DVO Topaz T3 Rear Shock Setup

Cuz Vinny

Well-Known Member
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Set up my DVO Topaz T3 rear shock on my Fat Hydra today. For step two I’m using 215 psi as I weigh about 220 lbs. I may bump this up to 225 psi depending on how the bike performs. I’m judging the sag by eye and it appears to be within range. For the bladder I’m using 180 psi. Again this may be adjusted according to performance. Rebound I have set at 3 clicks for now. These are the initial settings I’ll use for now. After a few rides I may make some fine tuning adjustments. Love how easy this shock is to set up and tune.
 

Acme

Well-Known Member
Our atmosphere is 70% nitrogen. Common wisdom is there is a small amount of moisture in standard compressed air along with the nitrogen molecules being slightly larger than the hydrogen or oxygen that is in atmosphere. So you gain a little less oxidation and it will retain pressure longer.
 

Cuz Vinny

Well-Known Member
I’m a DVO fan now. I have the Topaz T3 on two different bikes and love how it performs. They also have some really nice suspension forks as well. A full DVO setup would be sweet but they don’t make a fat bike fork unfortunately.
 

loamoaf

Active Member
Region
USA
I’m a DVO fan now. I have the Topaz T3 on two different bikes and love how it performs. They also have some really nice suspension forks as well. A full DVO setup would be sweet but they don’t make a fat bike fork unfortunately.
Check out the newer Manitou Mastodon Pro EXTs for fatties - I have a Topaz T3 in the rear and a 2021 Mastodon Pro EXT up front - all Masodons made after 2020 are adjustable from 100-140mm (150mm if you get one with the 10mm longer legs), and can be upgraded with the 34mm fine thread IRT upgrade which gives 2 positive chambers and 1 negative chamber, start with 40-50psi in the main positive & 70-80psi in the IRT chamber. The extra travel makes the front nice & slack and with the IRT you can get super plush with a good progressive rate. I also installed a high-flow damper piston from Shockcraft in NZ & used Motorex 4T for the bath oil (exact same as the Manitou stuff, have not found Supergliss in the US) and Motorex 2.5 racing fork oil for the bath - in the US Chaparral. Here you can see the chart for Manitou oils Shockcraft Manitou fork oils & Suspension Oils landing page. It wasn't too tricky to swap out the high flow piston & rebuild, but definitely took some video wathing & forum combing to find pictures & procedure before tearing open an expensive fork - do need the Manitou fork service tools & a clamp to hold the damper assembly to disassemble (loc-tite). Installing the IRT I needed to clean the threads out to get it to go all the way in - original install I had a miniscule leak. The guys at DVO are super accessible, you can give them your bike weight, geared up weight, shock size, and riding style/preference and they'll reccommend a good set up to start from with the volume spacers & pressures. I'm sure there's info on tuning the shim stack for the Topaz floating around out there as well but I haven't got that far into it - yet
 

Merle Nelson

Well-Known Member
Region
USA
Ha, Ha, Ha,.....it sounds like you're pretty far into it already Loamoaf. :)

I am hoping I can find some way around having to learn all the stuff you guys refer to - it sounds like so much. (Welcome to EBR by the way.)
 

loamoaf

Active Member
Region
USA
I've had plenty of time to read and fiddle with everything while I patiently wait for my Archon motor lol 😬

If you're not into DIY Dougal at Shockcraft will always sell a fork with all the goodies installed & all set up nicely - I just checked on his site and he actually lists labor for a full service which includes installing the IRT & high-flow piston is $188 & change - includes the nicer Motorex fluids and he would change the travel to whatever you want it at, even a shim stack tune which is a little more convoluted - you can read a basic little blurb here on DVO's site. I would say I do the DIY thing because I'm cheap, but this whole building a custom badass emtb thing has proven to be anything but cheap hehe.

I will say, I almost snagged a Cane Creek DB Coil IL rear shock with 4 different springs from 550-700lbs for a great deal because I was originally hoping for a coil shock and the DVO Jade doesn't come in a size for my frame, but when I found out they aren't fully user-serviceable - you need an authorized servicer, not just any local bike shop - I dropped that idea real quick. The Cane Creek shocks give you the most adjustment of any shock on the market, but they are not cheap to own and lots of people have painful experiences with the product and their service. Both DVO & Manitou are really good with illustrations etc in their support docs & sell literally every component of their stuff so any part can be replaced if needed, and of course since they're able to be serviced by end-users, any LBS or bike mechanic would service them as well.

Thanks for the welcome, been lurking for a long time, I feel like it's long overdue I start to actually contribute lol
 

Merle Nelson

Well-Known Member
Region
USA
:)

Well, that is a great contribution. I will do some reading and watching there. Though if I just understand the basics so I know if I'm getting good advice and mechanicING I will probably have as much done by a LBS as I possibly can.

I have enough other things to focus on in life, my preference is to ride enjoyable bikes and let others who have perfected their craft do the bulk of maintenance. (When I get my Hydra I'll have three possible bikes to use, two nice ones.)
 

loamoaf

Active Member
Region
USA
The service manual should have intervals for the air spring, bath seals, & damper cartridge - usually the damper is the longest and the other two are a little more frequent.

Tuning is just the settings you dial in for your weight, trail conditions, riding style, and comfort - and DVO forks are known for their trail-side tunability with easy to adjust knobs that have clear click indicators on them - I'd love if DVO made a fatbike fork, but they're a much smaller company than Rockshox (SRAM) or Manitou (Hayes). You'll always want to check your pressure each ride & adjust the low-speed compression as needed (on the Topaz this is the 3-position switch, the Diamond has a 6-position dial) for pedaling/climbing/descending & trail conditions.

I don't think the Diamond relies on volume spacers or a second air chamber, but has their 'OTT' setting which along with the air pressure sets the initial plushness, with the idea being it's super soft in the intial stroke (small bump compliance), with strong mid-stroke support & a very progressive spring rate. When setting the rebound, you want it to be as fast as possible to keep the tire pushed down onto the ground without bouncing you up (part of this is the right air pressure). This youtube video shows a pretty good demonstration of dialing in these settings and how they affect your ride

This little illustration from Manitou describes the settings best - they refer to the hi-speed compression as IPA & is the 'set & forget' setting
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loamoaf

Active Member
Region
USA
All the brands usually have a checklist like this for each part - this one is for the Topaz - note the red text at the top that's pretty much on every single bike part :D

This is the landing page for their service guides, including service intervals

I think average price for all the seals for the air spring service is like $20-40 depending on brand/model, the damper service may be a little less for the seals but the cost there is more in fluid (really not a lot) & labor. Idk what an LBS would charge but I know the Cane Creek service is $160-195 for a rear shock and people complain that's a little on the high end. I'm not sure how wholesale customers like WW would receive their parts but buying retail you'd get all the service docs. I'm all for going digital though - less waste and 'functional' clutter that I feel guilty for getting rid of lol. Thankfully DVO & Manitou have great online docs & tech support, when I emailed both of them with questions one answered me outright and the other one said "depends, send me a picture of..." then gave me an answer.

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kwseattle

Active Member
Region
USA
City
Seattle
When my bike shipped they mentioned they couldn't fit the DVO Diamond front or Topaz T3 rear shocks, I can't remember what it'll be arriving with but I'll sure update on my own thread once I get it next week (assuming no massive delays... Fedex doesn't have a good track record for me)
 

rtp

Active Member
Region
USA
And - another DVO Topaz T3 Air owner now. Not a WW/Hydra but on my X2. Only got ~15-20 miles in on it since install, but it was a noticeable improvement on small bump/chatter compliance vs the RS Deluxe+ it replaced. Two positive volume spacers, 1 negative, 220# main can, 190PSI in piggyback/bladder, rebound 3 clicks from closed - pretty much same as @Cuz Vinny / close to the posted DVO #s for now.
I went ahead and picked up mounting bushings/hardware from offset-bushings.com - in the UK, but familiar with all the Dengfu frames, and shock mounting kits can be kind of tough to get right now..

For rebuild kits - there are two for the DVO, the damper kit, and the air can. Right now, the damper kit can be found for $15-$20, but the air canister kit is tough to find. I did find a 'complete' rebuild kit being offered on ebay from an Israeli company, as a possible option for if/when someone needs it.

I sure wish someone/anyone would make replacement bits for the Topaz in red...will probably wind up sharpie-ing them to black or something..personal preference, just want black and red. ;)
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