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Kevin B wrote in this recent thread:
http://forums.mtbr.com/showthread.php?t=133004

I've gotten in a few rides on my '04 Hollowpoint outfitted with a Cane Creek Cloud Nine. I'm really amazed at the way the bike handles when there's significantly less compression damping at or near the sag point.

One of the things that I've noticed with the platform shocks (Swinger 3-way and RP3) that I've tried is that the rear end becomes ill mannered when descending rocky downhills out of the saddle. I think this is because with your weight off of the seat, it takes a seriously big bump to "break" the platform on a platform shock. I've found that with such shocks, you're frequently better off either just staying seated or at least maintaining some contact with the seat. (Sometimes, touching the side of the seat with the inside thigh is enough...) Anyway, since the platform wasn't broken, the path of least resistance, so to speak, was for the rear end to just bounce around.

The thing I noticed in my rides with the Cloud Nine is that the rear end floats better when truly out of the saddle. I gather that this is due to the fact that there's no platform to overcome. The rear wheel stays in contact with the ground better and I feel like I have more control over the bike. It certainly gives me confidence to descend at higher speeds.

I'm still experimenting with the Cloud Nine. I'll post more thoughts about the differences between the various shocks that I've tried in the future
And I think I felt this yesterday. I had upped the SPV to 60 and went down a trail with lots of small loose rocks ontop of hardpack. The rear felt wierd. It felt like the tire pressure was too loose, and that the tire was deflecting more than it should.

I am wondering if it was because of the SPV pressure. I am wondering too if my rebound was too not set right?

Kevin, did the Cloud 9 require modification of the shuttle to mount in the HP?

How did the Cloud 9 pedal compared to the Swinger with the SPV?
 

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ashwinearl said:
I am wondering if it was because of the SPV pressure. I am wondering too if my rebound was too not set right?

Kevin, did the Cloud 9 require modification of the shuttle to mount in the HP?

How did the Cloud 9 pedal compared to the Swinger with the SPV?
Hey ashwinearl,

A recent ride I noticed that my SPV front fork couldn't handle very small, wallowy bumps (like eroded horse prints) at speed. The SPV was set to minimum (40 psi). Otherwise it is everything else has been good. It's a fork, not the shock you asked about, but maybe the info will help.

I am running a Cane Creek AD-5 in the back and it is as KevinB says, the initial travel is quickly activated. And that works very well with out of seat climbing over technical stuff as the rear locks out pedal bob, yet it compresses nicely over obsticles. See my climbing report here:
http://forums.mtbr.com/showthread.php?t=133693

I think I may have a little more bob in seated climbing when tired and undisciplined.

The shock makes for a very floaty rear at speed over small obsticles. Still secure, but super active sucking up those bumps.

I would rate the quality of travel as high. (I'm coming to a quality vs quantity travel realization)

Mr. P
 

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ashwinearl said:
I am wondering if it was because of the SPV pressure. I am wondering too if my rebound was too not set right?
This could be, but I'd also look to tire pressure since overinflation can be partly responsible for the sketchy response you describe.

I've compared the dw-link suspension performance over the smaller stuff, like high-frequency washboard sections, to a sewing maching. I mean, you sneak a peak at the shock while you're rolling through some of that stuff, and it's just going bap-bap-bap-bap-bap in a really narrow range, eating everything up but not packing down and not kicking the rider off the bike.

If your rebound is set too slow, the suspension will pack down over something like this. If it's too little -- at least on my AD-12 -- it'll try to eject me over the bars on a bigger hit.
 

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ashwinearl said:
Kevin, did the Cloud 9 require modification of the shuttle to mount in the HP?
No modification to the shuttle was required. This is the primary reason that I decided to try the Cloud 9 instead of the AD-12. I didn't know for sure that it would work, but after looking at the web site's pictures for a while, I concluded that there would likely be more clearance than with the AD-12.

I first tried to mount the Cloud Nine using the same orientation as the Swinger, with the air canister portion of the shock at the front, and the shaft end connected to the linkage shuttle. This would have been perfect, but for the "Rapid Compression Adjustment" switch which is a sort of lockout. (I've pedaled around on the street with the RCA on and really do not like it.) When you compress the bike, the shuttle makes contact with the RCA switch. If you have it mounted right side up, it'd likely break the switch off. If you have the shock mounted upside down, the shuttle will turn the RCA switch on. If there were some way to remove this switch or if it were possible to purchase one without this switch, the shock would fit easily oriented as described earlier in this paragraph.

What did work was to mount the shock with the air canister end attached to the linkage. The shaft end of the shock is attached to the down tube mount. This is more convenient in some respects since the rebound and compression adjustment knobs are at the front making them easier to reach while riding. The down side is that it's somewhat more difficult to inflate the shock. (I'll try to post a picture later on...)

Oriented in this fashion, the shock just barely fits, but it does fit. When cycling the suspension with most of the air removed from the shock, the top of the air canister comes within the thickness of a business card from touching the shock shuttle. In fact, I used a business card to test this; when fully compressed, the business card becomes somewhat stuck in between the top of the air canister and the shuttle.

I've measured the amount of travel used by the shock after my rides, and I'm using full travel. Happily, I don't see any dents in either the air canister or the shock shuttle.
How did the Cloud 9 pedal compared to the Swinger with the SPV?
There's definitely more bob, though I'm not aware of it unless I look down at the shock. Whether this is truly pedal induced bob, I cannot say. I think I have a tendency to bounce a bit sometimes when I pedal. I see this bob far less frequently when using either the Swinger 3-way or the Fox RP3.

I recall times on my Specialized Enduro where if I crank really hard from almost a dead stop, the bike will bob terribly, using up a good bit of the bike's travel. I tried this with the Hollowpoint / Cloud Nine combo and this doesn't happen at all. The Hollowpoint is similarly well behaved with both the RP3 and the Swinger 3-way.

One of the things I've noticed is that the Cloud Nine is a lot more active than either the RP3 or the Swinger 3-way. The platform shocks are nearly still on relatively smooth sections whereas the Cloud Nine is almost always in motion. I attribute this to the lack of platform in the Cloud Nine. The small bumps in the trail aren't enough to break the platform on the platform shocks, whereas the Cloud Nine is able to react due to the lack of compression damping.

I do not yet know which shock is better for climbing loose, rocky hills. I'll do a ride soon on a trail which has some gnarly hills to see how the Cloud Nine fares.
 

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KevinB said:
When cycling the suspension with most of the air removed from the shock, the top of the air canister comes within the thickness of a business card from touching the shock shuttle. In fact, I used a business card to test this; when fully compressed, the business card becomes somewhat stuck in between the top of the air canister and the shuttle.
Just a heads up that additional travel is in the shock in the form of a ~5mm rubber bottom out bumper. That may or may not be an issue for you.

KevinB said:
One of the things I've noticed is that the Cloud Nine is a lot more active than either the RP3 or the Swinger 3-way. The platform shocks are nearly still on relatively smooth sections whereas the Cloud Nine is almost always in motion. I attribute this to the lack of platform in the Cloud Nine. The small bumps in the trail aren't enough to break the platform on the platform shocks, whereas the Cloud Nine is able to react due to the lack of compression damping.
My CC shock seems to blow through it's initial travel quickly and I wonder if that is a factor to the buttery smooth ride over small bumps.

Mr. P
 

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Mr.P said:
Just a heads up that additional travel is in the shock in the form of a ~5mm rubber bottom out bumper. That may or may not be an issue for you.
Thanks. Actually, I was already aware of that from one of your other posts.

I was able to feel that bumper when cycling the suspension. While setting it up in the garage, I went past it, but was worried that perhaps there was still more to it that I wasn't able to compress by simply leaning hard on the seat. So, I took it fairly easy for the first ride.

During the second ride, I did a wash crossing which consists of a 30 degree downhill that transitions almost immediately into a short 40 degree uphill. (Is this a g-out?) Regardless of the shock or the bike, if I take this at speed, I'll usually bottom out. On my second ride, I hit this transition hard. It truly felt like a hard bottom-out and I stopped to inspect the shuttle and the air canister. They were both okay and there was no sign that any contact had been made. When I got home, I measured to the furthest dust line and found that I was just a smidge away from the 1.5" mark. This seems about right since the actual travel listed by Cane Creek is 38mm which is just a smidge under 1.5".

By way of contrast, the Fox RP3 has a 1/8" bottom out bumper. I've never been able to compress more than 1/16" into this bumper. I'm not sure what the Swinger 3-way has for a bottom out bumper. I know there are rides when I've pushed the travel indicator ring off the end of the shaft.
My CC shock seems to blow through it's initial travel quickly and I wonder if that is a factor to the buttery smooth ride over small bumps.
For what it's worth, once the platform is broken on the Swinger 3-way, it too uses up a fair amount of it's travel. After riding with the RP3 for a while, and then going back to the Swinger, I find this somewhat disconcerting. You're going along fine, then hit a bump, and kawoosh, the shock sinks to absorb that bump. I think the Cane Creek shock is somewhat better mannered in this respect. It reacts earlier and isn't quite so jarring in its response.
 

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MMcG said:
I think Edge had his Mkiii comp with the RS Ario on it and he said it worked fine.
Rock Shox has a nice looking service manual for the Ario. I like it when a part is user serviceable and has good documentation. Actually, the Swinger 3-way manual looks pretty good too, but the service procedures require special tools and are more complicated than what I want to attempt just now.

As I think back on the Mk III related posts that I've read on this forum, I don't recall seeing any complaints regarding ill fitting Heim joints, etc. on the Ario. Wouldn't it be ironic if the higher performing and more reliable shocks were outfitted on the lower priced bikes? I'd be interested in reading about a head-to-head comparison between the Ario and the 5th Element shock on the Mk III.
 

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KevinB said:
Wouldn't it be ironic if the higher performing and more reliable shocks were outfitted on the lower priced bikes? I'd be interested in reading about a head-to-head comparison between the Ario and the 5th Element shock on the Mk III.
I have a feeling this is a good possibility, but it doesn't fit well with bike marketing and sales, I'm sure.

I know I have had some "off" looks on my Cane Creek shock from the bike snobs as they probably see it as low end. Then I just gotta rail em ;)

Mr. P
 

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KevinB said:
During the second ride, I did a wash crossing which consists of a 30 degree downhill that transitions almost immediately into a short 40 degree uphill. (Is this a g-out?) Regardless of the shock or the bike, if I take this at speed, I'll usually bottom out.
Thanks for that bit of info, as I think it will put my bottom out worries to rest... for a while. Heh.

I still can't get past that bottom out can be ok a few times a ride. Dunno why I have that hang-up.

Mr. P
 

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KevinB said:
I'd be interested in reading about a head-to-head comparison between the Ario and the 5th Element shock on the Mk III.
I would say thus far my Expert has been better behaved with the 5th shock than the demo MK III Comp I rode with the Ario, still waiting to give it a proper thrashing though, recovery from my knee op has kept me largely stuck to fire roads for the time being but so far so good.
I have been pretty interested to read the feedback from those who have run with a good quality non platform shock on the DW Link though.
 

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Thanks for the feedback!

Tenacious Doug said:
I would say thus far my Expert has been better behaved with the 5th shock than the demo MK III Comp I rode with the Ario, still waiting to give it a proper thrashing though, recovery from my knee op has kept me largely stuck to fire roads for the time being but so far so good.
Thanks for the feedback!

If you don't mind my asking, what did kind of testing did you do with that demo Mk III Comp?

(I'm wondering if the platform shock might make the bike feel better in a parking lot test, which, unfortunately, is all that a lot of stores let you do...)
 

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ashwinearl said:
Anyone have input on other simple shocks like the Manitou Qr, or Rock Shox Ario, or Rock Shox dual air SID. What about the Xfusion shocks?
I have a RS ario on my MK111, it works well. i'm 100kg and was a little concerned at first since it only takes 115psi to get the magic 30% sag for me. i also run a rohloff so the extra weight on the rear wheel may effect the way the suspension behaves.
It's very plush and it has bottomed on some harsh downhill courses I've ridden on it. My AC used to botttom out on the same runs with both air and coil, so i'm not concerned by this.
I have a cloud 9 in reserve in case something happens and it which i used to run on the AC.
I've never actually ridden a platform shock so i can't give a comparison to one and to be honest in my case i can't see the need for one. The MK111 cycles about 1-2mm when seated pedaling for me, standing up sprinting it doesn't move, downhill is plush plush plush. I'm amazed at how well the suspension works over small and large trail matter, it really highlights how noncompliant the AC was in comparison.
I'll have to fit the cloud 9 at some stage so as to gauge which shock i prefer, when i do i'll put a comparison together.i may try to borrow a swinger also just to see how they compare.
 

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KevinB said:
Thanks for the feedback!

If you don't mind my asking, what did kind of testing did you do with that demo Mk III Comp?

(I'm wondering if the platform shock might make the bike feel better in a parking lot test, which, unfortunately, is all that a lot of stores let you do...)
I work for the store so it was a proper demo! Couple of laps of the World Cup XC course at Fort William which is pretty gnarly, taken it for more car park test than I can remember too! Like I said, ride time on the platform shock shock on the Expert has been pretty tame so far but no complaints, it has been pretty well behaved. Should hopefully start easing myself into some proper riding over the next couple of weeks so looking forward to seeing how it compares on some terrain a bit more similar to what I rode the Comp on.
 

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Thanks again!

Tenacious Doug said:
Should hopefully start easing myself into some proper riding over the next couple of weeks so looking forward to seeing how it compares on some terrain a bit more similar to what I rode the Comp on.
Report back when you do! I'll be interested to see how you think they compare...
 

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Picture...

KevinB said:
What did work was to mount the shock with the air canister end attached to the linkage. The shaft end of the shock is attached to the down tube mount. This is more convenient in some respects since the rebound and compression adjustment knobs are at the front making them easier to reach while riding. The down side is that it's somewhat more difficult to inflate the shock. (I'll try to post a picture later on...)
Here's a picture showing the orientation that works. I've ridden the bike several more times since I last posted and have had no trouble with this orientation.
 

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