Chickadeehill AWK Air Spring - Review

Jul 14, 2017 at 4:06
by Paul Aston  
AWK Dual Air Spring


The Chickadeehill AWK air spring kit was born in Germany. After a small production run of prototype units and plenty of forum chat and requests, a business was born. Dual positive air springs aren't new tech. Manitou has had them for years in the form of the "IRT" (Infinite Rate Tune), and Öhlins feature them as the "Ramp Up" chamber in their RXF air forks. The concept is simple: the AWK's floating piston occupies the space that a large stack of air volume spacers normally would. Increasing the pressure in the AWK chamber fine-tunes the rate that the fork's air spring ramps up near full compression. Chickadeehill offers units to fit most RockShox and Fox air-sprung forks. Prices start at €130 and move up to €330. The RockShox Lyrik/Yari unit featured here sells for €190.


AWK Dual Air Spring




AWK Dual Air Spring Details
• Dual positive air spring for Lyrik/Yari fork (other units available)
• Replaces existing top cap and volume spacers
• Weight: 64grams
• MSRP: €190 EUR
www.chickadeehill.de

What does it do?

The idea behind a dual air spring is to make the spring curve more linear near the end-stroke A single-air-chamber fork pressurized soft enough for small bump compliance would require a stack of air volume spacers to prevent bottoming - which means it will ramp up dramatically at the end of the spring curve. Using two springs in unison can flatten out that end-stroke curve. Having two chambers also means that riders can fine tune that end-stroke air spring curve to increase or decrease bottom out resistance.



In use, as the fork compresses the pressure rises in the main chamber, when this equals the pressure of the second chamber, its piston is activated and it will start to compress. All this can provide a much more linear feel to the fork as shown in this graph provided by AWK.
AWK dual air spring kit

The AWK air spring is said to give a 'coil-like feel' so why not just use a coil-sprung fork if that is the ride quality you desire? Well, a coil spring is heavier than air and doesn't offer the range of adjustment that screwing on a shock pump to add or subtract a few psi does to achieve the correct feel or change the balance of the bike. There are some coil conversion kits starting to appear on the market, but these do not offer the ease of adjustment, are heavier, and the coil will score the inside of the stanchions, making it difficult to create a perfect air seal should you wish to return to the standard air chamber.

At 64 grams, the weight of the AWK is comparable to the standard top cap (22grams) plus the extra 15 grams per volume spacer you'd normally choose to install.


AWK Dual Air Spring


Installation

The AWK system is easy to install. Simply release the air pressure, remove the existing top cap of your fork, and replace it with the dual-air unit. The unit can be threaded in using a 32mm top-cap socket (this can contact the fork crown, so a protecting it with a thin cloth is recommended). The direction of the Schrader valves can be adjusted with a 24mm spanner before pressurizing the system.

To inflate the system correctly, you'll need to inflate the AWK chamber (marked with the 'O'), Then inflate the fork's primary air spring to half the pressure. My preferred pressure was 60 and 120psi, which gives the fork that coil-like feel some people are looking for. After that, you are free to play with pressures to your heart's content to achieve a specific feeling.

I did have some problems losing pressure when removing the shock pump, as the valve cores protruded a little too far. That has now been changed. If yours has that issue, AWK recommend using a pump with connectors designed to prevent air loss while unscrewing.


AWK Dual Air Spring
The AWK's twin air valves protrude more than a standard top cap.
AWK Dual Air Spring
At 64 grams, it's comparable in weight to a standard top cap with 3 to 4 bottomless tokens.


Impressions

The AWK kit does give a different feel to the fork; Using the 1:2 air pressure rating, as suggested, there was certainly more mid stroke support and the fork rode higher in its travel compared to my normal setup, using volume spacers at similar sag values.

The range of extra adjustment it gives you can be mind boggling and confusing, but it can also offer a performance advantage if the riders know what they want and need. As a reminder: take care to balance your spring curve with your rear suspension. Making an air fork more linear with a rear suspension that is very progressive isn't going to work out.

At €190 the kit isn't cheap - around 20% of the price of the complete fork. And, if you don't know what you are looking for, you will likely be better off tuning with volume spacers and different sag values.



Pinkbike's Take
bigquotesThe AWK kit does offer a similar feel to a coil sprung fork, without the added weight, and there's the benefit of air-tuning the fork for a wide variety of riders needs, but you'll have to know what you are looking for. Paul Aston

159 Comments

  • + 55
 I like everything about this, well, except the price. I bought a Yari because I like performance vs cost = value so im not going to buy a cap that's 1/2 the price of my fork...... 3 tokens it is.
  • + 6
 @DBone95 How is your Yari working out for you? Just bought a new bike with one. Coming from a Pike on my other bike, it feels good so far after 2 rides, but I'm still dialing it in.
  • + 3
 @BaeckerX1: Yes, can we get a review?
  • + 5
 @BaeckerX1: my Yari is fantastic! It's held up to my big ass plowing through and coming up short.
  • + 16
 @DBone95: If you like the idea of this, then adding three tokens is the last thing you want to do.

The purpose of the the AWK is to make an air spring more linear and either increase the support in that 2/3 stroke low point or reduce the end-stroke spike, depending on how you look at it.

Remove all your tokens and increase your air pressure. Alternatively, if this is too firm in the early stroke, remove the tokens and add some compression damping.
  • + 1
 Just got a bike with a Yari as well, coming from a 350. Let's see how it fares!
  • + 8
 Before saying that you should try it ;-)
I use it.even in Parking lot test you feel the difference and it is much better than just hitting the strong progression you get from. Volume spacers which are sold as mid support ;-)
Besmides i Do Not see it like I GOTVA CHEAP YARI,WHY BUY A UPGRADE OF HALF THE PRIZE? It is more, buy this and have a superior fork to a lyrik for a still better price
  • + 6
 @R-M-R: It depends on what he's looking for. The purpose of the the AWK is to make the air spring more linear while also maintaining small bump sensitivity. Without the AWK you have the choice to either run higher pressures and no tokens for linear rate end-stroke OR run lower pressures with tokens to improve small bump sensitivity.
  • + 3
 @hamncheez: I bought a Yari last year. I must say I was a tad disappointed. It is light and stiff but small bump sensitivity is not great and if I run it softer it dives too much when I slamp on the brakes or hit the steep stuff. I had it tuned by X1 racing and it became way smoother (better seals and magic oils). However, I still have problems getting it to work right. If I run one token it works great but I can't use full travel. Without the token I can use full travel but the front has no mid stroke support. I have messed with the low speed compression and it helps a bit but doesn't solve the issue completely. I weigh 60kg with gear so many I'm too light to make this fork work for me.
I must say this kit has me interested seeing as there is no PUSH kit for the Yari.
  • + 3
 @SintraFreeride: cut the token in half and try again
  • + 2
 @SintraFreeride: I weigh in at 60kg as well, and the AWK has transformed my Pike from an okayish fork to a really good one. You can lower the pressure in the main chamber for increased small bump sensitivity, while still retaining (or even improving) the mid stroke support, so that you don't dive as far into the travel on steep sections.
  • + 2
 @BaeckerX1: I've been on my 140mm 29er on my RIP9 for just over a year and still love it. I'm 230lbs all geared up and it's stout as hell. I run 3 tokens @ 90psi. If I were building a bike today, it would have a Yari on it.
  • + 5
 I'll weigh in here about the Yari too after 6 months on it.. Boost Yari 130 on a Kona Honzo. Riding this hardtail mostly in the PNW during winter, didn't want to spend the coin on a nicer fork that was just going to get beat on.
I *did not* want junk like a Recon/Sektor, but knew I wasn't getting a Pike, so I'd say the Yari has met expectations. Stiff, burly, smasher of a fork. Doesn't quite have the Pike sensitivity, but again, rising our approved sloppy winter trails I've been nothing but pleased with it. And for the price? It's a keeper in my book.

If you had the option to spend the coin on a Charger2 damper upgrade for the Yari or to spend similar money on something like this CAWK unit (ah jeezus), which would you buy? Advantage one way or another?
  • + 2
 @SintraFreeride:

The Yari and Lyrik are the same forks ecept the charger damper. Completely identical chassy. Thus a spring kit fpr LYrik fits the Yari and vice versa ;-) I already used cartdridges for a lyrik in the yari.

BEsides best bang fpr buck is a x-fusion metric hlr as deal from private user.
I had very much luck and got a black stanchioned 170mm metric hlr with roughcut damper for 300 pounds, barely used and fresh serviced. THis forks kicks ass of lyrik or FLoat 36 (basically it is the same damper as the FIT unit of the FOX but other attributes make this a winner)
  • + 2
 @mikealive: I also just got a bike with a Yari and wonder what upgrade would give me the most bang for the buck...
  • + 1
 @bansaiman: Where you bought it?
  • + 1
 @mitoliver:
You get them from fahrradfahrwerk just Google and write a mail in german or english: -)
  • + 1
 @MmmBones: Thanks. Am going to test that out on my next ride!
  • + 2
 @SintraFreeride: worth a shot and free. I ran 2 & 1/2 in my pike although I didn't cut one in half, I drilled holes in it.
  • + 37
 Hey suspension companies, can I please stop hearing about "linear air springs" or "coil like air springs" and get a freaking coil spring in my fork?
  • + 22
 no
  • + 7
 someday waki...someday the industry will listen to the two of us "trolls" and give us our coil.
  • + 2
 www.crconception.com
They make the FORE forks. Inverted, coil sprung (both legs), open bath, not super heavy
website is a nightmare but their products are great.
  • + 3
 @faul: i keep looking at the site and trying to figure it out.
  • + 1
 @adrennan:
they have more infos on facebook
www.facebook.com/CrConception/?ref=br_rs
  • + 0
 There's a time like last week progressive is the thing. Linear is for kids.
  • + 4
 Thsi system is already around for some years, started with the pike from the user chicadeehill from german mtb-news.de (no suspension company) and mAttoc by manitou. Try that system first before judging. This ist the real shit and a great difference to other air springs. The goal is to have best of both worlds. You can basically tune the airspring curve to any behaviour you like, Best option is to get rid of most of the large belly in the middle of a spring curve -thus getting it in deed almost linear- while gettin a very good sbc due to larger sag and maintain a little endprogrssion, which coils do not have.
  • + 1
 It's funny how the old way of doing things is often preferred. I would rather be a cave man than a regular man.
  • + 1
 Converted my Pike to coil with tf tuned and could not be happier. Especially for light rider this is the way. Cant beat the sensitivity.
  • + 11
 I bought it mainly to get rid of the diving (shitty midstroke support with the normal solo air). With the AWK you can drop the pressure in the main chamber to your desired sag an have great small bump sensitivity and still have that support in the secound third and ramp up in the last third of you travel. Its not a substitute for coil, its for people wanting to to tune their air spring.
  • - 13
flag mollow (Jul 20, 2017 at 10:17) (Below Threshold)
 It's actually the opposite. Tokens will do what you describe.
  • + 12
 @mollow: No, tokens only increase end-stroke ramp up (which if you add a lot of them will start affecting earlier parts of the travel) - but never fix the inherent mid-stroke wallow from any single air spring.
  • + 11
 Having the IRT on the mattoc, i can say this accessory makes the adjustment knobs almost useless (lsc,hsc)

It allows you to lower psi in the main chamber and still get the support wanted at mid/end stroke, getting the best of both worlds (small bump compliance and great support)

This is the real "set and forget" for me.
  • + 6
 I was looking into the AWK a few days ago...seems to work quite well. But why doesn´t Rock Shox or Fox use this technology if it´s soooo good? It doesn´t look like it would cost much to produce and implement in the fork?

Pinkbikes take doesn´t seem to be too good, considering the usually glorifying words for every new bits of stuff Wink
  • + 4
 its because they are probably saving it for future "feature". gotta keep that latest-and-greatest trend right?
  • + 3
 I'd wager Fox & RS are missing the feature due to one thing: Patents. Manitou has one on the IRT, MRP has one on their RCC. Germany, however, has a tenuous relationship when it comes to international patent protections.
  • + 7
 @viatch: It's also not effective for the original point of volume spacers: maintaining the same spring curve, in the same chassis, with a minimum of different parts. the genius of the Pike, from RS's standpoint, is it's a fork they can offer in any travel length, & only have to stock one part for each size: different length air shafts.

Also, this is really a more advanced tuning measure: most riders aren't sensitive enough to how their fork works to be able to tell the difference between this part & volume spacers, & even among people who can tell, the stock spring rate is probably good enough for most of them that they'd rather have a slightly cheaper fork.
  • + 5
 I would imagine Rockshox doesn't do something like this because it's really designed for the top 5% of suspension tweakers. Most mountain bikers are "set and forget", and too many adjustments causes confusion and makes people more likely to not touch them.
  • + 10
 because 85% of mountain bikers are too lazy/stupid to properly set it up.

AutoSag was invented for a reason. This thing might as well be setting up the space shuttle to go to the moon for most people.
  • + 1
 Isn't this how the old Rockshox dual air forks worked? I guess it added cost, complexity and more things to potentially fail that are wasted on the majority of riders??? I'd much rather have an older dual air fork than the solos
  • + 1
 @viatch: or it is just too complicated to recommend it to everyone
  • + 6
 @BeardlessMarinRider: No, Dual Air forks had two air valves, one for positive air, and one for negative air. This has two air valves, both for positive air. The goal of both was for fine tuning the air spring curve, but they are different. I would imagine RS replaced Dual Air with Solo Air because it's easier to use, which is more important for most people.
  • + 5
 @m-t-g: Cheers, been so long since they did a dual air fork I've forgotten how it worked... and maybe proved the point that most people don't know sh1t about suspension :/ ...... Smile
  • + 3
 @BeardlessMarinRider: I think dual-air allowed you to tune the negative air spring via a valve on the bottom
  • + 5
 I went with a mattock with the IRT and (for me anyway) significantly better than a pike with the luftkappe. with the IRT and the HBO you don't feel any nasty ramp up like you did with the pike + tokens. The mattoc is much better damped than the pike (over use of HSC) as well.
  • + 2
 If only they made a long travel 29er fork, id buy it!
  • + 4
 Want a badass air spring? Get a Cane Creek Helm... 3 months on mine and its the best air spring I have ever used. "Coil-Like" off the top but nice and poppy air spring feel at bottom out. Best of both worlds for me and my riding... Plus its tune-able.
  • + 1
 Maybe I'm stupid (I probably am) but I think that's the same idea as the stock feel of the yari/lyric?
  • + 2
 @heffernw: My Yari felt nothing like my Helm. Yari was an ok fork with very little adjustment and I found myself overpowering the damper and needing to run a ton of compression damping and all the volume tokens. Never used a Lyrik but had a Pike for a year and I still like my Helm over it. The feel I get from the Helm off the top is amazing... nothing quite like it out there that I have tried at least. Plus the air spring is independently tune-able which is cool...
  • + 4
 has cane creek figured out how to make a damper last for more than a month?
  • + 2
 @heffernw: Helm allows you to equalize air chambers when fork is not fully extended. But it's still only two chamber design.
  • + 2
 @arek-hs: you can equalize at any point on a mattoc as well. The helm spring is pretty much a copy. Have to attach a pump to press the popper in on aatyoc though
  • + 2
 @mullen119: I know, on Dorado as well. This, with combination of IRT makes the best air spring available. Smile
Fox 36 with AWK also gives the possibility to tune negative air pressure.
  • + 1
 @arek-hs: how is this done exactly?^ Fox 36 neg air tune
  • + 1
 @adrennan: 3 months in and no issues with my Helm or Coil IL so far...
  • + 1
 And even for the Helm there will be an AWK...????. Get it at www.suspensionandmore.com ,just mail me.
  • + 7
 want it to feel like a coil, then buy a fecking coil..... I just bought 380 ti coil..
  • + 6
 But how long does it feel like a coil until it heats up and doesn't feel like a coil anymore? I'm buying a coil. The extra 250g are worth it IMO.
  • + 0
 @Boardlife69: not a valid argument. it always feels the same.
  • + 4
 I think one thing not mentioned here is that air springs require more seals. I've just booked my Pike in for a coil conversion because I'm not happy with the small bump compliance. I find my Pike jarring - that 30hr riding limit before stripdowns is no joke! This upgrade may make the spring more linear (which I like) but it won't do anything to change that initial sticktion, which is why I'll stay with a coil conversion. I should lose weight rather than sorry about 250g, plus I get the benefit of reduced service intervals...
  • + 2
 @slimboyjim:
i'm running it in three forks. I'm normally more into coil suspension front and rear. But the AWK works great for me. I'm in Whistler at the moment and riding it in my Boxxer. If i compare it to my friends Boxxer with coil spring, i can barely feel a difference on parking lot stick slip tests.
  • + 2
 RS doesn't sell a coil Pike or Lyrik (i think the only coil fork they sell at all, barring some uber cheap stuff, is the boxxer RC.) FOX doesn't sell any forks coil. DVO says one is coming, but don't sell one right now. Even Suntour doesn't really sell any coil forks. Between those forks, that's about 99% of the stock forks available.

A lot of people out there with air sprung forks that would rather put a coil in what they have, than replace the entire fork.
  • + 1
 no solid coil option for lyrik yet. thats why.

i am looking at you @PUSH
  • + 8
 Way to much fork crown offset here. This bike is gonna ride like a Huffy.
  • + 7
 The big quest of air forks: "to reach that spring feel"
  • + 3
 I have used pike with bottom out tokens and have rfx34 , I would say that it is a massive difference in quality of travel and much of this is due to the air spring. The pike tends to use lots of travel and spike at the end of travel. The eff with dual chamber does not spike, but leaves consistent ramp up, no surprises, 'feels' linear like coil but once looking down at bottom out bumper hasn't eaten up its travel and stays high to preserve geometry.

On another note, curious if this can be combined with luftkappe? Or are they same side units
  • + 1
 it will not have that exagerrated endprogression like your setup with too high airpsressure in a single air fork, probably wwit tokens. at the same time you will need much less damping, which just makes theride even more sensitive. You still have the progression of the air spring to preserve hard bottom outs, but will be able to use ful traavel when needed.
  • + 3
 So with this I could potentially run recommended sag on an air fork without it diving like mad when braking hard or riding steep stuff? Right now I have to run quite a bit less sag and a lot of negative spring to get it to ride where I want in the travel and still get decent small bump.
  • + 2
 I tried to buy one of these back in January. Just like Stiz notes above, neither Farrad nor Chickadeehill will sell them to US customers. How can we buy them in the US? Doesn't do much good to read about it if we can't get it.
  • + 1
 Mail me at info@suspensionandmore.com i sell them in Austria and more????
  • + 2
 Talking about good stuff, some tinkerers from our forum started to go professional with: Two USD forks made in GErmany, open bath, reliable, stiff and soooo lightweight. BUt of course it comes at a price :-D

1) www.facebook.com/IntendBC/posts/1766242820284339

2) www.facebook.com/IntendBC/photos/a.1734175670157721.1073741827.1692579290984026/1906301752945111/?type=3&theater
  • + 2
 They were actually already featured here on Pinkbike:
www.pinkbike.com/news/intend-suspension-bike-festival-riva-2017.html
  • + 3
 I run the AWK in a Pike Solo Air.
Better mid stroke support and I am happy not having to fiddle around any more with the LSC (completely open now).

Just needs some lube 1-2 times a Season.
  • + 3
 This one is running for a year in my Pike and the feeling of the fork is just awesome.
Ride the AWK and you want never get back.
www.fahrrad-fahrwerk.de/federgabel-service-und-tuning
  • + 1
 Looking at the graph, I get what this thing is supposed to do vs coil vs air. I guess it's trying to get the characteristics of air in the beginning, and the traits of coil at the end.

I have a Pike RC that I think works great, although I would like just a little bit more small bump sensitivity. I dropped a few psi and added some compression to keep the fork from diving too much (just 1 click, but it seems to be enough). I remember taking out the one token that was there after seeing the graph explaining what happens when you add more tokens (more ramp up, but also more initial force needed to get the fork to compress). BUT, now I'm confused because since you need less air to get the fork to the proper sag, doesn't that reduce the spring rate and therefore make the fork more sensitive? Can someone help me sort out the logic with the tokens?

Sincerely,

Confused Fork Guy
  • + 4
 I´ll try:

On the air spring curve you see in the beginning it is very steep, then flattens and then gets steeper again.
This means: in the beginning you have a rather harsh feeling, meaning bad small bump compliance. This is why negative air springs are so popular, they "preload" the fork and thus help overcome this first bump. Bigger negative spring has a stronger effect, this is why Debonair, EVOL, Luftkappe and similar got popular (youtuber andrextr has a very good video on the effect of negative springs)

When you put tokens in your fork (or the MRP ramp control, which is like a token that only gets activated if a certain movement speed in the fork is achieved), you just decrease the positive chambers volume. The last steep portion of the curve gets even steeper = more difficult to compress the later portion of the travel (end stroke progression). Also it starts to steepen a little earlier than without tokens, this is why many people (imho erroneously) say that "tokens increase mid stroke support".
Since many people set the forks pressure so that they dont get hard bottom outs, when you put more tokens in you can get by using a lower pressure and thus have better small bump compliance. Increasing compression damping will result in a harsher ride. I personally would rather have more air pressure and less damping (My settings with a stock Pike RC are for my 90kg: 90psi, 2 tokens, about 1/3 clicks in). I´m also using the LSC to counteract the air spring, which is wrong in theory but works well enough. If the air spring was linear in the firstr 2/3 part of the stroke I could probably get by without compression daming, but hey the fork still feels very good and I´m no WC rider.

Now the AWK has two positive air chambers, and depending on the pressures of each one its possible to tune both mid-stroke and also end stroke progression, which was kind of described too short in this article in my opinion. If you pump up the second chamber very high you also get the "token-effect" in the end (second chamber starts compressing when both chambers have an equal pressure), but it would start earlier in the stroke, depending on how many psi´s are in there.
This makes it possible to set the main chamber with a relatively low pressure, having very good small bump compliance, without the diving caused by the flat mid part in the curve. And you get to keep the end progression for those bigger hits.

So yeah I´m seriously considering getting the AWK but the price and the reasoning in my head that the fork I´m using is still very good in a grand scheme of things put me off.

Hope I helped and didnt make it worse Big Grin
  • + 2
 You're confused because it's confusing. Tokens change fork spring volume, which changes the spring curve only, not the spring rate. changing pressure in the spring changes the spring rate only, not the the spring curve. BUT: since we don't ride our bikes at the top of the stroke, rather at the dynamic ride height(sag+movement,) what you measure when you put air in the fork isn't the pressure you ride at. It's a higher pressure, because you compress the spring somewhere between 0% - 35% once you weight the bike.

SO: if you were able to match the exact same pressure at sag as you had without a token, as you had with 1or2or3or4, then the fork would feel very similar, with token or without, until you got deeper into the travel. but unless you do a shit ton of math to figure that out, it's impossible. Not only has the pressure & volume of the spring changed, but so has the sag point: the fork will support a given weight, at a given unloaded PSI, at higher point, because it will reach the equilibrium pressure sooner due to the increased ramp. Add to that the fact that you probably don't load perfectly the same amount of weight on your fork every time you set your sag, sticktion affecting your sag reading(you're actually supposed to have someone push you both up & down from your sag point, figure out halfway between both figures, to determine real sag,) & you can see how repeatability is insanely hard to achieve.

But that's talking about measureable repeatability. what's much easier to measure is how the fork FEELS to you. This is where bracketing & keeping a suspension setup diary come in: You KNOW when your fork is too stiff or too soft. measure these points, & you reduced the range of "good" settings: it won't be, say, less than 50PSI or more than 80PSI. Keep refining that down until you can't feel any obvious defects, & if you still want more, start timing different setups, & see what makes you faster.

As for your pike RC small bump complaint, it's very common due to the HSC tune RS put in the RC version of the fork: the shim stack is so stiff that it only opens on extreme events, which means that 99% of impacts are going through the LSC circuit, which cannot flow enough oil for sharp impacts. They did this purely so that you have a psuedo-lockout when you crank the compression knob, so if you don't care about that, look at changing the shims on the compression circuit in the damper.
  • + 2
 @daweil and @groghunter Thank you for taking the time to explain. I actually got the gist of what you guys were trying to explain with minimal nose bleeds.

I always err on the stiffer side because I would prefer the bike to remain "up" than feel "divey." But given that preference, there are times, usually when I'm going slower, that the fork feels like it's not being used effectively. But didn't Aaron Gwin said something like "stiff forks make you go faster?"

@groghunter I just looked up shim stacks, and they're very cheap upgrades! I'll study the logic behind them and see if I'll mod my already-pretty-good-for-my-skills fork.
  • + 2
 Maybe one of you can explain this.

I have found that I set up forks to be stiff enough to not feel wallowy, dive, or get hung up on bumps. This ends up pretty stiff and very hard to bottom out. In fact set up this way, I've never had a hard bottom out and most rides leave a lot of travel on the table.

Would an upgrade like this make it easier for me to use travel while keeping enough support?
Or just exacerbate the problem?
  • + 2
 @uphill-blues: I´m glad to read your nose is okay after this mess.

I set up my fork for the parts of a ride that interest me most, for me its the fast stuff. So relatively open LSC and more air pressure to counteract + 2 tokens for the bigger stuff. And yep on slower sections its not being used effectively, but I dont care if the fork doesn´t use 150mm of travel when going uphill, as it would probably slow me down while pedaling. In the end you have to find the compromise that works best for you and your trails.
And I also heard that phrase not only from Gwin but also from a few other racers, but they´re riding on 10 levels above me so I take it with a grain of salt. If I were to put 150psi in my Pike I doubt that I´d be faster and more controlled, again I use what feels best for me (and sometimes I compare strava times, but as I´m progressing my skills I´m faster every time regardless of setup.. so objective testing is difficult).

@acali: I only can write about theory or what other people wrote in the German forum where Chikadeehill is active, and your problem is exactly what the AWK is about. Low main pressure for good compliance and high second pressure against the mid-travel-diving and also a certain bottom out progression.
  • + 4
 @acali: The only thing i would add is that not using all your travel isn't really a problem by itself. Only worry about it if you can feel that the fork isn't absorbing larger hits the way you need it to.

Basically, what I'm saying is that you should tune your fork to feel good on your rides, & if that means you don't use all your travel, who cares?
  • + 2
 @daweil:

The price is only that high for the lyrik yari Version, as it has tapered stanchions.Gruß you could Not Run an air piston in the upper stanchion. That is why it needs this separate can. The pike awk looks like manitous IRT from the dorado with alu Post in and is around 140 Euro.
  • + 1
 Any idea is it worth to use this + Fast suspension 3 way factory kit? I have 160mm Pike Rc. I have played with tokens (atm 2 and half) and I have this fork reshimmed (added mid stroke support) + SKF seals. Still I can't get it sensitive in small bumps compared to fox 36. If its feels good in small bumps the sag is not optimal. Also if it's feels good, the lsc is not very effective...
  • + 1
 It will make you fork more sensible for smal bumps,and you are still able to ride it with your normal sag. For purchase mail me @ info@suspensionandmore.com. greatz Bastian.
  • + 5
 I want a coil that feels like an air spring
  • + 1
 Manitou MARS or even ACT Air should do the trick Wink
  • + 3
 The only logical next step would be to subsequently buy two shockwiz's to make sure you can simultaneously tune the individual chambers.
  • + 3
 Or wait until SussMyBike is out... yeah, I'm still waiting for that. ._.
  • + 4
 I bet that will leave a very nasty impression on your knee!
  • + 0
 People who have no clue what this thing does are going to get it so they can look like they know what they're doing when they arrive at the trail head. It will definitely up your cool factor on group rides, so it's definitely worth it for the Bling alone. I might get one, attach a pump to it, inflate it to some random value, ride, then start talking about the bike not handling that square-edged bump back by that tree stump near the homeless encampment, let some air out, hit that square-edge bump again, then say that it felt much better this time after adding 9 PSI, my bros will nod in agreement, and I will forever be known as The Guy Who Knows His Stuff.
  • + 3
 So what's the difference between this and the MRP Ramp Control..?

(Besides that MRP is born in 'Murica!)
  • + 1
 MRP can be had in 32mm (ie. Revelation, Bluto, etc.). My German is non-existent, but there doesn't appear to be any 32mm on their website.
  • + 3
 Ramp control is to change progression of the air chamber AWK gives you a coil feel. That's not even nearly the same
  • + 1
 @tbalue3587 Screaming AWK!!! like a raven at your fellow riders sounds better than screaming RAMP!!!
  • + 6
 MRP Ramp Control does not flatten the spring curve, it rather makes it more progressive. MRP Ramp Control works like an on-off token stack, depending on compression speed where the AWK is like a infinitely variable token stack. I run the AWK in my Pike RC3. The AWK makes the Pike very sesinsitive and gives much more midstroke support with faster recovery. As a result the fork needs 4-6 additional clicks of LSR and a fully opened LSR. For me the AWK is one of the best invests in my bike, comparable to a dropper post. You can ride without it but you won't change back once you could test it.
  • + 2
 @hippe @hellbelly @andrewslice : Awesome! Thanks everyone for the info. I dig it. So what you're saying is I should invest...
  • + 1
 @hippe: So where can we buy it? I don't see any purchase option on the website
  • + 2
 @tbalue3587: You should ask yourself if you fork is sensitive enough by having sufficient mid stroke support. If not, the AWK would be a good fix. Alternatively there is a coil/damping cartridge solution available for the Pike (Lyrik/Yari coming soon), made in France. www.crconception.com
  • + 7
 @zede: You can either use the form or send an email. Fahrrad-Fahrwerk is mainly a service company, focussed on suspension tuning and maintenance. That's why they use that slightly complicated way.

www.fahrrad-fahrwerk.de/service-formular

Unfortunately the service form is in German only. If anyone needs help, just give me a ping.

All AWKs are available for self installation, except the 2017 Fox36 as it is a bit tricky.

BTW - I'm not working for Fahrad-Fahrwerk nor chickadeehill, I just like smart products of small and innovative companies
  • + 2
 I've just fitted a Luftkappe in my Yari 29er 140mm which does give a slightly more 'coil' like feel. Was going to buy an mrp ramp control too (I'm a tinkerer), but wonder if this would be any better? Would it even fit? How much more adjustability/benefit is it likely to offer? Any guidance from chikadehill or a suspension guru would be greatly appreciated, thanks.
  • + 2
 @tremeer023: I´ll just copy my comment from below

On the air spring curve you see in the beginning it is very steep, then flattens and then gets steeper again.
This means: in the beginning you have a rather harsh feeling, meaning bad small bump compliance. This is why negative air springs are so popular, they "preload" the fork and thus help overcome this first bump. Bigger negative spring has a stronger effect, this is why Debonair, EVOL, Luftkappe and similar got popular (youtuber andrextr has a very good video on the effect of negative springs)

When you put tokens in your fork (or the MRP ramp control, which is like a token that only gets activated if a certain movement speed in the fork is achieved), you just decrease the positive chambers volume. The last steep portion of the curve gets even steeper = more difficult to compress the later portion of the travel (end stroke progression). Also it starts to steepen a little earlier than without tokens, this is why many people (imho erroneously) say that "tokens increase mid stroke support".
Since many people set the forks pressure so that they dont get hard bottom outs, when you put more tokens in you can get by using a lower pressure and thus have better small bump compliance. Increasing compression damping will result in a harsher ride. I personally would rather have more air pressure and less damping (My settings with a stock Pike RC are for my 90kg: 90psi, 2 tokens, about 1/3 clicks in). I´m also using the LSC to counteract the air spring, which is wrong in theory but works well enough. If the air spring was linear in the firstr 2/3 part of the stroke I could probably get by without compression daming, but hey the fork still feels very good and I´m no WC rider.

Now the AWK has two positive air chambers, and depending on the pressures of each one its possible to tune both mid-stroke and also end stroke progression, which was kind of described too short in this article in my opinion. If you pump up the second chamber very high you also get the "token-effect" in the end (second chamber starts compressing when both chambers have an equal pressure), but it would start earlier in the stroke, depending on how many psi´s are in there.
This makes it possible to set the main chamber with a relatively low pressure, having very good small bump compliance, without the diving caused by the flat mid part in the curve. And you get to keep the end progression for those bigger hits.

Hope I helped and didnt make it worse Big Grin
  • + 1
 @daweil: thanks for the reply, much appreciated. We must have typed at the same time.

So it sounds like, given my set up with the Luftkappe (which gives good small bump sensitivity), the advantage of AWK over the MRP ramp is the ability to adjust both the mid-stroke and bottom out (end stroke) rather than just end stroke? Bit more adjustability basically? If that's the case, and it's compatible, think I'll try this considering the price of each.
  • + 3
 @tremeer023: Glad to help!

Yep for me that´s exactly what it sounds like. Tokens/ramp control affect the later portion of the travel, and with AWK you can tune the whole curve. I dont exactly know what the limits of the system are, if you pump of the secondary chamber extremely high in theory it should have a similar effect to a volume-reducer like tokens. Depending on the ratios of the pressure of both chambers you get a different looking curve.
I wish the article had gone more in-depth on the physics behind this, maybe different graphs for different ratios, but oh well. I can guarantee that with this you can tinker a lot more than with the MRP though
  • + 1
 @zede: for Austria www.suspensionandmore.com send me an email,and tell me what you need. Greatz Bastian.
  • + 1
 @Eesha: www.suspensionandmore.com i am the retailer for Austria now. Greatz Bastian.
  • + 2
 I wonder how this would work in conjunction with the Vorsprung Luftkappe? All the aftermarket options are good but I don't know how well they will play together.
  • + 5
 There is a potential risk of collision. You better should measure carefully the distance between top of the air chamber and the Luftkappe when the fork is completely compressed since the Luftkappe does protrude a bit further in the positive air chamber than the original air piston. If you forward that value to fahrrad-fahrwerk they can tell you if it works or not. Basically both systems would complement each other.
  • + 2
 By the way. Only the lyrik YARI Version is that expensive as it needs extra parts as the fork' s stanchions are tapered. The awk for pike is at around 140 Euro
  • + 3
 This vs luftcappe thing ? Discuss?
  • + 4
 Luftkappe dos give a bit more volume to the negative air chamber, similar the same was done with Devon Air in the 2018 RS forks. Both systems improve the same, more linearity of the spring curve and better response characteristics but the effect of Luftkappe is far less massive, compared to the AWK. The 2018 Debon Air generation should make the Luftkappe redundant.
  • + 3
 When i think Chickadeehill i think Rachel Atherton.
  • + 2
 Do they have a site in english or any US distributors of this? I'd love to get my hands on this Big Grin
  • + 2
 I have been trying to get my hands on one of these for the better part of a year. Both Fahrad-Fahrwerk and Chikadeehill declined to sell to the states due to liability reasons. So I ditched the Pike for an Ohlins RXF36. If you do find a distributor I would still love to try it.
  • + 0
 i wish companies would make things like this for older forks im running a lyrik rc2dh and could benifiet from this but no one thinks of that its just a money grab to make you buy a new fork
  • + 2
 Forget this thing. Set your fork stiffer and go faster
  • + 1
 The downside, is that trying to navigate their dealers sites, who has any available...
  • + 3
 This is totes AWKS
  • - 2
 first step all you idiots that are trying to make your air fork feel like a coil is to throw away your cocaine scales. man up and pedal a little more weight with an actual coil fork (if that is actually the case) and enjoy the ride down.
  • + 1
 As usual 2018 Fox 36 is excluded. Seems like a simple thing apparently isn't on this years model.
  • + 2
 www.mrpbike.com/rampcart The Ramp Control now has a 2018 Fox 36 compatible version
  • + 2
 @simcik: Thanks. I just ordered one!
  • + 2
 @chasejj: Enjoy! You are going to love it
  • + 2
 I'm curious about token setup for the soloair for their graph.
  • + 2
 exactly what I was thinking. the graph seems to represent an air spring with very large volume and no progressiveness. If anything it seems to demonstrate the opposite of progression - a midstroke "collapse."
  • + 1
 (Unless someone corrects me for talking rubbish here is my basic understanding of the graph...)

I think there's too many variables if you are looking at the numbers but the curve looks right - high force to overcome initial sticktion from seals, then a progressive curve where the air spring is compressed.
  • + 2
 @rwb500:
A modern air sprung suspension does have two "air springs". the positive and the negative.
www.pinkbike.com/news/Tech-Tuesday-negative-spring-air-shocks-2012.html

This graph shows the combination of two.
from 0 to 40mm you can see the degressive spring caused by the progressive negative spring 'upside down", and from 40mm to full travel you see the progressive positive air spring doing his job.

The fork its progressive at the end of the travel, but before, you have a digressive then linear spring.
  • + 1
 Any idea where to buy this in the U.S.?
  • + 1
 How would this work with a luftkappe already installed?
  • + 1
 I'll take a progressive coil, please.
  • + 1
 Seems like a good idea to me. Now to make the air shock more linear ...
  • + 2
 The last thing I want is my suspension to be more linear. I want a progressive setup so I don't bottom out after every jump/drop/g-out.
  • + 3
 @BaeckerX1: you just need your spring rate to have a steeper slope. flat spots mid curve suck.
  • + 3
 @BaeckerX1: linear doesn't mean weak. a linear curve can have the same ending force required as a progressive curve. i much, much prefer linear springs- so much better support in the top and middle of the stroke, IMO
  • + 3
 @BaeckerX1:
You just think that becasue the industry made you believe the typical air spring curve is LINEAR :-D Quite the opposite.
  • + 1
 it is a band aid. I would buy a different fork.
  • + 6
 A Manitou with IRT or the Öhlins RXF would be an option if you won't go for a coil fork. All other air spring forks suffer from the same 'hanging' spring curve, just some 'fix' it a bit better with their damping (e.g. Fox). But seriously, would you like to take another pill just to reduce the bad effects of the initial one or would you like to get rid of the bad effect itself?
  • + 1
 What is a different fork? A Casting? a Crown? decals? BAsically it is the internals. Thus using a used yari for 250 buying air spinr g tuning for 190 and a cardridge for that fork at 230 will give you a state of the art fork for 670, with the casting of a LYrik. NO probs there, are they?
  • + 2
 So adjustable DCRV then.
  • + 1
 Ya, I was thinking the same thing. Is the independent adjustability of the secondary chamber the only difference here? Didn't reviewers hate DRCV?
  • + 1
 @freestyIAM:

Yeah I had one it was not good I massively reduced the volume of the second chamber to give anotice end ramp up. But I'm a big guy 110kg
  • + 1
 @theminsta This looks pretty neat for your lyrik!
  • + 1
 Got Dual Position Air so I can't have Dual Positive Air Frown
  • + 1
 Well this is AWKward Sorry. No one had done it yet.
  • + 1
 You beat me to it
  • + 1
 More WC DH races. Less products.
  • + 1
 How would this compare to MRP ramp control?
  • + 1
 Anywhere to buy these in whistler?
  • + 2
 Not for sale in USA and Canada yet, but send me an email at info@suspensionandmore.com ,and we will find a way to hook you up with one...????
  • + 1
 Enter Talas II.
  • + 0
 Thinking a better option would be putting that $280CAD toward a new fork
  • + 2
 I wouldnt say so, the charger is a good damper, and with this you get an amazing air spring. Compression damping should not be used to counteract a bad air spring, but on a solo-air you have to
  • + 1
 a fork is basically the internals. A Yari is the chassis of a Lyrik. so think again ;-) ;-) ;-)
  • + 0
 AWKWard
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