Replacing Air Shocks with Coil!- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    New question here. Replacing Air Shocks with Coil!

    Hello,

    New to the thread, but I've found many of the forum answers helpful in the past, so I thought I'd ask the community what recommendations can be offered for a rear suspension swap.

    I currently have a 2018 Santa Cruz Hightower LT, and I'm thinking of trading the air shocks for coils. All the riders I've ran into on the trail love their coils. What would you recommend?

    Cheers,

  2. #2
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    no need for spring unless your doing stupid air 20-30' drops ect ect. the extra weight has no value to a trail rider

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by inqbs113 View Post
    Hello,

    New to the thread, but I've found many of the forum answers helpful in the past, so I thought I'd ask the community what recommendations can be offered for a rear suspension swap.

    I currently have a 2018 Santa Cruz Hightower LT, and I'm thinking of trading the air shocks for coils. All the riders I've ran into on the trail love their coils. What would you recommend?

    Cheers,
    It depends on what you want out of the bike. The main benefit of coil is that it takes less force to actuate it and is much more sensitive and tracks better.

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  4. #4
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    I really like my coil shock; so much so that I retrofitted my fork with a coil as well. The spring rate of a coil is linear compared to an air shock so the coil is comparatively supple in its initial travel and therefore quick to respond to even smaller trail chatter. Personally I have a PUSH Industries 11.6 shock which is the only coil shock I've owned but friends have other brands and say theirs are good as well.

    The tallest drop I've ever done is 6' so I'm not exactly a daredevil but I regularly hit 2-4' drops & jumps. My bike offers 160mm fork travel and 140mm frame travel. I prefer the coils to air suspension but coils do weigh more; for me it's a worthy trade off. I mostly ride trail but many trails I ride have natural &/or builder enhanced features and for this I've found superior suspension components and regular maintenance thereof to be an investment that pays back on every ride.

    Have fun,
    =sParty

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  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by Outhouse View Post
    no need for spring unless your doing stupid air 20-30' drops ect ect. the extra weight has no value to a trail rider
    What in the actual F?
    "It's only when you stand over it, you know, when you physically stand over the bike, that then you say 'hey, I don't have much stand over height', you know"-T. Ellsworth

    You're turning black metallic.

  6. #6
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    Replacing Air Shocks with Coil!

    A long travel 29er feels great with a coil. Yeah they weigh significantly more, but small bump compliance is so much better and as a whole it feels more plush. I donít think that frame was designed with a coil in mind so it may be a little hard to find something that feels right. I know push made a 11/6 designed for that frame. Otherwise something with a progressive coil could make it so you donít blow through all the travel too quickly.


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  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by outhouse View Post
    no need for suspension and disc brakes unless your doing stupid air 20-30' drops ect ect. The extra weight has no value to a trail rider
    ftfy
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  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by inqbs113 View Post
    Hello,

    New to the thread, but I've found many of the forum answers helpful in the past, so I thought I'd ask the community what recommendations can be offered for a rear suspension swap.

    I currently have a 2018 Santa Cruz Hightower LT, and I'm thinking of trading the air shocks for coils. All the riders I've ran into on the trail love their coils. What would you recommend?

    Cheers,
    Is there a problem with the air shock that you're trying to solve?

    You'd need a progressive coil or it'll ride like shite.

    Honestly, unless you can try one first, it may not be worth the cash.

    Better invetsment is getting your air shock tuned.
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  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nurse Ben View Post
    Is there a problem with the air shock that you're trying to solve?

    You'd need a progressive coil or it'll ride like shite.

    Honestly, unless you can try one first, it may not be worth the cash.

    Better invetsment is getting your air shock tuned.
    This. Frequently, when bikes are sold with an air shock they are meant to be run with a progressive spring rate shock. This means that the more you compress an air shock the harder it gets to compress, so the first 5mm might require 250lbs of pressure, the second 5mm rather than requiring 250lbs more requires 300lbs, etc. - whereas that rate stays constant with a coil. On the other hand, a good tune on your air shock can do a number of things for you that just buying an out of the box coil shock could never do, unless you got it tuned as well. Most damper tunes are set for a broad range of average weight. Getting a shock tuned specifically for you allows much finer tuning.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Outhouse View Post
    no need for spring unless your doing stupid air 20-30' drops ect ect. the extra weight has no value to a trail rider
    Yeah, because everyone knows a linear rate is better than a progressive rate for mega hucks.

  11. #11
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    Thanks for the input on that. A few of the riders on the trail mentioned a difference of about a pound Which doesn't seem like much to me considering it's centered in the bike. I feel like some of my friends bikes, like the Yeti 135 in his Medium frame is much heavier than my XL Frame Hightower LT, so adding a lb to the mix is probably not going to make much of a difference on my trail rides.

    Also, I figure, I'm out here for exercise (not racing), and the most fun runs are the flow downhill with features so having some extra weight doesn't bother me.

  12. #12
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    If ride quality is your main priority than a coil shock is a good way to go. Getting ready to make the switch myself as soon as DVO has the new Jade X in stock. If you are an aggressive rider you may want to look into a progressive spring from MRP or Cane Creek as I believe the HTLT has a relatively linear design.

  13. #13
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    I went with a Vorsprung Smashpot coil setup for my Yeti SB130 and it smoothed a lot of the chatter out for me, which helped with some hand and wrist pain. It also seems to feel much more planted in technical climbs and corners.

  14. #14
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    I have a SC Tallboy LT. I ran through several air shocks, all calibrated and done by Push. When Push came out with their coil shock, I sprang immediately. The only problem with a coil is that it has to be calibrated to the weight of the rider which Push will do if you buy their shock. If it's bottoming out, it's not set right. I ride a lot of washboard but flowing trails and the linear behavior of the coil can't be beat. The best air shock allows the bike to bounce around and makes the ride harsher and harder to control. I wouldn't part with my ElevenSix for anything.

  15. #15
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    Oh and I also did the fork conversion also by Push, almost as much improvement as just the rear shock did. Greatly improved braking under harsh conditions as well as more control.

  16. #16
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    So I used to think a coil shock was better, ran a few of them in the past couple years, then went back to air. They each have their differences but neither were really "better".

    Then I got a Mara Pro, damn, feels like a spring (plush), rides like air (light, poppy), two modes just like the 11-6. I'm done.

    I also think the biggest gain when looking at a spring suspension is to be found in the fork where the stroke is longer, seems to make a bigger difference.
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  17. #17
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    What people are probably noticing with the Push shock is adjustability, and lining a $800 shock up against a $250 shock isn't quite a fair comparison.

    There's always the four-way adjustable air shocks, which are cheaper and have more adjustability, but they're not "cool" like running a coil.

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by richde View Post
    What people are probably noticing with the Push shock is adjustability, and lining a $800 shock up against a $250 shock isn't quite a fair comparison.

    There's always the four-way adjustable air shocks, which are cheaper and have more adjustability, but they're not "cool" like running a coil.
    The ElevenSix's adjustable range probably is nowhere near the range of a "four-way adjustable air shocks". Now if you are talking about the dual circuits that's a unique feature.

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  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by tuckerjt07 View Post
    The ElevenSix's adjustable range probably is nowhere near the range of a "four-way adjustable air shocks". Now if you are talking about the dual circuits that's a unique feature.

    Sent from my SM-N975U1 using Tapatalk
    Exactly. Putting an X2 on my Mach 6 (and taking the time to adjust it) totally transformed the bike. Especially the ability to independently adjust high and low speed rebound, which the 11-6 lacks.

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by richde View Post
    Exactly. Putting an X2 on my Mach 6 (and taking the time to adjust it) totally transformed the bike. Especially the ability to independently adjust high and low speed rebound, which the 11-6 lacks.
    That's a misnomer though. The 11-6 lets the user make micro adjustments at a level a mass market shock does not. Also unlike a mass market shock those adjustments have been made for you when the shock was built.

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  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by tuckerjt07 View Post
    That's a misnomer though. The 11-6 lets the user make micro adjustments at a level a mass market shock does not. Also unlike a mass market shock those adjustments have been made for you when the shock was built.

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    Well yeah, that's why it costs three times as much. I'm sure a Porsche Macan is nicer than my Crosstrek too.

    Just pointing out that although fully adjustable rebound isn't as sexy as the compression side is, it makes a pretty big (although subtle) difference. It's hard to get the ratio of high and low speed rebound right with varying spring rates/rider weights when it's preset from the factory.

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