Enduro 06 Expert / DHX Air 5.0 - Rear end feel?
What should the back end of my new Enduro feel like? After three rides I the DHX 5.0 Air shock suffered the dreaded stick down and was returned for repair. Since I've had it back I've had real trouble setting the shock up and don't know whether it's me, or the shock is still faulty.
I weigh 185lbs and have the the shock set at 210 PSI to get correct sag, rebound 7 clicks clockwise from fully out, bottom out control fully on and propedal 1 turn back from full on.
When I'm riding the local trails I find that I've used 90% of shock travel just cycling up the smoothish climbs at the start. When it comes to the descent it will bottom out after relatively minor features eg. the compression coming off a rolling hump though seems not to so much on drops.
I'm at my wits end here - more pressure in the shock helps with the bottoming out but I lose static sag and I'm worried about being so far over the recommended pressure for my weight.
If anyone could tell me whether this is normal, or whether the shock still has problems I'd be greatful!
I have an 06 Enduro Expert with the DHX Air 4.0 (same weight as you too), and found the ride to be similar to yours at first. I ended up increasing the Rebound more than I thought it would need to be set at, and now it's fine. I think it's at 1 click out from full, again more than you think it should be, but if it rides better, why not.
I think part of this is because the stock spring is setup for lighter riders than us (at least, this is what I've heard).
I do a mix of riding, from singletrack, to urban, to jumps, etc. If I was doing strictly downhill, I think I would set the rebound closer to 7 clicks out.
'12 RM Slayer70, i9 Torch, Flow EX, XT Brakes, 5050 s3.
I just created a thread on a topic very similiar to this. I too have an 06 Enduro Expert - After 5 rides my shock started dripping oil out of the rebound control dial. LBS kindly swapped for another - and now I cannot get this thing setup correctly. I swear that on mine the propedal dial does nothing -the bike does bob quite a bit regardless if i'm full + or full minus on the dial. I'm pretty sure that the first shock i had on my bike didn't behave like this. I have about 205psi in mine as well which seems to get the sag correctly but i too notice that it almost bottoms when i'm just riding to the trail head.
Have you played with the bottom out control? I have lost count how many times i have tried all the way in or all the way out and can't say i really notice any idfference.
i'm starting to suspect that this shock is defective as well.
For me its the shock bob that drives me nuts.
I have an 06 Enduro and yes, like most other early Fox DHX Air shocks, it suffered the dreaded 'stuck-down' problem during the winter. The shock was serviced and fixed by Mojo (I'm in the UK) and since then I haven't had any problems and am really happy with its performance.
I'm around 210lb with camelbak etc. and have the shock set up as follows:
Main Chamber: 260 psi
Rebound: 9 turns from full fast
Pro-pedal: 10 turns from full on
Bottom out: 1.5 turns from full open (around midway)
Boost valve is fixed.
This gives me around 20mm sag and a nice progressive feel with very little bob. You're never going to totally eliminate pedal bob on a 6'' travel four bar bike if you still want it to be active on the drops and rocky descents. You do need to be patient and play around with the shock before you find out what works for you - it is uber tunable. If you want more settings do a search on the Turner forum - but remember that their comments include boost valve adjustment.
The DHX Air seems to have a typical air spring curve which is steep at the begining of the travel relatively flat through the middle of the travel and then ramps up considerably at the end. The flat portion in the middle makes the ride plush but also uses a lot of travel. However the ramp up at the end will prevent most bottoming. If you are using most of the travel but not bottoming don't worry about it and enjoy the plush ride. If you are bottoming then you will have to add more main pressure or bottom out control (assuming it's not maxed already). If you are adding more main pressure because you are concerned that you are using almost all the travel, I suggest you reduce the pressure and see if you bottom as you may be not getting as plush a ride as you could. For example the Specialized recommended main pressure (chart came with the bike) for my weight of 180 lbs is 175 psi. I was running 200 psi and max bottoming control but have now backed off to 180 psi and middle bottoming control.
The propedal (according to Fox) effective in the first 1/3 of the travel. I do notice that it is more effective at reducing bob on smooth terrain when the main pressure is higher (therefore less sag) but I don't think it is worth it on trail conditions. The FSR design and this particular design with the top link almost vertical will always bob to some degree as there is not enough anti-squat in the design. However the advantage is very little pedal feedback when pedalling through the rough. The amount of inefficiency is not significant when on the trail unless you are racing XC and getting out of the saddle alot - but you wouldn't do that on this bike. I run my propedal at only 4 clicks from open.
Regarding rebound I have found that unless the rebound is set relatively fast the plushness and tracking is compromised. I have mine set so that I actually get some kickback off of some rollers if I stay seated. If I increase the rebound the high speed performance is compromised and you should stand up and absorb the rollers with your body anyways. Downhillers set their sag and rebound up in the standing "attack" position to balance front and back.
rider = 180- lbs
main pressure = 180 lbs
bottom out = middle marking
propedal = 4 clicks from open
rebound = 6 clicks from open (from memory - I will have to check and the bike is not here)
My DHX Air has taken a while to set up as well, and I think that this mainly relates to the fact that I also didn't find the recommended settings to be that accurate, so they were a little mis-guiding in terms of start point.
In my opinion, when set with normal sag setting, it's too soft. There is either some impact due to the propedal, or initial stiction (as this eased up quite a bit over the first couple of weeks).
I am about 160lbs, maybe 170 with camelback. I run a 200-205psi main air pressure, with zero bottom out, and 5 clicks of propedal. Rebound is just over 60% (can't recall how many clicks - but isn't it 16/24?). This is a soft and plush setup, not XC stiff by any means and it requires a nice smooth pedal stroke. The upside is that it is superb traction/grip on the DH.
The shock has a very light compression damping as stock. This is why you need a little bit more main chamber pressure than recommended. Also, the stiction etc when fairly new lead you to believe that you have achieved circa 30% sag, when in fact it's still too soft and is being propped up artificially. Add a little air, it's quite sensitive. 10psi makes a lot of difference. The other option would be to have a little more compression damping added, but this isn't a home-tune job - send it to push or similar.
I agree that this shock/leverage ratio seems to suit a lighter rider. If I was much heavier I would be up to running over 250psi.....