Viewing 27 posts - 41 through 67 (of 67 total)
  • Full Suspension Design … what difference does it make?
  • whatyadoinsucka
    Free Member

    CRC/wiggle are that desperate to unload stock they are now doing a 30 day trial on vitus. not happy send it them back :0).

    santa cruz doing a demo day on 5010 in edale/peaks sat 14th october.

    a great allround full suspension. mullet these days i think

    igm
    Full Member

    Bike fit, head angle, BB height, and the various components of wheelbase (front centre, chain stay etc) probably make more of a difference than suspension type.

    Of course the suspension type may affect how these basic geometry components can be varied (eg axle path and chain stay length), but fundamentally you can design a bad bike around any suspension type or a good one.

    And what good or bad means may vary with your preferred terrain and riding style.

    clubby
    Full Member

    Biggest difference I’ve found is in how easy they are to set up. DW and Horst link had a pretty big sweet spot, where as VPP had a very small range where it felt good. Once set, all performed well, with only subtle differences.  I’ve never had a single pivot design though. Going from one bike to the next, it was the geometry updates that made a way bigger difference to how the bike felt rather than suspension type.
    Looking back I’ve had more Horst link bikes than anything else, but that could just be because it’s so widely used rather than an actual preference.

    Speeder
    Full Member

    As has been said above, the suspension design doesn’t much matter – I’d first focus on what you want from the bike, the brand, their philosophy and how they work and then look into the models they offer.

    I went for a Starling because it was a small brand that actually manufacture their own frames in house (quite literally at the time) in the UK. It is as sustainable as a mountainlike can be, I have a relationship (in that we actually know each other not anything else :o) with the guy that built my bike and it can be fixed because it’s a fillet braised steel frame. It’s a bike for life (or until standards render it obsolete).  it’s now 7 years old and I don’t need anything else, though a newer mullet jobber would be nice ;o)

    I’d currently be very interested in looking at an Atherton, even if it doesn’t necessarily fit the repairable brief, I like the tech, the brand and the shape of them.  the suspension maybe awesome but it’s a fairly secondary consideration.  though it is nice they all look a lot like an Iron horse Sunday ;o)

    Good luck

    mmannerr
    Full Member

    Here is even more far fetched proposal – if you have selection of nice well-stocked LBS you could go there and ask what other riders in the area are riding and what they would be suggesting?

    I am this situation myself but unfortunately riding locally is quite different from what I would prefer to ride.

    thols2
    Full Member

    However, I don’t think suspension design makes much difference.

    Over the last few decades, a lot of different ideas were tried and the only ones that survived were single pivot and variations on 4-bar. Well designed single pivots work fine, so do well designed 4-bars. Badly designed suspension bikes will not work well, but I think everyone has learned enough that everything on the market now works ok.

    In my personal experience, single pivot bikes tend to skip the back tyre a lot more under braking. I’ve ridden a Giant AC (110-150 mm adjustable travel, single pivot), Spesh FSR (80 mm 4-bar), Giant NRS (80 mm 4-bar), Giant Anthem (80 mm 4-bar), and BMC Speedfox (120 mm ). The NRS is an outlier, it was designed as an XC race bike so the suspension is meant to be run topped out so that feels like a hardtail to pedal. The other 4-bar bikes are noticeably more settled under brakes than the AC, but that’s really a minor thing, the extra travel of the AC made it much better at descending than the FSR and Anthem. The BMC is a much better trailbike than any of them, it pedals as well as the Anthem and FSR but has much more travel for rougher descents. I’m sure an Anthem or FSR with 120 mm travel would be pretty much the same though.

    bowglie
    Full Member

    As previous people have noted, it’s really difficult to give anything other than very broad ideas of how various suspension designs will behave. I’m a serial bike swapper and have tried pretty much the whole family of suspension designs in search of the elusive holy grail bike.

    IME there can be a significant overlap between various suspension designs. I guess it comes down to what the brands engineers have tailored the suspension kinematic and shock tunes to do..i.e. efficient pedalling for XC/general trail type riding, or full grip and compliance for Enduro/DH trails.

    Again, IME, although lots of brands claim their system gives the best of both worlds, there always a trade off between a stable and efficient pedalling platform and suppleness and grip for rougher trails. What I’ve found peculiar is that uphill pedalling performance doesn’t necessarily require less suspension travel. I’ve had a couple of 160mm travel enduro bikes that have climbed better than bikes I’ve owned with travel in the 120-140mm range (all in off the shelf shock tunes).

    IMO, the only main downsides to single pivot bikes is that the suspension can stiffen up and lack grip a bit whilst braking on descents, and very occasionally you can get something called pedal kickback on tech climbs (but then IME some more complex systems like VPP can also be prone to this). If you’re coming from a hard tail background, a single pivot bike like an Orange can be amongst the easiest of FS bikes to clean and maintain, and the climb switches on their shocks are usually very easy to reach if you do need to use it.

    Personally, most of my FS bikes are now Horst link/4 bar type, as I find they give the best blend of suppleness and grip, without too much trade off for pedalling uphill. I’ve have had some Horst link bikes that have been energy sapping climbers, but had more that have been good climbers (Specialized seem to have really got the suspension performance dialled in their current range).

    For reference, I’m a 60+ y.o. slightly arthritic (maybe due to over 40 years riding bicycles off road?!) fella who now takes it quite steady on descents, and tend to prefer suspension with lots of comfort and grip to super ‘efficient’ mile muncher type set ups.

    My advice would be to keep an open mind and try bikes with suspension designs from at least three of the main suspension families – maybe, single pivot, Horst/4 bar, and VPP type. It’d be interesting to hear how you get on, coming from a HT background.

    HTH

    barney
    Free Member

    The Swarf Contour is a superlative bike IMO – what’s the reason to change it up?

    Onzadog
    Free Member

    When people talk about feeling the brake effect more on a single pivot than a horst link, do they mean a pure single pivot or are they including linkage activated single pivots?

    Looking at the anti rise analysis on certain bikes, this shouldn’t be the case.

    Is it real, or a self fulfilling prophecy?

    Just wondering as I’m considering a move from DW to linkage single pivot with flex stay but loved the suppleness of my old Turner 6 pack HL frame.

    bowglie
    Full Member

    Hey Onzadog, I’ve notice it on both, but to a lesser extent on the last linkage activated bikes I’ve had (Cotic drop links). Nicest DW suspension I’ve ridden recently was on a Pivot Shuttle LT loaner – it was outstanding, but did wonder whether it’s grip and suppleness was exaggerated by the weight of the bike (circa 23kg).

    cookeaa
    Full Member

    Reading endless internet warrior arguments about pivot placements and the relative merits of this linkage Vs that is a bit pointless (IMO) it’s all pretty much qualitative, how doe the bike as a whole ‘feel’ to ride and is the suspension damping out the bumps and vibrations you want it to while still providing feedback and feel for the terrain.

    I’d watch this video through a few times (there are others like it out there too) simply because it shows a variety of suspension and HT bikes put through the same simple ‘test’:

    As I said watch it a few times and you’ll probably note a few different things each time like how fast some bikes compress vs others, how much of the impact is being passed onto the rider (feet and ankles), how the wheel moves through it’s travel, how much work the tyres do in soaking up the load, etc, etc, if a picture paints a thousand words, a HSV is a mini thesis…

    Then go ride a few if you can and see what you notice (or don’t).

    Or just go and buy whatever you can afford/like the look of and stop worrying about all of the details…

    jameso
    Full Member

    When people talk about feeling the brake effect more on a single pivot than a horst link, do they mean a pure single pivot or are they including linkage activated single pivots?

    For the rotation of the wheel Vs the brake link (the swingarm itself for a SP bike) under compression, that aspect of ‘braking effect’, it it doesn’t change between a linkage-driven SP and a swingarm-only SP assuming the main pivot is in the same place. But the way the bike sits in its travel under braking might be different if it’s linkage-driven, ie the wheel/spring rate can be different and that could change how noticeable the wheel to swingarm/brake rotation feel is. Not something I’ve been able to tell or ride enough bikes to get into. Linkage SP bikes can feel really good in terms of spring rate or progression feel though.

    thols2
    Full Member

    When people talk about feeling the brake effect more on a single pivot than a horst link, do they mean a pure single pivot or are they including linkage activated single pivots?

    Linkage activated designs give more scope for varying the spring rate throughout the travel but the chain growth will still be determined by the pivot location and chainring size. My old Giant AC was linkage activated but it really skipped the back wheel around a lot compared to all the 4-bar bikes I’ve ridden. To be fair, a modern shock might improve that noticeably.

    cookeaa
    Full Member

    This (and similar videos) may actually be more use actually:

    It lets you see different bikes tackling some real world features and you can gauge to some extent how they respond to brake dragging through a steep off-camber turn, leaning into a blown out berm or dropping into a chute with roots and rocks I’d just search YouTube for “EWS Slow Mo” and you get lots of footage to pour over.

    hardtailonly
    Full Member

    The Swarf Contour is a superlative bike IMO – what’s the reason to change it up?

    Yeah, its great. And I might not end up getting rid. But, I’ve a little bit of money burning a hole in my pocket, so exploring getting something with a bit more travel. The new Bird Aeris AM appeals (I’m going to demo one on Monday), possibly the Transition Sentinel, either as a ‘capable-but-all-day-rideable’ sole FS bike, or as a second FS (and I’ll shorten/lighten the Contour)

    richmtb
    Full Member

    I think I’ve owned all the major suspension types bar Maestro (if that is actually distinct enough).

    Single pivots are pretty distinct in how they feel, but the rest are similar enough that I’d say there is as much variation in suspension feel between the same type of design as there is between similar types of bike that uses a different suspension design.

    Geometry and whether a bike suits what you intend to use it for are far more important than the intricacies of supsension design. A Horst link might claim to be “the best” suspension design, but if you bought a 100mm travel XC and then smashed it down bike parks every week how good its suspension design was wouldn’t really matter.

    Onzadog
    Free Member

    But the rear axle path is very similar between SP and HL. It’s a well established fact that the HL pivot doesn’t move much at all, hence why flex systems like the Spur have become popular. The chain growth numbers are within a couple of mm of each other so when we’re talking mid to high 20s of chain growth, that’s really not a noticeable difference.

    Anti rise is about controlling the pitching forward of the bike under braking which unweights the rear and causes brake skipping. Given that the job of the brake is to limit rear wheel rotation, I don’t see the arc of the swingarm making much difference unless we consider the Lawill rear end on the old Fisher RS-1.

    jameso
    Full Member

    As far as I understand it, and that’s not that much from not a lot of work a long time ago, anti-rise is a different dynamic to the brake skipping or ‘stiffening’ that a SP bike can exhibit more than a HL or short-link bike. The brake skipping of a SP is about how the brake pad against the rotor has an effect on the wheel rotating relative to the swingarm, a force that limits compression if the wheel needs to rotate vs the swingarm to compress freely. But as you say, the brake is meant to slow the wheel and separating this out from the other things going on at the time esp at speed makes it all a bit fuzzy.

    A HL bike can have very little movement at the HL pivot but it can have closer to as much rotation as at the main pivot if the rocker is very long – the upper and lower links (CS and rocker) dictate the effective pivot point of the brake link (seatstay).

    Where split / concentric pivot bikes are interesting is they have a fixed wheel pivot but a virtual braking pivot so the 2 are independent and can be be very similar or separated to an extent via the upper rocker position and movement (again as far as I understand it, how useful that is in ride terms I’m not sure).

    chakaping
    Free Member

    do they mean a pure single pivot or are they including linkage activated single pivots?

    Pure single pivots it’s a consistent thing, I ride two at the moment (Orange and Starling).

    Linkage SPs, depends on the frame. Typically still noticeable, but to a lesser extent.

    Pretty sure I’m not experiencing a placebo effect 😀

    igm
    Full Member

    There’s some sense on here and some nonsense.

    Go find some different designs that fit you each with sagged geometry appropriate to the riding you want to do a then test ride them.

    ‘Cos I don’t know what you ride or how you like a bike to feel.

    joebristol
    Full Member

    @hardtailonly

    hardtailonlyFull Member
    The Swarf Contour is a superlative bike IMO – what’s the reason to change it up?
    Yeah, its great. And I might not end up getting rid. But, I’ve a little bit of money burning a hole in my pocket, so exploring getting something with a bit more travel. The new Bird Aeris AM appeals (I’m going to demo one on Monday), possibly the Transition Sentinel, either as a ‘capable-but-all-day-rideable’ sole FS bike, or as a second FS (and I’ll shorten/lighten the Contour)

    That Bird looks decent – 160mm travel but meant to be quite light and poppy for the travel. I’m slightly tempted but I have a Transition Sentinel alloy with a coil shock and equally love it at the moment. I reckon it’s a few lbs heavier on the frame than the carbon Bird from what I’ve read – but it’s build a bit sturdier and it’s pretty slack.

    It’s my main full suss bike – it does everything from big ish laps to uplift days at Dyfi. It’s definitely on the extreme end of trail / light enduro I’d say.

    I’ve had 2 Birds before the sentinel – an aether 7 and an Aeris 145LT. Both were decent but the sentinel moves the game on (but it’s a 29er and both of those were 650b).  I don’t know if I want to give up the way it smashes through stuff – I think the weight comes into the sturdy feel.

    So maybe try and test ride both and see which you prefer. The Ibis Ripmo af probably falls between both those bikes – similar travel but DW link suspension.   Might be worth a look at that too.

    thisisnotaspoon
    Free Member

    But the rear axle path is very similar between SP and HL. It’s a well established fact that the HL pivot doesn’t move much at all, hence why flex systems like the Spur have become popular. The chain growth numbers are within a couple of mm of each other so when we’re talking mid to high 20s of chain growth, that’s really not a noticeable difference.

    Not sure how true that is, some designs put quite a considerable kink in the chainstay at one end or the other of the travel.

    The radius that the rear wheel is moving through can be determined by drawing a line through the linkages, .i.e. the two short maestro links, or the chain stay and rocker of a horst/FSR deign. So in most cases what’s happening is the pivot moves down and backwards. So for the most part the rear wheel can be traveling closer to vertically initially than a single pivot (because the center is somewhere near the front wheel) which gives more chain growth. Then towards the end then the upper link is almost vertical the center is around the main pivot which gives zero chain growth so you don’t feel the big hits through the chain.

    chiefgrooveguru
    Full Member

    One thing that shows most people don’t know / can’t feel the differences is that they talk about four bars / Horst links like they’re all much of a muchness.

    The reality is that 4 bar designs with a counter-rotating upper link that hangs from the top tube behave far more like short-link 4 bars (DW, VPP, etc) or even linkage driven single pivots, than they behave like all other 4 bar designs. This is because the hanging lower link gives a projected pivot point close to the BB rather than out towards the front axle, and that massively changes the brake anti-rise.

    Scienceofficer
    Free Member

    I like DW the best of those I’ve tried. That is all.

    didnthurt
    Full Member

    Although a suspension design can have a huge effect on how it rides and performs, but so does the shock that is installed and how it is setup.

    My pal had a shot of my Scalpel and hated how firm it rode. But that’s because I had it set up for fast xc not for comfort.

    I’ve also ridden specialized suspension bikes in years gone by and hated how ‘soggy’ they felt, rode a newer one and loved how supple it was. Just shows how similar suspension designs can ride totally different.

    It’s so easy to make a bike ride like crap if you mess about with the suspension settings.

    When you first get a full sus, I’d recommend spending a good bit of time with suspension setup. Start with the recommended settings found on the manufacturers website/guidem. Then if you’re not happy with it then incrementally adjusting one thing at a time (with a short test ride in between) to the sweet spot you like. Maybe even take a shock pump on your rides. Also make a note of the settings including your weight, this will have an impact on your settings.

    chiefgrooveguru
    Full Member

    If you look at the linkage analysis from bikes over the last 10-15 years you’ll see that they used to vary tons – all sorts of weird leverage curves (regressive stupidity!), huge variations in anti-squat, etc. Nowadays everything is far more similar – so many bikes are in the 90-130% anti-squat at sag, and leverage rates are generally linear or progressive, averaging around 2.5:1 and 0-30% progression.

    If you look at a Banshee from 10 years ago, like the Spitfire v2, they’d nailed it back then. Everyone else has ended up in much the same place. It’s quite like how so many bikes have converged on Geometron geometry after a decade of sliding towards it.

    The only bigger variations now are brake-squat aka anti-rise, and axle path (which is quite hard to detach from anti-rise because of how the forces and torques work) due to the high pivot movement.

    A while back I figured out that possibly the best configuration for racing would be a Split Pivot aka ABP high pivot design, to get a high pivot axle path, and high anti squat with minimal kickback, a progressive leverage curve and avoid the very high anti-rise of a high single pivot. Some months later Trek or Hope or someone else launched a bike with that suspension.

    jeffl
    Full Member

    No real experience as I’m a hardtail owner. But I’d say just demo some bikes.

    I demod a cotic Jeht and a Bird Aeries. I really wanted to like the cotic as they’re a 20 minute ride away from me and put loads into the local riding community. But it just didn’t gel with me, or maybe me with it. I was even riding on local trails. The bird, even though it was more bike than I’d need, was great, and I was riding it on trails I didn’t know that well (Wolftrax).

    Currently looking at getting an Aether 9 when funds allow.

Viewing 27 posts - 41 through 67 (of 67 total)

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