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Vorsprung suspension S-tune review

Discussion in 'Downhill & Freeride' started by Sandwich, Dec 10, 2012.

  1. Sandwich just shake your rump

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    So aside from defending 650b and making fun of nine-nerds, I do also ride my bike. And this Saturday, the RP23 that I sent away to Steve @ Vorsprung finally came back (USPS...another story). I mounted it up and went for a typical ride at my favorite local joint that I call "the proving ground" as it features a little bit of everything you see on the east coast and the lot is not too far away, making broken REBAs and Leftys and Hammerschmidts easy to service/set on fire. The riding is very XC, ups and downs and tight switchbacks the whole way, but nobody cares about custom shock tuning in the lounge.

    The first thing I noticed was the complete lack of stickers. I am supremely disappointed that nobody will know how much faster and better then them I am because I don't have some loud obnoxious stickers on my bike. I hope this issue gets resolved immediately.

    Damaged ego aside, I put the super-shiny shock on the bike and squished up and down, measured sag, then headed out for a ride. The first thing I noticed was that the shock actually worked. Unlike my factory-damped shock, this one had plenty of give through piles of roots and the only thing I noticed was the soft thud of the tire. Woody had a problem with his hampershift, so we returned to the car (yay torx bolts) and I opted to add a little air in the shock. Sag seemed to be slightly decreased, but it still burned through the roots easily enough. Climbing was nice and controlled without too much movement, and I didn't feel any weirdness over larger, slow hits. My older shock was terrible at this in that I'd hit a bump at low speed, feel the impact, then the shock would compress on the other side. Opening up the propedal provided nice results but a bit too plush for trail riding. I think the pp1 setting is going to be money for trails around here, and pp2 more applicable to the wide open trails at KT or in NY.

    As the trail wore on, I got more and more comfortable on it, and my fork and shock finally seemed to be working in unison. My fork previously felt a little more spikey and harsh but adjusting the air pressure to the right settings in fork and shock seemed to make it come alive...I may have been compensating for the overdamped shock previously with low air pressure in the fork.

    The last section of trail is a superbly fun, lightly bermed out little "wiggle" through a pine grove that either makes you love your bike or hate the way it handles. The turns are all linked so you get out of one and head straight into the other, with natural and man-made berms helping you out. This is where Steve's bit of magic showed it's head, as the bike no longer blew through its travel, but remained composed and gave me a bit of resistance as I popped out of one turn to another. To try to describe what I was feeling, it felt pretty "linear" or slightly progressive, which is really pretty nice as the Rush is a falling rate bike, and the older shock did it no favors.

    He and I discussed the possibility of adding an air can reducer to my already low-volume air shock to give the spring a bit more progression, which I think I may do after I ride it a bit more. I'm really quite pleased with it, as the additional shock absorption is a neat feature, and I don't feel like I give up anything for it, like climbing/pedaling. It honestly feels like I have an inch plus more travel in the back of my bike than I did previously, and I can run about 70psi more in this shock and I get similar travel feel.

    The only negative I can really point out is that the rebound range isn't quite as centered as I would like it. I'm running two clicks of rebound, and could probably go one lower. I kind of wish that my preferred setting was in the middle of the scale, rather than at the end of it, but I should be satisfied within the tune I have.

    Hopes that answers some questions. I'm pretty pleased with how it handles and it was hard to wipe the smile off my face in that last section of trail.
    #1 Dec 10, 2012   
  2. jnooth New Member

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    how much did this tune cost? sounds like exactly what I need for my rp23
    #2 Dec 10, 2012   
  3. Sandwich just shake your rump

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    S-tune's about $180.
    #3 Dec 10, 2012   
  4. kidwoo Celebrating No-Pants Day

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    "S" tune........


    Sandwich?
    Stickerless?
    Steve-o
    Smoove?
    Soft?
    #4 Dec 10, 2012   
  5. Sandwich just shake your rump

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    Steve Sauce
    #5 Dec 10, 2012   
  6. jonKranked Press Button, Receive Stupid

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    S for "shimz" duh
    #6 Dec 10, 2012   
  7. sethimus Active Member

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    not in Whistler anymore :/
    ^i'll have the MS version then
    #7 Dec 10, 2012   
  8. Steve M Active Member

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    The S-spec tune covers customisation of all the damping characteristics of the fork or shock as per the rider's requirements, created by a combination of mathematical modelling and subjective rider input, as well as before/after dyno plots of the shock. Where necessary, we also discuss with the customer the potential for spring curve modifications, as in many cases, big gains can be made here.

    In the case of Sandwich's RP23 for example, the stroke was shortened by 0.25" specifically to suit his frame, and the damper tuned to provide stronger mid to high speed compression damping, particularly late in the stroke, without excessive low speed compression. This also involves tuning the ProPedal settings so that the 0 (off), 1 and 2 settings are all within a practical and usable range, with the 3 setting essentially reserved for smooth surfaces/climbing only. Because his frame is falling rate, with the low volume sleeve the wheel spring rate works out to be quite linear through the mid stroke and only very slightly progressive at the end of the stroke, which is generally acceptable for XC bikes, but may benefit from a slight increase in progression with installation of a volume spacer kit to allow the early and mid stroke to be run slightly softer.

    More details on what our tunes provide can be found here - http://www.vorsprungsuspension.com/?page_id=8
    #8 Dec 13, 2012   
  9. canadmos Active Member

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    Can us Canadianz buy Fox parts from you?
    #9 Dec 13, 2012   
  10. kidwoo Celebrating No-Pants Day

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    So................

    It stands for Steve-O........;)


    I will say this. Your willingness do discuss finer points of tuning beyond just some one or two catch phrases publicly (unlike pretty much every other tuning crew that stops at 'rider weight and riding style'), pretty much has me convinced you'll get a shock of mine at some point to play with. I can't take another instance of a tuner not listening to a damn thing I say and just doing what he 'thinks' I want. Someone will die.
    #10 Dec 13, 2012   
  11. Sandwich just shake your rump

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    Steve uses math. Bikers love math.
    #11 Dec 13, 2012   
  12. tacubaya Member

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    Math and shimz
    #12 Dec 13, 2012   
  13. Steve M Active Member

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    Shoot me an email, steve at vorsprung suspension dot com with what you're after.

    To be fair, it is taking a bit of a risk to post that kind of stuff in public, simply because there is often somebody somewhere who will disagree with your tuning methodology quite publicly (regardless of whether they actually have any idea about tuning themselves), and because any aftermarket tuner has to be quite careful about the information they publish. It's pretty easy to end up unintentionally doing R&D for other tuners, for example, or for anyone in the entire world to call you out on the modifications you've made (or tell you that you should have done something else). I can understand why plenty of tuners just put the generic terms out there, but at the same time, I am willing to be held publicly accountable for my work, partly because I am confident in it (and able to back that up in discussion), and partly because it forces me to actually make sure I know what I'm doing.

    However, I look forward to the opportunity to tune a shock for your weight and riding style, and give you a tune you didn't realise you needed :)
    #13 Dec 13, 2012   
  14. Hacktastic Active Member

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    Can o' fvcking worms..
    #14 Dec 14, 2012   
  15. Sandwich just shake your rump

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    I will say that Steve shared with me (and asked me not to post) some of the more "sciencey ****" that he used to tune the shock. It's an interesting approach, but it worked for me. I'm hoping I can get more time this weekend to push the shock harder, but am happy so far.
    #15 Dec 14, 2012   
  16. Steve M Active Member

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    It certainly can be, I just work on the basis that I'll publicly share and discuss concepts but not specific numbers or measurements - the concepts are what most people care about and can relate to anyway. There is also the potential to actually learn something, or have new ideas inspired by discussing setup and tuning, because there are a lot of clued up, experienced riders on here, and plenty of people doing some pretty interesting experimentation.
    #16 Dec 14, 2012   
  17. tacubaya Member

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    Like beanbag on mtbr, right?







    :rofl::rofl::rofl::rofl:
    #17 Dec 14, 2012   
  18. demonprec New Member

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    just sent you a e-mail Steve in regards to a 08 888 rc3 and a fox dhx 5 service and tune

    mike
    #18 Dec 29, 2012   

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