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Dual Crown vs Smashpot Converted Fox 38

PB Forum :: Downhill
Dual Crown vs Smashpot Converted Fox 38
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Posted: Dec 7, 2021 at 8:24 Quote
First off I don't consider myself to be a hardcore downhill rider. I'm a cautiously brave novice at best. I enjoy the chairlift parks and have an ebike for self shuttling the lower elevations when ski season starts. I'm not going to set any records but over the last year and a half I have progressed from the green and blue lines to consistently being able to ride black diamonds. The double blacks are still a bit outside my skill level solely due to the larger jumps. Chunky downhill and drops I'm fine, not fast but able to clear and survive.

Sorry for the long intro but I figured the more I say about type of riding and ability the better advice I will receive.

Spent some time on a few dual crown bikes with coil rear shocks and I'm weighing the pros and cons of setting my bike up like this. The coil shock is a no brainer for me as the Intense Tazer has a poorly selected shock to begin with. So thats getting swapped for sure.

My dilemma is should I go with a dual crown air fork such as Ohlins, DVO or Fox or do the Smashpot conversion to my OEM fox 38 fork?

What I disliked about the dual crown setup on the Tazer specifically is the bike already has a long raked out feel and I didn't find much if any difference in stability between the Tazer MX with Ohlins Dual Crown and my Tazer 279 with the 38. I did notice a huge improvement in small bump compliance and the ability to absorb hits reducing deflection at speed. So the ride quality was top notch but what I really disliked is there was a noticeable difference in the agility of the steering on tighter switchbacks and on any technical uphill obstacles.

My logic or rather goal would be to increase travel to 170MM and achieve the same handling characteristics as the dual crown but without the turning issues and added weight. I'm not going to factor in the cost difference between either option because I would be selling my 38 if I went DC so yeah the DC option is still more money but there would be some cost avoidance and offset.

Sorry for long thread but appreciate any feedback you are willing to share.

A06

Posted: Dec 8, 2021 at 6:03 Quote
The Smashpotted 38 would be the better option...dual crowns are more supple from the longer travel and larger air spring...reducing the travel takes away that benefit and you just end up with a heavier fork, harder to use on switchbacks. A ZEB is stiffer than a 38, the ZEB some have reported feels stiffer than the 35mm Boxxers even. A FOX 40 would be considerably stiffer than both bot at reduced travel would be too stiff almost, harsh feeling either. Personally I would Smashpot the 38 or a ZEB and look at a custom damper tune or cartridge damper from Avalanche. That will net you a much more supple ride and a more useable fork than a dual crown.

Posted: Dec 8, 2021 at 8:06 Quote
Danzzz88 wrote:
The Smashpotted 38 would be the better option...dual crowns are more supple from the longer travel and larger air spring...reducing the travel takes away that benefit and you just end up with a heavier fork, harder to use on switchbacks. A ZEB is stiffer than a 38, the ZEB some have reported feels stiffer than the 35mm Boxxers even. A FOX 40 would be considerably stiffer than both bot at reduced travel would be too stiff almost, harsh feeling either. Personally I would Smashpot the 38 or a ZEB and look at a custom damper tune or cartridge damper from Avalanche. That will net you a much more supple ride and a more useable fork than a dual crown.

Awesome appreciate the feedback. I purchased a DHX2 Shock and Smashpot kit last night. I hadn't really considered switching to ZEB simply because already have the 38 as it was OEM to the bike.

I think its a good "donor" for the conversion because its an e-bike model which I have been told is even more beefier than the standard model in the way of material thickness. Also its the bare bones basic model so I have less guilt about doing the conversion as I don't think the Kashima coating factors in at all for a coil and it doesn't have the higher end dampener so no loss there.

Posted: Dec 8, 2021 at 12:05 Quote
Kashima makes barely any difference at all..these days black probably is better as it looks less tacky and goes with more colour options on the bike. Yea when you fit the Smashpot do some research...there is a whole thread on mtbr with all the info you will need. You will need a few specific tools to install like cone wrenches. And if you insist on torquing to recommended specification then you will need a Compatible torque wrench and the park tool crow foot to torque wrench tool in the correct sizes. Also will need more fork oil and some grease....I recommend WPL fork oil though Motorex is great too. The FOX Gold will be miles to thick...you will get more stiction and the bottom out will be far too harsh with that thick oil and you won't get full travel. Also on install most people reduce the size if the shim stack on the bottom out stack, usually to around 2 or 3 shims as otherwise again you will find the fork will ramp up way too early and you will only use like half the travel. I suggest thoroughly reading up on the Smashpot first and learning all there is to know as otherwise it can be a lot of headache, mess and wasted oil having to keep removing the system until you get the bottom out stack adjusted right, the correct weight coil spring and other little idiosyncrasies of the install. If you need some advice just ask, it's honestly not worth the hassle just quickly reading the instructions, screwing it together and dropping it in because I guarantee you will end up needing to remove it again to get things adjusted properly, you will end up either not getting full travel, clunking noise etc etc. As I say there is a huge thread on mtbr you can read through and I strongly recommend you do to avoid all of this first time. Ofc you can also choose not to and use the mistakes to learn along they way, but I can tell you from first hand experience, when that oil is getting all over the place and you are wondering if there is enough left in the bottle for a 3rd attempt you will wish you did it right first time.

Posted: Dec 8, 2021 at 12:39 Quote
Much appreciated! What few tools I didn't have already I just purchased. I will see if the 14mm crows foot is thin enough but if its not I have a $500K surface grinder at work lol.

I will try the lighter oil as I did purchase the Fox 20wt but I can always send it back. I am in SoCal so guessing a bit warmer than your location. It may end up being a situation when it makes sense to run the thicker oil in summer and lighter in winter.

Thanks for the heads up on that thread over on MTBR I will check it out.

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