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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm considering a new bike and live valve is an option. I've read a good number reviews and overviews so I understand it from a technical standpoint, but haven't read any longer term reviews and public feedback.

Anyone have it and what are your thoughts in general?

How is it on XC use?

Anyone have experience in having it serviced (cost and complexity)?

Thanks
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I should clarify... Yes I race. I like the efficiency of my hard tail but love the predictably and stability of my full suspension. A remote lock is an obvious alternative, but in the terrain I ride where it's very punchy,I could see how live valve could easily combine the benefits of both in a manner that is less distracting as a rider.

Cost is around 1500 above non equipped but otherwise identical bike.

I'm really more looking for user feedback and experience. I live in an area where demo isn't a viable option.
 

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All it does is leave ProPedal on, then turn it off when it hits a bump. Like a more sophisticated version of Specialized's Brain shock. I prefer a thumb lever so I can control the shock's firmness. I also prefer Scott's method of firming the spring rather than the damping.
Another alternative is to select a frame with enough anti-squat that you don't need to firm the shock.
Very over rated is my call. I still think the Spark RC SL with fork remote removed and thumb resting on shock lever is the best XC weapon.
 

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This is the future, whether you want to like it or not. My main concern is how fast it operates, as I have a hard time believing that you can keep from transmitting the impact with any delay, the live valve uses accelerometers to differentiate impact direction and very quickly open the valve with an adjustable threshold/aggressiveness. Maybe between that, you can fine tune it enough, but again, any delay IME transmits significant impact. For XC racing at the highest levels, it's damn near mandatory to have some kind of lockout, vs. unless you have a real shitty suspension system, it's damn near worthless on any other type of FS bike IME (such a marginal improvement to time and too harsh on any kind of rough trail).
 

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I've not used live valve, but did spend a few rides on RS/Haibike/Lapierres E:i System. it worked pretty well in the auto mode, which i believe is the same end result as live valve, if not the same tech. (was a few years ago so bear with me...). You don't really notice it working when riding it, it only becomes apparent when you ride something else, and you have to think what to do with the suspension, re lockout, what settings to be in etc.

That said, shock tech (and frame design related to it) has come on a fair bit in recent times, and i tend to find a suss setting i like and leave it there now, save for road work. Seems like the tech is 6-7 years late to me, but as i say, I've not tried the most recent iteration of it but it would have to be pretty big a revelation on a test ride for me to go for it.
 

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With sufficient anti squat, what is it even trying to accomplish? Just fighting weight shift induced bob?
In an XC race where you are mashing, standing up and sitting down, moving all over the bike, pedaling like a mad-man out of the saddle, 100% AS does not counter all effects, and as we know, going significantly over 100% starts to sacrifice traction and bump absorption while pedaling. Weight effects of your feet moving around in lump circles and putting down power strokes or lofting over something, etc...Having 100% AS is important to keeping the rear end from bogging when you hit the power hard, keeping the front end down, riding consistently over bumps uphill and downhill (not using an abnormal amount of travel uphill under power due to low AS). That said, it's far from an end-all. Judging on visual "bob" can be misleading IME, it's about what gets translated into forward movement. Excessive "bob" can mean less efficiency, but even with some movement you can have a very efficient bike and tuning out that residual can yield even better pedaling and power transmission, but it's elusive much of the time. Far more complex compression circuits that add weight or "platforms" that degrade bump performance are some of the possible paths, but most of the time, a lockout is a simpler easier solution.

A few nights ago, our XC race series, there was a steep enough hill that was loose where lockout was ineffective, would just make you lose traction, same with too much AS, would make you loose traction. Digging into that climb was perfect and let me save some candles. That was just one part though and definitely the exception, not the rule. Even on rougher climbs a hardtail can be better because there are hard edges for the tires and lugs to "grab" against, vs. something totally smooth. The bottom line is you aren't going to match the power-transmission of a hardtail without a lockout. While that's not a concern for most riding, for elite XC racing, it most certainly is. When you race against guys for 2 solid hours and then are just separated by 5 seconds at the end, every watt matters. The most hardcore racers (especially the younger guys) can ride with these lockouts on everywhere but the gnarliest downhills. Some of us can't take quite that much punishment, but still the benefits of being able to "lock" are significant when you are racing at high levels.

Lockout is the last thing on my mind on my enduro bike. There's no uphill race I'm doing on that bike.
 

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Elitest thrill junkie
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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Thanks for the feedback. I ultimately decided to go with a lockout (Mach 4sl) vs live valve. I can see the theoretical benefit if it works flawlessly.

That said, I'm somewhat concerned about servicing long term and cost, and that in conjunction with upfront cost was ultimately the reason I went lockout.
 

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Hi,

I have a Scott Genius 900 Ultimate with Fox Live Valve and it's a great bike, BUT...

As a heads up, I have had two warranty returns on the Fox control unit that holds the battery to the frame. The battery is held on by two metal clips that are held on by 4 small plastic lugs to the control unit. These plastic lugs have snapped off the control unit on two occasions and I fear for the longevity of the parts.

Fox have been good so far and have replaced the control unit but I was wondering if any other users of the Fox Live Valve system have had similar issues?
 

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^I haven't seen a Scott with Live Valve. Does this replace the "Nude shock" technology with 2 different size air cans for full or short travel? Or do you still have the thumb lever to control the air spring while the electronics manage the damper?
 

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A bit OT but maybe interesting to some. I was reading the other day the Ford F150 Raptor has FOX Live Valve suspension.

https://www.ridefox.com/content.php?c=livevalve-raptor
I always take those with a grain of salt, all too often, the actual technology doesn't trickle down and what we are using is so far removed that their use of the same term is only about marketing. Not to say they are outright lying, but it's like like the whole twin-tube fiasco. Trying to control damping via crude preloaded spring poppet-valves vs. twin-tube on off-road that has far more complex circuits and damping provided by main shaft piston. I guess my car has "Live Valve" suspension too...Interestingly, there are a couple generations of "active" dampers, even the active magnetic ones. I had the non-magnetic ones in a BMW and the reaction time was far slower and the general action worse. The GM-derived magnetic in it's recent versions is pretty amazing, licensed by just about everyone in the auto world.
 

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^I haven't seen a Scott with Live Valve. Does this replace the "Nude shock" technology with 2 different size air cans for full or short travel? Or do you still have the thumb lever to control the air spring while the electronics manage the damper?
Hi,

The twin lock has gone and the live valve controls the compression damper settings as you ride. There is only 1 air spring on the live valve system.

Hope this helps
 

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Hi,

The twin lock has gone and the live valve controls the compression damper settings as you ride. The is only 1 air spring on the live valve system.

Hope this helps
That's what I suspected. Kinda surprising Scott offers it cuz they're so married to their multiple air chamber/travel technology, which I really like.
 
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