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I put this in the review section as well but thought it might fit here to for discussion purposes.  I got a lot of questions about it on Facebook after posting.


TFX Suspension(130 front/142 rear) – First Look
And by first look I literally mean first, at least here in the US at least. 
Woo hoo!
Our good friend Isaac Feliu in Spain first turned me on to these shocks after he’s been so happy with them.  I was always curious how he crossed those water bars in his videos so easily but now I’ve experienced it for myself.   :)
I’m honored to get the chance to test these new shocks from TFX Suspension distributed by Ted Porter’s Beemershop.com.  My last set of shocks weren’t bad, but were nearing the end of their life (~35k miles) and really weren’t meeting my needs.  It may not be fair to blame the shock really, because shocks are meant to be custom-built for your type of riding.  When I first got the old shocks, I wasn’t as sure what my style of riding was, honestly.  Admittedly, I was probably riding them out of spec (AZBDR w/loaded panniers).  Because Ted Porter is such a nice guy (legendary customer service), he kindly offered to replace my previous aftermarket shocks with this new-to-him brand for me to try out.
TFX has actually been around for quite a while and like many other top shock manufacturer’s is out of The Netherlands.  It’s quite incestuous really.  I hear there are many commonalities among the shock manufacturers and some shared technologies and cooperation. In some cases employees from one company can sometimes end up working at a competing company.  Wilbers had some sort of relationship with Technoflex (early TFX),  Tractive spun off from WP when WP was purchased by KTM,  the founder of WP now works at Ohlins, Touratech sells Tractive shocks,  TFX and Tractive have a joint venture to produce some really cool ATV shocks, and so on. 
That’s not to say that they’re all the same though.  TFX distinguishes itself in a few key ways.  First they are using the big stroke Tractive hydraulic preload adjuster which lifts 15mm as compared to most others at 10mm or less. This really helps when you have wide load variations. Although materials play a big role, other key differences are TFX’s engineering and the tuning of piston+shimstack+spring.  That’s what they call their “true magic.”  They also listen very carefully to what the specific needs of the rider are.  Ted certainly plays a huge part in this.  I’ll never forget the first time I called him.  He spent 30 minutes with me explaining how the shocks work and what type of shock would probably work best for me.  I’m still a novice rider, but I am at the end of that continuum that goes from the Saturday Starbuck’s rider to the extreme enduro dirt rider.
Some TFX specifics:
  •  Five year warranty, fully rebuildable.
  •  Tractive 15mm stroke hydraulic preload adjuster option, 50% more lift than most other brands.
  •  The body of the shock is made from 6082-T6 alloy with type 3 hard anodizing providing high-strength and maximum heat dissipation
  •  All other parts are made from aircraft alloy 7075-t6 which is very strong
  •  The 16mm shaft is made from a very high quality 42CrMo4+QT
  •  They use aircraft alloy 7075-t6 bushings because they are very strong and light
  •  A floating piston in the reservoir separates the oil from the nitrogen
  •  All shocks have 42 adjustments in rebound damping with a wider knob than most for two finger adjustment even with a gloved hand
  • The advanced models are 3 way type with high/low compression damping
  • low speed compression 32 adjustments
  • high speed compression 32 adjustments
Enough of the nerd talk.  I’m not a professional racer and I’m not really up on all the terminology.  My feedback is going to be much more basic for the lay rider.  The TFX are definitely more robust than what I had before.  They are more solid and feel very planted.  I rode fairly hard on them and did not bottom out once.  I didn't find I was riding any faster because of that, just more confidently and safely.  I didn't have to worry so much about each and every dip in the trail.  I kept saying in my helmet via my Sena to Tolga behind me: "that's way easier than it used to be."
When I got my first aftermarket shocks (Jan ’12) it was like going from a $20 pair of flip flops to a $100 pair of trail running shoes.  These feel like $300 mid rise hiking boots.
Sounds like a great start to me!  I’m going to keep monitoring these over the next few months and we’ll see what kind of service, if any, they are going to require.

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