Thought I’d have a quick write, as I don’t do it often enough, and 140 character posts aren’t much fun.
I’ve got a vague history of full suspension. Way back in the dim mists of time I did a bike with Ryan Carrol from Astrix for on-one. Actually it was for Planet X France, and on-one got some run-on’s of it – and we called it the Growler
. I don’t think I ever rode one much more than one Thursday night ride. A pretty standard high-ish singlepivot bike, but with a funny linkage that modified the curve a bit. I didn’t really give much input as far as I can remember.
Anyhow. This latest project sort of dropped into my lap. It’s hard working on several different brands – trying to work out what fits with what – which hat to wear depending on what products you’re looking at.
For suspension I’ve been pretty involved in the Nukeproof
suspension projects – though not much past the initial “put the centres there” sort of thing – a lot of the detail work on the Nukeproof bikes have been done with colleagues at CRC and Hotlines, and also in conjunction with the factory we’re using in Taiwan.
It was my work with Vitus
switched me on to a new facility, through a bizarre “we’d better go see that factory” visit in late November last year. And it was there that we first stumbled across this great bunch of people with a great factory, amazing testing facility, and fantastic engineers. We found two amazing suspension platforms, the Horst link design we’re using for Vitus (that has been seen on Bikeradar)
, and this brand new dual link design that we’ve used for Ragley.
Ragley was the obvious choice for the dual link design, as we saw the potential in the system, and I wanted to throw everyone a curve ball as I’m sure that a lot of people assumed that a Ragley FS frame would be a single pivot, as we have that tradition of “simplicity” and stuff that singlepivot brings. Also, the Nukeproof’s are all linkage modified singlepivots, so we have that behind us too. But the dual link here really IS quite a simple system – I love the way it all sits in to the frame so neatly, and the production facility that we have, the way they’re using forgings to achieve clean lines and solid mechanically efficient frames, it’s just inspiring.
Dual link works really well for short and long travel bikes – it’s not just about axle path – it’s about use of materials and the way you can triangulate and stiffen across two sets of links to spread the loads in a different way. We’re really happy with the results we’ve had from mechanical testing, and now we’re rolling out into trail testing under local Calderdale riders – tonight it’s going out under Ben Edwards
who has a bit of a “reputation” locally. Next week, it’ll be under Mats Lund
. Ed from Greatrock
will have a go too, but it’s a bit big for him.
Geometry on the production models will be different. This first bike is just to test shock/suspension action, in terms of pedalling, progression, that kind of thing. We should really angleset the heck out of the front to give us a bit more slackness, but we’re equally interested in a more “conventional” geometry model for more conventional riders. So we’ll do everything. I love the raw finish look, but Matt is working on some killer graphics and paint schemes for production models. The 29er version is currently planned to work with the new 140mm Revelation 29er fork that Rock Shox have announced, though as with most things, it’ll work with shorter and make the bike steeper, as we’ll be on the slack side of the head angle chart compared to most people in it’s long travel setting.
Seat angles are steep for climbing, chainstays are long enough for good mud room, but not stupid long. Back ends will be maxled or whatever. That’s the plan. Roadie heritage quick releases don’t have a place on bikes that are meant to be thrown around like I want these to be thrown around.
And yes – we’ll be doing completes. But frame only too. Current pricing is looking around £1200 with a nice Monarch shock. Other shocks may be available.
Thanks for reading this far. That’ll do for now. We’ll keep you informed of development as they happen. Head down now for Eurobike!
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