Split Pivot Patent Awarded to Dave Weagle

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We’ve just had news through that Dave Weagle, inventor of the DW Link, as used on Turners and Ibis full suspension bikes, has been awarded the US patent for his Split Pivot technology. The theory behind the Split Pivot system is that the rear axle of the bike works as the rear pivot – a concentric dropout pivot. He’s announced that there are currently six licensees of the technology; two of those are low volume specialist manufacturers Seven Cycles and Spooky cycles and another two are “highly respected International mountain bike brands”, the names of which will be released when they show their new Split Pivot equipped lineups at EuroBike later this year. We also know that French Canadian huckmeisters Devinci will be using Split Pivot technology on their bikes but we’re not sure if they are counted as one of those two highly respected international manufacturers or not.
Here’s the press release in full below for you to peruse and then make your own wild assumptions about:

Dave had the following to say about the patent being awarded: “Wow, what a trip this one has been. Since I launched the existence of this design publicly in May of 2007, I’ve been inundated by requests from bike brands interested in partnering up to develop new Split Pivot frames. I feel like I’ve chosen some great brands to welcome into the Split Pivot family, brands that have their own individual flavor and ideas, and who really complement each other. It’s been a crazy ride getting the Split Pivot design to this point, and I’m thrilled for my partners to finally be able to show off that patent number proudly on their bikes. We’ve been testing prototypes from different brands for some time, and I know the member companies of the Split Pivot family are excited for the world to see the benefits of our collaborations and hard work. We’ve discussed, designed, tested, and refined, and we feel like the bikes that we’ll be bringing to the market with Split Pivot technology showcase a level of suspension refinement that riders of any skill level can appreciate on the trail. It’s has been so difficult keeping the existence of new prototype models secret for so long so I am glad that part is nearly over and that it’s time for the world to see how good this design can really be when dialed in. I think that riders are really going to enjoy this system. It allows for atypical main pivot placement that works great for acceleration and bump absorption, and the concentric dropout pivot lets me tune braking forces and leverage ratios to a high degree at the same time. Basically the Split Pivot design helps us to make bikes that are a lot of fun to ride.”


Split Pivot is a patented suspension system for high performance bicycles, where traction, efficiency, maneuverability, and frame stiffness are important factors on the track and trail. Split Pivot’s [concentric dropout pivot], a pivot at the rear wheel axle joining the seatstays and chainstays on a bicycle, is the heart of this new design. Shaped by Dave Weagle’s competition proven engineering and testing process, each unique Spilt Pivot frame is engineered to combine the best performance traits of single pivot and long arm linkage suspensions. Split Pivot is all about having fun on the trail, and each unique suspension layout is designed to offer a ride that will make you smile no matter what your riding style or ability level.

How does it work?

Split Pivot’s [concentric dropout pivot] design separates acceleration forces from braking forces in the suspension. The system reduces excess suspension reaction to acceleration forces, and at the same time reduces excess reaction to braking forces. Braking neutrality can be tuned independently of acceleration characteristics, and suspension feel can be tuned by varying leverage ratio curves in a wide range of options. It’s no secret that mountain bikers like individuality, and the Split Pivot design lends itself to a wide range of different looking and performing designs. With so many possible mechanical layouts, not every Split Pivot bike looks or performs the same. Shock layout can be vertical, horizontal, floating, or even driven by a rate modifier link. This variability lets Dave tune the suspension performance and feel to each manufacturing partner’s preference, giving each Split Pivot bike its own personality unique to each brand.

Split Pivot bikes are tools for having fun, and each is carefully engineered to offer a ride that will make you want to be on your bike more often.

Currently there are six licensees of the patented Split Pivot technology worldwide. 2011 Split Pivot models will be available in late 2010 from four USA and International brands. Two of the six brands have already announced their collaboration with Dave Weagle and Split Pivot.

Seven Cycles, one of the world’s premier custom fabricators, will be offering a full line of Split Pivot suspension frames, including the world’s first ever custom suspension kinematics. A product of Seven’s leadership in custom bike fit and design and Dave’s work in human ergonomics and suspension tuning, each Seven Split Pivot frame is custom tuned to accentuate an individual’s specific riding style, ability level, and body type.

Legendary East Coast brand Spooky Cycles will be offering two models in 2011, a downhill race model reviving the Project X moniker and a 145mm trail bike for aggressive XC called Mothership.

Eurobike and the UCI World Championships will see the launch of full Split Pivot MTB lines from two highly respected International mountain bike brands that have yet to be announced.

Weagle to date has designed some of the most race proven bicycle suspensions on the market, and it is expected that Split Pivot will see the same pedigreed success as its predecessors. Riders can learn more about the Split Pivot design, and those with too much time on their hands can download and read the Split Pivot 7,717,212 patent, at www.split-pivot.com.

The Split Pivot design has additional patents pending in the USA, Asia, and Europe. Split Pivot, Split-Pivot.com, and Ride for fun! are pending trademarks of Split Pivot Inc. www.split-pivot.com Ride for fun!

Hello, Singletrack here again… Due to the number of comments on this story mentioning Trek’s ABP design, we asked Trek’s International Marketing bod, Michael Browne if he’d like to comment, which he was happy to. Here’s what he said:

“We’re aware of the patent, and congratulate Dave. We’ve been making abp bikes since ’07 and we will continue to refine and evolve abp like we did this year with the introduction of abp convert. We’ll continue to offer a full range of abp-equipped bikes through our global retail network.”

We hope that helps.

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Comments (31)

    Split Pivot sounds very similar to Trek’s ABP. Can anyone explain the differences?

    Is this what Trek’s ABP is then?

    I thought Trek lifted it from him? So what now for Trek? A little DW sticker on each frame?

    ok – that’s me already lusting after a Spooky Mothership. If only I had any cash!

    I’m sure Trek’s ABP must have come before DW’s. My Remedy was new in early 2008, but I suppose they could have got it from him. I also don’t understand why the Evil Revolt uses the “Delta System” when it could just use “DW-link”. Surely it is more expensive to design a new system than just sell another license. Santa Cruz have different systems and they are clear that it is a hierachy, DW just seems to keep saying everything is best all the same time.

    “Surely it is more expensive to design a new system than just sell another license”

    That would depend whether someone was willing to sell the license & how much they were willing to sell for!!!

    KB to the forum please!

    However do motorbikes manage without all this fantastic technology?

    crackhead… They manage by putting plenty of horsepower in the motor and big heavy spring shocks… Things such as brake jack and pedal bob is not relevant to motorcycle, specially when you have that much travel.

    “I’m sure Trek’s ABP must have come before DW’”

    DW was writing about split link and had pictures etc, posted online before trek announced any ABP bikes.

    Plus motorbikes don’t have pedaling forces.

    The DW design first appeared, albeit only in CAD form, more or less exactly at the same time as the Trek ABP design. I asked some of the guys from Trek, who were attending a demo day, about it and unsurprisingly they claimed that the idea was all their own.

    So which is better? His standard DW link or this split pivot? Are we about to see 4th generation Turners in the next week or two?

    split pivot is less tolerance-demanding than DW-link so easier to mass-produce. they both have similar aims, control of brake and pedal forces. they do it in different ways and one is single-pivot rather than virtual pivot.

    trek and DW both have IP claims on the overall system used and it’s effects, rather than the axle pivot part that many focus on. it’s a component of a system not the sole IP of the patent. the axle-pivot was invented a very long time ago – about 100 years back. it was used on MTB’s in 1994. this new patent does not necessarily preculde trek from using the APB.

    many brands will use DW as a kinematics engineer as much as for the pivot layout IP itself – as always it’s where you put the pivots that’s more important than the basic design type that and that’s something he’s good at.

    “DW just seems to keep saying everything is best all the same time.”
    i think you are confusing him with dave turner.

    i just get on and ride the thing i get a bit lost in the tech of it all as long as it bobs up and down and keeps my back from hurting im all for it, have an ibis so i know i have a dw link but have know idea how it works but it is a joy to live with

    crackhead has a point. how comes the orange five manages with one measly pivot and is consistently voted best trail bike year after year.
    could it be there are too many people looking for the ‘next big thing’.

    Nice to see on the patent that he has covered just about every suspension and brake configuration out there.

    I suspect that if Trek could prove they designed it first then they would’ve been awarded the patent, particularly with their legal resources so I assume that DW could prove he came up with the idea.

    Trek announced their new range of ABP bikes in August 2007, Weagle previewed his cad pictures for Split-link in June 2007. For a company as big as Trek, they have to make pre-production frames for testing well over a year in advance of release… How he was awarded a patent for a design that has been on the market for 3 years is beyond me……

    @skidsareforkids The DW Split Pivot patent was filed 25th August, 2006 so only time will tell if this design and the Trek version collide with one another. Like someone pointed out, most of us just concentrate on the pivot location, but from a patent or engineering perspective there is more to it than that and looking at the bigger picture – the suspension system as a whole – means that both parties might end up with a patent. Instead of thinking about it from the point of view that both systems use a concentric pivot, you could say all suspension systems use a shock – yet they are all different in other ways. It’s not that big a deal!

    “crackhead has a point. how comes the orange five manages with one measly pivot and is consistently voted best trail bike year after year.”

    The magazine know the guys at Orange very well ?????????

    The US patent, 7128329 was filed Sept 2003. I think in the US priority goes with who invented first, and in Europe it’s who files first, so could be before Trek.

    Orange like single pivots for simplicity
    they are now using linkages to change how a shock goes through its stroke.
    I can see Orange at least ‘Strange-ing’ this pivot system, however i could just be talking pish.

    i’m sure a bicycle designer likened mountain bike suspension design to a motorbike with a huge twin piston engine rotating at 90rpm and weighing many times what the bike weighs.

    which is why its different to motorbike design.

    DW did present to Trek to see if they wanted to use his idea. They then launched their ABP raneg a little while later. There were claims Trek stole the idea but Trek were able to show they had been developing it for 3 years before launch so had been wokring on it when DW presented to them. Pretty sure this covers them as they were already wokring on it first.

    If a legal system merely supported those who patent first it would reduce innovation and development. Applying for a patent is expensive so companies tend to want to develop the idea first and make sure it works before filing. If you spent 3 years doing this and then someone else completely independent files you lose a fortune in development. This would effectively put companies off investing in development so the legal system tends to make allowances if a company can show they had been seperately developing the same idea since before the patent had been applied for. It would prevent them licensing it out though.

    taken from MTBR forum,2007

    This Trek suspension discussion is probably the biggest misrepresentation in the history of bike marketing, and I plan to address each point in detail at some point when I have the time.

    My Split Pivot design (www.split-pivot.com) like used on the Trek can have some good performance, and at a low cost, but as implemented by Trek I feel that there are some real compromises that hold their design back. I think that the proof is in the pudding. Riders out there have said their parts and many feel that the mojo and dw-link are a pretty great combination. As a rider, I have to agree. seeing as I developed and actively license both suspension systems (split-pivot and dw-link), I think I might have a little bit of insight into how they work and compare. Just a little though.

    I feel bad for Trek. I mean, they have been at the bottom of the pile in suspension design for so long. Their first shot at an innovation in years and a little guy working out of a one man office beats them to the punch. I really don’t think that their strategy of flooding the marketplace and misinformation is going to work, and if it does, if consumers believe and buy into it, the cycling public will not be better off for it.
    Split Pivot
    _dw is offline

    Comment from Trek now added to story…

    Trek announced ABP on August 16th, 2007, which was the very same day they filed the patent. As stated above, Dave Weagle applied for his patent on 25th August, 2006.

    The US Patent 7128329 that Richmars mentions was filed on 24th Sept, 2004, but this is for an altogether system, probably the DW Link.

    Hope this clears things up. All info was from the US Patent Office.

    You would have thought putting the pivot on the axle would have been the first place a suspension designer would try.

    I looked at the patent this AM and there is no Trek application until about a long time after dw’s 7717212 patent was filed. (in 2007 actually). dw filed his patent in August 2006, and Patent rights in the USA go back to the filing date, and dw’s patent seems to significantly predate any public unveiling by Trek.

    Not sure what all the discussion is about to be honest. A patent can be broken by having something like three small differences.

    Anyway its not like it solves a very big problem.

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