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Thread: Types of rear shocks and what they do...

  1. #1
    MoJo Mother Superior RidingAgain's Avatar
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    Types of rear shocks and what they do...

    I'm getting close to buying a new rear shock for my Cannondale Prophet (It is what it is, so save your negative comments... If possible) but still a little confused regarding things like "Standard" or "High" volume canisters, varying adjustability, etc., as related to the type of suspension the Prophet is designed with...

    Here's something I found online regarding this...

    "Cannondale Prophet (and Rush) are designed with a falling rate linkage... The intention of this is to add an inbuilt pedalling platform rather than relying on shock.

    Other single pivots are rising rate… eg. Orange 224, patriot, etcBut single pivot rising rate is less pronounced than the rising rate on a linkage driven single pivot (e.g. commencal meta).

    Linkage driven single pivots can leverage ratio and ramp up a lot more progressively than non-linkage driven. This lends linkage driven single pivots to have:

    - high leverage ratio in initial part of shock stroke = good small bump compliance = lots of pedal bounce (i.e no pedalling platform)

    - low leverage ratio in later part of shock stroke = resistance to bottom out[/FONT][/COLOR]

    The Prophet's regressive (falling rate) ratios have bad small bump compliance… But orange 224’s and linkage driven single pivot have good small bump compliance.

    Air shock with SPV will exacerbate this pedalling platform + lack of small bump compliance on a Prophet...So using a coil shock can negate to an extent the regressive linkage’s pedalling platform, thus improving small bump compliance. However, coil shocks typically have less bottom out resistance than air shocks as coil spring is linear and air shock is progressive.

    Thus choosing coil shock with adjustable bottom out ramp up is important… The basic shocks (i.e Vanilla R, DHX 3-4) don’t have this adjustability.

    High end shocks provide this range of adjustability… Such as the DHX 5, etc.[/FONT][/COLOR]

    DHX 5 provides the ramp up to avoid severe bottom out, but to a lesser extent than an air shock provides…

    Coil on a prophet does limit the type of drops / jumps you can take… or at least the fashion in which you take them.

    You should be able to do moderate drops with transition without probs, but with big drops, you want to be completely dialled and smooth.

    If you monster truck drops, you will bottom out... But if you can be smooth and work with the bike’s suspension, coil transforms the prophet from a cross country bike into a true mini DH’r."

    All that I've read online regarding rider experience on upgrading the Prophet's rear shock favors air over coil... So I'm thinking I'd stay away from coil.

    The shocks I've kind of narrowed down to are these...

    https://www.sram.com/rockshox/produc...ly0w1plcxv69ln

    https://www.sram.com/rockshox/produc...10te2j7ed9fmkc

    http://www.dvosuspension.com/product...-t3-air-shock/

    https://www.ridefox.com/2016/family....e&family=float

    Or at least along the lines of the above, as I'm open to buying older/used versions.

    Just wondered if any of you shock brainiacs out there could share what you know.

    Thanks.
    Last edited by RidingAgain; 12-23-2017 at 01:04 PM.

  2. #2
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    Can you fit/get a fox float maybe (evol) in the proper length With a trail tune? You can tune the progressiveness at the bottom with the volume spacers. It may take you a while to get it where you like.

    The medium tunes are usually going to be better for the DW link type bikes like Vpp, pivot, maestro, ibis etc which need it to feel better pedaling.

    I have no idea what the leverage ratio looks like on that bike since cannondales have their own interesting design and it's such an old bike.


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  3. #3
    MoJo Mother Superior RidingAgain's Avatar
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    Got this from a online forum on the matter of ratios for the Prophet...

    "On average, leverage ratios are calculated simply by dividing the rear wheel travel by the length of the shock stroke. In this case, it would be 140mm/50mm = 2.8, commonly expressed as 2.8:1. This specific frame design results in a pretty extreme falling rate of suspension. It somewhat depends on size, with the larger sizes having a greater falling rate. I've heard that Cannondale states the leverage ratio at about 2.6:1 at the beginning of the stroke; falling off to 3:1 by the end of the stroke. This is consistent with the overall average of 2.8:1.

    Given the available adjustments, I would think that the DHX is the perfect shock to deal with this type of suspension design. IMO, you should run the boost valve relatively low and the bottom out relatively high while shooting for about 20% sag. Adjust the propedal until it works well without feeling harsh in the small bumps. Good luck!"

  4. #4
    MoJo Mother Superior RidingAgain's Avatar
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    Stock shock that came with the Prophet is a FOX Float R... 200mm x 50mm (7.845" x 2.0")... And this size is available in new shocks.

    Additionally, the Prophet is able to use slightly longer stroke shocks without a problem, which can increase travel to 150-155mm — at least that's what some claim.

  5. #5
    MoJo Mother Superior fontarin's Avatar
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    My opinions:
    - I initially had the Monarch RT3 on my Hightower. Did not care for it as I couldn't seem to get it to soak up small bumps well. I went to the Fox Float X2 and it's a pretty amazing shock, being super tune-able. I went from wanting to sell my Hightower to riding it much more often.

    I went back and forth between the X2 and DVO before I bought - ended up with the Fox for slightly more customization, but you really can't go wrong with either.
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  6. #6
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    Manitou McLeod if you can find one in your size.


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  7. #7
    Hugh Jass
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    Between the X-2 and the DVO, you won't go wrong. For a heavier rider, you want that extra reservoir. Both are highly tunable and the DVO has some of the best dampening I have ridden. I had a Monarch RT3 for about two years and thought the small bump sensitivity was a little better than average, but both the X-2 and the DVO are both right at best in class(it's a coin flip). The Fox for serviceability at any shop you go to, the DVO for a slightly better dampener and best in the industry customer service and tunability. The DVO has an external adjustment where the Fox has volume spacers that you have to partially disassemble the shock to adjust small bump sensitivity without messing with the air pressure. DVO also has a ton of how to do it videos on their website that are in plain workmans terms and their head tech guy Ronnie will answer any questions you have if you call.
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  8. #8
    Mojo Slow-poke Austin Bike's Avatar
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    I tend to be a fan of Fox because they can be serviced just about anywhere. Also, they tend to be a "set and forget" for me. I never fiddle with my rear shock. To some degree I believe the body adjusts to the bike more than the bike needs to be adjusted to the body.

    In terms of servicing, I have found that sending a shock to Push is a good upgrade, I have always been happy with their work. Surprised that the shock manufacturers have not reverse engineered what they do, integrated it into their products, and put them out of business.
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  9. #9
    Hugh Jass
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    I'm doing that right now with my shock. Xmas present to myself.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Austin Bike View Post
    I tend to be a fan of Fox because they can be serviced just about anywhere. Also, they tend to be a "set and forget" for me. I never fiddle with my rear shock. To some degree I believe the body adjusts to the bike more than the bike needs to be adjusted to the body.

    In terms of servicing, I have found that sending a shock to Push is a good upgrade, I have always been happy with their work. Surprised that the shock manufacturers have not reverse engineered what they do, integrated it into their products, and put them out of business.
    I don't think Push does service anymore. I think that they are now focusing on selling shocks and after market upgrades. From what I hear their ACS3 coil conversion works really well.

  11. #11
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    I assume you understand this, but if your suspension is in fact regressive, if you extend the travel, you will exasperated that lack of small bump compliance and it will make the bike even more difficult to select a properly tuned shock setup.

    You want small bump compliance around here. Other regions and walnut, it doesn't really matter. It looks like you have some good commentary above. I also would not recommend a monarch RT3 for that bike and your weight.


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  12. #12
    MoJo Mother Superior RidingAgain's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by FJsnoozer View Post
    I assume you understand this, but if your suspension is in fact regressive, if you extend the travel, you will exasperated that lack of small bump compliance and it will make the bike even more difficult to select a properly tuned shock setup.
    Yep... Regarding regressive suspension... Got that from the many online forums focused on the Prophet.

    But it seems that some riders are willing to forego the small bump compliance for the greater travel capacity. Maybe they are doing more big jump/downhill stuff.

    I'm not looking to increase travel though... I'm actually considering going the other way with the front... Converting to 29" on the front, which will require — if I keep the Lefty — reducing it's travel from 140mm to between 110-120mm (110mm allows a larger tire profile, 120mm limits tyre profile).

    Some folks have swapped out the Lefty for a regular fork... Going up to as much as 160mm without a stress problem after three years of riding.

    But again... I'm not thinking of heading in that direction... Which is what my other thread was for... Trying to get clear regarding the advantages/disadvantages of a 140mm/27.5" set up versus a 110-120mm/29" set up... As I can do either one.

    In this thread I just wanted to get clear regarding what all the different related rear shock stuff is applicable to, as there are many schools of thought out there.

    Quote Originally Posted by FJsnoozer View Post
    You want small bump compliance around here.
    Thanks... My thinking also.


    Quote Originally Posted by FJsnoozer View Post
    I also would not recommend a monarch RT3 for that bike and your weight.
    Okay... But could you give me more on why you think this?

    It would help me better understand the science behind all this shock stuff.

    Thanks much for your feedback, I appreciate it.
    Last edited by RidingAgain; 12-26-2017 at 10:08 AM.

  13. #13
    MoJo Mother Superior RidingAgain's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cheif View Post
    Manitou McLeod if you can find one in your size.
    This....

    Manitou McLeod Rear Shock | Chain Reaction Cycles

    Have you had experience using one?

  14. #14
    MoJo Mother Superior RidingAgain's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Austin Bike View Post
    I have found that sending a shock to Push is a good upgrade, I have always been happy with their work.
    Back in '09 I sent my Fox Float 130 RLC to Push for upgrading... Made a huge positive difference in how it worked for me.

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by RidingAgain View Post
    This....

    Manitou McLeod Rear Shock | Chain Reaction Cycles

    Have you had experience using one?
    Yes! Replaced RP23 on my RIP9 with one of these. Completely transformed the bike. Eliminated the severe bobbing you get in a dual pivot suspension. Very easy shock to set up, set sag and rebound and ride! Four platform positions from soft DH to almost locked. Shock has a blow off if you forget to take out of firmest setting. Manitou support is excellent also.
    RidingAgain likes this.

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