Mountain Bike Reviews Forum banner
1 - 20 of 32 Posts

·
mtbr member
Joined
·
455 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi,

I am considering a Marzocchi XC fork for my girlfriend, and while I think I have figured out pretty much about the different springs and rebound dampings, I am still trying to understand the different compression damping systems they use.

I have understood that in terms of compression damping the SSV is basic (good at low fork travel speed), SSVF is slightly better, and HSCV is very good (good also at high fork travel speed). But I haven't found what type of compression damping is used in the ETA, ECC5, and Doppio Air (or "negative air") cartridges. Would anyone be able to explain? I would much appreciate it!
 

·
Keep on Rockin...
Joined
·
6,674 Posts
That's alot to ask....

I'm in a hurry now so I don't have time to post a detailed response. For xc forks the Marathons are top of the line. They use the HSCV damping and have ETA/
ECC. What type of riding will she be doing?

Mike

anden said:
Hi,

I am considering a Marzocchi XC fork for my girlfriend, and while I think I have figured out pretty much about the different springs and rebound dampings, I am still trying to understand the different compression damping systems they use.

I have understood that in terms of compression damping the SSV is basic (good at low fork travel speed), SSVF is slightly better, and HSCV is very good (good also at high fork travel speed). But I haven't found what type of compression damping is used in the ETA, ECC5, and Doppio Air (or "negative air") cartridges. Would anyone be able to explain? I would much appreciate it!
 

·
mtbr member
Joined
·
455 Posts
Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Mike - I know that the Marathons are the XC top of the line, and which units the different legs have - the question is what compression damping those units actually have.

One reason why I was asking is that I want to know the quality of each leg's compression damping since I think it is one of the most important aspects of a fork, and I can't find that information anywhere at Marzocchi's website for the mentioned cartridges. If you, for example, compare a fork with two identical compression damping cartridges, one in each leg, with a fork with just one such cartridge and one with lower quality compression damping, such as if ETA or Doppio Air is such a thing, then I assume the one with two dampers would be superior due to the lower needed oilflow speed through the valves, and less prone to spiking. Same thing with SSVF+SSVF vs SSVF+ETA, SSV+SSV vs SSVF+ETA, SSVF+SSVF vs HSCV+ETA, and so on.

She is just starting mountainbiking, and will probably mostly do rooty and rocky singletracks, dirt roads, and a one or two races, at least in the beginning. However, I suspect she will get into this as fast as I did and given that I have an MX Comp Coil myself and that I have started wishing for better high-speed damping, I don't want to get her a fork that she will want to upgrade in the near future.

But back to those questions - what compression damping does in fact the ETA, ECC5, and Doppio Air cartridges have?

Sorry for the long reply.
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
7,032 Posts
anden said:
Hi,

I am considering a Marzocchi XC fork for my girlfriend, and while I think I have figured out pretty much about the different springs and rebound dampings, I am still trying to understand the different compression damping systems they use.

I have understood that in terms of compression damping the SSV is basic (good at low fork travel speed), SSVF is slightly better, and HSCV is very good (good also at high fork travel speed). But I haven't found what type of compression damping is used in the ETA, ECC5, and Doppio Air (or "negative air") cartridges. Would anyone be able to explain? I would much appreciate it!
you are confused, the "compression damping" is provided by the cartridge or damping system. ETA, ECC and Doppio Air are NOT damping systems, despite some mix-ups on marzocchis site. Marzocchi forks either use cartridge dampers, or they use some form of SSV. There is no compression adjustment other than changing the oil viscosity, but they most definitely have compression damping. With the SSV it is essentially provided by the size of the orofice(regardless of the speed), and with cartridge dampers (hscv) it is provided with shims that flex and open up an orofice depending on the size of the "hit".

An ECC5 cartridge has the ECC feature built into the hscv damping cartridge, so here you are getting "both" basically.

ECC and ETA cartridges are basically "lock down" cartridges that serve to lock the fork down for climbing or smooth surfaces. They do not provide damping, the other leg has the damping cartridge when you are talking about ECC and ETA.
 

·
"El Whatever"
Joined
·
18,874 Posts
Check this site.....

http://www.math.chalmers.se/~olahe/Bike/Front/zokesbomber98.html

It's old but I think it can help you.

Also, from the Zoke website....

Compression Damping

Compression damping is the oil flow resistance felt when compressing the fork. Compression damping is categorized in two ways: low speed compression and high speed compression. Low speed compression refers to when the fork is compressed slowly and gradually, for example during rolling impacts and rounded bumps. High-speed compression refers to the resistance felt during multiple, hard impacts and square-edged bumps. The Bomber's SSV system automatically adjusts damping depending on direction change and rate of travel. Therefore, Bombers can be setup very plush and supple and yet still resist bottoming.

It is better to be conservative while setting the compression damping because the spring offers resistance to compression as well. Too much compression damping creates a harsh ride because the suspension cannot compress rapidly enough to absorb large impacts. Compression damping is not a substitute for proper spring rate and should not be adjusted until the fork has the proper spring setup for the rider.

Marzocchi has introduced the new adjustable compression cartridges in selected 2000 models. Use the external adjuster located in the middle of the spring preload knob to change the compression damping. Turning the adjuster clockwise will increase the compression damping and therefore slow the compression speed of the fork. Consequently, turning the adjuster counter-clockwise will speed up the compression damping.

Forks that do not have an external compression adjuster can modify their compression damping by changing the oil viscosity. Although most riders will be happy with the stock compression settings, some riders may prefer a different weight oil to coordinate with rider weight and/or spring setup. Keep in mind that changing the oil viscosity will change the entire damping range and will affect rebound as well. See Setup Chart for recommended settings.

So... basically this is a mistery but I hope this info would help you out.
 

·
Keep on Rockin...
Joined
·
6,674 Posts
Jm is right on. See his post...

The HCSV dampers supposedly work the best and that's what is in the Marathon series. ECC is a lock down and will alter the compression and rebound damping through it's clicks. ECC is found on air sprung forks. ETA is just a lock down and is found on the coil sprung forks. For what you have described regarding your girl, and money was not a concern, I'd say go with the Marathon (air spring). Great damping and light weight. Good for xc. The Doppio Air refers to a positive and negative air chamber. The pressure in the negative chamber allows for a very smooth air sprung fork. I believe it helps to overcome seal stiction.

Mike

anden said:
Mike - I know that the Marathons are the XC top of the line, and which units the different legs have - the question is what compression damping those units actually have.

One reason why I was asking is that I want to know the quality of each leg's compression damping since I think it is one of the most important aspects of a fork, and I can't find that information anywhere at Marzocchi's website for the mentioned cartridges. If you, for example, compare a fork with two identical compression damping cartridges, one in each leg, with a fork with just one such cartridge and one with lower quality compression damping, such as if ETA or Doppio Air is such a thing, then I assume the one with two dampers would be superior due to the lower needed oilflow speed through the valves, and less prone to spiking. Same thing with SSVF+SSVF vs SSVF+ETA, SSV+SSV vs SSVF+ETA, SSVF+SSVF vs HSCV+ETA, and so on.

She is just starting mountainbiking, and will probably mostly do rooty and rocky singletracks, dirt roads, and a one or two races, at least in the beginning. However, I suspect she will get into this as fast as I did and given that I have an MX Comp Coil myself and that I have started wishing for better high-speed damping, I don't want to get her a fork that she will want to upgrade in the near future.

But back to those questions - what compression damping does in fact the ETA, ECC5, and Doppio Air cartridges have?

Sorry for the long reply.
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
7,032 Posts
Warp2003 said:
Actually no, that's even more confusing.

Prior to 2002, marzocchis cartridge systems were called "SSV cartridges", post 2002 they were called "HSCV". They are essentially the same exact thing, hscv is a little better, but it is 98% the same.

Post 2002, "SSV" now stands for marzocchis cheap low-end damping system. Looking at something from 1998 and reading about "SSV" is not going to help you talk about what they are currently calling "SSV".
 

·
mtbr member
Joined
·
455 Posts
Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Mike,

Thanks, and well, money is also a concern, but in this case if I would find that something's performance is significantly better then I will perhaps try to save a little more to get that. But as for the in-depth tech, I also just like understanding what's exactly going on, if possible.

Warp2003,

Thanks for the link, but actually I already went through that text. It is about the best I have read about a Marz fork, and I wish Marzocchi themselves would produce such detailed construction and tunig information for the curious customer, for all of their forks. I have assumed that the "cartridge" that is mentioned in that text for that 1998 Bomber is in fact a damper similar to today's HSCV, despite the text mentioning "Speed Sensitive Valving" suggesting what Marz is today calling SSV. That other text, from Marzocchi, is also good but it doesn't explain the damping of the units in question.

Jm,

Thanks for clarifying a few things. I think I have understood the lock-down features with the ETA and ECC5. Those features are just about rebound damping though, and don't say anything about those units' compression damping function, if any. I am not really sure of the function of the Doppio Air's "negative air" feature, but I think it's about compression damping for the fork's negative travel and thus hasn't anything to do with the fork's positive travel compression damping.

ECC5:
You are first saying that "An ECC5 cartridge has the ECC feature built into the hscv damping cartridge", suggesting that we are talking about an HSCV cartridge with an added rebound adjustment feature, no matter if the term "ECC5" refers to just the rebound feature or the whole unit. That's what I suspected - perhaps in fact this unit is just the standard HSCV but with the rebound adjuster at the top instead of at the bottom? But then you say about "ECC and ETA cartridges" that "They do not provide damping, the other leg has the damping cartridge when you are talking about ECC and ETA" - is that a typo regarding the ECC?

Doppio Air:
Any idea about the damping in a leg with Doppio Air? No damping at all perhaps, or is it too an HSCV cartridge with an added feature, this one called "Doppio Air"?

ETA:
So you are saying that an ETA leg doesn't have any compression damping, but only the rebound lock feature? To me, that sounds like a fork without ETA is twice as good as one with ETA! That's what I was trying to explain in my first reply.

Looking first at the Comp and Pro models, the non-ETA versions then have two compression dampers and the ETA versions only one? The dampers in the non-ETA forks should then either have bigger orifices or use lighter oil since there is two of them, to obtain the same compression damping, and by that they will resist spiking much better? I this really true?

I am even starting to wonder what is best - one SSVF or two SSV? One HSCV or two SSVF? By this logic the Comp non-ETA might be better than the Pro ETA, and the Pro non-ETA better than the Marathon S or even the SL? I find it hard to swallow, but in the absence of something suggesting the opposite...
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
7,032 Posts
There's too much there for me to try to sort out. I'll try to make some overall points.

Doppio Air is not a damping system, that refers to the spring mechanism. This is a typo on the marzocchi site.

High end XC marzocchis that have a damping cartridge (known these days as HSCV) have one cartridge, usually in the left leg. This will easily outperform any lower damping system, like SSV and SSVF. This cartridge performs both rebound and compression damping.

It doesn't matter how many SSV or SSVF dampers you have, it isn't going to make a huge difference in the performance. Having a cartridge damper (HSCV) does make a huge difference.

ECC (2002) and ETA (2003+) are "lock-down" systems. They are not damping cartridges.

ECC5 is both an HSCV damping cartridge, and a lock down cartridge. It has 5 positions, and the 5th position is the "lock down". This is to save weight and the other leg is essentially "empty".
 

·
mtbr member
Joined
·
455 Posts
Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Thanks again - and sorry about my questions being so lengthy.

Ok, I get it about the Doppio Air Cartridge (as Marzocchi calls it) - it is just a dual air spring leg with no damping. Oh, and I just realized the Italian word for double... And being an air leg I also see why there's no picture of that "cartridge" anywhere...

I didn't know about the '02 ECC (no "5" in the end), so I mixed it up with the +'03 ECC5 in your reply. So the ECC5 is an HSCV with the 5-step rebound and lock down control.

And so finally the ETA legs have no compression damping, or normal rebound damping either, but having damping in only one leg isn't making a huge difference.

Wouldn't some confusion be avoided if makers made clearer documentation?
 

·
beautiful noise...
Joined
·
321 Posts
anden said:
the ETA legs have no compression damping, or normal rebound damping either, but having damping in only one leg isn't making a huge difference.
I just bought the MX Pro w/ETA. One leg has positive air input with an external rebound adjustment. The other has a standard coil spring with the ETA lock-out mechanism. It is my understanding that the internal SSVF damping valve (coil side) is speed/pressure sensitive/actuated therefore it's reactions are somewhat dependent on the air side and how much pressure you're running. The two different systems (which both work independantly) seem to work very well together. Hope this helps.
 

·
"El Whatever"
Joined
·
18,874 Posts
As Jm said...

Damping does not depends on amount of damping units but the function of them.

Basically all damping systems are "speed sensitive" as damping in an hydraulic sytem is function of speed and viscosity. Position sensitivity can be achieved by the means of pneumatics (air) or various hydraulic pistons.

So, SSV, SSVF, HSCV and TPC, FFD and all other names in the industry are "speed sensitive". Difference is how each system reacts and is designed. Damping can be achived basically by a drilled piston or shim stacks (which deflect depending on the force applied - combo of viscosity and speed) or combo of the two.

HSCV differs from SSV and SSVF in a way that it's optimized to peak damping at high shaft speeds in comparison to SSV and SSVF... these later only differ between themselves in the way damping is achieved as SSVF uses a multi stage design while SSVF is more less the same but incorporates some floating valve and external adjustment.

Having two equal damping stacks on each legs does not provide the double of damping but just a bit more and systems are designed with this into account.

So my hat out for Zoke and Fox who had tuned their damping systems according to our needs. Manitou has to catch them up and RS... well... they should hire someone from Zoke.
 

·
mtbr member
Joined
·
455 Posts
Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Guys,

I have kept thinking about one damper versus two dampers, and there are a couple of things I don't understand:

1. If two dampers don't perform better than one, then why does Marzocchi put two dampers - one in each leg - in most of their forks? The MX Comp and Pro forks without ETA have two dampers, the Dirt Jumpers, 888, and many of the Z forks have two dampers. The Shivers and the Monster T even have two HSCV, according to Marzocchi's owner's manual.

2. The total suspension force is made up of the spring forces and the dampers' forces. If I remove one of two dampers, then one or more of the other forces must be increased to maintain the same suspension force. I want to maintain the spring constant, so therefore the remaining damper must take a bigger force. Since there is now half as many of them, its force need to be doubled. In order for that damper to have the double force versus speed relationship or damping constant, I need to either make the orifices smaller (SSV and SSVF) or have more or wider shims (HSCV), or change to a thicker oil. And if I do any of that, the tendency to spiking at high fork travel speed increases. In addition, the tuning might become more sensitive and thereby more difficult.

Where is the problem, if any, in these arguments?
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
7,032 Posts
anden said:
Guys,

I have kept thinking about one damper versus two dampers, and there are a couple of things I don't understand:

1. If two dampers don't perform better than one, then why does Marzocchi put two dampers - one in each leg - in most of their forks? The MX Comp and Pro forks without ETA have two dampers, the Dirt Jumpers, 888, and many of the Z forks have two dampers. The Shivers and the Monster T even have two HSCV, according to Marzocchi's owner's manual.

2. The total suspension force is made up of the spring forces and the dampers' forces. If I remove one of two dampers, then one or more of the other forces must be increased to maintain the same suspension force. I want to maintain the spring constant, so therefore the remaining damper must take a bigger force. Since there is now half as many of them, its force need to be doubled. In order for that damper to have the double force versus speed relationship or damping constant, I need to either make the orifices smaller (SSV and SSVF) or have more or wider shims (HSCV), or change to a thicker oil. And if I do any of that, the tendency to spiking at high fork travel speed increases. In addition, the tuning might become more sensitive and thereby more difficult.

Where is the problem, if any, in these arguments?
You missed several things that I said.

The XC marzocchis have ALWAYS had only one cartridge damper. This is the way it's been from the beginning. The freeride ones have gone back and forth a little, but 2002 they've all had one damping cartridge as well. The ONLY forks that have twin damping cartridges are the 888, Shiver, and Monster T. The Super T doesn't even have twin carts anymore. One damper has simply been sufficiant for the majority of the lines, and it's lighter. With two dampers you do get an increase in the feel of the fork, your "piston" area is effectively bigger, and that makes for a better damped fork.

The other damping systems, SSV and SSVF are relatively crap when compared to the cartridge systems. This is one very important point. This is why it doesn't matter whether you have two "SSVF" dampers, or one SSVF and an ETA cartridge in the other leg. It's not that much of a difference, and it's still going to mean that it's not going to perform nearly as well as the cartridge dampers. The thing is that at 5mph, or on the show-room floor, virtually ALL marzocchis feel the same. This is one way that they sell a lot of forks, including things like Jr Ts and the MX forks, but when you start going faster, they start to feel less like their higher performance brothers, like the Super T and Marathon. The faster you go, the worse they feel, whereas the cartridge forks have much better performance over a much wider range of speeds and situations.

Yes, two is better than one, but if say the efficiancy of a fork with one SSVF is like 10%, and with two it's 20%, the same fork with one cartridge damper is going to be around 70% when traveling at speed, in other words its a huge difference. Honestly, some riders do not ride very fast or very agressive, so for them the MX forks work and they never have any reason to believe there is anything better out there, but when you ride faster than a walking pace over varied terrain (especially rock gardens and places that have a lot of "choppy" features) the cartridge damper makes a huge difference.

It simply doesn't matter that much between one or two SSVF dampers, the damping system is flawed from the beginning compared to a damping system that varies the port based on the force of the impact, it's fixed, and the fact that it is fixed is what causes the "choppy-feels-like-it's-trying-to-break-my-friggin-wrists-off" feeling. So it doesn't matter how many you have, it can't "vary" the flow of the oil in the same way that a shimmed damper does, so it will never feel like one or work like one..no mater how many you have.
 
  • Like
Reactions: kraeMit

·
"El Whatever"
Joined
·
18,874 Posts
Anden, You're right on your arguments....

And at least I must recapitulate as I was confusing series vs parallel damping equations.

You're right. At least in a fork, two are more responsive than one. You can lower the spring/damping rate on each leg and play with it.... when it comes at the same design.

Now and as Jm said the newer cartridges are more complex than just shims and drills and have some other elements that make them vary its performance across the speed range.

Then, one better engineered cartridge can overcome the weaknesses of a twin damper arrangement.

Now the HSCV has a floating piston (which gives position sensitivity) and obviously actuates sooner or later on the damping... which eventually makes the system more responsive to shaft speed.

Even HSCV vs twin HSCV could work equally reponsive once you tweak the floating piston and spung valve.

As said before more is not equal to better. Damping systems are more than drills and shims nowadays.

**** edit ***** I'd like to see a production automobile to have the adjustability options of a MTB (brakes, suspension, etc.). We're riding state-of-the-art stuff compared to the automobile industry.
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
7,032 Posts
Warp2003 said:
**** edit ***** I'd like to see a production automobile to have the adjustability options of a MTB (brakes, suspension, etc.). We're riding state-of-the-art stuff compared to the automobile industry.
not really, "twin tube" gas charged shocks such as the romic, have been around forever in car-shocks...

We are really in the late 80s/early 90s with our mountain bike technology as compared to moto. TPC+ is a little closer to current Mx stuff, BUT it's not that different from a basic shimmed cartridge because both still operate on pistons and shims, just in different arrangements.

Take a look at the options on rally cars and other race cars as far as suspension...avalanche basically took existing mx ideas and downsized them for mountain bikes, moreso than any other company has, but that stuff already existed.

What I'd like to see on cars is a system of compression valving, probably computer controlled, that adjustes the rate of compression for a car that is going around a turn, thereby keeping it from leaning to the "ouside" of the curb, and allowing it to attain much higher slid-pad forces (Gs around turns) due to a more favorable center of gravity. It would be pretty complex, but someday it will come about.
 

·
"El Whatever"
Joined
·
18,874 Posts
I said production (stock) cars....

The rollover control you described was banned like 12 years ago in Formula 1. In that era, Williams and top teams were introducing intelligent (and adaptative) suspensions and gearboxes, traction controls and the cars had telemetry on-board wich means the team could modify the parameters of anything while the pilot was just steering. That's the closest to a full size RC car I've seen but of all those gizmos the only one which survived was the traction control (900HP on a 1000# car is harda control)

If we compare our bikes against racing stuf... well, we're in the stone age. But stock cars is another thing.
 
1 - 20 of 32 Posts
This is an older thread, you may not receive a response, and could be reviving an old thread. Please consider creating a new thread.
Top