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  1. #1
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    Suspension Designs through the years. The Good / The Bad / The Ugly.

    Hopefully the mods will have a heart and allow this thread to stay in General Discussion where more will see it and it won’t die a slow painful death.

    I was paying my cable bill and this one came to mind.

    One of the worst, the Sligshot from the early 1990’s. A cable as a down tube and a pivot allowed some movement. Talk about flex.

    Suspension Designs through the years. The Good / The Bad / The Ugly.-c53aba3e-25d6-4bfe-b5bf-520eaff15e28.jpeg

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    Quote Originally Posted by mileslong View Post
    I passionately remove rocks and corners and other stuff I find too hard to ride.

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    I don't have anything to add to the thread, Dirt Junkie, other than the fact that I'll be humming this song as I read all the posts. https://youtu.be/9z1A1R8RQZs

  3. #3
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    Lol
    And now, thanks to you, I’ll be humming it for a few days.
    Quote Originally Posted by mileslong View Post
    I passionately remove rocks and corners and other stuff I find too hard to ride.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Scott O View Post
    I don't have anything to add to the thread, Dirt Junkie, other than the fact that I'll be humming this song as I read all the posts. https://youtu.be/9z1A1R8RQZs
    Kenny Rogers bring tears to my ears. Thanks so much.
    Use it, use it, use it while you still have it.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by DIRTJUNKIE View Post
    Hopefully the mods will have a heart and allow this thread to stay in General Discussion where more will see it and it won’t die a slow painful death.

    I was paying my cable bill and this one came to mind.

    One of the worst, the Sligshot from the early 1990’s. A cable as a down tube and a pivot allowed some movement. Talk about flex
    What was the one with the michelin man stack of elastomer donuts?
    Friend had an ibis bowtie that immediately ejected him.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Taroroot View Post
    What was the one with the michelin man stack of elastomer donuts?
    Friend had an ibis bowtie that immediately ejected him.
    Trek had something like that.

  7. #7
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    How odd and funny looking the Slingshot is/ was, it rode really well for its time. I raced one for the summer back in the early 90's( gave my Merlin a rest)
    I was impressed with the small amount of suspension it had and really never noticed much of any BB flex.
    EXODUX Jeff

  8. #8
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    I know there are a few guys riding the soft tail, I remember really wanting one a long time ago, probably best I never got one.

    Suspension Designs through the years. The Good / The Bad / The Ugly.-mid-compst.jpg

  9. #9
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    Cannondale's HeadShok was a PHENOMENAL fork for control and sensitivity.
    Nothing of the time came even close. Even today, I think the HeadShok was superior in handling and small bump compliance.
    But, it was ridiculously weak, and had zero damping characteristics.



    The Super V original was a great working bike I always thought. The suspension design did have bob, but it climbed like a raped ape. During hard pedaling, the suspension extension locked the rear to the ground, and of course would steepen the front end. It's biggest drawbacks were the pedal kickback (which was tough sometimes) and the chain tension bobbing, but I always thought it worked pretty darn well.
    "Go soothingly in the grease mud, as there lurks the skid demon"

  10. #10
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    Need some “good” in here

    Must be something good about it if they name a racing discipline after it.

    ‘06 Enduro
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  11. #11
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    Schwinn SweetSpot URT

    Suspension Designs through the years. The Good / The Bad / The Ugly.-img_3652.jpg

    My current Go-To ride, BTW
    Last edited by chuckha62; 1 Week Ago at 07:29 AM.
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    How about some “new”? Druid HSP Trifecta.



    My soon-to-be go to ride...

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    Softride Mountain Bike with a Girvin Flex Stem.

    Google it.

  14. #14
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    Oddly lost in time. The 1998 Rocky Mountain DH Race. Their DH frame set up for trail riding. Featured in the first Kranked vid but mysteriously absent from a single magazine review, even in Europe. It sported 140mm of rear travel and a 68*HA. Several us on MTBR agonized over a rear disc mount before moving back to US made steep six inch bikes.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Suspension Designs through the years. The Good / The Bad / The Ugly.-p4pb9319171.jpg  

    Ripping trails and tipping ales

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by mtnbkrmike View Post
    How about some “new”? Druid HSP Trifecta.



    My soon-to-be go to ride...

    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
    Nice guitar you got there!


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

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    Suspension Designs through the years. The Good / The Bad / The Ugly.-image.jpgSuspension Designs through the years. The Good / The Bad / The Ugly.-1001754669.jpgSuspension Designs through the years. The Good / The Bad / The Ugly.-4500_11.jpg

    The progression of the fully Proflex. I had a few of these back in the day.
    And after calming me down with some orange slices and fetal spooning, ET revealed to me my singular purpose.

  17. #17
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    The Trek Y/ GF Joshua and the Klein Mantra both come to mind on the ugly side.
    MERCY! MERCY! MERCY!

  18. #18
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    The first full suspension bikes I remember seeing when I was working in shops in the late 80s and early 90s were the Kestrel Nitro in 1988 and the Boulder Gazelle in 1991 (who could forget the advertisement with the brunette on the red and white Gazelle with the blue sky as a background). Those were pretty revolutionary and cool designs way back then, especially the carbon fiber Kestrel.

    Quote Originally Posted by MOJO K View Post
    The Trek Y/ GF Joshua and the Klein Mantra both come to mind on the ugly side.
    Agreed, though I find almost all suspension designs ugly.


    Quote Originally Posted by Train Wreck View Post
    I know there are a few guys riding the soft tail, I remember really wanting one a long time ago, probably best I never got one.
    Yep, still riding mine. This 100+ year old design keeps on working.
    Suspension Designs through the years. The Good / The Bad / The Ugly.-0428191342.jpg

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by MOJO K View Post
    The Trek Y/ GF Joshua and the Klein Mantra both come to mind on the ugly side.
    LBS talked me into buying Joshua in '98. I swore off FS bikes for nearly 20yrs after bobbing around for season before returning to HT.

  20. #20
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    I bought this bike - a Scott Ransom LTD - in 2007, and rode it for 7 years. I still have it. I loved that bike. At the time, it was revolutionary. One of the first carbon frame mountain bikes made.

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  21. #21
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    i used to think the Manitou frames were the coolest thing ever...

    Suspension Designs through the years. The Good / The Bad / The Ugly.-manitou-answer-replica.jpg


  22. #22
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    Kudos to Cannondale for thinking outside of the box, but, lawdy, this is hideous!


  23. #23
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    Anyone remember, who was it that did that leaf spring bike back in the 90's?
    MERCY! MERCY! MERCY!

  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by mtnbkrmike View Post
    I bought this bike - a Scott Ransom LTD - in 2007, and rode it for 7 years. I still have it. I loved that bike. At the time, it was revolutionary. One of the first carbon frame mountain bikes made.

    The first carbon mtb full suspension frames made as I recall were the 1998 GT STS and then in 2000 the GT STS iDrive.

    Suspension Designs through the years. The Good / The Bad / The Ugly.-1878528d-0787-4915-80e9-3b132814f4b0.jpeg
    1998 GT STS Carbon fun squish. ^

    Suspension Designs through the years. The Good / The Bad / The Ugly.-0bd6dcc4-d974-4a34-adf1-9c44fa2f675c.jpg
    2000 GT STS iDrive full squish. ^


    Both were a work of art in their day. Aluminum lugs mated to carbon tubes, sweet!

    Edit: Dave mentioned the Trek Y-Frame. In 1995 Trek made a model in carbon. Photo stolen from Dave below. So 1995 being the first full squish carbon launched, I believe.

    Suspension Designs through the years. The Good / The Bad / The Ugly.-50dfb02a-8c99-451f-9589-bbf20e167ebb.jpeg
    Quote Originally Posted by mileslong View Post
    I passionately remove rocks and corners and other stuff I find too hard to ride.

  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by MOJO K View Post
    The Trek Y/ GF Joshua and the Klein Mantra both come to mind on the ugly side.
    What?
    Okay, yeah, it's a love/hate thing.

    Sent from my XT1635-01 using Tapatalk

  26. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by davez26 View Post
    What?
    Okay, yeah, it's a love/hate thing.

    Sent from my XT1635-01 using Tapatalk
    I remember this exact bike in candy apple red carbon. I was in Moab in 1994. That carbon Y-Frame just came out but it was considered 1995. I was on a loaner Raleigh HT medium frame [I ride Large] with basket pedals. The bike was way too small for me. The pedals a pita as I was constantly flipping them to the flat side and riding with sneakers. Although I did some riding prior I was very green. We were riding Slickrick and a guy rolled up with that exact bike. I was drooling all over that bike giving him complements. He took off before I did, I gave him a couple of minutes then I went. I quickly came up on him and passed. Right there I realized it’s not the expensive equipment but the riders skill that counts.
    Quote Originally Posted by mileslong View Post
    I passionately remove rocks and corners and other stuff I find too hard to ride.

  27. #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by smartyiak View Post
    LBS talked me into buying Joshua in '98. I swore off FS bikes for nearly 20yrs after bobbing around for season before returning to HT.
    Sounds familiar. My first FS was a GT RTS-1 in '93. Thrashed it for a year and a half, bent the pivot bolts and blew the shock and decided FS was too much hassle. Hard tail only til 2013.
    No dig no whine

  28. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by DIRTJUNKIE View Post
    The first carbon mtb full suspension frames made as I recall were the 1998 GT STS and then in 2000 the GT STS iDrive.

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    1998 GT STS Carbon fun squish. ^

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    2000 GT STS iDrive full squish. ^


    Both were a work of art in their day. Aluminum lugs mated to carbon tubes, sweet!

    Edit: Dave mentioned the Trek Y-Frame. In 1995 Trek made a model in carbon. Photo stolen from Dave below. So 1995 being the first full squish carbon launched, I believe.

    Click image for larger version. 

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    Whoops. Sorry about that. I stand corrected.
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  29. #29
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    Quote Originally Posted by mtnbkrmike View Post
    Whoops. Sorry about that. I stand corrected.
    Zing!

    Interesting design by the way on your Scott Ransom.
    Quote Originally Posted by mileslong View Post
    I passionately remove rocks and corners and other stuff I find too hard to ride.

  30. #30
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    1993 Answer Manitou FS.

    The rear suspension used fork legs for the struts. Pretty ingenious idea that didn’t catch on but worked well. Problem was, these frames were under built to make them light. Many failed early on.

    Suspension Designs through the years. The Good / The Bad / The Ugly.-40e53da5-4c8f-47c5-a4c0-60f191c5ea54.jpeg
    Quote Originally Posted by mileslong View Post
    I passionately remove rocks and corners and other stuff I find too hard to ride.

  31. #31
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    Not only was this the first carbon full suspension bike I ever saw in person, it was the first full suspension bike I ever saw. I spent quite a bit of time looking at it at Interbike in 1988. Introduced in January of 1988, it was quite a bit ahead of its time. It doesn't look very dated for being built over 31 years ago. Unfortunately it never went into production like it's hardtail brother the MX-Z.

    1988 Kestrel Nitro - prototype
    Suspension Designs through the years. The Good / The Bad / The Ugly.-nitro.jpg
    (Photo borrowed from the interwebs - photo belongs to SFO Museum - credit to the photographer of record)

  32. #32
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    ^ Nice, so 1988 was first for full squish carbon. I stand corrected.


    Here’s a 1992 Yeti ARC soft tail 1.5” of bad ass full suspension.

    Don't be so quick to laugh. This bike won the Mammoth DH Kamikaze 2 times back then.

    First full suspension bike I saw in person. A friend of mine in San Diego bought one.

    Suspension Designs through the years. The Good / The Bad / The Ugly.-e4db06fa-8e6a-49a1-96b1-6aa282ccebb1.jpg
    Quote Originally Posted by mileslong View Post
    I passionately remove rocks and corners and other stuff I find too hard to ride.

  33. #33
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    I wish I never sold my Karpiel Disco Volante. The pic is from a race in Hawaii arouns 2002.
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    Ripping trails and tipping ales

  34. #34
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    Suspension Designs through the years. The Good / The Bad / The Ugly.-p4pb1608068.jpg
    Jamis, El Diablo
    I had one of these around the year 2000. It had the shock inside the body right above the BB ( an Alps 5, or something like that. It was a pain in the ass to service. Don't really remember much about the ride. It got a lot of looks and questions out on the trail.
    And after calming me down with some orange slices and fetal spooning, ET revealed to me my singular purpose.

  35. #35
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    ^^^ Even had internal routing? When did that become a thing?

  36. #36
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    Quote Originally Posted by DIRTJUNKIE View Post
    Hopefully the mods will have a heart and allow this thread to stay in General Discussion where more will see it and it won’t die a slow painful death.

    I was paying my cable bill and this one came to mind.

    One of the worst, the Sligshot from the early 1990’s. A cable as a down tube and a pivot allowed some movement. Talk about flex.

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    You can still buy these. Not sure if its the same company, but the look similar. They call it the Ripper, or something, I think.
    And after calming me down with some orange slices and fetal spooning, ET revealed to me my singular purpose.

  37. #37
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    Quote Originally Posted by Train Wreck View Post
    ^^^ Even had internal routing? When did that become a thing?
    Yep. The rear brake was a Purple Hayes routed through the frame. Man those brakes were shit.
    And after calming me down with some orange slices and fetal spooning, ET revealed to me my singular purpose.

  38. #38
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    Suspension Designs through the years. The Good / The Bad / The Ugly.



    One of the ugliest bikes of all times. URT suspension because Gary Klein was too cheap to license something better. Those Spinergy wheels were also known for their tendency to asplode.

    Update: Well, I'll have to temper my judgement about ugly. I like the red and black color and some of the other bikes posted in this thread, like that Jamis El Diablo a few posts above, might be worse.
    Last edited by MikeDee; 1 Week Ago at 09:15 AM.

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    Another winner, the Softride beam bike. Bob Roll was sponsored to ride one. I read that Dave Cullinan once saw him on that bike, shook his head and remarked, "No way, man!"

  40. #40
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    Suspension Designs through the years. The Good / The Bad / The Ugly.



    Another "Hall of Shame" contender, the Scott Unishock fork. Elastomer suspension was like a bad dream.

  41. #41
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    Quote Originally Posted by MikeDee View Post


    One of the ugliest bikes of all times. URT suspension because Gary Klein was too cheap to license something better. Those Spinergy wheels were also known for their tendency to asplode.
    lol, one just showed up today!

    https://forums.mtbr.com/vintage-retr...l#post14091779
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  42. #42
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    Quote Originally Posted by chazpat View Post
    The seller is in the same city as me. I actually think the bike looks kinda cool, in a museum of industrial design art sorta way. I just can't take on yet another bike right now. Especially one I will never ride.
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  43. #43
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    Quote Originally Posted by DIRTJUNKIE View Post
    Hopefully the mods will have a heart and allow this thread to stay in General Discussion where more will see it and it won’t die a slow painful death.

    I was paying my cable bill and this one came to mind.

    One of the worst, the Sligshot from the early 1990’s. A cable as a down tube and a pivot allowed some movement. Talk about flex.

    Click image for larger version. 

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    I think they are interesting. The way a bike frame works, the top tube is in compression while the downtube is in tension, so a cable should be fine. I'm not sure with all the motion a mtb experiences if that always remains 100% accurate, I suppose if the top tube does flex, it could allow some of the tension to be slackened, depending how much it is tensioned? And it seems like that "dog bone" or whatever they called the flexible connector would contribute to that. I've never ridden one so I don't know if they tend to be flexy; I'm pretty lightweight anyway.

    I always had the fear I'd wipe out and that cable would slice off my arm or leg or something.
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  44. #44
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    Quote Originally Posted by davez26 View Post
    What?
    Okay, yeah, it's a love/hate thing.

    Sent from my XT1635-01 using Tapatalk
    The rear suspension on that thing could have been serviceable if it had been a horst link four bar instead of urt but I guess that hadn't been invented yet. Seems so obvious now lol!

  45. #45
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    Gearbox and carbon?
    First gearbox to win a World Champs I think.
    (Cam Cole 2006 Rotorua Juniors)
    Not sure when the first winning carbon bike was

    Pictures taken from NSMB readers' rides. Write up here
    https://nsmb.com/articles/3463-readers-rides-lahar-m9/

    Suspension Designs through the years. The Good / The Bad / The Ugly.-1.jpgSuspension Designs through the years. The Good / The Bad / The Ugly.-2.jpgSuspension Designs through the years. The Good / The Bad / The Ugly.-3.jpgSuspension Designs through the years. The Good / The Bad / The Ugly.-15.jpg

  46. #46
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hurricane Jeff View Post
    How odd and funny looking the Slingshot is/ was, it rode really well for its time. I raced one for the summer back in the early 90's( gave my Merlin a rest)
    I was impressed with the small amount of suspension it had and really never noticed much of any BB flex.
    I still secretly want one... probably because I saw you guys racing them in the early 90's. Maybe a BigShot?

    For those that don't know, they started with BMXs in 1983.

    Suspension Designs through the years. The Good / The Bad / The Ugly.-_dsc4094_blowup.jpg

    The first MTB was in 1985 (I think)

    Suspension Designs through the years. The Good / The Bad / The Ugly.-86slingside_zpsdqzjthwy.jpg%25u0025257eoriginal.jpg
    --------------

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  47. #47
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    Quote Originally Posted by J_Westy View Post
    I still secretly want one... probably because I saw you guys racing them in the early 90's. Maybe a BigShot?

    For those that don't know, they started with BMXs in 1983.

    Click image for larger version. 

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    The first MTB was in 1985 (I think)

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    Same here. Probably never happen for me though.

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    Suspension Designs through the years. The Good / The Bad / The Ugly.

    Quote Originally Posted by CUP-TON View Post
    Yep. The rear brake was a Purple Hayes routed through the frame. Man those brakes were shit.
    Pretty cool, quoting Hendrix:

    "Purple haze all in my brain. Lately things just don't seem the same. Actin' funny but I don't know why. 'Scuse me while I kiss the sky."

    Update:

    "Purple Hayes routed through my frame. Lately things just don't seem the same. Actin' funny but I don't know why. 'Scuse me but those brakes were shit." Bwah da da, dum da da, dumb da daa...
    Last edited by MikeDee; 5 Days Ago at 05:32 PM.

  49. #49
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    Quote Originally Posted by MikeDee View Post
    Pretty cool, quoting Hendrix:

    "Purple haze all in my brain. Lately things just don't seem the same. Actin' funny but I don't know why. 'Scuse me while I kiss the sky."
    Speaking of Purple Haze, that was the paint color on this 1992 Schwinn Paramount SASS full suspension bike designed by Eric Buell and Mert Lawill of motorcycle suspension fame.
    The suspension was unique because the shock extended as the rear wheel hit obstacles and compressed as the rear end returned.

    This photo and the linked one below are in this thread:
    https://forums.mtbr.com/mongoose-sch...ss-858003.html




    https://forums.mtbr.com/attachments/...uell-1992-.jpg

  50. #50
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    ^ I remember that design.
    Quote Originally Posted by mileslong View Post
    I passionately remove rocks and corners and other stuff I find too hard to ride.

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    Quote Originally Posted by MikeDee View Post


    Another "Hall of Shame" contender, the Scott Unishock fork. Elastomer suspension was like a bad dream.
    I don’t recall this one. Why was it called a “unishock”? I see two fork legs.
    Quote Originally Posted by mileslong View Post
    I passionately remove rocks and corners and other stuff I find too hard to ride.

  52. #52
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    Quote Originally Posted by DIRTJUNKIE View Post
    I don’t recall this one. Why was it called a “unishock”? I see two fork legs.
    I remember that Piece-o-scheisse... I think it was because the upper is like a unicrown fork.
    --------------

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    Quote Originally Posted by mtnbkrmike View Post
    I bought this bike - a Scott Ransom LTD - in 2007, and rode it for 7 years. I still have it. I loved that bike. At the time, it was revolutionary. One of the first carbon frame mountain bikes made.

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    Wow that carbon is gorgeous. The best color for carbon frames is clear coat. Wish more companies showed off their layup like that. (But that would require the layup to not be ugly as hell.)
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  54. #54
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    High pivot witchcraft?

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    Quote Originally Posted by troodontinae View Post
    Wow that carbon is gorgeous. The best color for carbon frames is clear coat. Wish more companies showed off their layup like that. (But that would require the layup to not be ugly as hell.)
    I agree, I love the raw look of carbon. I posted this frame further up the thread. In 2000 GT made this carbon STS iDrive mated to aluminum lugs work of art. They went with raw carbon without a paint finish as well.

    I almost bought one in 2000 but opted for its brother the Easton 6061 aluminum framed XCR-LE instead. You think today’s carbon failure worries are bad. Back then it was such a new thing that even though this frame was amazingly beautiful and exotic, the thought of a carbon framed mountain bike scared the heck out of me.

    Suspension Designs through the years. The Good / The Bad / The Ugly.-e3671c73-4d49-4407-a890-eda5ce643b3f.jpg
    Quote Originally Posted by mileslong View Post
    I passionately remove rocks and corners and other stuff I find too hard to ride.

  56. #56
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    Quote Originally Posted by David R View Post


    High pivot witchcraft?
    My older brothers first full suspension. I think it was in 1993’ish. I rode it and I about got bucked off.
    Quote Originally Posted by mileslong View Post
    I passionately remove rocks and corners and other stuff I find too hard to ride.

  57. #57
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    Quote Originally Posted by DIRTJUNKIE View Post
    I agree, I love the raw look of carbon. I posted this frame further up the thread. In 2000 GT made this carbon STS iDrive mated to aluminum lugs work of art. They went with raw carbon without a paint finish as well.

    I almost bought one in 2000 but opted for its brother the Easton 6061 aluminum framed XCR-LE instead. You think today’s carbon failure worries are bad. Back then it was such a new thing that even though this frame was amazingly beautiful and exotic, the thought of a carbon framed mountain bike scared the heck out of me.

    Click image for larger version. 

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    That is a slick remnant of it's time period. Definitely exotic looking, even today. The raw carbon with the brushed aluminum looks like something NASA would build.

    Also that seat tube connection is...interesting.
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    Quote Originally Posted by David R View Post


    High pivot witchcraft?
    Concept was the rear shock/pivot design sucked so badly you needed a shock seat post ?

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    I rode this exact bike, same color, a ProFlex 855 for 9 years or so. It rode great, compared to the no suspension Fuji steel with the Softride suspension stem. The ProFlex weighed 25 lbs. You pay a lot to get FS at that weight. With the inability to swap stems, it either fit out of the box, or didn’t.

    Pivots went bad over time on the Girvin fork, elastomers as well and by mid 2000’s Softride was done and parts were nonexistent. I threw out the frame about a year ago.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Suspension Designs through the years. The Good / The Bad / The Ugly.-df8caedf-e3a8-445b-b484-925460bb14fe.jpeg  


  60. #60
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    Quote Originally Posted by David R View Post


    High pivot witchcraft?
    I'm pretty sure they installed the handlebars on the wrong end.

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    Quote Originally Posted by MikeDee View Post


    Another "Hall of Shame" contender, the Scott Unishock fork. Elastomer suspension was like a bad dream.
    I had one of these on my second bike, a 92ish Rockhopper Comp bought used. At the time it seemed like only racers and dentists could afford Rock Shox and I was but a lowly ski bum/lifty/dirtbag. As pogosticky as it was, it was a huuge improvement on the full rigid Schwinn MP-21 it replaced.

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    1993 Trek full suspension. My brother in-law had this one, I got to ride it as well. That rear shock is actually several rubber donuts that compress with a single pivot. Crappy design that bounced you all over the trail. No dampening or smooth rebound on this one.

    Suspension Designs through the years. The Good / The Bad / The Ugly.-cde7fee6-9132-4785-a62a-36e52c008544.jpg
    Quote Originally Posted by mileslong View Post
    I passionately remove rocks and corners and other stuff I find too hard to ride.

  63. #63
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    Quote Originally Posted by DIRTJUNKIE View Post
    I don’t recall this one. Why was it called a “unishock”? I see two fork legs.
    how do you not remember these things? i thought you were old!

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    Thread seems incomplete without a Maverick.


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    Quote Originally Posted by shekky View Post
    how do you not remember these things? i thought you were old!
    I suspect a Scott fork at that time were on department store bikes.

    Quote Originally Posted by inonjoey View Post
    Thread seems incomplete without a Maverick.
    Love the Maverick way of doing things. The DUC-32 Fork was ahead of its time. Inverted long travel and very light. Flex issues though. A buddy of mine had the fork on a Turner. The bikes themselves are very rare to see even back then, early 2000’s.
    Quote Originally Posted by mileslong View Post
    I passionately remove rocks and corners and other stuff I find too hard to ride.

  66. #66
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    The 2002-2003 Manitou Dorado singlecrown inverted with carbon fiber uppers. A dream fork in its day.

    Suspension Designs through the years. The Good / The Bad / The Ugly.-b00c6445-7d90-4208-8a74-c6e88ef24afb.jpeg
    Quote Originally Posted by mileslong View Post
    I passionately remove rocks and corners and other stuff I find too hard to ride.

  67. #67
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    Quote Originally Posted by mtnbkrmike View Post
    I bought this bike - a Scott Ransom LTD - in 2007, and rode it for 7 years. I still have it. I loved that bike. At the time, it was revolutionary. One of the first carbon frame mountain bikes made.

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    You realise they've been making carbon mtb's since the 80's right, like Kestrel CSX for example...or a bazzillion Treks and Giant in the 90's
    All the gear and no idea.

  68. #68
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    i got to ride one of those Slingshots, was a bit wierd, didn't like the flex much, but people seemed to like them.
    Then got to ride a Cannondale Super V... geez that was crap.
    Bought a Maniotu FS... in nice singletrack it was amazing, downhill speedbumps... deadly (pogo rear end)
    Mate had a Proflex Animal... that was terrible, with the ultra terrible parallelogram style forks... No, just NO!
    All the gear and no idea.

  69. #69
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    Quote Originally Posted by mik_git View Post
    You realise they've been making carbon mtb's since the 80's right, like Kestrel CSX for example...or a bazzillion Treks and Giant in the 90's
    You realize that this has been stated a bazillion times above, right?
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  70. #70
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    Quote Originally Posted by DIRTJUNKIE View Post
    1993 Answer Manitou FS.

    The rear suspension used fork legs for the struts. Pretty ingenious idea that didn’t catch on but worked well. Problem was, these frames were under built to make them light. Many failed early on.

    Click image for larger version. 

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    My first full suspension bike was a Balance with a very similar suspension design to this Manitou. This was back around '94. It had Manitou suspension with elastomer springs, Manitou bars and stem with Magura HS33 hydraulic caliper brakes and the carbon spoked Spinergy wheels. It's still sitting in my basement.
    I only ride bikes to fill the time when I'm not skiing.

  71. #71
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    Quote Originally Posted by Train Wreck View Post
    ^^^ Even had internal routing? When did that become a thing?
    Klein was doing internal routing since the early 90’s (or even earlier). My 93’ Adroit had it.
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  72. #72
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    My Boulder Defiant. I have been riding this more often lately. Still a real solid ride. Pivot placement is spot on, especially in the middle ring, climbs like a goat.

    Tuning the Risse Racing Genesis shock requires sending the shock back to Risse or knowing how to work on suspension, there are no external knobs. This shock forced me to learn suspension design, and suspension tuning, which grew into an addiction.
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    The suspension of your bike sucks if it's different than mine. Really. It sucks. Big time.

  73. #73
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    Quote Originally Posted by mtnbkrmike View Post
    You realize that this has been stated a bazillion times above, right?
    I realise that I clicked on the little linky thing on the quoted post and thought it only took me up a couple of posts, thinking Waat!?! But turns out it took me waaay up the thread, and yes you right it was point out you were wrong a bunch of times, sorry for that.
    All the gear and no idea.

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    Quote Originally Posted by mik_git View Post
    I realise that I clicked on the little linky thing on the quoted post and thought it only took me up a couple of posts, thinking Waat!?! But turns out it took me waaay up the thread, and yes you right it was point out you were wrong a bunch of times, sorry for that.
    Well I think we're all just happy you're here.

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  75. #75
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    Quote Originally Posted by DIRTJUNKIE View Post
    The 2002-2003 Manitou Dorado singlecrown inverted with carbon fiber uppers. A dream fork in its day.
    I've never seen one in the flesh, they can't have made many? I did have three sets of Shiver SCs though.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mudguard View Post
    I've never seen one in the flesh, they can't have made many? I did have three sets of Shiver SCs though.
    And you’re right, they were a two year production with not many made. The Marzocchi single crown inverted Shiver was the one I yearned for. Never did get one, lucky you.

    Suspension Designs through the years. The Good / The Bad / The Ugly.-0e148527-da1e-42ec-a6d8-bfb8857bb17b.jpeg
    Quote Originally Posted by mileslong View Post
    I passionately remove rocks and corners and other stuff I find too hard to ride.

  77. #77
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    I'm not sure if they're collectible now, but they are scarce.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Suspension Designs through the years. The Good / The Bad / The Ugly.-09062009303.jpg  


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    That was the first full suspension bike I did an actual ride on, I believe it was 1991? it was a pre-production of this bike, rode it on the San Juan Trail in So. Cal.
    At the time I liked it, but had nothing to compare it to.
    EXODUX Jeff

  79. #79
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    Though I have been riding mountain bikes since 1985, this was my first and only MTB suspension until 2005. I bought one of these in 1994 and rode it over 10 years. At the time, it was the lightest suspension fork available. The travel path was a slight arc, similar to the Girvin fork, instead of a traditional straight line compression travel.

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    No discussion of this topic is complete without at least mention of this:

    Suspension Designs through the years. The Good / The Bad / The Ugly.-sorry1.jpg

    The predecessor to the VPP linkage as it exists today.

    I know one of the VPP 2 co-inventors (and former co-owner of Outland), who is a local.
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    Quote Originally Posted by DIRTJUNKIE View Post
    And you’re right, they were a two year production with not many made. The Marzocchi single crown inverted Shiver was the one I yearned for. Never did get one, lucky you.
    Count yourself lucky there. The shiver took it's own route through rock-gardens. Not the route you wanted.
    "It's only when you stand over it, you know, when you physically stand over the bike, that then you say 'hey, I don't have much stand over height', you know"-T. Ellsworth

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  82. #82
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    one of the first mountain bike action magazines i ever purchased featured this:

    Suspension Designs through the years. The Good / The Bad / The Ugly.-crosstrac_sonoma_-_mba_aug_94_page_1_image_0001.jpg

  83. #83
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mudguard View Post
    I'm not sure if they're collectible now, but they are scarce.
    Having owned two and ridden them, do you agree with Jayems view below? Just curious, cool looking forks.

    Quote Originally Posted by Jayem View Post
    Count yourself lucky there. The shiver took it's own route through rock-gardens. Not the route you wanted.
    Quote Originally Posted by mileslong View Post
    I passionately remove rocks and corners and other stuff I find too hard to ride.

  84. #84
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mudguard View Post
    I'm not sure if they're collectible now, but they are scarce.
    Quote Originally Posted by mtnbkrmike View Post
    No discussion of this topic is complete without at least mention of this:

    Click image for larger version. 

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    The predecessor to the VPP linkage as it exists today.

    I know one of the VPP 2 co-inventors (and former co-owner of Outland), who is a local.
    Good call, Outland only lasted two years then went under. They owned the patents to the VPP design and Santa Cruz picked it up. Santa Cruz and Intense go way back as friends and somewhat sister companies and Jeff Steber of Intense helped Santa Cruz in improving the design. Hence Santa Cruz allowed Intense the rights to the design as well and both companies used the design.

    And what’s amazing is Outland came out with that design in 1995. They went under two years later. The patents sat dormant until Santa Cruz picked them up and partnered with Intense for improvements in the design. They didn’t launch the VPP design in Santa Cruz and Intense lines until 2003.
    Quote Originally Posted by mileslong View Post
    I passionately remove rocks and corners and other stuff I find too hard to ride.

  85. #85
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jayem View Post
    Count yourself lucky there. The shiver took it's own route through rock-gardens. Not the route you wanted.
    Quote Originally Posted by DIRTJUNKIE View Post
    Having owned two and ridden them, do you agree with Jayems view below? Just curious, cool looking forks.
    Well it depends, at the time my comparisons were with the Shiver DC, Super T's and Psylo's with QR, so a short travel 20mm axle fork still felt fine. The bike I ran them on the longest only had 100mm travel at the back, so 120mm up front was fine. You could argue I couldn't test them back to back. I put 66 RC2Xs on afterwards, but they had much more travel. I think one version I had, had the ECC, so that was kind of fun when you forgot to flick it back.
    At the time I don't recall being held back because of the fork!

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    Quote Originally Posted by CUP-TON View Post
    Click image for larger version. 

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    Jamis, El Diablo
    I had one of these around the year 2000. It had the shock inside the body right above the BB ( an Alps 5, or something like that. It was a pain in the ass to service. Don't really remember much about the ride. It got a lot of looks and questions out on the trail.
    came here to post this. wanted one of these so badly.

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    Suspension Designs through the years. The Good / The Bad / The Ugly.-hondarn01.jpg

    Suspension Designs through the years. The Good / The Bad / The Ugly.-specialized-sea-otter-egger-special-1024x683.jpg

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    My comparisons were with Super T (not production), Jr T, Shiver DC, Monster T, Boxxer, Stratos S8Ultra, MX6, AM1, ZAM, 66eta, and others. As far as single crowns, the shiver sc was horrible. Launching into rough terrain was super sketch because of all the lateral flex. Hitting the brake would cause your wheel to visibly shift to the left. The only good thing about it was good lubrication, but then all of the open bath forks had that already.
    "It's only when you stand over it, you know, when you physically stand over the bike, that then you say 'hey, I don't have much stand over height', you know"-T. Ellsworth

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    Quote Originally Posted by MikeDee View Post


    Another "Hall of Shame" contender, the Scott Unishock fork. Elastomer suspension was like a bad dream.
    I was 17 when this thing came out....if you were lucky enough to have one you were the freaking ultimate bad ass.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mudguard View Post
    I'm not sure if they're collectible now, but they are scarce.
    Quote Originally Posted by FactoryMatt View Post
    Click image for larger version. 

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    Lol
    I remember these in all the mtb mags. Not sure if they really made it to market.
    Quote Originally Posted by mileslong View Post
    I passionately remove rocks and corners and other stuff I find too hard to ride.

  91. #91
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jayem View Post
    Hitting the brake would cause your wheel to visibly shift to the left. The only good thing about it was good lubrication, but then all of the open bath forks had that already.
    I had one version that definitely did that. But the other two didn't? All were 120mm. I would like Pinkbike to review some old stuff, see how bad some things were, and maybe how good some old forks, frames etc were.

    These were even more rare than the Manitou?

    https://forums.mtbr.com/shocks-suspe...c-1055318.html

    Suspension Designs through the years. The Good / The Bad / The Ugly.-1155899d1504541891-need-help-finding-old-marzocchi-rac-p5pb9350497.jpg

  92. #92
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mudguard View Post
    I had one version that definitely did that. But the other two didn't? All were 120mm. I would like Pinkbike to review some old stuff, see how bad some things were, and maybe how good some old forks, frames etc were.

    These were even more rare than the Manitou?

    https://forums.mtbr.com/shocks-suspe...c-1055318.html
    The thing about all the single-crown inverted forks that we saw in the 2000s and even today is that they take the parts that make a dual-crown inverted fork acceptably stiff, and simply do away with them, leaving you with a noodle of a fork in torsion. The reason you go to a DC fork in mountain biking (due to the forces) is because you want longer travel than is supported by the bushing overlap of a non-inverted fork. Then when you go to the inverted fork, despite the lack of a brake arch, the 2nd crown and the extended bushing overlap caused by the 2nd crown give you adequate stiffness. It's still not as stiff as a non-inverted fork for mtb, but it at least works like this. Then you get rid of the 2nd crown and the extra bushing overlap to make it a "single crown", there's just no good reason for it. To make it perform on the level of a non-inverted fork, it has to be much heavier, have a crazy reinforced axle with something to prevent the twist, possibly a one-piece carbon upper and steerer tube, etc. Point is, it has to get exotic and expensive and for the same amount of money, you could make an even lighter and stiffer non-inverted fork. Then people always say they are stiffer for fore-aft, which is true, but you can do this with a non-inverted fork by making the stanchions and crown diameter bigger, usually at a minimal weight penalty, so again, no real set advantage. Then they say, "well, the unsprung weight is lighter", which when you weigh the tire, strip, sealant, rim, spokes, nipples, hub, brake adapter and caliper, the axle, dropouts, and unsprung-portions of the fork, you are usually looking at a ~5-10% reduction in unsprung weight max, in other words insignificant and it would be more affected by a different tire choice. One piece aluminum and magnesium lowers are crazy light, my old 66 ones were 3/4 of a lb, total. Lastly, they claim that the inverted fork has much superior lubrication, which it generally does if open bath or semi-open bath with enough oil, but a decently designed lubrication system for a right-side up fork works pretty well too, we've had examples of poor ones over the years, but also good ones. With a well designed lubrication system for a right-side up fork, again there's no big advantage to an inverted fork and you still keep the weight down due to the non-inverted design.

    Every once and a while a new inverted fork pops up (RS-1), but they die out fairly quickly thereafter. The RS-1 was heavier than a SID and confusing as to what the purpose was, as in for XC and marathon, why were you going to bolt on a heavier fork to go race? If there is any way to do an inverted, it's probably a one-piece carbon structure, but again, with that money and time invested into a right-side up fork, you'd come out with an even better product.
    "It's only when you stand over it, you know, when you physically stand over the bike, that then you say 'hey, I don't have much stand over height', you know"-T. Ellsworth

    You're turning black metallic.

  93. #93
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    they almost need a brace that comes off the Lugs to work as a single crown.

    definitely has the advantage of keeping the seals and bushings lubed up.

  94. #94
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mudguard View Post
    Gearbox and carbon?
    First gearbox to win a World Champs I think.
    (Cam Cole 2006 Rotorua Juniors)
    Not sure when the first winning carbon bike was

    Pictures taken from NSMB readers' rides. Write up here
    https://nsmb.com/articles/3463-readers-rides-lahar-m9/

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    I actually got to spend a fair amount of time on one of these! Super cool bike and was super silent compared to most bikes of that era.

  95. #95
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    Quote Originally Posted by sgltrak View Post
    Though I have been riding mountain bikes since 1985, this was my first and only MTB suspension until 2005. I bought one of these in 1994 and rode it over 10 years. At the time, it was the lightest suspension fork available. The travel path was a slight arc, similar to the Girvin fork, instead of a traditional straight line compression travel.

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    I owned one of these forks that was mounted to an Iron Horse HT. This fork almost killed me, it separated between the crown and the steer tube in mid air. I didn't find out what happened till about 20 minutes later. Worst concussion I've ever experienced!

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