Originally Posted by Fantastic Mister Fox
I know hagon have a very good name and their shocks are generally considered high quality but I want some advise.
Mine and mrs fox's ccms run Hagon shocks at the back and I have noticed the they can be a little stiff on dirt tracks (unloaded), having spoken to hagon on the phone these shocks are their road shocks with around 80mm travel. We are considering replacing Mrs Fox's shock anyway to give her a lower seat height any way.
I am now considering upgrading these to their Dirt shocks around £200 per pair as I feel that over the course of A rtw trip (Euope, Turkey, the Stans Mongolia, Russia - inc the Bam Rd, Canada) these will carry the weight of our luggage better. Generally the common advice I get is that upgrading your rear shocks for long distance travel will save trouble on the road (thinking of poor Fern who has had to change her shock twice already between UK and Iran).
So my question for the worldly wise is:
Is a stiffer (Road) of a softer (off Road) shock better for long distance travel??
Is the investment likely to pay off on the trip??
Are there any other shock manufactures that will make twin shocks (I like Hagon as they will make shocks to our specification)??
What are peoples perception of hagon as a shock manufdacturer??
The real truth is that there are NO shocks on the market that are really designed to put up with the abuse of serious long distance, overloaded and long distance touring.
However, some are better than others...
Stock shocks are TERD on 99% of bikes. They work okay for normal day to day conditions, but you're going to accelerate their acceptable level of wear to months intead of years.
Hagons are cheap, as shocks go, and they don't last any longer than stock ones in my experience. When I replace shocks, I usually go for second hand newer shocks. They are much cheaper.
All the crazy expensive Ohlins etc still go wrong. They are built expensive to feel and ride nicer. Not last longer.
As you probably know. Road shocks have a lot less range than offroad shocks. They are nicer to ride on WITHIN that range than offroaders but they are more prone to damage from large potholes or consistant vibration when used outside of their parameters.... Usually !!!
Off-road shocks are 'boingy'. They have plenty of travel and high tollerances, but this means they are less stable in corners and react slower so the ride isn't as planted on the road.
So, is your RTW more or road or offroad based trip ??? That will help you decide.
I think a long travel plusher shock will last longer but it will be unstable on the road (big deal ?)
However. The most important thing in my opinion is to make sure your bike isn't over loaded, you have the CORRECT SPRING for that shock (and spring rate when loaded) and that you have mechanical respect for your machine. Having the correct spring will keep most of the stress in the spring and off the dampers and seals.
Personally , I just ride with whatever shock is on the bike and have a spare second hand one at home in a jiffy bag, ready to be posted....