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why the constant need for upgraded suspension?

Discussion in 'Downhill & Freeride' started by Pockets-o-Grey, Jan 30, 2008.

  1. Pockets-o-Grey

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    alright so here it is! after reading internet forums for a couple years now, its apparent that many riders are unhappy with the quality of the regular suspension systems such as fox dhx, manitou swinger, even rock shox vivid and also there front suspension counterparts..boxxer,40,travis etc... alot of riders have been looking to get upgraded internals.. "pushing" there shox....getting things like BOS upgrades and such like that. Riders have even turned to off brands for there suspension needs to more moto style dampened forks claiming that the suspension feel is far greater and better performing. Ive also noticed that alot of riders are in constant search of that perfect suspension set-up and are constantly fiddling with there supsenion adjustment knobs all the time.

    so my question to you guys is basically why you feel that major brands of suspension that you see come stock on most bikes such as fox dhx and boxxers are just not good enough to meet your needs? why the need for upgraded internals? what arnt these forks and shox performing up to your standards? why do you feel the need to look into a better performing shock... when a dhx or vivid is all you would ever need?

    like honestly why do you feel that products such as a fox 40 or boxxer world cup arnt good enough quality to meet your suspension needs? I personally have always felt like a shock such as a dhx and boxxer world cup were more then good enough in suspension performance.... i just set the air pressure to whats good for my weight and make sure the rebound is right and that the forks not bottoming out all the time but still using its travel and im set! never touch the suspension again and im happy for the whole season. i just dont understand how people can sit here and post and says these companies suspension are garbage and then go off and get upgraded internals and be happy? can any of you guys explain? just discuss why the performance is inferior please. thanks. sorry if this post is tough to understand.. let me know if you need further explanation.
     

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  2. pinkshirtphotos

    pinkshirtphotos site moron

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    i think half the guys who mess around with the knobs trying to get the perfect suspension setup dont know what they are doing. so the easy fix is to send it to a company that knows how to set it up for your bike, weight, and riding style.
     
  3. PDS RX

    PDS RX Monkey

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    I have no clue what the knobs do I just like the clicking noise :imstupid:
     
  4. CrabJoe StretchPants

    CrabJoe StretchPants Reincarnated Crab Walking Head Spinning Bruce Dick

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    So you're saying when the Rock Shox Mag21 and Manitou Three fork came out, we should have stopped there?
     
  5. kidwoo

    kidwoo Celebrating No-Pants Day

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    There's probably some truth to what pinkshirt said.


    Personally speaking, I'm pretty happy with how a fresh dhx and a ti spring performs on my two big bikes. I still think fox rear shocks are the best performance to weight deal going. About the only rear shocks I haven't ridden are a vivid and a cane creek so to be fair I can't exclude those.

    As far as the custom tuning goes, a lot of suspension products (especially forks) come performing poorly out of the box. Fox forks for instance have traditionally had a problem with bottoming too frequently when running a spring that feels active. You can even sit on the sidelines and watch riders with various forks go by and more often than not, the 40s aren't moving as much as the boxxers and 888s because a lot of guys just stick a stiff spring in there to keep from clacking their forks the whole way down. Go-ride even came up with some two stage springs to address this.

    And then zoke comes out with something like the sl ATA that for many people needs some serious tweaking to feel like a normal, somewhat progressive suspension device. I and some others have gutted some internals on theirs and they work well with the mod, not so much without.

    With guys like PUSH, there's a custom tuning, specific to YOUR bike (and to a degree how you ride it) that a 'shock in a box' doesn't take into account. Plus they're willing (and more able) to address the minutia of design that the manufacturers don't have the time or desire to address.

    In some cases it's worth doing but I do believe there's too much of a mindset that alteration is always better.
     
  6. DirtyMike

    DirtyMike Turbo Fluffer

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    I think ther is simply something to be said for simplicity, and yes, for once, I feel PSP is on the right track. I belive most people have a lack of understanding for there suspension setups, and forget that a DHX works differently on different bikes.
     
  7. Pockets-o-Grey

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    disrespect for quoting me like that! im not saying this is how suspension should be forever.... i am saying that how it is now is really good! and im questioning why people feel that these shocks such as a dhx or boxxer ar simply not good enough performance wise and why there looking into upgraded suspension internals and more moto style dampening. seriously whats wrong with a dhx? its more then enough suspension performance for anyone!
     
  8. Jeremy R

    Jeremy R <b>x</b>

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    They watch Sam Hill in Earthed 5 over and over and conclude that
    it MUST be their equipment that is holding them back, and not their parent's genes.
     
  9. CrabJoe StretchPants

    CrabJoe StretchPants Reincarnated Crab Walking Head Spinning Bruce Dick

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    There's little quirks with nearly all suspension forks/shocks out there now......none of them are PERFECT. All the tweaking people do is just a way to try to attain suspension that is that much closer to being "perfect."

    I am far from a suspension whore, and ride all my shocks/forks how they are right out of the box. I'm one who is more inclined to adapt to what my suspension does rather than adjust my suspension to adapt to how I ride. Then again I don't race, which makes that not a huge deal, whereas racing depends heavily on suspension performance.
     
  10. Kevin

    Kevin Turbo Monkey

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    People want to tune their stuff because it becomes better in performance, no one is saying a shock is crap and that its only good after tuning.
    A shock comes pretty standard and are usually not tuned to meet the suspension design of the bike. With tuning you solve this.
    Also for example, the Boxxer has been a mediocre fork for years and with tuning it was just a lot better.
    I still prefer a 40 over a boxxer but if i can make it perform even better, like making it more progressive, let it ride higher in its travel and such would be even better.

    Lots of people wont even notice, but other people will.
    And if they dont mind spending the extra cash then why not do it if it makes your ride a bit more comfortable?

    Ive had tuning done when I had a 03 Dorado and it made all the difference in the world, it was like a different fork all toghether.
    A PUSHed DHX will give better performance on a v10 which has problems drowning in its travel in corners so yes Im getting mine PUSHed.
    Guess Im guilty as charged, sue me.
     
  11. FlipFantasia

    FlipFantasia Turbo Monkey

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    I would suggest the vast majority of people can't tell the difference, but they spent a lot of money on the upgrade so they'll tell you they can.....
     
  12. pelo

    pelo Monkey

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    That´s a good queation PoG. I think some of us are a bit interested in how things work and by curiousity start tuning things. Others just like new stuff. I like to get a smile on my face riding a bike that feels like so much fun, no matter if it´s all stock or bospushmojo-tuned.
    I think no matter what reason you have, it´s ok. It´s just a hobby for most of us anyway.

    On the other hand, those who have tried to f.i. re-shim a shock, knows that it can be such a difference like riding two different bikes. So, if you know what you want... I say start messing with your shocks. In some cases it will make you faster and in others it won´t, but it might be more fun riding your bike though.;)

    If you´re happy the way it is, that´s great!
     
  13. Pockets-o-Grey

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    vivid vs ccdb vs bos dh07

    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    probably too early to tell how the vivid and bos shocks are performing but a theoretical opinion is also appreciated.

    I have a intense socom with a dhx5.0 It is not that I am unhappy with the performance of the dhx but I am always curious if it could be better.

    To start with a price comparison. vivid 280euro, ccdb 760euro bos 600euro. All of the prices are without spring. As you can see the vivid is very cheap comparing to the others. So the vivid wins on this point.

    Next thing is concept. Vivid is a twin tube with HSR, LSR and LSC
    CCDB is a twin tube with HSR, LSR, HSC, LSC
    bos is twin tube or de carbon? with HSC, LSC, LSR
    So the ccdb has the most adjustability. But will I miss the HSC adjuster on the vivid or the HSR on the bos? what adjuster is more important.



    See this is a perfect example of what im talking about. i got this from a question in another thread that was made just now!

    what i would like to know is what exactly is happening with his DHX that is making him assume its not performing well, and also why he feels that upgrading to these other shocks will fix his suspension problems completely? know what im saying?
     
  14. Kevin

    Kevin Turbo Monkey

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    I definitly see your point, in his case I think its just theoretical stuff in his head mostly, and I dont mean this in an offensive way.
    In my case Ive noticed a flaw in my shock that can be worked out presumably, thats why its getting PUSHed.
    But surely you must admit that my points (previous post) are valid too?
     
  15. bikenweed

    bikenweed Turbo Monkey

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    Definitely true. Mountain bikers are by definition part of a fringe group, and people that enjoy non-mainstream activities tend to like things that are different from normal. This is why the super niche companies get so much support in MTB.

    I think it's pointless to fiddle with suspension all day. Set it, learn to ride it, and forget it. Spending that same time and money spent fussing with stuff on something like a road trip to a new place to ride, or on riding something like a rigid XC bike or BMX, will get ya going a lot faster than a slightly better compression circuit will. But it's all personal preference, and I know what works for me. You're probably different. And I ride a Talas R/Vanilla R and Boxxer/DHX with no complaints.
     
  16. dhkid

    dhkid Turbo Monkey

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    dh is about riding fast isn't it? and a large part of that will come down to suspension. so any increase in performance would have a direct effect on the speeds that you can ride at.

    of course, i do agree that there are people out there who just need to shut up and ride their bikes. there is too much hype in the bike industry saying you need this, you need that when you actually just need to spend more time riding your bike.
     
  17. djamgils

    djamgils Monkey

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    I posted that one. I am unhappy with the performance. I should have said that in a different way. I came from a trek session with a swinger to a socom with a dhx. That was a major improvement and now I want to now if there is more improvement possible.
    And kevin is wright about the theoretical part. I do not like it that I cant understand what the adjusters on the dhx do. the adjusters on the vivid and ccdb are clear to me and therefore I think I can get more performance out of those shocks

    what is wrong with pursuing perfection(except for for the fact that you cant reach it in my opininion)
    why should you buy a top bike like a v10, sunday, dhr or whatever and then settle for something less then the best when it comes to suspension. for every person the "best" is something different so there comes custom tuning around the corner.
     
  18. Pockets-o-Grey

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    oh yes your previous posts were quite valid! i understand that when companies put out a fork such as a fox 40 there not individually tuned to the riders demands and riding style... there more tuned to a solid average feel where most people would be happy with. Thats definetly true.... but theres just so many people i hear that will just always say, no matter what fork such as a fox 40 or boxxer will always be poor performing and even more with rear shocks it seems that everyone is looking for better alternatives to a dhx. I just dont see how riders can be unhappy with such a high performance shock such as a dhx 5.0 and look into upgrading to something else. The DHX comes stock on so many high performance race bikes yet people will still say they'd never ride one because of its poor internals?
     
  19. Pockets-o-Grey

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    yeah i agree you want your high performance bike to be as high performing as possible. Im not trying to say people shouldnt tune there shocks to there preferences... im just trying to point out that most people are unhappy with the actualy "guts" of the fork (internals). And that to them tuning these inferior internals will supposedly do nothing for them because there an inferior system so they look onwards to totally differnt stlye suspension... maybe more moto like.
     
  20. djamgils

    djamgils Monkey

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    I dont understand what you mean there.
    Do you mean that people think that tuning is no use when the basics of the shock are not good?
     
  21. saruti

    saruti Turbo Monkey

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    The reason for this all "search for the holy shock" is
    too much time off the bike.

    The time off the bike translates into www surfing time… and then you see pics and videos of new parts, Lighter parts. Parts that only the pros have.
    And you think… If I’ve only had these parts, I defiantly was faster! No?
     
  22. sbstianfreeride

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    It bothers me alot when people who dont know how to mess around with their suspension say the fork or shock is crap and so they go out and buy whats the best and most expensive. Thinking that its gonna solve their problem. I have an 04 super t and havent really worried about getting a new fork because I dont have money... haha No really its because its got all the settings I really need and know how to use them. Ive riddent a lot of forks on other peoples bikes(that know how to set the fork) and none have really shocked me. Obviously some do feel better but its nothing insanely different than mine. I just keep my fork perfectly tunned the way I like it and it doesnt affect my riding or make me slower. Im not going to buy a brand new fork when there are cheaper good ones from the year before and get almost the same performance. I dont mind riding a fork just a little heavier. Also I dont wanna have a heart attack when I scratch my brand new super expensive fork.
    Unless you are rich and dont care about how much you spend, then I would definately buy whats best out there!
    So upgrades are for people who really know what they are doing.
     
  23. MttyTee

    MttyTee Monkey

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    Bottom Line,

    Stock suspension comes from the factory to suit an "average" rider. If you are not of medium weight and medium riding ability then you need to adjust your suspension.

    The adjusters on most dampers are made to span a fairly small range of adjustments. If they had the ability to adjust a wide range then everyday adjustments would be ridiculously small, say 1/16 of a turn would be a noticeable adjustment. Hence the need for custom tuners to change internals.

    You saying that a DHX offers enough suspension performance for ANYONE is absolutely ridiculous. It is a great system and suits many people just fine out of the box, it also has the ability to be adjusted/ tuned to a very high level of performance...as does just about everything else on the market. Stuff now a days is pretty damn good, though it's far from perfect. That doesn't mean we should just accept it as it is a stop trying to improve.

    I for one won't!
     
  24. CrabJoe StretchPants

    CrabJoe StretchPants Reincarnated Crab Walking Head Spinning Bruce Dick

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    I see it as the complete opposite. More time ON the bikes translates to more time/exposure to how the suspension performs, what it lacks, what could be improved, and ideas of how to improve it.
     
  25. Kevin

    Kevin Turbo Monkey

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    Well personally I dont see a whole lot of people saying that about the DHX. Ive said it myself about the 5th Elements or Swingers though as those shocks really werent up to par with the rest of the market.
    I also wont ever touch a Manitou fork again with a ten (pinkbike) feet pole because of my bad experiance with Manitou products but a lot of peope say the same about Manitou, or other products just because they heard someone on the internet say it.

    Djamgils, what is it about the DHXs performance that you dont like?
    I know it has problems with the v10 suspension but how does it effect your ride on a SOCOM that could be improved?
     
  26. Pockets-o-Grey

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    hmmm i guess i sorta mean like people just give up on shocks like a dhx because they feel there internals are not good performace wise so they sorta boycot it... while im thinking that a dhx is high performace enough to be able to be adjusted so that it can meet the demands of everyone riding it with no problems.
     
  27. Pockets-o-Grey

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    thats what i dont understand why is that such a ridiculous statement to say its enough suspension performance for everyone? like you never gave an example about why one would not be getting enough suspension performance from there DHX? what is it that the DHX is lacking that would make it unsuitable for all riders? like even if you weigh 250 pounds wouldnt u just find the correct spring weight for your size then adjust the shock normally?
     
  28. bullcrew

    bullcrew Turbo Monkey

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    weight style terrain temp conditions etc all vary so will the tuning. My shock and fork act different on a cold day then a warm day and the longer nasty the ride it fades in. I huck and race so there are 2 totally different set ups, I try and get as close to possible with 1 overall that way its within a click or 2 to going from 1 to the other.
    Alot is also due to parkinglot tests where it isnt going to react the same in the field.

    The #1 reason! Because we can and will, we paid for the clicky thingy so we are going to click! :D
     
  29. -C-

    -C- Monkey

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    Its an iteresting point you make, but quite recently there have been some independant tests of suspension forks & rear shocks on dynometers.

    Funnily enough, using the example of the DHX as you have, it actually faired pretty poorly. Its compression damping wasn't too great, neither was its rebound. It's adjustments were never truely independant of each other, and when it was worked pretty hard its performance dropped right off...

    And in answer to your original question, as to why why people are doing this, my answer is quite simple - "because I can". :)
     
  30. djamgils

    djamgils Monkey

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    Some points where I think the dhx is lacking.
    I cant get the rebound fast enough, I have it full open now and would like to try it even faster. Also the inability to adjust the lsc properly.

    But maybe I just have something against fox. A company that cant make it in the motorcycle industrie and that is supposedly the best in mtb makes me give a sad feeling for the mtb industrie. or am I completely wrong here?
     
  31. MttyTee

    MttyTee Monkey

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    Maybe some would, but maybe some don't ride DH, they huck cliffs and want more compression and bottoming control than the stock adjusters can provide, maybe they like less sag and need more rebound to compensate for the increased spring force, maybe the try to jump everything on a dh run and need less rebound to bounce over things, maybe they run their forks too soft and end up hanging off the back of the bike needing more LSC than the stock adjusters provide.

    I'm not picking on any specific brand. There are just way too many variables for you, or anyone, to say one system is the holy grail or one system is fine for everyone,which I think was your original point.
     
  32. djamgils

    djamgils Monkey

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    The idea of the ccdb would be to have enough tuning range to suit every kind of rider. from others who have a ccdb I kind of hear that it comes close to the holy grail.
    But tracks change, people change, bikes changes. I guess that we will never reach the holy grail.
     
  33. demo 9

    demo 9 Turbo Monkey

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    lol :D
     
  34. djamgils

    djamgils Monkey

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    was that sarcastic?

    I think we could use more companys like CaneCreek/ohlins, BOS, Honda/showa.
     
  35. skatetokil

    skatetokil Turbo Monkey

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    Aside from adjustment range in the DHX, Swinger, and 5th element, these all are applications of a specific valve technology that provides some degree of pedaling platform no matter the tuning. This feature is integral to the damper, and some people argue that platforms have no place in DH. They were designed to permit long travel trail bikes to climb without bobbing, and even with a low platform setting they may compromise the ability of the rear wheel to track terrain at high speeds or spring off the lips of jumps. This is somewhat academic, but riders coming from traditional "shimmed"dampers complain of poor ground feel and a reduced maneuverability as a result. I've only really had experience on this family of dampers, and I'm fast enough I suppose, but I would like to compare head to head.
     
  36. kuksul08

    kuksul08 Monkey

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    Well I change my sag depending on what riding I'm doing, and also periodically check the air pressure because it changes with different temperature and atmospheric pressure.
     
  37. demo 9

    demo 9 Turbo Monkey

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    no it wasnt its funny
     
  38. pelo

    pelo Monkey

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    Changing sag for rearshock as well?
     
  39. jefedelosjefes

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    It is like golf. People buy super expensive clubs because they think it will make them better. Bikers who think they are slow on their bike will pump money into it because they think it will make them faster... bottom line is it won't, but it will make you feel good. Set you bike up, ride it, and stop making excuses for why you are slow.
     
  40. bullcrew

    bullcrew Turbo Monkey

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    Normally Id agree, except that on a pedaly course Ill use the dhx 5.0 and everything else is the AVY dhs. And on bootleg the avy does a better job along with rock gardens. So yeah the avy is a better call in some areas and others the fox works better.
    The avy sticks to the ground better with alot less strain on my body vs the fox where areas its not as plush and has a tendancy to buck a little.