First Look: All-New RockShox VIVID & VIVID Air - Perfect For Almost No One

After six years of caffeine-fueled designing, prototyping, redesigning and elite BlackBox-testing – the all-new RockShox VIVID and VIVID Air are ready to rock...

Photos by Adrian Marcoux and Dave Trumpore // Video by Mind Spark Cinema
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  • bturman

    3/12/2013 1:08 PM

    Little availability update via the RockShox Facebook page:

    "The RockShox Vivid and Vivid Air will be available to all at your local bike shop and distributor starting May 2013. The new Counter Measure, Dual Flow Adjust Rebound, and Rapid Recovery technologies in the all new Vivid and Vivid Air are just too good not to share with anyone and everyone who wants to ride the most advanced piece of rear suspension ever made by RockShox. There are already numerous top professional athletes racing it and more than 30 of the world's leading bike manufactures who will be equipping it globally."

  • steven.christiansen.54

    3/11/2013 4:49 PM

    haah! i love this marketing.

  • Capricorn

    3/11/2013 10:13 AM

    Right, so whenz this superduperthingymabob gonna be available to use plebs?

  • bhalpin47

    3/11/2013 8:51 AM

    Way to go Rock Shox! For those who believe this is bad marketing, take a second to think: Did they make this product memorable? Did it evoke an emotion? Based on the overwhelmingly heated responses to this post I would say, yes. Whether people caught the joke and laughed, or missed it and became outraged, they made a memorable impression on all of us and got people talking about their product. Absolute success by marketing standards!

  • Capricorn

    3/11/2013 10:11 AM

    pretty much well summed up! But 'negative' marketeering like this smacks of any PR is good PR. RS shouldn't drop to the level of bored actors and sex tapes. While I dont think what RS did is as desperate, and it certainly had a familiar shock factor..................wait what? shocking news? LOOOL sorry.. a moment of clarity there..

  • Capricorn

    3/10/2013 9:19 PM

    LOL /wins the internet

  • tom.daniher

    3/8/2013 9:28 PM

    All the pros get their shocks for free anyway so rockshox is going to make no money

  • IamBobbyJr

    3/10/2013 4:10 PM

    Us slow pros don't get free stuff. Just cause you have an UCI elite licence doesn't mean you get everything for free. Most riders have to pay their own way to everywhere. This version of the shock is just valved and set up for A class riders, I am sure another version will be following shortly geared more towards the general public. This is something nice for riders in the A class field can buy without having to spend money on tuning it afterwards. Great idea for privateers. I ride Fox as of now but this concept has gt my attention.

  • SpokeApparel

    3/10/2013 4:41 PM

    Great comments. Running Fox as well, racing as well. Know my setup needs to be custom tuned. Wondering who you use?

  • IamBobbyJr

    3/10/2013 4:55 PM

    No one at the moment, I am broke haha. I changed out to a heavier spring rate front and rear but that is about it. I would really like to get some new stuff going but it is all money. Good news it is way cheaper than MX suspension the factory guys there have $25,000+ into their forks alone if their was a retail price to put on it. Ridicuous! I did have Push do stuff on my xc bike a while back, but the DH stuff is still kinda new to me. I am just starting my 3rd year on the thing. Moto + BMX = DH cheat code.

  • SpokeApparel

    3/10/2013 5:11 PM

    That's the cheat code alright. Not too keen on sending Fox stuff to Push. Considered the heavier springs but don't wanna make it too stiff. Using all my travel right now, not bottoming, but it needs to be way stiffer for pedal sections. Getting factory rebuilds now and will play with low speed compression a whole lot upon return. Also, if I set sag to recommended values, the bike is a mess. I can dial my XC and AM bikes in no prob but the DH bike seems so much more finicky.

  • SpokeApparel

    3/8/2013 6:23 PM

    This turned out to be an awesome thread. I really like SRAM as a company. At Windahm, they were doing free rebuilds and service for citizens racing. One citezen's fork was so bad they GAVE him a brand new boxxer. The other big suspension guys were there too, for the pros only. Even with an empty booth and 4 reps standing around, didn't really even want to talk. That really stuck with me. So many companies have great products, especially with tooling and machining getting more affordable, and rapid prototyping getting faster and faster. What I am saying is that sometimes the differentiator becomes customer service. Just look at how many suspensn companies are out there right now with products that pros are pushing really hard. My initial reaction to this video stemmed more from disappointment that the customer service aspect may have taken a turn. In any case, I'm glad it was a joke. No one expects the boehemoeth to market like a boutique. It's a win for sure.

  • BRed

    3/8/2013 5:54 PM

    I already have two of these shocks for my hardtail. They work well, but their performance cannot keep up with my skill level. Guys in suits told me to use three shocks on my hardtail, but I told them that sounded silly and I would stick with two. I have a document to prove it. The air pressure coming out of my ass allows me to reach speeds Rockshox suspension is not capable of handling.

  • SpokeApparel

    3/8/2013 6:07 PM

    Nice. You're a ripper for sure. I can tell by how fast you type.

  • YoYo

    3/8/2013 4:27 PM

    The wheels seemed to be in the air a lot off small bumps.
    So are the putting air pressure like a negative spring behind the reservoir piston? I'm confused.
    I don't doubt it'll be awesome, shit to set up though. and possibly shit or totally confusing on bikes with leverage curves designed to achieve the same thing. Or bikes with anti squat. What head fucker. They'd be better of only selling to people with access to a RockShox level world cup mechanic. Get that list going. And shove your marketing hype.

  • Primoz

    3/8/2013 4:34 PM

    As long as you have an IFP, you have pressure behind it, since that takes care of the rebound shaft, that takes up space inside the damper body - the oil that was there has to go somewhere, it goes into the piggy and oushes the IFP back. If you raise the pressure, the compression characteristics of te shock ramp up a bit.

    The negative spring is behind the piston inside the damper body, helping it to start to move. I don't exactly get how it works, i'd need to see some better pics, schematics or plans, but it's prolly the type of an idea, that takes ages to pop up but seems so simple when you see the execution :D

    EDIT: disregard that, the negative spring works int he first 10 mm of stroke and nothing more. In that shape i think it's more or less useless, since that is 20 % in the travel at MAX. With a 10.5x3.5 shock that number falls down to under 15%. Take into account the sag values (basicly 25+% for anything with over 160 mm of travel on the axle) and you see the spring has NO effect at sag point, where i'd say is the only usable part. When you're at zero travel, you're in the air. And you are going to crash down, bringing lots of energy with you. Breaking the seals then will be simple. Small bumps at sag? That's a completely different story. Unless there's something more to it, this does nothing to small bumps at about sag travel.

  • NAYR

    3/8/2013 3:00 PM

    Seems like a good marketing tactic to me. It's basic human nature to want what you can't have. I have no interest in buying a Rock Shox fork or shock, but now suddenly I have the urge to want to at least try their new shock. I'm sure they'll eventually sell the shock to everyone, and when they do, they will sell.

  • webster

    3/8/2013 2:14 PM

    A lot of you really need to harden the fuck up. Do you REALLY need the shock that bad anyway? You aren't that fast, get over yourselves. Obviously they will sell it eventually or it would be blackbox and there wouldn't be a video about it in the first place.

  • SpokeApparel

    3/8/2013 2:23 PM

    I once raced a Cat 1 single speed 30 miler and came in dead last, 20 mins after the leader. If I would have had this shock, things would have been different and you know it.

  • Primoz

    3/8/2013 3:33 PM

    It's not the speed that makes you need it. It's the feel. Here's a car analogy. A good racecar driver (a fast racer) ins't always a good test driver. A good test driver isn't always a good racer. You don't need to be a good (categorized) racer, to be able to set up this shock and use it to it's full potential. It's not given that a good racer will be able to set this shock up properly, to make the best of it either.

  • YoYo

    3/8/2013 4:08 PM

    What a great statement Primoz. May I quote it?

  • Primoz

    3/8/2013 4:20 PM

    Ofcourse, quote away.

  • webster

    3/8/2013 4:18 PM

    Your analogy is stupid and you missed the entire point. If what you said was true at all everyone would be driving around in full carbon Zondas. People here are acting like this shock not being out today is ruining their entire biking experience. Suspension is designed to work at speed, not just to be set up plush for overweight rich people to tool around on. Waiting a year to be able to purchase the shock is not going to hurt anyone, the pro thing was an obvious joke, and you, me, or anyone else on Vital(except Griz) is no where near qualified to test and give any sort of useful feedback on a prototype shock. Why you ask? Because compared to the pros we all take super safe lines, and are obviously going to take it easier on the equipment that we paid for out of our own pockets. These people are not only paid to win, they are paid to give products hell and try their hardest to destroy them so they can in turn be made stronger, more responsive, lighter, and just generally better. My point still stands, you could have the best feeling(to you) suspension in the world and even the worst pros would embarrass you on a bmx bike from Walmart. You don't NEED it, you just WANT it, so obviously their marketing has worked on you.

  • Primoz

    3/8/2013 4:29 PM

    Joke or not, it's not the marketing you'd expect from a company the size of Sram. And speak for yourself, as i said, it's not the speed, it's the feel. No mater how safe a line you take, you still have a LOT of travel in the suspension. You blow through it. Ergo the shaft speeds are high and you do need damping. Sure, the compression dial will be way out compared to a pro, but the fitness level of us is also A LOT lower than the fitness level of a pro.

    And that's the whole point. You say my theory is wrong and that everybody should be driving Zondas (coincidentially, i'm right now watchin Chris Harris' Huayra review :D). Where did i say that?? ALl i said is that not every racer is a good test driver (i.e. can't tell the engineers a thing on how to change the setup) yet a good test driver isn't neccessarily fast, but can say 'turn the comppression know 3 clicks' and he gets the setup bang on.

    The point? Speed and the feel for the correct setup are far from being one and the same and a lot of people that have one have none of the other. If they were the same, only racecar drivers could be chassis engineers in motorsports. Hardly any (if at all any) are.

    So if a pro will be faster? What if i knocked 3 seconds off a 3 minute lap with te new shock? Isn't that the whole point of it? I'm still 30 seconds behind a pro, yet 3 seconds faster than me with an inferior shock. Needing something is SOOOOOOO relative... Why exactly would the pros need it then? They're so good that they can also ride some inferior products, can't they? Yes, the logic fails. But it's not the only logic in this comment thread that does.

    And yes, maybe we do take safe lines and take care of our equipment. That doesn't change the fact, that some of us slow non-pros can feel the differenc a click or two of compression makes while some of us non-pros don't feel a 25% difference in spring stifness. But if you hired that first guy as a product engineer/tester, he'd be a HELL a lot more usefull than the second guy. Or a pro, that can't tell you what's wrong with the product, only that there is something wrong. Telling you that is about as useless as saying that there's some chees on sale in the store as far as product development goes.

  • webster

    3/8/2013 4:41 PM

    You're a marketing departments wet dream. I'm not telling you specifically to not waste your money on things you don't need, but the point still stands that you would benefit more from adjusting your fitness, strength, and technique more than tinkering with your suspension all day. I don't really know why I was talking about Zondas actually, but the car analogy has nothing to do with mountain bikes. Bikes ain't cars. These days engineers wouldn't need to ride what they are designing, I'm sure you've seen the backpack full'o cables that Fox has been using to develop their products. Why have a scientist ride it at half the abuse it would take from a pro and develop a half-ass product? Let the big boys do what they do best and let the scientists do the science. The point you are still missing is that having someone develop products who isn't going as big as physics will allow is not going to be able to make a product that can withstand going as big as physics will allow. I'd rather be safe and have crazy fast gnarly dudes develop a product that will stand up to them so that without a doubt it will stand up to me. I guess you think any joe schmo could do it, and I think that says a lot about your riding. Also, you still don't NEED it.

  • Primoz

    3/8/2013 4:52 PM

    Can't reply to your comment, the thread can't go as deep.

    When you're the engineer tasked with modifying something, if you can feel what's wrong with the product you have THE EASIEST job to modify it. WHen someone else has to tell you what they feel, you instantly get a place for errors or misunderstandings. Yes, data acquisition is important and gives a totaly different picture. Yes, testing to destruction helps. But you can have a dyno test something to destruction all the while not endangering ANY rider, a pro or not a pro.

    I can see you don't get my point. I'm not saying the pros can't tell you what's wrong with a product. Many of them can. But it's not a given that they can, who says that? The car analogy is COMPLETELY correct here. Want examples? How many big car companies use their ex racers as test drivers and product developers? Not many. On the other hand you have F1 champions that couldn't put together 2 senteces for the engineers when something was wrong with the car. The story can be completely the same here. 'Whats wrong with the bike?' 'I don't know, it's not fast enough, fix it.' How helpful would that be? It could just as easily be a pro saying that (okay, taking it to the extremes) as a normal rider.

    And it's not just the abuse that makes up the testing. The thing must also be usable, not only tough. If that were the case we could just as easily ride 30 kg steel frames. They would be indestructible, of course. But what good would that bring? And making something be able to 'withstand as big as the physics allow' is also more or less useless, when 99% of its users are just going to jump off kurbs. Why not make a product designed to jump off curbs and do that as damn good as it can? An average skilled engineer that can distinguish some differences between tunes and setups will in this case be far more valuable to a product development cycle than a pro, that will just blow through every shock he can lay his hands on.

    I'm not in the market for any of the vivids. I'm not saying i can feel the difference of a click of compression. Quite the contrary, i have no idea what settings i have for the rebound on my float.

  • bturman

    3/8/2013 4:49 PM

    Webster, not to toot our own horn, but we actually have a handful of testers/reviewers here at Vital that have helped develop suspension platforms for both of the big suspension companies, long before they came to market.

    Anywho, as you were...

  • webster

    3/8/2013 5:14 PM

    no disrespect intended, it was just a rather thoughtless way of pointing out that most of us aren't as good of riders as we'd like to think. It's friday and I have things to do so here is my last rebuttal, Primoz. I'll keep it short so you don't get confused. Companies pay engineers to invent and pay riders/drivers to make sure these inventions work at the highest point of performance so you and me will get a product as close to perfect as possible. here's somewhere you can learn about F1 development if you'd like to keep making weird analogies. Part of being put on a team entails working on product development, that is really the whole point of F1, to sell regular people cars, just like the whole point of DH is to sell regular people bikes. Have a good night, sirs.

  • Primoz

    3/9/2013 12:38 AM

    I'm familiar with the way F1 works. And it's not completely analogous to the MTB world (my racedriver/testdriver analogy is still correct since it in no way limits itself to F1), since there are ~5 F1 cars made per season, the testing is COMPLETELY limited and you really need to be in top notch fitness to get anything, not just the most out of the car. Still, teams (Ferrari) used to have 2, maybe even 3 drivers on the team that were used specifically for test duties. In the case of Ferrari, they were far from top notch drivers (Luca Badoer, McLaren used Pedro De La Rosa). The MTB world is specific in the way that the pros use production or at least preproduction (except for a few cases, where actual prototypes are used) parts. Basicly you can go to the store and buy an almost exact racing bike that the world champion rides. Very damn near to it. Try to do that with an F1, LMP, JGTC (or Super GT), etc. car or a Supercross bike.

    And, if the engineers are paid to doodle on the PC and pros to develop, why was one of the requirements at a Trek suspension engineer job posting adequate (above average) riding skill and a aprt of the job description to actually ride the prototpyes a newly hired engineer was to help develop? The job posting was for Santa Clarita and has been since removed from the carreers site (it was still there 2 or 3 days ago).

  • Maverickdh005

    3/8/2013 12:33 PM

    Yeah people fell for it but do they really need to be dicks about it, a good product speaks for itself, just give us the information, get out to riders so they can try it, stop giving us under performing expensive rubbish and then we can but it. The shock the,selves sound great on paperjust a marketing disaster imo, could take a lead out of DVOs approach I reckon.

  • SpokeApparel

    3/8/2013 12:28 PM

    OK - I just took the time to watch the whole commercial. @ 03:18: "Sadly, 97% of riders lack the skill to push the vivid to it's limits." Ya, I fell for it. Good job RS. Pretty creative execution with the whole deadpan delivery.

  • cofattire

    3/8/2013 12:25 PM

    RockShox's all new Cock Block shock.

  • Capricorn

    3/8/2013 11:26 AM

    hahah.. pretty sharp from RS...they seem to understand there's one thing interwebs loves more than a good story, is a good bit of outrage. props!

  • SpokeApparel

    3/8/2013 11:06 AM

    @ :34 secs: "…so advanced that many riders will never be able to reap the true benefits of its capabilities." What an a$$hole statement. Cummon Jeremiah Boobar quick being a dick and just explain the product as if you were talking to guys that like to send it. We know you guys are proud but is the geeked out elitism necessary?

  • Uncle Cliffy

    3/8/2013 11:06 AM

    I'd say 97% of the people on the internet fell for this.

  • Scharney127

    3/8/2013 10:17 AM

    So you're only going to sell these to pros, but you test them with goons* in the Springs every weekend? Niccccce...

    *With the exception of dude on the green Trek, he was ripping.

  • cofattire

    3/8/2013 8:56 AM

    Do you really need to be a pro to realize the benefits of improved small bump compliance and rebound tuning? What a silly marketing campaign.

  • Primoz

    3/8/2013 8:45 AM

    They can't actually be serious about the UCI list qualificatons, can they?? o.O