Since every gram counts in a race, our suspension engineers work closely with professional cross country racers to ensure that the performance and durability of the suspension products are absolutely ideal. Not only do the XR suspension products shine on the winner‘s podium, but in everyday use as well.
Strengths: It's light as can be, looks good and gets great compliments from other riders
Weaknesses: Noisy when compressing and extending, black anodized stanchion coating is very soft, constantly needs maintenance, customer support is the worst I have ever experienced
I have a Rocky Mountain Altitude 90 RSL and this shock comes as standard on the frame. It is probably the lightest shock on the market and with the reputation behind DT Swiss I expected that it would not give any trouble.
After about two months of use I noticed that the black coating on the stanchion was starting to wear off and every time the shock compressed/extended it would make a noise - kind of like my mother sighing at me ;-) . Over time this noise quickly became louder and the anodized stanchion coating wore away even more on both sides. I took the shock to my bike mechanic and he replaced the seals on the can and recommended that the shock be dismantled once a month for a cleaning/mini service if I was to get any kind of life out of it.
After 10 months of riding (2-3 hr rides twice a week) mainly cross country single track, the stanchion had worn so much that the shock could no longer hold air. I would pump the shock up to 10bar and as soon as the stanchion compressed it would come hissing out where the seal met with the worn sections.
I tried to return the shock under warranty and was given every kind of excuse as to why this was all my fault and that there was nothing wrong with the shock. They offered to replace the valve and seals for a discounted rate of STG£ 80.00 plus shipping, they thought this was a bargain - they weren't too happy when I pointed out how obvious it was that they had not even looked at the shock, because if they had then they would see that a new valve and seal would not solve the problem. After weeks of communication and mentions of the "consumer rights act" and small claims court, the shock was eventually accepted for repair under warranty - it was estimated that the work would take 6 weeks but actually took over 12 weeks.
I have been using the repaired XR Carbon shock now for about 3 months (it got a brand new stanchion by the way) and I can see the black anodized coating coming off the stanchion again. I also have to add that although they repaired the stanchion, the shock was returned to me with a worn out rubber bush which I had to replace myself for EUR 20.00
While the XR Carbon shock was being repaired by DT Swiss's UK repair centre, I purchased a non-carbon DT Swiss shock on special offer from www.chainreactioncycles.com , for about EUR 100 so that I could continue to ride while the warranty work took place. After 3 to 4 months the black anodized coating on the stanchion of this shock has also started to wear away and is making the same noise now as the XR Carbon shock.
I must add that the front fork on my bike is also a DT Swiss unit and it has never given an ounce of trouble, the black coating is intact after 18 months of riding and I am very happy with it's performance. That said, I will never put a DT Swiss shock on the back of my bike again. I'm on the look out for a bargain Fox shock on CRC or Wiggle at present, as soon as I get my hands on one then both of my DT Swiss shocks will be consigned to the "use in emergency only" box.
Date Reviewed: April 13, 2012
Strengths: It's very light
Weaknesses: Too light ,wears out,outrageous price for the supposed quality,abysmal customer service
Bought new,I own several bikes so the full Suss gets dry rides obviously it gets rained on but not deliberately wet,
18 months use,all the anodising worn off ,leaking air like a sieve,and DT do not want to know,they have ignored repeated e mails,I have NEVER dealt with such an uncooperative,couldn't care less,apathetic company.When they did get around to replying and its the only time they did ,Quoted £415 just to repair it.It will get traded in against a CANE CREEK ,Do not be fooled by its bling appearance this shock is simply not up to serious mountain biking,there is only one thing worse than a bad product and that is a bad product with even worse back up,even if you are still tempted,bear in mind that should you need help you WILL be ignored,
a Cross Country Rider
from Zeist, Utrecht, Netherlands
Date Reviewed: October 27, 2009
Strengths: The ability to flip a lever and have your rear suspension locked out is almost a miracle. It's like I have a new bike. All the power now goes directly to the drive train - and it's a lot of power. I was surprised just how much energy was going into flexing the suspension. Plus it's super light and looks awesome!
Weaknesses: Just the cost. And the installation instructions for the handlebar remote leave a bit to be desired.
If you can afford it this is the ultimate rear shock. Turns your 5 inch travel full suspension bike into a hard tail at the flick of a switch. No more bobbing up hills for this rider!
Bike Setup: Moots Cinco, Pace RC-41 Carbon Fork, Gravity Dropper Adjustable Seatposts with thumb activation, DT Swiss XR 4.1d Rims, Chris King Hubs, SRAM XO drive train, Moots Ti Stem, FSA Carbon Handlebars, Magura Marts SL Hydraulic Disc Brakes
Strengths: This shock works very well, and is LIGHT, LIGHT, LIGHT. It has a functional lockout that some suspension designs will welcome.
Weaknesses: The cost is a bit more than some other comparable shocks in terms of performance, but the weight factor overcomes that quickly. It also requires proprietary mount bushings for each end of the shock, and you may need to tweak them width-wise to fit your particular bike. Also DT Swiss says the elastomer negative bumper should be replaced yearly, but I'll see how that pans out. And, the air fitting is a bit tricky. It sits very close to the shock and you may find as I did that you need to tweak your pump or adapter fitting so it will screw down far enough to seal on the air fitting. All in all, pretty minor though.
The shock is all I expected. No more, no less. The setup to get a no-sag on my NRS took 125 pounds (I weigh 175 right now) and I am still experimenting with the rebound adjustment, which has quite a wide range with the dial. The titanium lockout lever is easy to reach on the front side of the shock, but with my NRS I doubt it will be used much at all, if any. This is a stellar lightweight shock if you want to drop weight off in a hurry. It does cost a bit more than the previous Cloud 9 I ran which was an excellent user-servicable shock. I just wanted to drop weight (hey, the older you get the wiser you get too!) where I could within reason. For the serious weekend warrior/XC rider this shock is worth considering.