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Air shock vs coil spring

PB Forum :: Bikes, Parts, and Gear
Air shock vs coil spring
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Posted: Dec 7, 2021 at 10:06 Quote
Hi,
I wish to upgrade my bike. RMB Thunderbolt and I like the look of the coil spring as rear suspension. Very limited knowledge but is the rear shock w/ coil spring supposed to work like a coilover shock for a car,so as a shock and a spring?
Are there any advantages or drawbacks to running a coil spring?
Any advise or comments?
Many thanks
Jim

Posted: Dec 8, 2021 at 1:00 Quote
wwh wrote:
Hi,
I wish to upgrade my bike. RMB Thunderbolt and I like the look of the coil spring as rear suspension. Very limited knowledge but is the rear shock w/ coil spring supposed to work like a coilover shock for a car,so as a shock and a spring?
Are there any advantages or drawbacks to running a coil spring?
Any advise or comments?
Many thanks
Jim

Well, you are in luck (I think). A riding buddy of mine upgraded some parts on his RMB Thunderbolt this past spring. For reference, he has a 2017 Al model, and went with the CC DB Coil IL. I've ridden that bike a ton, and it's better with the CC coil.

The biggest drawbacks from I could tell are:
1) The added weight. It's really not much, but after putting on beefier tires, 4 pot breaks, etc, buddy suddenly has a 15 kg bike.

15kg isn't that heavy a bike, but for a trail/xc bike, yeah that's a bit heavy for it's intended purpose.

2) Getting the right spring. This was as much due to other contributing factors such him losing his gut, and what the online shop actually had in stock. But get the wrong spring weight and be prepared to get your ass kicked. He went from a 550lb coil to a 450 lb coil. We're within a couple kg of each other.

3) This is only my impression, but I don't know if a shock with less compression and rebound customization would fit the Thunderbolt. I guess if you have one of the later Tb's then you may have 130 or even 140 of rear travel, but if you only have 120 in the back then you "probably" want something that you can customize.

The benefits are:
1) Increased stability in fast chatter. The Thunderbolt can be twitchy, but holy smokes the coil calms it down. The bike is still precise (i.e. it requires the rider to be precise) but that back end is MUCH more composed. I didn't like the feeling of his bike on steep rough terrain with the dps shock. But with the coil, yeah, it's kind of like a new bike.

2) It doesn't take away from your ability to land big. If I'm honest, I don't think he's ever dropped more than 1.5 metres on this bike (and I'm sure as not going to hit anything bigger than him on his rig), but the progressive nature of the bike compensates for the linear nature of the coil. CC might have a progressive coil in that size, I don't know.

3) It's like a different bike for the cost of the suspension upgrade.

A note:
This is CC specific, but it takes a bit of checking and double checking to get the right bushings for the shock, it's not really a drawback of the coil, but more a part of the process. That said, the information is easily accessible so that's a plus.

Posted: Dec 9, 2021 at 15:35 Quote
Thank you for the reply and the helpful advise.
Best wishes.

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