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Which shock option?

  • Float R

    Votes: 2 11.8%
  • Float RP3

    Votes: 7 41.2%
  • DHX Air

    Votes: 7 41.2%
  • Manitou 3-Way

    Votes: 1 5.9%
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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Hey there- considering the X-5 as my primary bike. I am looking at the different shock options, and am not sure which would work best for my riding style.
A bit of background:
Me: 225 nekkid. Add gear.
Bike: 19" X-5 (5 inch mode, not anticipating upgrading to 6" rockers, but,hey you never know)
Fork: Pike 454 Air UT

Trails: I ride mostly AH (all hill, there are no mountains in tejas!). The riding I do can be defined by quick ups and downs, with the frequent 2-3' ledge in there. I pedal kick some, nose down others. There is a lot of climbing, most of it technical with rocks and roots and the like. I like to get out for 12+ miles when possible, but usually only do about 7 on weekdays.

Options:
Float R (factory spec)
Float RP3
DHX Air
Manitou 3Way
Other?

My take for now:
The weight difference is inconsequential between the Float and DHXA.
The biggest issue I have with the DHXA is the lack of access to the air-valve, which I hear is a big issue until getting the settings all figured out during the first dozen rides. (http://forums.mtbr.com/showthread.php?t=205642)
Shouldn't the slightly rising rate of the frame keep me from needing real tunable bottom-out dampening?

Opportunity cost:
3/4 of GD seatpost
Bashring and upgraded crankarms
3 Sushi dinners for me and wifey

So, given the options, what do you think?
Are there factors that my primate-sized brain has left out of the equation?
Anything y'all want to contribute?
Thanks in advance!

EDIT: COIL shocks are an option too, although I hadn't really been considering it. If you are so inclined, just write it up (sorry, cannot edit the poll?!)
 

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The Bubble Wrap Hysteria
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3,807 Posts
I would do both a coil and air shock. With all due repect, at your weight I think you will do better with a coil. My weight varies between 195 - 205. I just picked up a Romic for my X-5 and I really like it much better then the Manitou 3 Way Air. In fact, I sold my 3 Way and bought a Float AVA which I had pushed. So I have the best of both worlds....I use the coil when I want to do the hard core FR and the air when I race xc. I know of a couple of people that have the same setup for their X-5s because the frame exhibits versatility.

If I had it to do all over again I would either buy the frame with the RP3 then look for a used Romic or buy the frame with the Fox Coil and look for a used RP3. But if you're considering a GD seat post then that tells me you're thinking of some urban assault or jumping? Bottom line a coil shock would serve you better in my opinion.
 

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I've got both a Romic coil (6" travel) and Swinger 3-way air (5.3" travel). I think I have a slight preference for the super plush Romic, but I've gone back to the Swinger again recently and I really like how it pedals and the weight saving is nice. The platform damping on the Swinger seems more effective. I'll probably try the DHX air as a possible upgrade for next year.

Adjustable bottom out damping will only be a benefit if you are into bigger jumps, where the rising rate geometry won't really have much effect. Some of the guys I ride with certainly need it!!
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
and the winner is....

Coil it is! For now, at least.
I will see how I like the DHX-C when I get my hands on it, my first coil shock.
I anticipate that I would get a backup float PUSHed sometime down the road.
Deciding factors:
1. "wallow" on DHX-A - as many have mentioned. Coming from a whyte design, I anticipate quickness will not be a feature of this linkage, and wallow would only compound it.
2. PUSH recommends the DHX-C for this frame (biased as they may be, they are gurus)
3. You guys - really made me rethink it.

I will probably try a Float down the road, when I can pick up a cheapo used one.
 

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I like the DHX Air. The spring rate rise permits optimal travel usage - responsive over the most-used parts of the stroke, with a bottomless feel for hits. An air shock w/o a boost chamber probably isn't as bottomless or as adjustable.

The RP23 (like my wife's) has an easy to use very effective propedal that can be set to pretty much lock out the shock if you want really stiff climbs, like a hard tail. Not as bottomless as the DHX.

Coils are heavier and more linear, but always get you home, (no stick downs or blown seals) and may be more suited to a 225 naked rider + gear + clothes (I hope). I haven't heard many stories lately of failed air shocks, even from big-uns. If they hold up, they are definite contenders with some unique performance attributes.
 
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