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You ‘lack the skill’ for new rear shock, brand cites

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Six years in the making, and with an exclusive “pro-riders-only” sales campaign launched last week, the Vivid shocks are something different. RockShox advertises them as the “most advanced rear shocks ever created.”

The initial marketing push on the Vivid, which comes in two models (R2C and Air), is on purpose snooty. Says a video host after talking through some technical details on these downhill-oriented shocks, “sadly, about 97 percent of the riders out there lack the skill to push the Vivid to its limits.”

Vivid option include R2C (left) and Air (right)

Because of that, you dear Average Joe Downhiller, cannot purchase the shocks, which cost as much as $674. You need a UCI license proving you’re a pro to get the order form, RockShox cites.

As a marketing stunt, this is pretty good we must admit, though check out the brand’s Facebook page for a whole lot of other opinions, many along the lines of “if it was supposed to be a joke, it wasn’t really that funny.”

Anyway… despite the buzz, good or bad, the Vivid is worth reporting on. We haven’t yet tested it out, but there are a handful of touches that caught our eye, including a counter-measure feature that reduces inertia in the shock, ostensibly making the system more responsive.

Internal workings of the Vivid Air

The counter measure is designed to maximize rear wheel traction over small bumps. To do this, the brand states that the trigger weight of the shock has been reduced from 60 pounds to “virtually zero pounds” of force.  

Another addition is a function called the “Dual Flow Adjust Rebound.” Two knobs on the shock let you dial in absorption settings so the shock can soak in big impact as well as subtle bumps.

Additionally the “shock can ride higher in its stroke and at the softer part of the spring curve,” states the brand. RockShox claims this helps the shock rebound back up over successive impacts by staying in the sweet spot of the spring instead of bottoming out.

These technologies allow a rider to use less energy and get more traction. The added efficiency can make you faster and can keep you in better control.

A rear suspension so advanced that is for Elite downhillers only

If you are a UCI professional downhiller you have the option of purchasing the Vivid in either coil (R2C) or a lighter weight air spring (Air) systems at $430 and $674 respectively.

See more on the Vivid R2C and Vivid Air on the brand’s site. If you’re a pro, that is.

—Amy Oberbroeckling is an assistant editor.

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