Knolly/Avalanche Q & A

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  • 10-17-2012
    Dominator13
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    Knolly/Avalanche Q & A
    Not sure if we need a whole post dedicated to Knolly/Avalanche, but it seems like a lot of threads are springing up about the 2 awesome entities combining forces to make the ultimate ride. :thumbsup:

    This should allow Craig to go to one section and answer questions if he wishes to do so. Same with our own suspension gurus....or at least the guys who think they are gurus. :D
  • 10-18-2012
    bigcrs
    You beat me to it. I had a similar idea, for an Avalanche Q&A I reckon this forum is probably the best place for it.
  • 10-18-2012
    Dominator13
    I'll get it started.
    Craig,
    I have had this conversation with you and your explanation was excellent, so I thought those that don't understand could get a glimpse into that vault of suspension knowledge that you call a brain. :D

    What is you method and or reason for custom tuning the shocks you build?

    How does it affect each rider? i.e. weight, riding style, curves etc...

    What is the difference between your shock and say a CCDB?

    What is/was your connection to PUSH?

    What made you venture into the world of MTB from MOTO?


    Just a few questions to answer so that the Knollyaddicts can appreciate what you do and why you're doing it. :thumbsup:

    p.s. A side note. I just wanted to tell everyone that I am not in anyway shape or form associated with Avalanche Suspension. I have had the pleasure of talking to Craig, a Guru of Suspension, and using his product and it is really impressive what he knows and what it transforms your bike into.
  • 10-18-2012
    crseekins
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Dominator13 View Post
    Craig,
    I have had this conversation with you and your explanation was excellent, so I thought those that don't understand could get a glimpse into that vault of suspension knowledge that you call a brain. :D

    What is you method and or reason for custom tuning the shocks you build?

    How does it affect each rider? i.e. weight, riding style, curves etc...

    What is the difference between your shock and say a CCDB?

    What is/was your connection to PUSH?

    What made you venture into the world of MTB from MOTO?


    Just a few questions to answer so that the Knollyaddicts can appreciate what you do and why you're doing it. :thumbsup:

    p.s. A side note. I just wanted to tell everyone that I am not in anyway shape or form associated with Avalanche Suspension. I have had the pleasure of talking to Craig, a Guru of Suspension, and using his product and it is really impressive what he knows and what it transforms your bike into.

    Lets start with "the venture into the world of MTB from Motocross"

    We were fairly well established as a MX/Harescramble/Enduro suspension service(C Cycle) and revalving business in the 1990's. We had a track side service team van for all the local races in New England and provided support for our race team riders and racers for the race weekend. Many riders depended on us to be there for emergency service and set-up's for the race. Our race support helped our riders win many Championships, including riders like Doug Henry, Patrick Timothy and Tom Norton.

    We had started producing our own products to improve suspension performance. This company became know as "Racing Suspension Products". Performance product items such as the hydraulic oil lock systems and High/low adjusters:

    http://www.racingsuspensionproducts....cts/abskit.jpg
    http://www.racingsuspensionproducts....ts/forkadj.jpg
    http://www.racingsuspensionproducts....ducts/ua30.jpg

    With these products and what we learned from our racing experience we had very good success making these modifications to the MX Showa and KYB shocks and forks. The mountain bike industry really was just getting started and we saw an opportunity to jump into this market with a more robust and better performing fork and shock. Granted our first products the MTN-8 fork and MTN-3 shock were a bit over kill, but we wanted to show case our technology to the mountain bike community.

    http://www.avalanchedownhillracing.com/forkiso.jpghttp://www.avalanchedownhillracing.com/mtn3.jpg

    We went on to refine these products to be lighter and more cost effective and developed the DHF-8 fork, DHS and piggyback shocks:
    http://www.avalanchedownhillracing.c...ges/DHF8sm.jpghttp://www.avalanchedownhillracing.com/dhshr.jpg

    http://www.avalanchedownhillracing.com/woodiehrthb.jpgWoodiehttp://www.avalanchedownhillracing.com/chubiehrthb.jpgChubbie

    We had been modifying MX suspensions for many years and decided to use our Avalanche Suspension technology to modify and improve other manufacturers products. This became known as the "Avalanche Advantage Program". We started with progressive 5th elements and Swinger shocks. We then developed ABS systems for Marzocchi 888 forks. This seemed like a good performance gain but customers were looking for more mods to other forks and shocks. We went on to develop our Cartridge kits from our DHF damper design technology to fit Marzocchi and Rockshox forks. With even more customer requests we went on to transfer our Speed Sensitive Damper (SSD) designs to Fox forks and shocks.

    I will edit this post to answer the other questions as I get time over the next few days. Thank you for the opportunity to answer your questions.:)
  • 10-18-2012
    G-AIR
    Dom - Good call. Hopefully Craig will chime in and help educate us. I am running an AVY DHX and the AVY 170 Lyrik cartridge on my Chili.

    A question I had regarding my fork:
    How much influence does LSC have on small bump performance? To increase small bump performance is it better to decrease air pressure, open up LSC, or lower the oil levels? I know Craig recommends 20-22% sag, so I wouldn't want to go too low on the PSI. The AVY cart has great mid-stroke support so it seems like you can run it pretty soft and not worry about blowing through the middle stroke.

    The fork feels really good where its at, but I would love to increase the small bump performance just a bit. I guess I am trying to find the best combo of air psi, oil levels, and LSC. Any help would be appreciated.

    TG
  • 10-18-2012
    Rock dude
    I want to replace my DB air with a Woodie and also put a AVE cartridge in my coil 170 Lyrik.
    I can't afford to do both at the same time so I'm thinking to replace the DB air first and save up for the fork.
    What do you guys think?
  • 10-18-2012
    tiSS'er
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Rock dude View Post
    I want to replace my DB air with a Woodie and also put a AVE cartridge in my coil 170 Lyrik.
    I can't afford to do both at the same time so I'm thinking to replace the DB air first and save up for the fork.
    What do you guys think?

    Tough call, because both are upgrades over what you have IMO. I think the Woodie and CCDB coil are very close in performance, with the Woodie winning out for me, but I think the AVY cartridge is a bigger step forward in the fork. I think either way, you will be jones'n for the other. You will be underwhelmed by the part you don't replace.

    Wish I could provide you with a better answer. Maybe the Woodie so you can go coil. I think the bike climbs rediculously well with a coil.

    When you coming to town?
  • 10-18-2012
    Renegade
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Rock dude View Post
    I want to replace my DB air with a Woodie and also put a AVE cartridge in my coil 170 Lyrik.
    I can't afford to do both at the same time so I'm thinking to replace the DB air first and save up for the fork.
    What do you guys think?

    It doesn't matter which one you do first; as soon as you do which ever one, you will notice the need for the other. I did the fork first on my el guapo, and noticed that the vivid air r2c was lacking, and I put a chubbie on my 5 spot, and immediately noticed the stock lyrik fork was lagging behind [which I will cure real soon].
    So do which ever you can afford to first. Sell a kidney if that helps. :thumbsup:

    edit: after thinking about it, if you are looking at a woodie or chubbie as your shock choice, I would recommend doing that first. Biggest wham bam thank you mam for the buck, in your face what have I been doing riding this OEM crap of a shock all this time change.
  • 10-18-2012
    bigcrs
    Just curious, whats the shaft diameter of a Van rc v's the Woodie shaft?
  • 10-18-2012
    TSC
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Rock dude View Post
    I want to replace my DB air with a Woodie and also put a AVE cartridge in my coil 170 Lyrik.
    I can't afford to do both at the same time so I'm thinking to replace the DB air first and save up for the fork.
    What do you guys think?

    Fork first and get the new can for the DBair (heard it helps a lot); then the Woodie when you've got the extra cash.

    Edit: My opinion shouldn't be weighted as high as the others because they actually have the Woodie and Avy'd fork; furthermore, you probably ride similar terrain to them.
  • 10-19-2012
    qbert2000
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by TSC View Post
    get the new can for the DBair (heard it helps a lot); then the Woodie when you've got the extra cash.


    from people on chilis? what have you heard about it?
  • 10-19-2012
    qbert2000
    btw, this thread is a good idea, but would be even better in the suspension forum. if people here want to let others in on craig's products and services, it should be where it can help everyone the most, not just confined to knollys.

    it's nice to see avalanche getting some love. for years push has marketed themselves as the suspension mod leaders, while in reality, avalanche has been quietly turning out great stuff in relative obscurity.
  • 10-19-2012
    tiSS'er
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by qbert2000 View Post
    btw, this thread is a good idea, but would be even better in the suspension forum. if people here want to let others in on craig's products and services, it should be where it can help everyone the most, not just confined to knollys.

    it's nice to see avalanche getting some love. for years push has marketed themselves as the suspension mod leaders, while in reality, avalanche has been quietly turning out great stuff in relative obscurity.

    Well put
  • 10-19-2012
    aedubber
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Rock dude View Post
    I want to replace my DB air with a Woodie and also put a AVE cartridge in my coil 170 Lyrik.
    I can't afford to do both at the same time so I'm thinking to replace the DB air first and save up for the fork.
    What do you guys think?


    Fork DEF first , since the DB air is up there in performance . Your going to notice a night and day difference on the fork :thumbsup: .
  • 10-19-2012
    loamranger
    How does Avy compare with BOS? Anybody got experience of both?
  • 10-19-2012
    aedubber
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by loamranger View Post
    How does Avy compare with BOS? Anybody got experience of both?

    Simple , Avy is located in CT :thumbsup:
  • 10-19-2012
    tiSS'er
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by aedubber View Post
    Simple , Avy is located in CT :thumbsup:

    And has excellent customer service...should you ever need it.
  • 10-19-2012
    Rock dude
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by TSC View Post
    Fork first and get the new can for the DBair (heard it helps a lot); then the Woodie when you've got the extra cash.

    Edit: My opinion shouldn't be weighted as high as the others because they actually have the Woodie and Avy'd fork; furthermore, you probably ride similar terrain to them.

    Yea I think that may be the best way to go.
    I called Cane Creek and they told me that the new shock can will be under warranty (no charge) and they gave me the # for Garage Works to do the work. Has anyone used them?
    So Im thinking of sending the shock to Garage Works and the fork to Avalanche to get them both done at the same time. Or should I do the fork myself and save $100?
  • 10-19-2012
    loamranger
    I'm in the UK, so Avy is unknown here. Sounds like Avy's service is first rate, which is more than I can say for BOS. On performance I was wondering how they compare.
  • 10-19-2012
    craigstr
    I've used Steve at Garageworks to rebuild a few forks, he does good work but tends to take a bit longer the he promises.
  • 10-19-2012
    Renegade
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by loamranger View Post
    I'm in the UK, so Avy is unknown here. Sounds like Avy's service is first rate, which is more than I can say for BOS. On performance I was wondering how they compare.

    I have never ridden a BOS product, So I cannot compare the two. I have ridden just about every other product, including Cane Creek, Elka, Push modified shocks, and most stock air an coil shocks. I have now owned 5 [two currently] Avalanche rear shocks, and the Avalanche 20mm fork cartridge in my Lyrik. In my opinion, Avalanche is at the top of the list, in terms of performance, and customer service. You GET what you pay for, with no excuses, and no compromise, except a weight gain with the coil shocks.

    Edit: So you all know; I am not a sponsored Avalanche customer by any means. I pay full price, wait for my purchases as long as you do. For that, I get to ask as many stupid questions as you do, and I get the same patient responses, and attention, that Craig hands out to everyone.
    For you previous CCDB coil owners; my one experience with their coil shock; I REALLY liked the climbing performance that could be dialed in using the low speed compression and rebound adjusters. I felt like I could climb anything on a bike [2002 Turner RFX] that had lousy squating characteristics. Once the trail turned down-hill, the love affair was over. The high speed C+R cuircuits could not handle the speed of he action. They hydro-locked. I am not the only rider to experience this. I don't beleive that poppet style circuits can meet the demands needed in those situiations, compared to shimmed piston designs. Too little surface area/oil flow to be had.
  • 10-20-2012
    loamranger
    Thanks Renegade. I was hoping that Pergamonx might chime in here, because I know he has experience of both makes.

    tiSS'er, I can send you my Stoy for you to review if you're interested. I would need to get it retuned for the Chilcotin though first. Whats you weight?
  • 10-20-2012
    crseekins
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by bigcrs View Post
    Just curious, whats the shaft diameter of a Van rc v's the Woodie shaft?

    Fox VanRC/DHX 1/2 inch diameter

    RC4 5/8 inch diameter

    Elka 14 mm (.551 inch)

    Avalanche Woodie/Chubie/DHS 12.5 mm (.492 inch)
  • 10-20-2012
    pergamonx
    Cannot really contribute much for this comparison; having now feew forks whereof one is Deville, but nothing with avy-cartridge - and six shocks, inc. Vip`R and Woodie.

    Fork; been lucky(?) with Deville, ~16 months w/o any problems - only airseals has been changed once and oils now two times. If it should be air fork, my choice will still be Deville. W/o any mods it can handle my local trails as well as 30mins runs with steepest Alpine tracks Ive found. Ive some coils too, it`s hard to imagine better one than tuned 2012 36-Vanilla 160 RC2 Fit Ive is. Both works just I wish. Have tested friends Marz`s, Lyriks and Vengeances, with and without tunings - there`s difference, but it`s narrow, even if it exists... Testing avy-cartridge with fox 36 or with Lyrik has been in my mind sometimes - let`s see.

    Shocks: Vip`r is ok. I rank it in same level than my 2012 RP23. Both are tuned ones and therefore there`s really small difference between those - Vip`r is better in mid- end travel and Fox is smoother in beginning of stroke. Still IMO CCDB Air is better, no question. Vivid Air was nice too, but because of narrow adjustment ranges within each tune, it was tricky to adjust; gave mine to friend for long-time test...
    With coils Ive not tested Stage5 with Chili, but tried at least 4 different shimmings with my older frame and never reached what I wanted - sold that. Now I have CCDB coil with modified shims; stacks in compression side are softer and rebound side is faster in my version - really good - and new baby; Woodie. Have ridden only <30 hours with Woodie but in shitty conditions; wet and soft and over-streched ligaments on my left ankle - cannot yet really give any judgement. But at least I can say it`s as good as my tuned CCDB, might be better even.
  • 10-22-2012
    KRob
    Thought I would move my thoughts/questions/discoveries on my Avalanched DHX 5.0 over here rather than hi-jack TSC's thread.

    I got my avalanched DHX 5.0 back from craig the day before I left for Whistler so hadn't had a chance to get it mounted up on my DT until yesterday.

    First ride was a long fire road climb followed by a steep, techy in places, fast choppy in others, and steep, rutted, rocky, and fast at the end descent (Whore House Hill for those who know the Fears Tears and Beers final descent).

    I also thought the rebound was a little fast at 8 out and may slow down the compression a bit too for climbing. I always got a little bob from my uber plush-at-the-top 66RC3 but now the super plush shock gets both ends kind of see-sawing rocking horse style while pedaling up long fire roads a bit if I'm not really smooth on my stroke.

    On the fast choppy parts of my descent yesterday I absolutely loved the AVY'd shock. Very "unstopped" as someone said. Active, yet controlled.

    Loved how it landed drops. Very plush with no spiking and a nice ramp-up at the end.

    On more technical slow to medium speed stuff I didn't notice any huge improvement. In fact the whole bike just felt tall, awkward, and tippy. Not sure if this is because I just got back from three days at WBP on a full DH rig or something different about the way the shock makes the back end feel or maybe how it affects the balance between the fork and shock. Maybe just noticing the old-school geometry a bit more after riding the Chili, RM Slayer, and Giant Glory, in BC? Don't know. Thoughts anyone?

    I need to fine tune the shock settings but what others said about the fork now feeling like the weak link is true. Used to be very happy with my fork and the shock was holding things back, now the fork doesn't seem quite as good as the shock.

    Once I get the shock adjustments sorted, I suspect the fork is going to really need some avy attention to keep up.

    Just need to decide how much money I'm going to throw at this bike if I'm just going to turn around and sell it.