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Because the rear shock carries the majority of the weight and can have a factor of 10 more damping than the fork.

This means small mis-matches in the rear can become big problems.
So what you’re saying is it depends 🙄
 

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So this idea that the added weight of a coil spring makes a bike ride poorly, I’m just not down with that.

What is 10oz added to your front end in the greater scheme of things? It’s literally the difference between a Fox 36 and a Fox 34, but do you hear people complaining about riding the “heavy“ Fox 36?

Like one poster wrote: if you’re worried about the additional weight of a coil, “you’re trails aren’t steep enough”... or you need to ride faster.

Case in point, watch the pros do whip offs on DH bikes and you won’t see the bike weight hold them back.

But yeah, if you’re weight conscious, then this thread is not for you.

Like Dougal suggested, the wrong shock, coil or air is magnified in comparison to a fork.

It’s an interesting discussion for sure, pros and cons on both sides. For me, the biggest pros for either:

Coils springs don’t care about weather or air pressure.
Air springs are infinitely adjustable.
 

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Coil forks I've ridden don't feel supportive enough for me. Rode a Push converted 36 that was tuned for someone who weighs 5lbs less than me and it would just blow through the travel until it hit the air bumper or whatever Push calls it. You can feel it hit that air bumper and it had a sharp change in support. In rough terrain you'd be constantly in the air bumper, which felt like just moving the stiction around. Sure the fork was super supple pedaling around on flat terrain but felt awful when pushing it. I'm not totally writing off coil forks but nothing about riding them has made me want to invest in one yet.
 

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Coil forks I've ridden don't feel supportive enough for me. Rode a Push converted 36 that was tuned for someone who weighs 5lbs less than me and it would just blow through the travel until it hit the air bumper or whatever Push calls it. You can feel it hit that air bumper and it had a sharp change in support. In rough terrain you'd be constantly in the air bumper, which felt like just moving the stiction around. Sure the fork was super supple pedaling around on flat terrain but felt awful when pushing it. I'm not totally writing off coil forks but nothing about riding them has made me want to invest in one yet.
That sounds less like a coil problem and more like a tune problem. Maybe you needed a firmer coil which unfortunately options seem limited. Maybe the spring was correct but the tune was way to soft.
 

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That sounds less like a coil problem and more like a tune problem. Maybe you needed a firmer coil which unfortunately options seem limited. Maybe the spring was correct but the tune was way to soft.
That's very possible but the experience made me even more hesitant to invest in a coil fork when I know I can tune the spring rate and bottom out resistance in my air fork to whatever I want. Also, apparently I'm weird because I don't really like a fork that's soft in the initial part of the travel. I loved the revamped 2021 debonair air spring design that everyone complains about being firm off the top. I think a coil would be great for slow tech when you want the fork to move through its initial travel easily though (that's the only situation I don't care for the new debonair).
 

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That's very possible but the experience made me even more hesitant to invest in a coil fork when I know I can tune the spring rate and bottom out resistance in my air fork to whatever I want. Also, apparently I'm weird because I don't really like a fork that's soft in the initial part of the travel. I loved the revamped 2021 debonair air spring design that everyone complains about being firm off the top. I think a coil would be great for slow tech when you want the fork to move through its initial travel easily though (that's the only situation I don't care for the new debonair).
A spring, whether made of air or steel, is still a spring, so you gotta pick the spring rate that works for your weight and style, then adjust the damper to get the feel you want.

Saying you don't like coil sprung fork because one fork you tries wasn't the right spring/damper set up for you is fine, but to say that experience is a reflection of all coil springs is kinda silly.

This thread is about whether the greatest benefit can be found in a fork or a shock. In a sense it is also about what improves the ride more, but hey, where only human ...
 

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Interestingly enough, there are air shocks on the grid winning races in Supercross this year. Meanwhile it seems like coils are getting more popular in MTB just from the volume of posts about them.
 

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Interestingly enough, there are air shocks on the grid winning races in Supercross this year. Meanwhile it seems like coils are getting more popular in MTB just from the volume of posts about them.
I have noticed that air shocks are a lot more popular in the EWS than coils. I haven't heard much talk about as to why though (although I could guess). Coils do seem really popular among consumers though, especially on this forum. Personally, I haven't felt the need to run my coil shock outside of actual DH trails and I've ran my air shock for the last 8-10 months.
 

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Interestingly enough, there are air shocks on the grid winning races in Supercross this year. Meanwhile it seems like coils are getting more popular in MTB just from the volume of posts about them.
I think the progressive spring and pop you get from an air shock would be a decent advantage in supercross rhythm sections. Not so much in motocross.

Switching from motocross to mtb I wasn't truly happy with any suspension I tried. I figured I was expecting to much on a bicycle. That is until I put a coil shock on my bike and the feel was instantly familiar. There's a smooth predictable feeling I get with the coil shock rather than feeling sticky and harsh no matter how firm or soft I set it up.

Haven't tried a coil fork yet on a mtb.
 

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Just because a piece of suspension performs "better" mechanically, doesn't mean there is a performance improvement while riding. In this case, it significantly changes the performance of the product because of the inherent physical characteristics. I personally am not looking for a fork to have better small bump performance, have more "plow" ability, or be more linear.

I like a super poppy fork, I like to bump jump off little trail features, and I also like significant progressivity in the bottom 1/3 of the fork stroke. For me, an air fork performs better on the trail, while being lighter as well.
 

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Interestingly enough, there are air shocks on the grid winning races in Supercross this year. Meanwhile it seems like coils are getting more popular in MTB just from the volume of posts about them.
Coil shocks have far outsold air in my shop, and we can hardly keep up with stock of Vorspsrung smashpot kits. So the renewed popularity is real, even outside of forums as they are more requested by customers as opposed to me trying to sell them on it

Also, the notion that coil springs inherently lack "pop" isn't totally accurate, with the appropriate spring they will have plenty of pop. If they don't it's because they aren't sprung correctly or have too much or too little damping.
 

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I think the progressive spring and pop you get from an air shock would be a decent advantage in supercross rhythm sections. Not so much in motocross.

Switching from motocross to mtb I wasn't truly happy with any suspension I tried. I figured I was expecting to much on a bicycle. That is until I put a coil shock on my bike and the feel was instantly familiar. There's a smooth predictable feeling I get with the coil shock rather than feeling sticky and harsh no matter how firm or soft I set it up.

Haven't tried a coil fork yet on a mtb.
I actually get that. I came from track/racing motorcycles as well. Although pavement, not dirt. While suspension concepts make sense to me, I haven't quite figured out how to dial in my air suspension yet. Though I also haven't been a good student and have committed to fully understanding how to tune it this riding season. Even stupid stuff like we never measured sag on my race bikes once I got faster. Pre-load was used to adjust geometry, or we would go up or down in springs and change valving. But sag had nothing to do with anything at race pace. Whereas with MTB, that's obviously not the case.

I think I'll end up on a coil setup eventually, but I need my knowledge to catch up first before I make the leap. Otherwise I could just be tossing something on the bike and not really understanding how to take advantage of it.
 

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My first experience w/ coil shock was on a '19 Reign Adv 0...

Even w/ a coil shock that bike was great at pedaling up hill.

Unfortunately a top tube that felt shorter than the numbers suggested meant I swapped all the blingy parts (incl. coil shock) over to a '20 Giant Reign Adv 1'.

The slightly short '0' was sold.

I love how the coil performs going downhill.

Instead of worrying about what the rear end will do at any given moment, you can rest assured that your rear wheel will track and remain glued to the ground.

The Reign 1 has a Fox 36 Grip 2 at 170mm travel which just works and I don't have to worry about it's performance.

This particular coil shock has a remote controlled lockout, so the uphills ain't so bad.

I'm so smitten with coil shocks, I'm popping a Marzocchi Bomber CR on my FS 29er.

The DPX2 to be replaced, I've never really got along with.

I think us Clyde's (I'm 245lb's in the shower) struggle with air, or at least I have.

Trying to get correct sag, you're maxing out air pressures.

If you run greater sag, you're bottoming out and lack the support you need.

If the price of coils were a little more palatable, I suspect they'd be more popular.

Sent from my HD1900 using Tapatalk
 

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I have noticed that air shocks are a lot more popular in the EWS than coils. I haven't heard much talk about as to why though (although I could guess). Coils do seem really popular among consumers though, especially on this forum. Personally, I haven't felt the need to run my coil shock outside of actual DH trails and I've ran my air shock for the last 8-10 months.
My guess was sponsor reasons personally. I would be curious to see if people were running coil conversions in their forks. I've already noticed people blacking out brand names on some of the gear/products they are using.

At the same time, if you have a dedicated crew tuning your suspension for every round. You can probably get whatever you want out of each setup I would think.
 

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My guess was sponsor reasons personally. I would be curious to see if people were running coil conversions in their forks. I've already noticed people blacking out brand names on some of the gear/products they are using.

At the same time, if you have a dedicated crew tuning your suspension for every round. You can probably get whatever you want out of each setup I would think.
Both of the major suspension brands make coil shocks. I doubt they're forcing racers to not use their coil shocks.
 

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Is anyone making a progressive coil spring fork yet?
I don't know, a coil spring/air combo is kinda like that: EXT ERA.

I'd like to see light weight springs and smaller diameter stanchion options.

Imagine something like a Fox 34 coil sprung fork, 1900-2000gm.

I would totally buy a lightweight coil spring even if it meant replacing it every year.
 

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Both of the major suspension brands make coil shocks. I doubt they're forcing racers to not use their coil shocks.
The frame manufacture might be forcing the rider to use air because most don't spec a coil shock on their mass produced frames.

A lot of it might also be familiarity. For someone who's only ridden air shocks a coil might feel terrible. For racing I'm not sure if there's much, if any time to be found with air vs coil. Whatever the rider is most accustomed to is likely what they'll go fastest on. Confidence that your equipment does exactly what you expect it to is a massive part of being fast at the top level. Even if your bike is "faster" on paper if the rider can't get a feel for it they'll end up being slower.
 

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Only speaking from experience. 31 years on mtb, needless to say, a lot has changed! I've been on both air and coil front and rear. Now that bike frames are made from very lightweight materials, the "added" weight of coil is nothing to fuse about.

The increased quality of the ride with properly sized and set up coil has already been said enough. The Santa Cruz 5010cc (V.1) is now graced with a CaneCreek inline coil and CaneCreek Helm coil. I see no purpose for air suspension for me at this point. And, the tendonitis in my elbow is not early as aggravated as with the air fork!!!
 
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