There are few upgrades that can shave more weight (and add more curb appeal) than replacing your rear shock’s steel spring with a titanium one. That said, the most likely factor preventing the mass popularity of titanium springs is the considerable cost. Titanium is simply not a cheap metal to work with, but somehow Ryan Melnick has found a way to produce ti springs that won’t bounce your checkbook (pun totally intended).
Melnick’s company Lite-Spring, out of North Bay Ontario, offers a wide selection of Grade 5 titanium springs in 25lb increments that may have even price-conscious riders thinking seriously about upgrading their stock springs…
In order to keep costs low, Lite-Spring’s ti springs are made to order, one at a time and sold consumer direct from the company’s website. To keep the quality high, Canadian racers Dean Tennant and Rob Fraser (both multi-time national DH team members) have been enlisted by Melnick to help test and develop the product.
Lite-Spring produces three stock inner diameters for compatibility with a host of various brands- The most popular inner diameter is 36.5mm/1.43” which accommodates Fox, Marzocchi, Manitou, X-Fusion, BOS, Cane Creek, 5th Element, Elka/MRP, and DSP products. A second diameter of 38mm/1.5” fits Rock Shox Vivid, Avalanche and Romic shocks, and the third option of 46mm/1.8” inner diameter covers Foes and Curnutt shocks. Springs are available for shock stroke lengths of 2.75”, 3”, 3.25”, and 3.5”, with 25lb. spring weight increments for each covering a huge range from 200- 650lbs.
Custom lengths and spring weights are available also, just contact Lite-Spring and tell them what you need. The company points out that custom springs take no longer to make than standard orders so the only additional cost of going custom is any additional materials, if they’re even required.
Lite-Spring advises buyers that their titanium springs are sand-blasted with steel, and as a result any tiny steel bits left on the outside of the springs may show rust. According to Lite-Spring this surface rust will just wipe away with a rag. Alternately, the shock can be treated by placing it in glass of salt water overnight, wiped clean and re-installed.
Lite Spring also sells a selection of shims, shock bushings and reducers for several popular brands and will ship their goods anywhere in the world. Now the best part – Lite-Spring’s prices range from just $160 to $220 CDN (roughly $125 – $175 as of this post) for their stock spring sizes. Now you can make that mortgage payment and put some new bounce on your bike.
Besides weight savings, which they say are 25% to 40% off the steel springs they replace, titanium springs reportedly work better over small bumps, helping keep the tire on the ground over the chatter, especially at speed. Good looks, better performance and light weight…just what we want, and even better when it’s affordable.