Pinkbike Poll: Would You Rather Have an Air or Coil Sprung Shock on Your Trail Bike?

Nov 2, 2018
by Mike Kazimer  
Commencal
Specialized Stumpjumper EVO

Air vs. coil shocks. It's a well-worn debate, especially when it comes to downhill bikes, although coil shocks continue to be the more popular choice on the World Cup circuit. But what about on trail bikes? If your bike had suspension kinematics that worked well with a coil shock would you run one? Or are you satisfied with the performance delivered by a modern air shock?

There are a few reasons why the vast majority of full suspension trail bikes (I'm using that term in the generic sense, to refer to anything that's not a DH bike) come with air shocks. The most obvious is the ease of setup – air shocks don't require shops to keep a selection of springs in stock; all that's needed is a shock pump and you can get set exactly the right amount of sag. It's also relatively simple to add volume spacers in order to adjust the amount of end stroke ramp up, something that's not possible with a coil shock. There's more trial and error when setting up a coil sprung shock, and in some cases riders may find themselves forced to choose between a setup that's a little too firm or a little too soft due to being in between spring weights.


Richie Rude went out with a bang in 2018 proving that he is still very much be a forced to be reckoned with.
Richie Rude smashing his way to victory on an air-sprung Yeti SB150.


Speaking of weight, that's another reason why air shocks are so prevalent. Installing a coil sprung shock typically incurs a .5 pound weight penalty vs. air. That's not an astronomical amount, but it's certainly something to keep in mind.

If air shocks are easier to set up, and weigh less, what are the benefits of a coil shock? Well, traction is the biggest one. Modern air shocks have excellent small bump sensitivity, but it's still really hard to beat the supple, ground-hugging feel of a coil. That extra grip is particularly useful in wet or loose conditions, situations where you want your rear wheel firmly planted on the ground. They also tend to maintain a more consistent feel on long, rough downhill runs, although that difference has diminished a bit as air shock technology has progressed. On the flip side, coil shocks tend to have less a less 'poppy' feel to them compared to air, due to their more linear spring rate. If you're the type of rider that tends to boost off of every little bonus feature you can find a coil shock might not deliver the ride characteristics you're looking for.

The extra-plush, supple feeling delivered by a coil shock is one of the reasons we've been seeing them appear on more and more shorter travel machines. There's also the fact that there are more shorter stroke options than ever; for a time it was difficult to find coil shocks that would fit anything other than a freeride or DH bike. And don't forget about that climb switch, the little lever found on shocks from all the major brands that can be used to firm things up for the uphill, and then opened up when it's time to go down. It's small detail, but it's another reason why coil shocks have become more appealing in recent years.


Iago Garay doing what he does best at the bottom of Stage 6.
Iago Garay, foot down and flat out on a coil shock equipped Santa Cruz Hightower LT.


What do you think? Given the choice, would you pick a coil or air shock?





If you had a quiver of bikes with different amounts of travel, which ones would you put a coil shock on? Select all that apply.



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309 Comments

  • + 112
 Norco has switched to a coil shock for the Range for 2019. It’s super early with just a couple of sales so far in store and a couple demo days but -so far- we are finding people to not care, and be straight up irritated at the demo days waiting for us to swap coils out (this would not be a factor for owning the bike of course).

This was needed 5 years ago when air shocks sucked. The Fox Float X2 and the RockShox SuperDeluxe are absolutely perfect for nearly every rider in nearly every situation.
  • + 9
 So true! I dont find a coil any better and wont run them on my trail bike or DH bike. I prefer the feel of air and its ease of tunability.
  • + 3
 Same experience on my end. Particularly with the super deluxe air. And finally we're at a place where the bottom of the line super deluxe (that can be spec'ed on lower budget bikes) is bad ass, just fewer tuning abilities and no lock out. Most of us non-leg-shaving types could give two fooks about lockout modes. The cheaper frame comes with the shock I would actually prefer-cool!
  • + 1
 From the horse's mouth!
  • + 1
 How does the range ride with a coil ? I’ve been looking at one to replace the standard deluxe on my 2018 range. Does anyone have any input on using a progressive (MRP) Spring. I know the bike is progressive enough with a standard coil but would a progressive spring maintain that initial traction while adding more ramp up for harsh landings and g outs ?
  • + 21
 As a heavier rider, i found the coil to be much better on my Range than air.
  • + 20
 Nonsense. I have a Rockshox SuperDeluxe on my bike and it feels like garbage compared to the Avalanche Chubie I used to have (and miss every day). And of course "what everyone wants" doesn't address which is better.
  • + 17
 @VelkePivo: Did you have a lot of sag on your Chubie?
  • + 7
 @north-shore-bike-shop Exactly. I didn’t answer this poll because I though, where is the “whatever works best” option? If I were to chose, however, it’d be air because of the adjustability and options for a heavier rider (I’m 6’2” and 225 in birthday attire on my best day), and because at this point in the game they’re reliably and fairly bulletproof.

Second, absolutely love your shop, and I’ve got the stickers to prove it. I try to visit every time the couple times a year we’re out from NYC to see my wife’s fam (she’s from Van, folks in macKenzie heights, sis and her fam few blocks from you guys in N Van). Keep up the great work, good to see some real shops still doing good work. See you around Christmas if there is time to swing through before heading up for Whistmas (the original one, not the bike park opening!)
  • + 4
 For shorter travel inline air shocks nothing beats the performance, simplicity and price of a Manitou Mcleod.
  • + 7
 @northshoreshred: The DHX2 feels amazing on the range, would highly recommend!
  • + 1
 Totally agree. Love my 2018 Ghost SLAMR X 7.9 which comes with a SuperDeluxe. Feels supple, but still poppy when it's time to lift off. So I think it's all about balancing of construction/geometry and the choice of shock.
  • + 6
 @northshoreshred:

I have a 2018 Range with a Cane Creek DB coil CS and it's awesome. Much better than the stock RS superdeluxe. This bike is progressive enough for a coil.
  • + 12
 Coil all day long for less stiction and less maintenance.
  • + 13
 @north-shore-bike-shop Most people aren't looking to dial in a demo bike, they just want "good enough", so of course coil shocks aren't going to be advantageous for people demoing bikes. Your argument is irrelevant for the 99.999% of people who don't own a demo fleet and want their personal bike tweaked to perfection.

Also, I think you need to be careful not to discount the bike itself. I had a Nomad that I just couldn't find the right air shock setup with - Multiple shocks. As soon as I swapped to coil, it was perfect.
  • + 11
 People might not care at face value, maybe not even after the first 20 rides but in my experience the air V coil debate is heavily dependent on the bikes suspension design and how progressive V linear it is.

I rode a 2017 Giant reign for a year with an air shock, never really loved the ride and struggled with the suspension setup. Then I put on the DX2 coil and the bike came alive. The fork got a smoother feeling as the pressure was eased on it from the shock being more supple and not ramping up so quickly. And the traction on the rear was night and day different. Personally I found the coil to be more playful than the air because the bike as a whole responded much better.

Like most things, I don't think there is a black and white answer it's more of a 'it depends', on a lot of factors but namely suspension design and rider's preference or experience. But as a consumer it's great to have both options because I definitely wouldn't call the Giant Reign + Fox float X2 absolutely perfect.
  • + 1
 Not sure how similar it is to the range suspension wise but I have a 2017 Aurum which I’ve had for a few months. Came with a Fox x2 which I have spend some time setting up. Do find even with max volume spacers and sag at less than 30% it uses full travel more than expected (it doesn’t bottom out) but doesn’t have as much mid travel support that I would expect. Would be great to try a coil on it to see the difference. Have always used coils on DH bike previously and have a cc inline coil on the trail bike which is great.
  • + 1
 @in2falling: I think it depends on your suspension design. I had one on my admittedly ancient Cannondale Prophet that I could never get to feel right. High single pivots like that one require high compression and low rebound. The Macleod was a nice shock but even with the nice adjustment range I could never get a good mid platform.

I got a 2010 monarch rt3 for dirt cheap on eBay and then sent it to Dirtlabs for a custom tune. $300 got me a worlds better shock for my bike.

The Macleod is a nice shock and manitou took care of it when I had the original IFP issues. I plan to get a mattoc when/if I get to the 27.5 conversion. So tools of the trade and all that.
  • + 1
 @ali-chapple: unfortunately not available in trunnion mount yet but that would be my first choice! (11-6 is like twice price)
  • + 1
 @northshoreshred: Rides really good. No need for a progressive coil but run a medium compression tune assuming you are somewhere in the 160-200lb range. The maximum grip isn't loads better than what you can get with a well setup Float X2 but it is better.
  • - 2
 @Prh: my understanding of how coils work suggests that a coil would be the worst thing for this situation, since it sound like you want the shock more progressive (based on your setup), but a coil would be more linear. Try running your air shock with no volume spacers, which will feel more like a coil, before you buy a coil.
  • + 1
 @in2falling: Bummer it doesn't work very well with linear suspension.
  • + 1
 @RoboDuck: ummmmmm spacers increase mid stroke and bottom out resistance...... so removing them is going to give less midstroke support and less bottom out resistance which is the opposite of what I am after. I’m not saying the current settings are bad I have it riding pretty good but if money was no problem I’d love to try a coil on it just to see the difference.
  • + 1
 Those people are likely just joy riders and not serious buyers ...
  • + 1
 @RoboDuck: Sweet man, I had an X2 on my 2017 frame before it got warrantied never really had enough time to get it perfectly dialled in but it felt pretty linear, Im pretty sure the x2 is one of the least progressive air shocks out there but like I said I never got the chance to open it up and see if there were any spacers in there. The deluxe on my new bike actually feels really good, super super sensitive and quite plush. The issue is with longer runs it really starts to become inconsistent. Upgrading to the super deluxe would be the easiest route but Im really interested to try a coil. Im considering a MRP Hazard but I really want to try the dhx2. Has anyone tried the hazard or can provide some comparison between say a Deluxe coil.
  • - 1
 I have a few friends who swear by coil performance. And they should have the ability to swap air for coil, but seems like an air shock spec makes sense for 95% of riders.
  • + 0
 I'd say they haven't been needed since the CCDBA which came before the X2 and SD. It's expensive and V1 had some seal issues, but it is a phenomenal air shock. I've been running the same one for 4 years with one gratuitous service and zero issues and I often swear I have a flat tyre--so much as stopping to check--the small bump feels so good.
  • + 13
 My feeling on it is that coil feels better on small chatter. A lot better on flat corners. It always feels the same regardless of how long you ride for. It takes the sting off everything which I am sure must lead to lower fatigue on longer rides. The big plus is the lack of maintenance. Even if the book says you have to service a DHX2 and a Float X2 at the same intervals, the reality is not even close. Coil shocks basically don't need to be serviced unless they blow. My DHX2 still feels as good today as it did two years ago when I put it on. That is absolutely not the case for any air shock I have ever owned.
Also the argument about being in between spring rates is moot in my opinion. The good springs are available in 25lb increments which would be pretty indistinguishable in isolation because all bikes these days have kinematics that keep them pretty much at the sag point through a range of weights. I have used my Nomad with a 425lbs spring at weights between 70 and 85kg (I was on a diet, then I got in the gym and wore a 3litre pack) and the spring is still going fine. I'm not a pro, but I have found the sag to be almost the same across that 15kg weight difference, and the damping can also be tuned massively to adjust for bottoming, sensitivity, etc.
My point is, for a normal bloke like me, coil is just better. You don't have to service it and you don't have to change springs if you get in the right ballpark from the outset. It gives better grip and consistent feel. What's not to like?
  • + 4
 A freshly rebuilt vivid air completely blew up on the first day of a riding trip and nearly ruined it for me. Air shocks are FAR from bulletproof.
  • + 2
 Except coils are more reliable and predictable
  • + 0
 @northshoreshred: Cane Creek Double Barrel is highly recommended. Some of the DHX2s I have seen have had issues getting a good bleed.
  • + 2
 Fair point, yet for how long does an air shock feel good until the o-rings start to degrade?

Given a suitable path of leverage ratio on a frame, coil will a) work better and b) for a longer time until service is needed.

If you don't ride as much, go for an air shock. So that's probably a good amount of people. Serious riding, and a lot of it, it's coil all the way.
  • + 1
 Agreed - it wasn't that long ago that air shocks were solidly XC-only. I've been hammering on a Slash for six months and the thru-shaft Reaktiv Deluxe on it has performed pretty darn well for everything I ride between Whistler and Post Canyon.
  • + 2
 The poll wasn't "what shock would you rather have on your demo fleet"? Impatient customers doesn't really relate to whether coil is better or worse?
  • + 77
 I need an option for "I doubt I could tell the difference".
  • + 33
 You’l laugh at the difference. I put my coil on yesterday and felt like I had 50% sag it was so supple.
  • + 4
 Agreed. I didn't participate in this survey because that's what I would pick. I've owned bikes with both but have never tested similar quality/price point air and coil shocks on the same bike. So I'd default to air because it's easy to adjust and lighter.
  • + 9
 @dglass: minus grams if you fill it with helium
  • + 24
 In other words, "I've never ridden a coil so I have no idea which is better."
  • + 3
 @VelkePivo: not quite.
  • + 2
 @thenotoriousmic: All depends on the frame. on my Patrol it's also a laugh, but because (with the same sag) I'm bouncing off the bottom out bumper so much.
  • + 4
 I can every time it is time to service it. For coils that time comes like 3 times less often. I also don’t need to check the air pressure. Then coils don’t dive into mid travel as much and are easier to bottom out. Oh and my bike is 300-500g heavier/ lighter.
  • + 1
 I've run coil and air shocks over the past 12 years and air suspension tech has advanced massively in recent years. I can't tell enough difference to sacrifice the weight saving and easy set up any more. You need to spend the money on a quality shock/set up though.
  • - 1
 For curiosity's sake, I bought a coil shock to use while my bike's air can is wheezing and about to fail. Different suspension feel - yes. Attention getting on a trail bike - yes. Better- no. The bike was desigbed for air.
  • + 3
 You can absolutely tell the difference. If you can’t, you could save way more money by just sticking with a low end bike. The difference in feel is not subtle.
  • + 0
 @DrPete please provide examples of frames you've tested with coil/air shocks. Otherwise this observation is subjective and anecdotal. Opinions count on the interweb but for the sake of the reader please provide some details and evidence other than dentist(i.e. frivolous) recommendations.
  • + 1
 @PinkyScar: fair observation. What bike is it? I'm critical of this comment thread because I am thinking of it for my 2017 process 111.
  • + 2
 @dglass: @DrPete I too am surprised at the amount of people saying they can't tell the difference.

I have used a Monarch Plus and a £20 second hand 10 year old Fox Van on a 2014 Giant Trance. The coil outperformed the Monarch in regards to grip so much it was laughable.

I have also tried that same coil on a Ibis Mojo HD3. In comparison to the X2, the difference less noticeable than the Monarch , but the suppleness and removal of buzz was still better on the coil. However, the lack of ramp up on the linear linkage of that frame meant it bottomed out too easily, so the air worked better in that sense.

In both cases, it was very easy to tell the difference between the coil and the air. With a high end coil I would expect the difference to be even more pronounced.
  • + 2
 @kiksy: there is a difference for sure, but I don't agree that it is not subtle with a well set-up air shock. I ran a Vorsprung Corset upgrade on my fox air shock and the feel was very impressive, very coil like. Overall for me the pros of air outweigh the cons but it is personal preference. Good to have the choice.
  • + 0
 @tremeer023: What a reasonable and balanced post!
  • + 1
 @dglass: Santa Cruz Nomad 3 and Evil Insurgent.
  • + 3
 @tremeer023: the small bump and initial breakaway is what's most noticeable for me. Even with no compression damping my new X2 isn't as supple off the top as the cheap coil, and I'd say the X2 is the closest I've ridden to coil.

With the coil I can get it to move using just one finger pushing on the saddle, needs more force on the X2.

I'm reasonably light at 65kg/140lbs so maybe that makes a difference.
  • + 1
 @kiksy: yeh, I think being lighter makes a difference. I'm about 175lbs.

The best set-ups I've run are where the bike achieves a bit of sag under its own weight. Requires a negative air chamber of some sort I think, but I'm no suspension expert!
  • + 1
 @tremeer023: I’d consider a lad light if he’s 150lbs.
  • + 2
 @tremeer023: I do think it's accurate that the difference is less pronounced with a well tuned air suspension, but the difference is still there no matter what. And it's not all benefit for coil--you definitely do lose some of the fun/poppy character. My Nomad turned into an absolute monster truck on rough lines with a coil, but that's a frame that felt like it relied on an air shock for a lot of its deep-stroke progressiveness. My Evil Insurgent is coil front and rear, but the mid-travel 29er I'm building will be air.
  • + 1
 @tttyyler: set it up properly then.
  • + 1
 @thenotoriousmic: Good idea, I'll just ratchet up HSC until it's harsher than the air shock.

Other folks have mentioned in earlier comments, rider weight matters - If you're running really high or really low pressures your air shock is probably not at it's best, and a well working coil that is a bit too linear for the frame might still be an improvement. I'm a very average weight and my FX2 works great.
  • + 51
 The article talks about ease of setup for air, but they don’t mention that it’s something you have to do all the time. Once you get coils sets right, It more ride less work.
  • - 6
flag zede (Nov 2, 2018 at 14:12) (Below Threshold)
 And if you progress, so bigger jumps, or ride a different track, or lose weight, or ride with heavy pack etc you have to change coil. How cool is that
  • + 19
 @zede: No you don't... Just add or remove a turn or so of preload... Even easier than getting out the shock pump.
  • + 5
 I touch my air shock like 3 times a year
  • + 47
 @nfontanella: try riding more than 3 times a year dude
  • + 2
 What about progressin on an air shock and needing 250psi thus making the shock feel like wood?

Better off with a new spring for 30€ without f*cking up your suspension.
  • + 1
 @NotNamed: I don't know, maybe i'm not difficult, but i never feel like my shock is a problem. IMO the only really critical point for a shock is how well you set the rebound. Because it's what can send you over the bar on a drop, or jump or in any sketchy section
  • + 4
 @zede: im not an expert at feeling my suspension or even some weight on my bike too but my Monarch plus was absolute garbage on my Meta V3... Max psi nearely and still blow trough mid travel in shorter jumps.

I still bought a Push 11-6 because then I surely know that it is set up right for years to come Smile
  • + 1
 Having not serviced my Fox air shock for 9 years I now face replacing the seals. My proprietary air shock that replaced the coil only lasted three before losing air. Ask me after two rebuilds if I still prefer air.
  • + 0
 Yeah but what about my demo fleet? Everyone knows that the most important things about suspension aren't traction, consistency, or reliability. It's about how easy it is to manage your demo fleet's setup for different riders.
  • + 2
 @NotNamed: you needed volume spacers, not more psi.
  • + 3
 @thuren: Preload doesn't increase the spring rate. If you're hitting bigger features, adding preload won't help the bottom out support, the only thing that would help would be a stiffer spring.
  • + 1
 @uuuu: missing the point a bit there boss
  • - 1
 @sixstringsteve: I Had 5 or 6 volume spacers installed. It only makes the shock more progressive but doesnt magically gives more mid stroke support- and this is the absoulte key here... With volume spacers it will blow trough the mid travel still.... And this is the case with a lot of air shocks ... Especially Monarchs or Fox without piggys.
  • + 1
 @NotNamed: Volume spacers do lift the curve a tiny bit in mid-stroke, but you're absolutely right that the most pronounced change is at bottom-out.
  • + 1
 @GTscoob: Adding or removing preload changes the effective force it takes to get to sag, bottom out, etc. It's not changing the sprint "rate", but adding a little preload absolutely adds to the force it takes to bottom out.
  • + 1
 @thuren: Does it? I'm trying to think this through. Preload basically nudges you up the spring rate curve, whether that curve is linear for coil or nonlinear for air. It doesn't have any effect on the absolute amount of force it takes to bottom out because it doesn't change the spring rate curve. Freely admit to being a suspension idiot so maybe I'm thinking about it wrong but I can't think of a way that preload changes bottom-out force.
  • + 1
 @DrPete: Rough numbers and lets say the curve is mostly linear... Lets say it takes the spring 375lbs force to hold you at 30% sag, with a 2.25" stroke shock, and a 500lb/inch coil with NO preload.... That is 1125lb force to bottom out that setting. Say you take the same coil and now crank in a few turns of preload to hold you at 20% sag. Same 375lb you are putting on the coil plus the force it takes to bottom from there. You now have 80% travel(1.8" shock stroke) to go to bottom out vs 70% travel(1.575" shock stroke) when at 30% sag. 20% sag setting will take about 1275lbs force to get to bottom out, vs 1125lb force at 30% sag.
  • + 1
 @thuren: but isn’t bottom out force just determined by spring rate and shock travel? That is, a 500lb/in spring on a shock with 2in of travel will bottom out at 1000lb of force whether preloaded or not. I always understood preload as a way of adding a little force to the spring so that rider weight doesn’t cause as much sag, but also the reason why the manufacturers say that if it takes more than a couple turns of preload to get sag right you need a higher spring rate.
  • + 2
 @DrPete: Bottom out force is determined by spring rate, shock travel, AND any preload if any. So with no preload your math( 500 x 2 = 1000lbs bottom out force) is correct. Add 2 turns of preload, and you can add that force and add it on the tail end. Lets say 2 turns is 100lbs force..... That math would be 500 x 2 + 100 = 1100lb bottom out force...
  • + 2
 @DrPete: Another simple way to look at it.... No preload, you are asking the spring to compress 2".... Add .2" preload, you are asking the coil to now compress 2.2" total...
  • + 1
 @thuren: ah, that makes sense. Thanks!
  • + 1
 @DrPete: NO PROB!
  • + 25
 Coil all the way, since:
- set and forget set up (simplicity)
- it is buttery smooth (performance)
- my frame does not support air due to progressivity (I really like the frame)
- durability
  • + 14
 In places with short descents air is just fine. However when you have really long decsents, like here in the Alps, air overheats and you lose a lot of performance. Coil feels almost the same from top to bottom without spiking and losing traction. It really depends on your local terrain, bike and how you ride. I prefer coil and so do my aging wrists and ankles.
  • - 12
flag clownpnd (Nov 2, 2018 at 13:16) (Below Threshold)
 @Boardlife69: yes, anything longer than 1 minute desent requires coil
  • + 4
 @Boardlife69: never felt my fork getting harder. It's just a feeling you get because you get tired. Anyways 90% of the coil using bros stop every 100m to say "so sick bro" so I hardly see how they could feel their fork hardening
  • + 7
 @zede: coil user here and I can attest to that.
  • + 13
 @zede: by "shock" native-speaking riders mean "rear shock:" only noobs say "shock" when they mean fork. You're right about air forks, but wrong about rear air shocks, and I say this as endurance racer & guy who'd never pay the weight penalty to run a coil except on a bike w/ 170mm+ travel. There is a lot more heat buildup w/ all the circuits in one short, stubby air-can assembly, whereas on a fork the spring & damper are separated and have tons of surface area for cooling. Particularly in hot climates, you can already feel a non-piggyback air shock firm up on rough descents over 3 minutes, and find it uncomfortably hot to touch at the bottom.
  • + 6
 @zede: I think that air forks are less affected by heat build as the air spring and damper are not in contact with each other, unlike an air spring rear shock.
  • - 13
flag zede (Nov 2, 2018 at 14:23) (Below Threshold)
 @Veloscente: if you read the comment I'm replying to, you will see he mentions his wrists. As I only get pain in my hands after long downhills, I commented on air fork. Learn to read
  • - 8
flag zede (Nov 2, 2018 at 14:35) (Below Threshold)
 @Veloscente: as for shocks, except few stupid brands, nobody uses low volume shocks with super short stroke anymore. And the shitty rp23 shock I had on my old giant reign did feel slightly stiffer after 1000m down, but it was never "hot" when touching it. Then again I don't ride in the Death Valley but I doubt that people chose to ride coil for these reason **woah the coil is orange, I totally need that**
  • + 6
 @zede: Boardlife cites "wrists and ankles" - *you* are the one who took a rear-shock discussion & decided to veer off topic and drill down exclusively on forks. Park the attitude son, you might find yourself up against Ivy League Ph.D.s who teach critical reading. Or, for that matter, Californians who've been riding in extreme heat & cold for over 3 decades who have had observed that most non-piggyback air can shocks (including 2018 models) heat up after a couple minutes of rough rock gardens.
Oh, and I've ridden plenty of long descents in Switzerland & Austria: @Boardlife69 is right, air shocks heat up there too.
  • + 4
 @zede: Yes air forks do heat up, yes they do spike causing the impact to go to the wrist, yes the wheel pushes out at an uncontrolled rate of rebound losing traction at the worst possible moments, normally during sucsesive hits where it seems to be lost in the mid stroke and gets confused. Yes some people can feel this and some people dont stop every 100m. Look at my profile, I have one riding picture only because I REALLY had to pee.
As far as shocks are concerned, I could leave it on lockout and not know the difference until halfway through the run when my ankles protest, or a big G-out corner. As long as the front wheel is fine the back will follow. Plus I like a lot of compression and fast rebound. My hands dont get tired until at least the 5th or 6th run. I got this home exercise to keep my hands in shape and able to hold on for a really long time. Works great and its fun.
  • + 3
 @Boardlife69: Subtle joke, +1
  • - 6
flag zede (Nov 2, 2018 at 23:57) (Below Threshold)
 @Boardlife69: "I like a lot of compression" maybe that's why your fork does not feel so good
  • - 6
flag zede (Nov 3, 2018 at 0:01) (Below Threshold)
 @Veloscente: critical reading of your comments tells me you like talking about yourself bob
  • + 1
 @zede: @zede: my fork feels great with a lot of compression. I stay above the holes instead of smashing through them. And if I do hit a big obstacle the transition between compression and rebound isnt as harsh as if the compression is wide open. I mitigate the initial impact harshness by having a custom tuned damper and playing with different oil weights and levels. Right now my Pike is dialled, but still nowhere near my Totems (yes I still ride Totems) or other coil forks I've had in the past. Zoke being one of the best feeling coil forks ever. IMO, YMMV
  • - 1
 @Boardlife69: no clue what is zoke. I was just finding it weird that someone that likes coil puts lots of compression instead of using low compression combined with higher pressure + the awk kit.
  • + 0
 @zede: Zoke= Marzocchi. Higher air pressure is not compression. To set up your forks is balancing act full of compromises. Most people dont need to go as far as I do as they cant feel the subtleties. High compression coil is still smoother than high compression air and is more consistent from top to bottom even after a handful of laps. Hope that helps.
  • + 0
 @zede: forgot to add this. Regardless of air or coil the secret is the oil and how it flows, how much, the quality and the weight of the oil. Thank god my suspension tuner is an oil geek and makes his own high end blends.
  • + 1
 @Boardlife69: what's the exercise?
  • - 1
 @Boardlife69: honestly it doesn't help, it confuses me. it's interesting that you like compression on the pike when I never found a way to like the feeling with anything else than fully open. As for the rebound, its adjustment sucks on the pike but it definitely doesn't feel harsh to me
  • + 1
 @zede: I run my Lyrik with lots of LSC otherwise it dives like a Scottsman after a penny.
  • - 1
 @WAKIdesigns: why use lsc instead of more pressure
  • - 1
 @zede: front tyre grip. Balancing out pressure and LSC. Also LSC is better at minimizing brake dive than preload. I already can’t use last 10-15mm of travel. Fox is better at suppleness (grip) and stability ratio
  • + 28
 Coil fork and Coil Shock... Coil everything.
  • + 4
 coil your housing around your bike
  • + 53
 Boi-oi-oing, heh-heh. I AM COILHOLIO, I NEED SPRINGS FOR MY BUNGHOLE. Heh-heh.
  • + 9
 @Boardlife69: Dude, you are now old.
  • + 11
 @SJP: He's old, but he's probably scored a million times!
  • + 2
 I'm seriously debating on switching my boxxer wc to a coil.
  • + 7
 @Boardlife69: “ARE YOU THREATENING ME?????”
  • + 4
 @acali: Huh-huh, he said "scored".
  • + 2
 yassss, just made the switch this season from full air to full coil. soooooo good.
  • + 2
 @azdog: I did, on my '15 WC, and what a difference, i could feel the firming of the air pressure after 5 laps in the Whistler bike park. Upside, zero maintenance for the coil, downside a bit heavier.
  • + 19
 what about the choice "it depends on the frame"

my current bike (radon swoop 170) is almost exactly linear, so a coil shock would not work well at all

if i got a bike progressive enough to warrant a coil i'd definitely want to try it, and then if it worked, would make the switch
  • + 3
 This. I have a v2 Bronson and love coils as well but if I put one on that thing it blows through the travel. Suspension curve willing I will run a coil all day. Especially since there are plenty of coil options with a climb switch these days.
  • - 12
flag thenotoriousmic (Nov 2, 2018 at 13:41) (Below Threshold)
 This really isn’t the case you just need the right tune and spring rate. You can add progression by add a bigger or firmer bump stop.

Unless your frames doing something weird like going super regressive coils always going to be better.
  • + 5
 @thenotoriousmic: No. If the frame is linear it simply wont work.
Why Push doesnt sell a 11-6 for frames they tested? Because it just didnt work well even with a fully custom tune.

Enduro frames not capable for coil shocks usually blow trough travel and even big air shocks need Volume spacers... Thats a big fail imo
  • + 3
 @GumptionZA the is probably the biggest consideration but the one fewest riders will think about. Do yourself a favour and contact your frame maker. Put a coil on a frame with kinematics designed around air and then have fun trying to “tune” that turd.
  • - 7
flag thenotoriousmic (Nov 2, 2018 at 16:05) (Below Threshold)
 @NotNamed: yes it definitely would work again you just need the correct set up. That’s like saying you couldn’t run a coil on say an alpine. There’s absolutely no application where air wins on performance. Airs just easier for people who don’t really know what they’re doing they pump it up or at best stick some volume spacers and you can generally get away with that. Coils are much harder to set up. Flying through your travel and bottoming out at high speed compression less rebound job done. Literally nobody uses air shocks except for mountain bikers for a reason.
  • + 2
 @NebulousNate: Just wanted to chime in here. I'm also on a v2 Bronson but with an 11-6. The recommended spring sagged the bike too much and yes, it blew through travel way too easy. I upped the spring though and it's perfect in every way. Admittedly, I can get my ccdb to feel almost as good but I've spent way too much time on blown air seals.
  • + 2
 @Silocycle: I hear ya. Mine is currently down cause I need to rebuild my shock haha. f*ck. On the other hand I do believe if you ride hard enough a coil would be the stuff. Stiff spring for less bob on the climbs plus it has the support for hammering back down. When I'm rich I will have both
  • + 1
 @NotNamed: Having gone through this with them, it’ not that simple really. Some with shorter travel they do, others not. Some with regressive-progressive LR they do, others not. Some linear LR they do, others not. You’re correct that it comes down to their testing. They claim to look for an extremely strict set of performance targets. If they tested a frame and decided against supporting it with the 11.6; it not meeting “their” criteria is why.

Whether or not anyone else agrees is a different story entirely. Even tuners disagree among themselves. If you have a firm understanding on monotube shock valving options then you understand that almost anything is possible to tune for, but it takes expertise and skill to setup and dial in. It’s not just stiffer/softer or faster/slower; it’s the rate of change relative to velocity and the shape of the plotted curve. Which requires internal changes to achieve before turning the external knobs provide the desired effects. The comment about only MTB using air shocks in the suspension world has some validity.
  • + 1
 @Silocycle: I went from a DPX2 air to a DHX2 coil on my Bronson 2. No comparison. Coil is so good on a Bronson 2. IMO part of the problem is that people see bottom out as solely controlled be spring rate or progression (ie volume spacers). So if they bottom out with a coil and can't go any stiffer on the spring, they write it off as "too linear". You can do a lot with the damper's HSC in terms of bottom out resistance. Same goes for "poppiness" -imo coils generally have more midstroke supprt and can often be as poppy as air, again though this is a dynamic attribute which means the damper carries some responsibility in terms of how it acts. Just my experience. I definitely think independent high and low speed circuits, especially in the compression, go a long ways towards getting a coil set up right, and you need to use them.
  • + 0
 @KennyWatson:

Maybe this will help

poppy = underdamped rebound


.
  • + 17
 Where’s the air shock that feels like a coil option???
  • + 6
 Or, the coil shock that’s as light as an air?
  • + 4
 It will never exist. Ever. They may come close, but once that heat builds up that coil like feeling is gone.
  • - 7
flag peterguns (Nov 2, 2018 at 13:20) (Below Threshold)
 all air shocks with out volume spacers should feel like a coil if serviced reg.
  • + 2
 @peterguns: er what? I think you need to do some googling.
  • + 1
 @RussellTinka: canecreek db INline with a titanium spring might weight as a Fox float X2
  • + 12
 I'm surprised the durability aspects were not discussed, from experience riding in a rough place like Whistler, coil shocks are virtually maintenance free compared to air, in which my friends air shocks were constantly blowing up and leaking.
  • + 3
 Yep coils last forever.
  • + 4
 Good point, in B.C here I prefer coils. I ride alone most of the time, sometimes quite a distance from civilization, one less thing to worry about. I would really like to see more budget coil options!
  • + 11
 The thing is I have never tried a coil shock on a short travel bike so how do I know if I will like it or not? It makes the poll hard to answer as I guess not many of us have been able to do back to back testing.
  • + 9
 I have CaneCreek coil, Cane Creek air, Bos Coil, RockShox Air, and Fox X2 Air..... And and and.... Only Air product that feels like Coil are my Dorado's. But I have a large collection of springs as when I hit 40 my weight moves about like a Moose on Ice.
  • + 11
 Coil for performance and durability. Air for loaning bikes between friends of different weight.
  • + 31
 That's another benefit of coil: "Hey can I try your bike?" "Sorry, it's not setup for you." Ain't nobody riding my bike.
  • + 4
 Okay if air is not for performance then what is Aaron Gwin and Richie Rude usually riding on?
  • + 7
 @NoahColorado: Next chance I get I'm dry humping the shit out of your bike
  • + 3
 @NoahColorado: THATS MY BIKE PUNK!! Thank god its Friday.
  • + 4
 @chillrider199: Gwin taught everyone that a stiff, wooden suspension is faster. Easier to achieve that with air. Not recommended for mortals.
  • + 2
 You loan your bike out? You're a brave soul.
  • + 6
 @NoahColorado: what does randy think?
  • + 2
 WC racers also drastically change their setting at every venue.

Myself? Hey this one looks dry and rough maybe I'll slow my rebound by 2 clicks... Well I can do that with a coil as well Smile
  • + 8
 Coil front and rear on my Hightower. MRP Ribbon cool and DVO Jade rear. Always performs the same, no matter the temperature or conditions. Much more supple and responsive.
  • + 1
 what do you think of the MRP Hazzard? Also I've read that the Ribbon is not as stiff as the Lyrik or 36?
  • + 2
 @jaydawg69: Never tried the Hazzard. Think its just been released. The fork is as stiff no question, but it performs so well that's all you think about. The ramp control adjustment is the tits.
  • + 1
 @WayneParsons: just to be clear, are you saying the Ribbon is or is not as stiff? I’m building my new SB130 with a Ribbon and don’t necessarily need it to be as stiff as the 36 on my Evil Insurgent but I was just curious.
  • + 6
 I wonder if people are looking at this wrong: it seems a coil shock on a shorter travel bike would make for better suppleness but still keep the sporty feel, while a longer travel bike may need some more 'pop' in the suspension.
  • + 1
 In my mind a sporty feel means support after the initial part of the stoke. A coil shock can't match that when compared to an air shock because of how linear they are (until we see what mrp and others can do with their progressive springs). So sure they are more supple but I disagree that they maintain a sporty feel. There is a give and take in my opinion.
  • + 2
 Agree. I ran a coil sprung setup on my 130mm travel Trail Pistol last year and it was like the best of both worlds. Lively and efficient with awesome traction and small bump compliance.
  • + 3
 @NebulousNate: what if your frame offers that progressivity tho?
  • + 1
 @LOLWTF: good point, you're right. I reckon on something like a Capra it's the stuff.
  • + 8
 This debate just keeps rebounding. It doesn't matter if you'd pick coil over shock.
  • + 5
 PinkBike should use their leverage in the bike world to test the best shocks. This article could be a preload to a shocking review
  • + 2
 Comments are just full of hot air.
  • + 0
 Reactions are getting spiky.
  • + 5
 it depends on the leverage ratio of the bike. I see people left right and center riding coil shocks on new santa cruz trail bikes and it baffles me. They just bottom out on the smallest of hits. Those bikes are designed around an air shock!
  • + 8
 I would rather have a well designed, clean looking, and easy to maintain hardtail!
  • + 1
 Yes lad ????
  • + 1
 Get a Rootdown.
  • + 1
 @BikesBoatsNJeeps: Or a Wide Angle
  • + 8
 I just wish it was spring already..
  • + 3
 Put a DH X2 on my V3 Nomad. I couldn't believe the difference it made. So much more traction, especially climbing, which surprised me. Other than the weigh penalty there is no other downside for me. But of course everyone's needs are different and I'm happy they make outstanding cool and air shocks. But I'm going back to air cans anytime soon
  • + 1
 Why would you go back?
  • + 2
 @LOLWTF: he probably skipped the word "not" while typing
  • + 1
 did you find it made the bike less playful and poppy at low speed? i have a dhx2 on my dh bike where the trails im riding are fast and rough enough that I can get it airborne anytime, but I love having an enduro bike thats nimble and poppy on the slower mellower stuff I ride with friends who don't bike as much.

I haven't tried a coil shock on a modern enduro bike, so I'm not sure how much of that liveliness comes from the air shock.
  • + 1
 @Albatrosse: I definitely felt a loss of “pop” on my V3 Nomad when I went to a Push 11-6. It was amazing in the rough stuff but I never could dial the damping in a way that made up for loss of progressiveness. If you’re looking for the setup for your “one bike” I’m not sure coil is the way to go. My Evil Insurgent is all coil but also overkill for most of my local trails. My new SB130 will be all air.
  • + 4
 Coil all day. You can blow a seal and be screwed with air, also the temperature/weather effects air shocks. Coil just simply works as it should.
  • + 2
 I pedal all around bend on my 180mmf/160 rear Reign SX1 with a DVO Jade coil, the thing will climb just fine and stays super planted. i prefer coils for that ground hugging/endless traction/better handling feeling they provide.
  • + 6
 I think it totally depends on the suspension kinematics of the bike.
  • + 2
 I'd like a coil with a low pressure air spring for fine tuning. I've had that on a cross country fork from the 90's and it was nice. i miss that today. The reason for the coil is that in Colorado you can go from 5000 to 14,000 feet and the temp during the day can range from the 30s to the 70s. With altitude and temp changes the pressure in an air only shock changes around to much so it is never in the tune you expect it to be. A coil is less effected by that.
  • + 2
 My fastest times down my local trail were set on coil. But to jump and play with every feature of the trail I prefer air. Simple solution - have one of each shock and swap betweem the two depending on what type of ride you are setting off on...
  • - 1
 Genius, I can swap my suspension between laps
  • + 2
 it’s not that simple. Personally it depends on the kinematics of the frame. EMINENT HASTE is a good example. The owners claim it’s optimized for both coil and air. In reality it was almost exclusively designed for an air shock. The kinematic leverage ratio says it is super linear. So linear that you need an air shock with volume spacers and some clicks in high speed compression. You also have DH bikes like the Polygon Xquareone which was exclusively designed with an air shock in mind.

The frames with a linear progressive curve are flirting between the lines. Santa Cruz nomad 4 is one of them. Personally I hated the stock super deluxe air on that bike. I switch to a cane creek dB coil with a 600 lb spring. It changed it for the better. Tracked the ground very well and it felt more playful.

But I have also owned a Santa Cruz Bronson v2 with an air shock. And a giant glory advanced with a coil. In my experience and based on the leverage ratio. The giant bike should never be spec with a coil shock. The leverage ratio on that those maestro suspension systems say after the mid strock it becomes a regressive curve. And you definitely feel it after taking a big drop.

I say if the kinematics is hyper progressive. It needs a coil shock. Linear progressive, rider choice. Linear to sin curve, air shock.
  • + 3
 I own Air and coil. I originally got the coil for bike parks but rarely take it off because it’s basically better in every way. Facts. Haha I also say the same about my hardtail though.
  • + 2
 Make the coil the same weight as an air can, then let’s talk.

For sure a coil is less playful, they got that right in the intro, I’d probably look at coil for enduro and DH where weight and playfulness are not applicable.

Short travel, lightweight trail slayers, who wants a coil, that defeats the point of those bikes.

The current crop of air shocks are excellent.
  • + 2
 On my Knolly Warden I was very happy and impressed with my Cane Creek Inline Coil but decided to try the Fox Float X2. The weight difference was suprisingly minimal but the feel of the X2 was way better. The pedaling platform of the coil was actually better but for the descents the X2 made it feel like there was substantially more travel and a noticable smoother ride. Never would have expected these results had I not tried them.
  • + 1
 Also have a Knolly warden which came with a an older fox ctd shock which I changed out for a cc inline coil a year ago. Would never go back to air the coil feels a lot more consistent through the travel. I like the way it doesn’t fall too deep into the travel unless you really need it too.
  • - 8
flag LOLWTF (Nov 2, 2018 at 14:49) (Below Threshold)
 Cause knollys suck
  • + 2
 I'm a huge fan of coil shocks for all the reasons mentioned here already: reliability, traction, consistency, feel, etc.
Started with a coil on my Transition 2017 Patrol and now just set up my Sentinel with a Push 11-6 coil shock.

www.pinkbike.com/photo/16531480
  • + 2
 The reliability of a coil is 100% the reason I use one. I had an air shock and had to get it rebuilt like every couple months cause I kept blowing out the seals. Haven’t had that happen once on my coil. Also, the X-fusion Vector coil had adjustable ramp up contol just with the turn of a knob, so that “downside” of a coil is also null and void for me...
  • + 2
 Air fork for the XC hard tail
Coil shock and air fork for the all mountain / enduro bike
Coil shock and fork on the DH bike

The more abuse, the more likely I am to run a coil. I'm 200lbs and getting more aggressive every year. Next upgrade will be either a coil fork or a conversion for the 36 I have now.
  • + 3
 Big rider here too (6'5, 220lbs) coil fork is the only way to go. You should really look into Push, I really recommend it, but make sure you send them the fork too. Just swapping out the air for coil won't give you the full benefit without them retuning the calving, both for your specific bike a body weight, but also for the coil spring rather than the air. My last 36 was amazing and I'm having it done for my new 29er too.
  • + 4
 Loving how your getting more aggressive every year. You get in there lad.
  • + 3
 @thenotoriousmic: Thanks. At 43 years old it's not always easy, crashing hurts for much longer!
  • + 2
 Throw an avalanche damper in the 36 first. It’s a far bigger upgrade than switching to coil. I’ve done both.
  • + 2
 For me I had 2 good deals in second hand (but almost new) CCDB coil shocks and was quite inexpensive way to improve a lot the suspension of both my Nomad 3 and Hightower. The stock shocks (monarch plus RT3 on Nomad and Monarch RT in Hightower) have very limited adjusts and high stinction. The CCDB has a huge difference in feeling and traction. Paid less than 300USD each shock, non lockout version, because lockout is almost irrelevant in VPP frames. A Fox DHX2 shock (or similar) would be at least double the price. I still keep both monarchs just in case of a more XC kind of ride or when I send the CCDBs for maintenance.
  • + 2
 Coil allows me to obtain much more traction on the loose over hard-pack river rock/gravel "dirt" we have here in my part of SoCal! I noticed an immediate performance boost because I can ride faster due to being able to stop faster. The sensitivity is welcomed in my opinion. I like to go really fast!
  • + 2
 Going from air to coil, I feel like my perceived speed is lower and there is a bit more traction and support support where I don't need it (top of the stroke, small stutter bumps to medium sized chunk) and a bit less when I do (harsh landings, g-outs, fast well supported berms). Whether or not my speed has actually changed, I don't know, but I feel for my riding style (avoid pedalling at all costs), air has a significant advantage in terms of pumping support and a more energetic feel on the trail. What I miss most about air is the feeling of loading the suspension and having a defined ramp point to push off of for popping, pumping, and quick direction changes. A progressive coil could help remedy this-anyone know of good options for rs Super Deluxe?
  • + 1
 Add high speed compression and maybe less rebound. Maybe buy a bigger or firmer bottom out bumper.
  • + 1
 Weighing in at 240pounds, a coil shock just flat our feels better than an air shock with 300 psi in it. This is on my guerilla gravity smash with 140mm db coil in back. I've tried coil forks and much prefer air forks. But for the rear, coil all the way for me. Unless it's like 120mm
  • + 1
 Interesting poll/comment thread. I'm surprised so many are so behind air shocks. I can see air for your fork, no leverage ratio to work with and more sensitive to set up, etc. (my opinion anyway) But for the rear shock I'd have thought in recent years more people have seemed to go back to coils, going all EnduroBra, etc. Smile But for real, now that most coil shocks have some kind of dampener lever for super long climbs/when your legs are tired, etc. I'd have thought cost/weight/getting the right spring would be the only negatives to coil these days. (for sure that initial spring set up kinda sucks as most often seems like your stuck ordering springs...)
  • + 1
 I just picked up an evil insurgent (air shock) and was coming off of a nomad w/ a dhx2. I rode the evil twice before i got rid of the shock immediately, riding coil for the 3 years prior ruined me. My one opinion on coils is that they really need to be light as possible like a dhx2 w/ an sls spring.
  • + 1
 Coil does take some of the pop out of the Insurgent but it eats the gnar for breakfast. I’ve got a Fox 36 with the Push ACS-3 and a Öhlins coil on mine. It’s definitely the park/shuttle/bigger mountain ride, and I’m building up an all-air Yeti SB130 for the more day to day riding.
  • + 3
 I think that coils still feel better. I have switched back from air and for the type of riding I'm doing (shore) it just feels better all around.
  • + 1
 I, and many of you, remember when air shocks first came out. They were absolute garbage for ride quality but were much lighter than the coils of the time. I'm very happy coils are returning because air has never felt as good as coil.
  • + 1
 I can't answer, have a fox float x for 90 percent of the time and a cane creek db coil for longer, more alpine style descents. The air is more suited to most of my trails and the coil sucks the life out of flowy, pump and roll style tracks but for extra control and that planted feel on dh tracks and the longer, faster coil wins. Clichés but they stand up, good to have a frame that can accept both because I couldn't justify the expense of two bikes and the modern geometry of longer travel trail bikes makes dh tracks accessible with a few set up tweeks and tyre choice. For all the bitching we've never had it so good
  • + 1
 If you have a single pivot or one of the modified single pivot types ie: the instant center stays consistent throughout the stroke of the travel then absolutely choose an air shock that you can tailor the progressivity of. On many other types I think you need an air shock that’s custom tailored to the suspension’s progression rate or use a coil.
  • + 1
 Nomad 3 on an ohlins coil shock. Ran a Rockshox vivid air previously. Ohlins feels crap at low speed but when pushed hard it sticks to the ground better and offers a very stable pedalling platform and comes into its own. The air can was good but given the choice I’d stick with the ohlins as it’s noticeably better at speed when the bikes getting smashed over rocks etc
  • + 6
 Coil cus it looks cooler
  • + 2
 Stuck a coil on my tracer for 2 weeks in France and the difference was amazing. The grip was crazy and it would break traction way more consistent than an air shock perfect for drifts.
  • + 2
 I was going to upgrade to a coil on my Jeffsy 29 CF Pro when I saw Vorsprungs Corset option for my shock... woah, changed the bike completely. Way cheaper than buying a whole new shock too. LOVE it. Thanks @vorsprung
  • + 1
 I did a custom avalanche tune on a monarch plus rc3 for my jeffsy 29 and have been very happy as well.
  • + 1
 I love my air shock when it holds oil. Dependability has me leaning toward a coil replacement on my enduro but maybe a higher end shock or a custom tune is is better? My weight(200#) and riding style(hard) make me think coil but that could be my old bias' kicking in.
  • + 1
 A good coil shock and even fork set up right will always be better through chunder.air is just too progressive with not enough beginning stroke sensitivity. That’s why she and moto use them.

For trail bikes it more depends on riding style and local trails
  • + 4
 MRP Ribbon Coil up front and Hazzard with Progressive Spring out back. It's the coilest combo, you all should spring for it.
  • + 1
 i'd rather have a coil. my propain spindrift is very linear though, and i'm a fat bastard so...Super Deluxe Debonair RCT. Not complaining at all about the quality of the squish, but my previous bike (M9) had a coil RC4 (with titan spring) and i can telle the difference.
  • + 5
 Push Industries 11/6 for life
  • + 2
 I'll take some of that extra money you've got laying around haha
  • + 1
 It depends on the dynamics of the suspension design. Coil is far superior on my Evil, but it also has a naturally progressive curve. On the other hand, air is better on a design like the last gen Yetis because they're more linear and you'll bottom the fuck out of a coil.
  • + 4
 Air can’t match the performance of a coil and a coil will never be as light as a air shock. Pick one.
  • + 1
 I have both air and coils fox for my yt jeffsy and a dvo topaz and new MRP coil for my Canfield balance. I will say the new MRP Hazzard is the best rear shock even if you do just a little bit of climbing. The lockout on the MRP works 10x better then the fox coil! My main complain about coils is the softness on climbing, the future of coils will be to get them to lockout/or very stiff so we can climb and then descend with all the benefits of a coil. I'm doing 4000ft climbing/ 30miles days on my Balance with MRP's 190mm Bartlett/165mm Hazzard coil on the rear and never had so much fun,
  • + 4
 anything over 150 if the leverage curve allows
  • + 1
 Ps - I might have the best set up though as the shock is serviced be Polish Pete and the spring was recommended and supplied by Dave at Stendec and two World Cup mechanics do make a right
  • + 1
 Stupid PB dropped my comment and left the PS which make no sense but too late in the day to care. Bottom line is swapped my rp23 for a Cane Creek DB and never going back.
  • + 3
 The bottom out resistance on air shocks and ability to tune this with spacers are key for shorter travel bikes.
  • + 2
 I was die-hard coil all the way on all bikes, until I bought a DVO Topaz and bolted it onto my Canfield Balance. The ONLY air shock I would run is the Topaz.
  • + 1
 Where are all the trunion mount coil shocks? Some OEM, and push (so good...ugh), and ohlins ttx 22m. Where are the other players? Some kind of manufacturing issue with the trunion platform?
  • + 1
 *trunnion
  • + 3
 @mikekazimer can we get some thoughts on that stumpy evo? Not much info out there yet...
  • + 5
 You bet - there’s a review coming very soon.
  • + 5
 Just put a DB Coil CS and Coil Helm on my new Stumpy Evo, bad to the bone, get one!
  • + 1
 I have an old single pivot long travel frame that definitely feels much better with the coil shock on it. Other than that bike, all my others have air shocks. Air shocks have really evolved in the last decade.
  • + 1
 First choice is Capra but good luck getting one. Second is a tie between Tracer or that new Clash with a coil. All this talk has got me thinking. I’m a skinny guy at 5’9” 150lb.
  • + 3
 I've yet to need to add air to or service a coil spring. That's all I care about. Ride -> put away dirty -> repeat.
  • + 2
 It all depends on your frame and how the linkage works. If the progressivity is in the linkage then fine. If it's all done by the shock then air is the answer
  • + 1
 The only coil I've ever had was a suntour xct on my first hardtail. Needless to say I have enjoyed my air sprung yari much more. It would be interesting to ride a high quality coil shock/fork.
  • + 2
 For me, air over coil for a simple reason. Tunable progression set up. They just need to keep improving suppleness and temperature influence in performance...
  • + 1
 Good to see, but just want one bike with geometry and travel ajustments, but do not want any more cables. happy to use an Allen key too adjust, does a bike like this even exist now?
  • + 2
 Geometry adjustment on mojo / nicolai bikes with a flip chip that's adjusted with an Allan key.
Heaps of other bikes have flip chips
  • + 1
 @tall-martin: Yes but can you have travel ajustment as well?
  • + 1
 Check out Guerrilla Gravity. The Shred Dogg can take 2 different shock stroke lengths so by just having a spare shock, you can go from 135/145 to 150/165. (It also has a hi/lo setting.) Combine it with the MRP ribbon fork (travel adjustable) and basically you can buy one bike with 2 shocks and have a LOT of options. The stroke length is the only difference between the Shred Dogg (shorter travel) and Mega Trail (longer travel.) I'm pretty sure that all their FS bikes have the same front triangle too so I think a seatstay swap allows you to change it into their 29" version, the Smash, which was reviewed here: www.pinkbike.com/news/review-guerrilla-gravity-smash.html
  • + 1
 @gtill9000: Yes will check it out, anyone want too buy 10 bikes so I can get one bike to rule them all?
Forgot too mention also want it too be a vpp e-stay e-bike, as well?
  • + 3
 It depends on the bikes leverage ratio, linkage curve. Is the bike linear or progressive?
  • + 2
 Just switched to a coil on my spec #enduro. So so good. I'm heavy and ride heavily. The bike has so much more traction now and doesn't wallow at all.
  • + 1
 What year frame do you have? I'm thinking about putting a coil on my 2016 Enduro
  • + 4
 I would prefer coil fork, air rear.
  • + 1
 How about having the OPTION to choose either before you head out the door ! same goes with all the marketing "standards" that they shove down our pockets and puts a whole thru it !
  • + 4
 did somebody say Guerrilla Gravity?
  • + 1
 Air for trail and coil for DH. That’s how I’ve always run my bikes. The Float X2 and DH X2 are pretty damn close to feeling alike. Air shocks have come a long ways!!!!
  • + 1
 linear -> air shock with vorsprung corset for sensitive beginning and firm mid support.
progressive-> coil shock to use full travel.
  • + 1
 Nothing beats coil in terms of initial sensitivity.. Just choose the correct spring and it’s set and forget. Nothing easier to tune,,,
  • + 2
 Air for when I want to jump off every little bump, coil for that powder day feeling.
  • + 0
 Anyone saying air shocks feel great is complete bike tool sheeple. If you want to save the pound just admit it wankers. Otherwise coil spring shocks are still undeniably better in every aspect of mountain biking.
  • + 1
 I'm too heavy for coil shocks. I have a vivid coil with a 650lb spring (heaviest available for the shock) and I bottom it out fairly easily.
  • + 1
 Is that an old picture in your profile? You don't look that heavy...? Smile It's not just the coil, it's the suspension kinematics/leverage ratio. For sure rider weight and the coil shock build/tune.
  • + 2
 Just installed a DHX2 on my Django 29er , best thing I have done besides switching to 29" wheels Smile
  • + 0
 I have experienced the inconsistency of an overheated air shock. For me, it's in such rarefied conditions that 98% of the time the weight savings and adjust-ability of air wins.
  • + 2
 I only ride full suspension downhill, so coils for me. Anything else, I ride my hardtail 29er.
  • + 3
 A coil with a progressive spring would be my holy grail.
  • + 1
 Coil cause I'm fat and the air shocks loose all sensitivity from all the air pressure I need to run in it. Jeffsy with a DHX2 coil is my current setup.
  • + 3
 Where’s the category for never had opportunity to ride coil? ????
  • + 1
 For me it just depends on the bike. Coil worked way better on my Covert, and I find that air works way better for me on my Mega.
  • + 2
 I run air for pedal season ( winter) for a firmer setup.

Coil in the summer for plush n crush mode at the bike park.
  • + 3
 Having put a coil shock on my Jeffsy, I would never go back to air.
  • + 3
 Jeffsy is one of the most progressive "trail" bikes there is - works great with a coil and that's what I'm currently running. The stock Monarch RT3 is junk though, I have a CC DB air CS and ran it at 33% sag with zero volume spacers and it is also very, very good - way more poppy and active than the coil.
  • + 2
 I can gain or loose 8-15 pounds in any given week...with these types of belly fat changes...its air for me.
  • + 0
 First poll question is pretty terrible especially with how ambiguous the term "trail bike" has become. Should be broken down to 100-150mm and 150-180mm or something like the second poll.
  • + 2
 im running a coil cane creek db iL on my 2019 stumpjumper and it made it even more entertaining to ride.
  • - 1
 If we even have to debate which performs better then air wins

Airs ease of adjustment and volume spacers mean you can achieve a better setup which ultimately is much more important than if it’s coil or air, especially as new air shocks feel so good.
  • + 2
 Yeah and the coil will still feel so good after 2 seasons of shredding. The air not that much. And as there are custom coil shocks you set it and forget it.
  • + 0
 @NotNamed: until we start to see progressive springs I think the ramp control air gives you is well worth it, a cool won’t work on every suspension design but air will, even if you have to service it a little more often. While I do like set and forget I also like being able to tweak it every now and again for different riding without having to buy and swap a spring out.
  • + 4
 Air doesn’t even come close in performance what planet are you living on? What you really meant to say is I don’t really know how to set up my suspension so I ham fist it by ether pumping it up or maybe putting in a volume spacer in it and get it sorta feeling ok... where you can’t get away with that with a coil. I swap between the two because the coil is a lot heavier but performance wise it’s miles ahead.
  • + 1
 @thenotoriousmic: Jumping to some pretty big conclusions over there, firstly saying air doesn't come close is your personal opinion and not fact so please don't make assumptions about my ability to setup suspension based on your own inability to see other peoples views (more people voted air in this than coil)

Secondly i wasn't saying coil doesn't perform brilliantly (i have bikes with both FYI) i was saying if performance is close enough that we have to debate it then other factors like adjustability come into play and therefore in my opinion being able to adjust air more can result in being able to better tune and improve the performance, and i believe correct setup will make much more difference to performance than just if it's coil or air.

I have used air shocks where i agree with you that they don't perform anywhere near a coil but i have also used ones like a float x2 (lots of DH racers wouldn't use these if they didn't perform) and cane creek shocks that perform just as well as coil, if not better when set up well, again though this is my opinion.
  • + 2
 @maglor: no unfortunately it isn’t my opinion due to a little thing called physics. An air shock can never perform as well as a coil it will never happen. Air will always be playing catch up but then again a coil shock will never be as light as a air shock. Take your pick better performance or lighter weight because you’l never get both. Literally nobody uses air shocks except mountain bikes I wonder why that is?
  • + 1
 @thenotoriousmic: You're missing my point, i'm not saying that air is better than coil, i agree with you that physics means coil is better, however they are obviously very close in performance otherwise nobody would be using air and this whole poll wouldn't exist and therefore back to my original point, if performance is so close then the other benefits outside of performance that air has (ease of setup, adjustability, weight) easily outway the small performance difference, and my other point was the majority will be able to get an air shock to perform better than a coil one because of the adjustment.
  • + 1
 @maglor: one it’s not a small performance difference. I don’t know what this ease of set up and adjustability comes from in my opinion coil shocks have always been easier to set up and once you’ve got it dialed you never need to touch it again like an air shock which is always a work in progress. Always needs servicing topping up. Guessing how much air you lose when you unscrew the shock pump etc. But I agree with you if you’re saying most people don’t need a coil.
  • + 1
 Either set up it's good to have someone in the know set you and suspension up
  • + 2
 I want a coil in my 29er capra, but there is none?
  • + 1
 what size is the shock?
if its the 222x66 you can run a 222x70 and put a limiting spacer on the shaft
  • + 1
 I’m in the coil camp; my Scout feels way nicer with a coil than an air shock. Coil forks are next on the list.
  • + 2
 Coil all the way!! Set and forget. Feels the same all day long.
  • + 2
 Obligatory "it depends" post.
  • + 2
 Was this article paid for by Fox or Sram marketing?
  • + 1
 Upgraded my rocky to coil, another world from air in terms of riding. However for bikepark I'd keep air as more progressive
  • + 2
 I ride Hardtail, soooo there's that?
  • + 1
 Is RS selling the Super Deluxe... anything... in after market yet? That’s been a killer for me.
  • + 2
 Leaf springs! Definitely nothing from Ohlins!
  • + 2
 supreme sx and coil. Perfect..
  • + 2
 well are you sending it or are you racing it?
  • + 2
 What is this "suspension" you talk about?
  • + 1
 Were any of the people that voted for elastomers serious? I did and I wasn't.
  • + 1
 Maybe air isn't fully appreciated because volume spacers take more effort to adjust?
  • + 2
 Coils front and rear on my trail bike. Air is good but coil is King!
  • + 2
 Push ElevenSix that’s all I have to say Wink
  • + 2
 Coil fork monster truckin' and smashin' Air for jumpin' and trail ridin'
  • + 1
 PNW stone age. coil for life on 160mm + bikes
  • + 2
 Neither.
  • + 1
 If i was racing xc - air All my bikes have a coil other than my jump bike
  • + 1
 I want a coil for my dropper...why do these need to be air?
  • + 1
 Coil is just more plush than air.
  • + 2
 Girvin FlexStem or GTFO
  • + 2
 coil wins every time
  • + 1
 air suspension has come a long way since the late '90's early 2000's
  • - 3
 I would look at a coil shock for my bike but I'm sure I would soon get bored of changing the spring out every time I went for a ride on different terrain or did an uplift day and required more support from a stiffer spring. Anyone else have this issue? Is it worth the gains if there are any?
  • + 7
 Yeah, that's not really how it works. Unless you're going from XC to Red Bull Rampage, I can't imagine conditions changing so vastly that you'd need to swap springs. Generally what people mean by "support" is mid-stroke support, which coils have heaps of and air shocks lack. You might dial in more or less LSC or HSC for different terrain, but it's unlikely you'd need a different spring.

In fact, if you don't like fiddling, coil shocks are the way to go.
  • + 1
 Air shocks are only for DJ DH bikes.
  • + 0
 0.5 pound is meaningless. Pounds are not metric. Only rear shocks are.
  • - 1
 I put a Fox air can on my M9, it works fine for the little hills here in QC.CA.
  • + 1
 #ONCOIL

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