|Professional Tweaks, Tips & Reviews By "AJ" Picarello
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Avalanche Downhill Racing is bound to have a rear shock that will fit your bike frame and style of riding. This year they offer “generic valved” shocks that are less expensive. The generic shocks work well for riders of average weight and typical 3:1 leverage ratios. One new rear damper of particular interest is the Montie Monotube.
The Montie rear damper is priced competitively, $399 (generic valve). The Montie is a completely new rear damper for Avalanche. The internals have a feature called “ABS”, Anti-Bottoming System. I tested this shock, with impressive results on the Mongoose EC-D.
With no external “piggy back” compression chamber, the Montie has a clean look and is a simple remove/install. The large spring O.D. can cause interference problems with some frames. The mongoose had room to spare. Do make sure to mount the rebound adjuster to the rear on the EC-D.
The stock FOX DHX spring rate was 400lb on my size M/L frame. Avalanche offers 350lb or 450lbs. The 450lb spring I tested seemed a bit too stiff (180 lbs with gear). The 350 would have been too soft. Avalanche will offer a 400lb soon enough.
The Montie is a perfect shock for pro racer types looking for a responsive damper that will ramp up and resist bottoming out. The ABS, anti bottom out, system is very effective. The Montie was better at gaining speed when pumping through terrain and exiting turns. I never once experienced a harsh bottom out, even when overshooting a landing ramp!
The DHS Avalanche rear shock is a better choice for sport/expert level racers. The DHS is smoother and seems to float deeper into the travel. The DHS will absorb small to medium hits better than the Montie and is less likely to deflect off the rocks. The Montie is a perfect shock for freeriders that love drops. This shocks big hit performance is outstanding!
With no visible piggy back and blacked out looks, the Montie is pure stealth. This shock would be my first choice for World Cup style tracks that have big moves. I would also choose this shock on frames with high leverage ratios or on single pivot, no linkage style rear suspensions like the Orange 224 or Cannondale Gemini.
Unfortunately, the Montie is only available in a few sizes. The 9.5” x 3.0” I tested is sure to be the most popular size (Canfield F1 and Iron Horse Sunday). This shock is not offered in the also popular 9.0” x 3.0”. The Montie rear shock is a welcome addition to the plethora of rear dampers offered by Avalanche. It offers Pro level, reliable performance for an affordable price.
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