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  1. #1
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    Open source full suspension design

    After a considerable break, we are looking at our full suspension frame again and I would like some feedback on a couple of things.

    First, to make sure I don't do something that already exists, is there anyone other than Ventana who make their rear ends available to custom builders? Ventana aren't very well known in the UK and I don't want to be fighting a marketing battle trying to persuade people they are any good (I also have no experience of them so don't know if they are any good).

    I've not found anything so I'm guessing that's a no so my second question is would anyone be interested in either an open source design or a rear end 'package' as an alternative to the Ventana options?

    I think we will probably develop our own system anyway, but if there was a chance that we could sell it to a few people on top that would help spread our costs. If you would be interested, what would your design criteria be?

    Matt

  2. #2
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    Curtis bikes used the Risse raciing rear ends on their dh frames. I am not 100% sure whether risse are still in business though!

    Are you an existing company or looking at starting out btw?

    Mike

  3. #3
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    Yeah I've seen the Risse rear end, it's a bit too dated. Looks like they are still around, website is showing that they were at NAHBS with a fat bike fork.

    Existing company looking to move forward with a full sus prototype we made about 2 years ago

    18 Bikes Full suspension prototype (Photo courtesy of Steve Makin) by 18bikes, on Flickr

  4. #4
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    The Ventana design is good for a custom builder. The suspension design is unsophisticated by today's standards, but that's a good thing IMO. You can move things around a little and the whole suspension doesn't go to hell. No, it's not the most efficient, but I don't think flipping a propedal lever is the end of the world. What I think would be really cool (and mentioned on this site some time ago in the "reborn" Kavik thread that apparently went nowhere) would be a set consisting of a steel yoke (or components that form a yoke, dropouts with pivots, rocker(s) (multiple maybe for different travels), and pivots for attaching to the front tri. Sure, there are plenty of ways to farck it up, but the same could be said for a hardtail.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by Feldybikes View Post
    The Ventana design is good for a custom builder. The suspension design is unsophisticated by today's standards, but that's a good thing IMO. You can move things around a little and the whole suspension doesn't go to hell. No, it's not the most efficient, but I don't think flipping a propedal lever is the end of the world. What I think would be really cool (and mentioned on this site some time ago in the "reborn" Kavik thread that apparently went nowhere) would be a set consisting of a steel yoke (or components that form a yoke, dropouts with pivots, rocker(s) (multiple maybe for different travels), and pivots for attaching to the front tri. Sure, there are plenty of ways to farck it up, but the same could be said for a hardtail.
    Actually, a lot has happened recently. It has just taken alot longer to pull together the right way. I'll be posting details when I can.

  6. #6
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    Good to hear. Keep us posted.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by 18bikes View Post
    Existing company looking to move forward with a full sus prototype we made about 2 years ago
    Begs the question, why not refine that swingarm? I know forward single pivot in line with a 36t-ish chain ring is perceived as being outdated, but it never hurt Orange.

    I bet anyone looking for a custom fs frame has heard of Ventana, even if they hadn't one look at the welds and they'd be sold.

  8. #8
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    Hey;

    Ventana has a reputation utterly beyond reproach as far as I've ever heard. Every test I read waxes eloquent on prodigious rear stiffness and the insanely perfect Electric Sex welds. Just sayin...

    Single pivot? Not flavor of the month by any means, but it worked pretty darn good on a few thousand Hecklers, et al, out there plying the forest trails.
    Most people ply the Well Trodden Path. A few seek a different way, and leave a Trail behind.
    - John Hajny, a.k.a. TrailMaker

  9. #9
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    It is going to be very hard to beat out Ventana:
    -The market is TINY. I'm probably the most prolific user of their rear ends (?) and I only do ~10 a year. I'd bet money that there are <100 custom FS bikes made by small builders (if you exclude Ventana itself, that is) for an entire year in the US. And it might be a lot less than that.
    -Their design is very easy to work with and pretty versatile, as others have mentioned.
    -In the era of propedal, single pivot makes perfect sense, especially to the kind of riders who are looking to go custom.
    -They are nigh-unkillable and can be made reasonably light with a little effort (ie 6-6.5# for a normal sized rider for XC).
    -Wide range of travel (I've done everything from 3" to 6") and wheel sizes (26/650/29) pretty much covers all bases except full DH.

    I guess you could do a high single pivot "kit" (ie Heckler style) but anyone who can build a frame can pretty much make what they need for that pretty easily and it complicates the frame geometry as you need to keep the toptube/shock mount location fixed for different frame sizes (with the Ventana setup you can pretty much do anything you want as long as you keep the seat tube roughly where it needs to be).

    The only things I would really change about the Ventana rear end are adding some post mount tabs instead of ISO and maybe making it 142x12 since that's what everyone wants - though IMO it's not really needed as that rear end is mega stiff as it is. Oh, and I wouldn't mind a bit more tire clearance but realistically it fits everything out there unless you just love mud.

    -Walt
    Waltworks Custom Bicycles
    Park City, UT USA
    www.waltworks.com
    waltworks.blogspot.com

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Walt View Post
    unless you just love mud.
    Which stuffs up anyone living in the UK, as there's loads of mud whether they like it or not!

  11. #11
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    Only if you want to run a 2.5 on the rear. Otherwise you've got plenty of room for Welsh slime.

    As I said, an area that could be improved IMO, especially in the era of 1x drivetrains.

    -Walt
    Waltworks Custom Bicycles
    Park City, UT USA
    www.waltworks.com
    waltworks.blogspot.com

  12. #12
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    Walt - I'd be interested in seeing any pics you have of a 2.3 ish tyre in the Ventana rear end. Mud clearance is perceived as a huge issue (whether it is such an issue to all of us is another matter) in the UK so it needs to be pretty good.

    I'm working on an idea that will allow various travel and wheel sizes using the same swingarm but different dropouts and links. I guessed the market was tiny and having a bit of confirmation on that means I will design what I want and forget about selling it to anyone else (unless they beg and give me a huge sack of money)

    I'll designing around 142 and (probably) post mount brake. IS it the q factor that is the issue with XX1?

    Thanks,
    Matt

  13. #13
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    It is always a good idea to build what you want - plus people will just ***** and moan about it endlessly if you ask for their opinions, especially online. If there are builders who you think might use these, call them up directly.

    I don't have any pictures handy but I've run everything (29er tires, that is) currently on the market and some stuff that no longer is (ie Kodiak). The really big 2.5 type stuff is a tight squeeze and wouldn't be good with any mud or a broken spoke but that's about it.

    I just measured and for the 29er rear end, the chainstays have 70mm of space at 365mm from the axle (that's about where your widest point would be on *most* 2.3-2.4" tires). Seatstays are similar.

    The Ventana stuff works fine with XX1 cranks in general (though in some cases not the narrow Q ones).

    -Walt



    Quote Originally Posted by 18bikes View Post
    Walt - I'd be interested in seeing any pics you have of a 2.3 ish tyre in the Ventana rear end. Mud clearance is perceived as a huge issue (whether it is such an issue to all of us is another matter) in the UK so it needs to be pretty good.

    I'm working on an idea that will allow various travel and wheel sizes using the same swingarm but different dropouts and links. I guessed the market was tiny and having a bit of confirmation on that means I will design what I want and forget about selling it to anyone else (unless they beg and give me a huge sack of money)

    I'll designing around 142 and (probably) post mount brake. IS it the q factor that is the issue with XX1?

    Thanks,
    Matt
    Waltworks Custom Bicycles
    Park City, UT USA
    www.waltworks.com
    waltworks.blogspot.com

  14. #14
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    Heres a pic of the Zeus chainstay yoke clearence

    it shows the verticle clearence well but the side clearence looks far worse in the picture than it really is. I don't think Ventana is offering the new style rear end yet though and I don't have any pics of the old version.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Open source full suspension design-zeus-clearence.jpg  


  15. #15
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    There's a 1/4" of clearance on the previous gen rear end, around the stays and yolk with a 2.4 Conti Rubber Queen (currently running) and Mich DH 16. I haven't had trouble with mud when racing sloppy Ashland conditions.
    Ripping trails and tipping ales

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