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  1. #1
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    Canfield Balance Coil/Air Rear

    Recently I got my hands on a 2016 Balance frame and even after reading through the Balance thread several times I'm still torn as to whether or not a coil rear shock would be the best option for me.

    I like the fact that the DVO Jade/Topaz are self serviceable so this alone knocks Fox and CC (sketchy reliability with past CC offerings) out of the running which limits my options. I love that the CBF suspension design just eats up rock gardens (coil) but feel this may hinder its ability to be playful on smaller trail features (air). To put it simply I want the best of both worlds

    Then there's PUSH... I could look into an ElevinSix set up with a straight DH circuit and a Trail circuit but man that price tag is daunting!! The Avalanche could be a good alternative however I would still have to ship it out for service every now and then. Could you guys share your experiences with air/coil shocks on a Balance, how did the bike respond to a linear/progressive rear shock?

    I ride eastern PA on trails with chunky rock gardens, XC singletrack, and there are several jump lines local that I'll be enjoying once the new rig is build. This shock would be paired with a MRP Ribbon Coil up front

  2. #2
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    Iíve got a coil mrp raze on my balance and Iíve done everything from trail riding to park riding at windrock and snow shoe with it. Love it so much Iím looking at getting a coil for my riot


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  3. #3
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    Have a Jade on my Ď16 Balance. Never had an air shock on it. Ride everything from bike park to XC. So much fun on everything. Pops off of jumps just fine. Liked it so much that when I got a Riot I got the Jade with it also.

  4. #4
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    I purchased the Balance '16 with CCDBAir and was very happy. Then some friends got into my head that I needed a coil shock. I got a good deal on the CCDBCoil. I really enjoy how it feels, the traction is improved significantly, I made the LSR much faster to keep a lively feel. I do like to tinker around with settings so having the adjustability of the CC shock is great. I got the CC over the Fox DHX2 for two reasons. 1)Price, 2)how the climb switch works.
    I've never had an issue with quality/reliability of CC shocks and I've been riding them for a few years now. But I've heard horror stories.

    Hope this helps.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by Raleighguy29 View Post
    Iíve got a coil mrp raze on my balance and Iíve done everything from trail riding to park riding at windrock and snow shoe with it. Love it so much Iím looking at getting a coil for my riot


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    The Raze was another option I've been seriously considering, I've heard great things about their forks so their shock option should be pretty legit aswell. It has a nice range of adjustability with low/high speed compression and rebound which is comparable to the Jade.

    Raleighguy..have you torn into the shock at all or have you been/plan to send it to MRP for service work?

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rone Turner View Post
    Have a Jade on my Ď16 Balance. Never had an air shock on it. Ride everything from bike park to XC. So much fun on everything. Pops off of jumps just fine. Liked it so much that when I got a Riot I got the Jade with it also.
    That's good to hear that you've still found the Balance to be fun and playful with a coil shock..the one thing I don't want is a suspension that feels dead on common trail features!!

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by sancycling View Post
    I purchased the Balance '16 with CCDBAir and was very happy. Then some friends got into my head that I needed a coil shock. I got a good deal on the CCDBCoil. I really enjoy how it feels, the traction is improved significantly, I made the LSR much faster to keep a lively feel. I do like to tinker around with settings so having the adjustability of the CC shock is great. I got the CC over the Fox DHX2 for two reasons. 1)Price, 2)how the climb switch works.
    I've never had an issue with quality/reliability of CC shocks and I've been riding them for a few years now. But I've heard horror stories.

    Hope this helps.
    I love the adjustability of CC shocks as I'm a tinkerer aswell..one of the reasons I'm looking into a shock that I can maintain myself.

    Knock on wood that your luck continues with CC!!

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rone Turner View Post
    Have a Jade on my Ď16 Balance. Never had an air shock on it. Ride everything from bike park to XC. So much fun on everything. Pops off of jumps just fine. Liked it so much that when I got a Riot I got the Jade with it also.
    I'd love to hear about your Jade settings. I've recently built up a Balance with a Jade and I'm not sure I'm getting the best out of it.

    One thing I found was that it was difficult to get enough sag, even with a spring rate lower than what DVO suggest for my weight. Adding or reducing preload does not seem to make any difference to the sag either.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pb-2-Au View Post
    The Raze was another option I've been seriously considering, I've heard great things about their forks so their shock option should be pretty legit aswell. It has a nice range of adjustability with low/high speed compression and rebound which is comparable to the Jade.

    Raleighguy..have you torn into the shock at all or have you been/plan to send it to MRP for service work?
    I havenít yet. Not sure which option Iíll go with yet. And the bike is so playful with this shock. From local xc trails to bike park. I prefer the chunky gnarly stuff to flow trail stuff. I have a 170 stage on the front


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  10. #10
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    For what it's worth I have a Raze for my Riot and it's an awesome shock. From what I understand it's not a do at home rebuild shock but most professional suspension shops should be able to handle a rebuild. The Raze is one of the shocks that Avalanche Suspension will service and modify as well.
    2017 Canfield Riot

  11. #11
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    Jade definitely doesnít feel dead. I went with the factory suggested settings and have changed very little. Tightening or loosening the spring preload collar should make a difference. I would try to loosen it all the way till the spring is loose then see what your sag is. I got about 30% on my Balance but got less on my Riot before the spring was loose then tighten it back up till it felt good.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rone Turner View Post
    Jade definitely doesnít feel dead. I went with the factory suggested settings and have changed very little. Tightening or loosening the spring preload collar should make a difference. I would try to loosen it all the way till the spring is loose then see what your sag is. I got about 30% on my Balance but got less on my Riot before the spring was loose then tighten it back up till it felt good.
    Thanks for that. I'll double check my settings vs the DVO specs. I need to figure out if changing the psi in the bladder will make much difference too - that a new setting to me on a coil shock.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by Raleighguy29 View Post
    I havenít yet. Not sure which option Iíll go with yet. And the bike is so playful with this shock. From local xc trails to bike park. I prefer the chunky gnarly stuff to flow trail stuff. I have a 170 stage on the front


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    Raleighguy, did you get the spring from MRP and what spring rate did you go with? My riding weight is about 210lbs packed so I'm thinking somewhere between 450 and 500lbs to get to 30% sag.

    I'm leaning towards MRP'ing out the Balance and seeing how it goes. The fact that Avalanche can tune/service this shock is a huge benefit for me.

  14. #14
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    I'm assuming you've looked into the leverage curve on your frame to be sure it plays well with a coil?

    If so, IMO a coil will probably always feel more "damped" on the rebound than an air spring. Its that faster rebound you get with an air spring that makes the suspension feel "poppy". Coming out of deep travel of an inherently progressive air spring is something you don't deal with on a coil. IMO that is a big reason why air springs feel the way they do. I don't like it. Feels like bad suspension to me, unless you are park riding on buffed out trails. Hitting fast chunk with "poppy" suspension is not my thing, but I digress...

    I'm in the NE and visit my hometown in NE PA often. My trail bike has a rear coil and I can't see going back to air. The CC Inline Coil has been amazing. My Ribbon Coil is already on order.

    Ride a good coil shock on a bike with a proper leverage curve and feel how much better it is, and you might let go of wanting a "playful" shock.

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by Miker J View Post
    I'm assuming you've looked into the leverage curve on your frame to be sure it plays well with a coil?

    If so, IMO a coil will probably always feel more "damped" on the rebound than an air spring. Its that faster rebound you get with an air spring that makes the suspension feel "poppy". Coming out of deep travel of an inherently progressive air spring is something you don't deal with on a coil. IMO that is a big reason why air springs feel the way they do. I don't like it. Feels like bad suspension to me, unless you are park riding on buffed out trails. Hitting fast chunk with "poppy" suspension is not my thing, but I digress...

    I'm in the NE and visit my hometown in NE PA often. My trail bike has a rear coil and I can't see going back to air. The CC Inline Coil has been amazing. My Ribbon Coil is already on order.

    Ride a good coil shock on a bike with a proper leverage curve and feel how much better it is, and you might let go of wanting a "playful" shock.

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    The leverage curve for the 2016 Balance looks to be fairly linear so I am assuming it will play well with a coil shock...excuse my ignorance I am extremely uneducated in suspension kinematics I've honestly been taking advice from others who have had real world experiences with this frame and different suspension setups.

    I agree, having a "poppy" suspension on high speed gnar is not ideal. But having some form or rebound adjustment should allow me to tune the shock performance to match the conditions/types of trails I'll be riding on any given day (at least to a certain extent).

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pb-2-Au View Post
    Name:  Canfield Brothers Balance 2016_LevRatio.gif
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    The leverage curve for the 2016 Balance looks to be fairly linear so I am assuming it will play well with a coil shock...excuse my ignorance I am extremely uneducated in suspension kinematics I've honestly been taking advice from others who have had real world experiences with this frame and different suspension setups.

    I agree, having a "poppy" suspension on high speed gnar is not ideal. But having some form or rebound adjustment should allow me to tune the shock performance to match the conditions/types of trails I'll be riding on any given day (at least to a certain extent).

    You are right that real world feedback is very important, especially if it is coming from the company themselves. That's the first thing I'd do. Is talk to them and get their take. If they can't handle that question well then I'd personally consider passing on a frame - but I'm overly particular on this sort of issue. Many riders can just hop on anything and rip. I'm not type.

    That graph, assuming it is accurate, shows the bike's LR is progressive, but not very much so. That means that running a coil shock could be ok but if you ride hard you could expect bottom out more frequently than an air can. The more progressive the frame's leverage ratio, typically the more "coil friendly" it is. Linear LR, less coil friendly than progressive. Regressive means you almost certainly be on an air damper.


    With a shock like a CC coil you may very well be able to make it feel "poppy", though you are likely asking the damper to do something it wasn't really designed to be good at. And, you might then run into other "issues".


    A benefit of getting a frame from a small builder is being able to talk to them about these things. I'd just give them a call. If you do, let us know what you find out.


    If you do end up going with a coil, something like a CC Inline coil would be a good option. PA just does not have the sustained, brutal descents that require a piggy back coil. No need to pick up the extra weight. The Inline coil does supposedly move a lot more oil that conventional air dampers as well.


    Edit...

    I did just look at Canfield's site and the apparently will spec that frame with a DVO coil shock, so you are probably very safe with a coil. I'd still talk to them. Also, if they are running a particular brand it might be easiest just to go that route, as well. Both Canfield and DVO seem like good companies.

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by Miker J View Post
    Regressive means you almost certainly be on an air damper.

    A benefit of getting a frame from a small builder is being able to talk to them about these things. I'd just give them a call. If you do, let us know what you find out.
    So... I guess Sam Hill and all the others that made the IH Sunday one of the winningest DH bikes of all time had it all wrong then??? Your generalizations are killing me. And if you want to try an air shock that works like a coil... try the XFusion Vector Air DH and then get back to me on how much you hate air.

    FWIW I DO own a Balance and I CAN comment on it's leverage ratio (linear with slight progressive finish) and how it works with air and coil shocks - works GREAT with either! Stock CCDBA, when properly tuned, is more than adequate for most riders. If you have the jingo... then I would order with the elevensix no question. If you don't mind the extra weight at a similar cost, get the Jade. Lots of happy riders on both air and coil on this frame.

    Canfield Bros aren't just some small builders with janky suspension. I've ridden about every design out there and can say, without a shadow of a doubt, that their parallel link system trumps all and that includes any of Weagle's designs. What I'm saying is... there is no need for speculation when dealing with shocks for their frames, there is REAL engineering and thought behind everything right down to the rear shock selection and tunes for those shock options.

    Have FUN!

    G MAN
    "There's two shuttles, one to the top and one to the hospital" I LOVE this place!!!

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gman086 View Post
    So... I guess Sam Hill and all the others that made the IH Sunday one of the winningest DH bikes in history had it all wrong then??? Your generalizations are killing me. And if you want to try an air shock that works like a coil... try the XFusion Vector Air DH and then get back to me on how much you hate air.

    FWIW I DO own a Balance and I CAN comment on it's leverage ratio (linear with slight progressive finish) and how it works with air and coil shocks - works GREAT with either! Stock CCDBA, when properly tuned, is more than adequate for most riders. If you have the jingo... then I would order with the elevensix no question. Lots of happy riders on both air and coil on this frame.

    Canfield Bros aren't just some small builders with janky suspension. I've ridden about every design out there and can say, without a shadow of a doubt, that their parallel link system trumps all and that includes any of Weagle's designs. What I'm saying is... there is no need for speculation when dealing with shocks for their frames, there is REAL engineering and thought behind everything right down to the rear shock selection and tunes.

    Have FUN!

    G MAN

    No need to be adversarial.


    Yep, I offered some generalization about leverage ratios and how shocks "generally" match up with that. There is plenty out there to back up those generalizations.

    Inherent in being generalizations, there will be exceptions. That is why it was suggested he call Canfield to discuss their design specifically. Agreed, no need to speculate. (Trying not to devolve into a bickering match with an upset stranger but regressive suspension designs usually don't play well with coil dampers.)


    Canfield, to their credit seems like a relatively small operation, where fortunately you can likely still call and get a knowledgeable person on the phone.

    And yes, agreed, Canfield seems to have a very good design. I had considered them myself in the past. No need to bring up "janky".



    Generating conflict, where there is none, and putting out snide comments will not help the OP.

    I'm good with a positive, respectful exchange of differing opinions. It drives these forums.


    Sorry OP if this thread got sidetracked, but if anything positive can come out of this is... this is clearly not all black and white - give Canfield a call. They seem like a good company with a good bike.

  19. #19
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    No worries Miker J, I learned long ago though to not bother commenting unless you've actually had some experience with said bike/frame. Adding a bunch of conjecture just drags out the post (and yes, I've been guilty of that in the past but have made a point to avoid).

    Peace,

    G
    "There's two shuttles, one to the top and one to the hospital" I LOVE this place!!!

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gman086 View Post
    No worries Miker J, I learned long ago though to not bother commenting unless you've actually had some experience with said bike/frame. Adding a bunch of conjecture just drags out the post (and yes, I've been guilty of that in the past but have made a point to avoid).

    Peace,

    G
    Yeah, agree on talking about stuff not ridden.

    I got pulled in as my initial response was somewhat driven by the OP's riding turf and my time and experience in the same area, and with differences in dampers riding that terrain.

    That next post was pretty darn specific to the bike in question and I most certainly deferred to the mothership, and of course those on the bike. Thought I was clear I was generalizing to assist with the OP's general understanding of LRs and dampers. Maybe it came of like I was being pedantic about what would or wouldn't work specifically on the Balance. Not my intent. Don't want to steer the guy down the wrong road.

    Cool, peace.

  21. #21
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    Hey no worries, everyone has their ideas and I think its constructive for these to be shared on a public forum especially for people like me who can learn from this and use this info not only on my current build but in the future as well. I appreciate your explanation on LR's and their preferred shock types, although of course there are always exceptions.

    The Balance is spec'd with both air and coil options, so as Gman stated I'm sure both will work very well with this bike. I was just nitpicking hoping to zero in on the best option for my riding style/terrain.

    I will reach out to Sean at Canfield and I'm sure he will give me some rich input on the suspension design. I have been in contact with him since purchasing the frame and have no reservations about him providing me with solid advice, as he always has.

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pb-2-Au View Post
    Raleighguy, did you get the spring from MRP and what spring rate did you go with? My riding weight is about 210lbs packed so I'm thinking somewhere between 450 and 500lbs to get to 30% sag.

    I'm leaning towards MRP'ing out the Balance and seeing how it goes. The fact that Avalanche can tune/service this shock is a huge benefit for me.
    The spring is from mrp. I have a 450 and 500 and I run a 500 for trail days ďpedaling daysĒ and 450 for bike park days. had it out today as a matter of fact.


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  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by Raleighguy29 View Post
    The spring is from mrp. I have a 450 and 500 and I run a 500 for trail days ďpedaling daysĒ and 450 for bike park days. had it out today as a matter of fact.


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    Hell Yes!! We may have a very similar setup once its all said and done...I have some Flow MK3 hoops en route as we speak. Love your rig btw...I was hoping for raw/purple links but had to settle for black on black.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Pb-2-Au View Post
    Hell Yes!! We may have a very similar setup once its all said and done...I have some Flow MK3 hoops en route as we speak. Love your rig btw...I was hoping for raw/purple links but had to settle for black on black.
    Ive got purple i9s laced to flow mk3s and they are stellar I run a wt 2.5 3c minion up front and 2.6 rekon our back for pedal days and have my choice of 2.4 dhr2 or 2.5 dhf for the rear for lift days


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  25. #25
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    I also run a Raze with a Fox SLS spring (cuz the orange looks cool). I ride very aggressive on pretty gnarly stuff and I absolutely love it. Had air on there for a bit but it just doesn't work for me. I also run an MRP Stage 170.

    Im a simple guy and the adjustments on the Raze (and Stage) are perfect for me. KISS all the way.

    Also, can't say enough about MRP customer service. Top notch all the way.

  26. #26
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    I have a Jade coil and a Topaz air that I swap back and forth. I like the feel of the coil better and use it mainly for park and summer times. The Topaz took some messing with, but with use of the spacers provided I got it to feel very similar to the coil, and it has the added benefit of the LSC adjustment on the fly, I mainly use it for road climbing.

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