Monday, July 25, 2011

Review: Rock Shox Vivid R2C 2011

Ok, so more than 3 months of versitile testing is finally complete. This shock has seen pretty much everything, from AM to bikeparks. And im happy to say that its done very good. Last time I was on a coil shock was a FOX DHX 4.0, an ok shock, but it never really impressed me. This time around things are stepped up, performance wise, not price wise, mind you.
Im talking about the Rock Shox Vivid R2C 2011, the improved Vivid coil shock, for DH, FR, and AM.
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The Vivid R2C has a low speed compression adjust, and for once its actually effective. Set it high, and its actually usable for AM. I was actually testing this shock entire two months for AM, including alot of climbs, and sure, a good air shock would have been preferable, but the Vivid did a surprisingly good job, its definitely capable to get you UP as well.. Set the compression low, and enjoy that buttery smooth trail absorption on the downhills. The fact that the compression adjust is so effective, makes this shock very versatile.
So how does it feel? Well to sum it up in a simplified manner: Linear. What you'd expect of a good coil shock. Amazing ground tracking, great mid stroke, and a solid end stroke.

Rebound feels consistent, and due to the high/low speed adjust its very controllable as well. The fact that you can make it work fast over trail chatter, but give you that controlled slow rebound on big hits, makes the 2 rebound adjustments (dual flow) very attractive.
The bottom out adjuster might seem a bit primitive at first glance, being just rubber bumbers you put on to the shock, but it works, so im not going to whine about it.

Make the rebound feel exactly how you want, no matter what your bike is doing:
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Weight is what you'd expect from a coil shock, the shock shown is a 222mm x70mm with bushings.
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Note the "M" and "H". These are codes for what tune this particular shock has. Bikes have all kind of different suspension types, and leverage ratios, so having a standard tune that's supposed to work with it all types just doesn't make sense. Rockshox acknowledges this and makes the Vivid in different tunes, so that you get the best possible tune for your bike. So the "M" you see is a Medium rebound tune, and the "H" is a High compression tune.
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Let the shock work for you on the DH trails, where it really shines. FOX - you better watch it!
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Go for the jumps and drops. The Vivid will be doing a great job giving you a controlled landing.
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Crank up the low speed compression, and use it for AM as well - and have a blast.
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The good:
-Controlled and liniear compression.
-Highly tunable low and high speed rebound.
-Very efficient low speed compression adjust, allows AM use.
-Different tunes available.

The bad:
-A high speed compression adjust would be nice, but now im just pushing it.

Score: 6/6


  1. Thanks for that review, I searched everywhere and couldn't find anything on this shock. I actually ended up purchasing one for my new bike after reading this, still have yet to test it out yet though.

  2. You are welcome, glad you liked the review. I had a hard time finding a 2011 Vivid review myself (that wasn't from some sort publication). Get back to me about your impressions of the shock once you get it dialed and tested. : )

  3. I see that you use 450 lbs spring rate, am curious what your weight is including all equipment.

  4. Hi there, my weight including all gear is between 78 and 80 kg (171 - 179 lbs)

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