Avalanche Downhill Racing box of goodies

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  • Avalanche Downhill Racing box of goodies
  • messiah
    Member

    Some new toys for my Nicolai arrived yesterday… I’ve been wanting to try Avalanche stuff after the chaps I was riding with in Arizona last year raved about them.

    Speed Sensitive Damping (SSD) cartridge for my Fox 36 Float fork and matching Avalanche Advantage modified SSD DHX Air shock.

    I’ve asked for improved low speed control to add stability and reduce brake dive and low speed wallow without causing spiking and harshness to the high speed stuff… a ballance I’ve not managed with Fox/Marz/CCDB (more like Bos). I’m not expecting miracles and I know it won’t make me go any faster but it’s good fun to play with all this stuff and release the inner geek 😆

    Now I have no excuse for not rebuilding the three year Nicolai after it’s first full strip down to replace all the bushings.

    Premier Icon althepal
    Subscriber

    Hmmmmm. Interesting.

    greeble
    Member

    Why the dire dhx? Everyone knows the dhx is a piss poor shock.

    messiah
    Member

    Why the dire dhx?

    It’s no longer just a Fox DHX… it’s an Avalanche Advantage Speed Sensitive Damping (SSD) modified DHX Air shock 🙄

    I had considered a CCDBair but this is lighter and hopefully betterer… plus DHX Air’s are cheap because everyone says they are crap… I figured it worth a try after reading the Avalanche bumf.

    greeble
    Member

    Could have spend the money on a decent shock in the 1st place without having to buy twice.
    FAFF with warranty servicing spare parts.
    It’ll make you .0001 seconds faster

    Premier Icon superdan
    Subscriber

    I fitted an avalanche cart to upgrade my 2011 Boxxer Races last week. Awesome, but got stung on import duty. Shame there isn’t a UK importer.

    Have caught my shorts on the Top adjuster a few times, but it looks like the Fox 36 cart uses the fox knobs, so will not be an issue for you.

    messiah
    Member

    Superdan; import duty was paid as expected 😥

    greeble – I’m not worried about faster, and I’m not worried about warranty or spare parts for this stuff. It’s about trying something I want to try… the current offering from the main players don’t offer what I want; I don’t want to be flipping a lever from C-to-T-to-D because somebody in marketing thinks that’s what we riders want.

    I’ve had my last three shocks custom tuned and run a CCDB for two years, by playing with these I’ve worked out what I want from a shock, and I’ve used a few forks in that time as well. I’ve now asked for the attributes I want in an Air shock and fork pairing; not something I could get off the shelf from the usual suspects.

    doof_doof
    Member

    Having had both CCDB and Avy shocks, I can say you won’t be disappointed. Craig knows his stuff.
    By all accounts the fork cartridges are great too.

    LoCo
    Member

    Let us know how you get on the with the DHX air, I’m hoping all the internals will have been replaced and just the ‘chassis’ has been used for the conversion.

    messiah
    Member

    Hi Loco. Thats what Craig said he does with them; and there was a bag of bits and bobs in with the DHX so pretty sure it’s guts have been ripped out and replaced 😈 No more position sensative Pro-Pedal-Pish(tm) as it was replaced with the Speed Sensative Damping (SSD) 8)

    I chose to do the mods to an older DHX4.0 as Craig advised. I bought a NOS which I bought from ebay-USA and had sent straight to Craig at Avalanche. This way I get a brand new shock with the dial for compression adjustment rather than the more recent three position switch; and the bottom out adjuster of the 5.0 is removed as part of the mod anyway (unless you really want/need it).

    Would you like a look inside when it needs a service? :mrgreen:

    LoCo
    Member

    Yes please, I’d like to have a little look inside one of those as they’re pretty rear beasts 😀

    Available Early 2014 – LoCo Speed Sensitive Damping Cartridge™

    geetee1972
    Member

    Awesome stuff Messiah. Looking forward to hearing more about this. I wonder if the Fox 36 cartridges also fit into the equivalent X-Fusion Fork.

    xiphon
    Member

    I’ve asked for improved low speed control to add stability and reduce brake dive and low speed wallow without causing spiking and harshness to the high speed stuff…

    How about spending the money on a skills course?

    messiah
    Member

    Hi geetee, the geek in me will report back at some point 😳

    Are you running X-Fusion instead of Bos now… any reason?

    Premier Icon flange
    Subscriber

    How about spending the money on a skills course?

    Do you know the OP?

    If you don’t then how do you know he needs a skills course? I’m getting mighty fed up with people bleating on about needing a skills course to be able to ride properly. If you’re a newbie to riding then I can see the value, but I’ve had two mates go on ones where they were actually better riders than the ‘teacher’ and learnt nothing.

    The shock looks mint – I’ve no idea why Greeble et al feel the need to slate your choice. The DHX air is pretty rubbish but if it’s got new internals then its not really a DHX-A is it? I’d like to give it a try and that’s coming from a confirmed air shock hater…

    messiah
    Member

    How about spending the money on a skills course?

    Thanks for the input xiphon… but this is not about getting faster so my skills are irrelevant; it’s about me making improvements to the feel of my bike in the way that I want for where and how I ride.

    If I wanted to get faster I’d be needing bigger wheels surely 😆 🙄

    acehtn
    Member

    I reckon messiah is secretly planning on taking down Joe Barnes winning streak at the MacAvalanche this year 🙂

    You are welcome to compare your setup against mine at the race 🙂

    geetee1972
    Member

    Are you running X-Fusion instead of Bos now… any reason?

    LOL well spotted! There is a long story about this <big sigh>

    Basically when I changed my frame (I got an updated and fully tailored AM) I also changed head sets, from straight 1 1/8th to ZS tapered. That necessitated a new headset.

    The base plate on the BOS forks on the old frame/headset combo was always an easy fit. It was a CK steel set, so no split race, but even so, I could put it on and take it off by hand. It was never a problem on the old frame but when I moved to the new frame and changed to a Reset racing headset, turns out that the base plate on that unit moved on the BOS steerer. Even when it was all clamped together, there was play in the front.

    Measuring the steerer tube on the BOS fork it turns out that it’s fractionally under sized. Tolerances between the CK and Reset racing units just meant I got away with it with the CK unit, but not the Reset unit.

    I identified all this back in October but of course, there was no distributor in the UK for BOS. So even though it should have been dealt with as a warranty issue, it wasn’t. I knew I would be able to sort it some how, but I also knew that it would probably take forever to resolve. With my smashed arm healing, I decided to just buy another fork as a stop gap so that I could at least get riding again and then use the extra fork as a good excuse to build up another bike.

    I ended up buying the X-Fusion fork as it was the least expensive/best performing option.

    Surf Sales have been fantastic in trying to help me though. It’s not resolved as yet as they are trying to convince BOS to cover the cost of putting the fork right. BOS acknowledge that my fork was part of a batch that all had the same problem, but they were initially saying that because it was out of warranty, they wouldn’t fix it.

    Which is a bit rich because there was no way I could access the warranty when the problem was identified.

    Surf have said that they will at least let me buy a new steerer assembly from them at cost and fit and service the fork for free, which is really good of them but will still cost me £150. But they are trying to persuade BOS that because of the lack of UK distributor last year, that they should cover it.

    Like I said, <big sigh>

    The Vengeance is perfectly good; not as good as the BOS and it’s definitely noticeable but I suspect not any slower as a result. It is however, 250g heavier.

    geetee1972
    Member

    If you don’t then how do you know he needs a skills course? I’m getting mighty fed up with people bleating on about needing a skills course to be able to ride properly.

    I was going to same the same thing. I still think everyone can benefit from coaching, but it narks me off when people make this response assuming that people couldn’t possible benefit from or have a preference for improved performance from kit or that their skills are so poor as to invalidate spending money on anything other than coaching.

    I’ve not ridden with Messiah, but I’ve seen enough pictures to infer that he’s a very capable rider.

    kudos100
    Member

    Mmmmmmmmmm Avalanche. Let us know how you get on with it.

    zangolin
    Member

    Thanks for the input xiphon… but this is not about getting faster so my skills are irrelevant; it’s about me making improvements to the feel of my bike in the way that I want for where and how I ride.

    If I wanted to get faster I’d be needing bigger wheels surely
    Very diplomatic reply – I would have just called them an ******* ******.

    ******* ****** = awesome person 😉

    messiah
    Member

    Thanks geetee, here’s hoping it all gets sorted for you. I liked the Bos Deville’s I borrowed and I was going to buy them until the whole R52 thing happened. Avalanche has been an itch I’ve been wanting to scratch for a while as well though. Good to hear your arms mended 😛

    I reckon messiah is secretly planning on taking down Joe Barnes winning streak at the MacAvalanche this year

    Nice one acehtn 😉 I’ll not handycap myself by having my bawbag sliced open and stitched up the week before this time 😐

    I’ll not be at the MacAvalanche this year… I’ve got an entry for the Trans-Savoie though 8)

    It’s not about the speed… it’s about the geekery :mrgreen:

    It’s not about the speed… it’s about the geekery

    +1

    There’s something inherently satisfying riding down a track lfeeling ike a sack of spuds, then doing the next run with a couple more clicks of this-and-that and everything working nicely 🙂

    Coaching’s nice, but so are shiny bits that do what they say on the tin.

    acehtn
    Member

    the pursuit of perfection for the person riding the bike, +1 for geekery.
    Shame Avalanche kit has to be imported, rarely see it, toyed with it but cost put me off…… not geek enough 🙂

    🙂
    Forgot about the nutsack issues. Have fun on the over-seas jaunt, if Joe Barnes dosen’t race this year then i can beat him on your behalf, i again will be racing for giggles and fighting not to come dead last, and maybe scare some Orange5 riders 🙂

    messiah
    Member

    Nearly there. Changing the gubbins in the fork was quite enjoyable and it all went together very easily. The forks certainly feel smooth in the workshop but I’ve not had them out to play yet.

    The fork has gained nearly 150g with the change from the RC2 cartridge to the Avalanche open bath. 200cc of oil in the leg is much more than would have been in the RC2 cartridge. Only 120g between these Float 36’s and my Marzocchi 55 RC3 Ti fork now…

    banks
    Member

    @messiah how does the new shock hold up to CCDB btw?

    And do the avalanche floats compare to the 55s?

    messiah
    Member

    I’ve not ridden them yet banks 😳

    We’ve got snow on the ground and I like my hardtail when conditions are like this.

    So far I can say that the Fox DHX Air is 421g vs 550g for the CCDB, and add 310g for the Ti coil (or 520g for steel). So it’s lighter 😉

    As I said above the Float 36 has gained 150g from going RC2 cartridge to Avy oil bath. It was 2180g and is now 2330g. The Marz 55 RC3 Ti is 2450g.

    Both feel smooth in the workshop in the standard settings. So far I know the weight of everything and the performance of nothing 👿

    nicolaisam
    Member

    Messiah.

    Thats a good conversion for a Fox,Open bath also means no weekly lower leg servicing. 😀

    Have always kept an eye open on Avy stuff.Seems to have a good following of users in the USA.

    messiah
    Member

    Hi Sam,

    The gnargnar junkies in Phoenix Arizona raved about the Avalanche stuff. Where they ride has a habit of blowing up shocks and forks due to the type of riding in the heat and dust. They liked the Avy stuff as it performs really well and requires less fixing than other kit.

    Been wanting to try it. Needed new kit. I’ll know soon if it was worth it.

    Premier Icon Onzadog
    Subscriber

    I’ve had the same upgrade on a coil dhx. Feels great but has made the forks feel pap in comparison.

    I’d be interested to hear what you think to the fork cartridge as I’m eyeing up a couple of these.

    Loco, is there a curiosity discount when these need servicing or the cart needs fitting?

    messiah
    Member

    Onzadog – that was one of my reasons for buying both together. When I run the Float fork and the CCDB the shock feels better than the fork, if I run the Marz with a Float shock then the fork feels better. Both Floats is okay but not great at speed, or both coils is great but a bit wallowy (and a heavy option for some riding).

    Hoping for a well ballanced do it all set up… as I’ve said above it’s all geekery really and I know it won’t make me any faster etc; but I enjoy faffing 😀

    Premier Icon Onzadog
    Subscriber

    I can appreciate the pleasure derived from a good faff and geeking out. maybe that’s the reason I’m considering a couple of the carts.

    mr plow
    Member

    Have fun, I love funking about with bike setup. :mrgreen:

    Mugboo
    Member

    I wish I had the ability to feel the difference 🙂

    messiah
    Member

    Goodies installed 😀

    But I have a stinking cold and there is snow on the ground 👿

    Premier Icon Onzadog
    Subscriber

    Messiah, anything to report yet? I keep looking at these 36 carts and I’ve got a very itchy trigger finger.

    Was it tricky to fit? Where did you get the correct spec of oil from and did you have any trouble getting the rebound cap off the old damper?

    Cheers,
    Onzadog

    messiah
    Member

    First release from the geek 😳

    FORK

    Installation was easy as I followed the instructions… and I did indeed need the blowtorch to release the Loctite on the rebound cap. Heat then twist, heat then twist, etc as it’s a very fine thread and took a while. Once installed filling with oil was easy and getting the fork back together was no bother. I bought some MAXIMA Race Enduro fork oil from ebay as Avalanche recommend using fork oil designed for cartridges. Going from the FOX RC2 Cartridge to open bath Avy its gained 150g… which means it now weighs only 100g less than my Marzocchi 55 RC3 Ti. If I’d realised that before I might have got the cartridge for the Bomber but the 250g of the 36 was calling the weight weenie in me 🙄 .

    So far the fork is a huge improvement over the 36 RC2 (older 2010 FIT cartridge). It feels overdamped in the garage but on the trail it is superb. I used to run about 55psi as a compromise pressure; this gave 20% sag which is less than I wanted but it prevented wallowing, fork dive, and end of travel harshness(packdown?). I’m now running 50psi which is about 30% sag and I think I will go lower still as I’ve yet to feel dive is a problem and the fork is not yet as plush as the Bombers (I doubt it will ever be but it’s fun to try… should I have bought the kit for the Bombers though?).

    REAR SHOCK

    Easy to install 😉

    After the first ride I reduced the air volume as I found it was wallowing in the early travel (I’ve done this with my other Float shock so expected this to be the same). It was a big improvement and now the DHX feels really well suited to my AM. It feels better than either the Float or the CCDB which is high praise. The TF/Push tuned Float I have is a great XC shock as it has plenty of compression damping so doesn’t give up its travel easily (unlike before it was tuned). Where my simple Float is outclassed the CCDB takes over and is my more AM and doonhall choice. I love the CCDB on the downs as it soaks everything up but for techy climbs it can wallow deep in the travel making you feel like your falling over the back. The Avalanche DHX Air so far feels like a great combination of the two. As with the fork it feels overdamped in the garage and sitting on it I’m getting 30% sag at the same pressure I do with the Float (and the same sag as the CCDB). Out on the trail it feels little different to my Float at low speed and in the normal stuff, but when the speed increases it seamlessly gains the fluidity of the CCDB.

    FORK & SHOCK

    So far so good. I’ve not done everything I want with them yet but so far they feel better than the other forks and shocks I’ve tried (Yes, even the BOS stuff!). As good on the XC stuff as the Float/Float combo I have and as good on the doonhalls as the CCDB/Marz set up. Where the Avalanche combo has amazed me so far and really feels special is when you start attacking and pumping trail features. This is something I love about hardtails but some full suspension set-ups just don’t work that well at it. I loved my CCDB/Marz combo at speed but for low speed and pumping they felt too soft. I think CCDB’s are quite slow to rebound from deep in the travel which is why they don’t pump too well, and perhaps why people say they” feel a bit dead” or “lack pop”… and Marz forks are always a bit softly sprung and underdamped which feels great but isn’t overly responsive (IMHO etc). The Avalanche combo feels amazing when being pumped… much better than anything I’ve tried before almost like a great big hand is shoving the bike forward with each pump. More testing and riding required but so far I’m very very impressed.

    I’m enjoying the geekery :mrgreen:

    messiah
    Member

    Fork change.

    There was nothing wrong with the Avalanched 36 Floats… opposite problem…. I wasn’t liking the Revelations on my other bike so the 36 Floats have had the travel reduced and will be used on there (again).

    The 55’s now have an Avalanche cartridge installed. I’m hoping this will keep the plushness of the 55 but improve the damping to do away with the wallowing they were prone too before. In the garage and garden they still feel Marzocchi plush which feels better than the 36’s; proper testing to begin in the next few days 😀

    Looks much better with the Marzocchi fork IMHO 8)

    Premier Icon chakaping
    Subscriber

    Just curious, but in what situations did you find the 55 wallowy?

    What’s your weight, if that’s not a delicate question?

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