Structure Cycleworks – Carbon Linkage Enduro Bike With WTF Suspension!

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structure full suspension, sea otter 2019
The preying mantis look returns…

If you start from the back end, the Structure full suspension bike looks pretty normal, but one you get a forward of the bottom bracket and… whoah mama! Now that is a different looking bike!

And it has WTF suspension! (Standing for ‘Without Telescoping Fork’ – geddit?)

structure cycleworks, scw 1, sea otter 2019
The rear end, though chunky, is pretty normal-looking. And the whole bike is a decent weight.

Structure Cycleworks comes from Calgary, Alberta, Canada (with bikes made in Taiwan, where most carbon bikes are made) and it was founded by an electric motorbike racer called Loni Hull. This, the company’s first model is called the SCW 1 Enduro. Despite the linkages and the shock-where-a-fork-goes, the whole bike is said to come in at 31lbs or so, and there’s a lifetime warranty on frame and bearings.

structure cycleworks, scw 1, sea otter 2019, dvo shock
DVO Shocks are used front and rear

Structure, WTF?

The Structure uses the WTF suspension system. Cheekily standing for ‘Without Telescoping Fork’. The whole bike features 150mm of travel, front and rear and Structure touts the benefit of a linkage fork in many ways: a slackening head angle through the trael, a lack of fork stiction and a consistent trail measurement (and a slackening head angle) through the fork’s travel.

This bit is used for connecting up the steering and has no vertical role to play in the suspension.

The head angle of the bike becomes 8° slacker through the fork’s 150mm travel, while also resisting brake dive. Structure reckons that the bike will be easier to steer under braking too, as there aren’t any suspension bushings to bind and the whole thing moves on bearings. These are many of the benefits that other linkage forks tout, like Trust and Motion Ride and it also shares the visual challenges that those forks face. However, here the quirky fork is part and parcel of the whole frame, like the old (but popular at the time) Whyte PRST-1, so you’re committed to the whole bike and not just a fork – there’s no chance a regular fork will slot in here.

The raw carbon frames will be better finished in production.

The company had a few Structure full suspension bikes to hand at the Sea Otter and there was a steady stream of interested and intrigued punters lining up for a squish. The company also had some racers out on the courses, earning some respectable results in the downhill and dual slalom. And the prototypes have been seen in the wild in Whistler and other venues for the last half-dozen years…

structure cycleworks, scw 1, sea otter 2019, steering linkage
Think of the bikepacking bag options!

We’ll leave this bold quote from the brochure here:

“The SCW 1 not only revolutionizes mountain bike design with enhanced linkage fork suspension, but creates huge performance advantages that the industry has not seen since Gary Fisher launched the RS-1 almost 30 years ago. The WTB front suspension platform solves performance issues inherent to all telescopic suspension forks, while the SCW 1 offers enhanced stability, reduced dive, improved braking performance, and unparalleled bumpt handling”

Bold claims indeed… Especially with a frame/fork price of US$5995 and an all-up top spec of a cool ten grand. However…

structure cycleworks, scw 1, sea otter 2019, rose joint
The rose joint will stop this bit binding if there’s side loading, but surely there shouldn’t be any side loads?

…Structure Cycleworks seems prepared for the usual disbelief and questions and its FAQs include answers to the likes of ‘Why now’, ‘Is a linkage bike reliable?’, ‘Why not a 29er?’
(‘The time is right’, ‘yes’ and ‘stay tuned’ are the answers apparently)

structure cycleworks, scw 1 bike frame, sea otter 2019,
There was an eager line of people waiting for a bounce
structure cycleworks, scw 1, sea otter 2019, preying mantis
It’s not pretty, but there is something enthralling about it somehow. Just us?

With much made of the pedigree of the designers (who ‘have designed and manufactured some of the most highly reviewed and loved bikes in the world for decades’) there’s a lot to live up to, but it seems that the company has done its research into the bikes and is ready to start cranking up the machines. There’s a comprehensive-looking (though non-transferable) lifetime warranty policy on frame parts and bearings for the original owner and Structure seem keen to work through bike shops, though direct sales are possible too.

structure cycleworks, scw 1, sea otter 2019, structure scw 1
The Structure SCW 1 Full Suspension Bike!

So, what do you reckon? About time someone did a decent, integrated linkage frame again? Or should we just stick with what we know?

Learn more about the SCW1 at structure.bike

Comments (10)

    I am intrigued however the cost of a proprietary frame and fork would put me off. But then I’m not an early adopter…

    Anyone else remember the Whyte PRST-1 or just me?

    Looks like a similar arangement in many ways.

    Like Matt I wouldn’t got there as an early adopter but then I would be out on budget alone.

    James

    “since Gary Fisher launched the RS-1 almost 30 years ago”

    no he didn’t, Paul Turner and Steve Simons did.

    An interesting academic exercise but really surprised it made it any further than the digital drawing board.
    File it in the same ‘pointless engineering masturbation’ bin as the Starling Cycles 4-cogs-up-front-and-2-chains nonsense & encourage the ‘designers’ to do something useful like help solve poverty, world hunger or cleaning up the blight of ocean-bound plastic.

    I owned a Whyte PRST 1, simply the WORST BIKE EVER!!!

    “Anyone else remember the Whyte PRST-1 or just me?”

    You mean the one mentioned in the article?

    “no he didn’t, Paul Turner and Steve Simons did.”

    – there was a Fisher RS-1 FS bike as well as the RS 1 fork. 1990-ish.

    that had an RS-1 fork on it, and a rubbish rear; this here bike is all about the fork.

    @boco, Although the Whyte PRST-1 needed isome improvement, we respect the Whyte Preston bikes for what they tried to do.

    There are a number of differences between a PRST bike and ours, if you look carefully. For example, both front control arms on our bike attach to the downtube, which allows the fork steering angle to be completely independent of the frame (handlebar) steerer angle. Where the Whyte bikes used a spherical joint in the load path, we use 17mm axles through big 30mm bearings and standard bike headsets to separate horizontal and vertical axes. Perhaps most noteworthy is that the PRST bikes had an axle path that tucked with bump force in a “j-hook” axle path, where ours comes up more vertically than the axle of a telescoping fork before starting to arc back mid-way through the travel.

    We would never deny the hard work that went into Amp, Girvin, Whyte, Lawill, or other linkage designs, but we felt the time was right to use modern materials and manufacturing techniques to address things that limited past linkage designs.

    Here’s hoping you can come out for a demo ride with us and let us know you think.

    @grahamdcd, We support the Ocean Cleanup
    at Structure Cycleworks, but improving MTBs and keeping riders from landing on their heads due to OTBs also seems fairly worthwhile. At Sea Otter, two riders we did not know asked to exchange their typical bikes to race our bike. With about an hour each on two separate SCW 1 bikes, they won bronze, silver, and gold medals. Three races entered, three podiums.

    While we’ll never evade constructive criticism, we really are doing our best to offer a better bike. Please come out for a demo ride with us this season if possible. We’d love to hear your thoughts after a ride.

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