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  1. #1
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    Off the shelf damper comparisons, MRP, CC, DVO, Manitou, RS, ...

    How many posts have we read lately claiming off the shelf dampers complete suck?

    Having started out before front suspension on a pedal bike existed I'll say we've come a long way. But, I've ridden stock shocks, both front and rear that I did not like, and some of them relatively recently.

    Comparing dampers, for me is not very easy. I/m unfortunately very sensitive to bike settings and can tell something is not right with the squish right away, but often I can't tell precisely what is "off". Furthermore there is a host of confounding factors that muddy the waters when trying to determine what is not working with your damper. Tire pressure, trail surface changes, having an "off or on" day, and most importantly, a frame/linkage's effect on the rear shock.

    Right now, if you read these boards, you'd likely be convinced the Rock Shox and Fox know absolutely nothing about making a high performance damper. I'm not sure I believe that. Dampers are not black magic. Are their advertisements and reality completely congruent, no. But I still find they function OK.

    But for arguments sake, lets RS and Fox completely suck. So why have not MRP, DVO, CC, and Manitou taken over? Looks like Manitou get's a fair amount of praise on these boards. Yeah, I get that RS and Fox have "buying power" in the market and because of that they'll be most commonly ridden by the masses. However, I see many wise appears suspension buffs here constantly bashing RS and Fox, and if those two are in fact why haven't those buffs moved on over to CC or MRP or Manitou? For the record there are some who made the change, yet I still see seemingly well informed damper experts bash RS and Fox and not move to a different damper maker.

    So, that leads me to my main question - how do the shocks/dampers of MRP, CC, DVO and Manitou compare to RS and Fox? Better, worse, or just different?

    I've got no skin in the game except to learn from what others have found. Right now I'm running a DVO, MRP, RS, and CC on an assortment of bikes.

  2. #2
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    I still rate Fox and Rockshox as the best dampers out there, especially in forks. They perform really well and by far the most refined ie consistent damping/low hysteresis, reasonable adjustment, low friction and quiet.

    Grip2 is hard to fault - low friction, close to enough adjustment for nearly anyone and the pressure spring design gives the best combination of low friction, pressure balancing and is self-relieving so can't be damaged from overfilling.

    Charger 2 works OK, low friction and pretty reliable but needs revalving to work its best

    The DVO cartridge is another classic sealed with shimmed damping, the base valve design allows for lots of tuning range but it isn't quite as refined as the big 2, eg more friction but otherwise works well.

    The Cane Creek Helm damper looks OK at first but lacks a bit of refinement, compression damping is just a poppet valve with huuuuuuuuge ports so you have no choice but a very Digressive damping rate. Also doesn't seal properly on rebound and the incredibly soft check valve springs are prone to damage, noise and creating lag in the damper response.

    Don't know much about MRP, I have some tools for them but haven't actually needed to do a full rebuild on one yet. Manitou looks good but I don't have any first hand experience with them

    The ohlins TTX fork damper is very nice with clever adjustment - as you would expect. But it doesn't have the ability to vent excess oil sucked in to the cartridge which can cause damage if left too long. The STX22 shock damper is nice (ignoring the air can problems) but its adjusters may as well be painted on!

    The CCDB shock damper is very nice - the Ohlins influence is obvious. Their inline shocks aren't quite as refined but still work well and still pack in a lot of performance and adjustment for the price. Their change to a 9.5mm shaft to handle the sideloads from lesser quality frames is a plus too.

    I like the Super Deluxe shocks a lot, they are robust, reliable and tuneable

    The DPX2 works well, odd base valve design but its tuneable and the big chromed shaft is super durable - again that's important to handle the twisting and side loads from a lot of frames, especially anthing with a trunnion mount.

    All the inline shocks heavily prioritise a lockout so they are what they are - not amazing performers but they do the job I guess. The Fox DPS still has decent scope for tuning but the RS Deluxe/Monarch doesn't

    Fox DHX2/Float X2 are super tuneable but aren't perfect, and had a few reliabilty issues
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  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by Miker J View Post
    How many posts have we read lately claiming off the shelf dampers complete suck?
    I can't tell you why the last two DPX2 shocks were dogshit, but they were. Harsh at speed and blew through travel pedaling as if there was no LSC. Fux.

    I also can't tell you why the stock Topaz on the same bike is like a magic carpet, but it is. I suspect maybe the large negative chamber and tuneable bladder are to blame. Batting .333 with off the shelf on the current rig.

    Custom tuning and nerding out isn't going to make me go bigger or faster. A testicular augmentation/transplant might though.

  4. #4
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    I think the reality is that it's hard to compare, you have to be very rigorous in your testing of settings, which for most of us means repeated laps of the same trail (preferably shuttled so you don't get too tired).
    I get that OEMs have to hit a price point and cater for a weight range of 50-125kg riders. I had a Pike RC that came stock on my bike. But it was terrible. I could never use all the travel (I'm about 80kg ready to ride) even riding DH, so I was left with spare travel or having too few PSI to have a functioning fork. Even with the shim stack halved it was no good.
    So I ditched it (well I still own it) for a Mattoc. I have a Monarch RC3, CTD, CCDB Inline and TTX for my current bike. Is the Ohlins worth double the rest? No. If anything it's probably underwhelming. Just absolutely sticks to the ground.

    That said, I've ridden with friends of friends that have 150mm air forks, that don't own a shock pump, and spent the last year riding it at 30mm of travel. Another friend never once serviced his fork in about 13 years.
    So you've got to take forums as the opinions of enthusiasts. I'd argue the best fork I own is probably a Nixon and Travis, the latter being extremely heavy, but both coil and I still think as good if not better than anything else being produced today.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by EatsDirt View Post
    Custom tuning and nerding out isn't going to make me go bigger or faster. A testicular augmentation/transplant might though.
    Exactly this. I think you'll find most of the world cup pros with uber stiff suspension would still go fast regardless of their settings. They're braver.

  6. #6
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    We've had a lot of weirdness from most of them.

    Fox FIT4 has almost no compression damping. Great for smaller women.
    Fox FIT RC2 can be very good or can have a retardedly stiff jump tune inside.
    Fox Grip has a very good base tune for the average size aggressive rider but I really don't like the cartridge design.
    Rockshox with the Charger 1 went with a weird mid-valve, oversize bleed holes and far too stiff base-valve
    They did the same thing with the Monarch RC3.
    For the Charger 2 they softened up the stiff base valve and made sure the LSC needle couldn't close the still oversize bleed hole.
    DVO the internal bladder and 2.5mm bleed screw is a maintenance headache, the OTT adjuster isn't any help and four port pistons make no sense.
    Ohlins got most things wrong with their entry into MTB. They really shattered my views of them. Their TTX coil rear shock is still a great one, just with very slow LSR which contrasts strangely with the extremely fast LSR of their air shock. The CC DB coil shocks were also a great development.

    The reason I've been riding and revalving Manitou forks for the last 24 years is because I could make them do exactly what I wanted. Right back from the 1995 EFC.
    My favourite fork ever is still my 2005 Nixon Elite coil spring with TPC+. 14 years on I still ride it.
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  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by EatsDirt View Post
    Custom tuning and nerding out isn't going to make me go bigger or faster. A testicular augmentation/transplant might though.
    You'd be quite surprised how the first one can morph into the second one. Bump control and stability will make a huge different to not only what you feel comfortable riding but the speed that you'll be able to ride it at.

    The last two seasons have transformed my riding. Going faster, bigger and smoother than I ever thought I could.

    But the transition can be ugly. When confidence grows faster than ability you can have some expected side effects.
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  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dougal View Post
    You'd be quite surprised how the first one can morph into the second one. Bump control and stability will make a huge different to not only what you feel comfortable riding but the speed that you'll be able to ride it at.
    Agreed. DVO gave me some ideas to tune my Diamond to my trails and riding. The first time out on a trail with a bit of everything and most of it fast, I thought someone had smoothed out the brake bumps and pulled rocks out. A minor shim stack mod made me much more confident and comfortable, I think I cut 20-30 seconds off a 4 minute section of particularly steep/fast rowdy trail.

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  9. #9
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    Honestly no, the off-the-shelf dampers are often pretty terrible IME, the harder you push your equipment, the more this shows. IMO, it's a combination of meeting pricepoints and attempting to accommodate way too large of a weight range. When you look at motorcycles, the motorcycle itself weighs enough that the variation of rider weights isn't nearly as huge % wise, and there is STILL a large custom tuning market out there for those. Once you get to mtb, you magnify those effects. The common themes I see are shocks that blow through the travel for DHs that lack chassis stability and dialing in any kind of compression damping usually makes them very harsh, so most people get used to excessive chassis movement and think it's normal when going downhill and hitting more aggressive stuff. Then on non-DH forks and shocks they usually severely limit your tuning options. Then there's the overly restrictive HSC that also causes people to have to run very little LSC to compensate, magnifying the effects of air-spring curves that are flat in mid-stroke. Failing to really address these things year after year, we basically have the same performance year after year, despite the companies telling us how great the newest version is...
    "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

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  10. #10
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    They should sell them with different tunes and oil weights instead of lying and saying they cover all weights from 140-250lbs.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kevin Van Deventer View Post
    They should sell them with different tunes and oil weights instead of lying and saying they cover all weights from 140-250lbs.
    That would be great. Julianna bikes does this with their rear shocks. However my wife's Furtado came with the notorious Pike RC that was horribly over damped for men, much less a 5'5" woman. I put a Mattoc on and it is so much better.

    DVO is a company that doesn't try to be all things for all people. Their forks are tuned for aggressive riders and favor enduro racing. If you want a wide range of LSC to lock out the fork, you will need to open it up and tune it. The Topaz is similarly tuned for Enduro racing. However I called them and they told me how to make the climb mode a strong platform (2 more shims on the stack).

    The Mattoc is probably the easier of the two to tune. Largely because Manitou posted a guide on shim stacks for the ABS+ (which my wife's Mattoc has).

    90% or more or riders have no idea what they are doing. They THINK they want a dial that can lock out the fork on one end and keep it plush on the other end...when standing over the bike in a parking lot. When they get on the trail and actually ride they may never use that adjustment. Its just far cheaper (thus profitable) for Fox/RS/etc to churn out forks that tick off the boxes that people look for when buying, and give much lower consideration to what we need when riding.

    Even in my old job making home care products, efficacy was always secondary to shelf appeal. How it worked was remarkably low on the list of reasons why people bought it. It was all about people looking for certain markers of "quality". With cameras it was Megapixes (little to do with image quality), cars it is horsepower, bike suspension it is stanchion size and number of clicks of tuning.
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    FWIW, I raced a big multi-day Enduro last year and several top level / WC level pros showed up. Won't name names, but one in particular was chatting with the mechanic they brought along....something along the lines of "Hey XX how much pressure do you want in your fork"...."I dont know, maybe 100 psi"..."Uhh...no, not even close dude"...."Then maybe 90"..."Uhh, no, the other way, maybe like 130"..."Laughs, sure ok". He killed it.

    All the top dudes also ran crazy PSI in the tires.

    Not sure what all that has to do with discussion, but thought it was interesting, particularly since those guys don't always have mechanics with them.

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    Ya I had a Diamond it was great after some tuning. I would probably still be on Dvo if the offered a coil fork.

    I'm on a Ribbon coil now after a change to lighter damper oil im @140lbs on xtrasoft spring. Set at 165mm I use all but about 5mm of travel.

    It sits up in it's travel yet sags a little under bike weight alone. Doesn't spike doesn't rebound harshly it's perfect in my eyes.

    The only minus I would say is that no one is doing aftermarket tuning for it. So damper oil weight was my only option.

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    Reading the forums, you'd think riding a bike with a Pike or a Fox 36 is the worst thing you can do. Does no one remember the old air shock of 10 years ago? Or even the CTD forks of a few years ago? Or Propedal for Fox rear shocks? LOL

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kevin Van Deventer View Post
    Ya I had a Diamond it was great after some tuning. I would probably still be on Dvo if the offered a coil fork.

    I'm on a Ribbon coil now after a change to lighter damper oil im @140lbs on xtrasoft spring. Set at 165mm I use all but about 5mm of travel.

    It sits up in it's travel yet sags a little under bike weight alone. Doesn't spike doesn't rebound harshly it's perfect in my eyes.

    The only minus I would say is that no one is doing aftermarket tuning for it. So damper oil weight was my only option.
    There is nothing to tune in MRP forks. They don't use a hsc shim stack to adjust. That allows for oil changes to offer a more significant change than what most dampers allow.

    My personal opinion is that off the shelf, dvo and Manitou have the best dampers. Both are tuned to have a wide, but useable range of adjustment with no fluff. They also have the best customer service and help end users tune. Win win

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by ArizRider View Post
    FWIW, I raced a big multi-day Enduro last year and several top level / WC level pros showed up. Won't name names, but one in particular was chatting with the mechanic they brought along....something along the lines of "Hey XX how much pressure do you want in your fork"...."I dont know, maybe 100 psi"..."Uhh...no, not even close dude"...."Then maybe 90"..."Uhh, no, the other way, maybe like 130"..."Laughs, sure ok". He killed it.

    All the top dudes also ran crazy PSI in the tires.

    Not sure what all that has to do with discussion, but thought it was interesting, particularly since those guys don't always have mechanics with them.
    I have several very fast friends that race pro class and ride with real ews pros all the time. Theyíre all on stock suspension from fox and rs and love it. They laugh at me when I talk about aftermarket dampers and re-valving stuff. Iím no where near as fast as them, but on my modded stuff I feel a lot more comfortable trying to keep up. I think most fast guys ride over sprung and damped suspension with the rebound as fast as cane be and just smooth out the ride with their limbs. Theyíre just better riders and donít need the bike to do as much work as us pedestrians.

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by PurpleMtnSlayer View Post
    I have several very fast friends that race pro class and ride with real ews pros all the time. Theyíre all on stock suspension from fox and rs and love it. They laugh at me when I talk about aftermarket dampers and re-valving stuff. Iím no where near as fast as them, but on my modded stuff I feel a lot more comfortable trying to keep up. I think most fast guys ride over sprung and damped suspension with the rebound as fast as cane be and just smooth out the ride with their limbs. Theyíre just better riders and donít need the bike to do as much work as us pedestrians.
    This is very true. If you talk to engineers at most of the suspension companies, they will tell you professional riders are terrible test riders for this reason. They also either say they love it or that they hate it, but can never tell you why because they don't have the need to be particular about things as most of us do.

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by ArizRider View Post
    All the top dudes also ran crazy PSI in the tires.

    Not sure what all that has to do with discussion, but thought it was interesting, particularly since those guys don't always have mechanics with them.
    It seems the definition of "crazy psi" has changed a lot in the last decade. I run 35psi in the back and always have. Some people run half that and honestly I don't know how they can put up with the wallow.

    If I don't run 35psi in the back tyre then I destroy rims with rock dents. I was able to go down to 25psi on the front with a 2.6" tyre. On 2.3" I was running 35psi there too.

    There was a bike-check on Greg Minaars bike where he was running similar pressure. I tried to find it again and couldn't.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dougal View Post
    It seems the definition of "crazy psi" has changed a lot in the last decade. I run 35psi in the back and always have. Some people run half that and honestly I don't know how they can put up with the wallow.

    If I don't run 35psi in the back tyre then I destroy rims with rock dents. I was able to go down to 25psi on the front with a 2.6" tyre. On 2.3" I was running 35psi there too.

    There was a bike-check on Greg Minaars bike where he was running similar pressure. I tried to find it again and couldn't.
    So how much do you weigh? I weigh 142lbs just trying to figure out what my "35psi" would be.

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kevin Van Deventer View Post
    So how much do you weigh? I weigh 142lbs just trying to figure out what my "35psi" would be.
    70-75kg.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kevin Van Deventer View Post
    So how much do you weigh? I weigh 142lbs just trying to figure out what my "35psi" would be.
    30psi Iím the back should be good to prevent rim damage on even the gnarliest stuff (assuming proper casing). Shouldnít fold any either.

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    Quote Originally Posted by PurpleMtnSlayer View Post
    30psi Iím the back should be good to prevent rim damage on even the gnarliest stuff (assuming proper casing). Shouldnít fold any either.
    Hadn't used a gauge since the plus bike experiment.

    I was running 10.5f 14.5 rear. But I had struck a wire (punctured tire) on the way to the trail yesterday and reduced the front to match the rear. I would guess normally I was running 15f 19-22r.
    I just went 25f 28r on magic Mary 2.3 and rock razor 2.3 on 35i Derby rims 27.5.

    I'm going to try this next ride it will definitely help on the 15 mile ride to the trail.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Kevin Van Deventer View Post
    Hadn't used a gauge since the plus bike experiment.

    I was running 10.5f 14.5 rear. But I had struck a wire (punctured tire) on the way to the trail yesterday and reduced the front to match the rear. I would guess normally I was running 15f 19-22r.
    I just went 25f 28r on magic Mary 2.3 and rock razor 2.3 on 35i Derby rims 27.5.

    I'm going to try this next ride it will definitely help on the 15 mile ride to the trail.
    I would suggest using a Tyre pressure gauge before getting too deep in to the damper etc. Ideal pressure can vary wildly depending on rider speed, trail conditions and rim width so it really takes experimentation. Some people can wreck rims at 30+ psi while others seem to get by with 18psi and no squirming
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    Try a mattoc and tell me, honestly, that it doesn't just flat out work better.

    Its *that* good. Fox and RS doesn't suck. They've very good, but something is missing. I think RS put WAY too much focus over the years into having a lockout. They forced lockouts into their dampers at the expense of actually working properly.

    The new fox stuff finally seemed to have ironed out their issues. Its also extremely expensive, and I cant tinker with it at home as easily. This is a huge strike for me, but most people dont care about tinkering. Fair enough. They still sit pretty damn high on cost. Fox does have the 36. I think they won that segment, until manitou brings out their big fork and steamrolls them

    I wanted to try DVO, but the mattoc is just so crazy good that I don't want to give it up.

    The big (big big big) problem with manitou is that the old SPV+ dampers and chassis were so incredibly bad that they ruined manitou on the OEM level and left a bad taste in consumers mouths. That company is gone entirely (bought out by hayes and revamped many years ago), but that bad taste remains. Your crusty old LBS mechanic probably has some bad things to say.

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    Thatís interesting to hear about Manitou. What did x-fusion do to lose all their oem customers?

    Iíd like to know more about the history and people behind these brands. I feel like thatís as good of a reason as any to influence your purchasing decisions when every product is excellent. Good people, home serviceability and availability of parts and tech info is what Iím about.

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    Quote Originally Posted by PurpleMtnSlayer View Post
    What did x-fusion do to lose all their oem customers?
    Dropper posts.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dougal View Post
    Dropper posts.
    Lol. If thatís all then Rockshox should been liquidated a long time ago.

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    Bikeyoke Revive.

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    Quote Originally Posted by PurpleMtnSlayer View Post
    Lol. If thatís all then Rockshox should been liquidated a long time ago.
    I guess X-fusion couldn't force bike manufacturers to bundle with their brakes and drivetrains!
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  30. #30
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    Grip2 is better than anything (even aftermarket custom coil) that I have ever ridden. Just need to clear all the excess slick honey out of the negative air chamber.
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    Xfusion gave up on customer support entirely. Closed the service center, stopped publishing service info, contracted out to a company who also gave up on customer service.

    They were the cool local brand, but they just quit caring it seems.

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    Quote Originally Posted by PurpleMtnSlayer View Post
    Thatís interesting to hear about Manitou. What did x-fusion do to lose all their oem customers?
    Quote Originally Posted by One Pivot View Post
    Xfusion gave up on customer support entirely. Closed the service center, stopped publishing service info, contracted out to a company who also gave up on customer service.

    They were the cool local brand, but they just quit caring it seems.
    They consolidated all of their world wide offices and publicized building a new factory ~2 years ago. It was all an effort to get bigger and bring manufacturing internal instead of outsourcing. I'm guessing they floundered in that effort, because supply of spare parts dried up and I can't even find stock for new product.

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    Quote Originally Posted by One Pivot View Post
    Try a mattoc and tell me, honestly, that it doesn't just flat out work better.

    Its *that* good. Fox and RS doesn't suck. They've very good, but something is missing. I think RS put WAY too much focus over the years into having a lockout. They forced lockouts into their dampers at the expense of actually working properly.

    The new fox stuff finally seemed to have ironed out their issues. Its also extremely expensive, and I cant tinker with it at home as easily. This is a huge strike for me, but most people dont care about tinkering. Fair enough. They still sit pretty damn high on cost. Fox does have the 36. I think they won that segment, until manitou brings out their big fork and steamrolls them

    I wanted to try DVO, but the mattoc is just so crazy good that I don't want to give it up.

    The big (big big big) problem with manitou is that the old SPV+ dampers and chassis were so incredibly bad that they ruined manitou on the OEM level and left a bad taste in consumers mouths. That company is gone entirely (bought out by hayes and revamped many years ago), but that bad taste remains. Your crusty old LBS mechanic probably has some bad things to say.
    Where do I go for the hype train regarding this 4.11 manitou release, which is rumored to be a 29er enduro fork (stouter than Mattoc)?

  34. #34
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    Quote Originally Posted by ninjichor View Post
    Where do I go for the hype train regarding this 4.11 manitou release, which is rumored to be a 29er enduro fork (stouter than Mattoc)?
    Gotta wait a little longer, but it will be worth it

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    I've run through a lot of forks lately. I don't know the internals super well, mainly because I am an end consumer and don't want to break stuff down to figure out how it works and void warranties.

    I'm 215lbs geared up, I try to sit at around 20% sag on most forks, and I ride a lot of technical terrain in WNC on a fairly regular basis. I'm not real fast or skilled, but I do try to ride or clear as much as I can. In general, I prefer forks that stand up to their travel even if they are a little harsh or overdamped instead of something that would dive.

    Fox FIT4 (light compression/rebound): Underdamped on both strokes, doesn't stand up well without 110+psi, which results in a rebound stroke that's fairly fast. The more tokens you add, the worse it gets. After custom tuning, the fork tracks a lot better and doesn't have a return speed that is wildly out of control. Lots of service support both online for end users and in shops, if you trust a shop to handle your suspension. Adjustments on the LSC and LSR are fairly granular, but do not offer a wide range. I feel if you fall outside of a certain weight range, custom tunes are required.

    MRP Ribbon: Supportive with a wide range of adjustments. Somewhat noisy. They have great support as a company and the fork stands up to it's travel well even with no compression dialed in and no ramp control. It tends to be stickier than similar forks and getting it moving is a little more challenging, but I don't think that's a damper issue. AFAIK, no internal tuning can really be done due to it not being a shimmed damper (correct me if I'm wrong, please). The rebound and compression adjustments are broad, cover a wide range, and are noticeable.

    DVO Sapphire 34: A bit underdamped, the HSC adjustments become less useful after about 10 of 22 clicks, where the damper starts to spike. The LSC adjuster is noisy at setting 4, I had to run it at 2-3 with consistency, higher on tighter or steeper trails. I would have liked to have more damping, but didn't keep it long enough to mess with the shims. The compression assembly is easy to access and DVO will offer recommendations if you ask. I like that you can pull the compression shims by unbolting the top cap rather than pulling out an entirely sealed cartridge, but I doubt most people are going to go through this. The rebound adjustments are fairly broad and there are enough of them, but I think the fork could use a little more support from the damper side. The rebound and LSC adjustments offer a wide, broad range and changes are tangible, their setup guide is the best available compared to other options right now IMO. I had to run it a bit high on the air side compared to what I'm used to compared to other forks.

    Cane Creek Helm: New one for me, still early. I know next to nothing about how it works, there isn't a lot of info, I'd love to see one broken down and know whether you can retune via shim stack changes or not. It seems very supportive and controlled, I am running less progression than I have in other forks and it seems to stand up even when I slam it into something off a drop, despite that. Most people I talk to are running the adjusters fairly open, but that tells me that whatever is going on internally is heavily damped. I wouldn't say overdamped, though, that hasn't been my experience, but it's still new to me. I would like to have more options for end users to rebuild or service.

    Suntour RC2 PCS: I had an Auron, smoothest fork I owned. The HSC adjuster has 5 clicks, LSC 22 (IIRC). I think I'd prefer to have it the other way around, I found the HSC to be a bit overdamped and I found myself in the 1-2 position fairly often. Adjustments were fairly broad, with tangible effect. It performed great, stood up to it's travel well, but seems to like sitting into the travel a little more than others do, but the damper appears to make up for that.

    I haven't ridden a Manitou, I would like to. I haven't been on a RS fork in a long time either, so I can't comment on those, other threads on this board have deterred me from owning a RS fork.

    I obviously am not as intimately familiar with these things as Dougal, Darren, and other users here, but as an end user that has a little bit of an idea of what is going on and likes to fiddle with suspension, that's my impression so far. One of these days, I'd like to be in a position where I can tear these things down and learn how they work a little better to see how they compare.

    Quote Originally Posted by mullen119 View Post
    This is very true. If you talk to engineers at most of the suspension companies, they will tell you professional riders are terrible test riders for this reason. They also either say they love it or that they hate it, but can never tell you why because they don't have the need to be particular about things as most of us do.
    It could also be a weight thing. A lot of the pro riders I know are in the 160-180lb rider range, which is what a lot of suspension is tuned for. For people heavier or lighter, custom tunes make a big difference. I guarantee if you put them on a divey, underdamped fork, they would complain no matter how good they are.

    They are probably also stronger and more flexible, so overdamped forks will not be as obvious to them compared to others.

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    I'm going to buy a 27.5 boost 120mm fork. I like Manitou but their options are 2000 grams. I can get a Reba for 1700g.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Dougal View Post
    It seems the definition of "crazy psi" has changed a lot in the last decade. I run 35psi in the back and always have. Some people run half that and honestly I don't know how they can put up with the wallow.

    If I don't run 35psi in the back tyre then I destroy rims with rock dents. I was able to go down to 25psi on the front with a 2.6" tyre. On 2.3" I was running 35psi there too.

    There was a bike-check on Greg Minaars bike where he was running similar pressure. I tried to find it again and couldn't.
    Greg Minaar was at the race I mentioned, I felt his tires, they were ROCK solid. He had a unique tune on his rear shock too that I had never seen.

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    Quote Originally Posted by PurpleMtnSlayer View Post
    I have several very fast friends that race pro class and ride with real ews pros all the time. Theyíre all on stock suspension from fox and rs and love it. They laugh at me when I talk about aftermarket dampers and re-valving stuff. Iím no where near as fast as them, but on my modded stuff I feel a lot more comfortable trying to keep up. I think most fast guys ride over sprung and damped suspension with the rebound as fast as cane be and just smooth out the ride with their limbs. Theyíre just better riders and donít need the bike to do as much work as us pedestrians.
    "rebound as fast as can be" is not necessarily true for fast rider but gets thrown around a lot. They have unique setups and ride unique trails, they also run their sus fairly stiff which needs more rebound damping to offset.

    I bet most top level pros have "more" rebound dampening than amateurs, in general.

    Fast rebound can make it respond better to successive hits but can also effect corner speed, it's a balance.

  39. #39
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    Quote Originally Posted by PurpleMtnSlayer View Post
    I have several very fast friends that race pro class and ride with real ews pros all the time. Theyíre all on stock suspension from fox and rs and love it. They laugh at me when I talk about aftermarket dampers and re-valving stuff. Iím no where near as fast as them, but on my modded stuff I feel a lot more comfortable trying to keep up. I think most fast guys ride over sprung and damped suspension with the rebound as fast as cane be and just smooth out the ride with their limbs. Theyíre just better riders and donít need the bike to do as much work as us pedestrians.
    That is not surprising. The faster and more aggressive riders need a different base tune than those of us who ride slower and on more "normal" terrain. Have them ride slower on more mellow trails and they may hate their suspension, or not...those guys can ride a huffy faster than me.

    As others have said, Pros can be great riders but have no idea about bike settings. I saw a video where a Fox rider was talking with the mechanics about his suspension setup. It was basically the mechanic mocking him for his cluelessness.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Doug View Post
    I saw a video
    It's probably this one with Loris (who won the race that AR is talking about) and Jordi (from Fox), and they're talking about rebound. Some really good nuggets in there from Jordi.

  41. #41
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    Quote Originally Posted by Schulze View Post
    I'm going to buy a 27.5 boost 120mm fork. I like Manitou but their options are 2000 grams. I can get a Reba for 1700g.
    A machete pro is the Manitou Reba equivalent. 1700g with a much better damper (abs+) then the a Reba. The Mattoc is more of a fox 34/ Pike competitor

  42. #42
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    @tbmattux that video is hilarious! As far as fast rebound is concerned, my fast friends tell me they run it as fast as they can without getting ejected on hucks. Fast rebound can definitely pop you up too soon while cornering, but I think the fast guys tend to square off corners more where that wouldnít be an issue. (Thatís a lot of fast fast yíall)

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    Quote Originally Posted by tbmaddux View Post
    It's probably this one with Loris (who won the race that AR is talking about) and Jordi (from Fox), and they're talking about rebound. Some really good nuggets in there from Jordi.
    Thats the one. 2:34, "...maybe try?", too funny.
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    Quote Originally Posted by PurpleMtnSlayer View Post
    @tbmattux that video is hilarious! As far as fast rebound is concerned, my fast friends tell me they run it as fast as they can without getting ejected on hucks. Fast rebound can definitely pop you up too soon while cornering, but I think the fast guys tend to square off corners more where that wouldnít be an issue. (Thatís a lot of fast fast yíall)
    The fast guys Iíve ridden with are ALL about corner speed, the one thing they rarely do is square off cornersÖand Iíve ridden with some FAST guys, followed these guys on gnarly trails (for as long as I can) and seen how they tackle sections close up.

    I do agree about rebound, as fast as you can, which really means you adjust from low dampening to more.

  45. #45
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    Quote Originally Posted by ArizRider View Post
    The fast guys Iíve ridden with are ALL about corner speed, the one thing they rarely do is square off cornersÖand Iíve ridden with some FAST guys, followed these guys on gnarly trails (for as long as I can) and seen how they tackle sections close up.

    I do agree about rebound, as fast as you can, which really means you adjust from low dampening to more.
    This. Squaring off corners is slow.
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    Quote Originally Posted by ArizRider View Post
    "rebound as fast as can be" is not necessarily true for fast rider but gets thrown around a lot. They have unique setups and ride unique trails, they also run their sus fairly stiff which needs more rebound damping to offset.

    I bet most top level pros have "more" rebound dampening than amateurs, in general.

    Fast rebound can make it respond better to successive hits but can also effect corner speed, it's a balance.
    Rebound speed tuning schemes are all over the map. The guidelines for motorbikes do not produce a tuning range taht work well for MTB and we've seen that with a few moto suspension companies.

    It's mostly because our biggest mass has a second set of springs and dampers attached (4 of them) so it can't become unstable as easily. On a motorbike if the chassis starts thrashing up and down you're going to have a bad time.
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  47. #47
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    I think youíre proving the point that there are different styles of riding and different styles of suspension set up and some are ďfasterĒ than others, but perhaps ďslowerĒ isnít inferior if it matches your style better. I donít Strava or race often, so I donít know exactly what fast racers want. I know I donít want too much extra spring or associated rebound damping. Just sayin.

  48. #48
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    Quote Originally Posted by PurpleMtnSlayer View Post
    I think youíre proving the point that there are different styles of riding and different styles of suspension set up and some are ďfasterĒ than others, but perhaps ďslowerĒ isnít inferior if it matches your style better. I donít Strava or race often, so I donít know exactly what fast racers want. I know I donít want too much extra spring or associated rebound damping. Just sayin.
    Generally speaking, more spring rate is for the huckers and super-aggressive riders. Rebound damping rates have to increase with that.

    Conversely. Less spring rate for lighter and less aggressive riders has to have damper rates matched to that. Otherwise it ends up being slow, harsh and dead feeling.

    But for riders who are of standard weight and low aggression you do not want to drop spring-rate. They'll just get wallowy. If they don't get full travel it doesn't matter. How often do you bottom out your car suspension driving to the shops?
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  49. #49
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    Off the shelf damper comparisons, MRP, CC, DVO, Manitou, RS, ...

    For the purposes of this thread relating off the self dampers and their trail behaviors to styles of riding is helpful, IMO.

  50. #50
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dougal View Post
    But for riders who are of standard weight and low aggression you do not want to drop spring-rate. They'll just get wallowy. If they don't get full travel it doesn't matter. How often do you bottom out your car suspension driving to the shops?
    Interesting thread so far.

    The above is something that took me a long time to come around to. I'm around 205 or so geared up and rather aggressive - as in I ride hard and seek out fast and technical downhills but don't hit doubles or massive drops on the regular. For whatever reason, so many riders are obsessed with getting full travel, and I fell into that trap. Once I realized that having 15-20% of travel left over on a "regular" weekday ride was okay and adjusted accordingly, I found that my front and rear suspension were working much better for the way I ride. Dougal, your suspension setup guide was super helpful in this regard.

    As for my experience with off the shelf dampers, I've always been on either RS or Fox. I really wanted to go with a Manitou on my latest build, but they just didn't make the fork I needed (sounds like it's in the pipeline though). On a Fox 36 Grip2 now and am pretty happy with its performance and range of adjustment. I love to tinker and experiment though, so I'll probably end up getting a Manitou at some point in the future.

    Sad about X-fusion. They got crossed off my list as an option once I heard they were moving away from their formerly home mechanic friendly service manuals and parts availability. Lame.
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  51. #51
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dougal View Post
    We've had a lot of weirdness from most of them.

    DVO... the OTT adjuster isn't any help and four port pistons make no sense.
    Just curious on these two opinions.

    The DVO seems to have a MASSIVE amount more mid-stroke support over the Pike (relative to the soloair, Debonair, and luftkappe air pistons). This is probably due to running A LOT more air pressure on the DVO. But then the OTT adjustment allows you to make the initial travel virtually as "plush" or as stiff as you like.

    Why does a 4 port piston not make sense? Won't it be more linear than a 2/3 port piston? Or does the max flow area with the additional walls end up too low with the extra port, making it too progressive at high piston speeds?

  52. #52
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    Quote Originally Posted by mike156 View Post
    Just curious on these two opinions.

    The DVO seems to have a MASSIVE amount more mid-stroke support over the Pike (relative to the soloair, Debonair, and luftkappe air pistons). This is probably due to running A LOT more air pressure on the DVO. But then the OTT adjustment allows you to make the initial travel virtually as "plush" or as stiff as you like.
    Coil negative has it's plusses and minuses. Where your air pressure sits in relation to the negative coil rate is a huge variable.

    Why would you ever want stiff initial travel?

    Quote Originally Posted by mike156 View Post
    Why does a 4 port piston not make sense? Won't it be more linear than a 2/3 port piston? Or does the max flow area with the additional walls end up too low with the extra port, making it too progressive at high piston speeds?
    Each shim loses flexibility when you have to peel up four corners of it.
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  53. #53
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    Quote Originally Posted by mike156 View Post

    The DVO seems to have a MASSIVE amount more mid-stroke support over the Pike (relative to the soloair, Debonair, and luftkappe air pistons). This is probably due to running A LOT more air pressure on the DVO. But then the OTT adjustment allows you to make the initial travel virtually as "plush" or as stiff as you like.
    At 200lbs and riding pretty dynamic terrain (big drops etc) running around 145psi, the OTT was overwhelmed (not supple off the top) and the diamond needed a legit way to take up substantial volume for a ramp.

    ....since you're talking about the spring and all.

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    Not to derail from the damper side, just the statement was made that OTT "wasn't any help" and I wanted to understand why that opinion was formed. 200lbs/140psi, I'm not that aggressive but have found it to use up all the travel some times so I agree with the lack of progression. More moderate riding though the DVO seems to have way more support out of corners and pumping over stuff. It definitely doesn't ride as plush as the Pike Debonair did either, but I don't think it's harsh but any means.

    Back to damper side though, why is a shim being effectively stiffer on a 4-port piston bad? Could you not simply build a slightly softer stack to offset it?

    I'm kind of surprised there is so much focus on the fork damper though. I've tried the Pike with RC, RCT3, and FAST 3-way dampers. I've also tried three Monarch+ tunes, a CCDB coil, RS Kage and Fox X2 on my current bike. I've noticed damping changes way more on the back than the front. When the front is wrong, the bike just seems a little off. When the back is wrong, the bike tries to kill you or feels completely dead.

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    Quote Originally Posted by mike156 View Post
    Not to derail from the damper side, just the statement was made that OTT "wasn't any help" and I wanted to understand why that opinion was formed. 200lbs/140psi, I'm not that aggressive but have found it to use up all the travel some times so I agree with the lack of progression. More moderate riding though the DVO seems to have way more support out of corners and pumping over stuff. It definitely doesn't ride as plush as the Pike Debonair did either, but I don't think it's harsh but any means.

    Back to damper side though, why is a shim being effectively stiffer on a 4-port piston bad? Could you not simply build a slightly softer stack to offset it?

    I'm kind of surprised there is so much focus on the fork damper though. I've tried the Pike with RC, RCT3, and FAST 3-way dampers. I've also tried three Monarch+ tunes, a CCDB coil, RS Kage and Fox X2 on my current bike. I've noticed damping changes way more on the back than the front. When the front is wrong, the bike just seems a little off. When the back is wrong, the bike tries to kill you or feels completely dead.
    You make a lot of good points, especially in a fork, spring and friction are more noticeable than damping but I guess damping is a slightly more complex topic, and harder to grasp, hence thereís a place for a discussion on it.

    4 ports donít make any difference in use, but they are trickier to tune. You have to be mindful of clamp shim diameter especially or else changes to the shims may not give the results you expect as the multiple planes try to fight each other in bending.

    Most people on dvo forks will benefit from using oil in the chamber to increase progression

  56. #56
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    Quote Originally Posted by mike156 View Post
    Not to derail from the damper side, just the statement was made that OTT "wasn't any help" and I wanted to understand why that opinion was formed. 200lbs/140psi, I'm not that aggressive but have found it to use up all the travel some times so I agree with the lack of progression. More moderate riding though the DVO seems to have way more support out of corners and pumping over stuff. It definitely doesn't ride as plush as the Pike Debonair did either, but I don't think it's harsh but any means.

    Back to damper side though, why is a shim being effectively stiffer on a 4-port piston bad? Could you not simply build a slightly softer stack to offset it?

    I'm kind of surprised there is so much focus on the fork damper though. I've tried the Pike with RC, RCT3, and FAST 3-way dampers. I've also tried three Monarch+ tunes, a CCDB coil, RS Kage and Fox X2 on my current bike. I've noticed damping changes way more on the back than the front. When the front is wrong, the bike just seems a little off. When the back is wrong, the bike tries to kill you or feels completely dead.
    The fixed rate negative coil worked for your pressure, but it won't work for others and the amount of progression depends on pressure. That's why everyone else has gone to negative air. The OTT adjustment is only able to set breakaway force.

    Four ports reduce flow. So you have more quadratic effect than 3 port. It's damping you cannot control.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dougal View Post
    Four ports reduce flow. So you have more quadratic effect than 3 port. It's damping you cannot control.
    Thanks and it makes sense, I wasn't sure if shaft velocities got high enough regularly for that to be the case or not.

    Something I've been curious about on the fork side damper is IFP design and cavitation. Do any of the designs provide enough pressure within the damper to prevent cavitation? Or is this even an issue and it's avoided in other ways?

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    Quote Originally Posted by inonjoey View Post

    The above is something that took me a long time to come around to. I'm around 205 or so geared up and rather aggressive - as in I ride hard and seek out fast and technical downhills but don't hit doubles or massive drops on the regular. For whatever reason, so many riders are obsessed with getting full travel, and I fell into that trap. Once I realized that having 15-20% of travel left over on a "regular" weekday ride was okay and adjusted accordingly, I found that my front and rear suspension were working much better for the way I ride. Dougal, your suspension setup guide was super helpful in this regard.
    I'd say this is true for lighter/less aggressive riders as well. Tuning for max travel usage translates to inefficient use of travel. So you "over absorb" the terrain which slows you down drastically and makes the ride quality much harsher. In my experience this made it much harder for me to 'achieve full travel'. As a lighter rider I also noticed how severely under-sprung suspension feels like molasses- there isn't enough spring rate for a faster rebound, oil flows like honey through the damper, and compression settings don't feel like they do anything.

    Once I upped the spring rate 15-20% the whole bike came to life. I use less travel on the average ride, but ride quality is immensely improved from the efficient use of travel. I have more control, speed, and stability now. Funny thing is I do dip into the last 80%+ of travel now- not because of a setting or light tune, but because I'm hauling ass.

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    I'm guessing this is highly dependent on *amount* of travel you have to work with as well. Using 4" of travel on a 6" bike over moderate terrain may be reasonable, using 4" of travel on a 4" bike (aka all of it) on the same terrain is where you want to be. Highly bike dependent.

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    Quote Originally Posted by mike156 View Post
    Not to derail from the damper side, just the statement was made that OTT "wasn't any help" and I wanted to understand why that opinion was formed. 200lbs/140psi, I'm not that aggressive but have found it to use up all the travel some times so I agree with the lack of progression. More moderate riding though the DVO seems to have way more support out of corners and pumping over stuff. It definitely doesn't ride as plush as the Pike Debonair did either, but I don't think it's harsh but any means.

    Back to damper side though, why is a shim being effectively stiffer on a 4-port piston bad? Could you not simply build a slightly softer stack to offset it?

    I'm kind of surprised there is so much focus on the fork damper though. I've tried the Pike with RC, RCT3, and FAST 3-way dampers. I've also tried three Monarch+ tunes, a CCDB coil, RS Kage and Fox X2 on my current bike. I've noticed damping changes way more on the back than the front. When the front is wrong, the bike just seems a little off. When the back is wrong, the bike tries to kill you or feels completely dead.
    Do these points about DVO apply to the rear shock as well? I'm looking for the "perfect" rear shock and am very tempted by the topaz, but have heard great things about the Mcleod.

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    Quote Originally Posted by mike156 View Post
    Not to derail from the damper side, just the statement was made that OTT "wasn't any help" and I wanted to understand why that opinion was formed. 200lbs/140psi, I'm not that aggressive but have found it to use up all the travel some times so I agree with the lack of progression. More moderate riding though the DVO seems to have way more support out of corners and pumping over stuff. It definitely doesn't ride as plush as the Pike Debonair did either, but I don't think it's harsh but any means.

    Back to damper side though, why is a shim being effectively stiffer on a 4-port piston bad? Could you not simply build a slightly softer stack to offset it?

    I'm kind of surprised there is so much focus on the fork damper though. I've tried the Pike with RC, RCT3, and FAST 3-way dampers. I've also tried three Monarch+ tunes, a CCDB coil, RS Kage and Fox X2 on my current bike. I've noticed damping changes way more on the back than the front. When the front is wrong, the bike just seems a little off. When the back is wrong, the bike tries to kill you or feels completely dead.
    Mine was pretty harsh, I'm not sure if I am too light, but I'm like pounding down runs at South Mountain, AZ, Tiger Mountain (namely predator), WA, bike park races, and so on. And I'm not that light around 160-170, but the thing was wildly over-damped, the only way to get decent compliance was to lower the pressure way below what was recommended and then crazy wallow and bottoming was present. There's a difference between support, not blowing through the travel, absorbing the abrupt and harsh stuff, and then being harsh overall. This was similar to my recent over-damped Fox 34, before Push fixed it. The OTT did the knocking thing too, so I sent it back and supposedly it was revalved, I sold it since I changed wheel-sizes and bikes at the same time, but I ran it for a few months and tried every possible setting I could. It felt like it got worse the more I used it. I specifically remember using it in Colorado and at South Mountain in the short time I owned it. If it can't suck up the bumps at SoMo going down Mormon to 24th street or Geronimo, I don't want it. At the least, with such and obvious damping deficiency, they should have been doing something from the factory, like giving you multiple pistons/shim setups with the fork and a way to install them. IMO, this was the classic definition of "off the shelf damper" issues...
    "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

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  62. #62
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rock Climber View Post
    Do these points about DVO apply to the rear shock as well? I'm looking for the "perfect" rear shock and am very tempted by the topaz, but have heard great things about the Mcleod.
    On a v2 5010, the Topaz felt under-dampened if anything. But it was silky smooth like an air-coil hybrid and I dug it.

  63. #63
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rock Climber View Post
    Do these points about DVO apply to the rear shock as well? I'm looking for the "perfect" rear shock and am very tempted by the topaz, but have heard great things about the Mcleod.
    It's hard to compare inline shocks like the McLeod to reservoir shocks like the topaz. Reservoir shocks have more complex dampers and more oil volume that make them a superior design if weight is not a factor. With that said, there is way more that manufactures get wrong when you have a base valve and not just a main piston to design.

    In my opinion, the McLeod is the only inline shock that I have used that can hold its own when fighting out of its weight class. You can't really go wrong with either

  64. #64
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    Quote Originally Posted by mike156 View Post
    Thanks and it makes sense, I wasn't sure if shaft velocities got high enough regularly for that to be the case or not.

    Something I've been curious about on the fork side damper is IFP design and cavitation. Do any of the designs provide enough pressure within the damper to prevent cavitation? Or is this even an issue and it's avoided in other ways?
    Forks only need IFP for air/oil separation. Good tuning and base-valve design means you don't have cavitation as pressures always stay positive. But many brands don't have a good base-valve design and they do try to cavitate with negative pressures during normal operation.

    The one fork design that has and needs a pressurised IFP is the Specialized Brain forks (both Specialized chassis then Rockshox SID chassis). As the damper is upside down with the shaft at the top.
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    Quote Originally Posted by mike156 View Post
    Thanks and it makes sense, I wasn't sure if shaft velocities got high enough regularly for that to be the case or not.

    Something I've been curious about on the fork side damper is IFP design and cavitation. Do any of the designs provide enough pressure within the damper to prevent cavitation? Or is this even an issue and it's avoided in other ways?
    Quadratic effects arenít significant at the base valve, simply because the ports themselves are never even close to the smallest area the oil flows through. Shims only lift a fraction of a mm, so port flow area created there will always be the smallest. This video gives an idea of how little they lift- https://youtu.be/YNVofqBrFXY

    Yes this is low speed, maybe 0.15mm/s but the piston is also flowing about 10x more oil than a typical fork base valve.

    Base valve port area needs to be very carefully considered because large ports will mean there is too much flow area at even a tiny amount of shim lift. This is the fundamental issue with the rockshox charger 1, because as soon as the shims lift you have too much oil flowing. Basically all you can adjust is the opening point but not the damping rate itself.

    Cavitation is rarely an issue with forks, usually the base valve provides enough back pressure to keep it in check plus none of them use the mid valve for enough damping to create cavitation. It usually only happens when something else has gone wrong in the damper. Quite different to shocks that create most of their damping at the mid valve.

  66. #66
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    Quote Originally Posted by JohnnyC7 View Post
    Quadratic effects arenít significant at the base valve, simply because the ports themselves are never even close to the smallest area the oil flows through. Shims only lift a fraction of a mm, so port flow area created there will always be the smallest. This video gives an idea of how little they lift- https://youtu.be/YNVofqBrFXY

    Yes this is low speed, maybe 0.15mm/s but the piston is also flowing about 10x more oil than a typical fork base valve.

    Base valve port area needs to be very carefully considered because large ports will mean there is too much flow area at even a tiny amount of shim lift. This is the fundamental issue with the rockshox charger 1, because as soon as the shims lift you have too much oil flowing. Basically all you can adjust is the opening point but not the damping rate itself.

    Cavitation is rarely an issue with forks, usually the base valve provides enough back pressure to keep it in check plus none of them use the mid valve for enough damping to create cavitation. It usually only happens when something else has gone wrong in the damper. Quite different to shocks that create most of their damping at the mid valve.
    The specific issue DVO have is four port mid-valves. The base-valve being four port isn't such a problem.

    The RS Charger 1 has no problem producing damping forces in excess of those required. We have been over this before and I have no idea why you think it has uncontrolled damping.

    Cavitation with pressures going negative is an issue with several current fork dampers.
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  67. #67
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    Quote Originally Posted by mullen119 View Post
    A machete pro is the Manitou Reba equivalent. 1700g with a much better damper (abs+) then the a Reba. The Mattoc is more of a fox 34/ Pike competitor
    All the 15x110 Machete options are over 2000g.

  68. #68
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    Quote Originally Posted by Schulze View Post
    All the 15x110 Machete options are over 2000g.
    I have asked about plans for a lighter version. The answer was basically "we're busy working on far cooler stuff right now".

    I could in theory build a Pro level Machete Boost. Using the stronger and thinner Pro stanchions and the cartridge TPC damper which cuts about 80g of oil.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dougal View Post
    The RS Charger 1 has no problem producing damping forces in excess of those required. We have been over this before and I have no idea why you think it has uncontrolled damping.
    Charger 1 canít control the damping RATE, it can change damping forces no problem, but it only moves the curve up and down with no effect on the slope. You can generate heaps of low speed damping but hardly any proportional change to HS. Basically like a popper valve adjuster

    I understand you prefer heavily digressive set ups so that might be fine for you, but itís not my preferred method

  70. #70
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    Quote Originally Posted by JohnnyC7 View Post
    Charger 1 canít control the damping RATE, it can change damping forces no problem, but it only moves the curve up and down with no effect on the slope. You can generate heaps of low speed damping but hardly any proportional change to HS. Basically like a popper valve adjuster

    I understand you prefer heavily digressive set ups so that might be fine for you, but itís not my preferred method
    It behaves exactly as it should. Damping rates vary in proportion to shim stack stiffness.

    Either the changes you're making aren't big enough or you need to be able to measure faster than 0.8 m/s to see.
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  71. #71
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dougal View Post
    The specific issue DVO have is four port mid-valves. The base-valve being four port isn't such a problem.
    Are you referring to something like this:

    Name:  ShimStackpiston.jpg
Views: 392
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    Is linear the desired type of curve you want? Digressive being something mainstream, and compromising to performance, to please those wanting to minimize pedaling bob?

  72. #72
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    Quote Originally Posted by ninjichor View Post
    Are you referring to something like this:

    Name:  ShimStackpiston.jpg
Views: 392
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    Is linear the desired type of curve you want? Digressive being something mainstream, and compromising to performance, to please those wanting to minimize pedaling bob?
    Nope. They're all 3 port variations.

    Linear, digressive or progressive depends on the application and what they need.
    The digressives shown in that graphic are also all preloaded. Which tends to make anything digressive. The "Progressive" graph they have is also digressive.

    But the end result you get depends entirely on the shim stack you use as well. Dished/stepped pistons can be packed out to linear in many cases, multistage stacks can bring digressive to linear or even progressive.

    All depends on the goals.
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  73. #73
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    Quote Originally Posted by car_nut View Post
    They consolidated all of their world wide offices and publicized building a new factory ~2 years ago. It was all an effort to get bigger and bring manufacturing internal instead of outsourcing. I'm guessing they floundered in that effort, because supply of spare parts dried up and I can't even find stock for new product.
    That really sucks because their Vector Air DH shock has the best damper off-the-shelf of any air shock ever developed and 2nd place isn't close (X2/CCDBA). Do a search, you won't ever see anything bad written about them. How in the world did X-Fusion screw things up so badly with such a great product??? My first one was a proto from a World Cup racer, otherwise I wouldn't have even given them a thought. Second one was custom tuned for my Bronson and still the best shock I've ever owned - coil or air!!!

    Have FUN!

    G MAN
    "There's two shuttles, one to the top and one to the hospital" I LOVE this place!!!

  74. #74
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    Quote Originally Posted by Schulze View Post
    All the 15x110 Machete options are over 2000g.
    What's weird is that at the top of Manitous website, the 27.5 is listed at 1704g. Than at the bottom, it's listed as 1871g. No idea which is correct, but I will look into it.

    Neither is listed as over 2000g, and the damper is significantly better that a Reba rl. Even at 1871g, I'd take one over a reba

  75. #75
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gman086 View Post
    That really sucks because their Vector Air DH shock has the best damper off-the-shelf of any air shock ever developed and 2nd place isn't close (X2/CCDBA). Do a search, you won't ever see anything bad written about them. How in the world did X-Fusion screw things up so badly with such a great product??? My first one was a proto from a World Cup racer, otherwise I wouldn't have even given them a thought. Second one was custom tuned for my Bronson and still the best shock I've ever owned - coil or air!!!

    Have FUN!

    G MAN
    My understanding is these are quite rudimentary designs and not good performing dampers because they donít use shimmed pistons. They are more of a successful marketing ploy to sell easy to manufacture-one size fits all dampers with the guise of adjustability through lots of clicks. YMMV

  76. #76
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dougal View Post
    It behaves exactly as it should. Damping rates vary in proportion to shim stack stiffness.

    Either the changes you're making aren't big enough or you need to be able to measure faster than 0.8 m/s to see.
    Wheres your evidence it behaves as it should? Damping rates vary on proportion to stack stiffness AND port flow area, so in a wide port the width of port flow orifice increases just as much as the height.

    I've made changes much much harder than stock and much softer, tested on the bench and on the trail. The results were never amazing.

    A shim stack damping rate doesn't change significantly past 0.8m/s unless it is 2-stage or hitting a backing plate. The effects on the trail would be miniscule(if that even did happen) considering that a damper spends less than roughly 5% of it's time above that point so why do you try to argue that point?
    www.thesuspensionlab.nz
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  77. #77
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    Quote Originally Posted by JohnnyC7 View Post
    Wheres your evidence it behaves as it should? Damping rates vary on proportion to stack stiffness AND port flow area, so in a wide port the width of port flow orifice increases just as much as the height.
    I have my evidence. You'll have to excuse me for not sharing all my hard work freely on the internet. But my customers are very happy because I can achieve the damping rates I need.

    The port flow area is fixed. You cannot vary that without making/modifying pistons. You can only vary the shim stack. Which is why I said the damping rates vary with shim stack stiffness.

    Quote Originally Posted by JohnnyC7 View Post
    I've made changes much much harder than stock and much softer, tested on the bench and on the trail. The results were never amazing.
    Why would they be amazing?

    Quote Originally Posted by JohnnyC7 View Post
    A shim stack damping rate doesn't change significantly past 0.8m/s unless it is 2-stage or hitting a backing plate. The effects on the trail would be miniscule(if that even did happen) considering that a damper spends less than roughly 5% of it's time above that point so why do you try to argue that point?
    At such low speeds any leakage (piston not dead flat, shims warping as they're tightened, LSC not sealing perfectly) completely changes the results. You've got to go faster to avoid that and see where it's actually headed.
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  78. #78
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gman086 View Post
    That really sucks because their Vector Air DH shock has the best damper off-the-shelf of any air shock ever developed and 2nd place isn't close (X2/CCDBA). Do a search, you won't ever see anything bad written about them. How in the world did X-Fusion screw things up so badly with such a great product??? My first one was a proto from a World Cup racer, otherwise I wouldn't have even given them a thought. Second one was custom tuned for my Bronson and still the best shock I've ever owned - coil or air!!!

    Have FUN!

    G MAN
    Quote Originally Posted by PurpleMtnSlayer View Post
    My understanding is these are quite rudimentary designs and not good performing dampers because they donít use shimmed pistons. They are more of a successful marketing ploy to sell easy to manufacture-one size fits all dampers with the guise of adjustability through lots of clicks. YMMV
    I've never seen one of those in the wild, but the Vector RC drawings show a proper shim stacked piston on the end of the shaft and a base-valve (spring and poppet) which is basically the same as the Manitou Swinger/ISX type.

    Looks like a solid design.
    Owner of www.shockcraft.co.nz, Mech Engineer, Tuner, Manitou, Motorex, Vorsprung EPTC, SKF, Enduro
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  79. #79
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    Quote Originally Posted by PurpleMtnSlayer View Post
    My understanding is these are quite rudimentary designs and not good performing dampers because they donít use shimmed pistons. They are more of a successful marketing ploy to sell easy to manufacture-one size fits all dampers with the guise of adjustability through lots of clicks. YMMV
    Your understanding is wrong... maybe you should try something first before commenting.

    Have FUN!

    G MAN
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  80. #80
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dougal View Post
    I've never seen one of those in the wild, but the Vector RC drawings show a proper shim stacked piston on the end of the shaft and a base-valve (spring and poppet) which is basically the same as the Manitou Swinger/ISX type.

    Looks like a solid design.
    I think he was referring to the CCDB. Original post in this sub-thread said that the Vector was great and everything compared to the CCDB, I think the reply was saying that the CCDB (and other poppet-valve twin tube dampers) was not the example of a great damper, for the reasons stated.
    "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

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  81. #81
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jayem View Post
    I think he was referring to the CCDB. Original post in this sub-thread said that the Vector was great and everything compared to the CCDB, I think the reply was saying that the CCDB (and other poppet-valve twin tube dampers) was not the example of a great damper, for the reasons stated.
    On a 4th read through I can see that.
    Owner of www.shockcraft.co.nz, Mech Engineer, Tuner, Manitou, Motorex, Vorsprung EPTC, SKF, Enduro
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  82. #82
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gman086 View Post
    Your understanding is wrong... maybe you should try something first before commenting.

    Have FUN!

    G MAN
    Wow man that was a bit harsh. I assumed by your comment the Vector Air DH had a twin tube poppet valve design like the x2/ccdb. Not to burst your bubble but I owned an X2 and had to go a different route because the ultimate performance is limited by the poppet valve adjusters. But the Vector does sound like something worth having a go on.

  83. #83
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    ^^ Sorry, I was misconstruing your comment; Jayem straightened out the confusion. I meant to say the second best dampers I've tried were the X2/CCDBA poppet valve types and they were a DISTANT second to the shimmed piston Vector DH which also dissipated heat better than any air shock I've ever owned including the CCDBA on my Balance (with a lot more oil). No worries... but I'm still at a loss as to why XFusion put themselves in this position with such a strong product... check this vid: https://www.pinkbike.com/video/256670/
    What's really impressive is how it handles the really big hits yet keeps up in the high speed chatter... don't know of any other air shock that can do that; have to go to something like the 11.6 to get that kind of performance. XFusion's marketing department will go down as one of the ALL TIME FAILS! I really don't know why more don't use that type of technology. Stratos did and was wildly successful with their El Jefe shock (not-to-mention inverted forks) but at least they have an excuse for failure when Specialized bent them over and SCREWED them out of business. Now it's all about PUSH and their overhyped and overpriced 11.6 (or Avy if you can catch Craig in the offseason). Hope Manitou picks up the baton, soooo sick of the lame products from RS and Fox...

    Have FUN!

    G
    Last edited by Gman086; 1 Week Ago at 11:32 PM.
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  84. #84
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    Quote Originally Posted by PurpleMtnSlayer View Post
    My understanding is these are quite rudimentary designs and not good performing dampers because they donít use shimmed pistons. They are more of a successful marketing ploy to sell easy to manufacture-one size fits all dampers with the guise of adjustability through lots of clicks. YMMV
    Quote Originally Posted by Gman086 View Post
    Your understanding is wrong... maybe you should try something first before commenting.

    Have FUN!

    G MAN
    Yeah that's a bit harsh...the X2 is an OK damper, it is mostly digressive but the shim stack on the main piston opening at high speed limits the total damping. Taking in all the other factors ie air spring design is what makes it a good shock overall, or at least super versatile

    Not all twin tube shocks are equal though, it depends on the port sizes and bleed vs the main piston design etc. In use, A CCDB behaves closer to a shimmed damper which is why it's so good. The Inline shocks are much more like the poppet valve digressive damper you describe which is why I commented on it separately.

    Quote Originally Posted by Dougal View Post
    I have my evidence. You'll have to excuse me for not sharing all my hard work freely on the internet. But my customers are very happy because I can achieve the damping rates I need.
    I understand that people don't want to share proprietary knowledge, I too try not to give away anything hard earned while still attempting to be helpful. I respect that you have your own methods and happy customers but if you're going to try tell someone they're wrong you better be prepared to provide something to back it up when you get challenged. Otherwise you're not contributing anything useful to the discussion.

    Quote Originally Posted by Dougal View Post
    At such low speeds any leakage (piston not dead flat, shims warping as they're tightened, LSC not sealing perfectly) completely changes the results. You've got to go faster to avoid that and see where it's actually headed.
    "At such low speeds" is an interesting comment, considering about 95% of compression movement happens under 1m/s, so your damping needs to be working well before that point if you want to be working for you!

    Minor leakage like that only effects a tiny portion of the range in a fork, more like 0.08m/s, so is that what you meant and you mixed up the decimal point? The damping rate won't change much unless there is a major fault, but again feel free to provide a dyno run illustrating the difference.
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  85. #85
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    Personally I'd like to see more blind reviews done. Have someone else change the settings as requested and let the reviewer test.
    Could your average punter tell a coil and air shock apart??

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mudguard View Post
    Personally I'd like to see more blind reviews done. Have someone else change the settings as requested and let the reviewer test.
    Could your average punter tell a coil and air shock apart??
    Coil to air, I'd say yes, undoubtedly. I think if we actually did blind tests, we'd see some interesting results. Too many reviews are too sensitive/careful not to piss off the company that supplied the product IMO. Every bike ends up "pedaling great" and "sucks up the bumps", but little attention is given to how or with real comparisons between other products.
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    Dougal and JohnnyC7, while I have both your's attention, I have a Ibis HD4 with a DPX2 on it. I recently put the Push ACS3 kit in my Fox 36 and the benefits have really made me want to go coil in the rear too but the HD4 doesn't really have enough progression to do so effectively. Now, I am trying to decide whether to get the X2 or have my DPX2 re-valved. Can the DPX2 be setup to be as plush as the X2 or does most of the X2 suppleness come from the air spring design?

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    Being a 260lb clyde I have found that in order to get anything related to suspension to work well for me, it has to be custom tuned. I am well outside the curve based on the masses, and have come to accept that.

    How this relates to the conversation is that imho Fox and RS cannot afford to have products that don't perform "well" for riders of all ability levels and sizes. They also know that with how quickly they are changing designs there is a very slim chance that a local bike shop is going to have anyone qualified enough to do any "tuning" to their products. So what does that mean for suspension? Great middle of the road performance with buttons you can click to make notable changes, comprised of components that last long enough not to piss off the consumer.

    In the grand scheme of things you have to look at how many forks and shocks are sold on a yearly basis compared to how many people come onto mtbr bitching about the lack of performance. Is is a 1/1000 ratio, 1/5000 ratio.....1/10,000 ratio?

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    Quote Originally Posted by rynomx785 View Post
    Dougal and JohnnyC7, while I have both your's attention, I have a Ibis HD4 with a DPX2 on it. I recently put the Push ACS3 kit in my Fox 36 and the benefits have really made me want to go coil in the rear too but the HD4 doesn't really have enough progression to do so effectively. Now, I am trying to decide whether to get the X2 or have my DPX2 re-valved. Can the DPX2 be setup to be as plush as the X2 or does most of the X2 suppleness come from the air spring design?
    Mrp have a progressive spring might be worth checking into.

  90. #90
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    Quote Originally Posted by rynomx785 View Post
    Dougal and JohnnyC7, while I have both your's attention, I have a Ibis HD4 with a DPX2 on it. I recently put the Push ACS3 kit in my Fox 36 and the benefits have really made me want to go coil in the rear too but the HD4 doesn't really have enough progression to do so effectively. Now, I am trying to decide whether to get the X2 or have my DPX2 re-valved. Can the DPX2 be setup to be as plush as the X2 or does most of the X2 suppleness come from the air spring design?
    The guys you mentioned would know better than I, but the X2 has a high volume air can designed to give it a linear spring rate. So if you put that in your ibis you get linear spring + linear frame = still no progression. Plus you canít tune the damper internally.

  91. #91
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kevin Van Deventer View Post
    Mrp have a progressive spring might be worth checking into.
    This

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mudguard View Post
    Personally I'd like to see more blind reviews done. Have someone else change the settings as requested and let the reviewer test.
    Could your average punter tell a coil and air shock apart??

    Hopefully it's better elsewhere, but the average riders in my area has a hard time telling the difference between climb switch on and climb switch off on a Cane Creek or Fox shock. This is why Fox and RS continue to make dampers with questionable tuning and still own 90+% of the market.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Kevin Van Deventer View Post
    Mrp have a progressive spring might be worth checking into.
    Quote Originally Posted by PurpleMtnSlayer View Post
    The guys you mentioned would know better than I, but the X2 has a high volume air can designed to give it a linear spring rate. So if you put that in your ibis you get linear spring + linear frame = still no progression. Plus you canít tune the damper internally.
    I have looked at the Hazard/progressive spring setup a couple times. Surprised it has taken this long for someone to have a progressive spring made. MRP told me that yoke design on the Ibis (used on lots of bikes I know) could lead to early shaft wear but that is really wasn't that big of a deal.

    As far as the X2 goes, the Everyone on the Ibis Enduro team runs the X2 and I think it safe to say if it is progressive enough Wallner and Buchanan then it should be okay for me? LOL Kind of a bummer to not have the standard compression and rebound stacks to tune though.

    Maybe a DHX2 with the MRP progressive spring? Assuming the springs aren't a proprietary ID?

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    I agree, a progressive coil spring combined with a not overly damped shock seems like it would solve most everyoneís problems. MRP wisely made their spring ID 38mm so it can fit most shocks with a $20 spacer.



    Dhx2 has virtually the same damper design as the X2. Youíre better off with a Marzocchi Bomber CR if you want to stay within the fox family for some reason and want to have it modded for you. You can get a new, tuned, Bomber CR for less than an off the shelf fox.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Kevin Van Deventer View Post
    Mrp have a progressive spring might be worth checking into.
    Quote Originally Posted by PurpleMtnSlayer View Post
    I agree, a progressive coil spring combined with a not overly damped shock seems like it would solve most everyoneís problems. MRP wisely made their spring ID 38mm so it can fit most shocks with a $20 spacer.



    Dhx2 has virtually the same damper design as the X2. Youíre better off with a Marzocchi Bomber CR if you want to stay within the fox family for some reason and want to have it modded for you. You can get a new, tuned, Bomber CR for less than an off the shelf fox.
    Great info. Thanks.

    I am a little partial to Fox but not dead set on them. Anything else other than the Bomber you recommend?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mudguard View Post
    Personally I'd like to see more blind reviews done. Have someone else change the settings as requested and let the reviewer test.
    Could your average punter tell a coil and air shock apart??
    Yeah Iíve always wanted to see more blind reviews, the number of times I read a review that says they added 2 clicks of compression damping when that damper does nothing for 6 clicks is hilarious!

    Itís actually really really hard to completely remove bias-itís just human nature. I have to be conscious of it all the time, as even the best can get trapped in to making the wrong decision.

    I run set up days at the local bike park and itís really interesting - I end up making a lot of changes that most people wouldnít initially pick but theyíre open minded enough to let me do my thing and it seems to work really well. But I try not to tell them too much about how or why Iím changing something and then in turn they are more honest about whether it feels better, worse or no different

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    Quote Originally Posted by rynomx785 View Post
    Dougal and JohnnyC7, while I have both your's attention, I have a Ibis HD4 with a DPX2 on it. I recently put the Push ACS3 kit in my Fox 36 and the benefits have really made me want to go coil in the rear too but the HD4 doesn't really have enough progression to do so effectively. Now, I am trying to decide whether to get the X2 or have my DPX2 re-valved. Can the DPX2 be setup to be as plush as the X2 or does most of the X2 suppleness come from the air spring design?
    A few points here -
    The HD4 is actually plenty progressive for a coil shock but that doesn't necessarily matter, it all depends on how aggressive you ride and what you prioritise. If you're a hucker it would be a bad idea to run a coil in a less progressive frame but if you really want ultimate compliance and keep wheels on the ground then go for it. Just look at how many Yeti riders happily use a coil shock and they are some of the least progressive bikes around!

    The X2 definitely has a more "plush" feeling due to the air spring design but your feeling with the DPX2 could be more due to damping rather than spring design, eg too little compression damping and too much rebound. Also check there is no volume spacer in the negative chamber like some Fox shocks have. I have had good results from those shocks just from a service & tune
    www.thesuspensionlab.nz
    Servicing in Rotorua, NZ/Vorsprung Elite Tuning Centre/DVO service centre/Insta @thesuspensionlab

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    Quote Originally Posted by JohnnyC7 View Post
    A few points here -
    The HD4 is actually plenty progressive for a coil shock but that doesn't necessarily matter, it all depends on how aggressive you ride and what you prioritise. If you're a hucker it would be a bad idea to run a coil in a less progressive frame but if you really want ultimate compliance and keep wheels on the ground then go for it. Just look at how many Yeti riders happily use a coil shock and they are some of the least progressive bikes around!

    The X2 definitely has a more "plush" feeling due to the air spring design but your feeling with the DPX2 could be more due to damping rather than spring design, eg too little compression damping and too much rebound. Also check there is no volume spacer in the negative chamber like some Fox shocks have. I have had good results from those shocks just from a service & tune
    I am a pretty aggressive rider and that is what pushed me away from wanting to try a coil on my HD4 especially after Darren from Push told me the HD4 was NOT progressive and he wouldn't sell me a shock. Is the MRP progressive coil going to be as progressive as an air shock generally speaking?

    So potentially too little compression and too much rebound huh? Never thought about it from that perspective. After feeling the benefits of the coil kit on my fork it made want to explore what my options were for a rear shock too. It would be nice to get good results from just tuning as that is cheaper than a new shock. Running my shock ID number gets me this info on Fox's site if if means anything to you.

    "2019, FLOAT DPX2, P-S, A, 3pos, Evol LV, Ibis, Mojo HD4, 7.875, 2.25, CM, DRM, Rezi M F M, Standard Logo"

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    Quote Originally Posted by JohnnyC7 View Post
    I understand that people don't want to share proprietary knowledge, I too try not to give away anything hard earned while still attempting to be helpful. I respect that you have your own methods and happy customers but if you're going to try tell someone they're wrong you better be prepared to provide something to back it up when you get challenged. Otherwise you're not contributing anything useful to the discussion.
    If a dog is barking up the wrong tree, are you obligated to go and find it the right tree?


    Quote Originally Posted by JohnnyC7 View Post
    "At such low speeds" is an interesting comment, considering about 95% of compression movement happens under 1m/s, so your damping needs to be working well before that point if you want to be working for you!
    That's a useless statistic. My main bike hangs on a hook about 99% of each week, but I still need it to function correctly for that 1%.

    Working well for mid speeds (under 1 m/s) is easy. Working well for 5x that while still working well under 1 m/s is a bit harder.

    Quote Originally Posted by rynomx785 View Post
    Dougal and JohnnyC7, while I have both your's attention, I have a Ibis HD4 with a DPX2 on it. I recently put the Push ACS3 kit in my Fox 36 and the benefits have really made me want to go coil in the rear too but the HD4 doesn't really have enough progression to do so effectively. Now, I am trying to decide whether to get the X2 or have my DPX2 re-valved. Can the DPX2 be setup to be as plush as the X2 or does most of the X2 suppleness come from the air spring design?
    I've never considered lack of progression to be a reason to avoid coil. Coil forks have very little progression and coil shocks have big fat bumpers attached.

    If you are a more aggressive rider then your whole spring-rates need to reflect that. A setup for a less aggressive rider will just feel mushy and unresponsive.

    I've never got on with that plush word.
    Owner of www.shockcraft.co.nz, Mech Engineer, Tuner, Manitou, Motorex, Vorsprung EPTC, SKF, Enduro
    www.dougal.co.nz

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    Quote Originally Posted by Dougal View Post
    That's a useless statistic. My main bike hangs on a hook about 99% of each week, but I still need it to function correctly for that 1%.

    Working well for mid speeds (under 1 m/s) is easy. Working well for 5x that while still working well under 1 m/s is a bit harder.
    How often does your fork reach 5m/s? Do you even know? I know for me and it's maybe once or twice a ride. I bet the average rider rarely exceeds 2m/s on compression, so making theoretical claims about what your damping is doing at 5m/s is the useless part.....
    www.thesuspensionlab.nz
    Servicing in Rotorua, NZ/Vorsprung Elite Tuning Centre/DVO service centre/Insta @thesuspensionlab

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