ND Tuned are an independent suspension company from Portugal. They are one of the largest suspension service centres in Europe, but have more recently become known for their up and coming high performance dampers, such as their DH2XRC3 rear shock. We first heard about the DH2XRC3 rear shock from a top Portuguese rider that we supported back in 2014 - Multiple Portuguese National Champion Francisco Pardal. Francisco was running ND Tuned's DH2XRC3 shock for the year, and we couldn't wait to get our hands on one after we saw it!
Weighing in at just 359g for size 8.75" x 2.75", the DH2XRC3 shock is by far the lightest coil sprung rear shock on the market! Here at Ti-Springs.com we're all about saving weight - But we were sceptical as to how ND Tuned could produce such a lightweight shock that performed and would hold up to the forces that downhill bikes put through shocks.
The main reason the DH2XRC3 shock is so light is that almost the entire shock is made from 7075 and 7050 aluminium. The shock body has been completely CNC'd reducing material wherever possible, before being anodised a lovely gold colour - Not too dissimilar to the gold colour of our anodised titanium springs and bolts. Many shocks on the market are made from heavier metals including steel - While ND Tuned could reduce costs and produce a heavier shock they have decided to put performance first and create the lightest coil rear shock on the market.
When we received the shock through the post, we were impressed straight away. ND Tuned have created a beautiful bespoke cardboard box for their shock, which sits perfectly in a laser cut away foam block. Within the box there is also a compression adjustment tool, anodised in a nice blue colour. The shock features high and low speed rebound and compression adjustment and uses a high performance oil.
Mounting the shock to our bike was easy and Nuno Duarte - The owner and founder of ND Tuned had already setup the shock for us - Assembling a custom shim stack to suit our test bike (Santa Cruz V10 CC) and our 80kg rider. We fitted one of our 550lbs x 2.75" (35mm ID) Race Ti Springs to the shock for a seriously light setup!
Once the shock was mounted, one of the first things we noticed was how supple the shock was off the top of it's stroke. It is very important on a downhill bike that the shock is supple, as it helps absorb the small bumps - keeping your wheels on the ground to find grip. A shock which isn't supple will require more force to break into it's travel and therefore won't feel as planted over small bumps or rough terrain. This can cause the bike to loose grip and can fatigue the rider out more quickly.
We tested the shock at a downhill track well known to us - Bucknell, in Shropshire. Pearce Cycles put on an uplift day so we headed over with the Wideopenmag boys so we could do some back to back runs on the shock. Bucknell is a track with plenty of variety - It has fast, hardpack rough sections, big jumps and drops, big compressions and g-outs, huge corners and plenty of rocks and roots.
On the track we were thoroughly impressed with the performance of the shock. The amount of grip we were getting from the shock was seriously impressive, and the shock was holding up well in it's travel - Not blowing through too much for bigger hits or bogging down in the super rough sections. We'll put this down to the custom shim stack that Nuno had assembled for us - Something he does for every single shock sold!
The only adjustment that we felt we needed to make throughout the day was to add one click of rebound damping. Bucknell has a few big hits and we felt that a slightly slower rebound was more forgiving for the bigger landings.
We have since been using the DH2XRC3 shock week in, week out on our Santa Cruz V10 CC test bike and we still cannot fault it. Admittedly the tracks we have here in the UK are very short, but considering ND Tuned designed and built the shock in Portugal, we're confident that it's more than capable for the longer tracks found overseas - Portugal boasts some of the best downhill riding in Europe - And it's why it's become such a popular testing destination for many of the top race teams and suspension companies, including FOX.
Price wise the shock will set you back around 800 Euros, which is competitive when you place it alongside FOX's DHX2 shock and Cane Creek's Double Barrel. It's worth remembering that within this price the shock is setup specifically for you, your bike and your riding style and on top of this you can also expect to receive a level of customer service and support that some of the more major brands simply cannot offer!
ND Tuned, you have done a great job with this shock, and we will continue to push it to it's limits!
If you would like to order an ND Tuned DH2XRC3 shock, head over to www.ndtuned.com
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