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  1. #1
    FM
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    Good job! Lowered RFX with Avalanche Chubie

    Kinda two posts in one here. First an update on my "new" RFX. New in that after riding a large for 10 months, I came around to thinking I would be happier on a medium. I took advantage of Turners' crash replacement policy to trade my large in.... got a few rides in with this new medium and a borrowed RP23 (Thanks 1sr!) which affirmed the switch- The medium feels better in corners and in the air.

    With the large I had slight interference issues with my old roco TST hitting the downtube, these issues would have been worse on the medium, so I wanted to do something else for a shock. I was also curious about running a custom 7.75x2.25" shock on my '08 which would drop the bottom bracket and slacken angles a bit without reducing travel. I was curious about this since I used to really dig running my old '02 RFX with 5" rockers in back and a 150mm fork for similar low&slack geometry. Called Craig at Avalanche, it turned out he's already done this for other customers so he was able to guarantee fit, and also offer some specific tuning ideas based on the bike and my preferences. After talking with Craig for a while I felt a burning feeling in my pocket.... Craig knows his stuff!

    So here it is- the 7.75x2.25" shock dropped my BB 3/8" to 14" even. A small difference on paper but it really changed the feeling of the bike. It's almost too slack for flat /uphill trail riding, but running the Talas fork at 130mm gets the head angle back to 68.5 or so, with a 13.75" BB
    We mainly do fire-road climbs for singletrack descents, and the lower/slacker geometry works great for these trails. Also feeling better on the skinnies with the low BB.

    First ride on the avy, muddy local climb & drop, I noticed it did bob a bit more than I was used to but only on the steeper grunt sections of fire road climbing. On the downs it felt really good, but the trail conditions were too poor for me to really get a good feel for the shock. On the last descent I had my first "aha!" moment when I hit a rocky/rooty stretch at speed, I heard the tires hit but didn't feel a thing

    Some pics:
    Attached Images Attached Images

  2. #2
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    wow dude, that looks fantastic! I can't wait!


  3. #3
    No, that's not phonetic
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    Interesting. I bought BZ's Avy off him, also a 2.25x7.75, for my 7-Pack. BZ's got a solid (muscle? ) 30 pounds on me, and it seems that Avy's valving is pretty damn specific to a rider's weight. My Roco is far plusher despite playing with the Avy's hi/lo settings a lot. I will send it in to Avy for a revalve at some point, but right now it is in the hands of Team Sanchez for them to play with for a few months. A couple of them run the 2.25x7.875" Roco coils on their 7-Packs just like me, and some are closer to BZ in heft, so they may be able to offer some good feedback. I was surprised that I did not feel much of a geometry change going to the (slightly) shorter Avy shock. I rode the shock for the first 5 or so days of our Utah trip this spring and then switched back to my Roco TST.
    My video techniques can be found in this thread.

  4. #4
    FM
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    Part two

    Saturday the all mountain gong show/highlife crew headed up to vancouver BC to celebrate our buddy RG's bachelor party. We started things off with a few laps of "pipeline" on Mt. fromme. The upper trails are all under snow but the lower trails were in great shape and we had beautiful weather, finally!

    Pipeline is a killer flowy blue-diamond trail there- keep in mind blue-diamond on the northshore would be black diamond most places. A perfect trail to test the avy out on, with plenty of rooty steep banked corners and stair-step drops, some log rides and a roller coaster made of rock. Based on the previous ride impressions, I added 1 click of LS and backed out the HS 1 click.

    The avalanche absolutely blew my mind on pipeline.
    Hitting 2-3' drops at speed, I couldn't even feel my rear wheel touch down.
    Also, the shocks sensitivity at beginning of stroke is really impressive. It feels bottomless yet totally supple at the top.

    Again, the lower BB was noticable on skinnies, even just trackstanding feels easier. At higher speeds, the suspension and geometry changes have transformed this bike. We did only a tiny bit of technical climbing (on the baden powell), but I think this is one area where the geometry is a trade off- not bad but the stock geometry might be better here.

    No action shots of me but here are a few I took of my bro's, all in one play area.
    Attached Images Attached Images
    Last edited by FM; 04-27-2008 at 09:37 PM.

  5. #5
    thats right living legend
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    Love, love, LOVE IT!!! Sounds like a killer setup too! That chicken sticker is pure PSICKNESS!
    Can't stop, Won't stop.

  6. #6
    FM
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    Quote Originally Posted by tscheezy
    Interesting. I bought BZ's Avy off him, also a 2.25x7.75, for my 7-Pack. BZ's got a solid (muscle? ) 30 pounds on me, and it seems that Avy's valving is pretty damn specific to a rider's weight. My Roco is far plusher despite playing with the Avy's hi/lo settings a lot..
    I really like the roco WC on my highline, so I was mentioning my impressions of it to Craig when we talked. Let's just say this avy is a good step plusher than the roco, in fact the RFX feels plusher than my highline right now, despite running a heavier spring. I think you are right, he must really tune them for each bike and rider. I haven't strayed far from his stock settings, but he did mention that he valves the shocks specifically for the bike+rider so the adjustments are really just for fine-tuning.

    Do you happen to know what the BB height was with BZ's roco on your 7-pack?

  7. #7
    No, that's not phonetic
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    If I measured, I can't remember anymore what it was. CrashTheDOG has my shock now.

    If the Avy ends up plusher than the Roco, that'll be scary.

    Nice pics BTW.
    My video techniques can be found in this thread.

  8. #8
    Homer's problem child
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    Hmmmmmm. This has got me thinking about what I could do with my Terremoto with one of these. MY BB sits at 14.25" with 2.5 Maxxis tires F&R. HA is designed at 67.5 and not sure where it sits in reality with the Lyrik Coil and FSA 1.5 headset. Me thinks I could have the equvalent to an 09 RFX by putting one of these on my Moto, minus the Maxle rear end, which isn't a big deal since I'm running the Hadley bolt on anyway. The Moto rides great as is, but all this sub 14" bb talk has me curious.

    I've had an avy before on my old SC Super 8 and know how well they ride. I'm really thinking about this. Approximately how much did the Avy set you back? Back in 02' when I put one on my S8 it was around $750. I hope they've come down a bit.

    B
    When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro....

  9. #9
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    Very nice FM, the "new" bike looks awesome. You guys still have a ton of snow, ah?

    I just tried the Avy on my bike today for the first time, I'll write more about it after I finish taking some measurements but my first impressions agree wholeheartedly with your conclusions.

  10. #10
    FM
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    Quote Originally Posted by nybike1971
    You guys still have a ton of snow, ah?
    Hard to believe these pictures were taken just a week previous. The water tower is near the bottom of pipeline!

    Quote Originally Posted by Bortis Yelltzen
    Approximately how much did the Avy set you back? Back in 02' when I put one on my S8 it was around $750. I hope they've come down a bit.
    yeah they ain't cheap, $550 with steep spring plus $50 for the hi/lo speed adjuster.
    I am so impressed so far, I'm thinking it's well worth it over the cost of a production shock.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by FM
    yeah they ain't cheap, $550 with steep spring plus $50 for the hi/lo speed adjuster.
    I am so impressed so far, I'm thinking it's well worth it over the cost of a production shock.
    Same price as a CCDB. I was getting ready to send my DHX to Push. But now I'm thinking about sinking a few more $$ into something like this since Push doesn't do the custom length thing. I had the Avy DHS 2.5 with Hi/Low on my Super 8 and know how nice they ride.

    As far as clearance goes, how much more room does the Chubie have over the DHX and Roco? My moto will not it a Roco, DHX clears fine, same with CCDB's.

    Thanks for potentially hurting my wallet.

    B
    When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro....

  12. #12
    mr. wonderful
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    As much as I like the AVY on my Six Pack, I know it's just a matter of time before I pop for one for the HL

    I have to say though, the DHX feels better on the HL than on the Six Pack.

  13. #13
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    How close does the wheel come to the frame at max compression?

    The avy's are specific to bike, but alot of it comes down to what you tell craig. If you do a 5 foot to flat every blue moon but tell craig to set it up for 5 foot to flat then it will feel way to damped for the other 99% of the time. I have been riding avys for 8 years, best shock by far. The ability to reduce travel and eyelet lengths is an added bonus.

  14. #14
    the refurbished one
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    nice setup FM, congrats!

    what are the main differences between a oushed dhx and the avy? could sbd. tell me that?

    thanx
    Sokrates is dead, Galilei is dead, Newton is dead, Einstein is dead, Pantani is dead and i am feeling sick too.

  15. #15
    fried stuff with cheese
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    Nice FM,
    Glad the size swap worked out for you.
    Egg

  16. #16
    mr. wonderful
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    Quote Originally Posted by hball
    what are the main differences between a oushed dhx and the avy? could sbd. tell me that?
    Let me give it a shot. . . Joan Rivers or Heidi Klum?

  17. #17
    thats right living legend
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    Quote Originally Posted by dirtbag
    Let me give it a shot. . . Joan Rivers or Heidi Klum?
    Ah come on! That's ridiculous!!!


    FM your bikes looks like a completely different shade of green in the first pic from the other ones.
    Can't stop, Won't stop.

  18. #18
    the refurbished one
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    Quote Originally Posted by dirtbag
    Let me give it a shot. . . Joan Rivers or Heidi Klum?
    ok, and a little bit more precise!?

    thanx
    Sokrates is dead, Galilei is dead, Newton is dead, Einstein is dead, Pantani is dead and i am feeling sick too.

  19. #19
    thats right living legend
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    Quote Originally Posted by hball
    ok, and a little bit more precise!?

    thanx
    Pushed DHX is a very beautiful woman.

    Avy is a beautiful woman with money... that does what she's told.

    Could be?
    Can't stop, Won't stop.

  20. #20
    Lay off the Levers
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    Quote Originally Posted by FM
    Do you happen to know what the BB height was with BZ's roco on your 7-pack?
    I know what is was on mine.

    Stock Config / Mod Config
    BB: 14.5" / 14.5 + 1/8"
    HTA: 67.5 / 67.5
    STA: 71.5* / 72*
    SSA: 61* / ~61*
    CSA: 5* / ~6*
    RA: 1.5* / 2.5*


    My experience also echo's FM's. Tell Craig exactly what you are looking to achieve, take your time to discuss it with him and he will build one helluva stellar shock.

    TS, yeah I'm 235 w/o gear so I guess it's not much of a suprise my shock is overdamped for you. IIRC the nitro charge alone is 225psi and who knows how many sewer caps he used for a shim stack to keep that thing up under me. I also explained I planned on doing bigger and bigger drops.

    It's not like a CCDB in that the HS and LS adjusters are for flavoring, trail conditions and mission changes. They aren't there to re-tune the shock for a entirely different bike or rider. There was never a time or a setting where the shock felt like crap, or out of it's element. That ranges from light trail riding to heavy FR(within my abilities) to a day on the Lifts. I could def feel the differences btwn different settings but never felt desperate to make a change.

    FM, play with the settings a touch more and you should be able to eliminate the bob. I didn't have much at all during seated efforts.

    Dammed good shock. I got one for my new bike straight away.
    Last edited by Bikezilla; 04-28-2008 at 07:46 AM.
    Faster is better, even when it's not.

  21. #21
    the refurbished one
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    Quote Originally Posted by blackagness
    Pushed DHX is a very beautiful woman.

    Avy is a beautiful woman with money... that does what she's told.

    Could be?
    Sokrates is dead, Galilei is dead, Newton is dead, Einstein is dead, Pantani is dead and i am feeling sick too.

  22. #22
    FM
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bortis Yelltzen
    As far as clearance goes, how much more room does the Chubie have over the DHX and Roco?
    Haven't used a DHX in a while, but the chubie takes up a lot less space than the roco. It's wider instead of longer. There are dimensions and even CAD files on Avy's website, seems like someone could overlay the images to compare. Craig's probably got all the info you could want.

    Quote Originally Posted by Bikezilla
    I know what is was on mine.
    That explains Tscheezy's comments, looks like a 7-pack with the shorter custom shock has very similar geometry as stock, just has more travel right?

    Quote Originally Posted by Bikezilla
    TS, yeah I'm 235 w/o gear so I guess it's not much of a suprise my shock is overdamped for you. IIRC the nitro charge alone is 225psi and who knows how many sewer caps he used for a shim stack to keep that thing up under me. I also explained I planned on doing bigger and bigger drops.
    FM, play with the settings a touch more and you should be able to eliminate the bob. I didn't have much at all during seated efforts.
    .
    Yeah, since I have the highline I told Craig this bike will probably not see many drops over 6-7' (which it's already seen), and I also explained I really don't like shocks that have any kind of platform feeling. Both things that might help him tune for such an active feeling shock.

    I'll play around with the LS but I really don't mind occasional bob if it makes for better DH feel. I can always crank it for longer rides.


    Quote Originally Posted by dirtbag
    As much as I like the AVY on my Six Pack, I know it's just a matter of time before I pop for one for the HL
    I can see why. Was having similar thoughts.

    Quote Originally Posted by blackagness
    FM your bikes looks like a completely different shade of green in the first pic from the other ones.
    I know, thats weird eh? Here's a better pic, pre-Avy. With the seat up, you can kinda see why the large seemed like a good idea 10 months ago.
    Attached Images Attached Images
    Last edited by FM; 04-28-2008 at 08:33 AM.

  23. #23
    Yay! Bikes !
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    Good info FM (and Zilla) ... thanks for the 'research'.

    FWIW: I rode one of my favorite slow tech trails yesterday. Constant large rock moves, steep ups/downs and a few small drops all less than 3'. I'm running my 600# coil and my sagged BB height is 14". (w/66rc2x and 2.35 high rollers) For the slow technical riding I still can't complain, although my friend riding his SX Trail was smacking almost everything he rode over and even smashed his Stinger hard enough to rotate it up against his chainstay.

    My current weight puts me between a 550# and 600# coil. If I ran the 550# my frame would sag a little deeper into it's travel but I'd likely bottom too often on some other trails.

    There is only so much I can do to alter the ride height of this frame without adverse side effects.
    Nick.

  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by FM
    That explains Tscheezy's comments, looks like a 7-pack with the shorter custom shock has very similar geometry as stock, just has more travel right?
    Precisely... just as Ts first predicted.

    Quote Originally Posted by Dirtbag
    I know it's just a matter of time before I pop for one for the HL
    Quote Originally Posted by FM
    I can see why. Was having similar thoughts.
    *cough*

    Faster is better, even when it's not.

  25. #25
    FM
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    Quote Originally Posted by cave dweller
    How close does the wheel come to the frame at max compression?
    The seatstay yoke comes pretty close to the seat tube/ seat collar, but clears. As always, I just took the shock off and placed the rocker and frame shock eyelets 5.5" part (7.75-2.25") to check for clearance. No rub with my Hutch 2.35's (which are way bigger than a maxxis 2.35). Clearance will not be an issue with this set-up.

  26. #26
    Paste eater
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    Geez FM, I can barley keep up with all your bike changes. Great info on the AVY BTW...

  27. #27
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    nice! I want one.

  28. #28
    Amphibious Technologies
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    Quote Originally Posted by FM
    So here it is- the 7.75x2.25" shock dropped my BB 3/8" to 14" even. A small difference on paper but it really changed the feeling of the bike.
    Wait! I though 3/8 difference in BB was insignificant

    Good thread FM; low BB and slack angles rule!!!
    "The best you've ridden is the best you know" - Paul Thede, Race Tech

  29. #29
    FM
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jwind
    Geez FM, I can barley keep up with all your bike changes. ...
    Not all of them were intentional

  30. #30
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    Quote Originally Posted by SCUBAPRO
    Wait! I though 3/8 difference in BB was insignificant

    If you were to change only the BB height, it is.

    FM went from a large RFX to a medium RFX, changing not only the BB height, but more importantly, the wheelbase & TT length. Both the wheelbase and TT length are nearly 1" shorter which will obviously affect the handling, not to mention the slacker HA attributed to the shock used. Interestingly, a shorter TT puts your upper body in a more upright position, which can raise the overall CG significantly (as compared to lowering the BB). I'm sure FM enjoys his new ride, and I'm sure it feels different, but I would think the 1" shorter wheelbase, the 1" shorter TT, the slacker HA and the new shock, have a much greater affect on handling than a slightly lower BB. Just MHO of course... YMMV!

    Just out of curiosity, how were you able to isolate the affect of the slightly lower BB? Or, how were you able to ignore the effect(s) of the the shorter wheelbase, shorter TT, slacker HA and different shock?


    Nice looking bike BTW!

  31. #31
    FM
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    Quote Originally Posted by deadbolt
    If you were to change only the BB height, it is.

    Just out of curiosity, how were you able to isolate the affect of the slightly lower BB? Or, how were you able to ignore the effect(s) of the the shorter wheelbase, shorter TT, slacker HA and different shock?


    Nice looking bike BTW!
    Thanks! I did a few rides on the medium with 1sr's borrowed 7.875x2.25 rp23 before getting the avalanche. So I think I got a very good feel for how the medium felt with a stock shock, compared to the large, and compared to the medium with the avy. One of them was pretty dang good too... 4hrs at galbraith mtn, including plenty of flowy light-freeride trails. No other parts were changed when I swapped from the large to the med. front triangle.

    I would agree, the smaller frame made the BB feel even taller with the stock shock (I ran the same 65mm stem). The comparative measurements are all from the med. frame btw. Also- ran the same weight spring on the avy and roco TST

    Last edited by FM; 04-29-2008 at 03:25 PM.

  32. #32
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    That's a spankin' nice build FM

    Well thought out with the Chubie.

    Congrats mate.

  33. #33
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    FM,

    how do you like the 7.75 x 2.25 Chubie after living with it for a while? My large 08 RFX handling is a little twitchy and that seems like a good solution. Have you discovered any issues with tire buzz or anything else?

  34. #34
    No, that's not phonetic
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    TW- I don't know what shock you have on now, but I just switched to a low volume air sleeve on my RFX's RP23 and dropped the pressure by about 25psi. I get noticeably more sag, a lower slung ride, and it feels just great. I like it mo bettah than the HV air sleeve. Bottoming is less of an issue too. Switching to a LV sleeve would be a very cheap experiment to see if it achieves the handling characteristics you are looking for.
    My video techniques can be found in this thread.

  35. #35
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    Tscheezy- I'm running a DHX-C with 30% sag. The bike tracks well and stays planted - generally good. I think I was expecting the 08 RFX to be a little more point and shoot going down hill and not so XC-ish. I think the geometry changes associated with a lowered BB might help. On the other hand I sold a very point and shoot Reign X with a low BB because the pedal strikes were getting out of hand. Something in the middle would be perfect.

  36. #36
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    Tshceezy, how much pressure do you have in the low volume RP23 now? Wondering since we have a similar bike setup and body weight/height.
    Hear no evil. See no evil. Speak no evil. (Do it !?!)

  37. #37
    No, that's not phonetic
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    I'm running ~body weight. I'm about 190 pounds and have 190 psi. I was at about 215 psi with the HV sleeve.
    My video techniques can be found in this thread.

  38. #38
    FM
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    Quote Originally Posted by Torque Wrench
    FM,

    how do you like the 7.75 x 2.25 Chubie after living with it for a while?
    definitely very happy with the lowered RFX.

    The geometry changes seem subtle on paper, but combined with the feel of the avy, it really transformed the RFX. The bike feels noticabely lower slung and slacker. I do find that I use the 130mm setting on my 36 talas a lot more than I used to, even for some DH. The head angle feels almost like "stock" geometry with the fork at 130.

    No issues at all with tire rub etc. with any of the 2.35's/2.4s I've tried.

    It took me a few weeks to get my head around the avy's adjustments, but now it feels perfect. No bob or excessive sag, yet totally active on small chatter and it just swallows up bigger hits. You won't find a shock with less stiction.

    I've had no issues with pedal strikes, but I'm used to low BB's from my highline. I really think it's only an issue of adjusting ones' riding style, you get used to it. I would say that the lower/slacker feel does feel less efficient on climbs, even with the talas fork. But that's a sacrifice I'm totally OK with- the benefits are fully worth it on our local trails.

  39. #39
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    Pushed RP23

    I had my RP23 Pushed by TFT Tuned and it's great. Plushed out and slack with the Propedal off. Turn the Propedal on and the bike sits up and steepens; best of both worlds . It fairly rocked for Passportes du Soleil the other weekend:





    Even so, I'm still thinking of ordering an Avy when I head across the pond next week, just because...

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