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Coil vs Air shock

Oct. 31, 2019, 10:20 a.m.
Posts: 519
Joined: Jan. 31, 2005

Posted by: ReductiMat

I prefer coil 100%.  I'm a big dude though.

Me too. The air pressure required to support my weight makes air shocks so sticky off the top. Plus I was wrecking them all the time. The coil Is nice and supple and consistently supportive through the stroke. A bit trickier to set up as far as getting the right coil weight, etc but definitely worth It despite the extra weight. It's not a good choice for all bike kinematics.

Nov. 1, 2019, 2:55 p.m.
Posts: 919
Joined: March 18, 2017

Tempting myself from buying an EXT shock. You know. For science. 

But if I get one of those shocks I might as well get a G1 to go along with it. 🤔🤦🏽‍♀️😂

Nov. 3, 2019, 8:32 a.m.
Posts: 164
Joined: Feb. 24, 2017

Coil

Nov. 11, 2019, 9:37 p.m.
Posts: 138
Joined: Dec. 6, 2017

Posted by: heathen

Coil

So bikes like the Norco Range constantly bottom out with a coil shock? I thought the Range's had more of a progressive linkage?

Nov. 12, 2019, 12:43 p.m.
Posts: 164
Joined: Feb. 24, 2017

I have a 2018 Range with a super Deluxe and I have almost all the tokens so it ramps up nicely. I could add an extra half token by adding the gnardog token.

Bikes designed around an air shock are generally designed to be more linear because air shocks are more progressive than coil. Most people running coils on air shock bikes have to run heavier then normal springs to compensate for how linear the linkage is. At 200lbs I love my air shock.

Nov. 12, 2019, 12:51 p.m.
Posts: 164
Joined: Feb. 24, 2017

We talk about this on rides quite often. The trendiness of coil.

Norco Range and Transition Patrol both have 160mm frames.

Range has 205mm x 60mm rear shock

Patrol has 205mm x 65mm rear shock

So the Patrol is more linear then the Range. Yet transition only offers the Patrol with a coil now. I think that is a recipe for disaster. That's why I made the meme. I personally dont feel the Range is progressive enough to run a coil either.

Nov. 12, 2019, 7:22 p.m.
Posts: 138
Joined: Dec. 6, 2017

Posted by: heathen

I have a 2018 Range with a super Deluxe and I have almost all the tokens so it ramps up nicely. I could add an extra half token by adding the gnardog token.

Bikes designed around an air shock are generally designed to be more linear because air shocks are more progressive than coil. Most people running coils on air shock bikes have to run heavier then normal springs to compensate for how linear the linkage is. At 200lbs I love my air shock.

Thanks for the explanation.

I also have a 18' Range 29er, but I have the DPX2, no volume reducers and I weigh 190.

Nov. 13, 2019, 12:25 a.m.
Posts: 448
Joined: May 11, 2018

Posted by: heathen

We talk about this on rides quite often. The trendiness of coil.

Norco Range and Transition Patrol both have 160mm frames.

Range has 205mm x 60mm rear shock

Patrol has 205mm x 65mm rear shock

So the Patrol is more linear then the Range. Yet transition only offers the Patrol with a coil now. I think that is a recipe for disaster. That's why I made the meme. I personally dont feel the Range is progressive enough to run a coil either.

Curious what the line is where you feel a coil is OK? My carbon warden has 155mm travel with a 200x57mm shock. Coil seems to ramp up nicely. Is the progressive equation simply travel divided by rear shock?

Nov. 13, 2019, 10:55 a.m.
Posts: 4857
Joined: Nov. 25, 2002

you have to look at the leverage curve. an air shock will (typically) be better able to support a more linear curve, as the spring rate is progressive. the coil has a linear spring rate, so will usually get along better with a suspension platform with a more aggressive ramp. quick glance at the leverage curves suggests the transition may be a bit happier with a coil than the norco. 

my old xprezzo has the most aggressive end stroke leverage rate drop i've seen. set up plush, with no air spacers in the can, still rarely sees bottom - this is a design that I think should really benefit from a coil - which is currently on the way. stoked to see how it works.

Nov. 13, 2019, 11:05 a.m.
Posts: 7
Joined: June 5, 2019

I have had 3 air shocks in my life. First was the Fox Alps 4 on the original steel FSR in about 1995. I changed that out to the very first Rock Shox Super Deluxe coil in 1996.
It was much better. 

Next was a DHX 5.0 air on a Blur 4X. I wanted a coil but SC advised against it because it was 'designed for an air shock'. I had an opportunity to try a DHX 5.0 coil in 2009 so I did, and I kept it.
It was much better. 

I had never sat on a bike with an air shock since that felt better than coil, so I stuck with that. When metric shocks came out I bought a new Nomad and I couldn't get my usual DVO jade in metric to fit, and being air averse I went with the stock Rock Shox not-so-super deluxe. It was pretty crap. It felt dead and if I ran it so I could pop, it had no control on bigger hits. So I got a DVO Topaz, first air shock in nearly a decade. I was impressed. Fast forward to the middle of this year, and I discovered you can get a metric DVO Jade to fit a metric Nomad. So I bought it. I'd like to keep the theme going and say "It was much better", but it's a bit more subtle than that. The Topaz was seriously impressive. It made me see air shocks in a positive light for the first time. However the coil is more sensitive and  lively which alongside DH improvement also makes tech climbing better. Maybe not 'much' better, but better is better, so goodbye air; maybe see you in another decade. 

As for bottom resistance, I have not had a problem. I'm not a big guy at about 155 these days, but I have been as heavy as 180 while riding the previous gen Nomad with a coil and didn't have bottoming issues. I've always had piggy back shocks that allow for adding pressure to the reservoir though, so I would imagine that is a requirement.

Nov. 13, 2019, 2:50 p.m.
Posts: 1129
Joined: Nov. 21, 2002

Posted by: heathen

Norco Range and Transition Patrol both have 160mm frames.

Range has 205mm x 60mm rear shock

Patrol has 205mm x 65mm rear shock

So the Patrol is more linear then the Range. Yet transition only offers the Patrol with a coil now. I think that is a recipe for disaster. That's why I made the meme. I personally dont feel the Range is progressive enough to run a coil either.

It's not as simple as dividing the travel by the shock stroke, that only gives you an average of the leverage ratio.

Through the modern voodoo of linkage design, where in the travel the design begins to ramp up is also an important consideration.

Nov. 14, 2019, 9:05 a.m.
Posts: 164
Joined: Feb. 24, 2017

I am not the only one to thi k about this.

Patrol

Nov. 14, 2019, 9:27 a.m.
Posts: 164
Joined: Feb. 24, 2017

IMO if your bikes linkage is linear or you are 180lbs and up stick with an air shock. If you are sub 170lbs and have a linear linkage bike you may benefit from a coil as in has lower breakout force then an air shock. If your bikes linkage is progressive stick with coil. Everyone if free to do what ever they want to their bike. Just beware that your miles may vary and there is always hype built around trends in the industry.

Nov. 14, 2019, 10:03 a.m.
Posts: 1160
Joined: June 20, 2010

I picked up a coil shock for my SB6 based on recommendations of a fast friend who loved his. Had to overspring the shit out of it cos its such a linear frame. Think i was running a 450lb spring. Im 150lbs. To me it didn't seem to make that much difference once i had it so it wasn't bottoming out.

tldr. If you have a linear frame, don't waste your money. If its progressive it could be a good option.

Nov. 14, 2019, 1:48 p.m.
Posts: 1129
Joined: Nov. 21, 2002

Posted by: heathen

I am not the only one to thi k about this.

I had a quick look at the leverage curve charts. The Range is actually quite progressive and should work well with a coil.  The Patrol is less so, around the same ball park as the Stump evo.

Although leverage curve is very important,  the shock's compression tunes now also add another variable.  

So at the end you need to look at the overall sum of the parts and how they all play together. 

I trust Transition have gone coil because of a defined performance benefit, they as a company are pretty good with not following the trends generally speaking.  I mean at the end of the day they gave us modern slack geo with decreased offset forks which they pretty much cobbled together in their garage to R&D

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