The Italian brand’s changed plenty on the new V4 coil shocks, including an innovative position-sensitive rebound


The latest coil shocks from EXT can now be run with softer springs for more grip and comfort, thanks to a raft of changes the brand hopes will make its handmade shocks easier to live with. Called the V4 Series Arma and Storia shocks, they look almost identical to the previous three generations but there’s plenty going on underneath that beautifully crafted Italian shell.

Most excitingly then, there’s a new and more powerful bottom out system called HBC, it’s adjustable via a diddy dial and its effects are felt in just the last 20% of the shock’s stroke. In simple terms, increasing this system’s strength means riders can fit a softer spring without fear of smashing through the last millimetres of travel – that means more grip, control and comfort.

The EXT Arma weighs 389g without spring, it’s got new coatings, new 5-year-warranty and a host of internal changes

EXT Arma and Storia need to know

  • Two new V4 shocks, the Arma is lighter at 389g and Storia weighs 401g, without spring
  • New HBC bottom out control, letting riders use lighter springs for more grip
  • Damper only option is £895 including mounting hardware and custom valving
  • £995 for shock and spring, including one spring, mounting hardware and custom valving
  • 5mm allen key adjustments for compression tuning, rebound is tool free
  • New five year warranty
  • Superlight V2 Springs are 130,00 € / $ 

The EXT Storia is intended for to fit enduro bikes, you get the same range of adjustment as the Arma, with independent high and low speed compression, and bottom out

The best mountain bike rear shocks let you adjust plenty these days, specifically the compression damping, the rebound damping, and of course the spring rate. The Arma and Storia are no exceptions, and this time around for V4 both get simpler ways to adjust the high speed and low speed compression circuits, now twiddled with 5mm and 4mm allen keys. No more need for a 12mm spanner or socket head then as on V3.

EXT has introduced a Position Sensitive Rebound feature too, it’s new and not something we’ve seen before on a mountain bike. It’s a hydraulic top-out system to stop the fork topping out harshly. Also new is a proprietary DLC coating to the chrome-moly steel shaft, which should make it more durable, and an innovative proprietary DHC tube coating process, also to reduce wear and improve the shocks’ lifespan.

Most complicated shock in mountain biking? Possibly

According to the press release you also get frequency dependent damping, Lok 2.0 technology: separate circuit that is tunable by its own shim stack for further customization. No risk of cavitation: high turbulent flow valves keep damping forces independent from viscosity and temperature changes to perfect pressure balance, eliminate aeration and cavitation, all with very low hysteresis to improve dynamic response. 

The shock is filled with Oil EV2S, a high viscosity index fluid, and phenomenal viscosity ratio. There are 

Spring thrust bearings ensure alignment, prevent spring rub and minimise spring noise. The reservoir gets a large volume bladder design, inflated to 55 psi only. And the whole shock is more silent than before.