First Look: Fast Suspension - Eurobike 2015

Aug 28, 2015
by Paul Aston  

Fast Suspension


Fast Suspension


Fast Suspension have their new, 100% handmade shock on display at Eurobike this week. The tuning and servicing brand from Brittany, France have been around for a few years and are well respected for their work. This shock is made entirely in-house and should be available this autumn for €699. Each shock will be built to order and tuned to rider weight, style and bike and colour preference. If you don't like the set-up, you can keep sending it back until you do. Fast Suspension say they don't want it to be a disposable shock, and can rebuild or re-tune the shock if and when you change bikes. They want this to be a long term investment.

The shock uses a 12mm chrome shaft instead of alloy for improved friction properties, as well as a 'DLC' (diamond-like carbon) coating. There are three adjustments; high and low speed compression as well as rebound. There's also a handlebar mounted lockout in the works. Initially, the shock will be offered in 267mm, 242mm, 222mm and 216mm lengths and delivery time from order should be under 10 days when they start selling this November.

Fast Suspension
The shock body starts life as a 500 gram billet block, after 45 minutes in the machine you're left with a 66 grams of shock body.
Fast Suspension
Three way adjustment, custom tune and colour options


bigquotesWe explored two approaches, first twin tube, then single tube technology. We wasted two years working on twin tubes for off road, racing cars, but now in my opinion this cannot work for off-road applications. FOX and Cane Creek do make very good products which I cannot say are bad, but it is not our philosophy. The idea from the beginning was to make the best shock with the best materials and best coatings. We don't want to make new technologies because a shock is still a shock, if you compare it with car racing where they have been the same for 50 or so years - why? Because they've found nothing better. We focus a lot of attention on coatings, the pistons and internals of the piggy back, we use a coating with PTFE so it's not a normal hard coat. I have spent two years on the piston design which we call a twin stage piston, we separate the shim stack for high speed, low speed, but I can't say any more than that because it's patent pending. With a normal single tube, when you adjust the rebound you also change the compression. With our piston there no effect between the two. Our philosophies are taken from car racing so we always use data acquisition tools because human feeling changes every day, but a machine can't lie. A number is a number, so we know if something is wrong inside we can see this with the machine. We adapt the valving to match the spring rate because with the rebound you are always fighting against the spring, so a stiffer spring needs stronger rebound valving. - Fabian Glatre, Fast Suspension


Fast Suspension
Fast Suspension already market these dampers that can be retro-fitted into RockShox BoXXer and Pike forks.


Fast Suspension
Fast Suspension


bigquotesWe are also working on a fork with a coil spring, and an air spring for a progressive end stroke and our own cartridge which is already available to retro-fit into RockShox Pikes and BoXXers. Three way adjustment, no floating piston because it creates friction and it might also use a closed, cellular foam sourced from the a UK company. These are a Suntour chassis but we a considering making a high level fork - perhaps with a carbon fibre casting. Even if it cost thousands all I want to do is make the best performance products! - Fabian Glatre, Fast Suspension

www.fast-suspension.com

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98 Comments

  • + 41
 Do they do it in tweed finish too?
  • + 20
 Tweed lowers would be amazing.
  • - 38
flag properp (Aug 28, 2015 at 10:06) (Below Threshold)
 No! Only chatter marks leftover from tooling or feed rate speed.
  • + 39
 Chatter marks,where?Those "marks" are from surfacing with a ball nosed endmill.The shock looks beautiful from a machining point of view.
  • + 6
 i agree with @rideonjon ; very sexy

with that said, I LOVE the spiral fluting.
  • + 19
 That looks lazy from a machining point of view. It looks beautiful from a mountain-biker-who-loves-to-see-his-part-was-CNC-machined point of view.
  • + 21
 @proper your understanding of machining is evident in your comments. Like stated that texture is from 3D surfacing milling with a ball endmill. They could get that surface close to a 32 RMS but they would have to program the mill to take .0005" increments which would result in a part that would take 12+ hours to make verses 30 minutes. Do some research before spouting off on subjects you have very little knowledge about.
  • + 0
 Tweedly-do-it!
  • + 6
 100% handmade shock? I don't think that means what you think it means.
  • + 5
 Lathe turned body finished by a ball endmill. I don't think you'd want to take .0005 per pass... would take days. Hog that bitch out and finish pass of .005 or .010 on the lathe...
  • + 1
 Spot on.
  • - 8
flag properp (Aug 29, 2015 at 5:59) (Below Threshold)
 @ rivercitycycles Thats your opinion. I think it looks CHEEP n unfinished. Just what I want more nooks n crannies to try to clean. If it works like a dream thats great but it still looks UNFINISHED to me.
  • + 5
 @proper That's not my opinion, that's the fact of machining. You made a statement about machining that was incorrect and I called you out on that. Now if you had stated "I think it looks CHEEP n unfinished" then that's your opinion. I work in a 525,000 sq ft manufacturing facility where we machine stuff like this every day.......I have an expert knowledge of machining aluminum, titanium, stainless steel and other hard metals.
  • + 2
 @ rivercitycycles your bang on there,i make suff like this also and it's definitely NOT cheap,and my parts are never unfinished,@proper you have no opinion without manufacturing knowledge,your just trolling.
  • + 2
 I'd say the reservoir is evidence they just went for the hope-style "raw"/artisanal look intentionally as a talking-point. It seems they've thoroughly succeeded...
  • - 1
 I really like the look of machined parts. If it was all machine path rough cuts I would be in love. I really like the look of NOT taking a finish pass...Tis why hope looks so sexy to me. Ban the finish pass!
  • + 1
 its all aboot fuckin houndstooth lahey. Piss off
  • + 1
 a bit off topic but, MARZOCCHI have a stand at this show as well, any up to date news on whats happening with there future ?
  • + 0
 Read the first comment, then read properp's comment. I don't see him saying the current finish is chatter marks, just a joke that it should be available finish, you know, following the tweed comment (no one yelled at that person saying it isn't tweed).

Anyways, finish passing would be nice, for looks, cleaning and it will be lighter. And stronger considering there would be less stress risers.
  • + 1
 As a side not, that shaft isn't DLC coated, like stated. And just because they couldn't get twin tube to works doesn't mean it doesn't work great. Ask anybody with Ohlins on a dirt bike or Ohlins or Cane Creek on mountain bike. Single, twin, both can work great.
  • + 2
 thanks rideonjon, some good looking stuff there
  • + 1
 @kc358, Maybe nobody yelled at me because I never said it was tweed.... I asked if they did it in tweed.
  • + 1
 Right, and technically he never said it was chatter marks either, rather it should be an available finish like you said about tweed. Maybe he thought of it because the unfinished look, or maybe he did think it was. His comment didn't say that specifically though, so no need for half the comments to call him names without knowing what he meant.
  • - 1
 @everyone I said it because it looks unfinished to me. I do not like finishes that hold extra dirt n grime. I also hate sharp CNC edges. As cool as it looks in the add or showroom in any crash it is just one more thing to open you up. Just my opinion. You dont have to like it. I dont have to buy it. After all I'm a loyal Ohlins customer. I even buff off the shaprs on their stuff also. I dont ever buy stuff because of how it looks. I buy stuff I believe in and know it works. Then when its service time the parts are their so I can maintain it.
  • + 1
 @properp - Now that you have expressed your opinion regarding the Fast Components I can respect that. But your first post made you out to be an utter tool.
  • + 1
 @rivercitycycles FYI @properp was right in his first post. There is some ugly chatter around the eyelet in the first picture.
  • + 21
 "We don't want to make new technologies because a shock is still a shock, if you compare it with car racing where they have been the same for 50 or so years - why? Because they've found nothing better."

What the hell is this guy talking about?
Oil dampers, emulsion dampers, dividing piston, remote reservoirs, monotube, twin-tube, through shaft dampers, shim valves, poppet valves, spool valves, blow-off valves, inerter dampers, progressive piston, regressive pistons, digressive pistons.

Yep, they've all been the same for 50 years.
  • + 20
 Hi I'm talking about a damper structure. Of course inside it is still possible to make innovations Enjoy your ride Fabien Fast suspension
  • + 0
 hi when you say retro boxxr is it for boxxer 32 too or only boxxer 35 ?
  • + 13
 Seriously this has been the hardest week to work with all of these articles...
  • + 11
 That shock looks awesome as well as the pricing. I'll keep it in mind for future purchases.
  • + 8
 Tuning the shim stack is the only way to dial in suspension performance. These guys and Avalanche are on to a good idea. Shock is reasonably priced for what you are getting.
  • + 3
 I would be curious to see/read about a shoot-out among the über high level suspension companies. Same bike, fitted with each company's tuned rear damper, and let the chips fall where they may. Pinkbike, please get in touch with Öhlins, EXT, DVO, and Fast. You may pick the bike of your choice. Curious to see if they all feel similarly awesome or if one actually stands out from the rest.
  • + 4
 Running a Pike with the 3-Way Kit for the charger damper and a CO3 cartridge in my boxxer. I am not easy satisfied in this case. The last few years before were not easy. Great forks were hard to find. But now iam more than happy with these upgrades. Dialled in the Setup within a few runs and it's what I want.
  • + 1
 yep i got converted too Razz the good thing is CO3 fits all the chassis while Avalanche cartridge is the same for Boxxer and Marzocchi but different for Fox !
  • + 5
 First he says no one has found a way to make better shocks for the last 50 years, then he says theirs is patent pending. Makes sense...
  • + 2
 I thought MRP bought ELKA rear shock technology to add to their White Brothers fork technology? Could have my back stories confised however (as I don't care enough about any of those three products to really take note or remember).
  • + 2
 MRP did buy Elka.
  • + 2
 its quite competitive shock's market this days, so which is the best one ??? So far i had RC4 customised for the frames 2 different models and i was planning to send them to Avalanche for a bit of a trick, but now this grabs my eyes i know this guys are here from a long time. I got a friend with CO3 Fast Suspension fork cartridge and compare to my Avalanche cartridge has a wide range of external settings as well internal both works quite the same but Avalanche paid to the simplicity and easy to install while Fast comes all fit in and cant do it at home they prefer to do the tune alone with no eyes around, glad this guys are doing the job its a good deal for after-market tuning and they cover wide range of stuff. Fast reminds me CR1 dampers from the near past www.pinkbike.com/news/cr1-test-2010.html
  • + 5
 Craig at Avalanche wins my money every time. I had an Avalanche on two different bikes and I never had to adjust anything once he setup the shock for my riding style, weight, etc.
  • + 6
 The only problem with Avalanche is the Atlantic. I stopped dealing with Craig mainly because customs were a nightmare every time I sent something for service/upgrading/rebuilding. Craig himself, his service and the parts are all fantastic, I still have a fork cartridge and a SSD 5th element as back up for when the current BOS bits go on strike.
  • + 1
 well stendecworks used to service Avalanche stuff Dave and Craig know each other Smile
  • + 1
 Dave's always away on the World Cup circuit! Right now I'm (almost literally) down the street from Jungle, so BOS servicing is actually very convenient, which is a huge turn around from 2012.
  • + 2
 in fact i do my servicing Razz , revalving and ect. its not a rocket science...
  • + 5
 Fck yea! Avril Lavigne fork.
  • + 0
 I don't think that vinyl wrap is a finished product. Those are straight box stickers (like those that ship with products to stick on your car window) that are layered on it. I think they are showing another manufacturers fork with their upgraded internals and are trying to mask the other companies product/labeling. My 2 cents.
  • + 4
 They tell you right in the text below the pic that the fork is a Suntour chassis.
  • + 2
 They said it was a suntour chassis. Probably Auron.
  • + 5
 I little reading while looking at the pretty pictures go a long way.
  • + 7
 Don't tell me how to live my life
  • + 3
 Too much kash ima opinion for a simple shock.
  • + 1
 The shock looks like a Fast Ace one ..and that isnt a good thing Frown ...anybody who knows that brand will agree
BTW...last time I checked DLC coating was black?? Just saying.
  • + 2
 They could have done paisley with the ball end milling. Ah, the beauty of hindsight! That would be the goodness!
  • + 1
 Kinda impressive, something definitely to keep an eye on.... the replacement internals are already available generally ? gotta check this for my Pikes..
  • + 1
 I'm running the FAST dampener and there amazing stanchions on my Boxxer R2C2...best....fork...EVER
  • + 0
 Hmm interesting. You caught my eye. Now I have added one more option to my next build. :-| muddied the water you have hmmmmmm.
  • + 3
 Shocking stuff!
  • + 3
 That one is going to rebound on you.
  • + 2
 Guys don't dampen my excitement with these Puns.
  • + 2
 Can you set the rebound to slow? or only..... Fast
  • + 1
 Calling your company "Fast Suspension" is almost as bad as naming a bike company "Good Bikes". Blank Stare
  • + 1
 wish he'd go into more detail about why he believes monotube is ideal over twintube for offroad use.
  • + 1
 He's probably not considering twin tubes with bladders or some mechanism to keep the oil and air separated. Off road the main advantage of twins is the impact resistance, which is irrelevant on bikes.
  • + 3
 Nah that's not the reason @scottzg .
@game Twin tube dampers utilising poppet-valve LSR/HSR adjustment have a substantial flaw when it comes to off road vehicles like mountain bikes. Shocks like the CCDB and now X2 are not really ideal, even though they look great on paper due to the quantity of adjustments. It's actually impressive that FAST picked up on this because a lot of bigger brands haven't, evident by the highest end options today.

The problem is that the rear of an MTB or motocross bike needs to rebound slower than the front to prevent pitching the rider over the bars. This means that the rear has a tendency to be rebounding slower than ideal for the best bump absorption and response when tuned to match the fork, since it always has to compensate for pitch. The twin-tube layout with HSR adjustment in every implementation thus far uses a spring-preloaded valve which gives a digressive rebound curve similar to LSC/HSC dampers with HS (shimstack or poppet) preload adjustment - which is great in compression, but on a rear shock on an MTB / motocross bike, you don't want a digressive curve. You ideally want a rebound curve (w.r.t shaft speed) that is linear or progressive.

The reason for this is that spring forces are higher deeper in the stroke and thus pitching issues are greater from deep stroke events, eg. hitting a kicker and then bouncing off it. A progressive (w.r.t shaft speed) rebound curve means that the rebound damping can be set fast to respond to bumps but then more controlled in the deeper stroke to control pitching. While a twin tube poppet-valve may CLAIM to do this, if you analyse the valve geometry and test it on a dyno you'll realise that that's not what it does at all. The digressive rebound IS potentially beneficial on a fork, just not on a shock, which is something only a very skilled and holistic tuner will pick up on (eg. Vorsprung, and possibly FAST if my reasoning matches theirs).

The simpler monotube design for a rear shock on the other hand does EXACTLY what we need already in this sense. The rebound stack is not preloaded, thus the shimstack will control how much linearity you 'gain' over a simple ported damper, essentially giving you control over how progressive the rebound curve is. Unfortunately this is only adjustable internally, but what the CCDB and X2 offer don't actually externalise this adjustment in the way that is required.

On the other hand, I'm not sure what this shock offers over existing good monotube designs like the small-shaft Fox RC4 (now superseded) and I think FAST may have to explain some of their technology to get the sales. I think they should also publish weights (for each size please @FASTSUSPENSION ) if possible, since coil shocks need to compete with air options in this domain.
  • + 1
 just to give you a short explanation why we choose the monotube:

with the twin tube, the shaft oil volume is going thru the rebound adjuster during the compression phase. In this case compression and rebound are not independant. To make a short test, fully close your rebound circuit and you will see the compression range is wide. Open your rebound LSC and check your compression range and get your own opinion.

Enjoy you ride

Fabien
  • + 1
 100% handmade, they must love he product to mould molten metal!
  • + 2
 I WANA GO FASSST!
  • + 0
 It's an interesting idea. . .but I would not get the paint job on that fork
  • - 13
flag properp (Aug 28, 2015 at 10:09) (Below Threshold)
 beginner vinyl wrap is a sad thing at that price point.
  • + 8
 @properp not as bad as your reading ability.
  • + 0
 It's not a "tweed" pattern. It's houndstooth. I wear THE pants.
  • - 1
 You say you wanna make the best products possible but than you use an Sr suntour chasis lol
  • + 0
 Just me or did that 1st quote come across some what aggressive/defensive ?
  • + 0
 What ever happened to Elka? Also a steel shaft has got to be heavy
  • + 2
 Elka did away with their MTB line, I'm pretty sure FAST actually bought out the rest of their Boxxer cartridges, which in my opinion were the best option for the Boxxers at the time.
  • + 1
 well there are so many after-market fork and shock stuff but Fast Suspension seems legit too .. i guess most of them use almost or if its not the same tech that's coming from MX
  • + 1
 Elka shock MTB line was bought by MRP I believe.
  • + 1
 Oh no way I'm so "shocked" by this as well, piss off
  • + 1
 fast C03 le TOP
  • + 2
 well i would ve say Avalanche cartridge is the best for me but i like Fast shock too Smile I ve never ridden it but i believe i will not be disappointed Wink
  • + 1
 that paint !
  • + 1
 "100% handmade shock." .
  • + 8
 Meaning it's a one-off, not literally handmade. Use the context and make your own decisions sometime.
  • + 2
 Whose hands were used ? Did they have any choice in the matter ?
  • - 1
 Well, at least they made it eye catching
  • - 24
flag properp (Aug 28, 2015 at 10:04) (Below Threshold)
 With unfinished cnc tool marks on shock body and a poor vinyl wrap on crown?
  • - 14
flag Kainerm (Aug 28, 2015 at 10:11) (Below Threshold)
 People like Hope brakes, so there you go. Same bad finish.
  • + 7
 once again it's "surfacing" that creates that look,and is the only way to acheave certain shapes,without casting.
  • + 13
 dude, it was designed to look like that. maybe they didn't want it smooth you frikin tool
  • + 2
 If you look close at the crown those are individual stickers they applied over top of the vinyl wrap, probably just for fun, the vinyl wrap is applied in sheets, it matches the lowers and can be seen under the stickers. Besides the focus is on the machining of the adjusters, which is really nice.
  • + 3
 Seriously! They covered a different fork because the focus is their damper, not suntour's fork. No shite it is stickers.

I like Kainerm's comment. I love Hope's "bad finish". Gives them a no nonsense industrial look.
  • + 1
 As for the fine/coarse machining on the shock, I think they actually hit some middle ground there. (CNC) machining is currently the most obvious choice for such a product as they won't expect to sell large numbers right away and they probably want to change things at this early stage. For a company selling larger quantities of shocks, it is wise to start with a cast or forged part and only machine the bores. That could leave you with a smoother external shape. But as it is machining is their best option and if they're trying to make a fluid contour, you'll end up with these steps. I wouldn't mind really. Or well, it would actually seem wasted to me to spend so much extra time (and money and energy) with a tiny router bit just on that external shape which probably doesn't even save that much weight, let alone improve performance. From that point of view I wouldn't call this a no nonsense industrial look. I'd call early Hope stuff that (C2 and such), not what they're currently making nor this shock. Then again apparently some people expect to spend considerable time looking at their shock REAL closely and seem bothered by the "coarse" machining. So yeah, they hit the middle ground which luckily seems just right for quite a few as well. Smile

I applaud them for producing a shock and service that could actually be a long term investment. I think people are already fed up by these changing standards. If I have to replace my trailbike frame for a new one, I'll probably end up with one that requires me to replace so much that I'd be better buying a new complete bike. And replacing perfectly functional stuff feels bad. So yeah, it is great that they produce a shock that will always match you and your bike. That's definitely a safe investment.
  • + 2
 As usual, take my words with a grain of salt. A "machined" surface can be smooth, but if you want to emphasize the machining, you can just not do the finishing run (or not put the parts into a tumble grinder). You can bet that the inside of the barrel is butter smooth, even though it is machined as well... So, "bad finish" is just a bit of tongue in cheek...
  • + 2
 The bores are smooth due to the orientation of the tool, the fact that it rotates (so it moves in a circle) and the bores are cylindrical (so round if you look into them). This way it is very doable to make them accurate and smooth which is essential for their function. But the more complex shape between shock body and piggyback is harder and more expensive (and as I mentioned earlier, technically unnecessary) to get all smooth. They could have had it all smooth, but they'd have had to make it all flat like those earlier Hope products.
  • + 3
 PTFE aka teflon Smile
  • - 2
 The vinyl is all bubbly and wrinkly around the adjustment knob!

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