Words by: Liam Woods
Introduced earlier this year with the Rockshox 2020 lineup, the MegNeg upgrade kit is an upgrade similar to how the DebonAir upgrade can was offered a few years ago to improve the shocks negative air volume. The MegNeg is an aftermarket air can you can screw onto your current or new Deluxe and Super Deluxe shocks. With the MegNeg empty of spacers, you will get 211% more negative air space, really helping reduce the amount of force it takes to get into your bike’s travel. The MegNeg is tunable with bottomless rings, except now the rings are used to tune negative air space.
The MegNeg fits up to 4 bottomless rings, ranging from 211% down to 164%, which is as “closed” as the MegNeg can be. There are three sizes of MegNeg to fit the three eye-to-eye air cans that Deluxe and Super Deluxe use; 47.5-55mm, 57.5-65mm & 67.5-75mm. By having more negative air volume the shock is being “helped” into its travel while also having more air in the shock overall. The more air is a big key to the MegNeg success as it helps improve mid-stroke support and bottom out ramp up.
I was lucky enough to spend some time out in Phoenix Arizona before the launch of the 2020 Rockshox product and get in some back to back testing on the MegNeg air can. By getting a base testing run down the section of trail we were testing I had about 178psi in my Super Deluxe on my Evil Offering shock, with 3 volume tokens in the positive air chamber. After getting the base feel and pressures dialed, we installed the MegNeg can with zero spacers in the negative space, getting the full 211% more negative air. This also meant that I needed to add more PSI to the shock as there is more volume to fill, adding about 23% more air than with the standard can to about 220psi. Rockshox also said that I would most likely want to remove some volume spacers from the positive air can but decided to wait as we only wanted to change one thing at a time.
The change in shock performance is immediately noticeable with the shock feeling much more supple off the top, at first it’s actually really weird to feel after the stock air can. After about 3 minute long runs with the MegNeg at full volume, we decided to also try and add a few spacers to the negative space in the MegNeg. At this time we still hadn't removed any spacers from the positive chamber but still only wanting to change one adjustment at a time we added 2 rings inside the MegNeg. After having a few runs with the MegNeg at full volume, adding the two rings was a noticeable change from fully open, yet was still way more supple than the stock air can. After a few testing runs it was clear I needed to remove 1 air volume spacer from the positive chamber as I had a few mm of shock stroke left to use with the section of trail we were riding having a purposely harsh drop to flat that you either have to gap far out to clear a rock, or you land on a rock that is slightly uphill. So with that feature and not using the full travel taking a positive spacer out was needed.
The MegNeg with two bottomless rings seemed to be my sweet spot at 188% more negative air volume than my stock air can. I was able to run more shock pressure that really REALLY improved mid-stroke support like no other! I had so much more small bump compliance without any sacrifice to ride height and mid-stroke support. Also, with more pressure, the shock rarely bottomed out, except for big hits where I need all the travel and then some. After getting the MegNeg dialed in, we then did some longer runs on a trail called Geronimo, first with the dialed-in MegNeg, then switching to back to the stock air can. I always feel that this way of testing and going back to the original after getting used to a new setup is where the real differences are felt, for better or worse. Getting back on the stock can I think the only thing that it might have done better was big jump support, which the trail had no big jumps, but I could just tell it had that feel to it with the stock air can. Getting back on the MegNeg for a final run the clouds fully cleared and I could see clearly where the MegNeg shined, basically once tuned on all types of trail riding from chunky repetitive hits to small bump chatter, helping the shock stay up in the travel more with better mid-stroke support and last having more bottom out ramp up than normal.
I think the MegNeg could help many different riders. Lightweight riders always seem to have an either-or situation with small bump compliance or mid-stroke and bottom-out support with nothing between. Also, if the bike you are on seems to have either a regressive kinematic tune off the top, a strong pedaling platform, or you are just looking for more small bump I would highly suggest the MegNeg air can for your Rockshox Deluxe or Super Deluxe.
I’m a light rider at 150lbs and trying to get my suspension dialed is always a sacrifice between the small bump and mid-stroke support. Air tokens help prevent bottom outs but don't do much in the way of mid-stroke support. So adding the MegNeg to my shock gave me all the best features I like in one shock without compromise. We tried the MegNeg on SB130 & SB150 bikes, and it really seemed to shine on those. “Helping” the bike into its travel and requiring less force to do so. Those bikes have such a great pedaling platform but sometimes aren’t the best in repetitive big hits or chatter. The MegNeg was able to retain the bikes pedaling performance while taking the hardness out of the braking bumps. Riders on those bikes ranged from 170lbs to 195lbs on the SB150 and our test rider wasn't super stoked when we asked to get the shock on another bike for the test. It really is that good!
Currently, I have a MegNeg installed on my Mondraker Foxy 29, the Foxy 29 has quite a bit of anti-squat for pedaling performance, but that also leads to a slightly harsher than wanted feel to the suspension. Adding the MegNeg to the stock Super Deluxe has helped tune the suspension for how I want it to feel. Again with running 2 volume spacers in the MegNeg negative space and also 2 air volume spacers in the positive air chamber my bike is feeling amazing!
The MegNeg retails for $90 and is available aftermarket only, as it might not be the best for all bikes or certain riders. But if you are a suspension nerd like myself and love tuning your suspension, you will love the MegNeg. If you are looking for more small bump compliance but not wanting to compromise your mid-stroke support and having the shock dive deep on jumps, drops or g-outs than the MegNeg could be a great option to help improve the way your bike rides.
This article was written / authored by Liam Woods. Liam has been in the bicycle industry for over 10 years as a racer, professional mechanic, service manager and as of late, media and content creator. Liam has ridden thousands of different bikes, ridden countless components, tested endless MTB apparel of all kinds and written reviews on it all. He's a key piece to the Worldwide Cyclery "All Things MTB" content creation puzzle. He also makes consistent appearances on the Worldwide Cyclery YouTube channel and Instagram.