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  1. #1
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    Horst Link better than single pivot?

    I'm looking at full suspension bikes. I'm testing a Stumpjumper this weekend, and I've narrowed my decision down to either a Stumpjumper or a Gary Fisher HiFi (probably the HiFi Deluxe).

    The HiFi is single-pivot. My Specialized dealer tells me that the double pivot in the form of the Horst Link is far superior to single-pivot bikes. True? Is the difference significant in the real world?

    I am going to have fun this weekend.

  2. #2
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    The HiFi has gotten some rave reviews.

    That being said, from my research, the two best FS Linkages seem to be the Horst link (Specialized) and the DW link (Iron Horse & a few others). Neither is single pivot and is supposed to minimize brake jacking, pedal bob, and create a more natural straight up & down motion. Try doing a quick search under "Horst" and you'll find much on the topic. Aslo check out www.dw-link.com for plenty of info.
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  3. #3
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    Wish I had ridden a single pivot to compare against... but I have an '02 FSR and absolutely love it. When I was first deciding to get an FS bike, I was all worried about the rear suspension bobbing while climbing like the fork did on my old bike. It just doesn't happen. I don't have a lockout rear shock and I hardly get any bobbing going on while climbing. In fact, there's so little, I'd like to have written that there is NO bobbing, but I know that isn't true, there's just so little that I don't even notice it any more.

    But again, I've never ridden a single-pivot for any appreciable distance to compare it to.

  4. #4
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    they are just different... in the past SP bikes had performance problems (such as bobbing)...but modern shock technology has helped overcome/reduce most of them... I came from an Epic to a Yeti 575 and love my Yeti..it is a great climber..and it is a single pivot bike... and it descends way better than the Epic

  5. #5
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    They are different (basically, what crisillo wrote). However, I had a Jamis Dakar XLT which I believe people call the "Faux" bar, and I have ridden single pivot bikes in the past. For what I ride (plush XC and some very light down hill stuff) my 07 Stumpy FSR is fantastic. The biggest difference is how the bike behaves under braking, as my Jamis would develop rear wheel hop (a.k.a. brake jack) and would sometimes "grab" rocks on the way down. The wheel would go airborne, lock under braking, and when it landed it could snag larger rocks and get jumpy. I developed a style around this and would lean back heavily while using the front brake almost exclusively. The Stumpy, however, doesn't have this issue. It also climbs better when comparing travel to each other, but I also use the travel adjustment on the fork now so it's a HUGE difference running 100mm in the fork vs. the broken adjustment on the Minute 1 I had.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by pspycho
    The HiFi has gotten some rave reviews.
    And it felt really, really good in the parking lot. However, the parking lot and the trail are two different places. More than once I've completely changed my mind about a bike after having ridden it on the trail for an hour or two.

    Interestingly, I demoed a Stumpy Expert last fall. When I left the shop with that bike I was certain that it was the wrong bike for me. I took it only because it was dealer's demo bike, and because he wanted me to try it on a real ride. After a couple of hours riding, I came away loving the bike. Had the chance to buy it too, at half list price because it was the end of season, but I dithered too long and someone else beat me to it.

    Same dealer lent me a different brand full suspension last year. Felt awesome in the shop and in the parking lot. I really thought: "this is the bike". But ended up strongly disliking it after a couple of hours out on the trail. So ya just never know, and there's nothing like a real-world test to make sure of a bike.

    Right now I'm leaning towards the Stumpy, just because I've had real experience with it on the trails, and I know that I like it. The HiFi is a bit of an unknown to me. Hard choice though.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by JonathanGennick
    After a couple of hours riding, I came away loving the bike. Had the chance to buy it too, at half list price because it was the end of season, but I dithered too long and someone else beat me to it.
    D'oh!
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  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by pspycho
    D'oh!
    The even funnier part was that I came into the store one evening right after the dealer told me he'd sold the bike I'd been thinking about buying, and the guy who'd bought it was there picking it up. We practically walked in the door together. Turns out he's a local author. We'd traded emails a few weeks previous about one of his books. And then he beat me to "my" bike . Good for him though. He got a great bike at an excellent price.

  9. #9
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    I think with all these suspension variations it comes down to implementation. There is so much more to a frame than just the linkages its impossible to decide on that as the major feature.

    All suspension systems have equal advantages and disadvantages. I was getting very hung up on this and have since realised its pretty irrelevant in terms of bike design, its about how the frame works with that particular type of suspension.

    To show his in more detail, consider a road based frame with no suspension what so ever. You would then have to assume that all road frames are more or less similar........but as most people already know, that is far from the truth. rear suspension design complicates the issue, but like most things in life it comes down to synergy.

    Pick the wrong frame angles, material, tube thickness, forks etc and the bike can be a nightmare ride despite having all the right tags.

  10. #10
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    Think about your warranty also. I friend of mine had a Gary Fisher and when the frame broke they jacked him aroud for 9 weeks...Ask a few Specialized people how long it takes. I had a Specialized road frame break and it took 9 days to get a new one, now thats good service, no hassles...

  11. #11
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    as noted above, the single pivot bikes lock out the suspension under braking, which, in my opinion, makes for lousy handling and effed up trails. Also as noted above is the warranty. I'm pretty sure that Specialized can't be beat!

  12. #12
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    I had a Cake3 before getting my Stumpy. IMO, the Genesis geometry sucks. The chainstays are too short and the top tube too long. The bike handles fast on smooth singletrack and fireroads but you can forget the slow technical stuff. Bob was not a problem with the Manitou Swinger propedal but it was rough over small stuff and only plush with 1foot+ drops. The Bontrager component spec was garbage. $ for $ the Stumpy beat it in every single way.

    I spent a whole year trying to like the bike but the better I got as a rider, the more I noticed the flaws in the Cake.

    BTW, after 1 1/2 years on the Stumpy, I still love it. There is nothing on the market right now that would make me even consider selling it.

  13. #13
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    Having ridden the Stumpy, its impossible to deny how good it is on tight single track, climbing and ride quality. My only concern is its ability on really uneven trails (the sort with deep, sharp bomb holes followed by rocks). I did find that the suspension quickly collapsed too fast under these conditions and I was clattering my pedals quite a lot. My existing Scott G Zero does not do this, even with its single pivot, none pro pedal-coil shock. However it still felt secure under these conditions and was great fun to ride.

    The thing about the Stumpy is the instant knowledge that it rides so smoothly over the majority of trails, it feels incredibly light and can whip around the tightest singletrack like its reading your thoughts and its fun.

    Even though I like it, I do have my doubts and I really wouldn't go saying it cant be beaten. I have now ridden DW link (Giant), VPP (Santa Cruz), Quad link (Marin) and Single pivot (Orange 5 and my own Scott). I still await the test of a Bionicon (in single pivot and true Horst link) and the Ventana El Ciclon frame (4 bar similar to horst link but with the pivot on the upper arm).

    Of the bikes ridden so far, all of them have good and bad points and only a long time with the bikes would make this clearer. Potentialy the Bionicon Golden Willow with the Horst link should provide a similar ride to the Specialized and has the added advantage of 'on the fly' adjustable angles and the Ventana is supposed to be a far stiffer frame than virtually anything on the market at its weight.

  14. #14
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    @meatpuppet

    Did it behave as if the rebound was too high and the suspension simply jacked down? I only ask because I am 239lbs, and I find the suspension to be quite forgiving when barreling down a local descent over fairly smooth drops/jumps and into rock gardens. Could it have been a rear damper problem? I am still running the Triad (which is working pretty well, but I know there are better options) and I haven't run into this issue yet with it.

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by Student Driver
    @meatpuppet

    Did it behave as if the rebound was too high and the suspension simply jacked down? I only ask because I am 239lbs, and I find the suspension to be quite forgiving when barreling down a local descent over fairly smooth drops/jumps and into rock gardens. Could it have been a rear damper problem? I am still running the Triad (which is working pretty well, but I know there are better options) and I haven't run into this issue yet with it.

    No it wasn't jacking down, it was as if sudden drops opened the valve too far. Smoother drops were brilliant and rocks did not seem to have the same effect (but I tend to ride round them if I can), it was those small deep holes you tend to get on forestry trails. I did'nt manage to fiddle with the brain settings, but the shock was set up for the proper amount of sag etc.

  16. #16
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    Well, I got some good riding in on the Stumpjumper over the weekend. I like it, but I'm not totally sold on it, not yet. I'm going to go back into town this evening and have one, last look at the other two bikes that I've been considering.

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