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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm a small woman, topping out at just under 115 pounds. I'm thinking of getting a Transition Syren to take my riding to another level. I'm getting conflicting advice about the suspension I should put on the bike. All my bad a$$ DH gurlfriends say to go with a coil rear shock and fork for the kind of riding I want to do. Transition specs the Fox DHX 5 Coil for the rear and the Fox 36 Vanilla 160 RC2 for the fork. However, my gurlfriends are all in the 140-ish pound range, a fair bit bigger than I am. I am concerned that the suspension will be too stiff and I will end up spending a lot of time and money trying to find the right springs/coils.

Conversely, some knowledgeable guys I know recommend I go with air. They say that at my weight I will still be able to ride hard, take drops and such with good a DH air shock and fork The air fork and shock will be easier and cheaper to adjust to work well for my light weight (I could have it PUSHed to tailor it just to me). Transition specs the Fox DHX 5 Air for the rear and the Fox 36 Float RC2.

What do you all think? I appreciate your advice!
 

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I would say go with the coil on front and rear. Yes you might have to buy a softer springs but ride it a bit and see. The main reason for this is that it is not good to be at the extents of a forks shock or forks weight range. On a coil you can just change the coil to place you were you need to be. With an air you get what you get.

I tried to find the spec and cant, but from what i can remember you would be at the bottom of the range for the air shocks and that *can lend to the shock not working as smooth. I think you will be fine with coil and will get a smoother ride from it.

My wife is on the syren and she weighs in at around 120 and is 5'4". She has really enjoyed were things are for her. We didnt have to change any springs.
 

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I agree, go with coil. I've used a rp23 and a dhx on my Syren, there's a huge difference in performance, I weigh about 60 kg so I'm not that heavy. Also, you can get manitou springs that fits the dhx that costs much less than fox, at least here in europe.
 

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clayd said:
On a coil you can just change the coil to place you were you need to be. With an air you get what you get.
Riiiiiight, because air shocks are filled at the factory and can't be adjusted. :skep:
 

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singletrack said:
Riiiiiight, because air shocks are filled at the factory and can't be adjusted. :skep:
I dont think i said that, or meant it that way. But you get the range of the shock and that is it. The coil allows for a greater range or weights than the air, and with her weight she would be at the lower end of the air shocks range. Being at either end of the range decreases performance. I hope that explains it better.
 

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clayd said:
I dont think i said that, or meant it that way. But you get the range of the shock and that is it. The coil allows for a greater range or weights than the air, and with her weight she would be at the lower end of the air shocks range. Being at either end of the range decreases performance. I hope that explains it better.
I knew what you meant. But I made fun anyway. :)
 

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Ridden both coil and air forks up front and I love my 66 sl ATA. I'm at the top end of the range and probably exceed it (I haven't seen a scale in years but I'd be surprised if I'm below 230).

Noticeably lighter, good damping, I really like the fork and think it's an absolutely perfect match for the bottlerocket. I almost always ride it in the 5.5-6" range but its nice to be able to crank it up for the uber steeps.

I'm afraid to go with an air shock for the rear because of my size and aggression level but I don't think I'd hesitate if I were smaller.

Find someone in the area with an air setup and see if you can take it off a couple little drops and jumps, you'll get a good idea right away if you can adjust it to be plush for you.

I think with coil you'd be okay for sure, that's pretty simple figuring spring rates with a given rider weight. - But you could cut several lbs off the bike with air and with a small rider I think bike weight is more important. And not to be sexist, but I ride fairly hard and fast and am not afraid of some jumps and drops - I really doubt your 140 lb friends put anything close to the stress on a fork that I do- durability isn't the best reason for shying away from air anymore.

In certain frames with aggressive leverage ratios and a heavy rider, more of a concern. But I'd say give air a chance.
 

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The Syren was made in mind for the lightish rider. The Coil will be much more sensitive and you will not have any trouble setting it up. Any capable shop should be able to swap out springs and tailor the suspension for you. Coil or air up front..air will be easier for on the fly adjustments, but again the same thing with the sensitivity. Once its set, you will find the coil is far better. If you got the Float RC2 in the front it would have a wider range than most. But you could get the 36 Van R, much cheaper and once you dial it in it will be a great ride.
 

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Chad_Money said:
But you could get the 36 Van R, much cheaper and once you dial it in it will be a great ride.
Definitely true about coils being easy to dial in and cheaper.

If I hadn't bought my fork for a screaming deal from a friend I wonder if I'd still be so thrilled with it- or ever would have bought an air fork in the first place. I was very against them back when... But I do like this one.

To be quite honest, I don't think I'd buy a new marzocchi though. The quality seems to have gone down the past couple of years, the foxes are still nice as ever.
 

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I'd actually recommend an air for for you. I'm a decent amount heavier than you at around 150, and am sort of borderline between the medium and soft springs on my 36 Vanilla. I wouldn't say the x-soft would be a sure thing for you. I'd get either a 36 Float RC2 or a Lyric Solo Air.

In back though, coil. The bike is designed for lighter riders and has a pretty high leverage ratio, so you'll have no trouble finding a soft enough spring. IMO there's a bigger gap between coil and air shocks than forks. I've got a Totem Solo Air that I'm really happy with, but I've yet to find an air shock on a long travel setup that I was particularly impressed with. Marz. Roco TST coil would be my first choice.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
And not to be sexist, but I ride fairly hard and fast and am not afraid of some jumps and drops - I really doubt your 140 lb friends put anything close to the stress on a fork that I do- durability isn't the best reason for shying away from air anymore.
I beg to differ - these 140 pound ladies do 15 foot gaps and 6 foot drops. They are amazing riders!
 

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quote: "And not to be sexist, but I ride fairly hard and fast and am not afraid of some jumps and drops - I really doubt your 140 lb friends put anything close to the stress on a fork that I do- durability isn't the best reason for shying away from air anymore."


oh dear... this is the exact reason i shy away from anything "women's specific". it's seldom made as well or as strong as men's because it's assumed that a woman won't use the product that hard!
i do 12 foot drops on my Syren and quite frankly i'm wondering if/when the top-tube is going to fail.
my frame was made prior to the newer reinforced design - there had been some issues with the gussets cracking. also the rear suspension ratio on the Syren is high. i'm 130 lbs and i have to run a 600 weight spring to not bottom out on drops.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Ewww... the gauntlet has been thrown at me!

I don't see any connection to the weight of a person and his/her ability to 'huck'. Lots of guys I know who can fly over gaps and take big drops are little guys. Most of the guys at a dirt jump contest I saw last month were scrawny little 20 somethings, topping out maybe at 120. Those guys got HUGE air and amazingly, gravity still worked and brought them down to earth.

I do agree that there are not as many females who get big air and take huge drops. But there are some and the fact that I personally know some of them makes me think I can learn too! BTW, one of the talented female riders I mentioned is actually only 125 (she will never let me live it down that I had her weight SO off!).
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Hardtails Are Better - I actually agree with you about a smaller rider not putting as much stress on a bike as heavier riders (duh!!!). That's one of the reasons I'm in a quandary about this whole issue. Sorry if I took your comment the wrong way earlier (it was before I'd had much coffee).
 

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IttyBittyBetty said:
Hardtails Are Better - I actually agree with you about a smaller rider not putting as much stress on a bike as heavier riders (duh!!!). That's one of the reasons I'm in a quandary about this whole issue. Sorry if I took your comment the wrong way earlier (it was before I'd had much coffee).
Yeah, my point wasn't at all that the smaller riders can't go big, it's that when doing so they're beating on the bike a lot less than someone heavier.
 

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So per another thread on mtbr, I am franken forking her AM bike, which is an Intense 5.5 EVP, using the 2005-06 coil plus a spacer in her 140mm Van RLC on that bike. Her other bikes have air forks, so for those I can play with pressures and oil volumes; now for the DH bike we're building, I need help finding a 170 or 180mm fork that will work for a 110lb rider. Foxes coils for flyweight, even the black coils are too stiff.

what are ladies using for DH forks double crown?
 

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joelsman said:
boxxer wc or totem slolo air dh or fox 36 180mm float
thanks for your reply

does the boxxer wc adjust down to 180mm?

the solo, 36 and float are all air and single crown, I guess I can opt for 1.5" for her, but was really hoping to find a 180mm Jr T or something lighter than a 66rc2x for her..
 
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