EXT or Extreme Racing Shox is a name with high prestige in many different fields where performance is the highest priority. World Rally Championship and Formula 1 are some places you may find EXT Products.
The EXT Products in the mountain bike realm have a large amount of hype about them and with good reason, they are simply great! Having ridden a Storia V3 Lok for the past 2 and a half years, I've had a fair amount of time on board the shock that made waves throughout the industry. With Italian design, manufacture and assembly you know it's going to be special, then you see and feel the quality. Finely CNC machined parts all over, the platinum and black anodizing is robust and appealing, the weight!! This thing is light for a coil shock! All of these things mean nothing if it doesn’t perform for what it's designed for.
Firstly, your shock is tuned to you, your bike, riding style and pedal choice. Once you receive your shock you know its ready to shred! Install and away you go. And boy do you go! The first impressions are long-lasting, traction and ground-hugging small bump compliance. Sometimes these characteristics take away from the overall support, especially deeper into your travel but not so with the Storia V3 Lok.
With a built-in HBC (Hydraulic Bottom-out Control) this allows a lighter spring rate and saves your bacon when you go deep and start to use all of your travel; it adds support and relieves you from a harsh bottom out. Besides, bottom outs create loss of traction and that’s not what EXT is about. Without traction you can't be confident in your bikes ability to keep you upright, hitting the ground is never fun and can lead to you not riding your bike. Even less fun! There's a bit of a belief that coil shocks don’t climb well but I call bollocks to that!
Going up hills is a dream with the Storia V3 Lok, on fire roads flick that Lok switch into the closed position and you have a solid platform to work with, in technical climbs where traction is paramount the open position is where I flick the switch. Allowing you to load the back wheel when needed and get the momentum and pop yourself up the slippery root in the middle of a pinch is great. Now I know I may be a bit of an outlier when it comes to climbing but being able to climb hundreds of thousands of metres without ever wishing that I had something else to help make it easier speaks volumes to just how great this shock truly is.
The Era fork is a whole lot more traction that you just didn’t think was possible from a fork off the shelf without hours and hours of set up, tuning and modifying to get it somewhere close to what the Era is out of the box. The included setup guide is damn near spot on. Filling the ++ air Chamber then the + chamber is required to give a smooth ride as per the setup guide. Printed both on the fork and the card in the box. The CSU is something that’s very welcome for heavy or hard charging riders, knowing its got you when you need it with a huge overlap between the steerer and crown.
Now the fun part, Riding the Era is amazing!!! Trail chatter from small roots and rocks is all but gone, it gives a feeling that your tyre pressure is low by 5-10 psi. It's buttery smooth and allows you to place your front wheel in previously uncharted territory. Off chamber roots. No worries, just point and it allows the tyre to hug the ground and provide a bunch of traction to get out the other side and giggle at what you’ve just done. No other fork I've ridden has been able to provide that kind of traction and small bump sensitivity before. Hand and arm fatigue is a thing of the past and I've tried to make them hurt.
I put my Era and Storia to the test by completing an Everest challenge with 22 hours and 36 minutes and 9007m up and down. Suspension was something I didn’t need to worry about knowing it was going to perform lap after lap after lap. I've even tested out performance in freezing, wet and miserable conditions along with warm and dusty conditions. Never missing a beat! The fact that I've put many hundreds of hours on these products with only routine maintenance really shines on the quality of the EXT products.
Got an enduro type bike and need suspension? Be sure not to overlook the EXT Era and Storia V3 Lok!