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  1. #1
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    Opinion : Air shock fitment to 6" travel plus frameset.

    X-Post with the Nicolai forum :

    Tim Flooks told me today that air shocks simply cannot work on a 6" plus frameset
    All to do with the spring rate curve being exceeded onto the ramp up point after 70% of stroke.
    Apparently, higher volume air cans will suffer even greater mid stroke blow through than normal volume cans, as they have less capacity for mid stroke damping than smaller reservoir canisters.
    Of course, he suggests a PUSH Ind. kit will assist in the stroke control [RP23, no Monarch kit just yet] as it replaces the flexible stroke washer internally with a more robust 'shim'...
    To be fair, he made a valid point about the mid stroke blow through being in conjunction with air shocks' inability to provide sufficient high speed rebound control. The lack of rebound ability means that most air shocks fitted to 6" travel plus bikes, irrespective of leverage ratio, simply causes pack down and the subsequent effects of such.
    Thoughts ?

  2. #2
    Captain Underpants
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    Well, I'm not smart enough to understand most of what you typed, but I did replace the HV RP23 on my RFX for a CCDB and could not be happier. No more mid stroke wallow.

  3. #3
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    how old is your RFX? Horst or TNT?

  4. #4
    steep fast and loose :)
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    i fitted a CCDB to my HL 6 Pack - Phenomenal improvement once dialled in.
    I'm experimenting with air shocks on my Nicolai Helius AM but have wallow mid stroke and pedal strike issues

  5. #5
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    what the hell are you doin up at this time?!

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by The_Lecht_Rocks
    X-Post with the Nicolai forum :

    Tim Flooks told me today that air shocks simply cannot work on a 6" plus frameset
    All to do with the spring rate curve being exceeded onto the ramp up point after 70% of stroke.
    Apparently, higher volume air cans will suffer even greater mid stroke blow through than normal volume cans, as they have less capacity for mid stroke damping than smaller reservoir canisters.
    Of course, he suggests a PUSH Ind. kit will assist in the stroke control [RP23, no Monarch kit just yet] as it replaces the flexible stroke washer internally with a more robust 'shim'...
    To be fair, he made a valid point about the mid stroke blow through being in conjunction with air shocks' inability to provide sufficient high speed rebound control. The lack of rebound ability means that most air shocks fitted to 6" travel plus bikes, irrespective of leverage ratio, simply causes pack down and the subsequent effects of such.
    Thoughts ?
    It would be much easier to respond to your post if it made more sense.

    But let me say this.

    The spring and the damper are two, totally separate things.

    You state that air sprung shocks have limitations, then all you talk about is limitations in damping.

    Which is it?

  7. #7
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    Gonna be fun to see where this one ends as well.

  8. #8
    trail fairy
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    Not too be rude but we all discovered this some 3 years ago when the DHXa air came out, on the Packs RFX and Spots, its been the same with Nomads and other bikes not all but enough for serious riders to upgrade to coils for the most part, who want real performance and not worried about a few grams! Course many went Ti springs as well..

    My poo air is there to hold the frame up while I injured nothing else
    I have other plans but no point right now, gathering dust!

    Such a beast as ya Nicolai I can;t understand why ya running such a can myself be like F1 running a Koni shock on there carbon stays! I like Sram but Monarch for that puppy really I do wish Sram would make the darn Vivid in smaller Is2is darn it that peaves me off a bit! Have you thought of a BOS stoy with Ti spring yet
    Just riding a muddy trail. . ..

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  9. #9
    Cut Casing Whisperer
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    I'll bite.

    Any suspension that is designed for the characteristics of an air spring will work well with an air shock (spring).

    I can't think of any current designs of 7" frames that are designed around air springs, they are all designed for coils - huckin' & bombin'

    Newer 6" frames are starting to pop up that are more designed around air shocks. It will be interesting to see how they play out. New Nomad, New Enduro, and Remedy come to mind, but I have already seen posts of conversions to coil in all these models with claimed improved results.

    The future is bright with sub 30 pound huckers...


  10. #10
    FM
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    After running an avalanche chubie coil over the summer, I recently picked up a PUSH'd LV rp23 for my RFX.
    All I'm gonna say is I'm very impressed.
    The avy does feel noticably better, but it's also 1.5lbs heavier, even with a ti spring. So, all things considered, I'd call it even- it's great to have both options! Horses for courses.

    I'm pretty stunned by the progress air shocks have made in the last 3 years.

    I don't know much about Tim Flooks, but he seems to be full of hot air, hence:
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  11. #11
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    On an 08 RFX my pushed low volume Rp23 blows away the Rp23 with high volume can. For anyone approaching or over 200 LBS don't bother with a high volume can or go on a diet -the LV rp23 it is almost as nice as my Roco coil.

  12. #12
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    I have had little love for the Fox DHX air on long travel bikes, but the Marzocchi Roco Air WC is a whole different beast.
    Feels great on both my DHR and my Highline.
    No mid stroke wallow and very plush off the top. On the DHR I can't quite get full travel due to the progressive nature of the DHR's suspension. This is not an issue on the Highline due to it's more linear suspension rate.
    Not every air shock is the same, just like every coil is not the same.
    I love the feel of a coil sprung bike, but I have been experimenting with air sprung gravity bikes for a few years now. In the right environment air can be very effective.
    I ran air front and rear at Sea Otter this past year, and found it suited the course perfectly. There is also some local riding that this set up works well on. I wouldn't run air all the time on a gravity bike, but it has it's place.
    Here is a photo of the DHR set up for the Otter with Roco WC Air rear shock and Totem Solo Air in the front.
    Sub 36# race bike.
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  13. #13
    Yes, that's fonetic
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    Quote Originally Posted by FM
    After running an avalanche chubie coil over the summer, I recently picked up a PUSH'd LV rp23 for my RFX.
    All I'm gonna say is I'm very impressed.
    The avy does feel noticably better, but it's also 1.5lbs heavier, even with a ti spring. So, all things considered, I'd call it even- it's great to have both options! Horses for courses.

    I'm pretty stunned by the progress air shocks have made in the last 3 years.

    I don't know much about Tim Flooks, but he seems to be full of hot air, hence:
    I'm with FM, sounds like Tim doesn't know what the Flooks he's talking about...

  14. #14
    steep fast and loose :)
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    thanks guys - food for thought.
    fwiw, nicolai have designed the action of the Helius AM around the monarch 4.2 , 200mm i2i 57mm stroke !
    i'll be slapping on a CCDB to determine differences and settings next week sometime.

  15. #15
    MK_
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    Quote Originally Posted by The_Lecht_Rocks
    i fitted a CCDB to my HL 6 Pack - Phenomenal improvement once dialled in.
    I'm experimenting with air shocks on my Nicolai Helius AM but have wallow mid stroke and pedal strike issues
    I replaced the CCDB on my RFX with a PUSHed RP2. I just couldn't get the air shock to feel good. I got the Agrresive/Trail tune on it. It felt really wooden and it felt like it was packing down on fast, bumpy descents. When I sped up the rebound, it would try to launch me off on landing. It lasted a handful of rides, but I just couldn't endure the downgrade in the name of saving weight.

    _MK
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    "The difference between stupidity and genius is that genius has its limits."
    -- Einstein, Albert

  16. #16
    FM
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    This being the Turner board, we really should be more specific


    I was never quite stoked on the performance of air shocks on my old '02 RFX (tried both a DHX air and RP3). Aside from the higher leverage ratio, the suspension felt a lot more linear, I always had a hard time balancing small bump compliance and bottom-out.

    DT made a lot of changes starting with the '07 to make the bike more air-shock friendly. Lower leverage ratio, etc. Most people running the low-volume RP23's on the newer RFX's seem to be stoked with that particular combination. Hard to say how much is the frame design and how much is the shock, but again I'm very impressed with the PUSH'd low-volume rp23 on the '08 RFX. With %30 sag it doesn't bottom out, mid-range support is excellent with the low volume sleeve, and the pro-pedal feels unobtrusive.

  17. #17
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    Air shocks are getting better and better I think and can get you quite close to a coil feel w/o the weight..

    A bit off topic, but how would a low compression tune, low volume air sleeve RP23 compare to a high compression tune high volume air sleeve RP23 on an '08 RFX? 190lb rider - I'm on the cusp of getting the LV sleeve weight wise and currently run the HC/HV combo - wondering if PUSH and a LV sleeve would make much difference.
    When I see an adult on a bicycle, I do not despair for the future of the human race. ~H.G. Wells

  18. #18
    Moosehead
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    Quote Originally Posted by cutthroat
    190lb rider - I'm on the cusp of getting the LV sleeve weight wise and currently run the HC/HV combo - wondering if PUSH and a LV sleeve would make much difference.
    +1, would think it may even be more beneficial on your RFX. Works well on the Spot with Clyde at 225lbs.

  19. #19
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    FM
    I agree that there's too many factors involved and we need to be more specific. However the OP was regarding an unspecific statement(not a quoted statement mind you) from arguably the UK's most respected suspension tuner.

    As you said, there's large variables year to year within one brand(06>07 RFX for example) that make sweeping statements regarding shock suitabilty irrelevant.

  20. #20
    FM
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    Quote Originally Posted by cutthroat
    A bit off topic, but how would a low compression tune, low volume air sleeve RP23 compare to a high compression tune high volume air sleeve RP23 on an '08 RFX? 190lb rider - I'm on the cusp of getting the LV sleeve weight wise and currently run the HC/HV combo - wondering if PUSH and a LV sleeve would make much difference.
    I'm not sure rider weight is even that much of a deciding factor! I'm 180 and the LV definitely feels better than I remember the HV can feeling- of course it's been 6 months since I rode that stock hv-rp23.

    I think the LV can offers more mid-stroke support and more progressiveness. It doesn't blow through travel like other fox air shocks I've owned. I also don't feel the pro-pedal, this shock feels active, not all choked up like propedal sometimes feels. Stays active, doesn't blow through travel, feels real good.

    The avy coil still smokes it at high speed chop (not much surprise there). Not sure about bigger hits yet.

  21. #21
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    That's pretty much what I expected to hear - the LV can helped the Sultan's RP23 a bunch. I was really just curious whether the high compression tune might filter out some of the mid-stroke wallow the HV cans are known for. So far this shock feels much better than the DHX it replaced, but due to incessant snow fall here I haven't really been able to put it or the bike through its paces. Coils sure do feel nice.
    When I see an adult on a bicycle, I do not despair for the future of the human race. ~H.G. Wells

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jerk_Chicken
    Gonna be fun to see where this one ends as well.
    In the Hasselhof forum, for sure.

  23. #23
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    The statements in the OP are not completely off. It's important to realize that coil springs have a constant spring rate (at least the ones used on bicycles), and air springs, despite a number of tricks the manufacturers employ, have a progressive spring rate. And while compression dampening is fairly tricked out on some shocks (propedal, boost and such), rebound dampening is constant. If the rebound dampening is firm enough to deal with the high air spring rate at the end of the stroke, it's too firm for the beginning and the shock "packs down". If the rebound is ok at the beginning of the stroke, the shock will rebound way too fast when coming back from fully compressed.
    The high leverage ratios of long travel bikes require fairly high pressures to begin with which amplifies the problem.

    HTH,
    C>

  24. #24
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    I just replaced my rfx with an 8" bike that is spec'ed with an air shock. And I've been reading about some other gravity racers besides Soulrider who are using air. I've been a big fan of coil, but have heard so many good things about the rocco air that I'm gonna have to give it a try. The nice thing is I get an 8" travel rear with a Totem for the weight (maybe less) of my RFX. I have high expectations...

  25. #25
    Rides like wrecking ball
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    Quote Originally Posted by cutthroat
    Air shocks are getting better and better...
    So are coils though...
    Quote Originally Posted by Hesh to Steel
    With people liking mongoose and trek bikes now, what's next in this crazy world? People disliking the bottlerocket?!

  26. #26
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    csuder99 - exactly. this is the dilemma, but i'll try to dial in a solution, whether it be PUSH tuning or something else.

  27. #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by FM
    After running an avalanche chubie coil over the summer, I recently picked up a PUSH'd LV rp23 for my RFX.
    All I'm gonna say is I'm very impressed.
    The avy does feel noticably better, but it's also 1.5lbs heavier, even with a ti spring. So, all things considered, I'd call it even- it's great to have both options! Horses for courses.

    I'm pretty stunned by the progress air shocks have made in the last 3 years.

    I don't know much about Tim Flooks, but he seems to be full of hot air, hence:
    That's a little harsh on Tim. Everything he's done for me in the past has come out really well - he's arguably the largest suspension tuner/servicer in the UK, is the UK PUSH dealer and runs a top notch company.

    I've had exactly the same conversation with him, and he told me exactly the same thing. Frankly, i'll take his word for it.

    I think the important thing now, is that the latest generation of 6" bikes have been designed specifically to work with air shocks, so they're fine with them. The same is probably not true of my 6 year old RFX with a 3:1 leverage ratio on.

  28. #28
    trail fairy
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    Quote Originally Posted by FM
    After running an avalanche chubie coil over the summer, I recently picked up a PUSH'd LV rp23 for my RFX.
    All I'm gonna say is I'm very impressed.
    The avy does feel noticably better, but it's also 1.5lbs heavier, even with a ti spring. So, all things considered, I'd call it even- it's great to have both options! Horses for courses.

    I'm pretty stunned by the progress air shocks have made in the last 3 years.

    I don't know much about Tim Flooks, but he seems to be full of hot air, hence:
    Well if ya Avy is a 7.5 x 2.0 let me know if ya want to sell some day down the road, happy to take ti foo ya hand if right i2i
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  29. #29
    trail fairy
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    On the air the thing!

    The industry is all a bunch of confused gender benders!

    TF imo is correct! UK guys actually have things pretty dialed!

    To run air cans most people really don't need anything over 5inchs, in fact this jmo is proved in part by the number of people who run 29ers in the US and why Euros haven't switched to the bigs wheels in numbers like the US has.

    Most people are sucked in by marketing BS telling them they need light weight longer travel bikes based on there XC bikes of a few years ago that's when they're GEO's got all F'd up and ya get all sorts of long stem combos people trying to use XC TTs #s and setups to get reach etc all dialed.

    Then over time it never feels right and ya get people who either sell the bike or realise it takes adjustemnt, same with suspension, once pushed properly at the 6inch level, for a riders given wieght ride stye air cans don;t work for allot of riders!

    Now riders 80kg plus loaded are going to subject a bike to different forces to a guy/gal be careful never talk of a gals weight over 60kgs !doh

    Below 80kg say 70kg and less is not going subject the same forces even if they ride as hard, though the sags maybe set the same, its mass vs riction and all that mathematical chit!

    Still the fact is most people like the idea of a lighter rig because i makes them feel snappy, fast on the flats, less energy needed, lazy imo yes, unfit not as fit as they could be, yes, have time probably not, life's a beyotch, and those euro's are all skinny bastids, with big hills to train on on LOL..

    The RFX for example though , has been refined as much out of shock ratio for shock ease of supply and setup than shock development maybe I will be corrected, but I don't see dramatic improvements in air technology!

    RFX for ex has had for coil shocks, that I'm aware of / maybe 5/ Vanilla ? Romic ? DHXc! DHXa! 07/08 RP23!
    Easier and logistaiclly easier to supply one shock through range than offer too per model or have parts for mutiple's!

    That said the Rp3 wasn't a bad shock, the RP23 is better, but a pushed Rp3 is probably as good as a pushed rp23 right?

    So coil HTFU get fit, and be a better rider, instead of looking for the easy way out , mtb is about challengers, finding fast lines but not easy trails! or easy bikes, want one of those buy a commuter!

    My bad about earlier my post was corrupted by tech issues with my puter, it may be dying, LOL. peace atlast I here some say!

    My point is axolotl, is that imo having had up 4 bike sin the stable from DJ to DH and my p u s s y bike as well and probably will be my best bike of all time! the 5Spot fully air equipped!

    Its all the travel max you need for all types of riding it can do it all, it may not do all of it best but it will do all of it very very well and hold its own, rider time and skill can help [not talking myself up here look around some top 5spot pilots in here ] Superstock stc to name a few!

    That does not rule out 29ers, I'm just saying the Euros have not jumped onto the 9er thing yet and may or may not they are smart guys on mtbs as well was my point! They have this area well dialed!

    I just think that over 5inchs its all about marketing long travel light weight to capture $$$, because it sounds sexy, consumerism wants it in the US so they will have simple its not pointed at anyone, just fact! look at the trends!

    Look at the results in any MTB/ XC / Endurance/ DH where's the US, no swipe, I want to see them back where they should be when Tomac ruled the planet, but dumbing very thing down has made everyone soft, we the same here, kids grwoing up to be pussies, hell I become a *****!

    And there are trends in MTB from out of the big manufactures stateside! Euro's resist this, and to some degree I follow it I was thinking SS 29er in the future Im rethinking that and maybe a 26in SS AM since I already have all the gear! All the classes in SS nats were won on 26in SS bikes?

    Don't take things to literally or personaly its a forum not an attack, Im just throwing out my thoughts, as random as they are! RELAX!..no hate here! lol..........ride n smile............
    Last edited by trailadvent; 01-11-2009 at 10:08 AM.
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  30. #30
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    Quote Originally Posted by trailadvent
    On the air the thing!

    The industry is all a bunch of confused gender benders!

    TF imo is correct! UK guys actually have things pretty dialed!

    To run air cans most people really don't need anything over 5inchs, in fact this jmo is proved in part by the number of people who run 29ers in the US and why Euros haven't switched to the bigs wheels in numbers like the US has.

    Most people are sucked in by marketing BS telling them they need light wight longer travel bikes based on there XC bikes of a few years ago that's whe
    Really not seeing your point of why you need 5" or less to run air can and definitely how your relating air shocks to 29ers. I was going to say that I would never ride a 29er but who cares if people do? They seem to like them and they have a good time. But then I realized my town bike is a 29er

  31. #31
    steep fast and loose :)
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    [QUOTE=

    I think the important thing now, is that the latest generation of 6" bikes have been designed specifically to work with air shocks, so they're fine with them. The same is probably not true of my 6 year old RFX with a 3:1 leverage ratio on.[/QUOTE]


    jon - my AM isn't so different leverage wise at 2.8 : 1 although i'm assured it was designed around the monarch 4.2 shock.

  32. #32
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    Too many variables for that to be true.

    A falling rate suspension with a rising rate air shock would run out of leverage and feeI packed, while a linear rate leverage ratio with a large volume shock would feel, at the vary least, more linear. I know that my HL 6pack proto with a pushed AVA or the 4 way air is TOO bottomless, actually mushy at the pedals, making me think that a low volume rp23 might make it a far better peddller

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