We Are One Arrival Fork Swap NSMB Andrew Major
EDITORIAL

What's Up Buttercups?

Photos Andrew Major (Unless Noted)
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Foundations

I'm going to jump right into it here. If you’ve been building up ButterCups in your imagination, they’re going to let you down. They don’t do what they say they will but I love them still. It's not that these tiny elastomeric bumpers don't bring anything to the trail, there is just a bit of realism required to appreciate their true potential.

Ignore everything you've read and picture a rubber bumper with up to 4mm of travel in either leg of your suspension fork. They come in a single spring rate for everyone, and according to SRAM the bumpers "aren't tuned for rider weight. They are tuned for a frequency of vibration and are independent of rider weight." And then note that SRAM says there's still a benefit if ButterCups are only run in one leg, or the other, rather than both.

Think about your experiences with tires, tire pressure, tire casings, inserts, grips, bars, and suspension, both freshly serviced and well past the service date, and maybe for the older folks in the room, elastomer-sprung suspension forks. Picture, with all the powers of your imagination what you'd think the best-case performance bump could be from up-to-4mm of rubber squish mated to a 5-7" travel suspension fork.

Buttercups NSMB Andrew Major (3)

A picture of the SRAM factory from my previous piece on the subject Foxgloves & Buttercups.

Before I talk any more about my personal experience, here's what SRAM says about ButterCups:

  • "These little ButterCups add about 4mm of vertical compliance to your suspension and an average of 20% reduction in trail chatter from reaching your hands. All of this happens whenever your bike is in motion."
  • "ButterCups live on both the damper and air spring shafts of Ultimate-level forks. Inside their gold packaging, ButterCups utilize rubber pucks and a metal plate to absorb frequencies that would otherwise travel up to the rider."
  • "It's a neat, simple piece of technology that has a really big impact on how small bumps are transmitted into your hands."
  • "Our approach was to mute some trail harshness you feel. We found by giving that high frequency, low amplitude chatter responsibility to the ButterCups, it frees up the other parts of the system to do their jobs better."
  • "Feel safer and go faster with out the fatigue. That’s why we redesigned the Charger 3 damper and why we created ButterCups. Say yes to an extra lap."

If you click the link above, SRAM has all kinds of extra information. Graphs showing the 'damage reduction' riders will receive with ButterCups vs. without. A story about how these little rubber pucks were inspired by a rubber chainsaw grip*. Lots of good stuff bumping up ButterCups.

*Imagine if bicycles used all-rubber push-on grips instead of rubber-over-plastic-sleeve lock-on grips.

ButterCups M23 RockShox SRAM NSMB

ButterCups, a rendering. Image: RockShox

Arguably, what's been missing since day one, is side-by-side reviews of identical, fresh, MY23 Ultimate-level RockShox forks with and without ButterCups - and I'm not volunteering myself to conduct said test. Clearly, when it comes to suspension I'm just not that discerning. I've ridden quite a few different top-end suspension forks and I can't feel ButterCups doing anything comparatively, never mind reducing trail chatter by 1/5th.

All the comparative reviews I've read, or heard, have been comparing fresh RockShox Ultimate forks - Zeb, Lyrik, Pike - against forks that are at least due for a routine service and more commonly overdue. I've ridden a few '23 RockShox Ultimate forks now, with the Charger 3 damper, and I'm not prepared to say they perform notably better than freshly-serviced '22 RockShox Ultimate forks with Charger 2.1 dampers. And any performance gains are theoretically split between the new damper, the new air system, and the ButterCups.

That's not to say that 2023 RockShox forks aren't excellent. I've had great experiences with the Zeb and especially the Lyrik that I've been riding on the We Are One Arrival. It's just that the 2022 RockShox forks are excellent as well. Welcome to the maturity of mountain bike components in the second-decade post-millennium where minor improvements on the trail are still marketed as magnificent.

But wait, I said at the start that I love ButterCups, and I do. I'm not convinced they do anything to reduce trail noise, at least anything that I can feel, but they absolutely reduce fork noise that I can hear. Between the Charger 3 damper and the ButterCups, the MY23 RockShox forks are the quietest they've ever produced and the quietest forks I've ever ridden.

So those tiny bits of rubber certainly qualify as noise-cancelling, even if they may not be legitimately trail-noise-cancelling. For a change, here's a quote from the ButterCup page that matches my experience:

"The first thing I remember riding was dried mud with a bunch of footprints, and as I was riding across, it was just silent." - Tim Lynch, RockShox Senior Designer.

I've tried a lot of different setups on the Lyrik & Zeb to try and coax out a better understanding of what ButterCups may be doing. Firmer suspension, firmer tires, different wheels. Even firmer and flexier, and then Flexx-ier handlebars. No inserts, CushCore Trail, and CushCore Pro. Different suspension forks. I've even tried less comfortable grips than I normally run.

If anything, the Manitou Mattoc Pro I've been reviewing is actually a little more forgiving through my hands than either RockShox fork I've been riding. While it's still a very stiff chassis, for a 140mm fork, I'd guess that's down to the Manitou's 34mm stanchions and lighter-weight construction. I also don't feel like I'm giving up anything in the trail noise department riding my SR Suntour Durolux EQ.

I'm certain there are mounds of folks whose experiences don't mesh with mine. I've read some amazing takes on what a massive difference those up-to-4mm ButterCups have made to some folks' experiences. The cynic in me always wonders about the condition of the non-ButterCupped suspension fork they're comparing with. I figure that's okay because some may wonder what the hell I know about suspension forks given how much of my trail time is enjoyed on a rigid one.

All the same, for me, silence is golden. And so are ButterCups. I don't think they do what SRAM says they will, but I love them still.

AndrewMajor
Andrew Major

Height - Steve Buscemi-ish

Wait - Patiently

Ape Index - T-Rex

Age - The same as DOS

Favourite Trail(s) every week - Pipeline (thank you Ken!) to Lower Crippler (thank you Andy!)

Favourite Song(s) this week - I'm Your Man. Nick Cave (covering Leonard Cohen)

Favourite Colour - Cosmic Lilac

Bar Width - It depends

Reach & Stack & ETT - It depends

Crank Length - 175mm except when it's 170mm

Wheel Size - Hot For Mullets

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Comments

Shinook
+10 Andrew Major Timer Justin White humdishum Mammal lewis collins Andy Eunson Curveball ackshunW Dr.Flow

I have had both a Lyrik Ultimate and Zeb Ultimate with these. I usually disassemble forks to at least make sure they have the proper oil volume and the air spring isn't shoved full of grease, but I also like to see how much friction exists when the lowers slide over the stanchions. I don't have burnishing tools, I know people who do if I ever need them, but it's pretty obvious when there is a lot of friction there. Both of these forks had an enormous amount of friction compared to others I've had.

So why does this matter for ButterCups? Unless I'm mistaken, the stanchions are still going to need to compress or move for these to mitigate any kind of vibrations. I find it really questionable that the vibrations they claim to absorb are significant enough to overcome the friction that is there, which is substantial especially with the wiper seals in place, and is going to become worse as the forks seals wear. It's maybe one of those things that theoretically works in a lab with perfect setup, fitment, and lubrication but in practice on a production fork, it really doesn't seem like it is going to do anything. Many of these higher volume tires are going to absorb the same vibrations they claim to well before it reaches the fork unless you run absurdly high pressure, so it just seems to not add up. 

I've become somewhat jaded when I see things of this nature, because a lot of the equation doesn't add up. When that happens, my first thought is always: "What problem are they actually solving, then marketing as another feature?". This really looks like a solution looking for a different problem to solve than the one it was intended to solve. My initial thought was that it would solve people (bike shops mainly) overtorquing footnut bolts and cracking rods, but if that were the case, we'd see a similar assembly on their lower level forks sans elastomers, so that's not it. 

Maybe I'm just jaded, but with all the factors combined, I just don't see how these do anything they claim to. I can also add that both those forks were absolute murder on my hands compared to either of the main Manitou options, they also tracked poorly, no matter how I set it up. I pretty quickly returned to the Mezzer, although I did give both enough time to try and dial them in. If you look around message boards like mtbr, there are also long running threads of people not happy with what these forks are doing.

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AndrewMajor
+2 Shinook [email protected]

I don’t disagree with any of that - as hopefully clearly noted above, I don’t think ButterCups do what SRAM says they do - but did you notice your Ultimate-level RockShox being really quiet? I don’t think it’s in my head. Comparatively I’ve ridden some RockShox forks that were very loud, and I think even versus other brands both the Lyrik and Zeb I’m riding are impressive, noise wise.

I tried running firmer tires, grips, etc. I don’t see, even best case fork performance, ButterCups making up for those things.

With the Lyrik Ultimate having significantly more bushing overlap that other Lyrik forks I coujd see QC/QA being that much more important. Maybe I’ve got a ‘good one’ (sample size is one) but it’s been smooth since day one even with me running it firmer than recommended. The Zeb is good too, but I find it’s harder to find a happy spot air pressure wise and I’m still playing with it.

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Shinook
+3 Andrew Major humdishum Curveball

Both were fairly quiet, although it's not something I admittedly notice as much unless the fork is obscenely loud. My Ohlins RXF36 m.2 tended to make a bit of noise from both the coil spring rattling around and damper moving oil, my Ribbon was extremely noisy, I also think I had a GRIP2 at one point that made a bunch of noise. Other than those, I don't think I recall having a fork that was noisy enough for me to notice, even out of the previous gen RS products. I've had plenty of noisy shocks, though, and those stand out to me more than the forks do for whatever reason. I don't think it is in your head, though, and I would say they were both really quiet (something I have heard from others, as well).

I got along better with the Lyrik than I did the Zeb. I kept both on for a fair while, but the Lyrik remained longer until I decided to just go with a reworked Mezzer (RRT) on all of them. I have suspension acquisition disorder and I just...need to stop, so I decided to go with what I knew and transition to something I'm just sticking with, which now has me on brake acquisition disorder. It really does never stop. 

Anyway, back on point, I had a hard time getting the Zeb dialed in compared to the Lyrik. I can't fully articulate why, but it feels like keeping the Zeb at the ride height I'm after was more of a challenge than the Lyrik was.

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fartymarty
+1 Shinook

Shinook - how did the m2 coil compare to the others.  I really like mine but haven't compared to many others.  Agree it is very noisy tho.

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agleck7
0

You didn’t ask me, but chiming in that it’s the best fork I’ve ridden. Now just need a 38 (and a second mortgage for it)

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Shinook
+2 humdishum Curveball

I liked mine a lot! It's a close second to the RRT Mezzers I've had for almost a year now. They are smooth, composed, responsive, and track well. The biggest issue for me with the coil is the lack of granularity in spring options, if you are between spring sizes it can be kinda hard to get the ride height right even with preload adjustment, but that's more of a generic coil "issue" than anything.

I also felt the rebound was a bit overdamped, although fine for me, I was a bit on the heavier side and ended up running it more open than I would have anticipated for using such a high spring rate. If you are lighter, then that may be more of an issue. Thankfully, Ohlins offers tuning options from the factory, you can get this revalved pretty easily if you are on the lighter side of things. The fact its coil may also play a role here, I've always felt that coil forks tend to do a little better with less rebound damping than air forks do, but I could be mistaken. I also really liked the consistency of not having to worry about significant spring changes due to temp fluctuations, but again that's more of a generic coil thing. 

Ohlins was generally great for me to deal with, the fork rode really well, it tracked well, it was responsive, it didn't dive out of control, basically did everything I wanted it to. The only disadvantages I found were just the nature of coil forks and taking some time to get them setup right, but once dialed in, I thought it was great. I've tried a lot of different forks and it's definitely one of the best ones I've run. I'd still be running it, but I've kinda settled on the Mezzer for the time being as my go to fork, for now at least.

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fartymarty
+1 Andrew Major

Thanks for the comments @Agleck and Shinooks.

I'm 95kg and running a 60N/mm spring at 150mm travel which was recommended by TF Tuned (my local suspension tuner).  Ditto damping settings.   I'm more a set and forget kinda rider so love the simplicity of the cÖil.  I find it's more user error rather than equipment error that gets me in trouble.

aztech
+1 Andrew Major

I noticed the same thing about my MY23 Lyrik Ultimate - new out of the box I tore them down completely to make sure the lowers were properly lubed and the air spring looked okay. There was a lot of friction from the bushings then, although it's gotten a lot better after ~200 hours of riding and several more lowers services.

And yeah, fork is dead silent compared to the 36 I had previously. I don't notice any difference in the way it feels on trail, but my hands are less beat up after a day of lift runs than they used to be. It also stays up in its travel really well, so much so that it's the first fork I've owned where I can run the LSC almost open (-5) and not have it dive and wallow.

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AndrewMajor
+1 DancingWithMyself

Love or dislike for the MY23 air spring seems to depend on rider weight and style. I like how it stands up too, but I know some riders who preferred the MY22 and find the MY23 stays up too well.

Appreciate the data point on fork silence.

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AndrewMajor
+1 Shinook

This describes my Zeb/Lyrik setup experience to a T.

The RRT forks are a neat super-fork option. The stock Mezzer is a great fork (though the Mattoc I’m riding was smoother out of the box) but I can see where a day-1 re-work would help skip the break in period.

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just6979
+1 Dr.Flow

What kind of noise is lacking? Only noise I can think of from a fork is from oil moving through the damper, especially LSR, or a coil rattling. Since these are air, I'm assuming it's damper noises that are at issue.

So, as you said, the real comparison needs to be a Charger 3 with and without the Cups, to determine is the noise reduction is in the damper or from the Cups. Damper makes more sense since it seems to be quieter all the time, not just on "up to 4mm bumps", or rather up to 4mm fork movements, since I'm pretty sure anything less than 4mm is eaten by the tires anyway.

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AndrewMajor
+1 DadStillRides

The Charger 3 damper is certainly very quiet but it's more than just damper noise. Without trying to exaggerate the effect - it's not like any air forks are rattling around like some coil springs can - it's like the ButterCups dampen the internals of the fork (air spring and damper). Anyways, riding through chunky terrain the MY23 RS Ultimate forks I've ridden have a certain noiselessness that I notice while at the same time that doesn't, to me, translate to a reduction in the trail-noise I feel.

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just6979
-1 Dr.Flow Joseph Crabtree dhr999

To be clear, since coil rattle keeps getting mentioned, we're talking about audible noise, right? Hear with your ear? OK, then...

I have a hard time seeing what audible noise from fork internals there even is there to be quieted down. I can hear noise from LSR, and I can hear it go away by turning down the damping, so that's the damper. I can hear a spring bounce around, but this is air. Transfer port? I can maybe barely hear that if I'm leaning close and pushing slowly in the garage, but this isn't audible when trail riding, and it's still going to happen even with the Cups. Those are all the audible noises my fork makes.

What audible noises could the ButterCups be removing? What audible noises could you hear on a fork without them?

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AndrewMajor
+2 BadNudes Curveball

"What audible noises could the ButterCups be removing? What audible noises could you hear on a fork without them?"

No idea. There's simply an absence of noise from the fork that I don't notice with other suspension forks. As I said in the article above, I don't think ButterCups do what SRAM says they do, but I'm fairly certain they do something because these are the quietest forks I've ridden. 

The only way to know 100% if it's indeed ButterCups having the effect would be for a back-to-back comparison of two Ultimate forks with/without them.

In terms of lowest trail-noise (what I feel) I'd take the Mezzer/Mattoc forks over the Ultimate stuff, so I'm definitely talking about audible noise, or lack of noise, here. I thought I did an okay job of spelling out noise vs. trail-noise in the article above?

just6979
0 GB utopic Dr.Flow Joseph Crabtree dhr999 DancingWithMyself

OK, so then let's not keep saying the ButterCups make it quiet, until they can be isolated and it's determined that it's not the new damper actually making it quiet.

You did seem to indicate audible as opposed to feel, but since I can't figure out what other audible noise there could be, I wanted to be certain I understood. Also wanted to be sure that you didn't mean what I would call "audible tire-noise" by "felt/transmitted] trail-noise".

("Trail-noise" to me sounds like something audible: trail against tire. I think I would say "trail feedback" for the feeling.)

cooperquinn
+3 Mike Ferrentino Deniz Merdano DancingWithMyself

Zeb setup secret - half a volume spacer.

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mikeferrentino
+1 Cooper Quinn

HA! I really had fun with the Zeb on that Starling test bike, but found myself thinking a half-spacer would be perfect. With one spacer, it was still pretty awesome, but was just a teeeny bit rampy for my old man habits. Taking the spacer out made it feel a little too eager to push through the travel.

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andy-eunson
+3 Andrew Major Cam McRae Tremeer023

If all buttercups do is eliminate noises, they might be worthwhile. Noises come from springs or other metal bits clacking about inside. That noise can often be felt too. It might not affect performance but if you hear and maybe feel it, it might come across as something wrong. My current fork is a tiny bit noisy but S4 just did a complete service, changed the bushings which were a bit loose but the noise persists. S4 believe it’s a spring in the damper I hear. When the lowers were off for a lowers service I cycled the damper shaft and I could feel and hear the faint clunk. So be it. 

But silence is golden and is a worthy pursuit. But is there a better way to do the same thing?

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AndrewMajor
+5 Andy Eunson yardrec Justin White DancingWithMyself Tremeer023

I think the deeper point is, if that’s what they do then say that’s what they do. 

But yeah, I think quieting bikes is almost always worth the effort.

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Curveball
0

I recently rented a bike with a Zeb Ultimate and it was also murder on my hands tracked quite poorly over rock gardens. Maybe it's just me. I've never gotten on with RS suspension. Invariably over the decades, the stock RS forks were replaced by Marzocchi's with much relief. 

The Mezzer is damn fine fork.

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T0m
+7 Andrew Major lewis collins Curveball mnihiser dolface Timer Dr.Flow

I can get behind quiet suspension but my money would bet Buttercups go away in one or two generations. Adding parts, cost, and complexity for marginal gains makes Bcups (strange they didn’t shorten the name lol) seem like a gimmicky marketing add on. I’m cynical as hell about this industry though.

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AndrewMajor
+1 DancingWithMyself

I don't think they're that expensive to manufacture and since no one else is doing a similar system it's a differentiator that also helps distinguish their Ultimate forks from the lower-end options (though as Andy noted, it's not as visibly exciting as Fox distinguishing their more luxury products via Kashima). 

I doubt we'll see them trickle down, but I'd be surprised if they ditched the system and actually more surprised if other brands didn't add something similar but maybe with a more realistic outlook on what they're adding to the fork in terms of noise reduction.

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DancingWithMyself
+3 Andrew Major Velocipedestrian Andy Eunson

I'm not a suspension guru and maybe its confirmation bias from spending a couple hundred bucks on a burnishing tool, but I swear it makes a huge difference on my forks - on my Zeb to the point of needing to add air pressure to get the same static sag.  

The only reason I can come up with that it's not more widespread is this: there's no widget (other than a very basic tool) of which post pretty pictures/graphic and about which to write marketing. It's just getting precise sizing and, probably more importantly, roundness of some boring old bushings.

I'd trust pretty much anything Vorsprung makes, and Steve seems really sharp and straightforward. But I wonder how many Lufkappe and Secus owners got those parts installed by a suspension shop and never bothered to check the bushings before immediately going to aftermarket modifications.  In other words, they went straight for the widgets.

So like Andrew said, I'd put money on buttercups to stick around because there's a widget/gimmick/something different.

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twk
0

Just out of curiosity -- of course I would never acquire expensive specialized tooling in my chase of suspension performance -- what kind of burnishing setup did you get and where would one look for that sort of thing?

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andy-eunson
+6 Mammal GB Curveball DBone57 Hardlylikely Timer

Marginal gains versus marketing gains. It’s real. People will believe what they are told because the want to. The most extreme case of this was a fellow I met in a shop going on and on about how he dropped the weight of his bike by a pound by installing a titanium bottom bracket. A pound. That’s what the cool shop down the road told him. No amount of ‘you removed a component that did not even weigh a pound with a similar component that weighed maybe ¼ pound less and?"  

Or the new versus old clapped out comparison. Like the people who replaced a tire with small worn out rounded nubs with a brand new tire in a new tread pattern and proclaimed it was the best ever. 

Kashima coat versus non kashima. Marginal gain? I was running two Fox 36 forks side by each for four seasons. One was a performance elite at 150 travel and the other a factory at 160 travel and all the wiz bang hi and low speed ptfe infused kashima coated wonderment. I could not tell the difference.  I am a bit oblivious to things but still. But if kashima was that much better, would all non kashima forks then suck? Well they don’t do they. 

The power of suggestion is strong. Subliminal marketing and all. Electric transmission is a game changer. Bullshit. We want that zzzzt and red in the cassette so others can see it. We want kashima so people can see it. We want that turquoise bike so people can see it. You can’t even see buttercups so what’s the point? 

QC and proper maintenance are more important. I just had the loose from new bushing replaced in my 36. Shouldn’t happen. I have warning lights going off on my dashboard warning of problems that don’t exist. Sell me quality, not marginal imaginary gains.

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AndrewMajor
+3 Justin White Andy Eunson lewis collins

Don't disagree with anything you wrote Andy. Two things I'll say about Kashima coat. 

1) When it came out in 2011 Fox, and the rest of the industry, hadn't moved over to the new SKF Low Friction seals. With the old seals folks definitely noticed a difference between Kashima and anodizing that I don't think even the most discerning rider could notice now with the good seals. 

2) The Kashima hard coat comes in many different grades which are based on hardness. I don't know what grade Fox uses but at any level, the surface is harder than anodizing so aside from being smoother - which I think almost everyone who's ridden both will say it's really not - the finish will be more durable, which certainly some folks will agree it is. 

I'm not jumping in front of the Kashima-hate bus, it's up to Fox to do a better job communicating the advantages of the finish. But at least, unlike a lot of 'innovation' there is some level of benefit. Actually, in that way, it's like my ButterCups experience. I'm certain something beneficial is happening, just nothing like what's being advertised, and probably not to such a benefit that I'd pay for it myself.

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just6979
+2 Andrew Major Andy Eunson

Absolutely! The real bonus of Kashima is the hardness. I know the major marketing says slippery and holds lubricant molecules or something. But the thing that keeps me going back is the durability: yeah, if you slam your Kashima fork on a rock, it's gonna take damage, but it shrugs off things like multiple sharp pebbles thrown at it by the tire. In my experience, that helps it stay shiny & slippery for longer than other treatments, so eventually it actually is perceptibly more slippery.

And it used to be the only way to get the top damper. Even now you still have more options available with Factory vs. Performance Elite: 36 PE is only 160mm, 110x15 QR, 44 offset, black; 38 PE is only 170mm, 110x15, 44 offset, and 27.5 only it seems.

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andy-eunson
+2 Mammal Justin White

From my Google search, kashima is hard anodized with MoS2 infused in the pores. Hard anodizing isn’t harder than regular anodizing but it’s thicker. Anodizing is simply a surface treatment of Al2O3. A layer of oxidized aluminum applied through an electric process. Al2O3 in nature is corundum. Second hardest mineral out there. Ruby and sapphire are the gem version of corundum used as bearings in watches. Synthetic "sapphire" is used for durable watch faces. Molybdenite (MoS2) is an ore mineral for molybdenum. It’s very soft. Molecularly it forms sheets that are weakly stuck to other sheets. So when you rub molybdenite it feels greasy which are the sheets sliding off. Similar to graphite. I may be wrong but I don’t believe hard anodized is harder than a regular anodized surface but it might seem so because it’s thicker and more resistant to scratches. 

Like Andrew says though the wipers are better now so perhaps the molybdenite does less or is less noticeable. In kashima defence maybe it’s a harder wearing surface treatment. Don’t know. They all scratch if you ding a rock.

https://www.kashima-coat.com/global/service/kashima-coat/

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AndrewMajor
+1 Andy Eunson

Yes, it’s a proprietary hard anodizing process. I’ve known a few Fox 40 owners who would swear it holds up better to repeated detritus over a Whistler season but yeah, if you smoke it on a rock it still scratches.

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just6979
+1 Andy Eunson

Ok, maybe not "harder" by definition, but it definitely seems tougher than similar treatments/materials used on mtb components.

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PKMzeta
0

Bit of a tangent - have you ever compared the current Fox OEM seals vs the SKF green seals? I'm due for a service on my Fox 38 and still seem unable to get a seal to last over 6 months before the air side starts to weep oil. Damper side is still feeling good with the regular PTFE oil changes so wondering if the $10 premium for SKF might be worthwhile.

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AndrewMajor
+1 DancingWithMyself

Fox has at least two levels of OE seals so you have to be careful there.

Comparing the green SKF seals to black SKF seals used by Fox, RockShox, CaneCreek etc you will not notice a difference. As far as I know even SKF would tell you the difference is theirs are green.

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DancingWithMyself
+4 Andrew Major Shinook lewis collins Hardlylikely

I always enjoy the site, but you guys are on an absolute roll with topic selection.  Every time I check the site, there's a new article in which I'm really interested.

I'd agree that I can't tell any difference between small bump sensitivity between a current Lyrik at 160 and a prior gen Zeb at 170.  Both have had bushings burnished, but the Zeb has a Runt, which definitely allows you to have lower pressure for the first portion of travel.  

It may be my imagination, but whenever I'm shopping for forks and reading lots of reviews of the same fork, it seems the reviewers vary the most, by far, on small bump sensitivity.  As Andrew pointed out and controlled for, there are a lot of factors that have nothing to do with the fork: wheel/tire casing/insert/pressure, bar, and grips, not to mention the trails on which the fork was ridden.

But I can't help but wonder if what's really getting reviewed is whether the reviewer won the bushing lottery.  In my perfect world, every fork that's reviewed would have the bushing burnished and the lowers serviced so those variables were eliminated.  But I understand all the problems with it from an "average consumer perspective."  People spend money on an amazing array of stuff that really doesn't make much difference, but very, very few people seem to even know about burnishing bushings, much less do it.  

On the other hand, and to completely contradict myself, I also wonder whether the suspension companies are burnishing the bushings of the forks they send out to be reviewed.  I certainly would if I were them.  And reviewers, on the whole, seem to like the small bump sensitivity of the current gen Rockshox a lot more than comment sections and forums.  And then maybe all my perceived variability in opinions on small bump compliance is from the other factors?

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AndrewMajor
+1 DancingWithMyself

I can’t speak to what companies or a company normally do in terms of review product prep. In the case of these RockShox forks they both came from We Are One. The Lyrik from a stock A150 build and, my understanding is the Zeb’s from A170 build inventory. 

The Lyrik does have a pile more hours in terms of break-in, but it’s felt good to me since day 1. The Zeb is trickier to setup but again no complaints of note. I’m now considering dropping the lowers though to check out the fitment.

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jt
+4 Mammal JVP Velocipedestrian DancingWithMyself

I think a lot of co's send out parts that have already been gone through to insure the best review possible, especially suspension components. I don't think that's inherently wrong, but I think it can provide a bit of a sticking point between the reviewers' experiences and the end user who shells out for one. I picked up a Trace 36RC for a song, and it felt like a sticky mess out of the box. Dropped the lowers and there was zero lube of any sorts in the legs. Soaked the wipers, added 5cc to each leg, and checked the air piston while I was at it (that was a bit over greased), and the fork felt 1000x better. If I was not as tech minded I would be left feeling the fork was a hunkhunka burnin' trash and I shoulda saved my cash while the adage 'buy cheap, buy twice' was ringing in my ears. It's this scenario that I respect what Aston is doing, paying for stuff out of his own pocket and testing it outright. He may get, how you say, excited when reviewing a product, but there's some solid insight/Voice of Consumer in it. Certainly some co's are better at assembling their wares than others, and that in turn can drive a rebuild prior to sending for review. One could see that as dishonest on the part of the co, and they wouldn't be entirely wrong.

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Shinook
+4 Mammal DancingWithMyself Velocipedestrian Hardlylikely

I think the challenge is how you balance out the fact that these brands are cranking out thousands upon thousands of forks, some are just going to have QC problems. Same with everything, which is why warranties exist. 

The problem is that, right now, it seems reversed in the cycling industry. You get lucky if one is assembled properly with no problems as opposed to getting unlucky and getting a bad one. I guess there are different scales of it too, "leaks air" is really unlucky whereas a fork with tight bushings or no oil will at least function properly. It's annoying but with a lot of suspension components from most brands, I just assume having it reworked is part of the cost of purchasing it and have it done right away. The people with issues tend to be more vocal than those who aren't, too.

I find this whole situation in the cycling industry really frustrating. In the last 8 years or so I've had frames with bearings that started popping out, bearings with no grease in them and seized within weeks, damaged finishes, alignment problems, forks with no oil, forks with - airsprings stuffed full of grease, creaking crowns, expensive custom shocks that were sent with coil springs 2 sizes too small (which they then charged me to replace), brakes improperly bled, wobbly tires, cranks with broken threads, seatposts that ingest water due to missing seals, and the list goes on. I can't think of any other industry where I purchase products and across an 8 year span have seen that many quality control problems.

All that to be said, I don't necessarily blame them for reworking things sent to review sites. It's a weird balance. On one hand, it's dishonest because it's not pulled off the shelf, but then they (and you as the consumer) are running the same gamble: maybe it's right, maybe it's not. At least with things rebuilt, sized properly, etc, you get a perspective from it being as best as it can be, which in some cases, may not be that great. On the other hand, it's really not a good perspective as a consumer because what you read in a review is likely going to contradict real world experiences because of poor manufacturing tolerances. That at least can be fixed (mostly).

I'd be lying if I said I'd do it differently, no one wants to see something like the Mezzer Pro review on the front page of PB, reporting (now fixed) bushing knock because tolerances were wrong. It is frustrating, though, as a consumer when you roll the dice and hope whatever you end up with matches what they got without spending more to have it fixed.

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mammal
+5 Shinook Andrew Major JT shenzhe Curveball

This is a great point. I agree that a lot of "out of the box" review feedback on forks is heavily influenced by manufacturing variability. DVO is a big one for me, as I've been on the forks for a few years now, and forum feedback is often night and day in contrast. I've had my bushings resized on the past 3 forks I've owned, and it makes a gigantic difference. 

Kind of related - My buddy who used to be a Manitou development and service tech, tagged along with a certain big-website reviewer for the first-ride shake down of the first gen Mezzer. Said reviewer really didn't seem to give a damn about the setup info my friend was communicating over the course of the ride (or at least completely ignored it), and as a result, pretty unflattering review. I respect that some reviewers strive for an "out of the box" review, but I thought this situation was a bit on the extreme side.

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AndrewMajor
+3 Shinook Curveball DancingWithMyself

Assuming it was an IRT fork, to me that's not an "out of the box" issue but a follow-the-setup instructions issue. IRT is not a simple system in terms of understanding what the IRT air spring is doing on the trail and how adjusting pressure changes the feel, but it's not a complicated system to setup in terms of following some base pressures (that tend to be quite accurate for most folks).

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mammal
+2 Andrew Major Shinook

I fully agree. "The Reviewer" had a history with older IRT Dorados, and the handed down impression I got was that he just preferred to figure it out, which he did not. It's almost like an extreme extension of the "out-of-the-box" review.

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jt
+5 Andrew Major Shinook Mammal JVP Velocipedestrian

Out of the box should always include RTFM in my experience....

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Shinook
+2 SilentG Curveball

So while I find this reviewer to not have as much insight into suspension as he seems to indicate and I found this review objectively wrong in some areas and insufficient in others, I can't blame him entirely for this situation. Yes, the fork was setup wrong. Yes he probably had no idea what he was doing, but most mountain bikers fall into that category. I found it really interesting comparing the EXT Era review to the Mezzer Pro, for instance, the level of detail on the former is substantially greater than the latter, they use similar ideas but way more detail went into the Era review. The Mezzer review reads like he rode it 3 times then wrote the review, but I think Manitou could improve here also. It's also worth noting he reviewed he Expert model higher.

On the fork he had, the fork had bushing knock from day one, so did my gen1. They fixed it six months later, but apparently he reached out to Manitou and they never replied (per his words in the comments). This is not a good look for a fork that is going to a major publication. It's a worse look to ignore them when they reach out to get help with the issue. The message that sends to normal users is...not good.

Secondly, the setup guide....well, it sucks. It doesn't explain how gaps in IRT/Main pressure result in a different feel, it doesn't provide baselines for damper settings, and it doesn't really ease newcomers into understanding how everything dials in together. If you compare it to DVO's setup guide, for instance, it's woefully inadequate especially with an air spring that can be so fickle and requires a lot of tweaking to feel right. It seems like they tried to make it simple, but in the process of doing so, left out important information that makes getting it dialed in more difficult for users not familiar with suspension. Whether he would've followed a more detailed guide is up in the air, but IMO Manitou should take a page from DVOs book (which I can't believe I'm suggesting) and model their setup guide after DVO. For all their faults, DVO has historically had really good setup guides. Most riders aren't going to spend time bracketing or tweaking a few PSI here or there, so for those that aren't, IMO they should provide a better setup guide.

This person likely did what most people would: got the fork, pumped it up based on the pressure guide, tweaked a few knobs somewhere, then kept it that way. You can get away with this on some forks, but the Mezzer is one you really need to focus on dialing in the air spring, not doing so will severely impact the experience. Unfortunately, a lot of mountain bikers will do the same thing and get the same experience.

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AndrewMajor
+3 Shinook Mammal Curveball

Manitou has a small team that wears many hats. Very occasionally they need a bump if I ask about something really obscure (but I always appreciate folks at brands who admit when they don’t know something and have to chase down an answer instead of just laying down some BS). 

But something rings very strange to me about the ‘never replied’ comment. Not that I haven’t been ghosted a few times in my years reviewing bike stuff (I always follow up a few times) but they’ve always been good with communication even when there was a bit of turnover.

———

And yes, Manitou makes their IVA air system for folks that just want something that works well and doesn’t require any energy to setup.

Frorider
+2 Shinook BadNudes

Longtime Mezzer Pro owner (and just got a Mattoc Pro) — I’m not sure I follow your comment about the Mezzer Pro setup guide.  It’s clear and complete IMHO.  Different air pressure recommendations and damper settings depending on DH vs Enduro vs Trail.  And simple Rider on a bike graphics to help explain to newbies LSC vs HSC etc.   Guidelines for how to experiment with settings as you ride.  And all this in one table!  I wish all fork mfgers would follow this example.

jt
+1 Andrew Major

That particular review really read like someone somehow blamed Hayes/Manitou for some past sand in their chamois. I think the IRT and early, adjustable HBO combo on those forks could have a lot of cross over, and not in a particularly good way. Good on em for nixing the adjustable HBO on newer forks. No real first hand experience on DVO, but they also seem to primarily suffer from assembly lube issues. A pal loves his, but he runs a suspension service center and rebuilt his fork and shock prior to installation. He loves their wares otherwise.

Shinook
0

@Frorider - 

I think if you come into it with a good understanding of how IRT works or suspension in general, you can fill in the blanks with the current guide. The problem is if you don't have that experience, which in my experience, most do not. 

Take the rebound settings for instance, they are relative to spring pressure, but the Mezzer guide explicitly says in the 'guide' that the recommendations are for a 170lb rider only. If you are above or below that, you are entirely on your own. This is going to be relative to things like IRT and main pressure, so IMO they should be in a grid similar to the pressures. 

The compressions setting documentation is fairly par for the course for most, so I can't fault that too much. 

The air pressure setting ranges aren't really granular enough, but more importantly, they don't really explain how IRT works very well. They don't cover that as the pressures get closer together, the fork becomes more linear, whereas further apart it is more progressive. They only really give you a starting point and abstract things to consider, which is going to blow right over a lot of riders heads. IMO the compression settings also need to be in conjunction with the IRT range, if you use a wider gap for the air springs then more compression damping will reduce the spiked feeling you get when you hit the end of the stroke. This is a critical part of setting up the fork that is not well explained and can lead to things like "that review". It adds another element that isn't difficult to grasp, but also needs to be explained for people to set it up properly and I don't feel it's fully explained.

I hate to use DVO as an example, but they are a good one because they have two air spring mechanisms you have to adjust. If you look at their setup chart for the Sapphire in comparison (https://tech.dvosuspension.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/08/DVO-SET-UP-GUIDE_fork.pdf). They offer rebound settings based on pressure ranges, OTT settings based on ranges, explanation of what things do, and a more progressive step by step setup process. 

This is less of an issue if you understand the mechanics of how all of this works, but having spoken to other riders about this and even lent mine out several times, most do not grasp it and I think it is, in part, what leads to things like "that review".

roil
+4 Andrew Major Mammal BadNudes Justin White

The big issue I see is that buttercups will only provide vibration dampening (if any) for forces that are traveling parallel to the fork's compression plane.  

You're better off running pure silicone grips like you mentioned, as they provide some vibration dampening in every plane/orientation. I like Wolf Tooth's silicone grips as they have a variety of sizes and shapes.

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AndrewMajor
+2 BadNudes lewis collins

Did Cooper pay you to post this?

Kidding, kidding. I'm not a fan of any of the silicon grips, though I know quite a few people who love the Wolf Tooth ones. 

I love rubber push-on grips. My current favourites are the ODI Longneck in their Super Soft compound or the Chromag Wax for something a little squishier and then of course the Renthal Super Tacky push-on for my bike where I prefer really thin grips that still have some give.

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cooperquinn
+7 Andy Eunson SilentG BadNudes Adrian Bostock yardrec cheapondirt trumpstinyhands

In my defense, I've never tried the Wolf Tooth grips! 

But yes, silicone grips (especially my preferred Chunky ESI) are superior to whatever fair-trade-chewing-gum-based grip Andrew is gluing onto his kooky handlebars on any given day.

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roil
+1 fartymarty

Forgot to mention that I'm running the Wolf Tooth grips with Surly Sunrise bars, which are a crossbar design and made of chromoly steel, aka ultra stiff. No complaints about vibration or hand fatigue with this setup.

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AndrewMajor
+2 Cooper Quinn fartymarty

That bar is a beast but the shape is good. My friend Larry Talker recently traded his Sunrise for a custom Doom Ti bar (no cross brace). Even being bent from their heavier gauge tubing option it still rides like a dream. Love my WZRD bar but even so I had to be a little jealous of the flex profile.

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roil
0

I love the big backsweep on the Sunrise. I might have to add the Doom Ti bar to my Christmas wish list...

BadNudes
0

You think the waxes are squishier than my fav soft longnecks? I wouldn't have guessed it. I'll have to try the Chromags next.

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AndrewMajor
+1 BadNudes

No, badly written. The ODI or Chromag are my squishier options. Chromag is similar to the regular Longneck but the Super Soft Longneck is squishier for sure.

The Chromag Wax durometer changes along the grip - firmer on the outside. 

The Renthal is super thin so doesn’t feel as squishy as those grips.

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LoamtoHome
+2 Ryan Walters JVP

can we please have a 35/36mm 170/180mm dual crown fork from a major player so my CSU stops creaking?  There are many other benefits as well and I bet you can get weight to be very similar.

A Luftkappe to my '22 Zeb was a very nice addition.  The increase in midstroke was very noticeable.

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XXX_er
+1 Andy Eunson

Twice on a previous Fox 36 and once on a zeb, I had the creaking, I fixed it  by dropping the fork and cleaning the stem/ bars light greasing so IME it may not be a creaking steering post ...  worth a try

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AndrewMajor
+1 Curveball

The new forks (RS, Fox, etc) are much better. In the shop when we have a creaker we actually now assume it's a headset bearing, etc. with the newer forks instead of just knowing it's the CSU.

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JVP
+3 Andrew Major Jerry Willows cheapondirt

They are much better!  I can now usually get 6 months out of them instead of 6 weeks. Huge improvement!

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mammal
+3 Justin White Andy Eunson DancingWithMyself

Pull the fork, steer tube into the vice, and flex the fork. Then you know.

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AndrewMajor
0

Yes, but with previous generation forks, you didn't even have to remove the fork from a bike. Put the wheel between your legs and tug on the bar, if it creaks it's the CSU 99% of the time. Now a steerer block and removal are required to be certain.

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XXX_er
0

the first time a mechanic " dropped the fork and cleaned the shit out" on my 36  before i had finished my 1st beer. The 36 eventualy did it again, and then again on the Zeb so I'm gona do the easiest thing first

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DancingWithMyself
0

I always thought the ultimate acid test was to pull the fork, drop the lowers, clamp the steerer tube, and then flex the stanchions inboard and outboard?  

LBS has my back because I've done a lot of advocacy, and they recently got a manufacturer to ship a new CSU based off a video of me doing this that captured the sound.  Put the creaky csu back on for a few rides and then swapped in the new one when it arrived, and never missed a ride.  

Have to savor awesome warranty experiences when you get them . . .

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andy-eunson
0

Always smart to start to address a creak with the free stuff. Disassemble, clean and grease dry or oil as the case may be. I haven’t had a creaky fork in ages. But I’m not heavy at 143 pounds and a 36 is arguably over weight for me.

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AndrewMajor
0

Yeah, plus the extra air volume. It's too bad no one saw such a dual crown at Crankworx in Whistler this year.

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LoamtoHome
0

see if it actually makes it to production

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AndrewMajor
0

It can’t make production… no one saw it because it doesn’t exist. But I’m there with you Jerry.

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andy-eunson
+1 Velocipedestrian

I had a Boxxer U turn on my VPFree back in the day. 180 travel if recall. Coil spring too. Apparently that rig was way ahead of its time as an Enduro sled before there was such a thing.

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cooperquinn
+2 Andrew Major Mammal

You can DIY this fork with some previous gen Lyric/Boxxer bits, Jerry! I've seen a couple in the wild.

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mammal
+5 Andrew Major Cooper Quinn Velocipedestrian Andy Eunson GB

Missed "Jerry Rig" opportunity.

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AndrewMajor
+3 Mammal Cooper Quinn Andy Eunson

Huge missed opportunity.

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LoamtoHome
+3 Andrew Major JVP Velocipedestrian

shouldn't have to....  just make a DC Lyrik and be done with it but instead lets dump all the money into electronics!

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AndrewMajor
+1 JVP

The problem is that now it would be a DC Zeb which is just a Boxxer with less travel. I would have loved to see a Lyrik DC instead of the Zeb and a Fox 36 DC instead of the 38.

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mnihiser
0

I recall a couple years ago someone offering a kit to convert the Fox 36 to DC. Seemed very pricey at the time.

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AndrewMajor
0

That was Mojo/Geometron. Small batch upgrades are pricey.

fartymarty
0

A cut down 35mm Boxxer would do the trick.  Ö 38DH can be run at 180mm.

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AndrewMajor
+2 fartymarty JVP

I mean, a Dorado and a DVO can be dropped too.  But then they’re extra-stiff lowered WC DH forks. 

Really want my dedicated 160-180 DC trail fork.

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fartymarty
0

I think if I was looking at a bike with 160mm+ rear travel I'd go down the Aston route and run a full DH fork.  May as well get all the DH performance you can.

As a side note I do expect Enduro bikes and DH bikes to morph into the same thing at some point just with parts hung off them.  Ditto my last line in the para. above.

AndrewMajor
0

@FM

As a side note I do expect Enduro bikes and DH bikes to morph into the same thing at some point just with parts hung off them.

I’ve saying this for years but we keep seeing new DH frames without dropper post compatibility.

83x157 DH standards. Infinite crank options available thanks to swappable axles. Everything is 1x anyway.

One challenge that comes up is kinematics but just put a climb switch on it and tell riders it’s a pure DH bike with bonus uphill capabilities. Flick the switch. 

But yeah, brands keep pumping out DH frames sans dropper posts. 

It’s not a popular opinion, I know, but I’d love to see what would happen with DH bikes if there was a short sustained uphill sprint section in the middle of each race.

rwalters
+3 Andrew Major JVP Jerry Willows

I can't up-vote this enough.

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JVP
+1 Jerry Willows

This 1000%!  I still can't get a year out of any brands single-crown CSU before the creaking starts. I'm so sick of it.

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sethg
+2 Andrew Major BadNudes

All anecdotes and evidence aside, I found it a little ironic that there was this monumental breakthrough moment realizing what a difference a good grip makes, and then then they decide that the solution must be this convoluted piece of engineering with nominal benefit. I know engineers are going to engineer, just seemed comical to me - I guess improving grips isn't sexy enough for marketing.

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AndrewMajor
+1 sethg

The whole ButterCups story is fairly epic. That's why I included the link. 

I think the issue with improving grips is the improvement already exists but it's like tires. Everyone wants something that rolls like a 60d Ikon but grips like MaxxGrip Assegai and it doesn't exist (but folks keep throwing down $$$ to try and find their best middle ground). Folks want the best damping for a certain diameter of grip but they're not willing to give up the convenience of lock-on grips and that creates a market for endless little improvements.

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andy-eunson
+1 JVP

My problem with push on grips is that I remember going through several pairs a year. Even with wires and something sticky on the bar they would become stretched and loose especially in summer with heat and more riding. I also remember pulling bikes off the Grouse gondola, the old blue one, after the BC Cup finals which took place. It poured rain and was cold all day. I swear nearly every bike had at least one loose grip and many had two spinning grips. Some bikes were missing a grip. This was before lock-ons. I had wired mine on, maybe badly but both were spinning. Lock-ons solve that. I also remember the thin foam grips that came with my Stumpjumper Sport in 1983. Pathetic. The steel bar would pound into your hand badly. I tried many thin soft grips but I have come to like fatter yet mildly mushy grips like the fat PNW or fat Oneup. Soft enough and lock on. Currently going through a case of mild trigger fingers and less mild trigger thumb. Are there any butter cup grips that might solve this?

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AndrewMajor
+2 BadNudes GB

I definitely wear through a couple of pairs of grips a year. I think it's a pretty reasonable trade-off given they're relatively inexpensive and significantly more comfortable. Usually, but not always, I wear them down for before they bag out.

But I do install them with clear spray paint and wire them in place to give them a fighting chance.

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DancingWithMyself
0

I've been trying hard to find some pushons I get along with, because everything you've said makes so much sense.  But I' m not big fan of the "float" from the ribs.  And during the summer, I simply can't hang on to them as well with sweat soaked gloves.  

I tried Renthal, but they're so thin they were harder on my hands than my go to grips.  Keep ending up back on Chromag Squarewaves.  Just love the shape and texture.

Please tell any buddies at Chromag there there's at least one person that would order a couple dozen pushon squarewaves just to make sure I never ran out.

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AndrewMajor
0

Have you tried the Chromag Wax? 

I would certainly try a Squarewave Push-On if Chromag made one.

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DancingWithMyself
0

I have.  I think I have a slight preference for a Sensus EMJ, but Waxes are in second place, if not 1B.  I may end up running push-ons from Oct-May and squarewaves when the sweat factor gets intense (in the southeastern US).  

Don't know if you noticed it, but Sensus is making a "Lite" lock-on with the following pitch, "The Sensus Lite is brewed with the traditional Sensus pattern but with tighter and smaller ribs. This creates less "float . . ."  It caught my eye as that's what bother's me.  

Maybe over this winter I can get fully acclimated to it.

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fartymarty
+1 Shinook

Paul Aston and Rulezman were recommending some MX grips.  Can't remember the names tho (sorry for not being much help).

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DancingWithMyself
0

Thanks for the suggestion.

I've searched the BMX and moto worlds pretty thoroughly.  There's something in the moto world that looks really appealing, but one of the grips is the wrong diameter or something like that for some reason (don't know anything about moto).  Think I looked at what Paul recommends, but I'll make sure I did.

Ultimately, I think I'm just peculiar about my grips.  And since it doesn't seem like companies are interested in making new push-on grips, I just need to adjust to what's in the marketplace, which probably means running push-ons seasonally.  At least the non-summer months are when I tend to do really long rides on rolling terrain, which is where my hands bother me the most.

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cam@nsmb.com
+2 fartymarty DancingWithMyself

WTB just sent us some push ons. I just need to get them to Andrew.

Shinook
+1 DancingWithMyself

They were recommending Progrip 727s, I have them on my bike now. 

I do like them, but IMO they are 1-2mm too small, at least for my hands. They are also flat out dangerous if you don't use gloves, I nearly had a handlebar sandwich trying gloveless with them. They do have a super squishy, nice feel and if the diameter was slightly larger, I would use them without hesitation, they are my favorite grips I can't use. 

I've yet to find slide on rubber grips that are larger than around 32-33mm OD. Every pair I've found is just too thin for me unfortunately.

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fartymarty
+1 DancingWithMyself

Those were the ones.  Also tried them and they were way too short.  I like thin grips - ODI Longnecks are working for me.

DancingWithMyself
0

Thanks!  Do either of you know what diameter they were?  Isn't readily apparent from the site.

I just don't understand why the squarewave shape hasn't caught on more. Thinking about it in the abstract, I'd want my grip diameter to be just large enough that my middle finger is not hitting my palm, but I'd also want to get as much wrap around the grip as possible with me ring and pinkie fingers.  

Makes so much sense to me and feels so good.  And basically the only way to accomplish that is with the squarewave shape.

Maybe I have weirdly disparate finger length . . .

AndrewMajor
0

@DWM,

Thinking about it in the abstract, I'd want my grip diameter to be just large enough that my middle finger is not hitting my palm, but I'd also want to get as much wrap around the grip as possible with me ring and pinkie fingers.

Just good for thought / a counter point for consideration. My Renthal push-ons are thin-thin. If I really tense I can dig a couple digits into my palm. 

I love them on my rigid bike and feel less fatigued than with thicker grips because the pressure point acts as a pressure reminder to relax my grip in rough terrain.

DancingWithMyself
0

Andrew - Thanks for the reply and great point.  Not "digging in" might definitely be a better goal that not "touching." And that's probably a better way of describing where squarewaves fall for me.

I've tried really thick grips, and absolutely agree that a thinner grip helps me relax my hands more.  

Maybe the reason I love the squarewave shape so much is that my hands are on the larger side given that I'm a little over 6'1", so the middle diameter feels good (and gives me some cushion in that area of my palm), but I'm still get the feeling of 29ish mm diameter with my pinkie. 

Thinking about the renthals some more, what I didn't get along with was the lack of cushion in the middle more so than the small diameter all the way across the grip.  Maybe I'm leaning on my bars too much on longer rides on rolling terrain, which could be a combo of lack of core strength and modern geo.

cam@nsmb.com
+2 Andy Eunson Ryan Walters

I get on really well with the Zeb. I love the way it tracks and how quiet it is - and quiet is nothing to scoff at. It takes energy to create sound and suspension components always make more noise when they need a service. 

I also find it very easy to find the sweet spot when setting up a Zeb. Do Buttercups do what they claim? I haven’t back to backed them either but I wouldn’t be surprised if I could tell the difference. Maybe not but that’s the best way to compare components by a long shot. We get used to everything as humans. What is amazing one day feels ordinary the next, which is why riding a hard tail makes your suspension bike feel so good.

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rwalters
+2 Velocipedestrian Andrew Major

I echo Cam's experience with Zeb, but I fully understand how that chassis isn't for everybody. It's a fork that needs to be pushed very hard to shine, and I'd imagine lighter riders might have challenges in getting the setup right.

Having spent time on the Charger 2 without Buttercups and the Charger 3 with Buttercups, I honestly don't think I could tell if the Buttercups are making a difference. The Zeb is dead quiet, which I find does affect my ride experience a lot.

I absolutely agree with Andrew that the biggest contributor to ride quality is the state of maintenance of the fork. No matter the brand, a fork's performance starts to degrade as soon as you start riding it. The degradation is subtle but cumulative, to the point where you start equating your fork's diminished performance as the benchmark to judge against. It's no wonder that when riders mount up a new fork, they jump to the conclusion that the new stuff is orders of magnitude better than the old stuff.

Do you need a new fork? Probably not - but a full rebuild of your old fork will make a night and day difference in performance.

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velocipedestrian
+2 DancingWithMyself Andrew Major

This article is so popular that SRAM has patented shock buttercups.

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DancingWithMyself
+1 Andrew Major

Fascinating.  The "you should just get a coil, they're clearly superior" crowd is going to lose their minds over this.  And for a shock I think I might agree with them.

Pretty soon frame designers are going to start sticking those spesh zertz inserts in our frames . . .

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AndrewMajor
+1 Velocipedestrian

Progressive fork springs and a coil rear shock with a progressive suspension design are clearly to simple for the future?!

I'm probably the wrong person to be writing about any of this stuff. I'm feeling quite malicious towards the magnificent marketing of minute meliorisms.

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DancingWithMyself
0

I think you did a good job of laying out the pros and cons of coil-sprung forks.  And buttercups in forks seem relatively harmless, other than maybe a couple of pucks being added to damper rebuild kits.  

But it seems to me there are way fewer cons to coil sprung rear shocks, and if you're after a really supple initial stroke and lots of small bump compliance, then the "you should just get a coil" argument is pretty damn strong.  And messing around with shocks seems like more of a pandora's box than buttercups in forks?  Not entirely clear on whether always same e2e, and it seems like there's at least the potential for new mounting standards or the like?

And I get your frustration in general.  Plus, I'm not in the industry, and definitely not in a shop, so this sort of stuff affects me much less directly.  I can just not buy it and enjoy snickering at it at the trailhead and discussing online.  And if I get frustrated enough with it, I can just take a break by staying off bike sites.  You don't have those luxuries.

Impressive alliteration, btw.

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fartymarty
+1 Shinook

Maybe the end game for SRAM is a part coil part air spring.  Although as @Shinook points out there are other bigger issues to sort first.

Maybe the solution is more forks like the Öhlins m2 that can change between air and coil.  Sell them with air and if you want coil you can change (or your) suspension tuner.

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AndrewMajor
+1 DancingWithMyself

The problem with hybrid springs is managing the transition point. On day one, through the performance curve between service intervals, and in various temperatures.

Coil springs you’re also always managing noise (rattling in stanchion) Vs restriction (binding from too much spring wrap/other noise cancelling).

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jt
0

Like DT did (which is licensed by Sram for the buttercup design) or like Manitou did?

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AndrewMajor
0

Weird they would need to license it? Judy Type 2 springs were out in maybe ‘97?! 

Just swap the coil for an air spring, stretch it out, and then shrink and capture the elastomeric element. Basically the same n’est ce pas?

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AndrewMajor
+2 humdishum Blofeld

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jt
+1 Andrew Major

The butter cups are of course different than this, but DT uses springs in place of elastomers (called Coilpair). Manitou-wise, I am referring to Mars Air of olden days. Kinduva PITA to dial in the spring weight, but once done it rode pretty nice.

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Shinook
+3 Justin White fartymarty Velocipedestrian

I feel more adoption of coil shocks and forks is something that would be beneficial for many people. If you look at the latest patent applications around trying to increase air volume in various ways, it almost just seems like greater acceptance of coil should be a logical, better next step for everyone. I think fears around the linearity and lack of progression are unfounded for most riders, they offer a much more compliant ride that tracks better, is going to degrade less due to negligence (which, let's face it, most riders don't maintain anywhere near service intervals), and is more responsive. I really wish the industry would move towards this approach instead of trying to migrate air into places it shouldn't be to solve a problem coil already does.

I think the challenge any time this comes into play, hybrid or not, is going to be weight. I can see the complaints in my head now about it, people complaining their bike is going to be 1lb heavier despite the fact it rides better and is more consistent. It's the monkey on the back of the industry, people get butt hurt every time something weighs 1lb of non-rotational weight heavier than they think it should and act like it's gonna turn into a lead weight. It's less of an issue with shocks when you consider an inline coil shock like the DBCoil IL weighs very close to what a lot of mid/heavier air shocks do, but air forks do come with a bit of sticker shock on the weight, although I doubt most would notice if you didn't tell them.

That and setup is more complicated, many people can barely figure out air springs as it is. The idea of having to buy several coils for their new bike, make adjustments to the preload, etc would be overwhelming to many, which is probably equal reason. I think this would apply to hybrid options also. I've been through this with friends who bought coil bikes and, at least in its current state, it's complicated to help people get it setup properly. They often end up with multiple springs front/rear and changing them requires some mechanical prowess. Still, I think some of this could be mitigated with some more innovation and effort like we're seeing on the air side and wider adoption IMO would be better for everyone except the XC folks and gram counters.

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AndrewMajor
+5 Shinook Tjaard Breeuwer Curveball Velocipedestrian Timer

In my experience the biggest issue with coil anything is parts inventory. Even with relatively low adoption brands (never mind shops) have huge issues managing inventory and that’s without adding in between rates that many riders would like to see.

Stocking coil springs really adds up $$$ wise, space wise, and it’s super low turns inventory wise. 

Air, beyond anything else, is easy. And it’s pretty easy to sell weight savings and adjustability in a ‘coil-like’ package. Though we cynics will note that’s been the calling card of the next breed of air shocks for some twenty years. 

Not disagreeing. Especially having seen first hand many folks maintenance regimes. Coil with lots of oil is king in terms of long(er) term feel.

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Tjaardbreeuwer
+1 Andrew Major

Yep. I have plenty of friends who (almost)  never service their suspension. They are also not that picky. 

I think that coil would be a better option for many consumers like them.

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AndrewMajor
+2 Shinook Blofeld

No doubt. If you can overcome weight (which, come on) and assuming that the fork/shock has a good spring rate from the shop/manufacturer some 80%+ of riders would probably be better served by a coil in terms of maintenance and performance. 

.......

Actually, as an aside, I was talking about this the other day in terms of the Chromag Minor Threat. Yes, an air shock does make it much easier/cheaper to tune for a growing kid; however, no matter how they tune the damper and how often the air can is getting lubed the simple fact is that stiction is going to affect a lightweight rider significantly more than a heavier rider. 

Plus, coil springs in rates suitable for let's say 60-90lb riders for an average range are significantly lighter weight than coil springs for heavier riders. 

There's a real opportunity for a win with those bikes running coil in terms of even more significant performance boosts than for adults.

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PKMzeta
+1 GB

I still have very fond memories of my last coil fork, a 26" Fox 36 Van RC2. I'd love to see a return to coil forks, ideally with a bottom out management system like the Smashpot or Rockshox's HBO. 

I see your point about parts inventory and bloat with SKUs though. IIRC, Fox only offered a choice of 5 spring rates which offers coarser spring rate adjustments than most air fork users are accustomed to. The "heavy" green spring happened to work decently for me but I imagine many would have found themselves in between spring rates. 

Switched to a coil shock on my current bike with the Bomber CR and not looking back. Over a year and probably double the recommended hours into its service it's still feeling great.

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fartymarty
+1 Andrew Major

A riding buddy and I still talk about that fork.

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AndrewMajor
+1 Shinook

What’s so cool about the DB Coil IL (and air) is not only how light they are but how resilient they are for non-piggyback shocks thanks to the architecture and how adjustable they are sans bike specific custom tunes.

Not going to make any bold claims about best overall shock on the market or anything but cost/weight/performance/tuneability they’re an excellent option for most riders.

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fartymarty
+1 Andrew Major

Reminds me of a Gypsy Tales podcast with Kris Keefer (MX tuner).  His advice for MX bikes was to throw away air springs if you want proper performance.

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DancingWithMyself
0

I wonder if all these shocks getting HBO means the manufacturers are putting more R&D into it and that might lead to porting it over to forks to offer some more coil options?  I've never tried a coil fork, but I'd be pretty darn hesitant to give up progression on my forks.

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AndrewMajor
0

I've talked to a few people who said the same but fell in love with the Vorsprung Smashpot or PUSH coil system, so definitely keep an open mind.

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DancingWithMyself
0

Both of those look appealing to me.  Think Vorsprung has HBO and Push has something comparable that uses air.  Very happy with a Runt in my Zeb.  But still not available for my Lyric.  I need to bite the bullet and give one a try.

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fartymarty
+2 BadNudes Velocipedestrian

My basic understanding of it (and I may be very well wrong) is that the area under the spring curve graph is the energy absorbed.  As a coil isn't dipping in the middle like an air spring it absorbs more energy therefore making it harder to bottom.  As such you don’t need the ramp up at the end.  This is what i have experienced on my coil sprung Murmur (essentially straight rate) with coil forks.  It bottoms on really big hits but not to the extent the mtb media would have you believe.  The benefits far out weigh the down sides.

Also the spring is constant thru its travel therefore isn't doing weird things thru the travel.

As such i'm in no hurry to go back to air.

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DancingWithMyself
+1 BadNudes

That's a super interesting point about focusing on the entire area under the spring curve as total energy.  Have not heard that before, but makes total sense.  Thanks for enlightening me!

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fartymarty
+1 DancingWithMyself

It's the only way I can explain how the coil Murmur works.

Timer
0

Is there any firm reason why coil shocks are ubiquitous while coil forks aren’t? Any drawback to coil forks that I can think of is also present with coil shocks. And that doesn’t stop people from buying them and waxing lyrical about their coil experience.

Personally, I don’t think coil anything is good for all but the most discerning performance enthusiasts. Most people just end up riding the wrong spring rate and badly maintained dampers.

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AndrewMajor
+4 Justin White DancingWithMyself Velocipedestrian Timer

Many riders prefer a progressive spring rate. You can tune this with a rear suspension linkage but not with a telescoping fork. The coil fork can be improved with a hydraulic or pneumatic bottom out system but even then it’ll ride very differently from an air system. In the moto world progressive springs exist, so that could be an option.

Coil shocks are also silent whereas spring rattle inside a stanchion is real. I’ve never ridden a coil system as quiet as a good air system.

The advantage of coil anything for the average rider is the performance curve doesn’t fall off as fast as air so those riders (assuming shop/brand gets them on the correct rate) have better performance and more resilience if they do neglect service.

Coil shock dampers tend to perform better for longer as well since they aren’t wear one or two fur coats (air cans) while managing extra seal friction.

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just6979
+1 Velocipedestrian

"Most people just end up riding the wrong spring rate and badly maintained dampers."

And this magically doesn't happen with air springs? Everyone on air has the correct PSI and volume reducers and maintains their dampers?

Coil shocks visibly different, good for shred-signaling. They also often don't have the same weight penalty, and some people care about that a lot. And it's usually a bit easier to deal-with/ignore less-than-ideal springs rates (and damping, etc) in the back, because of the leverage ratios. A fork is 1:1, the wrong spring (etc) is much more obvious.

And what Andrew said.

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XXX_er
+1 Andrew Major

I think all this stuff nowdays is really pretty awesume,

I duno exactly what they did but after a service last winter the E-Zeb seemed to be using less travel so I just run Zeb with less air until it was using all but 1 inch of travel

often what people regurgitate is something they read, I remember a lawyer in a shop  tell me something word for word that I had read in an MBA artical

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AndrewMajor
0

Definitely. For most of us the improvements now are minutinae  marketed as magic.

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tashi
+1 Andrew Major

So, like most things on the bleeding edge of the marginal gains spectrum, this is probably one of those things that doesn’t make a big difference on its own that one can notice, but is one of the many little tiny things that makes up a top-end product.

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AndrewMajor
0

Yes, that's well put. At the very least it's a differentiator.

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GB
+1 Cam McRae

I remember my open bath Z  one forks with hybrid . Coil air . Open bath coil uses low air pressure as part of the spring . They worked like shock absorbers and they were a suspension helping traction. 

Modern air forks are not realy shock absorbers . That's my hands talking . My hands taking a beating but my fork does track very well. It's a Durolux.  With an air spring .

Ride your average trail and I can set the air spring to plush . If I'm getting rowdy on double black gnar or long slabs . I have to set air pressures to omg my hands hurt . I suspect all air forks have this issue . 

The z ones had I believe 4 inch long bushings that could be replaced.  

Yes I want a 5 pound fork that is a shock absorber and aids in traction.  

I'm getting old . Almost 60. 

Funny a fork from about 20 years ago is , in my imagination?, much more friendly on my hands than any modern air fork . 

No Avalanche does not make a conversion for my Durolux.  

Shame .

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just6979
0

Interesting that you choose to change spring force instead of damping changes. I never change my spring force, but I will tweak damping sometimes.

All steep slabs? Add a little LSC to keep the front high, make sure HSC is at least close to the middle or higher to make sure it doesn't open too early and bypass the LSC that I now need. But not too much HSC such that big compressions upset the chassis (this is probably the most rider strength/skill dependent setting). Maybe speed up LSR to let the wheel get back to the ground quickly, especially if bike speeds will be high. All so you spend more time dynamically "high" in the travel and can actively pressure the front wheel without shifting your weight even more forward than the steepness already has.

Not steep but quite gnar/tech? A couple few less clicks compression to let the wheel move freely despite the front not being as heavily loaded, absorbing everything to keep the bike more composed and you balanced.

Steep and rowdy gnar? Keep the normal settings, shit's dialed already.

Without trying similar things, I wouldn't leap to blaming the air spring alone.

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GB
+1 Andrew Major

Lol . Have you tried playing with the knobs? 

Yes . Yes I have . 

You realize the hsc bypass the large ports on lsc and the more hsc you add the more frequent the oil is forced into the hsc circuit which is harsher on your hands ? 

I prefer to run compression damping as light as possible.  A quick turn of a knob , takes about 2 seconds and I can add hsc or lsc. 

Are you assuming I'm not aware of that ? 

The fork is dialed ! Does its job perfectly at suspending the wheel giving the wheel exelent traction. 

My hands hurt . 

Would my hands hurt as much with oil constantly lubricating the bushings . Generous amounts of oil flowing at low pressures? 

A  coil spring that does not have to overcome the break force needed with air pistons to get them moving ? 

Maybe I just need to play with knobs more . That's it ! 

Thank you for your advice .

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AndrewMajor
+1 GB

@GB, your comment reminded my of this bike I saw at Crankworx 2019. It had a DVO fork setup soft, a Fasst Flexx bar, and Rev Grips.

I asked one of the guys at the DVO booth about it and he told me the combination of the Flexx bar and floating grips damping out trail noise made riding possible for this individual. 

It was a potent reminder that different people experience the forces of mountain biking differently. I mean, tell that guy that Rev grips and Flexx bars don’t perform as advertised! Ha. 

I’ve even thought about trying to swap out the air spring in my daughter’s oldish Float 32 for an even older coil assembly. Extra weight yes - even with the extra soft spring - but the decrease in friction is massive at her weight.

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Shinook
0

I remember photos of this bike and thinking "I'm not the only one". I recently had surgery to try and fix my issues, which stem from a compressed nerve, the coming weeks will tell whether it was enough to keep me riding or not. I can say that having run all of those things, a well tuned fork combined with things like the Flexx bars and RevGrips helped enormously. I particularly liked the bars, because they let me run my suspension the way it should be setup for control by isolating my hand problems from the fork. 

I would point out to @GB, though, that hand pain is not always a suspension problem. It can very much be due to ergonomics. If you are running new bars, new bike, even a longer fork, the fore/aft roll of the bar can change the way pressure lands on your hands. There are a lot of factors in what can cause hand problems, including undiagnosed medical issues like I had, so I wouldn't immediately blame suspension. 

Also, less damping isn't always a good thing. You can keep the oil flowing, but too little suspension damping can result in spiking especially with air forks. You may find increased damping helps prevent spikes when the fork reaches the top end of the stroke.

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GB
0

It was a potent reminder that different people experience the forces of mountain biking differently.

Thank you . That's a solid observation.  How we ride , what we ride and where we ride is a personal experience.  Different for everyone.  

The feedback from comments helps me to comprehend suspension dynamics to a degree. 

With the Durolux fork dialed in for performance. I may have to consider other areas to reduce the sting .Such as grips . I run push on OdI grips . Thin good grip . No damping properties I'm quite certain. 

Love my antique Easton Havoc bar . Probably stiff as all hell. 

I'm rather perturbed by rampant consumerism.  Or Im cheap as f.  Buying new stuff to replace something that isn't broken is difficult for me. 

I have a feeling there are two set ups .

Plush or performance. 

As your suggesting Perhaps air springs in forks are engineered to perform best with your average weight of an adult male ? So 180 to 200 pounds ? 

I weigh 150 . 

Didn't Fox make a coil , Vanilla 32 , a talas and a float ?  

Fork prices went up. Options have been reduced .

At least Suntour makes reliable forks with minimal changes each year . Parts always available and not expensive. 

New and improved for me is not a calling card . It's a warning.

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just6979
0

What I was trying to say is that you have options for tuning besides just slamming in more pressure for some situations, especially since that more pressure is, by your own admission, hurting your hands.

Yes, more HSC means more force when the shaft speed is high. But more pressure means more force all the time, and even more force when deep in the travel. But without any HSC, the LSC doesn't get the oil flow needed to do it's job well, or sometimes even at all. And both HSD and especially LSC can help keep the front taller overall and in the softer part of the air spring, well out of the ramp up and such that the higher pressure might not hurt as much. It also means you might not need that hand-hurting air pressure to begin with.

If I had to sometimes add enough air pressure that it hurts to ride, I wouldn't call that dialed. If I have to tweak a knob or two, by a click or two, to adapt for extremes of terrain, that's dialing, and kind of the point of the having the knobs.

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pbass
+1 Andrew Major

"DEAR...

SWEET....

MY little buttercup,

I love yooooouuuuuu"

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AndrewMajor
0

When you think about it, there’s a fair few ways Rock Shox could have followed Santa Cruz Bicycles lead on this one. 

Carbon, carbon, carbon, carbon… CARBON CHAMELEON

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DBone57
0

For my 2023 Pike Ultimate Charger 3 that now sits in my closet because I could not take its harshness one more day, butter cups made no difference.  Maybe if they stacked 100 in each fork leg and took out the Charger 3.0 damper and threw it in the desert then maybe I would've been happy.

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AndrewMajor
0

That sounds like something is wrong with your specific Pike. Did you talk to one of their warranty/service centers about having the bushing tolerances looked at?

Out of curiosity, what are you riding instead?

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DBone57
0

I never spoke with SRAM. I did 3 total lower leg, dust wiper, foam rings and air spring services myself (to me, not servicing the air spring during a lower leg service is like not changing the filter when changing your motor oil) with the recommended Maxima Plush Heavy and Light fluids.

The good news is the factory install was not horrific and actually looked like someone cared when assembling which is very seldom the case it seems. The bushings felt pretty good as the stanchions would sort of 'fall' under their own weight when I tested them during servicing. 

I tried every single setting I could think of in terms of spring rate and damping and ultimately I just lived with it and regretted selling my perfectly working Pike Ultimate Charger 2.1.

I bought a 2023 Fox 34 Factory GRIP2 and it's the best fork I have ever had in terms of fluttery, floaty, off the top sensitivity and is easily comparable to my 2.1 and 3.0 Pike Ultimates in terms of support and bottom out resistance.... and it took me literally 3 rides to get there. 

I went with Fox's damper and air suggestions for my weight and have literally made 2 changes. I added 3psi and took 1 click of HSC off. That's it.

It's my first Fox product and it's totally Dialed (yes, that was intended)

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just6979
0

"like someone cared when assembling which is very seldom the case it seems"

Do you really believe this? "Seldom"? Think about how many forks are sold, and then how many people are whinging about bad assembly, and then how many are just out riding and enjoying properly assembled forks.

My riding crew at least 10 for 10 on forks in recent memory. I can't think of a single person I ride with regularly who had to investigate terrible performance and discovered a bad assembly, nor even someone that dealt with the so-so performance and then found bad assembly during the first service.

Yes, there will be some outliers that obviously shouldn't have passed QC, but if it was truly "seldom", everyone would know it. But it's really just the "squeaky wheel" metaphor embodied: those who get the "bad" ones holler about them, everyone else quietly rides on.

(I'm also [back] on the Fox Factory GRIP2 train. Could not get Pike Charger2 to a good place after lots of trying, but 36 GRIP2 dialed in so easy, and I'd say that is partly because the 36 has more adjustments!)

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Shinook
0 Justin White Joseph Crabtree

If you ask people who work on suspension components, at least those I know, they'll tell you that they find QC issues pretty regularly. Usually these are minor: overstuffed grease in the negative chamber, lack of oil, tight bushings. It's not an uncommon finding (for many brands, anyway, but not all) and is something I've discussed with a few at least, these have an objective impact on performance whether noticed by the rider or not.

As for what other riders think, to put it bluntly, I quit caring what most mountain bikers tell me about their suspension. Many, if not the vast majority, don't have a very deep connection to the way their suspension works or even one I'd describe as surface level. They pump it up, twist a few knobs, then go ride and don't think about it that much. A bit odd if you consider the cost of these components, but I don't judge unless they constantly complain about it without trying to improve it, even if I think it's a bit silly to pay the cost and not get as much performance as possible. The concepts involved are either something they don't care about or never spend the time to grasp, just assuming it moves up and down when they want and not feeling like a buckboard to be sufficient. 

I doubt most could tell you the role of a damper, either in technical or practical function. They often can't explain what optimal spring ranges are, how to tell the difference if it's right or wrong, and how it relates to damper settings. If something isn't dreadfully wrong or poor, they don't complain because they don't care or don't pay attention. That doesn't mean everything is good, right, or correct. To put it more directly: the average mountain biker has minimal understanding of suspension, how it works, and how to set it up properly. I hear so much incorrect information either trail side or in bike shops it's astounding, things that aren't subjective, but objectively incorrect and sometimes straight dangerous.

Now, the follow on comment usually derails into something to the effect of: just shut up and ride; be more like the ones that don't care; turn you brain off; some derivative of those three. Maybe you are right, maybe we should, but at the same time I think this comes down to people seeing the world differently. I'm an engineer, so I naturally see these things differently than someone who works in sales or a doctor or dentist. I've historically had physical issues that make poor suspension performance extremely obvious to me, with marked improvements with certain products vs others particularly when it comes to trail feedback. I take effort in understanding why things work a certain why and how it impacts the experience because, well, I'm interested. 

Not everyone fits into the same bucket, and that's fine, but I think it's worth considering that experiences relating to performance of these components is going to vary based on a multitude of factors and there are a lot of riders who just say things like "works for me" and don't think about it much beyond that. If, out of 10 people, you can't find one person who has had complaints about suspension performance or problems then that probably just means they aren't as in tuned with it as some others are. That's not a negative thing, it's not an indictment of any sort, but it also doesn't mean everything is golden and the people complaining that they have issues are wrong. I'm not saying anyone here is right or wrong in the way they view these things, it's a matter of perspective and I know great riders who see things in a lot of different ways, but if you combine the experiences of many of us, as well as people who work on this side of thing regularly, I think you'll find it is a more common problem than you'd realize.

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DancingWithMyself
0

Not sure about exchange rates if you're across the border, but you used to be able to get a tool and various heads pretty cheap from Oliver at Blue Liquid Labs.  If you do lowers services yourself and have some buddies that do, might be worth going in on one together.  It's pretty damn simple to run the tool through the bushings.  

And if you're neurotic like me, there's value in doing it on every new fork just so you know that's not the issue and it wouldn't improve things.

AndrewMajor
+1 DancingWithMyself

@DBon57 

It sounds like you still have the Pike in your closet? In that case it maybe be worth sending to SRAM to get the bushing tolerances checked. You wouldn’t be the first person (in this thread) with overly tight bushings.

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dknapton
0

Got a brand new Zeb and it felt terrible out of the box. Dropped the lowers and did an oil change to make sure it had the proper amounts and it still felt like garbage. Took it to fluid function and they worked their magic on it and it felt much better. Was able to run about 8 psi more than I could before. 

They are noticable more quiet than previous generations though.

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AndrewMajor
0

“They are noticable more quiet than previous generations though.”

Appreciate you letting me know I’m not crazy!

Awesome Fluid Function got you sorted. Did they say what they did?

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dknapton
0

They didn't say anything in particular. I brought it to them wondering if something was wrong with it, they said it was fine, but that they'd make it nice and smooth. Not sure what that entails but It worked. 

I also find that the low and high speed adjusters have barely any affect. On my original Charger damper, the low speed compression made noticable changes with every click. I also told them I didnt think the compression adjusters did anything, but they said they dyno'd it and they indeed work. Maybe they're just much more subtle than previous dampers and I can't notice.

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dogboy
0

I'm going to be the outlier here (I think) and state that I unequivocally feel a difference (improvement) on a fork with ButterCups. I have a D1 Lyrik Ultimate along with a C3 Lyrik Ultimate, an A1 Zeb Ultimate, and a B3 Pike Ultimate that the new Lyrik replaced. All the forks are well maintained and have seen routine lowers service as well as damper service. The vibration damping from the ButterCups was noticeable from the first ride. I realize it's a sample set of one fork, but it was/is my experience. I'm about to build up a new short travel bike with a C1 Pike Ultimate, so we'll see if I have the same result with that fork.

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just6979
+1 Velocipedestrian

Your only fork with ButterCups also has a different damper and different spring. Why couldn't it be those things making the Lyrik D1 feel better?

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dogboy
0

That is entirely possible. It's billed as an improvement over previous generation RS forks and it certainly feels that way, but it could be the other changes. I will say it feels very specific. I'll have some time on a new Pike soon and will report back on that one.

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Shinook
+2 Justin White Velocipedestrian

I think the only way to really evaluate this would be to remove them and replace them with some kind of rigid alternative. I kinda wish I had held onto my Lyrik and done this, but I never had the chance sadly. 

It would be an interesting comparison, although you'd have to accept the risk of a voided warranty if something goes wrong.

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skooks
0

I have the Select+ version of this fork without the buttercups. I'd love to try an Ultimate version just for comparison. I do like the way this fork rides higher in its travel than the Charger 2.1.  Feels noticeably more supportive and composed.

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