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  1. #1
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    Rear Shocks and Big Guys

    So I've been looking at mostly hardtails for my new bike since Im worried that at 275lbs no rear shock is going to stand up to the kind of abuse Im going to throw its way with some trail/all mountain riding. And I was pretty much set on buying a very nice hardtail.

    That was until I found a Giant Trance X2 for an unbelievable price today. It has better components then the custom bike I had been working on pricing out with my mechanic and is just in all ways a superior build to what I thought I was going to be able to afford, so I am tempted to jump on it.

    But I took it out for a "test ride". Believe me, I know that riding around a parking lot doesn't really constitute a test ride, but it was all I could get. I noticed that the Fox RP2 rear shock was close to bottoming out with its stock setting...and I wasn't really doing anything. This was just the sag from carrying my weight.

    Is this shock going to do it? Id hate to spend this kind of money on the bike...blow the shock...and be forced to spend another $400 immediately to replace it, thereby negating any savings I would have had over the custom build Transition Hard Tail I was looking at. What's the word on rear shocks for big guys? Obviously there is some adjustment I can make to the shock, but I want to make sure I'm not going to trash it in the first month of riding. The bike is a good deal if only for the components, but buying something that I wont be able to ride is not worth saving a few hundred bucks.

    I had been looking at the Pitch Comp, but was warned away because the Specialized X-Whatever rear shock wouldn't take the abuse. What can be expected from the Fox Float RP2? Will this all end in tears? (manly tears)

    This was my only concern about the bike, so the folks down at the shop were happy to put it on hold for me for the next 40 hours or so while I sought out some peace of mind. Everything else appears solid.

  2. #2
    Dirt Deviant
    Reputation: savagemann's Avatar
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    I weigh more than you, and my BMC Superstroke has an RP2 on it. It seems to hold up pretty good so far......I am close to maxing out the psi in it. I talked to PUSH about getting it revalved and they said it wouldn't be a problem. About $100.
    One thing to consider is the leverage ratio. My BMC has a really low leverage ratio. If my bike had a higher ratio, it could end up being a problem.
    If you don't mind sending your shock into push and spending a little extra, I think it would work fine.
    It really depends on how hard you plan on riding the bike and how smooth of a rider you are.
    I'm a pretty smooth rider and don't break stuff very often....so your mileage may vary.
    IMO, the RP2 is a great shock. the guys at Push are great. They will revalve the shock to your riding style, weight and wants. They even told me they can make the pro pedal as stiff as I pleased.....which is what I am looking for.
    I'm sure others will chime in on this topic, so hold tight.

  3. #3
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    I am not a fan of air shocks for big guys. You weigh a good bit less than me at 310, but I find that with the amount of pressure you need to put in there to support your weight that it becomes very difficult to use the full travel and the bike ends up feeling not very plush. Then you have the obvious excess wear and tear on the shock from running it at near the max pressure.

    I am a huge fan of coil shocks, I am running a DHX 5.0 now and loving it. Since you mentioned Transition, I think a Preston FR with a DHX 5.0 would be a great bike at your weight especially if you are into aggressive riding. Get it with a nice 20mm fork like at Rock Shox Pike and you're in business.

  4. #4
    some know me as mongo
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    big_mountain_biker i'm actually just the opposite of you in the air opinion. i feel that they are great for larger people as it allows us to setup the bike with proper sag as many coil based bikes don't have a spring rate high enough to handle us. i have even run a air shock on my DH bike last year and it performed pretty darn well. i will only run an air shock on my XC bike. really in the end the shock needs to be tuned for the bike and that is the biggest mistake that most people and manufactures make.

    that being said i use to own a giant trance and the only reason i sold it was because i was riding it way harder than it such have been. the design allows for a lowish air pressure to be used in the shock and they are tuned right so that you cane get the whole travel without bottoming too easily. the reason the shock was almost bottomed in the shop i bet had to due with it being setup for someone that weighted way less than you. it just needs more air in it and then it should be good.

  5. #5
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    The Preston is nice, but way out of my price range.

    The only reason Im considering the Trance X2 is because it is marked down from $2.2k to $1.1k. My budget for the TransAM I was looking to build was $1.7k.
    The Trance has better components then that build and Im looking at it as an investment in a solid set of components and would like it if the bike would last a season so I can swap the components to a better frame in the fall.

    Im not a huge fan of Full Suspension bikes in general but im willing to give the trance a try if I dont have to worry about it crumbling under me. I was looking for a light freeride/trail/AM bike with responsive handling. Full Suspension bikes have always felt so loose and ponderous to me.

  6. #6
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    It will depend on the leverage ratio that the frame has over the shock. I run 105psi in my shock to get 20% sag. The max pressure is 300 psi. You would have to weigh probably 600 lbs to need 300 psi in it.

  7. #7
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    I have a 06 trance and had the lower end float r. It wasn't perfect (becuase no ext. comp) but I'm 310-ish and had no problem with around 270/280psi in it.
    I was all set to send it off to push for the deluxe treatment (With bottom out bumper) and spoke with them a few times and they were positive they could make it even better.

    I'm probably still goingt to send it off to them but I ended up getting a killer deal on a Marz Roco air 3 pl. Don't have any ride time yet (Friggin snow ) I figure that way I have 2 killer shocks for it.
    but, either way, I would strongly recomend the trance series. Great trail bike

  8. #8
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    I just picked up a 09 TranceX3. I put about 250psi in the rear to get ~13mm sag which is the outside range. The instructions say start by matching psi to rider weight. I weigh 265 but when I pump the shock to that level I lose about 25psi taking the pump off the shock. It leaks alot at that pressure and I cant seem to put much more than 275 in the thing.

    The LBS said I was bottoming it out and told me I needed more psi. When I told them my issue with the pump they mentioned that I could send it to Push and have it tuned for my weight. Seems a bit pricey for a brand new bike that is supposedly able to be tuned for my weight. Not sure what I'm going to try next beyond monkeying with the pump.


  9. #9
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    Deejor,

    What kind of Pump dp you have? If it's a regular style twist, get a new pump. I have one that has a release valve to disingage the needle to prevent losing that much air. You'll still loose a little but no more than a few psi's

    Take a look at this one with the valve. Nice pump for cheap.
    http://www.pricepoint.com/detail/162...Shock-Pump.htm

  10. #10
    Fat guy on a bike
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    The trance has a poor shock ratio for us. It uses a 1.75" stroke shock. Boooo.

    You'll get better results with a Trek Fuel EX that has same travel and 2 inch shock.

  11. #11
    Double-metric mtb man
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    Yup...the leverage ratio will be key in whether or not air suspension will work for you. I'm a little lighter at the 240#+gear mark, but I'm only running about 110 psi in my Swinger 3-way on my Cake (single pivot, max 250+ psi allowed in the air can). I was looking at another frame, but it has a vp system and higher leverage ratio...it was going to be tough to get the air pressure high enough.
    As if four times wasn't enough-> Psycho Mike's 2013 Ride to Conquer Cancer Page

    Moran? Let your opinion be free -> F88me

  12. #12
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    1. Did the shop setup the suspension for you? If not, have them do that then tell us where the sag is.
    2. Go on the GIANT forum and look at the setup thread, see if anyone lists weight/PSI for the bike you are considering.
    3. There are always other shock options, and blowing one doesn't mean replacing it.
    4. There is such a thing as a can replacement, I know some clydes on the REIGN have switched to the smaller can (basically, there are two cannister sizes for the float - the larger one is more linear in feel and the smaller creates a progressive curve).
    5. +5 for PUSH. They can do things with that shock that make it work for you.

  13. #13
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    Well,

    I bought the Trance X2. Pretty psyched about it.

    $1.2k for a 2008 seemed like a pretty good deal.

    I pick it up tomorrow afternoon.

    Thanks for the responses.

  14. #14
    some know me as mongo
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    you should be very happy with that bike. they kill the trails

  15. #15
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    Thanks for the advice Tony. I have the fox pump that came with the bike. It has a little ball release valve on the bottom that I thought was just for dropping about 2 psi incrementally. After your post I am left wondering if I am supposed to manipulate that somehow in order to remove the screw on piece without losing a bunch of pressure. I'll try it later tonight, but something tells me it's simply lacking that capability.

    It's a good thing I have MTBR forums to rely on because the LBS dropped the ball on me there.

  16. #16
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    Looks like the ball valve does the trick. I was able to pump it to about 275 and only lose about 10 psi while holding the valve in while I removed the hose. I'm sure the other pump type works better than that even, but apparently this pump will work well enough for now.

  17. #17
    Making fat cool since '71
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    If (if...) the pump is attached correctly and functioning correctly the air which you hear going "psssttt" when disconnecting the pump is just the air in the line releasing (once again, if things are done as intended). Also, the shocks are really low-volume (relatively speaking) and when you re-attach the pump you will see a drop in PSI due to the line/pump getting charged from the back flow of air from the shock; it's normal.

    Now, shocks...it's been said: leverage ratio is the start of the conversation, then spring curves (rising rate, falling, etc). IM(never)HO...clydes have zero biz being on FS bikes with a leverage ratio above 2.75:1. It's not that it can't be done (hell, I rode a 2.9:1 bike for a while), it's just a PITA to get things "perfect." I prefer coil. Air can work, it can work really well on short travel bikes. Whatever...for air shocks: Rocco is fine, RP23 is fine. Push can help, but may not be the "night and day" you are looking for if you are already at the extreme end of what the air pressure max is for a shock/fork. There's only so much you can do with valving, damping and viscosity changes within a given platform. They can help with that "blow through" feeling (middle of stroke disappearing).

    Brock...
    Are the wheels roundish? Ride it.

    Disciples Of Dirt, come ride with us.

  18. #18
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    I am going to tray Cane Creek myself. They have a couple of advantages for big riders:

    1 large diameter (less pressure per inch)
    2 larger diameter (higher volume air reservoir)
    3 trail rebuildable (cane creek rebuild kits are only $20 bucks and its designed to be rebuilt with minimal tools.'
    4 great reputation in the forums

    I am looking to ebay either an AD12 or Cloud 9.

    Amuzed

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by big_mountain_biker
    I am a huge fan of coil shocks, I am running a DHX 5.0 now and loving it. Since you mentioned Transition, I think a Preston FR with a DHX 5.0 would be a great bike at your weight especially if you are into aggressive riding. Get it with a nice 20mm fork like at Rock Shox Pike and you're in business.
    Prolly a noob question but is it feasible to get an AM/XC frame with an air shock and switch it out for the coil shock? Since its one thing to find a frame our size but it doesn't always come with a coil shock. Just curious as I was reading along trying to recover from sticker shock of FR/DH bikes I might fit into.

  20. #20
    Making fat cool since '71
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    FWIW, I swapped the RP23 that is stock on my RFX to a DHX coil. Love it. The extra two pounds isn't awesome, but I like the bike better overall. I use it as my light freeride/whatever the world throws your way bike so a couple extra pounds isn't a big deal...especially in the fatty world. I would guess you get it just has to have the same eye to eye (overall length) and stroke.

    Brock...
    Are the wheels roundish? Ride it.

    Disciples Of Dirt, come ride with us.

  21. #21
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    So only have 1 short ride on the 2008 roco air 3pl for my 06 trance. So far, feels great. I have it pumped up pretty high (250-ish?) give or take and plush but haven't bottomed out yet (Nothing major yet) My bike is really built up pretty beefy. I'll be putting it thru the paces tomorrow. A bunch of us are going down to RI arcadia to go play on the rocks. Will let people know.

    Later

  22. #22
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    I think any rider North of 240lbs riding an air shock would be a lot happier with a PUSH'd shock.

  23. #23
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    So far 4 good rides on the roco air 3pl. Night and day difference. Compression is great and feels plush and didin't bottom out on a 3 inch drop.

    agree on push but super happy with the Marzocchi if anybody can find one.

  24. #24
    SS XC Junkie
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    Hey guys for searching and general information purposes I thought I'd post a link to this thread. Basically I got a new FS 29er and had some problems getting the rear air shock setup. I think I got it now but it might be of some help to the other clydes running FS with a fox air shock in the rear. I thought I was going to have to go with a DHX5 or a CC DoubleBarrel but it looks like the Fox RP23 is going to work for me.

  25. #25
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    The ride of my Stumpjumper FSR (RP3 shock) was night and day after I got it PUSH'ed. I'm only 230 lbs but before I couldn't get enough air into it to get the sag right and I had tons of pedal strikes. After the rebuild it's a new bike. Climbing with the Propedal on is great as is bombing through the rougher stuff with the Propedal off. Talk to PUSH, I bet they can help you out.

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