With more and more bikes now coming with coil rear shocks, suspension manufactures are looking for every bit of performance they can find. With a coil shock, the coil spring itself is certainly something to consider. Brands like Fox have their SLS spring, Cane Creek with their Valt spring, and Rockshox's high performance steel spring. Here in this review, we are going to be taking a closer look at the Fox "Super Light Steel", or SLS, coil spring. The SLS spring is the fancy orange coil you have been seeing on all of Fox's top athletes bikes. The best part about the SLS spring is that Fox has made it available to everyone right from the get go. That way you can get all the same gear that riders like Neko Mulally and Danny Hart are riding on!
Fox claims that the SLS orange springs are lighter than titanium springs at a more affordable price. In the past, riders looking for a high performance spring would jump straight to titanium offerings because of the weight savings. Titanium springs come with a healthy price tag! With a little bit of tricky engineering, Fox's Super Light Steel springs are just as light as titanium springs, and come in at less than half the cost!
So how does Fox do it? How are these steel springs lighter than other titanium springs? Isn't titanium supposed to be really light? These are all good questions. The answer is more straight forward than you might think. Fox has developed a proprietary surface treatment that is applied to the material before the coils are wound. This surface treatment and stress release process removes any residual stresses in the material, in the end allowing the springs to withstand higher stresses. Because the material can handle higher stresses than the material used in traditional steel coil springs, Fox is able to use a smaller wire diameter with less coils, creating a lighter spring.
The spring ridden here has been mounted and ridden on a Fox DHX2 rear shock on a Santa Cruz V10. Be sure to also check out our Fox DHX2 rear shock review!
After racing the downhill world cup venues at Fort William and Leogang, along with plenty of weekends riding at Windrock Bike Park in Tennessee, Max has put a lot of time in on this particular Fox SLS orange coil spring. Let's see what Max has to say about its riding and performance.
Fox's SLS orange coil spring is a great offering for those looking for a performance spring at a fair price. The SLS spring performs exactly how you would expect out on the trail, giving your shock a smooth action while weighing much less. Fox claims that these Super Light Steel springs weigh less than similar titanium offerings at less than half the cost. Get one of Fox's SLS springs and get your bike looking like one of the pro's.
Max Morgan is 25 years old, and lives in Brevard, North Carolina. Max grew up in Atlanta, Georgia and started racing downhill at the age of 15. He has now been racing professionally for the last 7 years, competing in the U.S. Pro GRT series and UCI World Cup series. Check out Max's rider spotlight here!