RockShox Super Deluxe Ultimate Coil Long Term Review

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Ross gives us his impression of the RockShox Super Deluxe Ultimate Coil rear shock after almost 12 months of abuse.

It’s a good few years now since coil shocks were purely the preserve of DH bikes. With the advent of World level enduro racing and 15 minute timed downhill stages, people started looking to coil shocks for the consistent, supple damping they offered.

With this upsurge in popularity came coil shocks specifically designed for enduro and trail riding, designed to pedal as well as descend. The RockShox Super Deluxe Coil range was introduced back in 2017 and was designed specifically (in the main) for enduro and trail bikes. The range consisted of three models with various specs, all of which included one key feature to make them more suitable for bikes that were designed to get to the top under human power – a pedal platform. 

A couple of years ago RockShox updated the range of forks and shocks and re-named the hierarchy levels. The shock we’ve had on test is the Super Deluxe Coil Ultimate. The Ultimate moniker is reserved for the top-end, race-driven products, and the Super Deluxe Coil Ultimate has been designed to meet the demands of the latest and greatest hard-hitting enduro and trail bikes and riders alike. 

Based on metric sizing, and available in standard bushing and trunnion-mount, the Super Deluxe Coil Ultimate is available in a raft of sizes to suit most current bikes. As well as simplifying things for frame and suspension manufacturers, according to RockShox the move to metric sizing also leads to increased bushing overlap, therefore creating better traction and durability in the shock. The size we’ve had on test is 230 x 57.5.

As you’d expect, the Super Deluxe Coil Ultimate features external rebound damping but also low-speed compression adjustment. It also benefits from RockShox’s Counter Measure technology which is designed to completely minimise the breakaway force needed to get the shock moving, keeping it feeling buttery smooth right from the initial part of the stroke. 

RockShox also uses Maxima Plush damping fluid which is designed to reduce friction and wear whilst also keeping dampers quiet. The shock also features a ‘solid threshold adjustment’ which is a sort of pedalling platform that firms the shock up for climbing, without it being fully locked out.

Set Up

The shock was being bolted onto a Santa Cruz Megatower, which uses a VPP linkage, and I weigh around 86kg. After giving these details to the guys at RockShox (and confirming things with an online spring rate calculator) I went with a 550lb spring in signature Boxxer Red. As it was going on a Megatower, the shock also featured a bottom bearing mount rather than a standard bushing.

Fitting the shock is super easy. Thread the coil onto the body and add the lock ring, then unbolt the old shock and replace the new – simple. Setting up the shock is just as simple with no air pressures to worry about. Once the shock is on the bike, turn the preload adjuster counterclockwise until there is no resistance, then add two full turns of preload. 

The shaft has handy sag gradients printed on it so to check the sag you just push the bottom out bumper up, sit on the bike, and then see where it meets the gradients. You have a bit of adjustment with this by adding preload with the adjuster but this is limited to around 5 turns. If you’re not getting the required sag with this then it’s time to look at a heavier / lighter spring. The 550 lb spring gave me around 30% sag which is what I was looking for, with just the initial 2 set-up turns of the preload collar.

I started with the low-speed compression damping fully off for maximum plushness and small bump sensitivity and kept it there for pretty the full test. I did experiment with a couple of added clicks but always found myself going back to full open.

Plastic spacer with Nukeproof spring

During the test, I swapped the spring from the standard RockShox one to a Nukeproof Super Light to see if saving a few grams (about 100) would make any difference to the performance and feel, and also to see how easy it was to use a third party spring. Fitting the spring was as easy as the original with the only difference being the use of a plastic spacer with the Nukeproof spring to get the correct sizing, and when riding I couldn’t discern a difference between either spring.

On the Trail

I’ve had the Super Deluxe Ultimate Coil in use now for the best part of 12 months, although I’ve used and tested some other shocks within this time.  From the first ride though the performance was noticeable. While the performance of the air shock that had been on the bike previously had been good, with the coil shock fitted the bar was raised.

The Megatower (especially in low setting) has quite a progressive suspension and feels best when being really pushed. Adding the coil into the mix slightly softened the overall feel of the bike, not making it wallowy, but making the suspension feel like it was working more, and better, even when not at 110%.

new and shiny…

It’s really plush off the top and sits into its stroke nicely giving it great small bump sensitivity and letting it track the ground over rough sections of rock, and adding grip on off-camber roots. While it weighs almost exactly double the air shock, the additional weight isn’t noticeable for climbing and the increased sensitivity adds grip on steep, loose climbs. The pedal platform does what it needs to do but with the VPP of the Megatower, I never had to use it.

Big hits are despatched with ease and despite my best efforts bottoming the bike on shady drops, there’s no harshness or awkward rebounds from the shock. Pushing into turns there’s plenty of support and grip for railing round or cutting inside. 

On fast and rough trails, the sort that is carpeted with roots and rocks, the added plushness of the shock lets you maintain speed without getting hung up or bounced around off line, yet remains supportive enough for loading up and gapping sections. Although to be honest, you can just plough through most stuff!



Overall

After the best part of 12 months of use, the Super Deluxe Ultimate still feels as buttery smooth as day one and hasn’t missed a beat despite plenty of abuse in all weathers. It’s improved the feel of the bike overall and I really can’t fault the performance. 

Not so new and shiny…. but still performing amazingly

While coil shocks aren’t for everyone, and there is a definite weight penalty over an air shock, for me the performance gains are well worth the additional couple of hundred grams (and if you’re reading this you probably value performance over weight). 

There’s a reason that good air suspension is described as feeling like coil. The Super Deluxe Coil adds grip, and small bump compliance, and stays composed over the roughest of tracks. Coupled with great reliability, it’s a worthy addition for anyone looking push-hard on rough tracks and terrain.


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Review Info

Brand: RockShox
Product: Super Deluxe Ultimate Coil
From: Zyro
Price: £465
Tested: by Ross for 12 months
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Viewing 1 post (of 1 total)
  • RockShox Super Deluxe Ultimate Coil Long Term Review
  • crimsondynamo
    Free Member

    How did you get on with rebound damping? Is there a good workable range?

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