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Suspension Design and Theory - Ripped from Trek thread

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Suspension Design and Theory - Ripped from Trek thread

Old 02-28-06, 08:36 AM
  #1  
Tequila Joe
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So let see....the more popular brands mostly from memory

Trek / Gary Fisher = Single pivot
Raleigh / Diamondback = Single Pivot
Cannondale = Single Pivot
Kona = Single Pivot
KHS = Single Pivot
Mountain Cycle = Single Pivot
Santa Cruz = Single Pivot (Super Light & Heckler)
Transition = Single Pivot
Turner = Single Pivot (Pre-2006 = Horst)
Jamis = Single Pivot (Pre 2004 = Horst)
Yeti = Single Pivot
Ventana = Single Pivot (thanks nav)


Devinci = Horst in Canada (in the USA = Sigle Pivot)
Giant = Maestro (Pre Maestro = Single Pivot) ( except NRS = Horst) thanks phoebeisis
Ellsworth = Horst (Except Isis, Joker, Distance = Single Pivot)
Iron Horse = DW Link (except Yakuza = Single Pivot) thanks KonaRider24
Intense = VPP
Mongoose / GT = Free Drive / iDrive (system is a different type of SP but maybe a SP )
Norco = Horst
Specialized = Horst
Santa Cruz = VPP (Blur, Nomad, VP Free, V10 (I think)
Titus = Horst
Rocky Mountain = ETSX (Others = Single Pivot)
Marin = Quad Link


The only thing I really dislike abount SP is that the suspension is not very active under braking situations. (Brake Jack /Squat) Also, depending on thier design, pedal feedback is more apparent in SP designs than most other systems. Pedal bob is also more in SP designs and they've become dependent on a platform shock for better pedaling these days. This results in a loss of small bump reaction. The rocker link designs help reduce this effect by increasing the leverage ratios.

Single pivots are nice becasue they are simple to maintain and are ideal for muddy riding conditions.
I've had to change the bushings on my Enduro after every season becasue of the play it eventually develops.

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Old 02-28-06, 10:42 AM
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Correct - depending on pivot location the bike will squat or jack under braking conditions. This can be fixed by an aftermarket product that allows suspension to remain active when braking.

They other thing with single pivots, in general, is a catch 22. If you want no pedal bob you end up with a faily inactive suspension design. If you want active suspension you invariably end up with pedal bob. Horst and VPP remain active but reduce pedal bob.

Since we are making a list

gt-idrive is single pivot.
Devinci in canada is horst and in the states is sp
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Old 02-28-06, 10:55 AM
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Originally Posted by Maelstrom
Correct - depending on pivot location the bike will squat or jack under braking conditions. This can be fixed by an aftermarket product that allows suspension to remain active when braking.
Ahh... right, your talking about a floating brake kit. If anyone is considering one, I don't ride with anyone that uses one so I do not have first hand information but through the grape vine, I've heard that it works quite well. However, these units are not compatable with all frame design.

Here is a review from another site.
http://www.nsmb.com/gear/therapy_02_05.php

Hey Maelstrom,
I forgot that Devinci had Hoerst licensing issues in the US. Thanks for clearing that up.

T.J.
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Old 02-28-06, 10:57 AM
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To bad these posts are stuck in this thread. It could be useful information for someone and it is left in a thread most people won't come into ...

Floating brakes varry depending on frame design. I would say most of the time they work well. On the two bikes I have used/seen them they worked like a charm.
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Old 02-28-06, 12:49 PM
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Are the Giant NRS all considered single pivot?The swingarm pivots around 2 sets of fixed pivots,and it has 5 sets of bushings on each side.It works pretty well-of course you give up downward suspension movement(gradual dips-huge dips won't matter),but bumps are probably a bigger deal.I set it up to allow a tiny bit of bob;it is a lot less stiff that way.An aftermarket link to increase travel improved it in that respect also.Depending on how you pedal,you might regain most of the force-energy use to bob-you will lose the friction energy of course..
I would appreciate a web address to something that describes single pivot etc.Thanks.Charlie.
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Old 02-28-06, 01:27 PM
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The Giant NRS was the exception. Good catch. Giant licenced Horst from Specialized for this bike.
http://www.giant-bicycle.com/us/050....50.500.050.asp

Last paragraph in the above article.
"Some elements of the NRS frame design were licensed from SPECIALIZED® and relate to the FSR Suspension Design U.S. patents 5,509,679/5,678,837/5,899,480"

Here is a good article that explains, in general, suspension history / designs.
http://www.whatmtb.com/workshopdetails.asp?id=24

T.J.

Edit; The last NRS made was in 04. It was replace by the Trance and now the even lighter Anthem

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Old 02-28-06, 01:31 PM
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www.ridemonkey.com do some searches for posts by dw. He designed the dw link and is an amazing resource of information. There is a booksworth of information in his posts on that site. Thats where I got most of my information.

I can't find much else information. I highly recommend the ridemonkey search. Will take some leg work on your part but it will go into much better detail than most sites. You could search on this site too. I have covered this a lot and there might be some links I have put out in the past in regards to this.

[edit]
NEat I didn't know nrs was horst now. I remember that being a regular rocker bar.

[/edit]
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Old 02-28-06, 03:20 PM
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Originally Posted by Tequila Joe
So let see....the more popular brands mostly from memory
........................
Kona = Single Pivot
......................................
Ellsworth = Hoerst (Except ID, Joker, Distance = Single Pivot)
Ok... i think i know nothing about suspension designs. I thought i knew what single pivot was until i read the statement above.

Horst:


Single Pivot?



To me, these two suspension designs look almost the exact same. Can anybody put up some diagrams explaining the difference?
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Old 02-28-06, 03:37 PM
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I don't have any diagrams, but the difference is the pivot point by the rear axel. If the pivot is on the chain stay then it's considered a four bar suspension, most of which are Horst links. In Ellsworth's case they call it ICT. The Kona has the pivot on the seat stay which makes it a faux-bar/single pivot.

Dean
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Old 02-28-06, 03:42 PM
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So those couple of inches in pivot location make a massive difference on how the bike handles while pedaling/braking?

And even still, i dont understand while its called single pivot when it pivots in multiple locations.
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Old 02-28-06, 03:44 PM
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BEcause it acts like a single pivot.

And yes, that small change in pivot location makes a big difference. If you really want to know why go to ridemonkey and search for posts by DW. He goes into vey VERY extensive details about vpp, dw-link, fsr and single pivots.
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Old 02-28-06, 03:46 PM
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Cheers Mael, i think i'll do that.
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Old 02-28-06, 04:00 PM
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It relates to how the axle travels through the travel.

Here are some quick links to help explain. I am no expert, not an engineer, I just read through posts and articles

http://www.ridemonkey.com/forums/sho...ght=suspension
http://www.ridemonkey.com/forums/sho...&highlight=vpp
http://www.ridemonkey.com/forums/sho...&highlight=vpp

Long thread covering brake therapy and brake jack etc..
http://www.ridemonkey.com/forums/sho...&highlight=vpp
http://www.ridemonkey.com/forums/sho...&highlight=fsr

Not exactly on topic but there is some discussion in there about single pivots etc..
http://www.ridemonkey.com/forums/sho...ght=suspension

There I did some searching, enjoy the read. There are more articles in the archives. If you want to keep searching dw and zedbra kick ass in the suspension department
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Old 02-28-06, 04:07 PM
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Treks Suck!!
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Old 02-28-06, 04:08 PM
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Here is another link (from Specialized's site) that goes through all of the types with very well-done animated diagrams of each type. I KNEW I'd seen this a while back and forgot where it was. I finally found it:

http://www.specialized.com/sbc4Bar.jsp?a=b

And, yes, it's got a lot of FSR propoganda tilt; but the pictures and descriptions are good references.
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Old 02-28-06, 04:09 PM
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Originally Posted by Maelstrom
It relates to how the axle travels through the travel.

Here are some quick links to help explain. I am no expert, not an engineer, I just read through posts and articles

http://www.ridemonkey.com/forums/sho...ght=suspension
http://www.ridemonkey.com/forums/sho...&highlight=vpp
http://www.ridemonkey.com/forums/sho...&highlight=vpp

Long thread covering brake therapy and brake jack etc..
http://www.ridemonkey.com/forums/sho...&highlight=vpp
http://www.ridemonkey.com/forums/sho...&highlight=fsr

Not exactly on topic but there is some discussion in there about single pivots etc..
http://www.ridemonkey.com/forums/sho...ght=suspension

There I did some searching, enjoy the read. There are more articles in the archives. If you want to keep searching dw and zedbra kick ass in the suspension department
wow, thanks a lot Mael.
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Old 02-28-06, 04:09 PM
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I went looking for that. Couldn't find it to save my life. Stupid new specialized site.

Keep in mind those graphics, while good for reference, are flavoured towards the fsr design.

Thanks dminor
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Old 02-28-06, 04:14 PM
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Originally Posted by Maelstrom
I went looking for that. Couldn't find it to save my life. Stupid new specialized site.

Keep in mind those graphics, while good for reference, are flavoured towards the fsr design.

Thanks dminor
My Google engine was a quart low after I wrung it out looking
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Old 02-28-06, 05:09 PM
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free_pizza, here's my attempt at explanation.
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Old 02-28-06, 05:17 PM
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Someone needs to do some homework if they think that the Id is a single pivot.





And when did Horst Leitner change the spelling of his first name?
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Old 02-28-06, 05:48 PM
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The Horst link (pivot on the chainstay) yields the most vertical axle path of any major suspension design to date. This limits chain growth during suspension movement and effectively isolates the suspension from braking forces (aka brake jack).

The pivot on the seatstay yields an axle path that describes an arc with a radius equal to the chainstay length...essentially, it has the same characteristics of any single pivot design. The chain tension caused by pedaling will produce more bobbing, although a shock with platform damping will help significantly. Brake jack is present, but not as noticiable on shorter travel frames. Take a look at the longer travel single pivots (e.g. Kona Stab, Foes Mono) and you will see they use a floating caliper mount to mitigate the effects of brake jack.
gastro made excellent points here. Because of these facts , the list of frames to replace my 19" 2003 Jamis Dakar is very short . A custom 20.25 " Titus Moto-Lite with a 69.5 degree head angle , is the only bike on the list.
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Old 02-28-06, 05:55 PM
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Originally Posted by Hank Rearden
Someone needs to do some homework if they think that the Id is a single pivot.
And when did Horst Leitner change the spelling of his first name?
Doh! I meant ISIS. Now I have to go and edit all my replies.
Thanks for the catch.

T.J.

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Old 02-28-06, 06:20 PM
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whatever, only one mistake, impressive that you got all the rest from memory, thanks for posting this!
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Old 02-28-06, 07:44 PM
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Originally Posted by free_pizza
So those couple of inches in pivot location make a massive difference on how the bike handles while pedaling/braking?

And even still, i dont understand while its called single pivot when it pivots in multiple locations.
i have often wondered that too. although i dont know much about suspension designs etc, so someone please correct me if i am wrong, but from what i just read i think basically the pivot location refers to the pivot of the swingarm. that is the arc around which the rear wheel will move under bump force or whatever. like i just read somewhere: the basic intention of both front and rear suspension designs are to isolate the wheels from the rest of the bike. i guess to allow a path for the wheel to move under bumping etc in such a way that only the wheel responds to that bump, and when the wheel moves to absorb the hit, there is no, or atleast not much or a minimum, amount of force travelling into the frame itself, or force travelling outside the wheel. basically that is what most designs try to maximise i think, to try contain the force that hitting a bump creates within the wheel...?

eh. does that sound about right?

so i think the pivot location with single vs multi pivot designs etc refer to the number of pivots around which the feel finds an arc to move under bumping. so if there are a number of pivots for linkages for shocks etc, that doesnt matter, if there is only one pivot that allows movement of the wheel then the bike is a single pivot bike. if the arc along which the bike will move has been created by more than one pivot, well then thats not a single pivot bike.

okay, if ive just been talking crap or something someone please let me know, this stuff is all interesting but frankly i dont get a lot of the physics when i read the "experts" at ridemonkey or mtbr. so it would be nice if someone could babylanguage it for people like me. thanks!!
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Old 02-28-06, 08:11 PM
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My attempt at baby language.

Think of it this way. Hold out your hand, palms up. Make a fist. The plane of the palm of your hand represents the rear axel. Rotate your elbow up and down about 5" but do NOT bend your wrist. You elbow is the pivot point on the frame and your fist/rear axel travels in an arc. This is a single pivot.

Now do the same thing but you are now allowed to bend your wist. As you rotate you elbow up, bend your wrist back. This is Horst. It is more active and as you bend your wrist back, you can make your fist travel vertically.

T.J.

This is my simple explanation. Don't get me started on DW Link, VPP and Quad Link cause I do not think any body part can similate it!
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