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  1. #26
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    Elka did try their shock on the pre-2010 Reign X and it didn't fit.

    YoPawn - try checking the pressure in the chamber with an air pump. it should be around 150-160 psi. if it's not, just pump some air to reach that pressure.

    if the pressure keeps coming down (after a few rides) you might have a defective reservoir cover/valve.

  2. #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by FM
    Pardon the crap phone picture....
    Anyways only have 3 rides in on it so far, but she's a keeper
    Got the K9 cups slackening it out to 66.5 degree up front. But still low 30's with the elka & float 36. Feels like a really good match for our local stuff, I'm pushing or climbing for everything and our trails are fairly smooth, so a light bike is nice. But the rune is very stiff and the suspension & geometry are dialled in nicely for steep trails with booters and drops.



    Very nice! I keep hearing good things about Banshee's new bikes. Never thought I'd say that...

  3. #28
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    Here's a better pic of FM's bike. I just stole it out of his garage:



    Nice bike FM!
    ****

  4. #29
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    Quote Originally Posted by ThePunisher
    Elka did try their shock on the pre-2010 Reign X and it didn't fit.

    YoPawn - try checking the pressure in the chamber with an air pump. it should be around 150-160 psi. if it's not, just pump some air to reach that pressure.

    if the pressure keeps coming down (after a few rides) you might have a defective reservoir cover/valve.
    Elka uses nitrogen in their shocks, using a shock pump is not recommended & probably would make the shock perform less than its potential.

  5. #30
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    The elka does look prettier than the pics on their website..
    "The future belongs to those that believe in the beauty of their dreams."

  6. #31
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    Quote Originally Posted by highrevkev
    Elka uses nitrogen in their shocks, using a shock pump is not recommended & probably would make the shock perform less than its potential.
    nope - if you call Elka they will suggest the same thing Punisher suggested. for a small amount like 30 to 50 psi's, it's okay to use a hand pump. if the pressure is way low - then yeah, you're better off sending your shock in for service.

  7. #32
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    Quote Originally Posted by ThePunisher
    Elka did try their shock on the pre-2010 Reign X and it didn't fit.
    .
    I guess my 2008 Reign X1 frame didn't get the memo.

    I wonder if they are only claiming that it does not fit because the damper doesn't like the suspension design?


    I will take FM's word that it is a better shock if you get a good one that is tuned right.

  8. #33
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    Update in my original post. Shock was borked.

  9. #34
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    I suspected it!

  10. #35
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    Quote Originally Posted by YoPawn
    Update in my original post. Shock was borked.
    Kinda figured it had to be..
    Hope you get a chance to ride an Elka in good working condition, I'm pretty sure you will be impressed.

  11. #36
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    Quote Originally Posted by 1soulrider
    Kinda figured it had to be..
    Hope you get a chance to ride an Elka in good working condition, I'm pretty sure you will be impressed.
    I hope this prompts them to test their shocks before sending to people for demos. I was kind of under the impression they did this already and was surprised they did not.

    It's good news that I might still have hope for this shock after all. I was worried about having to poop out the extra money for a CCDB.

  12. #37
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    Yo,
    Get back to us when you will get the new shock. Riding a 2008 Reign x1 too, I'm particularly interested in reading your second review of the shock. By the way, Elka dudes are within 30 minutes drive from where I live. Unfortunatly, they don't have the demo program...

  13. #38
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    Updated review with working shock up above. Better, but I'm still not blown away or impressed enough to buy one.

  14. #39
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    Quote Originally Posted by YoPawn
    Updated review with working shock up above. Better, but I'm still not blown away or impressed enough to buy one.
    oh you were talking advantage of the Elka/Go-Ride demo program?

  15. #40
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    I think you got a defective shock again.









    Just kidding.

  16. #41
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    If I already had one in ownership I wouldn't worry and just spend money to have it custom tuned. Otherwise, I'm not going to buy a shock knowing that I could potentially spend just as much as a Double Barrel in the end to get it right. I do see lots of potential there in the future as they refine the Elka. Hasn't really been around long enough to go through a couple development cycles to nail just right or offer tunes for various bikes ALONG with various rider types. I like a slightly regressive rebound and the Elka seems to be progressive in my experience.
    Last edited by YoPawn; 02-18-2010 at 09:02 AM.

  17. #42
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    I dunno man. Something is not right, maybe Elka doesn't have the tune right for your bike or it's not tuned for your weight. I have owned a lot of shocks including the Roco tst and wc, the Elka is in a different league (along with pushed stuff and avy).

    Anyways, good luck with the cane creek!

  18. #43
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    Quote Originally Posted by FM
    I dunno man. Something is not right, maybe Elka doesn't have the tune right for your bike or it's not tuned for your weight. I have owned a lot of shocks including the Roco tst and wc, the Elka is in a different league (along with pushed stuff and avy).

    Anyways, good luck with the cane creek!
    I think it just comes down to preference. I don't see anything wrong with the Elka if it is how your like your shock to feel.

    The Reign X doesn't really need good compression damping to feel good. I've found that frame is all about getting the rebound dialed. Roco TST just happens to have a rebound that works for my frame and riding style I've been on other bikes with the TST that feel like dog turds, as in the Kona Stinky. As well, I'm sure the Elka feels spectacular on other frames that I could like.

    Also keep in mind, that this was a demo shock, and I didn't have the honeymoon effect from buying it. Thus, I am going to be really critical about my assessments to make sure I spend money on something I feel is worth it in terms of cost/vs./performance. Right now, the Elka is not $450 better than my Roco TST, but in itself the Elka is a great deal at $450. If I had no shock and only $450, I would buy the Elka no question and then have it tuned down the road when more cash comes rolling in.

    Also again, people have bought CCDB shocks and not liked those either. So, I think it just comes down to picking your flavor. Some people are lucky in that their flavor is $200 cheaper than others.

  19. #44
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    Quote Originally Posted by YoPawn
    Also keep in mind, that this was a demo shock, and I didn't have the honeymoon effect from buying it. Thus, I am going to be really critical about my assessments to make sure I spend money on something I feel is worth it in terms of cost/vs./performance. Right now, the Elka is not $450 better than my Roco TST, but in itself the Elka is a great deal at $450. If I had no shock and only $450, I would buy the Elka no question and then have it tuned down the road when more cash comes rolling in.


    Keep in mind no extra $ is needed to custom tune this shock for you...it is custom tuned for you when you buy it, and if it doesn't impress you they will retune it for free to meet your needs.
    But, as you said, every rider is different and what is great for some may not be so much for others.
    The Cane Creek DB is a good example of this, many rave about it and others can't stand it.
    Different strokes for different folks.

  20. #45
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    I just got my Elka Stage 5, and all I can say im sticking with Elka for a long time. Also the fact their pretty local to where I live. Ive tried, DHX 5.0, CCDB, Marzocchi Rocco wc, Rock Shox Vivid 5.1, and Avalanche. It defiantly blew the Rocco, Vivid and DHX out of the water hands down. The Elka feels like a mix between a Avalanche and CCDB. The shock is so smooth and plush. Its defiantly the shock I wanted. Simple. The shock's Compression and rebound can be felt with each click, and it just seems endless in its travel.

    Make sure you get the Shock tuned correctly for your frame / setup. Anything incorrectly set up can feel like ****.

  21. #46
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    Quote Originally Posted by commencal-guy
    It defiantly blew the Rocco, Vivid and DHX out of the water hands down. The Elka feels like a mix between a Avalanche and CCDB.
    Yep that's my impression as well. The Elka feels very similar to the Avalanche I had with that "back wheel stuck to the ground" feel, even when cornering over chop. The difference is, the elka has firmer low-speed compression, which I like... it feels very "composed". And the no tools required thing... big advantage for elka in my book, compared to Avy/CCDB.

    To me the difference between the "custom tuned" shocks I've owned (Avy, Elka, and to a lesser extent, Push) and the stock one Fox & Marzocchi shocks is immediately noticeable. That's why I keep coming back to this thread and scratching my head (sorry YoPawn)


    Quote Originally Posted by YoPawn
    Also keep in mind, that this was a demo shock, and I didn't have the honeymoon effect from buying it.
    Nor did you get the :30 minute conversation with Elka where they ask about your riding style, weight, frame, suspension preference, size and frequency of airtime and climbing, etc etc, correct? I am wondering if that's where things went wrong. I have only had great experiences with Go-Ride, but it seems optimistic that they had a demo shock&spring which just happened to be "perfectly" custom-tuned for you.

    Well anyways, I would also say that for most of us non-racers, the difference between a custom-tuned shock and a stock one should be noticeable, but won't give us super-powers or anything. A custom tuned shock can improve most any frame, but not really change the characteristics of the suspension design.

  22. #47
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    Does Elka actually give you guys different shim stack tunes based on your needs totally custom?

    I ask because they have three tunes of rebound and compression for each. In a way it is custom tuned for everyone's bike.

    Mine came with the 30 and 30 rebound and compression. Which is exactly what they recommend for my frame.

  23. #48
    FM
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    Quote Originally Posted by YoPawn
    Does Elka actually give you guys different shim stack tunes based on your needs totally custom?

    I ask because they have three tunes of rebound and compression for each. In a way it is custom tuned for everyone's bike.

    Mine came with the 30 and 30 rebound and compression. Which is exactly what they recommend for my frame.
    That is probably better answered by Elka..
    I think they do tune to the rider, not the bike, if you order from them directly.
    The reason I say that, why else would they have asked me for my weight and lots of questions about my riding style.. if the only factor they actually consider is frame design?

    I think they use the chart you mention as a starting point, then tune from there based on riding style and weight.

    When first contacted Elka they sent me some information that's not on their site. I think it's intended for customers, rather than being advertising? But here is some stuff from it....

    Q: What is “custom” about your shocks?
    A: We adapt the damping range for each bike design (leverage ratio, travel, rising or falling rate, etc.) and provide
    the appropriate spring rate for the rider weight. We are also able to fine-tune the hydraulic internals (valving) to
    suit specific needs expressed by the customer, whether a manufacturer or individual.
    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
    compression adjuster.
    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
    12/8/09 - 4:52 PM ELKA SUSPENSION INC. p.2/5
    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.

  24. #49
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    Quote Originally Posted by FM
    That is probably better answered by Elka..
    I think they do tune to the rider, not the bike, if you order from them directly.
    The reason I say that, why else would they have asked me for my weight and lots of questions about my riding style.. if the only factor they actually consider is frame design?

    I think they use the chart you mention as a starting point, then tune from there based on riding style and weight.

    When first contacted Elka they sent me some information that's not on their site. I think it's intended for customers, rather than being advertising? But here is some stuff from it....
    Thanks FM.

    From their description of the rebound, it sounds like mine was working as designed. I don't like their rebound philosophy, even though I can see it working better for others. Feels too "racey" to me. If I was into more jumping this shock would feel pretty good as it really likes to hop and pop when you want it to.

  25. #50
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    Got my CCDB!

    Obviously I'm really stoked on this shock. It does EVERYTHING better than the Elka even without making any changes to the adjusters. It got even better once I did start tuning it.

    Most noticeable is how the DB transforms the way the entire bike handles, not just the rear end. My fork sticks better now and the whole bike just feels like one cohesive damped unit. Within 2 runs I was charging corners way faster and with more confidence knowing the bike would track a line and not get kicked out.

    For drops, the DB seems to use all of its travel a little easier than the Elka. On the other hand, it uses all the travel, but I never feel the end. On top of that the DB keeps the wheel AND my feet planted together at all times. The Elkas would kick my feet off the pedals. You would think this translates to a bike that can't be hopped around and jumped as easily. In fact, quite the contrary. My bike bunny hops easier than it ever did, but still has rebound damping in effect at all speeds. In fact it seems like damping is happening all the time and never stops.

    Elka is a noisy punk. DB is utterly silent.

    DB is totally incognito inside my Reign X frame. Looks like a old coil Vanilla is in there. Did I mention it also comes with a beer opener inside the adjuster tool?


    I know a lot of people want to convince themselves that their $200 cheaper shock is just as good, but it isn't Even if the DB was $400 more, I would say it is worth it. I hate always wondering what that next best thing might have been like if I had shelled out the dough. In this case, it was worth every penny and I don't ever have to wonder if anything is better. Cause there isn't.


    Also, keep in mind that this is the latest redesign of the double barrel. As far as I know, the last one sucked balls at high speeds and low leverage bikes. So keep that in mind when researching and seeing reviews of the old one.

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