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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Long winded and poorly thought out but here goes............

I'm hoping someone with a good bit of suspension knowledge can explain to me what I'm looking for in a rear suspension system?

It is extremely difficult for me to find a company/frame/bike suspension type that I like. Just recently I had a Norco Fluid LT (horst link). I was pretty happy with it after a lot of tweaking but it wasn't perfect. I figured I would step up and get a Norco Range. I figured it must ride similar but with better angles, more travel and a stiffer frame.

Well the angles and frame are better but the rear suspension action is worse. I'm thinking this is due to the refinement Norco did to the horst link to add in some pedalling performance and then also added a boost valved shock. I find the rear end not compliant at all. The small bump compliance is choppy and the big hit performance is not progressive. So my next step is to take the shock in to get the boost pressure reduced, although I have run a DHX air with minimal boost pressure on the bike with little improvement.

Today I parking lot tested a Devinci Dixon (split pivot). This bike has less travel than the Range or Fluid but the rear suspension felt perfect to me. By that I mean riding off curbs and stairs the rear end hugs the ground and feels like it fell comfortably in to drops, the opposite of the Range.

Back to my my original question... What should I be looking for in a rear suspension system? Obviously I can't test ride every bike out there. I think back to bikes I used to own where I felt the rear suspension fit my preferences. They were, an original Cannondale Jekyll and Prophet MX. The only comparison I can make between these two and the Devinci is the main pivot is in a similar location and they are all single pivots. Do those things have particular characteristics I should specifically be looking for?
 

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Since you already own the bike and you like the geometry, why not try a different shock? I personally think a coil shock is worth the weight penalty on a 160mm bike. This goes double for a suspension design that has anti-squat characteristics. You might also try a needle bearing kit for the shock eyelets. You might be surprised at how much of a difference both can make.
 

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I think back to bikes I used to own where I felt the rear suspension fit my preferences. They were, an original Cannondale Jekyll and Prophet MX. The only comparison I can make between these two and the Devinci is the main pivot is in a similar location and they are all single pivots. Do those things have particular characteristics I should specifically be looking for?

Yes they have particular characteristics.

Done correctly, single pivots can have rising rates, that taper off for use with air shocks.

Rising rates that ramp slightly, then fall away slightly, giving good small bump compliance, excellent mid stroke support, and use full travel without blowing all the way to the bottom easily.

Additionally by placing the swing arm pivot as they have done, often builds in anti squat to provide balance between pedal bob and excess squat. Also, the pivot location helps determine, the proper axle path, which can many times be more important than all the linkage fluff you read about.

As you have found, some bikes don't work for some riders under certain conditions. What you can not come to terms with others embrace. Mentally if you are not convinced the bike works for you, it will show in your riding.

As mentioned research possible alternative shock setups. Before jumping in though, ask good questions to those not selling you something. Suspension is an individual choice, you and you alone need to find what's best.

PK
 

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This goes double for a suspension design that has anti-squat characteristics.
Interesting comment.

Often coil shocks are referenced to rising rate suspension and not for falling rates which work better for air shocks.

Not complaining, or bashing, just wondering.

PK
 

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Interesting comment.

Often coil shocks are referenced to rising rate suspension and not for falling rates which work better for air shocks.

Not complaining, or bashing, just wondering.

PK
I am referring to designs that use chain tension to resist bobbing. The most notable being VPP and DW link. These designs don't really need a shock with a pedal platform or a great deal of low speed compression. The leverage rate can be rising or falling as that is entirely independent. There are coil shocks that are more and less progressive so some will be a better choice for a given linkage rate.

I have never seen a chart showing the chain growth for the newer Norcos. I suspect it is somewhat similar. I own an Aurum and I can say the design does resist pedal bob without relying on excessive dampening. This is somewhat discussed in the following review.

Bike Test: Norco Range 2 Review

This gets back to why I recommend the OP try a different shock. If you have a design that resists bobbing with a platform shock it can be too much and you will lose small bump sensitivity. Most platform shocks still have a platform even when it is supposedly turned off or in the lightest setting. It doesn't mean the design will never for the OPs preferences. It does mean he may not have the best shock for them however.

The OP could also talk to Push and see if they have a tuning solution for his current shock.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Mentally if you are not convinced the bike works for you, it will show in your riding.
For sure I agree.


Since you already own the bike and you like the geometry, why not try a different shock? I personally think a coil shock is worth the weight penalty on a 160mm bike. This goes double for a suspension design that has anti-squat characteristics. You might also try a needle bearing kit for the shock eyelets. You might be surprised at how much of a difference both can make
We have a professional shock tuner in town (suspension worx). I have had some work done on my previous Norcos. I also have tried the original shock (RP23) and a DHX air. Honestly I don't see myself buying a coil shock at this time. should be able to get something decent from either of those two shocks.
 

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1. You need to understand there is no perfect suspension system. just a balance of compromises, compromises that you may or may not get on with.

2. It's not as simple as choosing a linkage deign, there is too much scope to change ride characteristics, that there is no definite way a particular linkage design rides.

3. establish exactly what you want from the bike, where you will compromise, what HAS to be good.

4. easiest way, just demo as many bikes as you can. You might hit upon one that is just right or realise there is no perfect set-up.

5. is your shock set-up correctly?

I just say ride your bike.
 

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I am referring to designs that use chain tension to resist bobbing. The most notable being VPP and DW link. These designs don't really need a shock with a pedal platform or a great deal of low speed compression. The leverage rate can be rising or falling as that is entirely independent. There are coil shocks that are more and less progressive so some will be a better choice for a given linkage rate.

I have never seen a chart showing the chain growth for the newer Norcos. I suspect it is somewhat similar. I own an Aurum and I can say the design does resist pedal bob without relying on excessive dampening. This is somewhat discussed in the following review.

Bike Test: Norco Range 2 Review

This gets back to why I recommend the OP try a different shock. If you have a design that resists bobbing with a platform shock it can be too much and you will lose small bump sensitivity. Most platform shocks still have a platform even when it is supposedly turned off or in the lightest setting. It doesn't mean the design will never for the OPs preferences. It does mean he may not have the best shock for them however.

The OP could also talk to Push and see if they have a tuning solution for his current shock.
I understand your comments / reply 100%. Unfortunately, there is not enough time or space here to go into all the design fluff. There is far more to designs to get good suspension performance, minimal pedal bob and efficient pedaling beyond DW links, VPP, and platform rear dampers.

Thanks for the reply

PK
 
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