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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Probaly more so because during my christmas vacation I just spent three weeks riding a hardtail. Surprisingly I managed albeit the extremely rocky trails in northern Mexico. My Trance felt not as agile as the Rocky Mtn hardtail my friend lent me, but no more standing on the pedals to prevent shocks to my spine.

I wonder if a shorter travel coil suspended bike would feel as plush as a longer travel air suspended bike, and still retain some of the agility or pedalling efficiency of the air shocks on the longer travel frame.

Anybody else tried coil.
 

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Slower But Faster
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The difference in agility you noticed between the Rocky and the Trance will be related to the geometry of the two bikes rather than hardtail vs. fully. Most likely, the Trance is a little slacker giving it a less agile feel, but increased stability, especially when riding faster on rough terrain.

Typically the biggest difference between coil and air is that coil has a linear spring rate (yes, you can get progressive coil springs, though not that common) and air has a progressive spring rate. Key to getting your suspension to work as the designer intended is to have it setting at the correct sag while still not bottoming out too often. Too much sag and your pedaling efficiency may suffer (the Trance is designed to sit at about 25% sag). Pedaling efficiency is affected by suspension design and also by the platform valving the shock provides (e.g. Propedal), which you can have in both air and coil shocks.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
BrentD, For general riding I prefer the more sensitive Coil shock. If I put my RP3 on the Trance I feel that the rear stiffens up. I switch to the air shock for aggresive or competitive riding, loosing plushness, but gaining pedalling efficiency and loosing weight.

My observation is that by switching to coil, suspension action may be enhanced, and your ride refreshed giving an alternative to buying a new frame or complete bike.

However, you look at Fox products, and for a couple of years now they do not offer coil shocks under 7.5" eye to eye. Many years ago there were coil shocks available down to 5.5" or 6" eye to eye.

This trend does not make sense to me, (although I understand why it has happened) I feel that the shorter travel frames have more to gain by going to coil. I do see many people going with the Anthem as a play bike (not so much a weight weenie racer) these may enjoy their anthem much more if equipped with coil.
 

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Slower But Faster
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Good points Pedro. I think that the perceived plushness of coil over air is that with air you have to overcome the initial "stiction" of the extra seals required in an air fork or shock.

I'm on a high right now as I've just placed my order for a 2010 Reign X0. Pity it won't be here until the first week of March.
 

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Doesnt ride Banshees
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I had my Trance X set up with a custom sized RC4 for a while. I find that Maestro is a very active design in itself, and an air shock with no propedal does a fine job at reading the terrain. The RC4, while it rode fine, didn't feel astoundingly better IMO. If anything, I preferred the RP23, which is now back on my bike while the RC4 is sitting in my parts box. I think Giant did a fine job working with Fox and spec'd the right shock (air) on these bikes.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Banshee Rider, you tried coil, you prefer air, but you tried and got a feeling for the coil. Suspension preference is a personal thing. I don't think neither Giant or Fox can nail it 100% for 100% of the riders. Many riders may not have tried coil, and I feel they should. I beleive it is a worthwhile "attachment" to get for your bike. Not to permanently replace the air shock, but for when the mood strikes to feel a suppler suspension.

Brent D: coil or air the Reign X suspension has to feel awsome. I have an 05 Reign, currently with coil too ; ) Which is my favorite gnarly-trail bike. Chime in when you get it.
 
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