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  1. #1
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    AVALANCHE: Fork cartridge review

    AVALANCHE Downhill Racing Suspension AVA program





    OK So I have posted that there were some things coming down the pipe from Avalanche Downhill Suspension but now theres stuff in the public use as well as now in production and for sale.

    Fox DHX race tune, Marzocchi Roco WC and TST race tune and internal modifications, Fork cartridge for most 8" forks and ALOT more...
    http://www.avalanchedownhillracing.com/AVA%20ADV.htm

    1st: Fox DHX race tune - removes the propedal and its replaced with a HI/LO speed adjuster and its revalved as well as modified to make it speed sensative. His price with consumables and seasl is $199
    Heres the hi/lo it will be out Aug 12th



    2nd: Marzocchi Roco WC and TST race tune - remachines internals as well as revalves the shocks for riders weight, style, bike leverage etc... as well as is looking to replace the seals with the ones he uses for the 5th elements which will eliminate leaking on the factory ones. $179

    3rd: Hi speed modification and retune to the 2010 Boxxer WC forks and Teams, spaces the hi and lo adjustments so the effect isnt crossing over so bad to each other as well as opens the fork up making it really responsive and eliminates packing... $129


    4th: Fork cartridge it fits 888s, boxxer, kowa and they are doing one for the fox 40.. The main one for the majority is interchangeable with adapters and has hydraulic bottom out so bumpers etc are old school no more packing up...



    Now I have had time on hte hi speed mod as well as running a preproduction adapter kit with the cartridge in my 2010 Boxxer WC and they make a huge difference. The Cartridge is in a league of its own.

    Review for the Fork cartridge:
    OK so the first thing It took it apart and looked at the machine work and went over it plus the reassembley to see how easy it really is to install and its SUPER easy.... Oil height is 245ccs 85/??? golden spectro synthetic (light anti foam and approx 3wt).
    athe compression is on the bottom of the leg and the rebound is on the top and WORK GREAT....... The whole assembley is so well designed and easy to install its nice, the whole feel of the cartridge is amazing from start to finish....

    I took it out today for the first ride and we had speed, loose caorners, bermed corners, rocks, ruts, tight single track with TONS of dollheads, rock outcroppings, TONS of BIG rain ruts etc.... Its fast real fast and exposed basically hammer down and go for it... Theres corners on big rocks and chunky terrain that have corners down to other chutes etc...

    1: Cornering- This fork was consistant top to bottom light and loaded through the corners there were little to no chatter feel and it not once washed out due to lack of damping and control wether it was at the top or mid stroke.... It literally cornered amazing.

    2: Rocks- It blew through the rocks without ANY harsh hits, it was incredible railing and was even smoother at speed the faster you went the better it got......

    3: overall- The thing felt a bit slow (parking lot test) when messing around so I backed out the adjustments a little and it felt buttery at any adjustment. It does not have that light dry feel like the boxxer did and definently not like the Fox 40. It is as light as the original setup and will lighten up a bit when the production caps are done for the adapter. It did not wallow at all and the damping was consistent no matter where I was in travel so it didnt matter if I was high in it or loaded it reacted the same so my style could stay the ssame without adjusting.
    I do not miss the high speed adjuster as this is should stay with the valving and be fine tuned by the low speed. I can honestly say that I have had forks with hi and lo comp and this SMOKES them by a long shot... Completely destroyed what the boxxer WC felt like in action...
    I came in hot into ruts and did not get the play in the forks action like before allowing me to maintain the line as well as did load the front end into ruts on purpose (bigger ruts) to see if it slammed me and caused spiking at speed and None it literally and evenly took the hit and felt completely bottomless.
    Im running 65psi and did not bottom it out, the hydraulic bottom out did its job spot on. Took the hit and slowwed the shaft speed down with no harsh hit or bad ramping...

    Now the bad and this is literally the only complaint I have3 which has been addressed when I called Craig tonight he already said it before I asked...
    The compression knob is hard to set without a screw driver so he is testing adjusters with a EPS foam crush zone to prevent internal damage incase of a strike so you can replace it and not the internals should a lowley rock decide to befriend it.
    Also he is doing mid strok damping which will not effect the compression what it will do is keep the front end from any brake dive or load up on the ace of big jumps in nastier terrain not so much hard pack smooth cali stuff.

    So all in all I was completely floored by this cartridge, I expected good but I did not expect it to feel that much better than the WC it was kind of depressing but exciting at the same time... It was way more plush than my 888 ATA ever was and the small bump on this fork will be legendary. It literally felt like a DHF but at boxxer wc weight.

    Now with the air fork it performed flawless it made it consistent even when the air ramped up a smidge I did not turn the bottom out on as its not needed with the hydraulic bottom out so you can run a bit less air as well because it will take care of you.

    Bottom line is this thing is literally a monster its smoother then my 888s and definently gives my boxxer wc a beat down...
    It will make you faster as control and consistency is there. The Boxxer WC hi speed mod was a huge improvement over stock and I was happy but I will not be going back to stock internals.... I will be on this cartridge no matter what fork chasis I ride.


    OK sorry for the dark pictures.... It was down to 80 so good for riding but getting a bit dark.

    This one I tried to triple the jump and came in a bit short.



    This was just a small step down I was overshooting it on purpose to just plain beat the hell outa the fork....
    BTW DID not bottom on any of the landings I nailed all of them and these were the ones that I came in hard for demo..........






    PART 2:
    OK Rode SJT last week then
    Wed: Intense trail
    thur: PQ freeride line
    Fri: Ted Williams
    Sat: SJT, Intense trail and TLD (skyline)
    Sun: TLD, Skinsuit, Intense trail

    The conditions are FAST rutty as hell rocky, G-outs, corners some blow some bermed, drops, twisty single track, wide open SUPER STEEP rutted chutes with corners and so on... Literally Cableguy, mandown, overtheedge can chime in for verification as to sat/sun rides.... We shuttled a TON and did some wild rippin.

    The fork performed AMAZING I did back out the comp 5 turns more and ended up having issues then I realized the tires were at 15 PSI so aired them up and was able to focus on tuning to see the range of adjustment and get a feel for it...
    I ended up settling on 14 out (counter clockwise) from closed on comp and dont remember rebound lol.... Its 2 off (Counter clockwise) from where Craigs default was...

    Cornering it did not dive it held the line incredible, jumps and drops were great I overshot a few and came in flat or cased hard the hydraulic bottom out is the $h!t, no harsh clank or stoppage it ramps up nice. No dive at speed in the bumps and even when it does the fact its speed sensative allows it to stay working throught the travel which was beneficial in SEVERAL situations this weekend. I wouldnt change a thing as far as the tuning and the cartridge are concerned the shock and fork are a perfect match. The bike is so well balanced and maintains lines in and out of ruts as well as Troy and I were using ruts to berm out of and swapping lines in and out of them at full speed with no issues...

    The fork was amazing even on skinsuit which is named for its steeps and wide open pin it and ride layout the trail is not without NASTY ruts and serious obstacles as well as serious penalties for crashing...

    These trails are frequented by Sam Hill, Athertons, Kovarik and the rest of them as well as used for training and keeping it dialed, they are by no means beginner trails or intermediate.

    Sunday finished off with me fracturing my ankle on the Intense trail (sam hill cut line) on a line that Ive dialed many times before it was just my time again... Finished the ride and jumps/berms broken and will be back at it wrapped up in 2 weeks....

    So heres the jist I will get someone else to ride it and rack up time on it, adam from mtbr was stuck catching up on reviews this weekend so he bagged, but will be available when I go back... I know other peoples input is beneficial and the hardest part is letting anyone ride my bike then Im stuck with theres and might miss a moment of goodness so the downside it makes you bike greedy! :thumb:


    Heres Troy from Foes Racing ready for the drop in at Skinsuit... Really long run and super fun.

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  2. #2
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    I know this is an old post, but did you ever develop an annoying knock sound. Almost like its a top out. It happens really bad over chatter rocks roots etc at speed? I have mine in a 2012 Lyrik. Sent it back to Craig to check it out. He did a mod in the top out spring on the spring side but the noise was still there. So, did some investigating and out the original ROCKSHOX mission control DH cartridge back in and the noise is gone. The dilemma is the fork rides amazing with the Avy set up, but the noise is so annoying it feels like the front end of te bike is rattling loose and totally kills confidence and ride buzz. Craig saud that some topout noise is natural, but if this is natural i sont know if i xan deal with it. Your thoughts?

  3. #3
    mtbr member
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    Never had a knock rode my wc with 18 months no service never gave me grief sold the bike with it on it and now have 2 carts coming Monday 1 for the totem and the other for my new wc.

    Never heard of the top out has to be a oil height issue no oil over the cart ti e sucks a bit of air and smacks.
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  4. #4
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    Cool-blue Rhythm

    Quote Originally Posted by bullcrew View Post
    Never had a knock rode my wc with 18 months no service never gave me grief sold the bike with it on it and now have 2 carts coming Monday 1 for the totem and the other for my new wc.

    Never heard of the top out has to be a oil height issue no oil over the cart ti e sucks a bit of air and smacks.
    I have it at 60mm from oil height fully compressed. Are you saying there should or shouldn't be oil above the cartridge at full compression. Cause when I didn't have enough oil in it the first ride the knocking wasn't there. When adding oil to recommended height it started happening. Funny thIng is after sitting it takes about 10 cycles of the fork to get it to start again. Very strange. Any other ideas?

    Thanks!

  5. #5
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    That's weird, look for marks where its hitting tor topping out, there should,d be a couple mm's of oil height above the cart fully extended (fork).
    I'll call craig tomorrow I need to anywase and biunce ideas of him for sure, haven't heard or seen this so it would be good to figure out why. Sou ds like a oil height issue though.
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  6. #6
    aka...appBLING72
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    Quote Originally Posted by bullcrew View Post
    That's weird, look for marks where its hitting tor topping out, there should,d be a couple mm's of oil height above the cart fully extended (fork).
    I'll call craig tomorrow I need to anywase and biunce ideas of him for sure, haven't heard or seen this so it would be good to figure out why. Sou ds like a oil height issue though.
    Don't bother Craig with it anymore. I feel like I've worn him out on the issue and he's been so helpful but I just can't figure it out. I'll play round with oil heights a little more and see. He checked it before it left his shop the other day and did the heights were right. I rode as it was and again after the first 8-10 cycles the noise was back. So, at this point Im confused and debating performance over annoying noise and whether to keep it or not. That is unless I cn figure it out with oil heights. Thx. Please don't bring it up with him. I don't want him frustrated with me. Thx

  7. #7
    NOT Team Sanchez
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    Hey guys, while Avy is up for discussion maybe you could help me. Will a Cane Creek DB coil fit on my Avy Woodie? I'm also pretty close to pulling the trigger on the Boxxer cartridge for an 09 Team.......
    I like bikes.

  8. #8
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    I had the top out noise

    I had the top out noise as well with a 2009 boxxer (old design) last summer.
    It performed perfect while riding, as keeping the oil moving.
    As soon as the fork sat for a few minutes (chair lift ride) the top out noise came back.
    Raising the oil height helped, but did not fully go away. I spoke to Craig about it and he said some of the internal top out springs are a little weaker than others and you get the
    top out noise.
    I rode the crap out of that fork with that top out and loved it, performed flawlessly.
    I sold the fork with the cartridge in it and it's still going strong.
    I purchased a 2011 Boxxer world cup last spring and sent it to Craig to have another
    cartridge put in. This fork doesn't have the top out.

    On a side note:
    For anyone putting a cartridge in there World Cup, disable the stock bottom out control.
    The cartridge has its own bottom out control and disabling the stock bottom out increases the air volume in the fork making it plusher and more sensitive.





    Quote Originally Posted by aappling72 View Post
    I have it at 60mm from oil height fully compressed. Are you saying there should or shouldn't be oil above the cartridge at full compression. Cause when I didn't have enough oil in it the first ride the knocking wasn't there. When adding oil to recommended height it started happening. Funny thIng is after sitting it takes about 10 cycles of the fork to get it to start again. Very strange. Any other ideas?

    Thanks!

  9. #9
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    Thanks tree. Makes sense and yes x2 on the wc top out back it out fully not sure how to disable I just make sure its backed out.
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  10. #10
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    Well........
    I like bikes.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by wasea04 View Post
    Well........



    Vivid and romic I know will the Inside diameter is 1.5"
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  12. #12
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    Thanks Bullcrew, I knew the id's of the DB's were bigger, but not big enough I guess. Oh well. Anybody have a 550x3 Vivid, Avy, or Romic spring they'd be willing to part with, I can't find them anywhere.
    I like bikes.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by wasea04 View Post
    Thanks Bullcrew, I knew the id's of the DB's were bigger, but not big enough I guess. Oh well. Anybody have a 550x3 Vivid, Avy, or Romic spring they'd be willing to part with, I can't find them anywhere.
    Pricepoint has them if you don't find any takers.

  14. #14
    Biking Like Crazy!
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    Hey wasea04, I have a red Romic 550x3 spring sitting in workshop.
    It could be yours for $20 shipped. I'll try to pm you.

  15. #15
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    As soon as I decide on my spring this week for the CANFIELD one and the avys coming back I'll probably have a 550 ti for sale.
    I have one with light valving with a soft high speed compression blow off spring and one with a medium. So I'l be swappi g 450-550 then if the 550 is too much its up for sale.
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  16. #16
    Roll on Spring Time!
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    BC - whats the deal with the Boxxer HI/Low upgrade. Its obviously available but is it a DIY install? I will be looking to pick up a Woodie for my 2010 Jedi and am interested in the Boxxer upgrade, its not as expensive as the Totem damper and is therefore a chance to put some avy in one of my forks.
    I just want to ride.

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tree View Post
    I had the top out noise as well with a 2009 boxxer (old design) last summer.
    It performed perfect while riding, as keeping the oil moving.
    As soon as the fork sat for a few minutes (chair lift ride) the top out noise came back.
    Raising the oil height helped, but did not fully go away. I spoke to Craig about it and he said some of the internal top out springs are a little weaker than others and you get the
    top out noise.
    I rode the crap out of that fork with that top out and loved it, performed flawlessly.
    I sold the fork with the cartridge in it and it's still going strong.
    I purchased a 2011 Boxxer world cup last spring and sent it to Craig to have another
    cartridge put in. This fork doesn't have the top out.

    On a side note:
    For anyone putting a cartridge in there World Cup, disable the stock bottom out control.
    The cartridge has its own bottom out control and disabling the stock bottom out increases the air volume in the fork making it plusher and more sensitive.


    My issue is opposite. After sitting it takes about 8-10 cycles of the fork to get the clunk to happen. While riding it happens on sharp or chatter impacts. I put the original MC DH damper that came with the fork back in and the noise was gone. So I know it's not the top out spring assembly on the coil side. I will try a different oil height but Craig himself checked the fork had it apart and said the height and install was right. So, guess I'll add some more and give it one more try.

  18. #18
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    I would like order a boxxer cartridge to Israel,my question is,
    is this cartridge self servicable by a pro shop? Or only by avy?
    cause i would like know that i have some maintenance options
    '12 Canfield One! - f\/ck yeah!
    '12 Canfield brothers Jedi F1 - so fast im back in time

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by katsooba View Post
    I would like order a boxxer cartridge to Israel,my question is,
    is this cartridge self servicable by a pro shop? Or only by avy?
    cause i would like know that i have some maintenance options
    1st- Juan Pablo he modifies and does some stuff to the damper as well as tunes it , mine actually made a good difference and got rid of spiking. Was happy then I got the cart and was amazed. Both good options there's nothing wrong with having craig tune something and modify

    Katsoob - yes a mx shop can tune and modify the stacks and service is SIMPLE.
    I can drain oil pull cart, tune it (redo shimstack) re install, add oil and ride in under 15 minutes. Once you do it it is fast and a no brainer aside of getting the right shim stack configuration.

    Maintenance as far as oil change is stupid easy I was lazy and ran my wc for 18 months NO SERVICE OR OIL CHANGE. Ran flawless finally changed oil because I got around to it.
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  20. #20
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    Great to know!
    Thank u BC!
    '12 Canfield One! - f\/ck yeah!
    '12 Canfield brothers Jedi F1 - so fast im back in time

  21. #21
    Roll on Spring Time!
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    [QUOTE=bullcrew;8607165]1st- Juan Pablo he modifies and does some stuff to the damper as well as tunes it , mine actually made a good difference and got rid of spiking. Was happy then I got the cart and was amazed. Both good options there's nothing wrong with having craig tune something and modify

    I was hoping I wouldnt have to send my Cart to Craig. I am in Korea and my Boxxer is in South Africa. My plan was to take home some goodies to see what improvements I could make to the Jedi. I will only be in SOuth Africa for 4-6 weeks before returning to Korea so I wanted to have everything in hand when I landed.
    I just want to ride.

  22. #22
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    Thanks guys!
    I like bikes.

  23. #23
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    Bottom out

    There's an o-ring on the inside of the bottom adjustment, took it out.
    Ask Craig about it, he agrees and took it out for me.



    Quote Originally Posted by bullcrew View Post
    Thanks tree. Makes sense and yes x2 on the wc top out back it out fully not sure how to disable I just make sure its backed out.

  24. #24
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    Follow up to the above post! CUSTOMER SERVICE LIKE NO OTHER!!! The best way to describe it. For anyone who interpreted my above posts in a negative way towards Avalanche, that wasn't my intentions AT ALL! I was simply frustrated that whatever I was doing wrong was causing the issue. And, it looks like somehow a cavitation was being caused from a non foaming oil. So, just to be sure Craig is sending a WHOLE new cartridge and the proper oil to cover all the bases. So, just another of a ton of reasons to go with Avalanche for any custom suspension needs. I cannot say enough how appreciative I am of the 2 hour help I received today on the phone from Craig. Avy all the way!!

  25. #25
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    So, I was wondering about the improvements/ride difference that was felt between the $427 open bath replacement cartridge for the Boxxer and the $129 High Speed Valving Modification System. How much better is the modification compared to the boxxer WC, and how much better is the replacement cartridge than the modification?

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