Fox Shox AVA 03 Rear Shock

AVA 03

Air Volume Adjuster

  • Micro-adjustable spring curve to achieve a linear or progressive spring rate
  • Starting spring rate still adjusted via air-spring with Schrader valve
  • By opening the sleeve up (fully extended) the spring curve is most linear.
  • By closing the sleeve (fully compressed) the curve is more progressive at the ending stroke

User Reviews (15)

Showing 1-10 of 15  
Guy   Cross Country Rider [Mar 04, 2004]
Strength:

really smooth, linear/coil spring feel, makes the most of the bike's potential travel

Weakness:

none so far

Great product. I upgraded the Float RL shock on my frame with the AVA air sleeve kit. Result is a linear feel, buttery smooth air shock that has dramically improved the rear suspension feel of the bike. It now physically has more travel than before, as shown by the movement of the shaft indicator ring which now moves about 5mm further than before. Basically I now use more of the travel more of the time without noticing any more mush or wallow.

Because it doesn't ramp up at the end as much as the basic Float shock, I feel more stable and confident on bigger hits and haven't lost any small to medium bump plushness at all. It still saves you from sharp bottoming out at the end of the travel, but overall the balance between full use of the travel and a progressive air-shock stroke is now much more to my liking.

I'm around 12 stone, I run it at 30% sag with the sleeve at full volume (all the way out). Can't remember what pressure that is as after 500 miles its still set at 30% sag without having to top it up, and I'm pretty hard on it, riding harsh local and Welsh mountain trails, drop-offs and the odd 2-3 foot jump (nothing big). I also ride it every day.

Had it for about 500 offroad miles and had no reliability issues at all.

Similar Products Used: Basic Float RL, Vanilla R
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
glen   Cross Country Rider [Sep 26, 2003]
Strength:

Simple, solid design, easy adjustment, looks OK and so on....

Weakness:

none to speak of

Shock works very well on the Blur despite not needing to actually ever adjust the air volume. Plush and smooth. Great shock for the frame. I have replaced the bushings and eyelet sleeve. The parts are only a few dollars and it takes very little time and effort to replace the bushings & eyelet sleeves.

Pro Mechanic in the area says hard riders on Superlights are replacing eyelet sleeves 2X a year, so it's not really all that big a deal IMO. I've worn my bushings out after about 1800 miles this season, so I think the durability seems OK for a big hammerhead like myself.

Discrediting and knocking the whole shock based on it's frame interface seems irresponsible and has unfairly skewed the rating.

Similar Products Used: fox float on 2K enduro
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
Sean C   Cross Country Rider [Sep 24, 2003]
Strength:

-Excellent Rebound Control
-Air Volume Adjustment
-Held up under heavy riding with no problems
-Smooth movement

Weakness:

-Does leak a very small amount of oil after every ride from the air sleave
-Need to be sure the air sleeve is really clean after every ride. Not a complaint but something to watch for.

I haven't had any problems with this shock at all except for some minor oil/grease leaking from the air sleave. I have the shock serviced every 20-30 hours of riding (for $15 bucks it's worth it) which appears to keep this problem from getting worse. Some people have mentioned that the bushings are a problem. I haven't encountered this whatsoever with mine. Personally, I'd look more at the bike than the shock as the cause. The shock has performed flawlessly over rough riding conditions for 400 miles now. I'll update my post if I ever have any problems, but right now I would recommend the shock to any rider looking for a plush, smooth ride and who likes the idea of adjustability in both the air volume and the rebound. The lockout is nice but on my bike I hardly ever use it. A good shock producing a good ride.

OVERALL
RATING
4
VALUE
RATING
4
TCM   Weekend Warrior [Jan 06, 2004]
Strength:

Adjustability and plushness

Weakness:

yes the reducers are pressed in really tight. some penetrating oil, a shop rag, pliers, and some patience was all they took to get out.

i have only used the ava a few times but i have had many rides with the fox float rc. the biggest difference is the plushness of the ava. i am a big guy and if i set the sag correctly on the float i never got full travel. now i can set the sag perfectly with the ava and still get full, plush travel. this shock is really light but feels just like a coil over on my tracer. i run the shock in the maximum volume setting and really crank up the air pressure. it has made the tracer really feel bottomless and the 4" of travel available seems like much more now.

Similar Products Used: 2000 fox float rc
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
speedy   Weekend Warrior [Oct 23, 2003]
Strength:

(This review is for an '04 Float AVA R with Propedal)
- I can stand and pedal without bob. This bike now wants for nothing - no disad to the Hardtail now. When I need to, I can now stand up and pedal. I can very rarely feel the shock moving at all. even though I have learnt to stay seated on my bike (the Vanilla bobs like crazy when standing), it is still useful to be able to stand to power up an un-anticipated steep section (in wrong gear), or to overtake in tight places.
- much lighter than a coil (saves a pound in weight)
- arguably, except in the situation described in weaknesses below, the AVA is even plusher than the Vanilla RC. The way I have it set up at the moment, I'm running 30-35% sag, even for XC racing. the low speed damping of the Propedal damping is enough to keep the bob to a minimum, even at this sag. As a result, the rooty sections of the recent 24 hour race were smoothed out unbelievably. Bumps really did just disappear, moreso than the Vanilla.
- even with my little experience with conventional progressive air shocks, the more-linear spring rate of the AVA is much much better than the suspension stiffening that you get with other air shocks as they go through the travel. With the AVA, it is almost undetectable where you are in the travel - the shock just smoothly goes through it's travel very easily. If I start to find that it is bottoming out too much (it isn't at the moment), I have the option of reducing the volume to make the shock more progressive.
- there is absolutely no need for a lockout - unless you have a really crappy pedalling motion, or a bike that is very poorly designed. I'm glad I saved the $, and reduced the number of dails to play with (I use the travel adj on the fork quite a lot, and the lockout very very rarely). Apparently, non-lockout floats are traditionally more reliable than the lockout versions too. (I'm not just saying this because I didn't get the RL version)

Weakness:

- loses small bump sensitivity when you take your weight off the back wheel (i.e. shift your weight forward). This helps with no-bob standing pedalling (weight shifted slightly forward), but makes the back wheel skip a little when braking and cornering at the same time when going down hill (weight shifted forward). I didn't notice this skipping with the Vanilla. (but it also might have something to do with the skinny light tyres at higher pressure and the whole bike being lighter)
- shorter shock stroke than Vanilla (2" vs 2.25"), meaning slightly less travel (about 5.1" vs 5.6"). I'd like to look into getting a longer stroke float with AVA with propedal. I think fox makes this size for Geminis, but I haven't been able to locate one.

This shock works better than I expected. It works great for me (average weight, about 160 to 170) on my bike (mid-travel more-active-than-most 4 bar). Given that the propedal compression damping is not adjustable (except maybe on the '04 Vanilla RC), some people may find the shock does not work for them very well at all (i.e. the compression damping is too much or too little). Most 4 bars are less active than Ellsworth's ICT, and thus, the compression damping of propedal is probably too much for them (eg. turner, titus).

I rode it for nearly a third of a 24-hour race (in a team) 2 weekends ago. I started at about 120-125 psi (about 30% sag) but reduced it to about 110 (35%+) by the end of the race. And it still didn't bob. By the end of the race, lack of sleep was causing concentration probs, but the AVA helped greatly by erasing bumps like I've never seen. for racing, I have the Talas Fork set up a bit stiffer than the AVA rear (it bobs if set up plush), so i find that: I'd see a mid-sized bump, then feel a slight bump in the handlebars, then feel nothing in the rear. absolutely nothing. I couldn't imagine it being plusher.

I got this shock to use as a Race-only shock, and keep the Vanilla for everything else (trailriding, rock gardens etc). However, the performance of the AVA is just so much better (except for the decreased sensitivity under brakes), that I'm thinking about ditching the Vanilla altogether, especially if I could get the 2.25" stroke AVA. Alternatively, I'm thinking of upgrading the Vanilla to Propedal when Fox makes the upgrade available.

If you have an Id, get this shock. It'll probably work well on a Truth as well.

It has completely transformed my bike. Romic users probably won't notice as much a gain as I have.

Similar Products Used: Fox Vanilla RC. I have not tried any of the SPV-type shocks.
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
Mark   Cross Country Rider [May 05, 2005]
Strength:

really smooth, linear/coil like feel, works as advertised, Works well with Blur

Weakness:

Leaks a small omount of grease from air sleave.
DU bushings require replacement...This might be because the VPP linkage of Blur puts more stress on them than other FS designs.

I have had my 04' Blur for just over a year and have logged ~2000 miles in that time. So far the Fox Float AVA R has been a great part with no problems at all.
I have preformed the reqired maintance for the shock as described in the owners manual...
I wipe down residual air sleave grease after each ride and have prefromed the air sleave maintinace 2 times diassemble, clean & relube) so far.
I ordered the seal kit from Fox but I have not replaced any seals even after 2 tear downs. They have not needed to be replaced as they have not show any signs of damage.
If this part is kept clean and maintained it is as good as a shock can be...
I have also replaced the DU bushings and eyelet reducers 2 times Check out the reviews for the CTS bushing tool that makes the DU bush replacment job easy. http://www.mtbr.com/reviews/Tools/product_124606.shtml

Similar Products Used: Float RL, Vanilla
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
4
George   Cross Country Rider [May 01, 2005]
Strength:

Paired nice with Intense Spyder

Weakness:

Lost pressure after 2nd season.

This is my third season on the bike/shock.
Shock worked great for 18 months then started losing air.
The guys at Push Industries rebuilt it with their tuning kit and now it works better than stock.
Save your money buying a new shock, just get it rebuilt at pushindustries.com.

Similar Products Used: none
OVERALL
RATING
4
VALUE
RATING
4
Samsun   Cross Country Rider [Jan 02, 2004]
Strength:

Good adjustability. Easy to set up. Quite light.

Weakness:

None that I have found.

Price paid is in £. Although this is an air shock and should be used for XC I have to admit to taking it off quite a few drops. It takes a lot of abuse but is still as plush as the day I put it on. On my sub-5 I dont really notice any bob yet it is still able to take a 6 foot drop. The AVA sleeve is a bit of a gimmick but a good one. If you are an out and out XC rider you will love the way you get butter smooth travel with the AVA engaged. If you like the rougher stuff dont engage the AVA as much and the travel will ramp towards the end to allow for the odd jump/drop, but still get smooth travel. A very nice shock which doesnt lose air.

Similar Products Used: RockShox SID XC.
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
Eye   Weekend Warrior [May 16, 2004]
Strength:

Works solid!!!
a year and a half - not a squeek of a broblem- Touch Wood..

Weakness:

hard to know the exact pressure you need - my weekness!!
well - mabye it tells that more is happening on the ground than realy is - Maby ...

Working horse. reliable. AVA Works - use it !!
got about 2500- 3000 miles on it. I do up to 5 footers to flat and have 176 lb of body.
If it shows signs of loosing air ...spray some lub and you set for many more trails.

Similar Products Used: Cane frog
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
Tony   Weekend Warrior [May 30, 2004]
Strength:

- Plushness

Weakness:

- Bobbing
- Difficult to adjust spring rate (at least it was for me)

I would stick to Manitou spv swinger shocks. They work much better than the Fox AVA's as far as less pedal induced bobbing. The Fox is definitely plush, but it just doesnt reduce the bobbing like the Manitou.

Similar Products Used: Manitou Swinger 4-way
OVERALL
RATING
3
VALUE
RATING
3
Showing 1-10 of 15  

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