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I'm thinking about buying a Totem but can't decide whether to choose Coil or Solo Air. There is some guy on Pinkbike saying that Solo Air has some "issues":

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"my buddy adam is having some issues with his air losing travel.. he talked to the RS guys and they told him that its common .. but fixable .. they said he can send it in if it does it again .. and they can convert it to a coil if he'd like."

"The totem coil is quite a bit smoother than both the 2 step and solo air fork."
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http://vpfree.pinkbike.com/bb/viewtopic.php?t=147332&highlight=totem

And Acadian in Pinkbike review writes the following about Totem Coil:

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"Totem Coil's travel is pretty linear and during my last few rides I noticed how quickly it goes through its travel - especially at high speeds. Feels great on smaller bumps, but on drops and high speed jumps it uses its travel fairly quickly. Using some high speed compression helps but the drawback is that if you use too much, the fork will start feeling harsh (spike) on big hits.

At one point I was thinking of tying the next spring up, but I highly doubt a stiffer spring would work for me. It might perform a bit better on larger size drops, but I'm convinced that it will adversely affect the small bump performance. It's almost like dual rate spring would work best - maybe something to think about for future forks? The Solo Air Totem might perform better in that respect, since air forks tend to be progressive by nature."
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http://www.pinkbike.com/news/2007-RockShox-Totem-Coil.html

The linearity he describes doesn't sound too good. I already has this same issue on 06 Fox 36VanR and I had to get a stiffer spring which in turn made the fork a bit harsh on smaller impacts. So the added linearity of Solo Air could be nice, but if it has a tendency to lose its travel and not feeling as smooth as Coil, that is not good either.

What would you choose?
 

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I chose a coil.

I'm on the threshold of a springs, and yes, it does feel pretty linear to me, but having said that, i've never bottomed it out - it ramps up quite nicely in the last 1/4 of its travel.

I haven't done anything huge with it as yet, as I haven't had the chance (and it wouldn't be big compared to some anyway) so its hard to say, I don't forsee there being an issue though.

I want coil for relibaility, as you said, there have been a few issues with the air, having just come from another air fork (66SL) and having nothing but trouble, I want the benefits that a coil can offer me :)
 

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I demoed a Totem coil on a Turner Highline in Moab for a day on Amasa Back/Rock Stacker/Jackob's singletrack. I weigh 190 and assume it had the stock coil (medium?) in it. The sag was about right, and the action was smooth and supple, but it was overly linear. I bottomed the fork at least a half dozen times that day, and I don't go huge. Out of frustration, I ran the high speed compression at the max setting for a while. It did not seem to do anything to prevent bottoming, but the fork was perhaps a little harsher at speed. I was surprised that their flagship FR fork would end up with its stanchion zip-tie stuffed firmly against the crown after pretty modest hits. And no, I would not want to go to a stiffer spring. I can get more sag from my 66SL and it offers orders of magnitude more bottoming protection.

I bought a Pike coil way back when. That too I found to be too linear and bottomed it too easily. I was not willing to give up my sag and early stroke suppleness, so I sold it and got a Pike dual air. Muuuuuuch better.

I know there are lots of people out there who say it is impossible to bottom their coil RS forks. That's great, and more power to them. I for one would not buy another RS coil unless they go to a second spring assist (MCU on the damper rod) or you could adjust how progressive the stroke is via oil levels (ala Zoke) since the pattern for me on coil RSs is pretty clear. Their air forks are great though, imo. Ymmv
 
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