Flatout vs Competition
Customers often ask, "Why should I buy Flatout over [competition]?" It's a fair question, afterall, in today's free-market we're always looking to score the best deal, right? Think about this...you're at the grocery store and you want to buy your favorite cereal...the one with the leprechaun and the marshmallows, it's $4.19 for the big box. The store brand "Fortunate Icons" has the same size box and it's $2.75, gotta be the same, right?
You still bought the box for $4.19 though. Why? Well, price wasn't a factor becuase you don't want some knock-off.
While the suspensions are slightly more than a box of cereal, you still paid more.
So, back to the original question of "Why Flatout over another brand?" Well, we all have our differences...some in construction, some in features, some in warranty, etc. There are some very good options in the $1200-1900 range.
Without further delay, lets get down to business....
Here we are going to compare the new ST52R shock vs. the brand you asked about.
1) Shock Oil : On the left, Amsoil synthetic oil, on the right a generic fork oil.
"AMSOIL Shock Therapy Suspension Fluid is formulated with shear-stable synthetic base stocks with high viscosity indices. Its complete additive package reduces foaming, aeration and wear, while seal conditioners are added to keep seals soft and pliable. AMSOIL Shock Therapy Suspension Fluid has been tested and proven to be a superior, balanced product recommended for a wide range of temperatures and applications. The constant friction within a shock body decreases suspension performance. AMSOIL Shock Therapy Suspension Fluid contains friction modifiers to reduce the energy loss caused by friction, while anti-wear agents are added to protect shocks and forks from premature wear." - Amsoil.com
2) Shock Pistons : On the left a lightweight CNC Aluminum Piston, on the right, a sintered steel piston.
The more weight you have, the more work your shock has to do...and when the shock works harder, it operates at a higher temperature.
3) Shim Stack : On the left, a stainless steel shim, on the right...some sort of metal wafer-like shim.
As the shocks heats up, the shim on the right will distort. Once that happens (quickly) the shocks no longer match each other. The valving curve takes a drastic change.
No one can see the inside of a shock so you have to rely on brand recognition, price, and what your buddy swears by. Afterall, you just see a threaded body, a spring, and different colors. Now you know the brands are separated by so much more!