Bike Check: Eliot Jackson's DVO Sprung Giant Glory - Crankworx Rotorua 2018

Mar 23, 2018
by Paul Aston  
Eliot Jackson Giant Glory

On his second year with the Giant Factory Offroad Team, Eliot Jackson has switched to quite a few different products during the off-season. After spending most of his career on Fox and Shimano, moving to Giant last year put him on full SRAM componentry. For 2018 the entire team has switched to Shimano and DVO with the green-edged suspension brand supporting an international race team for the first time.

The only familiarity with last year's bike is the standard Glory Advanced carbon mainframe and alloy swingarm. Eliot says that making the switch back to Shimano was simple as he was familiar with how their work and their performance. The change to DVO has been interesting for his statistical mind, and they have been developing the internals of the fork and shock almost from scratch to build specific racing dampers.


Eliot Jackson Giant Glory

bigquotesThe DVO stuff has been amazing, it is super cool to get to develop something from scratch, all of us get to mold it around what we want and they're so involved, more involved than any brand I have ever worked with. I can talk to Bryson, the CEO directly, and get stuff done within a week.

Eliot Jackson Giant Glory
Mum always told me that "blue and green should never be seen...," I say, "shut up Mum, it's DVO!"

bigquotesWe started with the production air-sprung Onyx and have then been prototyping new parts from the ground up, basically making a brand new race fork. This version is the cream of the crop.

Eliot Jackson Giant Glory
'Giant Custom Tuned' Eliot says there is a lot of interesting stuff going on inside the DVO products which could eventually trickle down to consumer level.

Eliot Jackson Giant Glory
The Onyx has pressure release buttons to remove any air build up during riding.

Eliot Jackson Giant Glory
The DVO fork is nearly at its maximum ride height, but he runs no spacers under the crowns or stem. The Pro Tharsis 9.8 handlebar has a 30mm rise.

Eliot says the fork is pressured to 72psi with an "interesting tune going on." Currently, he has the high-speed compression fully closed to get some more bottom out resistance so they can run lower pressure. The idea is to get more ramp up from the compression side instead of relying on the air spring. He sets the rebound as fast as possible, trying to find the limit and speed it up a click or two more until he finds it skipping and trying to run off track, then he will wind it back in a little.

The rear shock is tuned to mirror the fork. There is another special tune with more compression, less bladder pressure and the 350lbs spring is lighter than normal.

bigquotesWe are trying some stuff that isn't really possible with other suspension brands. We can tailor the tunes to racing. But all of the stuff we are working on is likely to trickle down to consumer level.

Eliot Jackson Giant Glory
The Jade rear shock has also undergone specific changes to give Eliot maximum performance for his style on the race track.

Eliot Jackson Giant Glory
ODI Elite lock on grips.

Eliot Jackson Giant Glory

Tire choice is Maxxis Minion DHF and DHRII with full DH casing – Eliot's go-to setup. He says dry tires just always work well even with moisture on the track, but sometimes changes to the Maxxis Shorty if it gets really wet. There is plenty of traction in Rotorua's hero dirt, so he's running 25/29psi, a little higher than normal for safety.

Eliot Jackson Giant Glory
Eliot doesn't run any pins in the HT X2 clip-in pedals as well as an extra spacer under the shoe cleat. He likes his feet to float around with no contact between the shoe and pedal body.

Eliot Jackson Giant Glory
Eliot Jackson Giant Glory
The Saint groupset is standard all around.

bigquotes[on using 10x gears over 7x] I know I shouldn't be thinking about it like this, but I just love the lower gears for the pedal back to the pits, haha!

Eliot Jackson Giant Glory
Eliot runs complete 10-speed Shimano block and shifted by a Saint derailleur with a 36t chainring



MENTIONS: @officialcrankworx @giantbicycles



88 Comments

  • + 85
 Can't read the quotes without hearing Elliott's giggle. Haha love it
  • + 60
 Elliott is one of the coolest dudes... and the bike looks sick with the blue DVO.
  • - 29
flag RedBurn (Mar 23, 2018 at 5:03) (Below Threshold)
 ninja on a bike !!! Ninja
  • + 1
 @RedBurn: I don't understand why all the negative props? Why so much hate on this site.
  • + 9
 @MtbPanda: he’s pretty annoying most of the time with stupid comments. It’s just fun to downvote him
  • - 19
flag millsr4 (Mar 23, 2018 at 13:25) (Below Threshold)
 @MtbPanda: Because racism... Ninja is sometimes used as a substitute for another word... It doesn't help that it was coming from a German either...
  • + 19
 @millsr4: one: way to look for an excuse to be offended.

Two: Way to combat perceived racism with ACTUAL racism. Well done.
  • + 6
 @millsr4: Also, Belgium is not Germany. Assuming he is a native to the country he lives in.
  • - 6
flag millsr4 (Mar 23, 2018 at 14:32) (Below Threshold)
 @MtbPanda: Haha oops... the colors on the flags are at least the same! I wasn't necessarily offended, I have a pretty thick skin when it comes to name calling, but you asked why it was down voted and I'm pretty sure that's the reason since his comment was made about an african american racer...
  • + 1
 @millsr4: Yea but your comment was straight up racist, assuming because he is "German" he is racist by default .....justify it however you want, way to be ignorant.
  • + 4
 @millsr4: Thanks for making Americans look ignorant. If you're going to be racist at least learn you countries.
  • + 0
 @MtbPanda: "way to look for an excuse to be offended." You should try taking your own advice...

He made a comment that sounded pretty damn racist... granted I made a mistake about his country of origin but I wasn't assuming anything...
  • + 0
 @Moe2344: Hahaha all this racist talk is honestly making me laugh, you people obviously don't know me in the slightest! Can you identify every flag in the world on the first try? Especially when the flags have the same colors in stripes but perpendicular to each other?! Chill out Mr. SJW...
  • + 0
 guys you’re incredible it’s a fckin ninja emoji !! lol
  • + 0
 @millsr4: Assuming all Germans must be racist, is a racist comment genius.
  • + 3
 @Moe2344: I didn't assume all Germans were racist, just the "German" who made a comment that sounded racist...
  • + 0
 @Moe2344: Try reading for comprehension genius... Wink
  • + 0
 @millsr4: hahaha, my emoji showed up as question marks. I'm out.
  • + 1
 @millsr4: dude i'm belgian, not german. for your info here is the german flag: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Flag_of_Germany cheers
  • + 3
 @Moe2344: Actually it is prejudice rather then racist. As German isn’t a race. Classic Americian comment, which for the record is also prejudice...not racist.
  • + 1
 @RedBurn: Yea we established that already... my bad. But that's why I put quotations around "German" last time... sarcasm doesn't always translate well on the internet apparently...
  • + 28
 I too run a 10 speed...because I'm to cheap to get a 7 speed.
  • - 17
flag Lagr1980 (Mar 23, 2018 at 3:26) (Below Threshold)
 (slow clap)
  • + 9
 Though im sure new internals will trickle down to consumer level I imagine the tune wont - I rode an ex-pro set of boxxers a little while ago and they felt amazingly harsh under 'normal' riding - Pulling the damper apart the high speed compression was heavily shimmed - It was just far too much for a wobbler like me and was quickly put back to standard - Much better... I remember a similar thing being said when Jones tested gee's bike.
  • + 8
 For sure. They are all running some kind of custom tunes. It’s the same reason you see a lot of pro bikes with say a one off linkage, or things like that. The bottom line is that what they ride generally just isn’t well suited for the average rider.
  • + 6
 Thats true. These guys are hitting stuff so hard and not wanting their forks diving into holes, so the forks generally have to be really supportive. Its like MX bikes - there can’t be any wallowing over the whoops, just gotta skip over the tops!
  • + 4
 @WayneParsons: You are 100% correct!
  • + 8
 Eliot has a very special custom tune for Crank Worx but it’s based off the same internals and overall structure that the consumer can buy. We will on occasion use different piston shapes and designs, shim stack configurations as well as internal seals and oil mixtures as needed but its all based off production parts.
  • + 2
 After riding a pro tuned Trek Session for 3 runs I was totally and utterly trashed. The mid stroke felt so completely and utterly harsh. It didn’t feel fast or fun. The clock said different though so there ya go
  • + 6
 "[on using 10x gears over 7x] I know I shouldn't be thinking about it like this, but I just love the lower gears for the pedal back to the pits, haha!"

Totall agree ! Even though its a DH bike I still like ot be able to pedal up little hills and stuff or even take it out for the occasional freeride jaunt. During a race I only need about 3 gears anyway, so never saw the advantage of some tiny little 7 speed road cluster and losing even the option to pedal out of trouble
  • + 4
 Wonder how Mr Jackson finds the OTT function on the fork ... and how he uses it / if he uses it in a more creative way.

BTW, since owning a DVO Diamond I have become a HUGE DVO fan boy!
  • + 4
 Thanks for riding buddy! Since he’s been running DVO, Eliot loves the OTT feature and uses it to tune at different tracks.
  • + 6
 So when will Shimano launch their new Saint group? It has been 6 years since M820 came out.
  • + 2
 Magic 8 ball says: never
  • + 9
 If it's not broke don't fix it. It's not like need 11 or 12 speed on a DH bike.
  • + 3
 @LukeBurgie: how about a better clutch system so it doesnt sound like a can of spray paint coming down the trail?
  • + 1
 @Tr011: My Saint mech is pretty quiet. I had Zee and that was super loud because the B screw didn't have a rubber bump stop.
  • + 2
 @Thimk: my zee is pretty quiet. Soetimes i forget to engage the clutch and it's pretty silent still.
  • - 11
flag Flowcheckers (Mar 23, 2018 at 9:25) (Below Threshold)
 If Shimano was serious about progress they would be using hydraulic oil in their DH brakes by now and would have a 7 speed DH drivetrain. Instead they tolerate the brake fade, make their riders run gears they never use in races, and changed the Saint graphics. What do you expect from a company that was 5 years late to the 1x movement?
  • + 2
 "Currently, he has the high-speed compression fully closed to get some more bottom out resistance so they can run lower pressure. The idea is to get more ramp up from the compression side instead of relying on the air spring."

I remember Dave Garland saying the exact opposite last year when setting up Eliot's suspension according to their data acquisition equipment that was strapped to the bikes. More open compression circuits as damping shaft speeds increase...

Would be interesting to hear about the full 180° and why it's different now.
  • + 0
 Sounds like they are looking for more traction? More sag (less air) equals more traction, and they are relying on the compression to keep it from bottoming. Must put alot more stress on the damping units.
  • + 2
 It is also the opposite of most designs today. ridiculous amounts of progression seem to become the standard, but I'm fine with more hydraulics and less air spring ramp up...
  • + 2
 Perhaps if they were running coil forks they wouldn't have to do all of the unnatural acts with their compression settings.
  • + 4
 @Marcencinitas: its 2018. There are no "unnatural acts" anymore. #stophate
  • + 12
 @scary1: finally. Well said. #ShimStacksMatter #2ClicksOutForHarambe
  • + 2
 I used to run a similar set up on my old xfusion metric. To get it properly sensitive off the top, I would run less air pressure for my weight, and counteract it with lsc and hsc. Made a huge difference
  • + 3
 Since we are working two completely damping systems it’s impossible to compare last year with this year. Eliot’s suspension tune is very stiff and supportive with modifications in the mid valve, and main compression piston and the adjusters are also clocked differently. We will also have different tunes for different tracks and since Eliot is an ex-motocross racer we’ve done some special settings that only a fast moto-head would appreciate.
  • + 2
 @Marcencinitas: Damping is damping regardless of whether your using coil or air as a spring. Since Eliot is an ex-motocross racer and DVO uses a more moto-style inspired damping circuits, he’s been awesome to tune for.
  • + 2
 @Flowcheckers: The DVO damping circuits are designed for it and what Eliot is needing from his suspension is similar to what a motocross riders needs, he’s been awesome to tune with and knows exactly what he wants.
  • + 1
 @DVOSuspension: With an air spring don’t you have to contend with stiction and wallow differently than with a coil spring? The article read like he was trying to get a softer-feeling fork that wouldn’t blow through the travel which seems to be more challenging with an air spring’s characteristics.
  • + 2
 He is probably running very low settings for the low speed compression and low spring rate. Relying on hi speed compression to prevent harsh bottom out. The fast rebound allows the fork to quickly set up for the next compression spike. This would give a suspension that is very sensitive to small frequencies and help the tires stick to the track. The theoretical issue would be the fork packing up. I set up my suspension the same way and yes the suspension is much more lively but the front and rear suspension compress at the same rate.
  • + 4
 Looks absolutely sensational. Well done giant and DVO
  • + 1
 Thanks buddy!
  • + 2
 And this comming from a guy that races in penny loafers....okay you have my attention Elliot.
  • + 3
 Thanks for the suspension set-up, I'm gonna try that out Smile
  • + 3
 it's worth a try but consider they are probably talking about shimstacks.
  • + 2
 “I can contact Bryson and within a week it will be done”

Can confirm Bryson and Ronnie function 24 hours a day
  • + 2
 Always here 24/7!
  • + 2
 bloody love that blue. just so perfect.
  • + 2
 Those pressure release buttons though! Be still, my heart.
  • + 1
 Came here lookin' for an Emerald, found a conventional turd. Shoulda painted it brown. Blank Stare
  • + 0
 What kind of axle is giant using on the rear end? Looks like a QR to me...why wouldn't they use a threaded dropout with a bolt though axle on a DH rig?
  • + 1
 Would have loved to see the classic DVO Green and a green Glory!
  • + 0
 Why would there be air build up in the fork? Is that in case air get's 'pumped' the seals into the damper?
  • + 1
 Don’t really know why but dirt bikes have that too
  • + 2
 I believe it is to do with air getting 'pumped' in there from the up and down motion along with the forks being constructed at a lower altitude, thus a higher pressure trapped in the lowers relative to the lower pressure surrounding you, you would find at high altitude.
  • + 1
 Air expands and contracts due to temperature changes and with the larger volume of DH fork, sometimes the ambient air pressure changes due to temperature can affect the overall spring rate.
  • + 1
 Thought it was red and green not blue and green
  • + 2
 Bikeporn
  • + 1
 Eliot not Elliott Smile
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