First things first:
I'm not an expert and I'm not pretending to be one. I can't read suspension graphs. I can only tell something's good something's sh1te. I'm an average rider.
Just to be clear - I didn't get the shock for free or give anyone a blow job to get a massive discount - I paid for it with my hard earned money.
Although I'd like the Madelk lads to prosper well, I wouldn't put on my bike something I wouldn't like just to make somebody else happy.
BOS don't need advertising. I've seen OPEL, AUDI, PEUGOT 's ads – haven't seen Bentley's one. Simple as that. And if you're buying BOS, you are buying a Bentley.
Also a lot of BOS stuff gets sold before it makes their way onto the shop shelf... So the purpose of this post isn't to sell more stuff.
First of all it's kinda late BOS introduce an enduro specific shock but as far as I know they have tested them for a long time before they put them into production.
I've always hated other manufacturers for experimenting on me especially when I pay sh1t loadz of money for their gear.
KIRK works perfect straight out of the box (so did Deville). Air pressure set up, a quick check on the rebound and you're ready to go. Hi and Lo speed compression dials let you adjust the setting to suit your riding style and terrain. I like the KIRK and the Deville for being very clear on the adjustments – you can actually feel the difference. My Lyriks had 16 clicks and they all felt the same.I even thought they were broken.
On the KIRK there's also a lever which activates a gate to cut off small bumps – handy for long boring fire road climbs.
It's light - 340g - feck me that's nothing for a shock with a piggy back, open bath and a huge shaft.
I had a VIP'r before that and even though it was much better that other AM shocks on the market it still felt like a compromise.
VIP'r had very good mid stroke control and great damping (look at the size of the shaft – BOS's shafts are super thick – much better oil flow).
You could set it quite soft and it'd still hold the mid stroke support nicely - unlike RP23, DHX air, RS RT3... especially on a high leverage ratio bike – they'd fly through the mid stroke; and set them up firm and you get a very edgy feeling. I think for up to 140-150mm AM frames the VIP'r is the best option on the market. For a 160+ bike you 'd wish for more plushness. Here comes the KIRK which is as plush as VOID (BOS's air sprung DH shock) but offers a very good pedaling platform. Now, as I said, I'm not good at the technical part of it so I've no idea how they did it but they did it, feckers. A plush shock with a pedaling platform. They call it: (Quote):”an intelligent pedaling optimizer splitting up the hydraulic flow to the compression. Therefore, the small bumps comfort stays and the pumping effect disappears.”
It does work. It really fecking does. You can set it up soft and still get platform support for pedaling and brilliant mid stroke support when ramming into berms or compressing before a jump.
Please remember I've had it on a Nukeproof Mega 2012 which is a single pivot – much harder to control than your fancy Maestro,DW-link etc...
BOS claim the KIRK has „ AN AIR SPRING GETTING BETTER PERFORMANCE TO THE COIL SPRING”.
Having ridden an ELKA Stage 5 shock on the same frame before I wouldn't say you can get close to that with an air spring. (a canadian coil shock ) – butter, – an amazing shock – the bike felt like a flying carpet.
Turns out the French did it. I'm not sure if it's better but for sure does not feel worse and it reminded me how the Elka used to work. In the end you're getting the same performance with lower (much lower) weight + the pedaling platform that is a separate thingy allowing the shock to stay plush on small bumps.
I always think you will ride any bike and have fun – any fork – any shock – it's not about the bling. However I am very happy that I finally bought something (even though it wasn't cheap) and it really works as advertised – no bullshit, no spaceship technology. It just works and works very well.
Not too hard , not too soft – if you imagine how ideally your suspension should work this is it.
It is hard to explain all this technical stuff.
You're welcome to stop me on the trails and borrow my bike for a ride.