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'18 Transition Sentinel
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have a couple of silly questions regarding a 5th Element Air shock.

(A) What's the "real/correct" range for IFP on 5th Air? I mean, in the manual, it reads "50psi~125psi" for IFP, while the narrow sticker put around the bottom of the shock chamber reads "75psi~125psi" for IFP. Which minimum psi is correct???

(B) Is there a good reason not to mount the shock "up-side-down"? Does it matter at all, even a bit??? (ie. oil flow, stiffness/flex, etc?) I just think that, if I mounted my 5th Air up-side-down, I can get to the IFP valve much easier with my shock pump. (contrary to how it's mounted right-side-up, as in the pic below)

Thanks for your feedback in advance,
- PiroChu

 

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crash test dummy
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replies in bold type

I have a couple of silly questions regarding a 5th Element Air shock.

(A) What's the "real/correct" range for IFP on 5th Air? I mean, in the manual, it reads "50psi~125psi" for IFP, while the narrow sticker put around the bottom of the shock chamber reads "75psi~125psi" for IFP. Which minimum psi is correct???

Well, I run 60 psi in my Blur, so I rather think it depends on the kind of bike you own. I do know that IFP is functional below 75 psi. My girlfriend has a Manitou swinger 3-way, and she weighs under 120 lbs., so I set IFP (same shock design as 5th element) at 65 psi. Her bike is a single-pivot, so she really needs the platform, and at this pressure it still works perfectly.

(B) Is there a good reason not to mount the shock "up-side-down"? Does it matter at all, even a bit??? (ie. oil flow, stiffness/flex, etc?) I just think that, if I mounted my 5th Air up-side-down, I can get to the IFP valve much easier with my shock pump. (contrary to how it's mounted right-side-up, as in the pic below)

There is no reason not to. All responses from these boards (many have consulted the manufacturers) have indicated it doesn't matter at all in which direction you mount an air shock.

Thanks for your feedback in advance,
- PiroChu
 

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PiroChu said:
I have a couple of silly questions regarding a 5th Element Air shock.

(A) What's the "real/correct" range for IFP on 5th Air? I mean, in the manual, it reads "50psi~125psi" for IFP, while the narrow sticker put around the bottom of the shock chamber reads "75psi~125psi" for IFP. Which minimum psi is correct???

(B) Is there a good reason not to mount the shock "up-side-down"? Does it matter at all, even a bit??? (ie. oil flow, stiffness/flex, etc?) I just think that, if I mounted my 5th Air up-side-down, I can get to the IFP valve much easier with my shock pump. (contrary to how it's mounted right-side-up, as in the pic below)

Thanks for your feedback in advance,
- PiroChu

I own a Manitou Swinger 3-Way Air...and the owner's manual recommendations for my shock suggest that I start with 75psi in the SPV chamber and 170psi in the main spring chamber (those are numbers on the high end of Manitou's recommendations. I can work my way down from there to suit my taste, if need be).

Fortunately, those measurements were spot on for me (and I weigh 235).

Ironically, with my Joshua X1, the way you mount the shock does matter. My Manitou 3-Way Air is mounted with the blue end (the end with the blue rebound adjustment dial) IN. If I mounted it the other way, with the red SPV end in, I would not be able to access the SPV's Schrader valve at all unless I dismounted the shock.

I'm lucky that the Schrader valve for the main spring is cocked slightly to the side of the shock. It sticks out from underneath the boom tube on my Joshua (when I am adding air, it looks like I'm adding it to the frame instead of the shock :p )

So, all in all, I guess the way you mount the shock would be dependent on frame clearances, but if you can mount it either way, it won't affect the shock's performance one bit. :D
 

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'18 Transition Sentinel
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Discussion Starter · #4 · (Edited)
A few more thoughts...

Thanks for your feedbacks.

I have a few more thoughts...

Yesterday, I found an article in MBA magazine (Oct '04 issue) about 5th Air setup. It noted that 5th Air being the easiest to set up, simply by first putting in 80psi for IFP (to end up between 80psi~110psi, per preference) then rider weight (ie. 160psi for 160lbs) for main chamber.

I'm sure this will depend on the rider, bike frame, trails, but can the figures be way off and still be used safely, especially the main-spring air pressure?

In my case, I put 75psi for IFP (just because that's the minimum noted on the sticker around the chamber, indicating "75psi~125psi"), but I only have 95psi~100psi. I reached this figure by trying to get the 25% sag. I'd actually like to get 30% sag, but then I'll have to pump even less. If I put 160psi as in the article (I'm 150lbs + 10lbs/gear), I'll hardly get any sag...!?

Just as a sanity check, with this setup (100psi in main air), I went out for a quick spin. With my already-dialed in fork as the 'yard stick' (70psi in '03 TALAS --- I use 70psi for short week-day XC rides and 75psi for fun weekend trailriding), I checked my bike back at home that I used 92% of the fork travel and 94% of shock travel. Do you think this was a good way to re-confirm that my setup for my weight/bike/riding is "balanced" (in respect to setting up my new shock and all)?

Or should I pump more in the shock (at the cost of even less sag!), because my fork (only with softer psi) gets 92% while shock already sees 94% stroke (a few millimeters short of 2.0" stroke). I don't want to worry about killing the shock (by bottomed out too much too easily), when I go out on fun weekend rides (for which I go with a slightly stiffer 75psi/fork setup for some extra fun, so not to bottoms out too easily as with only 70psi/fork).

Have you ever bottomed out 5th Air? If so, do you feel a clunk at the end? If so, do you find the rubber ring really at the full-stroke length (ie. mine would be 2.0")? I thought that you can't really "bottom out" on air shock (as air compresses but the compressed mass is still there), like with coil shock. (YES/NO)

Or, maybe I'm simply over-thinking all this (as usual)?

Thanks again,
- PiroChu
 

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PiroChu said:
Thanks for your feedbacks.

I have a few more thoughts...

Yesterday, I found an article in MBA magazine (Oct '04 issue) about 5th Air setup. It noted that 5th Air being the easiest to set up, simply by first putting in 80psi for IFP (to end up between 80psi~110psi, per preference) then rider weight (ie. 160psi for 160lbs) for main chamber.

I'm sure this will depend on the rider, bike frame, trails, but can the figures be way off and still be used safely, especially the main-spring air pressure?

In my case, I put 75psi for IFP (because that's the minimum noted on the sticker around the chamber, noting "75psi~125psi"), but I only have 95psi~100psi. I reached this figure by trying to get the 25% sag. I'd actually like to get 30% sag, but then I'll have to pump even less. If I put 160psi as in the article (I'm 150lbs + 10lbs/gear), I'll hardly get any sag...!?

Just as a sanity check, with this setup (100psi in main air), I went out for a quick spin. With my already-dialed in fork as the 'yard stick' (70psi in '03 TALAS --- I use 70psi for short week-day agg-XC and 75psi for fun weekend trailriding), I checked back at home that I used 92% of the fork travel and 94% of shock travel. Do you think this was a good way to re-confirm that my setup for my weight/bike/riding is "balanced" (in respect to setting up my new shock and all)?

Or should I pump more in the shock (at the cost of even less sag!), because my fork (w/ softer side psi) gets 92% while shock already sees 94% stroke (a few millimeters short of 2.0" stroke). I don't want to worry about killing the shock, when I go 75psi/fork on weekend fun rides.

Have you ever bottomed out 5th Air? If so, do you feel a clunk at the end? If so, do you find the rubber ring really at the full-stroke length (ie. mine would be 2.0")? I thought that you can't really "bottom out" on air shock (as air compresses but the compressed mass is still there), like with coil shock. (YES/NO)

Or, maybe I'm simply over-thinking all this (as usual)?

Thanks again,
- PiroChu
Personally, I would say yes, your calculations are right on the money. :D

Most of us (myself included) can sometimes get "travel-happy" and brainstorm to try and get every last millimeter of travel out of our forks and shocks.

If you're gettting 94% of the total travel out of your rear shock, I would leave it as is. You just never know when you're going to get that bone-jarring, teeth-rattling hit on a ride (especially riding at high speeds on technical trails).

That remaining 6% can act as a "safety buffer" to prevent bottoming...considering it was only a few millimeters from full compression, pat yourself on the back for taking the time to make proper adjustments :)

I've never ridden the 5th Element Air (I have a Manitou Swinger 3-Way Air on my rig). My shock's air measurements are 75psi in the SPV chamber and 170psi (roughly 70% of my body weight) in the main spring. Most Clydes like myself have their pressures MUCH higher in their shocks. So again, it's all dependent on many variables.
 

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The minimum is 50 psi in the IFP. This is confirmed by Progressive and TFT. 75 psi is just really a safety buffer probably because a lot of pumps don't read correctly if the pressure is too low. Once the pressure is below 50 psi the shock starts to loose its damping and rebound. It won't damage it though.
 

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'18 Transition Sentinel
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Discussion Starter · #7 · (Edited)
A couple of more silly Q's...

I have a couple of more silly questions about 5th Air...

(A) Currently the rebound knob and the IFP valve are both facing the same direction. Can I safely turn the shaft 180-degrees so that the rebound knob faces one way while the IFP valve faces the other way? If so, is it necessary to deflate the shock first, before spinning/turning the shaft around? (I may need to do this for "easier accessing around the frame design" reasons.)

(B) I have roughly 300 miles on my 5th Air now. While dismounting it to clean, I noticed that its special "eyelet bush" has already developped a play (so much so that I can lightly flick around the silver metal ring that stays inside the black plastic ring. Interestingly it's only with the one for the lower-mount, while the upper one is still tight. I know this depends on rider weight / bike / terrain, but 300 miles seems a bit short...? I presume that I should replace it right away upon noticing a play, unless actually this is just the "beak-in" (& just keep going with it)...? By the way, I notice that this "eyelet bush" has a flush surface on one side and a grooved surface on the other. (Why?) I presume it doesn't matter which side faces right/left when installing...?

Thanks again (in advance),
- PiroChu
 

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A) rotate the ends around all you want.

B) Am I understanding that you have the black plastic outter race bearings? If so, get them changed to the new all metallic with telfon liner bearings. The plastic bearings are failure prone and were dropped quickly after production began. Some old stock that's been laying around in warehouses still makes it out with old stuff....
 

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MTBR Mafia
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there is a formula for correctly setting up air pressure for xc for 5th air

main chamber rider weight divided by 1.328

IFP main chamber divided by 1.505
 

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'18 Transition Sentinel
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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
old black plastic outter race bearings

bmadau said:
B) Am I understanding that you have the black plastic outter race bearings? If so, get them changed to the new all metallic with telfon liner bearings. The plastic bearings are failure prone and were dropped quickly after production began. Some old stock that's been laying around in warehouses still makes it out with old stuff....
Ah-ha! Unfortunately that's exactly what mine came with. I didn't even know about the new type, so I really appreciate the info - thanks!

Is this something that Progressive would just mail me some new replacements (in the name of 'warranty' or something)? If to be purchased, do you know which online shops carry it? I browsed the "usual" shops out there, but they only seem to carry all the different mounting hardwares, but no eyelet bush/bearings listed.

What does the new one look like, all silver? I went to BTI website, but it's listed without a pic. A LBS here said they have some, but I want to make sure what they look like, so not to pick up some wrong ones. Not knowing what it looks like, how do I tell if it's actually a new one for 5th Air (correct) or old one for 5th Coil (wrong) or new one for 5th Coil (wrong)?

Thanks again,
- PiroChu
 

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It's best to have your LBS install them. they need to go in straight and there's a special tool for it. At least, if they screw it up, it's not your dime.
 

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IFP Losing Pressure?

i am new to air shocks...

when i pump up my SID chambers pressure holds, when i pump up the main chamber on my 5th element it holds (while the pump is on) but when i pump up the IFP, the pressure drops and drops steadily......you can see it dropping...is this normal?

also, when you pump any chamber up to say 100 psi...take the pump off and then put it back on, it reads different pressure...is this normal (bc air filling up pump taken from chambers?)

thanks
 

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Yeah, when you reinstall your pump your guage will read a lower pressure due to air filling the hose and guage.

If you can steadily see the pressure dropping with the pump installed the pump and/or schrader connection could also be leaking, which is more likely, but you still can check your shock by dunking it under water and looking for bubbles. Bubbles may form slowly (not like a leaking tube, hopefully) so be patient.
 
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