Mountain Bike Reviews Forum banner
1 - 8 of 8 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
133 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Over the years my various bikes have, like myself, gradually been gaining a little girth around their midriffs!! Gone are the days of listing off to your mates what was the latest Ti addition to your bike, comparing Ringle bottle holders made of articulated razer blades ( bloody lethal in an off) and reducing the width of handlebars to the point at which I've seen longer bar ends!! Bar ends - Jeeeezz there's another blast from the past!!

The point of this is that I no longer seem to be drive by weight, but rather by speed, comfort and strength. In the past 12mths I've gone from Blur Classic to a Nomad and I can now never see myself ever needing to change to anything else. As everyone has said before - climbs like a dream and decends as, well you know. Over the past 6 months I've added 36 Vanilla RC2's (instead of 36 Talas RC2), Panaracer Rampage tyres (superb) and a Maverick Speedball post ( I urge everyone to at least try one, after SPD's the best upgrade you can make).

I'm now considering swapping out my DHX Air 5 for a coil. The reason for this is that kitted up I'm about 195 - 200lbs and am having to run the Air at c.270 psi to get 30% sag. A few posts that I've read seem to suggest that the DHX Air works best with lower pressures in the main chamber and although mine has been really quite good I'm sure that there may be better performance waiting just around the corner. So the thing is do I need to go for a DHX 5 coil or would a 2007 Vanilla R suffice? My LBS reckon they can get me either but say that the Vanilla may be the better option given that I rarely adjust the Boost / never use Propedal. Also the Vanilla is a third cheaper. A concern though is that having looked at the Fox website the Vanilla is not available in the right i2i length - can anyone confirm if this is the case? I'm sure that I've read that TNC has a Vanilla on his Nomad.

Is the performance increase worth the dollar for a guy who's really only into extreme XC ? Or should I treat the wife to a few nights away instead? By the way I'm doing Whistler this summer for the first time - a big trip considering that I'm based in the UK. To date myself and my riding buddies have only ventured as far as the Alps for long weekends over the past few years.
 

·
Lord of the Chainrings
Joined
·
2,925 Posts
I agree...

IMHO: the "logrhythmic feel" of the coil shock is far superior to the "linear feel" of the air shock. I, like you am constantly tweeking, dialing-in, and adjusting the bike(s).

I have done the same "upgrade". My Nomad was originally an air shock and now has a DHX-5 Coil on board.

My VP-Free has a 5th Element. It is super plush with the 5th. My point is: don't think the Fox has the only coil shock out there. Right now there are some great deals on coil shocks on the Santa Cruz website, and elsewhere.
 

·
noMAD man
Joined
·
12,227 Posts
Yeah, the fact that Fox is not offering the R in anything bigger than 7.875 might indicate an application issue for longer travel big hit bikes...or maybe not. The one air shock that might work on the Nomad and other dual link suspension bikes like DW and Maestro is the new Evolver ISX-6. It's a big hit shock with full damping control and no pedal platform. I have one and just got my spacers in at the shop, so I hope to verify it on this weekend.
 

·
Natural body armor
Joined
·
2,178 Posts
jmk75 said:
get a roco, it is only 300$
... plus the coil (no biggie if you go with steel, but expensive in Ti)

The DHX-A is a no-go if you are over 190lbs. I mean it's not the best choice...
I swapped it for an old 5th element and what a difference. :eek:
I went for a test ride last week, just with the typical settings for my weight, and I was blown away. After fiddling for few months with the DHX-A it was refreshing to just install the 5th Element and find it just right.

Now the thing is an anchor :madman: (but cheap, off the SC site) and there seems to be lots of better shocks out there (Cane Creek DB, Roco, Evolver (??? TNC we need pics!!! )) and so on....

The ultimate Q is "What's the best coil shock for the nomad for heavier riders (easy there... say over 190#) for AM/trail/do-it-all riding? Should I start a poll ???.... :rolleyes:
ZT
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
133 Posts
Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Right then, I have an update.

I've had a chat with suspension guru Tim Flooks ( TF Tuned)on which way I should go regarding getting a coil instead of the DHX Air. After discussing intended use, riding style and my , errmm weight Tim had a few suggetions. Firstly, go down the expected route of fitting a DHX 5 - Over here these are nearly $750 if you have it "Pushed" !! Option two was the Roco - recommended by Tim. Option three however caught my interest. I mentioned the Vanilla R to which Tim said you can't get one in the correct i2i length ( as mentioned above by TNC). However, he's offered to custom make one for me and "Push" it at the same time. And all for a very reasonable sum. He reckons he'll have it in the post to me within the week. Bloody brilliant service, but then take's to be expected from Tim!!:thumbsup:

Once i get it fitted and tested I'll post again to let you know what it's like.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
133 Posts
Discussion Starter · #8 ·
The new "custom" Van R turned up on Saturday. First impressions? - Bloody heavy in comparision to the DHX Air coming off the Nomad!!

After fitting the shock and taking it for a little run I noticed the following:
With a 500lb spring it felt too pre-loaded. With min. pre-load wound on I was only just getting 15mm sag (23%). I like to run the Nomad with between 25% and 30%.
The shock was "Push" converted to improve the compression and rebound characteristics. However, it felt over platformed and even with rebound set to full off the rebound was too slow. The result was poor small bump compliance and a non too plush feel.

So I took a trip to TF Tuned and they sorted it out there and then. The 500ld spring was swapped out for a 450lb - this has given me 20mm or 31% sag. Much better! I've had the rebound re-shimmed so that it is faster, but it gives me the option of fine tuning which it didn't before. Finally, they fully removed the pro-pedal platform that comes factory set on the 2007 Van R's. This has greatly improved the small bump performance but at no cost to the bikes pedalling ability.

All in, the bike now feels plusher than it was with the DHX Air, but with more mid-stroke support. I wait to try it on the more aggressive local trails, but I'm expecting great things!! If you can get one made to the correct i2i then this maybe the shock that the Nomad has been waiting for. It's cheaper than the DHX coil and does away with the parts of the DHX coil that you don't need anyway - namely adjustable pro-pedal, boost and bottom out control.
 
1 - 8 of 8 Posts
This is an older thread, you may not receive a response, and could be reviving an old thread. Please consider creating a new thread.
Top