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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have a 2020 Marin Rift Zone 2 (29). It came with a Rockshox Deluxe Select R, which only has rebound adjustment besides the air pressure.

I'm not unhappy with the shock, but I have been wondering if a higher end shock would be significantly better. What do you think?
FWIW I upgraded the stock fork to a 2019 Pike RC (takeoff) almost right away. I mostly ride pretty tame midwest trails, but with a couple trips to better places mixed in (like Colorado or Moab, for example). And to save you having to do research to answer my speculative question, I've included the Marin leverage chart.
Rectangle Slope Font Plot Parallel
 

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The biggest change you will see is adjustability. With an upgrade you will gain the ability to adjust low speed compression and a pedal platform/lockout to limit movement while climbing. Your bike has a pretty standard progression for 130mm bike, slightly less progressive from sag to full travel than some which, if your an aggressive rider, may require you to run additional volume spacers to control bottoming.

Assuming you are in the normal weight range that shocks are tuned as a default (generally about 160-200 pounds), I would expect a "better" shock to be a bit plusher on chatter and allow a little more control over you personal setup. A night and day difference, probably not, but a moderate upgrade. If it were me and I were to replace the shock, I would get a Manitou Mara (non-pro).

All that said, if you are itching for an upgrade to your bike, I would put the money first towards a wheel upgrade. Dropping 200+ grams from your wheels makes a significant change in how a bike feels.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks! I will probably hold off then until I really feel it's necessary.

I'm halfway through a wheel upgrade (the stock rear hub had some issues so I built that wheel first), Hope Pro4 hubs and e13 rims. Not my first choice in components but they seem OK. The new rear wheel with my tire was lighter than the old rear wheel without a tire. Am just waiting on a new rotor and adapter for the front (brakes were also upgraded to TRP Slate, btw).
 
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