Transmissions have multiple gears to, in-part, ensure that you can apply the right amount of engine power at the right time. The right gear is contextual to your speed, terrain, and vehicle set up. Shocks are similar: they need a range of settings to best accommodate to changes in speed, terrain type, or vehicle set up. Dual Speed Compression (DSC) adjusters give you the flexibility to dial in the right shock settings at the right time.
The “Dual” in DSC means that you can individually adjust how your shocks will compress in two types of scenarios: (1) low-speed and (2) high-speed shaft movements. Therefore, DSCs come with two adjustment knobs for you to turn:
- Low-Speed Compression – which is orange in the video but is also yellow on previous generation shocks.
- High-Speed Compression – which is grey in the video but is also blue on previous generation shocks.
Now, why would I turn the Low-Speed Compression knob?
Turn this knob anytime you want to change how your shocks perform while they’re moving slowly. Remember: you’re adjusting “low-speed shaft movements”.
“Low-speed shaft movements” tend to feel a bit wishy-washy, almost like you’re floating around. These come in the form of chassis movements from braking, turning, and accelerating. You’ll also feel these during alternating bumps, while you’re driving on the highway, or even on washboard roads.
Turning your low-speed compression adjuster to the left or right will affect how your vehicle performs in these scenarios.
Now, why would I turn the High-Speed Compression knob?
Turn this knob anytime you want to change how your shocks perform while they’re moving quickly. Remember: you’re adjusting “high-speed shaft movements”.
“High-speed shaft movements” tend to feel like a shot of adrenaline. They come in the form of rapid wheel movements while you’re bombing down a dirt road and your wheels are constantly moving up and over bumps. But, as Mike said in the video, you will also feel these when you’re driving slow over square edged bumps like a curb or rock ledge because your wheel and shock shaft still need to move out of the way quickly.
Turning your high-speed compression adjuster to the left or right will affect how your vehicle performs in these scenarios.
But which way should I turn these knobs?
We will get into the minutiae of tuning in later videos and articles. But for now, we’ll recommend three things:
- Check out this ACADEMY article on “How to Use Low- and High-Speed Compression Adjusters”
- Turn left (counter-clockwise) to give yourself more comfort and articulation at lower vehicle speeds.
- Turn right (clockwise) to give yourself more responsive handling and increased bottom-out support at higher vehicle speeds.
There are a lot of reasons to turn either knob to the left or the right. Whenever your Expectations, Driving Style, Terrain, or Vehicle Set Up change, there is an opportunity to optimize your shock adjustments. This is challenging at first, but when broken down it makes a lot more sense so stay tuned.
Like what you see? Check out all the FOX Academy videos for powered vehicles and mountain bikes here.