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OK folks. Here it is right out in the open....

I'm really not all that impressed with this SPV technology.

My experience with this fast growing monster has confirmed my belief in you can't get somethin' for nothin'. While an SPV clad machine will "bob" less while pedaling, you do lose some degree of small bump sensitivity. Those of you who deny the loss of small bump sensitivity should take spin on a good old fashion, properly sprung coil shock. And come to think of it, that good old fashion coil shock pedaled OK when seated and spinning properly anyway. Well it did bob like heck when hamering out of the seat, but guess what!?! So does an SPV shock. I believe Fox has a rear shock with a nifty concept. I can't recall the name but it has 3 main modes: full open, spv, full lock out. Now that I could live with. I don't think it's a coil shock though. (Air vs. Coil. That's another post.)

SPV seems like a great way to spoil the feel of a nice coil shock for the sake of protecting me from the dreaded "bob". Kind of like a shock condom. Heck, I guess I'll at least be able to ride longer.

Now these new fangled shocks are not all bad. Don't get me wrong. You can back way off on the SPV and get a somewhat supple ride. I also like how tunable these little beasts tend to be. But I'd say the greatest gift of the SPV is not the stable pedaling platform but how they allow you to dial in your coil shock to become more progressive. That's the main reason I'm not trading my 5th for a Vanilla. At least not yet.

Now SPV on a fork. Don't even get me started on that one.

Well, I just had to get that off my chest. Now hit me with your best shot.

Mike


P.S.

If you want to taste some really cool success, play guitar, play guitar, play guitar.
-Melloncamp
 

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Hmmm

I disagree with you bud. I'm a die hard hardtail afficionado and after riding an SPV equiped bike (Manitou Swinger 4 way) I'm sold on the technology. I always avoided rear suspension because they felt like a marshmallow when sprinting or climbing but after riding the SPV rears I'm convinced that the technology is finally here to stay. The VPP designed bike is also pretty cool however one can use a more conventional and proven design with an SPV shock and attain similiar performance. I like XC racing bikes as opposed to big hit monsters.
 

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Some Assembly Required
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I would be shocked if....

I was able to find a shock that felt any better, in all aspects of riding, than the 5th Element. I am open to suggestions, but dang, it is great. My Slider + did take a'lil gettin' used to, comin' from a Zokie. But I don't have to worry about bobin' while climbin', & I always ran my Zokies a'lil stiff anyways. It could stand to be a wee bit plusher, but I can deal, Holmes. Like you said, no bob is gonna = not so plush. If someone comes up w/a fork that equals the adjustability of a 5th....it'll be the Ultimate. Wonder what the "new SPV does to improve the original offering????? Think I'll bust off a new thread.... :D
 

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Yep, the resistance to movement is what gives you better pedaling, but any resistance to movement is going to decrease the suspension efficiancy and sacrifice some suspension performance....you don't really get something for nothing, the closest you can get is the fox "invertia valve"....

I have a 5th element and a curnutt shock. They are both nice, but they both most definitely sacrifice some small bump performance for their pedaling efficiancy.

I'd rather have a shock that you can tune to have a pedaling platform for the flat stuff and the ride up, and a lever or feature that you can flip to take it "off" and return it to the "fox vanilla" type compliance. This is a feature of the Fox Triad, and it is supposed to be a feature on the new Fox DHX. I have a friend that has ridden the DHX (friends with a fox factory worker), but that is definitely stretching in terms of "how it will work". If it does what it claims I may put that on my DH bike in place of the 5th. If it does what it claims, I think it will be close to the "ultimate" in shocks, as far as adjustability.
 

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noMAD man
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Jm, did you see the MBA story on Stratos?

Jm. said:
Yep, the resistance to movement is what gives you better pedaling, but any resistance to movement is going to decrease the suspension efficiancy and sacrifice some suspension performance....you don't really get something for nothing, the closest you can get is the fox "invertia valve"....

I have a 5th element and a curnutt shock. They are both nice, but they both most definitely sacrifice some small bump performance for their pedaling efficiancy.

I'd rather have a shock that you can tune to have a pedaling platform for the flat stuff and the ride up, and a lever or feature that you can flip to take it "off" and return it to the "fox vanilla" type compliance. This is a feature of the Fox Triad, and it is supposed to be a feature on the new Fox DHX. I have a friend that has ridden the DHX (friends with a fox factory worker), but that is definitely stretching in terms of "how it will work". If it does what it claims I may put that on my DH bike in place of the 5th. If it does what it claims, I think it will be close to the "ultimate" in shocks, as far as adjustability.
I'd heard this thing mentioned around here a little, but wasn't clear on what it was until this article. This Stratos inertial valve sounds like a slick idea, but granted, it's just a magazine article. It alleges to do what you've been talking about--very stable from any rider inputs, but operates like a normally damped fork when reacting to any inputs from the ground. I hadn't noticed if anyone on the board has actually tried this cartridge yet. I know some have an aversion to Stratos, and it's priced at about $250. What's your take on this?
 

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noMAD man
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Your claim may depend on your bike.

Miker J said:
OK folks. Here it is right out in the open....

I'm really not all that impressed with this SPV technology.

My experience with this fast growing monster has confirmed my belief in you can't get somethin' for nothin'. While an SPV clad machine will "bob" less while pedaling, you do lose some degree of small bump sensitivity. Those of you who deny the loss of small bump sensitivity should take spin on a good old fashion, properly sprung coil shock. And come to think of it, that good old fashion coil shock pedaled OK when seated and spinning properly anyway. Well it did bob like heck when hamering out of the seat, but guess what!?! So does an SPV shock. I believe Fox has a rear shock with a nifty concept. I can't recall the name but it has 3 main modes: full open, spv, full lock out. Now that I could live with. I don't think it's a coil shock though. (Air vs. Coil. That's another post.)

SPV seems like a great way to spoil the feel of a nice coil shock for the sake of protecting me from the dreaded "bob". Kind of like a shock condom. Heck, I guess I'll at least be able to ride longer.

Now these new fangled shocks are not all bad. Don't get me wrong. You can back way off on the SPV and get a somewhat supple ride. I also like how tunable these little beasts tend to be. But I'd say the greatest gift of the SPV is not the stable pedaling platform but how they allow you to dial in your coil shock to become more progressive. That's the main reason I'm not trading my 5th for a Vanilla. At least not yet.

Now SPV on a fork. Don't even get me started on that one.

Well, I just had to get that off my chest. Now hit me with your best shot.

Mike

P.S.

If you want to taste some really cool success, play guitar, play guitar, play guitar.
-Melloncamp
What I'm saying is that stable platform is a bigger deal on some bikes more than others. I have a couple of different kinds of long travel FSRs that don't have stable platform shocks on them. They work quite well and don't bob much because of the inherent efficiency of the rear suspension design. I also have 2 Bullits. When you put an 8.5" X 2.5" Fox RC for 7" of travel on them, they are horribly pedaling machines. It wasn't quite as bad with the 7.875" X 2.25" Fox RC that originally came on one of them, but it still bobbed alot. Going to a 5th Element made a ton of difference on the Bullit. The bike is still plenty plush but can now be pedaled so much more strongly and efficiently. I think the shorter the designed travel of a given bike is, it may indeed become a little harsh with a stable platform shock. But on many of these long travel and especially big single pivot models, the stable platform is not as harsh in the small bump compliance area.
 

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I can't help with agree with you, Miker J! SPV is definitely the happening, "in" thing and there is no denying that it does just what it intends, but I haven't met an SPV fork or shock that I've gotten along with (possibly with the exception of a Fox Terralogic fork) that I would want to trade for my small bump eating fully Jell-O non-platform cylinders of squishiness.

'Course with the adjustable platform on shocks like the 5th and the Swinger, I can set the suspension threshold anywhere from here to there, but at what point is it set so low that they stop being SPV???
 

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noMAD man
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Did you catch that "standard air pump" comment?

man w/ one hand said:
Czech it out... http://www.answerproducts.com/ourtech.asp

But...will it fit 04 stuff ??!!!?????!!!!
Now to me that usually indicates a normal bicycle tire pump. If somehow that was true, that would probably mean a relatively low pressure and possibly a bigger volume. I don't know--I don't normally call a shock pump a "standard air pump". Maybe Manitou refers to it in that manner. Total speculation here, but I guess if the SPV chamber was larger and was able to operate at a lower pressure, small bump compliance might indeed improve. The "standard air pump" term may just be a semantics deal, however.
 

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Some Assembly Required
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The SPV Evolve

TNC said:
Now to me that usually indicates a normal bicycle tire pump. If somehow that was true, that would probably mean a relatively low pressure and possibly a bigger volume. I don't know--I don't normally call a shock pump a "standard air pump". Maybe Manitou refers to it in that manner. Total speculation here, but I guess if the SPV chamber was larger and was able to operate at a lower pressure, small bump compliance might indeed improve. The "standard air pump" term may just be a semantics deal, however.
has a "bladder" attached to the btm of the SPV cap. Saw this on ridemonkey a week ago.That may be the reason the standard pump would/will work. I know the new air fork Hannebrink is coming out with has such a large volume chamber in it you can use a floor pump to fill it. Here's th' link to the SPV thread on th' riddenmonkey...
http://www.ridemonkey.com/forums/showthread.php?t=91108 & th' pics.
 

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I think SPV works very well. Its FS I have questions on.

I demo'ed two VPP bikes a few weeks ago. The demo was on dirt and the trails were quite technical so it was a decent chance to evaluate the new technologies out there. The bikes were an Intense 5.5 with SPV and a Santa Cruz Blur without. Travel was about the same, fork was the same and the bikes were about as alike as you could get. I definitely liked the ride of the SPV better. Much better. I also did a long demo ride earlier on a Giant VT with a platform shock. Again, I was inpressed with the ride. Tomorrow I plan to demo an Intense Spyder with SPV.

My real problem is I am getting tired of FS. I have a custom steel hardtail and get many more smiles out of it than my FS (I-Drive so it is fairly recent technology itself).

My normal rides usually don't go over two hours and I just don't feel beat-up with the hardtail as others keep pointing out (whoever "others" really are). Yes, I have to hang on a bit in the rocks but that is more fun than just going for a ride. Picking the proper line in a rock garden or off-camber rocky downhill is so much fun and the HT allows fewer mistakes.

Its kind of like driving a sports car compared to an SUV. They both do the job but the SUV is so damned boring it puts you to sleep. I don't want my bike to put me to sleep. My HT keeps me awake. Really pumps up the juices.

Currently, I'm thinking of retiring the FS and switching the parts to a longer travel HT. Jay DeJesus has made noises about putting Eastern Woods Research (EWR) bikes back into production and I would just love to get hold of one of those frames.

To each his/her own. For me, the steel hardtail just seems to so much more fun and I ride my bike for fun.

Oh, I'm 55 so lets not go to the "it will save your back for when you are older" arguement. Staying active and in shape and keeping your weight down will save your back and you don't have to hassle with pivots and pumps and shocks and bearings and all the other baggage that goes with a full suspension bike.

So, back to the beginning, I think the SPV is more than hype and does a great job in improving the ride of the FS. I see no reason not to take advantage of new technologies if they can help and I think the SPV does help. If I was to go to another FS (I'm not totally ruling this out). I would be inclined to include SPV on the bike.

Confused? Me too, but its Friday and I've been riding every day after work and its hot and I'm old and tired.........................
Peace
REV
 

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Depends on your point of view of current technology.

It is still in production and is yet another approach to reduce or eliminate bobbing and it does that about as well as other things offered so, to me, that is current technology.

There are many other offerings but none seem to do the job all that much better, just differently.

In any case, I am very familiar with many of the latest FS technologies and do think that SPV works. Does it work that much better than the I-Drive? No, it does not and it has not tempted me to turn in one for the other. For many reasons, I would not go with another GT so I-Drive is out of the question. As I said, I am currently impressed enough with platform shocks to go in that direction. What seems to be overlooked is that I-Drive does not require a platform shock to work and its performance would probably not be enhanced by using one.

I think the most important part of suspension technology is a good fork and high volume tires anyway.
 

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noMAD man
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Well ain't that interesting!

man w/ one hand said:
has a "bladder" attached to the btm of the SPV cap. Saw this on ridemonkey a week ago.That may be the reason the standard pump would/will work. I know the new air fork Hannebrink is coming out with has such a large volume chamber in it you can use a floor pump to fill it. Here's th' link to the SPV thread on th' riddenmonkey...
http://www.ridemonkey.com/forums/showthread.php?t=91108 & th' pics.
Yeah, that makes sense on the "standard air pump" deal now. Definitely looks like larger air volume and lower pressure.
 

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Speedüb Nate said:
I can't help with agree with you, Miker J! SPV is definitely the happening, "in" thing and there is no denying that it does just what it intends, but I haven't met an SPV fork or shock that I've gotten along with (possibly with the exception of a Fox Terralogic fork) that I would want to trade for my small bump eating fully Jell-O non-platform cylinders of squishiness.

'Course with the adjustable platform on shocks like the 5th and the Swinger, I can set the suspension threshold anywhere from here to there, but at what point is it set so low that they stop being SPV???
Than you need to try a PUSHED shock. My PUSHed Vanilla R, has platform damping and is 100X better than before, in all cases.
 

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anand said:
Than you need to try a PUSHED shock. My PUSHed Vanilla R, has platform damping and is 100X better than before, in all cases.
Well thats just it: why do I *need* SPV? The inconsequential amount of bob my suspension demonstrates only means that my suspension is working for me.

If I were riding a frame that relied on SPV, such as a VT or Cake, then obviously I'd think about it differently.
 

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TNC said:
I'd heard this thing mentioned around here a little, but wasn't clear on what it was until this article. This Stratos inertial valve sounds like a slick idea, but granted, it's just a magazine article. It alleges to do what you've been talking about--very stable from any rider inputs, but operates like a normally damped fork when reacting to any inputs from the ground. I hadn't noticed if anyone on the board has actually tried this cartridge yet. I know some have an aversion to Stratos, and it's priced at about $250. What's your take on this?
From what i've heard, it's pretty much the same thing as fox's inertia valve. Not sure if it's the best thing for full on DH applications (but they are building cartridges just for that). By all accounts it should be impossible for the terralogic to "sieze up", but it has happened to a couple people, and comming off a drop that would really ruin my day. I also wonder about the high speed performance, as far as "opening" and "closing" with that inertia valve. I felt that my romic was pretty crappy at high speed because it felt like it wasn't able to keep up, especially after I got the revalve that valved the compression a little harder, it was like it had to "blow off" each time and when I went through really nasty stuff at speed it just felt like crap at times, so the high speed performance as far as how quick it can react with the interia-valve type technology is a concern. I not sold on inertia valve for hardcore DH/freeride apps...
 

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Jm. said:
Yep, the resistance to movement is what gives you better pedaling, but any resistance to movement is going to decrease the suspension efficiancy and sacrifice some suspension performance....you don't really get something for nothing, the closest you can get is the fox "invertia valve"....
You are half right.. The resistance to movement does give you your pedalling efficeincy, and that does slightly decrease ride quality, but only at low shaft speeds, like under 10 in/sec. At higher shaft speeds CV/t and SPV shocks provide a far lower resistance to movement than other mtb speed sensitive shocks. If you tuned a speed sensitive shock down the the low high speed damping numbers of a 5th, it would be wallowy, and blow through all it's travel on the smallest of hits. What makes this work in a 5th shock is that the position sensitivity allows for the damping to rise (mildly to radically, depending on your volume adjuster setting) to resist bottoming. So, by design, CVT and SPV shocks may ride a little harsher (and I mean a little) than a standard non-propedal type shock, but they eat hard hits better.
 

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Speedüb Nate said:
Well thats just it: why do I *need* SPV? The inconsequential amount of bob my suspension demonstrates only means that my suspension is working for me.

If I were riding a frame that relied on SPV, such as a VT or Cake, then obviously I'd think about it differently.
You don't need a SPV type shock. But if you are saying that you have not tried a SPV type shock that has impressed you, I say try a PUSHed shock.

For me, going to a SPV type shock has made me faster and allowed me to ride for longer. Best upgrade I have ever done.
 

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'hardtail' - there you go

toothpuller said:
I disagree with you bud. I'm a die hard hardtail afficionado and after riding an SPV equiped bike (Manitou Swinger 4 way) I'm sold on the technology. I always avoided rear suspension because they felt like a marshmallow when sprinting or climbing but after riding the SPV rears I'm convinced that the technology is finally here to stay. The VPP designed bike is also pretty cool however one can use a more conventional and proven design with an SPV shock and attain similiar performance. I like XC racing bikes as opposed to big hit monsters.
You're missing the point. His point was the 'platform' isn't worth the sacrifice in small bumb compliance, at least for his money. You say you're an admitted hardtail afficionado. So SPV makes more sense for you. You'd also probably like an NRS better than an FSR. But that's just what you prefer. His point is that SPV is just taking some of the 'squish' out of a coil shock, and I don't think you'll deny that. I fear what he says is true, and that's why I haven't tried SPV.
 

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R.I.P. DogFriend
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For an average weight rider, a coil shock may be more ‘plush’ and have better small bump sensitivity, but in my case, the Swinger 4-Way Air is considerably better than my Vanilla coil shock. I weigh 270lbs and had the stiffest spring available for my coil shock (#1050). I still had to dial in so much preload just to get the sag in the 35% to 40% range that the small bump sensitivity wasn’t all that great and to top it all off, the BOB was considerable in spite of the preload.

I have the sag on the Swinger Air is set at 25% and it has at least as much small bump sensitivity and is far superior in every aspect of it’s performance. I have set the SPV to have little to no BOB. I have the volume adjuster backed completely out and am getting full travel without any harsh bottoming out.

To state that since SPV is not for one’s self, then it’s not for anyone is, IMHO, not accurate.

The only useful service my Vanilla coil will likely ever see from now on is as a doorstop.

The shock and fork upgrades have made it like riding a new (and much better) bike. Here’s my before and after shots of my SPV upgrade experience:
 
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