The first thing we're looking for at a tradeshow is new suspension and new bikes, and we weren't disappointed on the first day of the Taipei Cycle Show. DVO showed me the new version of their Topaz that was fitted with tool-free adjustment knobs to tune both the low and high-speed compression settings instead of the three-position T3 pedal-assist switch that we're used to seeing on this do-it-all air-sprung shock.
The new damper circuits are contained in an anodized black cartridge that threads into the side of the shock, replacing that pedal-assist switch and making the updated Topaz more suited to riders who want to dial in the performance for descents than those wanting a firm pedaling platform at the flick of a switch.
The Topaz retains its bladder compensator and external low-speed rebound dial, of course, and will be available in both trunion mounting or with a standard eyelet configuration for around $600 USD when it's available later this year.
Almost more interesting than the shock itself is that DVO is also planning on making the new LSC and HSC compression cartridge available as an upgrade kit. Installation should be relatively easy for anyone comfy getting their hands a bit oily – thread out the cap, remove the stock compression switch, thread in the new assembly, and perform a bleed – and DVO is expecting to sell the kit for around $200 USD. It'll fit not just existing Topaz shocks but also their Jade coil-over, which makes a lot of sense.
Also new is an updated Garnet dropper post that replaces the rather conventional version with a travel-limiting collar that's turned by hand. But rather than limiting downward travel, it actually keeps the dropper from fully extending by using a stepped internal design that interfaces with a pin on the post's stanchion tube. The idea, DVO says, is to offer a way for riders to lower their seat to a consistent height for technical climbs where the added clearance can be helpful. How is this different than simply using the remote to lower the seat? That works, but you're unlikely to set it to a consistent height each time.
There's 30mm of total adjustment and each click equals 5mm less extension, and DVO will be offering one version with 170 to 200mm of travel and another with 130 to 160mm. The new Garnet will cost $349 USD (including the remote) and be available in 30.9 and 31.6mm diameters.
Attention all lovers of technical climbs: Does the Garnet's adjustable extension make sense, or are you sticking to a remote for those height adjustments?