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Old 05-15-06, 12:03 AM   #1
womble
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How much difference is there in FS frame makers?

After riding a hardtail on and off for eigth years, I'm finally considering replacing it with a full suspension bike. Were I living somewhere else, I would be comparing whole bikes- frames, forks, drivetrain, etc.

However, my LBS is an unsual one, in Hong Kong. They generally builds bikes up from scratch- any mix of parts I want, they can do. I'm not fussed about components- generally going for an XT-equivalent mix and nothing fancy. I've not decided on suspension type, but am leaning towards the single pivot approach that Marin, Santa Cruz, Canondale, et. al. use. Mainly for the reason that it looks simpler than the quadlink/Horst system. The store has a wide range to chose from- Canondales, Santa Cruz, Yetis, Kestrels and a host of obscure names that I've not heard of.

So my question is this: How much difference is there when it comes to frame makers? This suspension design looks pretty dead-simple with little variation between makers (well, the Santa Cruz VPP variation looks a little different). Do extremely minor geometry differences translate into meaningful real-world experiences? Or is the real variation created by the marketing spin on the various manufacturers' websites?

Lastly, are there any reasonably balanced assessments of bikes on the internet? MTBreviews tend to be hugely skewed depending on the emotional investment and insecurities of the reviewr!

Thanks.
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Old 05-15-06, 12:33 AM   #2
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I wish they had a LBS that did that here.

Have fun in Hong Kong.

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Old 05-15-06, 06:05 AM   #3
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Believe it or not those little changes do make a big difference. The best thing to do is test ride as many of them as possible. Also, just so you know the VPP is not a single pivot design. Santa Cruz's single pivot bikes are the Superlight and the Heckler.
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Old 05-15-06, 06:37 AM   #4
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Yah, I realise VPP is a bit more complex, but have no idea what the overall concept is that is *not* horst/quad link. Anyone know what it's called?
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Old 05-15-06, 06:45 AM   #5
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Originally Posted by 古強者死神
I wish they had a LBS that did that here.

Have fun in Hong Kong.

じてんしゃや えらい です!
Yeah, the store is pretty amazing. They have some pre-built bikes (mainly Cannondales), but otherwise they have racks and racks of frames (Santa Cruz, Ellsworth, Seven, Titus, lots of weird stuff I haven't heard of before). Curiously enough, I didn't notice any Specialized or Marins, which seem incredibly popular elsewhere.

Probably a whole lot cheaper than in Japan, too!
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Old 05-15-06, 07:10 AM   #6
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VPP stand for Virtual Pivot Point . The pivot point will change throughout it's travel ,and depending on what chain ring you are using , it will effect how active the suspension is under power .
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Old 05-15-06, 07:15 AM   #7
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Yah, I realise VPP is a bit more complex, but have no idea what the overall concept is that is *not* horst/quad link. Anyone know what it's called?
VPP stands for Virtual Pivot Point. It is pretty much the same as the horst/quad/ict just doesn't have the pivot point on the back of the rear triangle. I'm sure there are a bunch of tehnical differences that make them different from each other, not necessarily better or worse though.
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Old 05-15-06, 08:58 AM   #8
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Complexity isn't always a bad thing. The Horst design has been around a long time, and works very well for XC riding. LowCel's point about riding as many bikes as possible is a good one. Take into consideration the kind of riding you do before eliminating bikes from your short list.
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