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  1. #1
    "El Whatever"
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    X-Fusion Vector Air HLR - First Impressions

    Hi all!!

    Recently I got a new shock for my bike. A X-Fusion Vector Air HLR in 7.875" X 2.25" size.

    I was looking at a high performance shock, platform or lock out was not in my purchasing criteria (personally, I think those things are mutually exclusive with high performance, YMMV).

    While I didn't care much about weight, my bike it's a trailbike that spends more time on trails more suited to hardtails, thanks to a poor living location decision on my part. That mostly ruled out a coil over shock.

    I read about this new shock from X-Fusion and bite the bullet. It ticked all the boxes. Lots of adjustments, high performance, contained weight, no platform, all shims.

    So, it came like this out of the box...



    Dials are easy to reach and handle even with gloves on, exception made for the rebound one that could use a bigger dial or a better location, particularly on my frame and mounting direction as the shock mounting tabs make it impossible to reach with your fingers.

    Not a big deal, though. X-Fusion has drilled holes on the dial where you can put a 2mm allen wrench and turn the dial. Easy cake... same for the High Speed Compression and the floating piston volume adjuster (this one may require a 2.5mm allen better, but you may not need it as the dial is far more accessible and with good flats).

    I could have mounted the shock canister side on the rockers and all dials could have had even easier access. There are tons of clearance on the Helius AC anyways.






    The damper body is rather big. With 31.8mm diameter, the only bigger shocks maybe the Vivid Air, CCDB Air, BOS Vip'r or Marzocchi air shocks. Fox and RS use smaller damper bodies on their air shocks. Also, the IFP chamber is large. The head of the shock where the compression assemblies are at looks like the same as the Vector HLR, no less.

    It came like this mounted to my Helius AC.



    First Ride Impressions

    First thing I noticed was how sensitive the shock is to air pressure. It needed only 75psi to give me 25% sag for my 140# on an approx. 2.6:1 leverage ratio bike. It's very sensitive to air pressure, so playing with it may play a big factor. 70psi gave me 32% sag. At 100psi, I could barely get 10% sag.

    Given my weight, I started with the dials all fully open. IFP set to 185PSI (factory recommends 180psi min, 300 max).

    Now, the Helius AC dislike the rather saggy mid stroke of most high volume shocks. It deals much better with lower volumes in the air canister or even coil overs. The later may need some sort of bottom out control, though.

    Ride conditions were rather easy for a shock like this. It was mostly flat on blue groove dirt roads, however, not a single pothole or ditch was spared for testing purposes. It also allowed me to test this shock in some unfamiliar terrain on the XC side of the spectrum.

    The Vector Air complimented perfectly the stroke of the AC riding rather high into travel but still being plush and keeping travel in reserve to use when needed.

    At first, with the dials fully open it felt a little nervous. Not discomposed but rather shakey. Three clicks of rebound did the trick there. Then it rode really flat, like not there.

    However, I looked down and saw a little bobbing. No probs, 4 clicks of LSC closed the deal. Now the shock was equally cool with pedaling and getting rid of trail chatter.

    What left a really good impression on me from this shock was how easy it dealt with all kind of events, either low or high speed. Usually you can only get that from a coil over. Air shocks can feel constipated at one end of the spectrum. This one also felt very good out of the box, no stiction.

    Don't get fooled, this is still an air shock and you won't compress the rear end of the bike with one finger when set for riding conditions, but it feels really good when it matters... say, when your weight is on the bike.

    I still need more testing to do to squeeze the most out of the HSC circuit and see how the shock interacts with the IFP settings. As it is, it's really promising. Nice one from X-Fusion



    Cheers!
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  2. #2
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    Good write up. I have been considering jumping on the X fusion band wagon for a little while now. All the write ups and reviews seem to show that X fusion products just plain work. I look forward to hearing how it works over the a long period of time.

  3. #3
    moaaar shimz
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    Looks good on your bike!

    Glad you liked it

  4. #4
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    Nice write up! I tested an HLR for about a month on my Knolly Endorphin. There is a ton of adjustments including adjusting the air volume and internal air spring force, iirc. I was able to run lots of sag and it still remained firm and controlled in its midstroke, never bottoming out harsh.

    I thought it was a little bit better than the Pushed Monarch RT-AM in the fast chop. However, not as good as my Avy Chubie in that department. It is about a pound lighter though which is a big plus.

    Overall, I thought is was a great shock at a great price.

  5. #5
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    Nice write up, well written. Looking forward to your next installment. You are going to do another right?

    What shock did you have mounted have previous to this? I'm been looking around for a air-can for my Canfield One. The X Fusion has had me interested for some time, though recently BOS's new Void seems to tick a few of the box's.

  6. #6
    Axe
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    What color is your Helius?

    I am struggling with picking up a shade of green - to order Helius AM.

    Also struggling with picking shock.

  7. #7
    "El Whatever"
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    Bigcrs: I will report on further, but it won't be before mid June. Sorry, that's my work schedule working for me.

    I had previously a Monarch 4.2 and a Romic Double D. Both pretty good shocks on different sides of the spectrum but it will let you down if you expected a comparison between the high caliber names and the X-Fusion.

    I also tried briefly a Marzocchi Roco Air R from 2007. That one felt nice also, but it used to pack rather easy and felt a bit harsh thanks to that. Again, the AC don't like shocks with a weak midstroke. The Roco Air R likes to use a lot of travel and ramps up violently towards the end. Not the best match.

    Axe... The colour on my Helius AC is Schwarzolive (black olive - RAL 6015?). It's a standard colour on Nicolai's color chart. No surcharge for special paint. Despite being darker than foliage in most places in Mexico, it camouflages really nicely (as you may see in the pics). Makes for a rather dull bike. You won't get many looks to it.

    Most people goes like "dull color, HL knock off bike from unknown builder". That's the effect I was after.

    Look at the Kawagrun and British Racing Green as green options. Their dark green anodizing is plain gorgeous too.

    Sorry for the thread deraill.
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  8. #8
    Axe
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    Quote Originally Posted by Warp View Post
    It's a standard colour on Nicolai's color chart. No surcharge for special paint. Despite being darker than foliage in most places in Mexico, it camouflages really nicely (as you may see in the pics). Makes for a rather dull bike. You won't get many looks to it.
    I like dull colors. Do not see this color in the order options. Will probably go for British Racing green. I had been warned that Anodized Green does not always come out uniform so far. That would be a good option (I will do anodized black rear triangle anyway)

    My daughter insists on Panther Pink. Hm...


    But, yes, picking shock is more important. Monarch Plus mid-tune small canister? Or this X-Fusion...

  9. #9
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    I've been riding mine for 4 days, and I'm pretty impressed with it. Setup was easy and straight-forward. Haven't made any adjustments in the last 2 days, so I think I'm where I want to be. Recommended.

  10. #10
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    Hi Warp, when you mentioned fully opened, do you mean its fully on the soft or firm side?

  11. #11
    "El Whatever"
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    Quote Originally Posted by mojak View Post
    Hi Warp, when you mentioned fully opened, do you mean its fully on the soft or firm side?
    I meant fully open as in full soft.
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  12. #12
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    warp, any follow up on the shock performance?

  13. #13
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    How's the vector running now you've had a bit of time on it?

  14. #14
    "El Whatever"
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    Sorry, guys. Little more time on the shock, but still feels amazing. I need to do more in depth riding and such. I have really not had such time. It looks like the shock could use lighter damping for my 140# and low leverage on the travel setting I'm using it currently (2.36:1 or so). But that's hardly the shock's fault, it's just a bad weight/leverage combo.
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  15. #15
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    I'm still really happy with mine. I'm not a suspension guru so this has been part of a learning curve about suspension setup and performance for me.

    I clearly remember one ride, after about 4-5 days of riding and adjusting, when I said "OH! That's what good suspension feels like!" I was clawing up a steep, loose, rubbly pitch of old washed-out double track and the rear end was a) invisible and b) glued to the ground.

    I'm sure the CCDBA is a fantastic shock. But the Vector is $150 less, and really, really good.

    X-Fusion Vector Air HLR - First Impressions-xfusionvectorair.jpg

  16. #16
    Axe
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    Quote Originally Posted by evasive View Post
    I'm sure the CCDBA is a fantastic shock. But the Vector is $150 less, and really, really good.
    I could not find it for $150 less... but then I did get a good deal on CCDBA. It is good, but I can't stop tinkering with it.

    You should try needle bearings instead of bushings in the shock eye. At least on the part that connects to the linkage, as it rotates more. Surprisingly noticeable reduction in stiction.

  17. #17
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    Thanks, I'll look into it. The new linkage is designed to provide a fairly straight push on the shaft, but there is a little rotation.

    $500 vs $650 is what I was thinking of.

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by Axe View Post
    I could not find it for $150 less... but then I did get a good deal on CCDBA. It is good, but I can't stop tinkering with it.

    You should try needle bearings instead of bushings in the shock eye. At least on the part that connects to the linkage, as it rotates more. Surprisingly noticeable reduction in stiction.
    Rune V2 doesn't need needle bearings on rear eyelet, very very little rotation and high load is ideal for DU/DP bushings.

  19. #19
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    It's sounds pretty good for the money! I'm looking to put one on my single pivot morewood, so again prob no need for needle bearings due to a straight push.

    I may also go for a shorter shock- a 216i-i instead of my existing 222, slackening the head about a degree or so, dropping the bb about 12.5mm (0.5"). The travel is reduced by about 0.7 of an inch but that would suit me too!

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by evasive View Post
    Thanks, I'll look into it. The new linkage is designed to provide a fairly straight push on the shaft, but there is a little rotation.

    $500 vs $650 is what I was thinking of.
    This is similar to the prices I've been seeing. If there is a cheaper DBAir out there that google isn't aware of, I'd be happy to take a look.

  21. #21
    Axe
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    Quote Originally Posted by honns View Post
    This is similar to the prices I've been seeing. If there is a cheaper DBAir out there that google isn't aware of, I'd be happy to take a look.
    PMed

  22. #22
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    I have the Vector Air on my Norco Truax. Hands down, one of the best air shocks I have ridden (although I have yet to ride the DBAir). Compression adjustments make big differences in shock feel, and it maintains a very controlled stroke. After trying Vivid Airs, Marzocchi Roco Airs, DHX Airs, and many of the Float/Monarch variations, I am officially convinced by Xfusion building a solid product! I am going to order one of their new Slide forks... for the price, apparently performance can't be beat (like most of their other products).
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails X-Fusion Vector Air HLR - First Impressions-2013-01-15_12-42-24_849.jpg  


  23. #23
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    wish i had bought mine long time ago, looks like their 2013 models will be around $100 more. hope the performance is still the same

  24. #24
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    Fo rizzle? I guess I shouldn't have waited.

  25. #25
    Axe
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    Quote Originally Posted by brankulo View Post
    wish i had bought mine long time ago, looks like their 2013 models will be around $100 more. hope the performance is still the same
    One would hope that the performance is $100 better, would not he?

  26. #26
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    Heh, without the gold slick anodizing, the only changes seem to be a slight tweak in the mid-stroke support. Doesn't really sound like 100 smackers of upgrade to me. I wonder if they'll change the MSRP after dropping that...

  27. #27
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    will see, its sort of a deal breaker for me, wish i could find 2012 model somewhere. anyways if anyone is interested GoBikes seems to have 222/69 2012 model in stock for $450.

  28. #28
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    giving it a second thought, YES!

  29. #29
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    Wish they had it in my size...

  30. #30
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    Quote Originally Posted by honns View Post
    Heh, without the gold slick anodizing, the only changes seem to be a slight tweak in the mid-stroke support. Doesn't really sound like 100 smackers of upgrade to me. I wonder if they'll change the MSRP after dropping that...
    Yes.

  31. #31
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    How's the mid stroke support? Tried dhx air and float and the lack of mid stroke support drives me crazy. Not sure if it's the nature of air shock and every air shock shares this

    How you compare the mid stroke with others?

  32. #32
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    I actually find the mid-stroke to be really good. Night and day difference compared to the DHX Air, and in my opinion, more controlled than the Vivid Air.

  33. #33
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    The DHX air has unusually bad mid stroke for an air shock.

  34. #34
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    Quote Originally Posted by honns View Post
    The DHX air has unusually bad mid stroke for an air shock.
    I've seen a number of teasers on websites of factory riders with new Fox piggyback air shocks. I've been wondering how long it would take them to get tired of being the whipping boy in this category. Guess we'll hear how that turns out this spring.

  35. #35
    Axe
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    Quote Originally Posted by evasive View Post
    I've seen a number of teasers on websites of factory riders with new Fox piggyback air shocks. I've been wondering how long it would take them to get tired of being the whipping boy in this category. Guess we'll hear how that turns out this spring.
    After riding CCDBA and now Lyrik Coil RC2DH, I do not think I will go back to anything without separate low and high speed adjustment for more than about 120mm of travel. One gets spoiled by a well performing suspension that does not dive, pack, buckle, chatter, fart, burp, ...

  36. #36
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    Where are people buying the vector air? I can only find them on goride and they are out of stock. I'm thinking the vector air hlr might be a good replacement for the DHX air on my reign x.

  37. #37
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    Quote Originally Posted by finch6013 View Post
    Where are people buying the vector air? I can only find them on goride and they are out of stock. I'm thinking the vector air hlr might be a good replacement for the DHX air on my reign x.
    Direct from X-Fusion. I got the number from their website and ordered mine over the phone.

  38. #38
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    I realise that this is unlikely, but has anyone managed to compare the HLR air and coil versions yet?

  39. #39
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    Quote Originally Posted by evasive View Post
    Direct from X-Fusion. I got the number from their website and ordered mine over the phone.
    Any news on when they will be shipping this schock? I know they have been out for some time now awaiting 2013 inventory.

    Super Unknown

  40. #40
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    Quote Originally Posted by Iceman69 View Post
    Any news on when they will be shipping this schock? I know they have been out for some time now awaiting 2013 inventory.
    No idea; I bought mine last spring. It's probably worth a call to them if you really want an answer. I know I tend to use the interwebz as my first avenue, but there really is no substitute for a phone call sometimes.

  41. #41
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    Quote Originally Posted by womble View Post
    I realise that this is unlikely, but has anyone managed to compare the HLR air and coil versions yet?
    I can tell you that when I called, I was calling to order the coil. John talked me into the air instead. I didn't care about weight, but he sold me on the convenience of changing spring weight and said that he put one on his DH bike to try out and never ended up removing it.

  42. #42
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    I think these Vector HLR airs are just a myth been trying to buy one for 6 months !!

  43. #43
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    Any updates or reviews on the Vector Air HLR. What setups are people running for what bike. Main psi, reservoir pressure & size, H/L compression.

    Cheers
    Jeff

  44. #44
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    I got mine delivered today via ups. Should have a ride on it tomorrow.

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  45. #45
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    Quote Originally Posted by womble View Post
    I realise that this is unlikely, but has anyone managed to compare the HLR air and coil versions yet?
    I've been riding a Vector HLR Coil for 2 years now and the Air for 1 year. They are actually almost identical in feel "on the trail" and I figure most people would be hard pressed to identify one or the other in a blind test. Spent a week in the Alps last summer (PdS) swapping between Vector Coil, Air and a CCDB Coil with a buddy (22y regular top20 finisher german elite class) and in the end we both found the Vector Air to be the best. Ease of setup was the main thing, all settings are very intuitive and 2 clicks either way are felt right away. piggyback was at "standard" 180psi and just adjusted up to 1.5 turns in for bottoming resistance. Heavier riders may need more pressure... The Vector Air has excellent mid stroke, is very nice on big hits + g-outs, doesn't quite have the small bump compliance of the coil but that's nitpicking on a very high level.



    I did a really scary run down the infamous Champery WC track (950m descent) on the Vector Air and had no heat related issues... travel usage was 99-100%



    I've already ordered a 2013 Vector Air for my new Ion 16 build...

  46. #46
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    Damn, sweet! Lets hear more

  47. #47
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    I am really trying hard not to buy one,
    Don't know how long I can last with tortuous reviews

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    Yeah I am pretty happy with the Vector air so far. Coming from an Avy coil I am impressed with just how coil like in feel it is to that schock.

    Super Unknown

  49. #49
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    Quote Originally Posted by Iceman69 View Post
    Yeah I am pretty happy with the Vector air so far. Coming from an Avy coil I am impressed with just how coil like in feel it is to that schock.
    Iceman69,
    I'm curious what frame you had pulled your Avy from and replaced it w/ the HLR Air...a trail bike type or a full on DH frame? I'm taking delivery of a '13 Jedi either this or 1st part of next week and I'd like to explore what air options I have. I had an Avy DHS on the '12 before the crash replace for the '13...and if I can pull that 3lbs Avy and replace w/ similarly performing 1 pound air... TIA.

  50. #50
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    Quote Originally Posted by raschaa View Post
    I've been riding a Vector HLR Coil for 2 years now and the Air for 1 year. They are actually almost identical in feel "on the trail" and I figure most people would be hard pressed to identify one or the other in a blind test. Spent a week in the Alps last summer (PdS) swapping between Vector Coil, Air and a CCDB Coil with a buddy (22y regular top20 finisher german elite class) and in the end we both found the Vector Air to be the best. Ease of setup was the main thing, all settings are very intuitive and 2 clicks either way are felt right away. piggyback was at "standard" 180psi and just adjusted up to 1.5 turns in for bottoming resistance. Heavier riders may need more pressure... The Vector Air has excellent mid stroke, is very nice on big hits + g-outs, doesn't quite have the small bump compliance of the coil but that's nitpicking on a very high level.



    I did a really scary run down the infamous Champery WC track (950m descent) on the Vector Air and had no heat related issues... travel usage was 99-100%



    I've already ordered a 2013 Vector Air for my new Ion 16 build...

    I am also running the Vector Air and am liking it. Seeing as how you were testing back and forth between the Vector and DB, were the setting similar. I am wondering if the CCDBA base setting are close to what the Vector would be (minus the H/L rebound).

    There is such a range of settings on the Vector air it is a little difficult to find the best setup. Do you find the piggyback only affects the bottom out, or higher piggyback pressure has an impact on the effectiveness of the damping circuits.

    Also even setting the sag, if you set 30% with no H/L compression then add compression you are no longer at 30% perhaps only 25-27%. So maybe the H/L compression settings to be set then finish dialing in the sag? Keep piggyback at around 185 then increase if bottoming out, or decrease the piggyback volume (decreasing pressure first). So many options and not enough time to figure it all out.

  51. #51
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pau11y View Post
    Iceman69,
    I'm curious what frame you had pulled your Avy from and replaced it w/ the HLR Air...a trail bike type or a full on DH frame? I'm taking delivery of a '13 Jedi either this or 1st part of next week and I'd like to explore what air options I have. I had an Avy DHS on the '12 before the crash replace for the '13...and if I can pull that 3lbs Avy and replace w/ similarly performing 1 pound air... TIA.

    I was using an Avy chubbie before on my 08 Turner RFX. M

    Super Unknown

  52. #52
    Axe
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    Quote Originally Posted by rideitall View Post
    Also even setting the sag, if you set 30% with no H/L compression then add compression you are no longer at 30% perhaps only 25-27%. So maybe the H/L compression settings to be set then finish dialing in the sag? Keep piggyback at around 185 then increase if bottoming out, or decrease the piggyback volume (decreasing pressure first). So many options and not enough time to figure it all out.
    I usually set sag with all compression/rebound full open and after compressing it a few times, and then just reset to the exact same pressure after getting other adjustments. LSC and stiction does not let it to settle into sag unless you move around a bit, but than it is not precise enough.

  53. #53
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    I see it the same as Axe, setting sag is a pure static affair in which you're trying to hit the right "spring rate". If I where searching for the right spring rate on a coil, I would not want compression damping influences meddle with my choice of spring. As Axe pointed out stiction and damping will hamper with settling in to sag, although even with a lot of lsc it will sonner or later settle to the same value as without, you would just have to be static on the bike so much longer....

    I wouldn't start trying to compare base settings from ccdba, there are just to many differences in the shocks to make that viable.

    In regard to which setting does what and how to go about finding that sweet spot, I try to not see it toooo scientifically... go more by your gut feel and try to reduce single parameters to one purpose.

    My approach looked something like this (albeit, this is for above DH rig):

    - 180psi in PB
    - set main pressure for desired sag, all clickers open
    - did some "parkinglot" pedaling, cranking hard like I was trying to get back up to speed after a slow, sharp turn and set up LSC to inhibit pedaling and body movement influences without getting the feeling the shock was "stiffening up"
    - set rebound the way I like it (in essence: stood next to the bike, drop my weight on the saddle to compress the rear as much as possible and set rebound so that it comes back as fast as possible without it jumping in my face )
    - 2-3 clicks HSC to start with
    - RIDE!
    - fine tune HSC for stutter/square edged stuff
    - looked for a heavy g-out or some jumps with bigger impact to fine tune LSC

    that more or less compromises my "base setup".

    from there I try to take things intuitively.
    for example, when I was in the Alps:

    started bottoming out more - tried more comp damping -> bike felt more nervous -> reset comp to "base" and tried reducing PB volume 1/2 turn, then 1 turn (keeping 180psi)-> bingo!

    Alps needed less pedaling so rduced LSC 2 clicks

    so on and so forth.... sorry for long post

  54. #54
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    I just had my first ride on the HLA Air. It replaced a lightly used coil Rocco TST R, and even with almost zero tuning (i.e. I eyeballed sag, and arbitrarily set rebound, 3 clicks into LSC and 1 click into HSC) it kicked the crap out of the Rocco when it came to high speed chatter (which was the reason I was replacing the Rocco which just comes with a single rebound adjustment).

    I assume the shock will improve once I bother to tinker with the settings, but even with my completely guessed settings it was a huge improvement.

  55. #55
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    Quote Originally Posted by raschaa View Post
    I see it the same as Axe, setting sag is a pure static affair in which you're trying to hit the right "spring rate". If I where searching for the right spring rate on a coil, I would not want compression damping influences meddle with my choice of spring. As Axe pointed out stiction and damping will hamper with settling in to sag, although even with a lot of lsc it will sonner or later settle to the same value as without, you would just have to be static on the bike so much longer....

    I wouldn't start trying to compare base settings from ccdba, there are just to many differences in the shocks to make that viable.

    In regard to which setting does what and how to go about finding that sweet spot, I try to not see it toooo scientifically... go more by your gut feel and try to reduce single parameters to one purpose.

    My approach looked something like this (albeit, this is for above DH rig):

    - 180psi in PB
    - set main pressure for desired sag, all clickers open
    - did some "parkinglot" pedaling, cranking hard like I was trying to get back up to speed after a slow, sharp turn and set up LSC to inhibit pedaling and body movement influences without getting the feeling the shock was "stiffening up"
    - set rebound the way I like it (in essence: stood next to the bike, drop my weight on the saddle to compress the rear as much as possible and set rebound so that it comes back as fast as possible without it jumping in my face )
    - 2-3 clicks HSC to start with
    - RIDE!
    - fine tune HSC for stutter/square edged stuff
    - looked for a heavy g-out or some jumps with bigger impact to fine tune LSC

    that more or less compromises my "base setup".

    from there I try to take things intuitively.
    for example, when I was in the Alps:

    started bottoming out more - tried more comp damping -> bike felt more nervous -> reset comp to "base" and tried reducing PB volume 1/2 turn, then 1 turn (keeping 180psi)-> bingo!

    Alps needed less pedaling so rduced LSC 2 clicks

    so on and so forth.... sorry for long post
    Thanks man. That was easy to follow and very helpful.

    Putting this shock on my new Jedi both showed up yesterday

  56. #56
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    Glad I could help, let us know how the shock works on the Jedi!

  57. #57
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    Good info in this thread.
    Can someone give a good explanation of the piggyback pressure and volume?
    For example, how will the shock feel when comparing the smallest volume vs the largest volume at the same pressure?
    Why would I choose to adjust pressure instead of volume, and vise-versa.
    What should I be paying attention to in order to know which of te two to change?

    Thanks

  58. #58
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    as far as I know x-fusin stateside is always a good adress for setup questions...

    pb pressure can be viewed as bottom out resistance, pb volume will influence the progression rate. raising pressure will increase bottom out resistance and reducing volume will make progression kick in earlier and steeper. ovbiously both parameters will influence each other.

    I would start with max volume and find the pressure needed to only bottom out when things get realllly gnarly. if you feel you're blowing through travel to quickly reduce volume while keeping same pressure (so as not to confuse yourself unnecessarily).

  59. #59
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    It's been a year now. However, I could not put the shock to its paces until the last three months and more specifically, the last two months.

    I'm really happy with it. In like 400kms of riding and a full year, it has needed zero maintenance so far. Certainly it has not seen intensive use, to be honest, but so far so good. It holds air pressure fairly well over long periods of time (like two months that I spent without riding at one point). Barely any pressure drop in such periods.

    I rode it in the end of the Wet Season here in Darwin, Australia and now going into the Dry Season. Conditions have gone from miserable wet to talcum-dry dust in a matter of a few weeks.

    Now I need to do something with the fork, because even with it being a coil fork, it doesn't feel as plush as the Vector. The Vector is the best air shock I've ridden, even though I have not ridden any other high dollar ones but it gives a run for its money to some coil shocks.

    I still feel the rebound could be better tuned for my bike/weight combo and I still need to work a bit more on the midstroke but it's more a problem with my bike and weight than with the shock.

    Over the rough it's brilliant. Velcro. I'd still like a little more compliance on square edge bumps, but I still need to play a bit more with the shock.

    I was riding the shock with 7 clicks of LSC but it felt harsh and it felt really like an air shock but backed off to 3 clicks in from full open LSC and the plushness came back.

    That may be my only gripe with the shock, and that's my fault. The adjusters are all almost all the way open. 55psi give me 25% sag on a lower leverage setting of the bike.

    As I'm writing this, I realize that I have made a lot of changes (big and small) and the shock has taken it all like a champ. I may move back to the longer travel setting of my bike just to get more leverage, use more pressure on the shock hand hopefully the adjusters may play better in my favour.

    All in all, great shock. I do not regret a second getting one, I do not feel the urge to upgrade and I'd only wish I could get it professionally tuned for my bike and myself.

    Cheers!
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  60. #60
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    hey Warp!

    55psi sounds waaaay low

    in my dh-bike (222x69) I'm running 95psi and in my Enduro (215x63) 82psi. I run 5-7 clicks LSC (depending on how pedally the terrain is) and 5 clicks HSC... maybe a refill with the thinnest oil you can find will get your clickers more into the ball park?

  61. #61
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    Rode my FR bike yesterday with the HLR. Dropped the pressure down to 140 psi (8.75 x 2.75), with me at 190lbs + gear. Previous ride had felt a little harsh at 150psi. Set the piggyback to almost 200psi. Ran a few clicks of HSC and 1/4 turn on LSC.

    Felt great, best thing I can say is that I never really noticed it. The bike was running nice and smooth over some pretty rough terrain.

  62. #62
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    First ride yesterday with Vector Air HLR.

    - 3/4 turn of bottom out
    - 185psi in reservoir (just to be safe).
    - set air spring pressure for desired sag, all clickers full open (ended up with 125 psi for 28% sag)
    - jumped up and down on the pedals and dialed in 8 clicks of rebound.
    - 6 clicks of LSC to start. (based on Maverick005's settings as he is a little lighter than me)
    - 3 clicks HSC to start.

    Then I rode a loop that I ridden the previous day with the Debonair fitted.
    Undulating climb to start with, pretty smooth trail, occassional root or rock to clear, normally on the steepest parts of the short punchy climbs!!

    I was happy with the LSC and RB. Happy with the lack of pedal induced bob, great traction, almost at the "not even thinking about my shock" stage of riding but thought that the RB might be a touch fast, ie some slight bucking at higher speeds.

    Got into a black tech trail, this has nice g-outs, steep rock rolls, small drops and lots of rocks and roots, challenging punchy climbs and tech swtichbeacks. I decided I did not need as much LSC so backed it off to 5 clicks (from full open). Stopped at the look out and added one click of RB (total of 9 from full open) to slow the rear wheel extension down a touch.

    Notice that the clicks make much more of a difference on the Vector than on the Monarch Debonair or my previous Fox RP23 (the good one not the CTD one).

    Rode the rest of the trail including far more steep chundery rock faces, g-out berms, loamy off camber corners and rooty sections. Also more log drops. O-ring says that I used about 80% of travel which is what I expected.

    Most important point is that I do not even notice the shock, I have amazing traction, the bike feels balanced and holds up well in the mid travel

    I cannot believe the difference in set up air pressure. I have dropped it to 120 psi for my ride today.

    For info the shock is on a 2014 Nomad 3C (XL) running Pike Solo Air RCT3, XTR-XX1 mix, ENVE M70 wheels with Continental Mountain King II 2.4" tyres (tubeless) running 24.5 psi rear and 22.5 psi front. I am 6'2" tall, 34" inseam, 215 lbs in my riding kit and ride at reasonably fast pace until speeds get crazy high which is where my risk/ reward chip kicks in and I let the younger guys go.
    Last edited by AndrewBikeGuide; 03-26-2015 at 03:19 PM.

  63. #63
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    just for grins:

    i've noticed a lot of people run HSC fairly open and start to crank in rebound when they feel it gets "bucky". My experience is that more HSC helps keep the damper higher in the stroke and you need less rebound to compensate for the more preload you're getting when runnning deeper into the travel than really necessary on low HSC...

  64. #64
    beater
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    Quote Originally Posted by AndrewBikeGuide View Post
    Most important point is that I do not even notice the shock, I have amazing traction, the bike feels balanced and holds up well in the mid travel
    This describes my experience, too.

    Mine is due for a service/rebuild this winter. I'm getting some noise at the end of the rebound stroke now. The options look to be either sending it to X-Fusion or to QBP. I've actually heard good reports on the QBP suspension service.

  65. #65
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    Custom tuned version is the best air shock going if you ask me.

    One thing to note when you do an air-sleeve service... Use Slick Honey and NOT Float Fluid for internal lube. If you use an oil, like Float Fluid, it will all migrate past the seal to the negative chamber which sends bad juju. Don't ask me how I know this. They recommend Slick Honey grease for a REASON!

    Have FUN!

    G MAN
    "There's two shuttles, one to the top and one to the hospital" I LOVE this place!!!

  66. #66
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    Quote Originally Posted by raschaa View Post
    just for grins:

    i've noticed a lot of people run HSC fairly open and start to crank in rebound when they feel it gets "bucky". My experience is that more HSC helps keep the damper higher in the stroke and you need less rebound to compensate for the more preload you're getting when runnning deeper into the travel than really necessary on low HSC...

    Something I recently learned, when youve cranked up the rear HSC enough that it starts being harsh on bumps, and still have some bucking going on, back it off a bit till is plush again, then bump up the HSC on the fork a couple of clicks. The fork willl take more of the take the hit, and pass less force into the shock, and still be plush. It works.

  67. #67
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    Very cool to see so many positive comments on the vector hlr air.
    This is easily the top 3 rear shocks I've been able to produce.
    I noticed some interesting comments and suggestions above and will try to offer my thoughts. Nothing worse than a bad set up and plus it's really important for me to see consumers educated.
    Regarding the comment above me, for air sleeve maintenance, I always found a slurry of slick honey and your favorite synthetic shock oil to work the best. And there's no +to- transfer port on XFusion shocks, so no need to worry about transferring oil into the negative chamber.

  68. #68
    moaaar shimz
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    Quote Originally Posted by Off Street Only View Post
    Very cool to see so many positive comments on the vector hlr air.
    This is easily the top 3 rear shocks I've been able to produce.
    I noticed some interesting comments and suggestions above and will try to offer my thoughts. Nothing worse than a bad set up and plus it's really important for me to see consumers educated.
    Regarding the comment above me, for air sleeve maintenance, I always found a slurry of slick honey and your favorite synthetic shock oil to work the best. And there's no +to- transfer port on XFusion shocks, so no need to worry about transferring oil into the negative chamber.
    Hey Anthony,

    Why did X-Fusion decide to go for a non-equalizing negative air chamber? Fox has a patent on that?

    I really like the Vector series, only gripes are the lack of transfer port on the Air's sleeve, the lack of squeeze on the Air's wiper seal (lets tons of dirt in, maybe it has been fixed?) and the lack of bleed ports (IFP and bridge) on both Coil and Air versions.

  69. #69
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    Quote Originally Posted by tacubaya View Post
    Hey Anthony,

    Why did X-Fusion decide to go for a non-equalizing negative air chamber? Fox has a patent on that?

    I really like the Vector series, only gripes are the lack of transfer port on the Air's sleeve, the lack of squeeze on the Air's wiper seal (lets tons of dirt in, maybe it has been fixed?) and the lack of bleed ports (IFP and bridge) on both Coil and Air versions.
    - fox has a patent on that, but RS has been using it these last couple years. Perhaps a little legal handshake as many patents seem to overlap these days. I originally didn't put the bulge in the negative chamber to increase the volume because the ratio of x-section area was so big, so it doesn't need huge volume. Anyway. Sure, it can limit a balance in the pressure ranges used, but that too can be manipulated in stock sleeves.
    - seals, I didn't get a chance to put custom wipers and seals I had slated for all air seals. I started with off the shelf to get ride testing going quickly and had custom in the works. My preferred path. I doubt XFusion got custom seals or that they would even know what to ask for. I did not leave them with that info.
    - bleed, I understand. Qtys were low and I never had a problem bleeding the coil. I thought I had done something in the sealhead for the air. It should have one, but for small qtys you can always build it under oil. Not ideal, but would work great.

  70. #70
    moaaar shimz
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    Quote Originally Posted by Off Street Only View Post
    - fox has a patent on that, but RS has been using it these last couple years. Perhaps a little legal handshake as many patents seem to overlap these days. I originally didn't put the bulge in the negative chamber to increase the volume because the ratio of x-section area was so big, so it doesn't need huge volume. Anyway. Sure, it can limit a balance in the pressure ranges used, but that too can be manipulated in stock sleeves.
    - seals, I didn't get a chance to put custom wipers and seals I had slated for all air seals. I started with off the shelf to get ride testing going quickly and had custom in the works. My preferred path. I doubt XFusion got custom seals or that they would even know what to ask for. I did not leave them with that info.
    - bleed, I understand. Qtys were low and I never had a problem bleeding the coil. I thought I had done something in the sealhead for the air. It should have one, but for small qtys you can always build it under oil. Not ideal, but would work great.
    Yeah, I just wished it had a bleed port on the bridge to use a vacuum bleeder, I know a couple of service centers that vacuum bleed them from the compression adjuster bore but that isn't close to ideal.

  71. #71
    yet another stupid german
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    bleeding the air vector is a royal PIA, have even considered machining a bleed port at the bridge myself... bleed port at IFP is an easy diy.

  72. #72
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    Just bought a the Vector air, went to replace the eyelet bushes with 12.7mm but theY are too small
    Any ideas what they take and where you can get them from
    i am in the UK

  73. #73
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    I would speak to TF Tuned. I was sent mine installed by the dealer once he knew I was changing from Monarch Debonair on a Nomad.

    Mount Kits and Bushings for Rear Shocks - A Guide - TF Tuned

    says they a 12mm but thinner in some way?
    XTR Di2
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  74. #74
    moaaar shimz
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    No, Vector Air uses standard 12.7mm ID bushings.

  75. #75
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    I miss my Vector Air. To answer the question it is standard 1/2" DU bushing that is used in FOX, RS and others. I think Manitou is the lone holdout with the 12mm eyelet size.

  76. #76
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    Update: 'Final set up' for Vector Air HLR.

    - 1/4 turn of bottom out.
    - 180psi in reservoir.
    - 120 psi for 33% sag.
    - 9 clicks of rebound.
    - 5 clicks of LSC.
    - 3 clicks HSC.

    It is about 95% awesome, just wish it had a climb switch that brought in a slightly firmer LSC and LSR circuit.

    For info the shock is on a 2014 Nomad 3C (XL) running Pike Solo Air RCT3, XTR-XX1 mix, ENVE M70 wheels with Continental Mountain King II 2.4" tyres (tubeless) running 24 psi rear and 22 psi front. I am 6'2" tall, 34" inseam, 215 lbs in my riding kit and ride at reasonably fast pace until speeds get crazy high which is where my risk/ reward chip kicks in and I let the younger guys go.
    XTR Di2
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  77. #77
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    HI Guys thanks for the reply on the bushing,
    I now have my shock back and did my first Ride in the Peak District, which has some pretty decent rocky down hill sections

    I am running an El Guapo V3 with a X fusion slant fork i am 210lbs with kit(on a dry day)

    To Be honest the whole set up is confusing me

    i went with 1 turn from full open on bottom out
    185 psi in PB
    110 Psi for 35% sag
    10 clicks rebound
    7 Lsc
    4 Hsc

    not being a guru , but it seemed to affect my fork action|( might just be me) as the shock is so different from my Monarch 216 x 63

    the bike felt a little more jittery on down hill rocky sections like to much rebound and i have ridden these trails a few time, the bike wasn't uncontrollable, but didn't feel dialled in

    i also wasn't getting full travel but didn't want to go less air in the main chamber am i near or miles out any help gratefully received

    i ride lots of different areas, DH, trail, enduro, natural i know i won't get it all and peddling up with a little bob isn't an issue
    Last edited by Kitbag101; 04-14-2015 at 12:09 AM.

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