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  1. #1
    Infidel
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    Switching to a DHX Coil, will I like it? Is it over kill for my intended application?

    I posted this in the Santa Cruz forum also but want to get some general feedback as well. I've had a 2009 Nomad with the Monarch shock ordered for several weeks now. Yesterday I was informed that it would be several months before it will be available with the Monarch. I promptly changed my order to a Nomad with the DHX Coil to avoid a lengthy delay. I will be using the bike for general trail riding with some small jumps and drops of no more than 3 feet or so? I like to do 3-5 hour rides and I weigh between 155 - 170 all geared up depending on what time of year it is. I'm not a weight weenie and don't mind carrying the extra weight if there's a benefit. My concerns and questions are below. Your input is very much appreciated.

    Is this shock overkill for my application?

    Is the 400 spring the correct spring for my weight and riding style?

    How much does a medium Nomad weigh with the DHX Coil?

    Will the DHX Coil inspire me to go bigger?

    Is the DHX Air as bad as I've heard?

    Should I consider the DHX Air?

    Should I just suck it up and wait for the Monarch?

    Should I try to buy a Monarch, RP23, or Roco Air so I will have both a coil & an air shock?

    Would purchasing an air shock be a waist because I'm going to love the Coil?

  2. #2
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    no.

    probably, but I'd wait to hear back from the SC guys on the spring weight.

    Not sure on the 2009. Get a ti spring and you're looking at 200 grams heavier then air.

    maybe? probably not? it'll just make the bike feel better.

    Yes, the DHX Air/nomad combo is just as awful as you've heard.

    No, you shouldn't consider it (for the nomad)

    Your choice. The DHX coil will feel alot better and you'll get to ride sooner.

    Are you made of money? send your shock to push if you think the stock DHX C wont be enough

    Yes, it would be a waste, because even if you dont, a custom tuned coil will feel alot better.

  3. #3
    eBiker
    Reputation: Mr.P's Avatar
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    Coil springs also have some lesser known benefits through better initial to mid stroke support than air: better climbing steeps, maintain geo through high G turns, the geo stays more consistent through most situations.

    Other benefits include no shock pump in the backpack. No preride testing/fiddling.

    You'll dig it.

    P

  4. #4
    29 some of the time...
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    IME the only remorse to be had running a quality coil shock is when you place the bike on the scale. On the trail, in the air, or just pedaling along the coil will provide a better ride. Not quite as bob resistant since there isn't that air stiction, but the bob can be solved with a bit of practice on the pedaling.
    Quote Originally Posted by saturnine
    that's the stupidest idea this side of pinkbike.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by AL29er
    IME the only remorse to be had running a quality coil shock is when you place the bike on the scale. On the trail, in the air, or just pedaling along the coil will provide a better ride. Not quite as bob resistant since there isn't that air stiction, but the bob can be solved with a bit of practice on the pedaling.
    on a DHX 5.0 coil the ProPedal works wonders on my Nomad.

  6. #6
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    I was torn between posting a response or not... There is a lot of love for the DHX coil and a lot of hate for the DHX air on these forums. I think you won't find a lot of fans for the air shock... however, I wanted to add that I like the air DHX for the right occassion.

    For me, the question of air vs coil (and I have both in my collection) is down to what sort of riding you fancy. This AM thing seems to be split between "more on the trail riding" vs "more on the freeriding" side of the fence. If you're trail riding, then I think the air will be just fine. If you're freeriding then the coil will be an excellent choice. You just need to be honest about the style of riding you prefer and not to get dragged into following the current trend for heavier, big hitting bikes (unless you honestly need that sort of bike).

    If you can, the only best advice I can offer is try and ride both. Enjoy the new bike : )

  7. #7
    MattSavage
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    I'd say it's overkill for you...

    I'd sell it asap and buy the high end Monarch or an RP23.
    "I wrote a hit play! What have you ever done?!"

    Have Ashtray, Will Travel....

  8. #8
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    .. it seems like the entire bike is overkill for what you're doing.

  9. #9
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    I would get the DHX Air, however I haven't tried an airshock on any VPP bikes. I do have an Intense Socom (VPP) with a DHX 5.0 coil, and a Titus Motolite (FSR) with a DHX Air 5.0 and an RP3. The DHX Air is butter on the Motolite. I love it, but it does weigh a good bit more than the RP3, and about a pound less than the DHX coil for a 9.5x3". I'm not exactly sure about any varying leverage rates between the FSR and VPP suspension linkages, but the Motolite is setup with a 2" stroke shock and 5" of travel, and the Socom is set up with a 3" stroke shock and 8" of travel. So they are very close in that regard. 2.5:1 for the Motolite and 2.66:1 for the Socom.

    The difference in the RP3 and DHX Air 5.0 is huge. The DHX Air soaks up the bumps much more smoothly and the propedal works much better than either the RP3 or the DHX Coil.

    I'm a fan. If I found a DHX Air 5.0 cheap enough, I'd buy one to try on my Socom for when I take it out for trail rides.

  10. #10
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    I read a couple reviews on the new 09 DHX-air. They were fairly positive.
    Anybody have any experience specifically with the 09 dhx-air.

  11. #11
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    The nomad specifically does really poorly with a DHX Air. while it works on some bikes, it works really really poorly with the nomad. Do not get a DHX air for the nomad.

  12. #12
    Its got what plants crave
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    I love my DHX 5.0 on my Coiler. Since it's not a VPP bike I can't really comment on that, but it is so plush and controlled. It can be difficult to get dialed in but once you do it is spot on.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jim311
    I love my DHX 5.0 on my Coiler. Since it's not a VPP bike I can't really comment on that, but it is so plush and controlled. It can be difficult to get dialed in but once you do it is spot on.
    Since the choice is between a DHX 5.0 air, and a DHX 5.0 coil, its good to specify which you have

    At any rate, VPP (especially first gen, but newer gen too) bikes like the nomad, 6.6, SS, VPF, uzzi (basically long travel VPP) have really wonky leverage curves that work great with a coil, terrible with a DHX 5 airs. There are more linear air shocks (manitou evolver ISX 6 and Roco WC Air, but I don't think you can get either of those specced on the frame).

    Also, if you're that concerned about weight, get a ti spring. Your shock will weigh about 200grams more then a DHX Air. Fretting over an extra 200 grams is overkill, especially since its totally a matter of function over form.

    I have seen some new prototype DHX Air's floating around though, so I'll hold off judgement of those. I don't expect to see them until 2010 or so though.

  14. #14
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    Thanks to all those who weighed in with their opinions. After reviewing all the advise from both this posting and those from the Santa Cruz forum and speaking with several experts at Santa Cruz Bicycles, I have opted for the DHX Air. I based this decision on reports of how the DHX Air performs on the new Nomad. Am I certain I made the correct decision? No. However, I have not read or heard a single negative reviews of the DHX Air's performance on the new Nomad, and have read several flattering reviews. I invite anyone who who has experience to the contrary to please weigh in. Again, thanks to all that participated.

  15. #15
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    My friend, overkill is always better than the alternative.
    I'd take coil over air any day.
    As you stated, you don't mind the weight (neither do I), so set yourself up with a shock that you won't have to fiddle with as much, will be more reliable and failure-resistant, works better throughout its entire range of travel, and will be burly enough to handle anything that you may progress to later on, while still handling its current duties.
    It's not as if the weight of a shock will drastically increase the weight of your bike, either.
    Go for the DHX coil with the proper spring for your weight. You'll be glad you did.

  16. #16
    Its got what plants crave
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    Quote Originally Posted by William42
    Since the choice is between a DHX 5.0 air, and a DHX 5.0 coil, its good to specify which you have

    At any rate, VPP (especially first gen, but newer gen too) bikes like the nomad, 6.6, SS, VPF, uzzi (basically long travel VPP) have really wonky leverage curves that work great with a coil, terrible with a DHX 5 airs. There are more linear air shocks (manitou evolver ISX 6 and Roco WC Air, but I don't think you can get either of those specced on the frame).

    Also, if you're that concerned about weight, get a ti spring. Your shock will weigh about 200grams more then a DHX Air. Fretting over an extra 200 grams is overkill, especially since its totally a matter of function over form.

    I have seen some new prototype DHX Air's floating around though, so I'll hold off judgement of those. I don't expect to see them until 2010 or so though.
    Actually, I have both the air and coil versions! I found the coil slightly more plush with better damping, but was shocked at how well the DHX Air did in the plushness regard. I did find the weak midstroke to be a problem, and found the shock difficult to set up well for dirt jump and freeriding while still riding well on the trail. However my shock is one of the older DHX Airs and I have heard they have modified the later models to handle this issue. Also as mentioned I ride a 4 bar setup, not a VPP bike so I can't say for sure how it will handle that. It was my impression that a shock had to be tuned accordingly for a VPP bike.

  17. #17
    squish is good
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    Quote Originally Posted by KYMtnBkr
    Should I try to buy a Monarch, RP23, or Roco Air so I will have both a coil & an air shock?
    Okay, I know you already went with the DHX air but I have to agree with Will. I think you may be shopping for a new shock after you ride it unless they really changed the suspension on the Nomad.

    I would highly recommend the Roco in either air or coil. I've ridden DHX airs and coil and Rocco WC air and TST-R coil and I've found the Roco to be a far superior shock from a damping standpoint. They are cheaper and user serviceable to boot, comes in handy if purchasing used, you can basically buy one dirt cheap and rebuild it when you get it.
    Bike good, work bad.

  18. #18
    29 some of the time...
    Reputation: AL29er's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by KYMtnBkr
    Thanks to all those who weighed in with their opinions. After reviewing all the advise from both this posting and those from the Santa Cruz forum and speaking with several experts at Santa Cruz Bicycles, I have opted for the DHX Air. I based this decision on reports of how the DHX Air performs on the new Nomad. Am I certain I made the correct decision? No. However, I have not read or heard a single negative reviews of the DHX Air's performance on the new Nomad, and have read several flattering reviews. I invite anyone who who has experience to the contrary to please weigh in. Again, thanks to all that participated.
    At your weight it is probably fine. I had a BlurLT with dhx air and really was bummed at how bad the mid stroke worked with that vpp frame. I am up over 220lb, closer to 240 these days, and the combo of frame and shock was no bueno. At any rate, I guess you will find out if the vpp mid-stroke issue is still there. Let us know
    Quote Originally Posted by saturnine
    that's the stupidest idea this side of pinkbike.

  19. #19
    inner peace to make peace
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    DHX coil...then install a titanium coil. that's my plan

    coil's more reliable.
    The state that separates its scholars from its warriors will have its thinking done by cowards & its fighting by fools.

  20. #20
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    shock companies need to offer a demo program.

    whos with me?

  21. #21
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    id disregard anyones opinion who hasnt ridden the shock on the frame your talking about.

    I know the DHX air sucks on an enduro, but i have no idea of its abilities on a nomad.
    I dont care if you disagree with me. If your ok with being wrong thats fine with me.

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by socalenduro
    id disregard anyones opinion who hasnt ridden the shock on the frame your talking about.

    I know the DHX air sucks on an enduro, but i have no idea of its abilities on a nomad.

    That's the trouble with opinion.... My DHX Air works fantastic on my Enduro.

  23. #23
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    I've only experience of the DHX -5 coil on my 2007 Heckler and it is a huge improvement over the DHX-5 Air and the Float R Push'd that I have bought along the way, I had it Push'd when it went for a service and its another level again, the bike seems to maintain it position, regarding cornering , climbing, going down hill, and braking is the best by far,
    with the Air I experience lots of pedal stirkes due to the travel blowing, I had the shock tuned several times by mojo, and it was good but , as soon as I went back to the coil, the Air soon felt lacking. The Push Float R was the best for climbing, but I had it tuned for XC riding. I have two springs for the coil one for day to day and runs about 25% sag and another that gives around 30% sag for the DH days. I tried the Air for six months and the Float for 4 months, I even entered an XC race for fun and put the coil on even though it was a pound heavier.

  24. #24
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    I had a 2007 Nomad w/ a DHX-A and thought it performed lousy. The midstroke wallow was just too much. I surmised that SC spec'd the nomad w/ the DHX-A so parking lot test riders could say "Wow this thing is plush" I also had a Blur LT that I tried a DHX-C and it felt better than the RP23 but was definitly overkill.

  25. #25
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    I've been using a DHX Air on a Chumba Evo for similar riding, and had no real complaints with it. Tried out a DHX coil for a few weeks and it is a noticeable improvement. Of course all this stuff is subjective, according to what we like and how and what we ride, but for me the coil is worth the minor weight penalty.

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