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  1. #1
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    Helius CC rear shock question

    At the moment I've got a DT SSD Swiss 190L rear shock on my Nicolai Helius CC.

    Yesterday me and my mate went to Llandegla, he had a demo Transition Bandit with a Kashima coated RP23.

    The suspension designs seem pretty similar and they both have 130mm of rear travel, we swapped bikes a couple of times and both came to the conclusion that mine was quicker to accelerate, pedalled along and climbed better, but the Bandit felt better taking hits and was smoother on the rougher stuff.

    Now this got me wondering would the Nicolai benefit from a "better" rear shock such as a RP23 or a Monarch 4.2 or the like? Or am I imagining things and it's more down to the bike?

  2. #2
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    You're not imagining it; I hate to say it but the DT Swiss shocks are diabolical in terms of performance. I have ridden one several times and reached the conclusion that they've barely got any damping oil inside them, so you're running the thing almost entirely on the air spring, which makes it almost impossible to get it set up to work well. Have enough air pressure to support your weight and it feels like a lump of rock; set it up with the right amount of sag and it just blows through it's travel.

    I read a review of a whole range of shocks in MBR a few years ago. They had a guy from K9 Inudstries do a range of dyno tests on these shocks and the conclusion was that the DT Swiss was basically useless and had little or no compression and rebound damping.

    So, the emphatic answer to your question, in my view, is yes, your Nic could be massively improved with something other than a DT Swiss pogo stick in a can!

    Oh and your suspension designs are quite different even if they do have the same amount of travel. The Transition is a single pivot, the Nic is a horst link. Doesn't mean that one is better than the other, but they are different.

    The Monarch Plus seems to get very good reviews; the RP23 BV is OK but its not great. I'm personally thinking of going with a Bos Vip'r but that might be a bit of big step in terms of set up from the DT.

  3. #3
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    Ian,

    Thanks for the constructive reply, I've got a RP3 in the shed that needs a service so I'll get that done and tuned for the bike.

    The bandit isn't single pivot, there's a pivot on the seat stay too and one at each end of the link, I think it's a faux bar?

    Would love a Boss but can't afford it at the moment.

  4. #4
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    Er, it's Greg actually, but you can call me Ian if it makes your socks roll up and down

    The Bandit's pivot on the seat stay does indeed make it a faux bar, which is another name for a single pivot. Basically the rear wheel is directly connected to the arm that is pivoting off the main frame, making it a single pivot.

  5. #5
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    Just had a similar situation swapped my DT Swiss 190 for a Fox RP23 and it is a very different ride. I can feel the rear of the bike working through its travel more "fluidly" if that makes sense with the Fox.But I'm not convinced about the impact of the propedal setting I find it difficult to discern a difference.
    Richard

  6. #6
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    I believe it's David that makes his socks roll up and down. Oh no wait.....

  7. #7
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    I get ya, thanks then for explaining that.

    Who's Dave?

    The RP3 is heading to Loco soon to get sorted & tuned

  8. #8
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    We have a client that has used in his Helius CC the DT and the Fox Shock, Now he is using a Bos VipR and he said that the Bos is the best

  9. #9
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    Bloody hell they're 479!!!

    A CCDB is only 499

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by steve_b77 View Post
    I get ya, thanks then for explaining that.

    Who's Dave?

    The RP3 is heading to Loco soon to get sorted & tuned
    I'm David. And let me out of this please.

    Quote Originally Posted by NicoleB28 View Post
    topless. that's what all mtb girls do. we go ride, get topless, have pillow fights in the woods, scissor, then ride home!

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by geetee1972 View Post
    ...... the Nic is a horst link. Doesn't mean that one is better than the other, but they are different.

    The Monarch Plus seems to get very good reviews; the RP23 BV is OK but its not great. I'm personally thinking of going with a Bos Vip'r but that might be a bit of big step in terms of set up from the DT.
    It`s true that Nic is horst link, but the major difference between Nics and many other frames having same amount of rear travel is the steeply falling rate suspension curve Nic have. It`s not easy to tune shock working well enough in such rear end.

    Ive tested quite many air shocks with AC, CC is bit different but basically same still. Character of DT Swiss shocks actually supports rather well Helius rear suspension, if your riding weight is under ~75kg. Still I agree that typically they does not offer much control and and if you`re heavier rider, getting them working well is practically no_go.

    All those other air shocks Ive tested, with the exception of Vip`R, have been only ok when using factory tunes. With Monach, Vivid Air and RP23 there have been need at least to adjust air can volumes (decrease) and set higher negative pressures.

    Vip`R is more tuned for specific frame - mine was tuned for older AC, but also with that tune I needed few more O-rings to reduce air volume before I got what I wanted.

    So my conclusion is that if you`re lucky, you can get factory-tuned air-shock which does
    not need any more tuning. But in most cases, there`s need for rider/frame-specific tuning.

    If anyone is going to new air shock for helius-type frame - go for VipR

  12. #12
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    Well, I decided against sending the shock off to get it serviced as the kit is only 20 delivered and a service is 70.

    So I bought the kit, pulled the shock apart, replaced all the seals and stuff, lubed it up, put it back together and re-fitted it to the bike.

    Set the sag at 25% which took 30psi more than before I serviced the shock, so I guess there must've been some serious stiction going on and I guess it would explain why the shock seemed to use all it's travel very easily and seem a bit rubbish at climbing.

    The "bouncing up and down while riding round the garden test" seemed to go well, and I'm off to Llandegla tomorrow to get it dialled in, hopefully I've solved my shock woes for now.

    Time to take the forks apart and give them a service

  13. #13
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    Taking Pergamonx's comments in to consideration regarding the steeply falling rate suspension cuvre on the CC; am I correct in thinking that as the suspension travel proceeds towards maximum more "force" is required to support it? i.e. if you increase the compression within the air-can this would counter act the falling rate suspension curve and provide more "support" through the stroke?

    The only way I can see that the compression can be increased through the stroke is to fit one of these Fox Float Air Can tuning kit.

    They seem t get good reviews on line and provide a relative simple way of tuning the shock, I can only assume this is what specalists use when you send the shock off to get "tuned" by them?

  14. #14
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    Interesting thread, which I just stumbled onto.

    I posted in the Beginners' Corner recently (being a beginner you see), complaining of very bumpy riding on terrain that consists of constant small bumps.

    Juddery back end: what can affect this?

    Anyway, the one thing I haven't been able to sort is how juddery the back of the bike feels when I am going downhill on particularly rocky parts. Even going half as fast as the guys I ride with (who are less chicken and more skilled admittedly), I feel like my eyes are going to bounce out of my head, there's so much shaking going on. It feels like this is coming via the pedals as I don't notice any force being transmitted through my arms or from the front - might be just my perception though.
    I wasn't sure if it was a technique or setup thing, but I got a lot of tips. Interestingly though, I have a Helius AC with a DT Swiss XM 180. (Looking at pergamonx's comment re: rider weight, I can say I am about 88kg.) I've tried quite a wide range of air pressures in the shock and still get the problem.

    Could the shock selection be a possible factor for me? Certainly seems possible based on what I've read above. I am generally pretty happy with how my bike is going, other than this one point.

  15. #15
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    tantrumizer - yup!

    Due to my recent revelation and change to a Fox RP3 the ride is a LOT smoother, it doesn't feel as "boingy" as stated in my OP and the bike handles hits better.

    I've ridden it back to back on the same trail with the two different shocks and i was definately faster on the down hill & techy sections with the Fox than the DT.

    It doesn't climb quite as well, but we're only talking maybe 5% slower, but it sure makes up for that on anything that isn't up hill

  16. #16
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    Interesting, thanks SteveB. My christmas list may need to be reconfigured.

  17. #17
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    Another update on the shock front:

    I was noticing that despite setting the sag correctly (25%) the shock was sitting well into it's travel when climbing, so a bit of t'internet research revealed the Fox air-can tuning kits.

    I bought one, unscrewed the air can and slotted the medium sized compression shim in to place.

    Set the sag to 25% again, same pressure as before the shim was fitted and went back to Llandegla to test the shock on the same trails to get a fair comparison.

    The shock sits higher in it's travel when climbing and tracks the ground just as well, but it doesn't blow through the mid stroke as much and now ramps up really nicely on bigger hits, such as those on the freeride section.

    All in all the bike rides much better and feels like more of an all round trail bike than a XC blaster, which is what i was after, most happy with the result.

  18. #18
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    Nice mod. Glad you like it.

  19. #19
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    Well it's saved me a small fortune in getting a new shock

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