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RockShox has been at the forefront of suspension innovation for many years. Being a sister company to SRAM, RockShox has quite a bit of funding that goes straight into engineering. The RockShox MegNeg was the product of years of engineering. Let's see what Preston thought about his Megneg upgrade on his Santa Cruz Bronson!
For a little over a year now I have been riding a 2019 Santa Cruz Bronson V3. I absolutely love this bike and will likely ride it until the V4 comes out and I upgrade to that! One of the most pleasant things about this bike is the feeling of endless travel. No matter how rowdy and rough the trail gets, you never feel as if the bike is harshly bottoming out. The problem with that is that the bike is actually completely bottoming out all of the time haha. Clearly, I was having a serious problem with the bottoming resistance of the stock Super Deluxe R. My only choice was to run more air, which was basically just a band-aid because all it did was stiffen the suspension across the board, reducing small bump sensitivity. It seemed as if there wasn’t really a middle ground for me, as I could either ride a bike that blows through the travel far too easily or ride a bike that doesn’t provide full travel because I had to pump the shock up too much to stop it from bottoming out.
The easiest solution without breaking the bank? The MegNeg. RockShox offers an increased negative chamber for your stock Super Deluxe shock, and for an incredibly low price considering the massive improvements that it offers. The MegNeg provides enhanced small-bump sensitivity while increasing mid-stroke support and bottoming resistance for all of $90.00 USD. Sounds too good to be true, doesn’t it? It isn’t, I promise. Continue reading…
These things are popular for a lot of Santa Cruz owners who are equipped with Super Deluxe shocks. Because of this, I found myself always a step behind when trying to purchase one in the size that I needed (make sure to check your travel, as there are three different sizes that correspond to your bikes travel). I kept my eye out for the MegNeg to come back into stock by signing up for alerts on the WWC page. As soon as I got the e-mail alert that WWC had it back in stock, I rushed to the site and made the purchase. A few days later and the box was on my desk, ready to be installed. Inside of the box is the MegNeg can, seals, a tube of seal grease, and a small pillow of oil for the can, and decals to put on the new can when you orient it the way that you want. Basically, everything that you need to be up and running is in the box.
Installing the MegNeg is incredibly easy! The only specialty tool that I needed was a rubber strap wrench, which can be picked up online, at your local hardware or automotive store, and even at many different box stores for cheap. With the strap wrench and some regular household tools in hand, I jumped right in and got to work. RockShox provides an online installation manual with extremely helpful photos and there are quite a few helpful videos up on YouTube if you get caught up in confusion.
After pulling the can apart and getting ready for the installation of the MegNeg, I figured that I could freshen things up inside a little bit so I swapped out the stock seals using RockShox’s 50 Hour Service Kit and gave everything a nice cleaning with some regular ol’ 99% isopropyl alcohol. After making sure everything was properly in place and nothing was loose or missing, I screwed the can back together and aired it back up. Honestly, from shock removal to reinstallation, the entire job can easily be finished within an hour… and that’s being overly careful and taking your sweet time. It’s truly is that simple.
In case you didn’t already know this, my only suggestion/tip is that you slowly release the air from your shock so you don’t run into any problems with pressure in chambers when you’re pulling your shock apart. The same goes for when you fill it back up with air… make sure you cycle the shock by adding some air to it, then compressing the shock to equalize pressure across the chamber, then adding more until you get to the suggested pressure. You will have to run a higher PSI now that you have the larger negative chamber on your shock. The instruction manual will have a suggestion for you.
I’m one of those odd people who doesn’t like to change things because I don’t want to risk making things worse. Because of this, I wasn’t 100% sure about how I would like the changes, so I decided to take baby steps with the changes. I decided to remove two tokens from the positive chamber (the Bronson V3 comes with 3 inserted stock) and I added 3 red bands to the new MegNeg negative chamber (4 is the max allotted). The removal of 1-2 tokens is recommended by RockShox, and the more bands that you add to the negative chamber, the less of an effect the negative chamber has on your suspension. In summation, I am running 1 token in the positive chamber and three bands in the MegNeg negative chamber. I also had to increase my shock by about 30 PSI to get the correct amount of sag.
Now for the fun stuff that you actually care to hear about. My first ride on the MegNeg was at a bike park. I’m not going to lie… at first, I felt like the bike was too stiff and I wasn’t going to like it. I hit the first trail of the day thinking that I made a mistake and shouldn’t have messed with my suspension. I was seriously riding around as I had just gotten my training wheels off. After a couple of runs down the hill, I started to get that “oh wow” revelation. About halfway through the day, I started noticing how much more composed and smoother it felt when things got really choppy. The bike blasted through small chop and seemed to roll a lot more quickly.
Towards the end of the day, I was in absolute awe at how much better my bike felt! I made a conscious effort to ride the roughest trails within the park, as well as a couple of trails in the surrounding area that provided a lot more tech in the form of steepness and chunk. The rowdier the trail, the more my bike felt controllable and composed. The bike stays up in the travel A LOT better so I no longer feel like I am death-gripping while I wait for the bike to recompose itself in sections with successive impacts, especially when things get steep and rough. It truly feels like a completely different bike, in a completely positive way.
"Although my bike felt insane at a bike park, I wanted to see how it would handle my local trails as well since bike parks and local trails are obviously two different types of riding. As soon as I hit the local trails, I noticed that my Bronson seemed to climb a bit better. The bike stays up in the stroke so it’s easier to pedal up and over technical, rocky sections. Small bump sensitivity is still there, which helps with braking bumps all over the place. The mid-stroke is really nice, as I notice that the bike stays up in corners well and tracks so much better. It feels more composed entering corners and it holds speeds a lot better. Additionally, I feel more confident in rock gardens because the bike stays up and skims over them instead of just blowing over them. To wrap this all up with a pretty little bow, the RockShox MegNeg took my bike from cool to super-duper cool." - Preston