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  1. #1
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    Kona Process 153 vs Heckler

    How do these frame designs keep side loads from the rear shock? Looks like the Process forms a stiff faux-bar then connects the shock to that, then perhaps the bottom shock mounting point even pivots. Is it worth having all those linkage bearings for increased stiffness (if that's even true)? The Heckler doesn't look like it has a swing link or shock side pivot ability. Is the swingarm stiff enough to keep side loads from the shock?

    Secondarily the Process single pivot is above the bb. Heckler is in front of the bb. Anyone have any opinions about the difference in relative performance? I think motorcycle manufacturers want longer swingarms. I'm guessing the Heckler's is a little longer, but perhaps that doesn't matter in low power applications.

  2. #2
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    the heckler will side load the shock and wear out DU bushings and reducer rather quickly. The Process models eliminates all side load on the shock the way the linkage is designed, and even eliminates one set of DU bushings/reducers.

    the pivot location determines how the bike will pedal and the axle path. assuming these bikes pedal equally well, which they probably do, considering the shock is the most important part to get the pedaling right, the axle path will influenced the most.

    the heckler will have a more rear-ward axle path. while most would think that the more rearward the better, there is more to be considered. a more rearward path will make the bike slower in corners and harder to manual. also, consider that the 27.5 wheels of the process will help with rolling over obstacle, just like a rearward axle path on a 26 inch bike would.

    the last difference to consider between these two designs is the leverage ratio, but you didnt ask about that.

  3. #3
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    Few things in there I hadn't thought of, thanks!

    I'd certainly be interested to hear any info you have to volunteer on leverage ratio, if you happen to know what it is on these 2 bikes. I've simplistically assumed lower is better (?).

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by dogbox View Post
    also, consider that the 27.5 wheels of the process will help with rolling over obstacle, just like a rearward axle path on a 26 inch bike would.
    Heckler is now 27.5 too...
    The secret to mountain biking is pretty simple. The slower you go the more likely it is you’ll crash.
    - Julie Furtado

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by woahey
    Heckler is now 27.5 too...
    I definitely knew that, which is why I asked about these 2 bikes specifically. I thought dogbox was just attempting to illustrate a point rather than a direct comparison in that case.

  6. #6
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    oh yeah, i was thinking the heckler was 26 still.

    well the point still stands: changing the main pivot position position on a single pivot bike changes: chain growth, pedal feedback, axle path, the bikes wheel base, frame stiffness and probably some other stuff. there is no "best" place for the pivot, just different mixes of all of these factors. i would just give the benefit of the doubt to the kona and santa cruz designers that they put the main pivot in the best spot for how they want the bike to ride.

    leverage ratio is more about the shape of the curve, than the travel/shock stroke. i dont know what kona or the hecklers leverage ratio curves look like, so i dont know what to say about that. although, i beleive it is discussed in Konas 2014 tech book, so you could look at that at a shop...

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by dogbox View Post
    the heckler will side load the shock and wear out DU bushings and reducer rather quickly. The Process models eliminates all side load on the shock the way the linkage is designed, and even eliminates one set of DU bushings/reducers.
    This was one of my concerns about the Process's rear shock/linkage. The way that the shock is connected to the pivot bar at such a shallow angle, it would seem that there would be a good amount of side load on the shock during its travel(top side of the shock the way it's mounted).

  8. #8
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    You said "load". Uh, huh, huh, huh, ha...

    ...side loads are always a factor on every full suspension bike and seem to typically be what kills bearings. I have not noticed much of difference in bearing durability b/t multiple pivot and single pivot bikes. I have owned many single pivot bikes and I am still a big fan. If all other factors are equal and the bearings croak at around the same time as they have for me regardless of bike, then the Heckler with its single set of bearings is a lot more simple and easier to do maintenance on.

    Now, the Process and the Heckler are both single pivot bikes in essence with the biggest difference is the link driving the shock on the Kona versus the swing arm of the Santa Cruz. I will agree that this nicely modifies the shock rate curve as I own a Butcher which also uses a link to drive the shock with its single pivot. So out of the lbs front door the Kona may have a slightly better feel, but these traits may be negligible on the trail. I pedaled a Process 153 around at my lbs the other day and both myself and the lead mechanic said that it seemed almost identical in feel to my Butcher.

    A huge thing to consider is that a single pivot bike like the Heckler paired with a modern tunable shock specifically a Cane Cane Double Barrel (coil or air) will ride better than more than 90% of the stock and often vastly more complex suspension designs available. All at a lower cost with less maintenance too.

    In the end, get whatever turns you on. I was very impressed with the Process and have always liked Kona's no bs simplicity. However, I always have stuck with Santa Cruz (I have owned 5 of them). I am now convinced that I want a 27.5" wheeled bike after having demoed one a few weeks ago. I did not like the bike, a popular and comparable design to my Butcher from well known company beginning with the letter "P", but I digress. Currently the Heckler is in front for the reasons mentioned above, but if I have the opportunity to score a Process 153 frame only it could be a different horse race.
    the going won't get good 'til I'm good and gone

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