Review: EXT Arma Downhill Coil Shock

Apr 6, 2022 at 12:30
by Matt Beer  
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At this point in their MTB history, EXT should need no introduction. The boutique Italian suspension company offers a burly single crown fork loaded with bullet points, a fleet of coil-sprung dampers, and are currently working on an air shock. The Arma is their coil-sprung downhill damper that forgoes a climb switch in favour of an adjustment you don’t often see on an MTB damper - a hydraulic bottom out (HBC).

Even though most downhill bikes have moved to 250 or sometimes 230mm metric shock sizing, there are still some imperial lengths offered, like the classic 9.5 x 3.0", and a shorter 210. Of course, trunnion mounts are available in 185, 205, and 230mm sizing too.

Arma Details

• 4 adjustments: high/low speed compression, rebound, bottom out
• Engineered rebound circuit to separate bump and rebound oil flow
• Ultra low-friction seal and shaft coating
• Low reservoir pressure: 55 PSI
• Full custom hydraulic setup available
• Weight: 432 grams (250 x 75mm) w/hardware
• MSRP: $1,100 USD, €879 (includes two springs)
extremeshox.com

Once you’ve filled out the order form that requires not only the shock size and rider weight you’ll have to specify which bike the Arma will be bolted onto as well, because each shock is custom built with a 4-week lead time. EXT also understands that a rider’s needs may change depending on the tracks, so the choice of two lightweight steel springs is built into the $1,100 price tag.

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Details

Bottom out control might not be all that you’re after when it comes to choosing a rear shock, nor should it be. The Arma V3 also has high and low speed compression with one rebound knob to cover all bases without too much complication. Reaching the dead end of the travel can still be done, but thanks to that HBC circuit, it comes with more of a love tap than a punch. To make sure riders are using the full travel efficiently, the elastomer bottom out bumper has been reduced in size from the previous version of the Arma.

To simplify the process of swapping springs, the rebound adjuster has been reworked to allow the coil to slide off without needing to remove the dial. Changing the spring requires you to remove the C-clip retainer and then slide the heavily machined shock collar over the rebound knob, like one of those interlocking brain teaser puzzles - it just clears at the right angle. A closer inspection will reveal a tiny plastic set screw that rests in reliefs to prevent the shock collar from unwinding as the spring oscillates. EXT’s Superlight springs can be up to 30% less mass than a standard steel coil and the 500 lb/in spring weighed 435 grams.

On the inside of the high-tech looking Arma, a 14mm shock shaft drives a 29mm diameter main piston. A spring-energized main seal is used to reduce friction and the shock shaft is treated with a slippery coating to keep things sliding like butter. To avoid cavitation, which is the phenomenon of bubbles forming under rapid pressure changes, a 24mm valve piston produces high turbulent flow. That also reduces hysteresis, or lag in the damping. Further adding to the consistency of EXT’s damper design, the rebound circuit can separate bump and oil flow.





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Test Bike Details
Rear travel: 215 mm
Shock stroke: 75 mm
Average leverage ratio: 2.87
Overall progression: 19%
Fork: Ohlins DH38 - 200mm travel
Rider weight: 75 Kg
Rebound: 4/10 (from closed)
High Speed Compression: 8/16
Low Speed Compression: 7/14
Hydraulic Bottom Out: 5/14



Performance

To reiterate the exclusivity of EXT’s shocks, this Arma was custom tuned for a Commencal Supreme 29/27 and my weight. I started on a 475 spring for the slower, steeper North Shore trails, but quickly moved up to a 500. On fast, flat out bike park speeds, jumping up to a 525 certainly wouldn’t be out of the question. I started with one turn of preload and left the clickers exactly how they were set from the factory.

To add some context between the shock and the bike, Dan Roberts dug into the details of the Commencal Supreme 29/27 in his review last summer and found that his particular bike had more travel than advertised. The overall progression is low and linear towards the end of the travel; something that would test the limits of the Arma's HBC.

Diving straight into familliar upper Cypress DH tracks, I was comfortable with the nature of the Arma right away. Maybe it’s the commitment and focus that comes with downhill laps, or just the bulkier helmet, but I never found the shock to be particularly loud as the oil flowed through the circuits, like some riders have mentioned. The same goes for the plastic sleeve that protects the bottom out bumper, which remained quiet while battling the bomb holes. I did get questioned more than once about the noise levels. Rattling parts I can understand, but really, oil slurping shocks should be the least of your worries when you're bombing downhill tracks. And if that was noticeable, wouldn't that be an admirable trait?

Either way, this shock is built to race. There's a unique quality that was tricky to sum up. The tune is firmer than what I’d been used to and initially I thought I might have to back off the compression. On lap two, I realized I had to adjust my braking points. I was riding faster than before. Ultimately, the shock was offering more support and that allowed me to push the bike through rough sections without getting bent out of shape. You did have to hang on tighter though and brace for larger hits. We were moving. If you want forgiveness, there is enough range to back off the compression and ease up on attacking. When things got real muddy and slippery, I backed off the LCS to unlock additional grip.

Proof of this is where I found my happy place on the clickers; smack in the middle of the compression and very close on the rebound and HBC. Depending on the pace or conditions of the day, a few clicks here or there set the tone. Of course, the custom tune built for my weight and bike didn't hurt either. The only exception was the rebound which stayed between three or four clicks (out of ten) from closed. Moving up to a 550 spring might be a lot of return force for the damper to contender with. Dan had a similar takeaway with another shock that was specified as stock equipment in last year's test of the Supreme.

About those keyed adjusters... They sound like a PITA, but we're talking about downhill bikes here. Making changes each lap with tools at the trucks was a snap. The most crucial of all those knobs is the rebound dial, which can still be turned by hand in a pinch in the lift line.

Even on a bike with little progression towards bottom out, the Arma was the best of both worlds. The Supreme's leverage begins with a mild progression curve and then tapers off to a sloping line. Maybe it was the perfect pairing? It got me thinking, are linear bikes better when the rider is looking for predictability where they can ignore small roots and stay alert and strong for bottom outs? That lets the shock do its thing without erratic shaft speeds.

I’m still blown away by the ultra smooth transition from compression to rebound. There were absolutely no clunks or mechanical top outs from the Arma. DH track have enough bumps to worry about. You don’t need your shock adding more knocks. On one hand, it could feel like melted butter over polished roots and still have that support deep in the stroke to keep the bike from caving or my body from crumpling when you needed it. I pushed it to the best of my abilities through the high speed compressions of Mount Prevost and the filthy muck of the Cypress downhill tracks. Suppleness of coil and the bottom out resistance of air? Impossible you say? The Arma is freakin' close.

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EXT Arma
Photo Ga tan Rey
Ohlins TTX22M


How Does It Compare?

Prior to installing the Arma, I spent the better part of the season onboard the Ohlins TTX22M, which is also hailed to be a phenomenal coil sprung shock. And it is. The Arma just squeezes out every ounce of damping in so many ways. 

First, the TTX has only three high speed compression settings. Less is more if you’re overwhelmed by options and feel the urge to wild twist knobs. Ohlins does keep things simple because those changes are quite noticeable - but too noticeable for my taste. I often toggled between the middle and closed HSC switch position for bike park speeds, mind you, it could be overbearing at times. On the low speed side of the compression, the effect was the opposite. It was barely on the radar.

There were also times at which a small amount of top-out was present on the Ohlins. I never felt this through chattery sections of trail, but on the occasional pre-hop, a small tap at the top of the stroke was there.

Don't get me wrong. The Ohlins also has that juicy, bump eating performance with a fluid change in shaft direction, but the Arma provides a wider tuning window with more influence from each turn of the dial. There's also a plain elastomer bottom out bumper on the Ohlins - nothing wrong with that, either, however EXT's HBC provides extra cushion that avoided any rude, mechanical bottom out punches. Most importantly, this aids in the bike settling slower as you reach the end of the travel.

You'll be reminded by all of these features when you click "add to cart" though. The Arma costs nearly $400 USD more at first glance, however that includes two lightweight springs. The Ohlins sells for $695 as just the damper and custom tunes are available through authorized service centers. Is it all worth it? Given the time versus performance demand of downhill bike shocks, I say go all in. They aren't disposable like rims or tires. With regular service, there's no reason why any quality damper couldn’t be used for more than one season or transferred from bike to bike, granted you may need to re-tune it depending on the leverage ratio.

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Mountain bikers are fickle creatures and noises bother them. The plastic disk on the shock shaft protects a thinner than normal bottom out bumper, because there is a hydraulic bottom out function to back it up. Anyone who pointed out the shock asked if this disk or the damper made excessive noise. Neither were a particular issue during my test, but it would be a worthwhile finishing touch to see the disk and bumper as one.



Pros

+ Custom built for each bike
+ Wide range of adjustments, including hydraulic bottom out resistance
+ Seamless transition from compression to rebound direction

Cons

- Exclusivity comes at a cost; price, service centers, build lead-time
- Bottom out bumper protector could be attached



Pinkbike's Take

bigquotesEXT 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







Author Info:
mattbeer avatar

Member since Mar 16, 2001
375 articles

203 Comments
  • 257 13
 It boggles my mind how reviewers often discuss riders getting a new bike every year. I know of nobody who does this. So, I say go all in and get a shock like this so you can enjoy it for years. Yeah, I said it....own a bike for years, not days.
  • 40 390
flag powderhoundbrr FL (Apr 13, 2022 at 8:13) (Below Threshold)
 I get a new bike every year, so do my 2 sons.
  • 55 2
 If you work at a shop its quite easy to do although I can imagine right now slightly harder due to inventory problems. I used to sell my bike every year for more than I bought it for making it an easy choice. I can imagine a majority of the people buying bikes every year work at a shop and have access to the employee discounts.
  • 25 5
 I think people over index on whatever their own experience is. Some folks buy a bike and ride it for a decade, and probably assume that most other riders do as well. On the flip side, plenty of people buy new gear every year or two. Me and most of my friends typically trade out our bikes every 2 years or so.

Given the rampant growth in the sport and the way that used bikes are holding serious value, it's pretty easy to upgrade your bike and spend *only* ~$1k doing so. Case in point: I bought a Yeti SB150 shortly after it was available, and sold it 1 year later for about $500 less than I paid for it.
  • 14 34
flag neologisticzand (Apr 13, 2022 at 8:19) (Below Threshold)
 @powderhoundbrr: At one point in time, I also was getting a new bike every year, with the shortest interval I had a bike being about 6-8 months.
  • 10 0
 i bought an 11-6 back in early 2016 for the insurgent i was riding. it lived on that bike from 2016-2018 and then got re-tuned for an SB5.5 I bought (thankfully the eye-to-eye and stroke were the same on both bikes). It then lived on that bike until I sold it late last year. The new owner just had to buy a different spring and it is still going strong!
  • 80 3
 @powderhoundbrr: Can I book in for a scale and polish next week?
  • 191 5
 I have a large disposable income and I like to tell random people about it. When people call me crass and self aggrandizing I simply remind them that they are jealous that I am better than them because I have more money.
  • 38 2
 @powderhoundbrr: We are all ecstatic for you. Can't you tell?
  • 15 18
 @ahootes: H8er
  • 7 4
 @Mayzei: Sorry, I totally downvoted you when I meant to upvote. If I could upvote you more than once, I would upvote you until my fingers fell off.
  • 15 18
 I have an EXT Storia and it's awesome. But. If I were buying a new fancy shock aftermarket I'd get a Push 11-6 which in many cases can be reconfigured to fit on other bikes. So yeah the $1200USD is a lot of money but you can think of it more as a lifetime investment and carry it from bike to bike.
  • 4 1
 @ahootes: I'll give him mine and you can owe me one,
  • 1 0
 @watchmen: I just gave you two! We'll call it even Wink
  • 23 1
 @powderhoundbrr: Cool story, Dr. Bro.
  • 5 0
 Until the recent supply constraints, I was getting a new bike every year. Sometimes they weren’t new, but between an enduro, trail, BMX/DJ, and gravel, it meant I only replaced a bike every few years.
  • 10 0
 @alexsin: the EXT shocks can be reconfigured also.
  • 59 31
 I am no doctor, just get pro deals and my kids race at a high level. Therefore new bikes.......And I drive a shitty car and live in a meager house. Just priorities.
  • 5 6
 @twonsarelli: 11-6 will actually take your shock and rework it adjusting length and progression for different builds.
They were gonna revalve, new spring, and change mine from a traditional to trunnion mount for $600.
Considering a rebuild, revalve, and custom dyno tune on any shock is about $250 i think $600 was a good deal. without changing to trunnion it would have even been cheaper.
  • 1 0
 @snowshoewv: yeah i just got lucky that i needed very little in the way of new hardware. it was basically just a revalve and normal service. they said that it was the least amount of hardware changes possible between two bikes.
  • 66 3
 @powderhoundbrr: As someone who's also working in the industry and can avail of proforms, i.e. industry discounts, my general understanding is that it's not perceived as a good thing to flaunt them. I think it's a bit classless, personally, to brag about these privileges.
  • 3 6
 @ahootes: @ahootes: never understood this. bragging is always annoying but people get peeved if you even mention ep discounts. bizarre
  • 29 3
 @alexsin: After owning both a Push 11-6 and a EXT Storia I'd never go back to Push. Push isn't as custom as they like to claim. No stroke reconfiguring and if the bike you're switching to isn't on their list they won't really support you. I had an 11-6 that they pretty much didn't want to reconfigure to a new bike I purchased because it wasn't one of their approved ones, same stroke different kinematic. They ended up putting a base tune in my shock from another bike on their list after some grumbling and it worked decent. I sold the 11-6 and bought a Storia. Customer service through EXT US dealer/service has been awesome and there was no reluctance to tune the shock for any bike that is requested. Finally, the dual circuits on the 11-6 never got used to full potential by me maybe other riders do but it is just an over complicated climb switch.
  • 1 6
flag Tuna-Flapjack (Apr 13, 2022 at 9:06) (Below Threshold)
 @powderhoundbrr: #Ebike
  • 9 1
 Suspension is the most important part of a full suspension bike. Tuning knowledge is worth a lot. You don't need to buy ext, you can buy rs and get it tuned. Whatever you buy just check if your shock was really tuned for the frame. And believe me, most time it is not even if bike manufacturer claims so! What is more your weight also makes a huge difference which shock settings may not be able to cover. Recently I bought a Marin for my kid and shock tune there is a crime, it's too damped even for me, for God's sake! Full sus with bad shock tune ~ hardtail.
  • 40 0
 @powderhoundbrr: hot wife or nah?
  • 14 1
 @alexsin: Push charges a fortune to reconfigure and there's no guarantee a new bike is going to have the same size shock. This whole moving your shock from bike to bike as a long term investment is not realistic.
  • 3 0
 @lkubica: great advice. Getting your suspension properly sorted for your bike, riding style, and your trails is one of the smartest ways to spend your money. I can’t count the number of riders I come across with very expensive bikes who convince themselves that the only way to get the performance they want is to spend an obscene amount of money on a new shock or fork.

I used to take every shock and fork to a local suspension shop after I’ve owned it a month or so, just in case the tune is right for me or there’s an issue that needs a return. Nowadays I have a colleague who used to be a suspension engineer for motorsports teams. He tunes all my mtb, motorcycle, and car/sxs suspension. The magic he can work with a few shims is really unbelievable.

He makes all the shims himself, for each shock absorber he works on. He has completely custom made internals in his own forks (both mtb and mx) and an air shock he’s designed himself that he eventually wants to put into production.
  • 3 2
 @chezotron I get a couple frames every year and I'm just a regular joe that has a regular job and rides 2000 regular trail miles a year.
  • 23 0
 I've always thought it was better to be selective about your bike platform and invest in it for at least a couple of years. Get to know it, refine it and yourself. Chasing the next shiny thing, I think, leaves you perpetually unsatisfied.
  • 3 0
 @powderhoundbrr: so you are the guy stealing all the bikes in kimberly
  • 14 2
 @kleinschuster: 100% agree
They were a PIA to deal with when it came to anything. They didn’t even want to change anything on the tune when I asked for minor tweak. Reconfiguration they didn’t even want to touch mine because it was a V1 and they don’t support those anymore. All the parts they said would cost so much that I might as well get a new shock. That sucked to hear. Have since dealt with EXT USA and Ohlins and both have done above and beyond custom work for me and even trying to tinker beyond the norm for me just for the fun of it! Great experiences with the both of them and will take them 10/10 times over push in the future
  • 1 1
 If you are racing DH to a decent level or have links to the industry you will often get bikes for trade price and then it’s best to ride / race the bike for a season and shift it on for essentially what you paid for it.

DH race bikes do get bashed to shit pretty good too.

Then there are people that just like new kit and can afford it.
  • 2 0
 @Afterschoolsports: contact info for your friend?
  • 2 18
flag conoat (Apr 13, 2022 at 12:24) (Below Threshold)
 @tjbiker38: or they are completely minted and love new toys. lol

they exist. honestly, I don't consider myself minted, but I could without feeling it, buy a 10k bike every year and sell my old 10k bike for 5k. you might be shocked(pun intended) at the outsized percentage of very high earners that mountain bike.
  • 5 0
 @conoat: ah man, you crack me up with this shit.
  • 5 0
 @snowshoewv: The reconfiguration done by Push can be done to any EXT shock as well. Change of length or tune to fit a new frame/owner. Just take a look at at the latest generation Push and what is implemented lthat has existed on the EXT shocks for years. Low IFP pressure 90psi (not as low as EXT at 40), HBC.....
  • 5 0
 @conoat: that would be very generous of you - someone could get a 1-year old entry level bike for half price!
  • 1 4
 I might be lucky but i generally swap bikes every 4 months or so, you can really separate the "marketing" from "this bike actually rides really good"
  • 7 0
 @watchmen: probably would been more believable if he said, “spend my money on hookers and coke, each new hooker is like riding a new bike, a surprise waiting to happen.”
  • 12 7
 @watchmen: I'm poor and like to pretend it's cool to be poor. I mock people that have worked hard to create a comfortable life for themselves. I don't care what sacrifices they've made to gain the success they've achieved. It's easier for me to complain about it online and not actually do anything to improve my own life.
  • 13 1
 @powderhoundbrr: not sure why people are shaming you for making bikes a priority. I work a mediocre job, live in a cheap studio apartment, and drive a 10 year old truck, but I get at least one new bike every year because it’s what I love. You don’t need to be a dentist to buy bikes, just prioritize and sacrifice.
  • 3 0
 @kleinschuster: Interesting, I’d like to try an ext now that you say that. I have a push and the climb switch is well over complicated definitely
  • 3 0
 @kleinschuster: Huh that's interesting. I didn't know that. Good to know. I've been totally happy with my Storia.
  • 14 0
 If you can, you can. But why would you? That is the mystery. It takes a lifetime to get used to a bike, even ten years isn't too much for it to feel like a part of your body. And you can feel perfectly fine from the first ride, I'm not denying that, but the progression from that exists. So, my bet to explain a yearly bike change is that it's a self-perpetuating case of indecision, or putting too much focus on the material instead of the riding.
  • 2 0
 @kleinschuster:
Did the EXT shock work better than the Push shock? I'm happy with my 11/6 but I wonder if their custom tuning comes down to them turning the adjusters to match what you tell them you want.
  • 2 2
 @powderhoundbrr: No kidding, why would anyone run an $1100 shock on an old bike.
High tech for your old roach?
  • 4 0
 @DavidGuerra: I'm not convinced that there is that much of a learning curve on new bikes. When I swapped from my prior bike to my current bike, I immediately set PR's on a trail I've ridden hundreds of times.

In fact, I've never swapped to a new bike and regretted the decision or felt like it took long to get comfortable on the new ride.
  • 4 7
 A new frame and suspension every season? Totally normal for me, we’re not talking about hardtails or bikepacking rigs.

I’m sorry you don’t have the funds, maybe get a better job or cut back on beer Wink
  • 4 3
 @Caligula1620: Seriously, half the comments in every article are about how expensive everything is. It’s like a contest between some folks to prove how cheap they are.
  • 1 0
 @alexsin: you can do the same with fox if you buy a few parts here and there.
  • 5 1
 @tfriesenftr: Thanks man, been a rough day for an offhand comment on Pinkbike lol.
  • 1 0
 @G1EXTStoria:

Same stroke length / stroke changes can be done to most of the dampers on the market down to a "cheap" bomber CR, same goes for revalving.

Why do you think the ifp pressure matters that much?
  • 2 1
 @KJP1230: Most people are confortable on their new bikes. But once you stick with a bike for twelve years like I have (not by choice though) you will know what I'm talking about Smile
  • 1 0
 @alexsin: I Wouldn't bother I just looked about having mine reconfigured to my new bike and it is more than half what I paid for the 11.6! (luckily i bought it in the sale they had)
  • 2 0
 Good point. I think in some, not all cases, this is caused by thinking a new bike will cause the person to be a better rider, or the fit not being right which is understandable. For the former reason this behavior happens a lot with guitar players, something that really doesn’t wear out.
  • 5 5
 @powderhoundbrr:
I don't know why so many virtue signaling people are down voting you. There's worse things you could be spending your own money on.
  • 2 0
 @onawalk: I’ll ask him after the Easter break to PM you on here.
  • 2 0
 @sancho-ramerez: Not being able to afford a bike each year is not a virtue...
  • 6 0
 I do not envy folks who buy a new bike each season. In order to reach my potential on any bike, it takes a season or more of bike and ride style adjustments before the bike and I achieve flow together. I doubt that buying a new bike each season results in a better ride experience.
  • 2 0
 @Afterschoolsports: could I get same info please!
  • 2 0
 @IronWheel: I guess that depends on the rider, the terrain, their age, their ability to change and adapt, if they are focused on learning, what kind of bike change, how many times they’ve made changes before, I mean the list goes on.

We are apt to make sweeping judgments based on our own experiences, that have little to no correlation to anyone else.

when I was a younger man, worked in the industry, swapped bikes at least once a year, usually more. Then I kept the same bike for 10 years, knew it inside and out, was very proficient on it. Then bought a new bike, and was immediately more comfortable, faster, more stable than I ever thought possible.

If you’re changing bikes every year, the changes are likely incremental, so you’re ability to get the most out of that bikes is only incrementally away.
If you wait 10 years, well the whole world has changed, so a lot of your riding ability has to change as well.
So “your” experience “proves” your initial judgement….
  • 1 0
 @onawalk:
Riding the same mountain bike for 10 years is the opposite extreme given the pace of mountain bike development. I wouldn’t compare such extremes. I promised that I was using disc brakes rather than cantilever brakes in 2006.
  • 1 0
 @twonsarelli: you should try selling a well used carbon bike with XX1 and carbon wheels. they don't hold their value like a $4000 bike does. It's simply down to the fact that people in the market for a super bike, don't want used, and people that buy used don't really have $7500.
  • 1 1
 @justanotherusername: why? do you doubt I ride nice bikes? I mean, you have hit stalker level 9000 with me already, so I am sure you are aware I have high end bikes. why is what I said a shock, you absolute f*cking bellend?
  • 1 0
 @Artnshel: the stopwatch says the bike I swapped out my Push for EXT is faster with the EXT and no other changes. I didn't have the latest gen 11-6 I think it was gen 2 before they added hydraulic bottom out. So I'm able to run anywhere from 25-50lb lower spring rate on the EXT than I did on the Push depending on what terrain I'm riding.
  • 1 0
 Every week, I get a new bike every week!
  • 1 0
 @conoat: Its a ‘shock’ because you are a massive fantasist - a Walter Mitty.

Though you are a mobile bike mechanic so I suppose it’s possible you have a nice bike and someone must be nice enough to give you a trade discount….
  • 1 0
 @IronWheel: apologies, my quotations were meant as a general sense, not actually you.

I swapped from a 2005 Norco 6, to a Transition Sentinel in 2019. So actually a 14 yr gap, but had a 2011 Kona, and a 2008 Rocky in there as well. The Norco still worked great, but the geo was way off from where we are now.

There’s an argument for swapping bikes annually, you’ll get a better return on your depreciating asset, save money on maintenance, and worn parts, and the adjustment to style, should in theory be less.

Try to look at it as a cost to play, I don’t golf, and rarely go to lift areas to ride. I stay on top of maintenance, and keep my bike running well. So when I annually swap, I’m looking at a $1000 roughly to do so, if that.
So $3.00/day gets me in a new bike.
Stay away from the highest end stuff, and the lowest end stuff, and you’re prolly better off
  • 1 0
 @CarlMega: I can see that. But also mtn bikes are just recreational toys so to speak and not utilitarian objects like a car or bike we might use to get to work. For me part of the fun is building up new bikes and tinkering in the garage. Certainly I've had bikes for years and years. There's a fairly good market for used mtn stuff so for those of us that like to mix it up, easy to do so. Also depends on how much you ride. For someone that rides 500-1000 miles a year might see their bike very differently than someone that does 2500+ miles per year. I keep my parts more than I keep my frames. My forks, wheels, components, are the stuff that I really like to use over and over again.
  • 1 0
 @conoat: oh trust me I’ve had this same problem many times haha. On the one hand, people selling tend to think their stuff is worth more than it probably is and the people buying tend to think people are asking too much for their used gear. The reality is that it’s probably somewhere in between. Now I just try to swap frames and keep the forks, drivetrains and wheels that I like. What’re you riding this year?
  • 1 2
 @twonsarelli: going from my 2021 Foxy to an antidote Carbonjack. I tend not to transfer components over because I really like that all new bike feel, as well as some like the carbon cranks and wheels are pretty beat. also picking up an Orbea rise next month for those quick 2 hour missions to crank laps on. cheers!

but on sale price, yeah I think everyone is a bit selfishly optimistic when it comes time to do some horse trading. Retail on my Foxy build is somewhere around 11k. been on it for about 16 months. its got it's battle scars but is solid af, and running perfect. doubt I will get any interest in the complete bike above 6000. lol. so honestly, I will break it into components and sell them all individually(a massive PITA) and get like 7500. that's the reality of the situation.
  • 3 0
 @conoat: yeah that’s sort of how it goes unfortunately. My philosophy is that when I want to sell something, I just give someone a good deal and try not to lose sleep. I make a bit less but they’re stoked and then it’s out of my life and I’m on to the next. My girlfriend always says ‘you love this game’ when she sees all the packages waiting to be shipped out! Have fun on that new rig
  • 1 0
 @stormracing: too easy mate. I will speak to him at work next week after the Easter break. I will ask him to PM you guys.
  • 1 0
 @Afterschoolsports: thank you! Really do appreciate that
  • 115 1
 It will cost you an Arma and a leg
  • 27 0
 Half props for missing out on "lega"
  • 5 0
 @ohio: EXT are Italian right?
  • 1 4
 @melonhead1145: Half thumbs down for being bit racist. He should had said 'an Arma and a legerra'.
  • 58 1
 @mattbeer couple of notes on the article. 1. The Arma is actually produced in down to a 210 eye-to-eye (185 trunnion) but availability may not be as good from some distributors because this is not in as high of demand. 2. it looks like the coil you are using in the review is a V1 spring and not the new lighter weight V2 which is being spec'd on current orders. So could be even lighter.
  • 21 0
 @EXT-USA Thanks for the notes! I took what info was available from the website for shock sizing and will edit the article now. EXT did supply the lightweight 475. I will update the new weight - good spot!
  • 20 0
 @mattbeer: No Problem! I just checked and yes you are correct that they are not listed. But we have been able to order them in those sizes. Another interesting thing about the Arma we have noticed is that although it is marketed as our DH shock, we have had quite a few people using it on trail and enduro bikes as well because they rarely use their climb switch anyway and would prefer the added end stroke tunability provided by the HBC adjustment.
  • 1 0
 What are the chances of a trunnion 205 x 65 (Transition Spire)
  • 1 0
 @onawalk: hit up @AlbaDistribution to see if they can get you one. We have done a few Arma shocks for the Spire already though.
  • 3 0
 @EXT-USA: Yup. Zero need for the climb switch in the Enduro is anyone’s wondering. Arma is perfect.
  • 1 0
 @Blownoutrides: The climb switch thing is as much matter of a frame kinematics as a suspension tune. If you get more linear tune (which is typically better for descending) you might be surprised how much suspension bob you can get even on frames with high antisquat. Recently I retuned a shock to be more linear and I started using cs immediately after 2yers of not touching it Wink So be careful. Of course I have no idea how EXT damping curves look like, so it might be that Arma without CS is ok for enduro, but in general it's a bit of a gamble Wink I would happily trade CS for HBC.
  • 1 0
 @lkubica: good point. I’m in the other camp - big human who constantly blows up shocks so tunable HBC was a godsend. The new E-storia has both tunable HBC and CS which I would have picked if it had been released earlier.
  • 1 0
 @lkubica: On EXT dampers, depending on LSC clicker setting, you get a fair bit of low speed damping from the high speed adjuster which, on linear frames with a light main valving, you might use quite a lot. So sometimes your use of the climb switch is dependend on your HSC setting as well.

(this holds true for many shocks and their hs adjuster but especially for the EXT where the valve is powerful with plenty of range).
  • 2 0
 @EXT-USA: spectacular,
Thank you
  • 1 0
 @onawalk: that's a pretty common trunnion sizing these days. I would hope they make one!
  • 40 0
 Perfect for flow trails
  • 10 3
 IMBA approved! Especially with that price!
  • 31 0
 "With regular service, there's no reason why any quality damper couldn’t be used for more than one season"

Are there riders out there buying a new damper every year? WTF?

Even with poor maintenance I can't imagine a good coil shock failing after 9mo...
  • 40 1
 *laughs in DHX2*
  • 5 2
 *laughs in DHX2*
  • 30 3
 It'll cost you EXTra.
  • 7 0
 It will give your bike EXTra performance and make you feel EXTra good after your ride
  • 12 1
 @SimbaandHiggins: EXTra? How bout an Arma & a leg?
  • 18 1
 @Caddz: that's another Storia
  • 1 1
 #commentgold
  • 23 1
 So good I want to put one on my hardtail!
  • 12 0
 Haven' t ridden this one, but the Storia is significantly better than anything I've ever ridden. I'm not the best rider, far from it. In fact I kinda suck. I'm not like Gwin or Semenuk who can feel a 1 PSI change in their tires. So for me to be able to feel the benefit immediately says something.
  • 13 0
 Surron owners are Stoked today.
  • 10 0
 Yes. Yes they are.
  • 2 0
 @EXT-USA: are your surron (and other electric bikes like cake) sales good?
  • 9 0
 @GumptionZA: Currently we are only offering an e-moto damper specific to the Sur-Ron/Talaria. All I can say is that the demand has been much higher than we anticipated so I would consider that good. We put in a fairly large order for them that we are starting delivery on this week and have pre sold about 95% of them.
  • 9 0
 One of the best shocks ive ridden hands down. Took a bit to setup, as the first setup was way to soft. Also, lol a rebuild and new spring was 375. So the initial purchase price is only the start..
  • 43 0
 I'm not surprised, if you try riding hands up it's really awkward and you quickly lose control.
  • 2 1
 @bigtim: The braking power of your pinkies is also rather limited
  • 5 0
 Ran this shock on my canyon sender after tuning it with Motion Instruments... it's an amazing shock. Putting it on my Gamux Sego next.. if you're thinking about getting one, do it.. the EXT USA guys are great and happy to send you extra coils to get your spring rate dialed in.
  • 5 0
 After numerous fox shock failures, I put a storia lok on my HD5. It rips. I know it sounds like BS, but I found myself hitting stuff much faster and w more control. Between this shock and a avalanche tuned 38 I'm totally thrilled w my setup. The best part is no shock failures!
  • 5 0
 May I just say that I really really enjoy @mattbeer's writing style. I usually don't even have to check to see who wrote the article, I can just tell it's written with a very distinct and knowledgeable voice.

Also, that shock is dope. Thinking of getting a Storia for my Druid, especially with that new spring, it's not even that much heavier than the DPX2 that came on it.
  • 5 0
 Before you say how expensive it is, let me say that this price in europe is an absolute bargain for a custom tuned shock with two sls springs and bushings included. For this price i can barely get a stock dhx2 damper with no springs.
  • 4 0
 I had an EXT Storia V3 on my last bike. My only compliant with that was that it was I found it a tad bit firm on the smaller bumpers, chatter, etc. Based on anecdotal info, most average riders I have read seem to think it's on the firm side (not harsh, mind you, especially at speed). If I hadn't sold it along with the bike, I would have had it reshimmed. The E-storia apparently works on the sensitivity a bit as well. The HBC was awesome for my linear-ish bike. The turbulent flow noise was actually kind of nice as you knew the shock was working. Paired with a Sprindex coil, fine-tuning was super easy for a specific track. Overall, the rear performance was better in most scenarios than my X2 on my new bike (with 170mm vs. 150mm on old, and a more progressive leverage rate), which has already had a leak. Dang.. did i just talk myself into buying a new coil? Mah..
  • 5 1
 I disagree with the cons Suspension syndicate got me my arma after selling my X2 in a few days. I have never had a better shock or better service. Many of the features that push has come with EXT. Suspension syndicate does far more for you with less pretension than push. They have my buiness on the perfance of the shock alone.
  • 2 0
 +1 for SS. I was surprised to read the note about the 4 week lead time. I had mine from SS within a week. Ordered on their site, had a call with one of the reps, and a few days later the shock was on my steps. Haven’t tested their service yet but will need to at the end of the season.
  • 3 0
 Great review! Lead times for a new shock at not 4 weeks though. If your in the US and want a shock expect a week as long as the size is in stock (whitch they are!) Also there are 3d printed adjustment tools for trail side tuning. There is also plenty of support and service in the US and Canada. Suspension Syndicate in the states and Alba distribution in Canada.
  • 3 0
 Have run both an 11-6 and now have a Storia (both on Transitions) Both replaced x2s. 11-6 felt like you were glued to the ground. Traction was out of the this world. Storia is really different. Sits higher in the travel and I had to drop a spring rate from the 2 provided to get the plush feeling I was after. Not as much traction in my eyes, but more playful and supportive. Im still playing with the compression settings - with the custom tune you have a narrow band to play with but amazing the difference each click makes. Definitely a loud shock - slurp, squelch, slurp. You get used to it.
  • 1 0
 I love my Storia V3, but goddam it’s loud. The slurp/squelch is fine, it’s the click from the check valve that drives me crazy. It’s still miles ahead of the two DHX2s I blew up in less than 18 months…
  • 1 0
 Comparing the 11-6 and Storia was super helpful. Thank you! The 11-6 on my bullit also has just amazing traction that brings so much confidence. At the same time I wish it was more playful. I'm only a few rides in so I still may be able to get there.
  • 1 0
 If you need to change spring rate so drastically you might need a tune change. I was in the same position and asked for a softer tune, I came back two spring rates (now using the correct one).
  • 4 0
 I got to demo one on my Slash for a month and it legit made it a better bike. Pedals as well as a firebird, and descends way better than the stock spec RS air can.
  • 2 0
 i just put one of these on the same bike. After running one on my trail bike, I'm a fan. Feels closest to a moto shock and not a pogo stick. Curious to see how the dh shock does. I have to wait for snowshoe to open up to really test it out. i'm sure it will go great down the green flow trails Wink . No I'm not a dentist, just a hard working dude who likes to ball out on nice bikes.
  • 2 0
 I mount an EXT Storia on my Strive. It feels safe to say that, after a year, it has changed the way I ride. Super smoothness aside, the most impressive factor is the sheer grip it provides in all conditions; it really helps squeeze every gram of grip and take advantage of every other component be it frame geometry, tyre choice and pressure, and so on. And if I want to change bike, I can send it to EXT and have it tweaked for another eye to eye / stroke size. EXT has me as a customer forever.
  • 2 0
 I had a push on a dreadnought and it never felt right. Two tunes later and two different springs. One loose eyelet then I sold it. It was harsh and didn’t ride well. Rebound was far far too slow. Went to a dhx2 and wouldn’t look back.
  • 2 1
 By far the vest shock iv ever ridden having done downhill for over 20 years I know what works well for me also being a large rider 19st spring rates were always really high with the army and the bottom our resistants iam running far less spring lbs therefore a much pusher softer ride
  • 2 1
 Can these reviews starting listing the shock weight with and without the spring? When you reviewed the EXT Storia in 2019 the weight was with the spring. It would easier to compare shock weights that way.
  • 3 1
 You listed the "Bottom out bumper protector could be attached" as a Con, but it is a pro because it makes a convenient way to check sag during initial setup.
  • 2 1
 I will forever be confused about how a small amount of stroke equals so much travel but this is a pretty thing to stare at while I figure it out.
  • 2 0
 leverage ratios -- think about a see-saw with unequal lengths on each side and how much weight you'd need on each side to have a reasonable balance.
  • 1 0
 Well I’m not an engineer nor a pro rider so I have neither the knowledge or skill to appreciate this shock. I just set the sag and rebound and ride.
  • 1 0
 From the sound of things it's the best shock there is but can make a bit of noise with oil flow; maybe other manufacturers should take a note of this?
  • 1 0
 "Mountain bikers are fickle creatures and noises bother them." Fact check: true
  • 2 0
 People actually service their coils? Hmm...
  • 1 0
 Looks great. I'll likely get the ebike specific e-storia when I become bored with my current ohlins.
  • 1 0
 Isnt ARMA an energy drink that Mcgrath and some moto bro's own?
  • 1 0
 They make RC cars. Lol
  • 1 1
 Translation of the word "Arma" from Italian is "Weapon"
  • 1 1
 @mattbeer I really enjoy reading your reviews and liked this one as well. Glad to see you reviewed this excellent shock.
  • 1 0
 @mdinger Thank you!
  • 1 0
 Is that a "Keswick Green" commencal?
  • 1 0
 Arma Police.
  • 1 4
 I was going to comment on the enormous and probably unnecessary cost of this item, but there were already loads so i didn't bother. Oh hang on.......
  • 4 6
 $100 says an Avalanche tuned Bomber CR out performs this.
  • 3 0
 I guess they would be close and then it's splitting hair, but the EXT has the HBO for it.

But I'm not planning to replace my Avy Bomber anytime soon Big Grin
  • 4 1
 $100 says most people will buy the EXT after talking to Craig for more than 5 minutes.
  • 1 0
 @Muchogusto: I like talking to Craig, you just have to be patient.
  • 2 0
 @BlindMan77: it really depends on the day.
  • 1 0
 No Game of Thrones. EXT calls it HBC. HBO is what Rockshox call their ripoff version in the Super Deluxe Ultimate RC2T, sold at half the price. But that shock feels like ounching wet sand, according to Pinkbike reviewing the Cane Creek HBC ripoff. Cane Creek succeeded slightly better in their version.
  • 1 0
 @Plancktonne: No Game of Thrones. EXT calls it HBC. HBO is what Rockshox call their ripoff version in the Super Deluxe Ultimate RC2T, sold at half the price. But that shock feels like punching wet sand, according to Pinkbike reviewing the Cane Creek HBC ripoff. Cane Creek succeeded slightly better in their version.
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