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Added a comment about product review First Ride - RockShox All-New Domain 4/26/2021 10:46 PM

Erwan_Ghesquiere, you're close but there are actually three types of dampers used in mountain bike forks. First are the current high-end sealed style, such as the RS Charger, Fox FIT, or Manitou TPC dampers. These are fully sealed systems that use expanding bladders, nitrogen-backed IFP's, or spring-backed IFP's to compensate for fluid movement. Because there's no air in the system, they're extremely resistant to heat and thermal expansion, Second are old-school open-bath dampers, like the famous Marzocchi Bomber damper that was in Monster T's, Shivers, etc. These systems use one huge open vat of oil in the bottom of the fork leg to lubricate the moving parts and to serve as the damper fluid. The compression and rebound assemblies push and pull on this vat of open fluid, and the change in volume is compensated for by compressing the air in the fork leg and stanchion. These systems are heavy due to the large amount of oil required and they're subject to air mixing with damper fluid, which can decrease damping performance, but they're pretty bombproof. Definitely the simplest system here.

Lastly, is the emulsion-style or semi-open bath damper. That's what this fork uses, it's what the Marzocchi Z2 Rail damper uses, as well as many other Rockshox budget forks (anything with Motion Control or Mission Control). Emulsion-style dampers are a miniature version of an open-bath damper, and instead of using the whole fork leg they just use the space inside the stanchion to hold damper oil. The bottom of the fork leg is just air and a little bit of oil to lubricate the bushings and seals. Like full open bath systems, air and oil mix together in an emulsion damper, which can result in negative performance. Air isn't a good or predictable damper fluid.

Like you said, there's lots of small refinements possible within these three broad categories. There are lots of variations in how the dampers are designed, and the devil really is in the details. For instance, the Marzocchi Rail damper in the Z2 uses shims for the rebound and compression assemblies, whereas the new Domain only uses shims for the rebound assembly. Instead of shims, the Motion Control damper uses an adjustable orifice to allow low-speed compression adjusts and a big flexible (not tunable) plastic tube to compress and open a high-speed compression valve. Every Motion Control damper uses a slightly different-shaped plastic tube, and some flex-tubes were even made out of titanium in the old Blackbox Motion Control Rebas and Revelations. Simliarly, even among Motion Control Dampers, there have been lots of different types of low speed compression designs. So while Motion Control is an old idea, not all Motion Control dampers are created equal.

This product_review has 31 comments.

Added reply in a thread Who DOESN'T need tubeless? 4/26/2021 9:37 PM

If you're not having trouble with tubes, I wouldn't worry about it. I had constant problems with flatting inner tubes, but I still had problems with flats and dented rims after switching to tubeless. It took me a long time (and the invention of tire ... more »

Added reply in a thread BB-height, cornering and why mullet bikes might turn better. 4/26/2021 1:35 PM

On the topic of counter-steering, the only way to initiate a corner on a bicycle is counter-steering. Newton says that any force creates an equal and opposite force, so when a rider wants to go left they have to begin the process by sending the bike ... more »

Added reply in a thread BB-height, cornering and why mullet bikes might turn better. 4/26/2021 12:06 AM

The question no one has exactly answered is: do we care about the bb's position relative to the tire contact patch of the wheels, or relative to the axles? I don't know the answer to that question, and I can argue it both ways. I suspect the answer is ... more »

Liked a comment on the item First Ride - RockShox All-New Domain 4/24/2021 11:57 AM

Some of us think that mostly any fork from a major brand works well enough and that unless you are a WC rider it is not the fork that is making you slow but your skills. If you are pretentious enough to think it is the gear that is really slowing you down in 2021 then keep spending...more

Liked a comment on the item Which MOUNTAIN BIKE Shoe is BEST? 16 Different MTB Kicks Compared 4/23/2021 9:22 PM

Been riding nothing but the Specialized 2FO clip lite since 2013. In fact, when my 1st pair bit the dust I bought 2 replacement pairs just in case they discontinue the shoe.

Added a comment about product review First Ride - RockShox All-New Domain 4/23/2021 9:31 AM

Allen Gleckner, could you share a link to that exploded diagram of the Zeb R damper? Color me curious.

This product_review has 31 comments.

Liked a comment on the item First Ride - RockShox All-New Domain 4/23/2021 7:36 AM

Clearly you never made the effort to try to make it work. First gen of MC in Boxxers Race (circa 2008) had a thread on the adjuster rod which allowed you to put a nut and basically have some simple HsC adjustment for free. That used to transform the fork and made it quite good. The...more

Liked a comment on the item First Ride - RockShox All-New Domain 4/22/2021 10:16 PM

Ah I think I knew that about the Z2, now that you mention it. Good points overall. $550 is solid, but I still don't feel like it's too much to ask for the Charger damper here. A quick google shows the Charger is now over 7 years old and MC over 11 years old. Totally amicable arguing...more

Added a comment about product review First Ride - RockShox All-New Domain 4/22/2021 1:07 PM

FYI the Z2 comes with a semi-open bath emulsion-type damper, just like Motion Control. It’s not identical to Motion Control, obviously, but the architecture is extremely similar. The Grip damper is great, no doubt, but it doesn’t start to show up on Fox or Marzocchi stuff until you hit the $700 price point. If you want a $700 Domain with a Charger damper, you could buy the $700 Zeb with the Charger R.

This product_review has 31 comments.

Liked a comment on the item So, Who Wants to Move to Missouri? Shepherd Mountain Bike Park Looks SICK! 4/21/2021 1:02 PM

It's a mini Windrock! It's five hours away from me, and I've already made the trip twice in a month!

Liked a comment on the item $349 for the Set - Bontrager Updates Mountain Wheel Offering with All-New Line Comp 30 TLR 4/20/2021 12:41 PM

These are as close to the good old "26 inch Deore hub/Rhyno Lite" shop wheel as you can get.

The wheel that made me happy is the Nukeproof Horizon V2. They actually come in 142mm and tubeless already installed to give bikes a few years...more

Added a comment about video Vinny T | Steep and Loamy Trails with Vincent Pernin 4/19/2021 9:04 PM

Loam (/lōm/): a soil with roughly equal proportions of sand, silt, and clay.

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This video has 2 comments.

Liked a comment on the item 2021 X-Games Real MTB Video Submissions 4/19/2021 2:37 PM

I feel sorry for that poor GT.

Liked a comment on the item Charlie Sponsel - The Inside Line Podcast 4/19/2021 10:53 AM

Was able to listen to this podcast on my way back from Windrock National.

I think what we learned is the question to ask now is:

"How long before Pinkbike calls Charlie & offers him a column and he just accepts it without approaching Vital for a counter offer?"