Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Review: FOX DHX 4.0 2010

Finally got a coil shock for my bike. Been looking for one for a long time, but something always prevented me from pulling the trigger - untill now.Everyone with coil shocks speaks of how amazing a coils linear stroke rate feels, and I have to agree, its just wow!
I went for the FOX DHX 4.0 from TF TUNED, its got propedal, rebound, bottom out resistance and a spring preload, so pretty much everything you would expect of a normal coil shock. But at this price, it would have suited FOX to step it up a bit more; the RockShox Vivid coil R2C 2011 offers all this and a dual flow rebound as well, and you can get it tune-specific, all this for the same amount of cash as well.

So how does it performs? Well when doing my first proper drop, I had to stop up and look at the shock and think "since when did I get 200mm of rear wheel travel?"- Its that buttery smooth end-stroke linear. Nothing like the sudden ramp up of an air shock in the end-stroke. When setup for DH this shock really shines, eating the bumps, rockgardens and roots all while furiously tracking the ground. This thing is a speed booster when things get tough - no question about that. When sagged deep, the shock is allowed to work both ways, and the DHX is an avid worker. For bikeparks or FR this is a gamechanger, step-ups, step down, drops, jumps, everything gets more controlled and a bit more easy on the rider as well. For AM the DHX is a bit more complicated, the right amount of rebound took me a loong time to get right, the problem was that the coil continued to feel too lively. Even when tuning in the spring preload, and adjusting all the low speed compression, this shock just wanted to be in constant movement - definitely slowing me down on the climbs compared to an air shock. I never figured out the low speed compression, as it has little, to no effect on performance. Disappointing. AM is doable with the DHX coil, but since my favorite trails are equally up/down the coil just doesnt justify itself there.

All in all a good coil shock, thats best suited for descends and jumps, features arent its strong points, but performance is amazing liniear - and if you know what to do with it, you'll likely to go faster and further than before.

The Good:
-Super linear feel
-Performance when doing DH or FR

The Bad:
-Not heavy on features
-Low speed compression has little effect
-Difficult to tune for AM riding.

Score: 4/6

Its been a long time coming, a coil on my AM rig:
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DHX coil hometurf:
TF-TUNED has been great, and got in contact with me in regards to my riding style, weight, purpose, bike type and even my hair color. Ok, not the hair color then. But everything else.
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Ive just hit the landing on this pic. The DHX coil makes for a controlled, and smooth landing.
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Heavy, but considering its a steel coil, its not that heavy
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  1. very different experience from my experience with a DHX 3.0, which eventually made its way to Push. I actually felt like I'd lost travel compared to the HV RP23.

  2. Thats weird, did you use the correct spring and settings?