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  1. #1
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    Got my new Pike 454 - happy

    I had the first ride with my new Pike 454 today. Thanks very much to everyone for their opinions and suggestions over the last loooong sixth months, and thanks to Larry at Mountain High Cyclery for tracking down a fork and getting it to me quickly and cheaply with no hassles.

    Although I only rode it home on the streets today, plus up and down a few steps with some small 2 foot drops, my initial impressions are very good. It feels much better than my old Vanilla 125R and, although I expect I'll leave the travel at 125mm pretty much all the time, I'm already loving the compression adjustment and floodgate. Practicing trackstands is much easier when you don't feel like you're on a pogo stick.

    My mechanical dyslexia means I can't really go into much more technical analysis without making a fool of myself, but basically it seems great. Here are some rather bland photos taken in the corridor of my language school. I like to sneak my bike in when the boss isn't looking.

    I'll report back again with lovely graphs and diagrams later

    Duncan
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  2. #2
    No, that's not phonetic
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    Gorgeous. So you got the 454 U-Turn Air? Or the Coil? If it's an air, how is setting the negative spring at different travel settings? I'm not totally clear on how the Air U-Turn works actually.

    Good call. Enjoy.
    My video techniques can be found in this thread.

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by tscheezy
    Gorgeous. So you got the 454 U-Turn Air? Or the Coil? If it's an air, how is setting the negative spring at different travel settings? I'm not totally clear on how the Air U-Turn works actually.

    Good call. Enjoy.
    I got the dual air. It felt very nice riding today - even just little things like the front coming up a bit better on the drops. I just ran the fork at 125mm all day as I wanted to get a feel for it in comparison to the Vanilla 125 before I start fiddling with the travel. If you're talking about the initial set-up, I think you're supposed to set the springs when the fork is wound out to full travel.

    I can't make a really clear assessment of the fork yet as today we rode rather easy trails that I always ride my rigid bike on. It was interesting to be on the Spot rather than the Kiluaea though. Some of the technical rocky climbs that demand a lot of attention and the perfect line on the Kona could be approached on the Spot without even thinking.

    I noticed an improvement when weaving up some twisted 'ruts', probably because having the compression pretty high was a big improvement on my old 'pogo stick' Fox.

    Tscheezy, you claiming there's something you don't know about a bike component is kind of like the Pope scratching his head and saying "Well, I'm trying to work out the Holy Trinity myself but I'm going to need to look in the little black guide book."

    Cheers,

    Duncan

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by Duncan
    I
    Tscheezy, you claiming there's something you don't know about a bike component is kind of like the Pope scratching his head and saying "Well, I'm trying to work out the Holy Trinity myself but I'm going to need to look in the little black guide book."

    Duncan
    That surprised me as well. I think that's the first time I knew more about a product than the big T. But, then again, it might just be his humble way of asking for you input....
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  5. #5
    83 feet less per minute
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    I'm confused by the Rockshox website that describes the dual air 454 as having only one travel setting, 140 mm. The Air U-Turn says travel from 110-140 mm. Can someone explain this?
    Want to ride in this life and the next? Ask me how.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by paddlefoot64
    I'm confused by the Rockshox website that describes the dual air 454 as having only one travel setting, 140 mm. The Air U-Turn says travel from 110-140 mm. Can someone explain this?
    that's because the 454 comes in a few different flavors. e.g. 454 U-Turn, 454 Dual Air and 454 Air U-Turn.

  7. #7
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    I have the dual air u-turn. Travel can be adjusted from 110 to 140.

    I'm glad I got it from the States. It cost me about $540 or something from Larry. Buying it in Korea would have cost me about 900,000won, which is basically $900.

    Duncan

  8. #8
    No, that's not phonetic
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    Quote Originally Posted by Duncan
    Tscheezy, you claiming there's something you don't know about a bike component is kind of like the Pope scratching his head and saying "Well, I'm trying to work out the Holy Trinity myself but I'm going to need to look in the little black guide book."
    Well, I've never actually opened a U-Turn air up so I am curious how the fork changes travel without messing up the balance between the air chambers. How the coil version works is quite straight forward, but the RS U-Turn Air does not go through all the wild gesticulations the Talas requires to achieve essentially the same effect, it seems. Anybody have a diagram?
    My video techniques can be found in this thread.

  9. #9
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    Maxle?

    Is that a quick release or did you have to convert to a 20mm axle? BTW Tcheezy: I got the demo Spot! I can't wait for it to get here!
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  10. #10
    No, that's not phonetic
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    The Maxle is a 20mm thru axle that Rockshox uses on Pike and the Boxxer Ride forks. It uses expansion wedges to clamp itself inside the dropouts instead of using pinch bolts like other 20mm systems. The expansion wedges are operated via a QR-looking lever on the drive-side of the fork. It works extremely well.
    My video techniques can be found in this thread.

  11. #11
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    Maxle question

    Can you convert a normal hub to a 20mm or do you have to get a new one?
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  12. #12
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    some...

    Quote Originally Posted by elmadaleno
    Can you convert a normal hub to a 20mm or do you have to get a new one?
    Some can be converted. The Hope Bulb is one of them. I think King's as well. Someone correct me if I'm wrong.

  13. #13
    No, that's not phonetic
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    Hope Bulbs are easy. You just pull the 9mm qr axle and put some end caps on. You can convert non-disc Kings to disc Kings and vice versa by swapping hub shells (and spokes), but the hub shell is a totally different size on the 20mm so that does not work. CrossMax XL, AtomLab (?) and some other wheel systems can be converted too.
    My video techniques can be found in this thread.

  14. #14
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    U-Turn Air

    I spent some time looking at the diagram a whlie ago. It looks like both the positive and the negative air chambers are decreased when you reduce the travel. I circled the volumes subtracted from the full extension volumes in the second picture. That essentially results in a stiffer main spring with a stiffer negative spring, so the small bump compliance ought to be relatively unaffected and deep stroke ought to be identical to full extension U-Turn. From the diagram it seems like this is all that's happeneing.

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  15. #15
    83 feet less per minute
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    This was what I was looking at at the Rockshox website. The features and specs of the 454 are as follows:

    [ Pike ] - 454 Features & Specs
    Spring: U: U-Turn D: Dual Air A: Air U-Turn
    Travel: U: 95-140mm D: 140mm A: 110-140mm
    Adjust: U: U-Turn D: All Travel A: U-Turn
    Weight: U: 2108g (4.65 lb) D: 1851g (4.08 lb) A: 1947g (4.27 lb)
    Adjust: U: Change Spring D: Positive and negative Schrader valve A: Positive and negative Schrader valve
    Damping: Motion Control
    Adjust: External rebound, Floodgate, external compression and lock
    Lowers: Magnesium, disc and 20mm only
    Crown: Hollow, Forged 6061 T-6 aluminum
    Steerer Tube: Butted Aluminium
    Upper Tube: 32mm 7000 series aluminum, low friction anodized (with travel gradients on both U-Turn models)
    Colors: Dead Moss Grey, Diffusion Black, Silver
    Options: Remote
    Recommended Rear Shock: Pearl
    Upgrade: Over 426: Hollow crown and aluminum steerer

    The Dual Air travel says 140 mm, not a range of travel. Do they have it listed wrong? And which model is the spring model, the U-Turn?
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  16. #16
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    I like it



    Last weekend's trails were either new to me or usually ridden on my other bike, so today was the first chance to try the 454 on the very familiar trail behind my university.

    The new fork is very nice.

    I had some concerns about increased A to C height, but with it set at 125mm there doesn't seem to be much difference from my old fork (2004 Fox Vanilla 125R). K1Creeker asked me if it feels like a 'chopper'. Nope.

    The Pike seems to have improved riding all round. The bike feels more stable on rough, rocky, rooty descents and also more 'predictable' when going into fast corners on smoother singletrack. As for climbing, yes, definately an improvement. Parts of the trails were buried under slippery damp leaves today but climbing was better than usual. I found myself making lots of surprised and happy little "hmmmm"s

    Ironically, after spending months saying I wanted a fork with travel adjustment, I think I'll be quite happy not adjusting the travel much at all. Just being able to fiddle with compression and the blow-out valve thingy has improved things. I think my climbing technique has improved over last few months anyway - the tip of my seat and my arse are now on chummy, first name terms. Still, having the option to use u-turn is nice. Worth an extra 100 grams I think.

    One small concern. Despite adjusting and and tightening it a few times, the maxle did tend to loosen up a bit and I ended up getting a bit of movement in the wheel. Any cause for concern?

    Duncan

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by paddlefoot64

    [ Pike ] - 454 Features & Specs
    Spring: U: U-Turn D: Dual Air A: Air U-Turn

    The Dual Air travel says 140 mm, not a range of travel. Do they have it listed wrong? And which model is the spring model, the U-Turn?
    U is spring U turn
    D is dual air non adjustable
    A is air (in fact dual air) u turn.
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  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by Duncan
    One small concern. Despite adjusting and and tightening it a few times, the maxle did tend to loosen up a bit and I ended up getting a bit of movement in the wheel. Any cause for concern?
    Odd. Are you sure you seated it correctly? I've never had one come lose.

    For the sake of thoroughness:
    Screw in the maxle until it stops turning then adjust the tension on the disc side nut so that there's moderate resistance when you flip the cam. Don't leave the cam action either too loose or too tight. Then when you remove the maxle, open the cam and spin it out. You'll never again need to touch the rotor-side nut.

  19. #19
    No, that's not phonetic
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    Some hubs seem to chronically develop play even while the Maxle is grabbing the dropouts correctly. I never heard a good explanation, but it seems like the inside bore of the hub is a little large, or the overall width of the hub is a bit narrow, so the Maxle does not preload it correctly. What hub? I run King ISO, WTB DH, and Hope Bulb, and all stay snug.
    My video techniques can be found in this thread.

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by tscheezy
    Some hubs seem to chronically develop play even while the Maxle is grabbing the dropouts correctly. I never heard a good explanation, but it seems like the inside bore of the hub is a little large, or the overall width of the hub is a bit narrow, so the Maxle does not preload it correctly. What hub? I run King ISO, WTB DH, and Hope Bulb, and all stay snug.
    My friends Zocchi hub does this in his Pike unless he really cranks it down tight.

  21. #21
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    One more question...

    Which could help me in my decision between dual air u-turn or not u-turn.

    How difficult is it to switch from 140 to 130 on the Pike dual air? Even hypothetically speaking.
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  22. #22
    No, that's not phonetic
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    Travel reduction instructions for the Dual Air: 1) attach pump to negative chamber; 2) inflate until desired travel rection is achieved; 3) remove pump.
    My video techniques can be found in this thread.

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by tscheezy
    Travel reduction instructions for the Dual Air: 1) attach pump to negative chamber; 2) inflate until desired travel rection is achieved; 3) remove pump.
    What is your experience when adding more negative air pressure? How much is needed to affect the travel?
    Do you know if there is a graph anywhere that shows when you add X psi more negative air pressure then the length of the travl is reduced by X mm?

    I think such a graph would be very clever

  24. #24
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    Thanks for the advice Squeaky and Tscheezy. I'll double check it tonight. The hub is a DT Swiss onyx.

    Cheers,

    Duncan

    24 days to go

  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by tscheezy
    Travel reduction instructions for the Dual Air: 1) attach pump to negative chamber; 2) inflate until desired travel rection is achieved; 3) remove pump.
    I am sorry Tscheez but your obscure explanation is very confusing. Can someone use plain words to explain T's cryptic logi? Oh the arcane world of shocks! I need my Rosetta stone.

    seriously, thanks for the input. If it's that easy, well that suits me just fine. But wouldn't that imply other side effect such as a high rebound feeling?

    I thought the dual air could be set internally at 140 or 130. Am I wrong on that one?
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  26. #26
    DGC
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    some info

    Quote Originally Posted by Danish Dynamite
    What is your experience when adding more negative air pressure? How much is needed to affect the travel?
    Do you know if there is a graph anywhere that shows when you add X psi more negative air pressure then the length of the travl is reduced by X mm?

    I think such a graph would be very clever
    I dont have a graph but here is some info for you to chew on.
    First off, everything will be based on my main pressure setting which is at 100 psi.With that in mind, and 0 psi. in the negative I get 144mm of exposed stancion leg, and 142mm travel...... But....this is with Enduro seals and they are taller than OE seals. This dissappears as you start adding negative psi. As you bring negative pressure up, you start to loose some of that 142mm at around 65-70 negative psi. At around -10 psi. in the negative to even amounts you get full 140mm travel. Remember a few things, if at 100 psi. in the main, as you bring the negative up to the same 100 psi., the main chamber will actually rise a few psi.???
    The negative air is pulling the lowers up towards the crown, reducing the main chamber size a few mm's so your main psi.......might.......now be about 2-3 psi. higher. No big deal, just a small amount but good to know. As soon as you start running the negative over what the positive is, you start loosing travel. At 120 psi. negative the allowed travel was around 137mm, bounced on it a few times then checked again and it was now about 135mm. onced settled. At 150 psi. in the negative the travel dropped a lot. It was down to around 128mm. So there is quite the reduction in travel with that much negative pressure, the fork also felt horrible like this. The travel felt real plush in the first 1/2, but also felt quite sloppy, lots of wallow=too much negative pressure.
    Now something interesting. With my main psi. at 100 and the negative at 150, I dropped the negative back down to 100, the travel was wanting to stay around 134-135mm, even after some bouncing around. So I started over with 0 neg, and still 100 psi. and brought the neg back up to the same 100, and it was all fine again, full travel. As far as i can see, air up the positive first, then negative, then re-check the positive one more time and your done. That has been working the best for me since I have had this fork.
    Oh yeah one more thing, at a soft 70 psi. in the main and negative both, you still got full 140mm travel.
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  27. #27
    DGC
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    sorry AP

    Quote Originally Posted by accident prone
    I am sorry Tscheez but your obscure explanation is very confusing. Can someone use plain words to explain T's cryptic logi? Oh the arcane world of shocks! I need my Rosetta stone.

    seriously, thanks for the input. If it's that easy, well that suits me just fine. But wouldn't that imply other side effect such as a high rebound feeling?

    I thought the dual air could be set internally at 140 or 130. Am I wrong on that one?
    Hey AP, I saw your post after getting mine up. What I think he is trying to say is somewhat seen in my post above, as you add more negative pressure than positive, the neg. pulls the legs up, reducing ride height and travel at the same time. The ride is effected however. On mine at 10 psi. more neg. than posi air, the fork starts to feel like my Fox did, mid stroke wallow + more front end dive, and I had to speed the rebound up a little also. But the wallow and dive would be something you can tune out a bit with either or both floodgate and compression adjustments, you can then get more small bump harshness.

    (P.S. I think thats what his crypto meant.)

  28. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by DGC
    Hey AP, I saw your post after getting mine up. What I think he is trying to say is somewhat seen in my post above, as you add more negative pressure than positive, the neg. pulls the legs up, reducing ride height and travel at the same time. The ride is effected however. On mine at 10 psi. more neg. than posi air, the fork starts to feel like my Fox did, mid stroke wallow + more front end dive, and I had to speed the rebound up a little also. But the wallow and dive would be something you can tune out a bit with either or both floodgate and compression adjustments, you can then get more small bump harshness.

    (P.S. I think thats what his crypto meant.)
    Thanks a bunch DGC, was kidding when I said I couldn't understand Big T. however I felt that following his protocol would induce the side effects you brillantly you described up there.

    I was pretty sure it was possbile to reduce the travel down to 130 on the dual air which would let me run "neutral" or more balanced air pressure and have a decent AC height.
    Former Homer...Ventana convert: extreme poseur!

  29. #29
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    DGC - thanks a lot for the detailed explanation. So reducing the travel by adding more negative pressure does not sound like the perfect solution if you eg. want to run the Pike Dual Air in 110 mm mode? Then I presume the Pike Air U-Turn would be preferred?

    Or have I misunderstood something

  30. #30
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    Quote Originally Posted by Danish Dynamite
    DGC - thanks a lot for the detailed explanation. So reducing the travel by adding more negative pressure does not sound like the perfect solution if you eg. want to run the Pike Dual Air in 110 mm mode? Then I presume the Pike Air U-Turn would be preferred?

    Or have I misunderstood something
    No, I also believe it comes down to that.
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  31. #31
    DGC
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    correct

    Quote Originally Posted by Danish Dynamite
    DGC - thanks a lot for the detailed explanation. So reducing the travel by adding more negative pressure does not sound like the perfect solution if you eg. want to run the Pike Dual Air in 110 mm mode? Then I presume the Pike Air U-Turn would be preferred?

    Or have I misunderstood something
    If you want to reduce travel by a lot from the full 140mm, get the u-turn. The negative air is for tuning, not travel reduction.
    Since your talking running it at 110mm, If you dont think you want the maxle, then get the Revelation fork it has standard qr drop outs and the same internals as the Pike and less travel. But if your an aggressive rider, maxle will do you good.

  32. #32
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    Quote Originally Posted by DGC
    If you want to reduce travel by a lot from the full 140mm, get the u-turn. The negative air is for tuning, not travel reduction.
    Since your talking running it at 110mm, If you dont think you want the maxle, then get the Revelation fork it has standard qr drop outs and the same internals as the Pike and less travel. But if your an aggressive rider, maxle will do you good.
    I am looking for a fork with a higher A-C than my Vanilla for my Yeti 575 and I think the Pike looks like an excellent option. I would just like to be able to run it with lower travel when I go riding with my hardcore XC-buddies and if I decide to do a race on it. I would very much like to feel the extra stiffness you get with 20mm hub and the Maxle so I think the Pike Air U-turn is the winner.

    How does the U-Turn work - it says on RS website that 6 turns of adjustment turns the Reba down from 115 mm to 85 mm. Does that mean that two turns on the Pike Air U-Turn turns it down to 130mm?

  33. #33
    DGC
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    Pike

    Quote Originally Posted by Danish Dynamite
    I am looking for a fork with a higher A-C than my Vanilla for my Yeti 575 and I think the Pike looks like an excellent option. I would just like to be able to run it with lower travel when I go riding with my hardcore XC-buddies and if I decide to do a race on it. I would very much like to feel the extra stiffness you get with 20mm hub and the Maxle so I think the Pike Air U-turn is the winner.

    How does the U-Turn work - it says on RS website that 6 turns of adjustment turns the Reba down from 115 mm to 85 mm. Does that mean that two turns on the Pike Air U-Turn turns it down to 130mm?
    I think I remember 2 full turns on the Pike u-turn = 10mm of travel. On a higher A-C fork for the Yeti, there are also a few Marzocchi forks worth looking at and see if they fit your requirements on weight and adjustments too. But I am totally stoked on the Pike air u-turn.
    Nice thing is the fine tuning you can do with the Pike, from floodgate to compression, to pos. + neg. air pressure and rebound, to micro u-turn travel adjust. Stiffness??? Well documented already, lots of it.
    If you have not already, check out my review of the Pike:
    http://enduroforkseals.com/id72.html

  34. #34
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    Quote Originally Posted by DGC
    I think I remember 2 full turns on the Pike u-turn = 10mm of travel. On a higher A-C fork for the Yeti, there are also a few Marzocchi forks worth looking at and see if they fit your requirements on weight and adjustments too. But I am totally stoked on the Pike air u-turn.
    Nice thing is the fine tuning you can do with the Pike, from floodgate to compression, to pos. + neg. air pressure and rebound, to micro u-turn travel adjust. Stiffness??? Well documented already, lots of it.
    If you have not already, check out my review of the Pike:
    http://enduroforkseals.com/id72.html
    I have read your review of the Pike - it was an excellent walktrough of the Pikes functions. I have now decided to go for the Pike Ait U-Turn So I have to get some new wheels as well. Those DT 5.1 with the new Hope Pro II hubs sure looks nice but my credit card is not going to like it

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