Fox Talas Float R rear shock problem


Michael Slater

My 2003 Trek Liquid 20 is equipped with Fox Talas Float R
rear shock. I have two Liquid 20's, one used heavily, one
used only a fifth as much. I was trying to tune my bike for
harder conditions tonight when I realized the shock isn't
working properly, or at least not working according to how I
think it should work.

The shock looks like a a typical shock, with a shaft that
slides inside a cylinder. However, the cylinder itself is
topped by another, short, squat cylinder that also gives a
bit of play.

There are three inputs to the shock:
1) A schraeder valve to add/reduce pressure between 0
and 300psi
2) A three-setting compression/ride height switch (full
extension, 1/4 extension, 1/2 extension)
3) A rebound control dial with 12(?) clicks.

The idea is if you set to the switch to 1/2 or 1/4
extension, and then compress the shock a bit, it doesn't
return to the full distance. 1/4 returning the least, 1/2
return second least, and full extension, opening up the
shock the full length again.

Rebound control controls how quickly the shock returns to
full position after being unloaded.

I found that neither bike seemed to work like this.

Heavily Used Bike

Today I increased the pressure to 183psi. With a fine, steel
metric ruler I could detect no lasting compression of the
shock length after jumping up and down on the bike for a
while. I weigh 160 pounds. I thought perhaps the stiff
pressure was causing problems, so I reduced the pressure to
132psi. Exactly the same results. No effect on the shaft
length. Adjusting the rebound control dial (as expected) had
no response, though I did note it was really hard to turn
the dial at first. Once I broke it free from whatever bound
it, it turned like the other bike.

Lightly Used Bike

At 132 psi, the shaft only decresed in length 5mm from full
extension when I turned the ride-height control to either
1/4 or 1/2. To be clear, there was no difference in the
ride height after choosing either 1/4 or 1/2. They had
identical results.

Seems like this is broken, right?

I recall playing with it when I first bought them, and it
worked more like I expected, 1/4 was shorter than 1/2 was
shorter than full extension. I never bothered to accurately
measure the difference, but I am pretty sure there was a

Can anyone confirm that something is broken, what it might
be, and possible solutions?