For model year 2025, RockShox are introducing not only an updated version of the Super Deluxe air shock, but also a brand new RockShox Vivid Coil shock. What’s new, and how do they perform out on the trail?

While with the new Super Deluxe air shock, RockShox’s aim was to improve traction and broaden the adjustability spectrum, with the new Vivid Coil, the American manufacturer wanted to combine the typical coil feel with their new Touchdown damper, which was introduced with the Vivid air variant. RockShox also launched an updated Charger 3.1 damper for all their forks, which we’ve reviewed in a separate article.

The RockShox Vivid Coil shock in detail

For the new Vivid Coil Ultimate shock, RockShox rely on the same RC2T damper found in the Vivid air shock, and combine this with a steel spring. As the name of the damper suggests, it features externally adjustable low- and high-speed compression stages and rebound damping – just like its air counterpart. Both compression dials are well labelled, super easy to reach, and divided into five clicks. LSC can be adjusted by hand, while the HSC requires a 3mm Allen key. The rebound can be altered between 20 clicks with a small dial at the bottom of the shock. The Threshold lever allows you to lock out the shock on long climbs. The Vivid coil also features hydraulic bottom-out, which intervenes in the last 20% of the travel, supplemented by a rubber bottom-out bumper – a standard feature on all of RockShox’s coil shocks. Another interesting feature is the Touchdown damping system, which is designed to bypass the compression damping in the first 10% of the travel to improve sensitivity. As you can see, the new Vivid Coil shock combines proven technologies from the Vivid air shock with a coil spring.

The RockShox Vivid Coil shock is available both with and without the Threshold damping circuit, whereby the latter is intended exclusively for downhill bikes. For the aftermarket, RockShox have only released the top-spec Ultimate models for the time being, which cost around € 700. Our RockShox Vivid Coil Ultimate test shock tips the scales at 1,092 grams without bushings, but including the spring, which makes it over 400 grams heavier than a comparable Vivid air shock.

The RockShox Vivid Coil Ultimate shock on the trail

For this first ride review, we fitted the new RockShox Vivid Coil Ultimate shock to a new Trek Slash, which came standard with a RockShox Vivid Air Ultimate. This allowed us to do several back-to-back runs, both at the bike park and on our home trails. We also tested the shock in Finale Ligure and Molini, where we spent a few days shuttling. As usual, the initial setup is simple, with the sag indicator printed on the shaft making it easy to read the sag without having to measure or calculate. Changing the spring only takes a few minutes, and doesn’t require special tools.

The first thing you’ll notice on the trail is that the rear suspension is slightly more plush, generating more traction and glueing the rear wheel to the ground even on small, slippery roots – just as you’d expect from a coil shock. At the same time, the shock provides a surprising amount of support, making it easy to pop off ledges and bailing you out with botched landings. Despite having the option with Trek Slash to increase the suspension progression from 20% to 25% using the flip chip to optimise the rear for a coil shock, after several attempts we opted for the less progressive setting. In combination with a higher low-speed compression setting, this offers more support, while at the same time generating excellent traction. If you don’t have a problem with the additional weight of a coil shock, you’ll get extra downhill performance compared to the Vivid Air shock.

The RockShox Super Deluxe Air shock in detail

At first glance, the new Super Deluxe air shock looks a whole lot like the old Super Deluxe air shock – neither the overall look nor the position of the piggyback have changed. The compression and rebound dials have remained unchanged too. However, there are some striking upgrades inside the shock. The biggest difference is the new Linear XL air chamber, which is now available as a third option alongside the already familiar linear and progressive air chambers. The Linear XL air chamber increases the positive volume of the air shock, which is meant to ensure a smoother response, and thus close the gap between the Super Deluxe and the Vivid air shocks. The bigger-volume air chambers also make room for more volume spacers, allowing you to use up to 8 tokens: 4 in the main chamber and 4 in the outer air chamber.

There are also some innovations inside the damper. Firstly, a new high-flow piston, which, just like with the new Charger 3.1 fork damper, is meant to increase oil flow. In addition, RockShox claim to have reduced the minimum high and low speed compression. The redesigned oil flow should provide greater adjustability, especially in the LSC – in effect, the difference between open and closed damping should be bigger. Finally, a lighter rebound check plate has been installed, which should open even more easily and also work independently of the compression damping.

All of these innovations are also available as upgrade kits, which you can use to update your current Super Deluxe shock to the latest technology. The RC2T Ultimate reservoir, which controls the compression damping, is available for € 245, while the High Flow piston retails at € 43. But beware: in order for the latter to fit in your shock, you’ll also need to install new shims. Finally, the Linear XL air chamber is available for € 111.

The RockShox Super Deluxe air shock on the trail

We fitted the new Super Deluxe Ultimate air shock to a YT Jeffsy, replacing the standard FOX Float X Factory shock. We opted for the version with the XL Linear air chamber and hydraulic bottom-out. As always, we rode with 30% sag, and set both high-speed and low-speed compression in the middle position to start off. As soon as we dropped into the trail, the rear suspension of the Jeffsy felt noticeably plusher, and the rear wheel really stuck itself into the ground, following the contours of the trail with more precision. The shock releases its travel eagerly, which results in a plush ride feel and more traction at the rear. This significantly changes the character of the bike and inspires more confidence as a result, especially on slippery trails and in rougher sections. However, this also comes at the expense of the bike’s liveliness, and you can clearly feel more movement in the suspension when pumping through rollers and berms. This makes it more difficult to generate speed through flowing trail sections. When popping off ledges and steps, you’ll sink deeper into the travel, and have to actively pull the bike up with you before you can enjoy your air miles.

Our conclusions about the new RockShox shocks

After celebrating its comeback last year, the RockShox Vivid air shock welcomes a new coil version on its side, which relies on the same damping technologies and provides additional traction. At the same time, the updates to the RockShox Super Deluxe air spring shock provide a wider range of compression damping, and this, together with the new Linear XL air chamber, provides a very plush ride with plenty of traction.


  • Vivid Coil combines plenty of traction with good support
  • Countless simple adjustment options
  • New SuperDeluxe closes the gap to the Vivid Air
  • Useful additions to the portfolio


  • Coil shock is pretty heavy

For more info, visit RockShox’s website

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Words: Simon Kohler, Peter Walker Photos: Peter Walker