Pike 454 Coil v Fox Vanilla RLC QR 15

Stu 74
Stu 74 Posts: 463
edited November 2009 in MTB buying advice
Considering replacing the 426 Dual Air Pikes on my Wolf Ridge. They are stiff and solid but I have never really been impressed with them over the rough stuff.

They also suffer from air transfer from the positive to the negative air chamber, particularly after a rough ride and this means I have to repeatedly reset the air pressures. I am told that this is normal for Air Pikes.

My possible options are:-

Pike 454 Coil (maybe or maybe not PUSHED)
Fox Vanilla 32 RLC FIT QR15

I'm thinking that perhaps the Fox's will give a smoother ride but will they be more flexy? Are they likely to be as bomb proof as the Pike?

Has anyone ridden an Air Pike v Coil Pike, Coil Pike v Vanilla or Air Pike v Vanilla?

I ride North Wales trail centres and natural stuff and I am a fairly aggressive type of rider but only weigh about 10 stone.

Many thanks

Stu

Comments

  • supersonic
    supersonic Posts: 82,708
    The Pike is built more solidly for heavier riding, but of course is heavier due to it. It will take more stick than the Van, and will be stiffer.

    It is not normal for air migration - sounds like a seal or oring is knackered. You could just put a coil kit in their.

    454 gets a lighter crown and steerer.
  • why not get them push'd should sort just about everything... other than the weight.
  • dave_hill
    dave_hill Posts: 3,877
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  • Whats that? you prefer the fox John? Thought you'd rather a pike!
  • Anonymous
    Anonymous Posts: 79,667
    I'm not impressed with the damping on the pikes. They're fine over rough ground at low to medium speed, but they're just to linear for repeated big hits, and blow through their travel far too easily.
    You can either set them up to be supple over the small stuff, but will pack down too much, or you can have them harsh and unforgiving on the small stuff, but remain active over big, fast hits.

    I prefer the damping in Marzocchi or Fox forks, as the whole fork seems to get progressively stiffer, so that even when being bombarded with big hit after big hit, they still have some room left for the monster impacts.
    I'm completely in love with the Fox 36 floats. They never seem to pointlessly go towards the end of travel like the Pikes do - they're always doing their very best to stay near where the sag is set, and always have plenty in reserve for those massive impacts that just overwhelm pikes.
  • Stu 74
    Stu 74 Posts: 463
    Got the fork servied and PUSHED by TFT about 12 months ago (very good service incidentally). They replaced a dodgy seal that was allowing the air transfer and this improved the air transfer problem by a factor of 5.

    However although the problem has been greatly reduced it is still there. TFT said on their servide report that, even though they had replaced a dodgy seal, I should still expect air transfer to happen from time to time and that air pressures would have to be reset periodically. The problem seems to manifest itself mainly after rides featuring 'big hits'.

    Apparently the 426 Air fork cannot be converted into a coil fork :(

    I think the 454 coil is the same weight as the 426 air but the Vanilla is lighter.

    The PUSHED tune has improved the performance of the forks but mainly over small bumps as opposed to the bigger stuff.

    Stu
  • Stu 74
    Stu 74 Posts: 463
    I'm not impressed with the damping on the pikes. They're fine over rough ground at low to medium speed, but they're just to linear for repeated big hits, and blow through their travel far too easily.
    You can either set them up to be supple over the small stuff, but will pack down too much, or you can have them harsh and unforgiving on the small stuff, but remain active over big, fast hits.

    Yes, that sums it up nicely! Have you tried coil Pikes though?

    Stu
  • supersonic
    supersonic Posts: 82,708
    Coil will be worse over big hits as the air chamber least ramps up.

    The floodgate is an adjustable blow off valve - setting it high can help the fork a little with faster hits, but is an induced spike, and the comp damping needs to be set high for it to be noticable.
  • Anonymous
    Anonymous Posts: 79,667
    Stu 74 wrote:
    I'm not impressed with the damping on the pikes. They're fine over rough ground at low to medium speed, but they're just to linear for repeated big hits, and blow through their travel far too easily.
    You can either set them up to be supple over the small stuff, but will pack down too much, or you can have them harsh and unforgiving on the small stuff, but remain active over big, fast hits.

    Yes, that sums it up nicely! Have you tried coil Pikes though?

    Stu
    I've never tried an air-sprung Pike - they've all been coil sprung. All the advocates of Pikes have loved the linear feel to them, but that, to me, is their weakest point.

    It's not just the spring though, it's hard to explain, but there's a definitely different "feel" to RS forks compared to zocchi or Fox. I think the damping curve has more to do with it than progressive spring rates.
  • dave_hill
    dave_hill Posts: 3,877
    I've never tried an air-sprung Pike - they've all been coil sprung. All the advocates of Pikes have loved the linear feel to them, but that, to me, is their weakest point.

    Ah well, you see...mine are air sprung. They must be good because I don't notice them doing their job. I have the positive and negative chambers set equal and four turns of compression damping.

    I have them set fairly soft and I've never bottomed them out. To be honest though I wouldn't know how to tell a "linear" feeling fork from anything else. I have noticed though that the feel of them improved dramatically when I replaced the standard 5wt oil with 10wt.
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