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Thread: Air suspension

  1. #1
    Formerly DMR For Life
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    Air suspension

    First I'm about 235-40 in full gear and ride everything from 4-6 hour epics to lift assisted freeride. I'm looking to get a new full suspension when the 08 stuff comes out

    So my question is should I be concerned about having air suspension on an FS?

    My current bike has a 03 MX comp ETA that I have to pump up really hard to keep it from bottoming out on drops. I'd like my suspension to take the smaller bumps and the bigger hits, is this something that the current generation of air suspension can do?

    DMR

  2. #2
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    I wouldnt worry about rear suspension, especially if you get a bike with a low leverage ratio. I know lots of guys riding air (myself included) with no issues. Im not sold on air forks, but the Pike Dual air has me looking...

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by el_chupo_
    I wouldnt worry about rear suspension, especially if you get a bike with a low leverage ratio. I know lots of guys riding air (myself included) with no issues. Im not sold on air forks, but the Pike Dual air has me looking...
    Is there somewhere that you can find the leverage ratios for bikes?

    DMR

  4. #4
    Captain Underpants
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    Quote Originally Posted by DMR For Life
    My current bike has a 03 MX comp ETA that I have to pump up really hard to keep it from bottoming out on drops. I'd like my suspension to take the smaller bumps and the bigger hits, is this something that the current generation of air suspension can do?

    DMR
    Newer Fox Shox like the RP23 are really nice and def get the job done. Plush, and the lockout works. Should be able to get one for whatever rig you end up with. Very Clydeworthy.

  5. #5
    Double-metric mtb man
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    I'll ditto the air approval on a lower ratio bike. I'm in the same range as you, DMR and run things from Centuries to some air (my bike is more of a 5" travel XC bike vs. a true AM or FR machine...I try to keep it below 4' of air) and I've had nothing but good luck so far.

    I've had good luck with a Fox fork up front (running a Float right now) and a Swinger 3-way in the rear....but I too have heard good things about the Fox RP23.

    There is a program (Linkage, I think the name is) that has a lot of the data on leverage ratios....and you could always email or call the mfgr's customer service line to find out.
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  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Random Drivel
    Newer Fox Shox like the RP23 are really nice and def get the job done. Plush, and the lockout works. Should be able to get one for whatever rig you end up with. Very Clydeworthy.
    how does the DHX Air compare to the RP23 for clydeworthyness?

    DMR

  7. #7
    Double-metric mtb man
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    The RP23 is said to be a lot better. I've heard nothing but horror stories about the DHX Air and clydes...it appears that we blow through the mid-range travel way too fast. The RP23 has a different air can on it and seems to be able to handle us better.
    As if four times wasn't enough-> Psycho Mike's 2013 Ride to Conquer Cancer Page

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  8. #8
    Spring! Spring! Spring!
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    I don't ride one, but I want one ... Roco that is ... air model. I lveo the coil ('07 TST R) that I have on my bike but I bet the air version will rock. The current Roco R Air has nice big air volume and is getting pretty good reports.

    I've had good luck in the past with the Swinger 3-way, but I don't like the fact that the mounting eyelets use smaller hardware and I think that lends to more wear on frame side of the mounts.

    I also switched from a Fox Vanilla 125 to a Zoke 66 SL1 and could not be happier.

    I used to be in your weight class, five months ago, but now a bit shy, but I still would not hesitate to recommend 'zoke air forks for consideration. Things like the 55 that zoke is coming out would be fairly good stuff, but I really like my 66 and would not go smaller on my current bike (titus quasi-moto) even though I can in no way really take advantage of the complete capabilities of the fork on most of my normal riding area.

    If I had to be looking for a new bike right now, I would seriously consider both Ventana and Knolly bikes.

  9. #9
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    How about superclydes on an RP23? I'm 330 with gear and do mostly aggressive xc riding.

    TIA

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by bear
    If I had to be looking for a new bike right now, I would seriously consider both Ventana and Knolly bikes.
    If only there was enough money for those...nah I'm looking more towards a giant Reign X

    DMR

  11. #11
    local trails rider
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    Forks...
    I really like the idea of Marzocchi's "air assisted" steel spring forks.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by DMR For Life
    Is there somewhere that you can find the leverage ratios for bikes?

    DMR

    leverage ratio = rear wheel travel/shock stroke. so my IH 7. has 7" travel, 2.75" stroke thus 2.55:1 ratio.
    linkages vary the ratio over it's range, so at some points in travel the leverage is higher, other points it's lower, but the above gets you the overall (I guess the average) ratio.

  13. #13
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    I am 225 running:
    2.5:1 - RP3 on an X-5 - I have to pump up to 280psi or so to get the sag right. I think FOX says cans should max at 300psi. I am using the 06 with a high volume air sleeve. I only have 3 rides on this setup, but it feels good, a little less plush at speed, but didn't bottom on the 3' drops.

    2.66:1 - (or 2.22) DHX-C 5.0 on the X-5 in 6" and 5". I like it lots. For me, this feels better than air.

    Pike Dual Air up front - incredible fork. Period. Don't bottom, no excessive air pressures necessary.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by Joules
    leverage ratio = rear wheel travel/shock stroke. so my IH 7. has 7" travel, 2.75" stroke thus 2.55:1 ratio.
    linkages vary the ratio over it's range, so at some points in travel the leverage is higher, other points it's lower, but the above gets you the overall (I guess the average) ratio.
    yeah, i know how to get it just most manufacturers don't list there shock stroke length on there sites.. i was hoping that there might be a site that has all of that info on it

    DMR

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by CharacterZero
    I am 225 running:
    2.5:1 - RP3 on an X-5 - I have to pump up to 280psi or so to get the sag right. I think FOX says cans should max at 300psi. I am using the 06 with a high volume air sleeve. I only have 3 rides on this setup, but it feels good, a little less plush at speed, but didn't bottom on the 3' drops.

    2.66:1 - (or 2.22) DHX-C 5.0 on the X-5 in 6" and 5". I like it lots. For me, this feels better than air.

    Pike Dual Air up front - incredible fork. Period. Don't bottom, no excessive air pressures necessary.
    yeah, looks like I'll probably end up with a 08 Reign X with coils f/r, hopefully they keep a model with the DHX on the rear and the van R up front

    DMR

  16. #16
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    i might be too late,if you have not purchased your ride yet. check on the chumba racing line of frames they're something else...i have the 06 EVO now this is increadible. i have mine set up for all mt. and with the new geometry that they have for 07 it makes it a better climber..not that its bad now, if fts set up right youl enjoy this, as far as the rear shock i havent had any issues. and i took this down a few rcok infested trails...a couple of super ds.....NICE...the front is taken cared for by TALAS36rc2....VERSATILE...give the chumba racing forum a visit and call those guys at CHUMBA a call and youll be astonished about the knowledge....good luck and RIDE ON!!!!!!

  17. #17
    All That is Man
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    The biggest problem with the air that I've found it that adding boat loads of preload just kills all plushness and small bump response, it really sucks! You can't do anything to the spring rate of an air shock that I know of A +/- chamber design would do wonders for heavy riders.

    I would say coil is going to be the best solution since you can change springs and get the right rate. If that's the way you go, I'd look for a bike with really good platform built into the suspension rather than providing it via platform shock. The new virtual pivot designs are getting extremely good. I'm riding an Ironhorse MK3 and considering a spring since the stock air shock has very little platform build into it anyway.
    John

  18. #18
    'aua e te fati
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    Rp23

    I am 6'1" and 210lbs, and I ride an Rp23 on my Jamis XLT. This is my second Rp23 (got a bigger travel bike, needed a longer eye to eye and stroke shock). Honestly, I love it. I have tried other pseudo lockout systems (RS Bar, Spec Brain, etc.) and this is definitely my favorite. I looked at the DHX 5.0 air, but it costs more and I heard that it has serious stick down problems.

  19. #19
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    I'm ~240 with gear and run an RP23 on a Heckler, it seems to work fine. Being able to switch the platform off is a huge advantage over the 3way I had on it before.

  20. #20
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    The other air shock that I think is worth mentioning is the Manitou Evolver series, I run an Evolver ISX-4 on my Ibex Atlas, 5" travel, 2" stroke, 2.5:1 leverage. I weigh 300 or so pounds probably about 320 all armored up with water. I can run it with 200 psi and get 30% sag, doesn't bottom off of a 3 foot drop although I could change that by selecting less progressive setting.

    Definitely an air shock that is worth considering for a heavy rider.

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