Coil-Sprung Shock Lockout Conversions - Mont-Sainte-Anne DH World Cup 2017

Aug 5, 2017 at 16:40
by Mike Levy  



This weekend may have been all about the World Cup action at Mont-Sainte-Anne, but many minds have long been thinking about the vastly different World Championship track that racers will face in Cairns, Austrailia, this coming September. The Cairns course has its fair share of rocks and technicality, but it also finishes with a lung bursting, leg searing sprint that's long enough to call for some specialized equipment, including a remote lockout system to firm up the rear shock. The top three pro men were separated by just 1.420 seconds at this weekend's World Cup, a gap that highlights just how close things are these days, and also one that's small enough to show that equipment choices make a real difference.

Teams and racers will have already spent plenty of time and resources to give themselves the best possible chance when Cairns rolls around, and Pinkbike photographer Matt Delorme caught Evan Warner, SRAM's North American Race Technician (pictured at right), doing exactly that while hidden away in the SRAM big rig. Warner was getting his hands oily while converting a few custom RockShox Super Deluxe Coil shocks to accept their RT Remote system that lets racers firm the shock up to the 'Threshold' mode with the push of a handlebar-mounted button. Why would anyone want to firm up the back of their downhill bike? Well, this could prove to be exceptionally advantageous on that aforementioned balls-out sprint to the finish line in Austrailia this September.
Coil-Sprung Shock Lockout Conversions - Mont-Sainte-Anne DH World Cup 2017 Aug


Coil-Sprung Shock Lockout Conversions - Mont-Sainte-Anne DH World Cup 2017 Aug


''We're just getting reading for the Worlds in Cairns. A lot of guys have seen the enduro crossover with the lockouts on the rear shocks, and especially with the Super Deluxe it's fairly easy to swap the reservoirs over,'' Warner explained to Delorme while in the middle of the operation. ''Most of the downhill guys that are on Metric rear shocks have been interested in trying the remote reservoir on the downhill shock. So we have Intense, Norco, and a couple of other teams, but today we're just going to prepare two shocks for Intense and one shock for Norco. We're allowing them to test it out in Whistler next week before heading down to Worlds.''


Coil-Sprung Shock Lockout Conversions - Mont-Sainte-Anne DH World Cup 2017 Aug
Coil-Sprung Shock Lockout Conversions - Mont-Sainte-Anne DH World Cup 2017 Aug


The production Super Deluxe Coil RT Remote is not sold on its own, with it only being available on complete bikes, but the conversion is a relatively simple job that necessitates a reservoir swap - this is where the hydraulic oil flow is controlled to firm the shock up. ''It's very quick and easy, and it's just ensuring that we get the right tunes,'' Warner said. ''Our one concerns with the lockout, coil and air, is that it's pretty firm, and on a downhill bike this might be something to keep in mind. It should be exciting to see these guys in Whistler next week trying it out.''

Reading between the lines, it sure sounds like the testing might focus on just how firm that 'Threshold' setting actually is for Cairns, with some racers likely preferring a near full lockout and others wanting a more forgiving tune. Warner elaborates: ''Everybody is still pretty focused on that last little bit at the end of the Worlds track in Cairns; it'll be a big a sprint and locking out the rear shock, or at least getting a real, real firm pedal platform.''

Warner always has a few tricks up his sleeve for racers, and part of this day's shock conversions was rigging up a SRAM X0 2-speed shifter to control the shock's action rather than the stock RT Remote and its smaller paddles. The idea is that when up to race pace, the riders will have an easier time hitting the triggers on the X0 shifter than they might with the RT Remote.
Coil-Sprung Shock Lockout Conversions - Mont-Sainte-Anne DH World Cup 2017 Aug

One thing is for sure: we'll likely see some very specialized equipment and setups when Cairns rolls around in September.







67 Comments

  • + 149
 I'm not remotely interested
  • + 128
 You sound pretty firm in your opinion.
  • - 17
flag dirrrtjump (Aug 5, 2017 at 16:58) (Below Threshold)
 imo this lockout is pretty coil
  • - 49
flag e-loop (Aug 5, 2017 at 17:17) (Below Threshold)
 Put some low speed on that opinion.
  • + 37
 I think you'rebound to find something you like
  • - 26
flag MmmBones (Aug 5, 2017 at 18:03) (Below Threshold)
 take that attitude someplace else and clamp it
  • + 41
 Sounds like there's going to be some stiff competition at Carins.
  • - 16
flag Jackson900 (Aug 5, 2017 at 18:24) (Below Threshold)
 Come on man, don't be a stiff.
  • - 17
flag jackalope (Aug 5, 2017 at 18:26) (Below Threshold)
 Lock out with you're cawk out
  • - 15
flag graemerides (Aug 5, 2017 at 18:28) (Below Threshold)
 ha
  • + 14
 Honestly guys, these puns are shocking!
  • - 9
flag LCW1 (Aug 5, 2017 at 20:17) (Below Threshold)
 @dirtbeard Don't dampen the st(r)oke man
  • + 7
 guys this is not the platform* for these kinds of puns...
  • + 8
 Rock out with your lock out!!
  • - 5
flag DaFreerider44 (Aug 6, 2017 at 8:41) (Below Threshold)
 @nyhc00: Stop it, Get some help
  • + 3
 different strokes for different folks!
  • + 5
 @DaFreerider44: I took your advice and my shrink said you should worry about yourself.
  • + 115
 Looks like they found a use for all those front shifters no one is buying
  • + 14
 Along with the dropper post also. Everyone will have to run an 800 mm + bar just to fit all the different shifters levers and gadgets.
  • + 3
 And I was planning to buy a Crossbar Pad. Back to the drawing board!
  • + 5
 Question from someone who's never ridden a DH bike: I assume different DH suspension platforms pedal at varying levels of efficiency, similar to trail bikes? Does that mean some of these guys won't require a lockout option (like the Santa Cruz VPP)?

Thanks!
  • + 18
 Theres no such thing as dh suspension efficiency. It just sucks to pedal. If I was a racer I would welcome this.
  • + 7
 Sorta. But pretty much anything with longish travel is gonna compress when a pro rider is mashing on the pedals regardless of pedaling efficiency. Systems like VPP, while efficient, don't counter the weight of a rider putting all of his body weight (and leg strength) on top of the pedals.
  • + 2
 @wpplayer18: dh bikes are I a league of their own for shit pedalling though. I have bikes from 0-200mm rear travel and while they get worse with travel extension it goes far beyond travel, the geometry and everything about their design makes it exponentially worse.
  • + 2
 @warmerdamj: Live valve for DH shocks
  • + 7
 Downhill bikes can't be designed for pedaling efficiency because of the pedal kick paired with the extra travel compared to a trail bike
  • + 3
 @warmerdamj:
As a weekend warrior who rides to his locals I would welcome this too. I'd be able to ride the big bike to the trails rather than have to either drive the big bike or ride the trail bike. I could even fit my spare dropper for added pedalling efficiency!
  • + 1
 @gibbon-on-an-orange: i don't think you can pedal a DH bike uphill, even with a lockout. The geometry isn't right
  • + 1
 @warmerdamj: yeah, I hear ya, but I think he's talking more about suspension design rather than the whole package.
  • + 0
 @ORTOGONAL555: not true my friend, my everyday ride is a dh bike. maybe im just used to it but the geo isnt an issue (for me) only thing is i cant use a dual crown because my knees will hit the top crown when i pedal, so i roll a 180mm totem and the seat tube is full length to allow me to sit and pedal like any other bike. as far as suspension setup for pedaling, i have foung backing LSC out completely so there is none and using the LSR for my pedal platform (CCDB coil). you learn to pedal more efficiantly and carry your speed in places where you wouldn't have to on a lighter more nimble bike.
  • + 2
 @bikeetc: DH bike whit a 180 forks steep the angles on whole bike. If your knees are touching the handlebars that bike is not your size. DH bikes are designed to going very fast downhill,some are a mix but at the end those bike scarifies a lot of DH performance.
I´m sure you be faster on a more oriented freeride bike or just a new enduro bike long&slack,but is always more related to what kind of trails you ride.
Coils for enduro bikes make sense cos some rides are very long and make your air shock heat very bad (I ride today at 35º C ) ridding over brutal stuff for 15-30 minutes . My bike come stock whit 165/130 mm rear shock and a 3 position lockout that I block to never use it,going to 130mm setting is totally enough to pedal uphill.
But if I take out stock shock to put a coil there I choose one whit lockout/pedal platform 100%.
  • + 1
 @homerjm: im rolling a yeti 303rdh, i guess with the single crown you could call it a FR bike or very aggressive all mountain/enduro bike. even with the 180 forks the HA is still pretty slack. my knees hit the actual top crown/top of fork leg of a dual crown fork not the bars and that's if i'm out of the seat pedaling up hill with a dual crown fork. i could use a large frame maybe instead of a med (@ 5'9"). pedaling a heavy bike uphill is a work out (which is one reason why i ride) but at the top and dropping in is the payoff. one day ill find a deal on an enduro bike and give it a try, but i wont be replaceing my coil suspension anytime soon.
  • + 1
 @warmerdamj: I put over 10k miles on a '04 Specialized BigHit riding it as a trail bike because I didn't know any better (great workout)... So it can be done, though, a more specific bike for the job at hand would IMO be recommended. I currently ride a 2014 Banshee Rune Raw that I love (Pedals so good) (note: still have my BigHit Wink )...
  • + 1
 @bikeetc: You need a longer bike
  • + 7
 Funny how things keep coming around. Stratos were doing this with coil shocks 15+ years ago.
  • + 1
 Yep true! got this same set up on a 99 trek dh bike. Shimano shifter Fox TC shock
  • + 7
 You are going to need more than a lock out when Gwinn is the competition.
  • + 20
 You are going to need more than auto correct when you spell his name "Gwinn".
  • + 5
 @Jackson900: So true!
  • + 3
 I took the Mondraker Summum/Fox DHX RC4 for a ride in town last night and had some fun jumps on the HSC/LSC soft settings. When I reached the downtown I firmed everything up by adjusting the LSC and HSC to max, and it was almost like having lockout on the Mondraker Foxy/Fox DPS. With a lockout lever I could firm it up in 2 seconds, instead of 30 seconds. I can live without a lockout lever on my coil shock, but it would be nice to have as well. There is clearly a need for it.
  • + 7
 Lock out cock out...
  • + 3
 Or electronically controlled damping. ...think it was Lapiere ding something like this a little while ago
  • + 3
 I heard from one of best sources possible that it doesn't work for vast majority of WC athletes, from XC do DH. They prefer manual or no lock out. It's generally a Joey feature or Nico Vouilloz superstition (he raced Enduro on one - on another occasion he also chose Fox32 instead of 36 to race Garbanzo, so... not sure about his gear choices working for others) Also, it is avaliable and quite developd for motos iincluding MX, where weight is not that important so stuffing a set of servos, sensors and CPU shouldn't matter to them. Yet they still don't use it
  • + 3
 @WAKIdesigns:
I only can think of electronic suspension for Mx bikes wich counter the brake and acceleration movement and that shouldn't be as complex as a shock wich has to deal with shifting body weight
  • + 2
 www.pinkbike.com/news/polaris-debuts-fox-live-valve-electronic-suspension-system.html

Electronic suspension is coming to mountain bikes soon!! Just a press of a button and you can change the whole tuning of your suspension. No more cable or hydraulic remotes.
  • + 2
 @lax4545: Öhlins is doing that since some time. It seems their system controls rebound too. No sign of it on track or mx motos.

www.ohlins.com/product/ttx36-mkii-ec

Just because they make it for cars doesn't mean it makes sense for motos and bicycles. 4-wheelers and 2 wheelers are apples and oranges. Also, while perfectly doable, there's no point for ABS on bikes. I bet you could make traction control for climbs too.
  • + 2
 @WAKIdesigns: I've seen the Ohlins system on grand prix bikes and also on vehicles for Dakar rally style events. Apparently FOX was supposed to release the electronic suspension system this year for mountain bikes but decided to postpone til next year. I agree that 4 wheels and 2 wheels are different but the whole point of the system is to get rid of the guess work of "micro" tuning your bike. The user makes the "macro" changes (spring weights, air pressures, cartridges, tokens etc) then the system takes care of the rest. You can definitely set the modes up just like current systems Open, Firm and Closed. And I agree there is no need for ABS on mountain bikes.

Don't be surprised if you see a FOX rider riding the FOX electronic suspension at one of the later downhill events this year. They've been using them for R&D at their practice facility. It'll be interesting to see what happens when it does become available.
  • + 1
 I rode one of the Lapierres & it was terrible: I'm generally fine with bikes that make a bit of noise, but the constant "whirrbuzz" of that shock was actually annoying. I don't think you can really compare it though with the stuff in moto & other disciplines, though, as I think they use an actual variable oil circuit: the Lapierre was really just switching between "open" & "trail" on an otherwise standard shock.

Magura makes "elect" forks that will do it as well.
  • + 1
 What bikes come with the RT shock? It makes absolute sense to have a lever on the bar.

My Nomad has a Float X CTD push tune and I wish I had bought the remote shock after having so many Scott bikes with remotes.
  • + 1
 There is a few changes to the finishing straight in Cairns from what I've seen on insta, consisting of some doubles to take out the pedal, and increase the pump!
  • + 1
 Why the hell did they include that pedally section? Build some jumps or head back into the woods if possible..
  • + 1
 I believe they're pretty much at the bottom of the hill anyway, but for convenience for spectators and TV coverage, they brought the track back to the open area outside the forest.
  • + 1
 what the heck is that huge silver thing with the knob on it???
  • + 1
 That must be the mount on the Norco. They seem to have a rather interesting mount system
  • + 1
 It's (re)bound to f*ck up mid run!
  • + 0
 that's pretty cool ????
  • - 1
 Endudownhill
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