Chainstay Vs. Seatstay Pivot Placement On Fs Designs- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    Chainstay Vs. Seatstay Pivot Placement On Fs Designs

    I would like the bottom line with respect to Specialized patent, etc. How, generally might a bike actually feel or "behave" on the trail with a true horst link vs. the seatstay pivot that many respected bike makers also use (Ventana, Kona, K2, Rocky Mtn. now Jamis, etc.)

    AND, if seatstay pivot is a compromise, is it still better to place it there vs. no rear pivot at all (just single main pivot)

  2. #2
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    Ahh, the Horst link debate. It is Friday after all so why not...

    Without a chain stay pivot, the rear wheel is attached to the main pivot directly. The distance from the pivot to the wheel is fixed and the wheel moves in an arc around the pivot. This means as far as the rear wheel is concerned, it is like a single pivot. What makes a seat stay pivot different from a single pivot is the way in which the shock is actuated. The chain stay pivot decouples the rear wheel from the chain stay so the rear wheel axle path is more vertical. This isolates the suspension from braking forcesand pedaling forces for more active suspension while braking and very little pedal feedback (feeling the bumps in the pedals). Actual pivot placements are key and the newer platform shocks have greatly improved all suspension designs.

    Ventana says the seat stay link is stiffer than the chain stay link. Personally, I don't think the extra stiffness over a well executed Horst link bike like Titus are worth the compromise in suspension performance. Obviously, others feel differently.

  3. #3
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    There's hundreds of posts on this topic. Try a search or two and you will find more information than you want.
    Can't keep track anymore - Giant, Santa Cruz, Pivot, Yeti, Norco, Salsa, Intense - if it rolls on dirt I like it :thumbsup:

  4. #4
    Jm.
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    It's not a huge difference in the ability of the suspension to suck up bumps and perform. What makes a bigger difference is having the right progression-rate for the suspension. I don't find that either design bobbs much more than the other, the thing that bike-designers are trying to do is to use chain-torque to counter bobbing, but horst-link and chainstay-link bikes have the same fault, and that being that the pivot point is a fixed point. On the horst link it's in a "virtual" position, but it doesn't move, and the rear wheel still moves in an arc. The net result is that these bikes pedal better in certain gears than others, because they have to be designed around the gear-combo that you are going to spend the most time in. If you don't think that horst link bikes bob much, go ride behind one and watch it closely, it's going to be less than other designs (like extremely low-pivot bikes or extremely high pivot bikes), but it still bobs.

    The claim that a horst link has a vertical wheel path is a myth and easily disproven. It still moves in an arc.

    The only real advantage to the horst link is that if designed correctly; the rear brake will not rotate much and actually stay in about the same relative position, which makes for active braking during suspension and no brake-squat or brake-jack charactoristics. This can make a significant difference though, and with the horst link bikes (if designed correctly of course) there is little need for a floating-rear brake as we are seeing on many designs these days.

    One big disadvantage to the horst link is stiffness, this can be designed around (bushings in turners carry far more load and are far stiffer than the run-of-the-mill bearings you usually get in bikes). The problem is that the member that the rear wheel is attached to is not directly attached to the bike. The member that the rear wheel is attached to is attached to the chainstay, and the linkage. This makes it difficult to design such a bike to be "stiff" and remain so over the years. The opposite of this would be a bike like a Foes, any of them, because they design them to be ultimatly stiff and there is a big main and solid rear triangle (single pivot) and then there is a linkage that doesn't do anything except make the bike stiffer, rather than a linkage that actuates a shock or connects the "floating" member like on a horst link bike. This "disadvantage" is not one that can't be designed around, but it is something to consider, a flexing rear end will decrease suspension performance.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jm.

    The claim that a horst link has a vertical wheel path is a myth and easily disproven. It still moves in an arc.

    The only real advantage to the horst link is that if designed correctly; the rear brake will not rotate much and actually stay in about the same relative position, which makes for active braking during suspension and no brake-squat or brake-jack charactoristics. This can make a significant difference though, and with the horst link bikes (if designed correctly of course) there is little need for a floating-rear brake as we are seeing on many designs these days.
    It's true enough that the axle path of a Horst link is pretty much an arc. But when suspension experts refer to a vertical wheel path they are talking about the movement of the wheel and the link to which it is attached as though they were a single unit. This movement is less curved and therefore more nearly vertical on a Horst link than the pure rotational movement of a swingarm.

    It's legitimate to talk of the wheel and link as a single unit because the torque on the wheel, from pedaling or braking, locks the wheel to the link as far as the ground's reaction is concerned. The force from the ground gets up to the center of mass along a line through the instant center of rotation of the link. This is true regardless of the chain line.

    With braking, where there is no chain influence, the result is that the instant center is the pivot and that pivot can be way far forward on a Horst link. That results in little torque on the suspension and a free action over bumps while braking.

    With pedaling the chain's contribution has to be considered and that's where the whole discussion gets really complicated. So complicated in fact that I'm not going to discuss it further here. Let's just say that the claim for the pedaling advantage of a good Horst link is that it is more efficient--wastes less of the rider's energy--not that it is bob-free.
    Last edited by Steve from JH; 05-28-2004 at 08:14 PM.

  6. #6
    Axe
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    Drivel.

    Quote Originally Posted by Steve from JH
    Let's just say that the claim for the pedaling advantage of a good Horst link is that it is more efficient--wastes less of the rider's energy--not that it is bob-free.
    And let's add that this claim has NO reliable measurements whatsoever to back it up. People win races on either suspension type. There is no proof whatsoever that there is any difference in energy efficiency between well executed Horst and seatstay pivot. Not a shred of it.

    All this talk is marketing dirvel - nothing more. People ride, enjoy and win races on either type of suspension, and professional bike designed are (obviously) having different opinions about relative merits of each approach.

    Personally - I would take uninterrupted chainstay any day over the mushy feeling of the pivoted chain stay.

  7. #7
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    If there is no proof one way or the other, then you can't really say the claim is drivel. Why don't you just say it is a claim unproven experimentally. Just like the general theory of relativity before the observations made during the solar eclipse of 1919 or some time around then.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Steve from JH
    If there is no proof one way or the other, then you can't really say the claim is drivel. Why don't you just say it is a claim unproven experimentally. Just like the general theory of relativity before the observations made during the solar eclipse of 1919 or some time around then.
    I can add this much without any bias: I've owned both single-pivots and chain-stay bikes for at least 2 years each. First an FSR, then an Isis, and finally a Truth in that order. The FSR was good, but I eventually outgrew its short TT, so I moved onto an Isis for more stiffness and lighter weight. The Isis was stiffer than the FSR, but its pedaling and braking traits definitely bugged the hell out of me since I had gotten used to a horst-link. This is why I eventually moved to a Truth, a sort of compromise between my last 2 bikes, but with the twist of pointing the chainline at the pivot's IC. The Truth is much less tiring to ride than my previous 2 bikes despite me being several years older and in slightly worse physical shape. I'm sure that the Truth's Romic platform shock definitely helps, but I don't believe it is the sole reason why my current ride outperforms the previous two in the efficiency department.

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    Horst is NOT to reduce bob.

    Quote Originally Posted by Jm.
    It's not a huge difference in the ability of the suspension to suck up bumps and perform. What makes a bigger difference is having the right progression-rate for the suspension. I don't find that either design bobbs much more than the other, the thing that bike-designers are trying to do is to use chain-torque to counter bobbing, but horst-link and chainstay-link bikes have the same fault, and that being that the pivot point is a fixed point. On the horst link it's in a "virtual" position, but it doesn't move, and the rear wheel still moves in an arc. The net result is that these bikes pedal better in certain gears than others, because they have to be designed around the gear-combo that you are going to spend the most time in. If you don't think that horst link bikes bob much, go ride behind one and watch it closely, it's going to be less than other designs (like extremely low-pivot bikes or extremely high pivot bikes), but it still bobs.

    The claim that a horst link has a vertical wheel path is a myth and easily disproven. It still moves in an arc.

    The only real advantage to the horst link is that if designed correctly; the rear brake will not rotate much and actually stay in about the same relative position, which makes for active braking during suspension and no brake-squat or brake-jack charactoristics. This can make a significant difference though, and with the horst link bikes (if designed correctly of course) there is little need for a floating-rear brake as we are seeing on many designs these days.

    One big disadvantage to the horst link is stiffness, this can be designed around (bushings in turners carry far more load and are far stiffer than the run-of-the-mill bearings you usually get in bikes). The problem is that the member that the rear wheel is attached to is not directly attached to the bike. The member that the rear wheel is attached to is attached to the chainstay, and the linkage. This makes it difficult to design such a bike to be "stiff" and remain so over the years. The opposite of this would be a bike like a Foes, any of them, because they design them to be ultimatly stiff and there is a big main and solid rear triangle (single pivot) and then there is a linkage that doesn't do anything except make the bike stiffer, rather than a linkage that actuates a shock or connects the "floating" member like on a horst link bike. This "disadvantage" is not one that can't be designed around, but it is something to consider, a flexing rear end will decrease suspension performance.
    Horst and other axle path modifying designs are not designed to reduce bob, as it is commonly described, from pedal pressure.

    I'm going to be lazy and copy my response to another post.

    It is NOT a replacement for stable platform.

    What Horst does, and similarly what the i-drive and Klein Palomino do, is reduce or eliminate pedal torque output from suspension travel input, and visa versa. In other words, with a simple, swingarm suspension, moving the suspension will clock the pedals. When you are riding over rough stuff that is actuating the suspension the pedals will constantly trying to rotate. The Horst linkage rotates about the rear to counter this, while the i-drive and Klein rotate about the crank. Since there is drive tension on only one side of the chain, theoretically, you could also counter this changing the path of the rear axle which designs like the Hollowpoint Ironhorse , Marin EastPeak and SantaCruz V-10 try to do. You can never do it on a simple swingarm rear suspension that has the rear axle pivoting off a single point near the crank. You always need another pivot point along the lower swingarm/chainstay in order to change the axle path. These anti-torque effect designs, or "bio-feedback" reduction designs, aren't a perfect fix. It gets tricky because they have to balance the elimination of pedal feedback with braking effects. For example, the NRS suffers from brake jacking because of it's rear suspension design.

    Stable platform works on the pedal force input, not the torque. It limits suspension travel from pedal pressure downward, in the direction of suspension travel. You see this on bikes like the Giant NRS which uses an overcenter, topped out Horst suspension to resist the load. You can also do this with shock pressure valves and inertia valves like the SPV and Brains uses.

    Horst or any axle path modifying design can also be designed to counter pedal down forces just as easily as simple swingarm designs can. However, swingarm designs can not be designed to eliminate pedal torque enduced from suspension movement. For this you need a pivot between the rear axle and the frame pivot point on the lower swing arm.

    Danny

  10. #10
    Axe
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    Quote Originally Posted by Steve from JH
    If there is no proof one way or the other, then you can't really say the claim is drivel. Why don't you just say it is a claim unproven experimentally. Just like the general theory of relativity before the observations made during the solar eclipse of 1919 or some time around then.
    Actually - this case is the other way around. There is plenty of experimental evidence that two designs are largely equivalent. Some desingers prefer an uninterrupted chainstay, other think that chainline-growth and braking advantages of a flexible chainstay are worth it. But there is no scientific theory on why one design is better. None. There is marketing drivel and pseudo-scientific claims. That's all what it is.

    There is nothing to prove or disprove at this point, as no quantitative predictions (like: '0.75% energy saving', or "10% less reported muscle fatique over such and such course") has been made or measured.

    SO I just tried great many bikes and picked the one that rides best. Being physicist and all...

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    Swingarm pivots do not have to be mushy.

    Quote Originally Posted by Axe

    Personally - I would take uninterrupted chainstay any day over the mushy feeling of the pivoted chain stay.
    Actually, there isn't any reason a pivot along the lower swingarm has to be any mushier than one on the top. Anytime you introduce pivots, including the main swingarm pivot, you add potential flex and sloppiness. The only one that will be mush free is a good stiff hardtail.

    From a physics standpoint, eliminating pedal torque-suspension interaction (which is what a Horst link trys to do) is a smaller benefit than elimating pedal downforce-suspension interaction, which you will find in both types of suspensions and now the shocks themselves.

    I'm very impressed with how well Stable Platform Valved, shocks work. My favorite bike now carries SPV, front and rear. Standard forks now feel mushy to me. I just picked up a Manitou Minute 2 to replace my Fox Float F100RL. I have to run the Fox at a much higher pressure to get the same efficient feel as the Minute.

  12. #12
    Jm.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Disaster

    What Horst does, and similarly what the i-drive and Klein Palomino do, is reduce or eliminate pedal torque output from suspension travel input
    *sigh*, the idea is to design a bike with the corret-pivot placement that uses chain torque to cancel or counter bob.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by Disaster
    Actually, there isn't any reason a pivot along the lower swingarm has to be any mushier than one on the top. Anytime you introduce pivots, including the main swingarm pivot, you add potential flex and sloppiness. The only one that will be mush free is a good stiff hardtail.

    .
    The inherent difference that you are missing is that with a non-horst link type of linkage bike the rear axle is on the member that is directly connected to the bike, known as the "swingarm" usually with these kinds of bikes. While there are plenty of bikes like this that are not "super stiff", it is easier to make this kind of bike "stiffer" because you don't have to spend as much money designing and using bearings in the pivots, instead you can just increase the chainstay-box-section or use a triangular rear end.

    It is harder to make a horst-linkage type of bike "stiff" and "flex free" beause the member that the axle is on is NOT connected to the main frame, it is connected to a secondary members, the chainstay and linkage. This means that rather than designing one big pivot with a nice big box-section swingarm, you must use the correct kind of bearings in the rear pivot, main pivot, and linkag pivots, to ensure that it's not going to flex, as well as design the chainstay, seatstay, and linkage, to be flex free. These things can be designed around and with more time and money spent designing the bike, they are not a problem, but very few bike makers really go to lengths to counter these problems, partially because many of the big companies don't foresee their bikes lasting but a few years effectively. Turners bushing design is just one of the designs out there that is specifically designed to counter this trait of horst-link bikes, and there are other companys that do have quality and properly-designed bearing/pivots, but from an overall view, the horst-link type bike is not going to be as stiff, and some steps have to be done to make it stiffer to bring it up to the same level.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jm.
    *sigh*, the idea is to design a bike with the corret-pivot placement that uses chain torque to cancel or counter bob.
    Using chain torque to cancel bob does lower the rear end's suspension activity whenever the rider applies any pedal power. It is best described as a "compromise" between bob vs. full activity.

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    Jm.
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    Quote Originally Posted by J.S.
    Using chain torque to cancel bob does lower the rear end's suspension activity whenever the rider applies any pedal power. It is best described as a "compromise" between bob vs. full activity.
    Yup, it's all about tradeoffs....

  16. #16
    JmZ
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    No science to back this up...

    Quote Originally Posted by mtnbkrdr98
    I would like the bottom line with respect to Specialized patent, etc. How, generally might a bike actually feel or "behave" on the trail with a true horst link vs. the seatstay pivot that many respected bike makers also use (Ventana, Kona, K2, Rocky Mtn. now Jamis, etc.)

    AND, if seatstay pivot is a compromise, is it still better to place it there vs. no rear pivot at all (just single main pivot)
    But what I can give ya from my experiences...

    I've ridden several different duallies over the past few years. All have been 3 or 4 bars, and all have either had a seatstay or horst pivot. None have been boutique bikes. No Titus, No Turner, No Ventena.

    The implementation of the complete bike was AS important if not more so than the pivot location. I've ridden 2 Horst Links - Specialized Ground Control (Mac Strut, Horst Link) and a Mongoose Amplifier (Briefly, Mac Strut, Horst Link) as a few Seatstay pivots - Diamondback V-Link, Jamis Dakar Team, and Rocky Mountain Fanatik (Rocky's the current ride.)

    The thing I used to hear was a Seatstay pivot was supposed to become less active when you were on the brakes because the brakes were on a different part than the axle. A Horst was supposed to be better when on the brakes - better suspension action and better traction.

    In my experience - the rear shock, the shock settings, the parts on the bike play as much of a part in the way the bike feels under braking as does the pivot location.

    If EVERYTHING else was equal I MAY go for the Horst link, but I'd test ride the bike first, but since things are never always equal... I'll go for the bike that fits best, and rides best. As much as I pan Mountain Bike Fiction - the one test they did of a pair of Boulders was pretty good for this. They tested two bikes equipped identically and found <b><i>for this individual design</b></i> that a Horst link made the bike ride worse, not better. The summary of the article was that because of the way the bike was layed out - shock inside the top tube, it made the bike ride differently, and the shock was more likely to bind.

    And personally I'd get a bike with a rear pivot <u>if the rear triangle needs to move</u>. I just don't trust flexing metal... well unless it is Ti. No experiences, just personal bias.

    JmZ
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  17. #17
    Jm.
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    Quote Originally Posted by JmZ
    But what I can give ya from my experiences...
    Just to add to what you said, other factors that drastically affect the "suspension" of a bike and how it works and feels;

    Pivot placement, whether it's extremely low, or extremely high. You could technically have a lower or higher pivot with most kinds of suspension designs in relation to the chain, except for "concentric" pivot bikes.

    Overall rate-curve for the suspension. A proper-rate (designed progressive with the proper rate) with the correct spring can feel a LOT better than something that does not have the proper rate, even though they may be the same, or very different bikes.

    Wheel path, while a rearward wheelpath may be ideal for suspension, it's contrary to bike handling because it causes your GG to move in relation to the wheels, meaning that in turns you'll have to use more body english to get the bike through the turn. If the wheelbase gets smaller, it's arguably better because the front wheel and rear wheel are moving towards each other, giving you the same relative GG, meaning that you don't really have to move through the turn. Not that this is a HUGE deal, but some people are too quick to say that an extending wheelbase is great without thinking about this, even a "vertical" wheelpath will not be helpfull to this line of thinking, but the bias for suspension action goes to the rearward-moving suspension, which usually means you need a high pivot to make it arc rearward first, which goes back to my first point and is contrary when you get in rough terrain and try to pedal (pedal feedback with high-pivot type design).

    So just to reitorate, it's about tradeoffs. I've owned a good deal of bikes, and I've owned more than one FSR type bikes as well. I do not feel the suspension on the FSR DH bike I have is better than the non-FSR DH bikes that I've had, and I do not feel that the suspension on the FSR trail bike that I had was better than the non FSR-trail bikes that I had. My non-DH bike was a cheeta proline, which had a moto-link (like a motorcycle) type rear suspension and a solid-rear triangle, it was super stiff and pedaled fine for the kind of bike it was. I do believe that my FSR bikes were/are both more active under braking, but is that a big enough reason? That's more a function of if the price is right and some other factors about the bike. It's not enough of a reason by itself to make me single out an FSR bike as what I want. With SPV shocks these days, there's less and less reason why the FSR stands out as anything special.

    One of my first FS bikes was a 3" travel diamondback V-link, although it came out a good deal earlier than the specialized FSR-XC, they were both very similer bikes in construction and application, except for the rear pivots, FSR vrs Non-FSR. I've had the opportunity to ride several different short-travel XC FS bikes since then, including FSR-XCs, and I really didn't think the FSR was any better, especially on a short travel bike, brake-jack/squat is a lot less noticable then, and the FSR bike may or may not really be active under braking, some FSR bikes extend under braking and suffer from the same problem,(athough it's extending instead of compressing) stiffening rear suspesion.

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by Disaster
    Horst and other axle path modifying designs are not designed to reduce bob, as it is commonly described, from pedal pressure.

    I'm going to be lazy and copy my response to another post.

    It is NOT a replacement for stable platform.

    What Horst does, and similarly what the i-drive and Klein Palomino do, is reduce or eliminate pedal torque output from suspension travel input, and visa versa. In other words, with a simple, swingarm suspension, moving the suspension will clock the pedals. When you are riding over rough stuff that is actuating the suspension the pedals will constantly trying to rotate. The Horst linkage rotates about the rear to counter this, while the i-drive and Klein rotate about the crank. Since there is drive tension on only one side of the chain, theoretically, you could also counter this changing the path of the rear axle which designs like the Hollowpoint Ironhorse , Marin EastPeak and SantaCruz V-10 try to do. You can never do it on a simple swingarm rear suspension that has the rear axle pivoting off a single point near the crank. You always need another pivot point along the lower swingarm/chainstay in order to change the axle path. These anti-torque effect designs, or "bio-feedback" reduction designs, aren't a perfect fix. It gets tricky because they have to balance the elimination of pedal feedback with braking effects. For example, the NRS suffers from brake jacking because of it's rear suspension design.

    Stable platform works on the pedal force input, not the torque. It limits suspension travel from pedal pressure downward, in the direction of suspension travel. You see this on bikes like the Giant NRS which uses an overcenter, topped out Horst suspension to resist the load. You can also do this with shock pressure valves and inertia valves like the SPV and Brains uses.

    Horst or any axle path modifying design can also be designed to counter pedal down forces just as easily as simple swingarm designs can. However, swingarm designs can not be designed to eliminate pedal torque enduced from suspension movement. For this you need a pivot between the rear axle and the frame pivot point on the lower swing arm.

    Danny
    Actually low pivot seatstay linkages, like Ventanas for example, will have less pedal kickback from suspension movement than the most prestigious Horst links, like Turners for example.

    The theoretical advantage of the Horst design is that the smaller degree of rotation in the movement of the floating link, compared with a simple swingarm, causes less compressive suspension windup as the force transfer from ground to center of mass occurs. The Horst bikes can get by with a lower amount of anti-squat (and the lower amount of kickback that goes with that) to counter the compressive windup.

    To put it more simply: the Horst bikes can have the advantage of a low single pivot--low kickback--without the disadvantage--squatting from pedal force increase.

  19. #19
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    Interesting

    Quote Originally Posted by JmZ
    As much as I pan Mountain Bike Fiction - the one test they did of a pair of Boulders was pretty good for this. They tested two bikes equipped identically and found <b><i>for this individual design</b></i> that a Horst link made the bike ride worse, not better. The summary of the article was that because of the way the bike was layed out - shock inside the top tube, it made the bike ride differently, and the shock was more likely to bind.

    And personally I'd get a bike with a rear pivot <u>if the rear triangle needs to move</u>. I just don't trust flexing metal... well unless it is Ti. No experiences, just personal bias.

    JmZ
    I remember that test you're talking about! It was quite a while ago but I remember being extremely surprised at the results (and then of course forgetting all about it!)

    Thanks for bringing this up! Much of this discussion is about theory only and doesn't guarantee any results once you get down to the actual metal and rubber.

  20. #20
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    As simple as it gets.

    The performance difference is simple.

    Horst link bikes squat less under both acceleration and under rear braking.

    Less squat under acceleration makes for a crisper feeling bike which doesn't bob as much and stays closer to level when climbing.

    Less squat under braking allows the suspension to follow the ground better with the rear brake on. This gives you more traction when braking on rough ground.

    That is all.
    Owner of www.shockcraft.co.nz, Mech Engineer, Tuner, Manitou, Motorex, Vorsprung EPTC, SKF, Enduro
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  21. #21
    Jm.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dougal

    Less squat under braking allows the suspension to follow the ground better with the rear brake on. This gives you more traction when braking on rough ground.

    That is all.
    Err..if it's designed correctly, which not all horst link bikes are, and some will jack quite noticably and that is similer to the single pivot squat situation, except it's a much more negative effect in that your weight is pushed forward. Not all horst-link bikes are created equal.

    And, the less travel that is there, the harder it is to feel these "benefits" on a horst link bike vrs a non-horst link one.

    The horst link is not some sort of holy-grail, it's not bad (i own one and like it, and I've owned others in the past), but it's not hands down better than a lot of other designs out there.

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    The idea of a Horst link is NOT related to chain "torque"

    Quote Originally Posted by Jm.
    *sigh*, the idea is to design a bike with the corret-pivot placement that uses chain torque to cancel or counter bob.
    First, there is no such thing as chain torque. Torque is a rotational phenomenon. There is torque about the axle and pedals. The chain transfers the torque in a straight line between the two by force.

    Looking at a suspension, with a single solid swingarm chainstay, you will see if you move the suspension up or down, without applying any torque to the pedals, and keeping the wheelbase constant, like if the tires were against the ground, that the rear tire would have to actually rotate about it's axle. When it doe this the chain will pull the crankset into a similar rotation.

    The Horst link, works by creating a parallelogram between the axle and the crankset so that when the swingarm moves, the rear axle starts rotating, canceling out the torque created by the rotation. It isn't perfect because gear ratio effects the relationship.

    The GT iDrive does something similar by clocking the front crankset about itself to counter the rotation. It has the same inherent limitation of only being perfect in one gear.

    You can also partly mitigate the rotation by placing the swingarm pivot such that you effect the chainlength as you rotate the suspension. You can get a tiny bit of this effect by the proper placement of a solid swingarm but you can get a more dramatic effect by adding a link to the forward part of the swingarm/chainstay allowing the rear axle to follow a path that mitigates the change in chain length caused by suspension movement.

    The second problem with all these designs is braking is generated through an entire different process and therefore, while Horsts, and similar designs, work to counter pedal torque interaction to the suspension, they do not counter braking forces generated at another location.

    Accounting for brake forces is a whole 'nother geometry problem.

    Finally, there is the problem of countering weighting and deweighting of the pedals when you pedal. When you pedal you generate a sinusoidal force in the same direction as the bikes suspension. This causes the infamous "BOB." Bob is worse when you stand and pedal.

    Designers can do tricks with either design to counter bob. With the NRS, for example, a Horst linkage, the designers designed an overcentered suspension that preloads the suspension to an amount that reduces or even eliminates bob...depending on how much preload the operator uses.

    What is really, really tough, if not impossible, is to design a suspension system that works perfectly in all conditions, while the suspension is being activated by ground forces and while accelerating and braking. The best the designer can do is build a design that is a compromise. Depending on the type of riding the user will do, and the terrain they will see, one compromise might be better for one rider, and worse for another. For example the Giant NRS is a great compromise for an XC racer who is looking for efficient pedaling, however it is a terrible compromise for a downhiller because it's suspension becomes very ineffective under heavy braking. Likewise a long travel single pivot swingarm/chainstay design wouldn't be the best bike to pick for XC racing.

    Getting into energy lost, pedal bob is a bigger factor than pedal rotational-suspension interaction forces. Designs that reduce or eliminate suspension movement caused by the sinusoidal pedal hammering will be much more efficient than ones that bob. This is one of the huge advantages hardtails have over FS bikes.

    SPV and similar concepts in shock design are a huge revolution in bike design. They work better than the compromise Giant made with their NRS. Just as importantly, they can be applied to the front shock which comes more into play when you stand up to pedal, transferring more weight forward.

    I've ridden a lot of different designs over the years, so many billed as being the "answer", and none of them has been as impressive as the difference of the new shocks and fork designs.
    Last edited by Disaster; 05-29-2004 at 12:55 AM.

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jm.
    Err..if it's designed correctly, which not all horst link bikes are, and some will jack quite noticably and that is similer to the single pivot squat situation, except it's a much more negative effect in that your weight is pushed forward. Not all horst-link bikes are created equal.

    And, the less travel that is there, the harder it is to feel these "benefits" on a horst link bike vrs a non-horst link one.

    The horst link is not some sort of holy-grail, it's not bad (i own one and like it, and I've owned others in the past), but it's not hands down better than a lot of other designs out there.
    Sorry man but that's just not right.
    There are only two horst links that actively jack. One is the GT LTS, the other is the NRS.
    All monopivots suffer from squat, not jack under rear braking.

    I do agree that not all horst link bikes are created equal. At one extreme they are no better than a monopivot, but most are better than monopivots.
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  24. #24
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    Seperate out acceleration and chain effects.

    To get an idea of why a horst link is better, you must first seperate out chain effects and acceleration effects.

    Once you've done this it becomes apparent that horst links are quite similar to other low pivot designs in the reaction to chain tension (almost all are compressed by chain tension). But horst links differ greatly in their reaction to acceleration forces.

    It's the fact that horst link bikes squat less under acceleration that makes them pedal so well and bob so little. Bobbing occurs when a bike repeatedly squats in answer to the pulses of force from the chain and pedals. Reducing the squat reduces the bob.
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    As usual, Dougal gets to the point, without lengthy and...

    ..unecessary tech speak.

    Suffice it to say, one doesn't take on the task of building a Horst Link bike, without fully respecting the need to implement it properly, if one expects to compete with the better designs out there. You can't buy into top market share just by doling out the few bucks per frame it takes to use the patent, just like you can't automatically make a waterproof parka, just because you're licensed to use Gore's material, there's seam sealing and other things to consider. This is why I think Horst Links in general, are misrepresented when people say there's nothing special about them. Should they really be dragged down with the designs that don't make very good use of them?

    What we're really talking about here, is the society we live in, being of free enterprise, creating both good and bad elements in the free use of patented designs.

    This is also why we argue endlessly in circles about these kinds of issues. There's really no way to generalize or categorize, something that is so freely used. Can we at least agree on that much fellow mt bike addicts of the free world?

    I really do think we are priviledged to be able to freely choose what we use and voice our opinions, even if it means endlessly arguing and disagreeing on some points.
    Last edited by Gnarlygig; 05-29-2004 at 04:19 AM.

  26. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by Disaster

    Getting into energy lost, pedal bob is a bigger factor than pedal rotational-suspension interaction forces. Designs that reduce or eliminate suspension movement caused by the sinusoidal pedal hammering will be much more efficient than ones that bob. This is one of the huge advantages hardtails have over FS bikes.
    I entirely disagree with this statement. This is something that is testable and I intend to test it sometime soon.

    Over the winter I picked up a computer/heart rate monitor for cheap, and for the first time I also have both front and rear shocks with lockouts. I intend to ride up the same paved hill out of the saddle both locked out and not locked out. I will try to maintain the same average cadence in the same gear and thus the same average speed. The test will be whether the average heart rate will be higher on the bobbing bike.

    I will post the results when I've done it. I'll be honest. If it proves that weight shift induced bobbing does indeed make more rider energy be required to maintain the same speed, then I will admit it.

  27. #27

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    You shouldn't have any problem proving simple physics.

    Quote Originally Posted by Steve from JH
    I entirely disagree with this statement. This is something that is testable and I intend to test it sometime soon.

    Over the winter I picked up a computer/heart rate monitor for cheap, and for the first time I also have both front and rear shocks with lockouts. I intend to ride up the same paved hill out of the saddle both locked out and not locked out. I will try to maintain the same average cadence in the same gear and thus the same average speed. The test will be whether the average heart rate will be higher on the bobbing bike.

    I will post the results when I've done it. I'll be honest. If it proves that weight shift induced bobbing does indeed make more rider energy be required to maintain the same speed, then I will admit it.
    Everything that flexes on the bike, and doesn't move you forward is lost energy. Lots of work is done but it isn't translating to forward momentum. In order to measure this you will need to maintain the same speed with both locked and unlocked suspension. To maximize the loss, travel up a big hill and stand on the pedals. You will use much more energy with a bobbing bike in this condition than one that is solid.

    On the other hand, there is an advantage to a suspended bike. When the bikes suspension is absorbing the bumps, instead of you needing to do it with your flexed legs you will also use less energy.

    Therefore the ideal efficient bike would absorb all road bumps but be perfectly stiff to crank input. We are a long way from that type of bike but modern designs are closer than they ever were.

    Danny

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    Non-scientific real world response.

    Quote Originally Posted by mtnbkrdr98
    I would like the bottom line with respect to Specialized patent, etc. How, generally might a bike actually feel or "behave" on the trail with a true horst link vs. the seatstay pivot that many respected bike makers also use (Ventana, Kona, K2, Rocky Mtn. now Jamis, etc.)

    AND, if seatstay pivot is a compromise, is it still better to place it there vs. no rear pivot at all (just single main pivot)
    I chose a Horst/AMP type bike in 1993-1994 when the other designs really were miserable, and did several test rides of other designs when I bought my new bike 11 months ago. This time around all of the 6 initial contenders were very good products, but 2 things stood out while testing. The Horst/AMP-types seemed best at keeping the the same riding posture and rear wheel either connected or slapped right back down in bumpy loose stuff, and stood out even more with braking in the same circumstances. I rode a Canondale, Santa Cruz, Norco and Specialized in the same place. The Canondale and Santa Cruz took very little brake pressure to be like a skidding hard tale compared to the Norco and Specialized that still had suspension travel. I could use the rear brake much more effectively with the 2 Horst-types.

    On efficiency: The best non-scientific thing I can say is a riding pal and I did the same 26ish mile ride with our classic light and efficient racer boy bikes and our 5 inch dualie bikes and we did it faster and felt much better when done in spite of the extra 7 pounds of bike and hours and many miles of bobbing up and down.

    Bottom line: This time the differences among the designs and brands were noticeable, but not the huge difference in performance when I bought a dualie 10 years earlier. It was obvious the Horst/AMP-types were superior in terms of rear braking performance, they seemed to spin out less than some climbing and I also felt they had more of the same personality in all types of riding.

    Do plenty of test riding and choose a product for the riding you will really do vs what you'll think will be a neat bike and you'll be fine and happy.

  29. #29
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    Quote Originally Posted by Disaster
    Everything that flexes on the bike, and doesn't move you forward is lost energy. Lots of work is done but it isn't translating to forward momentum. In order to measure this you will need to maintain the same speed with both locked and unlocked suspension. To maximize the loss, travel up a big hill and stand on the pedals. You will use much more energy with a bobbing bike in this condition than one that is solid.

    On the other hand, there is an advantage to a suspended bike. When the bikes suspension is absorbing the bumps, instead of you needing to do it with your flexed legs you will also use less energy.

    Therefore the ideal efficient bike would absorb all road bumps but be perfectly stiff to crank input. We are a long way from that type of bike but modern designs are closer than they ever were.

    Danny
    You might be interested in this research done at University of Nevada at Reno:

    http://biomech.me.unr.edu/cycling.htm

    The "abstract" mentioned in the section on energy efficiency of suspensions used computer simulations and came to the conclusion that 1.3% of rider power input was wasted in rear suspension movement. The "white paper", however, which used actual riding tests done by 5 NORBA ranked riders on 6 different bikes, 5 dual suspension and 1 hardtail, concluded that there was no power difference in climbing between the hardtail and the duallies. Although one of the bikes (they won't say which one) was definitely faster climbing, they all demanded the same work from the rider to get up the same hill.

  30. #30
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    Lie.

    Quote Originally Posted by Dougal
    The performance difference is simple.

    Horst link bikes squat less under both acceleration and under rear braking.
    Do not mix your personal subjective feeling with truth.

    In my personal experience - situation is quite different. Bikes with seatstay pivot accelerate better, provide positive feedback on various terrain, are stiffer and more reliable. I have compared most desings on the market.

    And it turns out - some of the best designers in the business have the same opinion. Just look what people are using. Quite a few brands MOVED from Horst link to a seatstay pivot recently. From Ventana to Jamis, people who actually know someting disagree with you.

    There is NO objectively defined performance difference. All this talk is just reiteration of marketing bullcrap mixed with personal preferences.

    Thats all.

  31. #31
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    Quote Originally Posted by Axe
    Do not mix your personal subjective feeling with truth.

    In my personal experience - situation is quite different. Bikes with seatstay pivot accelerate better, provide positive feedback on various terrain, are stiffer and more reliable. I have compared most desings on the market.

    And it turns out - some of the best designers in the business have the same opinion. Just look what people are using. Quite a few brands MOVED from Horst link to a seatstay pivot recently. From Ventana to Jamis, people who actually know someting disagree with you.

    There is NO objectively defined performance difference. All this talk is just reiteration of marketing bullcrap mixed with personal preferences.

    Thats all.
    The words I posted are the truth and the physics to prove it is commonly available, many texts and papers have been published on the subject.

    How about doing some research first professor? Lest your credibility desert you in a similar manner to KS
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  32. #32
    Jm.
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    ventana has never used horst links.

  33. #33
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    Huh?

    Quote Originally Posted by Jm.
    ventana has never used horst links.
    Did anyone say they did?
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  34. #34
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    One exception....

    Although the Ventana X-5, Salty etc. may technically be classified as low monopivots, their ride is dramatically different than that of a Santa Cruz or other monopivots.

    I've owned a Titus Horst for several years and recently spent a good deal of time on an X-5 with a platformed shock. The platform shock does wonders for the X-5 in terms of acceleration & climbing. I've ridden Ventana El Saltys in the past with non-platform shocks and the initial burst of acceleration & clmbing felt mushy. That feeling is completely gone with the platform shock and I detected no difference between that bike and my Hammerhead (Racer-x).

    Braking on the Ventana also seemed improved with the non-platform shock but it's still a tad less active than my Titus. Didn't bother me though and I'll likely be adding an X-5 with a platform shock to my stable.

  35. #35
    Jm.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dougal
    Did anyone say they did?
    yeah, the guy that you quoted said that jamis and ventana "switched" from a horst link to a non-horst link design. This is only true for Jamis, ventana has never used a horst link.

  36. #36
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jm.
    yeah, the guy that you quoted said that jamis and ventana "switched" from a horst link to a non-horst link design. This is only true for Jamis, ventana has never used a horst link.
    Gotcha, although hasn't ventana built horst link bikes for other people (not badged ventana)?
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  37. #37
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dougal
    Gotcha, although hasn't ventana built horst link bikes for other people (not badged ventana)?
    well, before they got totally frustrated with them, I believe that they welded for ellsworth some, but it's not like ellsworth was selling the same bike or a similer bike under a diff name, ventana has stuck to their non-horst link design and various single pivots pretty much exclusivley for the bikes that are sold as ventanas.

  38. #38
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    I believe Sherwood has welded bikes for both Ellsworth & Turner in the past.

  39. #39
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    Classic Horst link has best pedal bump compliance

    Quote Originally Posted by mtnbkrdr98
    I would like the bottom line with respect to Specialized patent, etc. How, generally might a bike actually feel or "behave" on the trail with a true horst link vs. the seatstay pivot that many respected bike makers also use (Ventana, Kona, K2, Rocky Mtn. now Jamis, etc.)

    AND, if seatstay pivot is a compromise, is it still better to place it there vs. no rear pivot at all (just single main pivot)
    I just saw this thread and haven't read all the comments yet. So I though I'd just comment and enjoy reading the other's later.

    My experience is that in shorter travel bikes 4 inch and less, that the greater relaxation of extending geometry of the classic Horst link bikes have the best feeling of bump compliance with steady paced pedaling with the least loss of stability without resorting to extra slow damping to control pedaling instabilities. The path of a Horst link falls away from extending tension, resisting acceleration squat, to fully compliant chain tension neutral BB facing deep in travel, while all other designs except very low monopivots (or seat-stay monopivots) are less bump compliant. If a low monopivot is close to as compliant as a classic Horst link, then they pedal with less stability and require slower damping and then have the resulting loss of bump compliance at higher speeds (stable platform has been a great improvement to less stable better bump compliant designs, such as low monopivots and similar monopivot seatstay like pedaling ICT style 4-bars).

    Classic Horst links have the chain stay pivot about 2 - 2.5 inches FORWARD and 1.5 - 2 inches BELOW the rear axle and a main frame pivot no more than 1 inch REAR and no more than 1 inch ABOVE the BB. This combination produces an effective axle path with a radial center well behind the seat tube and main pivot but not much higher than the main pivot, near the back end of the front derailiur, where a single pivot could not practically be placed producing virtually the same pedaling effect.

    Only Titus and O'Neil (Azonic) are producing true shorter travel Horst links in the US and Iron Horse and Specialized along with the other two is producing longer travel Horst links. The Specialized Big Hit is still pretty close to classic Horst design, unlike the shorter travel FSR bikes since their design change about Y2K. But the Horst link pedaling bump compliance advantage over other design possibilities is lessened to nil with travel more than 4 to 5 inches with it's slower changing, wider path radius, lesser effects on pedaling.

    Specialized is not producing a Horst link (as Horst designed), nor is Turner or Ellsworth, these manufactures have compromised the Horst design to eliminate rear derailiur slap on the drop-out pivot. And by raising the drop out pivot to clear the derailier slap the path has a longer radius, and pedaling effect that a monopivot or seat-stay 4-bar could produce if placed nearly exactly the same place as the main pivot of these bikes. They still produce very good riding bikes but in the case of Ellsworth ICT and especially the Specialized they require extra slow damping for stability. Actually a BB concentric or URT is most neutral reacting to pedaling. But fully neutral pedaling effect is not very effective for squat stability and bump compliance. ICT is a nice fashion statement, but there is no advantage compared to seat stay 4-bar or monopivot, rather a restriction of the potential for better pedaling and brake tuning.

    The differences in chainstay 4-bar designs are minor, and even a Horst link is a minor change from a monopivot about 1.5 inches above the BB on the seat tube. It's in bumpy terrain that most expert trail riders find the classic Horst link bikes become noticeably better pedaling (and braking) than other drop-out pivot or monopivot bikes, without sacraficing acceleration squat efficency and stability. A well built Horst link like a Titus is very stiff and flex free although a monopivot can be built a bit lighter for the same stiffness.

    - ray
    Last edited by derby; 05-29-2004 at 11:29 PM.

  40. #40
    Axe
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dougal
    The words I posted are the truth and the physics to prove it is commonly available, many texts and papers have been published on the subject.

    How about doing some research first professor? Lest your credibility desert you in a similar manner to KS
    You lie. Quite simple. And I do not pretend to be a specialist. But I do know how to differentiate marketng drivel from a scientific study.

    Just look at what people are actually implementing and riding.
    Look and read why Jamis designers switched to seatstay pivot. Be assured - they know better then a windbag like you.

  41. #41
    Axe
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jm.
    yeah, the guy that you quoted said that jamis and ventana "switched" from a horst link to a non-horst link design. This is only true for Jamis, ventana has never used a horst link.
    Never said switched. But Gibson evaluated it on merits - and he knows a thing or two about bike design. Said - did not use.

    Jamis switched. Yeti had Lawwill design available (predates Horst, same idea), but chose not to use it - their designer stated no advantage, but less reliability.

    Many other designers made the same choice.

    Horst is OK. Specialized, or Titus, or Turner make awesome bikes. But it is not measurably "better" overall.

  42. #42
    Jm.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Axe
    Jamis switched. Yeti had Lawwill design available (predates Horst, same idea), but chose not to use it - their designer stated no advantage, but less reliability.

    .
    well, you screwed up with that one, yeti STILL MAKES the lawill bike, as well as there are a couple other ones floating around the market made by different companies. It's not the best design ever (there's negatives as with anything) but it is most definitely "still being used".

  43. #43
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    Quote Originally Posted by Axe
    You lie. Quite simple. And I do not pretend to be a specialist. But I do know how to differentiate marketng drivel from a scientific study.

    Just look at what people are actually implementing and riding.
    Look and read why Jamis designers switched to seatstay pivot. Be assured - they know better then a windbag like you.
    And you're quoting Jamis's marketing drivel


    Your personal attacks proclaim quite loudly "My arguments have no substance".
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  44. #44
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    Quote Originally Posted by Axe
    You lie. Quite simple. And I do not pretend to be a specialist. But I do know how to differentiate marketng drivel from a scientific study.

    Just look at what people are actually implementing and riding.
    Look and read why Jamis designers switched to seatstay pivot. Be assured - they know better then a windbag like you.
    Spoken in such absolutes ignores a wealth of other possibilities.

    Jamis, as a company, has different motives driving them than a company such as Ventana. For example I would imagine Jamis is motivated to create the most bike for the buck, compromising this or that to get their end goal. They certainly don't use the very best available materials, or fabrication plants etc. (but they do use very good stuff). I wouldn't say that a Jamis is equal to a Ventana...so why conclude that their switch to a seat stay pivot was done purely in the persuit of the best possible suspension design? They could just as easily concluded that they could reduce certain building costs and/or eliminate design issues by going with a SSP and accecpt a minor change in sus characteristics.

    Ventana OTOH put a very high priority on lateral stiffness, we've seen several times in this forum somone claiming his explanation was that he accepted the tradoff in certain characteristics for greater stiffness. Now if that is the case, then I also submit that that conclusion was based on his designs and implementations. That does not mean that another builder cannot put a priority on getting the best of what Horst (theoretically) has to offer and creating an implementaion that preserves the necessary stiffness...even if it does not acheive Ventana's excellence.

    IMO It all comes down to the implementation, and one's personal requirements. A Very well desinged and implemented Horst does not have to be more flexy than a SSP. A person who rides rockier more rugged terrain could be more appreciative of the (theoretical) braking advantages...while a person who rides more open trails and achieves higer speeds may notice the potential difference in lateral stiffness than someone who ride tighter rockier trails. I know here in the North East we don't get much speed, a full day of all out riding may never get over 12mph, but yet we may have a 9ft carpet of baseball sized pointed rocks to scrub all that speed. Someone out west OTOH could be hitting a corner at 20mph and actually hang that turn for a few of seconds...that person would more likely feel the lateral stiffness differences between two bikes an East Coast rider might never notice.

    But if either of the builders sucked, all the theroy would be meaningless. In the end at the top shelf, the differences are very small. I think there is a great deal more difference between Ventana and Jamis than Ventana and Tunrer... Is one design type better than the other...I cannot say but I CAN say different bikes ride differently...what you prefer is up to you.
    Faster is better, even when it's not.

  45. #45
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    Come on.

    Quote Originally Posted by Jm.
    well, you screwed up with that one, yeti STILL MAKES the lawill bike, as well as there are a couple other ones floating around the market made by different companies. It's not the best design ever (there's negatives as with anything) but it is most definitely "still being used".
    Do you need to be nitpicking here. Yes - they still use Lawwill (last year though. They chose not to use it for cross-country and freeride bikes. What I said is correct.

  46. #46
    Axe
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    In fact - I agree.


    Your personal attacks proclaim quite loudly "My arguments have no substance".
    There is NO substance in my arguments. As there is NO solid science behind both sides of the story.

    What I quote - is practical CHOICE made by experienced practitioners. Based on experimentation and real world experience. And tests out.

    I like bikes with both designs (and some different ones). None is inherently better as Horst cheerleaders, like this windbag Dougal, try to show.

    There is no, absolutely no measurable numbers or sound engineering theory, that prove that seat stay or Horst pivot is qualitatively better in any aspect. Concentrating on a particular aspect does not prove anything in such a fairly complicated machine interacting with human physiology.
    Last edited by Axe; 05-30-2004 at 11:21 PM.

  47. #47
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    Quote Originally Posted by Axe
    There is NO substance in my arguments. As the is NO soid science behind both sides of the story.

    What I quote - is practical CHOICE made by experinced pratitioners. Based on experimentation and real world experience. And and tests out.

    I like bikes with both designs (and some differnt ones). None is inherently better as Horst cheerleaders, like this windbag Dougal, try to show.
    Yes there has been plenty of science conducted on this subject. I've told you before in this very thread, if you do some research you will find it.

    I'm finding it hard to beleive you can have a PhD in phsyics. Research is a foundation of science, mandatory for a doctorate and yet you seem incapable of it.
    Owner of www.shockcraft.co.nz, Mech Engineer, Tuner, Manitou, Motorex, Vorsprung EPTC, SKF, Enduro
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  48. #48
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    Experience on Titus Switchblade (Horst Link) vs Ventana El Saltamontes(Seatstay link)

    I've ridden a Ventana El Salt without a platform shock 2 years ago and found that it felt distinctly mushy on acceleration compared to my Titus Switchblade with a Fox Float R rear shock. (no platform shock) There also seemed to be more squat under power.

  49. #49
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    Horst upper link

    I should add that the upper link of a Horst linkage is also very important to producing the bump compliant path that doesn't sacrifice as much anti-squat as a low monopivot with similar bump compliance when loaded by pedaling or braking tensions.

    Horst designed a Mac strut and cantilevered Mac-Strut (with an upper swing link). Both produce modified, smaller radius paths when compared to a monopivot swingarm in the same place as the main pivot on those bikes. The smaller radius path produces more rapid force line and tension changes, which resist squat near top out and sag, but relax opposing tension alignments rapidly when compressed towards bottom out. That relaxation upon travel compression and firming upon extension of travel when pedaling or braking is the dynamic which enhances bump compliance, complementing a steady paced pedal spin or better tracking the tire to the ground when braking over bumps.

    When bikes alter more than about 1/2 inch in dimension or angle in linkage from the Horst examples there are effects that vary greatly from what Horst designed.

    For example the Jamis Dakar with the dropout pivot for a couple years had an upper swing link that was far different than what Horst designed. The path was modified from monopivot, but not in a way to enhance bump compliance. The Dakar path had a wider radius with a radial center more forward and higher than the main pivot, producing a path that a Superlight or Pantera monopivot could produce. The upper link also directed braking tensions opposite from what Horst designed. The Dakar's brake tensions are most compressive when travel is most extending and relax compression tensions as travel deepens into compression, this is opposite the bump compliance enhancement tensions of the Horst linkage when braking. The Horst is most relaxed (but not so free to need extra slow damping) near top out when braking, more compliant to bump induced compression, and then becomes more compressive in tension as bumps compress the suspension deeper, relaxing tension upon rebound. The Horst dynamic enhanced traction, mostly upon bump rebound keeping the tire on the ground when unloaded. While the Dakar increasingly resists the suspension and rear tire from tracking the ground upon bump rebound. Jamis improved their suspension by reverting to low monopivot design and using platform damping to stabilize squat and bob.

    There are many examples of designes with 2 pivots on the chain-stay, such a Lawwill, and the Busby Gt LTS, the Rocky ETS which are not Horst link designs. The Giant NRS is not a Horst linkage nor an FSR design, it is most closely a Busby "LTS" type design. Giant probably made a business decision to carry the FSR sticker on the NRS to avoid a very costly legal attack from the naive but rich Specialized lawyers that would raise the cost of their bikes much more than paying the "protection" demand from the mobsters at Specialized.

    The differences in shorter travel Horst designs compared to other designs monopivot and multi pivot shorter travel bikes are subtle in most cases, but noticeable to the physically sensitive rider.

    BTW, I saw a picture of the latest Big Hit. And I must correct myself above. The most resent Big Hit is no longer a magnified, long travel Horst Linkage type design. The dropout pivot was raised which reduced the anti-squat section of travel. It's closer to monopivot in pedaling effect with an integrated floating brake, more like a Turner style 4-bar. The new Big Hit is really a better design for downhill pedaling, which doesn't need as significant anti-squat that a Horst linkage produces above sag.

    - ray

  50. #50
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    You asked for the bottom line.

    Here it is.

    Fit, shock set-up, build implementation, your riding style and needs... all play a much, much larger role in how the bike will react than the placement the chainstay or seatstay pivot. I've owned both, from arguably the best builders out there, Titus, Turner, Ventana. I've ridden for 20 years.

    I can't tell a difference. A computer may be able to, but you won't. The biggest differences I notice - rear end stiffness in tight turns. The Ventana is a bit stiffer than the Titus or Turner. With a platform shock, they both acclerate great. As for braking, no real difference that a human can notice. In 99% of braking situations where some hypothetical jack or lock-out could occur - you will be off the saddle and your body will be acting as a much bigger shock than your bike.

    Don't let a pivot decide what you buy. Get the bike that fits, consider your riding style, and experiment like crazy until the rear shock is set up properly.

    Then ride. A computer doesn't ride your bike, you do.
    "The thing is, Bob, it's not that I'm lazy, it's that I just don't care."

  51. #51
    President, CEO of Earth
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    Quote Originally Posted by Steve from JH
    If there is no proof one way or the other, then you can't really say the claim is drivel. Why don't you just say it is a claim unproven experimentally. Just like the general theory of relativity before the observations made during the solar eclipse of 1919 or some time around then.

    Actually, what he's saying is that neither is any better, but he will choose one over the other because it's better.

  52. #52
    Daniel the Dog
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    Air vrs. Coil is important too....

    Quote Originally Posted by mtnbkrdr98
    I would like the bottom line with respect to Specialized patent, etc. How, generally might a bike actually feel or "behave" on the trail with a true horst link vs. the seatstay pivot that many respected bike makers also use (Ventana, Kona, K2, Rocky Mtn. now Jamis, etc.)

    AND, if seatstay pivot is a compromise, is it still better to place it there vs. no rear pivot at all (just single main pivot)
    I have ridden Horst link bikes with coil and air. The coil bikes are more active, brake better, and overall are plusher. I think the coil shock is vastly underrated for trail riding.

    Jaybo

  53. #53
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    Hey

    I see that signature and take exception to it, you cowardly Spartan.

    Why don't you post last year's score, or the number of Big Ten titles in the past ten years, or National Championships, or....ah, screw it. I'm having a beer.

    PS. I did actually detect a slight difference in braking performance but it didn't bother me.

  54. #54
    illuminator82
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    where does it say that bike #1 is a dually??

    read the article but it does not state which bike is which?
    do you have privy to the knowledge of this?
    or assuming that there is only a 20% chance that it is the hardtail?
    thanks for the clarification.

  55. #55
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    Quote Originally Posted by Axe
    From Ventana to Jamis, people who actually know someting disagree with you.
    Jamis got sued. That's why they switched. It's all about the money and not performance.


    Specialized, Jamis settle patent litigation.(on the record)

    Bicycle Retailer and Industry News; 4/1/2004

    MORGAN HILL, CA -- Specialized and G. Joannou Cycle recently settled a patent-infringement lawsuit involving Specialized's 4-bar link rear-suspension design. Specialized took issue with the suspension designs on Jamis' Dakar mountain bikes. G. Joannou Cycle owns Jamis. The settlement relates to all Jamis full-suspension Dakar bicycles through and including the model year 2003. While the terms are confidential, Carine Joannou, president...

  56. #56
    The Ancient One
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    Quote Originally Posted by [email protected]
    read the article but it does not state which bike is which?
    do you have privy to the knowledge of this?
    or assuming that there is only a 20% chance that it is the hardtail?
    thanks for the clarification.
    I don't have any inside information. I'm assuming that bike #1 was the lightest and probably the hardtail. But they concluded that riders were not working any harder simply because a bike was a duallie. At least as far as they could measure it.

  57. #57
    Axe
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    Quote Originally Posted by TobyNobody
    Actually, what he's saying is that neither is any better, but he will choose one over the other because it's better.
    Neither is measurably better. As in: "2.5% more energy efficient." Or "5% faster lap times". No such statistic or measurement exists.

    There are particular aspects beeing analyzed: such as reaction to chain tension, or to braking. For sure, those have an effect, but so far no exact connection have been made what effect it is. What is an unwanted pedal kickback for one, is a needed positive feedback from terrain for another. There are too many variables, and too shallow theories.

    A particular implementation of a particular design may be better for me. That is the difference. I ride it and analyse for myself without regard to hard numbers. (though not beeing blind to those numbers) I may make mistake, of course, but that would be irrelevant. My personal two favorite bikes are Titus Racer-X and Yeti AS-R. They are of different rear pivot design, but ride pretty damn same. Chose AS-R as of that moment Racer-X geometry I wanted was not available.

    No contradiction here: just beeing honest on what is a subjective assessment, and what is solid science.

  58. #58
    Lay off the Levers
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    Quote Originally Posted by Homebrew
    Jamis got sued. That's why they switched. It's all about the money and not performance.


    Specialized, Jamis settle patent litigation.(on the record)

    Bicycle Retailer and Industry News; 4/1/2004

    MORGAN HILL, CA -- Specialized and G. Joannou Cycle recently settled a patent-infringement lawsuit involving Specialized's 4-bar link rear-suspension design. Specialized took issue with the suspension designs on Jamis' Dakar mountain bikes. G. Joannou Cycle owns Jamis. The settlement relates to all Jamis full-suspension Dakar bicycles through and including the model year 2003. While the terms are confidential, Carine Joannou, president...
    See now that's something I haven't seen posted since Jamis changed their design.
    Could you post a link to that article?
    Faster is better, even when it's not.

  59. #59
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    We the people ... Here Axe, This'll make it aaalllll better....

    I know how much you love the Horst promotions...

    ********************* THE RAVEN **************************

    As I ponder weak and weary, considering suspension designs, often Leary,
    I should happen to hear a tapping, a faint and gentle rapping, a rap-tap-tapping on my workshop door.

    I think to myself, 'tis the wind and nothing more.

    I return to my musing, of rear shock types, oft' confusing,
    of axle paths, and antisquat, of instant centers, and other whatnot,
    sinking deeper in my thoughts of what has value and what has naught,
    when once again I hear a tapping, that same distracting faintly rapping,
    yet again a rap-tap-tapping on my workshop door.

    I lift my voice and vocalize, "'tis disruptions I despise!" "Find some other to annoy, now go, and take thee from my door!"

    I think to myself 'tis my kid and nothing more.

    Now my funk grows dark, and deeper, "I need to know which bike's a keeper!"
    How shall I determine which is hype, which bobs like a monkey, and which takes flight?
    There's so many kinds, they each claim best, they all can't have rainbows on their chest.
    Is it the new or tried and true? With SPVs the field had grew.

    Then the mental clouds do lift. finally, I bridge the rift.
    "Eureka!" I shout, "I finally see! The answer must be V-P-P!"
    I exhale, relieved my search had ended, I plan to have my credit card extended.

    And as if on queue, begins the tapping. Now more of knocking than of rapping.
    This drives my temper to nearly snapping, and I fling open my tortured workshop door.
    And through the portal the imp now flies, a black bird, A RAVEN, with yellow eyes.
    And it deftly perches on the chainring nailed above my workshop door.

    I then spy something on it's chest. Painted words, "HORST LINK" upon it's vest!
    And a little rainbow with a tiny "T", A demon jest I am sure!
    Begins the bird, to vainly mock me, "You choice is wrong! it is a lark, see?"
    "We've done it better since years before."

    Quoth the Raven..."Horst is More!"

    Then it turns and upon it's back, a lightning "S"
    "This bird I'll Jack!" I think as I reach for a broom to swat it from my door.
    Then it shouts out in defiance "What you'll loose is small bump compliance!"
    "Chainstay link is what you will adore!"

    Quoth the Raven... "Horst is More!"

    I shout "V's better, you're out of whack" It answers back "Those Pivots go slack!"
    "Zerk grease points are what you need for sure!"

    Quoth the Raven... "Horst is More!"

    As I reconsider "But Will it climb?" the bird replies "And save you time! you'll crest the peek much quicker than before."
    "And of decents?" I ask, "It's strength!" It pines, "It really shines, and holds the lines, and sucks up hits galore!"

    Quoth the Raven... "Horst is More!"

    So my friends, I was thus swayed, my initial bike choice since belayed. For I'm now convinced newer isn't always better.
    If in your quest, you can't decide. The best way to choose is to go and ride. And the one you like then, is really the getter.
    Though in my case, I do agree. But in your place your needs may see, a different choice tomake your biking soar.

    But on my rides, to meet my chore, the bird was right. I do adore. The chainstay is place the pivots' bore.

    Quoth the Raven..."Horst is More!"

    (Now back to your regularly scheduled madness)

    <!-- / message --><!-- sig -->
    Faster is better, even when it's not.

  60. #60
    jl
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    We don't need more to be thankful for; we just need to be more thankful.

  61. #61
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    Totally agree with everything except the bit about braking performance. I've noticed an appreciable difference between titus/hammerhead and monopivs like the Jekyll I own. The former are more predictable and provide more traction than monopivs. Bike fit is by far the most important thing though.

  62. #62
    Axe
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    Quote Originally Posted by iceaxe
    Totally agree with everything except the bit about braking performance. I've noticed an appreciable difference between titus/hammerhead and monopivs like the Jekyll I own. The former are more predictable and provide more traction than monopivs. Bike fit is by far the most important thing though.
    Suspension is mostly affected by forces applied at the contact patch, right? And rear wheel provides, what, 30% at most under harder braking? So most likely source of the difference you felt would be front shock, or geometry of the bike.

    Ride bike with the same front fork and similar geometry (like Racer-X and AS-R, or Burner and El Fuego, or 2003 and 2004 Jamis). That would be a meaninful comparison.

  63. #63
    Do It Yourself
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    Quote Originally Posted by Axe
    Suspension is mostly affected by forces applied at the contact patch, right? And rear wheel provides, what, 30% at most under harder braking? So most likely source of the difference you felt would be front shock, or geometry of the bike.

    Ride bike with the same front fork and similar geometry (like Racer-X and AS-R, or Burner and El Fuego, or 2003 and 2004 Jamis). That would be a meaninful comparison.
    When I went from a SC Superlight to a Titus Switchblade, the very much improved braking performance the very first parking lot ride (identical build). Coming down the stairs in front of my apartment like I had done a thousand times before on the Superlight, I noticed a drastic difference. The bike didn't skid. It maintain controlled speed without skidding down the stairs. I never really noticed it before until it was gone. This worked out on the trail as well. Although you are correct that most of the braking comes from the front, you are not going to be able to control your speed properly if the rear tire can't maintain traction. In this regard, Horst works. It may not be important to you, you may not notice or otherwise care but there is a difference.

  64. #64
    Axe
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    Quote Originally Posted by Homebrew
    This worked out on the trail as well. Although you are correct that most of the braking comes from the front, you are not going to be able to control your speed properly if the rear tire can't maintain traction. In this regard, Horst works. It may not be important to you, you may not notice or otherwise care but there is a difference.
    Never argued there is no "difference" between bikes. Only argue that there is no proof, or non-subjective evaluation done, on whether the differences between those designs have any "positive" (define it as you like) effect on the bycycle intended usage.

    In your example I would argue that the main pivot location may have a bigger effect - I also really dislike Superlight behavior on descends. Riding my friends Superlight back to back with my AS-R, difference is far more pronounced then between say AS-R and Racer-X. (For me - your milage may vary)

    And, BTW - I do trust folks I talked with, that the patent cost and Specialized lawyers has almost nothing to do with design selection in top-shelf bikes. Cost quoted was negligable.

    Dang, slow day at work...

  65. #65
    orthonormal
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    Quote Originally Posted by Homebrew
    When I went from a SC Superlight to a Titus Switchblade, the very much improved braking performance the very first parking lot ride (identical build). Coming down the stairs in front of my apartment like I had done a thousand times before on the Superlight, I noticed a drastic difference. The bike didn't skid. It maintain controlled speed without skidding down the stairs. I never really noticed it before until it was gone. This worked out on the trail as well. Although you are correct that most of the braking comes from the front, you are not going to be able to control your speed properly if the rear tire can't maintain traction. In this regard, Horst works. It may not be important to you, you may not notice or otherwise care but there is a difference.
    Like Axe said, the brake induced suspension compression on a Superlight is much more significant than that of a seatstay pivot (monopivot wrt axle path) with the main pivot just behind and above the bottom bracket.

    I don't know if the non-supension realted geometry numbers are really close between the Switchblade and Superlight but if not, that's very important as well. Case in point, I bought my Ventana El Chamuco (monopivot, close to the Superlight's pivot location) after borrowing one for a weekend. Overall suspension behavior under braking was far superior to that of my Specialized Enduro, so much so that I sold the Enduro right away. How can this be so? The Chamuco has a slacker head angle, 0.8" more travel, longer chainstays and overall, about 1.5" longer wheelbase.
    The glass is twice as large as it needs to be

  66. #66
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    The Racer-X and Hammerhead are very similar design--they both use true 4-bar suspesnsions. I've ridden both of these, a Switchblade, Spec. FSRs and a the Tracer. While you are absolutely right in terms of braking traction being effected more by the fork and steering geo, none of the afore mentioned bikes buck you out of the saddle when the rear wheel locks up. The Jekyll, Superlight, Isis, and Heckler all do this to a certain degree (some to an alarming degree). There is a way to get around this: learn to not lock up the rear brake, what is exactly what I have done.

    To give more credence to horst type designs, some BMW motorcycles are equipped with a linkage style rear suspension (I thinks it's called paralever). My uncle and his wife have GS BMW motorcycles. His has the paralever, hers does not. Although I've never locked up the tires, the paralever bike seems to eat up bumps better during hard braking and acceleration. This could also be attirbuted to differences in weight and sprung/unsprung weight ratios, but BMW thinks enough of it to throw on a bike that would sell with or without the hype. Furthermore there are articles written in engineering journals that say they can quantify the difference in braking forces. I don't know if their measurements mean anything in real life situations- I'm no engineer.

    I personally value lightweight and lateral rigidity over a small (but noticeabl) increase in braking performance--this why I choose to ride a monopiv.
    Last edited by frank daleview; 06-03-2004 at 05:08 PM.

  67. #67

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    Quote Originally Posted by mtnbkrdr98
    I would like the bottom line with respect to Specialized patent, etc. How, generally might a bike actually feel or "behave" on the trail with a true horst link vs. the seatstay pivot that many respected bike makers also use (Ventana, Kona, K2, Rocky Mtn. now Jamis, etc.)

    AND, if seatstay pivot is a compromise, is it still better to place it there vs. no rear pivot at all (just single main pivot)
    Ride it. That's all. Just ride it. For example the Salsa FS got a great review and has a seat stay pivot. And many bikes with chain stay pivots ride like pogo sticks.

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