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Elka Stage 4 Fork Cartridge - Initial Impressions

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They guys from Dunbar Cycles have done a fantastic review and insight into the very popular Elka Stage 4 Cartridge. Take a look how Elka can improve your bike;
 
Elka's new Stage 4 fork cartridges just arrived at the shop and we wasted no time installing them into our personal forks to see what the fuss is all about. We have high hopes for these new units after being very impressed by their rear shock's performance. While it's still early days, you can read our initial impression of the Stage 4 inside. Were they up to the task or did the cartridges spontaneously combust, causing a cataclysmic reaction destroying the entire north shore?
 


 

Elka Stage 4 Fork Cartridge


<span style='font-size:19px'>The lowdown  from Elka Suspension:</span> <br><br>
The lowdown from Elka Suspension:

"The Stage 4 is a nitrogen-charged, sealed and pressurized fork cartridge featuring a moto-style piston and shimstack design that is fully serviceable and tuneable internally. This product has been developed and made in collaboration with Fast Suspension (France) and produced under license by Elka Suspension. This pressurized design provides a very responsive ride and faster damping action upon transition from compression to rebound. It is very easy to adjust and can be set to further reduce front-end diving upon braking, g-outs and hard cornering without losing small bump absorption. It reduces harshness and vibration over choppy terrain and rough conditions which helps reduce rider fatigue by providing smoother absorption of big impacts and square-edge obstacles. It also provides increased consistency and reliability while extending intervals between servicing." -Elka Suspension
The Stage 4's rebound adjustment knob located at  the bottom of the cartridge
The Stage 4's rebound adjustment knob located at the bottom of the cartridge
Low speed compression adjustments are made with  the aluminum dial atop the fork leg<br><br><br>  <span style='font-size:19px'>Elka Stage 4 cartridge  details:</span> <br><br> - Nitrogen-charged, sealed  and pressurized fork cartridge (40 psi pressure)<br>- Moto-style  piston and shim stack design, serviceable and tuneable internally (by a  qualified suspension technician)<br> - External low-speed  compression (21 clicks)<br> - External rebound adjustment (23  clicks)<br> - 3 base valvings available: Hard (for World Cup level  racers only), Medium (racing and performance), Soft  (recreational)<br> - All parts are CNC machined and  hard-anodized<br> - Product developed and made in collaboration  with Fast Suspension (France), produced under license by Elka  Suspension<br> - $495 MSRP<br> - Cartridge weight = 446  Grams (weight gain and loss was +/- 10 grams depending on spring weight  in stock BoXXer Team.)
Low speed compression adjustments are made with the aluminum dial atop the fork leg


Elka Stage 4 cartridge details:

- Nitrogen-charged, sealed and pressurized fork cartridge (40 psi pressure)
- Moto-style piston and shim stack design, serviceable and tuneable internally (by a qualified suspension technician)
- External low-speed compression (21 clicks)
- External rebound adjustment (23 clicks)
- 3 base valvings available: Hard (for World Cup level racers only), Medium (racing and performance), Soft (recreational)
- All parts are CNC machined and hard-anodized
- Product developed and made in collaboration with Fast Suspension (France), produced under license by Elka Suspension
- $549 MSRP
- Cartridge weight = 446 Grams (weight gain and loss was +/- 10 grams depending on spring weight in stock BoXXer Team.)
The Stage 4 cartridge is a sealed, but  serviceable, unit that completely separates damping oil from the fork's  lubrication oil, thereby increasing reliability and maintenance  intervals. The internal floating piston is backed with a factory set  nitrogen charge at 40 psi to keep the oil from foaming under hard use  while compensating for the extra volume of the damping rod entering the  cartridge. Elka recommends dropping the spring rate of your fork if you  are going to use the Stage 4 due to the IFP pressure. The high flow  piston uses shims to control high speed compression and rebound and as  you'll hear Pat tell you in the audio below, there are basically  limitless combinations that can be used to fine tune to the stroke to  your liking. Elka does a lot of suspension for motorized vehicles and  they employ the same level of seals in the Stage 4 cartridge to keep the  oil in and the nasty out. Internals are hard anodized as you would  expect to see on a product such as this.
The Stage 4 cartridge is a sealed, but serviceable, unit that completely separates damping oil from the fork's lubrication oil, thereby increasing reliability and maintenance intervals. The internal floating piston is backed with a factory set nitrogen charge at 40 psi to keep the oil from foaming under hard use while compensating for the extra volume of the damping rod entering the cartridge. Elka recommends dropping the spring rate of your fork if you are going to use the Stage 4 due to the IFP pressure. The high flow piston uses shims to control high speed compression and rebound and as you'll hear Pat tell you in the audio below, there are basically limitless combinations that can be used to fine tune to the stroke to your liking. Elka does a lot of suspension for motorized vehicles and they employ the same level of seals in the Stage 4 cartridge to keep the oil in and the nasty out. Internals are hard anodized as you would expect to see on a product such as this.
We installed the Stage 4 cartridge inside a BoXXer  chassis and hung it off the front of a 2011 Devinci Wilson for  testing<br><br><br> <span  style='font-size:19px'>Claimed benefits:</span>  <br><br>- Pressurized system provides very responsive ride  and faster damping action upon transition from compression to  rebound<br>- Easy to set with wide range of adjustment to  precisely dial in the front/rear weight transfers<br>- Can be set  to further reduce front-end diving upon braking, g-outs and hard  cornering without losing small bump absorption<br>- Reduces  harshness and vibration over choppy terrain and rough  conditions<br>- Helps reduce rider fatigue by proving smoother  absorption of big impacts and square-edge obstacles<br>- Provides  increased consistency and reliability while extending intervals between  servicing
We installed the Stage 4 cartridge inside a BoXXer chassis and hung it off the front of a 2011 Devinci Wilson for testing


Claimed benefits:

- Pressurized system provides very responsive ride and faster damping action upon transition from compression to rebound
- Easy to set with wide range of adjustment to precisely dial in the front/rear weight transfers
- Can be set to further reduce front-end diving upon braking, g-outs and hard cornering without losing small bump absorption
- Reduces harshness and vibration over choppy terrain and rough conditions
- Helps reduce rider fatigue by proving smoother absorption of big impacts and square-edge obstacles
- Provides increased consistency and reliability while extending intervals between servicing


Adam's initial impressions:

Bike Set Up:
• 2010 Evil Revolt w/ Fox DHX RC4 Compression knobs almost all the way open with a 400lb. spring
• 2010 RockShox Boxxer Team Fork, initially with a Medium Spring
• I'm 195lbs. (88.5kg) w/ gear

Fork Set Up #1: Soft valved cartridge / medium spring (red) 30% sag
First thing I noticed was how much smoother the fork felt on fast, small bumps compared to my used, stock set up. The Elka cartridge really calmed the trail chatter. On the Medium to big hits the fork would ramp up smoother, however on a trail in which I train on all the time I was noticing that I was bottoming out in spots in which I never had before.

Fork Set Up #2: Soft valved cartridge / stiff spring (blue) 25% sag
With the stiff spring the fork felt perfect on all the medium to big hits. I was using all my travel, but never getting a harsh bottom out. It never felt like my fork was even moving through the fast rough stuff, it was just effortlessly smoothing out the trail. However the super supple feel on the small bumps was lost with the stiff spring.

Fork Set Up #3: Medium valved cartridge / medium spring (red) 30% sag
With this set up I was hoping to combine the amazing feeling of the small bump tracking of the soft cartridge/medium spring with the medium to big hit damping of the soft cartridge / stiff spring. With this setting the fork performed perfectly. It was buttery smooth through the small bumps, but would ramp up just the right amount on all of the medium to big hits. I found on my stock BoXXer that it was very hard to get into the last inch of travel no matter what spring I ran. With this set up I was using all my travel, but it never felt like the fork bottomed out.


 

The Installation was extremely easy thanks to the closed cartridge that just slides right into your current fork. I was fortunate enough to be able to try out both the Soft and Medium Valved cartridges. The difference between the two being how much damping kicks in when you hit a high speed compression. Judging by how the medium cartridge valving performed I would be very hesitant to advise someone to run out and grab the World Cup Valved Cartridge. To the average rider the damping would probably feel extremely stiff for your every day trails. Overall I was super impressed at how smooth the fork felt. Once set up properly, it was buttery smooth through the fast, small stuff then soaked up all the big hits. I found the low speed adjustment knobs very noticeable with every click. I personally found that the fork felt best with about 12-15 clicks of low speed compression turned on. With this setting it allowed the fork to track well without diving too much under braking and cornering forces. I personally liked the rebound adjustment at one click in from fully open (really fast) - Adam Mantle

Check out the video to see the Stage 4 in action:

 

 

 

 


 

 

Rob's initial impressions:

 

Bike Set up:
• 2011 Devinci Wilson w/Fox DHX RC4 275lbs spring
• Fork: 2010 RockShox BoXXer World Cup
• I weigh 185lbs. (84kgs) w/ gear


 

Over the past few weeks I have tried out a few different setups with the fork air spring and compression settings on the cartridge. I started out with 47psi in the fork and the compression set to about 12 clicks from fully open (Elka recommended for my weight). Felt great, tracked really well, but I was riding a little deep into the travel for my liking. I ran a bunch of different combinations of settings until finally settling on 55psi in the fork and the compression set to 8-11 clicks from fully open with the rebound two clicks from wide open (fast). This setup seemed to offer the best balance of small bump compliance and big hit absorption for my riding style. Keeping the compression in the middle of the adjustment range allowed me to easily make quick adjustments for different types of terrain. After a few days on the new cartridge I really started to get a feel for what it could do. I was able to hammer through sections with a little more confidence than before knowing that the fork was going to smooth out whatever was in front of me. I only have two weeks on the new cartridge, but so far I'm pretty stoked. - Rob Venables

 

Elka Stage 4 review in the current issue of AMB

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The lattest issue of Australian Mountain Bike Magazine is now on the stands, make sure you go grab a copy and check out the Elka Stage 5 rear shock review.

Elka Stage 4 review

Diverse Suspension has a new home!

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Well it wasn’t too long ago that I was bringing you the great news about the partnership between Cycle The Net Imports and Elka Suspension. Elka has already kicked off with fantastic responses, Sales are coming through every day and a few bike shops have already picked up the brand.

The Elka Stage 5 proved that rear suspension didn’t need to cost an arm and a leg to offer great quality. Diverse Suspension Products (DSP), who are well known in the market for their high quality titanium springs, have now come out with one of their own shocks. CTN couldn’t resist the offer to be the stockist for Australia and New Zealand. This shock is designed for someone with a little more knowledge about DH bikes and their suspension, but rewards them with their amazing price.

Starting at $437 AUD for this shock is already an amazing price for the product, but that just isn’t good enough for this American Company, they are well known for their Ti Springs, not shocks. That is why; every shock comes with a FREE Titanium spring. Theses Ti springs are already valued at $300 AUD.

This product will have the full support of Cycle The Net Imports in Australia and New Zealand.

“DSP has been developing the dueler for nearly over 2 yrs now. They have riders in the UK and here in the states who have extensively tested and raced on these. Our team alone raced on the first prototypes two years ago with zero performance problem. The last variant, which is near the production one, is still on my current bike as we speak. I'm very satisfied and hope to be able to get the production model with the proper air volume adjuster. They have also switched reducer/hadware sizes to standard ones. No more need for odd--sized Manitou reducers.

In my observation, the company is not boasting to have created any new innovation already in the suspension market. However, it's a great aftermarket alternative for many of us at a great value.” – Ozzer.

This Product includes a life time guarantee, so you can enjoy with no fear!

The product will not be available in stores; it’s an online product only. While we are still playing around with our website setup, orders will be taken by email. To apologise for any inconvenience, all orders for the next 30 days are a further 5% off!

For sales and Information, please contact:

Email: .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)
Phone: (02) 8911 4302
Mobile: 0421 672 826

Elka Suspension now Downunder!

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 I feel privileged to announce that ‘Cycle The Net Imports’ is now the Australian and New Zealand Importer for Elka Suspension, we've been trying to get our hands on this baby for a while, and now it’s all happening. Elka has already made a great impression over here; it was recently reviewed on Rotorburn with great comments.


Check it out here.

Now is the time to buy, our first order is already selling fast, even the boys from 'Off The Brakes Imports' are already buying up some of these shocks for their Propain Rage's. Nows the time to buy!

The shock itself is only: $498 AUD, springs are $49/each, 2-piece aluminium reducers are $10/set and a 3-piece hardware kit (stainless steel sleeve + spacers) is $20.

Ti Springs $ 295
From Diverse Suspension Products:
http://www.dsp-racing.com/

KEY FEATURES & BENEFITS:

• Performance: Better bump absorption and stronger overall damping, which is both faster and more comfortable
• Easy to use: Shock is about 80% preset for the bike model, making fine-tuning simple and making it easy to achieve optimal results
• Price: We offer high and low-speed compression technology at a very competitive price
• Custom-tuning: Our shock features a custom valving for the bike design, with the proper spring for the rider’s weight
• Quality: Elka shocks are crafted from CNC-machined aluminium and only use premium-quality materials
• Durability: All seals are motorcycle-grade quality that can withstand heavy abuse, seal heads use triple seals that were successfully tested above 2000lbs of pressure without leaking



INFORMATION REQUIRED FROM CUSTOMERS WHEN ORDERING

• Bike model and year: Refer to the provided application list to validate availability for that model and check compatibility of the stock mounting hardware and spring
• Rider’s weight: Allows to select the appropriate spring rate for the rider’s weight on that bike within the application list
• Intended type of riding: May be used to provide further customization if needed, can also be used to select an alternate valving if available
• Customer’s selection: When stock mounting hardware and/or spring is compatible, customer can choose to order the shock with or without them; customer can also choose his preferred spring rate
• Billing and shipping address: Enables Elka to provide after-sale service by linking that information to the unique serial number on the shock and with the complete pedigree of the rider and shock, also needed when dropshipping orders, finally allows traceability in the event of a recall


ELKA SUSPENSION WARRANTY

Elka Suspension products are guaranteed against any manufacturing defects for a period of one (1) year from the purchase date. This warranty does not cover damages resulting from any of the following situations: obvious abuse of the products, racing accidents, improper installation, disassembly or modifications, unauthorized oil changes, damage occurring during transportation.


For any further information, please contact:


Phone: 0421 672 826
Email: .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)

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