Review: EXT ERA V2.1 Fork

Nov 21, 2023
by Seb Stott  
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EXT made quite an impression with their first MTB fork back in 2020. Yes, it was eye-wateringly expensive, but the performance was enough to give Fox and RockShox a bloody nose. That's not something you can say for every brand trying to break into the MTB suspension game - Öhlins is one of the biggest names in motorsport suspension yet it took several years before their MTB forks were on par.

The latest iteration is called the Era V2.1. It's still aimed at the enduro market; with 36 mm stanchions and up to 170 mm travel, it weighs in at 2,344 g, which is very similar to a RockShox Zeb or Fox 38. If you want more travel, there's the ERA V2 LT, which offers 180 or 190 mm.

Updates over the original include a whole new air spring with a larger negative chamber for improved
EXT ERA V2.1 Specs

• Intended use: enduro
• Travel: 140-170 mm (internally adjustable at service centre)
• Adjustments: High- & Low-Speed Compression, Rebound, dual air pressure
• HS3 hybrid coil & air spring with 2 positive air chambers & self-equalising negative chamber
• 29" only, 44mm offset, 36mm stanchions
• Torque cap compatable
• Weight: 2,344 grams (actual, 215 mm steerer)
• MSRP: 1,480 € + Vat
extremeshox.com mojo.co.uk
off-the-top sensitivity. New lower legs feature a floating axle to help reduce friction and are fitted with new slotted bushings for the same reason. There's also a lighter rebound tune and top-out bumper in the secondary positive air chamber.

Our complaint with earlier versions of the ERA was a tendency to top out when pulling on the handlebars. For a fork this expensive, that's pretty hard to overlook, so we wanted to see if EXT have it sorted.


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Technology & features

Air spring
EXT use a three-chamber air spring much like Öhlins and Manitou. There's a regular positive chamber above the piston to resist compression, with a self-equalizing negative chamber below it, helping ease the fork into the first part of its travel. The extra third chamber, which EXT call "++", controls the mid-to-end stroke progression.

The "++" chamber is set to a higher pressure than the regular "+" chamber. As the fork compresses into the travel, the air in the + chamber is compressed until it equals the pressure in the ++ chamber. From then on, the floating piston that separates the two positive chambers moves freely upwards, and the volume of the positive spring effectively expands to include both chambers.

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2021 EXT Era fork

The upshot is that the air spring acts like a low-volume air spring in the first part of the travel, but a high-volume air spring in the second part. It's like fitting a RockShox fork with several volume tokens to improve mid-stroke support, but those tokens disappear at some point in the mid-travel so the end-stroke doesn't get too firm to use all the travel. In other words, you have a more linear (coil-like) spring curve, with more mid-stroke support but less end-stroke ramp than a regular air spring.

Another advantage is that there's no need to fiddle around adding or removing volume spacers to adjust the progression. Just use a shock pump to adjust the pressure in the ++ chamber at the trailside. The more pressure in the ++ compared to the + chamber, the later in the travel the floating piston will start moving and the more progressive the spring curve will be - see the graphs above from EXT.

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In addition, there's a small coil spring housed on the end of the air shaft where it connects to the lower legs. Much like RockShox's Buttercups, the idea is to make it easier for the fork to start compressing on small or high-frequency bumps, by allowing the fork chassis to slide a few millimeters independently of the air spring, or by compressing in tandem with the air spring at the beginning of the stroke, thereby making the overall spring less stiff. EXT say this improves the "off-the-top" feel and small-bump sensitivity.

Unlike RockShox Buttercups, if you remove the lowers and compress the spring by hand (as shown in the video), you can see the coil spring compressing by several millimetres over the first 10 or 20 mm or so of the air spring's stroke. At the beginning of the travel, this will soften the overall spring stiffness by acting as a pair of springs in series.

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Chassis
The lower legs have been upgraded to include a floating axle, much like Fox and Öhlins use. The axle has a step that clamps the hub against the left leg first, then the right leg clamps onto the axle with a pinch bolt. The idea is that the legs can self-align and remain perfectly parallel - independent of hub width variation, wear or dirt - and this keeps friction to a minimum.

2021 EXT Era fork

The crown extends upwards around the base of the steerer tube. This means the crucial connection between the crown and the steerer benefits from a longer connection surface (about 5 cm instead of 3 cm), helping to improve stiffness and reduce the chances of creaking at the crown. Pretty clever.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Damper
The damper is relatively conventional compared to the spring, with a single-tube architecture with a spring-backed IFP. Rebound and compression flow are fully checked to stop back-flow through the rebound valve during compression (and visa-versa), so the rebound setting shouldn't affect the compression forces (and visa-versa). There's low-speed and high-speed compression adjustment (16 and 14 clicks, respectively) plus 20 clicks of rebound. The rebound range has been made lighter/faster for V2.1.


Bushings
EXT say a new bushing material allows for more accurate sizing, resulting in more consistently low friction. A slot in the bushing allows oil to flow up through it when the fork compresses (as shown), helping with lubrication.


Servicing
EXT recommends performing a lower leg service every 25-50 hours. Unlike when the fork was first launched, this can now be done at home following the instructions in the video above or the manual here. For a full service, which is recommended every 50-100 hours or every 6-12 months, you'll need to send it to an EXT service centre.



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Setup and performance

I rode the V2 fork briefly before sending it away to Mojo Rising (EXT's UK partner and service centre) where the V2.1 updates were installed. Before the updates, the rebound was relatively slow when fully open, yet there was some top-out when pulling hard on the bars to hop over trail obstacles.

After the updates, the rebound was a little faster, though still not super fast, and the top-out issue was gone.

In contrast to Matt's experience with the original ERA, I found the suggested settings printed on the fork leg to be pretty much spot-on. At 85 kg, I settled on 70 psi in the main spring and 110 psi in the ++ chamber. I kept the rebound fully open (20 out of 20 clicks from closed) and added a few clicks of low-speed (8 out of 16 clicks from closed) and high-speed compression (6 out of 14 clicks from closed) to add support in big holes and steps that litter the Tweed Valley where I ride. That was all I needed to do.

If you do need help or advice with setup, the people at Mojo Rising live and breathe this stuff and can talk or walk you through it if you're in the UK.

There are no bleeder valves to release trapped air pressure in the lower legs, but Chris Porter from Mojo Rising suggested using a clean, lubed zip tie to release air via the wiper seals. He also suggested doing this with the fork partially compressed to create a partial vacuum in the lower legs when the fork is at full extension. Sensitivity at the start of the stroke is good even without this hack, but the vacuum trick makes it just that little bit better - at least for a while. Of course, you could do this with any fork and it's easier with bleeder valves, but I wouldn't say the ERA needs this to offer good sensitivity. It certainly helps though.



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How does it compare?

I tested the EXT back to back against a Fox 38 Factory, which I consider to be the best in class among enduro forks. As well as having plenty of background ride time on each, I did a back-to-back test, riding them both several times on the same track, same bike, same day. I strongly believe this is the only way to get a true sense of how a fork stacks up.

In this case, there isn't much to separate them. In terms of sensitivity, both are class-leading. When it comes to small bumps near the start of the travel, an area where Fox has outshone all its other rivals, I think the EXT might have a very slight advantage. I only felt this when going very slow (usually when climbing) - once up to speed on a rough trail, both offered similar levels of comfort and a reassuring feeling of consistent connection to the trail. Also, bear in mind this is while using Chris Porter's zip tie trick to create a vacuum in the lowers; the Fox had regular atmospheric pressure in its lowers.

With the setup I was using, I felt the Fox 38 was riding higher in its travel and recovering faster from big compressions. The rebound was fully open on the EXT, but a few clicks away on the Fox. I'm not saying the EXT was too slow for me, but it's nice that the Fox has a bit more room to manoeuvre in the faster direction, especially for lighter riders. On the other hand, the EXT's compression adjustment range feels more intuitive to me. A few clicks make a noticeable difference and you can add meaningful hydraulic support without running into too much harshness. Whereas on the Fox GRIP2 damper, the compression adjustment range is narrow and it's easier to get lost in the many barely distinguishable clicker settings. But unlike some other reviewers, I had no issues with the 38 holding itself up in the travel under braking or big holes, even with minimal compression damping.

In terms of chassis stiffness, I couldn't separate them, and I deliberately sought out big holes and heavy landings.

Perhaps the biggest difference on the trail, however, is the axle to crown length. I measured the EXT at 582 mm (EXT states 582+/-5 mm) whereas my 170 mm Fox 38 measures 590 mm. For added context, I measured a RockShox Zeb at 585 mm. This could partly explain why I felt the Fox 38 rides higher in its travel (I think the faster rebound is a factor too) and the need to add compression damping to the EXT to hold it up higher in holes.

A shorter axle-to-crown length is neither good nor bad, but it's important to be aware of this when choosing which travel to go for, especially since the ERA maxes out at 170 mm. If you want a longer fork/higher ride height you'll need to go for the ERA V2 LT, which covers 180 and 190 mm. It's a shame that neither option can cover 170 and 180 mm, which are probably the most common travel options in the enduro category. The Fox 38 can be set to 160, 170 or 180 mm.

Which would I choose? I'd likely stick with the Fox 38 if for no other reason than the quick-release axle makes wheel swaps easier, although for some riders that's a very minor point. The option to run faster rebound and the ability to run 160-180 mm air springs makes the 38 more versatile too.

But the real difference is the price. This will vary by market but there's no doubt the ERA is pricier. 1,480 € + Vat translates to £1,590 in the UK. The Fox Factory 38 retails for £1,399 ($1,159 in the US). It feels pretty strange to be suggesting a four-digit fork as the "value option", but less expensive versions of the Fox 38 are available with very similar performance and there are plenty of deals online.



Pinkbike's Take
bigquotesEXT are still relatively new to the MTB market but they've cooked up a product that offers genuinely top-drawer performance. The blend of sensitivity with support is outstanding (possibly class-leading), the setup guide is spot-on and the compression adjustment is effective and intuitive. Some riders may want faster rebound options though. It's also important to be aware that the axle to crown height is slightly shorter than other rivals, and if you want to compensate by boosting the travel to 180 mm, you'll need a whole new fork. That brings us to the price, which is on the higher end compared to its similarly performing rival, the Fox 38. For those looking for a boutique fork and aren't afraid to splash the cash, the ERA V2.1 won't disappoint.
Seb Stott




Author Info:
seb-stott avatar

Member since Dec 29, 2014
287 articles

285 Comments
  • 198 16
 Seb could save himself a lot of time by condensing all of his reviews to ‘it’s good, but I’d prefer a Fox 38’.
  • 104 25
 Honestly, I would love to find a new benchmark fork. But for now, the Fox 38 is ahead in my book thanks to its off-the-top sensitivity (which is measurably better than the other rivals I've tested on a spring dyno). The EXT is a match for it in terms of outright performance, but in the real world, the Fox is a lot less expensive (though still expensive!)
  • 121 0
 @seb-stott: I like that everything gets compared to a control fork. When one review compares product A to product B and another review compares product C to product D, its hard to draw conclusions. Comparing everything to product A give a good frame of reference.
  • 62 4
 @schulte1400: Thanks for this - I've definitely taken a lot of heat in the comments for declaring a favourite!
  • 42 0
 Enduro Fork Field Test 2024 please
  • 3 0
 @schulte1400: 100% agree!

Great to use a reference product.
  • 7 1
 @seb-stott Thanks for the review. The 2.2 is their current generation of the fork, which has a different tune in it than the 2.1. Maybe that would address the rebound circuit speed. Also, slightly different bushing setup on the 2.2. The small bump compliance on the EXT is unmatched in my experience.
  • 12 21
flag gabiusmaximus (Nov 21, 2023 at 9:43) (Below Threshold)
 Off the top sensitivity being (within reason) the least important factor in suspension.
  • 8 0
 @seb-stott: it would be really cool if you would publish independent dyno results in these suspension tests. It would be even cooler if you bought 3 off the shelf to make sure the test units aren't cherry picked, test the factory setups and consistency across the 3.
  • 19 0
 @DizzyNinja: Dont leave out the mezzer!
  • 3 0
 @garrettstories: When was V2.2 released? I'm not seeing it on EXT's website.
  • 1 2
 @seb-stott: is that a 2024 Fox38? Or the old one from the ZEB vs 38 comparison??
  • 4 0
 @DizzyNinja: It would be cool to see a "Field Test" for all sorts of product categories (wheelset, brakes, fork, shock, frame, transmission) and the end result could be 2x builds - 1x no-expenses-spared "bling out" build, and 1x high-performance but more cost-effective build. Then compare those two builds head to head!
  • 7 0
 @gabiusmaximus: it's important to me. Mainly for traction.
  • 4 0
 @gabiusmaximus: It's pretty important if you have arthritic hands.
  • 8 1
 @garrettstories: hearing this, I am glad I am ditching my V2.0 for a different fork. The V2.1 upgrade is supposed to address all of the issues of the V2.0 (2.1 upgrade of which I have not done yet), and they are STILL iterating into a new V2.2 version and expect me to pay for multiple upgrades to fix everything?? The 2.0 is overdamped harsh fork (with the excuse of being "race tuned"), that runs ok when serviced very regularly. Not a chance I am going to throw $1,000 into upgrades when I can just go buy a better complete fork now.
  • 3 2
 @excel: Sorry it feels over damped. The newer one I have is just killer. I'm 155 lbs FWIW. I've had good luck with the folks at EXT USA. Maybe they can help.
  • 4 2
 @seb-stott: You got it right Seb. The grip2 forks really are the benchmark at the moment (own one + other forks). I've had several grip2 forks, zero issues, easy to get dialed. It would be the fork I'd recommend hands down before anything else. Sorry fox haters.
  • 2 0
 @excel: Amen. So glad I sold my Era 2.0 in favor of a Zeb. The Era damper is just nonsense.
  • 5 12
flag Mtbdialed (Nov 21, 2023 at 20:23) (Below Threshold)
 @seb-stott: as you should! are you a journalist? if you consider yourself even fractionally such, your main goal should be impartiality. To do that, no one should know what you favor. I don't want your opinions, I want your (as realistically as possible) unbiased assement of the product
  • 4 0
 @DizzyNinja: I would love to get a comparison including the Intend-bc Flash. I've heard that they're incredible
  • 5 0
 @NWBasser: nah. Sensitivity at ride height is important. The curve shape off doesn't impact small bump sensitivity, but it does impact ride height vs spring rates.

The forks and shocks with the biggest nose off the top have the softer mid stroke at the same ride height.
  • 3 1
 @NWBasser: Thats fair. But from a traction point of view it's no where near as important as a lot of people make out. Of course there are limits here (as with anything) meaning that if your fork is nigh on seized, then you aren't going to get as good traction. But when you are in the realms of splitting hairs, for example when comparing well serviced suspension from any of the big brands, then small bump differences provide essentially zero performance increase. Mid-stroke and damping + chassis stiffness/compliance are by far the most important factors. Perfect bottom out control and nice small bump are kinda irrelevant. Nice to have, but neither is going to make you any faster.
  • 3 1
 @seb-stott: yeah but aren't forks more than just off the top sensitivity? I'd argue support matters 10x more than it since it prevents crashes
  • 2 0
 @seb-stott: The price difference is even bigger when you consider the Fox is available discounted from basically every internet retailer, whereas the ERA will likely hold it's retail price.

You can also buy a complete with a Fox 38 factory or performance elite relatively affordably (the cost of the complete a typically a lot less than the sum of its parts), whereas (as far as I know), there's no low-cost method of getting a bike equipped with an EXT ERA - you basically have to buy it full price aftermarket. I've never seen a complete specced with EXT.

Great review btw Salute
  • 2 2
 @foggnm:
They literally have no compression damping.
A shit damper evolved from a grip 1, have not filled the shoes of an rc2
  • 1 1
 @milesofpain:

Manitou at least doesnt cherrypick and Just throws a random untested fork ti the reviewers
  • 2 0
 @bikeflog: I've had all iterations of the EXT, as well as the Flash and Edge forks from Intend (plus fox / rockshox and ohlins) - in my view, the intend forks beat them all. Why? Simplicity in setup, superb damping control and a magic carpet ride compared to any other fork I have used.

There is a washboard section of trail I like to use to compare how well a fork can recover from repeated hits whilst remaining composed, with the EXT it was harsh, a 2023 Zeb slightly better, but the Flash smoothed it out completely. On chunky roots it never steps out of line, drops it takes in its stride and I really don't see the USD flex issues that people worry about (85kg rider pushing hard)

Likewise, the Flash stays sufficiently in its travel to never be of concern (although not quite as high as the EXT, but I also like to use the travel of my suspension, not just maintain geometry!) and takes the big hits incredibly well.

I haven't yet tried the Intend linearizer to play with the compression curve, but the standard 3 position token has worked perfectly well for me and gives a wide range of very noticeable changes based on how it is used.

What I would say, is that all of the modern crop of forks are so good now, that it really comes down to user preference in how the want a fork to feel. EXTs latest tune I'd way better than pervious ones, and yes if you are flat out racing, it's a great option, Zeb is a solid and easy to use fork, but needs a rebuild before using due to QC issues, 38 I personally don't agree is top of the pile these days, not least because the majority of people simply can't deal with the multitude of adjustments and in my experience they just don't feel as good as a Zeb and Ohlins 36 or 38 are better than ever as they have reduced the compression tunes to give a more compliant ride.

For me, until something new comes along, I'm staying on the Intend fork, not only because it suits me and feels better than everything else out there, but because it looks a whole load better than anything else too! Oh and a monkey could strip and rebuild it which is always good!!

Hope that helps :-)
  • 2 0
 @rjwspeedjunkie: How about a Mezzer?
  • 45 2
 Great review.... have to factor in the servicing intervals and cost of that. I bet an EXT fork is going to cost more per service.
  • 7 3
 Getting my EXT shock serviced costs a very similar amount to getting a Fox shock serviced so I'd think the fork should be in the same ball park too. The advantage is that the turnaround time for service (here with Alba in Squamish at least) is way faster than Fox.
  • 9 2
 @O1D4: not everyone sends in their stuff for service. What about actual parts cost?
Rockshox are very reasonable for the tools you need and the cost of parts.
  • 7 51
flag Thegrumpymechanic (Nov 21, 2023 at 9:28) (Below Threshold)
 The difference is EXT actually says the service intervals people should be observing not what the marketing department wants them to say. Suspension is often wildly under serviced. And to the the cost of servicing, at least here in the UK, they are functionally the same price. For context, I next to do a lower service on my fork every 2-3 rides, and full service every 3-4 lower services. I'd I had time I'd do it after every ride. You get tuned in with suspension and you can feel them degrade half way round a ride. Or after a couple runs for dh fork. I do have the advantage of years working in a suspension shop which helps mitigate costs. But these are high performance items aimed at being cheap first priority.
  • 35 1
 @Thegrumpymechanic: Cancel Reply

@Thegrumpymechanic You do a clean, dust seals, gings, and oil, and new crush washers every 2-3 rides?

Some quick math I've done 181 ndes this year (2400km) thats 60 lower leg services and 15 full services. Lets go the high end lower leg every 3 rides and full service every 4 lower leg services.

Shop cost $8300 CAD

DIY Cost $3075 CAD for just parts

It's pretty clear to see where this recommendation falls apart. It's not feasible, nor necessary if your suspension is losing performance thalf way around a ride", it's not being serviced correctly.
  • 9 0
 @Thegrumpymechanic: suspension is under serviced when you don't follow manufacturers recommendations and even that is for worse case scenario. What proof do you have that marketing sets these standards? Really curious on that one.
  • 1 0
 @jaydawg69: >What proof do you have that marketing sets these standards?

Because this is Pinkbike where commenters think that marketing managers are making all of the calls at bike companies. From product development and engineering to sales, service, support and probably warranty too.

I get it when you consider how many bike companies are strictly marketing and distribution agencies with contracted design and manufacturing, but it's far from the standard operating procedures. Source - ex industry marketing guy
  • 6 9
 @maestroman21:

Lucky you that's a very privileged position to be able to ride that much.

However I get put 3-6 times a month, normally around that 4 figure. Which is a lot more in line with what most people manage.

That then results in a lower service ~once a month and full service every 3-4 months.

If you want to break it down into DIY costs, so far it's been about 40quid in oil. 30ish in seals. (Talking skf and maxima plush)

So, it's "pretty clear" it's a hollow argument to infer everyone does the same.

Might be worth it to take a moment to clarify what constitutes a ride, talking over ~1200m climbing/15km+ kind of thing.

Pro tip, if you've changing oil bath regular enough, you don't need new dust seals every time.

Also, I did say "I" not "everyone should", just that suggested intervals are manufacturer intervals are too long.


@jaydawg69
It's a case of reading wording on press realises, sponsored content and manuals.

You'll find some will give a range dependant on use and conditions. This is so the longer numbers can be advertised as the headline figure, but still able to cover their backs.

The reality of sliding Bush forks, as they still leave a huge amount to be desired, but atm meet the cost to make price points.
  • 1 1
 Not if you never service it. tappinghead.meme
  • 12 0
 @Thegrumpymechanic: the only I even ride mountain bikes is to have a reason to service suspension, my really hobby
  • 2 0
 @Thegrumpymechanic: yeah, you're right about the hollow argument.
  • 14 0
 @Thegrumpymechanic: bruv.....if you aren't taking the tools, oil and service kit with you in a pack on every ride, how are you suposed to finish the last half the ride with the same performance as the first half? Piss poor service intervals sir!
  • 2 0
 @Thegrumpymechanic: your bushings are too tight if your fork sliding degrades halfway through the first post-service ride.

Seriously. Get the bushings fixed and you can enjoy the same maintenance intervals as everyone else.
  • 10 0
 Woooah… wait a minute.You guys are servicing your forks?
  • 1 3
 @Dougal-SC: nope, not the case, done same practice for years, on probably a half dozen forks I have owned in that time over multiple brands, hence not specifically calling out any one brand, they are all shit.

The limitations of using a sliding bushing fork is the problem. They are inheritently high maintenance.
  • 1 2
 Also to reiterate that's only the personally owned forks. This is also is blindly obvious how quickly performance degrades when you've worked full time for years servicing, tuning ect. They just are not consistent.
  • 3 0
 @Thegrumpymechanic: MotoGP would like a word....
  • 1 2
 @Mtbdialed: cool, run the physics numbers on that and you'll see the issues presented by sliding bushing forks are overcome by the vastly different forces at play.

While it may sound like a good argument it's fundamentally flawed.
  • 2 0
 @Thegrumpymechanic: by this do you mean that due to the higher forces at play with a high powered motor bike the extra friction that starts happening isn’t a factor? Or do you mean that they have different needs? Genuinely curious.
  • 3 0
 @Thegrumpymechanic: 36mm stanchions vs 54mm inverted fork stanchions. the point isn't the forces, its the principle....

I am in no way saying there aren't sloppy/shitty bushings out there(looking at you rockshox), but bushing stiction is not the hinderance you think it is, if the fork is built to proper spec.
  • 1 0
 These service intervals are really what kept me off those higher end suspension units. Back in my twenties, I think I rode my mountainbike over 15 hours a week or so. If I'd have to send my suspension off every three or four weeks, it would basically imply I'd need a second fork for my bike. Currently it still is between two and four rides a week, so possibly six hours a week on average. I think I'll stick with cheaper and easier to service suspension and safe up for something from Intend (which is designed for home service). Sending off the fork for service so frequently is reserved for those who don't ride often or who have a spare fork (or complete bike) available.
  • 1 1
 @vinay: Normally people who ride that much school themselves up on lower leg maintenance.
  • 2 0
 @Dougal-SC: Lower leg maintenance isn't that different between brands so obviously that one isn't keeping me from going for a more complex fork. It is the bit where they recommend you to send the fork in after 50 to 100 riding hours for maintenance and I should hope the maintenance center goes a bit further than basic lower leg service.
  • 38 2
 Vorsprung Smashpot coil conversion all the way for me! Only thing I tried that made a real difference when trying to get a plush fork that doesn't dive.

Why mess around with increasingly complicated air springs trying to be "more like a coil"... when you could just... use a coil... (conveniently forgetting weight penalties)
  • 16 0
 My Öhlins m2 coil agrees.
  • 3 0
 @fartymarty: so does mine, and it weighs the same as this ext
  • 4 0
 The only thing I'd ever consider replacing my Smahpot kits with is if EXT made a coil conversion kit.
  • 3 3
 My only beef with the smashpot is the 5 gallons of oil the spring requires. other then that it rides smooth.
  • 3 0
 Same! Had ERA v1, which was awful. v2 was much, much better, but still not what I was after. Had a Zeb but that wasn't quite there yet, either. Then I dropped a Smashpot in the Zeb and finally had the fork I'd been chasing after.
  • 4 0
 @bertimusmaximus: Maybe you should try the Secus also from Vorsprung. Feels basically the same, but with a smaller weight penalty!
  • 5 1
 Coil forks are nice but there can be very good reasons for going with air:

Not every coil fork is available with the correct spring rate for each rider.

Finding the right spring rate can involve a lot more effort and money.

No option to quickly adjust spring rates according to conditions. E.g. big jumps vs natural tech, full days worth of supplies in the pack, summer vs winter, swapping bikes between riders.
  • 3 0
 The Vorsprung Secus works incredibly well, also
  • 2 1
 @Ttimer: All of those + you're stuck with a linear spring rate
  • 4 0
 @Ttimer: Agreed on all the points but for performance I would still go coil. Air is easier for the industry to sell - it's lighter, it's more easily tuned and it's progressive. I would argue (and Kris Keefer agrees - he said the best thing you can do on a moto is throw away the air springs and get some coils in the forks) that it's not better performance wise.

I would argue progressiveness is overated. It's all about the area under the spring curve graph - the energy absorbed by the spring. I certainly haven't felt the need for it on the Ohlins coil once set up right.
  • 2 1
 @fartymarty: I disagree with the "progressiveness is overrated" argument, as someone who has a coil fork. Being able to dial in the progressiveness is a great tuning tool
  • 3 2
 @fartymarty: The thing is, in any of the situations I mentioned, a coil fork’s performance is worse than air. A linear spring curve isn’t all that helpful if the rate is wrong.
  • 26 4
 Big bummer with EXT is that they don’t support user service. So if you like to rebuild your own stuff, might want to look at other brands. Maybe some day they’ll get it together, but for now they’re clearly not interested in supporting those who give them money and support them.
  • 17 3
 Yep, travel adjustable at service center only, lol, forget this thing.
  • 7 5
 You can do the lower leg service on your own.
  • 13 0
 @garrettstories: okay, but that service is a given just like making compression and rebound adjustments should be a given. You’re pretty much dumping out oil and putting new oil in.
I do not support any brand that requires you to send in your parts for service.
  • 3 0
 @garrettstories: I stopped into Suspension Syndicate (the only US retailer/serviced) to try to buy the parts to service my 2.0. They highly recommended against it and told me that it’s really easy to strip the lower bolts. They said most of their technicians had even done so on their first services.
  • 6 0
 yeah this is a pretty big disadvantage in my opinion. One of my favorite things about rockshox suspension is how easy it is to servixe, both in terms of parts availability and documentation. Fox is pretty good as well. a lot of the boutique suspension brands don’t seem to support their products in the same way and for me that makes it a much harder sell.
  • 5 1
 You, sir, speak the truth. Has anyone tried to service a Storia at home? It appears you need a vacuum bleeder, otherwise I’d be tempted to give it a go.

Pretty dumb they don’t let you do a full fork service. That is not rocket science, but not so easy when you can’t get the custom tools.
  • 13 0
 I've found Manitou to be extremely easy to service. And I'm a complete klutz who drinks too much beer while working on stuff.
  • 6 0
 @NWBasser: definitely the easiest/ best instructions for home servicing. Fox forks at least aren't that difficult but the information provided could be simplified
  • 7 0
 @NWBasser: we must be related. Sames with my Manitou Mezzer. Easy to do a lower leg service and/or change travel. About a 1.5 beer job for me.
  • 1 1
 @ThreadedBB1day: and its silly. I am an EXT service center.....it's really easy.

They should really just sell service kits, the proprietary tools and put out a SRAM quality service video for the various services.

In their defense though, they think like a company that makes F1 suspension.......because they do. So, this might take awhile to get through to them. lol
  • 2 1
 @breakthebeta: they are hadly the only US retailer or service shop for EXT. lol
  • 1 0
 Servicing most suspension isn’t that difficult, worst case you need a nitrogen charging setup.
  • 2 0
 @jackalope: I'll usually clean and grease the air seals too. It's about a 3 beer job for me, but I work pretty slowly and take a fair bit of time off task for my beers.
  • 2 0
 Getting the replacement parts is the issue, the actual strip and rebuild of the fork is as easy as any other and requires no special tools, as is changing the travel. My main concern with them is the horrendous top out when popping off stuff/into manual.

Not tried to ser ice the Storia yet but I believe this is also pretty easy straight forward (though I'm led to believe the E-Storia needs a vacuum bleed).
  • 1 0
 @hmstuna: DVO is easy to service, parts and manuals on their website.
  • 1 0
 @bricknall: all of their shocks are better off with a vacuum bleed, all reservoir shocks in general are actually, whether it’s required or not. But I’ve vacuum bled an older Storia, it was easy. I didn’t have new seals, but was able to get it running right again. Used the same fitting as Öhlins and Cane Creek..
  • 1 0
 @FatSanch: needing a vacuum bleed isn’t a big problem. Many other shocks require it, and almost all shocks are better off if you do. But it’s the fact that they don’t make any parts or tools available that is a bummer.
  • 1 0
 @nastynate711: it’s a big problem for me because they cost over 1000€
  • 24 1
 I'm trying to remember how many chambers my Z1 Coil with a Grip2 damper has. I keep forgetting to check my pressures or needing to service it because.....
  • 3 0
 Curious...have you found the Grip2 to be a significant upgrade over the stop Grip damper? I've read several places stating that other than some tuneability, you don't gain much in operation.
(I have a Z1 Coil myself)
  • 1 0
 @ReformedRoadie: I kinda like the "on/off" switch on my Z1 coil
  • 3 1
 @ReformedRoadie: I don't think there's any real gain to be had. I never rode it with the stock GRIP damper, so I have no basis for comparison. Someone wanted to buy my old 36 in as inexpensive of configuration as possible. I'm a 5'11" 165lb rider, so I'm pretty comfortably in the target rider size that suspension and other components are designed for. I run my high speed compression fully open. That's likely the same base setting as the GRIP damper. I can add some high speed rebound if I'm going to drop off some bigger stuff vs normal trail ride. That's about all it might offer. Pretty minimal gain for swapping dampers.
  • 1 0
 @ReformedRoadie: I've got a 36 Rhythm with the Grip. I've ridden a Grip2 36...it's not worth the money (to me) for an upgrade in terms of damper alone.

If I had a Performance or Z1 fork with the lighter lowers, yes, I'd consider the upgrade when it came time for a 150 hour service as the cost probably wouldn't be as hard to justify. The Rhythm fork is pretty heavy and there's no getting past that - I'm saving the $380 or so towards a Performance Elite or similar fork for next year instead.
  • 3 0
 @dfbland: I had z1 air with grip, then with grip 2, and now z1 coil with grip 2024- it wins.

And I was able to make indexing upgrade for grip without any internal modifications. You can find me on Instagram: @wytoczywiscie
  • 3 0
 The grip 2 doesn't have much compression. I run mine fully closed and I'm not fast or heavy.
  • 1 0
 @lightone: 'For Personal Use'... Tease! Make me one, I too want it for personal use.
  • 2 0
 you don't service your coil fork? why?
  • 20 4
 Who seriously wants a quick release on an enduro fork, or really any high end bike these days? It's not like people are still changing out tubes all the time.
  • 11 0
 what is...a "tube"?
  • 35 2
 some people are stuffing their bikes in cars, SUVs and vans and to do this taking the wheel off each time.
  • 2 4
 @mattyboyr6-2: I'd still rather have the piece of mind out on the trail that there's zero chance I'll hit something and loosen my axle.
  • 2 0
 I have it on my 38. It makes it ever so slightly easier to take off the wheel for brake bleeds and such. I'm really pretty indifferent about it. Not much advantage or disadvantage.
  • 3 1
 @NWBasser: My fork came with it and I’ve never felt the need to spend money just to make the wheel harder to take off. I’m otherwise indifferent.
  • 3 0
 I’ve had a terrible time with Fox QR axles loosening themselves up mid ride, probably a fixable issue but carrying a 6mm Allen key is an easier fix
  • 3 2
 Me. I prefer not having to nab a tool to take off a wheel for any reason. Most of the 6mm broaches on many through axles feel a bit lacking in tolerance and depth to me as well.
  • 4 0
 I have to store my bikes with the front wheel off. So I definitely do
  • 2 0
 I can't have a bike without it, store my bike without the front wheel on.
  • 15 0
 Meanwhile Mezzer Pro is the light but stiff leader in this category, with similar air spring tech as EXT but user serviceable cartridge with instructions and parts available. And air bleed ports.
  • 6 0
 @b-rider: such a sick fork!
  • 15 0
 Give me a 38 and I’m a happy boy, but I still prefer the zeb ultimate right now.
  • 12 2
 @seb-stott I stopped reading after this: Also, bear in mind this is while using Chris Porter's zip tie trick to create a vacuum in the lowers; the Fox had regular atmospheric pressure in its lowers. While it may initially work as intended this creates too much variability and inconsistency.
  • 9 1
 You can build an Avalanche Downhill Racing Hybrid fork out of any cheap fork (Mezzer Expert, Zeb Ultimate or F38 or just your existing fork) and have an incredibly supple coil fork, with the additional adjustable bottom out control of air, in a similar weight product that is extraordinarily easy to rebuild as it's open bath, for about the same money (assumes you bought a new fork too) and same weight as the ERA.

Using a new Mezzer Pro, weights are coming in at 2350 grams with cost very close to that of a new Era.

Just saying...
  • 4 0
 I’ll say I had a 36 Hybrid set up and now a new Era V2.1
I’d take the Hybrid every single time over the Era. Wish my old fork wasn’t a 27.5 so I could still use it. But been heavily considering selling the Era and going back to a hybrid
  • 9 2
 As a mezzer owner with an avy open bath cartridge I can easily say this fork would out perform anything out there.
  • 4 1
 This guys knows! Never ridden anything better than Avy’ tuned suspension.
  • 7 1
 Avy is great. But, I don’t think I’ll ever go through the process of dealing with Craig again. He knows his stuff but he can be insufferable to talk to.
  • 6 0
 @Keegansamonster: most Manitou fork owners as well.
  • 9 3
 Avy stuff is a little overhyped. Its not bad, but its just a particular suspension tune. With suspension there is no free lunch. Anything that is supple is not responsive, anything that is responsive is not supple. The game for a "good" tune is to make your lsc firm, so you can push against the fork, but the HSC blowoff super soft so when you build up pressure, the fork blows off fast and makes it track better and transmit less shock to your hands. And that you can achieve with simple shim stack tuning - this is what pretty much most pro athletes do on stock products. Easy enough to get it done at any suspension center, Ohlins will do this for you for an extra cost (I think) when you send the forks in for service, and its actually pretty easy to do this yourself, all you need is a vice and right diameter shaft clamps, measuring caliper, basic wreches, and a free demo of Shim Restactor.

Open bath vs closed bath, meh. Not much of a difference performance wise to matter. Open bath dampers are easier to service, but also prone to more contamination, as well as cavitation. The other issue is that you essentially get a bigger air bottom out effect - oil level in moto forks for open bath is a tuning parameter that controls bottom out. Biggest downside is the flipping of the controls, the rebound is on the top, compression is on the bottom - generally for on the trail adjustments, you never really touch rebound, but you do fiddle with compression depending on terrain (like firming it up for steep sections so you don't fork dive on nose hits)

Air vs coil is the biggest difference, but not as much as people think. The effect depends on how fast you ride and what your preferred damper setup is. If you have a softer damper setup and ride slower where damping forces are smaller, then the coil can feel way more supple because of less seal friction and no ramp up. If you start riding faster withe a firmer damper setup, the damping become quite significant and sometimes override the actual response from the spring especially in the first part of travel. You can tune an air fork to be very supple by just changing the shim stack.

If you got money to spend, I recommend buying Formula suspension (fork and shock) where they make it really easy to swap valves with different shim stack tunes. Its the easiest way to see how much the shim stack affects the ride.
  • 4 0
 @Keegansamonster:
I always joke that an Avy cart costs $500 plus a conversation with Craig.
He can be a challenge but it's well worth it.
I've yet to find anything that tops my Avy Zeb w/ Smashpot conversion. Although I bought the smashpot before avy was doing the hybrid coil setups so I haven't tried it yet.
  • 1 1
 @KickFlipABike: That's the best description of the suspension problematic I've read on the internet.
  • 1 1
 @KickFlipABike: Your description of 'good' tune is what I experience on Avy coil suspension. Avy coils feels oddly firm when pedaling along, but then the wheels react very quickly on chunder. It's odd to ride along on a bike that feels XC bike firm on a flat section and pedals so well, then as soon as you hit any chunder/ drop/ rock ledge/ root/ whatever it swallows the obstacle up like you are riding a 200mm travel bike with 40% sag.

Technically an open bath and a closed bath can have identical damping curves, however the reason Avy moved away from his own closed cartridge is there are some issues with closed cartridges on mountain bikes, because the bikes are so light (compared to say an MX bike) and they don't have enough weight to sag some small spring that is in the damping rod. (this is how I recall that explanation, my apologies if I expressed this incorrectly)

I don't care so much about the 'coil suppleness' myself as I really only notice it in the parking lot and hardly feel it when charging. What I do like is the lack of stiction that a coil provides that allows a lightning fast reaction to trail obstacles.

However, there is a real problem with using an air spring and it is that spring preload (sag) and spring rate become permanently combined and you can't adjust one, without also changing the other. Need less sag to set chassis attitude? Well, it's going to cost you spring rate. Now it bottoms? Well add volume reducers. Now it lacks midrange pedaling support? Well too bad! A coil spring allows you to set the sag, with no change at all to the actual spring rate, a huge advantage.
  • 4 1
 @SunsPSD:

The open bath design is simpler to manufacture, thats pretty much it. Closed damper require more seals, bladder or piston, and/or a dual chamber system.

The stiction of air seals is somewhat misleading. Generally, if you look at the breakaway force of the seal, its not that high. People often test the stiction when they are off the bike, which is not representative of riding condition at sag, where for small movements, the change in amount of force to deflect the suspension either way is much much higher than seal stiction. Bushing friction can also play a part. Some companies/shops burnish bushings in lowers for reduce friction.

All of this really just ends up a slight compression/rebound damping though. Most world cup DH riders don't really do anything for this, because its such a small amount for both. Tuning the shim stack is all thats needed. Fresh service also helps, but you can also use stanchion lube like Miles Wet Seal to aid in reducing seal and bushing friction in the intermediate.

>However, there is a real problem with using an air spring and it is that spring preload (sag) and spring rate become permanently combined and you can't adjust one, without also changing the other.

Sort of. Most air forks are limited in the sense that the transfer port is in a constant location, and you have certain volume to work with. The three chamber designs like EXT give you the ability to fine tune the curve. If you want the same spring rate but want the fork to sit higher, there is a combination of settings that can do this.

The main advantage of air is being able to run a softer setup at sag while having a firmer setup at bottom out, which you can't do with a coil spring alone. This is great for shorter travel bikes.
  • 1 0
 If you go the hybrid coil route, don't you also need to use the open bath damper, thereby making the fork pretty heavy?
  • 1 0
 @Keegansamonster: I now call Craig only after steeling myself to absolute calm, like I'm a psychiatrist dealing with...um..what's the pc term these days? Ah, yes! Neurodivergent.
  • 1 0
 Disregard question re open bath damper.
  • 3 0
 @VelkePivo: I’ve been Avy curious and find it fascinating that typically any mention of Avy leads to „yeah, but Craig.“ kind of makes me want to call with no intention of buying anything.
  • 6 0
 I ran the V2.0 for a full season (came on my used bike), and eventually came to the conclusion this version is overdamped on compression when running recommended settings. It's tolerable on a freshly serviced fork, but eventually the harshness is overwhelming as the hours accumulate and plushness leaves. Never had top out issues. It needs more frequent servicing than the recommended interval to keep it plush. It caused me arm issues at end of season that I never had before. I agree with Brian Cahal and Bike Radar's takes on the V2.0. End of season, I came to the conclusion it was better to get support from the air spring (much more + than recommended, with only 15 psi more in ++) with compression fully open, but my arms were wrecked by then. I've heard the V2.1 is supposed to solve the issues, but I've moved onto a Black Friday fork deal instead...
  • 1 0
 Maybe I need to try that set up Cahal talks about. Love my Era but just haven’t gotten it to be where I think it really should be in terms of performance
  • 1 0
 @stormracing: for my 185lbs, end of season I settled on 80+/95++, LSC fully open, HSC fully open and add as required, RB as fast as you can handle.
  • 1 0
 @excel: right on!! I’ll have to go check my settings now and see what’s up
  • 2 0
 Most HSC adjusters are just harshness adjusters. They are preloading the shims, which is almost as bad as preloading your main spring. Full open all the time. Reshim if it’s not enough. Running LSC is also dubious on a mtb, but settings other than fully closed are acceptable.
  • 2 0
 @FatSanch: Jives 100% with what I have found. I also have a heavy prefference for a fast High/mid speed rebound tune which lets you run a lot more LSR.
  • 1 0
 Yeah I'd agree with you. What made a big difference to my ERA was not using their oil in the lowers. Switched to a heavier Fox Gold oil got rid of a lot of tight bushing feel and went much longer between services
  • 1 0
 @IllestT: you‘ll want to avoid Fox gold oil on the damper side. All cartridges ingest oil, and that stuff is no bueno for valves. You should use the same oil for the cartridge and bath, but one designed for both uses.
  • 1 0
 @FatSanch: oh that's interesting. Can't say it's been a problem so far though. Been using Fox fluid in them for a long time
  • 1 0
 @IllestT: I also don’t have firsthand experience, but know of someone that their Grip 2 cartridge stopped working. With how sticky it is, it’s not hard to imagine it wreaking havoc. In a different fork YMMV
  • 4 0
 The reason I love my era over a 38 is the fact you don’t get that wall of bottom out force you get from tokens, you ride high in the travel and get a linear spring rate. I’ve also not reached the end of the damping adjustments. 9/10 fork for me
  • 4 0
 I have a Formula Fork, and it works great, I have had zero issues with it, and rebuilding it and maintaining it is super easy DIY. If you're looking for an alternative to the big two. It can be swapped to a coil fork and then back to an air fork. It also has a genius quick release that can remove the actual quick release and insert a hex tool. The best system I have seen. Also, seven different dampening tunes that can be swapped out super easily. I am always raving about it. It is the best-kept secret in MTB forks, It is a shame more people have not tried one outside of Europe.
  • 6 0
 Even the 2.1 upgrade wasn’t able to resolve my top out. It’s a bummer. It’s not as bad anymore but still noticeable.
  • 5 0
 funny that nobody addresses this just regular users
  • 4 1
 "A few clicks make a noticeable difference and you can add meaningful hydraulic support without running into too much harshness."

Those are two different things. The range of clicks is one, the ability to add support without harshness is another. Are you saying the Fox damper can't add support without adding harshness? Or just that you need more clicks to do it?

And where are the dyno charts to show that the Fox damper actually has a smaller range of compression adjustment?
  • 5 0
 It is quite well-recognized that the Grip2 damper is under damped on the compression side.
  • 1 0
 @jukka4130: and yet this article didn't talk about being under damped. It claimed the _range_ of adjustments was small, and perhaps that it can't add support without becoming harsh. Except if it the damper is harsh, then it's not _under_damped...
  • 1 1
 @justinfoil: Harsh and overdamped aren't necessarily linked. You can make a fork that's underdamped (so wallowy and divey) but still harsh on sharp edges. The big two are both playing this game.
  • 2 0
 @justinfoil: To quote Steve from Vorsprung Suspension:

"The 38 has the same damper as the 36, which at least in rebound has a great usable range, but has the same issue with the compression range being very soft, and when the air spring friction/hysteresis disappear you notice that a lot more because in most air sprung forks, the majority of the low speed compression "damping" is coming from friction and the spring, not from the damper."
  • 1 0
 @Dougal-SC: that's underdamped for low shaft speed, but overdamped for high shaft speed. How can it be called overall "underdamped" if it's displaying overdamped symptoms in some situations?
  • 1 1
 @jukka4130: he's also saying the damping _is_ suitable for the situation of being paired with that air spring. Sure, if you switch something up, like coil or luftekappe, you might also need to tune the damper again, but that's kind of a given: set spring first, then rebound, then comp; change spring, change rebound, then change comp.
  • 3 1
 @justinfoil: No it's underdamped across the whole speed range. Harshness is how the damper engages the bump and not your total damping force.
  • 2 0
 @justinfoil: I think @Dougal-SC summarized it better than I ever could.
  • 2 1
 @Dougal-SC: yeah, harshness is how it engages the bump... with too much damping force. So, overdamped for the situation.

If you hit a bump and it spikes and is harsh because high speed doesn't flow enough, that's overdamped, yes? If high speed flows too much such that is doesn't provide sufficient damping force and blows through travel on that bump, that's underdamped, yes? How exactly do you have both of those at once. You might have stiction from an air spring causing some harshness, but that's not the damper's fault.
  • 1 0
 @Dougal-SC: Nope as in "Nope you can't have both at once"?
  • 1 0
 @justinfoil: Nope as in Nope the harshness isn't from the level of compression damping. These forks are underdamped and still harsh.
  • 1 0
 @Dougal-SC: Is harshness not excessive force transmitted through the suspension to the chassis & rider? If not, what is harshness? If yes, what causes that extra force if not damping force? (Ignoring air spring characteristics for now, we're talking dampers only.)
  • 1 1
 @justinfoil: No it's not. Harshness is more force than the rider expects.
  • 1 0
 @Dougal-SC: More force than expected _that is transmitted through to the chassis and rider_. Excessive, unexpected, same idea: more than you want at the time. More what though? Force, from what? The damper.
  • 4 0
 Hey seb, I just yesterday ordered a 38 performance elite on sale from fox. These kind of back to back comparisons (I was between a zeb and 3Cool are super helpful and I’m confident I made the right choice. Thanks again!
  • 3 0
 I don't know about you all, but I'm not too keen on sticking zip ties in my seals every ride. The ability to equalize for atmospheric pressure makes loads of difference depending on the day - I see this as a real advantage to the Fox and RS options.
  • 3 0
 Poke fun at this fork, it's funky air spring, it's damper, the DU bushings, it's price, and its service intervals all you want. I'm personally running a V2 LT 180mm travel and it took a moment to dial in, but it's the best damn performing fork I've ever ridden. We haven't sold one yet that's had less than happy feedback. Cheap no, worth it however if you just want arguably the best performing fork available.
  • 3 0
 As a current Era user that had all the issues of the 1.0 and 2.0 the 2.1 is FAR better BUT …. I didnt like getting stringed through 3 iterations of a fork before getting a truly working product.

V2.1 is excellent performance wise but…. At a cost
  • 3 0
 I own a V1 that got updated to V2 internals. By far the best thing I’ve ever ridden. I can’t get anything else to even come close. The faster you ride the better it gets.

I hate that they try make them not user serviceable though. They aren’t especially complicated to service but you do need some special tools. The distributor refused to even sell me the tools so I had to machine some myself. They also hate selling spare parts.
That kind of shit can F right off, and for that reason I don’t recommend anyone buy these forks.
  • 5 0
 "but I wouldn't say the ERA needs this dong to offer good sensitivity."
Now thats a good typo
  • 2 0
 I need this dong.
  • 1 0
 @blang11: "AUTOMOBILE!!!"
  • 6 4
 "He also suggested doing this with the fork partially compressed to create a partial vacuum in the lower legs when the fork is at full extension."

Or you could just make sure to assemble the fork with the damper and spring rods fully extended and just dial in your air spring with whatever pressure is naturally present in the lower legs. If the air spring is good, you shouldn't need to add "partial vacuum*" to make it feel good.

If you insist on "fixing" an air spring's deficits with hacks, you could just always assemble the fork at very high altitude.

*(calling it "partial vacuum" is a stretch, it's just slightly lower pressure, not even close to real vacuum)
  • 4 0
 Unfortunately the fancy CSU is not fully immune to CSU creaks. Have been very happy with my v2.0 but now have creaky CSU. Never had the topout issues others have though.
  • 2 0
 I don’t know - I actually have both and the EXT seems plusher to me while also being very supportive. At least at the speeds I ride. And with my relatively light weight (140lbs). The Fox 38 feels as great as the EXT only when I get up to speed.
  • 2 0
 As much as I appreciate @sebstott comparing to a “control” fork, I would really appreciate @mattbeer take on this as he had some glowing things to say for the previous version - did the EXT ERA get worse? Or are reviews so subjective they really aren’t worth the read…..
  • 1 0
 Sebs view broadly goes fix good everything else not fox bad
  • 1 0
 @novicenat-nvan I was impressed with the version that I rode, but that was quite some time ago and EXT has been making changes along the way. The Fox 38, Ohlins 38 RXF and ZEB are also great products, yet each of those has a different ride as the reviews have pointed out.
  • 1 0
 @mattbeer: thanks for the reply. I still think you should ride this version and comment further (although someone else’s suggestion of a fork shoot out with multiple reviewers is probably the best option)
  • 2 0
 "From then on, the floating piston that separates the two positive chambers moves freely upwards, and the volume of the positive spring effectively expands to include both chambers."

In a simplified fashion, yes, but in reality this is not so simple. Because the ++ chamber is smaller, the pressure ramps up faster in this chamber than in the + chamber, so it will be a constant state of ++ becoming higher pressure than the + chamber which will then cause + to compress against the ++ until it reaches the new higher pressure of the ++ before moving the piston between them further, thereby starting the cycle all over again...

Hence why this system is more complicated to tune than a just a simple volume spacer, but also allows a much wider tunability range.
  • 2 0
 Also are we not going to touch on the fact that the little spring at the start of the stroke has a fixed spring rate that is going to work differently for riders of different weights? Something that was already an issue for DVO when using a coil for their OTT system...
  • 2 0
 The zip tie trick has been a thing with the Era fork since it launched, which is so disappointing, and stops me from considering it. I'd feel cheated if I paid over £1500 for a fork, and had to stick zip ties down it for it to work optimally.
  • 2 1
 I'm continuously dual positive chamber curious. From a linearity standpoint it makes sense. But most journalist reviews I read, tend to tip the hat to my trusty Fox 38. Especially as a light rider and I read Ohlins, Manitou, and EXT can be overdamped gives me pause for trying dual chamber fork..
  • 3 0
 Give the DSD Runt a try. They're great in a Fox or Rockshox chassis, gets you their proven damper and chassis R&D with the adjustability of a three-chamber air spring like EXT/Ohlins/Manitou.

If you don't like it, sell it, they're really easy to sell since a lot of folks are curious about adding a second positive air chamber. I won't ride without one these days.
  • 2 0
 @GTscoob: totally agree! They give you the small bump with the perfect ramp up at the end.
  • 2 0
 Pick and mix tuning from shockcraft solves the mezzer damping problem for light riders.
  • 2 1
 EXT made me realize I do have an upper limit to bike part spending. Even if it were a magical fork that was perfect....about $1000 is my upper limit and you can get a premium Fox, RS, and sometimes Ohlins on sale at that price or less.
  • 1 0
 Just geht a usted Yari flor 200 bucks and get an avy hybridkit.than you have the best Form you at max of 1000 bucks. When Tuning ist Done, warranty is lost anyway,thus a used fork With Tuning is The best thing one can do
  • 1 0
 My ERA v1 fork just had it's 3rd birthday (bought in September 2020). It's on my heavily used eBike now. Still doesn't creak.
4 full services at Jtech and Mojo. 9 lower leg services done at home by mw. A couple of internal updates done at Mojo for free.
Looking good for the next 3 years of use.
Would you get that value from RS/Fox?
  • 1 0
 @seb have you ridden an RXF38 yet? ive had a mezzer for the last few years and while its great (all the manitou bros love raving about it) i kinda feel like i want a change. I'm torn between a 38 because its fantastic and an RXF38 because depending on who you ask its even better, and for me has a few features i really like, like the triple air chamber.

that said, whats the point of the double positive air chambers if a 38 has a better spring curve anyways. a wildcard option is to pick up an old lyrik off buysell and put a bunch of push aftermarket components on it...
  • 4 1
 now i'd love to see the equivalent burly Intend fork in comparison with these
  • 2 2
 So you noticed marginally better sensitivity on small bumps when climbing, when it doesn't really matter, with a fork setup intended specifically for that feeling.

In other words, there is no useful difference. Reduce the overall spring rate* on the Fox, whether through bleeders or zipties or main spring, and it would likely feel the same on climbs

*(that's what the lowers "trick" is really doing: reducing spring rate of the parallel air spring in the lowers which reduces the overall rate)
  • 4 2
 Underwhelmed. Roll on the new PUSH fork pls. Basically until a couple years ago was like flat shoe reviews against 5/10 stealth rubber.
  • 1 1
 A benefit of EXT not mentioned here is that you can upgrade the internals when upgrades come out. My V1 will get v2.1 internals when it next goes in for a service at a very reasonable price. Which together with decent CSU means it’s a fork you can keep for a few years and amortise the cost down, whilst keeping a cutting edge performance fork. Not really the case with Fox
  • 2 0
 The Formula Selva R has proven to be my most favorite fork to date, the most tunable fork on the market and certainly the smoothest
  • 1 1
 I'm so sick of those stupid spring graphs that EXT uses. That's not the way a spring works no matter how many chambers it has. Unless there's some massive amount of stiction, it's not going to ramp up and then let go half way through the stroke. And if it DOES have that much stiction... Facepalm
  • 2 0
 Refreshing to see a review for something the “normal folks” could afford to ride.
  • 4 1
 It's still EXTERA Expensive++!!!
  • 1 2
 hahahahaha
  • 3 0
 Be interesting to see which one has developed a CSU creak in 12 months.
  • 4 1
 The ERA V1 is the only enduro fork I have ridden in the last 15 years without csu creak.
  • 8 4
 Zeb is the best
  • 2 0
 I´m probably more about to put Smashpot in charge instead of completely new fork, this fun is getting kinda expensive
  • 7 8
 "I'm not saying the EXT was too slow for me,"

Fully open on the EXT and the Fox was still faster with clicks remaining; and you're on the upper end of the spring range. That's kinda the definition of too slow.

The words in this article and the settings listed are saying it... So, if _you're_ not saying it, who is? Do you have a ghostwriter?
  • 2 0
 Before reading a pb review I just check if sebb has written it. If so then don’t bother reading. Sorted.
  • 1 0
 The 2.2 with the new air spring is fantastic, probably the best fork I have used. Speak to mojo and they will upgrade the existing one to 2.2 for a few quid!
  • 2 0
 Yep; still going Avalanche, Domain & Bomber.
  • 1 0
 Legit question, why would you want your rebound fully open?
Wouldn't it make your fork feel skittish?
  • 1 0
 EXT…..very expensive for a very poor customer service and no reliability. Never again!
  • 1 0
 38mm stanchions and bleeder valves for the V3?
  • 2 1
 You can get a 150 air shaft assy for the 38 too.
  • 2 1
 For a 36mm stancion on the Era i think its the stiffest offering around.
  • 1 3
 Not hub axle is the problem they pretend to solve but terrible tolerances of upper legs. +/- 5mm on axle to crown length? On a product for over 1.000usd?
  • 1 0
 Depends on how the air spring chambers are pressurized which dictates the acute AC dimension. Nothing to do with the CSU.
  • 1 0
 @jukka4130: Fox declares this "tolerance" almost for 10 years in all their AM forks, nothing to do with multichamber design.
  • 1 0
 @fluider: It has to do with the air spring design in general. The point at which the positive and negative chambers reach equilibrium can vary and thus cause the range in AC dimension that the manufacturers state.
  • 3 4
 Only 36mm stanchions? If I wanted noodles I’d order some Lo mein.
  • 2 1
 Weighs the same as a 38 too. I agree, it's very flexy, more so than the e-bike spec 36 (which is admittedly stiffer than the stock 36).
  • 2 2
 sagr ange
  • 2 3
 29 only? Fail
  • 10 13
 something compared to the fox 38, write off review ...
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