EXT Storia Lok V4 Rear Shock

Vital Rating:
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Free shipping on orders over $50 (continental U.S. only).
International shipping available. Some exclusions apply.
Free shipping on orders over $50 (continental U.S. only).
International shipping available. Some exclusions apply.
Tested: EXT Storia V4
New features and refinements make this the best Storia to date.
Vital Review

Italian suspension specialist EXT has been on a roll recently, introducing new products and updating existing models regularly. The Storia (enduro) and Arma (DH) coil shocks have now been given a complete overhaul, with plenty of new features added and further construction improvements implemented. We’ve had the Storia V4 on a test bike for a few weeks now, keep reading to learn all about the changes and find out what we think of it on the trail.

EXT Storia V4 Highlights

  • PSR (Position Sensitive Rebound) - hydraulic top-out system that eliminates harsh top out and improves sensitivity
  • High and low speed compression now adjustable with a common multi-tool (5 mm and 4 mm Allen)
  • Frequency dependent damping
  • Adjustable HBC: new HBC system is now more powerful and starts in the last 20% of the stroke
  • Lok 2.0 technology: separate circuit that is tunable by its own shim stack for further customization
  • Lower risk of cavitation: high turbulence flow valves keep damping forces independent from viscosity and temperature changes
  • New coatings: improved durability thanks to a new proprietary DLC coating of the chrome-moly steel shaft, and an innovative proprietary DHC tube coating process, both assuring maximum wear resistance
  • Oil EV2S, a high viscosity index fluid, and phenomenal viscosity ratio
  • Spring thrust bearings ensure alignment, prevent spring rub and minimize spring noise
  • Reservoir with large volume bladder design, inflated to 55 psi only
  • 5-year warranty (yearly service required)
  • Weight: 428 grams in 210x55 mm size (no spring included, verified weight)
  • MSRP: 1069,00 € / $ (VAT included) – springs sold separately

Initial Impressions

The Storia V4 is a mono-tube damper equipped with a number of external adjustments – high and low speed compression, a single low speed rebound adjuster, Hydraulic Bottom-out Control (HBC), as well as an external “climb switch” called Lok. Flipping the Lok lever engages a separate compression circuit which has been tuned to provide a strong pedaling platform – it also features a blow-off valve should you forget to open it up again after the climb. The Storia makes use of a relatively large pistons and a short and wide external reservoir, which EXT says allows them to run very low internal pressure for maximum sensitivity with very low risk of cavitation and very low hysteresis for high dynamic response. On the Storia V4, the IFP of the V3 has been replaced by a bladder, in the quest for even better sensitivity. The piggyback reservoir is also a little bit smaller now as a result.

Storia V3 (top) vs. Storia V4 (bottom)

On the list of the new features, the first one to note is the adjustable HBC. Aside from being externally adjustable, it now also engages during the last 20% of shock travel, up from 15% on the Storia V3. The Storia V4 now also gets a hydraulic top-out system that EXT calls “Position Sensitive Rebound” or “PSR” for short. The steel shaft receives a new “DLC” coating while the main tube gets a “DHC” coating, both said to improve longevity and resistance to wear. The high-speed compression circuit of the V4 can now be adjusted with a 5-mm allen key, instead of the 12-mm open wrench required for the V3. And finally, thrust bearings are now used at both ends of the spring to ensure perfect spring alignment and minimize any spring rub noise, and the thin bottom-out bump stop washer is now made out of some kind of foam – gone is that pesky little hard plastic washer that rattles around on the V3.

On The Trail

EXT builds the Storia to order (according to information you supply during the ordering process), and it comes with the hardware needed to install the shock on the bike (plus any springs you added to your order). Fitting it to our test sled was a quick affair, and because it replaced a Storia V3 on this build we were able to easily compare the two shocks.

To get going quickly, we copied the settings from our V3 to this new V4. That proved to be pretty much spot-on, we haven’t been able to discern any big changes to the compression tune between the two shocks. On the rebound side of things, the V4 now offers 16 clicks of adjustment, up from the 8 clicks of the V3, and the actual range of adjustment has also been enlarged. We found the V4 notably faster on the rebound side in the more open position, while still being able to slow down pretty much to a crawl in when fully closed. This should allow it to fit a wider range of bikes and rider preferences out of the box.

Moving out, we noticed that the shock is now quieter. It still makes a bit of a whooshing sound during the rebound phase, but gone are the little check-valve clicks as the shock transitions from compression to rebound, and there is no more rattle from the bottom out bump stop washer that features on the V3 (the V4 now just sports a single foam washer). The thrust bearings on both ends of the spring also seem to work well – the V3 could sometimes make a bit of a metal-on-metal grinding sound as the spring twists during compression, this no longer seems to happen with the V4. As for the Lok switch, it also feels very similar, providing a firm platform that helps the bike ride slightly taller in its travel and minimizes bobbing. The blow-off valve is still there to protect the shock should you forget to open the Lok switch up for the descent.

On the way back down the hill, the Storia V4 provides all the ground-hugging performance of a really good coil shock. It’s got a very smooth and controlled feel to it, helping your bike stay settled on rougher trails without losing too much “pop” in the process. Having the HBC come in earlier in the stroke and making it adjustable was a good move in our opinion, it will allow the shock to work with more frames and suit more rider preferences. In our case, max HBC was a good match for the linear nature of our test bike. We don’t know if the max setting is equal to the factory setting of the V3 HBC (which was not adjustable), but it feels like it should be about in the same ballpark. Being able to back it off will suit riders who run the Storia V4 on very progressive frames.

What’s The Bottom Line?

We have been getting along great with EXT’s Storia V3 shock for a few years now already – we have one that has been running on two different bikes since 2020 with excellent results. The all-new V4 takes everything we like about the V3, and improves upon it. The V4 is more adjustable and runs quieter, which should put it on the map for a wider range of riders now. If you’re in the market for a high-performance, custom-tuned coil shock, the Storia V4 should definitely make your shortlist.

More information at: www.extremeshox.com.

About The Reviewer

Johan Hjord - Age: 51 // Years Riding MTB: 19 // Weight: 190-pounds (87-kg) // Height: 6'0" (1.84m)

Johan loves bikes, which strangely doesn’t make him any better at riding them. After many years spent practicing falling off cliffs with his snowboard, he took up mountain biking in 2005. Ever since, he’s mostly been riding bikes with too much suspension travel to cover up his many flaws as a rider. His 200-pound body weight coupled with unique skill for poor line choice and clumsy landings make him an expert on durability - if parts survive Johan, they’re pretty much okay for anybody. Johan rides flat pedals with a riding style that he describes as "none" (when in actuality he rips!). Having found most trail features to be not to his liking, Johan uses much of his spare time building his own. Johan’s other accomplishments include surviving this far and helping keep the Vital Media Machine’s stoke dial firmly on 11.

Photos by Tal Rozow (action) and Johan Hjord


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EXT Storia Lok V4 Rear Shock
Riding Type
Enduro / All-Mountain
Freeride / Bike Park
Spring Type
External Adjustments
High/Low Speed Compression, Low Speed Rebound, Coil Preload, Bottom-Out Control, Climb Platform Switch
Available Sizes
STANDARD: 210x47,5 mm 210x50 mm 210x52,5 mm 210x55 mm 230x57,5 mm 230x60 mm 230x62,5 mm 230x65 mm 250x67,5 250x70 mm 250x72,5 mm 250x75 mm // TRUNNION: 185x47,5 mm 185x50 mm 185x52,5 mm 185x55 mm 205x57,5 mm 205x60 mm 205x62,5 mm 205x65 mm 225x67,5 225x70 mm 225x72,5 mm 225x75 mm
0 lb 15.1 oz (428 g)
Weight: 428 grams, 210x55, without spring, verified
Price listed does not include the spring
What do you think?
Where To Buy
Free shipping on orders over $50 (continental U.S. only).
International shipping available. Some exclusions apply.
Free shipping on orders over $50 (continental U.S. only).
International shipping available. Some exclusions apply.
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