When enduro racing burst on the scene several years ago there was an assumption that this new genre of racing would replicate the way many mountain bikers already rode, on the bikes they already owned. But like all competitive sports, as the races became more intense, the equipment became more specialized.
That’s not to say the average rider can’t benefit from the trickle down of these race-driven refinements. The fact that enduro racers are required to start and finish a an event on the same frame, wheelset, fork and shock results in stronger, more reliable components for all of us. One key component that is making a comeback thanks to enduro racing is the coil shock.
A few short years ago coil shocks were relegated to downhill and freeride bikes, and even then, many gravity racers would opt for lighter weight air shocks at times. But the punishment of enduro racing is creating a coil-sprung renaissance, as companies begin developing new coil shocks tailored to trail and all-mountain bikes.
Air vs coil
Air cans and metal springs are both effective ways of creating a mountain bike shock. Air shocks have coils whipped when it comes to weight. Air is, after all, much lighter than any steel or titanium spring will ever be. Coils, on the other hand, provide consistent, fade-free performance during extended descents.
“You simply can’t beat the performance that you get from a coil shock. As good as air spring technology is, you still have a highly pressurized air system, which means extra seals and friction. Air springs are also affected by heat, humidity, altitude and so on, which cause variances in performance,” says PUSH Industries president Darren Murphy.
The pro’s choice
Is a coil shock right for you?
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