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  1. #1
    Spring! Spring! Spring!
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    SB-95 alternative shocks

    My '12 RP23 is broke again, so while I will be pursuing warranty with fox again it has given me the feeling it is a lemon. So I will be buying a new shock.

    That way I have a spare. Non down time. It IS prime riding season after all.

    So, wondering if anyone has replaced theirs and with what?

    I am debating between..

    Fox float ctd w/trail adjust
    Fox float X (if I can source it)
    RockShox Monarch Plus RC3
    Cane Creek DBAir

    Discuss?

    Sent from my Nexus 7 using Tapatalk HD
    Last edited by bear; 05-19-2013 at 04:02 PM.

  2. #2
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    If you do not a large weight penalty, I can't recommend the Monarch family enough. That being said, If I can fit a CC DBair on my 95c I am sure I'll eventually go in that direction.

  3. #3
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    As much as I would like to go with the CC DBair, I would likely go with the Monarch due to cost. The DBair would be close to 600 including hardware. I also heard lots of good things about the Monarch, but the older RockShox's shock were quite a bit more difficult to service compared to the Fox.

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by bear View Post
    My '12 RP23 is broke again, so while I will be pursuing warranty with fox again it has given me the feeling it is a lemon. So I will be buying a new shock.
    No suggestion for alternate shock, but did wonder what keeps breaking? Mine has been rock solid for 2700 none too gentle miles. (Knocks wood)
    Yeti SB-95a Black

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mr Bacon Jr View Post
    No suggestion for alternate shock, but did wonder what keeps breaking? Mine has been rock solid for 2700 none too gentle miles. (Knocks wood)
    I haven't pulled it apart yet, but the behavior is identical this time to the last. Started with the last bit of travel losing damping and more sounds of "squorshing" from the shock as it operated - it's normally silent. Last time it was the seals on the damper that isolate the damper oil from the air chamber. When I previously popped the air can off it was obvious there was dark oil in the mix that was NOT "float fluid."

    I'm going to keep riding it a while, while I get a replacement, and then send it off to Fox. A little more seal damage and oil migration at this point isn't fatal to anything, and I'll be hanged if I'll stop riding the bike during perfect weather conditions.

    I personally feel that I just either a) got a bum shock or b) got a bum rebuild from Fox last time. Both are infrequent/rare. My experience with Fox has been very solid over the years.

    Right now my personal front runners are the Float X and the DBAir. I've had informal word that people @ Yeti like the Float X quite a bit. The Float X is probably hard to source, but hopefully I can find out more this week. The DBAir is easy to source, the fun will be in getting the setup right. I don't know which I think I'd like more.

  6. #6
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    Just for closure, I ended up getting a Cane Creek DBAir.

    Not a way to reduce the weight of the bike, time will tell if it pays back in long term durability.

    I spent about 3 hours tuning it into the bike last Saturday, and proceeded to put in about 70 miles of trail riding on it over the holiday weekend.

    I'm very happy with it so far, I more playing around to do to make sure it's precisely tuned they way I want it, but if I never touched a dial again I'd be okay as it is at this point performing better than the '12 Fox shock it replaced.

    I don't feel that I've lost anything in pedal efficiency on the bike (indicated by the 40 mile ride I did yesterday with over 5k of climbing feet, 90% on singletrack) and the bike feels like it's more actively tracking terrain than before ... with 10 psi more in the rear tire.

    Higher psi tire == lower rolling resistance and better rim protection, but with better terrain tracking?

    *win+win*

  7. #7
    HAHA PWN
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    Keep us updated please.

  8. #8
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    Pics!

    I'm probably going to throw a monarch plus on there and swap the CTD fork for the new RS pike. Should be teh rad.

  9. #9
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    I need to get some good ones, maybe this weekend the lighting will be better outside. Was rally flat and uninspiring last weekend (when it wasn't raining).



    I've got almost 100 miles on the new shock and the suspension setup has changed dramatically for the better. Once I get solidly over 100 miles of trail riding I'll post a more detailed report.

  10. #10
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    So, how's this riding throughout the summer?
    What would you say is the most noticeable difference between the DB air and the Fox?

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by bear View Post
    I haven't pulled it apart yet, but the behavior is identical this time to the last. Started with the last bit of travel losing damping and more sounds of "squorshing" from the shock as it operated - it's normally silent. Last time it was the seals on the damper that isolate the damper oil from the air chamber. When I previously popped the air can off it was obvious there was dark oil in the mix that was NOT "float fluid
    I'm going to keep riding it a while, while I get a replacement, and then send it off to Fox. A little more seal damage and oil migration at this point isn't fatal to anything, and I'll be hanged if I'll stop riding the bike during perfect weather conditions.

    I personally feel that I just either a) got a bum shock or b) got a bum rebuild from Fox last time. Both are infrequent/rare. My experience with Fox has been very solid over the years.

    Right now my personal front runners are the Float X and the DBAir. I've had informal word that people @ Yeti like the Float X quite a bit. The Float X is probably hard to source, but hopefully I can find out more this week. The DBAir is easy to source, the fun will be in getting the setup right. I don't know which I think I'd like more.

    The I.F.P ( internal floating piston ) in the shock body lets nitrogen leak by and it contaminates the shock oil and it aerates the fluid causing a loss of damping and makes that squishing noise , ( this is real common in any shock that has nitro/oil under pressure separated by a piston )

    I have found that if you add a second sealing ring on the I.F.P it will stop the nitro from leaking by and the shock just works as intended .

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by addATX View Post
    So, how's this riding throughout the summer?
    What would you say is the most noticeable difference between the DB air and the Fox?
    The DBAir has been riding fantastically I think. I've more than a couple hundred miles of trail riding on it at this point and mostly have stopped fiddling with the setup. I'm not one to regularly flip the knobs on the shock when I had the RP23, but I *did* use it somewhat, particularly on multi-mile dirt road climbs and the like. I don't miss that at all, the way I have the DBAir setup it's "tight" on the low-speed stuff ... possibly sacrificing some low-speed plush in favor of acceleration/climbing efficiency but that's hard to say ... and it truly storms through things when the speeds climb.

    The shock rides higher in it's travel than the rp23 did, at the same sag, if this makes sense. Less pedal strikes. Better feeling geometry with the head of the bike. I never feel like the back of the bike is sagging under power like I did with the Fox now and gain. Smarter or better experienced people may call this mid-stroke support, but I am unsure. I've never been to Suspension School. ;^)

    I have the DBAir setup so the bike feels super balanced with the fork, which I run mostly in the D mode (early '13 MY CTD fork that came on my '12 bike).

    I'm running at just shy of 30% sag on both ends, w/o camelbak, so that when fully loaded at the start of a ride the bike will be slightly over 30% sag - my camel is an Alpine Explorer with lots of crap and 100oz bladder and usually a water bottle too - it's huge.

    I do flip the fork lever between D and T somewhat. On smoother stuff or gravel/dirt/road climbs it makes a bit of a difference, particularly out-of-saddle. On trail though I sometimes use T mode to fight front-end dive but for the most part D mode feels better. This is a significant change vs the RP23 because no matter what I did with *that* shock the "system" felt better matched with the fork in T ... it always felt like the fork could handle more than the shock.

    I think that the simplest way to say it is that the DBAir let's the bike go DH better than my DH bike, more even and controlled, and I don't feel like I've sacrificed any slow-speed or climbing. The RP23 wasn't HORRIBLY far from that but I feel like you had to sacrifice some of one end of the bell curve to make it excel at the other, AND it let the bike ride a lot lower and have more pedal strikes than the DBAir. I ended up with the RP23 "happy setting" to be running 20-25% sag, but the DBAir will cheerfully run wherever I set it and Just Work.

    more blathering ... on vacation with the mrs end of June and I got to get in a few rides, two in FL and two in NC, all of very different character. The bike setup was the same for all and I was quite happy with the ride. Everything from flat rail-trail hammering in FL to windy/dippy sand-base trails to clawing my way up and hair-on-fire down in Pisgah NC.

    addendum: My bike suspension setup as of 7/24/2013 goes like this: Rider 205# w/o gear, fork @ 130mm travel w/60 psi, DBAir w/135 psi and the following knob settings: 0.25 HSC, 4 LSC, 1.5 HSR, 4 LSR (refer to DBAir manual on how each setting is, er, set). disclaimer: This is my setup and I like it, you may not. Hah.

    Last edited by bear; 07-24-2013 at 01:00 PM.

  13. #13
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    Sweet. I knew I could count on a solid review in language I could understand. THanks Bear. Sounds great. Might be in my future for my 95a.

    The only thing stopping me is that I think it might be a challenge for me to get it all setup and dialed.

  14. #14
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    +1 for DB Air. I have one on my 66. The Fox is now the backup shock.
    #1 Norco Aurum LE
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  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by addATX View Post
    The only thing stopping me is that I think it might be a challenge for me to get it all setup and dialed.
    That just takes time and patience.

    I started with an SB66 tune I found on the Cane Creek forum and went from there, on the reasoning that the suspension is SIMILAR but not identical. ;^)

    I'm going to go update my Big Phat Post with my current settings just so it's in one place.

  16. #16
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    I'm thinking of picking up a RS Monarch Plus RC3 for a new SB-95 AL build and was wondering if anyone had any tuning set-up tips and perhaps a ride review/report

    Many Thanks,

    PF

    EXCUSES ARE THE NAILS IN THE COFFIN OF FAILURE.

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by bear View Post
    That just takes time and patience.

    I started with an SB66 tune I found on the Cane Creek forum and went from there, on the reasoning that the suspension is SIMILAR but not identical. ;^)

    I'm going to go update my Big Phat Post with my current settings just so it's in one place.
    Bear, any noteworthy updates on the DBAir? I'm going to supplant the RP23 with either the DBAir or the Monarch Plus and be done with it. Theirs not a lot of info on the Monarch with regard to tune on the Switch series frames.


    Quote Originally Posted by PanFry View Post
    I'm thinking of picking up a RS Monarch Plus RC3 for a new SB-95 AL build and was wondering if anyone had any tuning set-up tips and perhaps a ride review/report
    Many Thanks, PF
    So, PF what did you end up with?

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by White Bear View Post
    Bear, any noteworthy updates on the DBAir? I'm going to supplant the RP23 with either the DBAir or the Monarch Plus and be done with it. Theirs not a lot of info on the Monarch with regard to tune on the Switch series frames.
    Well, it seems to be working very, very well IMO. Bottom-out handling is un-notice-able (akaerfect). Tracks super-duper over everything I throw at it, up and down. Hold good ride-height though. Full travel gets used now and then. Jumps and drops are not dramatic, just fun. Easy to apply speed bursts - definitely don't feel like the bike is eating any of the acceleration. On slow and techie stuff I don't feel disconnected, but when the speeds climb up if feels like the bike goes into Magic Carpet Mode, even now with riding temperatures in the 30's to 40's F at best. No sign of wear on the shock bushings yet either, which is good. The bike has seem some serious rock and speed runs this year.

    My current settings are 130psi - which is between 26-30% sag- with no air-can volume spacers and the following damper settings: 0.5 HSC, 4 LSC 2 HSR 4 LSR. I'm about 210-215# ready to ride. I currently have my Fox fork set at 130mm travel (10mm spacer mounted internally), and ride it with 65 psi and things seem balanced.

    How much better is it (if at all) vs the Monarch Plus? I dunno. Somebody send me one in the spring to compare, okay?

    Am I comfy with the money spent? Totally.

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