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revisiting Specialized Future Shock issues

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revisiting Specialized Future Shock issues

Old 05-22-19, 07:19 AM
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eflayer 
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revisiting Specialized Future Shock issues

I read all the messages in a super-long thread from about a year ago. There were a number of "guesses" about fixing a rattle noise in Roubaixs with future shocks. My new 2019 Roubaix Comp Di2 does have a definite rattle seemingly coming from the front end. It is driving me crazy. The shop that sold it to me has done everything in their power to analyze and attempt to fix the noise, although no one there has heard the same knocking upon minor impacts that I have heard over hundreds of miles. In fact the day I picked up the bike I took it for a brief test ride and came back to the shop and told them I heard a irritating rattle. They raised the front end and dropped it on the floor and said all was tight and there was no detectable noise.

Since then the shop has padded the cables, bb junction box, and more than once checked, greased, and torqued the front end parts. I will ride it today to see if anything has changed since their work was done yesterday. They have been in touch with Specialized and there has been 0 recognition that Future Shock bikes have this issue...although it seems the shop is willing to bend over backwards to make it right. Spec. is sending them a new Future Shock.

It would be great if this thread could stay focused on the issue and not get into a pissing contest about flaws, engineering, and how terrible the company is. I would just like this fixed or to get a refund on my bike. Any update info appreciated.

Here's the two things I picked out of last year's thread that "resonated" for me:

1. Firstly, I used to have an annoying rattle, apparently from the Future Shock, but I eventually traced it to the stack washers between the Headset part of the Future Shock, below the actual headstem. As there is no headset cap to tighten, and subsequently push the headstem down , the spacers may not be compressed, and rattle. When reinstalling the Future Shock, the spacers and headstem need to be on , and compressed down before tightening the Future Shock clamp screw.
2. I took a 2018 Roubaix demo bike out today and had that exact rattle coming from the handlebar stem area.
After two hours of trying to identify the source of the noise I eventually pressed my thumb down on the pivoting cup at the base of the headset where it meets the top tube and it stopped.
In summary, the plastic cup is vibrating against the top tube on uneven, rutted surfaces. Big bumps don't affect it.
I then tried to tighten the grub screws but the were all solid so no adjustment possible.
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Old 05-22-19, 08:10 AM
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Bryan C. 
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I have a 2018 Roubaix and a 2019 Diverge, both are future shock bikes. My Roubaix with around 3000 miles on it is noise free and operating well. I think it is a great idea and it does indeed work to smooth out the chatter from rough roads and trails.

My Diverge is a different story. It was delivered to me without the selectable helper spring installed. I noticed the FS was bottoming out quite a bit, I found the spring was missing when I went to install a heavier rate spring. Installed the spring and it now has a small amount of free play now when no load is on the bars. Still no noise while riding though. I'll have the shop check it out the next time I'm in the area.

After talking with several shops I found that none of them had heard about any noise issues from the future shocks. It seems to be an issue that is isolated to a few bikes here and there. Not a widespread issue as some people may think.

The real problem was my LBS said the future shock had a lifetime warranty since it was a frame component. The Specialized warranty specifically states suspensions parts are not covered by their frame warranty and are considered "wear and tear" items. Specialized rider care confirmed this via email.

I will happily continue to ride my bikes, but seriously doubt I will buy another future shock equipped bike. Specialized has touted their new future shock 2.0 as an improvement over the original. I am skeptical that it will be any better than the original.
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Old 05-22-19, 08:42 AM
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Originally Posted by eflayer View Post

In summary, the plastic cup is vibrating against the top tube on uneven, rutted surfaces. Big bumps don't affect it.

I then tried to tighten the grub screws but the were all solid so no adjustment possible.

I apologize beforehand for my lengthy response. I've got a 2018 Roubaix and experienced rattling. That previous thread helped fix that problem.


1.) The pre-load screws (2mm hex key) need to be adjusted properly - too much or too little pressure on the compression ring can lead to knocking. Someone on this forum in the previous thread uses a great method which is to visually check the screws just contact the compression ring (you can see the screws and ring while looking from the side). Once there's contact, make small adjustments to the two screws in an alternate fashion so there's no play in the headset. Don't over tighten the headset as going to loose or too tight with headset adjustment can lead to knocking.


2.) That headset cap is very odd. On MY bike, I noticed that if I don't push down on the stem while tightening the stem bolts, the headset cap sits loosely and can rattle (and by loosely I mean that I can physically wiggle the headset cap with my hand). I say "odd" because both the PDF print instructions and the video don't seem to mention pushing the stem down while tightening it.


3.) The single bolt on the right side of the collar needs to be tightened to the proper spec (6.2nm). I found too tight or too loose can also cause a knocking/rattling sound.


I'm definitely no bike mechanic but I can say that for my 2018 Roubaix, it solved the rattling noise. By the way I also own a 2019 Tarmac which obviously doesn't have a Future Shock and the Roubaix can be just as quiet as the Tarmac.
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Old 05-23-19, 10:53 AM
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not 100% fixed but I think I am close

Here is the detailed list of what the shop mgr./mechanic did to my bike a couple of days ago. Still no one other than me has said they could hear the rattle, but at least they believe I can. I rode the bike 40 miles yesterday and almost never, maybe never heard the clack rattle I had been hearing before. Must take into consideration that this is a carbon plastic bike with a lot of moving parts...especially in the front end. Carbon does resonate differently than let's say steel, so I can make room for some not perfect level of vibration.

Someone here mentioned that the headset cover thingy that is closest to the top of the top tube could be the ultimate culprit. And for the first time I turned the handlebars so the back end of that cover pivoted outward in mid air instead of in its place aligned with the frame. In that position you can get your thumb and index finger to hang onto the tail of the cover and move it up and down. Indeed there is a bit of play between the cover and the lowest of the three stem spacers sitting underneath the stem.

Not sure if I get the assembly order correct, but it seems to me if you push down on the whole stack of parts before you tighten the set screw that secures the future shock in the fork, then there won't/can't be any play in the stack? Pretty sure my mechanic is simply setting the parts on of top of the other without any attention to compressing the stack so when all is said and done things are secure but not fully pushed down. This allows play in the stack and that flimsy funny headset cover may be the source of the final piece of the rattle puzzle. Hope so.

Stuff to consider:
  • checked rotor and tightened lockring about 1/8 of a turn
  • checked end caps for front wheel - ok
  • checked front wheel spoke tension, it is good but wheel needed a tiny true.
  • Completely removed the headset and fork. Lower bearing was dry, crown race was almost dry. Cleaned it all up and re-installed with new grease. Adjusted headset, torqued to spec.
  • When the headset was removed I cycled the Future Shock and listened for noises. The stanchion has a sliding motion associated with it but I do not hear that when riding, only when forcing it and applying pressure from a side-ways motion instead of just up and down. Tech at Specialized recommended removing carbon paste and checking, no difference. Used grease instead of carbon paste, no difference. Bottom of cartridge is dry as recommended by Specialized.
  • Attempted to "sleeve" the front brake hose with foam to prevent any noise from the brake line vs. fork but couldn't get anything through the small opening.
  • Removed the junction box from the bottom bracket and installed a foam sleeve over the down tube Di2 cable. When installing back in the frame I wound them tightly and inserted so that all wires are held against the rubber cover on the bottom bracket hopefully alleviating any noise that might make.
  • Test rode bike with no plastic cap for the headset, no difference.
  • Checked brake pads, they have the normal amount of movement inside the caliper body.
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Old 05-24-19, 12:34 PM
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Originally Posted by eflayer View Post
Someone here mentioned that the headset cover thingy that is closest to the top of the top tube could be the ultimate culprit. And for the first time I turned the handlebars so the back end of that cover pivoted outward in mid air instead of in its place aligned with the frame. In that position you can get your thumb and index finger to hang onto the tail of the cover and move it up and down. Indeed there is a bit of play between the cover and the lowest of the three stem spacers sitting underneath the stem.

Not sure if I get the assembly order correct, but it seems to me if you push down on the whole stack of parts before you tighten the set screw that secures the future shock in the fork, then there won't/can't be any play in the stack? Pretty sure my mechanic is simply setting the parts on of top of the other without any attention to compressing the stack so when all is said and done things are secure but not fully pushed down. This allows play in the stack and that flimsy funny headset cover may be the source of the final piece of the rattle puzzle.
I removed the spacers from my bike and caused this very same issue. The set up procedure is pretty straightforward but as you say there is room for error if you aren't familiar with it.

The preload set screws on the collar apply load to the bearings themselves. It is the position of the future shock body that applies force to the cover and whatever spacers may be there. Once the clamp is tightened there is no way to apply more load to secure the cover in place without starting over as the clamp locks the future shock cartridge in place.

Pressing down on the assembly as the collar is torqued to spec is a necessary step to ensure no play is present in the cover and spacers The service procedures should include this information, but as of 2019 they still don't. I am also surprised that the LBS techs wouldn't check this before sending the bike out the door.

Good to hear you are getting the problem resolved.
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Old 05-24-19, 02:16 PM
  #6  
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I just did my semi-annual tune up for the front fork and FS. A couple of notes that I have found useful. I have about 10K on my Roubaix, and I ride on the nasty roads of Socal.

1. I bought a spare FS to swap out at the "500 hour " service interval. At the time, they were $80. Not to bad.
2. I use "Slick Honey" to lube the spring. I also use a bit of compressed air to blow out the bottom vent holes.
3. I use my Iphone flashlight to observe any wear mark after using paper towels to thoroughly clean the inside of the future shock.
4. When I put the FS cartridge back in, of course I use the seat tube paste, but I put a bit around the plastic spacers. I think it may help dampen any noise. These are after all, just plastic spacers, and they are not close tolerance machined spacers, which I would prefer. I also put a bit of graphite paste on top of the hood.
5. I dont put any grease, paste or anything on the split sleeve (slot facing aft to align with the stem).
6. I hand wipe and clean the upper and lower headset bearings and carefully check them for any roughness. The bottom bearing usually has some dirt built up on it. I go very light on the grease here, since it really just keeps the bearings in place properly.
7. When setting the pre-load screws, I do an initial set up when my bike is in the stand. Instructions have you do this before you mount the stem. Then I take the bike down from the stand and set the handlebars straight to the wheel and torque to 5.0Nm. The final step is when I am standing over the top tube looking down, I get my two ball allen wrenches. I loosen the 2.5 mm lock screw the same amount, usually about 1/2 a turn is enough. Then I set the two pre-screws and going back and forth till they just get snug and they are the same on both sides. Just for clarity, these screws tighten against a thrust washer on top of the top headset bearing. They do not tighten directly to the top washer. You should see this washer move as you slowly rotate your handlebars. It should feel tight and very smooth when you lift your front wheel off the ground and slowly move the front fork side to side.

Important note: You should have replaced the collar with the new "T-72" improved model. It is torqued to 4.0 Nm now, NOT 6.2Nm!! I put a new label over the old torque spec. on the plastic hood.

I have had no rattles, no issues at all with the FS. I have replaced the the headset bearings one time.

The comment above about pressing down on the assembly as you torque the collar, I have never had to do this. When I re-insert the fork assembly back into the head tube, you will have that thrust washer that sits on top of the top bearing that is a tight fit for the fork assembly. So when you insert the fork assembly, you will have it held in by this tight tolerance and you will have a specific dimension of tube exposed to mount the hood, spacers, and the stem. Pressing down while torquing the clamp is not necessary in my opinion.

By the way, when I took my bike in to the LBS to replace the collar with the improved one, I noticed that they did not lube the special length Allen bolt, or threaded barrel nut. That is an important step. Do not forget that.

The above description makes the task sound harder than it really is. It takes me about an hour to do everything.

I included all of this to help the OP with some possible noise coming from the hood or spacers. Hopefully it helps.

Last edited by sirkaos; 05-24-19 at 02:19 PM.
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Old 05-24-19, 03:15 PM
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update, one thing for sure

I loosened the screw that secures the decorative top cap at the very top. While decorative, it still can "push down" on the top part of the stack, ie the stem. Then I loosened the screws that hold the stem onto the fork. Then I loosened the 4mm bolt through the headset cover hole, the bolt that secures the FS in the steerer tube. Then I pushed down on the rubber boot and while doing so I re-tightened FS securing bolt, again through the cover hole. Then I tightened the top top cap cover screw to push down on the stem. What I can tell you for sure is there is now no play in the headset cover when held between thumb and index finger and when trying to jostle it up and down. I test rode on my neighborhood crap streets and think the problem could be solved. Tomorrow's ride should be interesting.

Last edited by eflayer; 05-24-19 at 03:25 PM.
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Old 05-24-19, 03:22 PM
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Originally Posted by eflayer View Post
I read all the messages in a super-long thread from about a year ago. There were a number of "guesses" about fixing a rattle noise in Roubaixs with future shocks. My new 2019 Roubaix Comp Di2 does have a definite rattle seemingly coming from the front end. It is driving me crazy. The shop that sold it to me has done everything in their power to analyze and attempt to fix the noise, although no one there has heard the same knocking upon minor impacts that I have heard over hundreds of miles. In fact the day I picked up the bike I took it for a brief test ride and came back to the shop and told them I heard a irritating rattle. They raised the front end and dropped it on the floor and said all was tight and there was no detectable noise.

Since then the shop has padded the cables, bb junction box, and more than once checked, greased, and torqued the front end parts. I will ride it today to see if anything has changed since their work was done yesterday. They have been in touch with Specialized and there has been 0 recognition that Future Shock bikes have this issue...although it seems the shop is willing to bend over backwards to make it right. Spec. is sending them a new Future Shock.

It would be great if this thread could stay focused on the issue and not get into a pissing contest about flaws, engineering, and how terrible the company is. I would just like this fixed or to get a refund on my bike. Any update info appreciated.

Here's the two things I picked out of last year's thread that "resonated" for me:

1. Firstly, I used to have an annoying rattle, apparently from the Future Shock, but I eventually traced it to the stack washers between the Headset part of the Future Shock, below the actual headstem. As there is no headset cap to tighten, and subsequently push the headstem down , the spacers may not be compressed, and rattle. When reinstalling the Future Shock, the spacers and headstem need to be on , and compressed down before tightening the Future Shock clamp screw.
2. I took a 2018 Roubaix demo bike out today and had that exact rattle coming from the handlebar stem area.
After two hours of trying to identify the source of the noise I eventually pressed my thumb down on the pivoting cup at the base of the headset where it meets the top tube and it stopped.
In summary, the plastic cup is vibrating against the top tube on uneven, rutted surfaces. Big bumps don't affect it.
I then tried to tighten the grub screws but the were all solid so no adjustment possible.
Good you found the problem!
then you know how to fix it.

I personally dont have any problems with my bikes making noises if i know what it is!

on 2 of my bikes ia have bags strapped under the seat (with metal plates here and there, to stengthen them, and its not 100,00% tight and it cant be. then there is pedals with bushings that wear. bb bearings wear. RD slap/flex. metal fenders, resonant metal frame (ti), high tensioned wheels, etc etc and all thsi combined makes by bike make ka-klonk noise on every shift and every bump. and everything ón the entire bike is smug as bug in a jug. and greased, liberally. with molykote. every single bolt. every single interface. everything.

I accept this. there is nothing wrong.

When you KNOW there is nothing wrong. Then it ok for the bike to make noise imo. as long as you know why it does it. but if you dont know why it does it, then its not ok. not even close.
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Old 06-02-19, 11:47 AM
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back again, more info

Prior to my last visit to the shop I took one last ditch effort on my own and tried something new. All parts in the stack were preloaded, including the headset cover cap; and remember all the steps the shop took ensure all was padded, tightened, and lubed beyond spec. Things were better but I swear I was still hearing a rattle over a certain type of road imperfection = mostly a certain sharp bump style of crappy road. When I was on a road with a bunch of this stuff I tried putting pressure on the black rubber boot below the stem. I will swear again and say there was even less rattle when this pressure was applied.

I came home and took a few inches of bar tape, wrapped it tightly around the boot, and then wrapped that tightly with black electrical tape. This translated to a bit more pressure required to push the bars up and down and less ease of bounce in the FT. It may also have acted as insulation against whatever is going on in the moving parts of the FT.

Specialized said they'd send the shop a warranty replacement FS. They did that. I went into the shop and they replaced the original FT with the warranty unit and that meant medium spring installed and not MY cush spring. No discussion from them about why my boot was wrapped in tape. I went for a ride and hope against hope I thought the new FT with medium spring was the magic bullet. But after a 50 mile ride yesterday, again was pretty sure some part of the rattle was still there.

This morning I again wrapped the boot in bar tape and electrical tape, went for a short ride, and think this may be it.

I am coming to the conclusion that the FT is good tech, but there are metal on metal parts going up and down and moving against each other with every bump or big chip seal in the road surface. There must be a resonance factor in those parts coupled with the carbon frame that I just can't ignore. There are a bunch of FT Roubaixs in our club. I have asked every person if their bike rattles. A few have said yes but most have said no. I am thinking some people notice and some don't because it is hard to believe my bike is an outlier. Some people ride with a crud-covered chain, I don't.

Will try this boot wrap experiment for next few rides, report back, and decide if I should make a stink with Specialized.

Thanks for listening.

Last edited by eflayer; 06-02-19 at 12:02 PM.
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Old 06-02-19, 12:15 PM
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eflayer: Thanks for posting your observations and attempted solutions to the FS "rattles". I ride a 2018 Roubaix Sport and have been wondering about the noise since I got the bike last November. Since it didn't seem to be a safety issue, but rather just a design side-effect, I decided to live with it. This thread has given me hope that maybe there is a solution, even if I have to tackle it myself.

Could you post a photo of how you've wrapped your boot in tape? I'm trying to visualize precisely what you've done.

Other than the noise, I have no issues with the Roubaix. It's a great bike. Just wish it ran silent.
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Old 06-02-19, 12:47 PM
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photo prob won't help and forum won't let me post photos yet

Take a piece of cork-type bar tape enough to go tightly around the boot 1.5 times. The tape is just a bit smaller in width than the boot itself. Hold the bar tape tightly in place with one hand and then wrap black electrical tape tightly around that. Do it carefully and take the electrical tape right to the top and bottom border or the boot. The black taped boot matches perfectly with the bottom of my black stem and spacers under the stem. And then actually that always-ugly boot with the creases in it is now smoothed out with a layer of bar tape and the overlayer of electrical tape.

Let me know if I'm crazy...or if it works for others of you.

Originally Posted by sjh953 View Post
eflayer: Thanks for posting your observations and attempted solutions to the FS "rattles". I ride a 2018 Roubaix Sport and have been wondering about the noise since I got the bike last November. Since it didn't seem to be a safety issue, but rather just a design side-effect, I decided to live with it. This thread has given me hope that maybe there is a solution, even if I have to tackle it myself.

Could you post a photo of how you've wrapped your boot in tape? I'm trying to visualize precisely what you've done.

Other than the noise, I have no issues with the Roubaix. It's a great bike. Just wish it ran silent.
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Old 06-02-19, 12:48 PM
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maybe photo now?

ok!
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Old 06-02-19, 12:48 PM
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photo

here. looks a bit dorky in the close up but from 2 feet you or anyone else won't ever notice, especially if quiet ensues.

Last edited by eflayer; 06-02-19 at 12:56 PM.
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Old 06-02-19, 01:08 PM
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Thanks for the photo. (It's not what I was visualizing, so seeing it action is all I needed.)

As an aside: When I first started riding the Roubaix, and was trying to figure out where the noise was coming from, the theory I eventually settled on was that the replaceable spring was, when compressing quickly, hitting the side of the chamber in which it's housed. Like you, I switched to the softest spring. My guess was that instead of compressing in a straight line up and down, the spring was deforming to the side, in a ")" shape, and noisily bouncing against the walls. I never got around to doing anything about it, but my thought was maybe adding some thin, softer material around the inside of the chamber between the spring and housing.

Have you quizzed any of the other Roubaix riders in your group to see if there is a link between the spring used and whether there is a noise or not? I wonder if using the stiffer spring eliminates the noise, as per my "theory".
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Old 06-02-19, 01:29 PM
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on and on

i think most riders are not as compulsive as i am. when i bought the bike i had them change out the middle spring for the softest one. with the new FS it came with the middle one, so now that's what i'm riding. not sure which of the new FS or the middle spring seemed to improve things after my last shop visit. i do believe one or both added some quiet.

as i understand the FS tech there is a sealed spring in there that rides on some sort of bearings. and then you have the interchangeable spring bouncing on top of that. so you have two springs encased differently bouncing on top of one another over a zillion road imperfections. sounds like a recipe for a rattle situation to me. need to ride someone's "quiet" bike to see if i hear it and they don't.

maybe instead of taping as i have done, i was just wondering if a tightly fitted piece on inner tube slid over the FS boot might be a simpler and cleaner fix? i think this idea is simply slowing down and insulating the two springs a bit to stop the noise.
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Old 06-02-19, 01:32 PM
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I use no spring and have no noise, only at 450 miles right now. But my CAT computer is really loud so it could be covering up noise
When i first got the bike i put medium spring in but did not like it that much but there is that cutout it locks into so shouldnt be bouncing around.... could be compressing to side
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Old 06-02-19, 01:38 PM
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what could possibly be making noise :)

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Old 06-02-19, 02:38 PM
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my post no. 8
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Old 06-02-19, 02:39 PM
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my post no. 9
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Old 06-02-19, 02:39 PM
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my post no. 10
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Old 06-02-19, 02:45 PM
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or this

First time I've seen a drawing of the internals that shows the needle bearing on the flat sides of the outer barrel. The photo in the previous post makes it looks as if the bottom portion also has a screw in cap. Wonder if that would suggest that you can "play" with those parts too?

"The damper is a completely sealed unit, a tube within a tube with three small springs and rows of needle bearings keeping it smooth. It sits directly on top of the steerer tube with a special headset collar to house the bearings and the stem clamps onto the shock. The damper can be tuned with different springs to suit different weight riders. It's an elegantly simple design and not as complicated as it might sound - Specialized whipped it all apart in 30 seconds and showed us how easy it is to install and make changes to the setup."



Last edited by eflayer; 06-02-19 at 02:53 PM.
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Old 06-03-19, 03:57 PM
  #22  
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(I'm back! Yesterday, tried to post links -- told was illegal until I had 10 posts. Did that. Tried again, told only 5 posts every 24 hours, so had to wait until today. So it goes.)

mattleegee's comment about using no spring just inspired me to remove my spring. That, and these two videos, which further explained how the FS works:


(video towards end of article):
https://bikerumor.com/2016/09/09/qua...ck-suspension/

On my Tuesday and Thursdays rides, I cross a railroad track where it feels/sounds like my front wheel is coming off. I'll see what happens next time without the spring.
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Old 06-03-19, 06:05 PM
  #23  
eflayer 
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will be interested to hear about no spring experiment, and...

I went for a 40 mile ride today with my FS taped as shown in the photo above. The most wonderful quiet I've had on my bike since I came home from the shop the day I bought it. I was on all kinds of good to terrible roads today = smooth, small chip, big chip, pothole craters, and cracks perpendicular to the direction I was pedaling. The taped up FS boot is either stopping the FS chatter or keeping me from hearing it.

Anxious to hear what FS with no spring sounds like.

Getting ready to present my findings to my shop and Specialized to see what, if anything, they have to say.
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Old 06-04-19, 07:04 PM
  #24  
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I want to report back on today's ride on the 2018 Roubaix Sport with the top Future Shock spring removed. I'd had the softer spring installed, but was surprised how little difference it made with it gone. Standing next to the bike and pushing down on the handlebar, I could tell it was easier to compress -- but once riding, on mostly pretty decent roads, I really didn't notice much difference. On rougher sections, I could feel that the action was mushier than before, but nothing major. Handling was no different than before. However, I'm sure that riders who deal regularly with hills or very rough roads may feel differently; I live in a flat valley, and my idea of "climbing" is going over a freeway overpass.

As for the rattling NOISE, there was definitely an improvement. On average roads, the bike was silent, whereas before the rattle would kick in any time I hit even the slightest bump. On rougher surfaces, or over the railroad track, I still got the trademark rattling, but not as much as before. I'm not going to worry about it.

All in all, I'll probably leave the spring out. I don't mind the softer handlebar action, and I definitely like the quieter ride.

I also came up with a new blurb for Specialized: "Smoother is Faster, Silent is Sublime". I think it would be to their benefit to pay more attention to their engineering and pre-release testing, so in the future we riders are not left holding the bag and having to play detective on cycling forums.

Last edited by sjh953; 06-04-19 at 07:09 PM.
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Old 06-04-19, 09:01 PM
  #25  
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another forum, another idea

somewhere else it was suggested that i isolate the headset cover cap from what is above it and what is below it. i made three "o-rings" or rubber bands by cutting a bike inner tube crossways. i stretched one over the circumference of the FS above the funny cap, one below the funny cap, and one under my three spacers. now each is isolated from what's above it and below it. will remove the tape on the rubber boot and give the new idea a shot on our crap roads tomorrow.

Last edited by eflayer; 06-07-19 at 07:39 PM.
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