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  1. #1
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    VP-Free with Short Shock (merged thread)

    Can you put a different size shock on a VPfree to change it to a 6-7 inch travel?
    I've heard some people talking about it, and i was just wondering if anyone tried it here.
    Thanx

  2. #2
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    Quote Originally Posted by zachdank
    Can you put a different size shock on a VPfree to change it to a 6-7 inch travel?
    I've heard some people talking about it, and i was just wondering if anyone tried it here.
    Thanx

    I did a search a last week and found a Free with a 8.5 x 2.5 rear shock . I believe it makes for 7" rear travel. I think there was also some discussion on RM as well. I am looking into a Free for DH but @ some point may want to make it into a trail bike - i'd do the 8.5 x 2.5 to lower the BB height.

  3. #3
    rollin
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    Quote Originally Posted by zachdank
    Can you put a different size shock on a VPfree to change it to a 6-7 inch travel?
    I've heard some people talking about it, and i was just wondering if anyone tried it here.
    Thanx
    photo john put a 8.5x2.5 dhx on his vpfree, making it a mini free with 180mm of travel.

    they talk about it in this thread:
    http://forums.mtbr.com/showthread.ph...15276#poststop

  4. #4
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    yes you can

    aked sc tech about running a dhx air (this shock is now a sc build option) and being that the dhx air isn't available in a 8.75 x 2.75 if they had a special version anyways here's the answer

    "we use the 8.75" x 2.5" (dhx air) version on the Free. You do lose a little bit of travel, but there is no way around that really.... The travel ends up at around 7.75".

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gripo
    aked sc tech about running a dhx air (this shock is now a sc build option) and being that the dhx air isn't available in a 8.75 x 2.75 if they had a special version anyways here's the answer

    "we use the 8.75" x 2.5" (dhx air) version on the Free. You do lose a little bit of travel, but there is no way around that really.... The travel ends up at around 7.75".

    That's the same length but a different stroke ??? I can see the advantage of running a shorter length shock - lower BB.

  6. #6
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    I've got one

    Mine has an 8.5 x 2.8 DHX 5 on it and it's great. There's less movement in the back than my five inch Trek Liquid and it weighs 36 lbs, which is only four pounds heavier. I ride it for everything and it does everything well. My XC friends with bikes ten pounds lighter will beat me to the top but I can keep them in sight and that's good enough. It's a solid bike and I've had no problems with linkages or bearings or squeaking. Just keep the pivot areas clean with compressed air and they'll last just as long as any other setup.
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  7. #7
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    Lep-

    Can you give me a run down on your build kit if it it isn't to much of a hassle? Really sick bike.

    Do you use it as a trail bike? How far can you pedal that thing before you are toast?

    -Ryan

  8. #8
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    Thanks

    The build is nothing special, pretty basic really, but it gets the job done. This is my one bike and I primarily trail ride it. I typically ride around 30 miles per week with the average ride being from 10-15 miles. The longest single ride I have done so far was 24 miles and there was little difference between my performance and that of my friends on lighter bikes. Don't get me wrong, I'm not trying to say I'm in great shape or are a great rider, I'm just saying this bike is extremely capable no matter what style you ride. Most importantly, I come back from every ride liking the bike and appreciating its abilities more than the previous ride. It has deffinitely increased my confidence level and thus raised my riding level since I got it about 10 months ago. I highly recommend this bike. If it came down to building a mid thirty pound Nomad or a VP Free, you might as well go with the VP Free.

    * Frame Size & Color: Medium, slate gray ano
    * Fork: Fox TALAS 36 RC2
    * Shock Fox DHX 5.0
    * Brakes: Hayes Carbon Nine's
    * Cranks: Truvativ Holtzfeller 22, 32
    * Shifters: Front- SRAM X9, Rear- SRAM X7
    * Front Derailleur: Shimano XT
    * Rear Derailleur: SRAM X9
    * Pedals: Crankbrothers Mallet C
    * Stem: Easton Vice
    * Handlebar: Easton Monkeybar EA70
    * Seatpost: Thomson Elite
    * Saddle: WTB Rocket V Stealth
    * Bottom Bracket: Truvativ Gigapipe
    * Headset: WTB Momentum C
    * Front Tire: WTB Weirwolf 2.5
    * Wheels: WTB Dual Duty FR
    * Rear Tire: WTB Weirwolf 2.35

    * overall Weight: 36 lbs

  9. #9
    aka baycat
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    Thanks man, sounds like it is speced perfect, looking to donate the bike .

    Your crankset is running an internal BB right, heard it messes up the chainline or something with an external?

    And what is your height?

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Leprechaun
    Mine has an 8.5 x 2.8 DHX 5 on it and it's great. There's less movement in the back than my five inch Trek Liquid and it weighs 36 lbs, which is only four pounds heavier. I ride it for everything and it does everything well. My XC friends with bikes ten pounds lighter will beat me to the top but I can keep them in sight and that's good enough. It's a solid bike and I've had no problems with linkages or bearings or squeaking. Just keep the pivot areas clean with compressed air and they'll last just as long as any other setup.
    I never heard of a Fox DHX 5.0 in 8.5 X 2.8, but of course that's not saying much Are you sure though that it's not 8.5 X 2.5 and your spring is just labeled 2.8?

    A friend I ride with has the 5th Element 8.5 X 2.5 on his Free and like Gripo says, it knocks the travel down to about 7.75 and maybe 1/2" off the BB height.

  11. #11
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    Deffinitely possible

    Ya, I think you're probably right. I just went off what the spring said on it, 2.8. But it would make more sense if it were 2.5.

  12. #12
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    Hmmmmmm

    Quote Originally Posted by baycat
    Thanks man, sounds like it is speced perfect, looking to donate the bike .

    Your crankset is running an internal BB right, heard it messes up the chainline or something with an external?

    And what is your height?

    Ya, probably not, but ahhh..... No, I think I'll be riding this bike till it dies which shouldn't happen in my lifetime.

    I've heard the same thing about the external BB. Some can get them to work, others can't. I'm not sure if this helps, but with my setup if I wanted to run a third ring up front SC told me I needed to get a Saint front derailleur because it was the only one that would work. I would recommend emailling SC, they're great and would me more than happy to help you out.

    I'm currently 5'11" 1/2" on good days. The medium feels great.

  13. #13
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    Why a 8.5 x 2.5 shock ? Just wondering why some want or do go with the shorter shock ? Thanx

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by keen
    Why a 8.5 x 2.5 shock ? Just wondering why some want or do go with the shorter shock ? Thanx
    For my friend there were two reasons. First, he wanted a lower BB and I think his dropped from 14 3/4 to around 14 1/4. Second, he slacked it out by about 1 degree I believe. Lower & slacker.

    Like sliding the shuttle forward on your Bullit.

  15. #15
    Justin Vander Pol
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    Lowered vp-free

    A few folks have asked about my project to lower my VP-Free. This isn't a new thing, lots of folks have done it, but I thought I'd share for those of you looking for a lower, more flickable bike.

    Why'd I do it? I've always felt my VP-Free was a bit too tall, meaning the bottom bracket was too high. Lowering it will really make it groove! I've got friends going big (and they're big guys) on 170mm forks, so I figured 200mm was overkill, even though I use my bike pretty hard.

    Even with the new, low setup, which is 20 mm lower both front and back, I still have a 14.4" bottom bracket. Not super low, so it should still be versatile.

    Starting setup: '05 888rc 200mm with Risse lowrider crowns. Stock Fox DHX 8.75" x 2.75" [edit: typo earlier listed this as 2.5] shock in back giving it 8.5" of travel. I liked the head angle and how it handled, it just felt top heavy.

    New, lowered setup: '06 66RC2X 170mm with a Swinger 6-way 8.5" x 2.5" shock giving it about 7.5" of travel. I hope I like the Swinger, I might be buying a used Roco or DHX if it doesn't work out.

    Here's how the geometry stacks up betwen the two setups. I took actual measurements for all of these with a tape and an angle finder thing I have.

    Measurement -- original geo -- new lowered geo
    Head angle -- 66 degrees -- 66 degrees
    Wheelbase -- 46.75" -- 46.75"
    BB height -- 15.1" -- 14.4"
    Standover -- 32.5" -- 31.5"

    What really surprised me is that the wheelbase didn't shorten up any. I chock this up to either bad wheelbase measurements (was a bit hard with 1 person) or to the fact that the swing link causes the chainstay to lengthen with a shorter eye-to-eye.

    Some of you might also be interested that the conventional wisdom about 1" longer fork = 1 degree slacker head angle is total crap. Once a bike is fairly slack, this factor is exaggerated. Actual measurements showed that a 1" increase in axle to crown was almost a 2 degree slacker head angle in the 64 to 66 degree range. This makes sense if you're into trigonometry at all.

    I was hoping to get a ride in before I posted up my results, but the weather is crap here in Seattle. I have been getting some riding in, but it's all been on my xc bike.

    Here's a pic of the final project. I think the bike just looks faster now. I'm also stoked to ride a singlecrown on tight stuff, and maybe even learn to throw in some X-ups when I'm riding Whistler.

    Last edited by juice; 01-11-2007 at 12:23 PM.

  16. #16
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    Wowzers, thanks a bunch for posting those measurements! I've got a 8.5x2.5 Swinger 6-Way I picked up and have been meaning to put on my VP-Free. The BB drop is more significant than I thought! Great new's indeed, the high BB is the #1 thing holding that bike back, I'm really excited to get the ball rolling now!

  17. #17
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    shorter shock

    When I had my Free I originally planned to run an 8.5 x 2.5 rear shock. There was a thread on RM where they discussed the effects of the shorter shock on the VPP - seemed the starting point was off as the suspension was deeper in its travel.

    .

  18. #18
    Justin Vander Pol
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    Quote Originally Posted by keen
    When I had my Free I originally planned to run an 8.5 x 2.5 rear shock. There was a thread on RM where they discussed the effects of the shorter shock on the VPP - seemed the starting point was off as the suspension was deeper in its travel.
    Yeah, we'll have to see. It might be a while before I can get in a shore trip and really see how it performs on trails that I'm familiar with. I did look over it pretty closely, and there's still plenty of rearward travel in the VPP S-curve even with a the shorter shock, so I think it'll be fine. I might dig up that RM thread and see wha they have to say. Maybe I should hold on to my 8.75" DHX for a while.

  19. #19
    bog
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    Fox DHX and Roco 8.5 x 2.5

    I have both shocks for my Nomad if anyone is interested in trying them on their VPF. I'm considering getting a VPF and was very interested in seeing how it would handle with the 8.5 shock and my 66 RC2X. They work well on the Nomad but the VPF seems like it would be perfect with this setup.

  20. #20
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    Juice - have you tried running a lighter spring for more sag and cranking up the bottom out control. This should have a similar effect to what your doing but you get the added benifit of more negative travel for better tracking. It would be intersteing to try both but I bet you will be faster with 8.5" travel set up with 4" sag then you will be with 7.5" travel and 3" sag.

  21. #21
    Justin Vander Pol
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    dirtdogg - I don't think that would work for me. Seems like it could make for an unbalanced bike and some goofy geometry if you're on steep stuff with the rear tire just barely staying on the ground. I was already running fairly high sag with my bottom-out all the way in. I don't like much pressure in the DHX boost valve, and that means you don't get all that much bottom out resistance.

    I still think 8.5" is overkill for anything I'm willing to do. I won't launch anything huge, and even at that I want a nice transition. How big do I go? I dunno, internet measuring units have always confused me I mostly ride Whistler, the Shore and a bunch of local trails - lots of moderate sized drops or beautifully sculpted landings.

  22. #22
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    Get a lower bike and let the great VPF like it was.because the vpp system dont work well with a small shock

  23. #23
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    I was thinking that a shock, the correct length w/a shorter stroke, would be the best case scenerio to limit travel. That way you don't have a adjustments of the shock extreme one way or the other, causing the shock to be under stress.
    "Why are you willing to take so much & leave others in need...just because you can?"

  24. #24
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    You may be right.

    Quote Originally Posted by Bora
    Get a lower bike and let the great VPF like it was.because the vpp system dont work well with a small shock
    Or maybe not. I would really like to hear or see a "real" engineering explanation of how a shorter shock affects that allegedly unique "S" wheelpath...or doesn't affect/hurt the wheelpath. Either way it's something to consider, and I'd sure like to know more about it.

    In a similar comparison, SC wound up putting some 8.75 X 2.75 Progressive Gravity air shocks on some Nomads with no apparent negative affect to the wheelpath curve or performance of the suspension design that we know of. While a longer or shorter shock probably always affects the leverage advantage to some degree, how big it is and how it impacts performance seems to be the biggest issue. On a Bullit, for example, it's not very noticeable...remember I'm talking about the leverage advantage/disadvantage, not geometry issues...and of course a Bullit doesn't have the complex wheelpath issue of a VPP design.

  25. #25
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    If you want to go faster downhill and pedaling is less of an issue it could help to increase the sag setting beyond optimal. You will be outside of the ideal efficency window but the reduced head angle and lower BB might be big enough to offset that. On the other hand if you want a more efficient pedaler and DH speed is not an issue than you can increase your shock platform.
    Limiting your travel is pointless. I guess it could help you mentally. The idea of pedaling a 7" bike does seem a lot easier than pedaling an 8.5" bike.

  26. #26
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    if you want a more zippy ride build up a light wheel set and use single ply tires. I have two wheel sets one for DH/FR and one for XC. The difference is amazing.

  27. #27
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    The wheelpath curve whit a small shock , and with right sag begans very high in the curve and the virtual efect dont work correctly ....sry mi English its too poor

  28. #28
    TNC
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    8.75 X 2.5 Dhxa

    Quote Originally Posted by Towelie
    I recently decided to go this route--8.75x2.5 to limit travel without altering the geometry. The downside is that this is an odd size so Avalanche and CCDB were the only (expensive) options I could find. In the end, I decided to give the CCDB a try.
    I'm looking at a list just received today from Fox, and it shows an 8.75 X 2.5 DHXA. In fact I thought it odd that an 8.75 X 2.75 DHXA is not on this list. There is an 8.75 X 2.75 DHXC but no 8.75 X 2.5 DHXC.

  29. #29
    TNC
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    I wouldn't be concerned.

    Quote Originally Posted by Bora
    The wheelpath curve whit a small shock , and with right sag begans very high in the curve and the virtual efect dont work correctly ....sry mi English its too poor
    I'd bet your English is only about 10 times better than my Portuguese. I'm not questioning that fact of your assessment, but I'm just curious where you got the info? I can see the apparent logic of such an assessment, but did you read this somewhere or get it from SC...or are you an engineer in Portugal?

  30. #30
    Justin Vander Pol
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    I'm still waiting to get out on a real ride and see how the bike handles. I've talked to a few folks who've done this change, but it's been a while. I think I was on the lift at Whistler with some dude who did this down in Cali and he said it was a fairly common setup down there.

    Right now the biggest storm in 5 years is blowing into town so we'll probably have to wait a week or two for my test ride - and then we have to deal with Christmas chaos. I did get a ride in on tuesday, but it was a 2.5 hour hammerfest xc night ride, so I took the (too) light Yeti.

  31. #31
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    I wouldn't worry too much about it myself...

    I'm a Professional Mechanical Engineer but to reallly know what's going on I'd have to see the exact curve or plot it out myself. I know that the curves really don't curve much at all so you'd likely not feel much difference. It's not like you'll be sitting 1+" deeper in the travel and will get outside of the pedaling sweetspot. Imagine how many people out there run different amounts of sag and different air pressure or coil weight setups. Unless something is really out of wack you shouldn't notice much. I've played with different air and coil shocks on my old VPF and my Nomad and there is quite a bit of wiggle room with each setup before it feels bad (and I have been able to get each bike to feel bad).

    With a shorter travel shock you normally use a heavier spring or increase preload so you gain back a bit of what you lost by going with a shorter shock length.

  32. #32
    Justin Vander Pol
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    I did my first "ride" this weekend. If any of you watch the news you'll know how the trails looked out here - trees down everywhere. Our ride mostly consisted of pulling trees off of the trail and getting an upper body workout with our hand saws.

    I did get enough riding in to know that the suspension will handle just fine... but will it be as supple as before? I dunno yet, but I think so. The Swinger is actually a nicer shock than I expected, but we'll have to wait for Whistler to really find out. So far I think I made the right move in dropping the bike.



    Here's a pic of a little jump that we were playing on. In it's current form it's a bit of a launcher, and I had more speed than the runout really allowed - hence the hang on and grab the brakes style. Good fun in between clearing trails.

  33. #33
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    Anyone put a shorter stroke shock on a VP-Free???

    I'm looking to reduce the BB height along with some travel on the VP free, but wasn't sure if anyone has tried tried this. What would it do to the HA and CS? How much sag would you run? Also, how would this affect the Virtual pivot? Anyone who has first hand experience please chime in, along with some pictures too.

  34. #34
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    Hey Juice, any more ride reports on this project?

    Very interested in hearing how it affects handling and all. Thanks.

  35. #35
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    Well we had another 2 inches of rain today. I've been hitting the snow more than the bike lately, so it'll probably be a while unless we get some dry weather this weekend. Forecast is cold and wet, so the telemark skis or snowboard are more likely to get some play than the free.

    This winter is definitely for the record books in the rain department here in soggy Seattle.

    In terms of handling, so far soo good! I dropped the front and rear equally, so the geometry didn't change other than the BB height. But I'm still just getting the feel on xc trails and urban hits - not really the territory for the beefy build I have on the Free.

    One thing I noticed - I just switched over to Maxxis Minions from Nevegals. The Minions are continally spitting little pebbles up on my face and continually clinking them against the down-tube. Other than that they handle pretty well in the wet (40d 2.7 front, triple compound 2.5 in back). Kind of odd, I might go back to Nevegals for fear of putting my eye out when I'm not wearing glasses.

  36. #36
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    Quote Originally Posted by juice
    One thing I noticed - I just switched over to Maxxis Minions from Nevegals. The Minions are continally spitting little pebbles up on my face and continually clinking them against the down-tube. Other than that they handle pretty well in the wet (40d 2.7 front, triple compound 2.5 in back). Kind of odd, I might go back to Nevegals for fear of putting my eye out when I'm not wearing glasses.
    I have the pebble prob w/my Nevegals too. 2.7 ft/bk. They really sling stuff forward out in ft of me. Sometimes it comes up at me or the bike. Love my Neveys.
    "Why are you willing to take so much & leave others in need...just because you can?"

  37. #37
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    Do you think i could do the same thing on my nomad. The problem is that i love the 6.5 inches of travel, but i hate am not a big fan of the higher bottom bracket, and a 66degree headtube would help it out

  38. #38
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    VP-Free Owners with 2.5 stroke shocks, Updates?

    To all the guys/gals running the 2.5 stroke shocks, how do you like them?

    I am tossing around the idea of running one because I want a lower bottom bracket and I think it would pair nicely with a 7 inch single crown fork. Any impressions or so on, I'd love to hear them.

  39. #39
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    no one?

  40. #40
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    Anyone running a shorter shock on VP-Free

    Would running a shorter shock say 8.5 eye to eye with 2.5 stroke lower bottom bracket and slacken head angel some and make the bike a little more downhill oriented. Seems like it would work well and still leave plenty of travel.

  41. #41
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    Quote Originally Posted by RickP
    Would running a shorter shock say 8.5 eye to eye with 2.5 stroke lower bottom bracket and slacken head angel some and make the bike a little more downhill oriented. Seems like it would work well and still leave plenty of travel.

    I've seriously thought about this too. I'm looking to shorten the travel on my VP Free. I've got a Cane Creek Double Barrel on it & when I send it in for maintanence/oil change I'm gonna consult them about making the stroke shorter but leaving the i2i the same, so not to mess up th' geo. Hindsight; I should'a done it when I ordered th' DB.
    You got me to thinkin'......I've still got my old Bullit frame w/the 5th element that came on it. That shock is 8.5x2.5 I think....I just might hav'ta play around w/it during th' holidays...hmmmm
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  42. #42
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    Yea I am going to do it. Ordering up the 8.5 2.5 double barrel at the end of this week.

    It drops the bottom bracket to around 14.2-14.5ish.

  43. #43
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    I know PhotoJohn was doing that with his. Mark Weir was doing this too before the Nomad came out.

  44. #44
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    Any updates? I'm seriously considering doing this as well, but would like to hear some results first

  45. #45
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    If you do a search one guy has had this setup for a while now on a red vp-free. He rides the shore and I have heard nothing but good news so far.

    I remember hearing that mark weir ran this setup with the fox 36 up front also.

  46. #46
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    A friend of mine has been running his with an 8.5 X 2.5 for a couple of years now. He likes it way better with the lower BB, and it didn't seem to screw up the VPP pedaling sweet spot.

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    I did it !

    Well I went ahead with some changes to my vp free to hopefully make it a better all round ride than it already is. First I swapped fork from a 888 rcx2 to a 66 light with eta. I then stopped by marrzochi canada to see about a rocco air in a 8.5 x 2.5 as I have not yet seen them available yet. Well they just happened to have received some. So after paying way too much for a new shock here is a pic. Test ride tomorrow and feedback to follow
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  48. #48
    Some Assembly Required
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    Quote Originally Posted by geerider
    Well I went ahead with some changes to my vp free to hopefully make it a better all round ride than it already is. First I swapped fork from a 888 rcx2 to a 66 light with eta. I then stopped by marrzochi canada to see about a rocco air in a 8.5 x 2.5 as I have not yet seen them available yet. Well they just happened to have received some. So after paying way too much for a new shock here is a pic. Test ride tomorrow and feedback to follow

    Sweet ride. Lookin' forward to the feedback on that Zokie shock. I wondered when they were going to hit the market. Hope she works out for ya, I hate it when I see something like that I gotta have. It's even worse when you can justify it by the fact that you "need it".
    Enjoy it. Keep us posted.
    "Why are you willing to take so much & leave others in need...just because you can?"

  49. #49
    mtbr member
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    Good job! Update

    Well, with work, rain, and life in general I finally went for my first good ride on my newly updated bike. I did a loop on Burnaby mountain as a shake down and was very happy with the changes.
    When I first built up the free I had swapped the parts from a norco team dh including the single ring setup, 888, etc. The bike was fun but not versatile, but I also own a cove g-spot set up as an more xc bike. I have owned the g-spot for about three years or so and has been a great bike. It has a 5thcoil shock and a z150sl, 2.3 highrollers, a nice bike.
    Let me just say that the vp free has stolen the love away from my old cove. I out climbed my old bike on the way up even though it is probably 5 pounds heavier and defenitely descended with a much plusher ride on the way down.A very coil like ride.
    Granted some of the difference could be the fork but the rear roco air shock really impressed me. I put 150 psi in the shock and didn't really touch a thing after that.
    Of course I will play around with it a bit, but for a first ride it was two thumbs up anyone looking for a g-spot

  50. #50
    Justin Vander Pol
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    Quote Originally Posted by NoManerz
    If you do a search one guy has had this setup for a while now on a red vp-free. He rides the shore and I have heard nothing but good news so far.
    That would be me, and yes, I LOVE the new setup (did it 8 months ago, or so). My Swinger blew out, so now I'm running a ROCO TST on it, and like the bike even more. I always thought the bike felt top-heavy before I made the change.

    FYI - the kind of ridng I do is shore-type techy downhills where you have to pedal to the top, and also a bit of Whistler when I can escape up there. Super steep and rocky is my forte, and I haven't had any issues with the lower BB.

    I put a 170mm 66rc2x on there and a 2.5x8.5 shock. It dropped both the front and rear down about .75", but kept the head angle the same. The bike just plain rocks now, and I never miss the extra travel. Single crown is nice, too, and I've decided to learn full x-ups this year (umm, we'll see how this goes).

    I don't think the shorter rear shock would be good with a 200mm fork like the 888, the bike would be too slack for anything but DH racing. But with the current crop of single-crown 7 inchers, this is a great way to go.

    If you want to get all nerdy (like me) about it you can see actual, as-measured geometry of my bike on my little setup database web page: http://vanderpol.org/bike/setup.htm

    Have fund with it!

    PS - I also just hacksawed off the front cable stops, the one's closest to the head tube. These little *****es kept bruising my knees when I rode without armor. My armor would also snag the cables. Now I just zip-tie the cables and run them under the top tube, a WAY better place for the cables.

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