Remember the Millyard Racing damper? It's back in a new incarnation and closer to production. Designed by Joe Hunter, a man with decades of experience in the suspension realm and military applications, this shock feels like nothing you've ever tried. Its design is similar to oleo struts used on tanks and airplane landing gear, but miniaturized for the bicycle.
When we first sat on the saddle of NitroShox test ripper Kevin Hill's Santa Cruz Bronson we were surprised when the bike didn't sag at all. Bouncing on the saddle as we normally do, the shock yielded very little. But why and how?
The nitrogen-filled shock only opens up when bump velocities reach a certain level, and both rebound and compression damping are preset. This latest iteration allows riders to fine tune the spring rate by turning a large dial, presumably adjusting the volume inside the shock while simultaneously increasing/decreasing damping levels. Riders will order the shock with a S, M, or L tune based on rider weight. Between the damping configuration and easy to adjust spring rate, it's arguably the easiest shock to setup we've ever seen. Exactly how it works internally is a secret Hunter wasn't ready to disclose, and involves two of his patent applications. Much like air shocks it creates a spring rate that ramps up as it goes through the stroke, though it's able to react to the terrain in different ways than a standard shock.
Kevin and Joe are keen to get us aboard a test sample later this year, prior to the shock's production. We'll keep you updated as things progress and are excited to see this one come to life on a larger scale in the future.
2017 Sea Otter Classic Pit Bits