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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
What is the 04 HollowPoint Expert, Manitou Black Platinum SPV Spring that came stock? (that is a mouthful)

Last night I was upgrading the spring to the firm spring and found no "booster spring" inside the main spring.

According to answer's manual, no booster spring is the "soft" setting!

Did someone forget to install the booster spring? Or does it come this way?

Mr. P
 

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they come that way. I weigh about 215 when loaded down with riding gear and I still have the stock setup in my Manitou Plat. I get the proper amout of sag and very seldom bottom out on anything. Either that soft setup works fine or I'm a wuss that needs to ride harder.
 

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Mr.P said:
What is the 04 HollowPoint Expert, Manitou Black Platinum SPV Spring that came stock? (that is a mouthful)

Last night I was upgrading the spring to the firm spring and found no "booster spring" inside the main spring.

According to answer's manual, no booster spring is the "soft" setting!

Did someone forget to install the booster spring? Or does it come this way?
I can confirm what Vecsus said. They come this way.

You are correct, the blue striped spring with no booster is a soft spring. I weigh about 205 w/o gear and this spring works fine for me. I've tried adding a booster (giving me a medium) and I've tried a firm without the booster, but in both cases, I wasn't using all that much travel and didn't like the resulting ride.

I think the soft spring works on the '04 Hollowpoint for two reasons: 1) IMO, the Hollowpoint rides light up front. I've had two other forks on the bike and in both cases had to use a spring (either mechanical or air) that was somewhat lighter than what the fork manual indicated I should use. I believe that Nate has made a similar observation in the past. 2) The SPV mechanism works better with a lighter spring than what you'd normally use with some other damping mechanism.

Kevin
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Thanks Vecsus and KevinB(acon ? ;-)

That is a surprise to have the softest set up. That must be IronHorse's configuration as I think the SPV version of the Platinum is unique to the HollowPoint.

Interesting point about the light front.

One more question for you as I am 185lbs so I am close in weight to you. What are your SPV settings? And are you set to plush ride as opposed to a tight hammering platform?

I also am noticing a "clunk" on rebound when I push my weight on the handlebars. Is that the SPV in action? Does your make that sound? Faster pushes results in no clunk. I ask becuase my initial forray into the SPV setting has netted me no difference from an 02 fork I have.

I've worked with an 02 Black Elite 80-100 upped to the firm spring, and then tried the Xtra Firm and that was too stiff and I lost travel. But upping to the firm spring I found tracking through corners to be much more consistent as the (Trek Fuel) bike didn't dive.

Thanks,

Mr. P
 

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KevinB said:
1) IMO, the Hollowpoint rides light up front. I've had two other forks on the bike and in both cases had to use a spring (either mechanical or air) that was somewhat lighter than what the fork manual indicated I should use. I believe that Nate has made a similar observation in the past.
Yep, that's my take. I'm 200 + gear and ride a flyweight spring and 100psi in my Manitou X-Vert Air, both well below what the fork's manual prescribes for a guy my size.

...and from a previous post:

I think I cleared it up. I spoke with Tyler from Answer tech support, and here's his story:

X-Soft is its own coil

Soft and Medium are the same outer coil, without or with the inner booster coil.

Firm is its own coil.

The inner booster coil can be added to both the X-Soft and Firm outers to firm them up.

He also told me the RTWD forks with SPV shipped with the Soft installed (no booster), and the RTWD forks without SPV ship with Medium (booster).


This last part pretains to retail forks. From the sounds of it the Hollowpoints came with a "Soft" setup (middle outer coil with no booster). I'd consider the inner booster worthy of investigating before springing for the firm coil.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Thanks Nate.

I read that full thread, good info for me.

The Answer service manual says what you said in regards to the spring levels. I am just having a hard time letting go of firming up the spring because I had such good results before.

Everyone replying to this thread had made the same statement tho: Lighter than usual in the front.

I'll have to contact Answer as I have the firm spring but no booster. I wonder how that plays out.

I will have to try the soft as recommended and see how it goes.

I'm still interested in the SPV setting from the other posters.

Thanks,

Mr. P
 

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Mr.P said:
Interesting point about the light front.

One more question for you as I am 185lbs so I am close in weight to you. What are your SPV settings? And are you set to plush ride as opposed to a tight hammering platform?
I played around with the settinga a lot last fall before coming the realization that the SPV valve wasn't working properly. It's not clear to me when the valve failed; it could be that it was broken from the start.

Within the past month, I finally received the replacement (warranty) SPV assembly and installed it. I did a ride with the new damper last weekend. For the first half of the ride, I used about 55psi for the SPV pressure. I noticed that I was able to stand up and use the bars for leverage with almost no bob. The downside was that there was almost no small bump sensitivity, though the fork did handle the bigger bumps okay. I had a longish rocky, though not very steep, downhill coming up and wanted the fork to be plusher, so I decreased the SPV pressure to 35 PSI. This definitely gave me a ride that was more to my liking. That said, the ride down that rocky hill was nowhere near as plush as that provided by my Fox Vanilla. It wasn't bad, but I still like the Vanilla better. Later that day, I put the Vanilla back on the bike.
Mr.P said:
I also am noticing a "clunk" on rebound when I push my weight on the handlebars. Is that the SPV in action? Does your make that sound? Faster pushes results in no clunk. I ask becuase my initial forray into the SPV setting has netted me no difference from an 02 fork I have.
Is it a topping out clunk? As far as I know the valve itself doesn't make much sound. You will hear the damping oil whoosh through when the platform is "broken". You'll hear a similar whoosing on rebound.

I have heard a rebound related clunk before. This occurred after I attempted to regrease the original SPV valve myself while waiting for the warranty part to arrive. I'll explain this failure mode after explaining how the SPV valve works.

If you pull out the damping assembly, the SPV valve should be open, i.e., there should be a small gap between the blue cylindrical valve and the plate containing three orifices below it. You should be able to push the valve shut and have it readily spring back. If it takes a lot of force to push it shut and/or it doesn't spring back afterwards, then the valve is defective. There is no mechanical spring inside the valve. The spring action is provide by air trapped in the valve. When you pump air into the SPV chamber, i.e. into the space between the oil and the top of the stanchion, the valve will close. The more air you pump in, the tighter the valve will be shut thus providing for more platform. The valve is submerged beneath the damping oil, thus if the integrity of the seal holding the air in the valve is compromised, oil will get in and the valve will become stuck. (In case it's not clear, there are two air cavities - the first is within the valve itself. The second, much larger cavity is in the leg of the fork between the top of the oil and the topcap where you pump the air in.)

When the valve is stuck in the open position, oil will move freely from the lower to upper chamber on compression and just as freely (if not more so) on rebound. (More so on rebound because the oil can utilize both the path normally taken on compression as well as the path provided for rebound.) Your fork will feel like a pogo stick due to very little damping. The rebound adjustment knob will do next to nothing. When run this way, the fork may actually feel quite plush on small chattery stuff, but will behave unpredictably over very rocky sections.

When the valve is stuck in the closed position, the platform will essentially be "on" all the time. If you work at it, you'll still be able to compress the fork somewhat, but this is due to the air spring formed by the air sitting above the damping oil. You'll find that the fork rides rather high and you might not be able to get as much sag as you like. It's not uncommon to hear a clunking sound; this is caused when the fork tops out. It's been reported that increasing the SPV pressure "helps" to eliminate the clunking noise, but I think this is due to the fact that the fork is more firmly held in the topped out position.

Either way, if the valve is stuck, the fork isn't working properly and you'll want to call Answer's tech support to obtain a warranty part. They made me go through my LBS to get it; others have reported receiving the part directly from Answer.

It could be that the noise you're hearing is something else, but if it were me, I'd pull out the SPV damping assembly and check to make sure that the valve is operating correctly. You can find the maintenance manual on Answer's web site.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Thanks KevinB for the thorough answer.

I think the noise I am hearing is what you describe as topping out. It makes sense as I am standing over the bike an not actually on it. So after I let go of the handlebars all of my weight is off the bike allowing the fork to top out.

I agree that I should check the SPV valve. That is the plan, when I try another spring, to check the valve at the same time. I have to try another spring, as when I have the fork over-sprung, I can then go back to the previous softer spring and leave it for good.

Great description on how SPV works. You sound like an SPV god. :) It reallly helped me understand the dynamics. I was under the impression that the special grease helps the blue part rebound. But now I understand that the special grease is special because it holds up in oil, creating a seal for the air.

If anyone else is reading this, here is more info:
http://forums.mtbr.com/showthread.php?t=58703
I noticed KevinB a contributer to this informative thread on working on SPV.

Thanks for all the great info, it makes working on technical parts like this much less stressful and a lot more fun.

BTW, your warantee replacement, was it the "Evolve" version? And it was still harsh? If so, wow.

I can't thank you enough for your time in putting together such an informative answer, including the trouble shooting. This will keep me going for a while, and when I speak with Answer I'll be much better informed.

Mr. P
 

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I posted a while ago about my issue which turned out to be a faulty SPV unit as KevinB described. Answer here in Aus "fixed" it, but I'm not sure if they replaced it or not. They didn't give the LBS any details.

Now the fork is more compliant, I can get sag, but it doesn't seem to rebound all that well, unless the knob is close to all the way round to the Less position (I think someone else has mentioned that the labelling is backwards). I've been using pressures around 50 - 70psi and I weigh about 150lbs.

So I'm not sure that I'm overly happy with the fork, it does seem to not bob too much, but I can only compare it to my 50mm travel ancient Headshok, which does seem to work better on small bumps though, and even though it bobs, it doesn't move much cause of the small travel.

Other people with this fork, or the similar Minute 1, seem to have better performance, so I think I'll still experiment with the settings (play with the volume a bit) and maybe give it another oil change soon and see how it goes.
 

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Mr.P said:
I think the noise I am hearing is what you describe as topping out. It makes sense as I am standing over the bike an not actually on it. So after I let go of the handlebars all of my weight is off the bike allowing the fork to top out.
Hmm. It might well make that noise anyway even when the valve is good.
Great description on how SPV works. You sound like an SPV god. :) It reallly helped me understand the dynamics.
Thanks! Most of my understanding came about from taking the damping assembly apart and studying it. DGC was immensely helpful in describing how to take the assembly apart as well as providing some good pictures.
I was under the impression that the special grease helps the blue part rebound. But now I understand that the special grease is special because it holds up in oil, creating a seal for the air.
Yes, exactly.
BTW, your warantee replacement, was it the "Evolve" version? And it was still harsh? If so, wow.
Yes, it is. It has the blue teflon O-ring which is one of the distinguishing characteristics of the "Evolve". The other feature of the "Evolve" is that a small hole was introduced to allow some oil movement at all times. (I didn't verify that mine had this though.)

When I had the SPV pressure set to 35psi, I'm not sure I'd characterize the ride as overly harsh. It's just that my (possibly undersprung) Vanilla is really plush and that's what I've gotten used to. OTOH, when I had the pressure set to 55psi, it felt like the Vanilla with the lockout turned on and the blowoff set to a fairly light setting. I definitely didn't like it.

It's also occurred to me that perhaps the new damper isn't broken in enough. Maybe I should've ridden it longer before switching back to the Vanilla... (But, I really, really like the Vanilla.)
 

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I run 40psi in the SPV and it works fine maybe a bit to firm for small bump compliance but fine when things speed up and start hitting things harder and small jumps and drop offs.When i dropped the pressure back to 30psi i could feel or hear a slight clunk when it was topping out?Put it back to 40psi and it was fine.I weigh 180lbs
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Thanks for the replies.

I too, have been reading a lot of positive reports about the Minute1 and the Black SPV that comes on the 04 Expert is basically a Minute1 with 10mm less travel and different branding. So I need to keep hammering on my settings.

I think I am just going to service everything in the fork, oil, oil levels, check SPV, try new springs etc. and see what happens. Most would think, "what a bummer", but I quit TV and now just have a beer while tinkering with the bike and listening to tunes. Your replies have given me tons of info to tune the fork to my needs. Thanks!

My neighbors wonder who the guy is riding the bike around the neighborhood at 11pm :p

I have put in an email to Answer to find out more about the fork settings. I'll keep you posted.

Mr. P
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Here is the semi-skinny. (It's raining and I can't wait...)

I took apart the fork. Checked the SPV rebound damper, changed/refilled to spec the oil, changed semi-bath oil, and added new "firm" spring.

Fun little project for the Friday night. Saturday I hit the trails.

- Doing this removed almost all of the break in sticktion of the new fork.

- The SPV valve works when pressed firmly up. It was in open position.

- The original soft spring had to be removed from the bottom. PITA compared to the usual swap from the top.

- Goodbye break dive, steep terrain dive, and cornering dive. I weigh 185 and the firm spring definately felt more consistent and I feel I can trust it more in these situations. Especially the steep terrain. I prefer to still have 100mm of travel left rather than 50 on the very steep stuff. My sag wasn't quite to spec by about 5% but I'll take it.

- The firm spring seemed to make my SPV function better. It actually showed up. I was able to feel some benefit when at 120 and had to hammer up short uphill sections. Not perfect but still only about 40mm of bob.

In my infinate wisdom, I forgot my shock pump, so different SPV setting while on trail didn't happen. I tried 2 full turns in on volume and 65 psi as recommended by Answer. Even tho I took some jumps and caught a little air, I still had 10mm of travel left that was never used. I felt it was plush even on the smaller stuff.

The topping out sound is most likely the SPV rebound damper having issues like KevinB wrote. I read that adding more pressure will eliminate the clunk and I have a call into Answer as to the effectiveness of SPV while this is happening. Evolve damper here I come.

I am going to try a higher SPV pressure, and will find out more from Answer and post again when I know more.

Of course the firm spring is my preference. YMMV.

Info I found out:

The firm spring can be used with or without the booster spring. The booster is designed as a fine tuning spring with any of the main springs. So firm + booster = firm and a little more. This worked perect for me as I fell between springs with my previous fork, Goldylocks like: "This one is too soft. This one is too firm." I am perfect with just the firm and I am 185lbs.

Bottoming out will not be near the top of the stanctions like my previous fork. There is about a 20mm space up to the crown when bottoming out. Pressure on the rubber stops will take some of that space but not all.

Synthetic 5w-40 motor oil can be used instead of the specced 5w-40 semi-bath oil. Sayeth the Answer tech support.

More to come when it stops raining :-(

Mr. P
 
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