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Review: DVO Topaz 3 Air Shock

May 25, 2023 at 12:07
by Matt Beer  
DVO Topaz 3

DVO’s Topaz 3 is the latest generation of their air shocks built to handle everything from XC riding to enduro racing. Inside, it uses DVO’s expanding rubber bladder damper solution that is said to provide the smoothest direction changes. For 2023, the strength of the inner shaft has been beefed up by 27% too.

One of DVO’s specialties is shock tuning, and for $150 USD their techs will custom build a shock specifically for you and your frame. After answering a series of six questions, any of their shocks (and forks) can be hand built to your needs and the bike’s specific linkage design.
DVO Topaz 3 Details
• Adjustable bladder pressure
• 3-position low-speed compression switch
• Dynamic rebound
• Positive and negative air volume tuning options
• Sizes: 190 x 40 - 230 x 65mm metric and 165 x 40 - 205 x 65mm trunnion
• Weight: 492g (205x60mm)
• MSRP: $550
dvosuspension.com

The Topaz 3 costs $550 USD and is available in nearly every size under the sun from 190 x 40mm to 230 x 65mm metric sizes and 165 x 40 to 205 x 65mm trunnion mount options. DVO also revised the shape of the damper housing to fit into more frames as well.

DVO Topaz 3

DVO Topaz 3
DVO Topaz 3

Adjustments

At first glance, the Topaz 3 doesn’t have the usual clickers you’d find on more common shocks, but DVO has incorporated a few clever ways to let the rider tune both the damping and air spring to their liking.

Externally, there is just a single rebound knob and a 3-way low-speed compression adjuster. The rebound knob has 9 clicks in the range, each making a noticeable change, and the low-speed adjuster is more of a climb switch.

For those riders hoping for tool-free compression adjustment, the shock can be retrofitted with two external dials to control high and low-speed compression for between $200 and $250 USD. DVO has a step-by-step procedure for home mechanics and shops to tackle this, but special tools are required. It's worth mentioning that these adjusters will come as stock equipment on the unreleased Topaz X.

Another option is to experiment with bladder pressure. This can be tuned between 140-180 psi by connecting the provided shock pump to the Schrader valve under the tool-free cap on the side of the housing. The process is as simple as changing the spring rate.

How does it work in comparison to an IFP? The theory is the same, but the components are slightly different. Instead of an air-sprung piston, the pressurized bladder is compressed as the damper cycles fluid into the chamber. DVO prefers the bladder design for its lower friction characteristic since it doesn’t use an O-ring to separate the oil and air, ultimately leading to smoother direction changes between compressing and rebounding. Adding more pressure to the bladder will resist the oil flow and therefore lead to a firmer feeling shock.

The air spring pressure ranges between 100-300 psi with the possibility to tune both the positive and negative chambers by adding or subtracting small plastic spacers. On the positive side, adding more volume spacers will make the air spring more progressive and resist bottoming out. When adding spacers to the negative air chamber, the shock will become firmer at the beginning of the stroke.


DVO Topaz 3

Performance

DVO sent out this Topaz which was tuned for the Trek Fuel EX-e with a linear-progressive leverage rate across a 205 x 60mm stroke shock. Installing and setting up the shock was straightforward with little to worry about, other than the amount of sag the air spring provided and adjusting the rebound dial to my liking.

For the majority of the time, I let the shock sag to 28% with no spacers in the negative air chamber and two in the positive side, just as the shock arrived. This gave me enough support off the top of the travel and plenty of bottom-out resistance too.

The rebound dial sat near the middle, either four or five clicks out, depending on the ambient temperature. As expected, the 3-position low-speed lever stayed in the open position when descending but on occasion, I’d turn that to the “mid” position for smooth climb trails where I wanted the suspension to help the rear tire stay on the ground over lumpy gravel climbs. The fully locked out position is best left for road commutes since it’s ultra firm.

One feature that I noted quickly on the Topaz was the LSC switch’s ability to flip from closed to open with the lightest touch. Oddly enough, that disappeared as time went on and it required a helping hand to push it into the fully open setting for descending.

Playing with bladder pressure is an interesting way to see how dramatically the firmness of the shock changes. Starting at 140 psi and moving up in 10 increments makes a noticeable change. The best way to explain those jumps in bladder pressure is like adding a “racey” feel in terms of support and control every 10 psi bump up. I wouldn’t say it becomes overbearing once you reach 160 psi, but as a mid-weight rider, I preferred the lower half of the range.

I’ll give it up to DVO and their bladder system because this is one silky shock. There’s nothing worse than feeling a mechanical knock as the damper changes direction. This sensation never deteriorated, even at high bladder pressures.

Since the Trek Fuel EX-e’s suspension felt firm enough at the beginning of the travel, and ramped well towards the end, I never felt the need to alter with the volume spacers but did so to experiment and explore the inner workings of the shock.

There are no special tools required to remove the air can or rearrange the volume spacers. Unthreading the air can by hand was straightforward, however, it did take a steady hand to carefully lift the O-ring out of its seat, slide it off, and expose the air two chambers.

After adding a negative spacer, I felt the need to reduce the bladder pressure to the lower 140 psi limit for the Fuel EX-e. This made the small bump performance less desirable and I reverted back to the stock arrangement after a few outings.

DVO Topaz 3
Trek Fuel EX-e 9.9 XX1 AXS Photo Dave Smith


How Does It Compare?

We gave the RockShox Super Deluxe the 2022 Suspension Product of the Year award, which is a hard-fought battle, so how does the DVO Topaz 3 stack up?

Price and Weight

For starters, the Topaz 3 is slightly cheaper, foregoing the low-speed adjuster upgrade and custom tune. At $550 USD, the Topaz is $50 less than the Super Deluxe, although independent high and low-speed adjusters are stock equipment on the RockShox unit. In terms of weight, the two shocks are nearly identical and hover near the 490g mark.

Service and Warranty

Both shocks come with a 2-year warranty but their service intervals are drastically different. RockShox calls for air can servicing every 50 hours for the maximum performance, and a full damper rebuild every 200 hours, whereas DVO states that the only mechanical service required is after 150 hours, or once a year. We never experienced any premature durability concerns with the Topaz 3.

On the trail, there's no faulting the suppleness of either one of these shocks - they both break into the travel brilliantly and change direction between compressing and rebounding without a worry.

Adjustments

The Super Deluxe has independent high and low-speed compression that can be changed with just an Allen key, whereas the Topaz requires a shock pump to alter the bladder pressure or an aftermarket upgrade to the external low-speed compression dial.

On the other hand, the Topaz features a three position climb switch. I didn’t find myself using the middle position much, but for other bikes that could be a bonus setting, whereas the Super Deluxe climb switch is either totally on or off. That lever is also low profile and stiffer on the Super Deluxe, so twisting it on the fly takes strong fingers.

Air Spring Tuning

Bottom out control was handled marginally better by the Super Deluxe, which ramped earlier and less abruptly. Adding a third volume spacer to the Topaz didn’t help that cause and the stock setup still worked a treat to avoid worrisome mechanical bottom outs. Both shocks have the ability to modify the negative air spring as well, although their stock arrangement performed best.

DVO Topaz 3


Pros

+ Ultra-smooth action at the top of the travel and changes in shaft directions
+ Easily adjustable positive and negative air springs.


Cons

- The low-speed compression adjuster is more of a climb switch - the middle setting is overly firm for descending
- There are other shocks on the market with equal performance that include additional external adjustments at a lower cost



Pinkbike's Take

bigquotesDVO set out to construct a stronger third generation Topaz with their bladder controlled damper. The actuation and direction change of the shock is undeniably super silky. If you're willing to spend a bit of extra cash, you can add that tool-free compression dial, or go all in for a custom tune, but that hikes the price up and above some competitors. Matt Beer






Author Info:
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Member since Mar 16, 2001
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110 Comments
  • 73 33
 I love all the people at dvo but their QC was so bad In the last few years. They’re the only company missing 40% of their rebuild process in their steps online. They also have a problem with their seals. There is nothing on their website that tells you you can’t use maxima oil which causes the seals to swell. With how good fox and rockshox are you’d be crazy to fork out hard earned money. Having recently got a zeb and 38 equipped bikes they blow dvo out of the water. (Yes all my stuff was custom tuned and built by dvo themselves). The best customer service won’t matter when you’re buying spare forks/ shocks to make sure you can ride all year round.
  • 15 8
 I ran their products for years and I think it was more that the DVO products were really good at a time when Fox/RS/etc weren't as good, now that the other brands have caught up, I don't think there is as much differentiating their products as there was before and there are better options in most categories. I haven't had recent products but the whole Paul Aston thing really puts a sour perspective on them as a brand and I know several people who have had QC problems with their products lately.

The seal swelling issue is infuriating. It's in one of their rebuild manuals not to use Maxima, but they don't mention RS fluid will do it also (the older fluids). I know a few people who had this issue and it's a huge mess that should have been resolved by now, but continues to be a problem. The only way you can know to avoid this is by calling them or talking to someone that knows, this information really hasn't been propagated the way that it should have been.

They are great folks to deal with on the phone, though, and are super helpful.
  • 13 6
 wow, carbon copy insight to every DVO product and customer service. we returned everything for warranty service. Only DVO still working is our X coil that I replace the bladder 2-3 times a year.
  • 23 13
 Nonsense. There is everything you need to do maintanance on the DVO maintenance pages. I modified the shim stack on my DVO Diamond following the simple instructions given by DVO! Try changing anything else but what can be done with dials on a Rock Shox or Fox shocks/forks!
  • 29 7
 That's certainly not the case across the board. I've had nothing but good experiences with my Diamond, Onyx, Topaz, and 2 Jade DH shocks. Easy access to small parts, good performance, and servicing them all myself has saved me a ton of cash. All the missing info you mention above can be easily found by doing a bit of research, which I'd recommend to anyone who's jumping into home servicing a new product anyway.
  • 6 22
flag bigmeatpete420 (Jun 1, 2023 at 8:52) (Below Threshold)
 @dododuzzi: they’re absolutely is not both a damper and air spring shaft seals are not in there replacing the bladder is not in there and there’s a few other small seals that can go bad and do that or not in there as well. I just can’t remember off the top of my head.
  • 37 9
 Wouldn’t be a DVO comment section without Freeride Jerk and his broken record posts! When the same person always pipes in to complain about one company I always assume the issue is more with them than the company…..

My Onyx D1 has been much more reliable and plush than my last Lyrik, and let’s not get started on Float X2 reliability. This is a shock review so let’s keep the forks out of it though.

I’ve tried an old Topaz and loved it so have high hopes for this version based on this review. Good work Matt Beer!
  • 13 13
 @mammal:
I have owned an emerald, 3 jades , 2 jades xs 3 diamonds and onyx and dc onyx 3 topaz and 3 diamonds. All of this dating back to 2016. I have had problems with most that required not riding for weeks. Both of the jade x the bladders instantly leaked. One took three returns to get it to actually work the way I needed to. The tune was so late in it that on the slowest rebound, setting a 450 pounds spring was like a pogo stick. The standard Jade the shaft came loose from the seal, head twice causing play one Time cracking the shaft. I have rebuilt my onyx over 12 times. The last couple times we’re by DVO themselves. And it will last about two rides before it became so sticky. It wasn’t breaking away under my own way if not more just like Paul Astin’s. I had a terrible top out sound with a diamond in the 170 setting. Having an identical one not doing it sitting next to it.
  • 8 0
 @shinook: I’m sorry I should have said something more like this. Their products are not bad by any means. But you’re right it seems as everyone has stepped up pretty big that all the rest of the products are much better than what they have to offer now. They are definitely the slowest to do any R&D and put out new stuff. I’m pretty sure the jade has been exactly the same since it’s been released.
  • 4 1
 @covekid: I’m so happy that your stuff has been great. Like I said, I’ve owned about eight bikes, now fully equipped with DVO and problem after problem after problem. Did they fix the problems? Yes, of course. But after a while, I started having to buy secondhand spares and having those spend just as much time on my bike is the original products I bought. I’m more sharing my experience. If it works for you great keep on writing that stuff I’m happy it’s been great.
  • 27 0
 "The best customer service won’t matter when you’re buying spare forks/ shocks to make sure you can ride all year round."

as I proceed to buy an extra shock because my fox float X2 is on its third warranty rebuild in two years.
  • 3 1
 @mammal: to add one more thing I recently had a problem, or someone who is really really good with fork in shock service They rebuilt one of my forks, and the rebound was incredibly slow and it was because the viscosity of a certain brand oil was different than the one that was in it before. When all they tell you to use is 2.5 wtoil and there’s 10 different options that you can use you going to get drastically different results is not every 2.5 is 2.5 exactly. Hence, when rebuilding a fox or a rockshox product, you can use their Brand oil and not have to worry about this.
  • 14 3
 @freeridejerk888: There's an oil comparison chart you can use to figure that out. You're literally taking your parts into your own hands when you do home damper services, and so if you have little experience with it, you need to make up for that by doing more research. And taking it to a non-authorized service center that doesn't know how their various fluid brands behave is completely on you. DVO is also the type of company that you could call up, ask for advice in doing your own service, and they'd probably be happy to give it to you. Personally, I find it awesome that DVO makes their service documents public at all, where most manufacturers don't.

I'm not saying your experience is wrong, or not genuine, but we have vastly different perspectives on what to expect from the manufacturer on the home-service side of things.
  • 10 1
 @freeridejerk888: This is true of most suspension fluids, you need to go by the cST, not the weight. Why the industry uses arbitrary wt measurements is absolutely beyond me.

Also, the number of people here being downvoted for saying they had bad experiences just shows how rabid the fanbases are in the MTB world. There are some brands you just can't criticize without them coming out of the woodwork.

They really should have the Maxima/RS fluid thing plastered in big red letters on their website. It still blows my mind how few people, even suspension shops, know this and makes me wonder how many people are running around with fubared forks from shops using the wrong fluids.
  • 3 0
 @mammal: my recent experiences were services done but dvo themselves or service centers (in fact Ronnie did one for me personally that lasted 1. Yes ONE ride before it would barley move). My home service was far more successful. I’ve been doing it since 2015.
  • 4 0
 Gotta agree. While my DVO rear air damper feels good it's died on me quite a few times. The bike with it shared riding duties with 2 other bikes- so not a ton of use. Mid season for a few years in a row my Topaz died. Took many weeks to get it back from DVO so the bike was shut down from prime time riding. Asked DVO if I could buy a back up at cost since the current shock was so fragile. They said no in very short order which I thought was uncool. They are otherwise nice to deal with and following the last rebuild the shock seems to be holding up much better. Ronnie is someone I'd talked to many years ago when working on Zokes. Cool that he's still around.
  • 3 2
 @freeridejerk888: but yet you recently took your suspension to a place that didn't understand fluid cST.
  • 2 0
 @mammal: what’s your shop called. I’ll send you my stuff from now on.
  • 5 0
 @dododuzzi: DVOs service manuals, when they exist (and they often don't, they're perpetually "coming soon") are terrible. If I remember right the service manual for the Topaz 2 didn't have a step to depressurise the bladder before removing the oil seal head. I always wondered how many people got erupted on because of that.
  • 3 5
 @freeridejerk888: Figure-it-out-Werx. Look me upWink
  • 2 0
 hmm, in fact i am very happy and issue free with my topaz (and sapphire) for the past 3 years. maybe i just got lucky.
  • 3 1
 @mammal: tech.dvosuspension.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/11/diamond_damperservicebleed.pdf

Please tell me where it says dokt use certain oils or where damper rod end is changed or where the bladder is replaced. I’ll wait. Ps service centers don’t have anymore access to this then we do here.
  • 5 0
 @freeridejerk888 I'm curious why have you sticked to DVO so much if it has caused you so much trouble?
  • 2 0
 @Uuno: I have sold all my stuff since but am still left with a 2 forks (1 spare) as I am waiting for some new stuff to show it’s face so it can be replaced.
  • 1 2
 @freeridejerk888: the research part is looking up things in forums and rebuild vids, that's how i figured it out. And with all that, the dvo info actually helped a lot.The cST comparison chart can be found, not on dvos website, but that issue you mention can affect ANY suspension product if you're servicing a damper and don't know how to compare fluid viscosity. DVO doesn't hold your hand exactly, and yeah some of their info is out of date, but doing that work requires some figuring, and it's good that the company is behind user serviceability. A good dvo authorized suspension shop has these details dialed, because they know the product, it's your job to find one.
  • 5 6
 @covekid: nah, it’s likely because he actually rides his bike and DVO’s last about 11 seconds under someone competent. Lowest of the low spec.

The local distro here has had some of his own parts built to go inside.
  • 1 0
 @dododuzzi: it’s just as easy with rockshox. Fox has completely unrivaled service documentation, but a lot of their valving is just much higher tech and more complicated and shouldn’t be messed with by somebody who doesn’t have a lot of experience.
  • 1 0
 @freeridejerk888: Which part is the damper rod end? I am probably doing a damper service at some point this season and want to make sure I replace the needed parts.

In step 19 it says to replace this part, dvosuspension.com/product/damper-end-cap. Is there also something else that needs replacing?

For the bladder, does it need to be replaced every time? Or only if there is damage or it is sucked in? This is the first I have read about needing to replace it.
  • 21 3
 I've been on the new Topaz for a few months now after giving up on my Float X2 and couldn't be happier. I'm riding the stock setup on my Norco Sight with 140 psi on the bladder. Feels super plush. Was also looking gat the Super Deluxe, but DVO was having a sale that made the Topaz a nice chunk cheaper.
  • 16 1
 It's not hard to give up on the X2, considering the service intervals that are actually required.
  • 7 1
 @nickfranko: Service interval meaning riding it twice and hearing the insides shred themselves on the 3rd ride?
  • 5 0
 Better to give up on an X2 before it gives up on you
  • 18 0
 Increasing the bladder pressure doesn’t resist the oil more, it prevents cavitation from occurring behind the piston. Cavitation is bad for seals and damping performance @ stroke reversal, so I’m not sure why you’d ever want to run low enough bladder pressure to allow it to occur at common shaft velocities…
  • 12 0
 This ^^
The whole thing of using bladder pressure as a "tuning" option really bugs me. It just adds to the springrate, it doesnt effect the damping at all, unless as you say, you drop the pressure low enough to allow cavitation, which is a bad idea.
  • 7 0
 Yup. Definitely this. Bladder pressure is a set parameter to prevent cavitation. It's not something that should be a go-to for compression tuning. Personally, I'd like to see a tunable shim stack.
  • 6 6
 it does, it's harder for the shaft to come in. back on fox dhx rc4 (biggest shaft ever, don't start thinking anything) you could ride a 50lbs softer spring because of the air spring effect.
  • 6 6
 During compression not all displaced oil can go to rebound side because the volume of the shaft, thus the amount of oil equal to shaft volume goes through the base valve to the piggyback compressing the air in the ifp. So yes, the ifp pressure influences compression force.
  • 3 0
 @lkubica: Right, but the ifp or bladder pressure has no influence on the volume of oil the rod displaces. Therefore, if you compressed the bladder fast or slowly it would always push back with essentially the same force. You can almost think of it as a spring in series with the main air spring. That’s not damping, which is a force response to input, and is what this article makes it sound like it’s doing. IMO DVO should be setting the ifp pressure as low as possible to not have cavitation for the shim stack and velocity they expect, not leave it up to the consumer who should be tuning spring rate using the much larger air spring volume
  • 1 0
 Force response to velocity input**
  • 1 0
 @Triconian: I agree that bladder pressure is a bad way to tune shock performance, but it has some influence on shock action. I is true that it acts like a spring, not like a damper.
  • 2 1
 Exactly. Changing the bladder pressure is essentially no different to changing the spring pressure. It's slightly different in that the shock will top out slightly more with increased bladder pressure, but the changes made will be minimal. A drop in the ocean compared to the very tuneable air spring.
  • 3 0
 The bladder pressure acts like a second positive air chamber, in the sense that it adds spring force. However, the main air chamber is balanced by the negative; the high pressure chamber is not. The consequence is that it adds preload, which is generally undesiderable. The extra spring rate is felt more at the beginning of travel than in the middle-end. It's similar to reducing the negative volume. This preload is the "racey" feel @mattbeer mentioned.
  • 1 0
 Similar to reducing the-ve volume, as you say. But reducing the -ve vol is also possible with spacers in the main air spring. The bladder pressure tuning is essentially redundant.
  • 5 0
 If your IFP is long enough, you could get away without air in the main chamber. Basically running the Intend Shock.
  • 11 1
 "Adding more pressure to the bladder will resist the oil flow and therefore lead to a firmer feeling shock."

Hmm. Not really. Well kinda, but not in the way being insinuated. Adding pressure to the bladder does little other than increase the springrate slightly. Very slightly. It doesn't change the damping characteristics at all. Its really no different to sticking a couple of psi in the main air chamber.
  • 9 0
 @mattbeer did you make any observations about how well the bladder retained its pressure? I'm on the previous generation Topaz, and it feels like I need to top off the bladder pressure every couple of days, which is an annoyance compared to other shocks with compression dials. Curious to hear if that's gotten any better with the new generation!
  • 4 0
 Had the original Topaz on my last bike. My pre-ride ritual was: check tire pressure, cycle suspension, refill bladder pressure. It was ALWAYS low. Which honestly isn't a big deal, it takes like 30 seconds, but still is worth mentioning. I'm also curious to know if they fixed this.
  • 6 0
 @frankincense @TranceAllez I never experienced any pressure loss on this shock. For the majority of the test, I kept the pressure at 150 PSI.
  • 26 1
 I'm not trying to sound condescending, but I'm on a lot of DVO online forums and groups, and this has been what I've found. Around 20% of the people legitimately have this issue, because the bladder can come unseated, or can shift during a rebuild, and not hold air properly (sometimes a slow leak, sometimes can't inflate past 50psi). In these cases, you'll likely know because the shock will start cavitating (squelchy noise) with all that air now in the damper circuit. The other 80% are thrown off because of the VERY small air volume in the bladder, and when they attach the shock pump, it reads around 50psi lower than when they pumped it up. That's because it loses 1/4 of it's small volume filling up the pump, and it's much more dramatic than what most people experience with higher volume air springs.

Again, just my observations. A LOT of people make this mistake.
  • 10 1
 @frankincense @TranceAllez Did you guys precharge the pump before checking pressures? The bladder volume is so small that back filling the pump causes major pressure drop.
  • 3 1
 @mammal: yeah, I've always wondered if pressure loss from attaching the pump is all there is to it. I *think* I can feel a difference in the ride quality if I don't top it up before riding, but I might just be talking myself into it. I don't know how I can pressurize the pump that I have like @Eatsdirt suggested (tips welcome!), but I suppose that I could always test how much pressure loss there is from the pump by reattaching it right after I fill up and seeing what it says. Guess I should try that next time I ride
  • 3 0
 @mammal: I've had the same problem on my 2020 topaz, although in my case the pressure loss in the bladder was slower over about a week. Set it to 180, it would drop to 160ish by next week. This is taking the pressure loss of the pump hose into account (you can test how much that is by simply disconnecting and reconnecting the pump), and also you can simply feel that something is off.

My main chamber also slowly leaked and persisted to do so despite rebuilding / servicing the shock. I'd go from 25 to 35-40% sag over about a week, very annoying.

When the shock collapsed on me last week on a ride, I gave up on it and bought a dpx2 instead of spending money on another rebuild.
  • 3 0
 They have made 3 or more revisions to bladder, due to poor sealing. You need to always ensure the bladder is at the minimum listed pressure. A pump with a 2-stage head is the best thing I’ve bought for dialing in air forks and shocks. Worth picking one up
  • 1 0
 @frankincense: That's exactly it. If it pressurizes fine, reattach the pump immediately afterward, take the reading, pump it back up to where you want it, and compare the next time you check.
  • 1 1
 @EwanWhosearmy: yep, it does happen. I've only had it happen once, after a rebuild, because I didn't seat it carefully enough when reassembling. It was obvious because it wouldn't hold pressure. I do my own services, so not a hassle at all to just do it one more time. They've made changes to the bladder recently to help with this issue.
  • 3 0
 @mammal: Yeah I tested it multiple times with both a pre-charged pump and a psi gauge. Same thing as @EwanWhosearmy it was fine from day to day, but over the span of a week or two it would drop about 20-30psi. I had the shock fully rebuilt about a year ago after the bladder completely stopped holding pressure, and the slow leak continued. Again, I really don't think it's a big deal and I absolutely LOVED everything else about it, but I don't believe I'm the only one who experienced this
  • 2 1
 @TranceAllez: Nope, by no means are you the only one. My main point is this comes up A LOT. Usually, it's people who don't get the pressure/volume relationship at play.
  • 2 0
 Every time i re-insert my pump, the bladder loses 40 psi, right after setting the pressure. After a week, the bladder loses 50-60 psi, about 10 psi.
  • 1 1
 @EwanWhosearmy: Not saying this is the case in your "case", but if you keep your bike in a garage with temperature changes vs. maybe inside your home this can happen. Just the temp swings can cause pressure changes.
  • 1 1
 @mammal: perfectly said! it is just the displacement of air from the bladder to fill the line and register the gauge of the pump. depending on the pump it can be anywhere from 40-70psi
  • 1 1
 @scstrail: That's a good point from the context of taking your measurements at relatively similar temperatures. For example, I try to remember to readjust my fork air spring if the temperature's swung by 10C more or less than the last ride, and I always set suspension/tire pressures at the trail head instead of my cool basement suite. 10-20C in temp difference can cause a 10psi or more swing in pressure readings.
  • 2 1
 @TranceAllez: Since it's a schradder valve, i'd suggest to add 0.5ml of synthetic gear oil or RSP air fluid, and a brand new valve core.
  • 9 0
 My GF got DVOs on her Ripmo AF and it has been an absolute shitshow of stuff failing or not working properly. And she is 115lbs kitted up so it's definitely not pushing it past its limits. Even the screwholes for the mudguard on the fork were crooked. Overall I was super disappointment with DVO and we are slowly working towards replacing her shock and fork.
  • 8 2
 Great upgrades to what is a classic. I have been on a DVO Topaz with my Ibid Hd3 for years and the shock literally transformed the bike. Being able to adjust the negative and positive chamber volume is a gods-send, and the bladder chamber adds to the fine tuning of the shock. Standard rebuilds, changing seals, are a breeze, and you can even change shims and do a complete rebuild without special tools. Never had a problem in three years of use!
  • 9 0
 There are times I wouldn't mind adjustable bladder pressure.... like after my 5th beer.
  • 6 0
 Meh... I really think DVO is missing the price target with their products. They are closer to Marzocchi than to FOX/RS and two or three tiers away from Ohlins/EXT. I think more people would give them a go if the price was right.
  • 2 0
 My last fork was EXT and my new Onyx D1 blows it out of the water in performance. Works better for me than my last 36 too. My buddy had had a bunch of issues with his Ohlins fork as well ,so not sure Ohlins and EXT are the holy grail of performance by any stretch....
  • 2 0
 @Marky771: I'm just pointing out the established hierarchy... and their price should be reflective of their place in the hierarchy until they move up it (assuming with quality high performing products). Coming in 10% less than FOX/RS is not going to convince buyers to give DVO a try. Coming in 50% less... that will get some buyers on board and some OEMs.
  • 2 0
 @Baller7756: I'm sure DVO is giving OEM's a HUGE price concession to get their products into the wild. Charge way less to OEM's to flood the market and get riders using their products. Then charge retail buyers much higher prices (but still a slight value) compared to Fox and Rockshox.
  • 6 1
 It's still just a Monarch Plus in DVO pyjamas. Or a Suntour TriAir. Hopefully the increased shaft size finally fixes the intense damper shaft wear. And the bladders don't leak profusely. And the damper bodies are no longer horrendously expensive to replace. And that you no longer have to pass the main oil seal over either a sharp edge at one end of the shaft or threads at the other end, or that at least the bullet tool they recommend to use but never made or sold now exists.
  • 1 0
 Damn. It's like you were watching me all of last year. I experienced damper shaft wear, had to replace a damper body (cracked!), and experienced the pain of having to fit a new oil seal.

The things that made me completely give up on this shock were the manufacturing inconsistencies and apparent random failures.
The second damper body showed heavy wear on the anodising after a few months, where the first had none, on the exact same bike. When I suggested a manufacturing error they didn't seem to believe it possible.
The damper wand cap was also either chemically welded or insanely tight from the factory. Never before felt like I was risking destroying a shock in disassembly. I torqued it back down to just below the recommended value to try to avoid a repeat issue and it seemed *okay*. The next time I had the air can off, I decided to check the damper cap hadn't loosened, I tightened it 1/16th turn and it started leaking oil.

Overall a disappointing experience, which is too bad because it really was smooth in action.
  • 7 0
 Does it make a gluck gluck sound out of the box? Kidding. Love my DVO. Keep it up guys and gals!
  • 4 0
 Wow, they must have really changed the way the bladder interacts with the damping circuit, if changes of 10psi showed noticeable performance differences. I've got the previous generation Topaz, and two Jade DH shocks (not Jade-X), and the difference between max and min pressure in the bladder is hardly noticeable on all of them.
  • 6 0
 I have a newer Jade X and can't notice a difference in bladder pressure. Even rode with too little pressure without knowing it for a decent while and didn't notice any difference after adding psi.
  • 6 2
 Hands down the best suspension out there in my opinion, I've tried everything over the years both shock and fork wise from the big 2 and don't get me wrong yes they make great products .But for me DVO are easier to service and work on, great range of adjustments and cheaper than Fox, Rockshox etc.. my personal experience with their customer service has always been spot on making them my suspension manufacturer of choice for my bikes.
  • 3 4
 How are they easy to work on if they don’t give you the same access to info as rockshox or fox does?
  • 6 1
 @freeridejerk888: they answer the phone......
  • 4 1
 Just here to echo how bad the quality control is on these shocks. Had a new Jade X bladder explode within a week of purchase from DVO and excessive damper shaft wear requiring replacement within two months of riding on a Topaz 2.
  • 7 5
 The middle setting is my preferred setting for descending on an ebike (53lbs ish).
This shock was meant to accommodate ALL bikes and I think that's why the middle compression setting provides a lot of mid
stroke support - for ebikes, heavier riders, etc.
Keep up the great work DVO - I've owned several of their shocks thru the years..ALL were great and they have fantastic customer service!!!
  • 7 1
 Been very impressed with my Manitou MARA
  • 4 0
 Meaning that the NEW Topaz will lead to a NEW Suntour Triar? knowing that both are completely similar at the end... but not at the same price.
  • 3 0
 The do look similar but I believe the Triair uses a floating piston instead of a bladder
  • 2 0
 I have DVO shocks on my Ripmo, firstly their website doesn’t do a good job at explaining all the set up needed for the forl and shock that seem a little bit more complex to work on compared with my Fox and Rockshox experiences and if I’m honest, I found them to be quite unreliable. I had to get both the forks and rear shock rebuilt after three months of very little use (probably 5 rides - second bike) and the official service company that we sent them to said the service wasn’t covered by warranty so it cost round $450 if I remember correctly. The forks still are not setup great. I probably wouldn’t buy their stuff again.
  • 2 0
 I had a dvo fork and the seals popped out of the air side multiple times. It was like a gun going off. Eventually they sent us a new fork but by then I had bought a fox. Customer service was great, but that fork was a bit of a dud. There was no way to add volume spacers either and the solution was to pour fork oil in to reduce the volume from memory too. Its hard to look past fox and rs.
  • 2 0
 Damn these comments are brutal. I'd just like to point out that bladder pressure is not and will never be a tuning variable. it is only used to prevent cavitation. The more damping force you have the more bladder/IFP pressure you need.

I really wish this 10 year old false marketing claim would go away.
  • 2 0
 My shop mechanic lent me his after my x2 had to go back for its 4th warranty and I ended up buying it off it. Suited my needs a lot better than the x2 and I’ve done over 100hrs now and it’s not skipped a beat
  • 4 2
 I like mine. Got the custom tune done when I bought it. It arrived about a week later. Slapped it on and the only thing I've changed is bladder pressure. Way smoother and composed then the DPX2 it replaced.
  • 5 4
 Shock reviews are so useless, bike choice, terrain, and length of use are going to radically impact performance.

If you’re going after market just get two shocks if/when the other fails.
  • 2 0
 air shocks, perhaps. i've had a coil shock for 5 years already (true, i haven't beaten it up much) and it just works without even being looked at. look at car shocks, i've a 20 year old relatively low mileage car that's on it's original shocks, that's how it should be with bike shocks, minus air shocks, they've air seal to blow up,.
  • 1 1
 @baca262: for trail and enduro air’s the way to go, how many coils ya see at the top of the E-WS(DR)
  • 2 0
 @adminofthegapers: yeah but can't beat coil for ridden hard and put away wet
  • 2 1
 @baca262: I agree, love me some coil but can’t beat the pop of an air shock
  • 1 0
 @kyytaM: basically won all his races on air, seem to be just testing the coil with live valve
  • 1 0
 I still have an older Gen 1 Topaz which I really like. Is there anything on this newer one that's better in terms of on trail performance?
  • 2 0
 I didn't notice much difference. Plug and play.
  • 1 0
 The new is stronger, more reliable. If you didn't break the old one regularly you're fine
  • 1 0
 I have the Suntour TriAir2 version and it's great. No issues or complaints after a year of use. Very happy with it on my trail bike.
  • 2 0
 That reads like "do yourself a favor and buy the Super Deluxe Air".
  • 2 1
 The true test between rubber bladder vs IFP is how easily one cavitates in fast directional change in damper shaft speeds
  • 2 0
 That little bottom out O-ring must be a joke...
  • 1 0
 They don't need to be big when air pressure is increasing exponentially - it isn't a coil with a linear spring rate
  • 5 6
 I just can’t get over how cheap they look. I’m sure they perform really well but looks like an edgy 13 year old in a monster hat designed them.
  • 5 0
 I'm actually a 55-year-old coffee drinker with a chip on my shoulder and I wear my emotions on my sleeve. I work in a dark room alone all day and I still prefer my hardtail and the pedal up. Thanks for your feedback. Have a great day!
  • 1 0
 South Park bottom out, you know what I’m saying!?
  • 1 1
 @mattbeer Update shock size. Fuel EXe is a 205x60-65 trunnion.
  • 1 0
 @Comatosegi Thanks for the catch.
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