I’ve been in the industry for quite some time now and I’ve seen trends come and go. I’ve seen lots of hype, lots of good products, and lots of products that could be improved. Mountain biking is the fastest growing sport in the world right now, which means there is a lot more money being invested in the sport on a regular basis. At the consumer end, that does mean prices tend to be trending upwards. It also means that we’re seeing a lot more effort in developing ground-breaking products, but as the bar keeps getting raised, it’s getting increasingly difficult to introduce a product that truly brings something new to the table. Enter the ElevenSix – one of the most advanced rear shocks I’ve ever ridden.
PUSH Industries is a unique company – they have also been in the mountain bike industry for quite a long time. For 20 years, they’ve been tweaking suspension, looking for ways to improve performance. While they believe that Fox and Rock Shox make great products, you simply cannot mass-produce suspension and have it work perfectly for every bike and every rider in every condition. They can get most of the way there with custom tuning to suit a particular bike, but you still hit a wall when it comes to rider weight and riding style. With the knowledge gained over decades of tuning suspension, PUSH went to the drawing board to create the most customizable and tunable rear shock the mountain bike world has seen.
I’ve been on the PUSH for a couple weeks now, which I think is enough time to give my first impressions on this thing. I’ve got it setup on my Evil Wreckoning, tuned in to my weight which is roughly 130 pounds. My first ride on the shock started out as most rides do: climbing. I flipped the lever to switch the shock into the climbing mode, and headed up the hill. I was able to immediately notice, even climbing, that the shock was smoothing out small bumps impressively well. But let’s face it, PUSH didn’t develop this shock for climbing. As expected, the ElevenSix didn’t truly come to life until I pointed it downhill. With the “DH” mode engaged, I headed down a familiar trail that I’ve ridden at least 100 times. Being that it hadn’t rained in over a month, the trail was completely blown out, dry, dusty, and full of holes – perfect testing conditions. It took no less than a couple hundred feet on the trail to realize that something special was happening underneath me. By the time I reached the half-way point of the trail, I had hit a couple drops, g-outs, jumps, bumps, and plenty of berms. I was simply astonished at how responsive the ElevenSix felt, and most impressively, it’s small bump compliance. The trail was full of roots and chatter, all of which seemed to magically evaporate in front of me as I rallied my way through. Granted, the Wreckoning is certainly no slouch when it comes to this style of riding, but after riding both the Rock Shox Monarch and the Fox Float X2, I can comfortably say that there are noticeable performance gains. Compared to the Monarch, I’d go as far to say night-and-day difference. The Monarch is a bit finicky to dial in on the Wreckoning in my book. The Float X2 is definitely an improvement over the Monarch, easier to tune in, especially for larger riders. But then the ElevenSix seems to take things to a new level – a level that I really had not previously experienced with any rear shock on any bike.
If it’s not obvious yet, my first ride on the PUSH exceeded all expectations. To be honest, I really didn’t know what to expect. I am typically pretty cautious of products with tons of hype around them, but the ElevenSix is truly a stand-out product in the world of mountain biking. After my first rides on the local trails, I was lucky enough to take the bike on a week-long road trip through the BC interior, hitting Kamloops, Revelstoke, Nelson, Rossland, and loads more. What better way to put a bike through the ringer? This trip saw a multitude of riding conditions, including several huge 5000+ foot descents for which I’d normally prefer the downhill bike. The funny thing is, I never felt like I was under-gunned. The Wreckoning simply took it like a champ, and the ElevenSix performed flawlessly. Just about any air shock will heat up and show signs of decreased performance on a 5000-foot descent, but the PUSH seemed like it didn’t even break a sweat. Jumps, drops, and repeated hard hits over many miles proved no challenge.
So how does PUSH do it? Turns out there’s quite a lot of science that goes into the PUSH. If you’re interested in learning the inner-workings of the ElevenSix, hop on over to our product page here. The bottom line is this: if you’re an aggressive rider looking to take your bike to a new level, the ElevenSix will likely accomplish that. PUSH does have an approved list of bikes that their shock will fit on, so be sure to get in touch with us if you’re interested in ordering one for your bike. By no means is it just limited to the Evil Wreckoning. PUSH has tunes and sizes to it a multitude of bikes out there. Yes, it will add roughly a pound to your bike, but I can confidently say that it’s worth every ounce, and I’m betting you’ll agree after your first ride.
If you happen to be in the Bellingham area, we've got one of these bad-boys available to demo for both the Evil Insurgent and Evil Wreckoning (we also have these bikes available for demo). Give one a shot, but be warned, you'll most likely want to buy one after you ride it!