5er DHX 5.0 & RP3 2 Week Review- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    5er DHX 5.0 & RP3 2 Week Review

    DHX 5.0. As noted with the other thread, has fit issues on the Medium & SM 5er. Thankfully before riding the bike (medium), my discernment kicked in and thought it would be a good idea to see how close that resi came to the downtube under full compression.

    Popped the spring off, mounted the shock and pressed the saddle. Dammit. Not only did the schrader valve hit, the blue bottom out adjuster hit as well removing all the paint it came in contact with. Had I ridden the bike before checking clearance issues, 2 nice dings would have occurred indeed.

    Coming from a custom P/P and non P/P Vanilla RC, I was determined to make this work. I refused to ride an old school tech shock like the RC when I had the latest and greatest in hand. I took the DHX off, popped the spring off, then popped off the blue adjuster, turn in the bottom out valve in a tad and then compressed the seat again to see check the clearance. Just a tap this time under 70% compression of the bumper. One more turn, and then check again, 2mm gap under full compression. Set the air volume to 130psi and off I rode.

    At 155-160lbs with a 450lb spring & 1/3 sag.

    Amazing ride. Where's the wallow? The pro-pedal adj knob gives a real wide range of threshold adj. The rear just sticks to the ground that no RC could manage. The only complaint I have is the skinny rebound adj knob. Where as the old RC's was thick in width and gave an audible click when adj it on the trails, the DHX's is thin and doesn’t give as noticable a click.

    This shock flows some oil--at speed. Slow rock crawling is a given, but downhill/high speed impacts are absorbed without harshness-the best of both worlds. Where as the old RC had a hard time flowing oil on fast big impacts, the DHX with a much larger internal shaft has no problem flowing oil at speed.

    It's kind of a bummer that I can't leave the blue adj knob on. However, I got the bottom out set to exactly where I want it, so there's no need for me to fiddle with it. I have no problem obtaining full travel and no issues with contact of the downtube. -Perfect.


    RP3. More like I P Freely. Why not R2 or C-3PO?

    Anyways, having ridden countless amounts of air shocks, and coils, this one holds it's own. Supposedly the RP3 has the same air volume as a Float AVA with the sleeve in its linearest setting. Hmmm doesn’t feel as linear on the first driveway test. This thing is also wicked light.

    Time for a ride. I set the psi to around 140. Sag set at 1/3 and off I went. Where's the wallow? My 04 AVA P/P had a slight amount, but was also not nearly as efficient as the RP3 in using wheel travel. Like the DHX vs. the RC, the DHX (if the bottom out adj & psi are set correctly), for me at least allows only as much travel as needed on hits. Where as the RC would go under full compression for a mild hit-resulting in undesired geometry change and more energy wasted, the DHX keeps the bike more level, more stable, and much less energy used from myself from leg power & body transitioning for overcoming the RC's flaws.)

    The RP3 distinguishes itself in much the same way vs. the AVA P/P. ( My AVA non P/P wouldn't have even made it out of the parking lot in comparison.) G-outs, berms, are much more controlled. I'm having to relearn how to ride slow crawling rock boulders & gardens. because of the lack of wallow.


    Definitely a worthy upgrade.


    Here are some crappy pix.

    -Paul J
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  2. #2
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    Most excellent. Having ridden both back to back, in your opinion, does the RP3 give up much in the way of damping performance to the DHX, or do you think the valving of each is similarly executed? I was surprised at how similarly the Swinger Air and Coils behaved in my limited experience with them. Is the same true with the new Foxes? Any reason you are running the RP3 "upsidedown?" Seems like the controls would be easier to reach in the other orientation.

    Good feedback.
    My video techniques can be found in this thread.

  3. #3
    oly
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    I also just rode my DHX for the first time. Instead of writing a review, just read above and pretrnd i wrote it, but replace P/P rc with Romic! Very impressed. I too am riding mine without blue knob. But like you said, once its set you should be fine. My only concern is still the tip of the air valve....... but so far so good......

    A few things i noted today:
    1. no noise from shock. Romic made funny noises on deep cycles.
    2. pro pedal is amazing! Stand up and sprint and hardly no movement, look down climbing on trail same thing. looks like its sitting still, but still moves when hitting things.
    3. weight is virtually the same for DHX/600 as Romic/650. I guess i hoped DHX would be lighter, but as long as it wasnt heavier im good.
    4. bike felt very alive, more than with romic. I was able to stick some snake corners that i always have trouble hitting fast and staying in line. Is it mental? Or does it really perform? Ill do my own write up after a few more weeks.....

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by tscheezy
    Most excellent. Having ridden both back to back, in your opinion, does the RP3 give up much in the way of damping performance to the DHX, or do you think the valving of each is similarly executed? I was surprised at how similarly the Swinger Air and Coils behaved in my limited experience with them. Is the same true with the new Foxes? Any reason you are running the RP3 "upsidedown?" Seems like the controls would be easier to reach in the other orientation.

    Good feedback.
    great minds think alike...I had the same questions!!

    thanks for the write up Paul!!

  5. #5
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    .....Darn weight weenies & their air shocks on a 5 Spot ...

    ....pertaining to above, I concur....just returning from yet another ride. Oly, I can honestly say it is NOT just mental.... I just finished my regular local loop & turned in my best time by 10 min....I couldn't believe it, I wasn't even trying!!! hehe

    ...Oly, on another note, I took the valve cap & pressed it in my vise to gain an additional 3mm. Now it has a flat top (also had to remove the seal inside & it sits much closer down on the valve...FYI


  6. #6
    oly
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    Quote Originally Posted by tscheezy
    Any reason you are running the RP3 "upsidedown?" Seems like the controls would be easier to reach in the other orientation.
    Less mass for the suspension to move? Granted its an air shock so there isnt a whole bunch of weight. Just It would make sence to have the controls up top where you can maybe get at em during a ride....

  7. #7
    No, that's not phonetic
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    Quote Originally Posted by jncarpenter
    I just finished my regular local loop & turned in my best time by 10 min....I couldn't believe it, I wasn't even trying!!!
    Let me guess, the loop normally takes 11 minutes.

    Would somebody finally buy a DHX 4.0 and give some feedback on that?
    My video techniques can be found in this thread.

  8. #8
    oly
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    Quote Originally Posted by jncarpenter
    .....Darn weight weenies & their air shocks on a 5 Spot ...

    ....pertaining to above, I concur....just returning from yet another ride. Oly, I can honestly say it is NOT just mental.... I just finished my regular local loop & turned in my best time by 10 min....I couldn't believe it, I wasn't even trying!!! hehe

    ...Oly, on another note, I took the valve cap & pressed it in my vise to gain an additional 3mm. Now it has a flat top (also had to remove the seal inside & it sits much closer down on the valve...FYI
    Ah, good thinking. I had replaced mine with a plastic cap from a tube..... I didnt even think of smashing the original one down.

  9. #9
    oly
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    Quote Originally Posted by tscheezy
    Let me guess, the loop normally takes 11 minutes.

    Would somebody finally buy a DHX 4.0 and give some feedback on that?
    Im not sure if 4.0 is available aftermarket. When i was getting mine from fox the guy that i worked with, he said something to that effect. I was asking if i could trade the 5.0 in for a 4.0 after first hearing of the fit issue. Glad i didnt........ i like all the bells and whistles..

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by tscheezy
    Let me guess, the loop normally takes 11 minutes.
    ...DUDE!!!! Weird, you're freaking me out! Were you there?...

    ....hmmm, I thought I felt someone watching me...




  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by oly
    Glad i didnt........ i like all the bells and whistles..
    ...oh, it has all the same bells as the 5.0...just missing one whistle


  12. #12
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    Great feedback...

    Which one do you think fits best for technical singletrack riding, lots of roots and rocks, some fast sections...? Is the difference in weight for the coil worth it? Reading your words, I would think you are going to say the DHX because you are using some +++ qualifiers that you don't use on the air shock (amazing,...).

    Thanks again, it's so nice to have some real life feedback from riders that actually own differents goodies.

    Cheers

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by tscheezy
    Most excellent. Having ridden both back to back, in your opinion, does the RP3 give up much in the way of damping performance to the DHX, or do you think the valving of each is similarly executed? I was surprised at how similarly the Swinger Air and Coils behaved in my limited experience with them. Is the same true with the new Foxes? Any reason you are running the RP3 "upsidedown?" Seems like the controls would be easier to reach in the other orientation.

    Good feedback.

    I was tempted to do a DHX vs. RP3 thread, but decided nah......

    Its apples to oranges. The DHX simply out performs the RP3 in most/all conditions. And it should---because it's a coil shock. It's more of an either or and what you are willing to compromise. If you want lighter then and are willing to sacrifice a little bump absorption performance, the air is for you.

    As for valving comparison, you could mess with the DHX's setting all day and make the shock perform differently each time--ie: positioning of bottom out valve/ psi on specific setting/ preload/ rebound/ pro-pedal. With the RP3 its air up, set rebound/ pp/ and go.

    Throw a ti spring though on the DHX and the gap narrows.

    Big boys are going to benefit the most with the DHX 5.0. Why? The bottom out resi w/ compression adjustment.. Like myself at 155-160lbs harsh bottoming on my past shocks was never a problem as long as there was ample damping in the shock. The DHX gets a huge infinite damping boost with the large air volume resi instead of just relying on oil.

    I have the RP3 upside down for a couple of reasons. It's easier to access the Schrader valve. Also (petty) less unsprung weight to move.

    -Paul J
    Last edited by Paul J; 08-13-2004 at 05:34 PM.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by BanzaiRider
    Which one do you think fits best for technical singletrack riding, lots of roots and rocks, some fast sections...? Is the difference in weight for the coil worth it? Reading your words, I would think you are going to say the DHX because you are using some +++ qualifiers that you don't use on the air shock (amazing,...).

    Thanks again, it's so nice to have some real life feedback from riders that actually own differents goodies.

    Cheers
    Q--Which one do you think fits best for technical singletrack riding

    A. There are many varibles to that answer. Weight of rider/preference/terrain ect. IMO if you are over 200lbs, I would recommend the DHX again though--preference.

    If had to choose one-definitley the DHX. I'd probably throw a ti spring on down the road.

    On the terrain I ride, the RP3 is more than capable of handling the suspension duties thrown at it.

    -Paul J

  15. #15
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    Thanks Paul...

    I'm 150lbs and I currently have a Swinger 3way air. I'm contemplating a coil shock so your feedback is really appreciated. My 3way air is nice on technical uphill but I think I would benefit from a coil shock on the downhill, a plusher ride. I don't mind the weight much but the DHX with TI spring, hummmmmmm, if it fits my frame!

    Cheers.

    Quote Originally Posted by Paul J
    Q--Which one do you think fits best for technical singletrack riding

    A. There are many varibles to that answer. Weight of rider/preference/terrain ect. IMO if you are over 200lbs, I would recommend the DHX again though--preference.

    If had to choose one-definitley the DHX. I'd probably throw a ti spring on down the road.

    On the terrain I ride, the RP3 is more than capable of handling the suspension duties thrown at it.

    -Paul J

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by BanzaiRider
    I'm 150lbs and I currently have a Swinger 3way air. I'm contemplating a coil shock so your feedback is really appreciated. My 3way air is nice on technical uphill but I think I would benefit from a coil shock on the downhill, a plusher ride. I don't mind the weight much but the DHX with TI spring, hummmmmmm, if it fits my frame!

    Cheers.
    same...I'm also 150lbs and currently have the AVA on my spot - like you said, although it feels good on uphills and techy singletrack, it lacks the small bump compliance that a coil shock offers. At this point I'm almost willing to sacrifice some weight for that feature...I just love the feel of coil.

    anyone know the exact weight difference between the DHX, RP3 and AVA?

  17. #17
    No, that's not phonetic
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    Don't you think the lack of small bump sensitivity is the Propedal and not the fact that the shock is air? Do you think if you put a {b}non-[/b]Propedal AVA on there you would lose small bump sensitivity? When considering the leverage ratio and forces at work, I just really wonder if you could discerne the tiny amount of stiction a well-broken-in air shock brings to the equation when it is overshadowed by having a platform damper too.

    Just a rhetorical thought...
    My video techniques can be found in this thread.

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by tscheezy
    Don't you think the lack of small bump sensitivity is the Propedal and not the fact that the shock is air? Do you think if you put a {b}non-[/b]Propedal AVA on there you would lose small bump sensitivity? When considering the leverage ratio and forces at work, I just really wonder if you could discerne the tiny amount of stiction a well-broken-in air shock brings to the equation when it is overshadowed by having a platform damper too.

    Just a rhetorical thought...
    I'm not using any of the propedal tho...I have backed out all the way.

    maybe it also has to do with the fact that I haven't been on an air shock in over 4 years? might just have to get used to it?

  19. #19
    No, that's not phonetic
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    Quote Originally Posted by Acadian
    I'm not using any of the propedal tho...I have backed out all the way.
    Remind me, do you have a 2004 or earlier Float? Prior to the current DHX and RP3 shocks Propedal was non-adjustable as far as I have heard. Dialing knobs does not affect the platform on those shocks, and they were said to have somewhat severe platform behavior.
    My video techniques can be found in this thread.

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by tscheezy
    Remind me, do you have a 2004 or earlier Float? Prior to the current DHX and RP3 shocks Propedal was non-adjustable as far as I have heard. Dialing knobs does not affect the platform on those shocks, and they were said to have somewhat severe platform behavior.
    I got the 2004 Ava with sleeve.

  21. #21
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    Fox AVA info for Acadian.

    Quote Originally Posted by Acadian
    I'm not using any of the propedal tho...I have backed out all the way.

    maybe it also has to do with the fact that I haven't been on an air shock in over 4 years? might just have to get used to it?

    Hey Acadian, I also bought a 2004 Fox AVA direct from Turner for the 5Spot, Casey said they had them valved with very little pro-pedal platform. When I originally installed the shock it felt worse than the standard 2004 pro-pedal valving!! It felt like it had 300psi in it and was locked out on the small stufff and would only move with mid-high speed hits.

    Anyway to make a long story shorter it wasn't the valving. The damn Fox reducers were way to tight in the du bushings (unlike the Romics that just fall out ) limiting the free movement of the shock under compression & rebound forces.

    You should remove the bolt from the B.B. end of the shock and see if they are moving freely (no resistance) in the du in the shock at the rocker interface, (if you cant move the shock fore and aft without effort then your'e going to have to remove the reducers and file them down a bit or wait a long-long time for them to break in) then put the bolt back in and torque it to 50inch-lbs. Then remove the bolt from the rocker mount and check that the lower reducers are moving in the shock at the B.B. junction, (this end sees very little movement so its not as important as the top end) then put the bolt back in and torque to 50inch-lbs.

    There's more info to be had about this here http://forums.mtbr.com/showthread.php?t=38513

    Just out of curiosity what pressure are you running, I'm 165lbs with a camelback and I'm running 150psi with the AVA in its largest setting with 5 clicks of rebound from full slow.

    Good luck let me know how it goes.
    Last edited by manic mechanic; 08-16-2004 at 06:00 AM.

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by manic mechanic
    Hey Acadian,

    -snip-

    .
    tha might explain why the shock was a b|tch to install in the first place? did you have to file yours?

    I'll check the air pressure tonight...I can't really remember how much I have in there...I'm only like 150lbs with gear on.

  23. #23
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    Re:Fox reducers....

    Quote Originally Posted by Acadian
    tha might explain why the shock was a b|tch to install in the first place? did you have to file yours?

    I'll check the air pressure tonight...I can't really remember how much I have in there...I'm only like 150lbs with gear on.

    I'm not sure what you mean when you say you had problems installing the shock?
    The part of the reducer that I'm reffering to being oversized is the small end that presses into the du bushing in the shock eyelet (the male end that is supposed to see the rotation within the du).

    I recently recieved new replacement parts (reducers&du bushing) from Fox, and the new ones are just as ridiculously tight as the originals, so I filed the original reducers down a bit with a small bastard file (fitting name for such a task) and they fit much nicer now.

    If you perform the test I suggested it will be obvious if you have the same issues:

    "You should remove the bolt from the B.B. end of the shock and see if they are moving freely (no resistance) in the du in the shock at the rocker interface, (if you cant move the shock fore and aft without effort then your'e going to have to remove the reducers and file them down a bit or wait a long-long time for them to break in) then put the bolt back in and torque it to 50inch-lbs. Then remove the bolt from the rocker mount and check that the lower reducers are moving in the shock at the B.B. junction, (this end sees very little movement so its not as important as the top end) then put the bolt back in and torque to 50inch-lbs."

    Let me know what you find.

  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by manic mechanic
    I'm not sure what you mean when you say you had problems installing the shock?
    The part of the reducer that I'm reffering to being oversized is the small end that presses into the du bushing in the shock eyelet (the male end that is supposed to see the rotation within the du).

    I recently recieved new replacement parts (reducers&du bushing) from Fox, and the new ones are just as ridiculously tight as the originals, so I filed the original reducers down a bit with a small bastard file (fitting name for such a task) and they fit much nicer now.

    If you perform the test I suggested it will be obvious if you have the same issues:

    "You should remove the bolt from the B.B. end of the shock and see if they are moving freely (no resistance) in the du in the shock at the rocker interface, (if you cant move the shock fore and aft without effort then your'e going to have to remove the reducers and file them down a bit or wait a long-long time for them to break in) then put the bolt back in and torque it to 50inch-lbs. Then remove the bolt from the rocker mount and check that the lower reducers are moving in the shock at the B.B. junction, (this end sees very little movement so its not as important as the top end) then put the bolt back in and torque to 50inch-lbs."

    Let me know what you find.
    so it's the diameter of the bushings (smaller section - ie. part inserted in the shock) that is too big or is it the width (both once inserted in the shock)?

  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by Acadian
    so it's the diameter of the bushings (smaller section - ie. part inserted in the shock) that is too big or is it the width (both once inserted in the shock)?
    I unfortunately don't have a camera to be able to post pics of the area I'm referring too.

    Think of the reducer as a tophat, the part that's visible on either side we'll call the brim (this is not what I'm reffering to), the area I'm talking about is the top part that gets pressed into the du sleeve on both sides of the shock eyelet and is not visible (the interface between the two is too tight). Think of the du bushing as an internal sleeve in the eyelet of the shock that the reducers get pressed in to from either side, the width of them isn't the problem its the internal circumference thats too large for the du (hence the need to file them).

    If this doesn't help you understand maybe read the posts again.

    manic mechanic.

  26. #26
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    gotcha...you're talking about "b"

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    Quote Originally Posted by Acadian
    gotcha...you're talking about "b"

    Yes, the section "B" is what you may or may not have to file down a bit.

    I suspect that the 1 bad rating for the 5 Spot in the reviews section was caused by this, since he was running the Fox AVA, and mine definately felt like sh*T when I first installed it. Once the reducers were filed down, it felt like a 5spot, nuff said.

    My apologies for hi-jacking the original thread.
    manic mechanic.

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