Fox’s new CTD damping setup raised some eyebrows when it was announced, but trail time proves it’s another step ahead in user-friendly suspension control – for most riders.
When Fox switched the RP23’s low speed compression damping – with its three low-speed ‘platform’ levels – to the Adaptive Logic system that has three adjustments on the open setting instead, savvy shock tuners and hardcore riders rejoiced.
Adding the super-slippery Kashima gold surface meant the super-supple, finely adjustable shocks were sucking up big hits and sticking back wheels to rough trails better than ever before.
It meant more technically minded riders – us included – baulked at the announcement of CTD for 2013. First impressions were tainted by the fact that our fine-tuned open settings had been replaced by a single ‘Descend’ setting, with the three-position tune moved to the middle ‘Trail’ position.
Now we’ve had time to properly assess the shocks on three different platforms (Lapierre Zesty, Norco Shinobi and Santa Cruz Tallboy LTc) everywhere from the Yorkshire Dales to the Alps, it’s not just Fox that’s changed tune.
Really damper-sensitive souls will grumble about the gap between the most open Trail Adjust 1 setting and Descend – Adaptive Logic didn’t suffer that. But our most progressive riders found the platform level of TA1 to be an almost perfect foot-loading, berm-railing, squat-controlling ‘race’ tune. Plus, if it bothers you that much you can get the shock retuned by Mojo to shift the damping spectrum either softer or firmer.
Most riders will appreciate being able to set an intermediate, use-it-most-of-the-time tune easily. From there you can flick to the soft, rock-swallowing stick-your-wheel-to-the-trail Descend or stand-up-and-sprint Climb mode without thinking.
Once you’re past the chosen tune, the combination of Kashima coat smoothness, Boost Valve control and Fox’s latest damper circuitry gives sublime control of the full impact and speed range. It never over-travels, wallows or coughs up control whether you’re G-ing out, collecting a big drop or slapping through a square-edged boulder field.
The final icing on the all-rounder cake is that the new high-volume eyelet design gives the same spring volume as the old XV2 sleeve, but at 45g less for a 200mm eye-to-eye shock. CTD shocks are available with remote control, without Trail Adjust and without Boost Valve in a variety of sizes from 140-215mm.
This article was originally published in What Mountain Bike magazine, available on Apple Newsstand and Zinio.