• 11-27-2012
    two-one
    Air shocks for 6" travel bike: Piggyback or not?
    This summer I bought a second hand 2008 GT Sanction, which came with a Fox DHX Air 4.0, which has served me well over the last months. It's the only full-suspension bike I have ever owned, so I'm still developing an opinion about the quality of said suspension. But overall I'm very content.

    I must however admit I am curious about alternatives, like the Monarch Plus and Cane Creek DB-air. More adjustability and ditching the propedal/boostvalve position-dependant damping seems like an interesting idea. But when I watch the footage from enduro events in Europe, I notice that the likes of Dan Atherton, Nicolas Lau, Absalon all seem to sport a "simple" shock without piggyback.

    I assume sponsorship-deals are a part of this choice, but even then... they don't really seem to require all that much oil-volume and adjustability in order to perform well!

    So what I'm wondering... does a piggyback shock really offer that much more over a regular airshock (like a Fox Float CTD or RS Monarch RT3) for recreational Trail/AM riding?
  • 11-27-2012
    53119
    i think sometimes it really depends on your sus design and if your shock tune is correct for it.

    my experience with straight cans like rp2s and 23s vs. ccdb and my monarch plus on 2 160mm bikes have been the level of grip when things get really fast, loose, and chunky. the increased damping adjusts platforms really show up. i guess it's more "dh" oriented in that sense. with enduro you are concerned with more pedalling in general which could favor a straight can...custom tuned ofcourse.
  • 11-27-2012
    hitechredneck
    I honestly have not felt that much of a difference on my sanction, I did notice a huge difference when I when to a DHX 5.0 coil for when I go to winterpark or on a shuttle day. That was money well spent for the bigger DH style days that i was worried about the smaller single can shock keeping up. For pretty much everything in the colorado front range I fely like the shock was holding me back but got a dhx air to try then a dhx coil to try and only kept the coil single the single did everything and was lighter then the DHX air.
  • 11-27-2012
    Joules
    First off, the DHX air is probably the worst shock ever made. Ever. By a wide margin. You'd get similar performance if you pulled that shock and installed an undamped screen door spring in it's place. If whatever pro is sponsored by Fox, and wants an air shock, that's why - because the choices are RP23, or float and the biggest piece of $hit in the history of mountain biking.


    The monarch plus, vector air, DB air, vivid air are all good choices, and I'd pick any over a float on a frame that doesn't need a lot of platform. The vivid and DBair especially with their independent high and low speed rebound controls offer adjustability (and with that comes performance if you manage to get it adjusted correctly) that an RP23 or CTD just can't match.
  • 11-27-2012
    006_007
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Joules View Post
    First off, the DHX air is probably the worst shock ever made. Ever. By a wide margin. You'd get similar performance if you pulled that shock and installed an undamped screen door spring in it's place. If whatever pro is sponsored by Fox, and wants an air shock, that's why - because the choices are RP23, or float and the biggest piece of $hit in the history of mountain biking.


    The monarch plus, vector air, DB air, vivid air are all good choices, and I'd pick any over a float on a frame that doesn't need a lot of platform. The vivid and DBair especially with their independent high and low speed rebound controls offer adjustability (and with that comes performance if you manage to get it adjusted correctly) that an RP23 or CTD just can't match.

    So.....tell us how you really feel about the DHX......dont sugar coat it :D
  • 11-27-2012
    Lelandjt
    I'm aware that the DHXa has the piggyback attached to the bottom of the piston instead of the damper body like a normal shock. The rebound adjustment is in the normal place, is the rebound circuit fairly standard? What's on the end of the piston in the damper body, a standard compression valve and shim stack? Does it only vary from a DHXc in that the path for oil to get to the piggyback and its ProPedal and Boost valves is through the center of the piston? I get the impression that the above is not true and it has a very unique design.

    OP: On sustained, rough descents my Mojo's 2" stroke Fox single tube air shocks get very hot with diminished damping and increased spring rate. The 2 1/4" model used on bigger bikes may do slightly better but I doubt it. For play riding a CCDBa or VividA will be more consistent/cool due to their piggybacks and aircans not covering the damper. The racers you're seeing are making shock choice based partly on weight and PP style levers for pedal sections. A lot of the descents aren't brutal enough to make the heat too bad or they've decided it's worth the trade-off.
  • 11-27-2012
    b-kul
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Joules View Post
    First off, the DHX air is probably the worst shock ever made. Ever. By a wide margin. You'd get similar performance if you pulled that shock and installed an undamped screen door spring in it's place. If whatever pro is sponsored by Fox, and wants an air shock, that's why - because the choices are RP23, or float and the biggest piece of $hit in the history of mountain biking.

    not really, it just lacks mid stroke support. most bikes have leverage curves that dont play nice with the dxh a. tune it right and it is a decent shock.
  • 11-27-2012
    beefmagic
    Send your DHX air to Craig at Avalanche. Otherwise, get a CCDBair or X-fusion Vector Air hlr.
  • 11-28-2012
    TRY2KPUP
    The biggest reason I put a monarch plus on my enduro, is for the oil volume. The Fox RP2 that came on it, faded pretty quickly with the style of riding I do.
    Keep in mind, the monarch plus isn't in the same league as the CCDB, Vivid air, etc (those are more intended for FR/DH). Instead, it fills the void between those and the more "light duty" air shocks.
  • 11-28-2012
    53119
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by TRY2KPUP View Post
    The biggest reason I put a monarch plus on my enduro, is for the oil volume. The Fox RP2 that came on it, faded pretty quickly with the style of riding I do.
    Keep in mind, the monarch plus isn't in the same league as the CCDB, Vivid air, etc (those are more intended for FR/DH). Instead, it fills the void between those and the more "light duty" air shocks.

    definitely agree. i did the same on my enduro. much needed midstroke support. the monarch plus transformed the bike. vivid-lite/like damping you can easily tune for different designs.
  • 11-28-2012
    two-one
    If I ever change the damper, it will probably be a Monarch Plus... but not for a while.

    X-fusions shocks look nice too, but the Vector HLR is not available in 190x50 size, and support in Europe is minimal at best. The monarch has amazing documentation, and is fully user servicable, which is definately my kind of product :)
  • 04-14-2013
    two-one
    A little update after some time...
    I got my hands on a very cheap Manitou Evolver ISX6, and it feels just way nicer on my GT than the original DHX Air! I did have to service the shock, but it was a very educational experience, so I was going to do that anyway. But I still remained curious about any inline shock possibilities.
    So I found out that fox's boost valve on their float shocks are essentially a variation of the old SPV system, which explains why all those pro athletes can abuse them without bottoming every jump they make!
    So I looked around, and found an old Manitou S-Type SR SPV that I am going to try on the GT, and see if it can hold a torch to my beloved Evolver :)

    I'd love to hear any opinions about this? Who uses a Manitou SPV and Fox Boost valve set-up side-by-side?
  • 04-14-2013
    Fuglio
    Damn i thought i was the only one with a manitou evolver isx6!!!
    its ok the 4 setting for platform either don't work or make very little difference.

    i like it. i filled the piggy back to the max and set sag to 30% and it works well. But if I'm doing drops to flat i have to run 15-20% sag to prevent bottom out and then i lose my small bump happiness

    cant tell you about the fox. But as far as straight cans go. they work well if all your riding is consistent. If theres lots of variation in drops and speeds they cant deal with the range.
  • 04-14-2013
    two-one
    @Fuglio, my Evolver doesn't have a platform switch, just hi/low speed compression, rebound and volume adjust.
    For my XC bike I would love to try a Swinger X3, but I cannot find one of those in 165mm anywhere I look :(
  • 04-16-2013
    Badpichu
    The monarch plus is the best air shock I have ever used. I have had many fox shocks that do not even compare. Perhaps the cane creek DD might but I have not tried one. I will stick with the monarch though. IMHO
  • 04-16-2013
    suspman
    Yes Monarch Plus blows away a lot! I've use dit on two different Turner 5.Spots, one with the horst link and now the DW one Pushed. A very sweet riding shoch that has 3 useful comp settings and doesn't fade on me on long and rough dh's. I agree, get one! The regular Monarch is for xc and trailbike use, the Plus is All Mountain ready and light.
  • 04-16-2013
    One Pivot
    The biggest difference I noticed going to a piggyback shock over a fox RP was climbing. Good shocks have the proper midstroke support to make the bike work well when pedaling. My evolver ISX6 was worlds better, my van RC is still better, but it could use a push treatment. Either way, climbing was the huge standout factor. They also work much better going down, by quite a bit.

    All in all, both piggyback shocks do everything better than the RP.