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i've been running a DHX2 in the rear and i just picked up a fox36 with the acs3 conversion off pinkbike (grip 1 dampener) to try out vs. the fox36 w/ grip 2. Its a massive difference and does almost everything better. In my totally amateur opinion of course.
 

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When I first began riding MTBs nearly 7 years ago, the air suspension felt just terrible compared to the full Ohlins I came off of on my KTMs. Had good luck with Avy modifications in making bike air suspension feel like motorcycle suspension instead of Academy bike suspension.

But I swear between the Mezzer fork up front and the '21 DPX2 on my '21 Evo with some dialing in, I can hardly believe how good these air components are. They are so so good. They offer support, traction, progression, easy to modify, affordable & lightweight. I can still just barely tell that they have air seal stiction but it's so nothing now.

I added a high end coil shock and to be fair it needs more dial in time, but so far it does very little better than the DPX2 it replaced. It's not more compliant, it's not more supportive, doesn't follow the ground better, it uses too much travel too quickly, it's less adjustable, travel usage is hard to monitor, it's also heavy and expensive. Ignoring long term reliability/ consistency the only thing it does better so far is that it does absorb a really hard sudden smack a bit better, but in a way that's just the other side of the lack of support where it uses all of it's travel.

I still have high hopes (new spring on the way) that I will be wowed by the rear coil soon, I mean the reviews are outstanding from professional reviewers and forum posters alike. But I have yet to be blown away, as I pretty much was by the OEM shock.

I've ordered new shock hardware for the OEM shock and I'm going to swap back and forth and figure this out.
 

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100% agree with whoever said that a coil fork is a much bigger (positive) change than a coil rear shock. My own experience is based on converting my Ibis Ripmo V1 from the stock Fox 36 and DPX2 air shock to a Fox 36 Smashpot converted fork and an EXT Storia V3 coil shock. While the Storia is an awesome shock, very poppy yet provides great traction, the coil fork is the big confidence booster. The superb sensitivity of the coil means I dear to charge harder into off-camber obstacles, trusting that the spring will conform to the ground effortlessly, rather than deflect me off my chosen line.

As a matter of fact, I’ve just ordered a coil fork for my shorter travel trail bike, but will keep running my air shock.
 

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The frame manufacture might be forcing the rider to use air because most don't spec a coil shock on their mass produced frames.
And air shocks are apparently easier to tune, so if the damping is too light they can load the shock up with spacers and lots of pressure and it will "work". Even most of the pros don't have access to high level tuning services
 

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Frick, silly as I am I thought I got it all figured out by replacing my air shock/fork with coil.
 

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I wonder about that, why are there not tuning apps for iphone and android?

These things have accelerometers and you can buy very solid bike mounts, or just zip tie the thing on for the measurement.

Record the accelerometer over time and ride over some rough terrain. if the iphone is strapped to the handlebar, it will catch primarily the fork damping. If on the seat tube (and the fork already tuned) it'll catch the rear shock.

ride a representative bumpy run and record the peak to peak accelerometer value. if your suspension is tuned right you should have the flattest possible performance, right? no overcorrection creating topout bumps in accelerometer response, and of course proper bump performance should show up as a more and more dampened accelerometer response at the handlebars as the fork itself handles the bumps.

Overdamping will cause an increase in chatter as the bike rides low in travel and runs out.

Or am I oversimplifying it? seems like it should work tho...
 

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I recently suffered a bout of upgraditis and converted an all air bike to all coil. I am regretting my illness because the dollars to performance gain was small. But I think I learned a lot from this.

I'm old and an old hand injury was making me want a plusher bike. If I maintain the same sag (20%f , ~25-30%r) the coil and air sprung bike felt almost exactly the same at hands. And had the same platform/progressiveness to push off of to keep the bike poppy. I was super disappointed. I went down one step in spring rates (sag at 25%f, ~30%r) and got the plow/plush bike I was looking for. But lost a lot of pop and now the fork is divey as hell. Will play with preloads to see if I can get some pop back and loose some dive.

What I learned was I am a "least aggressive" rider according to the spring rate charts. Modern air shocks/forks are pretty good and only getting better. And what I thought was the fluid getting hot and causing the rearend to pack on long downhill descents was actually the spring rate going up in the air can. On long chunky downhills the coil shock maintains a more consistent feel, especially at the bottom of the run.

Coil springs did not cure my upgraditis, a mullet conversion is the next magic pill to try.
 

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If you’re worried about the weight, your trails aren’t steep enough.

My ‘12 36 Van puts every air fork I’ve ever tried to shame
I totally agree with this. If you’ve never ridden coil/oil front fork then you’ve never felt super plush linear goodness that it can offer.
My favorite setup was my 2002 Santa Cruz Bullit with Vanilla R and my Fox Vanilla R in the front. I still dream about that bike. I still, to date, haven’t ridden a bike that comes close to its plushness.
 

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I totally agree with this. If you’ve never ridden coil/oil front fork then you’ve never felt super plush linear goodness that it can offer.
My favorite setup was my 2002 Santa Cruz Bullit with Vanilla R and my Fox Vanilla R in the front. I still dream about that bike. I still, to date, haven’t ridden a bike that comes close to its plushness.
Not feeling the suspension, that's what it's about, the bike just moving naturally, coil forks do that for you.

Coil shocks are a different thing, solve a different problem.
 

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I wonder about that, why are there not tuning apps for iphone and android?

These things have accelerometers and you can buy very solid bike mounts, or just zip tie the thing on for the measurement.

Record the accelerometer over time and ride over some rough terrain. if the iphone is strapped to the handlebar, it will catch primarily the fork damping. If on the seat tube (and the fork already tuned) it'll catch the rear shock.

ride a representative bumpy run and record the peak to peak accelerometer value. if your suspension is tuned right you should have the flattest possible performance, right? no overcorrection creating topout bumps in accelerometer response, and of course proper bump performance should show up as a more and more dampened accelerometer response at the handlebars as the fork itself handles the bumps.

Overdamping will cause an increase in chatter as the bike rides low in travel and runs out.

Or am I oversimplifying it? seems like it should work tho...
Someone did make an app like this, I forgot the name though. The sample rate of a phones accelerometer is too low for a lot of the high frequency shocks but it could still be useful
 

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I wonder about that, why are there not tuning apps for iphone and android?

These things have accelerometers and you can buy very solid bike mounts, or just zip tie the thing on for the measurement.
Use GoPro on one of the highest frame rates and it will give you a decent idea.
 

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I totally agree with this. If you’ve never ridden coil/oil front fork then you’ve never felt super plush linear goodness that it can offer.
My favorite setup was my 2002 Santa Cruz Bullit with Vanilla R and my Fox Vanilla R in the front. I still dream about that bike. I still, to date, haven’t ridden a bike that comes close to its plushness.
I had a 2001 Bullit and ended up cracking it at the head tube, then got an 04 front triangle to replace it. At that point, I put an Avalanche DHS shock on the back, and had an 01 Monster T on the front. The Avvy was out-of-this-world amazing, and of course the Monster was very plush, but didn’t have enough low speed compression for my tastes and weighed about 10 pounds. In 06 I replaced it with a Marzocchi 66RC2X which to this day is the finest fork I’ve ever tried. It erased small bumps completely, and had way more mid-travel support with the low speed compression adjustment (basically, you could have as much as you wanted), and was bottom-proof with the high speed compression turned in a few clicks. I also had a friend make a custom rear shock shuttle which slacked the bike out 1 degree.

I don’t miss the weight of that bike, but the suspension was unbelievable. I used to go big (Rampage big) on that thing, and it just laughed it all off.
 

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I totally agree with this. If you’ve never ridden coil/oil front fork then you’ve never felt super plush linear goodness that it can offer.
My favorite setup was my 2002 Santa Cruz Bullit with Vanilla R and my Fox Vanilla R in the front. I still dream about that bike. I still, to date, haven’t ridden a bike that comes close to its plushness.
I still have my best bike ever. 2001 Turner 5-spot Prototype.
Fox vanilla RC rear shock with 150mm rockers, 2005 Manitou Nixon @145mm on the front.
Coil spring and shim stacks both ends. Hayes HFX Mag brakes.

I've ridden it so much I fatigued rear shock springs to death. I still ride it every couple of weeks. I updated the bars and stem about 3 years ago and that took the weirdness out of going to and from modern bikes.
 

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Is there a reason coil forks don't keep a sealed sealhead? If you keep the sealhead, the lowers on a Lyrik can generate almost 100lbf of extra force in the air spring side @180mm. Add another 40-50 in the damper side. 45lb/in @ 180mm is ~320lb so an extra 150lb of bottom out force is pretty substantial.

Seems like all the kits use a vented sealhead though?

I have to imaging the friction from the shaft sealhead is a fraction of the friction from an air piston seal? Seems silly the coil conversion kits try to do things to add progression yet the answer seems pretty obvious to just keep a sealed sealhead?
 

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Is there a reason coil forks don't keep a sealed sealhead? If you keep the sealhead, the lowers on a Lyrik can generate almost 100lbf of extra force in the air spring side @180mm. Add another 40-50 in the damper side. 45lb/in @ 180mm is ~320lb so an extra 150lb of bottom out force is pretty substantial.

Seems like all the kits use a vented sealhead though?

I have to imaging the friction from the shaft sealhead is a fraction of the friction from an air piston seal? Seems silly the coil conversion kits try to do things to add progression yet the answer seems pretty obvious to just keep a sealed sealhead?
A lot of people can't get full travel from a coil fork. So more progression from trapped air is heading in the wrong direction for them.
Also the added drag and manufacturing/maintenance of any sliding/sealing surface goes against the low maintenance ideals of coil.
 

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Are they over springing to prevent bottoming?
Or are they over springing to get mid-stroke support?

Replacing that seal head would be pretty trivial if it was available and would probably last a long time? Also, the acs-3 has seals so that's kind of a moot point. Not sure if the smash pot does though? But this would also be a lot light than the smash pot.

I'm thinking the Mezzer with a coil, sealed lowers and the built in HBO might make for about the ideal coil SC fork?
 

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Are they over springing to prevent bottoming?
Or are they over springing to get mid-stroke support?

Replacing that seal head would be pretty trivial if it was available and would probably last a long time? Also, the acs-3 has seals so that's kind of a moot point. Not sure if the smash pot does though? But this would also be a lot light than the smash pot.

I'm thinking the Mezzer with a coil, sealed lowers and the built in HBO might make for about the ideal coil SC fork?
Marzocchi z1 coil has a sealed sealhead to increase bottom out resistance. Friction is extremely minimal. I think vorsprung said their system allows them to use a longer spring though, with less fatigue? i vaguely remember something like that in pinkbike comments lol
 

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First ride on Marzocchi Bomber CR shock today and it's definitely an improvement over DPX2...

So, planted/predictable and that's just with the recommend starting config.

By end of ride had it complimenting the Fox 36 Grip 2 up front.

Sent from my HD1900 using Tapatalk
 
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