I have recently been configuring an Ohlins rear shock to my bike. It’s the TTX22 9.5×3.0 model. What I have discovered is since the length of the OEM FastAce shock is 10.5 inches the loss of one inch can come into play. The rear ride height is obviously less which in turn increases the trail of the front. By how much I have not measured. How much does it affect the handling? For me it is no slower in steering or more stable downhill. I will say that they feel of the rear shock is just as amazing as it was when I changed from the RST forks to the Dorado’s. It’s plush. I had to do some calculations to see just how losing approximately 1″ of travel affects the bike:
Because the Ohlins shock I purchased off of eBay for my bike is a 9.5” and the OEM is 10.5” I needed to have a shock tower extension custom engineered and produced. A few folks have asked me why I didn’t just buy a 10.5 inch Ohlins or a Fox shock. I tried to find an Ohlins 10.5″ TTX22, but could only locate new ones which are 700.00 plus a spring which is another 100.00. I got my 9.5″ one for 397.00 delivered. Plus the 10.5″ Ohlins has a shock plunger length of 3.5 inches. The 9.5″ Ohlins has a 3″ plunger travel. After measuring the maximum travel of a shock plunger is 3.1 inches before the rear tire impacts the subframe. (based on my Shinko 244s which are about 1″ taller in profile than the OEM tires) So I would have to have added a spacer under the shock bumper to avoid having too much travel. Not a big deal, but combine that with an additional 400+ bucks in cost…no thanks.
And although many folks like Fox suspension parts, I’m very familiar with Ohlins from my racing days. So I went with what I know.
I found a craftsman near my home and Gerard measured and designed it out of billet aluminum. It is engineered in such a manner where no flex or movement occurs. Remarkable. After having used the shock now for 12 hours of riding, I will simply say that it has transformed how the bike handles on choppy downhill sections as well as through off camber turns. It feels much more planted on both accounts and in general. Now the front and rear tires react in a similar fashion keeping contact with the ground without a pounding feeling or chatter over bumps large or small. The Dorado’s are now matched in the rear with the Ohlins. Prior to replacing the rear shock, the smoothness and contact of the front end highlighted the weaknesses of the rear suspension.
So what’s different than the OEM shock? Most folks may think that suspension just makes the bumps more smooth. Of course that is ONE of the aspects of suspension. But the aspects of the Ohlins is its ability to make going faster easier and safer is one of the best aspects. Being able to get on the throttle sooner coming out of a turn, reducing arm pump because its high speed damping are all things that are great about the shock. If you’re primarily riding on the street or smooth surfaces, then I would not recommend the effort or money to replace the rear shock.
For any of you who may have purchased the same shock as I’ve bought I’ve placed a link to the user manual below.