deniz merdano Cam McRae EXT storia3.jpg
REVIEW

EXT Storia V3 Lok Shock Review (w/Cascade Link)

Words Cam McRae
Photos Deniz Merdano (unless noted)
Date Feb 11, 2022
Reading time

Are you drawn exotic mechanical adventures, unafraid of the challenges you may encounter trying to repair an Alfa Romeo? I love reliability but I'm also a sucker for all things Italian. I even married an Italian. Exotic Italian suspension parts on a mountain bike may feel even riskier than that Alfa. Servicing or finding parts for a fork or shock that isn't made by Rock Shox or Fox isn't likely to be easier, or less expensive but if we were practical and pragmatic, would we be mountain bikers?

The exotic often comes with the lure of superior performance, which is certainly the case with EXT. But, as any Ferrari owner will tell you, while there's an obvious boost in up front costs associated with a taste for Italian metal, it may be the maintenance and repair costs, and assaciated ordeals, that break you.* Venturing into boutique parts isn't for rookies or bed wetters, unless you happen to be a mountain bike 'journalist,' in which case both are eligible.

*At this point I have no evidence this will be the case with EXT and thus far I have had no issues at all

escort-rally-suspension.jpg

I plan to find out what compels a company that fashions unique and rare components, like shocks for rally cars that haven't been produced for over 40 years, to move into the world of mountain biking.

EXT suspension products fit the boutique designation to a T. The company does very little that is mass produced, focussing mainly on suspension for the highest levels of competition for individual teams in the rally and road racing spheres. An exception is that EXT supplied suspension for a hopped-up special edition Fiat 500, if you can call 133 units "mass production." Considering the rarefied air most of their customers breathe, it might end up that EXT produces more parts for mountain bikes than anything else. There is probably a slightly larger audience for mountain bike shocks and forks than for suspension to bolt onto a vintage Ford Escort Mk II, which was produced between 1974 and 1980.

It seems clear that EXT, led by suspension innovator Franco Fratton, has a long and distinguished engineering pedigree. Further evidence of this is EXT's presence on Geometron frames; if you can please Chris Porter, the notoriously discerning mountain biking sage, you can please anyone.

cascade link 2.jpg

Every dimension differs slightly between the two links. Cascade/Yeti 59.5mm/57.3mm from bearing to pivot attachment – 60.5/61.7 from bearing to wishbone attachment – pivot to wishbone 11.8mm/9.8mm Photos - Cam McRae

cascade link 3.jpg

The Cascade Link also claims to increase rear travel by 5mm and slacken the head tube by .5º – changes I welcome for the riding I do. It comes with Enduro Max bearings pressed in and weighs 15 grams more than that stock unit. Cascade makes links for 13 different bike brands.

Cascade Components Yeti SB150 Link

My first move in this process was to install a Cascade Link for my Yeti SB150 frame. I wanted to know if I could feel a difference with my existing setup before I threw more variables into the mix. I measured up the two links and they were remarkably similar despite each dimension between the three attachment points being dissimilar. The main draw of the Cascade Link is the way it changes the leverage curve of the SB150 frame. The leverage initially is said to be increased from about 2.7:1 to 2.9:1. For every millimetre of shaft movement in your rear shock, with the cascade link, the rear wheel should travel 2.9 mm, which should translate into better small bump sensitivity. This gap continues for the majority of the stroke and at about 40mm the leverage ratio of the Cascade Link is said to begin increasing more than the stock linkage, eventually ending with a slightly lower leverage ratio (2.1 for Cascade vs 2.15 for Yeti). The more significant factor is the change in leverage ratio observed on the graph, for the last 20mm of stroke, where the Cascade link goes from 2.6:1 to 2.1:1 while the stock link goes from approximately 2.45:1 to 2.15:1. Cascades figures describe their link as 26% progressive vs 15% for stock for the entire leverage curve.

leverage ratio cascade link.jpg

This graph from Cascade Components depicts their measurement of the leverage curve of their link vs. Yeti's standard link.

Right away I felt a difference in the ride with the Cascade Link. The rear suspension moved into the top portion of the travel more easily and small bump sensitivity was increased providing more trail feedback and feel. I raised my pressure a little to preserve mid stroke support but only a couple of pounds from 165 to 167 which left me around the recommended 30% sag. The increased ramp up combined with the progressive nature of an air shock (Float X2) added a more bottomless feel as advertised. These differences weren't dramatic but were enough to justify the price of admission (269 USD) for the riding I do here on the North Shore. I was even happier on a bike that has kept me very pleased for three years, particularly with an extra 5mm of rear travel and a .5º slacker head angle.

cascade link 4.jpg

Installed. Almost. Installing the Cascade Link on a Yeti is likely more difficult than most, but it's still not a bad job. Photo - Cam McRae

The real justification for the Cascade Link was to add progressivity to make the platform more compatible with a coil shock, in the form of the EXT Storia. Despite Richie Rude's success on his coil-equipped SB150, Yeti doesn't recommend a conventional spring for the bike. Coil shocks are more linear so they work best on a suspension design that ramps up a little more, while an air spring can only be compressed so much providing lots of ramp.

Cascade SB150 Features*

  • Travel: 155mm (with stock 230x60mm shock)
  • Increased to 26% progressive compared to 15% with stock link
  • Slackens bike 0.5 degrees and lowers BB 7mm
  • Sealed Enduro MAX bearings
  • CNC’d out of 6061-T6 aluminum in the USA
  • Colors: Black, Silver, Orange
  • Weight: 190 grams (vs. 175 for stock link)

*info provided by Cascade

deniz merdano Cam McRae EXT storia1.jpg

The Cascade Link after the EXT Storia was installed.

First Rides

I packed up the bike and went to visit Ben Arnott in Squamish to have EXT suspension installed. Normally I would have done this myself but Ben, who runs Alba Distribution, is a former World Cup mechanic, and who am I to turn down that sort of service? Watching Ben work highlighted some of my wrenching limitations. His bench remained spotless all the way through the job and he was precise and methodical. It turns out messy and haphazard mechanics don't make it to the top level. Before my visit to Alba, I submitted a form outlining my bike info, my height and weight, my riding preferences etc. EXT builds every shock for the customer so this info is essential.

ext storia v3 lok weight.jpeg

That says 710.5 grams. Since this shock was installed EXT has introduced lighter springs which may reduce this by 60 grams or so. Photo - Cam McRae

I left Squamish feeling optimistic but I wasn't among those who immediately fall in love with EXT suspension. One thing I heard is that EXT forks can take a little longer than others to break in, which may have contributed to the issue. I seemed to have poor traction in the rear and repeated hard impacts felt more harsh than I expected. I also realized that zeroing in the suspension of two new products can introduce too many variables. The shock never felt bad but it never felt great either My setup problems may have been obscured by the HBC (hydraulic bottom out control - more on that below). I never felt like I was bottoming; the bike simply didn't feel fast or responsive and was obviously riding too low in its travel, although I failed to identify this at the time. Once I put my Zeb back on, I knew what I was dealing with up front and could focus on what was happening the rear.

After twiddling with suspension settings without much success I decided to install the heavier of the two springs EXT supplied, even though that didn't seem to e a likely solution. All Storia shocks come with two springs that differ in spring rate by 25 lbs. I had been using the 400 based on the baseline recommendations from EXT and I didn't feel like I needed more support but once I installed the 425, things started to sing. I had great traction, issues with repeated impacts disappeared, and the system finally felt fast.

deniz merdano Cam McRae EXT storia8.jpg

Suspension made for racing can also translate to suspension made for fun

EXT Storia Lok V3 Technologies

HBC

EXT's hydraulic bottom out feature (HBC) might be their most impressive technology, and one that puts some distance between almost every other coil-sprung shock on the market.* Because of the more linear nature of a coil shock, bottom out is more difficult to control when compared to a an air shock which has a more progressive spring curve. Most shocks solve this issue with cutting edge technology found inside a 1990 Manitou fork; a big elastomer bump stop. In one direction this works well enough, but an elastomer has no damping so it springs back abruptly after being compressed.

*Push also employs hydraulic bottom out

storia v3 lok schematic.jpg

Reaching into their bag of technology tricks, EXT ported a technology they first developed for WRC in 1990. Hydraulic bottom out works by adding a compression damping circuit that only activates in the last 15% of travel. This is accomplished with a secondary valve that closes and works in addition to the main compression circuit once it has entered a smaller diameter chamber at the end of the stroke. Rather than the thick conical bottom bump stops other coil shocks deploy, the Storia needs only a 5mm-thick foam disk. The EXT Arma DH shock adds an external adjustment for HBC but the lock lever occupies this space for the Storia. EXT can customize HBC to meet your needs either when your shock is being made or when it's in for service.

deniz merdano Cam McRae EXT storia6.jpg

The reddish foam disc seen in the middle of the coil is all that is needed for a bump stop. There is also an aluminum disc there designed to keep the shaft free of debris. Ben told me other riders complained about it making noise and had them removed but I haven't noticed it.

Lok 2.0

It wasn't long ago that a lockout for a coil shock was unheard of. There were even devices you could snap in place to prevent bobbing back in the day. The Storia uses a secondary compression circuit to improve pedalling rather than simply increasing the compression in the main damper as others do. Externally on the Storia HBC can only be turned on or off but EXT can customize it for you if you'd like it more or less firm. On my Yeti I don't find the level of bob to be a problem and I almost prefer the added suppleness with the Lok lever off on rough gravel or when climbing bumpier singletrack, the exception being when I stand up on the pedals which I do often. There is a blow off valve for those of you who, like me, forget to engage party mode before the descent. This second version is said to be firmer and quieter(?) than the original Lok but I didn't hear anything at all on the way up. I think given the choice I would opt for the external HBC adjustment for the Storia rather than the Lok lever because I care more about descending performance.

deniz merdano Cam McRae EXT storia2.jpg

The Lok switch is found just below the front of the piggyback and is easily engaged from the saddle

High Turbulent Flow

Dampers are designed to slow the movement of the piston in your shock so that oscillations are controlled. Without damping your rear shock would behave like a basketball, bouncing too deep into its travel and rebounding too quickly. Damping is accomplished by restricting the flow of fluid from one chamber to another. This energy has to go somewhere and it ends up being converted to heat. Excess heat reduces a liquid's viscosity, compromising damping performance on long descents or at high speeds. EXT's solution to this issue is to increase turbulence in the system, which acts to increase viscosity and reduce cavitation and aeration which also degrade performance in high performance situations.

Other Goodies

The Storia has a large, 29mm main piston and a 24mm valve piston for increased fluid flow. The reservoir pressure is only 55 PSI which is said to help the Storia move easily into its travel. Ultra low friction coatings are used throughout to reduce stiction and improve response. And finally, most of the damping circuits can be adjusted by EXT to meet your needs as accurately as possible.

deniz merdano Cam McRae EXT storia7.jpg

Other elements I appreciate about a coil shock are reduced temperature sensitivity and never having to check air pressure.

Longer Term Ride Impressions

Once I got a few things sorted I really started to appreciate the Storia V3. Rear wheel tracking is excellent and there are moments when the rear tire seems to conform perfectly to every imperfection on the trail. This helps braking and cornering, and seems to make evasive manoeuvres almost intuitive. While I realize I am always the weakest link in my mountain bike system by a wide margin, there are often times when I feel either my fork or my shock is holding me back. This is often situation-specific and there is probably a way to improve settings for that particular trail condition (big downhill trail steps at speed are an example) but those settings would then be detrimental in other, more common situations. The Storia V3 seems to adapt to most every condition and get out of my way, leaving me with nobody else to blame when I shit the bed. Grazie Franco!

I have also been surprised by the seemingly incompatible traits of excellent compliance during both large and small impacts and a satisfyingly poppy feel. It doesn't have the same platform and ramp up of an air shock, but it's still remarkably proficient at getting off the ground and changing lines. Part of this is certainly related to the SB150s kinematics but the shock itself doesn't feel dead despite its ability to move out of the way when required.

The bottomless feel of the HBC is a beautiful thing to get used to. This translates to composure at the bottom of rock faces with abrupt transitions or when launching into inhospitable terrain. It feels as though you have an extra moment to sort out your baggage and point yourself in the appropriate direction.

deniz merdano Cam McRae EXT storia4.jpg

EXT Storia V3 Lok Features*

  • Metric and Imperial sizing – Standard or Trunnion mount
  • 4 way adjustable (LSC-HSC-LSR-Lok proprietary system)
  • High flow Ø29 mm main piston
  • Ø24 mm valve piston
  • Ø14 mm shaft
  • New Lok Technology – Progressive opening – Silent working
  • Engineered rebound circuit to separate bump and rebound oil flow
  • Ultra low-friction coating
  • Factory tuned HBC technology
  • Very low reservoir pressure for maximum sensitivity (55 PSI)
  • Full custom hydraulic setup available
  • No cavitation
  • Very low hysteresis for high dynamic response
  • High turbulent flow for very low temperature depending
  • Low friction Energize seal
  • Thinner bottom-out bumper
  • New rebound knob for easy spring swap

*info provided by EXT

A Few Thorns

Boutique experiences are bound to have a few quirky elements. One is that the high speed rebound can only be adjusted with a 12mm spanner. Once that spanner is in place the detentes are easily felt with a satisfying click, but who wants an extra open-ended wrench with them on a ride? The compression and low speed damping require a more convenient 4mm hex wrench. The other unusual feature is what EXT calls "The Sound of Technology." In other words, the EXT admits the Storia is noisier than other shocks; "...we need to put parts inside that are working and moving together with other ones to create restrictions to oil flow, and these can produce sounds as the valves open and close." I notice this when cycling the suspension in my shop but I never notice it on the trail but I'm sure some of you will find this annoying.

deniz merdano Cam McRae EXT storia18.jpeg

I have been riding the EXT Era fork as well and I'll be back to report on that in the coming weeks.

The Price of Composure

Here in Canada the Storia V3 Lok costs 1350 CAD. To me that doesn't sound unreasonable for a custom-tuned shock with F1 technology and two very light coil springs. But, the excellent Fox Float Factory X2 will set you back only 940 CAD. It's also lighter, a little poppier, and it is naturally progressive thanks to its air spring. You can also adjust your spring rate in a minute or so based on the conditions of the day or to hit the bike park. It also could be slightly lighter, although that difference is quite small with the new EXT springs. Obviously the Storia isn't for everyone and depending on your priorities you might want to park those 400 extra bucks elsewhere. For me, based on my experience so far I think it's well worth the price of admission.

I didn't know much about the EXT brand when I signed up for this test, aside from the fact that it was an exotic Italian brand with a name and logo that resembles that of Fox, and that Chris Porter liked them. As I have learned more I have become more impressed. Recently EXT released an update for the ERA fork which includes new lowers, a new floating axle, improved bushings and a new end stroke for the outrageous price of 250 CAD, or 450 installed. This sort of improvement on the fly isn't common in our business and usually these kind of upgrades are left for an upcoming model year. Continuous development seems to be the way forward for EXT.

In Canada you can order an EXT Storia from Alba Distribution or through your bike shop. South of the border there is a US EXT office. Other global distributors and service centres can be found here.

cam@nsmb.com
Cam McRae

Height - 6'/183cm (mostly legs)

Weight - 170lbs/77kg

Inseam - 34"/86cm

Ape Index - 0.986

Age - 56

Trail I've been stoked on lately - Boogieman

Bar Width - 760mm

Preferred Reach - 485-500mm (longer with 27.5 wheels than 29)

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Comments

MTN_Fella
Zak Brown
4 months, 2 weeks ago
+3 Cr4w Suns_PSD Cam McRae

Suspension Syndicate (EXT USA distributor) makes a little 3D printed tool for adjusting HSC/LSC - https://www.instagram.com/p/CCejNQvnGBt/?utm_source=ig_web_copy_link

Reply

craw
Cr4w
4 months, 2 weeks ago
+1 Cam McRae

I never found this to be a huge issue. I carried an open-ended wrench with me for the first few rides then just adjusted it at home a click or two as required. That printed tool is a nice solution.

I definitely noticed the sound of the shock at first. Also mine had a very narrow range of rebound adjustability and it was super fast. Ben at Alba helped me reign it in a little and it's working great. 100% stoked. Though I haven't been on anything else for a long time so I don't think I know how good I've got it.

Reply

DancingWithMyself
DancingWithMyself
4 months, 2 weeks ago
+1 Cr4w

Very curious about the sound.  Are you pretty sensitive to sounds coming from the bike?  Has it fully faded into background?

Reply

craw
Cr4w
4 months, 2 weeks ago
+1 DancingWithMyself

I did at first but now I don't notice it at all.

Reply

cam@nsmb.com
Cam McRae
4 months, 2 weeks ago
+1 DancingWithMyself

I am sensitive to some sounds and not others. Rattling drives me absolutely bonkers, but I don't notice sounds from the Storia at all during the ride.

Reply

DancingWithMyself
DancingWithMyself
4 months, 2 weeks ago
0

Thanks for the responses guys!  Thinking hard about one for my Titan.

Reply

SilentG
SilentG
4 months, 2 weeks ago
+1 DancingWithMyself

Running one my a Rune v3 right now and it is an unholy combination on the KS2 platform.

Sorry to be an enabler...

The sound is a bit of a squish/whoosh noise under action and I think of it like the shock saying 'I got your back' and find it kind of reassuring tbh.

rigidjunkie
Allen Lloyd
4 months, 2 weeks ago
+3 IslandLife Vik Banerjee Cam McRae

I have twice now switched to a coil (both times to a cheap option from a fairly expensive air shock) and kicked myself for not doing it sooner both times.  The feel difference is amazing and I understand why some hate coils, but for me no air shock can deliver that buttery smooth feeling of a coil.  One day I hope to add a really nice coil to my bike, this thing sounds amazing.

Reply

SilentG
SilentG
4 months, 2 weeks ago
+3 mrbrett Cam McRae kmag76

Another data point from someone who enjoys the content here and seeing glimpses of PNW from Arizona is like reading a National Geographic or hearing someone talking about what it is like on the moon or another planet...super interesting but also hard to wrap my head around at times.

I have used the Storia on a couple different frames and it isn't much more in weight than a Float X2 (the air kind).

What is unique about the Storia in my experience is that it has a planted feel but as you push it harder and harder it seems like it makes the back-end calmer and calmer by tracking and tracking to the point where other than the shock making some noise you don't get as much of a 'on a coil over here' feel in a good way and it really does feel quite bottomless.

Full disclosure - I am a habitual suspension flip flopper so I have tried all kinds of shocks and forks to help me figure out what I like by comparing and contrasting.

There are probably better and less turbulent ways to do that but I'm not always the sharpest tool in the shed like that.

I would say a Push 11.6 is your plush carpet ride feel, Ohlins TTX is not far off the Storia but the ride is a little different, kind of a halfway between the 11.6 and Storia, and the Storia is just controlled and the faster or more janky the better as the Storia never seems to flinch or if it does you don't notice it and you end up going 'eff it, I'm going to see what happens if I go over here or if I do this'.

Highly confidence inspiring.

I guess the best way to describe the Storia is that it is controlled and active at the same time and turns invisible so you don't notice it or feel it handling business until you hop on something else and then you miss it.

I don't get that feeling from a whole heck of a lot of suspension...sure I like them and I remember the good times we had together but rarely do I pine away for a shock or fork but among shocks the Storia lives rent free in my head and heart.

Reply

moraucf
moraucf
4 months, 2 weeks ago
+2 Tjaard Breeuwer Dan

Can echo this sentiment. Have tried most shocks out there (except Ohlins) and I basically can't ride anything else except EXT now. Exaggerating, but the ride feel is really spot on for my preferences. I also think it's a huge value add that you can call up, get some opinions, and have have the shock retuned for free once.

Did have to do that with my latest E-Storia, where I ended up going up in spring rate and compressions tune. Spot on after retune.

Reply

cam@nsmb.com
Cam McRae
4 months, 2 weeks ago
0

Great observations SG!

Reply

LAT
LAT
4 months, 2 weeks ago
+3 Dan Cam McRae kcy4130

if you can’t find an original mk2 escort, mst will make you a new one 

https://mst-cars.com

Reply

luisgutierod
luisgutierod
4 months, 2 weeks ago
+2 Cam McRae Nologo

Nice write up.. In europe the price is absolutely more competitive, but in my eyes, this cannot be compared to a Fox shock at all.. maybe ohlins or canecreek.. for sure FAST and Push..

Reply

kperras
Kenneth Perras
4 months, 2 weeks ago
+2 Andrew Major Cam McRae

Hidden bonus: I found the Storia to be roughly 100g lighter than other comparable shocks with similar adjustments. If you're weight conscious, this is a tempting spec.

Reply

Zero-cool
Zero-cool
4 months, 2 weeks ago
+2 solar_evolution Cam McRae

I’ve got a yellow Mk 2 Ford Escort in the barn waiting for me to change a flat tyre on it (just need to convince my dad that his 402 year old son can be trusted with it)

Reply

mammal
Mammal
4 months, 2 weeks ago
+4 4Runner1 Velocipedestrian trumpstinyhands Pete Roggeman

I'm sure your Dad is just happy he can be around for your 402nd trip around the sun?

Reply

just6979
Justin White
4 months, 2 weeks ago
0

Aww, your dad's just testing you. If you get it running and driving, you should be able to drive it!

Reply

cam@nsmb.com
Cam McRae
4 months, 2 weeks ago
0

I know where you can get some shocks.

Reply

jason
jason
4 months, 2 weeks ago
+2 Cam McRae Dogl0rd

This could have been my review, I just started out different.  I began with a 2020 Transition Scout running 140/150.  Upped the shock and fork stroke to go 150/160.  Then got the Storia.  Then the Cascade Link and then a new fork.  Now running 165/170.  Guess I could have got a new Patrol instead but it was not an option at the time.  

The bike is sooo much better with both the link and shock.  The shock felt like I was cheating it tracked so smooth on the ground.  But it was a little soft.  Upped the spring by 25lbs.  Then had to up by another 25lbs with the Cascade Link.  But now it is set up perfectly.  And everything that has been said holds true.  

I have ridden both air cans as well as Push on my small bikes and cant think of a better shock than the Storia.  And with the link the bike works well on slow, fast, smooth and jank, but also drops.  How it can work well on both is beyond me but I am happy to enjoy the benefits of the combo.

Reply

Dogl0rd
Dogl0rd
4 months, 2 weeks ago
+1 Cam McRae

Feels so good to get dialled like that, congrats

Reply

craw
Cr4w
4 months, 2 weeks ago
+1 Cam McRae

Hey Cam if you like those quirky old restorers why not this?  https://www.alphamotorinc.com/jax

I'd be remiss if I didn't paint it Mad Max Interceptor yellow with stripes.

Reply

just6979
Justin White
4 months, 2 weeks ago
0

That looks bad-ass, but I'm really conflicted over that "CUV" label they put on it. Eww. Should be a hatch/wagon, too!

Reply

craw
Cr4w
4 months, 2 weeks ago
+2 Cam McRae Dan
mammal
Mammal
4 months, 2 weeks ago
0

Those are pretty freakin sweet man.

Reply

4Runner1
4Runner1
4 months, 2 weeks ago
0

Wicked!

Reply

cam@nsmb.com
Cam McRae
4 months, 2 weeks ago
0

OMG! I want one of each! The estate is amazing but the Ace is aesthetic perfection. Wow.

Reply

craw
Cr4w
4 months, 2 weeks ago
0

I wonder what the reality will be like for the boutique EV. They  have so few moving parts that as long as they're well made and the stock parts are replaceable (brakes, shocks, tires, etc) then it should be something you could keep forever?

Reply

Timer
Timer
4 months, 2 weeks ago
+1 Cam McRae

The electronics might be an issue. Anything custom or anything for which the replacement requires changes to compiled software could mean the end of such a vehicle.

Reply

just6979
Justin White
4 months, 2 weeks ago
+1 cheapondirt

"Part of this is certainly related to the SB150s kinematics but the shock itself doesn't feel dead despite its ability to move out of the way when required."

I don't think these are actually directly connected as much as people think. Ability to move out of the way is going to be mostly affected by spring rate and frame kinematics (for actual wheel rate) and high-speed compression damping. But I think the dead feeling, the lack of pop, often comes more from too much low-speed compression. As you shift back towards manual position to start the pop, you have to push through the LSC, which damps exactly that kind of body weight shift. With too much LSC, which people often add to try and gain "mid-stroke support" and keep it "riding high", you have to push through all that damping before the spring rate and frame kinematics combine to actually give the (mid-stroke) support that you can use for take-off.

Basically, too much LSC and you might not get to the firmer part of the stroke before take-off time, leaving it feeling dead no matter what it's doing on big square-ish (high-shaft speed, get-the-wheel-out-of-the-way-ASAP) hits.

Reply

Suns_PSD
Suns_PSD
4 months, 2 weeks ago
+1 Cam McRae

After stirring up a lot of crap about internal routed brakes lines I guess I'm going to do it again here.

1) Yeti's shouldn't be on coils as they are much too linear.

2) Progression should be measured from 30% sag to 95%. The thing is that with the Cascade (love them btw) you get some solid overall progression at about 21%, but you basically get it all in the last 17% of travel. Which is good for bottoming resistance but creates some strange ramp up that is not a good situation for managing valving. That valving sees some wacky quickly changing forces which it can't effectively deal with. Like way too much compression at the end, then not enough rebound also at the end.

3) I'm not some huge jumper or anything, pretty average really. However I could not get enough progression on my SJ Evo with a coil & the Cascade. The Cascade with an air shock stuffed full of volume spacers on that bike is money however. 

4) My advise is that unless you have a rather linear leverage rate of change (aka Horst Link,) AND 25%++ progression, stick to air shocks. They just work better.

Reply

nzstormer
Michael Stormer
4 months, 1 week ago
0

A lot of detail, thanks, but I'm not really looking at the coil shock, just the link.

Reply

trumpstinyhands
trumpstinyhands
4 months, 2 weeks ago
0

It's almost like an evolution of the Stratos Helix Pro shock from circa 2001. Coil sprung, lockout but IIRC using air for bottom out resistance rather than oil. Enduro before its time! Shame Specialized sued them into extinction....

Reply

4Runner1
4Runner1
4 months, 2 weeks ago
0

Shame they were total crap. Blew one up after 5 minutes on the bike. Their forks were garbage too. Mine used to twist upon impact.

Reply

just6979
Justin White
4 months, 2 weeks ago
0

"and a 24mm valve piston"

What is a valve piston, vs the main piston?

Reply

albadistribution
albadistribution
4 months, 2 weeks ago
+1 Cam McRae

Hey Justin,

The 24mm valve piston refers to the piston in the LSC/HSC valve, where the adjustments are made. There is another piston in there, adjusting the LSC/HSC clickers meters the flow restriction through this piston, changing the amount of LSC/HSC the damper provides. The main piston on the end of the shaft is tuned using shims to give the correct damping characteristics for the frame/rider.

Ben @ Alba

Reply

just6979
Justin White
4 months, 2 weeks ago
0

I understand how the adjustments work at adjusting the flow, I've just never heard that part called a piston, since it doesn't move. Valve (or shim-stack if the valve actually uses shims) yes, but not piston.

Reply

albadistribution
albadistribution
4 months, 2 weeks ago
0

Correct, it's a valve, not a piston.

Reply

just6979
Justin White
4 months, 2 weeks ago
0

The turbulent flow trick is so slick. Cursory searches seem to corroborate it, so the idea that they can drastically reduce IPF pressure (to reduce stiction on the only [pressurized] air seal on the shock) without compromising overall tendency for cavitation is so good. Buttery!

Reply

morgan-heater
Morgan Heater
4 months, 2 weeks ago
0

Was it custom tuned for the Yeti & CC link? If you decide to move it to another bike, would you need to get it re-tuned?

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albadistribution
albadistribution
4 months, 2 weeks ago
+7 Morgan Heater Mammal solar_evolution Andrew Major Pete Roggeman Cam McRae DancingWithMyself

Hey Morgan,

I can step in and answer this one. This damper was tuned for the stock Yeti, but the difference in the average LR and shape of the curve between the stock and Cascade links means that swapping these links in this scenario wouldn't call for a different tune in the damper.

We do a lot of custom tuning for dampers destined for bikes with Cascade links - some of them require different tunes than the stock bike and some don't. Like all of our tuning, we review this on a case-by-case basis and make our recommendations.

If you moved this damper to another bike of the same size and stroke, you may have to get it re-tuned, depending on the LR values and curve. If the damper isn't in need of a service, a re-tune is a quick and easy job.

Thanks,

Alba Distribution

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nzstormer
Michael Stormer
4 months, 2 weeks ago
0

Cam, did you notice any downsides to the cascade link, while using the float dhx? Apart from the cost, it all seems very positive.

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cam@nsmb.com
Cam McRae
4 months, 1 week ago
0

Oops! That was a brain fart. I used it with the Float X2 but I didn't find any downsides. And actually, Cascade's copy seems to suggest it works better on the SB150 with an air shock.

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nzstormer
Michael Stormer
4 months, 1 week ago
0

Yeah that will teach me for relying on the name you had in your article rather than taking a moment to think for myself. Regardless, thanks for responding, it sounds like it might be worth a try.

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