Nextech is known as a designer and fabricator of carbon fiber sled components, but recently the Canadian company has expanded into suspension parts including air reservoirs, A-arms and complete rear suspensions. We installed a set of its Fox FLOAT Reservoirs on our 2008 Arctic Cat F8 Sno Pro demo sled last winter.
The canister gives a shock’s air spring more air capacity. More air volume in the shock lowers the shock’s compression ratio and delivers better ride quality, improved handling and a lower ride height while retaining bottoming resistance. In addition to a better ride, adjustments are easier and quicker to make compared to using the stock FLOAT pump. With Nextech’s reservoir, it isn’t necessary to carry a FLOAT pump because the accessory can be tuned by turning the built-in adjustment knob.
The reservoir allows a FLOAT shock to run at a higher air pressure setting without being harsh or spiking on hard impacts. We installed the reservoirs and set each shock’s air spring at 80 psi, which was the most bottoming resistance we needed for the F8. With the air pressure’s ceiling set, we reduced the pressure from 80 psi as conditions warranted. In stock form, we ran the shocks at 65 psi, sometimes a few pounds less. But with the reservoir installed and set at 80 psi, the front suspension felt more compliant and comfortable over 6- to 12-inch chop.
Adjustments were easy to make with the red dial. To decrease air pressure, we turned the knob out. This decreases pressure because the unchanged volume of air fills a larger cavity. We did this when trails smoothed out, but if we got back into choppy, rough trails, we turned in the knob to pack the air into a smaller space and make them more resistant to bottoming. Slick. One turn was roughly equivalent to 1 psi; the reservoirs have 26.5 turns of adjustment.
The 13-step installation instructions were complete and the job was easy, which took about 30 minutes for the pair. Strangely, the reservoirs didn’t include a reference to monitor adjustments, so we painted a yellow index mark on the knob and body to help count the number of turns during adjustment. The $149.95 pair of reservoirs seem well-built and machined to tight tolerances. The threaded adjustment knob turns smoothly in warm and cold conditions and the blue and red anodized aluminum looks cool.
Sherwood Park, Alberta