Strengths: very tuneable everyone wants that racer set up
Weaknesses: a weak link in what could be a great chain. air seal the weight of the rubber
the shock felt amazing for around half an hour then slowly my travel faded away till the bike was in the squat position looked like a low rider rig, but wen ur new bike has to be pushed home its a real p1ss take as these things arnt cheap.
mojo will send it back this week and ill post a new review as this thing felt awsome before disaster struck and im a hard line coil boy. the bike was £1800 due to the 08 range arrived so its not too bad great bike for the money
Similar Products Used: Dhx 5.0 coil, Marzocchi roco wc, vanilla, and manitou swinger 4-way
Bike Setup: 2006 big hit mostly stock with a dhx 5.0 air and eastern tight ass seat
a Weekend Warrior
from Fort Collins Colorado
Date Reviewed: October 27, 2007
Strengths: Lightweight Tuning Options
In an effort to shed some pounds from my 03 Heckler, I switched out a bunch of components. I knew that my stock 5th Element Coil weighed a ton so I decided to make the switch to an air shock. After reading some of the previous reviews, I was a bit hesitant to go with the DHX Air, but it seemed that a lot of longer trail bikes were being spec'd with it. I never had a bit of problems with my original Fox Vanilla Fork so I felt that going with a Fox shock was not that big of a risk. Besides, I know that some reviews are written by folks who take a component or bike and ride it off a cliff, break something, and return home to write a story about what junk that manufacturer makes. (I could be wrong) Enough of that. I bought the 08 model of the DHX figuring that if there were problems with the 07 they had probably been addressed by Fox. The one big problem I had was mounting the shock on my 03 Heckler. The upper end of the shock hit on my frame and I could not get the mounting bolt installed. I called Santa Cruz and their tech guy told me that they had put a dimple in the 04 frames to clear more shocks but that the 03 might require some "other measures". I already knew what I was going to do so I took the "hint". I filed the upper housing of the shock body just enough to clear my frame (undoubtably voiding my warranty) The shock was not returnable so I really had nothing to lose. Besides, it works so well that I would do it again if I had to. The lesson is this: make sure the shock will fit your bike before you buy it. The DHX shaved over a pound off my Heckler. I kept the old 5th Element Coil as a spare just in case. By following the instructions in the manual I was able to get the shock set up where it worked pretty well. I did a street ride to see how it would act when I dropped off some curbs (not cliffs). I was amazed by how fluid the shock's action is. I just updated to an 08 Vanilla RLC Fork and my suspension now feels like the frame and shock are one unit. You can tinker quite a bit with the settings if that's what you are into. When I flip the Pro Pedal for climbing, I get very little pedal feedback which was always one of the 5th Elements strong points. Out on the trail the shock has performed flawlessly. It soaks up everything I ride over or through and has never bottomed out. I will say that I have to add air in both chambers before every ride. I do that with my tires so to me it's no big deal. Fox states that riding below the minimum air pressure in either chamber can damage the shock. I just take their word for it and always check before I ride. The reward so far has been trouble free performance. If I have future issues or problems with this shock I will write another review. This is not a cheap component at close to $500 but top shelf stuff is never cheap. I think this shock is worth looking into if you are a trail rider with a 5" plus bike. The DHX Coil would probably be better suited for you cliff divers out there.
What's good: 1) This shock has a great feel, and the ability to set it up for XC one day, and freeride the next, is a definite bonus. 2) The Propedal adjustment is quite effective, and it can really be fine tuned for the conditions the bike is being ridden in. 3) The bottom out adjust is pretty straight forward, and is effective when used in conjunction with a proper air setting in the midrange compression chamber 4) The rebound setting is easy to use, and seems reasonably effective 5) This shock is incredibly light!
What's not so good: 1) The mid range compression (the smaller air chamber) is a bit of a nuisance to fine tune, especially if you don't have a high zoot air pump. It's not impossible, it just takes practice. The problem is that not enough pressure will result in the shock easily bottoming out. Note that there is a minimum pressure that must be used when the bottom out resistance is set at maximum. 2) The bloody thing keeps leaking oil out of a small port at the top of the shock, close to the Propedal knob. My shock is now on it's THIRD trip in for warranty repairs in THREE months or so, for the same problem. I am hoping that this will fix it, because it is getting real old, real fast. I haven't done anything horrendous to it, either. Some typical XC riding, along with some light urban freeride. The shock has been set up within guidelnes. The most bizarre part is that it seems to handle the freeride without any problems, but an hour or two of XC sends it into spasms.
My conclusion about this product: The concept is good. The adjustablity is great. The ride is excellent. The price is pretty reasonable. The durability, on the other hand, is another issue. Maybe this is a just a fluke. If this third repair does the trick, fine. If it doesn't, I will raise a ruckus and bother Fox until they refund my money, or replace my shock.
My rating for the shock right now?
Value: 2 flaming whatevers. No matter how inexpensive something is, if it keeps breaking, it has little value
Overall rating: Again, 2 flaming whatevers. If I have to keep shipping the shock back for warranty, then it doesn't matter how well it rides when it functions properly - it still isn't all that great.
Similar Products Used: - Fox Vanilla Propedal R - Rock Shox Deluxe - Fox Vanilla RC
Bike Setup: All mountain type bike, but on the heavy duty side.
from Phoenix,AZ USA
Date Reviewed: August 3, 2007
Strengths: Lightweight, fully adjustable
Weaknesses: Durability issues
This is actually a follow up to my earlier review of this same shock. I've had a few more months of riding on the shock now including 4 days of DH runs at Sunrise Resort. It's been through high heat, cold, mud, sand and rain. So far it's working great, no problems at all. I talked to a few other guys I ride with and they've all had similar stuck shock issues over the years. The problem seems to be temperature related (going from warm to cold) but we're not sure. Since coming back from Fox mine is working better than it did before so maybe there is an internal problem. I do have to give credit to Fox for getting the shock back very fast (less than a week!)and no hassles. I'm bumping my rating way up but not quite a 5 since there's always that little bit of worry that it's going to leave me stranded again.
a Weekend Warrior
from Silican Vallley, CA
Date Reviewed: July 12, 2007
Strengths: Lot's of adjustment options. Handles both big and small bumps well.
Weaknesses: Defective when new. The Propedal doesn't seem to do much, but maybe I don't have it set up right yet (140 PSI in the reservoir).
The shock leaked oil (main slider seal) and air from day one. I was told that maybe it just needed to break in. But after riding with it for 3 months, then having to pump up the shock on the trail just to support my weight (good thing I had a shock pump), I finally gave up and sent it back to Fox for a rebuild. It came back with a note on the tag that said "wide @ body". What the heck does that mean? I'm really disappointed in Fox for shipping something out in this condition. After the rebuild, it seems to still seep a little oil, but I don't know how much is "normal". Hopefully I won't have to send it back again.
Similar Products Used: Fox Vanilla, Stratos Helix Pro
Bike Setup: Ventana El Ciclon with a Pike 454 Air U-turn on the front. The DHX has 205 PSI in the main chamber for sag, and 140 PSI in the reservoir. Rider weighs 195 lbs.
a Weekend Warrior
from Horsetooth Mountain Colorado
Date Reviewed: June 29, 2007
Strengths: Light, super adjustable, easy to set up
Weaknesses: Break in period is a little long but that's probably a good thing in the long run
This is the best, most supple shock I have ever had the pleasure of owning. My first 5 rides or so were a little frustrating as I just could not get this thing to work like I wanted. Since then, it's broken in nicely. BTW, I'm 205 lbs - I run about 225 psi with bottom out adjust set 2 clicks to minus from center and rebound adjust set 1 click positive (more damping) from center.
Similar Products Used: Fox Vanilla RC, Fox DH 4, Fox DH 5, Romic, 5th Element,
Bike Setup: All Mountain (coilair supreme)
a Cross Country Rider
from Bend, Or, USA
Date Reviewed: May 10, 2007
Strengths: Super plush, propedal is awesome, easy to set up when you know what you are doing, rebound is awesome everything so far is worth every penny.
Although the Pike is undersuspensioned with the Fox DHX air 5.0 is rides really well for me so far. It should be mated to a 6" or 7" fork ideally the new Marzocchi All Mountain One SL 120/160 air. This bike will rock then even though it rides really well now. Thanks Fox.
Strengths: Light, good off the shelf, once custom tuned it rocks.
Weaknesses: Without being custom tuned it blows through mid travel.
This is a good shock off the shelf, once you get it custom tuned to your riding style it rocks. I was destroying bearings on my Vp on tracks with lots of square edge hits, once tuned there has been no bearing replacements yet!
Owened 3 on 3 different bikes (RM Switch, SC Nomad, SC VP), and I ride hard. My air rear has survived, 1 week in France, 1 week in Spain, 3 to 5 days riding a week, and around 14 days riding down Fort Bill in the UK @ 6 to 8 runs a day.
I have never had one get stuck down, must be lucky so far.
Bike Setup: Vp Free, Totem, CK, Hadley, XTR, Thomson etc.
from Phoenix,AZ, USA
Date Reviewed: April 26, 2007
Strengths: Light, responsive, very adjustable.
Weaknesses: Durability issues still exist, shock is stuck down after less than 3 mos. use.
This shock has been very good up until today when it stuck down and stranded me at the top of Mt. Elden in Flagstaff. What you may not realize is that when the shock is stuck down the rear tire may actually hit the seat tube which prevents you from even riding slowly. There was no warning of an impending problem either. I know there is a review from '06 on here that says this problem was caused by bad seals and had been corrected but that is obviously not the case. Now I don't know if I trust this shock at all, especially if I'm going out of town to ride.Fox, you need to either stop making this shock/correct the problem/ or lower the price significantly to offset the reliability issue. I wouldn't feel so bad getting shafted by a crappy product if I hadn't spent a lot of cash on it.I'm giving a 1 chili rating mainly due to the fact that this problem has been going on for over a year and nothing has changed.
Bike Setup: Transition Covert with Marz. 66sl fork.
a Weekend Warrior
Date Reviewed: April 10, 2007
Strengths: everything. lighter than a coil, feels just as plush
Weaknesses: you need to understand how to set up a modern rear shock properly to get the full benefit
The only explanation for the previous poor reviews is that either an old '06 model with defective seals was used, or the reviewers do not know how to set up a shock properly. I am 195 without gear and ride hard 'all mountain' - downhill courses, drops to 6', and steep climbs. The shock has performed flawlessly. It feels as good or better than most coil overs I have tried, even those with 6-way adjustent. You need to have an appreciation for the order of setting up the shock to first dial in spring rate and sag, followed by compression damping and bottom out. Have heard of some complain about 'midshock sag' or 'mushiness'. Couldn't be more wrong. This shock is nice and supple, while maintaining an awesome degree of progressiveness. Coil overs are easier to set up correctly and are more forgiving if poorly tuned. For those of you who know spring rate from compression damping from sag, this is one heck of a shock.
Bike Setup: 04 Bullit, fox 36rc2, easton havoc wheels
a Weekend Warrior
from Portland, Or
Date Reviewed: March 14, 2007
Strengths: Smooth ride
Weaknesses: Blows through mid stroke fast
I needed 240LBS to keep the shock anywhere near correct sag. I was able to almost bottom it out on just jumping off a curb (No joke). I'm glad it came on the bike and I did not pay the $470 after market asking price for it. Turner has since dumped it from the from the 5 spot line up. I switched ot out to a DHX 5 Coil. Much better shock.For a light rider it may perform well, not so for a bigger guy