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Sea Otter 2024

Suspension Updates from Smaller Players

Photos Deniz Merdano
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EXT Debuts Rear Shock and Dual Crown Fork

EXT Racing Shox had their Italian and US folks in the house with a few new bits to show. After a decent chat with Franco, the big boss got some intel on the new technology they are implementing.( the bigger boss, Katia was also present greeting folks and reminding me to drink the beer I was handed)

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New Aircan design for Aria Shock

There is a rolling update to the Aria Shock Tim reviewed. The new shock has better overall aircan design for wider range of fitment for frames with shock tunnels. The positive air chamber valves are also re-aligned for easier pump on and off action. The leaking valve base issues have been remedied. It sounds like this might be a free or low cost upgrade for the owners of the v1 Aria. But all the new shocks will arrive with the updated design. I would love to try one of these on my bike, but I know Tim won't easily part with his sample.

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V1, V2, V3 and soon the V4 Arma

There is also a V4 Arma and Storia in the works. The new version of these well-loved coil shocks will arrive in the summer and the upgrades are worth a look. The biggest change is the new Externally adjustable Hydraulic Bottom Out. There is a cup-like chamber inside the shock body that traps oil and creates a hydraulic lock at full compression. This has always been there on the V3 shocks but it now has orifices and a lever to control its oil flow. The range is more usable and can be done externally. EXT is proud of this new design. All the other changes in the shock seem to be catering towards a quieter shock. People complained and EXT listened, even though they were not fully on board with the complaints. Franco says "The sounds you hear are the shock doing its job, in the best way possible, but the customers wanted a quieter experience."

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The V4 Storia hiding in plain sight.

Another change is on the rebound circuit where the shock will create a slowdown of the shaft speed at the last 10mm of travel. This is said to prevent a top-out sound on the coil. The washer shaft scraper is also gone to avoid more clanging. All the improvements are pointing towards a better user experience. The last change is the IFP chamber in the piggyback reservoir. It is now a bladder-style IFP instead of a spring backed one. This allows for some space savings and aclighter overall shock weight. At 400grams EXT is the lightest fully adjustable coil shock on the market. Apparently there is one on the way for review.

sea otter 2024 suspension

V4 Arma and Storia with bladder IFP chambers

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New damper and air spring design

There is also a new upside down dual crown form from EXT on the horizon. The Vaia fok is adjustable from 170-200mm of travel. This places it in the Super enduro/ light downhill category. While EXT work on a full blown DH fork like the one they make for E Motos, Vaia will hold the fort with a new damper and air spring for the masses. The 3000 gram fork is coming soon and is full of titanium bolts and an air release valve. We may need to toss one of these on Ryan Walters' bike and let him loose on the Shore.

EXT Racing Shox

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Vaia upside down fork with 170-200mm travel adjustments

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This is a damper from a famous moto GP team that shall remain unnamed. This one is worth something like two grand USD and apparently it sits under the saddle. Franco wouldn't tell us what it is or what it does however.

Vorsprung's First Rear Shock

Whistler sure is an impressive place considering how small it is. You have a big mix of bike and tech people. Then you add a healthy dose of crazy and you get some cool products from the not so sleepy mountain village. Vorsprung Suspension have been improving forks and shocks from main players for years. With Tractive tunes and re-valving and even aftermarket air and coil springs to increase traction and support.

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Vorsprung Telum shocks ready to go

Now it's the time to debut their own coil shock. Twin tubed, fully custom, trunnion or standard eyeleted beauties. 90% made in BC (anodizing is done in Alberta), these shocks promise a whole alot for $1200.

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Vorsprung Telum custom shocks ready to roll

With Short IFPs and strategically placed adjustment dials, they promise a wide range of fitment for the current generation of frames. The stroke range is 50 to 75mms and will feature a standard or spherical mounts in the eyelets. The HBO is stroke independent, meaning, if you change the stroke of your shock, the point the HBO kicks in on the travel remains the same. Re-valving the Telum is also supposed to be super easy and under 10minutes. I can see some Elka/MRP Hazzard vibes here. Looking forward to all of this. Hopefully we'll get a sample for long term review.


Cane Creek Inverted Gravel Forks

Cane Creek had their new Invert gravel fork on display. There were even two Gravel bikes you could take out and test the system. The invert fork is a 2 option system with either a 30mm travel or 40mm travel with a lock-out switch. Both these forks are extremely lightweight. With the stanchions attaching to the axle, the unsprung weight of the system is greatly reduced.

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Cane Creek Invert Gravel fork. CC was calling these "The world's first gravel fork," because they say all the others are mountain bike forks modified for gravel use.

The good looking fork is as simple as it gets. Air up the fork leg with a standard shock pump to your desired pressure and that is it. The lack of damping in the fork makes for a lighter chassis that works in variety of situations. Cane Creek believes that the current generation of gravel forks are borrowing from mountain bike designs and are overcomplicated for their purpose. By simplifying the internals and turning the fork upside down, CC has managed sub 1000gr weights for the 30mm version. A Bottom Bracket tool gives you access to the internals for a quick clean and lubing. Upside down design should keep the wipers lubricated during use.

Invert CS (Climb Switch, 40mm, 1113g): $1,199.99
Invert SL (No Climb Switch, 30mm, 990g): $1,099.99

Cane Creek

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The climb switch on Cane Creek's new gravel forks was super easy to reach and activate

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A BB tool is all that is required to tear down the Invert fork from Cane Creek

MRP's Lift Damper and Ribbon Fork

MRP had their new Lift Damper and Ribbon forks on display. The Lift damper is a weight specific damper and is available in 5 shim stack presets. You let MRP how much you weight when you order and they build the fork accordingly. They come in all the new Ribbon forks but are also available to fit Current 35mm Stanchion Rockshox forks, Fox 36, 38, Marzocchi Z1 and "probably" the new Super Z fork. The idea is to have a very light off-the-top damping for a "fluttery" feel. The support builds as you get deeper into the travel. There are also new IGUS bushings at the seal head and PTFE-infused IFP with high-flow pistons to reduce system friction as much as possible for more effective damping.

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MRP Lift Damper

"You could have the best damping in the world but if there is too much friction in the system, it doesn't do you any good" - Noah Wilcox from MRP

The aftermarket dampers are a direct drop in fitment for all these forks and we are looking forward to getting a couple to test on our RockShox and Fox platforms.

MRP also told us there is a new Hazzard on the way, I loved mine on the Rallon and looking forward to trying the new one too.


Push Industries SV EIGHT Shock and NINE ONE Fork

Push Industries was also in attendance at the show with their American Made goods. Displaying their new upside down NINE ONE fork front and center. While we still do not know when these are actually going to be available or if we will be getting one to test on the Shore, we are looking forward to the opportunity. At least I am personally.

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push eleven six

There is a bunch of cool technology in this fork from Push. The modular build means you can change offset and wheel size easily with a couple of new parts. The butted stanchion design allows for flex where needed and stiffness when necessary. It is a coil sprung fork with an upside down design meaning lower unsprung weight to the equivalent coil fork from another manufacturer.

The 140-170mm range should suit a variety of bikes and riders but the 2600 USD price will keep most people looking from the outside.

The new SV EIGHT shock was also on display. This is a non-bespoke solution from Push for a wider range of riders looking for a more boutique experience or just the push build quality. You can pick one of these up from Push for 865 USD and get on with your ride.

Push Industries

Bright Forks

I don't know much about Bright Forks or the company in general. But the upside down fork made in Italy is promising the world to the users if you look at their website. The entire philosophy of the fork relies on extremely low dynamic sag numbers. Which means the fork is not sagging under rider weight on flat ground but still has extreme sensitivity and quote " Deep front end control"

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Bright XCO fork is not like other forks

The Bright enduro fork has 150mm of travel which is supposed to be equivalent to a traditional 180mm fork at sag. All this sounds super interesting and unique and I will sic Cam, our Italian-speaking leader, on them to see if we can get a sample for throwing around.

They had their XCO fork at the Cannondale tent and I took a photo of it. I'd like to know if any of you know much about the company and their products.

Bright Racing Shocks

Deniz Merdano



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+8 Deniz Merdano Mammal BarryW Ripbro Metacomet Dan Konrad ohio

Cool to see Vorsprung has entered the shock market. Eager to read some first impressions.


+1 BarryW



+2 dolface Shoreboy

How is a 400g shock the lightest fully adjustable coil when the cane creek coil IL exists at 210g? Is LR, HR, LC, and HC not "fully adjustable?"


-1 alienator064

Equivalent from Cane Creek would be the Tigon which is 450grams



This comment has been removed.





Do you mean from the standpoint of the coil IL doesn’t have a tune able bottom out and the tigon and the ext do? Or are you comparing shocks with piggybacks only?


+5 Flatted-again Endur-Bro ohio Fabricio Fracchia Dr.Flow

Yes and No . While the coil IL is an exceptionally light shock, it is not a universal fit. It is a trail spec shock for shorter travel bikes that don't use clevis design. It also lacks HBO circuit. So while it is technically lighter than the EXT, it is not a DH spec shock. Both Tigon amd the Coil Kitsuma would be the shock to pair up with the EXT, which are both heavier. 

My bad in not pointing out the use case scenario


+2 dhr999 Timer

$1,200 US$ for gravel bike suspension....  crazy times.


+1 Jerry Willows

You know you want it!!!


+2 Andy Eunson BarryW

for myself, I would probably get an older 29" HT and put thinner tires on it.  

For the price of a new gravel bike, I'd probably get a Surron instead.



How much more to add a damper?


+6 Jerry Willows Niels van Kampenhout WasatchEnduro JVP hankthespacecowboy Endur-Bro

Finally groadies can spend all their money on cool stuff like suspension instead of just making their bikes lighter or more areo or $700 bottom bracket bearings.



I'm most interested in the details of Vorsprung moving to Kamloops but I probably should get off the internet and ask my friends here to find that answer.


+1 Kyle Dixon

I am told sometime in the next month or so. Most likely into another local brand's space...


+2 Endur-Bro cedrico

That's a pity for me and great for them. I always enjoy the Sea to Sky voyage to the land of infinite fun and toys.  Now there will be one less toyshop.



No word on the EXT fork offset. Happy to see drop crowns so it'll fit on more frames. 

Might just wait for this fork now

Any word if the Storia V4 upgrades are backwards compatible with the Storia V3?



The architecture seems different enough that i am going to say no. Or at least not all of it. Call Alba distribution or EXT Usa for more info



Hoping I can upgrade my armav3



I had a used EXT shock that I quite liked, but when I went to get it serviced, they were out of parts and it was no longer supported. I don't think it was more than 5 years old. Probably won't be buying EXT products again.


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