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  1. #1
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    Rear shock question

    I've been in and out of mountain biking for the last ten years, and upon my last return i purchased an iron horse sinister comp with full suspension. this was acouple of years ago, and now i'm very ready to upgrade, but can't afford a new bike, and i'm happy with everything on mine except the suspension, so i'm just going to upgrade the suspension. i think i'm going to get a marzocchi fork, but i'm not sure about the rear. this is a very basic question i'm sure, but what is the fucntion of the reservoir that some shocks have? the one i have now is very basic, and just has a spring. i know thse are better, i was just wondering why and what the difference is. thanks!

  2. #2
    since 4/10/2009
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    Quote Originally Posted by jmorgan6161
    I've been in and out of mountain biking for the last ten years, and upon my last return i purchased an iron horse sinister comp with full suspension. this was acouple of years ago, and now i'm very ready to upgrade, but can't afford a new bike, and i'm happy with everything on mine except the suspension, so i'm just going to upgrade the suspension. i think i'm going to get a marzocchi fork, but i'm not sure about the rear. this is a very basic question i'm sure, but what is the fucntion of the reservoir that some shocks have? the one i have now is very basic, and just has a spring. i know thse are better, i was just wondering why and what the difference is. thanks!
    The shocks with external reservoirs use that reservoir for valving and adjustments. It allows the shock to have rebound and compression damping. Some coil shocks still have that without the external reservoir, but it seems more and more are moving to the reservoir design because it allows them to have more space for valving and more oil volume which translates into better performance.

    I don't know the bike you ride, but coil shocks show up in two places. First, you see them on super inexpensive full sus bikes. You also see them on burly freeride and downhill bikes. If you just like riding trails with your bike and a limited amount of small jumps and stuff, I'd suggest replacing your coil shock with an air shock. An air shock will save you significant weight, but it also offers you a lot of adjustment and good performance for trail riding. You will have a lot more options, because most decent coil shocks are going to be designed for those burly fr/dh bikes (they will even have different measurements so they may not fit your bike).

  3. #3
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    NateHawk is spot on.

    Post a picture of your bike. What shock is on there now? It might not suck, it might be the wrong spring rate or might be misadjusted.

    There are MANY different sizes of rear shocks, as they have different eye to eye lengths and different strokes (amount of travel).

    Just pointing this out, as it can be much more complicated than upgrading the fork.

  4. #4
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    The Sinister was kind of the equivalent of the current Iron Horse Warrior.

    It likely has a Fox Vanilla with no dampening adjustments. Not a bad shock at all, but the bike would certainly benefit from a "platform" shock with some more adjustments. Pictures of the bike seem to indicate a 6.5" x 1.5" shock, but you'll want to measure for sure. There are excellent shocks with or without reserviors. I would look for something with at a minimum rebound adjustment and platform adjustment. There are both coil and air shocks that are excellent choices from Fox, Manitou, Rock Shox, and X-Fusion (my O2 PVA has been an excellent shock).


  5. #5
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    sorry for the slow response...just got back into town. and that is exactly the bike that i have thats pictured above. i do have a slightly different rear shock on it that came off another bike, but it is still the fox vanilla, although i'm not entirely sure the measurements of it. so from what you guys are saying, i'm gathering that so long as the length matches, i should be able to put basically any other same sized shock in there that i would like. i'm really looking for something that soaks up a little more, can take a mild amount of abuse, and is adjustable, as the one on there now is not. any particular suggestions? thanks!

  6. #6
    wyrd bi ful rd
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    Make sure the travel on the shock is the same as well ... if you replace your current shock with one with a slightly longer travel, your tyre 'might' hit the bottom of your seat tube ...

  7. #7
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    If you're rear shock is 6.5x1.5 (which it appears to be based on the photo of the bike) might I suggest this clearance shock on Santa Cruz's website on sale for $99.

    http://www.santacruzbicycles.com/cat...cv8vb8jkr65pq0

    This shock will be 10 times better than the Vanilla that's on there now. The only kicker is that progressive went out of business a couple of years ago, but I think there are plenty of companies that still service them if it needs work down the line. Normally a descent air shock will cost $200-$300. So this is a steal. The eyelet sizes are the same between Progressive and Fox, so you should be able to use the mounting hardware from the old vanilla on this shock.

    If you don't go with this, let me warn you, the mounting eyelets are smaller on Rock Shox and Manitou air shocks. So If you buy one of these two brands you would have to buy mounting hardware as well (approx $40) on top of the shock price.

  8. #8
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    thanks for the info oldskoolbiker. that shock doesn't look too bad at all, especially for the price.

    i do have another <dumb> question though. is there any possibility of using a slightly longer shock than whats on there? i measured it while on the bike and it does appear to be a 6.5'', but i was just curious. there don't seem to be many choices in that particular size. thanks!

  9. #9
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    Looking at the photo of the bike, it doesn't look like a longer shock will cause anything to hit the frame when it bottoms, but I think it will throw the bike geometry off.

    Honestly I would just stick with the original size.

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