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I plan on purchasing an '04 Specialized FSR XC as my first dual susp. I am not too fond of the coil over spring which comes stock on the bike mainly because I plan to do a good amount of XC / flat riding.

I want a bike which will not absorb my ride on flat roads while at the same time being able to take on some rough single track with some small drops here and there. I was thinking of switching out the stock rear coil over and replacing it with a rear shock lockout.

When riding on flat surfaces, would there be a noticable difference in swapping in a lockout shock?

Would a normal adjustable air shock be sufficient enough?

-Confused Novice (steve)
 

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Actually your fsr with it's horst link is probably just fine with the coil over as it is. If you find it bobs a bit more than you like just tighten up the old spring with a turn or two.
 

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Have you tested the bike yet? The shop should let you test the bike one way and then swap out the shock for you for comparison. If they won’t, then find a new shop.

On my last ride I had a shock w/ lockout and never used it, except when it was new and I wanted to try it out. I found that the ability of the bike to absorb bumps even on fairly smooth uphills helped so much w/ traction that what I lost to "bob" was negligible.

And just to make things more difficult, have you considered stable platform shocks? They do wonders for making a bike pedal like a HT on flats w/out compromising its ability to absorb the hits. With a stable platform shock, there’s really no need for lockout.
 

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Depends...

ssaldana said:
When riding on flat surfaces, would there be a noticable difference in swapping in a lockout shock?
I ride an Enduro, and swapped the Fox for a SID lockout. The main reason is so I can get out of the saddle on climbs. Without it, it bobs alot when standing on the peddles. If you don't get out of the saddle, its not an issue.

ssaldana said:
Would a normal adjustable air shock be sufficient enough?
I doubt you would notice a difference between an air and a coil shock, given similar spring/air setups. Changing to an air shock is easy as long as you get the right size - measure the eye-to-eye length.
 

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If you're not racing

It sounds like your trail riding mostly, which is a great reason to stick with the coil shock. I have a Romic coil on my Truth and was hesitant at first thinking it might be overkill for the type of riding i do. Honestly, it was one of the best decisions I've made,

The traction, comfort and technical handling with the coil shock is phenominal. I didn't realize that my climbing ability would be improved so much by the shock as low speed bumps are absorbed and rear tire stays planted. So if you don't mind the extra weight that comes with a coil spring, then stick with it. Otherwise you'll probably find good alternatives with todays air shocks with stable platform.
 
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