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  1. #1
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    Coil vs Air Shock on Low End RockShox XC32

    Hey Guys,
    I'm currently at 275 lbs, and trying to decide on a 2015 Trek X-Cal 8 which has a RockShox XC32 Coil Spring or a Trek X-Cal 9 which has a RockShox XC32 Air Shock.

    Which shock do you think would hold up better?

  2. #2
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    Coil vs Air Shock on Low End RockShox XC32

    Air, without a doubt. For your weight, a coil is ill advised.


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  3. #3
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    I recently bought an Airborne seeker with a RockShox Recon air fork. I am 250 lbs. Not that I am an expert, but based on the advice I got here, stay away from coil forks unless you ride street/fire roads only. The Recon is about the lowest good performing fork for someone our weight. I am very happy with its performance and the air allowed it to stiffened to my weight. I rode my son's Specialized Hardrock with a coil fork and the difference is night and day. Also, coil forks come with medium weight springs, so at the very least you will have to buy a heavy duty spring and change it out. Then the damping will probably be too weak. The Recon has air to get the spring right and adjustable damping to match up with the air pressure. Once I got it set right after a couple of days, I haven't even thought about it, it just works well. My advice for you as a clyde is find another bike that comes with an air fork with adjustable damping, otherwise you will not be happy on rough terrain.

  4. #4
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    Thanks for the suggestion. I'll definately go for the airshock. Bttocs, I guess it would be better to come up with the extra $400 for a Stache 7, which comes with a RockShox Recon air fork?

  5. #5
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    Yeah, buy the better bike with the better fork if you can.
    Just to add... My stepson has a Kona 29er hardtail with a Tora coil fork. He's like 6'3", 230 pounds. I put the heaviest spring in the fork and it works for him. If he were any bigger, I'd say it would be a no go.
    I'm 250 pounds and ride a Reba Dual Air. Works perfectly.
    I'm currently building a fully for a friend and it's getting a Recon. In a few days, I'll tell you how that fork feels. It's the first Recon 29er fork I've had my hands on.
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  6. #6
    Singletrackmac
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    For lowerend forks without low-speed compression the air shock for a clyde is probably the best choice. I have a recon silver tk I used on my AM bike, but had to put so much air in it to get it not to dive or bottom out on steep rough down hills that i was having stiction issues. The stiction was especially noticeable when the trail flattened out and I would only end up with 10% sag due to the high air pressure.

    I found a RS sektor gold RL dual position coil for a good deal and it is working great. I am 240lbs and thought I would need to switch out the medium spring for a heavier one, but I just increase the compression on the DH runs and it keeps me from bottoming out and stops the fork dive. When the trail flattens out I turn off the compression and the fork runs super plush at about 20-25% sag where i like it. The coil spring is far more plush then the air especially when at high PSI, but the coil would not work well for a clyde without compression which lower end forks don't come with.
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  7. #7
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    Ive had similar experience on my camber elite it came with a solo air recon something and I needed heaps of air to set sag yet it was rock solid on trails (bad) I upgraded to a Reba RL dual air and bam... Works great.

  8. #8
    Singletrackmac
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    The dual air sounds like you can run lower air pressure. I know that higher end air forks also have the negative air chamber to help prevent stiction, but I have never tired a fork with it. Not sure is a solo air with a negative air chamber would allow for low enough PSI for a big guy though.
    Get out of the gutter and onto the mountain top.

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  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by singletrackmack View Post
    The dual air sounds like you can run lower air pressure. I know that higher end air forks also have the negative air chamber to help prevent stiction, but I have never tired a fork with it. Not sure is a solo air with a negative air chamber would allow for low enough PSI for a big guy though.
    Nah, whatever the air pressure is doesn't really tell you anything about the ride since you don't know the internal volume of the air spring or how the spring is constructed. All air forks (with marzo air-assist forks being the exception) have some sort of negative spring since air springs starting rate is unpleasantly high. Dual air forks let you tweak the preload and ramp up a bit at the cost of some extra complexity. Solo air forks allow the positive and negative air chambers to equalize at the top of the stroke, so the negative air is kinda always the right setting to match the positive.

    Coil springs pretty much always feel better than air springs if you can put the appropriate spring in the fork, which means if you weigh more than ~220 your fork isn't gonna feel super awesome no matter what, so get an air spring since at least you'll have about the right rate.

    The recon and sektor have both been available with motion control and some sort of orifice damper. The orifice damper forks feel pretty terrible compared to the moco forks, that's not the spring's fault.

    You really don't want to use compression damping as a substitute for spring rate; excessive sag makes the bike handle poorly and you don't use the travel at the top of the fork once you're riding.
    .

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