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Formerly PaintPeelinPbody
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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Ribbon Air 4.2 lbs. / 1900g
Ribbon Coil 4.65 lbs. / 2110g
Coil adds 200g

Cane Creek Helm Air - 2080g
Cane Creek Helm Coil - 2340g
Coil adds 260g

Vorsprung Smashpot
Fox 36 160mm - 2020g with Smashpot 2270-2470g (5-5.4lbs)
Coil adds between 250-450g

Push ACS3 for Fox 36
Adds about 210 - 285 grams

Avalanche Hybrid Open Bath/Coil Damper
Adds about 280g to a Fox 36 (2275g)

Marzocchi Z1/Fox 36 Rhythm Coil Conversion
250-350g depending on coil weight.

Ohlins RXF36 M.2
Air: 2104g
Coil: 2380g (unconfirmed - unknown coil weight)
276g for coil conversion (although Ohlins is the only option that allow you to swap back and forth without damaging stanchion bores - aside from Avalanche Hybrid)

Could the demand for coil gets us even lighter setups? Say, those that utilize titanium or CRFP Carbon "Bellows" springs?
 

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Weight of coil fork conversions is very dependent on the spring rate required. Springs with a higher rate will generally require thicker gauge spring steel and in some cases, more coils as well. Higher volume purchasing could make higher quality spring steal a viable option, but to put that sort of money into R&D and fabrication would require RS/Fox like volume and demand to offer that without doubling the price of the current options.

Anecdotal evidence, I had a 2017 pike rc 150mm that I put an acs3 into. Using their green spring, I added around 400g to the weight of the bike.
 

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Yes titanium springs will save weight over steel, Marzocchi did this on their 44/55/66/888 RC3 ti forks. Downside was if you needed a different weight coil it was hard to come by & almost $200 for the coil.
 

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Titanium doesn't make a great spring material....in reality they had a short fatigue life and commonly broke hence why they are all but gone these days

I don't see coils getting much lighter, for a reasonable price anyway. They don't really need to though as the performance benefit outweighs the weight difference easily.
 

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I don't see coils getting much lighter, for a reasonable price anyway. They don't really need to though as the performance benefit outweighs the weight difference easily.
You're going to see some composite coils soon that are going to change your mind. In fact keep this post because in 5 years, everyone will be on coil shocks/forks because there will no longer be any weight advantage for air. Costs will be more under control at that time just based on the shear volume and demand as well as new lower cost composites technology. It's coming!

Have FUN!

G MAN
 

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You're going to see some composite coils soon that are going to change your mind. In fact keep this post because in 5 years, everyone will be on coil shocks/forks because there will no longer be any weight advantage for air. Costs will be more under control at that time just based on the shear volume and demand as well as new lower cost composites technology. It's coming!

Have FUN!

G MAN
Air springs are pretty good now. They offer tuning options that coils can't duplicate, and they're much easier to sell since 1 fork/shock spring might suit everyone.

The real magic is in the damper, and there's still plenty of top-shelf stuff that isn't really that optimized.

I'm excited about composite springs too, but 200-400g isn't really transformative. It will be a nice incremental improvement though. The future is bright.
 

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The real magic is in the damper, and there's still plenty of top-shelf stuff that isn't really that optimized.
Damping comes after spring and friction in terms of how much difference it makes to a fork, most damping forces are so low the gains won't be that large unless the other 2 are optimised first. Sure we can improve on the dampers we have the rest a modern telescopic fork isn't perfect yet
 

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Damping comes after spring and friction in terms of how much difference it makes to a fork, most damping forces are so low the gains won't be that large unless the other 2 are optimised first. Sure we can improve on the dampers we have the rest a modern telescopic fork isn't perfect yet
After lots futzing with this sort of thing through the years my highly anecdotal take is he's right. Especially when it comes to the spring vs the damper.
 

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I’ll take the weight of a coil spring over stiction any day, coil springs just perform better than air. It’s not for everyone.

If composite coils actually work and last, I’d take em if they didn’t cost an arm and a leg.

I’m getting my rear shock, a Bomber CR Coil, revalved, so I’m running a DPX2. The difference is noticeable in trail feel, the coil spring is far more damp than air, keeps the tire in contact with ground better.
 

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Formerly PaintPeelinPbody
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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
the MRP coil only adds .45 lbs not 450 grams. It's only a ~200g difference.
You're totally right. My math got fuzzy. That makes the Ribbon Coil one of the lighter coil upgrades.

Speaking of dampers, it's kind of a shame the Ribbon can be so finicky for folks. It's definitely one of the few forks I've heard a wide variety of reviews on from folks who are pretty dialed in to suspension performance.
 

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Damping comes after spring and friction in terms of how much difference it makes to a fork, most damping forces are so low the gains won't be that large unless the other 2 are optimised first.
I Absolutely agree with that! Take the Luftkape or the DebonAir upgrade for example. They are both spring related and everyone feels the difference straight away. Stick a coil in any fork and it will be transformative as well in terms of plushness and traction.

Damper is important but it definitely comes after the spring "upgrade" to reduce frictions.

Even servicing the lowers and re-greasing the seals (without even touching the damper) will make your fork a lot more supple and enjoyable, because (again) it reduces frictions.
Spring = Confort
Damper = Control

That's how I see it after riding and tinkering with suspensions for quit a while now.

Now about the coil vs air weight ... honestly if you've been riding a coil (front or rear) you'll know the benefits are so much greater than a bit less weight (I'll make that trade every single time). It's something you feel when you lift your bike in the garage, but it's totally gone as soon as you ride it. (It's not like adding weight to your wheels/tires ... I would not be THAT happy otherwise)

Would it be great to get lighter spring systems/upgrades?! Absolutely :)

Nice thread and good idea by the way ;)
 

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Here is another one.

Öhlins RXF 36 Air
Weight: 2040 g

Öhlins RXF 36 Coil
Weight: 2295 g (with 9.7 spring)

Like someone said before, the overall weight greatly depends on the spring you use. The lighter you are, the better in terms of total spring weight.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
THat's at least the interesting thing about coil vs air.

If you can get an air spring to act at least somewhat like a coil, for a heavier rider than doesn't come with any weight added. Of course, lighter riders are probably easier to tune for on air as well.

I like the idea of Avalanche's hyrbid damper setup with a "helper spring" that allows a combination of both systems. I feel like there could be some development in that by other manufacturers that might allow a shorter spring, less worry about having the exact spring rate, and none of the potential damage of coil conversion on air forks.

Almost makes you wonder if the same couldn't be inside an airshock...
 

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The damper comes first. By a mile. It's really not even close.

No one remembers the original motion control coil forks? They were terrible. Smooth? Sure. Nearly zero stiction. Great tiny bump. And then you go fast and the entire fork goes to ****.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
I think what people are getting at is that once you reach a certain level of performance and damper tech, the spring starts to matter again.

Crappy damper with an awesome spring? Crappy fork.

Awesome damper with a crappy spring? 90% there.

Awesome damper with an awesome spring (and chassis/seals/build quality)? Perfection.

The fact that so many riders are still doing coil conversions tells us that even with great dampers in the Charger 2.1, GRIP2, Ribbon, etc, the spring becomes the weak link. Then again, plenty of racers do just fine with current crop of air springs, and I'm not sure any are using coil forks in Enduro or WCDH.
 

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The damper comes first. By a mile. It's really not even close.

No one remembers the original motion control coil forks? They were terrible. Smooth? Sure. Nearly zero stiction. Great tiny bump. And then you go fast and the entire fork goes to ****.
How do you know that was the damper? They were flexy 32mm stanchion forks with minimal lubrication so it is more likely to be the fork binding as the problem. I've preferred 35mm + stanchion forks for the last 12+ years as they don't suffer the same issue, even forks with identical internals

Counter argument - 2005 Marzocchi 888, open bath. coil spring. Incredibly crude damper. But I have a dirt mag where they declared it the top downhill fork of the time compared to the far more advanced Fox 40 and Manitou dorado! Even the boxxer of the time had better internals.

Same goes for the shiver and basically any Bomber from that era, they were so basic but people LOVED them. I don't remember anything else of the time having such a cult following
 

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In retrospect, we are now acutely aware that those old marz forks were just total mush. They really weren't good.

Plenty of 32mm forks did end up with decent damper and they did work well, they just weren't Moco forks. You can't honestly say it wasn't the Moco unit.

There is no work around for a spiking damper. I agree that a great damper with a crap spring is about 90% there. But we're doing pretty well across the board with air springs, so let's call it 95% for a modern fork.

Don't get me wrong, I've always liked coils. Most of my forks end up with a coil in them, it just works so well... But for the last 10 years I've been tossing in coils, it has ran me 50 or 60 bucks max. Now that they're well into the hundreds and air springs have advanced SO much, it seems pretty silly. The idea got hyped so much that the price doesn't make sense.

Most of us would pay 50 or 70, or maybe $90 for a revolutionary phenomenal tire, right? Imagine if it 5% better tire came out and it was $400. That'd be ridiculous, and that's where we are with coils.
 
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