Why Does Curtis Keene Prefer Coil Suspension? Vital B-Sides 4

Is coil-sprung suspension better than air-sprung suspension on a mountain bike? Clearly the answer all depends on the rider, but Curtis Keene elaborates on why he prefers coil forks and rear shocks to their air equivalents.

View the Vital exclusive video of Curtis testing with Ohlins

Credit: Juan Reynaldo / gordo

sspomer 2/13/2017 1:49 PM

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For me the only issue with having an air fork/shock is the temperature change. For newbies it can take a while to figure out which air pressure is good for their personal body weight, trail and change in climate. Once they mastered this then it's just about prepping before the ride. For me I set it and forget it during spring/summer it's only when the temps get super cold like in winter where I modify the air in both my front and rear suspension. The travel just gets too harsh and so I have to constantly play around with the air settings. Mostly on the rear than on the front tho.

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This industry is so damn funny. Spesh is doing some brilliant marketing with these "testing" sessions. Anything for a little bit of exclusivity right? Coil suspension feels better....no shit. Every air suspension product I have ever ridden feels like garbage when compared with a properly sprung coil unit. Why is this news?

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Very interesting. I would love to know how much of the difference is noticeable to the average Joey like myself. Curtis is pushing the bike to another level (probably league) and are the differences between coil and air really a that level. While it's cool to say you run the same stuff as the pros, is this an example where what a seasoned pro experiences is just beyond the realm of the rest of us?

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It's absolutely noticeable. You don't have to be crazy fast or have the most expensive suspension to tell either. If you can deal with a lil weight coil in modern suspension is a dream.

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