2022 Pinkbike Awards: Suspension Product of the Year Nominees

Dec 16, 2022 at 11:21
by Matt Beer  
photo


Suspension Product of the Year Nominees

Last year’s Suspension Product of the Year nominee list consisted of components that ranged from dual crown and downcountry forks to RockShox’s electronically controlled damping circuits. However, 2022 was full of waves with boatloads of new offerings from the red team, to trickling updates from other brands.

Brands like Fox remained fairly quiet and hinted at future developments in the world of electronically actuated suspension, but that remained in prototype form. RockShox, on the other hand, released a totally redesigned lineup of air and coil rear shocks along with three single crown forks that featured new technology to increase vibration damping.

Marzocchi debuted an affordable air rear shock aimed at the freeride crowd, while Ohlins overhauled their 34 RXF model, but aside from those moves, the Bomber fleet and Swedish gold groups remained steady.

Each of the four nominees for Suspension Product of the Year brought a clever approach to smoothing out the trails beneath us. Keep in mind too, suspension comes in many forms - there may be a surprise component on the list.

The 2022 Pinkbike Suspension Product of the Year nominees are…






Why it's nominated

For 2023, RockShox revamped three of their single crown forks with significant changes inside and out. One of those was the all-new Lyrik that pairs well with burly trail bikes and comes in 140, 150, or 160mm travel options. Although it kept its 35mm diameter stanchions, that’s about all that previous Lyrik has in common with the redesigned version. The top-spec Lyrik Ultimate in particular receives substantial benefits over the other models to make it one stellar fork.

First, longer bushing overlap areas and pressure relief valves can be found in the squared-off lower leg casting. Those bushings keep the Lyrik Ultimate gliding as free as possible and the controversial valves release any air that might build up internally to hinder performance.

Despite claims from RockShox that the new Lyrik is 20% stiffer torsionally, Mike Kazimer was won over by its comfort. That quality was no doubt aided by the elastomers, dubbed Buttercups, that the air piston and damper to ride on. This method of suspending the internal components is something we haven’t seen in a MTB fork before. RockShox also touts that this system alleviates 20% more vibrations than a fork without Buttercups.
photo

A third generation Charger damper also saw a full architectural flip from a bladder system to a spring-backed IFP (internal floating piston) for the utmost independent control between high and low-speed compression. That’s a huge deal in terms of setup, taking less trials out of the equation. RockShox also worked tirelessly to make the damper as quiet as possible which doesn’t particularly increase performance, but if those gushing oil noises distract you, you’ll be smooth sailing on the new Lyrik.

Another piece of the puzzle to be revamped was the air spring. The DebonAir+ spring now uses more aluminum components for increased durability and the dimple which regulates the positive and negative air chambers has been relocated. That brings improved small bump sensitivity along with a higher ride height - both qualities that we loved about the new Lyrik.

Throughout the year, the Lyrik Ultimate left us all impressed by its smooth ride and noticeable adjustments on multiple test bikes.

From the review:
bigquotes... The previous Lyrik didn't leave much to be desired, but the enhancements the 2023 version receives take it to the next level. It's an ideal fork for a wide range of bikes, everything from those shorter travel, aggressive trail machines all the way up to bikes that straddle the line between enduro and all-mountain. With plenty of adjustability and smooth, silent performance the new Lyrik is going to be hard to beat. Mike Kazimer







Why it's nominated

Not all coil shocks are made equal and the EXT Arma is built from a wealth of engineering based on two and four-wheeled off-road racing history. Each shock is machined in Italy to a stunning finish without any flashy colors, and are specifically tuned for the bike of choice. Inside, the shock is packed full of reasons to separate from the others on the market.

The most notable feature on the Arma is the adjustable hydraulic bottom out function that offers control through the last 15% of the shock stroke. Under heavy landings that use full travel, it feels like jumping onto a waterbed. A standard elastomer bottom out bumper doesn’t provide the feeling of slowly reaching the end of the travel. In fact, EXT actually trimmed the size of the bumper to let the hydraulic bottom out function do most of the work.

There’s also a seamless transition and no clunking when the shock shaft changes direction, so on the trail you might think you’re riding on a cloud. Less friction and more sensitivity is one of the highlights with the Arma and part of that fluid motion is due to the low pressure that the internal floating piston runs at - 40 PSI to be exact.
photo

Another component that contributes to ease friction is the dynamic flex seal that the main shaft runs on. A lower force is required to bend the seal and begin the shaft displacement rather than a standard seal which first needs to overcome friction to slide.

Setting up the Arma isn’t a chore either since EXT will tune the shock for your bike’s kinematics. Finding your happy place with the controls should only take a few clicks from the middle of the dials because each of the external adjustments have a pronounced effect on the damping. The price of the Arma also includes two springs and available in 25-pound increments to dial in the sag depending on the type of trails you might be riding.

Throughout testing, the consistency and control that the Arma shocks provided for the Commencal Supreme and Antidote Darkmatter was in another league. We never experienced any unwanted feedback like fade or topout either. Given the performance, quick setup, and individuality of the support the EXT provides, the Arma was a clear choice for Suspension Product of the Year.

From the review:
bigquotes... EXT is preached as the aftermarket suspension leader and the Arma is a prime example of the premium performance. There's no doubt that the price reflects this, but receiving a shock tailor-built for your bike will maximize it's potential. From the first lap on the Arma I realized I was cracking on harder than before. The control from this shock puts it on another level. Matt Beer







Why it's nominated

Yes, another RockShox makes the nominee list for Suspension Product of the Year, which shouldn’t be a huge surprise given the overhaul they completed on nearly their entire product line, which we took a deep dive through here. One reason why the all-new Super Deluxe Ultimate air shock makes it on here is its suppleness. That’s not a characteristic many air shocks can boast about. The amount of adjustments that you can make to the shock also provides solid reasoning for why it made the cut.

The seamless action of the shock shaft moving up and down could have fooled me for being a coil-sprung damper at times, and that wasn’t particular to just one bike. Thanks to the wide range of pressures, the Super Deluxe Ultimate will work for almost any size rider or bike. Two different size air cans will cater to a linear or progressive suspension design. Both the positive and negative air volume chambers can be tuned to change the breakaway feeling and bottom out resistance with simple spacers.

Similarly to the Lyrik, RockShox battled to make the high and low-speed damper adjustments highly independent from one another. Starting from the open position, changing a click in either direction makes apparent changes on the trail, reducing the amount of time spent fiddling to find your sweet spot.
photo

We’ve seen hydraulic bottom out (HBO) functions featured on forks and coil shocks before, but never on an MTB air shock. The system mechanically slows the shock through the last 20% of the travel and works independently of the air spring. Adding a volume spacer to increase the progression will reduce hard bottom outs but will change the force at which the shock rebounds. With the HBO feature, you can have the best of both worlds; control at full travel without messing with the rebound dial.

The overall performance of the shock is also incredibly consistent on massive descents, even in the shorter eye-to-eye lengths. Given the affordability and features loaded into the Super Deluxe shock, the value that it brings to any bike is impossible to argue.


From the Trek Fuel EX-e review:
bigquotes... Out of the saddle, there is very little wasted energy. That redesigned RockShox Super Deluxe is brilliant and might fool me for a coil shock if I couldn’t see it. The breakaway is stellar and keeps the rear wheel glued to the ground on the slipperiest, techiest trails. Grasping the lockout isn’t as easy as it has been with the previous Super Deluxe but both the twist-action of the lever and the support of the climb switch are solid. Matt Beer







Why it's nominated

You might be wondering what a product like O-Chain’s Active Spider is doing in the Suspension Product of the Year nominee list. While it’s not a fork or shock, it does provide damping for another portion of the bike that moves - the chain. The Active Spider calms down the bouncing metal whip that can cause noises and hold back the rear suspension’s duty. In other words, your bike will feel smoother with this device installed.

O-Chain builds the floating spider to mount to almost any crankset on the market, including eMTBs. The chain-calming component operates by allowing the chainring to partially rotate on the crank arm, freeing tension in the transmission.If you haven’t seen them in action, check it out here.

On the trail, it can provide that chainless feeling which could be described as increased suppleness and sensitivity from the rear suspension. There’s also no arguing that it reduces the amount of chain slap against the frame too. When installed on bikes that were observed to have serious chainslap issues, the Active Spider reduced this considerably.
photo

A quieter ride is not only less distracting, but also positively reinforces that you’re riding smoothly. Whether that’s partially a placebo effect doesn’t eliminate the fact that the rear suspension works more effectively, and that’s a solid reason to include O-Chain’s Active Spider in the Suspension Product of the Year nominees.


From the review:
bigquotes... The chain forces that the Active Spider isolates is quite impressive. I believe there is both a physical improvement to the suspension performance when the chainring can rotate to a degree, plus it adds a qualitative bonus by reducing the noises caused by chainslap. The small amount of lag in the pedal stroke is a tradeoff that is worth coming to terms with if the bike in question is susceptible to chain feedback. Matt Beer





Author Info:
mattbeer avatar

Member since Mar 16, 2001
375 articles

196 Comments
  • 348 7
 I'd like to nominate IMBA. If "each of the four nominees for Suspension Product of the Year brought a clever approach to smoothing out the trails beneath us," who did more to ensure that you really don't need any suspension at all than the fantastic flow-trail fanatics at IMBA?!?
  • 26 0
 I appreciate this comment
  • 22 1
 This comment does my old school, East Coast gnar-riding heart good.
  • 2 10
flag dancingwithmyself (Dec 22, 2022 at 17:47) (Below Threshold)
 What a stupid, uninformed comment. They've built a lot of rocky, gnarly trails for us locally. But I guess you sound really tough and hardcore, which I suppose was the real goal.
  • 3 0
 @dancingwithmyself: easy champ, take a quick breath, centre yourself, you’ll be ok.
It was meant pretty tongue in cheek, and I think it hit the mark.

No need to get too upset there
  • 142 2
 2022 product of the year candidate: 2023 fork
  • 108 0
 I'd like to nominate my legs. Couldn't do it without them.
  • 6 1
 That's normal for PB. The 2019 Bike of the Year was a 2020 bike. I'd say its even less egreigous for a suspension product because Rockshox and Fox release their next-model-year stuff so stupidly early into whatever year you're currently in.
  • 10 0
 To be honest Sram already have prepared 5 years worth of upgrades to release every 6 months : bigger negative chamber, bigger overall volume, silentblocks, charger V5.6... Of course not retro-compatible
It's hard to keep track of which version you're actually buying
  • 4 0
 Ochain ain’t exactly new either
  • 11 0
 Fox hit the deck like an old lady on a cruise ship- Not even a Holliday card- Ouch
  • 20 4
 @twonsarelli, the bike industry is like the car industry - model years are wacky, and don't really signify the year something was released. RockShox launched their 2023 lineup in May, which is why it's eligible for this list.
  • 5 0
 @Whipperman: while I’ll say Rockshox is absolutely ridiculous with their insane amount of parts numbers, and not making it easy to figure out what part you need, they do a good job with backwards comparability. Most upgrades can be retrofitted to older products.
However, I am extremely pissed that I can’t change the stroke on my 2023 super deluxe coil because instead of just changing the travel spacer you also need to change the HBO post. When I called them, they said those posts MIGHT be available in 2023. I like their stuff but fox makes working on their products so much easier with parts availability and documentation. (Nitro fill set ups will run you around $100 and if that’s too much of a barrier for you, just send your shocks in. It’s easy to f*ck suspension work up.)
  • 88 2
 Hard to beat a staple of squish, many years running - the original reverb
  • 34 0
 It really takes the edge off an otherwise battered prostate. The ultimate gravel seatpost.
  • 28 1
 BATTERED PROSTATE
  • 2 0
 Everyone like more cowbell.
  • 7 0
 @JLantz: It's what's for dinner.
  • 3 0
 Don’t worry, in my experience the current one is an excellent suspension seatpost as well.
  • 43 6
 O-Chain, for all those peeps that got all excited about 1000T hub engagement and then realized it cripples your suspension compliance. Doh!
  • 20 6
 I dont get this O-Chain placebo effect. At speed you overcome the engagement of the hub thus the pedal kickback and the O-Chain is a moot point.
  • 13 3
 @porkchopsandwich: agreed. countless physicists and engineers have calculated the speed needed to overcome that hub engagement and it is hilariously low. maybe this is really good for climbing though..
  • 35 3
 How to be a PB tester :
1 complain about the hub having not enough engagement
2 praise the ochain for reducing hub engagement
  • 27 5
 While it's counterintuitive, hub engagement doesn't have anything to do with the sensation of pedal kickback when you're going downhill. Like someone else alluded to in this thread, at any speed above rolling speed, your wheel is spinning too fast for your chain to catch up and activate your freehub from suspension movement. Ochain is designed to reduce a lot of weird forces from your chain, but it doesn't really matter what your hub engagement is. FYI
  • 3 0
 @twonsarelli: Well it wouldn't the first time a marginal increase in something is considered 'game changing'.

All joking aside, would love to read that article . . . link?
  • 4 0
 @TEAM-ROBOT: Thank you! But didnt DT-Swiss argue the exact opposite? Or am I dreaming?
  • 5 1
 @TEAM-ROBOT: Just saw this on DT site. Doesn't it to some extent counter what you are saying?

For pedal kickback, this means that if the angular speed of the hub is higher than the speed of the freehub body generated by the chain tension, there will be no pedal kickback or negative influence on your suspension. But it is not easy to reach this critical speed, because the faster you ride, the higher the possibility of harder compressions and the faster the freehub body speed reached by the chain. If it were easy to reach this speed, there would be no world cup riders that experiment with removing a sprocket to have an idle to eliminate pedal kickback.

However, it should also be noted that the kinematics of some bikes have no pedal kickback.
  • 10 2
 @porkchopsandwich: its no placebo, every tester noticed a benefit in ridequality. Yes i own one, but i throw stuff out that does not work pretty relentless. I dont know the physics but it makes the ride a lot smoother. Try and judge. (No way half the DH field is on placebo for years, commencal tried vibration stickers and a few years later they are gone)
  • 8 4
 @optimumnotmaximum: "no placebo" "tester noticed a benefit"

These aren't measurements, these are perception. In back to back runs, rigorously tested, everything else controlled for, I doubt there will be a measurable difference in speed.
  • 1 2
 @hamncheez: sometimes perception is what matters. ‘Member the holographic stickers?
  • 5 1
 @optimumnotmaximum: Eh. It's going to decrease vibratory feedback to the pedals but those are going to have a negligible effect on the actual suspension forces. IE it's going to FEEL better but performance =/= feel.
  • 3 1
 @CobyCobie: exactly what I was thinking.

Can the tester notice additional squish in the pedals? Seems likely.

Does additional squish in the pedals mean the suspension is performing better? Not sure.

But also — additional squish in the pedal even without improved suspension performance might be a good thing. I don’t know. Haven’t tried. Probably won’t.
  • 4 4
 @optimumnotmaximum: What pros run has almost no relation to what is good or bad for the average rider. The majority of performance of the rider on a course comes from their mental states, and teams will go to great lengths to try things that basically make the rider feel better on the bike. For example, technically speaking, running full 29er wheels should be faster, since any rider can just learn to give more input to the bike to corner it just as hard as a mullet, but many riders just feel better on a 27.5 rear and end up faster.

As for Ochain the thing that people miss when talking about this is the force from the derailleur cage. On any bike that doesn't have a bb concentric pivot, the chainlength must grow and the slack is taken up by the movement on the cage, that not only has a spring which acts to extend the suspension, but also a clutch mechanism that resists suspension compression in the first place.

Riding chainless eliminates this completely (as well as the pedal kickback effect), on any bike. Ochain does nothing for the cage forces, so at best it eliminates the circumstantial pedal kickback effect in some places, and reduces vibration due to additional layer of isolation. Performance wise, it doesn't do much for you when you look at drawbacks. You would be better off running a more compliant tire setup over using it.
  • 6 1
 @TEAM-ROBOT: To add to those "weird forces from your chain," here's at least 2 of them:

1. Chain slap affects the upper and lower chain unevenly as they are different lengths and different angles to the ground meaning that the reflected waves in each section of the chain tug at the chainring at different tensions at different times causing torques on the crank that can be felt in the feet.

2. Kickback is caused by chain growth on the tensioned top section of the chain. However, the bottom section of the chain also grows. The derailleur cage makes up the difference in both. Even in the case of a high pivot with idler that has next to no chain growth, the lower chain grows significantly through the suspension stroke. Actually it's worse with high pivots. This is where the derailleur clutch comes into play and causes additional forces on the chain as well as higher stoke speeds causing additional tension on the chain which may not be even top to bottom during a dynamic bump event.

I haven't tried an Ochain, but I suspect that it would reduce feedback of both these effects.
  • 15 2
 @babathehutt: I am selling anti pedal kickback NFTs. They are $99 for standard and $299 for ebike specific version.
  • 5 0
 @rcrocha: I think if you really want to rubes to by them, you're gonna have to call them Digital Trading Cards
  • 6 0
 @rcrocha: Hmmm… Your ideas are intriguing to me, and I wish to subscribe to your newsletter
  • 6 0
 @porkchopsandwich: These arguments about whether pedal kickback exists are so dumb. It takes literally five minutes to disconnect your chain and derailleur. I recommend everyone arguing about it should try a chainless dh run themselves and see if you feel a difference in suspension performance.
  • 2 0
 @hamncheez: my point was that the percentage is way too high for placebo.
  • 4 2
 @8a71b4: i disagree on every single point. Whats good is good, yes pros have more power and skill but i cant think of one thing that us good for pros and bad for the rest (in general). Maybe except of high clmpression settings. But that is just DH, enduropros usually run kinda soft setups. Feel is the most important thing for pros and everyone who is taking riding kinda serious. If you feel at home you ride better, its that simple. 29 in the back is just bad if you are sub 1.8m and ride big jumps or steeps. There are calculations about derailleur clutch forces, they are neglectable and at best it ads to the springforce, hence you can offset it by dropping a couple of psi. I am a tire nerd and the things ochain does are so different to what a compliant tire does that i never considered exchanging one for the other. Chainforces are hard to calculate, i think that the community agrees on this, but this also means you have to try it. Writing that it does nothing based on your assumptions is just pointless.
  • 3 0
 @CobyCobie: vibratory feedback increases fatigue. When adding an ochain i noticed how calm the bike felt and how much better floating over stuff works. (you can read the same on every website that tested ochain) It makes you want to attack and go faster, if thats just because of feel so be it.
  • 2 4
 @optimumnotmaximum: good post, it's ridiculous that internet experts write things like this off "because science" when loads of riders are saying that they do actually work. It's the same mindset as people telling me my steel frame full-sus bike can't possibly feel more compliant and give more grip, because they did a physics degree.
  • 4 2
 @chakaping: thanks, i kinda own a steel fs (the starling frame hangs on my wall). It was the most compliant bike with the most grip i have ever owned. The problem with it was, that as a very early starling it flexed so hard that the cranks would hit the chainstays while sprinting. I am also not convinced by the linear kinematics. But from my experience ( Commencal Meta ht Cromo; Pipedream Moxie, Starling Swoop) steelframes -and even the fs ones- have a very nice feel and are very good gripwise.
  • 3 1
 @optimumnotmaximum: Mine is a Starling Murmur, the way it keys into the ground when I'm laying it over into corners is amazing. I'm lucky enough to have an EXT Storia shock which I suspect makes the best of the single pivot via the HBO feature. So I've been able to drop a spring rate and "ride the damping" more, as they say.
I also have an aluminium 4-bar enduro bike as well, which can get close to that level of grip simply by having a very good coil shock and lots of travel. More than one way to skin a cat.
  • 2 2
 @chakaping: Bottomoutcontrol was ok with the Starling while using a Vivid coil. As this died i bought a Fox Vanilla coil and from this point it was horrible. A good shock can make a true singlepivot work quite well. My current bike is a very progressive alloy VPP with a coil shock and 165mm of travel. It takes big hits way better and is not far of gripwise, although it has not the Starling slippery-root-magic.
  • 1 0
 @TEAM-ROBOT: You are a voice of reason. I appreciate your comments.
I’m surprised nobody has posted this video from the NSMB review: youtu.be/dcgcZCgXX2o

I think this video captures what the Ochain does better than what pink bike did for their review. Regardless, they come to similar conclusions about the Ochain.
  • 2 1
 @optimumnotmaximum: Yes that's exactly what we're saying people notice about it. The calmness you feel in the pedals doesn't actually mean anything real though. It is 99% a comfort thing. Like revgrips.

They might get a better feel of what the suspension is doing by spreading out the impulse of the non-suspension vibrations.

Clutch forces are much less important to this than the derailleur rebounding and snapping back into tension, which is what I imagine the o-chain is softening. You can make a huge difference in this feel by switching from a sram derailleur to a Shimano one but people still run SRAM.

Re: steel frames. There is a reason even carbon downtubes are so big these days and it is stiffness. Imo bumping to full sus steel doesn't offer as many advantages. It is the only cost effective way to make frames in small quantities though. Nothing against steel frames. Just arguing that yes, it is the same mindset and feeling smoother and being better are not the same thing.
  • 5 1
 Ya half World Cup riders using these and are not even sponsored by them I’m sure you comment nerds know better tho
  • 2 0
 @CobyCobie: And thats the point we should agree to disagree: If you can feel it its real. Or to put it in a different way -suspension is to a big part also a comfort thing. If you dont get hit as much you can go faster (for a longer time). This becomes very apparent when switching to a good hardtail, the grip is not the big problem, geometry is not the problem and big hits are mostly fine too. The problem is getting hit by a lot of small stuff you cant avoid. And I really dont care if it makes the suspension better or suspends me from the bike in a way that makes the ride smoother. If it works it works.
  • 1 0
 @CobyCobie: I think it is pretty easy to make a nice feeling steelframe and all aluminium bikes i have owned could not quite match that feeling. I have never owned a carbon frame so I can not comment on this. If the steelframes are faster-no idea. As i wrote so often now, I want to feel at home on a bike, if so riding good is easy.
  • 2 0
 @gjedijoe: Racing is a mental game. You believe it makes you faster it makes you faster. How many times have we all heard Jordi say he pretended to change an elite racers suspension and he did nothing.
  • 1 0
 @porkchopsandwich: have you ridden one on a bike that might benefit from it? (And some that theoretically shouldn’t!!!)
  • 1 0
 @noplacelikeloam: I think DT Swis nailed it, the more you have speed the faster your suspension work and engage the hub. So it's not as simple as some wants to explain to calculate the speed at which pedal kickback disapear when cruising over bumps and bumps heigth is of some importance.
Perhaps the explanation of ochain working is there...
  • 1 0
 If you do a run no chain, and a run O-chain, its not the same thing.
  • 1 0
 @porkchopsandwich: I don’t see how there is a debate, ride rock section off the brakes, then ride same section holding the rear brake, you will feel it in the pedals, this is why pro riders brake early and stay off brakes in the rough stuff
  • 1 0
 @TEAM-ROBOT: Don't ruin their fun! Angry, righteous ignorance is bliss.
  • 1 0
 @noplacelikeloam: You are a marketer's wet dream.
  • 1 0
 @kegron: that’s what I was thinking too. I’m not an engineer, so what do I know, but seems to make sense.
  • 1 0
 @porkchopsandwich: So true... I always feel much faster after cleaning my bike....mental it is.
  • 2 0
 @optimumnotmaximum: Obviously it FEELS different. This is not a bad thing. Their website specifically says it's a pedal kickback solution, which would only be true when locking up the rear.

My biggest issue is the marketing faff that's always around stuff like this. It's THREE HUNDRED EUROS. The average person buying this would be better off spending an hour turning some knobs. Cascade does this too. Their products make literally every aspect of the ride better according to their marketing. The fact that they make them for highly progressive bikes shows that people buying them don't know what they're buying.

Heck, in this very article Pinkbike does a better job of explaining what it does than OChain themselves.

www.ochain.bike/technical-support-page

^That talks about pedal kickback, doesn't talk about other chain forces.

www.worldwidecyclery.com/blogs/worldwide-cyclery-blog/o-chain-spider-explained-reviewed-by-neko-mulally

^Here Neko specifically mentions the braking thing and explains it.

It's also a drivetrain product, not a suspension product (????????).

Hardtail thing varies by location. I don't have one because I would eat wheels and because they aren't great at balancing wheel destruction and traction. If I were to get one it would definitely be steel. That is a situation where I would appreciate the feel.

TLDR

Ochain improves feel and helps when locking your wheel over bumps. Marketing may be misguiding. Gotta be worth 300 euros to you. Steel is real, skeptic of it on full sus bikes.
  • 39 5
 I'm just here to make fun of RockShox's naming convention. Looking forward to the forthcoming Super Duper Premium Deluxe Ultimate Shamwow Stunner downcountry shock.
  • 9 0
 shamwow spec or bust
  • 3 0
 @haen: I’m holding out for the slapchop edition.
  • 5 2
 @haen: better than xXFloat2Xx
  • 2 0
 @seraph: But I hear you get a free Snapcase windbreaker
  • 1 0
 It'll probably still be the Super Deluxe since they've been using that same name since the 90s.
  • 1 0
 Not as dumb as the superbike naming. "The Yamasaki RRR 1000RR R Edition".
  • 1 0
 When I read it all i could think about was a breakfast at Denny's with the largest coffee you could get.
  • 1 0
 @pmhobson: “you’re gonna love my nuts”
  • 42 6
 No fox X2????
  • 108 3
 This isn't "Product Failures of 2022" though.
  • 46 0
 Yeah that was sarcasm I blew mine twice this year.
  • 166 1
 @ybsurf: Hope it bought you dinner first.
  • 11 1
 All of Pinkers should understand this joke.
  • 6 1
 The float X is nearly as problematic. I had to service mine brand new for whistling and wheezing... I got it back and the first ride it was pissing oil...
  • 9 0
 Bro, this isn't the time bomb category award...
  • 3 0
 @ybsurf: same - cavitation twice, second time was only a week after getting it back from warranty service
  • 2 0
 @ybsurf: How did yours fail? Mine lost air while riding before warranty service.
  • 5 3
 @ybsurf: to be fair my 2023 Super Deluxe Ultimate came blown... I got the pleasure of paying to send in a brand new shock for repair... Thanks Rock Shox!!!
  • 5 0
 @ybsurf: Is that why it is X2?
  • 41 1
 @ybsurf @Riddler7
So a Penguin is driving his car down the road, when suddenly his vehicle starts making funny noises.
He drives it to the next town where he immediately finds the nearest auto mechanic, and brings the car in.
The mechanic says "it'll take half an hour to find the problem, but its a hot summer day so a penguin like you should stay cool - there's an ice cream parlor across the street you should try."
So the penguin goes across the street and gets himself a giant vanilla ice cream - now he makes a total mess of eating it, on account of lacking opposable thumbs to hold the cone. But, his half hour is up so he heads back across to the mechanic. He walks in an the mechanic comes up to him and says "looks like you blew a seal!" to which the Penguin says, "no! no! I swear this is just ice cream!"
  • 1 1
 @Riddler7: thanks. There is coffee all over my keyboard now. :-)
  • 3 1
 Get a mara pro Case closed
  • 1 0
 @ybsurf: i blew my brand new fox x2 on the first ‘large’ double I hit. Squelched immediately like none other. $200 service later smh…. f*ck you fox!
  • 4 0
 @ratedgg13: been trying to remember this joke for about 25 years. THANK YOU AND MERRY XMAS 3
  • 1 0
 @ratedgg13: well played sir. Are you the guy with the joke about the two nuns and the cobblestones?
  • 1 0
 @leviatanouroboro: if it was new, it should have been under warranty. Fox should have serviced that at no cost.....they did for me anyway.
  • 20 0
 2022 was the year of the 50% off fox factory fork sale on JensonUSA
  • 12 0
 I got a Performance Elite 36 from there for $399. I have not figured out what's wrong with it yet because it seems to be perfect. 62% off.
  • 2 1
 Fuck yeah! I've been absolutely loving the fork over the last month. I'd always heard they're super difficult to setup but the recommended settings, with a few tweaks, has it feeling so good. First ever premium fork for me so I'm sure anything would have felt great. Love this fork!
  • 4 1
 Cane Creek and MRP having sales on their own sites too. Can't wait to see the bargain pricing next year after economy really takes a poop
  • 4 3
 @DizzyNinja: but why would you buy something that sucks?
  • 2 0
 @freeridejerk888: some of us buy things like vaccumes and escorts, and those suck.
  • 14 0
 "...if those gushing oil noises distract you..."

After riding Marzocchis and various iterations of Rockshox HC2 dampers for pretty much my entire riding life, I think it's safe to say oil noise is not a distraction... If it stops making squishy sounds, that's a problem! Big Grin
  • 3 0
 Ya I kinda like the soft swooshes the grip damper makes, dunno why it just sounds neat
  • 15 0
 Suspension of the year goes to Mathias Flückiger
  • 10 0
 The Arma has been around for years. If anything the E-Storia should be on the list.
  • 7 0
 Especially as the eStoria is basically a hybrid of the Arma, and Storia Lok v3. Even though its marketed as an "ebike" shock for some reason.

The normal Storia has a fixed HBO. The Arma, and eStoria have adjustable HBO.

They also claim that the adjustment range for the clickers is much wider on the eStoria than either the Storia or Arma. It also added a negative spring, lower friction shaft/seals, and a bunch of other stuff. It seems like a wholesale upgrade for the Storia.

*disclaimer. I'm not affiliated with EXT. I've just been investigating coil shocks for my bike for a bit, and was trying to wrap my head around what the differences were on these two models.
  • 1 0
 I think these lists are more what the pinkbike guys enjoyed riding most this year and not about what was released this year.
  • 1 0
 The o chain has been around a few years too, hasn't it?
  • 2 0
 @ocnlogan: I’m running the eStoria on my Spire and it’s soooooo dialed.
  • 1 0
 @Keegansamonster: Exactly. But at least they created some actual content. Most days the site reads like a Pinterest page for video edits and press releases.
  • 5 0
 My '23 Super Deluxe coil has been awesome so far, so plush and haven't noticed any harsh bottom outs with the giant bumper and the hydraulic bottom out system, great supportive feel. Haven't felt the need to use the lockout lever either, which is good because it fell off on the first descent. Thanks Rockshox, top quality product.
  • 7 1
 just as good as the EXT and half the price.. RS killing it this year.... Fox only killing shocks.
  • 6 0
 I’d like to nominate my 2022 float x2 that has this cool feature where it blows up every two weeks and gets me a free service
  • 5 1
 They're not new but my favourite suspension product that I tried for the first time this year is Ride Concepts shoes with the d30 inserts. Noticeably less chatter coming through from the pedals, at least coming from some worn out Freeriders.

For the best value suspension upgrade out there, slip-on grips. Given the same diameter but no plastic core of a lock-in, there's more rubber between you and the bar.

With a similar effect as both of the above, Specialized T9 compound tires are another good way to calm/quiet the ride feel of a bike.
  • 2 0
 I've been super-impressed with the RC shoes too. Comparable to the awesome Impact Pro and I paid less than £50 in the sales.
  • 5 0
 Definitely not a fox rear shock. People blowing the float x and x2s left and right
  • 5 6
 Lmao, maybe the government will spend some of that Ukranian defense budget sending X2's out to the front lines. Probably a better chance of blowing up than our actual munitions.
  • 4 3
 @ryanandrewrogers: you clearly dont know how good we are at killing shit
  • 5 6
 @kokofosho: You clearly don't know how bad our bombs are at actually blowing up. Experts estimate we dropped up to 80 MILLION dud bombs on Laos during the Vietnam war, meaning only roughly 80% of the bombs dropped by the U.S. during the war actually blew up.

Unlike a Float X2, which is guaranteed to blow up twice a year with hard riding, American bombs have the propensity to explode decades later. To date, we have killed ~25K Laotians since we stopped dropping bombs on them due to this propensity. So in a way, you're right, we're great at killing shit, apparently even great at killing people in a country we were never even at war with, the people of Laos merely suffer from proximity to Vietnam.

Personally, I'm not so proud of how good we are at killing shit.
  • 4 0
 @ryanandrewrogers: curious as to where you got that number. Most sources say we dropped 2 million tons (weight) of bombs. The average US bomb at the time weighed 750 lbs. So 80 million dud bombs would weigh about 30 million tons which is 15 times more than we are estimated to have dropped.
  • 13 0
 @ryanandrewrogers: This is the weirdest tangent I've read on PB comments all week lol
  • 1 0
 @Keegansamonster: Dunno why you're averaging bomb weight when you can literally find the specific number of bombs dropped during Operation Barrel Roll heavily cited online.

My info is from a BBC article I read on the topic from back when Obama formally apologized for the operation, we dropped 260 Million bombs across 580,344 bombing missions, the vast majority of which were not individual bombs but rather cluster bombs. I had incorrectly remembered that 20% of the ordinance remained unexploded, it was actually roughly 30% during OPB, but the estimated 80 million unexploded bombs was correctly recalled.

The reason your estimated weight-to-bomb ratio is incorrect is because cluster bombs are generally considered a single unit before being dropped, but obviously split into hundreds of bombs by the time they hit the ground. Take for example likely the most popular bomb of the war, the "Pineapple", which contained 360 bombs per unit, each of them plenty capable of killing and maiming tens of people.
  • 3 1
 @Ironchefjon: Nonetheless, American ordinance is less likely to explode than a fox float x2
  • 3 0
 @ryanandrewrogers: I was going off of what you said which was “bombs” not cluster munitions. The actual number is estimated that 75-80 million submunitions aka “bomblets” remained unexploded. So not the entire bomb, they were counting the submunitions that came out of the cluster munitions. A basic cluster munition holds 2,000 submunitions. That means that roughly 40,000 Custer munitions failed to explode properly. Meaning that in Lao, the failure rate was less than .001% for the actual cluster munitions (bombs), not the submunitions. The 20-30% is all “munitions” meaning submunitions, mines, anti-tank rounds, bullets, etc. The BBC article seems to roll that into the cluster munition numbers which makes it vague. I’m getting my info directly from the congressional research paper done on the incident.
  • 4 1
 @Keegansamonster: I'm sure the Laotians are very concerned about whether or not they've been blown to bits by a bomblet or a true bomb. I appreciate your thoroughness though. Considering American munitions aren't guaranteed to blow at all, while a Float X2 can in fact blow up multiple times I think my point there still stands.

In conclusion: American ordinance blows up not often enough. The Float X2 blows up too often. Don't be proud of the American propensity to kill when we should be ashamed.

Edit: Also don't show me misplaced patriotism because I will go off on a tangent.
  • 2 0
 @ryanandrewrogers: yeah I’m definitely not saying our success rate of bombings on the Laotians was a good thing…

Let’s just say I wouldn’t be surprised if the DOD placed a large order of X2’s to supply Ukraine with a newer, more successful, ordinance.
  • 2 0
 @Ironchefjon: now we can go back to our regularly scheduled complaining of cables being routed through headsets and shocks hidden in frames.
  • 2 1
 @Keegansamonster: im not saying bombing Laotian was a good thing...what the f are we talking about?

Who uses Vietnam statistics to discuss 2022 suspension products? Acting like the US hasn't been firmly involved in warfare since...

I think gramps mixed up his pills again.
  • 3 0
 @RonSauce: actually we were discussing the bombing of Laos, not Vietnam. Vietnam statistics would be a whole separate rant.
  • 3 0
 @Keegansamonster: Don't get me started I am firmly unafraid to waste company time on this.
  • 6 1
 I'd like to try an O-Chain, but honestly for $100.

For the current price I would convince myself it was working
  • 3 2
 Sometimes the best product is one that just works, not the newest one. Take for example the Boxxer. It just works. Its not horribly expensive. Mine is 6 years old at this point and works way better than any of my newer suspension components. I know that my data point is n=1 but I have to wonder why are these lists only newly released products. If you compared them head to head with carryover components will the new stuff always win?
  • 2 0
 In the example of the Charger 3 damper, no it won’t from most of the tuners out there.
  • 1 0
 @somebody-else: You mean they're saying it's less tune-able? Or just worse as stock?
  • 1 0
 @chakaping: 3 is worse than 2.1
  • 2 0
 This really feels like the 3rd category that can be swept by the $50 tubeless valve stems I saw yesterday: 1. Innovative, 2. Value and now 3. Suspension. Is there anything they can't do?
  • 1 0
 All great products and meet the criteria for great suspension products, however I don't think any of them have a very good social media presence. I think this award should go to Max! He isn't the best suspension product, well he isn't a suspension product, but look how many instagram followers he had before any of these products were designed.... clear cut winner!
  • 1 0
 If you buy a new bike next Jan/Feb is it likely to have the new RS stuff or the older generation? I'm sure it varies by brand, but wondering if the upgraded Lyriks/Zebs are out there already.
  • 33 1
 Dunno
  • 31 0
 @alex-young: Thanks for your incredible contribution to this discussion!
  • 1 0
 I'd bet a bunch of brands will be using the last version trying to get rid of them since the price is down. They'll always list the specs though.
  • 1 0
 @Mugen A lot of brands are forgoing the model year, but, i'd assume anything thats a 23' model to have the new RockShox forks. You can tell by the GOLD buttercups decal on lower leg, the arch is now more machined looking and the top adjuster cap is more aggressive looking, knurled edges and higher I think. But that Gold sticker for the buttercups is the giveaway for me.
  • 1 1
 @yakimonti: False, lots of brands are still running older generation Rockshox stuff because of availability. I believe from MY 2024 we should see newer Rockshox stuff on pretty much all bikes.
  • 2 1
 Perhaps but Bike mfg may still be sitting on a bunch of 2022 models..Depends on the brand I guess.
  • 1 1
 @pisgahgnar: I also dunno
  • 3 0
 @pisgahgnar: lol at least he was concise about it and didn't rattle off a paragraph explaining something and THEN say **but who knows!!**
  • 1 0
 @Mugen: my frame and fork combo came with the updated Lyrik, I got it yesterday. Huge props to Chromag on that whole situation.
  • 2 0
 @Mugen: I did not get the latest Rockshox with Fezzari I ordered in November.
  • 5 0
 Lol no FOX.
  • 2 0
 Elephant in the room.
  • 4 4
 O-chain in suspension? Who is making this shit up!?!?

Should nominate a seat that provides great damping for my ass, and grips that dampen my hands. Maby some shoes that provide damping in my feet or a helmet that will dampen the impacts from me hitting my head against a wall whenever I venture into this website.
  • 3 1
 I feel like it should be all rock shocks that win. cause they don't blow up looking at you Fox.
  • 3 4
 Ochain takes it because it's innovative and can be mounted on any bike! Enduro, trail, DH, e-bike, even x/c.

The others are mostly the average product cycle rehash type that will receive a new iteration every 2-3 years. These are expected to be better every new release. Ochain is going on many DH racer bikes now... could be ubiquitous and everywhere in a few more years time over all the gravity disciplines. Can make any bike better. How is that for game changing?
  • 7 0
 Hardtail? lol
  • 1 0
 @Y12Sentinel: Why not, it's about ride quality, not Pedal-Kickback. Testing it on a hardtail it's actually one of the ways to see if it works or it's just a placebo.
  • 3 0
 @Y12Sentinel: I've got one on my fixie - don't understand what all the hype is about ;-)
  • 3 0
 Jackson Goldstones legs were the springiest thing this year
  • 2 3
 A friend of mine runs his own suspension shop here and has for over 20 years and is very experienced, when we were talking about 2023 RS stuf he said-

2023 RS Super Deluxe Ultimate coil RC2T-
It doesn’t work well, we are selling them with our own piston fitted. The hydraulic bottom out adjustment is a nice addition.
Cons - with the standard piston in, they're a poor shock, as there's a serious lack of oil flow through the piston on the rebound stroke. The HSC adjustment is a gimmick. Spares availability is pretty sketchy.

Honestly, the 2020super deluxe RC3 shock you have is better! I don't know how RS have done it, but all their 2023 shocks and fork dampers are worse than the previous versions! I honestly couldn't believe what I was looking at when I started testing them a few months ago!

Have been on RS stuff mostly Dh or 10 years but finally had enough as could not get it set up right , megneg was the only thing that worked really well , as for the lyrik I had to buy and lost model just so I could use the B1 air spring as the newer C1 was awful , now running a mezzo Pro and a CDB inline coil , and couldn’t be happier , finally have no RS or sram stuff on my bike….
  • 3 2
 We’ll my new zeb with charger 3 is a lot better so it seems your friend is wrong
  • 1 1
 Also the inline and lesser is ASS
  • 4 0
 You ran Rockshox products for 10 years and wasn't even able to set them up correctly while having a friend who is very experienced in suspensions ? Sure sound like we should trust you and RS should just close its doors.
  • 1 0
 @rick26: ok you know more than me well done , my friend was a World Cup mechanic ,who is regularly ohlins and R/S trained
and has also run his own suspension shop for 25 years as , I never said I used him to service my stuff
I can do that myself , he has access to all the R/S technical info before you even see it so he can tell which stuff is shite or not , sounds like you are more of an expert than him so crack on and keep believing all the marketing shite that FOX and R/S pump out to make you believe their products are better , it’s just in this case they are worse , so have a happy Christmas and new year and enjoy your expensive toys xx
  • 1 0
 Whats the name of your shop?
  • 2 0
 I nominate my ‘07 Avalanche DHS shock as best suspension product of the decade
  • 1 0
 I would like to nominate CushCore seeing how it is also not a suspension product but saves my ass on big sends on the regular
  • 2 2
 "The small amount of lag in the pedal stroke is a tradeoff that is worth coming to terms with" proof that 1000 points of engagement in the hub is not necessary!
  • 5 3
 the Lyrik doesn't deserve to win since they got rid of the Boxxer Red.
  • 1 0
 Let us nominate the spider. It is time to reward out of the box thinking rather than continuous improvement.
  • 1 0
 The real MVPs are the suspension technicians having to fix fox x2s knowing they would be back a month later
  • 1 0
 I nominate DVO because year in and out customer service has been superb and they make great products
  • 1 0
 RS SD Coil is missing because it is just as good as the Lyrik.
  • 3 1
 hahahah the O-chain!
  • 2 0
 Fox punching the air rn
  • 1 0
 Is the super deluxe really that good? The Monarch was so bad.
  • 3 0
 Yea it’s amazing. Just installed one last week and feels better than any other shock I have ran (other RockShox, DVO, etc.) You do notice a change in each adjustment and the HBO works really well.
  • 3 0
 @Johnnie8: Is it orders of magnitude better than the previous super deluxe? I would put the performance of the older ones on a similar level as a 10 year old blown RP23.
  • 3 0
 @CobyCobie: Not leaps and bounds but significantly better if that makes sense? Honestly everyone I’ve talked to that got a 2023 fork or shock is highly recommending them.
  • 2 0
 Sponsored by SRAM!
  • 1 1
 I wanna try that o-chain real bad
  • 1 0
 Fork it
  • 1 2
 I’d like to see other forks and suspensions other than the usual two
  • 9 0
 You mean like the EXT, and the Ochain crank spider?
Below threshold threads are hidden







Copyright © 2000 - 2024. Pinkbike.com. All rights reserved.
dv65 0.047343
Mobile Version of Website