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  1. #1
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    New question here. Is it worth upgrading my suspension?

    Hi there, I've got a 2009 Specialized Pitch Comp that I'm looking to get some sage advice about.

    It's had a few decent but minor upgrades, and I've been thinking about the suspension for a while now. It's running the stock 140mm RockShox Pike 327 fork (the 'fake' Pike without motion control) and stock 150mm X-Fusion O2R shock. I'm considering getting a shock now, and maybe a fork in the future.

    What I'm basically wondering is: how far has suspension come since 2009? Is it worth splashing out on suspension (I guess a RP23/Monarch or something along those lines) ... or is it not worth putting that $$ into an older frame, and instead save for a better bike? Will I notice a huge difference, and will it be worth spending a large amount of what the bike initially cost me?

    Cheers
    Last edited by rhysjenz; 03-10-2013 at 09:53 PM.

  2. #2
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    That's a solid frame to invest in. A lot of people still riding theirs, and the design hasn't changed all that much since then. Don't go crazy and throw $2000 worth of upgrades on it, but a nice $500 fork and a nicer shock wouldn't be stupid!

  3. #3
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    If the fork is good shape, a potential option is to add a MoCo compression damper and blackbox rebound damper from a 2011/2012 revelation. It is a darn good upgrade on a decent fork. If the fork has not been serviced and bushing are sloppy, disregard that. It also makes sense to look into a Float or Monarch rear shock if you plan on keeping it for a while. That is a pretty good frame to keep going if you like it and it's s good fit sizewize.

  4. #4
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    Thanks for the replies guys. My fork is in the "hasn't-been-serviced-in-at-least-a-year" category, so I guess upgrading's not ideal then?

    I've been poking round the internet trying to find suitable shocks in the 200x57mm / 7.875x2.25" size (and available to New Zealand), and have found a few options.

    Chain Reaction Cycles - Only 200x57mm shocks are a few DT Swiss's. I'd prefer to stick with the mainstays Fox/RockShox, unless they're actually really good?

    PUSH don't sell new shocks anymore right? But I could get a new 2013 Monarch RT3 from TF Tuned for ~$280 USD

    Finally, had a look at Pinkbike's BuySell, there's a few RP23's there, a new 2013 RC3 Plus, or even a couple DHX 5.0 Airs?

  5. #5
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    Length of time is not the challenge as long as the bath oil did not dry up and cause premature wear on the bushings. If it feels tight (no wobble) and not streak marks, you may be okay. It's worth a little investigative work. On the shock, I agree, I'd lean towards a float or Monarch as well. The one from TF Tuned sounds good.

  6. #6
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    Ah okay, the forks might be okay then, I'll definitely look into it like you said. At the mo' though the shock's my priority. To get more specific, I think I'm looking at either a Monarch RT3/Fox RP23, or a Monarch Plus RC3/Fox DHX 5.0 Air.

    As far as the RT3/RP23 goes, I definitely prefer the RT3, unless the RP23 will be much better? As I said, can get the RT3 new & set up for me from TF Tuned for ~US$280 shipped. About the same price as the used RP23s on Pinkbike. (1), (2), (3).

    The other option is to go with a double can shock, RC3/DHX Air. There's a new 2013 RC3 on Pinkbike for US$350 shipped, which seems like a pretty good deal? Or TF Tuned sell them for just over US$400. The few used DHX Airs on Pinkbike are +/- 400ish. (1), (2), (3).

    If anyone has thoughts on what might be best that'd be great. Basically wondering about whether a dual can will be worth the extra 'investment' vs a single body (likely RT3), or overkill? And also thinking about new/tuned to my spec vs. stock/used.

    Cheers!

  7. #7
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    The RP23 is a pretty crappy shock. It certainly wouldnt be an upgrade from your O2. It might be more wallowy and mushy, but certainly not better damped. The DHX air is notoriously bad as well, and difficult to adjust and make work decently. The DHX coil is a pretty good shock though! Foxes are reliable, but thats about it. They're not damped well.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by One Pivot View Post
    The RP23 is a pretty crappy shock. It certainly wouldnt be an upgrade from your O2. It might be more wallowy and mushy, but certainly not better damped. The DHX air is notoriously bad as well, and difficult to adjust and make work decently. The DHX coil is a pretty good shock though! Foxes are reliable, but thats about it. They're not damped well.
    Thanks for the reply, very informative. That's exactly what I was wondering about whether it'll be a great/noticeable upgrade.

    Interesting to hear that about the RP23, it seems pretty popular. I've seen a bit about your take on the DHX Air. Although, a few people have put them on Pitches with good (in their opinion...) results. I'm definitely not after a coil shock though!

    In any case, I was kinda leaning towards either of the Monarchs anyway. I'd certainly prefer an RT3 over the RP23, or a Plus RC3 over the DHX 5.0 Air. So basically it's...

    - TF Tuned Monarch RT3 - US$283 - (high volume, new, 2013, set up for me, correct mount kits)

    - Pinkbike Monarch Plus RC3 - US$350 - (high volume, new, 2013, medium/medium tune)

    - TF Tuned Monarch Plus RC3 - US$406 - (normal or high volume, new, 2013, set up for me, correct mount kits)

    Will the Monarchs be better in the Foxes, ie. an actual upgrade in terms of damping/ride, beyond just ubiquity/reliability? The Plus RC3 is also quite a bit more $$, so also a question of whether that's worth it.
    Last edited by rhysjenz; 03-13-2013 at 03:24 AM.

  9. #9
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    You can home tune monarchs. I think thats an enormous plus. Some lighter riders have found monarchs harsh, I believe they use less air pressure in general. That can be good or bad depending on your perspective (I think thats preferable, im also 195lb though).

    To see just how good fox floats are, look at all the rave reviews about PUSH... PUSH takes floats, completely guts them, and returns you a basically reengineered completely different shock... and people are blown away by them. Push does do good work, but the fundamental change/removal of what makes a float a float is why the push shocks get such good reviews. Its no longer a crappy float!

    Fox won a lot of fans back in the day because they seemed to be the only company who could make a shock that wouldnt leak and blow up. Same with their forks. I believe those days are long over and we dont have to suffer with RP shocks and their sub-par damping.

    I dont have much experience with the monarch.. but I tend to favor piggyback stuff either way. It just seems to work better and be a better idea.

  10. #10
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    Bit of an update, turns out the Monarch Plus RC3 from TFT is out of the picture as it's just expensive enough to land some lovely customs charges in NZ.

    So I'm basically deciding between the RT3 from TFT, or the Plus RC3 from Pinkbike.

    I gave TFT a call and had a good chat to them about it. Interestingly enough, the tech I spoke to wasn't a huge fan of Monarchs compared to Fox's shocks. He also didn't really rate the Plus RC3 and thought the RT3 would be better, regardless of price. Said the Plus had a tendency to knock and not feel that great.

    He did agree that a high volume shock would be a good way to go, being a very light rider.

    Any thoughts?

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