Results 1 to 20 of 20
  1. #1
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Dec 2015
    Posts
    37

    Smuggler shock options

    I've had my smuggler for a year and I'm frustrated with the stock monarch. Rebound seems finicky between packing up and losing stability. For reference I am 190lbs, running 170 psi with 2 bands @ 35% sag. Choppy rocky terrain seems to cause the most noticeable issues.

    Options I am looking at are:
    Dvo topaz
    Monarch plus
    Cane Creek dbi air
    Cand Creek dbi coil

    Any experience with any of these would be greatly appreciated!

  2. #2
    mtbr member
    Reputation: 2w4s's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Posts
    1,148
    35% sag seems like it would give any shocks fits, check out vorsprung suspension tech talk series on vitalmtb, I have to run my ccdb air closer to 25% to get it to feel real right even.

  3. #3
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Dec 2015
    Posts
    37
    What makes you say that? Transition optimized the linkage around 35% sag. Running 25% on the smuggler made it feel off

  4. #4
    mtbr member
    Reputation: 2w4s's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Posts
    1,148
    How does it feel off at 25%, what are you feeling? Shocks in my experience at 35% sag produces the effects you describe. check out this vid, it has some really great info on air shocks, volume spacers, and the effects they have on each other. I think the highlight for your question starts at about 11min, Too much sag and a lot of spacers results in a shock that only have a small amount of usable travel that ramps up like crazy and produces a harsh effect. Hopefully this helps!

    The Tuesday Tune 3 - Air Springs and Volume Spacers Video - Pinkbike

  5. #5
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Dec 2015
    Posts
    37
    25% (higher spring rate = higher frequency) made the issues with rebound worse. I had to dial in more rebound to keep the rear wheel from kicking around in choppy terrain. The result was a dead feeling that packed up, or no chassis stability. The higher the spring rate, the smaller the usable range of damping seems to be. Two spacers and 35% sag is the baseline setup recommended by transition. I have ran between zero and 4 spacers, sag from 20% to 40%. Finding a rebound setting has been a trade off between bouncy and dead no matter what.

  6. #6
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Posts
    614
    I had same problem with Monarch Debonair on different bike. Had to revalve it and after several tries it is perfect. The shock was stock MM tune. There was disbalance between high and low speed rebound. When I opened the lsr enough to avoid packing up on successive hits there was too few hsr and bike was kicking back in case of bigger hits. I made the hsr stiffer - all details are in RT3 tuning thread in shocks forum. I was able to reduce the lsr from 7 clicks to 4 clicks - it is not packing up and it is not kicking back. Other change that I made was to reduce the preload on the main compression stack - it gave me much better small bump compliance. It is really worth it.

  7. #7
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Dec 2015
    Posts
    37
    That is good info. Thank you!

  8. #8
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Posts
    98
    Depending on your riding style and weight the suggestions from Transition might work - or not
    In my case the recommendation with 35% SAG and two bands inside of the Monarch did not work well. It bobbled too much while climbing and I had harsh bottom outs in landings. By the way: Rider weight 75kg
    So, I installed a third, a fourth and a fifth rubber band just to realize, that for my riding style and weight four bands are fine. I increased as well the air to approx. 30% SAG. I also went lower than 30% SAG with the Monarch but I totally agree - then the damping system feels dead.

    Ok, back to topic. I had the chance of getting a Marzocchi 053 Damper which I do run right now in the Smuggler. It is quite a progressive Damper so overall it fits to my demands (by adding the rubber bands you just increase the progressivity of the Monarch). I strongly recommend this damper for the Smuggler.

    As the Marzocchi has a superb slippery feel right from the beginning I dropped the SAG to 25%. I also checked the leverage ratio before that on linkage. There you realize that this will not have any negative effects. 25% SAG results for the Smuggler in a much more effective pedaling feeling while the shock is full open while I am still using all of its travel (not as often as before with the Monarch, probably only every third ride). Also you will come up with your bottom bracket a bit, so I do not have any problems with the crank while climbing.
    Hope this helps a bit.
    Greetings from Germany!

  9. #9
    aaarrrggghh!
    Reputation: Ivan the Terrible's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Posts
    620
    I will add my 2 cents to this thread. I had an older Float X from my Bandit 27.5 frame that I ended up keeping when I sold that frame. I knew it would fit my Smuggler so I was happy the guy who bought it didn't want the shock.

    This particular shock seems to work fantastic with this frame. If I add air to give it better bottom out and more support it still feels like butter off the top and super smooth through the travel. I have run the Monarch and the Float X back to back on the same trail on the same day and the difference between the two is substantial. The only drawback for me is that I cannot use a water bottle due to the piggyback on this shock (running a medium frame).

    The bike does feel more active during pedaling with the Float X but in my mind that just translates to better traction over technical features when climbing.

  10. #10
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Dec 2015
    Posts
    37
    Thanks everyone for your experiences. I'm going to put a DB inline on the bike (got a good deal) and start fresh with tuning. The monarch needs service so I considering changing the tune just for fun. I will keep it around in case the inline has issues.

  11. #11
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Sep 2013
    Posts
    41
    Hey guys,

    Monarch blew up but was having similar issues to the OP regarding feeling hung up on choppy rocky terrain so decided not to fix it and bought a 2017 Fox Float X evol. I'm 76 kg kitted up and am running it at 170 psi with a .4 volume reducer to achieve 33% sag. Done multiple runs on tracks I know well and I am very happy with the upgrade. I have just left it in the full open setting the whole time. It climbs equally to the monarch but pedals a bit nicer on flat efforts when going for it. In terms of descending it handles big hits in a similar manner to the monarch which I never had an issue with but tracks heaps better over fast choppy stuff. It just seems to track the ground a lot nicer and holds pace easier without getting as hung up.

    Cheers

  12. #12
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Posts
    614
    I'm also happy Smuggler-owner now.

    Transition has done a really good job at the suspension design. The bike pedals very well. On a steep rooty climb where you need to lift the rear wheel over the step created by big root and press harder on the pedals, the bike does not sag, but rather springs forward.

    But the shock tune selection is strange. Low compression and low rebound damping on an XL frame with leverage ration 2.3 is not a good choice. I'm 100kg and run 220psi to get 35% sag.

    I tried the stock shock tune on two rides, but as I expected was not able to find a good setting for rebound that works on both big and small bumps.

    On the compression side RockShox has heavily preloaded main stack to make the lockout work. You can feel it even when the compression adjuster is in the open position. I don't want lockout, I want to smooth the rooty trail.

    So I revalved the shock. On the rebound side tried something similar to medium tune first, on the compression side something like medium minus, but with greatly reduced preload. The bike was too wallovy and used bit too much travel. Compression adjuster had very little effect.

    I increased the rebound further and used high rebound stack. On the compression side I increased the low speed compression damping and increased platform tiny bit.

    I just came back from testing and it felt good. I'm running rebound adjuster in the middle and compression in the open position. It feels like I'm riding through the roots not over them. Pedalling efficiency is still good, no bobbing. I'm going to run this tune for some time and see if I want to fine tune it further.

    If somebody wants to try it, here is my setup:

    rebound stack (from nut, stock H tune)

    19 x .1
    19 x .15 + 16.3 x .1 ring shim
    19 x .1
    11 x .2 - 2 pcs
    11 x .3 - 3 pcs
    19 x .15 - 3 pcs
    19 x .3 + 16.3 x .15 ring shim
    19 x .15

    compression stack (from piston, custom tune)

    22 x .25 - 2 pcs
    22 x .4 + 19 x .1 ring shim
    22 x .15 - 2 pcs
    11 x .2 - 2 pcs
    11 x .3 - 3 pcs
    22 x .2 - 2 pcs

    And another thing - I lowered the IFP pressure to 250psi, to help to reduce the seal stiction.

    I might try to increase the HSC in the future and put a shim between the 22 x .25 shims and ring shim.

    If you are heavier rider I really suggest to try M or H rebound tune.

  13. #13
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Dec 2015
    Posts
    37
    After not liking the DB Inline, I traded it out for a MM monarch plus. At 190lbs, I'm excited to try it

  14. #14
    SoCal mtbr
    Reputation: arashi's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Posts
    278
    I just slapped on a DB IL Coil last night and my initial ride around the block was pretty nice and plush but still gave me enough pop to bunny hop easily. I'll get a true feel later today when I go for a ride. Looks pretty sweet to me though and feels matched to my Rockshox Pike with an Avalanche cartridge.

    Smuggler shock options-img_3597.jpgSmuggler shock options-img_3596.jpgSmuggler shock options-img_3593.jpgSmuggler shock options-img_3592.jpgSmuggler shock options-img_3590.jpg
    Instagram: @steven_bikes

    2016 Transition Smuggler aka The Honey Badger

  15. #15
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Sep 2013
    Posts
    41
    How did the coil go Arashi? Would love a ride report and to know if the bike lost much pop as a result of the coil?

  16. #16
    SoCal mtbr
    Reputation: arashi's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Posts
    278
    Quote Originally Posted by Excelsior01 View Post
    How did the coil go Arashi? Would love a ride report and to know if the bike lost much pop as a result of the coil?
    The coil shock was great! Amazing traction on the climbs and if you want more efficiency you could always flip the climb lever which really settles down any movement in the rear. It's not a lockout though so keep that in mind. I kept it open even on the climbs because there were some rocky techy sections that would normally cause me to spin up rocks but with this setup it had a lot more traction. On the descents it felt great eating up all the small bumps and still giving me pop to get it in the air whenever I wanted. I was only going to use this coil for big rides or going to Big Bear for park runs but now I don't think I'd want to go back to an air shock ever again!

    Smuggler shock options-image-1.jpg
    Instagram: @steven_bikes

    2016 Transition Smuggler aka The Honey Badger

  17. #17
    mtbr member
    Reputation: MediumDiesel's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2013
    Posts
    42
    Thanks for letting us know. My buddy loves his cane creek coil on his scout. Nice to know it works well on the smuggler too. I may have to save up for a while...

  18. #18
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Posts
    614
    Quote Originally Posted by arnea View Post

    compression stack (from piston, custom tune)

    22 x .25 - 2 pcs
    22 x .4 + 19 x .1 ring shim
    22 x .15 - 2 pcs
    11 x .2 - 2 pcs
    11 x .3 - 3 pcs
    22 x .2 - 2 pcs

    And another thing - I lowered the IFP pressure to 250psi, to help to reduce the seal stiction.

    I might try to increase the HSC in the future and put a shim between the 22 x .25 shims and ring shim.

    If you are heavier rider I really suggest to try M or H rebound tune.
    Initially this compression stack felt ok, but after I got my Manitou Magnum tuned, the shock felt bad. When I was moving over medium sized roots at medium speed, the shock did not compress as easily as fork and hardtail like feeling. Still too much platform.

    I revalved the shock once again:

    22 x .25 - 3 pcs
    22 x .4 + 19 x .1 ring shim
    22 x .15 - 1 pcs
    11 x .2 - 2 pcs
    11 x .3 - 3 pcs
    22 x .2 - 2 pcs

    So - less preload and stiffer speed stack. I also removed two spacers from air camber (only one left) and increased little bit the air pressure. The idea was to make spring more linear (more support at the middle at same bottom out force). The initial force increased also, but this was offset by much less platform on the compression side, so the total force probably decreased.

    Today I had finally chance to test the bike on my local tracks. Rear end felt balanced with fork. Very nice and plush over roots, especially on fast descents, I would say that support on larger hits was also good, but I really had not time to test it. Rear end was lively - perhaps little bit too much, I must look at rebound side again.

    I would say it was another step in right direction.

    Just one thing - with this stack one will loose the lockout and pedal platform features almost completely. Because there is so few preload on the main stack, it will flow very easily. I did not test the compression lever though - I run the shock always open. Giddy Up suspension has very good anti-squat curve and I don't see the need for lockout or platform.

  19. #19
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Aug 2011
    Posts
    476
    ride your bikes.

  20. #20
    SoCal mtbr
    Reputation: arashi's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Posts
    278
    I'm not sure why my images disappeared cause I could have sworn they loaded when I posted. Oh well here they are again if anyone wants to see a coil on a Smuggler. Smuggler shock options-img_3597.jpgSmuggler shock options-img_3596.jpgSmuggler shock options-img_3593.jpgSmuggler shock options-img_3592.jpgSmuggler shock options-img_3590.jpg
    Instagram: @steven_bikes

    2016 Transition Smuggler aka The Honey Badger

Similar Threads

  1. Smuggler vs Scout? Can I make a smuggler more nimble?
    By BobbyLight350z in forum Transition Bikes
    Replies: 1
    Last Post: 02-02-2016, 12:24 PM
  2. Is this shock fade and are better shock options available?
    By mtnbkrmike in forum Shocks and Suspension
    Replies: 23
    Last Post: 08-27-2015, 10:39 AM
  3. HDR Shock Options
    By Iwan in forum Ibis
    Replies: 1
    Last Post: 09-16-2013, 11:33 PM
  4. RIP 9 shock options
    By JRandomRider in forum Niner Bikes
    Replies: 3
    Last Post: 07-22-2013, 09:53 AM
  5. Shock options
    By karpi in forum Shocks and Suspension
    Replies: 0
    Last Post: 05-01-2011, 05:33 PM

Members who have read this thread: 119

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •