The Fox DHX 5.0 Air and Coil Forum- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    New question here. The Fox DHX 5.0 Air and Coil Forum

    This is the Fox DHX Air forum and if you are a DHX owner please fill out the questions below. Currently I am torn between a coil or an air and these are the main issues I need to clear up.


    1. What kind of riding do you do?
    2. What bike to you have your DHX air on?
    3. Whats the biggest drop you have done on your Fox DHX 5 air and did it bottom out.
    4. How has its reliability been? "Stuck Down, Etc."
    5. Do you think its as reliable as the DHX Coil?
    6. If you have ridden a DHX Coil and how does it compair? "Plusher, more durable?"
    7. I have heard complaints about lack of bottomout "what do u think?"
    8. I have heard about lack of midstroke support and is this nessiarily a bad thing? "your thoughts..."

    Now a little about me: Curently I own a Kona Coiler equiped with a Fox Vanilla R rear shock, and am looking for an upgrade. I do a combination of cross country and medium size drops and jumps. I plan to progress to larger stuff as i build up confidence. I am not worried about an extra pound of weight due to the coil. I just want a shock that performs like butter, is durable, I can set, ride, and never worry about.

    9. So in your opinion what shock should i go with. DHX 5.0 air or coil

    Thanks for your time!
    If I want your opinion, I will give give it to you...

    You got like 3 feet of air that time... -Napoleon Dynamite

  2. #2
    TNC
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    I've had two DHX coil shocks and now have two DHX-Airs. Two Bullits have had the coils and one now has a DHXA. A Nomad has the other DHXA. I like the DHXA for aggressive trail riding that involves some moderate jumps and drops on these two types of bikes. I'm not a hardcore freerider, but I abuse my bikes more in rocky, ledgy terrain...and our local trail has a few small stunts that we built for some small jumping and dropping. At Moab this year I went off a bunch of ledges and such, the biggest being about 4 feet. The shock didn't bottomout but took the travel o-ring all the way to the edge of the shaft. I've knocked this ring off several times in the past, and you never feel it. You just notice the travel ring is off the shaft. The DHXA that I ordered for one of the Bullits developed a stuck down on the second ride at the end of last year. Since warranty repair, it's been trouble-free. The one that came on the Nomad in January has always been trouble-free. It appears that after a break-in ride or two, if you haven't had a stuck down, you probably won't get one. As to DHX plushness on the air vs. coil, the two DHX coils were not as plush as the air on my Bullits. A small amount of midstroke harshness couldn't be tuned out on the coils, no matter what I did...and yes...I'm a decent suspension tuner. In fact my 5th E coil for the Bullits was a plusher and better shock for the Bullit IMO. The DHXA is plusher in midstroke which is what I like about them. I think, however, that it would be a weakness for any big dropping or hucking.

    I would deviate here and suggest one other thing for your setup. I have ridden a 6" Haro EX with a PUSH'd Vanilla R. That shock was nothing like the original performance it gave on that bike. It was both plush and yet ramped up amazingly for drops and aggressive riding. It was downright impressive. PUSH can do some amazing things to that shock, and it would be geared to your riding preference and the exact bike. That would definitely be a shock that once it was dialed in on the rebound and spring rate, you'd just ride it. Just a thought.

    If you're honest with yourself about your riding style and level...even progressing to reasonable jumps and drops...the DHXA will probably be a good choice. They both have a boost chamber that requires periodic checking for air pressure, and the DHXA has the additional responsibility of checking main chamber pressure occasionally. I'm very happy with both of my DHXAs.

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mountainbikextremist
    This is the Fox DHX Air forum and if you are a DHX owner please fill out the questions below. Currently I am torn between a coil or an air and these are the main issues I need to clear up.


    1. What kind of riding do you do?
    2. What bike to you have your DHX air on?
    3. Whats the biggest drop you have done on your Fox DHX 5 air and did it bottom out.
    4. How has its reliability been? "Stuck Down, Etc."
    5. Do you think its as reliable as the DHX Coil?
    6. If you have ridden a DHX Coil and how does it compair? "Plusher, more durable?"
    7. I have heard complaints about lack of bottomout "what do u think?"
    8. I have heard about lack of midstroke support and is this nessiarily a bad thing? "your thoughts..."

    Now a little about me: Curently I own a Kona Coiler equiped with a Fox Vanilla R rear shock, and am looking for an upgrade. I do a combination of cross country and medium size drops and jumps. I plan to progress to larger stuff as i build up confidence. I am not worried about an extra pound of weight due to the coil. I just want a shock that performs like butter, is durable, I can set, ride, and never worry about.

    9. So in your opinion what shock should i go with. DHX 5.0 air or coil

    Thanks for your time!
    1> AM, DH, FR, AGG XC

    2> The DHXA is on a Transition Dirtbag 7"

    3> Largest drop (approx) 15ft to a well manicured transition - The sag ring was at the very end of the travel, but not off the shaft

    4> I have been running it for 4mos at least 7times a mos (approx) and NO Maintenance Issues

    5> I believe that Air shock will inherently require more attention due to the complexity of the GUTS ie... Seals etc... If the frame has a low ratio in regards to the shock it should be just a relaible. With that said, I think the DHXA compared to the DHXC is like an Indy race care, more fragile but capable of HIGH Performance!

    6> Never DHXC (but the Swinger 6way) Good riding shock, very plush! - To me, no love loss with going with the AIR v. Coil. I ride a very wide range of terrain, so i benefits from the Air v. Coil.

    7> At this time I would tend to agree with the lack of bottom resistance. However, two counter points. 1. I am still in the infancy of tweaking the shock and experimenting with different air pressures etc... For me it takes time to really find my sweet spot, but I love the journey along the way. 2. I have taken this shock through some rough stuff, repeated drops and more, and I have NEVER heard and/or felt any bottom out signs (like a thud or whatever noise you may hear when a shock bottoms harshly) - So maybe its doing it job!.

    8> There is a lack of mid-stroke support. It does not seem to negatively affect my riding at all. The shock is QUITE PLUSH !! Not sure if I would consider it a negative - just a fact. I am sure if there a lil more mid-stroe support, I would be lovin it tho

    9> Personally based on your description of riding, you should be fine with the DHXA

    Enjoy the ride
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  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mountainbikextremist
    This is the Fox DHX Air forum and if you are a DHX owner please fill out the questions below. Currently I am torn between a coil or an air and these are the main issues I need to clear up.


    1. What kind of riding do you do?
    2. What bike to you have your DHX air on?
    3. Whats the biggest drop you have done on your Fox DHX 5 air and did it bottom out.
    4. How has its reliability been? "Stuck Down, Etc."
    5. Do you think its as reliable as the DHX Coil?
    6. If you have ridden a DHX Coil and how does it compair? "Plusher, more durable?"
    7. I have heard complaints about lack of bottomout "what do u think?"
    8. I have heard about lack of midstroke support and is this nessiarily a bad thing? "your thoughts..."

    Now a little about me: Curently I own a Kona Coiler equiped with a Fox Vanilla R rear shock, and am looking for an upgrade. I do a combination of cross country and medium size drops and jumps. I plan to progress to larger stuff as i build up confidence. I am not worried about an extra pound of weight due to the coil. I just want a shock that performs like butter, is durable, I can set, ride, and never worry about.

    9. So in your opinion what shock should i go with. DHX 5.0 air or coil

    Thanks for your time!

    1. I ride the rocky, rooty, and very technical terrain of the North East. Im not a freerider or downhiller, but ride quite aggressively on techy singletrack.

    2. I have both the Coil and the Air for my Turner 5-Spot.

    3. The largest drop that I have done on both the Air and Coil is probably 3 feet (not a lot of natural drops bigger than that in my area.). Not big by and stretch of the imagination, but nothing to turn your head at. No!! The Air did not bottom on this drop.

    4. Yes, I have had the stuckdown issue. It happened after only 5 rides. Fox fixed it in good time and I was back to riding with in 2 weeks. If you look around you will see that many people are "lubing" their DHX Airs every few months. What I have done is unscrew the air sleeve and mix up a slury of 15wt fork oil and Slick Honey. Then I lube the seals and bushings. To this day no more problems.

    5. I think that the Air can be as reliable as the coil if you take the time to do some maint. Kinda like taking care of your bike as a whole; routine maint. will keep it in top notch shape.

    6. Well this is a tough question. I like both the air and coil very much. They provide some different ride characteristics that I appreciate in varying terrain. The air does in fact lack some mid stroke support (some are putting the RP3 canister on the DHX air to firm up the mid stroke). But, I like this suppleness when I am riding slowly on very rutty rooty climbs. The coil seems to be a snappier shock. As TNC said there is some midstroke harshness. It is all a matter of personal preference.

    7. I wouldn't worry too much about bottoming the air at you current riding style. Although, when the going gets rough I feel a little more confident in my rear end with the coil.

    8. answered above.

    9. I would seriously look at the PUSH option for you current vanilla. This would make a tremendous difference in the ride of the shock. But, if you want to keep the vanilla as a backup and buy a new shock that is a different story. I would suggest that you ride a DHX air before you buy one. Many people bought before they rode it and had many dislikes about the ride. On the other hand, many absolutely love the shock. But, to give you a better feel for the ride I would say ride before you buy.

    As for the coil you have some more options. You could buy the coil ride it stock for a while and see what you think. Im sure you will like it. But, as you riding progresses to a more extreme level you may want to send it to PUSH and have them tune it up to your riding style.

    Another option would be to call Darren at PUSH and see what he has to say.

    As far as the way you described your riding style and where you want it to go, I would suggest you consider the Coil shock. Keep in mind that this is ONLY my opinion, but I feel that the coil is a little more confidence inspiring and if you are going to be going bigger and bigger with your riding, you might like that confidence. Either way you decide to go I'm sure you will like what YOU choose.

  5. #5
    Light, Strong and Long
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    uhhhhhh

    1) I do it all.
    2) My DHX air is on a Cannondale Gemini 900, set up on the 150mm travel position with a Sherman Breakout + TPC fork.
    3) Biggest drop is only about 5 or 6 feet, but with pretty flat landings. Yea the shock bottomed but it didn't wail right though its travel.
    4) The shock has been great. I had a little bit of a negative travel issue about 3 month in, but all it took to fix it was opening up the air canister and putting it all back together. The repair took about 15 minutes and i did it in my basement with no special tools.
    5) I think the shock is just as reliable as the coil but with half the weight.
    6) I had a DHX coil on my bike before the air, and the main reason i switched was because i couldent get a smooth riding feel out of the coil. The air is butter smooth.
    7) Yes the shock is fairly linear, but that equates to a fairly smooth ride, it can be set up for more bottom out, you just need to add compression to the boost valve.
    8) The lack of midstroke support is all about how you set the shock up. You just need to add the right amount of compression dampening for your weight and main spring pressure.
    9) In my opinion, go for the air if you ride on slower more technical terrain, and the coil if you ride faster terrain. The main reason i switched was because the trails in my area are quite slow and rough, and the coil version of the DHX doesent react very well in those conditions, but the air does. Choose your version dependent on that, thats what i think.
    Everyones got a little weight weinee in them

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