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Thread: 4-bar vs.vpp

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    4-bar vs.vpp

    Hey guys
    I rode a truth for about two years and I am a smaller rider,so i can't say I had any issues whatsoever with the bike. For whatever reason I changed bike brands at the time I first did this the Id wasn't around and I wanted a bit more travel so I went with the Titus lng travel switchblade. Now I'm getting the new bike itch again and was considering going back to an Ellsworth. Either an(caifornia) Id or a Moment. The question I have has anyone had a significant amount of time on a blur or 5.5 to compare the two designs. I have been riding 4-bars for a while and want a active design so chain tension and all that hype on vpp concerns me. I know several of you have had alot of trouble with warranty issues. I have really enjoyed several aspects of a fully active design. Also would any of you know if there is a significant difference in the walking beam 4-bar and the fsr type?

    Thanks for any info

  2. #2
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    Quote Originally Posted by tom schoonveld
    Hey guys
    I rode a truth for about two years and I am a smaller rider,so i can't say I had any issues whatsoever with the bike. For whatever reason I changed bike brands at the time I first did this the Id wasn't around and I wanted a bit more travel so I went with the Titus lng travel switchblade. Now I'm getting the new bike itch again and was considering going back to an Ellsworth. Either an(caifornia) Id or a Moment. The question I have has anyone had a significant amount of time on a blur or 5.5 to compare the two designs. I have been riding 4-bars for a while and want a active design so chain tension and all that hype on vpp concerns me. I know several of you have had alot of trouble with warranty issues. I have really enjoyed several aspects of a fully active design. Also would any of you know if there is a significant difference in the walking beam 4-bar and the fsr type?

    Thanks for any info
    Wiederholen Sie: "VPP's are 4-bars"
    The glass is twice as large as it needs to be

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    Quote Originally Posted by tom schoonveld
    Hey guys
    I rode a truth for about two years and I am a smaller rider,so i can't say I had any issues whatsoever with the bike. For whatever reason I changed bike brands at the time I first did this the Id wasn't around and I wanted a bit more travel so I went with the Titus lng travel switchblade. Now I'm getting the new bike itch again and was considering going back to an Ellsworth. Either an(caifornia) Id or a Moment. The question I have has anyone had a significant amount of time on a blur or 5.5 to compare the two designs. I have been riding 4-bars for a while and want a active design so chain tension and all that hype on vpp concerns me. I know several of you have had alot of trouble with warranty issues. I have really enjoyed several aspects of a fully active design. Also would any of you know if there is a significant difference in the walking beam 4-bar and the fsr type?

    Thanks for any info
    I have a lot of time on an Intense spider, and a little time on a 5.5. I own an Id .
    Both the spider and 5.5 pedal better than the Id. They are more responsive, and feel quicker. The Id feels slugish compared to those 2. Where the Id really shines is climbing rough rocky terrain. You never lose tracktion and with the leg power you get around just about anything. The vpp's chain tension stiffens up the suspension, which means less suspension while climbing.
    Another differance is that the vpp ride high in their travel, and also while braking I felt some brake jack with the vpp.
    Trying to sum up the issue - on smooth terrain I would preffer the vpp because of it's better pedal efficiency , on any other terrain - I think the Ell's suspension has a big advantage , the rougher terrain the better.

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    Thanks for the info. To reply the answer of vpp are 4-bars, there are some significant differences for one the rear axle path is completely different. most true 4-bars have a nearly vertical axle path vpp have a s shaped path. Also vpp designs do not have a pivot on the chain stays.The leverage is completely different and 4-bars do not react to chain torque.Vpp's are also effected by brake jack but only slightly I hear.

  5. #5
    Jm.
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    Quote Originally Posted by tom schoonveld
    . most true 4-bars have a nearly vertical axle path .
    that's a myth.
    I know in my heart that Ellsworth bikes are more durable by as much as double. AND they are all lighter...Tony Ellsworth

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    Quote Originally Posted by tom schoonveld
    Thanks for the info. To reply the answer of vpp are 4-bars, there are some significant differences for one the rear axle path is completely different. most true 4-bars have a nearly vertical axle path vpp have a s shaped path. .
    Nope. most 4-bars have a circular path. Horst link 4 bars have a slightly more vertical path, but it's still basically circular.


    Quote Originally Posted by tom schoonveld
    Also vpp designs do not have a pivot on the chain stays.The leverage is completely different and 4-bars do not react to chain torque.Vpp's are also effected by brake jack but only slightly I hear.
    4 bars can have the pivot on the chain stay or the seat stay. A 4 bar can react to chain torque, depending on the design......especially if it's a poorly designed seat stay pivot.

    Your statements are more correct if you apply them to Horst link 4 bars and not just generic 4 bars.

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    4 bar V vpp

    My 4 months on a blur demonstrated to me that it has a lot in common with a high single pivot. Vpp uses chain tention to partially lock out the suspension under power which in turn should make it more efficiant than a fully active design but it also shares some of the negative traits as well like peddle feedback and brake jack, especially on technical trails. If you were just going to race it on highly prepaired courses a vpp would be more efficient but on fun trails the peddle feedback effects the force needed to maintain speed and the brake jack steepens the geometry on steeps making the bike a little sketchier. These traits don't make it a bad bike but a good four bar is just better imo.

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    Virtually Pointless Pivot - NM

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    Titus only makes horst style 4-bar. I'm curious explain circular????

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    Jokers da bomb!!

    Just get a joker!! Mine is awesome and pedals really nice uphill!! I can keep up with some cross country riders. My joker is also about 36 lbs. too! SO just get a joker and you will be happy

  11. #11
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    Lovin my 5.5

    I have a 5.5 and am really liking the suspension, I think the VPP works, but set up is critical to proper performance.

    I have ridden a specialized FSR for a couple years, a heckler for a couple years, a Sugar for about 6 months (broke it), a blur for a couple weeks (didn't like it and sold it) and a hardtail IF delux for the last 5 years off and on also. The 5.5 is my favorite so far. It climbs very well, it had some pedal feedback on big bumps and a little brake jack until I figured out the rear shock settings (Swinger 4 way). Now I never feel pedal feedback and have no brake jack. I ride rocky rough trails (Fruita, Aspen, Crested Butte, Moab, Boulder, Ft. Collins, basically lots of CO and UT) and am much happier with my 5.5 than any other bike I have owned (but I still love my IF hartail and will keep it forever).

    I would recommend the VPP over traditional 4 bars (Horst). In my opinion you get all the benifits of the 4 bar with a few extras. I did not like the VPP set up on the blur. The 5.5 rides much better than the blur, it feels better on the small high frequency stuff than the blur, plus the Swinger lets you set it up anyway you like.

    You can't really go wrong here, if you spend the cash on a Switchblade, an FSR, a 5.5, or a Moment you will be very happy with the bike. I rode them all before buying the 5.5, in the end I just liked the way you can hammer out of the saddle on the 5.5. The other bikes did not like standing and hammering. And I didn't feel any loss in plushness or suppleness in the suspension of the 5.5. But the stickers on the 5.5 are terrible, luckily they come right off.

    Happy trails!
    When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro....

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    Quote Originally Posted by Bortis Yelltzen
    I have a 5.5 and am really liking the suspension, I think the VPP works, but set up is critical to proper performance.

    I have ridden a specialized FSR for a couple years, a heckler for a couple years, a Sugar for about 6 months (broke it), a blur for a couple weeks (didn't like it and sold it) and a hardtail IF delux for the last 5 years off and on also. The 5.5 is my favorite so far. It climbs very well, it had some pedal feedback on big bumps and a little brake jack until I figured out the rear shock settings (Swinger 4 way). Now I never feel pedal feedback and have no brake jack. I ride rocky rough trails (Fruita, Aspen, Crested Butte, Moab, Boulder, Ft. Collins, basically lots of CO and UT) and am much happier with my 5.5 than any other bike I have owned (but I still love my IF hartail and will keep it forever).

    I would recommend the VPP over traditional 4 bars (Horst). In my opinion you get all the benifits of the 4 bar with a few extras. I did not like the VPP set up on the blur. The 5.5 rides much better than the blur, it feels better on the small high frequency stuff than the blur, plus the Swinger lets you set it up anyway you like.

    You can't really go wrong here, if you spend the cash on a Switchblade, an FSR, a 5.5, or a Moment you will be very happy with the bike. I rode them all before buying the 5.5, in the end I just liked the way you can hammer out of the saddle on the 5.5. The other bikes did not like standing and hammering. And I didn't feel any loss in plushness or suppleness in the suspension of the 5.5. But the stickers on the 5.5 are terrible, luckily they come right off.

    Happy trails!
    I agree with you about the Blur. I have had mine for a year and am selling it due to problems with shock bushes etc. I had a go on my mates 5 spot and could not believe how much plusher the ride quality was. I have thought about a 5.5 but have just been put off VPP for life. I think the the VPP design will always be inferior to a four bar design until they prevent break jack and make them active under breaking. You right about the finish on the 5.5 - not great!!

  13. #13
    orthonormal
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    Quote Originally Posted by tom schoonveld
    Thanks for the info. To reply the answer of vpp are 4-bars, there are some significant differences for one the rear axle path is completely different. most true 4-bars have a nearly vertical axle path vpp have a s shaped path. Also vpp designs do not have a pivot on the chain stays.The leverage is completely different and 4-bars do not react to chain torque.Vpp's are also effected by brake jack but only slightly I hear.
    You say that as though the terms '4-bar' and 'Horst link' meant the same thing.
    The glass is twice as large as it needs to be

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    Not really I guess I just figure a 4-bar without a pivot on the chain stay really isn't a true 4-bar. Some company claim they are but I gues its a matter of perception.

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    Quote Originally Posted by tom schoonveld
    Not really I guess I just figure a 4-bar without a pivot on the chain stay really isn't a true 4-bar. Some company claim they are but I gues its a matter of perception.
    It's not perception. You may have your own personal take on this, but 4-bar is just a general term. It doesn't even have to apply to bikes. It also applies to certain cars......No horst link there.

    4-bar suspensions like the Ventana X5 are true 4-bars..and there is no Horst link. I personally don't believe that the seat stay link 4-bar works as well as a Horst link.

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    Quote Originally Posted by tom schoonveld
    Not really I guess I just figure a 4-bar without a pivot on the chain stay really isn't a true 4-bar.
    You are equating chainstay with lower link and that's simply incorrect. All you need for a 4 bar linkage is a fixed link (the main frame serves this purpose on all 4 bar bikes), an upper link, a lower link and a coupling link. FSR, ICT, NRS, VPP, Lawill, DW-link and Marin Quad bikes all have 4 bar linkages with the axle mounted to the coupling link.
    The glass is twice as large as it needs to be

  17. #17
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    VPP VS. Horst Link......

    would be a better title for this. VPP is a 4-bar, but there are too many variables to start grouping things together and it is a waist of time.

    My bottom line, The Blur VPP is not as refined as my 5.5 VPP, there are some advantages and drawbacks to Horst and VPP bikes. Horst bikes still climb like crap when standing, VPP does lose some suppleness while hammering on the pedals, you could go back and forth, just go ride as many differnt bikes as you can and pick the one that lets you have the most fun. In my case, I was looking at a 5-spot, a Switchblade, an X5, a Blur, a 5.5, and a FSR. I chose the 5.5 based on its ride complements my riding style, may not be true for everyone as we all have different styles.

    I look at VPP as having some of the benifits of a single pivot, some of the benifits of a Horst link, as well as some of the drawbacks of each. But the features that are drawbacks, have been minimized to an almost un-noticable level. You need to hit a big square-edged bump or break out in a standing sprint on a VPP bike to truely appreciate it. To say the Horst bikes have no pedal and brake jack is also not correct, they have it, often it is just deep into the travel where few notice it over the loud noises and shaking occuring during those impacts. If you are trying to get peice of mind that the VPP bike or Horst or any other 4-bar bike you just bought is the right choice then you are pissing up a rope. There are good examples of all of those bikes, bad examples too. And keep this in mind, most 4 bar/Horst bikes have a lot of pivot maintenance, lots of pivots = lots of things to wear out. VPP pivot issues should not be a suprise, some of the early failures I have read about in the forums here were troubling, but I have had no problems with any of the VPP bikes I have ridden, but time will tell.

    I love my 5.5 VPP bike, I loved my Turners, I loved my FSR's, I love my IF Delux Steel hardtail. I want them all personally. But the blur can go away forever as far as I am concerned, it is not doing VPP any favors, but the 5.5, VP free, and V10 are good examples of where VPP works well, big travel. 4 inches does not give you enough room to get the VPP working right IMHO.

    Instead of worring if you bought the right bike, go out and ride the bike you have, no matter what it is you will have fun and afterwards you won't care about the bike, it is about the adventure, that is how I see it anyway..

    Peace and Phil Wood Grease.
    Last edited by Bortis Yelltzen; 07-21-2004 at 08:03 PM.
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    Look guys,

    I really didn't want to start an arguement or heated debate. Just looking for some advice on my next bike purchase. I thought that was what these forums were for. Not to show who is the biggest "know it all" I guess I'll have to take a chance on the next one.
    Thanks Anyway

  19. #19
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    One more thing...

    If you are in the market for a new bike, I would suggest the Ventana X5 if you want a 4-bar, that is a sweet bike, I was down to that or the Intense 5.5. That is the only other bike I rode that I was close to getting, I literally flipped a coin. The CNC work on the Ventana is unreal. That is the only bike that could give me "buyers remorse" for getting the 5.5, but I like my 5.5 a lot, I could like the X5 a lot too.

    I wouldn't buy an Ellsworth, they have some engineering and manufacturing issues. Turner also makes a rippin fun bike in the 5 spot.

    Happy Hunting. I had a lot of fun looking for my new bike, I know you will too.
    When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro....

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