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  1. #1
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    I don't manage technical climbs on nomad?!

    I got a new Nomad a couple of weeks ago, and I need help if I am to keep this bike at all.. I pretty much only demoed it going downhill, which was fine. Everyone said it climbed great and that they couldn't even feel "pedal feedback", so i figured it wouldn't be an issue.

    I used to be the person who got up every steep technical climb, but not anymore. When climbing steep technical terrain the bike almost stop my pedaling when the suspension is compressed. My legs don't like it at all and I get exhausted way earler than before due to "uneven" pedaling. I use to have high cadence, smooth round pedal stroke. I've been wondering about changing my setup from 24-34 front 11-32 rear to 24 32 and 11-34 or just get rid of the granny. I just CANT USE IT. My legs prefer high smooth cadence and getting rid of the granny wouldn't do me much good on hard technical climbs.

    Someone please give me a clue about how to fix this.. Might pushing the DHX-C help?

    ~215lbs geared up, 550 spring, no propedal, 100 psi in boostvalve and bottom out about 1/3 in from full out. Haven't had time to fiddle too much with suspension yet. I did however not like the feeling of the shock for trailriding when having 130+ psi in the boost valve.

    I'd really appreciate help and tips about what can help..

  2. #2
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    I used to get pedal feedback in the granny and 4th that was really noticable, the other gear combinations didin't seem affected. Since switching to a different shock (from the dhx-c to a ccdb) it's still there but no where near as bad. Getting the cadence right is the important thing i reckon. You don't want to be spinning flat out but not too slow either. I'm running a 24/36 with an 11-34 cassette. I've found the Nomad to climb much better than my previous horst link equipped bike.

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    I found with my DHX-5 on my 07 Heckler that I had to put on 1-2 clicks of pro pedal it really smoothed out the pedalling, 90psi in my boostvalve,
    I'm probably 200+lbs and run a 450lb spring, the bottom out is at factory setting and I started with minimum rebound and added one click until the ride felt good, I had a similar problem myself,with the technical climbs (22-32 on the front and 11-34 rear.) front fork set up made a difference also, it's taken me 2 months to finally get a set up that suits most riding, I also changed my bars from 3/4" rise to a 2" and 1" wider,
    I had a demo ride on the Nomad great bike , touch and go between it and the Heckler,

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by crank1979@optusnet.com.au
    I used to get pedal feedback in the granny and 4th
    As in the 4th from from the top on the cog? Interesting since I tend to use the third and fourth from the top for pretty much all my steep technical climbing.

    I don't really understand why the third or fourth should be any worse than the rest though. Would they still be if I changed chainring to 26 and used 1-2 in the rear?

    I would be just fine with 26 as granny, but 32 teeth would be a little big for me since my legs prefer a rather high cadence at all times.

    CCDB is better than the DHX-C at removing the sensation of pedal feedback? Too bad it's so expensive. If I decide to keep the frame I might shell out for a CCDB with TI spring

    Could it be related to bike setup beside the shock?
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  5. #5
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    What bike did you ride before the Nomad?

    The Nomad does have a fair amount of pedal feedback in the small front ring.

  6. #6
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    Hmm. What were you riding before? I haven't ridden a VPP bike in a while, but as I recall they're way different than most other full suspension bikes. Could just be a learning curve thing. I tend to use a low gear/high cadence style when climbing on my Heckler, but the Blurs I've ridden seemed to want to hammer a little bit more.

  7. #7
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    I am suspicious that it's a learning curve thing. I have found that I can climb technical and rocky trails much better on a VPP than on a single pivot suspension design. I've also noticed some feedback when I'm in the small chainring and not pedaling in smooth circles but you can turn that into a good thing when things get bumpy. The strength of the VPP comes out when climbing rough terrain in the seated position because the rear end stays active enough to keep traction and tractor through rocky terrain. You will need to learn how to balance your weight fore and aft, it's different than other bikes. I think if you like to spin a super high cadence you will find that the Nomad appreciates using more balance and bursts of power, it will come in handy when climbing looser/bigger rocks. It's possible that the Nomad may not climb your old trails as fast as your old bike but I doubt it can be blamed for not making it up. The Nomad is a heavier bike than alot of other trailbikes, I suspect you may be coming off of a lighter bike, am I right? I've got a Superlight and I can think of plenty of rocky trails that I can't ride faster or clean as easily as I can on the Nomad. Obviously, if the climb is smoother and traction is good the single pivot Superlight will blaze up it. If you're coming off of a lighter trailbike, you will get stronger riding the Nomad and learn to appreciate the advantages you will gain from the increased wheelbase and suspension over time, especially if your trails allow for it. You may also want to try fine tuning your riding position and set up. IMO, I think you should use more air in the boost and more propedal. I'd suggest 150 in the boost with propedal towards the middle. Call Fox and Santa Cruz about fine tuning your rear shock. Also, don't underestimate the importance of proper pressures in the fork as well, that's huge. The Nomad is definately a bike with a learning curve. Just keep riding, I'm sure that once you get it, you'll understand what makes this bike so much fun!

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Intrepidity
    ~215lbs geared up, 550 spring, no propedal, 100 psi in boostvalve and bottom out about 1/3 in from full out. Haven't had time to fiddle too much with suspension yet. I did however not like the feeling of the shock for trail riding when having 130+ psi in the boost valve.

    I'd really appreciate help and tips about what can help..
    Funny you mention the boostvalve...I originally had mine set to the posted min. of 75psi. I just checked it (because of this thread, and the 1st time in like 8 months) and it was more like 65psi. That being said, I also run my bottom out on the middle setting unless I know I'm doing a bunch of drops and jumps on a long DH sections (then I run it fully open on the 3rd line). I run my propedal high when doing long climbs, and the rest of the time zero or two clicks from fully off. I ride the 550 spring and I'm 215lbs without gear.

    I believe the bottom out setting has some effect on boost valve psi (correct me if I'm wrong). So you could try reseting everything and starting from scratch. Try setting the boostvalve to 125psi and adjusting 10 ~ 15 psi +/- from there depending if you want a softer or firmer propedal.

    You've probably already see this but it's the exact quote coming from Fox's Tech Center web-site.
    Quote Originally Posted by Fox
    ProPedal + Boost Valve Interaction

    Certain aspects of the Boost Valve can influence the ProPedal adjustment.

    If the ProPedal adjustment knob is fully counterclockwise (lightest ProPedal damping position) and the compression damping is still too strong, attach a shock pump to the Schrader valve on the reservoir and reduce the pressure 10 – 15 psi. Repeat to achieve the desired compression damping.

    If there is not enough compression damping with the ProPedal knob fully clockwise, add 10 – 15 psi to the Boost Valve until desired compression damping is achieved.
    So, with all that in mind, I've never bottomed out my shock, nor have I felt any real pedal bob. I think something someone else mentioned about body position is pretty key as well. I stay seated most of the time while climbing, but when I do get up and power it down I feel most of the bobbing from the fork. I could pop my gate-valve to decrease it but these sections on my local rides are pretty short so no real need to pop when I seated 80% of the climbing.
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  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Intrepidity
    As in the 4th from from the top on the cog? Interesting since I tend to use the third and fourth from the top for pretty much all my steep technical climbing.

    I don't really understand why the third or fourth should be any worse than the rest though. Would they still be if I changed chainring to 26 and used 1-2 in the rear?

    I would be just fine with 26 as granny, but 32 teeth would be a little big for me since my legs prefer a rather high cadence at all times.

    CCDB is better than the DHX-C at removing the sensation of pedal feedback? Too bad it's so expensive. If I decide to keep the frame I might shell out for a CCDB with TI spring

    Could it be related to bike setup beside the shock?
    I don't know why i noticed it more in 4th than any of the other gears. I had a 26T granny for a few weeks with the DHX-C and found 3rd or 5th to be the worst gear with that combo. I can't remember which exactly but it was one side of 4th.

    Yes i think it definitely could be related to bike set up. I am able to run more sag with the CCDB simply because the damping control is that much better than the DHX-C. Obviously i'm riding it further into the rear suspension travel and probably at a part that affects chain growth less.

  10. #10
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    My last bike was a Rocky Mountain Slayer. I changed bacause I wanted something new with a bit more big hit compability. Pretty much just moved all the parts from the Slayer to the Nomad.. I might switch the Pike for larger fork later on. Should I get travel adjustable fork or would a Lyrik solo air be just fine? For some reason I've gotten more fond of RS forks than Fox forks.. Manitou don't have and service centre here, so that's out of the question.

    A positive note about climbing: The nomad tend to wander less with the front wheel than the slayer, and it's easier to keep it on the line with climbing. If the pedal feedback issue dissappear with some time on the saddle I'd be very satisfied :-)

    Quote Originally Posted by crank1979@optusnet.com.au
    Yes i think it definitely could be related to bike set up. I am able to run more sag with the CCDB simply because the damping control is that much better than the DHX-C. Obviously i'm riding it further into the rear suspension travel and probably at a part that affects chain growth less.
    More sag AND less pedal feedback.. Yep, I do want a CCDB. I prefer to have a fair ammount of negative travel in order to be smooth and go fast downhill. With the correct spring on the DHX-C I don't get quite as much sag as I would like, and with a softer spring the bike was totally crap.. It just blew through the travel and had more pedal feedback.

    I'll give it some time. I might be able to get sort of around the problem if some gears are more affected than others. Would also be possible to test a one-ring-solution up front with 32 teeth and 11-34 cog. If the bike seems fine and the pedal feedback issue is livable, I'll probably get a CCDB :-)

    100 posts since july 2004! I should celebrate! :-)

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Intrepidity
    I got a new Nomad a couple of weeks ago, and I need help if I am to keep this bike at all.. I pretty much only demoed it going downhill, which was fine. Everyone said it climbed great and that they couldn't even feel "pedal feedback", so i figured it wouldn't be an issue.

    I used to be the person who got up every steep technical climb, but not anymore. When climbing steep technical terrain the bike almost stop my pedaling when the suspension is compressed. My legs don't like it at all and I get exhausted way earler than before due to "uneven" pedaling. I use to have high cadence, smooth round pedal stroke. I've been wondering about changing my setup from 24-34 front 11-32 rear to 24 32 and 11-34 or just get rid of the granny. I just CANT USE IT. My legs prefer high smooth cadence and getting rid of the granny wouldn't do me much good on hard technical climbs.

    Someone please give me a clue about how to fix this.. Might pushing the DHX-C help?

    ~215lbs geared up, 550 spring, no propedal, 100 psi in boostvalve and bottom out about 1/3 in from full out. Haven't had time to fiddle too much with suspension yet. I did however not like the feeling of the shock for trailriding when having 130+ psi in the boost valve.

    I'd really appreciate help and tips about what can help..

    Adding propedal could help, that said, my VP Free climbs better in 2nd or 3rd gear when in granny & spinning vs. mashing on th' steeper techy climbs. The spinning aspect seems to work really well w/an active rear suspension allowing the bike to float over all but the worst stuff. I'm runnin' 26-36 rings, an 11-34 cassette and a CCDB. Sweet shock. I have a PUSH'd DHX for my back up. The CCDB is the better shock IMO. I swap them out for a week or so sometimes just for a change. I'm always glad to put th' CCDB back on.
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  12. #12
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    My experience with a Fox RP3

    I was lucky enough to find an RP3 shock that fits my Nomad and it works wonders to avoid that pedal feedback. No...I am not talking about the Fox Float R. I just looked and found an 8.5 eye to eye RP3. If you cant find one just get a Float R and have it pushed. That saves some weight. The CCDB was always an option but I cant seem to get the weight on that baby. Can anybody guesstimate the weight of the CCDB with either steel or ti spring?

  13. #13
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    Sag and VPP

    Quote Originally Posted by Intrepidity
    My last bike was a Rocky Mountain Slayer. I changed bacause I wanted something new with a bit more big hit compability. Pretty much just moved all the parts from the Slayer to the Nomad.. I might switch the Pike for larger fork later on. Should I get travel adjustable fork or would a Lyrik solo air be just fine? For some reason I've gotten more fond of RS forks than Fox forks.. Manitou don't have and service centre here, so that's out of the question.

    A positive note about climbing: The nomad tend to wander less with the front wheel than the slayer, and it's easier to keep it on the line with climbing. If the pedal feedback issue dissappear with some time on the saddle I'd be very satisfied :-)



    More sag AND less pedal feedback.. Yep, I do want a CCDB. I prefer to have a fair ammount of negative travel in order to be smooth and go fast downhill. With the correct spring on the DHX-C I don't get quite as much sag as I would like, and with a softer spring the bike was totally crap.. It just blew through the travel and had more pedal feedback.

    I'll give it some time. I might be able to get sort of around the problem if some gears are more affected than others. Would also be possible to test a one-ring-solution up front with 32 teeth and 11-34 cog. If the bike seems fine and the pedal feedback issue is livable, I'll probably get a CCDB :-)

    100 posts since july 2004! I should celebrate! :-)
    While sag can obviously affect any suspension design's performance, I think it may be a little more critical on the VPP. I think too much sag on a Nomad has a real negative effect on this bike. The DHX Air is notorious for allowing the bike to settle too far into its travel. That "sweet spot" design on the VPP works excellently when set up right. This is probably why the Nomad works so well with shocks that have no pedal platform. However, too much sag on just about any shock on a VPP bike will allow the axle to move out of that sweet spot, thereby upsetting the design performance of the rear suspension.

    Think about it. The suspension on a VPP bike is designed to work by keeping the rear axle in a "pocket" while the rider is scooting down the trail under more "normal" conditions. If the bike is set up with a pedal platform shock and then has to also contend with the VPP design, then you can see that pocket makes it harder for the axle to move out of that pocket, thereby making the small bump compliance harsher, which can make it harder to keep the rear tire in contact with the ground and increasing the sensation of pedal feedback. Now...suspension setup can be very preferential among different riders, but in general, I think some riders don't experiment enough with their shock tuning to get the best out of their VPP bikes...or they don't have the best rear shock for their bike. I know that SC sends out most of their Nomads with DHX Airs and DHX coils, when perhaps the plain-jane new piggyback Vanilla R might be even better. This is probably why those using the CCDB are so happy with the performace. No, I'm not making the claim that the Vanilla R is on par with the CCDB, but the lack of aggressive pedal platform devices in those shocks fits the design of the VPP bikes quite well IMO. A very active rear shock is allowed to work as designed in concert with the VPP design.

    Some may complain that the VPP design sounds too complicated in light of this explanation that I just described, but I like the idea of using a more simple shock design to work in a suspension design that produces the desired efficiency for you. An active rear shock on a Nomad set up in the proper manner with the proper ride height produces a very controlled but supple and compliant rear wheel action. Many bike riders are notorious for setting their suspensions up too stiffly for what they perceive will be an efficiency benefit. This will yield poor performance on a Nomad just as much as setting it up too softly. I have a coil shock and air shock for use on my Nomad, and neither have any pedal-platform-specific devices. With these shocks, pedaling efficiency is awesome, small bump compliance is excellent, and climbing capability is outstanding.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by TNC
    While sag can obviously affect any suspension design's performance, I think it may be a little more critical on the VPP. I think too much sag on a Nomad has a real negative effect on this bike. The DHX Air is notorious for allowing the bike to settle too far into its travel. That "sweet spot" design on the VPP works excellently when set up right. This is probably why the Nomad works so well with shocks that have no pedal platform. However, too much sag on just about any shock on a VPP bike will allow the axle to move out of that sweet spot, thereby upsetting the design performance of the rear suspension.
    Out of curiosity how much travel do see under normal riding conditions with your ISX? With that shock you won't have much initial sag so overall travel seems to be a better indicator of suspension performance/small bump compliance.

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by Intrepidity
    My last bike was a Rocky Mountain Slayer. I changed bacause I wanted something new with a bit more big hit compability. Pretty much just moved all the parts from the Slayer to the Nomad.. I might switch the Pike for larger fork later on. Should I get travel adjustable fork or would a Lyrik solo air be just fine? For some reason I've gotten more fond of RS forks than Fox forks.. Manitou don't have and service center here, so that's out of the question.
    I'm running the RS Lyrik Solo and love it! I originally wanted the U-turn but I've found that I'm pretty much of the "set it and leave it" mentality. The only thing I really mess with occasionally on the fork is the 'gate valve' setting.
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  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mountain_Man
    Out of curiosity how much travel do see under normal riding conditions with your ISX? With that shock you won't have much initial sag so overall travel seems to be a better indicator of suspension performance/small bump compliance.
    Funny that this came up now. I got a PM awhile back from someone who is associated with someone else who was with Manitou. Sorry from being so cryptic, but since the person PM'ing me didn't post it publicly, I didn't see fit to quote them by name. The person suggested that the individual from Manitou stated that the IFP in the ISX should run higher pressures than the 50 or so that we have been using. The reason...a low pressure allegedly doesn't allow the IFP to remain in the position that it is designed to operate in, thus not allowing full travel. Allegedly the correct pressure for this shock is supposed to be a fixed 140 psi in the piggyback. The main chamber pressure is then adjusted accordingly to get proper sag and full travel. This sounds rather strange, but hey...I'm no engineer, and I didn't design the shock.

    This very evening I tried this high pressure in the piggyback suggestion on a long ride, and frankly I thought the shock felt like poo. The low pressure in the main chamber required to get the shock to work allowed it to sink too far into its travel too easily...the result was more of a DHXA situation with blowing through the mid-stroke. I brought my pump along for this experiment, so I went back to my original settings. The shock worked fine again which is to say, excellently. Just thought I'd throw this out for what it's worth, but it seems counterproductive for what this shock is supposed to deliver. I can't swear that the suggestion has no merit. Perhaps someone else, or the person who PM'ed me, can chime in with any additional info. I'm quite happy with the performance of the shock using the adjustable bottomout pressure as described in the rather limited owner's manual. This sounds more logical since people are going to need or want different bottomout tuning for different bikes and different riding styles. Yeah, there is the "quick change" volume knob that would affect bottomout, but having to use a "fixed" 140 psi seems odd since it would remove the progressive tuning...a nice feature of "pressure & volume" that can really make a difference. Then it also brings up the question of what volume position you should have dialed in when you inject that 140 psi.

    I'm posting this long-winded explanation of the whole scenario here for any potential discussion or words of wisdom/experience with this shock. As to your question about how much travel I'm getting...I haven't seen a full 2.5" stroke on this shock yet. Under the most extreme conditions, there still seems to be about an 1/8th of an inch left in the shock. This may not be odd, because I see a similar thing in my 8.5 X 2.5 Manitou 4-Way Air on a Bullit. I believe Manitou uses an elastomer-style bottomout bumper in their air shocks, and this may be accounted for in that 1/8th inch. I don't know...I'm thoroughly satisfied with way the ISX-6 works on the Nomad. And yes, I ended up tuning this shock with an overall travel method, because I'm sure as you noticed with yours, it already rides higher in its travel than any other air shock I've seen. You definitely don't have to worry about the Nomad sinking past its sweet spot with this shock.

  17. #17
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    Nomad uphill

    I'm new to the XC scene but I've only been on my new Nomad for three rides and compared to my vpfree it goes uphill with out any problems I do have a Dhx coil on it with a 500lb spring (I'm 185 6'1) I found running the pro pedal all the way on up and 1/2 to all the way off going down, I'm also running a single 36 up front. so far so good.

  18. #18
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    I find super-technical climbing difficult on my Nomad for sure. It works flawlessly in every other situation though. There is this one huge boulder in one of the local climbs here that is good demonstration; it's on the upside of a g-out and is virtually vertical and slick. It's almost impossible on the Nomad.

    On any other bike it is tough, but easily doable after awhile. I did it yesterday on the first try on a demo Kona XC bike, a totally foreign bike, but on my own bike that I have been riding daily for 3+ months it's HARD! Coming out of the g-out the bike is rebounding and feels like it wants to bouce off the rock, it's hard to find your feet too because of the kickback. I'm running a Roco TST w/ Ti spring.
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  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by TNC
    And yes, I ended up tuning this shock with an overall travel method, because I'm sure as you noticed with yours, it already rides higher in its travel than any other air shock I've seen. You definitely don't have to worry about the Nomad sinking past its sweet spot with this shock.
    I have been slowly decreasing pressure in the ISX main chamber to deliver more shock travel. I would say that the Nomad has better small bump compliance and to the OP's question it is easier to accomplish technical climbing with the longer more compliant travel that the lower main chamber pressure facilitates. Spring rate definitely does make a difference with this suspension design and I suspect that most people do start out with a spring that is initially too stiff. The capability to quickly adjust spring rate with an air shock is a real benefit in tuning the overall suspension performance.

    The higher initial suspension position definitely makes a real difference as far as suspension performance is concerned. About 60 to 65 psi in the IFP and 175-180 psi in the main seem to work well for me.

  20. #20
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    TNC - as you know mine arrived today and yes it came from the factory with 140psi in the piggyback.

    Like you said it feels out of whack at that pressure. Is it likelyu to damage the shock at 60psi?
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  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by benzology
    TNC - as you know mine arrived today and yes it came from the factory with 140psi in the piggyback.

    Like you said it feels out of whack at that pressure. Is it likelyu to damage the shock at 60psi?
    Possible damage...air leaking past the IFP...is what the person who PM'd suggested. The only reason I'm suspicious of this not being the case is that I'm relatively sure that the piggyback design on the non-SPV ISX-6 is going to be similar to the original SPV piggyback design. I think they just changed the circuitry as to how the piggyback influences the performance of the shock...bottomout only as to bottomout "and" pedal platform on the SPV models. Now...if the original design of the SPV system can run pressures down to 50 psi with no issue, why can't the "bottom-out only" aspect of the ISX-6 do the same? And while the manual is somewhat limited, it does indicate that it covers the ISX-6 with the other shocks and tuning issues listed. You'd think they clearly warn the user of this potentially disastrous element. I've had 3 of those 4-Way Air models on different bikes over the years, and I've run very low pressures at times on those shocks with no issue whatsoever. My take is that the piggyback, IFP designs on the ISX and 4-Way versions are probably the same...only the circuitry influence is designed differently. Yes...this is speculative on my part.

    But hey...as I said...I don't work for Manitou and I'm certainly no suspension engineer.

  22. #22
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    PUSH'd DHXC + fork choice

    [QUOTE=
    Could it be related to bike setup beside the shock?[/QUOTE]

    I had the same dilema you describe. Pretty much my only strength on a mtb is technical climbs. I debated wether or not to get the Nomad, but in the end I decided it would make me a better all around rider without sacrificing too much on the climbs.

    Initial setup: DHXC + Lyrik 2-step. I chose the 2-step so I could drop the front for the climbs. This logic seemed ok based on my old Blur with a Talas 32 which climbed much better @ 100mm vs 130. I found tho that I got more pedal feedback and rear end jacking with the Nomad & the Lyrik @ 115mm vs 160, I went from a 500# spring to a 550# (I'm 210-215 w/ gear) and found some improvement, but never really liked the Lyrik in 115 mode. Then I got the shock PUSHd and that made a huge difference. I could ride a lot more sag without the feedback & actually went back to the 500# spring. Then the 2-step cartrige started to fade and was dropping the first 2" of travel during normal riding and I found I was having trouble climbing again. I ditched the Lyrik for an 08 VAN and it balances the bike much better and I feel I can climb as good as I did on the Blur and almost as good as on the old Superlite. I run a 22-32 to 11-34. Mostly use 32-34 for climbing and drop into 22-34 if it gets hairy.

    I'd say PUSH the shock (unless you can spring for the CCDB) and ditch the Pike for a coil fork w/ 160+mm.

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