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  1. #1
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    Another "what rear shock" thread

    I'm currently running on a Manitou Radium. There is no small bump compliance at all, and sometimes starts acting like a pogo stick after bottoming out. Does OK over rock gardens at speed, but I'm tired of feeling every bump in the road.

    I've pretty much decided between three shocks

    1) Cane Creek Cloud Nine. Tons of glowing reviews, with a few complaints. The bottom line is it seems you need the shock specially made for your frame/set-up to have the best luck with it (which Cane Creek said they'd do for me).

    2) RockShox Pearl. This is a love or hate shock.

    3) Marzocchi Roco Air. Not much adjustability, but people seem happy with it. No platform, but I'm not sure I need it on my bike (Schwinn Rocket -- suspension is similar to an I drive).

    I want to keep costs below $250 (I know what I'd buy if I wanted to spend the money). If the platform in the Radium is adjustable, I might be interested in that as well while I find the right deal for the shock I reall want.

    Thanks!!

  2. #2
    anyone else smell that?
    Reputation: jgsatl's Avatar
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    i'm 230 lbs. riding a mountain cycle zen.

    i can speak to the 5th element air and the marzocchi roco air shocks only. when the 5th element would hold air, the platform function worked very nicely. very plush....and physically very light (as if that matters).

    when i sent the 5th to progressive for warranty work, i bought a roco air for $135 at jensonusa.com to fill in. and i love it. no platform, but i don't think i even miss it. it's just as plush, has a very adjustable rebound, and can be 'modded' to adjust travel rate (just search in the suspension subforum). and it holds air. i check every coupla weeks, but it hasn't needed a bit (well, it takes a little air out when you check it, heh).

    i got the 5th back some time ago, but i still ride the roco because i like it so much.

  3. #3
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    Do you notice any bobbing with your bike?

  4. #4
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    You didn't mention what kind of bike your riding. Depending on the suspension design and/or pivot locations...a platform shock may or may not be that necessary. For example, designs like the Santa Cruz VPP, GT/Mongoose i-drive/free drive, Faux bar link bikes w/o a seatstay pivot (like the MC Zen and Trek Fuel) and the Specialized FSR (or similar) design were developed to reduce suspension "bob" before the advent of platform dampening. So while a platform shock may add to those designs (and thats up for debate IMO), it may not be necessary. On the other hand, most single pivot and faux bar links with seatstay pivots tend to benefit from a good platform shock.

    As far as shocks, while I haven't ridden the Cloud Nine...I did work as a bicycle mechanic for many years. The nice thing is that the Cane Creek shocks are completely rebuildable at home (no sending back to factory and waiting a month!). I am actually riding a X-Fusion O2 PVA right now and like it better than any Fox air shock I've ever ridden. I did have to send it back when I first got it, but X-Fusion sent a call tag, and shipped back (on their dime) all in less than a week...so their customer service beats any other shock company I ever dealt with personally or as a bike mechanic.

  5. #5
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    How much did you pay for the X-Fusion O2 PVA? What kind of adjustments does it offer?

  6. #6
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    A roco would be the best option out of the ones listed. But, how about a coil shock or Fox Float?

  7. #7
    anyone else smell that?
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    Quote Originally Posted by Good Grief
    Do you notice any bobbing with your bike?
    some. but it's full suspension...so i expect some. i would say that how i have the roco set up in the back feels about the same as the recon coil i have up front....if that makes sense.

    i attempted to try an old fox vanilla coilover i had laying around on my zen. talk about bob!! and it has a 900 lb. spring on it. i really was hoping to find a coilover for the simplicity of it and not having to worry about getting it rebuilt periodically, etc. but they don't make a whole bunch of 'em in 6.5 x 1.5.

  8. #8
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    Sorry bit of a sidebit, do you use the manitou radium RL.
    If so, any one know how to use it, no manual came with my frame!

  9. #9
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    I had a year on a cloud 9 on a horst-link frame. I mainly got it because of user-serviceability and because Cane Creek is such a great company to deal with.

    the good: In addition to ease of working on it, the design hasn't changed at all in several years, so I had less worries about getting parts. It could be set up pretty plush, and the compression and rebound adjustments do work (for comparison I have a Manitou metal on my current squisher, and I can't tell on the bike where the rebound is set). It's also light and very reasonably priced, especially with the trade in deal (and the guy at CC told me to just go to LBSs and see if they had any broken shocks they'd give me).

    the downside: this is a straight up fairly linear damper (as in F = f(v), I don't mean the spring is linear). No platform of any sort, and I'm not sure it even could be incorporated into the design. The other thing is the RCA sort of sounds like it should be a lockout, but it isn't. It seemed like the more pressure you run, the less apparent the RCA is, so it's not that useful a feature for a clyde. You might consider the AD-12 if you like the CC pressure damped idea. It looses the RCA but IIRC has an internal air volume setting, if you wanted to make it more or less progressive. There was also a considerable break-in period, but I don't really consider that a drawback as it tends to indicate good seals.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Good Grief
    How much did you pay for the X-Fusion O2 PVA? What kind of adjustments does it offer?
    Well, I was lucky and found one new on E-bay kind of before they started getting a little more popular. So I paid quite a bit less than what they retail for now. It has rebound, air pressure, and a 4 position Power Valve (X-Fusion's version of Pro-Pedal) adjustment. Still, I don't know what your riding so its hard to make a suggestion for shocks. I will, however recommend against the Fox Float R that another rider posted as it won't offer any more adjustments than the Radium your currently riding (the Pro Pedal is weak and non-adjustable).

  11. #11
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    here is a manual

    Quote Originally Posted by CaveGiant
    Sorry bit of a sidebit, do you use the manitou radium RL.
    If so, any one know how to use it, no manual came with my frame!
    http://www.hbsuspension.com/manuals/05shockman_eng.pdf

  12. #12
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    I'm riding a Schwinn Rocket Pro. The suspension system is similar to a GT Idrive.

    Besides PVA, are there any other differences between the O2 PVA and the O2 RC? The O2 RC appears to have an upgrade option that offers "bigger air volume for more linear air spring rate" and "End of stroke spring curve tunability with minor air chamber." Unfortunately, the sizes the option is for may not fit my bike....


    Quote Originally Posted by mtnbiker72
    Well, I was lucky and found one new on E-bay kind of before they started getting a little more popular. So I paid quite a bit less than what they retail for now. It has rebound, air pressure, and a 4 position Power Valve (X-Fusion's version of Pro-Pedal) adjustment. Still, I don't know what your riding so its hard to make a suggestion for shocks. I will, however recommend against the Fox Float R that another rider posted as it won't offer any more adjustments than the Radium your currently riding (the Pro Pedal is weak and non-adjustable).

  13. #13
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    OK...here's my $0.02

    Quote Originally Posted by Good Grief
    I'm riding a Schwinn Rocket Pro. The suspension system is similar to a GT Idrive.

    Besides PVA, are there any other differences between the O2 PVA and the O2 RC? The O2 RC appears to have an upgrade option that offers "bigger air volume for more linear air spring rate" and "End of stroke spring curve tunability with minor air chamber." Unfortunately, the sizes the option is for may not fit my bike....
    OK, first off the Rocket Pro has essentially the same suspension as the GT and Mongoose (being owned by the same company) so this is one of those suspension designs that really doesn't need much of a dampening platform in the shock. In fact, since you seem to be lacking small bump performance, I would consider getting a shock without one...unless you can completely shut the platform dampening off. So if an X-Fusion is your shock of choice, I would recommend the O2 RC because it comes without the Power Valve feature and gives you rebound (R) and compression (C) dampening adjustments. All the X-Fusion air shocks offer the DC2 option to increase air volume. Though I'll be honest, they have more volume than the Fox Float shocks (I use 45 psi less on the same bike with the X-Fusion than a Fox Float R).

    Otherwise, I would probably look at the Cane Creek (and use their trade-in discount). These do not have any sort of platform dampening either, but like I mentioned, your suspension design is one that really doesn't need it.

    Good luck and let us know what you choose


  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by mtnbiker72
    OK, first off the Rocket Pro has essentially the same suspension as the GT and Mongoose (being owned by the same company) so this is one of those suspension designs that really doesn't need much of a dampening platform in the shock. In fact, since you seem to be lacking small bump performance, I would consider getting a shock without one...unless you can completely shut the platform dampening off. So if an X-Fusion is your shock of choice, I would recommend the O2 RC because it comes without the Power Valve feature and gives you rebound (R) and compression (C) dampening adjustments. All the X-Fusion air shocks offer the DC2 option to increase air volume. Though I'll be honest, they have more volume than the Fox Float shocks (I use 45 psi less on the same bike with the X-Fusion than a Fox Float R).

    Otherwise, I would probably look at the Cane Creek (and use their trade-in discount). These do not have any sort of platform dampening either, but like I mentioned, your suspension design is one that really doesn't need it.

    Good luck and let us know what you choose

    Thanks.

    I actually called X-Fusion, and they told me the DC2 only works on shocks with an eye to eye length greater than or equal to 200mm. While that size will fit on my bike, it will change the geometry and I'd rather go for a 2.25 stroke with a 200mm shock.

    Thanks again.......

  15. #15
    ay Diablo!
    Reputation: farmboybunk's Avatar
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    Good grief,
    Keep us post on what you end up with and your thoughts on it.
    My brother in-law has the same bike (05 schwinn rocket pro). He's new to full supension (had a full ridged before) and weighs 250 to 260 lbs. I've tried to help set up his shock, but I only weigh a buck 50. He deffinatley likes it stiff, after a hard down hill ride he has only used about half of his travel on the shock. Little by little he has been letting more air out for a softer ride (just getting used to the whole full suspension thing). We changed out the Manitou axel fork for a Marz Z1 and he loved that! Also Just picked up some 8 inch rotor Avid bb7, to replace the Hayes so1es. That should also be a big improvement.
    It sounds like you would prefer not spending a lot on a new shock, my brother in-law is the same boat.
    He picked up the bike up for $600 shipped brand new off of Ebay, and after saleing the axel and buying the Z1 only had to put another $100 into it. The brakes were also bought off Ebay for $95 shipped brand new, and watching the used price of the So1es he should come out great.
    Since he did so well on his other upgrades he doesn't mind paying to upgrade his shock, even though he really hasn't complained about it, at least like he did about the fork and brakes.
    Let us know what you end up with and your thought,
    Bunk

    P.S. I have two cloud 9 shock on my rides and love them.
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  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by farmboybunk
    Good grief,
    Keep us post on what you end up with and your thoughts on it.
    My brother in-law has the same bike (05 schwinn rocket pro). He's new to full supension (had a full ridged before) and weighs 250 to 260 lbs. I've tried to help set up his shock, but I only weigh a buck 50. He deffinatley likes it stiff, after a hard down hill ride he has only used about half of his travel on the shock. Little by little he has been letting more air out for a softer ride (just getting used to the whole full suspension thing). We changed out the Manitou axel fork for a Marz Z1 and he loved that! Also Just picked up some 8 inch rotor Avid bb7, to replace the Hayes so1es. That should also be a big improvement.
    It sounds like you would prefer not spending a lot on a new shock, my brother in-law is the same boat.
    He picked up the bike up for $600 shipped brand new off of Ebay, and after saleing the axel and buying the Z1 only had to put another $100 into it. The brakes were also bought off Ebay for $95 shipped brand new, and watching the used price of the So1es he should come out great.
    Since he did so well on his other upgrades he doesn't mind paying to upgrade his shock, even though he really hasn't complained about it, at least like he did about the fork and brakes.
    Let us know what you end up with and your thought,
    Bunk

    P.S. I have two cloud 9 shock on my rides and love them.

    I'll do that, but to be honest, I'm looking for the price/performance ratio I can get -- not what I neccessarily think is the best shock.

    I upgraded my fork to a 2005 Marz All Mountain 1 (110mm to 13mm version) when I got it. I'm looking to upgrade my brakes with Formula Oro or Stroker Trails as well. It seems we both quickly identified the bad parts of the bike.....

    How much travel is on the Z1? Didn't that fork change the geometry like crazy? Even raising the front end by 10mm, I can notice a difference in handling (more stable but the turns aren't as tight).

  17. #17
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    Axle to crown height a factor here

    Quote Originally Posted by Good Grief
    How much travel is on the Z1? Didn't that fork change the geometry like crazy? Even raising the front end by 10mm, I can notice a difference in handling (more stable but the turns aren't as tight).
    Even though you may have added only 10mm of travel, it is likely that the axle to crown height on the Marzocchi (which often have taller a-to-c heights compared to same travel forks of other brands) is significantly higher. Because the AM1 is designed for up to a 2.8" tire, I'm sure its raising the front end of your bike more than just 10mm over the Axel...probably closer to 30mm which would slacken your headtube angle about a degree...which is noticeable.

  18. #18
    ay Diablo!
    Reputation: farmboybunk's Avatar
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    The Z1 is an 03 Z1 FR, it has 130mm, but like was mentioned has a taller AC height then manitous. My brother in-law likes it a lot, but then a lot of the trails we ride are more fast wide open trails, then tight switchbacks and the sort. The extra stability is nice for him.

    What height do you run your All mountain 1 at?

    Bunk
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  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by farmboybunk
    The Z1 is an 03 Z1 FR, it has 130mm, but like was mentioned has a taller AC height then manitous. My brother in-law likes it a lot, but then a lot of the trails we ride are more fast wide open trails, then tight switchbacks and the sort. The extra stability is nice for him.

    What height do you run your All mountain 1 at?

    Bunk
    Depends on the terrain, but usually at 130mm. At the lowest setting (110mm), It wants to turn too easily for me -- but that's likely due to my lack of peddaling skills and fear of clipless pedals (when I'm pushing a pedal down hard with my right foot at low speeds, it wants to turn right, etc.). 130mm is scary on some tight, curvey park trails at decent speeds, but great for plowing downhill. It's hard to crash as long as I keep going straight. I'm going to try 120mm again to hopefully give me a good balance for most conditions. I kind of wish I had bought a fork that had a rapid hight adjustment, but RockShox didn't have the best reputaion at that time.

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