Coil vs. Air - Understanding Leverage Ratio

PB Forum :: All Mountain, Enduro & Cross-Country
Coil vs. Air - Understanding Leverage Ratio
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Posted: May 26, 2022 at 19:35 Quote
Hello all,

As of last Sunday I have a Propain Tyee headed my way and I couldn't be more excited, BUT I am very torn whether to run the air shock it comes with or swap it out for a coil. (I don't care about the weight)

I am leaning towards the coil shock, but I don't understand leverage ratios and Id like to know what I'm getting myself into. I would like to decide before I actually get the bike so if I do go with the coil I can remove the air shock while its still brand new and sell.

How do leverage ratios effect the shocks performance? What other considerations should I take into account? How do the two differ in ride characteristics? Does anyone have experience with this specific bike that can speak to air vs coil?

Feel free to answer as many of the questions that you feel comfortable and knowledgeable to speak to. Thanks in advance and ride safe!

Posted: May 27, 2022 at 2:07 Quote

I’d start there and see how far that gets you. The only issue potentially you’d run into is having to run super heavy weight coils and clearance with the linkages. Otherwise you should be alright to run either air or coil.

Posted: May 27, 2022 at 4:55 Quote
I have the same bike and use the fox x2 air. It works perfeclty and is very sensitive.

Posted: May 28, 2022 at 8:35 Quote
Leverage ratio in itself doesn't really matter, as in average leverage ratio is just the bikes travel divided by the shock stroke...sometimes if the bike has too high average leverage ratio you can't run a coil if you are very heavy as the coil rate would need to be so high, but most bikes this isn't the case.

What affects whether you should run coil is 'change' in leverage ratio or what most call progressivity, this is how much the bike changes the leverage acting on the shock as it goes through it's a high progressivity suited to coil shocks means that initially it creates a lot of leverage on the shock and have good small bump sensitivity but later in the travel it will produce less leverage against the shock and from the bikes perspective be harder to compress the shock meaning more bottom out resistance. Ideally what you want with coil is a frame that is at least 25% progressive, some around 20% can work but not ideal and usually need fancy shocks with bott out control etc.. anything less than 20% is really not a good idea running coil, you will need to run either very high spring rate/damping or both to prevent bottom out.

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