Vivid feels harsh- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    Vivid feels harsh

    In the past years i had various Rock Shox dampers, Monarch, Monarch+, Vivid Air MY10, Vivid Coil MY12 and now the current Vivid Air.

    All of them were kind of ok in regards of shim stack except the current Vivid.

    It feels kind of harsh. Its hard to use all of its travel, even without spacers. Rebound feels ok though.

    Then i installed a FAST piston kit, not sure if someone has experience with it. In the past i had a Charger1 with FAST piston and great results. But with the FAST piston, the VIVID feels maybe even more harsh than stock VIVID. The damping shim stack which was given me by the shop, is already like 30% softer than FAST recommends.

    With really low air pressure its softer but hangs quite low in travel and LSR needs to be opened a fair amount (5 clicks from fully open). Even with less pressure its more harsh than Monarch+, it feels kind of dead.

    It feels controlled, never kicks so i dont think Rebound is an issue but it feels like you loose an good amount of travel.

    Is the current Vivid really so harsh compared to older generation models? The only exception are really really fast tracks, here the Vivid feels good but i am no WC racer. On the other side i am also not the slowest especially on my home track.

    Rock Shox kind of messed up the stock Vivid piston with so big holes, reminds me of Charger1. Also the old Vivid had 3way Rebound, current has 2way. FAST completely changed rebound so it behaves like a Monotube shock. The ESR knob needs to be completely closed because they use quite big holes for rebound in the piston with its own shimstack which is a lot harder than on the old gen Vivids.

    Today i tried my old Monarch+ and compared to it, it was so plush i was able to ride a fair amount faster.

    Bonus question, could it be possible that just 1mm smaller clamping shim has so big effects on total stiffness like Restackor Demo tells me? Behind the clamping shim vivid has kind of solid thick plate.

    currently mounted:
    valve plate
    11 x 0.2
    12 x 0.15
    14 x 0.15
    16 x 0.1
    16 x 0.1
    18 x 0.15
    20 x 0.15

    Want maybe to try this:
    valve plate
    10 x 0.2
    12 x 0.15
    14 x 0.15
    16 x 0.1
    16 x 0.1
    18 x 0.1
    18 x 0.1
    20 x 0.15

    According to Restackor its a hell lot lighter (attachment).
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Vivid feels harsh-viv4.jpg  

    Last edited by x-rated; 09-23-2019 at 03:25 AM.

  2. #2
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    Clamp diameter does have a large effect, much bigger than the change to the 18mm shims you suggested.

    A few things - what is your weight and what frame is this on?

    Bear in mind it might be TOO soft, when you say its already 30% softer did you ride the original tune or change that straight away?

    Also it is an air shock - it isn't going to be the plushest feeling thing anyway
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  3. #3
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    For a rear shock you should be more interested in the damping at 0.5-1m/s range than the 4 m/s your graph goes out to.

    That said. Your forces are very light. At the wheel they wouldn't be too bad for a very light rider, but with 2.5-3x leverage on them it's nothing.
    Owner of www.shockcraft.co.nz, Mech Engineer, Tuner, Manitou, Motorex, Vorsprung EPTC, SKF, Enduro
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  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by JohnnyC7 View Post
    A few things - what is your weight and what frame is this on?
    155lbs and Bergamont Encore 2016 - Linkage Design

    Bear in mind it might be TOO soft, when you say its already 30% softer did you ride the original tune or change that straight away?
    its the "soft" one from beginning. The 2 stacks from 1st post compare the "soft" one with one thats even softer which i would like to try.

    The official FAST stack is:
    valve plate
    12x.15
    14x0.15
    16x0.15
    18x0.15
    20x0.10
    20x0.15

    Also it is an air shock - it isn't going to be the plushest feeling thing anyway
    Monarch+ feels 2x times plusher

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dougal View Post
    For a rear shock you should be more interested in the damping at 0.5-1m/s range than the 4 m/s your graph goes out to.

    That said. Your forces are very light. At the wheel they wouldn't be too bad for a very light rider, but with 2.5-3x leverage on them it's nothing.
    Its only a demo version so i cannot use shims larger than 10mm. I just divided shims by 2 including thickness.
    So i am really curious how Restackor behaves in full version comparing the 2 stacks.
    Attached Images Attached Images  

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by x-rated View Post
    155lbs and Bergamont Encore 2016 - Linkage Design



    its the "soft" one from beginning. The 2 stacks from 1st post compare the "soft" one with one thats even softer which i would like to try.

    The official FAST stack is:
    valve plate
    12x.15
    14x0.15
    16x0.15
    18x0.15
    20x0.10
    20x0.15



    Monarch+ feels 2x times plusher
    Yeah the monarch generally feels much nicer, they have quite different spring curves here

    FYI those restackor graphs aren't any use I'm sorry to say, hence why I'm not referencing them. Even with precise inputs including both the base valve and main piston there isn't much correlation with the actual damping

    Did they change the base valve as well? And I take it your shop did the whole install? Do they or fast provide a Dyno printout of whats changed?

    Even though the stock piston has huge ports it is a very firm stack to push oil through the base valve (being a twin tube), so to be honest too many changes have happened here for me to have any idea where the damper is at now. It could be miles too hard or miles too soft.

    Really the best thing to do is test ride a few drastically different tunes and decide for yourself. I see the clamp shim was changed from 12 to 11mm right from the get go, I suggest keeping the clamp shim constant, then try add 1x 0.2mm x 20mm shim to the face for a start then next time try changing 2 of the 0.15 shims to 0.1.
    www.thesuspensionlab.nz
    Servicing in Rotorua, NZ/Vorsprung Elite Tuning Centre/DVO service centre/Insta @thesuspensionlab

  7. #7
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    x-rated, did I see you on German forum in Vivid topic? I struggled with my vivid r2c coil on yt tues. Somehow it came with M compression tune. Such a crap for 70-75kg rider. I pulled out around 30% of shims, then it started to work properly. Before that, it was killing my knees. You got air, so I dont know if it applies. Anyway if you want more details just let me know.

  8. #8
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    With Restackor i think its very diffucult to enter exact data but at least it should be possible to compare stacks in order to see increase/decrease in percentage.

    The install i did by my own, i got supplied with the stack and i am not sure how they created it but at least i see its already a bit softer then the stock FAST stack because clamping shim is smaller.

    Mostly i need some input how much difference the clamp shim is exactly gonna make, the rest i can do from experience i think. Its effecting all other shims, so there should be a noticable change.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by x-rated View Post
    155lbs and Bergamont Encore 2016 - Linkage Design



    its the "soft" one from beginning. The 2 stacks from 1st post compare the "soft" one with one thats even softer which i would like to try.

    The official FAST stack is:
    valve plate
    12x.15
    14x0.15
    16x0.15
    18x0.15
    20x0.10
    20x0.15



    Monarch+ feels 2x times plusher
    I have all those ingredients here. I am about the same weight, ride a Bergamont Encore Team which came with a Monarch RC3, I also have a Vivid Air in the parts bin but have never ridden it on that bike.

    Have you got any pictures of the FAST piston next to the stock piston?
    Owner of www.shockcraft.co.nz, Mech Engineer, Tuner, Manitou, Motorex, Vorsprung EPTC, SKF, Enduro
    www.dougal.co.nz

  10. #10
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    Bergamont does also sell bikes in NZ ?

    The stock Vivid piston has gigantic holes and like on/off feel with it. It also has gigantic shim stack.

    The compression holes in FAST piston are just 3.2mm diameter but i think they often create small ones.
    Attached Images Attached Images  

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by x-rated View Post
    Bergamont does also sell bikes in NZ ?

    The stock Vivid piston has gigantic holes and like on/off feel with it. It also has gigantic shim stack.

    The compression holes in FAST piston are just 3.2mm diameter but i think they often create small ones.

    They haven't sold Bergamont in NZ for a long time, I bought Joe Nation's last race bike. Best handling bike I've ever ridden.

    I like the stock vivid piston design in that picture more. I'll take bigger ports and stiffer stacks every-time.
    Owner of www.shockcraft.co.nz, Mech Engineer, Tuner, Manitou, Motorex, Vorsprung EPTC, SKF, Enduro
    www.dougal.co.nz

  12. #12
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    Its really a capable bike but i havent noticed a lot difference between stock Monarch+ vs. Vivid. Monarch+ is weaker in really rough sitations, mostly during rebound i think. Sometimes rebound is kind of inconsistent.

    I think old Vivid is maybe even superior than newer one.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by x-rated View Post
    Its really a capable bike but i havent noticed a lot difference between stock Monarch+ vs. Vivid. Monarch+ is weaker in really rough sitations, mostly during rebound i think. Sometimes rebound is kind of inconsistent.

    I think old Vivid is maybe even superior than newer one.
    The Monarch RC3 stock is a wallow fest. I took mine off straight away.

    The Vorsprung Tractive tune fixes the Monarch with a new base-valve and retune. But I haven't done that to my own, I've been too busy testing other shocks.
    Owner of www.shockcraft.co.nz, Mech Engineer, Tuner, Manitou, Motorex, Vorsprung EPTC, SKF, Enduro
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  14. #14
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    Its still not that bad. However i really need to know how much effect 1mm difference in clamp shim is gonna be.

  15. #15
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    It will be a decent step, should be noticeable but not drastic. So itís not going to halve the force or anything like that. To put it in very rough terms about 10% less would be an ok estimate as my guess

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by x-rated View Post
    Its still not that bad. However i really need to know how much effect 1mm difference in clamp shim is gonna be.
    Clamp diameter has an enormous effect on shim pack stiffness.
    Owner of www.shockcraft.co.nz, Mech Engineer, Tuner, Manitou, Motorex, Vorsprung EPTC, SKF, Enduro
    www.dougal.co.nz

  17. #17
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    How much in percentage on 1mm change? Then i dont understand why FAST even installs 12mm clamp shim.

    I think this ends up in guestimation. Only problem is i ride this bike not very often.
    Also it may be more difficult to diagnose too soft than too hard stack.

    I also verified if i installed something wrong, everything looks like it should be.

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by x-rated View Post
    How much in percentage on 1mm change? Then i dont understand why FAST even installs 12mm clamp shim.

    I think this ends up in guestimation. Only problem is i ride this bike not very often.
    Also it may be more difficult to diagnose too soft than too hard stack.

    I also verified if i installed something wrong, everything looks like it should be.
    Without a dyno there is no way to know for sure how much effect any change will make, often adjustments make either way more or way less of a change than expected

    Coincidentally I was retuning something today and decided it needed a larger clamp shim and here is the change below. clickers etc are identical, only the clamp diameter was increased by 25% (not a vivid)
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Vivid feels harsh-img_3152.jpg  

    www.thesuspensionlab.nz
    Servicing in Rotorua, NZ/Vorsprung Elite Tuning Centre/DVO service centre/Insta @thesuspensionlab

  19. #19
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    So thats like 10% for 2mm shim decrease? Not a lot.
    Whats the total stack and how big are the bores in the piston?

    Today i was riding Monarch+ in the alps and it is really plush compared to vivid but on easy tracks the vivid was more fun because you get more feedback although its much more exhausting. Also rebound on Monarch+ has to be set exactly, range is really broad and just one click is a huge change.
    The monarch uses also a bit too much travel for my liking because of the slughish rebound.

  20. #20
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    If I will be in your shoes I would change piston to stock and start pulling shims or rather changing to thinner, becouse its quanity is low yet.

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by x-rated View Post
    So thats like 10% for 2mm shim decrease? Not a lot.
    Whats the total stack and how big are the bores in the piston?

    Today i was riding Monarch+ in the alps and it is really plush compared to vivid but on easy tracks the vivid was more fun because you get more feedback although its much more exhausting. Also rebound on Monarch+ has to be set exactly, range is really broad and just one click is a huge change.
    The monarch uses also a bit too much travel for my liking because of the slughish rebound.
    You can't ballpark it, you'd have to calculate it using the stiffness for each shim.

    What you're doing with a bigger clamp is reducing the overhang, making the shim shorter and stiffer in bending while also reducing the leverage that the oil ports have to flex the shim.

    You're changing the geometry of the shim and piston interaction substantially.
    Owner of www.shockcraft.co.nz, Mech Engineer, Tuner, Manitou, Motorex, Vorsprung EPTC, SKF, Enduro
    www.dougal.co.nz

  22. #22
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    Even if i would know current total stiffness, i still dont know where the new stack should be at. The only thing i know it is way too hard.
    I am thinking about 8mm clamp shim and removing some of the smaller shims.

    Also i am curious about spring curve Monarch Plus vs Vivid

  23. #23
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    I did a drastic change and so far the damper feels very good

    8 x 0.4
    10 x 0.1
    12 x 0.1
    14 x 0.1
    16 x 0.1
    16 x 0.1
    18 x 0.1
    18 x 0.1
    20 x 0.15

  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by x-rated View Post
    I did a drastic change and so far the damper feels very good

    8 x 0.4
    10 x 0.1
    12 x 0.1
    14 x 0.1
    16 x 0.1
    16 x 0.1
    18 x 0.1
    18 x 0.1
    20 x 0.15
    If you made changes please give details of stack before and after. Somebody in the future could be happy

  25. #25
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    In first post, huge difference

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