My mechanic at the local bike shop just built up a VP with the DHX air and the 66sl......He loves it. He's a freerider who likes to pedal to the top of the hill. He was skeptical of the air shock's performance over a coil but said it's been a non issue.....say's the stroke feels good all the way through and he weighs around 200lbs. I too ride a vp but with the dhx coil and open bath '05 66rc. I've been curious as well lately b/c I've been wanting a lighter build for a Moab trip this fall. So far I'm sold....especailly after throwing a leg over his rig. I think if you're doing huge hucks and doing nothing but DH'ing, you may want to stick with the coil over for durability reasons. The 66sl however, shows absolutely no weakness and after it's initial break-in period........it feels like butter. an air fork will never have the small bump sensitivity that an oil shock will have but it's pretty damn close. I say go for it......let us know how it works out for you.
got mine 3 weeks ago, now that everything is broken-in here is what i have to say!
-the settings fox recommends are way to low (to my taste) and kept bottoming.so i put about 15-20% more air in both air chambers ( but dont go over 300 in main and 200 in small ) rotate bottoming dial to max ,rebound to taste and weight, and after you only have to adjust pro pedal depending on riding situation
-set like that, the pro pedal has a huge difference from the first to the last click. Even the sag will go from 15% to 25/30% witch is great.
-only thing is constantly loosing air pressure in the beginning, but drasticly stabalized after a week or two thank god!!!
i climb a lot to get to spots and am telling you im amazed with this settups possibility.
Well, I'll be able to tell you how an "all air" VPfree will ride soon.....just waiting on a CK headset to put it together.
This project has been in the works since feb and delayed due to injury and waiting for my frame to turn up...was lost in the post for a 5 weeks....after being sent out for a respray.
I know how the VPF peforms with a coil as I rode and DH raced it last year. Even gave me a top 10 finish @ my first event against a field of 30 riders. The VPF is probably a better buy for the average joe who wants to race and freeride with buddies, simply due to it's capabilities of being set up to ride DH and still make 8" of travel easy enough to pedal trails with.
Back to the Q, I won't specifically be able to tell you about the DHXAir on the VPF as I'm trialling the 5th Element Gravity shock. Going back to Febuary when I set out to create the VPFree AIR I kept reading about the bad reviews of the DHXAir ie. "multiple - stuck downs", "very little riding platform" (see mtbr reviews), also I never got any response to my Q's from the Oz distributor relating to the issues and the support I'd get if a DHXAir went belly up on me.
Essentially I'm setting out to make the VPF even more trail friendly, a 7"+, All Mountain bike :skep:
I ride a Free with a Roco and love it... but my son has a DHX Air.. and I see no real drop off in ride quality. PLUS, I love being able to just dial it in perfectly.
On the flip side, I run a 66 SL and he runs a Van36 RC2. Both bikes tip the scales about the same at ~35-36 pounds. They are built with light wheels, tires, etc. They are both all day bikes that we like to ride at the lift parks when the opportunity presents itself.
The Free is a quite versatile bike. I would not hesitate on getting the DHX air, and I probably will for my Free next season... or maybe the new Roco air.
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