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  1. #1
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    Coil Shock on XLT?

    I am looking at switching the Manitou air shock for a coil shock - I like coil suspension characteristics over air....

    Does the XLT need some form of anti-bob mechanism in the shock - like propedal - or will a plain coil-over shock work? I am looking at the Fox Vanilla R. What do you think?

  2. #2
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    The faux bar link XLT frame design will bob...how much depends on how smooth you ride. I switch between an air and coil on mine. The coil makes for a smoother ride, but of course adds a pound to the weight. I'm using a Romic which has platform dampening so the bob is kept down to a minimum. The Fox Vanilla R will have propedal if its a 2004 or newer...though its not a lot of platform.

    PS-if your interested in a Romic (great shock, but just so you know...their CS is crap)...there's one in the classifieds right now in the correct size (it says its a 2.25" stroke, but if its a 2.25" spring, then its a 2" stroke shock...which is correct for an XLT) 7.785x2. I'm not spamming, just trying to help. I have no connections with the seller.
    Last edited by mtnbiker72; 06-28-2007 at 09:51 PM.

  3. #3
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    I put the new Van R on my XLT and it works brilliantly. Soooo smooth and doesn't bob excessively. The Propedal is set to the middle setting from the factory. I wouldn't have it any other way!

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by chelboed
    I put the new Van R on my XLT and it works brilliantly. Soooo smooth and doesn't bob excessively. The Propedal is set to the middle setting from the factory. I wouldn't have it any other way!
    IMO, the Vanilla R line is the best value out there. I have a PUSH'd Vanilla 130R fork and Van R shock and I don't find them bottoming out excessively to warrant RLC or DHX upgrades. I got the fork for $213 and the shock for $250. I rode the fork for 1.5 yrs and sent it to PUSH to get worked over and rebuilt, so I have less than $600 in my suspension and I really am impressed.

  5. #5
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    Would a 7.875x2.0 shock work?

    I am looking at swapping my Dakar XC Expert for an XLT 3.0 (2005). From the best that I can tell, the eye to eye for an XLT is 7.785 x 2.0. I am running an rp23 on my xc expert, and if I switch to the XLT, I will sell the expert and probably buy an rp23 for whatever I end up replacing the expert with. I noticed that Fox only makes the rp23 in 7.875 x 2.0 or 7.875x2.25. Would either of those fit, or would they cause problems.

    Thanks

  6. #6
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    Chelboed,

    what shock length are you using with your XLT? Is it the 08 Van R?

  7. #7
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    I'm running an '07 Van R.

    For the XLT, you need a 7.875x2

    If you put a longer shock on there, it will jack up the geometry. If you put a longer stroke shock on there, the cross brace on the chainstays will bang against your seat tube.


    Here's new pic's of the beast:

    Coil Shock on XLT?
    Last edited by chelboed; 07-03-2007 at 10:28 AM.

  8. #8
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    chelboed, thanks for the info, that's exactly the setup I am looking for...

    When ordering the Vanilla R the shop asked for a bunch of info...

    bike brand, year, model, size and spring rate...
    and my weight...

    OK, most of the info is obvious, but what do I tell them for spring rate? Isn't that based on my weight and the leverage of the rear suspension on the shock?

    Thanks
    Last edited by venture; 07-03-2007 at 01:57 PM.

  9. #9
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    Oh, yeah, and did the shock come with mounting hardware? Or can I reuse the hardware that came with the original shock (Manitou 3-way for me)? Or do I need to order the mounting hardware as well?

    Thanks

  10. #10
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    chelboed, thanks for the info, that's exactly the setup I am looking for...

    When ordering the Vanilla R the shop asked for a bunch of info...

    bike brand, year, model, size and spring rate...
    and my weight...

    OK, most of the info is obvious, but what do I tell them for spring rate? Isn't that based on my weight and the leverage of the rear suspension on the shock?

    Thanks

  11. #11
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    I bought mine through Universalcycles.com. All I told them was my bike, my weight, riding style.

    Your shop should be able to call Fox and do the same thing. Fox has all the charts and stuff. They will send you the correct spacers...keep your mounting bolts and buy some blue loctite.

  12. #12
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    Just ordered the Fox Vanilla from Universal Cycles... Thanks for the info.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by venture
    Just ordered the Fox Vanilla from Universal Cycles... Thanks for the info.
    RAWK!

    Don't get freaked out when you get the shock and it has an odd spring rate/stroke on it. My shock for my bike/weight/riding style was slated to come with a 2.25" stroke spring. Weird eh? I called them ASAP when i got it and they said "I know the shock is a 2" stroke shock, but the spring rate of the 2.25" stroke spring was necessary to compliment your situation. Just try it and see if it works well...if not, then call us."

    Dang'd if they weren't spot on. It had little to do with Universalcycles...they just order the thing. Fox was the culprit. They do their research, I'll say that. They researched my frame quite well. Their engineers know what they're doing.

    I hope you enjoy it.


  14. #14
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    Common for .25" longer coil

    Quote Originally Posted by chelboed
    RAWK!

    Don't get freaked out when you get the shock and it has an odd spring rate/stroke on it. My shock for my bike/weight/riding style was slated to come with a 2.25" stroke spring. Weird eh? I called them ASAP when i got it and they said "I know the shock is a 2" stroke shock, but the spring rate of the 2.25" stroke spring was necessary to compliment your situation. Just try it and see if it works well...if not, then call us."

    Dang'd if they weren't spot on. It had little to do with Universalcycles...they just order the thing. Fox was the culprit. They do their research, I'll say that. They researched my frame quite well. Their engineers know what they're doing.

    I hope you enjoy it.

    Its common, if not always the case...that a coil shock has a spring that has a .25" longer stroke than the shock stroke. This prevents the coil from binding during full compression.

    I ran a Fox Vanilla R rear shock on my Kona and agree its a excellent shock for the money...not quite as nice as the Romic I'm running now IMO, but a fine shock none the less.

  15. #15
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    I just got my Fox Van shock... they sent me a 550lb 2.35 spring - thanks for the heads up on the spring length info....

    Unfortunately, the spring might be too heavy for me - I measured 1/4" of sag...

    I weight about 165lbs - maybe 175 with all my gear and camelback.... Hey Chelboad, what rate spring did they send you? What do you weight?

    Thanks
    Last edited by venture; 07-16-2007 at 11:51 PM.

  16. #16
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    Whoa...someone didn't have their coffee.

    Mine is 450x2.37 and I weigh 195lbs.

    I'd put you on a 400 or possibly even a 350, but that may be too light.

  17. #17
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    OK... let's see how Universal Cycles deals with this....

    I've been running the numbers on this spring rate calculator I found here and have come up with:

    175lb rider, 5" rear wheel travel, 2" stroke, and target 1 turn of preload...
    1. a 400 lb spring gives 31.6% sag
    2. a 450 lb spring gives 27.9% sag
    3. a 500 lb spring gives 25% sag


    I ran your numbers, 195lb rider, and the rest the same and came up with a 450 lb spring gives 31.3% sag.... does that sound right to you?

    That would say I'm somewhere between 450 and 400.... probably try a 400lb spring for a littlke more plush ride and see how it goes...

    BTW, what kind of riding do you do? I told them aggressive XC - lots of long rocky climbs, and then fast downhill singletrack with the occasional 2-3 foot drop and woops small to jump... still can't justify the 550lb spring, but may push me to 450 vs 400lbs.

    Thanks for the help.

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by venture
    OK... let's see how Universal Cycles deals with this....

    I've been running the numbers on this spring rate calculator I found here and have come up with:

    175lb rider, 5" rear wheel travel, 2" stroke, and target 1 turn of preload...
    1. a 400 lb spring gives 31.6% sag
    2. a 450 lb spring gives 27.9% sag
    3. a 500 lb spring gives 25% sag


    I ran your numbers, 195lb rider, and the rest the same and came up with a 450 lb spring gives 31.3% sag.... does that sound right to you?

    That would say I'm somewhere between 450 and 400.... probably try a 400lb spring for a littlke more plush ride and see how it goes...

    BTW, what kind of riding do you do? I told them aggressive XC - lots of long rocky climbs, and then fast downhill singletrack with the occasional 2-3 foot drop and woops small to jump... still can't justify the 550lb spring, but may push me to 450 vs 400lbs.

    Thanks for the help.
    Doesn't sound quite right. I run about 25% sag 1/2" and that's with 1 turn on the preload spring. I wonder if there's a difference b/c of the 2.37" stroke spring on a 2" stroke shock. Back when I ran the numbers on a calculator, I came up with a 500lb spring for my weight, I think.

    When they sent me the 450x2.37" I thought they messed it up, but it ended up working perfectly.

    My riding style is similar to yours BTW.

    (calling Fox right now)

    I just spoke with Fox and they said that for my rider weight, I should be on a 600lb spring. What kinda crap is that? When I recieved the shock from Univ.Cyc. I called Fox and they said that 450 was perfect for 195lb rider.

    Something's wrong with their spring calculator. Myself riding a 600lb spring would be like riding a hardtail, hehe.

    I just punched my weight into the TF-Tuned calculator and got some interesting results.

    195lbs / 5" travel / 2"stroke / 28% sag for Fox was 532lb for a single pivot or 576lb for 4 bar. The faux bar behaves similar to a single pivot b/c there's no Horst Link so I wonder if I'm supposed to use the single pivot chart?

    Also, when I punch 2.25" stroke (because the spring that I have is a 2.37" on a 2" valve body) it says 420 for single and 455 for 4 bar. That seems about right because I'm probably running around 25% sag with a 450lb x 2.37" stroke spring.

    So if we put your loaded weight of 175lbs in with 5" travel and 2.25" stroke on a 4 bar linkage, we get 400lb spring ...... for a 2" stroke, we get 517lb spring.

    I'm kinda thinking that a 400lb spring would suit you well.

  19. #19
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    On this rate calculator: http://www.mojo.co.uk/springcalc.html

    I punched in 2" stroke and came up with 600lb spring, but at 2.37, I only need a 450lb spring. Something is fishy.

  20. #20
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    I think the shock travel is the one that matters - 2" - not the coil travel - 2.37".... Mainly because as the rear wheel moves through it's complete travel, in our case 5", the shock should move through it's complete travel, in our case 2"... so the leverage ratio is 5:2 or 2.5, which is the number you see many of these calculators coming up with.

    The leverage ratio is not constant throughout the travel of the rear wheel - you can see the shock change angle as the rear wheel moves up. The way the leverage ratio changes depends on the suspension design... the problem we may be having is that each of these calculators was designed for a specific bike or suspension design, and they don't quite fit us right....

    Maybe...

    Anyway, I spoke with Universal Cycle and the guy I spoke with said the 550 lb spring sounded too high for my weight. But he said that they are a middleman for Fox - they take our orders and hand them off to Fox, they then receive the shock from Fox and just repack it and ship it to us.... basically, Fox chose the 550lb spring. Universal said they would contact Fox regarding the spring, if it's a mistake they will RMA the 550lb spring and send me the correct spring when they receive it from Fox.

    Unfortunately, based on your call with Fox, it might depend on who they reach over there... they may get the same guy that told you 600lb spring (and probably set me up with the 550lb spring) and they'll tell me that Fox says it's the correct spring for me....

    In any case, I have a local shop that has 350, 400, and 450 lb springs in stock and I can swing by and try them all - which I might do just to make sure I get it setup perfect.

    Thanks again for all the help with this....

    Funny thing about all this, it has made me realize one benefit of an air sprung shock (besides weight)... they're easier to tune - all you need is a pump, as oppose to swapping springs.... not really all that big a deal, since you only need to do it once.

  21. #21
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    This is so weird.... I just spoke with Fox... the tech guy was surprised to be getting so many calls on this - I think they just got a call from Universal as well, and probably your call.

    Anyway, they confirmed a 550 lb spring that for my weight and bike... I told him that the 550 doesn't setup the sag correctly, and brought up your setup - all he could tell me was to try a 400 or 450 and see how it goes....

    I emailed Jamis, they recommend a 400 lb spring.... BTW, they emailed me back in less then 1 hour - pretty cool customer service.

    I think I'll be going to my LBS and trying the different springs to avoid the whole RMA process.

  22. #22
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    Damn that's a nice shock!

    So I got the 400lb spring from my LBS - the 400 is perfect for me, sets the sag just right, at 25%.

    So I got the bike out last night on some moderately technical singletrack....

    All I can say is DAMN - that is one nice shock. I don't know if it's Fox or the character of a coil shock or both - but it's just SWEET! It tracked really nicely - the bike held a line better, and traction over obsticles and while climbing felt better... it really felt like a different bike.

    We'll see this weekend how it handles the more technical stuff and the drops...

    Universal Cycle is sending me a 350lb coil - I figured I have the 400lb coil, might as well trade the 550 in for a 350 and see how a plusher ride feels....

    Thanks for all your input chelboed....

  23. #23
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    So freakin' KEWL! I'm glad you're diggin' the Van. I totally love mine. I agree on the small to medium bump performance too...but what I was blown away at was the fact that you can set it up to handle small to medium bumps like a stinkin' La-Z-Boy cushion yet it still resists G-outs and drops like a mad fiend. It's not just the MCU bottom out either. Toward the end of stroke...it really gives the bumps "the finger" where the Fox Float R that I used to have pooped its britches.

    When I had the Float R set up plush, it would bottom out like a G-ride and bob like a chicken peckin' dinner. With it set up stiff enough to handle bigger stuff and pedal well...it was fairly rigid over small stuff.

    Good on ya! Glad to help.

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