I know that Hoots Jay is currently testing the 5th in his 03 Norco 4x4 and there are some 03 Shore's out there with the 5th in them for testing as well, but that is a different frame design, so I can't say for sure that it will work on an 01 or 02. In fact I think that it would be a really tight fit in the old VPS frame style, there is not a lot of room in there.
Yeah, it's big, but the resovoir has a lot of working parts in it, it is what makes the shock work so well. It fits on lots of frames in one or two positions, but doesn't work in all 12 positions on frames with that many options. It is not a recomended fit on a lot of bikes because it doesn't work in all positions, Norco and Specialized come to mind for that reason, they just have too many mounting positions and if it does not work in all of them, Progressive will not recomend the fit, they are afraid that people will put it wherever, without checking that it works.
A lot of companies like Yakima, who have a distributor in Canada and the US, have their customers sign agreements that they can not sell products cross boarder. I know for a fact that Yakima does have this deal with their dealers, you might want to get more details from Rack Attack about that.
Also, manufacturers and distributors don't change their pricing during the season, based on the change in the dollar. This works both ways, when the dollar plumets, they don't put their prices up right away, so why would they lower their prices in season.
It is not a recomended fit on any Norco's yet, but it very well may fit. Odds are that it will fit in 1 or 2 positions, depending on the amount of space in the frame for the resavoir. That year of VPS doesn't have a ton of room in it, so you would be best to try and find one to test on your frame.
Go back to your LBS and have them call Hoots Gear directly, they will take care of you. It sounds like the rep was trying to do you a favour by getting you something quickly, but he wouldn't have stock in all the pads, he's just a rep, not a warehouse. Use the ones he gave you until new ones can be sent. Or you could just go to a shoe repair place and have them stiched, that's what I did with mine, cost me about $15 to have all the stitching re-enforced and I was never without my pads.:D
Switch, a heavier spring will take the bob out, but it will also make the shock buck back harder. The RL is a good choice, you can lock it out, but you don't neccesarily want that either, try the 5th, it has a good platform and a progressive feel.
If you want to put a DC on your 1.5, then just buy the reducer kit, or the Cane Creek Double X headset, that is made to run the 1 1/8" steerer in the 1.5 headtube. I know 2 guys running a Dorado on their Yeti ASX's, it works great and they will never ovalize a headtube.
Dude, there's no such thing as a cheap pad that protects you well, thusly, they are cheap. Spend good money and get some Hoots Freeride Knee's and Shins, no matter how you fall they stay on you solidly, plus you can wear them seperately if you want to dirt jump or ride urban.
Tyler, Nigel, I'm glad my Yeti fits the coaster. At least I can say that my bike has ridden the coaster, I won't be able to attempt it for about 2 months. I just wanted to thank you guys and your dad for helping me last Sunday, mtn bikers are the best people in the world, you and the others who stopped to help me proved that. I would like to do something to help you guys out, please PM me, we can talk. Maybe when I'm back up and around and Tylers hand is all good, we can hit the trails