bike - Bicycle suspension
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This bike results in an increase in spring rate. Leitner formed a mountain bike and research company, AMP research, that began building full-suspension mountain bikes.
Originally intended for the use in mountain bikes, Softride produced its first full-fledged mountain bike, bike Dutch bicycle the PowerCurve, in 1991. It adapted the A-arm suspension design from sports car racing, and was the first four-bar linkage in mountain biking.
Coil spring forks are often heavier than designs which use compressed air springs, however they are more easily designed to keep a linear spring rate throughout their travel. Increasing the volume of the air inside the spring can reduce this effect but the volume of the spring is ultimately limited as it needs to be contained within the dimension of the fork leg. The damper is usually implemented by forcing oil to pass through one or more small openings or shim stacks.
However, because of this property, there is less bob in out of the saddle sprints. Where the bottom bracket is significantly lower than the seat base, there may still be some pedalling-induced bounce. Short-wheelbase recumbents benefit from front suspension, because the front wheel is often smaller than the rear wheel and bumps are unduly felt without it. The Softride Suspension System was launched at the Interbike 1989 bike show.
A Horst link suspension has one pivot behind the bottom bracket, one pivot mounted at the chain stay, in front of the rear wheel drop-out (this pivot being the venerated Horst link ), and one at the top of the seat stay. The spring may be implemented with a steel or titanium coil, an elastomer, or even compressed air.
The choice of spring material has a fundamental effect on the characteristics of the fork as a whole. In the original Brain mechanism, when the terrain evens out, the weight returns to its original position through a return spring, and deactivates the shock again.
It simply consists of a pivot near the bottom bracket and a single swingarm to the rear axle. Spring preload is adjusted until the desired amount of sag is measured. Lockout refers to a mechanism to disable a suspension mechanism to render it substantially rigid.
It can be easily modified into a single-speed, and has the benefit of zero chain growth and consistent front shifting. In the past, mountain bikes had a rigid frame and a rigid fork.
Typically this amount of travel is now more normal for cross-country disciplines. During 1996 Softride released its first aluminum frame road bike, the Classic TT.
Santa Cruz s Superlight is such an example. A lightweight, powerful disc brake wasn t developed until the mid 1990s, and the disc brake used on the RS-1 was its downfall. Horst Leitner began working on the problem of chain torque and its effect on suspension in the mid 1970s with motorcycles.
On some models, the spring, the damper, or both may be adjusted for rider weight, riding style, terrain, or any combination of these or other factors. The exception to this is that on recumbent and tandem bicycles where the rider is either unable to lift themself out of their seat or unable to see in advance when that will be needed, the riders weight can no longer be expected to be supported by their knees over road irregularities.
When a rider hit the brakes, these early designs lost some of their ability to absorb bumps â€” and this happened in situations where the rear suspension was needed most. The problems of pedal bob and brake jack began to be solved in the early 1990s. The Santa Cruz Blur and V-10 models introduced in 2001 popularized dual short link type suspension systems, but have the unique characteristic of having links that rotate in opposite directions.
One of the first successful full suspension bikes was designed by Mert Lawwill, a former motorcycle champion. The Cannondale Scalpel is an exception with 4 inches of travel. The Single pivot is the simplest type of rear suspension.
In 1985 Leitner built a prototype mountain bike incorporating what became known later as the Horst link . This allows a fork to be effectively tuned to a rider s weight.
The system utilizes a brass weight inside a cylinder situated atop the non-drive-side chainstay, near the rear dropout, and connected to the shock directly or through a hose. Examples are the Maverick ML7/5, ML8, Klein Palomino, and Seven Duo. The Equilink suspension system was developed by Felt Bicycles for their full suspension line.
There are few moving parts, relatively easy to design and has good small bump compliance. ABP reduces brake feedback that is typically felt by the rider as suspension stiffening.
During braking, riders naturally brace themselves on the pedals, Examples of bike with this kind of suspension include the Castellano Zorro, Catamount MFS, Ibis Szazbo, Klein Mantra, Schwinn S-10, Trek Y, and Voodoo Canzo. The four-bar active suspension utilizes several linkage points to activate the shock. A newer version of the Brain was developed that utilizes the rebound hydraulic fluid flow to return the weight to its rest position instead of relying on a return spring.
It was designed by Paul Turner. Squat usually refers to how the rear end sinks under acceleration, and bob refers to repeated squat and rebound with each pedal stroke.
In identical fashion to the split pivot design, the ABP system uses a rear pivot concentric to the rear axle. Some examples of Horst link four-bar designs include the now-discontinued AMP B-5, the Specialized FSR and related bikes, Ellsworth, KHS, Titus, and Merida. A four-bar, seat-stay pivot suspension is similar looking, having a pivot above the drop out instead of in front of the drop out (ie no Horst link and no patent problem).
Many lock out the rear suspension while the rider is pedaling hard or climbing, in order to improve pedaling efficiency. Adjusting preload affects the ride height of the suspension. Rebound refers to the rate at which the suspension component returns to its original configuration after absorbing a shock.
less travel for uphill sections, more travel for downhill sections). By raising themself off the saddle the rider may provide suspension with their knees, making their mass be sprung mass, but all of the mass of the bicycle is unsprung mass.
A bicycle suspension is the system or systems used to suspend the rider and all or part of the bicycle in order to protect them from the roughness of the terrain over which they travel. With front and rear suspension the only parts unsuspended are the wheels and a small part of the fork and rear chain-stay.
One disadvantage of this design is the difficulty in achieving a linear spring rate throughout the fork s action. Often, lockouts function by allowing no compression. Unsprung mass is the mass of the portions of the bicycle that are not supported by the suspension systems.
This movement was called pedal bob, kickback, or monkey motion and took power out of a rider s pedal stoke â€” especially during climbs up steep hills. The amount of travel available has typically increased.
The Virtual Pivot Point system owned by Santa Cruz Bicycles, Inc is protected by four US patents, three of which were originally issued to Outland Bicycles. This simple design uses only one pivot, which keeps down the number of moving parts.
At one extreme we have a road bicycle with no suspension in the frame, very little in the tires, and none in the saddle. The monolink design is also unique in having a rearward axle path, which is similar to the angle of attack of the front suspension.
One manufacturer well known for their long-time use of the seat-stay pivot four-bar link suspension is Kona, who incorporate the design on their entire line-up, along with other manufacturers such as Infiza and Icon. The bike company Specialized worked with Leitner Technologies to develop a heavier-duty version of the four-bar/Horst link suspension which was marketed as the Specialized FSR. on the chain stay) allows the linkage components to affect the path of the rear axle, thereby allowing for a more complex arc of the axle path.
The suspension is more active when in the saddle, as pressure on the cranks actively works against the suspension. More rebound damping will cause the shock to return at a slower rate. Sag refers to how much a suspension moves under just the static load of the rider.
Advanced designs also often feature the ability to lock out the fork to completely eliminate or drastically reduce the fork s travel for more efficient riding over smooth sections of terrain. The two components may be separated with the spring mechanism in one leg and the damper in the other. Some manufacturers, especially Cannondale, have tried other variations including a single shock built into the steering tube above the crown and a fork with just a single leg that has a shock built into it.
Bicycle suspensions are used primarily on mountain bikes, but are also common on hybrid bicycles, and can even be found on some road bicycles. Bicycle suspension can be implemented in a variety of ways: or any combination of the above. Weagle s patent applications were filed, Trek Bicycle Corporation released a version of the split pivot design called active braking pivot (ABP) in early 2007.
One manufacturer offers 12 mm to 24 mm of travel. Several terms are commonly used to describe different aspects of a bicycle suspension. Travel refers to how much movement a suspension mechanism allows. Other implementations directly attach the rear triangle to the rear shock for a more linear rate.
In 1990, AMP introduced the Horst link as a feature of a fully independent linkage rear suspension for mountain bikes. Even then, as the mountain bike has large low pressure tires which allow much more travel than small high pressure road tires, the wheels are sprung to some extent as well. In general, bikes are so light compared to their riders that travel is a much bigger motivator than unsprung mass in determining where to put the suspension and how much to use.
Upward force from rough terrain displaces the weight, opening the valve and engaging the suspension. Compression damping is usually accomplished by forcing a hydraulic fluid (such as oil) through a valve when the shock becomes loaded.
It maintains pedaling efficiency and power delivery because of the solid chainstays. They tend to be extremely light compared to other rear suspension types.
This design solved the twin problems of unwanted braking and pedaling input to the rear wheel, but the design wasn t flawless. The dw-link is licensed to Ibis, Independent Fabrication, Turner Suspension Bicycles, and Pivot Cycles.
This means as one part of the suspension compresses the shock, the other end of the shock moves as well. The design is regarded by some In 2003 Specialized introduced the Brain, an external inertia valve designed to effectively eliminate pedal bob.
This can sometimes be felt by the cyclists and can be considered undesirable. Compression damping refers to systems that slow the rate of compression in a front fork shock or rear shock. As the fork compresses, the air held inside the air spring also compresses; towards the end of the fork s travel, further compression of the fork requires ever increasing compression of the compressed air with the spring.
This is usually the case provided the bottom bracket is higher than the seat s base height. The rear axle will always rotate in a part-circle around the pivot point.
Other systems mount the shock to one end on the swing-arm, and the other to a fixed mount on the frame. Independent Fabrications has not created a production bicycle with the DW-Link. DW-Link inventor David Weagle applied for patents on a concentric rear axle pivot rear suspension system called split pivot in 2006. After Mr.
Placing the pivot on the seat stay (above the drop out) makes the rear axle travel path like that of a single-pivot bike, since the chain stay is the only component that affects the rear axle s arc. Seat-stay four-link pivot bikes perform exactly like similarly placed monopivots under acceleration and chain forces, which means they aren t as neutral under acceleration as Horst-link, four-bar bikes, dw-link, or Split Pivot bikes. More preload makes the suspension sag less and less preload makes the suspension sag more.
Both are undesirable characteristics as they rob power from pedalling. One example is Trek Bicycle Corporation s s.p.a (Suspension Performance Advantage) rear suspension, offered on some of their Pilot models, but the system was removed for the 2008 model year.
For 10 years AMP Research manufactured their full-suspension bikes in small quantities in Laguna Beach, California, including the manufacture of their own cable-actuated-hydraulic disc brakes, hubs, shocks and front suspension forks. The Soft tail (also Softail) relies on the flexing of the rear triangle and a rear shock or elastomer placed in line with the seat stays. Others, namely Whyte and BMW, have made bikes that utilize suspension forks that employ linkages to provide the mechanical action instead of relying upon telescopic fork legs. Perhaps because front suspension has been easier to implement and more readily adopted, it is often assumed, and rear suspension is sometimes synonymous with full suspension. Full suspension mountain bike technology has made great advances since first appearing in the early 1990s.
Some Cycle manufacturers (notably Cannondale and Specialized) also make their own suspension systems to fully complement and integrate the bike set-up. Although much less common, some road bicycles do incorporate suspensions, particularly the Soft Tail variety mentioned above. The suspension travel and handling characteristics vary depending on the type of mountain biking the fork is designed for.
The first suspension forks had about 1Â˝ to 2 inches (38 to 50 mm) of suspension travel. Some implementations use linkages to attach the rear triangle to the rear shock for a progressive spring rate.
This allows the suspension to remain active while braking â€” hence the term, active braking pivot. Split pivot patent applications predate all patent applications filed by Trek. Trek also introduced a full floater system to go along with the ABP. Many shocks have compression damping adjustments which vary the resistance in the valve.
Another advantage of this type of fork design is that the spring rate can easily be adjusted by adjusting the pressure of the air in the spring. The four patents cover a specific linkage configurations that are designed to aid the pedaling performance of a rear suspension bike without negatively affecting the overall bump absorption capabilities.
However, when brakes are mounted on the seat stays, dw-link, Split Pivot and FSR four-link bikes have an advantage while braking over rough ground. Having the pivot in front of the drop out (i.e.
Early full suspension frames were heavy and tended to bounce up and down while a rider pedaled. For instance, manufacturers produce different forks for cross-country (XC), downhill (DH), and freeride riding. Suspension fork design has advanced in recent years with suspension forks becoming increasingly sophisticated.
The pivot is placed between the rear triangle and the front triangle so that the rear axle and bottom bracket move as one piece, and the saddle and handlebars move as another piece. Virtually all bicycles produced by Alex Moulton bicycles also have very effective full suspension, due to the low unsuspended mass of the small wheels and high pressure tires, a characteristic of the unconventional design of these bicycles. Many recumbent bicycles have at least a rear suspension because the rider is usually unable to lift themselves off of the seat while riding.
When suspension forks were introduced, 80â€“100 mm of travel was deemed sufficient for a downhill mountain bike. The main benefit of this design is its simplicity.
Softride ceased bicycle production in 2007. A very closely related suspension design to the Softride is the Zipp 2001, a contemporary competing beam bicycle, where the suspension was in the hinge, rather than in flex of the beam itself. . Challenges with this design are brake jacking, and chain growth. Manufacturers that use a single pivot design are Trek, K2, Morewood, Orange, Cannondale, Mountain Cycle, Haro, small boutique frame builders such as bcd and, due to its simplicity, many inexpensive department store bikes. The Unified rear triangle or URT for short, keeps the bottom bracket and rear axle directly connected at all times.
Problems remained with suspension action under acceleration, and the RS-1 couldn t use traditional cantilever brakes. Input from hard braking efforts (known as brake jack) also negatively affected early full suspension designs.
Trek s design allowed their new full suspension system to look very similar to previous models, but dramatically improved their ride quality. Bicycles with suspension front forks and rear suspensions are referred to as full suspension bikes.
The AMP B-3 and B-4 XC full-suspension bikes featured active Horst link/Macpherson strut rear suspensions and optional disc brakes. The popular FSR system works by providing a wheel path that helps prevent the suspension preload or unload (squatting and locking) during acceleration and braking.
The original SRS systems consisted of two foam filled fiberglass boxes bonded together with a viscoelastic layer. The monolink design is unique in that is uses a shock body that is integrated into the rear triangle, and that the saddle to bottom bracket distance changes as the suspension is compressed, although not as large as a URT design.
These bicycles generally have some sort of suspension system to keep down unsprung mass. See also: Unsprung mass Many newer mountain bikes have a full suspension design. On the other hand, when the URT rider shifts any weight from the seat to the pedals, he or she is essentially standing on the swingarm, resulting in a massive increase in unsprung weight, and as a result the suspension tends to stop working.
Some examples include the KHS Team Soft Tail, Trek STP and the Moots YBB. The full floater system mounts the rear shock to two moving points in the suspension (rocker link and an extension of the chainstay).
A later model, the B-5, was equipped with both the Horst link and a four-bar active link suspension featuring up to 125 mm (5 inches) of travel on a bicycle weighing around 10.5 kg (23 pounds). Soft tails have no moving parts, besides the shock/elastomer, making it extremely simple.
It usually measures how much the wheel axle moves. Preload refers to the force applied to spring component before external loads, such as rider weight, are applied. The Softride Suspension System is used almost exclusively for triathlon racing.
Soft tails are a variation of the original Amp Research Mac-Strut design (technically a 3 bar suspension design). Downhill forks can now offer in the region of 170 to 203 mm of travel for handling the most extreme terrain. Other advances in design include adjustable travel, allowing riders to adapt the fork s travel to the specific terrain profile (e.g.
This made riding on rough terrain easier on a rider s arms. This may be desirable during climbing or sprinting to prevent the suspension from absorbing power applied by the rider.
His bike, the Gary Fisher RS-1, was released in 1990. Additionally, suspension mechanisms can be incorporated in the seat or saddle, or the hubs. Besides providing obvious rider comfort, suspensions improve both safety and efficiency by keeping one or both wheels in contact with the ground and allowing the rider s mass to move over the ground in a flatter trajectory. Front suspension is often implemented with a set of shock absorbers in the front fork.
This allows Trek engineers more freedom to more accurately and precisely tune the system s leverage ratio. Many suspension systems incorporate anti-bob, anti-squat, or platform damping to help eliminate bob. Pedal feedback describes torque applied to the crankset by the chain caused by motion of the rear axle relative to the bottom bracket.
Well-known suspension fork manufacturers include Manitou, Marzocchi, Fox Racing Shox, Rock Shox, Suntour, RST and (to a lesser extent) Magura, White Brothers, DT Swiss and Maverick. Air springs work by utilizing the characteristic of compressed air to resist further compression.
This functionality is also described in David Weagle s Split Pivot patent applications. The Monolink made by Maverick Bikes uses 3 pivot points and places the bottom bracket on a floating linkage between the front and rear triangle. This was developed to address a noticeable delay in the shock activation/deactivation. The VPP (or Virtual Pivot Point) is a linkage designed bike frame that is built to activate the suspension differently depending on what inputs the suspension has received.
Soft tails are out of favor now because of the limited rear axle travel of these designs - typically around 1 inch. The term also generally refers to rebound damping or rebound damping adjustments on shocks, which vary the rebound speed.
VPP suspension is also licensed to Intense Cycles. Dave Weagle s dw-link suspension is a dual short link suspension system, similar to the Giant Maestro system. Substituting titanium coils in place of steel coils in a design can decrease the weight of the design but leads to an increase in expense.
The dw-link design is protected by patents in the USA and Europe, with patent coverage in more countries than any other bicycle suspension in existence today. Soon after, some frame designers came out with a full suspension frame which gave riders a smoother ride throughout the ride. Newer suspension frame and fork designs have reduced weight, increased amount of suspension travel, and improved feel.
In the early 1990s, mountain bikes started to have front suspension forks. As the spring is provided by the compressed air rather than a coil of metal they can often be made lighter; this makes their use more common in cross country designs.
At the other extreme we have the full suspension mountain bike. Single pivot is usually adequate when the pedaling thrust is horizontal - that is, forwards rather than downwards.
The system is a Stephenson-style six-bar suspension system: Suspension may be added at the saddle either with a Suspension saddle or a Suspension seatpost. This style of suspension is the oldest, cheapest, and simplest, but it is also the least effective as all of the bicycle s weight is unsprung weight. Suspension may be provided in the hub of a bicycle wheel. Some lockout mechanisms also feature a blow off system that deactivates the lockout when an appropriate force is applied to help prevent damage to the shock and rider injury under high unexpected loads. Bob and squat refer to how a suspension, usually rear, responds to rider pedalling.
More aggressive suspension frames and forks made for downhill racing and freeriding have as much as 8 or 9 inches (200 or 230 mm) of suspension travel. Many riders still prefer to ride a hardtail frame, and almost all mountain bicycle riders use a suspension fork. The amount of damping is determined by the resistance through the valve, a higher amount of damping resulting from greater resistance in the valve.
The weight closes the shock valving and deactivates the rear shock at rest. Sag is often used as one parameter when tuning a suspension for a rider.
This lockout can sometime be activated remotely by a cable and lever on the handlebars. The shock absorber usually consists of two parts: a spring and a damper or dashpot.