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Offline EllsRider

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Bike Characteristics
« on: September 07, 2007, 07:20:06 AM »
 Bike Characteristics

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What would be the general characteristics of each type of design? For example, I hadalways thought  that  the VPP was difficult to set up  and tune based on individual weight, sag, pressure in shocks... but positive for longer travel. Lets be honest about this.  ;D Please add to or change as necessary.
Looking to create quick reference guide and informational guide for those who don't know(me). Not a bragging forum about everyones own bike.


Hardtail - unforgiving ride, rider fatigue. Good climbing, no loss of pedal efficiency

VPP - complex set up , excels in higher suspension usage

Faux Bar-

Horst Link -

Four bar-


FSR-

Anything else?

 
 
 
« Last Edit: September 07, 2007, 07:26:58 AM by EllsRider »
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Offline FACTORe

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Re: Bike Characteristics
« Reply #1 on: September 07, 2007, 07:23:38 AM »
there is nothing at all hard about setting up VPP - all you have to do is set the sag and it works like a dream - i have 140mm of travel and it climbs great - decends like a champ - there is a slight bit of efficiency loss from my hardtail.  I would rather lose a little bit of efficiency and ride in a sweet spot - it is a sensation of riding in a caddilac

Offline EllsRider

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Re: Bike Characteristics
« Reply #2 on: September 07, 2007, 07:40:54 AM »
Thast what I'm trying to understand. Get rid of false myths and info and understand the real aspects of each bike. If it feels like a caddy, do you think you are losing any energy or effieciency because of the soft ride? Pedal bob? Poor climbing?
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Offline slowfatguy

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Re: Bike Characteristics
« Reply #3 on: September 07, 2007, 07:46:08 AM »
there are too many bikes out there to make a blanket statement about how each suspension works.
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Offline BillT

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Re: Bike Characteristics
« Reply #4 on: September 07, 2007, 08:12:06 AM »
Ditto what FactorE said...the only 'trick' to a VPP setup is getting the sag right and the only complication there is that you sag a VPP design (20 - 30% of travel) more so that you do other suspension designs (typically 10 - 20% of travel).

The other designs - single pivot, faux bar, horst link/fsr - the main driving factor on how they perform is where the main pivot is located.  In general, the closer the main pivot is to the bottom bracket, the more active it is but becomes a poor pedaler (the most extreme example is a bike like a Cove G-spot or Kona Cowan DS where the main pivot is actually around the bottom bracket) and needs some kind of platform to pedal well.  The further away the main pivot is to the bottom bracket, the less active it becomes due to extension/chain torque but it becomes a better pedaler.  The advantage of a horst link as opposed to the single pivot/faux bar is that the wheel travel is a bit more vertical.

Spend some time in the suspenion forums at www.mtbr.com and you'll have more than enough information on the pro's/con's of all the different suspenion setups.

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Offline FACTORe

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Re: Bike Characteristics
« Reply #5 on: September 07, 2007, 08:46:35 AM »
Thast what I'm trying to understand. Get rid of false myths and info and understand the real aspects of each bike. If it feels like a caddy, do you think you are losing any energy or effieciency because of the soft ride? Pedal bob? Poor climbing?

You really dont lose that much efficiency.  The only time that i notice pedal bob is if i stand up and try to sprint...but i hardly ever am in any condition to sprint anyway...lol

the way that the wheel travels in the "backward s" it keeps the tension the same while it is in the sweet spot (which is where it is 90% of the time) and all the pressure you put to the pedal, goes to the wheels.  you just have a nice soft feeling on your bottom.

Offline BeerCan

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Re: Bike Characteristics
« Reply #6 on: September 07, 2007, 08:59:09 AM »
there are too many bikes out there to make a blanket statement about how each suspension works.
+1 on that.

Don't forget DW Link and Maestro.

In my short biking career I have had 2 single pivots a horst and a faux bar.

My 2 single pivots were fine bikes.  They both had their pivots in a different location.  They were both decent pedlar's but I think that was mainly due to the platform shocks.  One of them had noticeable brake squat that was very annoying.  The other was a fine bike that I would not hesitate to purchase again if I had to.  Simplicity of design is the major strong point with SP.  They do the job with minimal fuss and for the most part modern shock technologies have addressed their major weaknesses.  Also if brake squat is a major issue you can equip most frames with a floating brake.

My horst bike suspension rode like a dream.  It kept the rear wheel planted and was very smooth.  I did have some problems with one of the rear pivots.  It constantly loosened up and dropped the bolt.  It happened to me at the squiggy race and once when I was about 25 miles from my car.  I started carrying a spare bolt but that is a pain.  No amount of locktite or other remedies would correct the issue.  I am sure it was an isolated problem but I use it to illustrate that more pivots = more potential issues.  I eventually sold the frame because of fitment issues.

My Faux bar bike also rides great.  To be honest it is so similar to the horst I would have a very hard time telling them apart in a blind test.  The one issue I have is that sometimes when going over an obstacle the rear pops up and hits me in the butt.  I really think this is a setup issue (shock) and not something inherent to the faux bar design.

My personal opinion is that a well designed bike will ride great no matter what suspension system is used.  There are so many factors that can affect ride quality that one must look at the whole bike and not just one aspect.  But of course bushings and 29" wheels make everything better  ;D :o
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Offline CrazyWhiteGuy

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Re: Bike Characteristics
« Reply #7 on: September 07, 2007, 03:36:53 PM »
Isn't FSR and Horst the same thing?

Single Pivot? Simple to maintain.
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Offline BillT

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Re: Bike Characteristics
« Reply #8 on: September 07, 2007, 03:50:28 PM »
Isn't FSR and Horst the same thing?

Pretty much, but since Specialized bought the patent, they've kinda renamed it.  Supposedly the patent runs out in a couple of years so maybe folks like Turner will go back to the chainstay pivot.

Single Pivot? Simple to maintain.

Pivot maintenance is so overblown these days.  Yes, on a single pivot you typically have only 2 cartridge bearings to deal with and on other designs you have 6-8 cartridge bearings/bushing sets to deal with but if you get to point where you need to replace them, there isn't a huge difference in time or effort between replacing 2-4-6-8 sets of bearings.
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