OK, this has more to do with the Lyrik, but since the damping is exactly the same, I think it will answer the question. I have tooled around on the coil and I own the air. When properly adjusted there is almost no difference between the two in terms of feel. I think the air is a bit harder to bottom out, but I can't prove it or anything. The air version is lighter and you can adjust everything with a pump and the adjustment dials without needing to buy, wait for, and install new springs that may or may not be just right for you.
I am a bigger rider and I have only run coil until now, but I like the air quite a bit. I don't think you can really go wrong with either one, except for the seal issues that the Totem seems to be having.
OK, this has more to do with the Lyrik, but since the damping is exactly the same, I think it will answer the question. I have tooled around on the coil and I own the air. When properly adjusted there is almost no difference between the two in terms of feel. I think the air is a bit harder to bottom out, but I can't prove it or anything. The air version is lighter and you can adjust everything with a pump and the adjustment dials without needing to buy, wait for, and install new springs that may or may not be just right for you...
They both work great, however I would take the weight gain and go with the coil for better ride quality. I have run both coil and solo air forks, and I enjoy the coil better. There is also less to maintain with a coil vs. air. But that's my opinion.
Personally I prefer the more linear feel of the coil.
For me the air ramps up to early, and I felt as if I was being robbed of the last inch or so of travel. It could have been a setup issue as I only rode it for a couple or runs.
With the coil I knew I was using every millimeter or travel, yet I never FELT it bottom.
That is purely preference though.
On a negative, my friend has a coil which has been eating seals for breakfast, lunch and dinner.
He's been replacing them every 8 hard rides or so.
Luckily he works at a shop, so he gets them for a dime a dozen.
On a second gen (2008) solo-air and absolutely love it. RS got it right on the later issue lower castings and fixed any and all problems that happed with the initial run.
All models have the speed lube system, which is basically an open bath for the seals. This system will need to be drained and refilled every 20-25 hours of riding. Relatively simple procedure completed with the syringes and tubing RS provides and 50cc's of 5wt (25 for each leg, you buy oil).
I had loads of trouble with my '07, as did many of my friends riding both the coild and the 2-step. All the problems were handled quickly by my LBS and RS was pleased to provide the parts to do so within days of a call. The final (4th) breakdown of the '07 called for a complete overhall and I ended up with a brand new '08 in the end. I have six days of riding on the fork already and it is performing better then my original fork performed when it was new. Previously it took all of three days before the '07 totem began leaving spew on the uppers. So not the case with the '08, not a single sign of wetness...maybe I'm not stroking her the right way?
Irregardless of my worthless banter, I have to give two a big thumbs up on performance. Properly dialed coil can feel close to as good as the solo air...we just have a little finer adjust ment of our preload system. Coil requires modding internal shim stacks. Other then that the internals are identical...all have the sacred mission control valve that gives you Rigid, XC/AM and DH Modes (2Step had the added ability of adjusting ride height); as well as a dozen or so preset clicks for your high and low speed compressions, and the micro floodgate adjust for the ultimate fine tuning of all flow threw the system.
Bottom line, unless you are into the super fine tuning of the preload of your hucktastic ride then the real bottom lines comes down to the total junk in the trunk. With your coil (and s-step for that matter) you are looking a a svelt 2857g (6.3 lbs) will our solo comes in lite at 2676g (5.89lbs). That right there drops you (0.41lbs) and would give you at least a 10 second advantage in a PinkBike race.
Hi Henry the Hammer, I was interested to read your thoughts. Thanks. Is there an easy way of recognising the new production forks from the original production, from the outside, or from the serial numbers? Probably will end up buying a Solo Air and I would like to make sure that I am going to get the latest model. I think that some of the mail order guys may be carrying old stock? Also, have you compared the Totem to 08 66 RC3 or know of anybody that has done this?
I have been riding a 07 coil now for over a year. Fork has seen plenty of abuse as i'm pretty hard on my equipment. I really like the feel of a coil fork and I have had zero problems with mine - haven't even had to replace seals yet, although I should do it just as a maintenance measure now. I have not spent enough time on an air version to give a true comparison, but the little riding i did on an air was someone else's bike and not set up for me and it felt good - maybe not as plush a feeling as my coil, but again not set up for me.
With all of us being weight concious now it may be worth it for you to get the air? I personally like the feel of a coil fork, but that is just my preference.