Specialized's Rear Suspension set up.Impressed! is it the best?

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  • Specialized's Rear Suspension set up.Impressed! is it the best?
  • jacob46
    Member

    Been trying a few bikes out the last few days.
    I own a carve pro and love it and keeping it. But I would also like a full sus bike for maybe trail centres. Need XL frame. Test rode an Anthem X 29Er brill bike. Today Sat on a stumpjumper today and was very impressed with how there suspension works. The guy in shop it’s the best because of how it pivots the wheel up & down unlike other manufacturers where there rear wheel pivots towards the front thus on return throwing the bike forwards.
    When you think about it seems logical and true so is it the best?
    I also love the look of stumpjumper.quality bike.

    PeterPoddy
    Member

    It’s been around for a long time. Spesh bought the design from Horst Leitener (sp?) and have been refining it for, what? 20 years?
    Lots of European manufacturers copy it because the Spesh patent doesn’t apply here.
    Most decent systems are a 4-bar of some design or other, with the pivots on different places to avoid the patent

    I’d say they’ve got it about right, yeah.

    Premier Icon mikewsmith
    Subscriber

    Depends what you like…

    Personally after about 10 years of different things I’m happy with vpp. The choice is yours best is very subjective and of course it’s what the man selling specialized would say.

    cynic-al
    Member

    The guy in shop it’s the best because of how it pivots the wheel up & down unlike other manufacturers where there rear wheel pivots towards the front thus on return throwing the bike forwards.

    It may be the best (I doubt it, life just isn’t that simple) but his rationale is an utter lie.

    Premier Icon vincienup
    Subscriber

    + 1 for the best suspension being the stuff you bought because you like it…

    You can ask about almost anything whether Horst, single pivot, VPP, OST/+, various other approaches … Whatever. Each has it’s fans, supposed benefits and supposed negatives depending who you talk to. If it works for you and you like the way it rides more than other designs in your price range, you have a winner. Single pivot seems especially divisive, most seem to agree Horst based designs can work well.

    You’re the one shelling the beans for it and riding it…

    Maybe try some different bikes at a trail centre hire place or demo days? You may surprise yourself. 🙂

    brakes
    Member

    I think it’s awesome, and I have an old ’06 Enduro and a ’11 Stumpjumper. Do I like it the best because I bought it, or did I buy it because I like it the best?
    there aren’t many people who don’t like the Specialized four-bar suspension system. It just works.

    Premier Icon brant
    Subscriber

    Wasn’t the Horst Link an essential invention to enable v brakes or cantilevers to not fall off the rim sidewalls as the suspension moves?

    brakes
    Member

    what is “v brake?”

    Premier Icon tomhoward
    Subscriber

    I do like Horst link bikes for DHing, they just seem to track really well but, if I’m honest, I prefer VPP for around riding. That might be down to the shocks I’ve used though.

    Not a single pivot fan.

    Wasn’t the Horst Link an essential invention to enable v brakes or cantilevers to not fall off the rim sidewalls as the suspension moves?

    😆

    Premier Icon mikewsmith
    Subscriber

    brant – Member
    Wasn’t the Horst Link an essential invention to enable v brakes or cantilevers to not fall off the rim sidewalls as the suspension moves?

    That brant what would he know…….

    anyway here are some of your choices
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bicycle_suspension#Rear_suspension

    Rorschach
    Member

    The guy in the shop says it’s the best because they sell them and how it pivots the wheel up & down unlike other the manufacturers bikes they don’t sell where there rear wheel pivots up and down but in an unperceivably different arc

    FIFY
    I believe Tony Ellsworth thinks his suspension is the bestest ever.

    Premier Icon roverpig
    Subscriber

    I spent months doing back-to-back tests on a 4-bar (Maestro) and a Single Pivot bike and came to the conclusion that the Single Pivot suited me better. I wouldn’t claim it was the best though, it just suits where I am as a rider right now better. Horses for courses though.

    PJM1974
    Member

    There are a bunch of guys and girls with other-worldly skills who are paid to find out which suspension system is best and compete very other Sunday in the summer months. They’ve yet to reach a definitive answer, so the likes of us have little hope.

    It’s worth remembering that outwardly very small variances in pivot placement can have a profound effect upon how any suspension system behaves. I own two Specialized Horst Link frames with nine years’ development between them and they feel markedly different even though both setups are very similar to the eye.

    I also run a Marin Quad Link II, which is a four-bar but feels very different to either Specialized in that there’s much more pedal feedback, but the Marin feels very “reactive” for want of a better word and demands a less aggressive pedalling style.

    Premier Icon Normal Man
    Subscriber

    Certainly happy with mine (26er Camber) and it seems to be a great compliment to my other bike (29er Carve). It helps when I’ve set them up very differently. The Carve being very xc and the fs being very trail, well whatever that means. In my book I’d term it fun/playful/chuckable.

    It’s very complicated! I’m riding a KS-link bike now and it works incredibly well – I understand fairly well how it’s moving but I couldn’t tell you how all the forces are interacting to make it pedal so efficiently yet feel so smooth in the rough. Witchcraft…

    JCL
    Member

    Your dealer is talking nonsense but Specialized used to market their bikes on a vertical axle path so you can’t really blame him. They actually have one of the most forward axle paths.

    That said I still think it’s still the best design all things considered. Followed by linkage activated single pivots, dual rotating links, dual counter rotating links and then the semi URT crap from GT and Moongoose.

    jacob46
    Member

    Very cleaver design. Am I right in saying specialized have never been a manufacturer of bikes but a developer of bikes?

    orangeboy
    Member

    Lots of shops have demo stumpjumpers to just get out and try one and see if you like it.
    Personally I’d not get to caught up with the techy side of it.

    For me I’ve always liked the fsr system and have two still. yet to try a 29er one as I’m still happy with my out of date 26

    Premier Icon tomhoward
    Subscriber

    Very cleaver design. Am I right in saying specialized have never been a manufacturer of bikes but a developer of bikes?

    What?

    GaryLake
    Member

    The guy in shop it’s the best because of how it pivots the wheel up & down unlike other manufacturers where there rear wheel pivots towards the front thus on return throwing the bike forwards.

    Stop listening to this man.

    timb34
    Member

    One thing that bothers me about FSR – if it’s so good for everything, how come Specialized need to add the Brain inertia valve on the XC race bikes?

    orangeboy
    Member

    I like the brain equipped fsr I’ve used. But guessing its a little old design now
    When its first came out in 2003? Rear shocks were rather piss poor for dealing with pedal induced bob
    So to me at the time it made sence.
    Now modern shocks are getting so much better , my enduro pedals far better than a big bike should up hill
    With its modern air shock

    Rorschach
    Member

    how come Specialized need to add the Brain inertia valve on the XC race bikes?

    Fsr has very little chain growth and quite low anti squat characteristics (it’s very active all the time….so does’nt pedal the best).

    Premier Icon DezB
    Subscriber

    I think URT is the bestest

    Dales_rider
    Member

    It does have lower amount of brake jack/ squat or what ever you want to call it . And they do track the ground betterer whe climbing over a single pivot.
    Well thats my experience yours may be different.
    Oh and most manufacturers try getting around the Horst link pivot in the chain stay by putting them in the seat stay or in the axle,so I guess there’s something in it.

    Premier Icon Northwind
    Subscriber

    Just daft to suggest there’s a “best” because there’s a load of different jobs that bikes do, and a load of different jobs that suspension does, and a load of different ways that people like their bikes to work. And even within a single form like a horst link you can still vary how it rides in other ways, moving pivots etc.

    But FSR is pretty… normal. I can’t imagine many people riding it and going “urgh”

    bigyinn
    Member

    OT NW did you get my e-mail reply about that lamp?

    deanfbm
    Member

    It’s not the general layout you like, in this case 4 bar, it’s the designers beliefs you appreciate that has developed the specific layout, the exact pivot points that attain the balance of feel, brake squat and anti-squat that the designer feels right.

    In other words, what im trying to say is it’s not the general layout you like, it’s what the designer has set out to achieve you like. You can make a 4 bar perform like a single pivot and vice-versa.

    To go off on a little tangent, single pivot, you can’t manipulate the feel (leverage rate), also brake jack is proportionate to anti-squat, pedal feedback proportionate to anti-squat, you can’t really manipulate wheel path too much either. A linkage driven single pivot builds on a single pivot by allowing you the freedom to manipulate leverage rate (feel). All other suspension is essentially 4 bar, ie fsr, vpp, maestro, dw link, switch link etc etc. What 4 bars allows you is more independence between leverage rate, wheel path, anti-squat and brake jack. What you’re liking is the designers opinion of what is the best balance of compromises for that particular application.

    Premier Icon tomhoward
    Subscriber

    putting them in the seat stay or in the axle,so I guess there’s something in it.

    That makes a linkage actuated single pivot, massive difference for such a tiny adjustment in the postion of the pivot.

    hughjengin
    Member

    Went from a zesty to a stumpy, stumpy is definately a more active system. Is it better, I dunno, just a different feel

    clubber
    Member

    I tend to find spesh 4 bars a bit too active for my liking – but that’s kind of the point – there isn’t a best design. Most of the current ones have pros and cons and which is best will entirely depend on the rider and what they’re actually riding.

    To the OP, you really need to ignore that guy at the bike shop. He’s a classic bike BSer.

    Premier Icon D0NK
    Subscriber

    Got a cotic 4 bar with horst link, I like it, very supple when climbing, there’s times when I like my single pivot too tho, especially when servicing 🙂
    No idea what my etsx was, none HL 4 bar I guess, that climbed ok, just not as good as the cotic. Will soon see what my new HL-patent-evading-pivot-above-the-dropout rocky mountain 4 bar is like.

    Not tried vpp or dw.

    clubber
    Member

    my new HL-patent-evading-pivot-above-the-dropout rocky mountain 4 bar

    That’s a faux bar – single pivot with linkage actuated shock.

    Premier Icon D0NK
    Subscriber

    noooooo the pivot is still on the chainstay they’ve just nudged it up so it’s higher up than the dropout

    I knew someone would say that 😉

    clubber
    Member

    Right, sorry, wasn’t familiar with the latest RM – I had an earlier RM Element which is definitely faux bar. It’s been my favourite full susser so far mind.

    Premier Icon D0NK
    Subscriber

    yeah they were supposed to be pretty good, not sure I’d go for a faux bar personally. either minimal maintenance single pivot or a proper 4 bar, faux seems a compromise too far but never ridden one so what do I know. I quite fancied one of the new 4bar element 29ers, but this was a warranty replacement so didn’t get a choice.

    Premier Icon Northwind
    Subscriber

    @bigyinn, not sure, can’t access my email from here but will check tonight!

    ndthornton
    Member

    Bikes I have had in order of how well the suspension has performed….

    —-Good
    Mondraker dune – VPP
    Marin Wolf ridge – VPP
    Norco Six – horst Link
    Specialised Enduro – horst Link
    —-Bad
    Kona Stinky – Single Pivot (linkage driven)
    commencal absolut AX – Single Pivot (linkage driven)

    To be honest both the VPP and Horst link are excellent – minimal bob and brake jack – not much between them but just enough to notice.

    The Mondraker in particular has the most neutral and bottomless feeling of any bike Iv ridden.

    Don’t like the single pivot ones really at all – too bobby.
    The Commencal is worst of all – this has a BB pivot – it bobs lots and doesn’t make up for it with a plush action.

    clubber
    Member

    And that’s a good point about different bikes – longer travel bikes will tend to show up suspension design differences more than shorter ones. For a short travel bike, many will find that single pivot/faux bar, hell, even URT(!) may well work reallt well if you can get around preconceptions.

    Premier Icon Northwind
    Subscriber

    Think it’ll be interesting over the next few years to find out how many of the other suspension designs just quietly vanish now that the horst link patent’s lapsed… i’ve already been wrong on this with Kona so I’m not going to make any more predictions 😆 But it’s always felt like a lot of “suspension innovation” is really just lawyer-avoidance.

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