Progressive Suspension 5th Element Suspension|
Tuesday, September 07, 2004
The 2001 downhill season was the first time I heard of a new shock manufacture – Progressive Suspension. On one of the OLN mountain bike shows, Eric Carter was interviewed and praised the virtues of his new rear shock – claiming the new technology built into the shock allowed his downhill bike to pedal better than a cross-country bike.
That was then… this is now and I have a Progressive Suspension 5th Element shock on all three of my mountain bikes – coil on my downhill and freeride bikes, and air on my cross-country bike. This review is a detail of my experience with the 5th Element line of shocks.
Everyone has heard or read on how the 5th Element improves pedal performance, but the thing that has sold me on the shock has been its reliability. In 2002, the 5th Element (coil) shock came stock on my Intense M1. Up to this point on my downhill bikes, I could only get 3-4 hours of ride time on a rear shock before it failed – meaning that just about every other ride my rear shock ‘blew up’ – not a fun experience on those long road trips or at the races. No more with the 5th Element, with two years of hard ridding, not one problem! Consistent, reliable performance… enough said.
Customer service is another area where Progressive Suspension excels. A lesson learned from my previous difficulties with rear shocks is to follow the manufactures’ recommended service schedule to the letter. This has meant sending my 5th Element into Progressive Suspension twice for an annual ‘check up’. Each time the service has been exceptional. In addition to inspecting the shock for any problems – which is all I expected - they have gone above-and-beyond by upgrading my shock’s internals with the latest and greatest. With the last service, I even got a new sticker on the reservoir! From the friendly help when getting the service request information, follow-up calls by their technicians, to the timely return of my shock in less than a week – Progressive Suspension is an industry model for customer service.
All this praise and I haven’t even touched on how the shock works! See parts two and three for more.
Part Two: Check out the review for the Progressive Suspension 5th Element coil-over shock
Part Three: Check out the review for the Progressive Suspension 5th Element Air Shock