See the ARIA here and sign up to be notified when they land, estimated early May
The hype surrounding our new air shock has been brewing for
quite some time and we are happy to announce the wait is
over! Due to the reputation of EXT’s current line up, it has been
highly anticipated that this would be a revolutionary project—and
the final product does not disappoint. An air sprung rear
damper has been the missing piece in EXT’s already extensive
line-up of high-performance suspension products, entrenched in
years of research and development.
As this is the first air shock from EXT, it is called
the ARIA, “air” in Italian... which is saturated in novel
technology and design approach. Though the EXT brand has
become synonymous with unrivaled performance of coil shocks,
their knowledge of air spring technologies actually began in the
Williams Formula 1 program developing products for the highest
forms of racing.
Early on in the project it was clear to EXT’s team that
they wouldn’t be satisfied with simply adding an air can to their
existing coil-shock structure-- high performance necessitated a
complete ground up re-design Thus, EXT took the innovative
dual-positive air chamber concept made for the Era fork and
formatted a new version of it to fit the unique needs of the Aria
application. From this groundwork they have created a shock
featuring a noticeably improved air-spring able to reach high
levels of sensitivity and support that are currently only achievable
with coil sprung shocks.
The Aria’s hydraulic damping system is based on the E-
Storia circuit design but implements architecture specific to the
demands of an air shock. Excellent tunability of the damper is
achieved by maintaining independent high- and low-speed
compression circuits, as well as isolated rebound circuits. These
damping adjustments have been designed to give the
user a discernable change between clicks while maintaining
enough granularity that the rider should be able to find the perfect
To complete the package, the proprietary LOK 2.0 system
and externally adjustable hydraulic bottom-out control
(HBC) were integrated into the Aria as well.
Plainly put, EXT’s Aria is not your conventional air damper. The
combination of many of EXT’s proven features and a
revolutionary air spring make it stand out from anything else on
Let’s take a deeper look inside the technology of this unique air
AS3 technology: the dual positive chamber featuring only 2
dynamic seals to separate the 3 different chambers. (EXT unique
chamber +/++ (low/high) with endless adjustment potential via 2 s
eparate air valves to finetune the spring characteristics.
Negative self-activating large volume chamber.
Unique air seals design based on aerospace technology.
Lok 2.0 technology.
14 mm superlight weight internal shaft
Large 28mm hydraulic main piston
Adjustable Hydraulic Bottom-Out Circuit (HBC)
Proprietary “Super Finish” surface treatment on sliding parts
AS3 technology – Dual Positive Air Chamber
Aesthetically, it might seem a typical air shock, but the new EXT Aria
goes beyond the common shocks we see every day.
The core of the Aria is in the innovative dual positive air chambers and a
large negative self-equalizing chamber. This system allows for extensive
control over the shock’s air spring curve characteristics, giving you fine
tune capabilities throughout the entire stroke. The dynamic nature
of EXT’s twin positive air chambers virtually eliminates all negative
aspects intrinsic to the volume spacer systems of competitors.
Volume spacers reduce the volume of a single chamber in a static fashion,
affecting air’s natural progressive compression sooner into the stroke,
making the suspension more progressive near the end of its travel. Making
set up changes this way affects the entire travel range of
movement, meaning if more elastic support is needed earlier in the travel
range, it will affect the ramp up towards the end of the range. Therefore, if
less ramp up is needed towards the end of the travel range, it will
negatively affect the early to mid-body support. The installation of volume
spacers also requires more time and expertise because it requires removing
the shock from the bike and removing an air can. This scenario is less than
ideal for fine tuning because it often has to be done multiple times to find
the perfect setting.
EXT’s AS3 technology, as previously mentioned, works with two main
The + chamber, characterized by the black color valve, provides the
primary support for the system and controls the sensitivity of the top and
mid stroke, also called, dynamic sag position.
The ++ chamber, characterized by the nickel color valve, controls the
sensitivity of the mid-end stroke and final ramp up characteristic.
The control and adjustability given by the dual positive chambers is more
accurate and precise than volume spacers, allowing the rider to focus
on just a specific part of the stroke. Additionally, this dynamic system
does not force the rider to compromise mid-stroke support and initial
sensitivity in favor of end stroke ramp up or vice-versa.
It makes possible to modify the stiffness across the whole length of the
stroke rather than just the last part of it, as volume spacers do.
The rider will feel more support in the middle part of the stroke, without
having the typical excessive force increase of the single chamber air
In these force graphs presented, we can see that pressure increase inside
the + chamber sets and defines the sag dynamic position and controls the
average behavior of the shock.
The higher the pressure in the + chamber, the stronger the force
throughout the whole stroke..
This is why, the + chamber pressure is associated to the rider’s weight and
A better and further tune of the shock’s progression can be achieved by the
adjustment of the ++ chamber. Simply adding or removing pressure on the
++ chamber gives the rider the option to have a more linear or progressive
air spring curve.
Increasing the pressure on the ++ chamber will lead to more mid-end
stroke support and higher end-stroke force without compromising
riding dynamic and sensitivity.
Starting from the base air settings, a rider can increase the ++ pressure to
adjust and smooth out the air spring curve of the shock according to
specific terrain conditions. The result is a more controlled and supported
ride at high speeds..
If the rider is looking to have more grip or better small bump sensitivity,
pressure can be released on the + chamber while adding more pressure in
the ++ chamber. This offers support in the mid-end stroke, as well as
protection near the end-stroke.
Close to the last 15% of the stroke, the hydraulic bottom-out control
(HBC) is engaged. This gives controlled support through the end
stroke helping the shock to avoid harsh bottom-out situations.
The ability to adjust the two positive air chambers separately allows for
improvement of mid-stroke support while giving a more linear
progression characteristic to the shock.
The AS3 means that the progressivity of the shock can be adjusted
quickly with a shock pump; there’s no need to take the shock off the bike
and remove any volume spacers, saving loads of time. The use of a dual
positive chamber makes the shock more versatile to adapt to any leverage
ratio and frame geometry.
EXT Aria gives the same level of damping control that only coil shocks
provide, and it’s truly unique. The suppleness of a coil shock damper
with the endless adjustability of an air shock was arguably impossible
to reach until the introduction of the new EXT Aria.
Adjustable Hydraulic Bottom-out Circuit(HBC)
The HBC system is a position sensitive damper
valve comprised of a secondary piston assembled below the main
one, and an inner tube near the bottom of the damper. When you
get close to the end of the stroke, the secondary piston goes inside
the inner tube, forcing the oil flow through a calibrated orifice
that characterizes the end stroke ramp up.
EXT’s HBC system engages in the last 15% of the stroke and is
externally adjustable, to match your weight, riding preferences and
This system, when implemented into the Aria, makes the
compression progressive, allowing for lower air pressure settings
inside the chambers to give better traction.
The Aria shock features the LOK 2.0 proprietary EXT technology,
(aka pro-pedal switch), already well-known throughout the
product line up. This known system uses an independent circuit
valve that produces the support needed for ideal pedaling
efficiency. In open mode, the LOK circuit is excluded, and when
closed, the oil must flow through a preloaded shimmed valve
increasing compression force. This shim-based design provides
enough sensitivity and support to increase overall traction on
rough terrain. This LOK system can also be custom tuned, based
on rider preferences.
New EV2S damper oil, the “Super Thinner”
The Aria is going to be the first shock using the brand-new EXT
EV2S oil: we’ve called it the “Super-Thinner”, due to its very high
viscosity index, and an unbelievable viscosity ratio.
Developed for off-road/rally WRC programs, the EV2S oil
is arguably the most stable damper oil ever manufactured!
The EV2S oil’s anti-foaming properties and indisputable low
stick-slip effect help to reduce friction in direction changes. As the
temperature rises, the operating characteristics of the damper do
not change, providing consistent damping performance during a
rider’s longest run.
The Aria, like all other EXT products, can be adapted to different
bikes, letting the rider take their new favorite shock with them,
bike after bike.
Here you can find all the available sizes for the shock:
METRIC STANDARDMETRIC TRUNNION
210 / 50 mm 185 / 50 mm
210 / 52.5 mm 185 / 52.5 mm
210 / 55 mm 185 / 55 mm
230 / 57.5mm 205 / 57.5 mm
230 / 60 mm 205 / 60 mm
230 / 62.5 mm 205 / 62.5 mm
230 / 65 mm 205 / 65 mm
250 / 67.5 mm 225 / 67.5 mm
250 / 70 mm 225 / 70 mm
250 / 72.5 mm 225 / 72.5 mm
250 / 75 mm 225 / 75 mm
The teasing and refinement of this shock over the last few years
only illudes to the fact that EXT is very proud of this new damper,
and for good reason. This is a product that will sit as a crown
jewel in the already very well-appointed EXT line up of dampers.
Its wide range of air spring curve adjustability makes it a good
option for both end users and OEM partners alike.