Elka Suspension’s design is a high-speed and low-speed adjustable compression system paired with a standard De
Carbon main damping system (shimstack main piston). This design provides infinite internal tuning possibilities and
intuitive external adjustability. The hydraulic valving (internal shimstack) can easily be tuned for each bike’s suspension
design. The adjustment range then becomes fully usable for the rider, allowing more precise fine-tuning with smalller
increments (more precise clicks).
When properly calibrated, this design enables our technicians to dial in the perfect amount of low-speed damping, usually
on the strong side. The overall feeling of the suspension that results is firm, nimble, stable and quick. The chassis tends to
maintain its ride height, use less travel, reduce unwanted suspension movement and weigth transfers does not affect
geometry as much. In short, the bike has a strong “platform” feeling throughout the entire travel, the shock reduces the
force transmitted to the rider and this general feeling can easily be adjusted in the parking lot via the low-speed
The main difference between our product and the competition is how it reacts to major impacts, vibrations and in
situations where traction is limited. Most competitors are using “poppet valves” systems that are either open or closed
based on the pressure building inside the shock upon an impact. With those, you have to compromise between plushness
and comfort vs. chassis firmness and bottom-out protection.
Our exclusive high-speed compression circuit is in fact an adjustable progressive blow-off valve, based on a piston and
shimstack design that is preloaded by a spring which controls the initial resistance of the valves. The high-speed
compression adjustment actually increases or reduces the preload on that spring. The adjustment then controls the
threshold where the blow-off circuit opens to reduce the pressure building up in the shock upon an impact. Since this
circuit is parallel to the low-speed compression circuit, the transition between the “firm” state and the “plush” state is
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progressive and smooth and proportional to the force of the impact. In short, the shock is firm unless an impact
overcomes the set threshold point and become plush, but only as needed to “erase” any bump or obstacle. The resulting
comfort is unique and traction is optimal in every situation.
Elka’s rebound circuit is also a feature that is beneficial for hardcore riders and racers. With a single knob, riders can
easily dial in the rebound, yet inside the shock the rebound shimstack is speed-sensitive. The rebound can be fast and
nimble (based on the rider’s preferred settings) but still be significantly slower upon major impacts to prevent any
“bucking” effect that could catapult the rider off the bike. Unlike competitors that have position-based dual-stage rebound
(i.e. RockShox Vivid), the Elka rebound circuit is based on the speed at which the shock goes back to full extension. In
our opinion, this is more predictable and much easier to set because the shock will always feel the same over different
kind of impacts. This makes it easier to preload the suspension to bunnyhop over obstacles without affecting how the
shock reacts on big square-edged impacts. Elka’s rebound thus have all the advantages of a high/low-speed rebound
circuit (similar to a CaneCreek Double Barrel) without the inherent complexity to adjust the settings.
On a race course, the Elka Stage 5 makes the bike firm and stable, fast and nimble and that pedals well. Corner exits are
quick and precise because the rear end won’t dive as much and won’t use as much travel unless its needed. This shock
can help a rider gain confidence by providing the impression that the more you throw at it, the more it can handle.