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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
On a recent trip to N Az I decided to do a side trip to Hurricane Utah where OTE Sports
bike shop was located , mainly to demo the Endo. I got to demo the Firebird and
the 2009 DT as well, but that was a short ride. I have been trying to figure out what to replace my stolen EVO with, and it has not been an easy process deciding what direction to go in. It turns out that all bikes I've ridden so far have qualities I don't like, so theres no perfect bike out there. The challenge is finding the one with the least amount of negative traits and good enough all around riding characteristics to justify the purchase.

I demoed these on the Hurricane Rim trail just outside of Hurricane Utah.
Here are what my impressions were:

Endo:

Demo bike was fitted with RP23, a large. and a Magura 140mm fork(dont remember model name). Stock Hi compression on rp23 set to high.
Overall impressions were bike felt somewhat ineffecient. I noticed a fair amount of movement at the shock, like some of my energy was being wasted.
It also didnt feel very plush on sharp/square edged hits. To be fair, the bike felt a bit large for me, like I was more stretched out than I would have liked.
I also didnt feel that comfortable descending rocky sections, like too much of my weight was towards the front. Again, could have been a result of the sizing.
The bike had a heavy build, around 34 # . It was also outfitted with a chain tensioner, which was later removed. With it removed the pedaling was improved,
but not enough to change my overall impression of the bike.

Firebird:

I was able to ride a lot farther on the Firebird without feeling tired. Balance between front and rear on medium felt perfect. Everything felt pretty good overall.
A tiny bit of knee pain after the ride that didnt last. (I am hyper-vigilant about this with virtual pivot designs because of my experience with a Blur that I had owned a few years ago)

These were the 2 bikes I demoed the first day, and I was ready to go with the Firebird after the first day of riding. The advantages over the Endo were pretty clear.

Day 2 -

On the second I was offered a ride on the DT, and I decided why not, I'll give it a short spin, but I was eager to get back to the Firebird so I could solidify my decision.
The DT ended being quite a surprise. Even though the demo bike weighed 38 #, sitting and spinning felt fairly efficient, in fact, I couldnt see much movement at the
DHX Air shock with normal pedaling. Square edged hits were handled as well as with the Firebird, and technical climbing was definitely smoother, the DT out handled
the Firebird in these situations. The DT just tractored up stuff regardless of the line you took. So suspension wise, the DT ended being my favorite overall.
But at 38#s, its about 5 #s over what I would want for a typical build (with mostly XT type components) for AM/light freeride trailriding.
I can only afford one bike, so it has be light enough for general trail riding also.

My second ride on the Firebird ended up being not quite as good as the first. I did the same trail, but took some different lines on short, rocky granny ring climbs
to further investigate how much pedal feedback I would be dealing with were I to go with the Firebird. On this ride, on doing one rocky granny ring climbing section
I did notice a small knee tug with a little bit of knee pain at the same time. It was not a lot, and I had no pain after the ride, but that got me to wondering - if I went
with the Firebird would this become an issue ? (Even though it's been a minor one so far on my four demos)
So I would have to weigh whether the advantages would outweigh this negative, but back to the DT :

I did get to ride Quinlan's (the owner of OTE) 2010 DT around the parking lot there, and the pedaling felt pretty snappy ifor a 36 # bike.
So I'm tempted to go with the 2010 Delirium. But I'm doing a lot of trail riding in addition to the more aggro stuff, so I need for it to weigh in the
33 - 34 lb range with light, sturdy (but not stupid light) parts. I was thinking of getting the Delirium with a lightweight Endo parts kit + the 1 1/8" '10 Talas
which I've already partially paid for(was going to put it on the stolen EVO). So then I could go with a lighter stem, and hopefully keep the weight
somewhere in the 33 - 34 # range.
Any opinions on this ? What wheelset should I go with if this were an option ? I can afford around $2000 for the build kit.
Any input would be appreciated, thanks.
 

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shh. don't tell the wife
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Watching the shock move between your legs and pedaling efficiency aren't exactly the same thing.

Heck, watching the shock between your legs is never a good idea...
 

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It sounds like that Endo wasn't setup right for you. I found the Endo to be an amazing climber and very plush for a 5.5" bike. The one I rode had a 140mm fork on it and I did not like how it made the bike handle. You put a 160mm fork on it and go full coil you'll see what I'm talking about.

The Firebird is a fantastic bike. My bud has one and it and loves it. I've ridden a few times and it's a ton of fun. I'd make sure to get the AL rocker though. I'm not sure why it would give you knee pain while a horst bike wouldn't. Doesn't make much sense to me.

The 09 DT is what I ride and I chose it over all of the options (besides 2010 DT) based on a few things. Strengh, stiffness, thru-axle option, HA/chainstay adjustments, quality, customer service, etc.

Hyper focusing on the weight is silly. I peddle my 38 lb. DT on everything. Multiple all day epics, no problem. A weekend at the lifts, no problem. My bud and I ride around the same speed. Nothing has changed when he went with a 34lb. bike and I went with a 38lb. bike. Well, that's not true. I go bigger than he does now :) Sure, drop weight were you can but don't let it keep you from getting the bike you enjoy riding the most.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
RideEverything said:
Draw me in with the title and then tell me you rode around the parking lot on the 2010 DT in one sentence.
Jackass.
The '09 DT is the one I roden the trail, the susp. felt great as I said - the '10 DT only
rode around the parking lot. Wasn't trying to draw any conclusions based on that.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
LAKESNAKE said:
You owe it to yourself to try the Endorphin with a better shock front(160mm) and rear (preferably coil). I suspect you could get the bike you want at a lower weight. Overdamped shocks will make ANY bike feel harsh.
One of the benchmarks I've been using lately in evaluating full susp. designs is how plush
they feel with an air shock. If you need to go coil to fix the harshness problem on
sharp hits, that IMO is not addressing a potential problem with the susp. design.
Now there ARE some crappy air shocks out there that will make the susp. feel harsh.
I realize a lot can be done with shock choice and setup (you could go with a CCDB, for ex.). But this was with an '09 rp23, purportedly one of the best all around air shocks out there. Also, as I mentioned above, the stock tune for hi- compression was high,
so it was basically using a stock hi-speed compression circuit to mask some
of the pedaling efficiency. Again, this is only my opinion, but I felt my EVO was at least
as plush as the Endo (with the rp23, high compresssion) but climbed more efficiently.
That was the huge surprise of this trip. But the shop owner insisted that riding the
medium would have felt better. I done see how that would have changed anything about the suspension, however.
 

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le_buzz said:
Stock Hi compression on rp23 set to high.
so, the shock was set to high? what does that mean?

le_buzz said:
Overall impressions were bike felt somewhat ineffecient. I noticed a fair amount of movement at the shock, like some of my energy was being wasted.
It also didnt feel very plush on sharp/square edged hits.
yea, something is wrong. I could understand someone feeling the Endorphin isn't very efficient. It does feel sluggish compared to my XC bike, but as someone else pointed out that doesn't necessarily translate into inefficiency. But, the fact it didn't feel plush on square hits is off. That is definitely one thing the Endorphin does very well. Maybe the shock was not broken-in? Did you have the propedal engaged?

le_buzz said:
To be fair, the bike felt a bit large for me, like I was more stretched out than I would have liked. I also didnt feel that comfortable descending rocky sections, like too much of my weight was towards the front. Again, could have been a result of the sizing.
Was it a qr or thru-axle fork? how long was the stem? Sounds like the set up was all wrong for you. My Endorphin with a 70mm stem and a Lyrik (set at 140mm) kills it as far as inspiring confidence.

fyi- I just switched my stock rp23 (2007) for a DHXc 3.0 (2009); and while the new coil-over is still breaking-in, it hasn't been that big a difference. The Endorphin works very well with air shox.
 

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Elitest thrill junkie
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dulyebr said:
so, the shock was set to high? what does that mean?

.
It means that the RP23 comes with several different compression tunes from the factory. It can be set to "low", "medium", or "high". Generally, manufacturers choose "medium" and "high" to prevent excessive chassi movement and counter pedaling forces. On other bikes these forces are less due to the way the suspension was designed. Leverage rate would also play a role here, the higher the leverage, the more damping is needed. A few bikes these days, mostly the DW bikes, can use the "low" compression setting, which is most likely what the Firebird had. His assessment that the bike felt harsh on square edge hits does make sense given the high compression tune.
 

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Jayem said:
It means that the RP23 comes with several different compression tunes from the factory. It can be set to "low", "medium", or "high". Generally, manufacturers choose "medium" and "high" to prevent excessive chassi movement and counter pedaling forces. On other bikes these forces are less due to the way the suspension was designed. Leverage rate would also play a role here, the higher the leverage, the more damping is needed. A few bikes these days, mostly the DW bikes, can use the "low" compression setting, which is most likely what the Firebird had. His assessment that the bike felt harsh on square edge hits does make sense given the high compression tune.
"Stock Hi compression on rp23 set to high." This sentence remains unclear to me.

I already know you're going to say that the high compression tune Float is over-damped regardless of whether the propedal switch is on or off, but I can tell you from real world experience that with propedal off the suspension action is very smooth.
 

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Fox RP23 OEM Shock Tunes on Knolly Endorphin frames:

Just to clear this up once and for all as there is a LOT of mis-information on this subject floating around - I will only speak regarding Knolly Endorphin frames of course:

Model Year 2009 and prior RP23 shocks could be ordered by OEM customers from Fox Shox with variable factory settings for compression and also rebound: what this does is control the "range" of adjustment available for each of these settings.

If I remember correctly, RP23 shocks prior to the 2010 Boost Valve version had a compression setting that affected the range of both the high speed and the low speed compression setting. So, if the shock had a factory setting of "firm" for compression (the values are soft, medium and firm), that meant that the overall compression circuit had both firmer low speed and high speed compression damping. I could be wrong on this, but i think it was controlled by belleville spring washers, and there was literally one, two or three of them in there depending upon what setting you picked. Or it might be that there is a coil spring for the compression damping and the belleville washers control the rebound. Anyway, it's not important for the sake of the discussion. These are NOT the 1, 2, and 3 on the blue Propedal dial: these settings are internal to the shock and are indicated by bars (in 2009 and prior shocks) on the side of the shock body.

Anyway, the interesting thing is that there has been a lot of attention paid to this: the reality is that when the Propedal level is set to the "Off" position, there is very little influence from the shock, regardless of the internal setting of soft, medium or firm. There may be some effect, but it is very minor, regardless of the internal tune.

Where the settings make a big difference is when the Propedal is turned "On": e.g. a RP23 with a soft tune and the propedal dial set to "3" will have a similar feel to a firm tune shock with the Propedal dial set to "1". Let's say - for example - that the range of available low speed compression damping in the 2009 and prior RP23 shocks varies from 0-100% (when Propedal is turned "On") depending upon the internal compression tune and the blue propedal dial. With a soft tune you might have a settings of 10, 20 and 30% available with the blue dial values of 1, 2, and 3; with a firm tune, you would have settings of 30, 60 and 90% available with the same blue dial settings of 1, 2 and 3. And hence, with a medium tune you would have settings of 20, 40, and 60% available. This is not quite exact of course, but it gives you a general idea of how the propedal and shock compression tune works. In reality I think the ratios of the settings are closer to soft = 1.0, medium = 1.5 and firm = 2.0, but again, this is just off the top of my head and someone from an authorized Fox service center could fill the details in a lot better for those of you who want to know.

Please remember that this is only when the Propedal turned ON; its effects are significantly less when it's turned off and according to Fox, all three tune settings have similar low speed compression damping when the Propedal is set to off.

Now - what has Knolly used over the past three years that we have been selling the Endorphin frame?

When we originally started selling Endorphin frames in 2007, Fox "recommended" that we purchase the RP23s with the "high" compression tune setting and the "medium" rebound setting. All Endorphin frames were sold with RP23 shocks with these settings for approximately the first year that we sold these frames. However, we realized two things after the frames had been on the market for a while:

First off, because of the Endorphin's low 2.4:1 leverage ratio, lightweight riders (typically around 120 pounds or less) could not adjust the rebound to a fast enough setting for high speed riding. Hence, the rebound tune was reduced from medium to soft. This now allows enough rebound adjustment range for rider weights from about 100 pounds to - probably - close to 300 pounds, so it should cover the vast majority of all customer needs.

Secondly, we changed the factory compression tune from firm to soft as well because we felt that the frame didn't need any extra low speed compression damping AND also, the Endorphin - like all of our frames - has excellent suspension progression, so we didn't need any high speed compression (i.e. bottom out) help from the shock at all.

So, since about the summer of 2008, all RP23s sold with Endorphins have Low (soft) compression and rebound internal tune settings.

Finally, this all changed last year with the introduction of the 2010 RP23 BV (Boost Valve) shock. The technology in this shock helps to separate the low and high speed compression damping circuit. If you look at the nomenclature on a 2010 RP23, you'll see three internal settings now: compression, rebound and the new setting boost valve pressure (in PSI). Fox can now set all three of these separately and an OEM customer (i.e. Knolly!) can pick which settings they want. The boost valve makes a big difference in performance in this shock and IMHO (and those of us at Knolly) the aggressive riding performance of the 2010 RP23 has jumped up half way between where the previous 2009 RP23 was and where the DHX 5.0 Air is (of course, the RP23 doesn't have the end of stroke tuning ability that the DHX 5.0 air has, nor does it have as much oil volume in it as the DHX 5.0 air which will means that it will heat up its oil faster during aggressive riding). Also, if you wanted to, you could have the Boost Valve pressure custom set for you by having your local dealer send your shock off to your authorized Fox service center: again, for Knolly frames (because of the linkage's inherent bottom out resistance), the BV pressure does not need to be set to high pressures to help tune the shock's bottom out performance because the Four by 4 Linkage takes care of this already. So, since roughly the summer of 2009, all Endorphin frames have come with 2010 Boost Valve RP23 shocks with the following settings:
Compression: Low (soft)
Rebound: Low (soft)
BV Pressure: 200 PSI (the factory range is 150 - 350 PSI I think).

I hope that long post clears things up :)

Cheers!
 

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kiwi knolly fan
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great information!

knollybikes.com said:
Now - what has Knolly used over the past three years that we have been selling the Endorphin frame?

When we originally started selling Endorphin frames in 2007, Fox "recommended" that we purchase the RP23s with the "high" compression tune setting and the "medium" rebound setting. All Endorphin frames were sold with RP23 shocks with these settings for approximately the first year that we sold these frames. However, we realized two things after the frames had been on the market for a while:

First off, because of the Endorphin's low 2.4:1 leverage ratio, lightweight riders (typically around 120 pounds or less) could not adjust the rebound to a fast enough setting for high speed riding. Hence, the rebound tune was reduced from medium to soft. This now allows enough rebound adjustment range for rider weights from about 100 pounds to - probably - close to 300 pounds, so it should cover the vast majority of all customer needs.

Secondly, we changed the factory compression tune from firm to soft as well because we felt that the frame didn't need any extra low speed compression damping AND also, the Endorphin - like all of our frames - has excellent suspension progression, so we didn't need any high speed compression (i.e. bottom out) help from the shock at all.

So, since about the summer of 2008, all RP23s sold with Endorphins have Low (soft) compression and rebound internal tune settings.
Noel, thanks for this valuable information, and clearing things up! :thumbsup:
This makes some sense to me, as a light rider, that the rebound as always felt pretty slow for me. I have the original rp23 factory settings of high comp, and med rebound.
So, if I were to send in my shock to say PUSH, could the set it up with the revised compression and rebound settings? and i guess tune it in any other way for my weight and riding style?
Although you also say these factory settings have little effect with propedal off? Im always riding with no propedal, but still feel the rebound is often too slow. Or is it just the compression settings that have little effect without propedal ?
 

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LAKESNAKE said:
You owe it to yourself to try the Endorphin with a better shock front(160mm) and rear (preferably coil). I suspect you could get the bike you want at a lower weight. Overdamped shocks will make ANY bike feel harsh.
I would 2nd this as someone who switched from a Firebird over to a Endorphin. I have my Endorphin setup with a 160mm Fox 36 and CCDB in the back and it is an extremely nice all mountain package in that configuration.

Edit: Just to add I also spent about 2 weeks riding the endorphin with a fox dhx while I waitied for a heavier sping to arrive for my CCDB. I have to say the endo is the one bike I have ridden with a DHX that didnt feel like it was wallowing contantly in it's mid stroke. It actually felt pretty darn good with the DHX, I just prefer a coilover.
 

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le_buzz said:
One of the benchmarks I've been using lately in evaluating full susp. designs is how plush
they feel with an air shock. If you need to go coil to fix the harshness problem on
sharp hits, that IMO is not addressing a potential problem with the susp. design.
Now there ARE some crappy air shocks out there that will make the susp. feel harsh.
I realize a lot can be done with shock choice and setup (you could go with a CCDB, for ex.). But this was with an '09 rp23, purportedly one of the best all around air shocks out there. Also, as I mentioned above, the stock tune for hi- compression was high,
so it was basically using a stock hi-speed compression circuit to mask some
of the pedaling efficiency. Again, this is only my opinion, but I felt my EVO was at least
as plush as the Endo (with the rp23, high compresssion) but climbed more efficiently.
That was the huge surprise of this trip. But the shop owner insisted that riding the
medium would have felt better. I done see how that would have changed anything about the suspension, however.
I didn't mean you have to have a coil shock for plush performance, just my preference. I used a 07 DHX-A that was very plush and an 08 DHX-A (one with the two position Propedal switch) that was very harsh even with propedal off. My point being, the shock is going to make a huge difference in performance. I personally use and like a shock with no platform at all.
 

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mattypee said:
Noel, thanks for this valuable information, and clearing things up! :thumbsup:
This makes some sense to me, as a light rider, that the rebound as always felt pretty slow for me. I have the original rp23 factory settings of high comp, and med rebound.
So, if I were to send in my shock to say PUSH, could the set it up with the revised compression and rebound settings? and i guess tune it in any other way for my weight and riding style?
Although you also say these factory settings have little effect with propedal off? Im always riding with no propedal, but still feel the rebound is often too slow. Or is it just the compression settings that have little effect without propedal ?
Hey - no worries!

Propedal only affects the compression damping dircuit.

I'd imagine that Push would definitely be able to set the rebound to a lighter setting for you.

Cheers!
 

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Yowza!

This all makes me love my Roco coil that much more, because I can 'push' it whichever way I like in about 45 minutes with simple tools. I don't like the changes, I undo them.
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 · (Edited)
Just to clear up any misconceptions, I am referring to the little bars printed on the side (the internal circuits sold OEM). This was an '09 (Thats the year Fox started putting the info on the side of the air can)
The Endo I tested (with the propedal OFF by the way, I test all bikes with the propedal in the off position) had the high speed compression circuit set stock to high, and the rebound (again the initernal high speed rebound) set to medium).
You can tell by the length of the bar. The compression is in red, rebound is in blue.
If your bike is prior to '09, it won't be marked.


This brings up a curious thing, though. I am wondering if my experience with the Knollys
is mirroring my Chumba experience. I owned an XCL for about a year (with DHX Air),
and it was wallowy without using propedal. I was still a fun bike, dont get me wrong. but during really steep climbs you could occasionally hear the shock making a sucking sound (sorry, no other word to describe it - hopefully the use of that word wont derail this thread). So pedaling with no propedal I could look down and see it wallow like around a third of the way into the travel.
But when I switched to the EVO, it pedaled so efficiently that after a while I just left the propedal off all the time and was able to pedal up things that would have left me breathless on the XCL. If I had to guess, I would say the reason is likely to do with the
instant center being in a more forward position so less of your oscillating mass affects the suspension.
I'm suspecting this may be the case with the pedaling of the Endorphin vs. the Delirium also.

Is it possible that the Delirium just pedals more efficiently than the Endorphin ? I'm no engineer, but it looks like the shock placement on the
Endorphin, being relatively close to the cranks like a lot of other rocker arm designs, might make it more susceptible to bob.
Also, even though they're both called 4X4 linkage, doesn't the implementation beetween the two vary so much that there really isn't
that much in common from a suspension design perspective between the two bikes ?
 
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