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Kona rear shock upgrade...

Angus YoungAngus Young Posts: 3,063
edited December 2014 in MTB buying advice
So here's my Kona 134...

Kona_1.jpg

Upgrade so far are...

150mm Pike up front (taking it up from 140mm)
Superstar Carbon AM wheels (on Tesla hubs)
High Roller II front (tubeless)
Ardent Race back (tubeless)
Superstar Nano Tech pedals (gunmetal)
Nukeproof saddle
Nuke proof Carbon Warhead bar

After the Pike it's become obvious that the back end needs to catch up. But what to replace the standard RockShox Monarch R with? CCDB Inline, CC DBAir CS, Monarch Plus RC3 DebonAir, Fox Float X? Something else?

Your thoughts would be appreciated.
All the gear, no idea and loving the smell of jealousy in the morning.
Kona Process 134 viewtopic.php?f=10017&t=12994607
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Posts

  • POAHPOAH Posts: 3,369
    the inline - don't see why you would want to spend more.
  • Angus YoungAngus Young Posts: 3,063
    Well the Inline was high on the list but it seems it's not getting the universal love that I first thought, so I'm now wondering if it really is the best choice (which is why this thread's gone up). As far as cost goes, I don't really care too much. I intend to keep this bike for a long time so a few hundred pounds here or there doesn't really matter too much if it means getting it right.
    All the gear, no idea and loving the smell of jealousy in the morning.
    Kona Process 134 viewtopic.php?f=10017&t=12994607
  • RockmonkeySCRockmonkeySC Posts: 15,247
    DB Inline has transformed the back end of mine and I had the top spec Monarch RTC3 before.
    Its so much more controlled and actually feels like I have gained a load more travel.
    The rebound damper has a limited range so speak to TF Tuned and they will make sure it has enough for you but im 14.5 stone and it's fine for me.
    The Monarch Plus might be a bit too much volume for a short travel bike and filling it with volume reducers will change the spring characteristics so much you might struggle to get the damping right. It also suffers the same damping issues as the standard Monarch.
  • Angus YoungAngus Young Posts: 3,063
    The rebound damper has a limited range so speak to TF Tuned and they will make sure it has enough for you but im 14.5 stone and it's fine for me.

    I'll certainly be speaking to TFTuned and as they're not a million miles away from me I might call in for a chat with them. Always better to ask stupid questions in person. :)
    It also suffers the same damping issues as the standard Monarch.

    Isn't that what the Debonair mod is supposed to deal with?
    All the gear, no idea and loving the smell of jealousy in the morning.
    Kona Process 134 viewtopic.php?f=10017&t=12994607
  • RockmonkeySCRockmonkeySC Posts: 15,247
    I asked about the upgrade before I bought the CCDB Inline, they said it wouldn't cure the problems I had. Changing the spring rate doesn't fix poor damping.
  • paul.skibumpaul.skibum Posts: 4,068
    Just asked the question over in your rides but how is different travel, different suspension set up and rider build going to impact on how like for like shocks feel?

    For example - I find my Monarch Plus to be a great upgrade on my Bronson but if I was 60 lbs heavier would it feel as good with just the pressure pumped up or if I rode a Heckler with the same shock would it feel as good with the single pivot vs the VPP?

    What's the eye to eye and stroke on the Kona?
    Closet jockey wheel pimp censored .
  • What's the issue with the rear end that you are having compared to the front?

    If it's a harsher ride compared to the pike up front then this could be down to your new wheels being a hell of a lot stiffer than the stock ones. It was the most noticeable thing for me when I went for Carbon rims on my remedy. If you have your old wheels still them pop them back on and see how you feel after a ride on them as you may the surprised. You certainly get more low speed chatter on Carbon rims which you can offset but dropping tyre pressure a little.
    Bird Aeris : Trek Remedy 9.9 29er : Trek Procaliber 9.8 SL
  • RockmonkeySCRockmonkeySC Posts: 15,247
    Rider weight, rear travel, shock stroke and other factors all have an effect but all in different ways.
    Shorter travel means you need it set firmer which exaggerates the harsh damping in the first half of the travel on the monarch.
    The DB Inline certainly cures the harshness of the Monarch.
  • CitizenLeeCitizenLee Posts: 2,227
    Here's a curveball - A Fox Float X?

    I wouldn't swap my Pushed Float CTD for any other shock.

    Once TF have worked their magic on them it really is fit and forget.
    Current:
    NukeProof Mega FR 2012
    Cube NuRoad 2018
    Previous:
    2015 Genesis CdF 10, 2014 Cube Hyde Race, 2012 NS Traffic, 2007 Specialized SX Trail, 2005 Specialized Demo 8
  • Angus YoungAngus Young Posts: 3,063
    I asked about the upgrade before I bought the CCDB Inline, they said it wouldn't cure the problems I had. Changing the spring rate doesn't fix poor damping.

    Interestring. Even more confusing! :)
    Just asked the question over in your rides but how is different travel, different suspension set up and rider build going to impact on how like for like shocks feel?

    For example - I find my Monarch Plus to be a great upgrade on my Bronson but if I was 60 lbs heavier would it feel as good with just the pressure pumped up or if I rode a Heckler with the same shock would it feel as good with the single pivot vs the VPP?

    And that encapsulates the whole problem. At the front it seems a Pike is a safe bet on just about anything but at the back there isn't an equivalent 'no-brainer'.
    What's the eye to eye and stroke on the Kona?

    Don't know, haven't got that far yet.
    What's the issue with the rear end that you are having compared to the front?

    If it's a harsher ride compared to the pike up front then this could be down to your new wheels being a hell of a lot stiffer than the stock ones. It was the most noticeable thing for me when I went for Carbon rims on my remedy. If you have your old wheels still them pop them back on and see how you feel after a ride on them as you may the surprised. You certainly get more low speed chatter on Carbon rims which you can offset but dropping tyre pressure a little.

    No, it's very far from harsh. Incredibly smooth bike and the carbon wheels don't seem to have done much to that. It's that it seems less controlled at the back now. And it's not that it feels any different than it did before, it's just that stepping things up with the Pike, the front is now out performing the back. It's not a disaster by any means, but you are aware that the back isn't handling the rough stuff quite as well as the front.
    CitizenLee wrote:
    Here's a curveball - A Fox Float X?

    That's already on the list.
    CitizenLee wrote:
    I wouldn't swap my Pushed Float CTD for any other shock.

    Once TF have worked their magic on them it really is fit and forget.

    The Float X is mentioned in the Bike Bible rave review of the 134 so it's definitely high on the radar. I'll see what TF have to say about it and the Kona.
    All the gear, no idea and loving the smell of jealousy in the morning.
    Kona Process 134 viewtopic.php?f=10017&t=12994607
  • I spoke to TF Tuned about this last week (as well as my fork).

    In short, they (he) recommended going for a PUSH tuned Fox Float. Either a new style CTD Factory BV or even getting an older RP23 and sending it to them to do the PUSH magic.

    I aksed about the CCDB inline and he steered me away from it, especially when I told him that I am running the Monarch at up to 175 psi. I joked about the fact that I am not that heavy (around 12.5 stone), but it seems like they're having problems with that shock. Bit of a shame really.

    He was also fairly dismissive about the DebonAir upgrade that some of the mags are getting excited about and pretty much RS shocks in general.

    I can't say that it has made the decision making process(!) any easier though.
  • Angus YoungAngus Young Posts: 3,063
    I spoke to TF Tuned about this last week (as well as my fork).

    In short, they (he) recommended going for a PUSH tuned Fox Float. Either a new style CTD Factory BV or even getting an older RP23 and sending it to them to do the PUSH magic.

    I aksed about the CCDB inline and he steered me away from it, especially when I told him that I am running the Monarch at up to 175 psi. I joked about the fact that I am not that heavy (around 12.5 stone), but it seems like they're having problems with that shock. Bit of a shame really.

    He was also fairly dismissive about the DebonAir upgrade that some of the mags are getting excited about and pretty much RS shocks in general.

    I can't say that it has made the decision making process(!) any easier though.

    Very interesting. Were they taking into account your riding style, given that they talk of this on their site (and if so, what is it), or was their recommendation centred just on the bike? Any consideration given to the fork you have upfront?

    Yes, as you say, doesn't make the decision making process any easier. Lots of conflicting opinions.

    How you liking the Process?
    All the gear, no idea and loving the smell of jealousy in the morning.
    Kona Process 134 viewtopic.php?f=10017&t=12994607
  • To be honest, I don't think I got the chance to talk too much about my 'riding style' and we didn't talk much about the Process either, so I was a little concerned about the validity of the advice.

    However, the nature of the chat was about having something that was able to do the steep, techy and slow (for me) stuff as well as fast, choppy, natural style trails with roots and rocks. My challenges are with the latter, especially on the fork.

    I'm quite happy with the Monarch for most of the time, but then again I spend at least half of the time riding a hardtail! If anything, I am just curious about the DebonAir can upgrade first. After that, my interest is in something that stays propped up a bit more to give a poppy and responsive feel, rather than being too bouncy. That was part of the reason why I opted for the 134 rather than the 153.

    The bike is very good. Confidence inspiring across a wide range of trails. It could just do with being a little lighter, but I can easily live with that.
  • The RookieThe Rookie Posts: 27,748
    Decent used Fox RPP23 then spend the rest on getting it set up to suite you/the bike and your riding would be my call.

    The CCDB inline got good reviews but seem to be having too many early life problems (and have been recalled!).

    As for weight...1x10 looses you 350g in one easy move!
  • Angus YoungAngus Young Posts: 3,063
    The Rookie wrote:
    Decent used Fox RPP23 then spend the rest on getting it set up to suite you/the bike and your riding would be my call.

    It's an interesting option and definitely under consideration.
    The Rookie wrote:
    The CCDB inline got good reviews but seem to be having too many early life problems (and have been recalled!).

    It seemed like the second coming when the first reviews appeared, but the lustre does seem to have gone off it a little now.
    The Rookie wrote:
    As for weight...1x10 looses you 350g in one easy move!

    Still thinking about this one. On the one hand I still feel my thighs need the granny ring. On the other, I hate using it and will often get off and push once it gets to that spinning-and-not-getting-very-far stage. Don't really use it that often and I guess I could alway put it back on if I find I'm suffering without it.

    Maybe I'll do it at the same time as the shock. I'm going to change out the heavy dropper for a stealth at the same time so the weight savings would be noticeable if I do both together.
    All the gear, no idea and loving the smell of jealousy in the morning.
    Kona Process 134 viewtopic.php?f=10017&t=12994607
  • The Rookie wrote:
    As for weight...1x10 looses you 350g in one easy move!
    I tried 1x10 with the OneUp 42t cog on my Cotic Solaris 29er and it didn't work for me. We've got some steep hills around here and I prefer higher cadence spinning than grinding (I ride a road bike too). I was well and truly spent after a 25 mile XC ride with 5,000 feet of climbing! Would have been fine with that on my old school 26" Soul with 2x9.

    Admittedly, the Kona's smaller wheels would make it easier, but I far prefer the gear range that 2x10 offers for what I do. While 1x10 works for some people, I can't help that for others it's more of a fashion thing and they'll be pushing more than they need to. Unless they're just sticking to trail centres. Anyway, it's not for me.
  • Angus YoungAngus Young Posts: 3,063
    Perhaps I need to go XX1... :)
    All the gear, no idea and loving the smell of jealousy in the morning.
    Kona Process 134 viewtopic.php?f=10017&t=12994607
  • POAHPOAH Posts: 3,369
    The Rookie wrote:

    The CCDB inline got good reviews but seem to be having too many early life problems (and have been recalled!).

    As for weight...1x10 looses you 350g in one easy move!

    the recall is down to a sticker which they send out to you nothing to do with the function of the shock. the shock is perfectly fine.

    I lost a little over 450g going 1x
  • RockmonkeySCRockmonkeySC Posts: 15,247
    While 1x10 works for some people, I can't help that for others it's more of a fashion thing and they'll be pushing more than they need to. Unless they're just sticking to trail centres. Anyway, it's not for me.

    I have had 1x9 and 1x10 (34t front 11t-40t rear) for years and find it easier to bash up hills than spin up in a low gear. I don't push up any hills that my mates with granny ring can ride. The only time in the last few years I have wanted a granny ring was riding up Walna Scar in the lakes, it was tough but I got up.
    I also have 1x9 (50t front 11t-26t rear) on my road bike so I guess I have just got used to it.
  • My curiosity has got the better of me so I've asked my LBS to order the DebonAir upgrade kit (big volume can in other words) and we'll see if it lives up to the hype.
  • Angus YoungAngus Young Posts: 3,063
    My curiosity has got the better of me so I've asked my LBS to order the DebonAir upgrade kit (big volume can in other words) and we'll see if it lives up to the hype.

    Well done - you're my test pilot! :) I'll look forward to your report.
    All the gear, no idea and loving the smell of jealousy in the morning.
    Kona Process 134 viewtopic.php?f=10017&t=12994607
  • how come you bought such a small size framed bike? :)
  • Angus YoungAngus Young Posts: 3,063
    lappymatt wrote:
    how come you bought such a small size framed bike? :)

    I like the 'girl's bike' look. I'm getting a basket for the front next week. :)
    All the gear, no idea and loving the smell of jealousy in the morning.
    Kona Process 134 viewtopic.php?f=10017&t=12994607
  • Angus YoungAngus Young Posts: 3,063
    So, after doing my usual protracted bouncing around the options, I finally came to rest on the PUSHed Fox Float X. Bike's in with TFTuned now and with a bit of luck I'll get it back tomorrow.

    Thanks for all the input.
    All the gear, no idea and loving the smell of jealousy in the morning.
    Kona Process 134 viewtopic.php?f=10017&t=12994607
  • You must have most of a bike's worth of used but barely used bits now.
  • POAHPOAH Posts: 3,369
    So, after doing my usual protracted bouncing around the options, I finally came to rest on the PUSHed Fox Float X. Bike's in with TFTuned now and with a bit of luck I'll get it back tomorrow.

    Thanks for all the input.

    surprised at going for that over a DBCS
  • Angus YoungAngus Young Posts: 3,063
    You must have most of a bike's worth of used but barely used bits now.

    Ha ha, yes! A friend has taken the forks and is getting the cranks next time we meet (gone 1x10 with e*thirteen cranks/bracket/ring). And the rest of it is going on ebay once I get a spare moment to photograph the items and put up the listings. As you say, all barely used.
    POAH wrote:
    surprised at going for that over a DBCS

    That was my original idea. But after sitting on it for a while it seems there's pros and cons for all of them and proponents for each so in the end I don't think you can really go wrong whichever you pick, so I just went for the one that took my fancy. I sort of gave up trying to separate them and just went on a whim.
    All the gear, no idea and loving the smell of jealousy in the morning.
    Kona Process 134 viewtopic.php?f=10017&t=12994607
  • RockmonkeySCRockmonkeySC Posts: 15,247
    Float X and CCDB CS are equally good, just different.
  • Angus YoungAngus Young Posts: 3,063
    Float X and CCDB CS are equally good, just different.

    Yes, couldn't really separate them in any meaningful way although, as you say "just different" which, to a more experienced rider, might offer something that puts one ahead of the other, depending on preferences.

    Hopefully TFT will be done tomorrow (pending delivery of the Float) and I can pop down and pick the bike up.

    I'm off to Wales for Christmas and my parents are only 15 minutes from BPW, so I know what I'm going to be doing!
    All the gear, no idea and loving the smell of jealousy in the morning.
    Kona Process 134 viewtopic.php?f=10017&t=12994607
  • RockmonkeySCRockmonkeySC Posts: 15,247
    TFT do a top job, they have serviced and tuned several forks and shocks for me. All the lads are pretty handy riders as well who know what works.
    I have ridden with a few of them, keeping up was definitely challenging!
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