New Products and Innovative Tuning System from Vorsprung

Dec 7, 2017
PRESS RELEASE: Vorsprung

TRACTIVE Valve Tuning System
Chapter 1: Rockshox Monarch Plus

"Begin with the end in mind." - Stephen Covey

In 2011, before the company even officially existed, Vorsprung founder Steve Mathews had begun work on what went on to become the Tractive Valve Tuning System. Rather than being a single physical part or mechanism, Tractive encompasses the single most comprehensive and consistent method of damper tuning ever seen in the mountain bike world. Working with engineers from one of the world's foremost mathematical computing companies, we have developed a truly one-of-a-kind system - and this particular kit is only the beginning. Big claims, we know. What sets Tractive apart?

Tractive is a process, not just a part.

Example 3D plots of vertical wheel output vs displacement vs velocity from our first generation calculation software. Two different frames with two different dampers are shown.

Process
The process begins with the end result that we are trying to achieve with a particular damper curve - it must provide sufficient, but not excessive resistance to compression and extension, in proportion to the rider's demands.

How do we define and measure this correct amount? It needs to be measured at the wheel - the only place that matters. But direct measurement of forces and velocities at the rear wheel are very difficult to make - especially when the leverage ratio between the axle and the shock is constantly changing. And is the rider a timid 45kg (100lbs) woman, or a hard-charging 140kg (300lbs) hulk of a man, or someone more "average" in stature?

Tractive Valve installed in the Monarch Plus, custom tuned for rider demands

Our Elite Partner Tuning Centres around the world now have access to our proprietary, cloud-based Tractive Valve Tuning System calculation software. This software lets the tuner observe the true response at the wheel when considering the rider's weight, the bike's leverage rate and the damper curve generated by a specific tune.

• Direct comparisons can be visualised between any riders, on any bikes, with suitable benchmarks established and repeatably matched - an industry first.
• Our ever-growing database and the ability to directly compare two scenarios like this gives us an unparalleled ability to analyse and summarise feedback over time.
• Benchmarks are able to shift locally to reflect the different terrain demands in different parts of the world
• The combined experience of your local suspension tuner and Vorsprung's own expertise can be leveraged to get you the best out of your shock

Proprietary cloud-based tune calculation software enables elite level tuners around the world direct access to our database for comparison of different scenarios.

With Tractive, you directly benefit not just from Vorsprung's knowledge, but from the collective experience of all of our partners around the world.

Tractive Valve Tuning Systems are built with the following approach:
- Damper architecture weaknesses and problems identified and improved upon with upgrade parts
- Damper tunes selected to be the most suitable custom valving for the rider, frame and terrain
- Damper adjustment ranges and modes altered if necessary

The first shock to receive the Tractive treatment is the Rockshox Monarch Plus.
Upgraded triple circuit compression base valve assembly

Features and Benefits:
- Improved support
- Superior stability and predictability
- Improved compliance
- Improved grip
- Upgrade compression base valve assembly with triple circuit technology
- More usable 3-position compression adjuster with evenly spaced settings
- Pressure-balanced valving to provide sensitivity and support without cavitation
- Low friction Acetal IFP to replace the stock metal IFP which scores the reservoir bore
- Custom Tractive Valve Tuning System tune selection for each rider based on frame, weight, terrain, aggression and preference
- Customised rebound valving to replace the stock non-functional rebound shim stack
- Over 140 possible valving combinations for this shock alone
- Nitrogen charged via low-profile reservoir end cap
- All upgrade parts developed, tested and machined by Vorsprung in Whistler
- Internal alterations to reduce the typical knocking during direction changes
- Recommendations on spring pressure and volume spacer alterations if necessary.

Who is the Tractive Valve Tuning System for the Monarch Plus NOT suited for:
- Riders who already exceed the maximum rated air pressure of their shock. You need a different shock, sorry!
- Riders who want a firmer-than-stock lockout. The Tractive system offers a firm compression mode rather than a lockout for climbing traction, but if a lockout is non-negotiable, you'll want to look elsewhere
- Riders who want to service their damper at home. The Tractive kit for Monarch Plus is not available for self-install or self-service as it requires both a vacuum bleeder and a nitrogen charging system to install.
- Riders who are using the Monarch Plus on a frame that is excessively progressive or otherwise completely unsuited to air shocks. These will work better with a coil shock.

Pricing:
Tractive Valve for Rockshox Monarch Plus - \$320CAD including full service and installation.

Making a Monarch Plus a Tractive
The Tractive kit for the Monarch Plus is not available for self-install, so you'll need to send your shock in to Vorsprung in Whistler, or to one of our Elite Partner Tuning Centres.

Vorsprung is actively seeking elite-level partners around the world, as well as dealers for user-installable parts - if you'd like to work with us, get in touch.

What's next
More tuning systems for shocks and forks. Here's a little teaser of some Fit4 kits which will be available mid January.

Fit4 Tractive Valve Kit available January 2018

LUFTKAPPE V2
Fox 34/36 Evol & 34NA2 & Rockshox Pike Debonair 2018+

When we launched the Luftkappe for the Pike, Lyrik and Yari 12 months ago, we were floored by the response - the entire first run sold out within 48 hours of release, and we've battled just to make enough of them over the past 12 months. The overwhelmingly positive feedback we got, along with customer demand, pushed us to offer the same kind of upgrade for other forks. We now have four new Luftkappes on offer, all of which are available for self-install. As always, the goal for these was simple: the biggest improvement in how much fun your bike is, per dollar spent.

Luftkappe options now also available for 34 Evol, 34NA2, 36 Evol and the 2018 Pike.

The New Kits:
Shipping immediately:
36 Float Evol (2018+): includes Luftkappe piston assembly. MSRP \$105CAD (\$83USD approx).
34 Float Evol (2018+): includes Luftkappe piston assembly. MSRP \$105CAD (\$83USD approx).
34 Float NA2 (2016-17): includes Luftkappe piston assembly as well as new low-friction, low-profile sealhead. MSRP \$130CAD.

Shipping as of December 15th:
Pike Debonair (2018+): includes Luftkappe A1 piston assembly + adaptor for 2018 Pike forks (except 29+ wheel size). MSRP \$100CAD (\$79USD approx). Referred to as A2 variant. Available for pre-order immediately.

Continuing Kits:
Pike/Lyrik/Yari A1 version: fits 2014-17 Pike Solo Air, 2018 Pike 29+ Solo Air, Lyrik/Yari 2016-18+ Solo Air and Debonair

Optional tools are also available for self-install.

Unfortunately, we do not currently offer a Luftkappe for the 2015-17 36 Float NA.

The dramatic reduction the Luftkappe offers in initial spring rate substantially improves compliance, whilst simultaneously providing more support and predictability in the mid and late stroke.

What The Luftkappe Offers:
- Softer initial stroke
- Larger negative air chamber
- Increased sag without the associated diving
- Coil-like initial and mid-stroke spring rate without the excessive bottoming of a truly linear spring
- Increased sensitivity
- Improved mid stroke support and control
- Superior bump compliance and traction
- Reduced hand fatigue
- Reduces required compression damping
- Retains volume spacer compatibility

How it works
It enlarges the negative air chamber to reduce the initial spring rate and increase the mid-stroke rate. This also lets you run slightly higher air pressure for more support, whilst maintaining improved sensitivity in the start of the stroke.

Compatiblity with MRP's Ramp Control cartridge
As of December 6, 2017, we are working with MRP to ascertain this. For the time being, we have to say no.

Who is this NOT suited for
The Luftkappe is outright superior to the stock air spring for nearly everyone, however there are a few cases where it might not be for you:
- If you run your 36 at 180mm, it will be quite progressive. At 170mm and below, it should be fine. Likewise, a Yari at 170+mm, Pike at 160mm or Lyrik at 180mm will be quite progressive, and while the overall ride quality improves,you may also find it hard to use the last 5-10mm of travel - if this would bother you then have a think about it first.
- If you like running absurdly low sag for some reason. The Luftkappe runs more sag than the stock fork, but is firmer in the mid stroke - similar to a coil fork, but with ending-stroke ramp up to prevent harsh bottoming. If you're the kind of person who wants the fork to run 5% sag, this isn't for you. We could point out that a setup like that possibly indicates that your handlebars are set too low and you're compensating with oversprung suspension, but we aren't here to judge you, so maybe just don't buy it.
- If you're anal about your fork having an exact (but rounded-to-the-nearest-10mm-increment) amount of travel (it doesn't ever, anyway, but let's pretend it does). Because the Luftkappe balances forces at a pneumatic topout, the force right around topout is very low (literally zero other than friction), meaning the weight of the bike alone will cause it to sag a few millimetres. Your car's suspension sags under the vehicle's own weight, and realistically so should your bike - unless it was so sticky, overly stiff or over-preloaded that 10kg of bike weight wasn't enough to cause your suspension to move at all, of course. If the idea of only having an apparent 148mm out of a 150mm fork bothers you, stick with the stock fork.

Using the Luftkappe on Rockshox's 2018 Debonair spring system
For 2018, the Pike's Solo Air spring was updated to be more similar to the Lyrik/Yari, which previously had a larger negative chamber than the Pike. Lyrik/Yari were essentially unchanged except the shape of the topout bumper. All of them were given the "Debonair" name even though only one of them changed substantially. 2018 Pikes, Lyriks and Yaris benefit every bit as much from the Luftkappe as the previous generations, and the end result is better to boot.

Why we're able to do this
We can't speak for the original manufacturers, but we have a lot less constraints than them. We can say "well at 180mm some people will find it too progressive" - that isn't a luxury that large OEM manufacturers have. We can also spend months and months optimising the piston design alone. If we made public just how much time goes into developing these, a lot of people would simply think we were lying. In the meantime though, we didn't have to design the whole rest of the fork.

Negative air chamber size
As negative chamber size increases, the initial rate drops, but space and pressure constraints go up immensely beyond a certain point. We'd happily build negative chambers far bigger than their current size, but you'd also need stanchions that were a metre long (that's 0.00497 furlongs for those still using imperial measurements) to get enough positive volume in there.

EWS tested
We don't sponsor anyone, but without violating anyone's sponsorship obligations, let's just say that the Luftkappe/Lyrik proved to be a winning combination in the EWS this year.

Posted In:
Press Releases

• 166 1
There is always a clear difference in writing when an engineer does it versus a marketing person. Straight forward what it can and can't do. Much appreciated.
• 32 0
"It descends like a demon and climbs like a beast!!!!"
• 209 0
Thanks for the kind words, we try to offer the best products and services we possibly can, rather than pushing them on people they're not suited for. Better to have engineers doing the marketing than marketers doing the engineering
• 7 0
@VorsprungSuspension: ^^^^This. And most of us who are looking for a fork/shock mod know just barely enough to be dangerous, so it's nice not to be spoken to as if we're buying our first real bike. We definitely aren't as good at suspension as you guys are, but we know when someone is bullshiteering.
• 17 0
Right! Reading this compared to the marketing vomit that was spewed by that three spoke carbon wheels' company is night and day.
• 17 33
gnralized (Dec 7, 2017 at 12:14) (Below Threshold)
However there is a lot of BS/marketing/emphatic turn in this press release that does not suit to a rigorous scientific communication...
For instance showing plots that looks techy but demonstrate absolutely nothing, with no units or abstruse axis labels.
Maybe it looks like science for you, but for scientists it looks like marketing BS.
You must be aware that there is really nothing new in what is described above, and most of good suspension tuners does exactly the same job (PUSH, AVA, Novyparts, etc...) in getting his own combination of valving /shimstack/piston design for a given ratio curve/rider weight/shock type.
And most of them does the same job for half the vorsprung price...
• 41 3
@gnralized: I am not aware of anyone else who has the means to calculate what we are calculating in the manner that we are doing it. Could be wrong, but it's literally never been mentioned by any of those guys (from talking to Avalanche directly, they don't even own a dyno, and they are definitely not using the same methods we are) and from talking to partners of ours who are also partners of some of the companies you've mentioned, they had never seen the concepts we introduced in terms of tune calculation, visualisation and comparison before. The big advantage here is consistency and the ability to learn from one bike/shock combination and translate that directly to another. Price reflects the number of new parts in the shock as well as the fact that all the labour and standard service parts are included.

Units are omitted from certain axes of some plots because we don't just go around giving away real world data to our competitors.
• 5 0
@gnralized: I had Push rebuild my suspension and although it was incredible it wasn't much cheaper than prices from Vorsprung.
• 7 1
@gnralized: Man, I can't stopping bragging on what Craig at Avy has done to my BOS suspension and my Lyrik-- I'm sold on his quality of work for life!
• 4 0
@VorsprungSuspension: You guys continue to amaze. Such innovation pushing from your company it beggars belief!!

If you live over the pond in the UK, would it simply be a case of direct shipping to you guys?.. it would be costly. but sounds almost worth it. Or do you have plans for a UK based tuning support? Would be a nice gift to myself next year at some point. Kind regards.
• 6 0
@steviestokes: TF Tuned exclusively will be offering Tractive tuning in the UK. Luftkappes are also available through them and through other dealers & suspension workshops.
• 4 0
@diggerandrider: Right, normally I would send my shock right to Craig but this has me thinking for sure.
• 4 0
@VorsprungSuspension: Fantastic. Thank you very much guys! Keep up the good work, I look forward to spending my hard earnest on your wares!
• 7 0
@VorsprungSuspension: Really appreciate the straight no-BS Q&A here. I was one of the few who didn't care for the original Luftkappe on my 160 Pike because it became too progressive, couldn't use all travel, and the negative slightly overpowered the positive and sagged maybe 5mm even unweighted. The PB community basically hung me up to dry for such blasphamy nd painted me an idiot.

Anywho, I do find your products well conceived, well engineered, and appreciate what you do. Keep up the good work!
• 9 0
@tcmtnbikr: thanks for the kind words. Our products are always evolving, they aren't perfect - they're improvements (at least, such is our intent and our belief, we wouldn't release a product otherwise - we have a pile of abandoned concepts to fill that column) and when people such as yourself speak up with criticisms, it serves everyone a lot better if we listen and take it on board for future developments. We are always working within the confines of existing product architecture and trying to get the most out of it - we'd prefer if there was more volume inside the Pike to work with for sure, it'd make our life a lot easier because for the 27.5/160mm combination we balance right on the edge of what we believe people will be able to accept in terms of progressivity. Rest assured your voice has been heard, and your feedback acknowledged while we worked to make these products as good as we could.
• 2 0
Everybody's wondering if it's Enduro compatible. Can't find nothing about it here, ahhahaa ...
Some people must be confused or/and disappointed.

*I Love my Vorsprung Luftkappe, it totally changed my Bike. Thanks @VorsprungSuspension
• 2 0
@VorsprungSuspension: the Luftkappe still won't work with a 2015 dual pike though, correct?
• 1 0
@VorsprungSuspension: That is an amazing quote. You have no idea how often I get asked to draw red line using green ink:

• 3 0
@VorsprungSuspension: Recently got my shock Vorsprunged. The difference is unreal. Awesome products, good prices, incredible service. Geil!
• 1 0
@VorsprungSuspension, plans for a 34 NA2 GRIP Luftkappe any time soon?
And what about tactive tuning of a banshee phantom? Unfortunatly no piggyback shocks in 184x44...
And last question, who will be your partner in crime over in yurp, Austria, Germany or Slovakia... Thanks and keep up the good work
• 3 0
@saulHT: The Luftkappe will work in your 34NA2 irrespective of whether you have the Grip or FIT4 damper. We are currently working with a number of places in Europe with more to be added to the list shortly. Check out our existing partners here - vorsprungsuspension.com/pages/elite-partner-tuning-centres
• 1 0
@VorsprungSuspension: Thanks, thought only fit4 was listed. In case you are still looking for names, my money is on www.susp-clinic.sk/en/start.html
Cheers
• 26 1
Helluva lot cooler than three-spoke carbon hoops.
• 6 0
NOTHING is cooler than three spoke carbon hoops! Infact, I saw a Bamboo fat bike out on the trail with carbon three spokers and my head spun!
• 18 0
When will you guys make your own shock? The world is ready.
• 31 0
• 6 0
• 4 3
• 2 1
@drivereight: You sir are a fu...ng legend !
• 9 0
Holy F*\$@, it's a Christmas Miracle

My Monarch + has air in the damper and i was about to drop \$150 to service it. Will be doing this instead.

My Pike's gotten the Vorsprung Luftkappe treatment and i couldn't be happier with it. Expect the same from this.
• 12 2
This just made me vorsprung a stiffy.
• 6 0
Awesome tech, and really cool to see them back up their data with graphs and logic instead of percentages and catch-phrases. Vorsprung, can we get a spaghetti graph of the '18 36 vs. the '18 Pike and both with your "Cap" in them? I've got my suspicions on what the plot would look like but the difference in the Fox interests me because they sacrificed the top-out damper for more spring space, which kinda proves your point about overall length needed. Very cool.
• 5 0
Is this planned for the super deluxe? A lot happier with that than with the old monarch plus but be interested to see what difference it would make. Will be getting the luftkappe fitted to new fork at service time as well, had one on my previous bike and the volume spacers just don't have the same effect.
• 6 0
We cannot confirm or deny that at this time. Several other shock tuning systems are on the way. Details will be made public when they're ready!
• 1 0
@VorsprungSuspension: Steve, you could be a good diplomat too but I prefer you to work on suspensions! ;-)
Cheers
• 1 0
@VorsprungSuspension: also wanting to see what you guys do with the Super deluxe.
Until then I will order the luftkappe for my 2018 Spartan lyrik
• 5 0
@VorsprungSuspension Just a quick FYI, idk if you've heard of Dirt Labs in CO but I think their a good fit for your Elite Partner program, if you haven't already reached out to them.
• 4 0
Steve Mathews of Australia? I remember reading his discussions on RideMonkey and his master thesis as well.
I'm super stoked he managed to establish his own company and hope they'll be successfull with product development approach of their own.
• 3 0
Guilty as charged
• 2 0
@VorsprungSuspension: :-) I'm noticing sort of a new wave of product developers in MTB industry, mainly younger talented/passionate/educated enthusiasts from different countries shaking the steaded waters of big names.
Just a couple minutes ago, I found an article about young German Cornelius Kapfinger who set up his components company offering very well thought out stems, cranksets, headsets but most strikingly upside-down fork of HIS OWN design, with his own damper construction at quite reasonable price 1600eur. Site is worht of reading:
www.intend-bc.com/products/forks/edge

Hopefully, I will be able in the near future to out some stakes on the table ... :-)
• 1 0
Can you point me in the direction of this thesis and other relevant material! Thanks
• 1 0
@Loamhuck: Hi. I'm sorry but I can't since it was some 5 years ago when Steve provided me with some version of his thesis and I don't even have the original link.
• 1 0
@fluider: Looks like one German bike mag liked it, but still rated the 36 as the best of the bunch.

www.mountainbike-magazin.de/federgabeln/test-intend-edge-29.1775430.2.htm
• 4 0
Put this in my 2014 Pike and WOW. Was good before but now a gnar eating beast! Installed myself in a couple hours. I'm 190 lbs. and prob 200 kitted up and I ride hard and fast. Love my big features and pushing the limits. This thing lets me run more sag, gives better support, smooths out the chatter and ramps up predictably. Instead of buying new fork, just get this. Great for anyone from beginner to expert. BTW Steve is very responsive and a HERO OF OUR WORLD! Love the vids to help really understand suspension and how best to use. I just wanna freikin hang with this guy.
• 4 0
Any upgrades for the Boxxer coming soon? Would love to throw a luftkappe in there and see whatsup. Keep up the good work Steve!
• 3 0
No Luftkappe for the Boxxer right now sorry!
• 6 0
@VorsprungSuspension: I'm comin for ya Steve! People got boxxers out here that need that Vorsprung love!
• 6 0
If I had a monarch this would be looking very a-tractive
• 2 0
"especially when the leverage ratio between the axle and the shock is constantly changing. And is the rider a timid 45kg (100lbs) woman, or a hard-charging 140kg (300lbs) hulk of a man, or someone more "average" in stature?

Who is the Tractive Valve Tuning System for the Monarch Plus NOT suited for:
- Riders who already exceed the maximum rated air pressure of their shock. You need a different shock, sorry!

Surly there are lots of people out there who exceed or should exceed the maximum air pressure of a shock but just put the max in even thou its a little soft and get out and ride for fun and to try and lose weight who would still like these trick parts.
• 3 0
They're not saying you can't buy it, just that their recommended solution for a correct suspension set up is to buy a coil, as opposed to the usual marketing - this is the best thing for everyone ever BUY IT NOW!
• 2 0
The air pressure you need is dependent on a combination of leverage ratio and rider weight. If either or both of those is particularly high, the air pressure can hit the maximum too. If you're right on the borderline, Tractive Valve tuning will help you because it can provide a lot more control than the stock valving configurations. Our firmest tunes are firmer, and softest tunes softer than the stock tunes. However, if you need to run 50psi more than the stated maximum on your air can... well a damper alteration isn't going to fix that.
• 2 0
Awesome stuff! Depending on which way my suspension goes this next summer a Luftkappe might be in my sights. Also can't wait for the day when my suspension is connected live to one of your data centers. Then a tech can bail me out in real time when I get in over my head chasing one of you crazy Canadians down a mountain.
• 2 0
@VorsprungSuspension: Well you picked a good first shock, my Monarch Plus is a pain in the ass. To keep it higher at initial travel it requires more air than I want in there to allow full use of the bikes travel... I've since installed bands in the negative chamber, this has helped a bit but not enough. Granted this is on a new Knolly Endorphin which is fairly steeply progressive...

I'm curious how you define as too progressive a curve for air? In other word at what point should one just move to a coil?
• 2 0
After installing a Luftkappe on my Pike, I want to buy a Monarch Plus so I can try the Tractive. Plus, Steve is just a stand up guy. Responded quickly to emails in such a clear manner. I've also set sag the way he recommends and it's spot on.
• 3 0
Loved the luftkappe on my pike, shame the bushings are worn . Maybe someone will make coil conversion for the mattoc one day
• 1 0
You can just have the bushings replaced, can't you? A fork isn't worn when the bushings are worn.
• 2 0
@VorsprungSuspension Please make dual air chamber system upgrade kit something like Mattoc IRT! I loved my mattoc IRT a lot, but I had to part with it when I moved to a long travel 29er.
• 1 0
Serious question from a perspective buyer, it's mentioned how it would be overly progressive in a 180mm fork, but what about the other side, the system in a 120mm fox 34? I like a decent bit of ramp up in my fork (2 tokens)

Thanks @VorsprungSuspension
• 1 0
It'll make any fork more progressive with the same token configuration. You have plenty of room to move there, you can add tokens as far as you need, but if you're running two now, with a Luftkappe you'll most likely find yourself running just the one, and having a comparable level of end stroke ramp.
• 1 0
@VorsprungSuspension:
Are any of these kits using the air volume in the rod the piston rides on to enlarge the negative spring volume?
I’ve been running a luftkappe on my pike for a few weeks now. It’s the smoothest feeling fork setup I’ve had since my old Z1...good stuff!
• 2 0
@the-vault: All the Fox ones use it. The Rockshox ones don't because they aren't sealed at the bottom of the shaft - the footbolt plugs into the end of the shaft without a seal.
• 1 0
So there was a top out issue for the fox 36 I’m not sure if you remember but I stopped in the shop around mid September visiting from Colorado. I was asking about this issue. It’s suttle but I noticed it and the dudes working that day felt it and said it seemed normal but, they wouldn’t know for sure because that was one of the first 2018 36’s they had seen so far. Maybe I can get another air shaft? Or not worry about it?
• 2 0
Fox have an updated air shaft for the early 2018 36s to get rid of this issue, it's fairly common. If your 36 has that issue, get the new air shaft before installing a Luftkappe, because the Luftkappe alone won't fix it.
• 1 0
Call Fox. Same issue, they will work with you to resolve.
• 1 0
@VorsprungSuspension: Awesome very helpful, I knew something felt funny I will get in touch with Fox for a new air shaft before I upgrade to the Luftkappe. Also, I would like to know your thoughts on Push Industries acs coil air hybrid system? will I get similar performance with the Luftkappe without the added weight of a coil? Let me know I appreciate you getting back to me. Cheers!!
• 1 0
@Loamhuck: Good looking out I will call them I did actually contact them when I first noticed it In June, but they wanted me to send the fork back. I had just built the bike so I was like no I'll just deal with it but now that it's a well know issue, I hopefully can get them to just send an air shaft. No time to be without a bike for that long haha!
• 1 0
@dirtprint45: The Push system is a pretty cool concept, but it's also literally 5 times the price, much heavier and less adjustable. Its biggest advantage is removal of sliding seals for 2/3 of the travel, but even then, it adds two more in the bottom out mechanism which still need servicing on a regular basis to function properly, plus you have components impacting each other mid travel which I'm not a huge fan of. Performance per dollar, the Luftkappe wins by a mile in my opinion.
• 1 0
@vorsprungsuspension
That's a nice compression piston you machined for the fit4 cartridge. It took me a good dose of 3d visualisation to understand it and if I did that correctly, I noticed that you removed the blow off shims.
I own such a fork and when comparing to the compression piston of a RC2, I guessed that the flow area was too little on the fit4. Your design shows that my armchair engineering skills are a bit off! Anyway, I am glad that I am learning something at the end of the day.
• 1 0
This is great stuff, I like it but dont understand it, my head hurts. How does the software simulate the terrain? I get you have the (sort of) constants: rider weight, shock characteristics, frame leverage etc. How do you get to the wheel displacement - "ive hit this jump @ this speed, whats happend to my back wheel?"
• 4 0
If we told you exactly what it does and how it does it, we'd have to kill you
• 1 0
I'm bothered by the freaky unnatural studio photos (ex. reflections), the statement that the stock rebound stack is non-functional, the simplified/normalized spring rate gradient illustration, and no Fox 36 '15-17 spring tuning products... care to offer explanations? Can already think of simple low cost products that allow for tweaking the Fox 36 '15-17 "NA" negative spring.
• 3 0
1. They're studio photos shot on a reflective surface, that'd be why
2. The stock rebound stack on the Monarch Plus in the medium or firm tunes does not open under normal use. At any realistic adjuster setting it doesn't open within the realistic range of rebound speeds on the dyno. It's essentially a orifice rebound damper.
3. The spring rate gradients aren't simplified or normalised.
4. The 15-17 36's architecture does not work with the current Luftkappe setup due to the equalisation needle system rather than a transfer port. Same reason we don't currently have one for the Boxxer.
• 1 0
@VorsprungSuspension: Thanks for taking the time to respond!
1. I "get it" now. The glass reflects, and the mirrored surface below also reflects for a double reflection. xD
2. I'll take your word on the rebound dyno testing, presuming it's not an one-off issue regarding shitty QC/assembly of the digressive valving and the preload associated with it. What happens when rebound chokes?
3. Thought the curves looked a bit too logarithmic with extrapolated data, with such a huge difference for a positive volume reducer and negative volume booster all-in-one solution. I suppose I didn't factor in the use of the hollow air shaft's volume. Is RS DebonAir vs Luftwaffe's difference as dramatic?
4. What I was thinking of, was essentially what Fox did with EVOL, chopping some length off the lower sealhead and putting a spacer of some sort between the sealhead and piston. Guess I couldn't believe the EVOL treatment would be such a small difference. I'm curious to see how much closer to your Luftkappe's spring rate gradient if you'd get if you combined a pseudo-EVOL treatment, moved the transfer shaft thingee so the cutout was higher, increased the spring rate a bit, and maybe removed a vol spacer.

Reworded the 36 thing differently here: forums.mtbr.com/shocks-suspension/vorsprung-tractive-valve-tuning-system-1064438.html#post13453257
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@dv8zen:
2. The rebound adjuster is run very open to get a reasonable rebound speed. Rebound velocities have a certain ceiling anyway so choking is less of a concern than with compression.
3. They aren't distorted in any way. That's just what the changes result in! The Pike/Luftkappe comparison is very similar to the graph shown for the 34. The Lyrik and 36 have a slightly smaller difference between stock and Luftkappe because the stock configuration is better to begin with.
4. Sealhead stack reduction would be possible in some travel configurations. The reason the Evol change makes quite little difference in the 34 is because they put this enormous topout assembly in there that takes up a lot of volume itself. Evol is an improvement over the previous gen, just not by all that much.
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This is so neat, love your stuff. Reminds me of something ideally I would do, like I keep saying I would make bike frames if I had the skills. You've put together the whole package.
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I have a 35mm stancion Durolux on a hardtail, would it be possible to create a stiff (say first inch of travel wouldn't compress with a bunny hop style of force) platform for bunny hopping, and pedaling, but still have the suspension work well over bumps big, and small?
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Like if the force came from above it would lock it out, but from below it wouldn't. Put a force gauge in the stem.
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@Kramz: BOS do something similar on their deville fork using the frequency control valve.
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@Kramz: what you're describing is an inertia valve like the Brain and Terralogic dampers that Specialized have. The technology already exists, but whether it really results in the ride quality anyone would want is questionable. Sudden changes between resistance and no resistance don't lead to optimal traction or predictability.
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This sounds more than awesome. Please offer a pike compression piston plus shimstack next (plus updated midvalve, if you see the need). All for self install, please. That would be much appreciated.
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Dammit! I just bought two 2018 Fox 36s and marvelled at their small bump sensitity compared to the 2016 model...and already I see I need to upgrade them to get the truely better ‘Luftkappe’ small bumpability.
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Good, better, best
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@VorsprungSuspension do you have a tune for a 2017 Banshee Rune? i have a monarch rt3 Plus but with out the debonair can. would it be worth upgrading to the debonair air can and getting the tractive tune?
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Not sure whether you're referring to the RT3 (inline shock, no piggyback, which we aren't currently tuning) or the Monarch Plus RC3 (most likely this one!) but in any case, yes the Tractive + Debonair combination will be beneficial on the Rune. We have done a lot of testing in the past on the Rune, they're one of our favourite bikes to tune for.
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@VorsprungSuspension: i have the monarch plus rt3 but it doesnt have the debonair can. It does have the piggyback tho.
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@slipnjloc: Alright cool - that's actually an RC3 (yes confusing because the names are nearly identical) which we can work with. Shoot us an email and we'll get you all set up.
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@VorsprungSuspension: i just heard back from banshee and They said the debonair can isnt as good as the regular air can because you have to run 9 spacers to acheive the feel of the non debonair can. What are your thoughts on this? And why do you consider the debonair an upgrade on the rune?
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@slipnjloc: They're only looking at the end of the stroke with that comparison, not the start or the middle. The Debonair can unquestionably works better on that frame because it allows more suppleness in the beginning and more support in the mid travel.
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thats pretty good
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Do you guys have anything for non plus monarch shocks? I have an evil following v1, and I'd be curious to what extent tuning the shock would change the way the bike rides.
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That’s how you market a product!! Thanks for the numbers!!
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why not just work for fox and incorporate all of this into making it right the first time around? lol
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@vorsprungsuspension . Nice work!

Once installed, do shock services need to be done by Vorsprung? How much for a service?
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They need to be done by somebody with the right equipment (vacuum bleeder + nitrogen charging equipment), not necessarily us. We charge \$150CAD for a service on the Monarch Plus.
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teasers pretty cool but wheres the long term review?? you guys better get one
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I swear I am going to read it, but I had to comment on the 'test-blog.html'. A fine test indeed!
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Haha, auto-generated URL based on the first post title when we started drafting the press release.
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Take my money!
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damn imperial units, damn them to heck.
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@VorsprungSuspension plans to do the same for the Deluxe and Super Deluxe?
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As above - we cannot confirm or deny that at this time. Several other shock tuning systems are on the way. Details will be made public when they're ready!
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Hey Steve, if I were to put the Luftkappe in my Yari, would I still be able to put an Avalanche damper in it in the future?
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Sure would!
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@VorsprungSuspension: Awesome thank you!
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Does anybody tried it with the 2018 fox 36 float with evil bigger negative chamber?
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@VorsprungSuspension do you have Vitus Sommets in your tuning database?
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Not yet, but we're adding bikes all the time as we need to. It takes a little while to gather the necessary data depending on whether the manufacturer wants to share it with us, or if we have to measure things ourselves, but it can be done.
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@VorsprungSuspension: Well you'll get a Vitus Sommet datapoint very soon. I'm sending my Monarch + from my 2016 Vitus Sommet as soon as I get approval from my CFO (wife).
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@freestyIAM: shoot us an email and we'll discuss the details.
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Will it bring any benefits for 180 mm fork (yari)
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Depends how you like your fork to feel. If you're already running 2 tokens or more, it'll probably work well for you. If you're running less than that, you'll most likely find that at the pressure you want to run (with no tokens) and the Luftkappe installed, it ramps up very hard in the last 10-15mm of stroke and it's hard to reach full travel. The first 3/4 of the travel will be nicer, but there is a tradeoff there. However, if you do like particularly progressive suspension, then yes, you'll like it.
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Nice! Just in time!
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Wreckoning this or a Wreckoning that (trust me. It makes sense....)
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@vorsprungsuspension