Fast Suspension Ride E Coil Shock Review


Review by Max Ritter

Ask yourself a real question: How often do you actually fiddle with your shock settings beyond initial setup of compression, spring rate, and rebound? Do all the adjustments modern mountain bike shocks offer, like independent high and low-speed compression and rebound, adjustable hydraulic bottom out, mode switching and more, actually make a difference on trail? It’s debatable, but there’s a good argument to be made for simplifying the process to maximize the amount of time you get to enjoy riding. The French boutique suspension manufacturer, Fast Suspension, is thinking along the same lines with their new Ride E shock – a refined and custom-tuned coil shock designed for aggressive enduro riding. We were excited to see how the new shock compared to others on the market, like the Fox DHX, Rockshox Super Deluxe Coil or the MRP Hazzard. It’s priced competitively, and after a fall of riding on it, it’s safe to say it would be a fantastic choice for those who are coil-curious or are looking to upgrade their existing enduro bike.

Fast Suspension Ride E Coil Shock Review


FAST Suspension has been in the game since 2007, tuning suspension and manufacturing aftermarket dampers and cartridges to improve the feel of existing forks and shocks. Starting in 2015, they started manufacturing their own shock – the Fenix. Now, they’ve released the new RIDE E, a simpler version of the Fenix, which features the same VDP (Velocity Dependent Piston) piston as well as hydraulic bottom out control (HBO); external low speed rebound control, and a simple 3-position compression switch offering open, flow, and climb modes. That’s all housed inside a beautifully CNC’d platform – the attention to detail and finishing is clear, making the 650EUR ($690) shock feel even more high-end than the competitive price tag. You’ll have to add the price of a spring and hardware to this.

The shock has 30 clicks of externally adjustable low speed rebound, accessed by a small dial on the foot of the shock. The three settings on the large piggyback-mounted compression switch noticeably change how the shock feels.

Each Ride E shock is custom tuned to your frame, which you provide to Fast when purchasing. The shock is available in all common metric and trunnion sizes, and with a relatively short but fat piggyback reservoir, it should fit most frames. Eyelets are the standard 10mm affair. The coil is held on with a standard c-clip, making it easy to swap out and remove. FAST’s XLS lightweight springs are manufactured by ICHU, a Japanese company specializing in springs for motorsports, bike, and industrial applications. The XLS springs come in 25lb increments, which should make finding your perfect spring rate pretty easy. For the record, the 36.30mm internal diameter also fits Fox, Cane Creek, and BOS shocks.

Fast Suspension Ride E Coil Shock Review


We tested the Ride E shock aboard a Deviate Cycles Claymore, on all manner of trails in the PNW and Vancouver area: flowy bike park laps; steep tech, and long pedals into the alpine. Fitment was easy, simply involving mounting the spring by removing and reinstalling the C clip and retaining ring, and pressing in the provided shock mount hardware, then bolting it to the frame. Setting up the shock also proved very simple, as FAST pretty much does the work for you with their custom tune to your frame. After a few quick laps on a short trail to dial in the rebound setting and spring preload, the shock was ready to rip.

Hop aboard a bike equipped with the Ride E and you’ll immediately notice the buttery-smooth breakaway feeling. Initially, I felt I was running too low a spring rate with how easy it was to actuate the shock, but it measured right where I wanted it at 28% sag. That really plush feeling in the initial stroke is the hallmark of the VPD piston, and once out on trail it really shines in how it takes the edge of chunky trail. Compared to other shocks like the DHX, Super Deluxe and Hazzard, it’s simply smoother in the initial and mid-stroke before the speed-sensitive HBO system kicks in during the last 25% of travel. That bottom out feels a bit like the ramp up at the end of an air shock’s stroke, just not nearly as harsh. FAST says the challenge with designing their HBO system was to not have it be sticky on the rebound – and that’s proved to be the case. On big sudden compressions, the tune feels like there’s just the right amount of high-speed compression damping to take the edge off, without making anything feel too sudden and harsh. On repetitive medium-sized hits and long steep off-camber trails, the rear end of the Claymore tracked predictably without experiencing any noticeable loss in damping, even on 15+ minute descents.

Fast Suspension Ride E Coil Shock Review

Another thing to note is how absolutely silent the shock is. There are no squelching noises or metal on metal sounds – it’s completely silent even under really hard riding and on big hits thanks to the hydraulic bottom out and rubber bumper. I enjoy a quiet bike, save for high-engagement hubs, and this really completes the picture.

Switching between the Open, Flow, and Climb modes gives the Ride E entirely different characteristics. Open mode is, well, fully open – ideal for trails where every piece of traction counts. Flow mode adds a fair amount of compression damping, giving the bike a more composed feel which makes it perfect for smooth high-speed jump trails or lower angle stuff where pedaling and pumping hard is the only way to generate speed. I found Flow mode worked well for technical uphills, too. Finally, Climb mode feels as close to a full lockout as I’ve felt on a coil shock in a long time. It’s too much damping for technical climbing, but great for road and fireroad climbs.

The Wolf’s Last Word

Fast Suspension’s Ride E coil shock might not look like much from the outside, but that’s because the magic happens on the inside. With just a simple external rebound adjustment and a 3-position compression dial, this custom-valved coil shock provides unparalleled smoothness on-trail, a really supple initial stroke, and an almost air-shock like ramp up to prevent bottom outs. Compared to shocks like the Fox DHX, MRP Hazzard or Rockshox Super Deluxe, it’s worth the few hundred extra bucks to get something that feels truly premium. It’s simple, and it works.

Price: €649.00 (w/o coil)

We Dig

Buttery smooth coil performance
Hydraulic bottom out system ramps up predictably, almost like an air shock
Good price for the performance
Super quiet

We Don’t

Simplicity is nice, but that fixed custom tune probably won’t work if you switch bikes
Purple styling is a matter of taste


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