buy new lowers), repairable dampers (RS solution to a leaking damper is you buy a new damper) and lowers that accept more than 5cc of bath oil, and Fox forks really don't appear to have much competition from RS to be concerned about.
  • 4 1
 @gabiusmaximus: The latest RS with longer bushings and Buttercups are supposed to be a game changer so I've read. Haven't tried them.
  • 6 0
 @tremeer023: Buttercups are a fantastic idea, i'll give that to Sram.
  • 4 2
 I'm kind of agnostic on the forks, but am 110% over all the reliability issues with Fox shocks. Going to be awhile before I purchase another one of.those.
  • 3 4
 @gabiusmaximus: Buttercups are just a gimmick. Every cycling company has tried to jam elastomers everywhere. There's a inflated rubber tire on a mountain bike, a $0.10 piece of plastic aint doing anything lol.

For what it's worth I'm currently riding a new Pike.

This lawsuit is dumb through. You could get bleeders on dirt bikes since like the 70's. You can buy them off Aliexpress and drill and tap them to the top of any dirt bike that doesn't have them too.
  • 1 2
 My 2021 38 and 34’s that had five warranty replacements between them agree with the sentiment. Oh I forgot the Mrs’ 2021 36 with two replacements, and she is half my weight. Lucky the Fox rear suspension has been trouble free, touch wood.
  • 5 0
 @office: The reason I like the buttercups is that they slightly decouple the mass of the wheel and lowers and the friction in that system, from the inherent stiction in the air spring and to a lesser extent the damper. It's a small thing, but I think it will go a long way towards improving initial bump sensitivity, without having to run the spring and damper excessively soft.

And the reason bike companies often stick elastomers in their products is that they are actually quite well suited to the task. Your car suspension very likely has something very much like elastomers at pretty much every pivot. If it didnt, even with soft springs, the ride would be bone jarringly rough. Buttercups are kinda the same idea. ish. Yeah trying to control 160mm of travel with elastomer springs was never a good idea, but a few mm of flutter before any force even hits the spring is exactly the sort of job rubber is good at.
  • 1 2
 @gabiusmaximus: Whatever floats your boat but I notice zero difference with them. They're just a gimmick.
  • 1 0
 The only inherently bad part about elastomers in early forks, apart from relying on them for the dampening, was in order to be light enough to work with the relatively low loads, the density was far lower than automotive and industrial applications. Making them far more susceptible to temperature variations and general in use deterioration. My 75mm Indy XC was useless, and you added or removed grease depending on the season to change the spring and dampening levels. The Z1 that replaced it was god level. Yes I would like RS forks to use more than a teaspoon of oil, but find them nice to use regardless. At this point, I am really happy with both of my manitou forks, neither of them needed work out of the box. Both RS and Fox forks need a trip to the tuner after a week of riding to get them behaving how I need them. Yet when I got my GF a mezzer, it was perfect for her out of the box too. I wish Hayes had a proper presence in Australia so I could get my forks, brakes, and parts from my lbs rather than having to buy them overseas.
  • 55 1
 Trade them for marking sag on the stanchion
  • 11 2
 Nah, that would be far too useful for consumers.
  • 47 3
 If there was prior art that patent shouldn't have been granted in the first place.
  • 46 3
 DVO and X-fusion both have this tech as well iirc. Sue them too? #specialized
  • 10 11
 Loosing battle. DVO launched their Onyx forks in 2019. Fox only just released their forks with bleed buttons.

This will be like the lawsuit with Intense and Another company. Fox is reaching too far not realizing they’re infringement.

I understand you were being sarcastic.
  • 1 0
 @kroozctrl: knolly and intense?
  • 1 0
 Do they license it from Fox?
  • 5 0
 @Fullsend2-13: yea that company. I just remember they have a fugly rocker link.
  • 6 1
 @kroozctrl: fox has had bleed valves on the 40 since 2014 model. And marzocchi had it on the shiver around 2003 I think. Since Fox owns marz they can claim first dibs.
  • 3 0
 +1 on #specialized. Sinyard stepping down you say? Opening for a new large corporate legal villain in the mountain bike world? Application submitted.
  • 2 0
 @kroozctrl: Fox filed for the patent in 2012 before DVO existed.
  • 2 0
 Ironically, RockShox/DVO/Xfusion are all OEM'd by Suntour.

But that doesn't matter at the end of the day....it's like the talcum baby powder lawsuit. Only Johnson & Johnson got hit with the lawsuit despite hundreds of other brands selling talcum powder.
  • 41 3
 So fucking stupid... companies wasting capital on attorney's just means customers paying more for forks and shocks in the end and, if this patent claim is upheld, less options in the market.
  • 19 8
 both of these companies have legal teams on retainer just chomping at the bit. you're already paying this fee when you buy their components. this isn't going to affect any consumer. i am 1000% positive that SRAM's legal team looked at the fox patent up and down and chose to give the nod to production. they probably found a loop hole around the patent. no company as large as SRAM would just knowingly produce a product with that kind of disregard. i could be wrong, but i doubt SRAM would leave themselves open to this kind of lawsuit.
  • 9 10
 @novajustin: Neither of these companies have "legal teams on retainer"... stop using terms you heard watching Law & Order. Both of these companies have in-house legal counsel, Tina Thomas at SRAM and Toby Merchant at Fox, who absolutely would have been tasked with reviewing this stuff but that has no bearing on the reality that actually going to court and fighting these battles costs more money and that extra money will absolutely, unequivocally, without the slightest shadow of uncertainty be passed along to the consumer in product pricing.

...and you are wrong, they've clearly left "themselves open to this kind of lawsuit" by the simple fact that they're being sued.
  • 10 3
 @badbadleroybrown: guess we'll see in 6 years, i'll check back with you then!
  • 2 1
 @badbadleroybrown: Maybe. Most corporate counsel is not specialized in patent law. Every patent Ive been involved with was written by patent attorneys who are indeed on retainer. Corporate counsel typically reviews them for sure and would be made aware of possible infringement. I would bet that Sram is going to at least claim prior art.
  • 1 2
 @nonk: both attorneys I listed are patent attorneys for the respective companies mentioned Rolleyes
  • 31 0
 Still a bummer Fox didn’t name it FART. Fox Air Release Technology
  • 2 0
 Props for the sneaky pun!
  • 1 0
 Imagine Fox did that, and still riding Transition's T.I.T.S. technology haha! Then put a Assegai tires on
  • 29 0
 The real winner: lawyers
  • 29 1
 Time to sue all the motorcycle companies as well I guess
  • 3 0
 Pretty sure my dad's Combat Wombat had these in like 1972
  • 31 12
 "Fox is not only requesting damages but demanding that RockShox stop selling the forks immediately and hand over all unsold inventory to be destroyed."

And yet ANOTHER reason NOT to ride Fox. What a waste if they actually got what they wanted. All of those forks going straight to the landfill. Or, maybe they want the forks so they can stick their logo on them and say, "Look! We figured out how to stop the creaking!"
  • 12 0
 Especially the "destroyed" part. It can't have been an actual mountainbiker who came up with that suggestion.
  • 22 0
 US patent office continues to grant patents on things that are not new or novel. Lawyers win.
  • 19 4
 Funny, Manitou was using bleed valves before mrp and fox and all them... And Marzocchi had bleed valves on the shiver an eternity ago, and every motocross fork is equipped with this... Someone at Fox is gonna lose their job and someone at the patent office is gonna lose their job too for allowing an unpatentable item through
  • 3 0
 I'm curious about the Marzocchi thing. If that was before the others, did Fox assume that patent when they purchased M?
  • 3 1
 Calling it a valve is a bit misleading, it was just a small bolt.
  • 3 0
 @nickkozak: yes, just a bolt, a tool required valve lol, the function of a button makes it toolless, but does the same job. Mx forks only have the bolt for the majority of stock bikes, with aftermarket bleeders that replace the bolt in 10sec for cheap. Tough product to patent
  • 3 0
 @dreamlink87: it wasn't patented for the Marzocchi, as the method (a screw in the fork legs top cap you loosened to bleed the system) was a carryover from their mx division and is a widely used method across brands without dispute
  • 1 0
 The patent quoted here specifically says 'manually operated valve' . If that sort of 'innovation' is enough to make it a novel and patentable it would be a shame. Is using hand tools to turn a screw 'manual operation'?
  • 1 0
 This kinds of ridiculous patents are being granted constantly in the US. If someone was fired from the patent office for each one, there wouldn't be a patent office anymore.
  • 1 0
 @Ttimer: The German patent office invalidates more than 50% of the patents it issued in the first place. And, the German Court of Appeals then tells the German Patent Office it messed up more often than not.

Having said that, patents are an important mechanism to encourage innovation and protect individual inventors from large corporations.
  • 13 0
 My Bos fork had bleedports more than a century ago....
  • 4 0
 Now that's old school.
  • 1 0
 lets not forget BOS had the 'floating' internal air spring since at least 2015 that fox has hailed as revolutionary in the 38.
  • 4 1
 @spicysparkes: Let's face it, almost nothing in MTB suspension is new, especially if it comes from Rockshox or Fox.
Everything has been done before in car or moto suspension, sometimes back in the 70s or 80s.
  • 17 7
 Fox has the worst Lawyers, and Chris Tutton is a real treat to boot.

Not surprising

They are gonna lose this one by a longshot. Stock is down by 42% in the past year, and have a massive attrition rate
  • 18 0
 Isn't the stock market in general down 25 plus percent this year?

Just for reference... bike division was up like 42% in q1 on q over q basis. That's like 2 years of consecutive record profits. I'd say they're not doing as bad as you think.
  • 2 4
 @onemanarmy: did they fairly compensate you for your efforts?
  • 1 0
 @onemanarmy: No doubt. Fox is doing really well, and they own Marzocchi.
  • 10 0
 Interesting... Manitou has had bleed valves on the Dorado since... 2016, I think. At least that is when I added it via an upgrade kit to my 2015 fork.
  • 9 1
 Fox has a priority date for this in 2012 - not 2020 like people are saying. I don't have specifics for the Rockshox fork, but it seems like one clear differentiator is that Fox is pretty specific in their claim 1 that only the higher pressure air is leaked out. Reviews of the new Rockshox fork say to press a rag against the bleed valve to catch oil that is released. The person that wrote the Fox patent linked above is bad at their job. Fox needs new patent attorneys that like to work more and ride less.
  • 5 0
 Work more ride less Fox Racing shock peeps. If you run into a guy from Fox out for a ride yell at him to get back to f-ing work. His/her ride time and enjoyment of sport is not acceptable unless his/her role is a tester. The folks at Fox need to focus building stuff instead of suing their rivals for unfound claims.
  • 1 0
 Oil comes out of the fox valves too... it's all the same shit.
  • 2 0
 @islandforlife: Their claim says otherwise. I'm sure they're both very similar in real life - but Fox has to use what's in their patent
  • 1 0
 You are right re the priority date. However, I think you misread claim 1. The claim recites that "most, of said oil bath lubrication that is within said lower fork remains within said lower fork." The claims does not require that no oil may escape the lower fork. US 9,739,331 B2
  • 1 0
 @EuroinSF: I didn't misread - the support in the spec for "most" is a substantial portion, if not all. A substantial portion is indefinite (a substantial portion for you could be different for me). They will need to define what they mean by a substantial portion, which they won't be able to do. The claim includes a lot of indefinite language that is being rejected by the USPTO on more recent patents. They also require that the bleed valve is substantially closed in a first position - they'll need to define substantially closed which they didn't explicitly define. .
  • 1 0
 @arsalanz: You stated that the claim 1 requires "that only the higher pressure air is leaked out." The claim does not recite "only" or contain that requirement.

There are also a number of issues with your new argument - which still does not support the notion that only air can be leaked out. I won't go into all of them. However, "most" has a plain and ordinary meaning that is not indefinite. The patentee did not act as a lexicographer so as to warrant a claim construction that changes that plain and ordinary meaning. Moreover, the US Patent Office examined whether the specification provides written description support for the claim and disagreed with your opinion. See MPEP.
  • 1 0
 @arsalanz: To be clear, I don't have any opinion regarding validity and infringement overall. There is way too much to analyze in a single comment. My opinion is just that the claims themselves do not recite a limitation that "only the higher pressure air is leaked out." As to anything else, that would require a lot more analysis and reasonable people "may" differ.
  • 1 0
 @EuroinSF: I agree - they don't recite only. If you google "most definition" the first definition is "greatest in amount." Well, any reasonable person would interpret that as all the oil. In a roundabout way, since, again, they don't provide any other definition for most, only air leaves the valve. Draft a patent with the term "substantially" in the claim and let me know if you don't get a 112. Cheers
  • 1 0
 @arsalanz: No argument if you had said that air must be released in greater amounts than oil. But, again, that is not the same as "only".
Not sure why you are talking about "a first position substantially closing said fluid passage". That limitation concerns the closed position of the valve - not what happens when you open the valve. Whether that limitation is indefinite or not will be subject to some debate - and I'd want to review the file history before offering my opinion on this issue. There is no bright line rule here.
However, given that it pertains only to the closed valve position it is irrelevant to whether "only" air can be released when the valve is open (which is what I disagreed with in the first place).
  • 16 5
 I love Fox but wow, even my daughter know how to play nice in the sand box
  • 14 5
 Fox racing shock needs to F-ing kidding. These “bleed ports” have been on Moto forks for decades. Rockshox/Sram owes Fox nothing.
  • 8 1
 This suit looks to be a ploy to get SRAM to drop the licensing fee for narrow-wide rings in exchange for use of the Fox bleeder valve patent. Just basic tit-for-tat business strategy stuff. Not arguing if it’s right or wrong, only that this is a very common practice in the business world and especially in the bike industry. Shimano and SRAM make these types deals with each other routinely.
  • 11 1
 Does anyone remember the dark ages when we all just shoved a zip tie in there? On a good day, it was a clean zip tie.
  • 11 0
 This is deflating news
  • 4 0
 someone at fox needs to release some pressure
  • 8 2
 Technically is seems fair from fox to do it, patent was issued in 2013 and is valid for 20 years. What really does mater is the 1st claim in their patent. In other words, patent protects a pressure relief valve system located on the lower legs which is connected to the wheel. Just googled around quickly and seems that they are the first doing that. Found this was common on motocross fork before 2013 but on upside down fork so it is not as claimed in the patent. If any of you can invalidate first claim of the patent with a real proof before 2013 then call Sram now and you could probably get a free fork for life deal.... no. wait, call me and I will do the negos with Sram Smile
  • 2 0
 btw Sram, just put a screw instead of the manually operable valve and then voila.. your are back in business. Still want a free fork for life deal though!
  • 2 8
flag trollhunter (Jul 20, 2022 at 18:09) (Below Threshold)
 Just like in here in Cali when it comes to your AR15 magazine release button not being legal - simple fix add a screw haha
  • 1 0
 wasnt the patent applied for in 2012 and granted in 2020
  • 1 0
 @Compositepro: your right...my bad
  • 1 0
 The fact that this was done on upside-down motorcycle forks prior to 2012 is still relevant to the patentability. A patent is invalid if something was done the same way before (anticipation) or if it was obvious to do it in light of how things were done before (obviousness).

Thus, SRAM may be able to argue that it would have been obvious to apply pressure relief valve systems from upside down forks to regular forks. Fox on the other side will argue why it would not have been obvious. The fact that it took a long time to apply pressure relief valves to regular forks is indicative that it is not as obvious as it may seem at a first glance.
  • 1 0
 @Compositepro: It was filed in 2015, but claims priority to an application filed in May 9, 2013.
  • 1 0
 @plpl: And that application claims priority to another provisional application from May 9, 2012.
  • 1 0
 @EuroinSF: this will be interesting to follow!

Even on regular moto fork this was done before but Fox brought it to the lower legs.. so as the patent is written...a simple screw should be enough to bypass their patent.
  • 1 0
 @plpl: It will be. Most likely, validity will be determined in a post-grant proceeding by the US Patent and Trademark Office.
  • 5 0
 Fox is just mad because SRAM just forced a settlement for Raceface's narrow/wide chainring infringement. This is tit for tat school yard shit. Fox needs to focus on engineering better products instead of squabbling over tech that wasn't theirs in the first place.
  • 6 0
 Rock show should just leave the port with threads and a screw plug. Then let aftermarket companies sell bleeder valves for $20 like dirt bike forks use.
  • 1 0
 Pretty sure I read Suntour forks with the bleed bolts will take a standard moto valve.
NB: haven't tried it on my Durolux
  • 1 0
 Rockshox could still be liable for patent infringement. There are legal doctrines that are intended to counteract attempts to evade liability on technicalities. For example, Rockshox could be found liable for inducing infringement by others, or contributing to infringement by others.
  • 7 2
 As an attorney once said, “All it takes to start a lawsuit in America is an idiot and $300”. What a waste of time and money. Spend those dollars and time building a better product and we all win.
  • 1 0
 Well, Fox (and SRAM) spend a lot of money developing their intellectual "property" in the first place. Before you can file a patent suit, the government must find that you have a new, novel, and useful invention. Not sure you would want to give away your property for free, either.
  • 6 0
 What about DVO - they've had air bleeders for a bit? Why isn't Fox going after them?
  • 2 2
 because Fox patented it in 2020
  • 2 2
 Because DVO introduced it to market before Fux patented it.
  • 2 0
 Because you go after who has the most money and is biggest threat to competition. If Fox wins, DVO will either have to stop selling them, license the design, or risk being sued.
  • 1 0
 That may come later. The dispute with Rockshox may simply be more important. You are under no obligation to resolve all disputes at once. Plus, Fox may be negotiating with DVO without resorting to litigation, e.g. DVO may license the technology or stop its use.
  • 1 0
 @enduroelite: The patent was issued in 2020, but Fox applied for the patent much earlier. The application date is the relevant date to determine whether the invention was new and novel.
  • 8 2
 how about lowering the price of your products instead of spending millions to waste time!
  • 7 0
 Standard PB commentary. Pick a brand and be a putz about it.
  • 2 0
 @hellbelly Nah, take some popcorn, a fresh drink and enjoy the comments and upcoming lawyers statement. rarely disappoint.
  • 6 2
 So Fox copied something that someone else invented and had been in products for years and then sued its biggest competitor for copying THEM?? Sounds a bit like Fox is feeling threatened by RockShox these days.
  • 4 1
 SR Suntour used air-bleeding and oil-filling ports for their Durolux36 at least in 2015.
SRAM should say they copied idea of another one's not Fox's. Isn't it shame that Fox even applied for such a stupid patent?
  • 7 3
 Air bleeders are so common now, this just seems petty. Fox is scared of the newest rockshox offerings and are looking to slow them down.
  • 5 3
 Hey Manitou - be sure to sue Fox on this one. The Mezzer pro & expert models have TSR ("trail side relief") ports they installed before Fox did.

www.pinkbike.com/news/manitou-unveils-the-new-mezzer-expert-fork.html

Actually: howsa bout everyone stop all the lawsuits. This just makes things more expensive for the buyers and it makes Fox look like little b*****'s.
  • 2 0
 A lot of this goes to the US patent laws, in Europe patent would be void if its clear that the patented invention is not new!
  • 1 0
 @winko: Same in the US. The European and US patent law systems are not all that different, especially after the TRIPS agreement.
  • 1 0
 The Manitou system was released ~8 years after Fox applied for the priority application in 2012.
  • 1 0
 @EuroinSF: Fox isnt suing Manitou tho (or yet!) & Mani must have a patent on theirs (an assumption) so if they do have a patent does this mean theirs is pre 2012, doesnt conflict - or what? I guess I dont know why Fox isnt going against Mani or MRP
  • 1 0
 @Mtn-Goat-13: Lots to unpack.
Litigation (especially patent litigation) is very expensive. In my experience, a patent holder needs to spend at least $4-5 million dollars to get through trial. For really complex, high stakes cases, patent litigation can be in the tens of millions of dollars. For that reason, it often does not make sense to sue everyone that uses the patented invention. Often, once a case is resolved against one company, other companies will agree to pay a royalty to continue using that invention. For that reason, it often does not make sense to sue everyone. Here, Mani and MRP are likely much less important than Rockshox - sorry guys.

Manitou may (or may not) have a patent on their pressure relief valve. Companies often sell products that are not protected by any patents. Companies also can sell their product without knowing that someone else developed the underlying invention first and has a patent on it. Most companies do not search the patent office databases to make sure that others did not develop an invention first. There are legal reasons not to do that.

Even if Manitou had a later patent on their valve, they could still infringe Fox's patents. For example, Manitou could have a patent on an improvement on Fox's pressure relief valve. Getting a patent on an improvement to an invention does not give you the right to use the prior invention. Imagine, for example, Company A inventing (and patenting) a car with three wheels. Company B then invents (and patents) adding a radio to that car (a car with three wheels). In this example, Company B would not be allowed to make/sell a car with three wheels. That is company A's invention. However, Company A would not be allowed to make/sell their three-wheeled car with a radio. This is an over-simplification, but I hope you get the idea.
  • 1 0
 @EuroinSF: What?

Kidding but wow, what a good follow up. Good points about moneyed vs non fork manufacturers and yeah: very complex. I am not on Fox for simple reasons of just having had RS so ling and now Manitou (which is great) but this type of Hatfields & McCoys crap doesnt attract me to them. Dunno what else to say but: famn good coverage ther ny man. Are you an att’y by chance? My only litigation has been science based & family… all of it a dirge.
  • 1 0
 @Mtn-Goat-13: I think SRAM first sued Fox over its chainrings a while back. It is just business so to speak. Having said that, both companies make first rate products. And, I rode a bunch of Manitou products back in the 90s as well.
Yes, I have litigated patents and managed global licensing for the last two decades.
  • 2 0
 @EuroinSF: Apologies on the previous types - that's what happens on phone vs. keyboard. Anyway - makes sense about litigation, given your response. Anyway, much obliged on the details & all the best to you.
  • 2 0
 I love Fox forks, but they really should find a patent lawyer who mastered her craft in the last 40 years. A hyperabundance of the word "said" in patent claims suggests either the work of a DIY inventor/applicant, or a very old patent attorney.
  • 4 0
 Saw this coming when the new RS forks came out. Sounds like Fox is really putting the pressure on them.
  • 11 7
 Fox should use these resources to make better forks. Pretty much everything they make is shit these days.
  • 4 0
 Patent was applied for in 2012 and granted in 2015- patents.google.com/patent/US9103400
  • 1 0
 That is not the patent that Fox is asserting.

"This Complaint seeks judgment that SRAM has infringed and continues to infringe FOX Factory’s U.S. Patent No. 9,739,331 (“the ’331 patent”). The ’331 patent is titled “Method and Apparatus for an Adjustable Damper.” A true and
accurate copy of the ’331 patent is attached hereto as Exhibit A."

However, the '331 patent claims the priority date of the provisional application filed on May 9, 2012.
  • 5 0
 Sounds like pretty Specialized tech. This lawsuit should be Epic.
  • 3 0
 @blinglespeed
Had to reread the article to figure out which Big S is involved in litigation. Double surprise
  • 5 1
 I circumvent the entire need for bleed valves by only riding on the airless moons of Saturn (and ur mum)
  • 4 2
 Wheres the grease/oil nipples on forks. I'd like to be able to lube my foam rings with out doing a lower service every time. And why not have a little one that greased the bushings while we're at it.
  • 4 0
 To lube the foam rings just turn your bike upside down for 5 minutes.
  • 2 0
 Manitou had grease ports for bushings back in the late 90s or early 00s. While it seemed like a great idea, people would ignore service intervals and just continually pack grease into the lowers until the fork could barely move.
  • 1 0
 @Austink @solf - what AustinK said. Ive been doing this for years now, totally works
  • 5 0
 Better product. Less bickering.
  • 7 2
 Stop it! Spend less on lawyers and lower your prices please.
  • 5 0
 DVO introduced the air-bleed valve to market before both of these fools.
  • 6 2
 Fking pathetic. Fox is just scared the new Charger 3 is going to be superior to the over complicated Grip 2/VVC.
  • 2 0
 VVC.....engine manufacturers start you .....erm lawyers you are going to sue the shit out of fox
  • 1 0
 My Shiver has bleed ports up top. That only works for open bath damping. Can someone bring back coil spring open bath system? Ok it's heavier but I really used to enjoy doing nothing to my fork . For about a year. And am I the only one with sore hands on long runs .? Air springs are lighter but definitely compromise small bump sensitivity.
Ok old man rant is over .
  • 1 0
 Mmmm... So why is MRP not suing both of them. The MRP Ribbon had bleed valves way before Fox & SRAM?

I guess the airtime thanks to these bogus lawsuits simply bump up visibility for the brand, driving sales...
After all... It is all about "shareholder value" and lining the pockets of ambulance chaser lawyers... (Probably the least ethical profession one can get... in the same league as second hand car salesmen and property brokers / estate agents... Scum of the earth.)
  • 2 0
 If other companies have done it before Fox got the patent, wouldn't this constitute prior art? Which would put in question why Fox even got the patent in the first step, since it wasn't really novel.
  • 1 0
 Fox was granted the patent in 2020 ..... but there was plenty of prior art and this was not a novel solution.

Therefore fox are just barking at RS and will know they are, quite how they got a patent through is amusing (but then again, some of the patents I have seen previously get granted are more amusing)
  • 1 0
 It amuses me they fought over axles since Fox basically ripped off the Tullio thru-axle QR design (which Rockshox used on the Psylo in 2000 and 2001) for their first generation Fox 36. It doesn't surprise me the US patent office would grant a patent years after a piece of technology was public knowledge and should have failed the test for "obviousness". In only he past couple decades they've issued patents for what were...if you read the claims abstracts thoroughly...essentially the "wheel" and "fire".
  • 1 0
 first of all they are not the same, second rock shox had bleeding screws way before fox, to make things even better if I was rock shox I would put an even better system, something with a valve cap and a valve so that it prevents dirt from getting in there...
  • 2 0
 That's extremely petty and horrible of Fox to ask for the unsold forks to be destroyed. What an absolute waste of materials while there is still a parts shortage going on around the globe.
  • 1 0
 Seems like a bogus patent. A version of this has been around for over 2 decades in one form or another. Fox finally decides to patent it now. This is a case of Patent trolling. Its things like this that slow innovation down. Its not like the idea was stolen from Fox.
  • 1 0
 This is so annoying. Bleed valves are a necessary part of proper fork function. This is like having an exhaust pipe on a (non electric) vehicle. Yes someone owns the patent but there's a lot more to be gained by not looking like a bunch of children.
  • 6 6
 it seems sad that they're suing over what is essentially a pretty hacky way to address the design defficiency that results in an air pressure imbalance between the lower fork and ambient air pressure. Couldn't they use these resources to solve that with requiring end users push a button?
  • 3 2
 one way is to dramatically increase lower leg volume. And weight.
Always open? Water and dust ingestion.

This still is the best controlled way to equalize pressure on the lowers. Some even equalize pressure on sag level.
  • 1 0
 @Notmeatall: Didn't Curnutt forks constantly vent to the outside? It did sound a bit asthmatic but I don't think they had more issues with contamination than other forks at the time.
  • 4 4
 What’s the point? It’s not like they can’t sell everything they can build. And how they ever got this patent with the amount of similar air bleed ports available for literally decades in moto forks and more recently mtb is kinda crazy. f*ck off fox, don’t f*ck up the already wrecked supply chain. I’ll buy Rockshox next just as a nice thank you for this legal action.
  • 7 4
 Definitely makes me more of an RS fan. If I was building a bike I would take those new RS shocks over Fox any day.
  • 3 3
 Or another reason to look at EXT. Haven't ever been terribly impressed with my 36 Factory (or my Fox dropper now that I think of it). The RS fork I had before that had plenty of issues as well. It does sound like RS has stepped it up since I ditched them in 2019, but I think I'd try someone new before going back to RS or Fox.
  • 5 1
 Shouldn't MRP sue Fox over using their bleeder valves (;
  • 1 1
 This looks like a simple job for Rockshox lawyers. The design is not inovative, it's already used by other bike suspension manufacurers, and in other industries (motorcycles).

Fox lawyers will be deflated rapidly by these news.
  • 2 1
 Don't know how Fox can sue, Motorcycles have had bleeder valves for their suspension for Decades now. Whoever invented the Suspension Bleeder valve should sue both Fox and Rockshox!!!!
  • 4 2
 The fact that someone was able to gain a patent approval on something as ridiculously simple as a manually operated check valve to equalise air pressure is completely farcical, one way valves or check valves are absolutely everywhere in engineering designs, can't imagine many engineers dumb enough to try and patent one.
  • 5 0
 @ctd07: When I re-establish the patents on Schrader and Presta you're all gonna be sorry...
  • 2 0
 @iammarkstewart: exactly my point!
  • 7 3
 WASTE OF TIME AND RESOURCES
  • 3 0
 Buy the rights to use each others patent's. I'd love to have a sag meter on my FOX suspension.
  • 1 0
 When does the sag meter patent run out?
  • 5 2
 I want to know specifically how much more the customer will be paying per unit for this nonsense.
  • 9 5
 This legal battle is counter productive and retarded ‍♂️
  • 6 3
 bruh this world is burning and these friggin asses be suing over a vent hole????
  • 3 0
 couldn't have said it better myself budd. extrapolated, its kind of the reason the whole world is burning... love it
  • 1 0
 Both companies are being idiots and just paying lawyers instead of passing and the customers will pay for the battle. You can't say you own a air bleed valve the motorcross industire has been doing it much longer...
  • 7 2
 DVO is the best.
  • 1 0
 I think if a lot of people would give the onyx a try they would be pleasantly surprised. I was hesitant at best but thought I would try and upgrade if it was really that bad. I’m sold and a big fan of DVO!
  • 6 2
 Fox is the new Specialized
  • 3 0
 At the end of the day all these legal costs are paid for by us, the consumers.
  • 2 0
 Heres an idea. Dont spend millions on legal cases that go nowhere and instead reduce the price of your products comparatively.
  • 1 1
 I hope someday a SRAM insider will spill the beans on why they made a obviously deliberate decision to copy the Fox bleed valve. They could easily have implemented their own version but did not. Is this just an expensive pissing contest they decided to have because Fox now has a patent on a bleed valve design that has been used in suspension for decades?

These companies make their design, engineering & marketing decisions for specific reasons, however opaque they appear from the outside. SRAM clearly wants to have this fight, but why?
  • 1 1
 oh look surprise surprise Fox is crying because people are started a board of Fox for their lies and pathetic use of their crap anyway. they are overrated charges for a pile of rubbish, the facts that are owned by con artists, suspensions full stop is getting pathetic costs, there used to be a law in the UK you can only charge 20% profit on items even though it still runs not a single company listens to this no more.
  • 1 0
 Wonder why they designed manual bleed valves. Why not have a check valve instead? That automatically releases when the pressure inside hits a certain psi?
  • 4 2
 because you might need to let air in sometime. Lower leg pressure build up also aids in bottom out control. If you bottom out and have check valve, you suddenly have more sag because there is lack of air inside the lowers. bleed valves are also more reliable, and you can control if you are gonna ingest or expel liquids
  • 2 0
 Marzocchi had this 20+ years ago on their Shiver IIRC. Probably another reason why Fox purchased them.
  • 4 0
 look out DVO
  • 2 0
 "SRAM granted Fox a non-exclusive license for its chainrings"

Fox Chainrings?? I'd just want one for the gold finish.
  • 8 0
 Fox owns Raceface
  • 2 0
 That would be sick! But they probably mean Race Face chainrings since Fox owns RF.
  • 2 1
 RaceFace
  • 2 0
 @Notmeatall: I'm waiting patiently for gold, RF!
  • 2 0
 you're in luck... 5DEV has kashima (TiN) coated gold chainrings now. $100 a pop Frown
  • 4 0
 Pfff...
  • 3 1
 Such a simple design element should not be patentable. Can you patent using air as a spring?
  • 4 2
 The new Marzocchi 2023 forks should be Rad . Handed over to get destroyed. May also match your army green tecoma
  • 2 0
 So they will make them open in position one and closed in position two, easy.
  • 6 5
 The bleed valves do nothing, i've got them in my forks, never heard any air coming out. Maybe the consumer should sue fox and sram for creating needless stuff to charge more?
  • 9 0
 Kashima says what?
  • 2 0
 Do you change elevation by large numbers where you ride? I get air to bleed if I go up +2000ft from my home (6500' start) where I set air pressure for from-the-door rides to rides up in the local mountains (10000' start). I also get it on my dirt bike under same conditions or in spring when I'll be freezing temps at home and +60f where I ride.
  • 3 0
 If you lived in San Bernadino but rode Big Bear, you would understand the need for the bleed valve.
  • 1 0
 I get a pretty good little hiss after a few hours of Whistler laps, along with noticeably different feel.
  • 1 0
 @adamdigby: max elevation change here in the uk is like...500m lol
  • 3 0
 That's not funny that's Comedy =
  • 7 5
 Need to light them up on twitter or wherever and let them know their actual customer base thinks this is a stupid move
  • 2 7
flag Kimura (Jul 21, 2022 at 3:43) (Below Threshold)
 twitter? lmfao lib
  • 2 0
 Maybe they can trade for sag gradient ,airings and this elastomer buttercup patents.
  • 3 0
 Think of the lucky dumpster diver!
  • 5 3
 how about Fox just replaces my 3 new forks with ones that dont knock from new, then worry about the stupid bleed valves.
  • 3 0
 FOX to SRAM...." WOA WOA WOA!!!, hold on there BUTTERCUP"
  • 4 5
 Makes me sad… I lose a bit of respect for Fox today. Like the article states, this has been done many times over. Why aren’t they taking any other company to court? So so many use the bleed valves now. Might as well go full evil if you’re dipping the ole toes in… shame on you, Fox.
  • 3 0
 Can’t I drill a hole in my fork for a burp valve?
  • 3 1
 No wondering why bicycling components are SO overpriced.
Paying for big salaried Lawyers, marketing Dept’s.
  • 4 1
 I love my onyx with bleed ports and surely won't ever buy a fox product.
  • 2 0
 I'm crying at the thought of thousands of forks destroyed when bike parts are already hard to get a hold of. Wtf
  • 2 0
 What took them so long? When I saw my buddy's brand new Pike I was like, "WTF, that's not going to go over well?"
  • 2 1
 This is stupid. No wonder the prices for consumers keeps going up. They waste a ridiculous amount of money on lawyer fees for no reason
  • 1 0
 Gonna be a lot of hard work and long hours for those legal teams. Hope they have a good design for achieving some pressure relief
  • 2 0
 oh, so THIS is why bike parts are so expensive now... I should have known, lol
  • 4 0
 What a bleedin' mess
  • 3 1
 The only thing Fox suss invented first was forks needing servicing every ride
  • 3 0
 cant sue the ol' zip tie trick
  • 1 0
 The best part is that the bleed valves are a marketing gimmick. I have 'em on my 2022 36 and they do absolutely nothing. But they're so moto.
  • 1 0
 Good grief. Maybe FOX should spend that money and time making sure their new Transfer post doesn’t keep sticking after 3 rides.
  • 1 0
 These two companies are juggernauts of the mtb world!!!! They need to stop crying about this crap! I mean honestly its just stupid~
  • 2 0
 RIP getting the new suspension I ordered Frown
  • 3 0
 DVO next?
  • 2 1
 The quoted text isnt describing air bleeding from lowers, but air bleed from a damper.
  • 3 2
 But it's ok for DVO to have those on the ONYX but not RockShox? Sounds petty if you ask me.
  • 4 3
 Can we start a Class Action lawsuit for the pain in our eyes the orange fuks have done to them?!
  • 2 0
 Seriously fuck these guys.
  • 1 0
 Shame they don't spend the money on making quality products rather than lawyers fees.
  • 1 1
 Fox and Sram at it again, someone, please install these valves of either brands in the heads of those concerned. Might avoid a medical after reading the lawyer invoices......
  • 1 0
 i know the sram top guys and the fox, let me swap their numbers with each other and sort it out... fuck sake....
  • 1 0
 pretty expensive considering you can just poke the end of a cable tie down the fork seal hahahah
  • 1 0
 I had them on my Manitou Dorado years ago...not same placement mind you but wtf.
  • 1 0
 And you wonder why forks cost so much it seems that legal fees out weigh the R&D!
  • 1 0
 What about Halston inversion forks?
  • 2 0
 Fox is feeling attacked.
  • 2 0
 Shots fired
  • 2 0
 What does a FOX say?
  • 5 0
 In my experience, an absolute fox will say "Sorry, I already have a boyfriend."
  • 2 3
 Bleed valves suck, i got my forks pro serviced then laid them down at home , eventually to find a puddle of fresh oil on my work bench.
  • 2 0
 Girvin forx 4 lyfe, son
  • 2 1
 Rigid fork, checking in. LOL
  • 1 0
 Pretty sure my Z1 duals had a similar system, albeit using grub screws
  • 1 0
 Where are RST these days? ha
  • 7 0
 in peoples garbage bin
  • 1 0
 manitou beat them both to the bleed valves years ago...
  • 1 0
 Oh Fox.. This won't turn out well for you..
  • 1 0
 Fuck fox 'to be destroyed', never buying fox again.
  • 1 0
 I skipped the drama years ago, and went DVO.
  • 1 0
 so next year 1699$ will cost 1899$ to offset this fight Big Grin
  • 1 0
 Well, that's all the reason i need not to buy anything from fox.
  • 2 0
 Ohlins FTW!
  • 2 0
 Yup, I can get by with only one kidney...
  • 1 0
 my next fork without a doubt will be an Öhlins...
  • 1 0
 Saw this coming haha
  • 3 2
 Nice
  • 1 0
 Are those Bombers?
  • 3 3
 Bunch of babies
  • 3 4
 Just stupid
  • 1 2
 Ugly
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