Are Orange the only two-bearing frames?

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  • Are Orange the only two-bearing frames?
  • Premier Icon Trailrider Jim
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    I know the design has its flaws and the looks are marmite, but they’re desired by many, so you’d think there’d be rivals offering slight variations. Just a thought that I woke up to this morning…

    Premier Icon rOcKeTdOg
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    Santa cruz heckler & superlight used to be

    hols2
    Member

    They used to be very common. Santa Cruz especially, but also Trek, Gary Fisher, Giant.

    Premier Icon tomhoward
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    They used to be pretty popular when manufacturers didn’t know any better. Now they’ve had a bit of time to refine/improve their design, not so much

    Orange haven’t quite caught up yet

    Littleman
    Member

    People like Tom above have a perception that the simple single pivot like orange is not as good as more ‘modern’ linkage designs but this is plain wrong. Every design is a compromise of sorts, anti rise, anti squat etc and oranges are no different. Orange have experimented with linkages but have always felt the benefits aren’t worth it. They’ve had donkeys years to refine their pivot and shock placement also remember.

    They supposedly suffer from brake jack but this has a benefit of preserving geo under braking and stopping the front end diving and getting steep in head angle. Starling cycles are the same design and have had rave reviews – dirt reckoned it was the fastest bike they’d tested. I think a big reason companies use a linkage design is partly technical and being able to better manipulate the suspension characteristics than a single pivot but partly down to (wrong) attitudes like Tom’s that they’re outdated and therefore won’t sell. Not an Orange fan boy btw. These days suspension design is low on my list of priorities in a bike.

    I’ve seen enough people winning races on oranges to know that a single pivot is never going to hold me back.

    Premier Icon nickjb
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    Everyone else has moved on. Even orange have tried. I’m sure you can make it work, just like Porsche make the 911 work, but there are better* solutions.

    *I appreciate ‘better’ is a relative term and different things are better for different situations, just talking in general

    Premier Icon scotroutes
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    How many bikes do Orange export?

    Littleman
    Member

    Not defending Orange here but I think the term ‘moved on’ is wrong. As you say yourself they have tried other designs but have decided that for them it wasn’t worth it. Everything is a compromise, even the most modern linkage design. Fine if you don’t like orange or starling’s design but don’t try and say it’s worse than other designs. It’s just a different set of compromises.

    Premier Icon Trailrider Jim
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    Even if the design principles have some disadvantages, I’m sure they’re so slight to the average rider, the benefits of simplicity do it for me. I’m sure they tune the shock to compensate enough.

    Premier Icon tomhoward
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    I’ve seen enough people winning races on oranges to know that a single pivot is never going to hold me back.

    How many recently?

    I’ve seen plenty of DH races won on 75mm travel (and less, even rigid) hardtails with Cantis/v brakes. They were the best that were available at the time, but we moved on….

    Premier Icon zippykona
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    I long coveted a 5. Bought a cheap 2007.
    Even compared to my fatty it feels slow to pedal.
    How it was voted bike of the year I don’t know.
    It is however a bike I can ride through the very worst of mud and just leave to fester in the shed while my super speedy Anthem hibernates in the loft.

    Depends what you want from your suspension doesn’t it?

    I don’t like pedal kick back on technical climbs, and I don’t like suspension stiffening under power on technical climbs, because one steals composure and the other steals traction.

    Some people like these characteristics because it makes the bike feel taught under acceleration and more responsive like a hardtail. Reduced compliance and traction isn’t always going to be an issue if the ground conditions aren’t as marginal. Some will say you can run bigger, softer tyres to compensate for reduced traction, but IME this only goes so far.

    damascus
    Member

    In a market where a lot of bikes all look the same I think it’s great that orange do it their own way. To the average rider I doubt suspension makes a lot of difference. Bike maintenance on the other hand (or lack of it) probably does.

    Never had an orange, always wanted one. A lot of friends ride them and they have been bomb proof and reliable and just as fast as their other bikes or friends.

    I don’t understand the orange marmite thing, especially not on the new range. In fact the only thing that I hate is the price.

    Premier Icon zippykona
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    As I plod through the mud on my Hope equipped Orange I just feel so Englsh.

    Premier Icon dirtyboy
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    Rowan Sorrell is Errrrrrr fairly quick on orange single pivot, from what I can see.

    Premier Icon frogstomp
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    Santa cruz heckler & superlight used to be

    Looks like the Heckler still is..

    Littleman
    Member

    Science Officer – if the suspension is so bad on them, how come Starling have come out with glowing reviews everywhere they’ve been tested – a man in a shed with no marketing budget so he can’t be paying all the media outlets for good reviews. He can’t keep up with demand so arguably doesn’t need more orders as he currently stands). Don’t forget that a lot of other ‘modern’ bikes are single pivot as well, all the linkages do is change the leverage ratio, the basic principle is the same.

    As I alluded to in my eaerlier post. The really bad suspension designs (urt anyone?) have been weedled out by now so it’s about compromise and priorities for the individual now.

    I’ve not said it’s bad. Please read my comments again.

    Premier Icon breadcrumb
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    It’s strange that the majority of motorbikes are single pivot.

    The simplicity of a single pivot bike does appeal.

    I think the main problem with true single pivot designs is that it’s much harder to market them. The industry has done a very good job of convincing MTBers that suspension can’t work well without multi-pivot kinematics.

    In reality there are still plenty of single pivot bikes out there but almost all of them use a linkage to drive the shock, so they look like multi-pivots – marketing win! 😉

    mickmcd
    Member

    Starling have come out with glowing reviews everywhere they’ve been tested

    I could tell you lots of stories about people in this fishbowl …you don’t have to have a good product you just have to know the right people and be popular with the right crowd .

    if you did that tomorrow with the right reacharound single pivot would be the next big thing.

    hols2
    Member

    In reality there are still plenty of single pivot bikes out there but almost all of them use a linkage to drive the shock, so they look like multi-pivots – marketing win!

    The OP’s question wasn’t about single pivot, it was about “two-bearing” designs, i.e. single pivot without extra linkages to drive the shock. Using linkages to drive the shock gives packaging advantages and allows more control over spring rates, but requires extra bearings.

    5lab
    Member

    Not strictly true, some manufacturers just use bushings for the linkage movement (this appears to be sub-optimal).

    Specialized have had the odd single pivot bike in the past too, and it used to be cannondales main design. Plus moorwood

    Regarding the Starlings, I think it’s a case of the design being fundamentally right (great geometry, sensible single pivot kinematics) allied to a bit of a happy accident in that if you build a steel single pivot that long from lightweight tubing then it will have a fair bit of torsional flex.

    And that flex works well for finding more grip in the corners and it’s something that Dirt in particular have been going on about with modern carbon frames which feel too stiff. Add in the long geometry and 29er wheels and you’ve ticked all of Jones’s boxes! 😉

    The OP’s question wasn’t about single pivot, it was about “two-bearing” designs, i.e. single pivot without extra linkages to drive the shock. Using linkages to drive the shock gives packaging advantages and allows more control over spring rates, but requires extra bearings.

    My point was that single pivot designs still work well but are hard to sell unless you add linkages. So if you want just two bearings there are very few choices other than Orange.

    Something to bear in mind with true single pivots is that the bearings will wear out quicker than a similarly built multi pivot because of the extra loads and reduced stiffness. But not four times as fast!

    Premier Icon tomhoward
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    Specialized have had the odd single pivot bike in the past too, and it used to be cannondales main design. Plus moorwood Morewood

    Are Morewood still going?

    hols2
    Member

    some manufacturers just use bushings for the linkage movement

    Bushings are a type of bearing. A frame with a remotely driven shock must have more than two bearings, whether they are bushings, roller bearings, or whatever.

    mickmcd
    Member

    fundamentally you’ve ticked all of Jones’s boxes!

    phew glad someone else figured out too

    Littleman
    Member

    Science officer, you said that single pivots steal composure and traction which surely are bad traits (which I don’t agree with you on btw). As Chief said, companies have convinced the buying public that multi pivots are needed, when all I am saying is that multi linkage designs aren’t inherently better or more “advanced”, just give different options and characteristscs.

    I’m also as cynical as the next person regarding reviews, but I don’t buy that Joe from Starling is ‘mates’ with every mtb media outlet there. He does seem pally with Steve Jones but given he’s had glowing reviews in loads of places I’m less inclined to believe it’s all down to mates being pally and marketing guff.

    I think that modern shocks with pro pedal settings combined with single front chainrings mean that single pivot bikes can be made to ride really well .

    Something to bear in mind with true single pivots is that the bearings will wear out quicker than a similarly built multi pivot because of the extra loads and reduced stiffness. But not four times as fast!

    Depends on the size of the bearings also .

    Premier Icon vincienup
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    What really comes across in this thread is how many people have accepted the possibility that there is a ‘universal best’ or that a well reviewed bike will automatically work well for them.

    Different people like different things for different reasons. It’s fine to ride a ‘bike of the year’ and decide that in your opinion it sucks.

    mickmcd
    Member

    He does seem pally with Steve Jones

    someone once told me if PR clowns guffing from their loin about it …your made …

    Different people like different things for different reasons.

    comedy thing this people making own decisions and choices…bravenewworld eh

    That’s why I said “similarly built” Ramsey!

    Air shocks are much more linear than they used to be, so it should be possible for a simple single pivot to be sensitive yet not plunge through the midstroke (and you can add volume spacers to adjust the end stroke progression). Air shocks used to have a very U-shaped spring curve, which needed fixing with a linkage.

    Well designed true four bar (dual short link or Horst link style) systems can give a better balance of compromises than a single pivot. So if a short dual link (VPP, DW, Banshee, Giant, Mondraker etc, four bar (common rotating not like the Bird designs) and single pivot are designed for the same level of pedalling efficiency (yes you can do that with single pivots), the single pivots will stiffen most under braking, the dual links a bit less, the four bars a lot less. The single pivots will kick back most through the pedals, the four bars a bit less, the dual links a lot less.

    But move the top link’s pivot above (like a VPP or Bird Aeris) and then four bar loses the reduced brake squat advantage and the dual link does some fairly weird stuff.

    Anyway, some riders won’t be bothered by this – like I’m used to climbing on a hardtail so a bit of pedal kickback doesn’t bother me. Having the bike sit lower even if the back end doesn’t grip as much can be a good thing or a bad thing depending on how you ride. If never use the rear brake when turning it’s irrelevant.

    I ride a dual link bike, Banshee Spitfire. Will probably try an Orange when it dies because I like the look of them, like the made in UK, like the simplicity and geometry. Would try a Starling too if there isn’t a massive queue!

    I’m also as cynical as the next person regarding reviews

    Really? You’re coming across as a fully paid up card carrying single pivot fan boy on this thread. That’s fair enough if you are too, but you’re failing at this juncture to convince me you don’t have more than a little bias. I’m also wondering about your comprehension of written English tbh. That’s the joy of teh internetz I guess.

    Littleman – Member
    Science officer, you said that single pivots steal composure and traction which surely are bad traits

    Yes, I did, and you conveniently stripped out the context, since I specifically said ‘I don’t like…’ at the beginning of that sentence, and specifically qualified in the following sentence that other people think its beneficial for other reasons. I’m not stating fact, I’m stating my opinion and you’ll have to learn to deal with that. It’s my opinion that single pivots steal traction and composure on steep, technical climbs, but I happen to agree with you about brake jack(squat) being a good thing to preserve descending geometry composure. Go figure.

    Pretty much, my views are the same as Chiefgrooveguru. All suspension designs have compromises and specific behaviours unique to them. Which one you find the most acceptable will depend entirely on your own preference. It’s important to remember that most of the time all current mtb suspension designs are pretty decent, and in the main, you’ll find their most different behaviours deviate the most from each other towards limits of their performance envelope.

    Premier Icon fettlin
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    where does this fit in to the grand scheme of things then?
    single main pivot (with gert bearings), no fancy linkage to drive the shock, but the lower shock yoke joins the swingarm with bearings, argh my head hurts!

    cynic-al
    Member

    bearings will wear out quicker than a similarly built multi pivot because of the extra loads and reduced stiffness.

    The main loads are along the chainstays, and SPs usually have much bigger bearings.

    The main loads are along the chainstays, and SPs usually have much bigger bearings.

    I meant more in terms of the ability of the upper pivots to brace the lower pivots against torsional and lateral loads, which is particularly significant in dual link designs with a solid rear triangle. My Spitfire’s lower bearings are the same 28mm OD and slightly wider than those in an Orange Five – upper bearings are 22mm OD.

    The Shann No.5 is a bit of an odd one. In terms of everything bar the leverage curve it’s a simple single pivot, including the stiffness and loading issue. I don’t think the yoke modifies the leverage curve much, just flattens it a bit (keeps it more tangential to a circle drawn around the main pivot) but it makes a lot of sense for manufacturing in 4130 and keeping a full length seat tube for long droppers.

    Premier Icon kayla1
    Subscriber

    where does this fit in to the grand scheme of things then?
    single main pivot (with gert bearings), no fancy linkage to drive the shock, but the lower shock yoke joins the swingarm with bearings, argh my head hurts!

    The yoke just makes the shock (effectively) longer to keep the leverage rate constant-ish, maybe even decreasing it towards full travel. If the swingarm was made so that it connected directly to the shock in front of the seat tube the leverage rate would increase through the travel and the shock would ‘feel’ softer as it moved through its travel (and it might even flop over centre).

    Meh. Buy a hardtail and be done with it!

    Premier Icon Northwind
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    kenneththecurtain – Member

    I’ve seen enough people winning races on oranges to know that a single pivot is never going to hold me back.

    I’m a knobber, but my 224 Evo definitely held me back, I was measurably slower on it than on my Herb DH. The geometry etc was great but the suspension even with a CCDB was second rate.

    But it was a blast to ride and way more fun, and way easier to adapt to, than the Herb so I preferred it.

    Thing is, unless the bearing life’s awful- which usually implies a problem- then the cost of maintaining more pivots is trivial in the grand scheme of things. It shouldn’t affect your purchasing decisions in the slightest imo, you’d be absolutely mental to buy a bike you liked less purely because you’ll save a few quid a year on bearings and services. It’s, what, 1% of the purchase price? The price of a good tyre or an uplift day?

    (that’s assuming you replace all the bearings at the same time, as lots of people do… Seems weird, my Remedy wears out the small bearings way faster, why would I replace perfectly good ones?)

    Premier Icon molgrips
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    I was idly wondering what 160mm bike I’d buy if I were rich, and I decided to go for an Alpine. Cos when I look at them, they just look bloody great. I can’t be bothered to sit here mithering over brake jack or kickback.

    robowns
    Member

    I don’t get why people keep mountain bikes inside over winter, why not just ride the same bike all year round? It’s not like bearings are overly expensive, much less than a second bike.

    duner
    Member

    I’ve owned examples of all the different basic suspension designs in the past, but have long had the opinion that the slight differences in leverage curves or axle path make next to no difference in reality. The fact is that your fitness and skill, make up 99% of how fast you are on a bike, and there are a lot of good riders out there who value low maintenance over ultimate efficiency. Single pivot designs with good geometry and modern shocks clearly work very well, hence the popularity of Orange. There’s a lot of other riders who are convinced the latest technology will make them faster and perhaps enjoy the ride more, but I think it’s owning a shiny object that they derive their enjoyment from really. I was a little sad when Santa Cruz stopped making single pivot bikes, my last generation Superlight 29er with an angleset is doing the job for now, but next bike will probably be an Orange. Why have 8 bearings when 2 will do?

    Junkyard
    Member

    It’s not like bearings are overly expensive

    You dont own a turner 5 spot then
    $150 + postage + import taxes
    Orange 5 is less than a tenner

    Premier Icon zippykona
    Subscriber

    I don’t get why people keep mountain bikes inside over winter, why not just ride the same bike all year round? It’s not like bearings are overly expensive, much less than a second bike.

    My NRS developed a creak. I never did find it.
    I am bearing phobic that’s why my Anthem is in the loft. I wouldn’t have bought it if I didn’t have my fatty for winter.
    I know lots of people run their Anthems in the winter but the thought of a cold night in the shed swapping bearings trying to eliminate a creak scares me!

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