Push Kit

Push ACS3 Coil Conversion Kit

Words & Photos by Chili Dog

If you’ve been around long enough, you’ll notice that the cycling industry, and the world for that matter, is cyclical. It seems the old saying that history repeats itself really is true. When I first started riding, coil suspension was all the rage. Air was around, but just couldn’t compare to the sensitivity and performance of a coil. Times changed, and air suspension got better. In fact, pretty much every bike these days comes spec’d with air suspension front and rear. Recently we’ve begun to see a push back (pun intended). As good as air springs have gotten, there are people that still yearn for the supple, sensitive feel of a spring. Push Inudstries caters to those people. A few months ago they sent us their ACS3 coil conversion kit for 2015-2019 FOX 36 FLOAT and TALAS forks and we couldn’t wait to install it in one of our test forks.

The Lab

Inside the box you’ll find a Push coil, new spring side lower rod assembly, preload adjustment spacers, and an air bump stop unit. To control the progressiveness of the fork, the bump stop unit lets the rider have a pressurized chamber that fine tunes the end ramp of the fork, while the coil controls the beginning and mid stroke. The ACS3 is hand assembled from components that are 100% manufactured in Colorado.

Push Kit

An advantage of the coil kit is that coil springs generally have better sensitivity than air springs. As a result of having to contain air pressure internally under load, air cartridges have tight seals that result in friction. That friction causes stiction, and can take away from your fork’s ground tracing abilities. And that’s assuming a rider will take the time to properly lubricate and maintain their equipment. Slack on maintenance and your air spring is going to get even stickier. The Push ACS3 kit is relatively easy to install (check out Push’s video here) but rewards riders who take the time to get it perfect. Because coils aren’t adjustable, it’s also vital that a rider select the correct spring weight for their weight and riding style. Push offers a full line of springs to make that possible.

For many riders, one ride aboard a new GRIP 36 is enough to prove that air has come an amazingly long way and works just fine for their needs. But for those with specific needs or a refined palate, the benefits of going coil may be greatly appreciated.

Keep in mind though this modification is NOT reversible, and will void your Fox or Rock Shox warranty.

Push Kit

The Dirt

After a rather simple installation, aside from the dreaded snap ring removal, we were up and running on our coil sprung 36 in under an hour. The spring Push sent us ended up working out perfectly after minimal tuning with the damper adjustments. When ordering our kit, Push asked for our rider weight, riding style and terrain to select the right spring.

We immediately noticed a change in the fork’s suppleness and off the top sensitivity. Compliance in chatter and small bump was not just good, it was insane. We’ve been on plenty of good forks this year, but you just cant argue with a well set up coil. On marbly, loose trails, it felt as if I’d activated some sort of cheat code. It’s amazing what a little extra front grip will do for your cornering confidence, and suddenly I felt like Danny Hart on that infamous muddy World Cup run. The ground tracing capabilities of this kit can’t be understated.

There’s always a trade off however. After this swap, the fork forgoes some if its tunability. I’ve gotten spoiled by the ability to add or take away air from the chamber depending on the gear I’m packing or the terrain I’m on. For example, I don’t normally ride with a pack on, but when we’re out shooting I’ll strap on a heavy bag with camera gear, adding 15 or 20 pounds to my rider weight. Normally I can compensate for that with a few extra PSI. With a coil sprung fork however, I’m stuck being under-sprung. The same was true for tech trails versus flow or jump trails. Normally I’ll add pressure on days when I’m hitting smooth park trails or going big, and take out pressure when I’m riding technical rocky terrain. With my now converted ACS3 36, I was stuck using the high and low speed compression adjustments to make those tweaks. It works, but being able to change spring rates with a couple PSI sure is handy. Of course you can always have a couple springs to change out, and the process is quick, but air is free– backup springs aren’t.

Push Kit

The Wolf’s Last Word

So is the $389 ACS3 coil conversion kit worth the cost? That depends entirely on you as a rider. In order for this kit to make sense, small bump compliance has to be at the forefront of your priorities. If you’re willing to trade some of your tuning flexibility and warranty for velcro like front end traction in rough terrain, this kit is a clear yes. Meticulously designed and engineered, this USA made kit goes in and works like it was made to be there from the factory. PUSH has never let us down on any of their products. The real deal, this kit is just as high quality as everything else that leaves their Colorado factory. Life is all about tradeoffs however, and just like everything else, this kit forces riders to make a choice. For some, it’s best to just stay with the air sprung fork that’s on the bike. For others, the greener grass of a buttery smooth coil spring will be too much to resist! Put in the effort, and this kit will reward.

Price: $389;
Website: Pushindustries.com

We Dig

Enhances Traction
Mind-bendingly Smooth
Well Made

We Don’t

Loss of Easy Spring Rate Tuning


Want to win some free schwag? Leave a comment and vote up the most thoughtful comments and each month we’ll pick a winner. The person with the smartest and most helpful replies will earn some sweet new gear. Join the Pack