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DHX air vs 5th Element coil

Discussion in 'Downhill & Freeride' started by JRB, Oct 31, 2005.

  1. JRB

    JRB Guest

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    I can get a 5th element coil with spring for $225, or a DHX Air for $350 shipped. If I have this on a Haro X2, would the 5th work just as well, at a little heavier weight. I don't know that I am smart enough for adjustments on either. What do you think?

    *I tried the lounge, since they always bitch about non-bike stuff, and I got zilch. Help a brutha out.
     

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  2. zmtber

    zmtber Turbo Monkey

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    what kind of riding do you do
     
  3. JRB

    JRB Guest

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    Small drops and trail riding. Small drops = less than 3 feet.
     
  4. OGRipper

    OGRipper Turbo Monkey

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    I don't have any experience with that bike so it's hard to say which one is better for you, but just so you know, you are talking about around a pound of difference - that's more than "a little" to me.
     
  5. JRB

    JRB Guest

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    Yeah - it's the 100 bones too.
     
  6. WheelieMan

    WheelieMan Monkey

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    $125 goes a long way toward a titanium spring though...
     
  7. JRB

    JRB Guest

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    So is it worth it to get the 5th and save for a spring? I see that saves nearly half a pound.
     
  8. OGRipper

    OGRipper Turbo Monkey

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    True enough. But unless you can find the right one used, a ti spring is like $200 and at the end of day you are still half a pound heavier. The DHX air will be cheaper and lighter than a 5th with a ti spring, so it's really a question of performance and how the air works with that frame. I've had a hard time finding feedback on the dhx air for my heckler, so good luck...
     
  9. OGRipper

    OGRipper Turbo Monkey

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    I think the question really should be whether anyone has had a good experience with the dhx air on that frame. Even as compared to the 5th with ti spring, the dhx air has a lot going for it. The adjustments on the dhx air are a little easier to understand, and the independent propedal adjustment on the dhx is more practical if you tend to make adjustments on-the-fly. If the extra cost is not enough to stop you, personally I would get the air. I am probably getting one for my heckler soon.
     
  10. gemini2k

    gemini2k Turbo Monkey

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    #10 -   Oct 31, 2005
    Last edited: Apr 26, 2011
  11. mobius

    mobius Turbo Monkey

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    DHX Air i like my 5th element but its not active enough on my heckler. if the dhx air is supposedly as good as the regular dhx id get it.
     
  12. JRB

    JRB Guest

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    How much dropping can the DHX take? Don't want to say that this particular shock has been abused, but it seems like it could have seen some pretty big dropping to flats, by posts I have read.
     
  13. dan-o

    dan-o Turbo Monkey

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    Get the DHXa. I have 5th coils on a couple of bikes and actually like them pretty well but the DHXa on my 5spot has really impressed me. As far as durability is concerned, all 4 of my 5th shocks (2 coil and 2 air) have blown and needed rebuilds. My DHXa is pretty new though so I can't comment on durability yet.
     
  14. RATM

    RATM Monkey

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    As soon as something happens with the 5th on my heckler, I am going to give the DHX a shot.
     
  15. JRB

    JRB Guest

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    Wow - it is getting awfully hard to ignore the DHX right now.
     
  16. OGRipper

    OGRipper Turbo Monkey

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    Yes it is. Any way for you to try them out, even if they're on a different bike? Any shops in your area?

    Also, are you a big dude or what? I'm not sure if it matters - I haven't seen any blown DHX airs yet regardless - but if you're a clydesdale you might be a little more concerned about durability. Plenty of people are using 'em for drops, jumps and freeride.
     
  17. JRB

    JRB Guest

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    I'm 200, which isn't huge, but I don't do any big drops.
     
  18. dan-o

    dan-o Turbo Monkey

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    I'm 215 and my DHXa is working great on drops up to 5' w/ very little (aka east coast) tranny. It sets up easy (more intuitive than 5th) and generally kicks ass.
     
  19. Biscuit

    Biscuit Turbo Monkey

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    If your willing to play with it you can make a 5th coil feel however you want. Progressiveness, platform, etc.

    The primary advantage to the DHX air is the weight. That is, one pound less, without any noticable sacrafice in performance.

    How much is that pound worth to you?
     
  20. ED75

    ED75 Monkey

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    I'm considering air on my Heckler too (actually 5th coil), could you sum up what you've been told on it ??

    I'm also looking for info on the Pearl, am I too early ???
     
  21. JRB

    JRB Guest

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    I'm leaning towards the 5th coil. It's cheaper, and I don't know that I think a pound will make much difference with downhill wheels. If I were riding lighter trail wheels maybe, but I don't think the pound can hurt in the middle of the bike.
     
  22. OGRipper

    OGRipper Turbo Monkey

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    I have found zero feedback from anyone with a DHX air on heckler. I have personally tried the 5th coil, 5th air, as well as three different Fox air shocks (older float RL, an AVA, and an RP3) (some of these have been loaners). The problem with all of the air shocks is that they either blow through the travel too easily to use it for any kind of jumps or drops, or they need to have so much pressure that they have zero small bump compliance. I think the frame generates a falling rate and that is the problem, especially with the larger volume shocks - I get better results from smaller volume but am still not happy. The 5th coil feels great but it's heavy and has no on-the-fly platform adjustment. Based on what I've heard the DHX air should allow me to tune in some bottoming resistance without having to jack the pressure in the main chamber so much...would like to hear from anyone that has tried it, would also like to make sure they fit, 'cuz I've heard about some issues...may just need to spring for one and see.
     
  23. Jm_

    Jm_ Turbo Monkey

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    I have a turner 6 pack. It came with a DHX-C. I had the chance to run a DHX-A for a few weeks (actually I still have it, but I'll get to that point).

    I felt the DHX-C was a much better shock overall. These are two very similer shocks obviously, with very similer adjustments. The adjustments make very similer (same) differences on both shocks.

    The most apparent trait of the DHX-A is it's tendancy to dive through midstroke travel. It's not a very consistant shock IMO, irregardless of the settings, it seems to blow through the mid-stroke travel when you get going faster on medium sized bumps. It ramps up fast towards the end of the stroke depending on the volume adjustment, but it doesn't react the same as the DHX-C. With the DHX-C I can easily set about 1/3rd or more travel as sag, and it doesn't seem to blow through the travel, it remains nice and progressive through the stroke, with decent mid-stroke support. I can't run the DHX-A with the same sag because it will just blow through the travel and leave next to no travel for the next bump, I have to run the DHX-A with about 1/4th sag max.

    I do notice a little more stiction with the DHX-A, but it's real slight, and the tendancy to blow through the travel when it gets moving sort of masks this. I wouldn't let this be a deciding factor with the shock, it's so slight that I don't think it is a detriment in any way.

    I tried the DHX-A first with the same settings I was using on my DHX-C. This gave me the results that I described. By changing the settings I was able to get some changes, but nothing that really changed the overal lack of mid-stroke support (damping?). The DHX-C just feels more consistant over a wider variety of terrain and speed. It reacts well to small bumps, and keeps up when the bumps get bigger or you go faster. This makes it a no brainer for me, and I took the DHX-A off the bike and went back to the DHX-C, and after riding the DHX-C some more I definitely feel very confident in this report.

    The DHX-A is not a horrible shock, but I found it to not be equal to my DHX-C for performance. PUSH has acknowledged the lack of mid-stroke support with the DHX-C, but they have no plans to address this.

    To compare the DHX-A to the RP3 that I ran on the pack for a while; These two are very much opposites. One is much more progressive with much more compression damping (RP3). The other is much more linear with very light compression damping. Neither of these shocks seemed to suit the bike well. Too progressive with the RP3 and too overdamped. Almost too much to the opposite extreme with the DHX-A.
     
  24. punkassean

    punkassean Turbo Monkey

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    I find that the lack of mid-stroke with the DHX air is what makes it so nice and plush. It has a tiny bit of platform (depending on Pro Pedal setting) and then pure butter until the end upon which it's nearly impossible to actually bottom out (depending on boost valve volume setting). I LOVE the DHX air more than any shock I've owned prior.
     
  25. JRB

    JRB Guest

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    Update - I am buying the DHX air.
     
  26. OGRipper

    OGRipper Turbo Monkey

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    Cool, let us know how it works for you.

    JM, that is exactly what I'm concerned about...hmmm, completely different bikes but maybe I should just get a DHX coil with a ti spring for my heckler...
     
  27. JRB

    JRB Guest

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    Yeah - my frame is a cross between a bullit and heckler, so I will let you know how it feels. Wumpus is gonna be jealous he doesn't have it on his Banshee. :D
     
  28. Jm_

    Jm_ Turbo Monkey

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    I wasn't bottoming it, but the fact that it blew through the travel made my 6" travel bike feel like a lot less, and then I was wondering why I was lugging around 34lb of bike with the rear end feeling like a lot less, it also made my front end (a marzocchi AM1 with Z1 lowers) feel very unbalanced.
     
  29. punkassean

    punkassean Turbo Monkey

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    Matt, Even a Ti sprung DHX coil will be at least 1/2lb heavier than a DHX air and lots more $ too. However you aren't a little guy so a coil might make more sense and the Heckler is light enough to begin with that a 1/2lb is no biggie I guess. Anyway I love the air so far and I've logged some serious miles over all types of terrain.
     
  30. Jm_

    Jm_ Turbo Monkey

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    I definitely agree with sean here. Hold the DHX-C in your hand, and the DHX-A in the other hand.

    Huge difference.

    Even bigger difference when comparing to shocks like the 5th element, which is significantly heavier than a DHX-C.
     
  31. OGRipper

    OGRipper Turbo Monkey

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    Thanks guys, I appreciate it. I think my problem is a function of the falling rate design of the heckler (at least I think it's falling rate). The larger volume air canisters combined with the shock rate make it hard to find a good combination of small bump compliance, usable mid-stroke, and bottoming resistance, especially since I use this rig for basically everything, including some jumping and freehuckjibshizz. The smaller canisters are just too harsh for bigger hits, they ramp way up and like JM said, feels like I'm not getting all my travel. And yeah my 200 lbs doesn't help.

    I know the DHX coil is lighter than the 5th, so I am thinking that a DHX with ti coil would work great and be significantly lighter than the 5th even if it's a little heavier than the DHX Air. Splitting the difference and then some would be fine if the performance is there. I would love to try the air but it would be an expensive experiment if it doesn't work out...can't seem to find a loaner or anyone else with one on a heckler.

    Edit: Of course, I'll prolly change my mind again before I do anything...
     
  32. julian_dh

    julian_dh Monkey

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    the key to the dhx air is balance between front and rear suspension.

    on my bike as of now i have a slider+ with tpc+ damping its not very plush and its quite progressive so this makes my DHXa blow through its travel because its super soft out back and hard in the front.

    so if you want the dhx air to be a good rear shock you have to have the front a tad softer so more weight goes to the front of the bike taking the load of the rear shock. if your suspension is really balanced front and rear both the front and rear shock will take and equal amount of the force and you wont feel as much wallowing in the rear.
     
  33. Jm_

    Jm_ Turbo Monkey

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    Well, the problem is that you can't take the DHX Air and use the same sag you were using on the DHX-C. It's not working, so to make it balance out more you have to crank it up, run much less sag, and then you get a harsher ride because you are at the other extreme, too stiffly sprung and not enough sag. There's very little in-between when comparing it to the DHX-C.
     
  34. JRB

    JRB Guest

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    Hrm - I sure hope I can balance it with my Z1 FR. I am looking forward to trying it. Gemini2k mailed it on Saturday, so my fingers are crossed that I get it tomorrow. If not, they are crossed for Wednesday.