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Rear Shock Knowledge / Rant Space

ZHendo

Turbo Monkey
Oct 29, 2006
1,661
147
PNW
Hey guys,

I'm going through the process of tuning a Fox X2 on my Banshee Titan, and I'm experiencing a familiar lack of support that I was also feeling on my old Commencal Furious. It seems that there are widely varied perspectives on that shock, with some people complaining about the same thing and others saying its da best evar.

I'm starting to explore other suspension options and while it seems like its primarily a Fox vs. Rockshox game on the large volume air shock side, the coil shock side is increasingly crowded and confusing. I've read things that lead me to believe that the Fox DHX2 sucks because of faults in the twin-tube damper design, Ohlins is unreliable and expensive, DVO runs too large of a shaft and too much bladder pressure, EXT is awesome but expensive and limited service options, Push is crazy money and also only available for certain bike (not my Banshee), Rockshox stock tunes suck but Vorsprung can make them better, etc.

All of this info is kind of scattered all over the place, and I imagine its helpful to have a single thread where people can turn for general rear shock pros/cons, rider experiences, etc.

So, speak up guys - what do you like, what do you not, and why?
 

Salami

Turbo Monkey
Jul 17, 2003
1,767
100
Waxhaw, NC
What do you mean by a lack of support? Are you talking about mid stroke support? Is your X2 the Performance or Factory version?
 

ZHendo

Turbo Monkey
Oct 29, 2006
1,661
147
PNW
What do you mean by a lack of support? Are you talking about mid stroke support? Is your X2 the Performance or Factory version?
Its the Performance version that comes stock on the Titan, which Banshee claims has a custom tune to set the HSC. I first ran the shock at 30% sag, then walked it back down to 22-23%, and now trying a middle ground at 25-26%. The shock has a pretty strong "hammock" effect, where it feels supportive (almost harsh) at lower speeds and in calmer terrain, but blows through its travel on bigger hits and quickly runs into the end stroke, packing up a bit and feeling harsh there too. I've tried messing with pressure a bit, tuning in/out compression and messing with rebound, but I had a similar experience with the X2 Factory on my old Furious where the shock always felt like it was either spiking or diving with very little support in the midstroke.
 

StiHacka

Compensating for something
Its the Performance version that comes stock on the Titan, which Banshee claims has a custom tune to set the HSC. I first ran the shock at 30% sag, then walked it back down to 22-23%, and now trying a middle ground at 25-26%. The shock has a pretty strong "hammock" effect, where it feels supportive (almost harsh) at lower speeds and in calmer terrain, but blows through its travel on bigger hits and quickly runs into the end stroke, packing up a bit and feeling harsh there too. I've tried messing with pressure a bit, tuning in/out compression and messing with rebound, but I had a similar experience with the X2 Factory on my old Furious where the shock always felt like it was either spiking or diving with very little support in the midstroke.
Pretty much, same experience with factory DHX2 on suboptimal nonrideabru frame.
Avy in Fox Van / Bomber works better.
 

VMARTINEZ

Monkey
May 23, 2005
300
17
I had to send in my new DVO Topaz 3 to get a custom tune. My new frame needed a high compression medium rebound tune. I am just figuring out the settings but I needed to turn my rebound down because it was packing out. Now I just need to add more air to bladder and ride it again.
 

Salami

Turbo Monkey
Jul 17, 2003
1,767
100
Waxhaw, NC
Its the Performance version that comes stock on the Titan, which Banshee claims has a custom tune to set the HSC........
Hmmm...not sure what adjustments can be done to the performance. I haven't completely sorted out my Factory X2 but this has been what has worked for me so far to get me pretty close.

Initially the mid stroke didn't feel right to me and I used more travel than I thought for the impact. I can't seem to get consistent sag measurements so I gave up. I started with a rough sag measurement and increased air pressure 2-3 psi until the mid stroke of was close and then adjusted 1psi at a time it was were I wanted it. At that point I changed the volume spacers too fine tune bottom out, I wound up taking one out. From that point I found using the Vorsprung recommendations for rebound (HSR fully closed, LSR to tune - wound being set faster but all packing up went away) really helped and I also backed off a bit on LSC and added a couple of clicks HSC.
 
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Westy

the teste
Nov 22, 2002
44,913
10,565
Sleazattle
Its the Performance version that comes stock on the Titan, which Banshee claims has a custom tune to set the HSC. I first ran the shock at 30% sag, then walked it back down to 22-23%, and now trying a middle ground at 25-26%. The shock has a pretty strong "hammock" effect, where it feels supportive (almost harsh) at lower speeds and in calmer terrain, but blows through its travel on bigger hits and quickly runs into the end stroke, packing up a bit and feeling harsh there too. I've tried messing with pressure a bit, tuning in/out compression and messing with rebound, but I had a similar experience with the X2 Factory on my old Furious where the shock always felt like it was either spiking or diving with very little support in the midstroke.

Fucked around with volume spacers yet? Titan looks like it is rather progressive, fewer spacers might be better, I think the X2 comes with one direct from Fox.

I had a hell of a time getting my X2 dialed in, but at the end of the day I was using compression damping to fix shitty progression in the shock. Once I got the volume/pressure correct I could get it dialed in nicely. Standard internet advice was to add spacers, that made it worse so I removed them. YMMV so I would just try adding and subtracting.
 
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englertracing

you owe me a sandwich
Mar 5, 2012
1,057
637
La Verne
They sell you twin tubes like they are sliced bread, but they are moldy bread....... Except on a rosd race bike where lsc is everything with hsc being a pop off for potholes, and hsr taking priority over hsc....

Any how...
Set the beetch to 12 clicks from closed across the board.
Get your sag at 35% in the race position.

Go pump around, rebound feel ok in the driveway? Not too slow to bunnyhop not bouncy either? Get that where you want it.

Get on the trail, is it harsh?
Yes its harsh
Does it have support through corners?
If yes open lsc.
If no open hsc (maybe alot and close lsc some)

No it isnt harsh
Does it have support through the corner?
If yes then great
If no then close lsc

Does it bottom out?
Yes it bottoms
Is it harsh?
If yes your kinda fooked but better to use hsc
If no dial in the lsc till its harsh, back it up a few, if it still bottoms add some hsc till it doesnt.

No it doesnt bottom
Is it harsh?
If yes reduce hsc and lsc
If no then great!

Somewhere in there set your hsc,
If its kicking from deep stroke slow hsc
If its packing deep speed up hsc

Now the fun part
All of them effect the rest so go in a couple circles

Now i probably fucked some part of that up as its past my bed time...

Lastly an x2 always feels like its got too little lsc no mid and like the HSC chokes up to me....
 

jackalope

Mental acuity - 1%
Jan 9, 2004
6,709
4,162
in a single wide, cooking meth...
Got this from @Udi years ago for my Cane Creek shock:

HSC - all the way open
HSR - all the way closed
LSC - from open add a few clicks if need to firm it up for pedaling
LSR - from closed you can open it up a bit if it's too chattery

Anyway, that approach worked better than any of my previous tuning efforts.
 

StiHacka

Compensating for something
Got this from @Udi years ago for my Cane Creek shock:

HSC - all the way open
HSR - all the way closed
LSC - from open add a few clicks if need to firm it up for pedaling
LSR - from closed you can open it up a bit if it's too chattery

Anyway, that approach worked better than any of my previous tuning efforts.
That sounds like a veeerrryyyy sloooowwwwwww rebbbbbbb
b
b
b
b
b
b
b
b
b
boundinggggggggg faaaaaahhhhhhkk.

You sure?
 

William42

fork ways
Jul 31, 2007
3,756
426
Looking at that leverage rate, that's going to be a hard bike to tune, and changing your shock out is only going to make marginal differences at best. The leverage rate changes from rapidly progressive to digressive 2/3 of the way through the travel, which is generally right where air shocks start ramping up. It looks to me like it was designed around a smaller air can, and that's where you'll need to focus to fix a crappy mid stroke.

I'd start with more volume spacers and less compression though for sure. I haven't looked at Fox's X2 Dyno graphs, but I can echo what Jackalope said for the Cane Creek DB Air CS that the X2 was modeled on.

Keeping the HSR maxed out keeps the rebound curve quite linear, which, given this bikes progressive - digressive leverage curve should even out with the progression of the shock, making the spring rate somewhat linear.

You'll be running the suspension off of the progression of the bike, so you'll probably want pretty low HSC settings - somewhere between 0-1 turn I would bet.

If the bike pedals like shit, you may need to add a little bit of high speed compression in order to get the low speed compression to have enough umph to keep it from being a bouncy castle, but if it pedals alright, than you're probably good to go.

Start with the LSR slow, and make it faster as much as you need for it to not pack up.

While you're welcome to buy whatever makes you feel happy, if you want to try something different, I don't really think it would drastically improve upon the issue you're experiencing. Your bike just has a pretty sharp bend in the leverage rate, and it's just going to take awhile to find the perfect spring rate to make that work. I'd focus on that before you focus on compression and rebound too much.
 

jackalope

Mental acuity - 1%
Jan 9, 2004
6,709
4,162
in a single wide, cooking meth...
That sounds like a veeerrryyyy sloooowwwwwww rebbbbbbb
b
b
b
b
b
b
b
b
b
boundinggggggggg faaaaaahhhhhhkk.

You sure?
Yep. Just went and bumped around on it, and its honestly not that slow. I've seen some forks for instance that when the rebound is closed all the way it takes like 2 minutes for it to come back to full stroke. Not so at all with this shock. I didn't believe it either, but after being frustrated with dialing in a good tune, I tried it and haven't looked back. YMMV.

(this is on a Mk1 Megatrail fwiw)
 

Udi

RM Chief Ornithologist: “I Brake for Birds”
Mar 14, 2005
4,865
1,104
Post the leverage curve for the lazy folk out there (me)
It's definitely the place to start for a shock recommendation.

You sure?
Not sure about that, might have been for an older CC version than current, and maybe specific to the frame it was going in at the time. The only part of that I'd use blindly is keeping the HSR fully closed (Steve M explains why in a twintube tuesday rebound video if someone wants to poke around for it). LSR can then be tuned to spring rate / personal taste.

I'd start afresh with compression, it's very frame / rider dependent.
 

jackalope

Mental acuity - 1%
Jan 9, 2004
6,709
4,162
in a single wide, cooking meth...
Post the leverage curve for the lazy folk out there (me)
It's definitely the place to start for a shock recommendation.


Not sure about that, might have been for an older CC version than current, and maybe specific to the frame it was going in at the time. The only part of that I'd use blindly is keeping the HSR fully closed (Steve M explains why in a twintube tuesday rebound video if someone wants to poke around for it). LSR can then be tuned to spring rate / personal taste.

I'd start afresh with compression, it's very frame / rider dependent.
Yeah, this is an old CC shock.
 

Udi

RM Chief Ornithologist: “I Brake for Birds”
Mar 14, 2005
4,865
1,104
I didn't believe it either, but after being frustrated with dialing in a good tune, I tried it and haven't looked back.
Glad to hear it worked, I've PM'd details on where to send my royalties.

Also since it wasn't mentioned in the list of shocks, I thought the Fast Suspension coil sounded interesting and @Happymtb.fr had good results with it. I think it'd be cool to hear a bit more about the long term impressions.
 

jackalope

Mental acuity - 1%
Jan 9, 2004
6,709
4,162
in a single wide, cooking meth...
Glad to hear it worked, I've PM'd details on where to send my royalties.

Also since it wasn't mentioned in the list of shocks, I thought the Fast Suspension coil sounded interesting and @Happymtb.fr had good results with it. I think it'd be cool to hear a bit more about the long term impressions.
Ha! Actually the main thing I took away from your comments and SteveMs video was to avoid a twin tube design in the future. Besides I'm waiting for a triple tube design so I can fictionally adjust mid speed rebound and compression.
 

englertracing

you owe me a sandwich
Mar 5, 2012
1,057
637
La Verne
I think a twin tube can be implemented BETTER,
Needs a big shimmed hsc adjuster assembly, needs a functional "mid" or main piston with a comp stack that isnt just a safety blow off on a dished piston like a stock fox....
Lsr needs to be in the shaft where it belongs....
At least Hsr needs a shim stack on the main/mid, but perhaps a small hsr relief system can be on the body....

But by the time you do all that the tt is kind of pointless.....
May as well run a conventional....
 

ZHendo

Turbo Monkey
Oct 29, 2006
1,661
147
PNW
Looking at that leverage rate, that's going to be a hard bike to tune, and changing your shock out is only going to make marginal differences at best. The leverage rate changes from rapidly progressive to digressive 2/3 of the way through the travel, which is generally right where air shocks start ramping up. It looks to me like it was designed around a smaller air can, and that's where you'll need to focus to fix a crappy mid stroke.

I'd start with more volume spacers and less compression though for sure. I haven't looked at Fox's X2 Dyno graphs, but I can echo what Jackalope said for the Cane Creek DB Air CS that the X2 was modeled on.

Keeping the HSR maxed out keeps the rebound curve quite linear, which, given this bikes progressive - digressive leverage curve should even out with the progression of the shock, making the spring rate somewhat linear.

You'll be running the suspension off of the progression of the bike, so you'll probably want pretty low HSC settings - somewhere between 0-1 turn I would bet.

If the bike pedals like shit, you may need to add a little bit of high speed compression in order to get the low speed compression to have enough umph to keep it from being a bouncy castle, but if it pedals alright, than you're probably good to go.

Start with the LSR slow, and make it faster as much as you need for it to not pack up.

While you're welcome to buy whatever makes you feel happy, if you want to try something different, I don't really think it would drastically improve upon the issue you're experiencing. Your bike just has a pretty sharp bend in the leverage rate, and it's just going to take awhile to find the perfect spring rate to make that work. I'd focus on that before you focus on compression and rebound too much.
Incredibly helpful, thanks man. One issue I'm facing is that I can't actually change the HSC or HSR on this bike given the Performance series X2 (though I too have tuned HSR using the Vorsprung method of just closing it and only adjusting LSR). The bike doesn't pedal like shit at all actually, its really a task of finding the support I am looking for so the shock doesn't just blast through the middle of the stroke.

I'm not wedded to buying something different, but was more reflecting on now 2 negative experiences trying to tune-in bikes with the X2. I was contemplating going the EXT Storia route because I have an inside line on one, but they're still quite expensive even at a better deal. I'd be stoked if I could get this X2 working for me, so the tips are hugely appreciated.
 

kidwoo

Artisanal Tweet Curator
Aug 25, 2003
28,988
5,617
The old timey times
That thing is obviously designed for an air shock or some coil with a bunch of bottom out something or other.

Find a used float x2 and you should be able to get something you're happy with.



DHX2 shocks get a bad rap. They work fine on bikes with straight leverage curves. The are what they are. The rebound circuit is stupid but as said, just max out the HSR damper and adjust the LSR damper like every other shock. They only suck when they can't compensate for goofy leverage curves. You can also fairly effectively tune the main piston stack so you're not relying on the poppet valves as much. I tweaked one on my megatrail and like it a lot. There are also 2 different main piston configs. The 2016 one used an hourglass shaped shim stack that they quit using. It worked better.
 
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djjohnr

Turbo Monkey
Apr 21, 2002
2,534
1,229
Northern California
Incredibly helpful, thanks man. One issue I'm facing is that I can't actually change the HSC or HSR on this bike given the Performance series X2 (though I too have tuned HSR using the Vorsprung method of just closing it and only adjusting LSR). The bike doesn't pedal like shit at all actually, its really a task of finding the support I am looking for so the shock doesn't just blast through the middle of the stroke.

I'm not wedded to buying something different, but was more reflecting on now 2 negative experiences trying to tune-in bikes with the X2. I was contemplating going the EXT Storia route because I have an inside line on one, but they're still quite expensive even at a better deal. I'd be stoked if I could get this X2 working for me, so the tips are hugely appreciated.
I have the HSC/LSC assembly from the factory model from when I converted one to the climb lever assembly. Yours for the price of shipping.
 

William42

fork ways
Jul 31, 2007
3,756
426
Incredibly helpful, thanks man. One issue I'm facing is that I can't actually change the HSC or HSR on this bike given the Performance series X2 (though I too have tuned HSR using the Vorsprung method of just closing it and only adjusting LSR). The bike doesn't pedal like shit at all actually, its really a task of finding the support I am looking for so the shock doesn't just blast through the middle of the stroke.

I'm not wedded to buying something different, but was more reflecting on now 2 negative experiences trying to tune-in bikes with the X2. I was contemplating going the EXT Storia route because I have an inside line on one, but they're still quite expensive even at a better deal. I'd be stoked if I could get this X2 working for me, so the tips are hugely appreciated.
OH I didn't realize you had the performance series. Drop that thing like the piece of shit that it is. I hated my performance X2. Not being able to tune the HSC was a deal breaker for me. Or get that HSC/LSC assembly from djjohnr (who I assume pronounces his name "jonner") and rage. Or pick up a used Factory X2 or DB Air CS for what you could sell your X2 for. Or buy new. I don't care, just make sure you don't keep using the X2 performance with no HSC adjustment, because you're not gonna find good results with it probably.
 

englertracing

you owe me a sandwich
Mar 5, 2012
1,057
637
La Verne
If your gonna take it apart change the tune on the main piston to a "light tune" this will let you run the hsc adjuster down, and increace the low speed range while creating more flow area for hs events
 

ZHendo

Turbo Monkey
Oct 29, 2006
1,661
147
PNW
I'm leaning towards chucking the X2 Performance and swapping for a new shock - makes more sense with some of my industry connections. After talking with Steve from Vorsprung a bit I'm leaning towards a coil or maybe a Tractive tuned Super Deluxe air, but the cost of a new lighter spring plus Tractive tune even on a used Super Deluxe coil is going to put me fairly close to what an EXT Storia would cost me. Anyone have Tractive vs. EXT experiences to share?
 

djjohnr

Turbo Monkey
Apr 21, 2002
2,534
1,229
Northern California
No experience with the EXT, but the Tractive tune of the Super Deluxe air on my V3 Bronson transformed that bike. Both of my other bikes are coil sprung, one with a custom avy tune, but I have no inclination to convert the Bronson to coil based on current performance of that shock.

I'm currently debating between an EXT and Tractive tune of the coil Super Deluxe on my Clash. Based on my experience with the Bronson I'm leaning towards going that route again.
 

Lelandjt

Turbo Monkey
Apr 4, 2008
2,022
406
Breckenridge, CO/Lahaina,HI
On my Capra I've been very happy with a DHX2 and found it reasonably easy to tune. I don't have the HSR maxed out but do have it in more than the LSR. I have a little more LSC than HSC but both are only about 1/3 in. I suspect this frame has an excellent leverage ratio curve for aggressive riding on a coil shock combined with the smoothing effect of a 29" rear wheel so maybe any decent coil would make me happy.
 

englertracing

you owe me a sandwich
Mar 5, 2012
1,057
637
La Verne
On my Capra I've been very happy with a DHX2 and found it reasonably easy to tune. I don't have the HSR maxed out but do have it in more than the LSR. I have a little more LSC than HSC but both are only about 1/3 in. I suspect this frame has an excellent leverage ratio curve for aggressive riding on a coil shock combined with the smoothing effect of a 29" rear wheel so maybe any decent coil would make me happy.
For consistency clickers are counted from closed
 

djjohnr

Turbo Monkey
Apr 21, 2002
2,534
1,229
Northern California
Good to know. Just picked up a used Bronson alloy to build up. How are you liking the Clash?
  • Overall I dig it
  • Rear center is a bit long compared to the front center at sag for my preferences on my large. I'm running -3mm of offset bushings and 33% sag to shift some weight distribution off the front wheel and get the balance feeling closer to my Bronson (which is the most front/rear neutral handling bike I've ever owned).
  • It's heavy, but so is the alloy Bronson. I have no fears of cracking either of those frames.
  • It's relatively easy to climb given the seatpost angle and it doesn't bob much
  • Rear end feels pretty progressive, which I like
 

ZHendo

Turbo Monkey
Oct 29, 2006
1,661
147
PNW
No experience with the EXT, but the Tractive tune of the Super Deluxe air on my V3 Bronson transformed that bike. Both of my other bikes are coil sprung, one with a custom avy tune, but I have no inclination to convert the Bronson to coil based on current performance of that shock.

I'm currently debating between an EXT and Tractive tune of the coil Super Deluxe on my Clash. Based on my experience with the Bronson I'm leaning towards going that route again.
I would 100% be going with Tractive if I already owned a Super Deluxe. With the EXT and Super Deluxe coil being effectively the same price (in my particular circumstance), the choice becomes harder. I'm definitely #coilcurious, esp. with my last coil shock being an Avy-tuned Van RC on my old Spitfire that worked amazingly well.
 

djjohnr

Turbo Monkey
Apr 21, 2002
2,534
1,229
Northern California
I would 100% be going with Tractive if I already owned a Super Deluxe. With the EXT and Super Deluxe coil being effectively the same price (in my particular circumstance), the choice becomes harder. I'm definitely #coilcurious, esp. with my last coil shock being an Avy-tuned Van RC on my old Spitfire that worked amazingly well.
I'd lean towards trying the EXT in that case, due to the bottom out feature and just pure curiosity based on what I've heard about how it feels.
 

BigBoi

Monkey
Oct 31, 2011
305
44
Center of the world

just in case you missed it. On coil is a lifestyle that I've just recently recently got back into myself
 

Jm_

sled dog's bollocks
Jan 14, 2002
13,282
5,014
AK
Yeah, don't tell me a new 4" travel ripper-bike with heavier wheels, brakes, minions and shit for aggressive riding is "downcountry" and then make it incompatible with a coil.
a7e.jpg
 

StiHacka

Compensating for something

just in case you missed it. On coil is a lifestyle that I've just recently recently got back into myself
I think I just bought a fork from one of those. Elite RC2 170mm /37mm offset.
 

ZHendo

Turbo Monkey
Oct 29, 2006
1,661
147
PNW
Just as I was inquiring about maybe pulling the trigger on an EXT and had a buyer for my X2, EXT announced that they are shuttering their factory for at least the next week (realistically, likely much longer given the pace of the pandemic). Alas.