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  1. #1
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    Hightower with 170 fork and long shocked

    I have looked everywhere for information on converting the pre-LT Hightower to a 170/150 travel bike. There is plenty on the long shock 150 but very little outside of a video on https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=U6vw6PE7bUMc. So I decided to just do it and here is my impression.

    The first thing I did was to purchase the PUSH ACS3 coil conversion at 170mm for my FOX 36 and take it to DSD (Diaz Suspension Design in Durango, Co.). Then I asked Anthony (DSD) what to do with the rear. He took over from there. He ordered a FOX Vanilla coil and did his magic with the valving.

    I was concerned that the 170 would rake out the front too much and make it feel floppy. But I was on a 160 to start with, so I gained maybe 1 degree of change. I was riding some bars with 12 degree backsweep and I washed out on the first real corner I took. So I put a set of 9 deg backsweep bars on and everything was perfect again. I did have to lower the stem about 5mm as well. All in all the feel of the handling was minimal.

    Ride impressions. Due to my enthusiasm with having new suspension I rocketed up the climb on my first ride. It steered and climbed no different than before the changes but my time was much better. I just thought it was my excitement. But then I did a much bigger high mountain climb and it cruised up that just as well. I’m a “in the saddle” climber and I think the coil in the rear complements my style. So I’d say the climbing characteristics didn’t change and more than likely improved for me.

    But im sure everyone is more interested in the downhill characteristics. The most noticeable improvements in the fork with the ACS coil is the lack of hand fatigue and the way it just eliminates all trail hack. The travel is so linear compared to the air fork. Roots are probably the most noticeable. I now look to hit them in a direction that carries speed rather than trying to not get deflected off line. The drops are so easy as well. I just hang off the back with the seat at my navel instead of my sternum ( mild exaggeration). But the confidence is way better. Today’s ride had a lot of tight switchbacks with 2-3’ drops in them that rob you of all speed. Now I just let it roll. I’m a big fan of the 170 mm travel on this bike.

    The DSD rear coil is “mindless”. Before the change I would get bucked around a bit with the RT3 as I used more of the travel. For example, sharp switchback downhill turns with an obstacle on the inside would want to send me over the bars if I wasn’t careful. Now this FOX Vanilla Anthony has tuned just sucks it up allowing me to let go of the brakes sooner. But the “mindless” part of it is in the chunder. Any roots rocks or trail hack is just out of your mind. You look for better lines and ignore the shit in the way. More like a motorcycle.

    So for anyone considering changing to a fully coiled Hightower with 170 mm fork I say do it. And call DSD in Durango to have Anthony get you dialed.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Hightower with 170 fork and long shocked-4cfd8f56-4ded-4416-87c2-ecefbbf364d6.jpg  


  2. #2
    Out spokin'
    Reputation: Sparticus's Avatar
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    Sweet looking rig ya got there. Sounds like it keeps its promises.
    =sParty
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    We don't quit riding because we get old.
    We get old because we quit riding.

  3. #3
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    The first problem I have encountered with this build is that it wrecks rims. Just broke a lightbicycle AM rim. Not the rims fault. But to credit of LightBicycle and their rims, I have abused them for years and this is the first one I have broken. But it got me home with plenty of air in the tire.

  4. #4
    Elitest thrill junkie
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    Quote Originally Posted by Noyac View Post
    The first problem I have encountered with this build is that it wrecks rims. Just broke a lightbicycle AM rim. Not the rims fault. But to credit of LightBicycle and their rims, I have abused them for years and this is the first one I have broken. But it got me home with plenty of air in the tire.
    Does it wreck rims because you broke one rim? Breaking just one rim would most likely be a unique situation, likely due to running pressure too low. How did it break? Did spokes pull out of the carbon, or did it crack from the trail-side? That said, this bike should probably have at least 35mm "AM" type carbon rims, not super light XC ones.
    "It's only when you stand over it, you know, when you physically stand over the bike, that then you say 'hey, I don't have much stand over height', you know"-T. Ellsworth

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  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jayem View Post
    Does it wreck rims because you broke one rim? Breaking just one rim would most likely be a unique situation, likely due to running pressure too low. How did it break? Did spokes pull out of the carbon, or did it crack from the trail-side? That said, this bike should probably have at least 35mm "AM" type carbon rims, not super light XC ones.
    Easy big fella. I am very aware of the reasons rims break. It was sort of a tongue in cheek post. Breaking a rim is not the a ”problem” of the bike. It’s an expected outcome from increased travel leading to increased speed over obstacles. The post was attempting to convey that point, I see it didn’t come across that way.
    The rim was an AM carbon 35mm inner width with Maxxis DHF DH tires. The pressure wasn’t too low because the tire did not pinch and flat, although I will probably increase the tire pressure somewhat for these sort of trials now.
    Cheers

  6. #6
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    I went to cushcore in the rear to protect the rim at lower pressures. If you are into smashing and run carbon rims, I would certainly recommend it front and back! Enjoy your new hotrod!

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by GspotRider View Post
    I went to cushcore in the rear to protect the rim at lower pressures. If you are into smashing and run carbon rims, I would certainly recommend it front and back! Enjoy your new hotrod!
    Yes cushcore works. I ran them last year. May need to put one in the rear again.

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