Vorsprung Luftkappe - Review

Jun 20, 2017
by AJ Barlas  
Vorsprung Luftkappe

There are a number of aftermarket suspension tuning outfits looking to eke out whatever performance they can from a suspension product. From those developing alternative methods of affecting the end stroke, to completely new cartridges and internals, the options are pretty good. Vorsprung Suspension is one of the more recent of these outfits and their Luftkappe, released late last year, is the latest product from this team out of Whistler.

The Luftkappe is a machined tube that replaces the piston in the air spring of a RockShox Lyrik, Pike or Yari fork. It increases the negative air spring, which aims to make the fork lighter off the top, while the increased pressure used (a starting point of about 10% more than the typical pressures used in a stock Lyrik/Pike) allows for increased support in the mid and end stroke. It can be used with RockShox's Bottomless Tokens, though there are some limitations to consider, depending on the fork model that the Luftkappe is going to be used in.

Luftkappe Details

• Larger negative air chamber
• Improved mid-stroke support
• Compatible with Tokens in some models
• Optional 10mm shaft clamps available for self-install
• Weight: 30g (~21g more than stock piston)
• MSRP: $85 CAD (Luftkappe only)
• MSRP: $235 CAD (Factory Service and Luftkappe install)
vorsprungsuspension.com

Vorsprung makes the Luftkappe in-house, in their own CNC lathe with live tooling machine. This was the first product that the team fully developed in-house: design, prototyping, testing, and production. The Luftkappe replaces the piston in the air spring side and can be done at home, by those that are comfortable with working on their suspension, or you can send your fork to the team in Whistler, where they can install it for you, which includes a service as part of the process and carries an MSRP of $235 CAD.

Vorsprung s CNC Machine where the Luftkappe is produced
Vorsprung's in-house CNC machine, where they manufacture the Luftkappe.


For those that may be interested in trying the Luftkappe and already have something like MRP's Ramp Control Cartridge the good news is you can use both, but there are limitations. The two can only be used together in a Pike that is up to 140mm of travel, and a Lyrik up to 160mm. Going beyond these there is not enough room for all the pieces as the fork compresses to full travel. It also doesn’t work with the Dual Piston Air fork models.

Installation of the Luftkappe requires the fork be torn down and the stock piston removed. Actually removing your piston can be a bit of a tricky process, so if you're not comfortable with that, it might be best to send your fork in to Vorsprung and have their team take care of it for you.

Removal of the original piston head is required.
Vorsprung's Steven Mathews removing the stock piston.
The screw that was removed from the original piston head is reused to attach the new seal in place.
All the parts removed and the Luftkappe parts ready to install.


Once the stock piston is apart, the Luftkappe, which contains a number of key parts, can be split up and installed. Some grease and careful management of the new o-rings is required, but it's a fairly straightforward process for the mechanically inclined.


Steve fits the seal of the Luftkappe to the piston rod.
Steve threading the lower portion of the Luftkappe into place.
Screw the negative air component of the Luftkappe to its base. A solid hand-tight fit should be sufficient.
The upper chamber of the Luftkappe, firmly hand tighten into place.

Make sure the o-ring is well greased with a high-end lightweight grease.
Some grease is added...
Steve fits the spring side with the new Luftkappe fitted back into the fork.
And it's all installed back into the fork.


Performance

Let’s not kid ourselves; the Pike and new Lyrik are both exceptional forks out of the box. The chassis is sturdy and reliable, and tuning the air spring is very straightforward—they’re also easy to get set up to a point that's great on the trail. That’s not to say that the stock range of tuning options works for everyone, but they’re damn good from the get go.

After some time on the Lyrik, I found I wanted more support through the mid-stroke of my 170mm Lyrik and for the end stroke to be more consistent with the rest of the travel. Dynamic ride height wasn’t quite where I wanted it to be, despite what I did while trying to keep the performance off the top that the Pike and Lyrik are renowned for.

Vorsprung Luftkappe
  The two main pieces of the Luftkappe.


To get close to what was my personal, ideal suspension tune, I had previously arrived at three tokens, about 70psi—roughly 15psi more than recommended for my weight. But I still wanted more from the fork. It would use a lot of its travel before hitting a "wall" deeper in the stroke, where the tokens became more apparent. Removing tokens and adding more pressure got the mid-stroke closer to where I wanted, but the top end suffered. Nothing further from the externally adjustable LSC was helping either.

Naturally, when first hearing about the Luftkappe and what it claimed to do, I was intrigued. Rather than working on the effects of the air spring at the end of the stroke, Vorsprung claims that it would make the fork lighter off the top (feel more “like a coil”) and allow for more support through the mid. Sounds good, right?

Steve and I initially set the fork up with 10psi (12%) more air. Given my complaints of the wall at the end of the stroke (and my fork being a 170mm travel version), we removed the tokens altogether. As a general starting point, Steve recommended running 1–2 clicks more rebound too. I quickly arrived (one to two rides) at my happy place of 8psi more than pre-Luftkappe, while the rebound now sits at between the one to two clicks difference mentioned, depending on the riding.

After months of abuse the Luftkappe looks good as new.
   After months of abuse, we tore down the fork to check everything. Everything was in perfect working order.

The Luftkappe's change to the feel of the Lyrik was immediately noticeable on the trail. Traction was increased across chatter and the fork remained higher in its travel and more stable, improving the dynamic ride height without sacrificing the top end. My confidence soared when hitting sections with a lot of chatter and mid to large-sized hits, and the result meant more comfort and speed through such sections.

Flat corners with chatter throughout were another area that the performance was easily noticed, with more confidence in the fork's ability to support me and the actions made throughout. My fork remained on line more easily than pre-Luftkappe and made up for more hack moves. The Lyrik went from being a really, really good fork to a great one, with more efficient use of the stroke and more traction. It was always there to get me out of ugly situations and I have far less of an issue with finding myself too far through the travel in heavy situations—it's saved my arse on a number of occasions and while it may have been possible to get through without it, less rider input was necessary to do so. Never did the fork do anything quirky or out of sorts.


Pinkbike’s Take:

bigquotesThe Luftkappe may not be for everyone, but for those looking to squeeze out some extra performance from their Rockshox Pike or Lyrik it’s definitely a worthy investment. The added traction together with increased support really allowed for reckless abandon, knowing that the front of the bike was going to stay on track and keep on trucking, keeping me out of trouble.

If you're not quite comfortable performing the upgrade yourself, you can even send the fork to Vorsprung where they will install the Luftkappe and send your fork back to you, ready to roll with some fresh juice to boot.
AJ Barlas







200 Comments

  • + 88
 Last year when the Luftkappe had a press release on PB I somewhat Called out Steve's Claim on what the Luftkappe could do. He promptly replied in a respectful manner and even asked if I would like to come up and see for myself how it felt. Well... I headed up about two days later hahaha and talked to him face to face and he was more than willing to answer all my questions, explain the process of the Luftkappe and well... I left with one in my hand and the little shock shaft clamp to do it all at my house. I had it installed in no time and headed out to try it out. I will be honest it took me a solid 10 rides to get the shock dialed and feeling the way I wanted but right out of the gate you could tell the fork felt more composed when hard hits were applied and or riding right in the middle of the stroke. On another note something else I noticed the Luftkappe could do was allow lightweight riders and especially a lot of lady riders run their longer travel pikes at a pressure that actually allowed them to use all the travel but not have the fork kinda fall into its travel because of the low PSI. I see this a lot with lightweight risers the fork is either a little too stiff or too soft, It's kinda hard to find that sweet spot when you weigh less than 140 pounds. If you have been thinking about trying one of these out it's definitely worth it!
  • + 3
 I would say that everyone on a Pike should install a Luftkappe or any similar negative air spring volume enhancer (Novyparts does something similar too)
Lyriks and Yaris have larger negative spring chambers than Pikes and would only benefit from 160mm stroke and above.
  • + 2
 spelling fix * Lightweight riders *
  • + 5
 Thanks for sharing. Steve is indeed a straight-up dude and knows his stuff.
  • + 1
 @Happymtbfr: I've got a 180 mil Yari and it definitely feels like it 1) blows through its travel and 2) has a wall at the end that ramps up hard, even with no volume reducers.

This Luftkappe sounds dope.
  • + 14
 @2bigwheels thanks for posting that. And this is the way superior CS pays off bike industry! Take a bow Steve and Vorsprung
  • + 181
 @WaterBear: At 180mm with the Luftkappe in the Yari, you're going to find it pretty progressive if you already find it too progressive with no volume spacers. The reason you're finding it so progressive is probably to do with the fact that the Yari has the end of both stanchions sealed off (damper side and air side) so the ramp up from the lowers is substantially more than a Pike or Lyrik with the equivalent air spring configuration. If that damper was swapped out (either for a Charger or an aftermarket alternative - both Fast Suspension and Avalanche make good open-bath dampers) then the reduced ramp up from the damper side lowers means it might be more your thing. For the time being though I'd say it's relatively likely that you would actually not like the Luftkappe with your current setup. I'd love to sell you one, but priority #1 is improving the ride and selling stuff that we don't actually believe will benefit you is not our thing.

-- Steve
  • + 78
 ^^ Get this man a beer ^^
  • + 10
 @VorsprungSuspension: Looks like I just became a customer!
  • + 10
 I too had an awsome experience with Steve. His down to earth honesty and knowledge was refreshing to say the least. So much bullshit in this industry but this bloke is legit for sure.......
  • - 8
flag nickmalysh (Jun 20, 2017 at 15:02) (Below Threshold)
 @WaterBear: just install 3 tokens, or go with damper upgrade
  • + 6
 Bruh this is exactly what I need, being 135 pounds sucks.
  • + 3
 @WaterBear: Same bro. I thought I was alone.
  • + 4
 @Happymtbfr: Well, I put one in a 150mm Yari and the difference was noticeable right away. Small bump chatter at speed is gone and the brake dive greatly reduced. It's well worth the $80 investment even on a 150mm Yari.
  • + 17
 @kwl1: glad to hear you're liking it!

To clear up some potential confusion here - the way the air springs are constructed in these forks, the air piston always starts at the same distance from the bottom of the stanchion. Different travel configurations just have more shaft or less shaft sticking out the bottom. What that means is that a longer travel variant has the piston move further in to the fork at full compression, meaning a higher compression ratio. Likewise, with longer travel Yaris, there is more air in the lowers to begin with, hence a higher compression ratio there too (same with the Lyrik/Pike, but they only have the bottom of the air side stanchion sealed, not the damper side like the Yari does).

As a result, our standard recommendation when considering a Luftkappe is that the Lyriks work really well at anything up to 170mm (as tested in this review) and are quite progressive (maybe too much for some people) at 180mm, while the Yari at 180mm is really progressive (probably more progressive than most people are going to want), at 170mm is still fairly progressive (ok for some, a bit much for some), and at 160mm or less is great pretty much across the board. As a general rule, if you've played around with your stock setup and come to the conclusion that 2 or more tokens are necessary for your preferred setup, it'll work very well for you. If you're running 1 or none because otherwise you find it's too progressive, you may not like the feel as you won't have the room to remove sufficient tokens with the Luftkappe.
  • + 3
 @kwl1: I did not meant that a Luftkappe wouldn't make a difference for Lyrik and Yari below 160mm travel, I meant, or tend to, that the improvement/reward would be smaller than for a longer travelled fork. I did not think about the amount of air trapped in the lower having such a great influence tho, so props to Steve @VorsprungSuspension: for giving such a detailed answer! Life as an armchair engineer here on PB is not easy but I am glad I can learn something at the end of the day!

I too have a Yari with 150 mm of travel and run it with one spacer and no Luftkappe. I ditched the MoCo and replaced it with a Splug. With the MoCo I had to live with the compromise of having too little LSC and too much HSC... now with the Splug it is perfect!
  • + 1
 @VorsprungSuspension: thanks for all the really useful info. It's no surprise you've sold out again.
  • + 1
 @VorsprungSuspension: some tinkering I have been making seeing the air spring on the new Deville: why not using a thicker air shaft and using its inner volume as a part of the negative spring? This would give a large volume for the negative chamber without eating up volume on the positive chamber.
  • + 3
 Kudo to you bro, I fitted this Luftkappe piston and some SKF low friction seals, two months ago, and it transformed the bike/forks ... I got so much traction, i was happy without this item, my setting wasn't too bad. Took me 5/8 rides to adjust it (two tokens).. Best upgrade I made, even riding this morning I was thinking this again and again...
  • + 2
 @VorsprungSuspension: Wow, thanks for the information!

If I understand the problem correctly, you are saying that pressure in both lowers rises when the fork is compressed, and since the damper side is sealed at the stanchion, the volume in the damper side lower gets rather small under compression, so the force rather large.

IIRC there is a plug held in the damper side stanchion by a snap ring. Further, IIRC, that plug is just a hard resin or plastic.

I realize this is a long shot, but could I just drill a hole in that plug or is it sealing damper oil?
  • + 2
 @WaterBear: drilling a hole there would drain the oil from the damper in the lowers... not recommended but YMMV Wink
  • + 3
 @Happymtbfr: So there is damper oil being retained by that thing? Word.
  • + 2
 @Happymtbfr: it's been considered, but then we need to provide a whole bunch of different length air shafts which adds to the cost as well as being inconsistent in their volume due to the variations in length.
  • + 1
 Sounds like the perfect fix for my problems with my Yari. I weigh 60kg (132lbs) and I have settled on half a token and 60psi but it still isn't very sensitive on small bumps...this could help!
  • + 2
 @Happymtbfr:
Thats pretty genius....
  • + 15
 I did this on my Pike and its been brilliant I always liked the Pike but it felt lacking compared to my avalanche tuned DHX, Im now content with both Definitely improved small bump sensitivity and grip and reduced brake dive
  • + 1
 If you don't mind me asking, how much was it inc shipping? (That's if you just got the luftkappe itself...)
I'm ill and finding out myself seems like way too much effort right now Razz
  • + 2
 @ThomDawson: Mine was $99.30 shipped including the blocks to hold the inner leg.

I'm running about 10 psi more than before with no tokens anymore. The fork is more supple at the top, better mid-stroke and still doesn't bottom out. I did find that pressure is more sensitive. I tried letting out just 5 psi more to test and the fork got really soft, where prior 5 psi made much less difference. Totally worth $100!
  • - 4
flag iqbal-achieve (Jun 20, 2017 at 10:20) (Below Threshold)
 @rideorange525: thanks, was looking for a price inc shipping to the UK....in GBP ;-)
  • - 2
 Increased small bump sensitivity, more mid stroke support... sounds like a coil spring. But what do I know...
  • + 1
 @ThomDawson: £59 from TF Tuned
  • - 7
flag iqbal-achieve (Jun 20, 2017 at 11:00) (Below Threshold)
 @toad321: thanks dude I just figured it out :-D took me a while. Anyone less full of shit sell them? I don't go to TF...
  • + 3
 @Kimbers
You're right, modification of the air spring rate calls for a matching modification of hydraulics, too, because both are designed to work together.
When I worked in France back in 2014, there was a small renowned boutique called Novyparts that allready did these things.
www.novyparts.com/optimisation-novyparts-suspensions-vtt/rock-shox-fourches/optimisation-specifique-pike-et-boxxer.html

They did a great job working on the air piston AND matching hydraulic piston mods in the charger damper, plus a custom shimstack setting (based on weight, practice, etc...) for 170 USD/Euros.

I'm not a racer, much closer to a weekend warrior but it was amazing how a custom work changed the pike behavior, even for my skills level.
  • + 2
 @ThomDawson: I think Slick&Slide suspension fit Luftkappe kits, can't remember if they sell them individually too.
  • + 1
 @ThomDawson: 65quid i think, got mine from TFTuned, I'd taken it apart before (replaced grease with fluid in -ve chamber) took me an 90mins to get it all apart and reassmebled

had to soak in boiled water for 5 mins to remove the shaft head
Then clamped shaft in my workstation with eBay golf club clamp (3 quid) and it came off with a bit of effort

www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Rubber-Vice-Clamp-Protect-your-Golf-Club-Shafts-Steel-or-Graphite-/121745718338?hash=item1c589c3c42:g:osUAAOxyyUtSbM4D
  • + 2
 @WAKIdesigns: hahaha. Tbh I actually found a sweetspot on a DVO Topaz, playing with volume reducers on the negative air chamber.. Small bump sensitivity is amazing when you dial pressure rebound and positive negative air chamber volumes.., but quite not there with coil.. Air will never match that.....#coilduro
  • + 2
 @WAKIdesigns: Yesss but without the excessive weight of said coil, or at least thats the rumor.
  • + 2
 @WAKIdesigns: yep, and if anyone still made a decent coil fork for "all-mountain" bikes, I'd love one. Frown As I am having absolute fits trying to make my 160mm Pike behave after years on Bombers, this SOUNDS just about like the perfect solution. Maybe.

or am I barking up the wrong tree? :/
  • + 1
 @ThomDawson: google
  • - 3
 @mark-mcclure: you're a google
  • + 2
 @ThomDawson: Same experience of them here.
  • - 3
 @zepper: yes, a full 2lbs on both shock and fork, how will I be able carry my bike down a 1ft drop off in case I come upon such feature on the trail...
  • + 1
 @WAKIdesigns: Maybe you can come up with some waki-gondola-design?
  • + 1
 @tacoma73: @tacoma73: You can convert Pikes to coil sprung. TFTuned sell a conversion kit and I'd imagine there are others too. Ohlins have recently released a new coil single crown fork too.
  • - 2
 @zepper: The all new Rock Shox Joey with DropAid (TM) system. Extends your fork to 500mm immediately after leaving the drop edge. Works only for drops up to 300mm, which is pretty much most you will ever dare to do. Comes with 3 air chambers and tokens that fits each single one of them. We even added tokens for your anus so that you get a buzz everytime we update our instagram feed with a new photo. Never miss a video of one of our athletes where he says how excited he is to ride for us, or how did his race run go.

@dingus - I want for one for Lyrik.
  • + 1
 @WAKIdesigns: Pics or it doesn't exist! Vapor-ware i bet. Wink
  • + 13
 Interesting. This is the beard strokers anonymous Pinkbike article. "And that does, ah yes, well let me qualify that, hmmmmmmmmmm.....ahhhh yes.....hmmmmmmmmmm..........well yes.........hmmmmmm"
  • + 10
 We here at Norco John Henry can't speak highly enough of this little gadget. You know it's a good product when all the staff buy one and get them fitted on their bikes. We have fitted these to everything from a 130mm Pike to a 170mm Lyrik and the improvement in performance is notable, even to the uninitiated! We would highly recommend this to anyone with a Pike, Lyrik or Yari and it's a doddle to install. Great work Vorsprung!!
  • - 21
flag mollow (Jun 20, 2017 at 21:01) (Below Threshold)
 And you guys suck at John Henry Bikes thanks for screwing me up with a 1 month wait for a basic suspension service when I called before to make sure you weren't too busy and could do it within one week!
  • + 12
 @mollow: excessive downtime sucks for sure and I hate it when that happens too, but that was a pretty aggressive post to come out of nowhere - maybe worth calling and talking to the manager/owner directly if they've done something that upset you, it'll probably be more productive for both of you than calling them out anonymously on the internet.
  • + 9
 I may be in the minority here but I tried one in my Pike and didn't like it. It most certainly did what it claimed in increasing the negative spring volume and hence the initial sensitivity was great. But IMHO it was too much...as a result my ride height was too low. Just pedalling on a flat I was sitting at 25-30% sag.

The flip side of the larger negative is the smaller positive. I went from 2 tokens pre-Luft to 0 tokens post-Luft. I don't recall the specific pressure I had settled on but I had set it so on trail I was still using full travel occasionally for the biggest drops I encounter. The downside was that I ended up with a sag ride height that was lower than I preferred.
  • + 14
 Sounds like you didn't set it up correct. Sag is controlled by your air pressure--of which you're supposed to add more with the Luftkappe. If you don't want 25-30% sag, then put more air in it (like they suggest). Also, why are you riding your fork and doing drops in "Trail" mode? You should be in Open mode whenever assessing suspension performance. The sounds of a product that was not setup correctly. Put more air in the fork and get it out of Trail mode.
  • + 4
 I'm sure you tried this, but what was wrong with adding more pressure to get a proper ride height/lower sag %?
  • + 2
 @btjenki: I set the pressure so I would occasionally get full travel. Yes it was more with Luft than without, I just don't recall how much more. Yes I could add more air to decrease sag and effectively get a shorter travel fork where I never use full travel.

I have no idea what you are referring to regarding trail or open modes. I said nothing about that. I ride my fork in open mode all the time.
  • + 5
 @tcmtnbikr: I'd argue you shouldn't set sag to use full travel, or rather, the last little bit of travel should be reserved for when you really screw up or need something to save your butt!

Set sag to be ~15% (so its closer to 25% when going downhill) and see how it works...
  • + 2
 Did you increase your pressures?
  • + 4
 @JeffreyJim: @acali: Pre and post Luft I set the fork so I'd use full travel occasionally. I think folks are missing the point that the spring curve becomes more progressive with the Luft. Consequently you're going to sit in the travel further. Unless you overcompensate by 'over pressurizing' and as a result never using full travel.

I could point you to Steve's own numbers and show you graphically but like I said in my initial post, I knew I'd be in the minority here as the product does as advertised. It's just not for everyone unless 1) you want a spring curve more progressive than stock with 2 tokens or 2) don't mind a lower ride height or 3) don't mind less travel.
  • + 1
 @captainspaulding: As noted above, yes
  • + 10
 @JeffreyJim: +1 who puts 25-30% sag in a fork?
  • + 3
 @tcmtnbikr: I found the same as you, if I set it for full travel it was a tad soft with lots of sag, but just adding a few PSI my sag and support increased and I regularity used 95% of travel, so basically never actually bottom, but that's good enough for me. It seems just a few psi makes a big difference with this.
  • + 7
 Not sure why you were downvoted for posting your experience. Last I checked, your experience is as valid as the next person's, whether good or bad.
  • + 9
 @carym: Haha, because this is PB and any dissenting views are treated as blasphemy? Wink Certainly not criticizing the product, just sharing my experience so others might benefit. Any product has pros and cons.
  • + 2
 @tcmtnbikr - I haven't seen anything to infer the spring curve is more progressive with Luft. If anything, its more linear (more "coil like"). To my point, pulling spacers, adding negative spring volume, all suggest to a more linear spring curve.

This is why its so important you run *less* sag and higher PSI. Theory is the negative spring makes it more supple "off the top" while riding higher in its travel (remember, more PSI) giving you more usable travel, more mid stroke support (remember higher psi) while still being able to use your travel when you need to (more linear).

I think what you are finding is the Lyrik is too progressive regardless of Luft or not.
  • + 7
 @zepper: People who value "using all the travel" over having a well performing bike.
  • + 3
 @JeffreyJim: You might want to review their own literature. The Luft is a larger negative spring and decreases the positive spring volume. It's a more progressive spring curve. Whether that's for the better or worse is up to the user.
  • + 19
 @tcmtnbikr: thanks for the honest feedback, it's duly noted and will be used to make even better products in the future. You are correct that it's more progressive than the stock system (hence why we recommend removing tokens when it's installed) - while we feel that it's beneficial for the vast majority of riders (and I guess the ratio of positive to negative comments here maybe indicates that too), the fact that you can give two people the exact same product and one will say it's the best thing ever and the other will say it's the worst thing ever does demonstrate the huge variation in personal preference, and that's something we're constantly trying to take into account and improve on with our products and services.
  • + 1
 @acali: Ha! I guess so.
  • + 2
 @VorsprungSuspension: You guys have any spring curves you can post up vs stock?
  • + 0
 @zepper: that was what all the manufacturers used to say to set it at. You had to because the stiction was so bad and they would ramp up so much.
  • - 3
 @carym: He's downvoted because he has his fork set up wacky- bottoming out in Trail mode should be basically impossible. A review with the product set up wrong just adds confusion.
  • + 2
 @scottzg: I said nothing of trail mode, open mode, or any other mode. Might want to work on your reading comprehension.

Fork was set up as per instructions.
  • + 3
 @VorsprungSuspension: Steve I set up a Brand new lyric up to 180 and your air piston on a specialized evo 180 travel bike and I really like it. Set up pretty stiff so I don't bottom but very close, the plushness and support is very good. Just Prefer a stiff fork! Without valving changes I have been surprised at how good it is!
  • + 1
 @tcmtnbikr: Sorry I misread "I had set it so on trail I was still using..." to mean you were in Trail mode on the fork.

How many mm is your Pike? Assuming 150mm+? It sounds like you need to run your Pike with 1 token so that you get your 15% sag on flat ground and can still bottom it occasionally. So, yea, you are at the end of the spectrum where the progressivity of the Luff, while fairly minimal, is too much--IF you're bent on using full travel on big hits.

Are you lightweight, and/or don't ride hard/steep terrain? Wondering because I weigh 145lbs and run a 130mm Pike with 4 tokens and 69.5psi. I get basically 5% sag when riding flat and bottom a few times a ride, on big hits when on steep stuff. (we have a lot of really steep stuff we ride so lots of weight on front wheel) ... I'm looking at the Luff so that I can get some sag back when riding flat but still have mid-stroke and bottom out resistance.
  • + 1
 @tcmtnbikr:
You said- " I don't recall the specific pressure I had settled on but I had set it so on trail I was still using full travel occasionally "

Bad set up or bad english, i have no idea.
  • + 2
 Wondering what level rider OP is? I kinda suck, and the right pressure in my marzocchi 350 for not getting thrown OTB on steep roll-ins had me only using 75 percent of fork stroke.

The solution ended up being riding faster Smile
  • + 5
 Serious question, why do people (reviewers and forums) always seem to want more mid stroke support on their suspension? Seems like suspension and frame makers should be making more of their products that way? Have you ever heard someone say they want less mid stroke support?
  • + 1
 You typically spend the most time riding in it.
  • + 1
 I get that, but it seems like such a common complaint of front and rear suspension that seems like there should be a common remedy other than an aftermarket product.
  • + 11
 @jasdo: it's to do with the spring curve of air springs - they're proportionally stiff at the beginning, softer in the middle, then stiff to varying extents at the end. Air springs are infinitely better now than they were a few years ago, and progress is continually being made, but there are a lot of variables to control, and the industry as a whole, including us, is still working on perfecting that. Next year's ones will be better, the year after's will be better again, etc etc - the best air springs are already getting close to the early/mid stroke performance of a coil (without the weight, and with more adjustability), and my prediction is that within a couple of years they'll outperform coils outright in every regard.
  • - 5
flag rwb500 (Jun 20, 2017 at 12:17) (Below Threshold)
 it's a good point to make, that Rockshox could easily have made the fork with a larger negative air chamber if they wanted to. Obviously they decided the fork would be better without a larger negative chamber. This company's success depends on you believing that Rockshox made a mistake.
  • + 12
 @rwb500: Their 2018 Pike has a larger negative air chamber.
  • + 8
 @rwb500: Rockshox is working on fixing so many little problems with each iteration of their products that somethings are overlooked, other things are foregone for cost savings or other reasons that you and I are not aware of. Point is no one company ever creates the perfect product from the get go. Otherwise Rockshox would have just made the 2018 pike back in 1989. Its an evolutionary process.
  • + 32
 @rwb500: I can see where you're coming from, but then does Rockshox improving their own product by increasing the negative chamber volume for 2018 then admit that they "made a mistake", or does that just go along with the concept of continual improvement? Across the entire industry, progress is incremental and at this stage is about refinement over all else. Every major company out there has to have stuff ready for OEM shipments by specific deadlines, and those invariably mean that their testing and development has to stop at some point in order to begin production of that year's units. We are fortunate enough not to have those time restrictions since we don't sell OEM or designate products by model year. I would be pretty confident that the number of hours of prototyping, testing, calculating and measuring that went into the Luftkappe would be more than the amount of time that Rockshox were able to dedicate to the same tiny piece, because as you may also notice that we didn't try to improve on the stanchions, the lowers, the axle, the air spring shaft, the top cap, damper tube, rebound adjuster, etc - because we have the luxury of picking what we see as the weakest link in an existing product then directing a substantial amount of R&D time at improving that tiny part rather than having to compete with their product as a whole.
  • - 2
 I seriously doubt if majority of users out there want "midstroke" support. I am pretty sure that average Joey (person who actually buys sht and keeps that MTB bandwagon rolling, unlike bottom feeding opinionated a*sholes on bike sites) enjoys bump eating lack of it. These people enjoy their lives and alongside of MTB and pursue other interests (which maybe makes them a bit less of an intense online a*shole) and have less time to learn how to ride to the level where you start flying, bouncing over tops of chunk, so they want something that eats them. They don't pop from one rock to fly over others, they death grip the sht out of rock gardens, hanging off the bars with rear wheel hitting them in the bollocks to finally deliver what they fear most: OTB. And air sprung suspension just fills the bill, falls into mid travel easily, munching small and mid size bumps and then doesn't bottom out much. On top of it all it looks good on scales.

So MTB companies just cater to the tastes of their clients. Not opinionated sour pricks who know everything. I personally could not give a flying sht if they gave me a Pike without Luftkappe, DVO Diamond or Fox 36 with 20mm axle. The only fork I can be excited about is Öhlins RXF 36 coil. The rest is just... the rest.
  • + 9
 @rwb500 haha back in your box
  • + 3
 @WAKIdesigns:
No 350 NCR Ti?
  • + 6
 @rwb500: I can assure you, I can point out many, many things where RS has made mistakes including items in their current lineup. Heck, I bought a bunch of RS mistakes.
  • + 1
 Cause air fork never match coil shock performance
  • + 3
 @WAKIdesigns: if only there were a 650b RXF 36 coil as well.
  • - 3
 @inter71:

Are you shitting me? I missed the part where it said it was only for 29ers I guess??? I was so excited for that fork Frown
  • + 1
 @rwb500: i think you are ignoring the pike is 5 years old. At the time it came out, it was considered amazing and it was compared to its competition. 5 years ago people didn't run 15% sag, but 25% and a larger negative spring would have made the fork too stiff later in the travel. Setups have evolved, hence the need for a larger negative chamber, which Rockshox is doing themselves for 2018.
  • - 2
 @inter71: there is one now
  • + 1
 @WAKIdesigns: not coil.
  • + 1
 @WAKIdesigns: I was gonna mention the Ohlins in my other reply LOL damn you! No budget for an Ohlins here unfortunately.
  • + 5
 @VorsprungSuspension: It's well thought out, reasoned replies like this (and the performance of the products, support, and stuff like Tuesday Tune) that will keep me buying Vorsprung
  • + 0
 @tacoma73: in Europe Öhlins is cheaper than Fox and that's crazy. I do not believe it can be noticeably better than Lyrik or 36 (in fact I hear great opinions about DVO Diamond from people who actually can ride) but it's Öhlins... i'm a sucker for that sht. I also love coil for pure simplicity. I never freewillingly got onto air band wagon for long travel applications. But well no budget for Ohlins here either. It's also hard to complain on my Lyrik. Fk First World Problems
  • + 1
 @rwb500: is there something to say like to improve something you have to downgrade something else? Making the negative spring larger makes the positive spring smaller in this case, which will reduce air volume and increase fork temperature - also making the fork less plush. Maybe RS decided against the negative spring increase for fear of making a niche product for those that want it more supple in the initial stroke, and not the majority of riders.
No doubt this product is excellent if that's what you want, but not everybody wants change so either buy it or don't, there's something for everybody.
  • + 8
 @pimpin-gimp: you forgot about the first rule of owning expensive air-sprung suspension:
1.make larger chambers
2.Start stuffing them with spacers
  • + 1
 @VorsprungSuspension: agreed. And product manager have so many more considerations that just function! Manufacturing constraints, cost targets, customer concerns, marketing timelines... its business, after all, and you have sell something to keep the R&D machine humming!
  • - 1
 @VorsprungSuspension: Jasdo was saying that Rockshox should incorporate this fix into their product as a stock offering, and I was simply pointing out that they chose not to, and that to buy this product is to make a different choice than the Rockshox engineers made. I never said Rockshox was perfect. I was highlighting that this product is not so much an addition as it is a correction.

And yes I would call that a mistake. Mistakes are a normal part of product evolution. You could consider the geometry of every 1990's mountain bike a mistake. They were fun at the time but now we know that we can do it better. They could have done it better back then, too.
  • + 2
 @rwb500: Dude, relax. RS did, and will. Just like Fox did. We need to support companies that promote progression.
  • + 2
 @carym: I run 35% on Emerald. I can't do that on a RS dual crown and all bets were off to ballpark a Pike which would do whatever it wanted and loses damping after 10 mins of parkriding. It's just meant to woo you in the store.
  • + 5
 I love my Luftkappe! I'm a picky SOB for my shocks setup. I purchased one for the same reason, more mid stroke support on my 160 Pike. I had found what I wanted in the first 40% of the shock, but couldn't achieve what I wanted through cornering and braking primarily (going through 80% easily), even with 3 tokens. I echo all the setup explained here, and did exactly the same, but I have 1 token now, and about 7% more air. I found it feel much more linear through the travel while keeping the same small bump, and using same amount of travel. My settings went from 58psi, 3 tokens, 7 lsc to 62psi, 1 token, 5 lsc. Rebound I believe is a bit faster, but didn't write those down.
  • + 2
 +1
I'm more Richie Rude sized, so I went from 3 tokens 95psi to 1 token and between 100 and 110psi depending on what we're riding.

Love it. It makes the tire feel like play doh smushing and conforming perfectly over the rocks.
  • + 4
 I'm running about 150psi in my pike (I'm big and I prefer a stiff fork). Previously my fork simply would sag to 10% and then not move until I hit something really hard... effectively zero small bump. Now I'm running 155psi and the feel, traction, and comfort are night and day better. My bike also creaks way less now too.

Killer product!!
  • + 5
 while this does make a difference to the pike, its still overly damped. I switched to a mattoc pro with an IRT and hey presto much better.
  • + 2
 As a bigger rider, the damping was really pretty usable stock, but mid strike support from the air spring was lacking (without really compromising one end of the travel or the other). For somebody my size, already running 2+ tokens, definite recommendation.
For lighter riders, I agree that reworking the damping is going to have a bigger impact, but I have yet to encounter anybody who had done both and isn't incredibly pleased.
  • + 1
 @tehllama: The luftkappe did balance the fork with my coil shock better but I couldn't be arsed with going down the road of trying a fast damper on a 3 year old fork. It was time for a new one and the mattoc pro with IRT was much cheaper than a new pike with a fast damper.
  • + 1
 @poah: Well yeah, that's what I wanted to see compared. A Pike with Luftkappe and a stock Mattoc 2. Both claim to provide improved mid stroke support compared to a stock Pike. So which is the best in the end?

That said, people end up with RS suspension on their new complete bike because SRAM is just a big OEM player (though Hayes could have been quite big too) so for people not happy with their new Yari, Lyric or Pike the Luftkappe is a great solution.
  • + 2
 For me the mattoc is better but that's my riding, my bike and my trails
  • + 1
 @poah: Allright good to know. At least it has its place. Cheers.
  • + 1
 Honestly I thought my Pike RC was overdamped. But I installed the Vorschprung last week and am just soaking up the small bumps. Much improved traction through my local tech trails in New England, especially the low speed awkward square edges. No complaints on the damper now.
  • + 2
 Finally a review of this product--but the review falls short because there is no comparison to the new 2018 Pike that was recently released. The new fork has a much increased negative spring to achieve the same thing Vorsprung is going after with the Luftkappe. I know very few would be weighing the purchase of a new fork vs. a $177 USD (installed) upgrade. However, it should be discussed as it's an important factor in anyone buying a new Pike in the next year or two or just considering this upgrade. In fact, the review doesn't even mention that the new Pike addresses and fixes (to the same degree?) this mid-stroke/top end issue. So not 'all' Pikes will benefit the same, or at all. CC: @AJBarlas
  • + 0
 The Lyrik also has an increased negative chamber...dunno if they mentioned that. I had assumed that the 2018 Pike was just using the same size chambers as the Lyrik but there may be some difference I suppose... Wonder if @Vorsprung could shed some light on this and how the luftkappe will effect the forks which already have a larger negative chamber?
  • + 2
 Consider that an existing fork in need of a rebuild needs just the kit, and the pricing is way better on this setup in the value department.
The elephant in the room is that every time Vorsprung comes up with a clever upgrade, the original manufacturer can just benchmark it, and build that performance into the next generation of products. (See Corset>>EVol, and now Luftkappe >> Debonair Forks).
I think it's a net benefit to the industry, because the big manufacturers don't have to push performance into an unknown frontier, they just have to figure out how to mass produce something that can keep up with a bespoke tuned version of previous generation products.
  • + 3
 @btjenki The important thing to consider is that quite often, the Vorsprung option is superior to the factory one. A good example of this was the Vorsprung sleeve vs the Evol sleeve that came soon after, having ridden both, I can say for sure that the Vorsprung has a more linear spring curve (with noticeably lower breakaway force) and would still be an upgrade on the Evol. This was backed up by spring curve measurements of both cans. Not saying the Pike/Lyrik would be the same, but I think the Vorsprung optimizations tend to be the absolute best they can be, while the engineers responsible for the "we can do that too" hindsight-upgrade don't always nail the target quite as well. It's not surprising given that they didn't make the optimization in the first place, and I know for a fact there is a lot of heavy maths behind optimizing this stuff (along with a bunch of thermodynamics) - which not every graduate has the skill to apply correctly in a practical environment like this. TLDR: it's almost guaranteed that the Vorsprung product will be at least as good as the factory replacement - likely better.
  • + 4
 @ThomDawson: without having had a 2018 fork to check and measure up, the press release from RS lead us to believe that the current Lyrik already had the larger negative volume air spring system (subsequently renamed Debonair) that the new model Pike has. Could be wrong, but that was their words.
  • + 0
 @VorsprungSuspension: cheers that's what I was thinking. I did wonder if they may have gone for slightly different sized chambers for the Pike in order to match the lower travel numbers but I'm only speculating, that may not even make sense :-S my brain is fuzzy.
  • + 4
 Or if you want something that works perfect out of the box, like me, get a DVO Diamond, like I did. Complete control over every aspect of the spring.
  • + 1
 FWIW, moving to a Topaz out back is what pushed me to add this to my Pike out front. It's actually a really good pairing for Clyde riders on a lot of bikes, because the stock Pike shim stack is actually in the usable range, and the Topaz rivals the Float x2, but isn't air spring pressure limited on higher leverage ratio frames.
  • + 2
 Or a Manitou Mattoc which also has that mid-stroke support that many (including myself) want
  • + 4
 I must have missed it - no blind test parameters? Since no telemetry is provided, it would have spiced up the article to have a controlled study!
  • + 3
 Scientific, objective study...in a mtb article? Ell oh ell.
  • + 2
 Just had one of these wonderful widgets installed in my 2016 170mm Lyrik, and the review here is spot on. They're more sensitive in the small stuff, and way better in the big stuff, they ride a bit higher in the travel. A bargain price for such a good upgrade. Nice one @VorsprungSuspension
  • + 5
 I'm glad someone is out there pushing boundaries and testing things inside suspension. I dig innovation like this!
  • + 3
 I've been running one in my Pike since it came out, definitely increased the small bump sensitivity and has better mid travel support.
  • + 1
 I had the Luftkappe installed last fall. I was running 3 tokens and +12psi (110psi). After, 0 tokens and 98psi; I also moved the rebound 1 click towards the quicker. I recommend it to all my fellow PIKE riders who rip. It now sits higher in the travel and is much more consistent through the stroke and is less harsh at the end. I love it. Thanks @vorsprung
  • + 13
 You took out 12psi? Isn't the purpose of the Luftkappe to make the initial stroke softer so you can run a higher pressure and get more mid-stroke support? The support doesn't come from the Lutkappe, it comes from the higher pressure you can run.
  • + 11
 @funkendrenchman: you've highlighted the danger of trusting anyone on the internet... Smile
  • + 1
 Nothing really to do with the Luftkappe, but more about the use of tokens in forks. Isn't there something inherently flawed in the design/functioning of a new fork if virtually every single reviewer has to use tokens to get it feeling right?
  • + 10
 They're an adjustment like rebound, compression etc, they let you set the fork up according to your own priorities rather than hoping whoever designed it likes the same feel you do.
  • + 1
 Week ago TFTuned (UK) installed Luftkappe on my Lyrik'16 and changed travel from 160 to 170mm (new shaft), and left 2 tokens inside.

Few days ago i had a first ride with new setup and i saw that Lyrik sucked down 1-2cm of travel, to pull it fully (and hear bang) i need to use a lot of force, like 10kgf ? (my pressure - 60psi)

This evening i've pressurized it to 100psi, however nothing changed (still missing >1cm of travel),
removed bottom bolts a bit - keeping lowers, knocked them with rubber hammer to detach rods from lowers (in case there was negative pressure in lowers).
I've removed all the air cycled forked few times (extended it using force and compress), pressurized to 20psi, cycled, pressurized to 40psi, cycled, and finally presurrized to 60fps.
Looked good, measured stanchions - was about 170mm.
however two hours later (bike not used during that time), i've cycled it few times and i saw that i have only 160mm - fork sucked down 1-1.5cm of travel again.

Did you experience loosing travel ?
  • + 1
 This sounds like the ideal solution to the problem I'm having with my 160 pikes.

Currently running 3 tokens, which is good for mellow stuff around here although not brilliant small bump compliance. If I ride anything steeper I usually put an extra 5-10psi in the fork to stop travel vanishing and potentially throwing me over the bars.

So the luftkappe will help the fork stay in the mid travel for longer and hopefully stop the feeling I'm going OTB, or should I just run 4 tokens?
  • + 1
 Hey @VorsprungSuspension, I just received a 2018 Lyrik, haven't ridden it yet unfortunately but I know they made some big revisions to the charger damper, the lowers, as well as the air spring now called the "debonair air spring." I was wondering if you have any experience with this new air spring and if the luftkappe would still improve ride quality versus Rockshox's newest iteration. If so, I think I would definitely consider taking apart a brand new fork to install this. Would appreciate the input!
  • + 1
 Have not had the opportunity to check fitment or function on the 2018 Lyrik yet sorry!
  • + 4
 This thing actually makes a small difference and its not expensive... I use it with 1 token @ 72psi.
  • + 1
 I've had one installed for a while and it's so much more sensitive off the top. I always used to really notice the sensitivity between the Pikes and my DVO diamonds in the upper third and it really annoyed me.

Hate to rain on the parade, but haven't SRAM made a similar Luftkappe upgrade to their new model forks?
  • + 1
 Our understanding from the Rockshox press release is that they updated the Pike's air spring to be much more like that of the Lyrik/Yari, which remains basically unchanged. Mentioned here - bit.ly/2sWUlBe
  • + 3
 @VorsprungSuspension: Looking at the spare parts, in terms of Solo Air assembly there's difference in the seal head only between the Lyrik/Yari and the Pike. So basically now they're putting the longer Lyrik Solo Air seal heads in the Pike Smile ..... Voila! - the new Pike Debonair Smile
  • + 2
 @imbecile: That was our understanding as well - I'm sure the parts are not quite identical but that appears to be the design intent.
  • + 3
 I wish this worked with the Boxxer. This product sounds like it would address my specific complaints with the fork.
  • + 2
 Just got email notification that my Luftkappe shipped today. Glad the review was positive. Will be putting in my 2015 pike 140mm 29
  • + 3
 I'd expect good things if this. The Vorsprung replacement air can for my fox shock made a world of difference.
  • + 2
 After talking with Ben there, I just ordered! Looking for this to shore up my Pike 130 on my Yeti. Looking for more mid stroke performance.
  • + 1
 Hey Steve, I saw in the article that the luftappe is only compatible on certain models of lyriks. Would it work if I had a 160mm, 29er, rct3 model of the lyrik. Thanks
  • + 1
 @vorsprungsuspension not read all the comments, but is there any fox36 upgrade mod incoming? As I'm told the evol upgrade may not fit 2016/17 csu
  • + 2
 10/10 product, especially for lighter riders. Literally the best aftermarket suspension mod I've ever done.
  • + 2
 Has anyone noticed the negative air spring becoming too strong and sucking the fork down a bit?
  • + 2
 Most definitely yes, after a few weeks of riding I let all the pressure out of the fork and it sinks about 2 1/2 inch into its travel. Seals let air out but not back in?
  • + 3
 burping the seals time to time help
  • + 2
 I tried with zip ties etc. But they seem to only get past the top seal and stop beside the foam ring with no air being released. Now I just flip the bike and knock the lower bolts to get rid of pressure. Kind of a pain.
  • + 1
 Happened to mine. Let all the air out and try to extend it completely pulling from the stem/handlebar and grabbing the wheel, with violence, until you hear that "klunk" noise of full extension. Put your normal pressure and go ride. I had to repeat the process the next three or four rides and until today it worked.
  • + 1
 I don't think this should happen as long as you remember to compress the fork and re check your pressures when you're inflating. If you previously had a higher pressure, deflated and then reinflated to a lower pressure then the negative chamber could suck the fork down if you hadn't compressed the fork. Or if you have a bad seal on your top cap.
  • + 2
 Most definitely my experience as well. I posted earlier but had forgotten that nugget. It would sit about 5% into it's travel all on it's own. I could extend it fully but it would come back to about 5%.
  • + 3
 @themanro: Burping has nothing to do with the negative air chamber. The negative air chamber is inside of the stanchion between the seal head and the piston, it is not in the lowers. Burping removes air from the lowers, which has nothing to do with the negative airspring.
  • + 1
 Dunno if you guys are seeing a different issue, but it's worth pointing out that the fork shouldn't ever have a hard top out with the luftekappe installed: the bumper is removed, & the fork relies on air pressure to prevent full top out. Every Pike with a luftekappe installed will "suck down" a little bit, but it's only an issue if you end up with drastically less stanchion showing than your travel would indicate.
  • + 2
 @tcmtnbikr: Maybe try making a small spacer to put in the luftkappe reducing the negative spring slightly but not so much your back to stock Pike. The negative spring to positive ratio may not be perfect for some riders weights, air pressure preferences, and/or pickiness.
  • + 9
 @DieselWin: That would not be advisable - the reason being that the equalisation position of the piston is not the same on the Luftkappe as stock, it's not just a matter of adjusting volume. Decreasing the volume would actually cause it to top out further into its travel, not further out. With the Luftkappe installed, you should have within a couple of mm of your original amount of travel available, but any excess grease in the negative chamber can cause the fork to suck down a bit (as it's essentially the negative chamber volume spacer you have described). Likewise, the footbolts need to be done up with the fork at full extension or the vacuum in the lowers is enough to pull the fork down into its travel.

@zombiejack33 if you let the air out of the fork very quickly, it is not able to equalise the positive and negative chambers fast enough and will suck a long way down because the negative chamber is still charged even when the positive chamber is empty. You need to extend the fork to equalise it in this case - either by adding a bit more air or forcibly extending it, or a combination of the two, then depressurise it slowly enough that it can equalise as it depressurises.
  • + 1
 @VorsprungSuspension: Thanks for the insightful response!
  • + 3
 at first glance i mistook it for a 85$ valve cap
  • + 1
 Great but I'm amazed the Lyrik needs it. The one and only Lyrik I rode went through 50% of travel alarmingly easy almost independent of spring rate!
  • - 11
flag mollow (Jun 20, 2017 at 21:15) (Below Threshold)
 Well this will make it worse... It INCREASES small bump sensitivity dumdum wake up...
  • - 13
flag mollow (Jun 20, 2017 at 21:16) (Below Threshold)
 Add more air fucking noob
  • + 1
 A bit of a silly question, but what service are people using if they ship stuff to Vorsprung/Canada from the US? Cost?
  • + 2
 UPS and USPS are your best bets. I would recommend avoiding FedEx as they can't seem to read labels very well. Check the Shipping tab on our website (right down the bottom of the page).
  • + 2
 I love my Luftkappe. Installed one last year it's so sick
  • + 1
 You guys should give the AWK aircamber tuning a go! However, it is currently only available in Germany.
  • + 1
 It looks like a volume spacer, albeit a very fancy one, that replaces the piston.
  • + 2
 Sort of, it reduces the positive volume as it sits in it, hence less tokens. As the top hat section of the luftkappe is open to the negative volume it increases this and makes the fork more supple of the top. On a short travel pike I came down to one token from four, changed air pressure to keep static sag at 25%, reduced LSC by 2 or 3 clicks and increased rebound by 2 clicks. Very happy
  • + 1
 @VorsprungSuspension does this work with a DPA Lyrik ?
  • + 2
 Unfortunately not - only for Solo Air, from MY2014 (Pike) to MY2017 (Pike/Lyrik/Yari). Fitment with 2018 models has not yet been checked but I would not expect it to work.
  • + 1
 dam! and my frame is 1 1/8"
  • + 1
 I must have missed it - did you run any tokens with the Luft?
  • + 3
 "Given my complaints of the wall at the end of the stroke (and my fork being a 170mm travel version), we removed the tokens altogether."

Hope this helps.
  • + 1
 Assembly with a multi-tool...no thanks.
  • + 4
 Nothing is done up to torque in our workshop with a multi tool, don't you worry Smile
  • - 3
 It's called a Novypart air kit, had one in my Totem in 2010 and they have been doing those kits for RS since. Really sad to see that good ideas and products need to be created in CA/USA to be deemed good, even if it has been done in France long ago (HxR cranks being another example that happened few weeks ago).
  • + 1
 would this fit in a set of boxxers?
  • + 1
 Unfortunately not, sorry!
  • + 0
 So...the much hyped stock Pike is actually a defective product?
  • + 1
 Interesting.
  • - 3
 Not really, yes it does reduce the volume on the positive chamber but It also increases the volume of the negative chamber
  • + 1
 It also increases the negative chamber volume
  • - 2
 Sounds like a coil fork would be a much easier solution? Ohlins gets it, So does Push but we're still waiting on that one.
  • + 4
 push dont have a coil fork yet. ohlins doesnt have 275 coil.
  • + 2
 Tf tuned actually do a coil kit for pikes.
  • + 8
 We did consider that when we began development of the Luftkappe (I am personally a big fan of coil - my DH bike is coil F&R), because obviously there is lower friction, fewer tuning variables and a completely linear (initial) spring rate with coil, but there were a few things that put us off it:
1. First up, it's obviously heavier. Some people care, some people don't, either way that's cool. It wouldn't bother me personally.
2. As a conversion kit, it's inevitably going to be significantly more expensive. We wanted maximum performance per dollar spent, and at $85CAD I think that's hard to argue with.
3. It'd score the inside of the stanchions, if it isn't fully contained within its own cartridge (which in turn adds both weight and cost over a typical spring-in-the-stanchion setup). That's ok if you're certain you don't want reversibility, but otherwise it's expensive damage.
4. You're stuck with the existing spring rates provided by the manufacturer.
5. Coil springs in short travel forks need a good anti-bottoming mechanism (either hydraulic or pneumatic), otherwise you end up running an overly stiff spring rate or a ton of compression damping to resist hard bottoming. Even in DH bikes I feel they're hugely beneficial, and you have way more energy absorption with that much travel. Air springs give you a lot of tunability there.
6. Travel adjustments are either more difficult/complex, or more expensive - even if you just changed spring plunger length you run into issues with needing to adjust the spring rate simultaneously, which means purchasing another spring.

Horses for courses though - coil forks generally feel rad, but nothing is perfect.
  • + 2
 @VorsprungSuspension: thanks for the indepth reply. You got a fix for the canecreek air can negetive chamber in the pipeline? I know it's super tight but can't the air can be tight at the piggy back then larger the rest of the way round?
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