Fast Suspension Ride E Rear Shock

Vital Rating:
Where To Buy
Free shipping on orders over $50 (continental U.S. only).
International shipping available. Some exclusions apply.
Free Delivery on purchases over £20.
Free shipping on orders over $50 (continental U.S. only).
International shipping available. Some exclusions apply.
Tested: Fast Suspension Ride E Coil Shock
This simple yet sophisticated shock from France will make your ride better.
Rating:
Vital Review
FastA

Among the rolling hills surrounding the tiny town of Plestan in Brittany, France, you’ll find a small manufacturer of mountain bike suspension called Fast Suspension. Born out of one man’s passion for making things work better, Fast started out in motorsports but has been focusing on mountain bike suspension since 2015 when they released their very first rear shock, called the Holy Grail. Jumping ahead to 2023, Fast dropped their latest product, a simplified yet sophisticated coil shock called the Ride. It comes in either a DH or an enduro version – we’ve been testing the latter for six months now, and we’re here to let you know what we think of it. Keep reading to find out!

Strengths

Weaknesses

  • Comfortable and smooth
  • Effective damping, great tune supplied from the factory
  • Good pedaling support in “Flow” mode (with full lockout available in “Climb”)
  • Hydraulic bottom out for last 25% of travel works very well
  • Very easy to set up
  • Spring bushing prevents spring binding
  • Laser etched graphics would be nice

    Fast Suspension Ride E Highlights

    • Three-position lever for ride mode adjustment (open, flow, climb)
    • Speed-sensitive HBO on the last 25% of the stroke
    • VDP (Velocity Dependent Piston)
    • Low-, Mid-, and High-Speed compression circuits
    • External low-speed rebound adjustment
    • Each shock is valved according to the bike’s kinematics
    • Standard sizes: 210x55/52.5/50, 230x65/62.5/60/57.5
    • Trunnion sizes: 185x55/52.5/50, 205x65/62.5/60/57.5
    • MSRP: €649.00 EUR (incl. VAT, excl. spring)

    Initial Impressions

    Pulling the Ride from the box you’re met with a well finished product – the machining is top notch and the finish has an air of quality about it. Fast supplies XLS springs from ICHU which are available in 25 lbs increments (at an extra cost), but you could also reuse any spring with an internal diameter of 36.30 mm (FOX, Cane Creek, Öhlins, BOS…). The shock comes with a self-lubricating spring bushing to avoid the spring binding on the collar as it compresses. The mode selector is available with the rich purple ano finish shown here, but you can also get it in black if purple doesn’t match your build.

    Ride details.jpg?VersionId=8AV6lrNCTI4WHLlOs6h4Is
    Ride details-2
    Ride details-8.jpg?VersionId=L2b1ROTMY1Q

    The Ride is equipped with a number of features inherited from the company’s flagship product, the Fenix Evo. The idea behind the Ride was to offer a shock that provides a lot of control with a smooth feel, without suffering from any bottom out harshness, all while reducing the complexity of the product to hit a lower price point. The key to the damping architecture is a mid-speed compression valve, which sits between the low- and high-speed compression circuits. It allows Fast to really dial in the amount of support the shock can offer, without introducing unwanted harshness in the overall system. On the high-end Fenix Evo and the new Ride D (D=downhill) shocks, the mid-speed valve is externally adjustable, while on the new Ride E (E=enduro) shock it is set internally from the factory according to the bike characteristics and the rider requirements.

    Factory-20
    All the shims.

    To control bottom-out events, Fast has developed a hydraulic bottom-out system that allows the energy to dissipate by displacing hydraulic fluid over the last 25% of the shock’s travel, and thanks to a shim stack on the HBO piston, it can be tuned and adjusted to match the rider and the bike. The piston floats on its mounting spot on the shaft, to allow it to align itself perfectly with the HBO cup, which provides for smoother action. It can also move up and down a bit on the shaft, to allow it to release oil during the rebound phase without creating a vacuum behind it which could otherwise lead to a “sticky” feeling in the shock when it rebounds from a deep compression. The following chart shows the effect of the HBO during compression at various shaft speeds, with the smooth rebound curves (bottom part of the graph) proving that the design works as intended:

    Factory-19.jpg?VersionId=pIGMoN.a7
    HBO plunger and cup
    Factory-15
    Compression (top) and rebound (bottom) force graph

    On the compression side of things the new Ride E shock features a triple-mode circuit, which uses a combination of orifices and shim stacks to control the oil flow. This set-up provides multiple paths that the oil can take during different types of compression events depending on the mode it is set to - Open, Flow, and Climb, selected via an external lever. There are several base tunes to choose from to make sure the shock will match the bike characteristics.

    Factory-12.jpg?VersionId=TP1X3xKrUNUqIxC

    On The Trail

    To test this new shock, we mounted it up to our Transition Smuggler long-term test bike. Our shock came with a couple of springs to let us play around with spring rates while testing, which allowed us to really evaluate the effectiveness of the damper and the HBO system (the springs are fairly slim, which increases the odds of them fitting your frame – it was indeed a bit of a squeeze on our frame).

    Ride on bike.jpg?VersionId=e yCdp0ATXd3S9fXDA9uD2Ul
    on bike-2 0.jpg?VersionId=ns2t0ViTU8lAMyHV37sJ

    On the climbs, this frame exhibits a bit of bobbing, something that the “Flow” position on the shock immediately took care of. Flow is meant to be used wherever you need a more dynamic response out of your bike, on climbs and on flatter trails. We found it did such a good job of limiting bobbing that we almost never saw a need to reach for the actual “Climb” position on the shock, except for prolonged fire road climbs perhaps (the Climb position provides a nearly full lockout).

    DT riding

    On the way back down, the Ride is incredibly comfortable and very well controlled, without showing any signs of harshness. With Flow mode engaged on the shock for the descents, the bike rides a tiny bit higher in its rear travel, and will react a bit more to rider input, but once again, without adding much if any harshness. In open mode, you get all the benefits of that sweet coil feel, but without the bike turning into a slouch – it remained poppy and fun to ride. Fast has really done a good job with the tune, which is especially important on a shock without much in the way of external adjustments. As for the hydraulic bottom out, this is one of our favorite features on this new shock, the way it lets you sink into the last part of travel in a very controlled way is really confidence-inspiring.

    DT riding-2

    We think the choice of having the HBO affect the last 25% of travel is smart (some competitors’ HBO systems kick in later in the travel), it really opens up the possibility of running a coil shock even on frames that could be considered a bit too linear otherwise. The mid-speed valve also provides extra support in this scenario, to the point that we had really good results when testing a Fenix shock without HBO on a fairly linear Mondraker frame a couple of years ago. On the Smuggler here, we alternated between a 650 lbs spring (recommended for this 88 kg tester) and a lighter 600 lbs spring – the latter made the bike really comfortable through the rough stuff, but with enough support from the hydraulics to not feel like a boat. This really brought home for us the importance of design and tuning when it comes to suspension – we’d much rather have this “simple” shock set up properly for our frame, as opposed to one with all the adjustments but perhaps a less sophisticated execution when all is said and done.

    Things That Could Be Improved

    We do not have any points to nitpick here. Yes, the Ride is still a little bit more expensive than some of its direct competitors, but you’re getting a shock that has been set up specifically for you from the factory, and some of the tech is also unique to Fast (like the mid-speed valve and the clever design of the HBO system). Would we like to see laser-etched graphics on the piggyback reservoir? Sure, but it's really not a big deal.

    Long Term Durability

    We’ve had our test shock running for four months now, and it’s still performing like on day one. Our previous experience with Fast shocks points to a reliable product as well. Fast also stands behind their product with excellent warranty support (and they can help you re-tune your shock or change dimensions if needed when moving to a new bike). Incidentally, Fast is the French service center for Cannondale (since 2008), and they also offer maintenance and tuning on RockShox and Fox products. They have a lot of experience of what works and doesn’t work in the field, and they’ve put that experience to good use in designing their own products.

    What’s The Bottom Line?

    A coil shock is hard to beat when it comes to comfort, and a GOOD coil shock will also offer the amount of control needed to really make your bike better. Fast has developed and/or refined several key technologies that really bring a plus to your ride in our opinion, and the fact that they’ve managed to package it all up in a more affordable product now is really cool. Simple is not easy, but Fast has pulled it off remarkably well with the Ride shock, and we have no reservations about recommending you trust these fast Frenchies with your next suspension upgrade.

    More information at: www.fast-suspension.com.


    About The Reviewer

    Johan Hjord - Age: 50 // Years Riding MTB: 18 // 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 Johan Hjord

    25 comments

    Post a reply to: Tested: Fast Suspension Ride E Coil Shock

    In reply to by Mugen

    In reply to by Mugen

    In reply to by jeff.brines

    In reply to by Onawalk

    In reply to by iforte312

    In reply to by Explodo

    In reply to by iceman2058

    In reply to by Explodo

    In reply to by Explodo

    In reply to by Explodo

    Specifications

    Product
    Fast Suspension Ride E Rear Shock
    Riding Type
    Enduro / All-Mountain
    Freeride / Bike Park
    Trail
    Spring Type
    Coil
    External Adjustments
    • Low-speed rebound adjustment
    • 3-position compression adjustment (open, flow, climb)
    Available Sizes
    Standard sizes: 210x55/52.5/50, 230x65/62.5/60/57.5
    Trunnion sizes: 185x55/52.5/50, 205x65/62.5/60/57.5
    Weight
    N/A
    Miscellaneous
    • Speed-sensitive HBO (Hydraulic Bottom Out) on the last 25% of the stroke
    • Pressurized monotube-type damper
    • Constructed in aircraft type aluminum 7075 T6, 100% machined and anodized
    • 12mm shaft in chrome steel
    • Each shock is valved according to the bike’s kinematics
    • Sold without a spring or hardware
    • 2 years warranty on parts and labor against defective parts or assembly problems
    Price
    $700.00
    More Info

    Price: 649 EUR, incl VAT, excl. spring.

    More info: fast-suspension.com.

    What do you think?
    Where To Buy
    Free shipping on orders over $50 (continental U.S. only).
    International shipping available. Some exclusions apply.
    Free Delivery on purchases over £20.
    Free shipping on orders over $50 (continental U.S. only).
    International shipping available. Some exclusions apply.
    Rear Shocks

    More Products

    The Latest