One for the old school among us – AMP Research

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  • One for the old school among us – AMP Research
  • Premier Icon wonny j
    Subscriber

    What a come down!

    I was thinking prosthetic limbs or something like that

    rogerthecat
    Member

    Love the idea of link forks – have 2 sets of Girvins and they are really quite good, still looking for an AMP fork, like hen’s teeth or very expensive.

    Premier Icon aracer
    Subscriber

    The Horst Link license was sold to Specialized. It’s a rubbish patent which should have been disqualified due to prior art though – I assume AMP sold it as unlike Specialized they didn’t have a large team of lawyers to defend it.

    rocketman
    Member

    Have still got one of their brochures from the 90s I was only flicking through it the other day. They were different to say the least

    Premier Icon Speeder
    Subscriber

    My first full sus was an AMP and I remember it fondly if I don’t think about it too much. The forks were scary to ride in that while they absorbed bumps ok in a straight line putting the brakes on reduced the trail as the wheel pulled back in and things got a bit unstable. The skinny aluminium tubes and long unbraced rear end made the frame a bit flexy and mine cracked at the head tube in the end. I’m sure there was a point that it was a “superbike” though.

    jackthedog
    Member

    Bloody hell, folding truck steps.

    I was thinking prosthetic limbs or something like that

    Mert Lawwill’s your man.

    Love the idea of link forks – have 2 sets of Girvins and they are really quite good, still looking for an AMP fork, like hen’s teeth or very expensive.

    I’ve been a linkage fork fan since the Girvin days. Always wanted one, never had the money at the time. The German A Kilo is along the AMP lines, I quite fancy one. Don’t have the money now, either.

    bland
    Member

    Stumbled upon a link to AMP Research and it seems they are still going, however not making bikes any longer. Before you click the link have a think what you imagine they are making these days!

    Link to site

    Also, there is a section on the company history with this in about mountain bikes

    AMP RESEARCH MOUNTAIN BIKES
    In the 1990s, Leitner turned his attention to innovating in the mountain-bike world, creating the now-legendary AMP Research full-suspension bikes. Characterized by Leitner’s revolutionary four-bar articulating front fork, energy-saving Horst-link rear suspension and the first cable/hydraulic bicycle front disc brake, these ultra-light, all-aluminum bicycles set the standard for mountain-bike technology. AMP Research also produced similar Mercedes-Benz bicycles, which were marketed through Mercedes-Benz dealerships in the United States and Europe. Leitner later licensed the Horst-link technology to Turner and Specialized Bicycles, which is the design foundation of their full-suspension mountain bikes.

    Really interested in the bit about Leitner licencing the horst link out. never realised that before. Must be a nice little earner for them. Really surprised they havent tried dabbling with bikes again in house though as they have a name established and the licence for horst link, seems like a nice business opening for someone to go in and run the operation under their banner!

    Premier Icon aracer
    Subscriber

    The German A Kilo is along the AMP lines, I quite fancy one. Don’t have the money now, either.

    Me too – though they actually seem a bit more reasonable now other forks have got so expensive. I don’t think their prices have gone up anywhere near as much. I did look into trying to get a Look Fournales at one point.

    Premier Icon The Pinkster
    Subscriber

    I love the way that link says
    “Invented, Engineered & Built in America” but uses a Landrover in the picture before it in the slideshow

    I love the way that link says
    “Invented, Engineered & Built in America” but uses a Landrover in the picture before it in the slideshow

    They were going to use a Hummer, but it ran out of juice on the way over.

    jackthedog
    Member

    Me too – though they actually seem a bit more reasonable now other forks have got so expensive. I don’t think their prices have gone up anywhere near as much. I did look into trying to get a Look Fournales at one point.

    Sweet. Look Fournales look ace.

    Not sure why I love linkage forks so much. I think I just like to watch them working.

    I even like the Parafork, which looks like it’s been crashed into a tree. They need to do the backwards pointing dropouts like Girvins used to so they can maintain the correct appearance of rake, but I don’t suppose that wouldn’t be very German would it.

    Love the look of that Leonardi “linky–lefty” prototype too. Not sure one ever got off the ground?

    And of course New Series Moultons have a Girvin style fork, but with no springs or friction surfaces, which just blows my mind.

    nigelb001
    Member

    Mine’s an early Mongoose ‘Frank the Welder’ Amplifier 2 version of the Amp Research B3 frame but uses a K2 (Girvin) carbon Crosslink fork which was the first example of electronic damping on a bike fork (not terribly effective I must say but does work). There were two bikes in the 90’s I was fascinated with but could never afford – the Amp Research with F3 fork and the Proflex carbon frame with the Girvin fork. So later I combined them into one bike 🙂

    aP
    Member

    The Pinkster – Member
    I love the way that link says
    “Invented, Engineered & Built in America” but uses a Landrover in the picture before it in the slideshow

    I think you really mean that Jeep Wrangler Unlimited, in the picture.

    no_eyed_deer
    Member

    I LOVED those AMP forks back-in-the-day.

    Eventually I managed to get a Giant MCM with Girvins (the bushings of which evenualy died)… Then upgraded to a set of Look Fournales.

    Any excuse:

    These leading link forks are actually surprisingly good. One of the weird things though is the way the headtube angle (and steering) remains constant as the forks move. As a telescopic fork rider, you will find you have unwittingly adapted to the way telescopic forks quicken the steering as they compress. When this effect is gone, the bike feels odd, but is actually more stable.

    jackthedog
    Member

    As a telescopic fork rider, you will find you have unwittingly adapted to the way telescopic forks quicken the steering as they compress. When this effect is gone, the bike feels odd, but is actually more stable.

    I can understand this. A lot of people say the same about BMW motorbikes. Nice bike, BTW.

    summitsup
    Member

    loved my AMP B4 once the original AMP coil shock was swapped for a Risse genesis air shock. super fast on climbs, slightly sketchy on dh stuff. ran mine with the Amp forks to start with but changed these to some phsylo races.. still got it hung up on my trophy wall, a true bit of MTB full sus development history.

    aa
    Member

    i had some amp b3¿?? on my bontrager, loved the soft puft, puft, puft sound they made, liked the weight, didn’t like how they went downhill. In fact, i still technically own a pair, there just in an old friends garage and i’ve not seen him for years. If someone offers me a good price i’ll track ’em down.

    Premier Icon aracer
    Subscriber

    This really needs posting on here to show what the fork got developed into:

    Haha, I had an Amp Research B3 with the Carbon Amp forks as my ‘Downhill’ bike back in 91/92ish. god knows how I’m still alive tbh!

    jackthedog
    Member

    While part of me could watch that animation all day, it’s a depressingly vapid product. Designed for baby boomers who have the disposable income to blow on toys too big for their deteriorating hips to comfortably cope with.

    I have two sets of fork and a frame in the shed awaiting a long over due rebuild. The frame and fork bushings apparently can be bought as generic parts so they are all rebuildable

    Retro bike is a mine of useful information (and strange people)

    Ps if anyone has a AMP disc caliper and rear hub around I would be very interested

    esher shore
    Member

    I used to deal directly with Horst Leitner at AMP when I was running Bombproof out of Newcastle in the early 90s, this was before the FSR licensing deal he brokered with Specialized USA

    we were buying his rear suspension “kits” for our Bombproof front triangle that was being manufactured in Newcastle

    although we machined our own mounting hardware (the AMP swingarm tabs and shock mounts were flimsy) and soon moved to Noleen shocks and TWP braces

    the long unbraced seat stays on the AMP rear put huge loads on the AMP coil/oil shock which was a “stressed” member = oil leaks, a common problem until the revised AMP came out with the interrupted seat tube, and then the small swinglink which was the development leading to FSR

    nigelb001
    Member

    Haha, I had an Amp Research B3 with the Carbon Amp forks as my ‘Downhill’ bike back in 91/92ish. god knows how I’m still alive tbh!

    I’m pretty sure the B3 was 94/95, the Mongoose version being 95. The Mongoose was used for downhill by Brian Lopes and Leigh Donovan in 95 to take many wins, Leigh Donovan took the Worlds DH in 95 but with RS forks on front. The Amp F3 forks would never have stood up to that.

    The coilover shock on mine was well shot (probably due to the stresses of the unbraced seat stays as mentioned above, but now sports a Risse air shock which is a vast improvement. The bike doesn’t get used much in anger now to preserve it, but comes out for a pootle every couple of weeks.

    Retro bike is a mine of useful information (and strange people)

    Haha, no more so than people on here 😉 Retrobike forum was a good resource when researching the build of my Mongoose.

    ti_pin_man
    Member

    had a B3 for a while with F3 forks and a tioga disk on the back, fab bike. the ride was comfy and worked well and the forks, once you got used to them were fine, they did feel a little under you when compressed but I remember just moving my weight back a little helped. The Risse shock helped these when it came along and i think you can still get them.

    I also remember those Bombproof’s, werent they built by a guy who used to ride with the northumbria uni club on a wednesday and worked in cycle logical? or am I old and loosing the marbles?

    LardLover
    Member

    I longed for an AMP back in the day. So when a B4 and F3 forks came up for sale on ebay a few years back I took the plunge. The shock was shot, and the bushes were seized. However, after a quick email to AMP the shock was winging its way back to the US for a service, at cost of a few dollars 😯
    They had a full set of spares (bushes, pivot, shocks etc) for their frames and forks.
    I could have upgraded to a Risse shock but my funds were low after buying some period parts to rebuild it. I polished the frame with a tube of Brasso and load of elbow grease. The spec was 8spd XT shifters, mechs and SPD’s, XTR 8spd cassette. Middleburn RS1’s with Middleburn and Pace rings. Ringle Moby post, Zooka stem, Slamma-Jamma headset. Flite saddle. Answer Hyperlite bars with clear Onza Ules grips. Hope Ti-Glide hubs on Mavic 217 SUP Ceramics with snow-flake spoking, shod with red Ritchey Z-Max WCR 1.7’s.

    Only rode it a few times, then sold it to but something else.

    Wished I kept it 😥

    rogerthecat
    Member

    Here’s my 90 Cindercone with the Girvins on, took them off before last winter.
    Will put them on something again soon.

    This is from last year’s Peaks Pootle.

    jackthedog
    Member

    @LardLover Good god that’s a gorgeous bike. Looks absolutely spot on.

    I’m pretty sure the B3 was 94/95, the Mongoose version being 95. The Mongoose was used for downhill by Brian Lopes and Leigh Donovan in 95 to take many wins, Leigh Donovan took the Worlds DH in 95 but with RS forks on front. The Amp F3 forks would never have stood up to that.

    I’ll take your word for it, it was nearly 20 years ago and I’ve not got so much of a picture of it still. I remember using it at Margam Park National DH though that is for sure. When did V-brakes come out? I remember having one of the 1st sets of XT v’s on it and marvelling at the stopping power!

    Premier Icon epicyclo
    Subscriber

    Strangely I’ve just put this together for Saturday’s retro ride at Aviemore.

    Surly 1×1 with Fournales.

    The Fournales is lethal – the rebound damping has never worked. When I tested it yesterday on some rocky technical stuff that I just roll over on my rigid fatbike, I got ejected twice by spring rebound in the space of less than 50 yards. I had a Girvin on the bike in the past and it was better IMO.

    If anyone has a tip for improving the rebound, I’m all ears, but for now, the Fournales is coming off and being replaced with something safer. 🙂

    I have two sets of fork and a frame in the shed awaiting a long over due rebuild.

    I remember following you down screeming mile on it and thinking it didn’t look very stable.

    esher shore
    Member

    @tin_pin_man

    not loosing your marbles at all fella! good memory for sure 😉

    I rode with Northumbria Uni MTB Club, along with Phil Hammil (now one of the managing directors of Madison a.k.a. Shimano UK) and regular guest riders Jason McRoy and Paul Plunkett

    I also worked for Hardisty Cycles and was a team mate of JMC (until Margaret Hardisty fired me because she heard I was importing “Mongoose”….in others the AMP rear kit used for the Mongoose Amplifier she was occasionally selling)

    here are some more retro shots from the Bombproof era. We finally wound the company down in late 1996 after our Australian manufacturer ran off with all the money we had invested in our first production run of frames (along with money from another 4 companies)

    no_eyed_deer
    Member

    If anyone has a tip for improving the rebound, I’m all ears, but for now, the Fournales is coming off and being replaced with something safer.

    … On my forks – which look very similar to yours – you can adjust the rebound using the aluminium hex-key bolt on the front of the shock. Simply screw it in or out. I’ve adjusted this on mine in the past and can make the rebound so slow that that the forks become almost static when compressed 😯 …alternatively, the settings I use are adjusted for very fast rebound, just ’cause that’s how I like it. I’m pretty sure that you can find something in between that works for you. If not, you’ve probably lost all your damping oil or something… I dunno!

    Premier Icon epicyclo
    Subscriber

    no_eyed_deer – Member
    … On my forks – which look very similar to yours – you can adjust the rebound using the aluminium hex-key bolt on the front of the shock. Simply screw it in or out. I’ve adjusted this on mine in the past and can make the rebound so slow that that the forks become almost static when compressed…

    The rebound has never worked and I’ve had the fork from new.

    There’s a tiny allen screw on the bottom of the shock – do you know what this does?

    Premier Icon jamj1974
    Subscriber

    I had some of the F3 XC forks in 1996. Very plush initially – despite a progressive action. Not so good as the pivots wore though and they wore quickly…

    Looked great though!

    no_eyed_deer
    Member

    I actually have a manual for this fork knocking about somewhere. I *think* you can download it too… maybe @ retrobike??

    The tiny little screw at the bottom of the fork basically holds the shock on 😯 and compresses the elastomer. That’s it basically. The only adjustment – as far as I am aware – comes from the big hex-bolt on the front of the shock and adjusting the air pressure. I found once that if I tried to pressure the forks with the bike upside down, I lost some oil from out of the Schraeder valve. I’ve only done this once. I think there’s a French company somewhere who will service the shock if there’s something wrong with it. Like I say, in my experience, the fork performs superbly for something of its era.

    qwerty
    Member

    Anyone remember Quasar forks? A UK company iirc.

    Premier Icon epicyclo
    Subscriber

    Got one. IMO the most promising of the linkage forks I have seen – a bit more development and it would have been really good.

Viewing 37 posts - 1 through 37 (of 37 total)

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