VPP vs DW.vs Split Pivot- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
    dmo
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    VPP vs DW.vs Split Pivot

    Has anyone actually spent time riding these different designs and can share what they liked or disliked and why? I understand the differences in design but would like to hear from people who have ridden them. I'm looking at bikes from Santa Cruz, Pivot and Devinci for my next bike. Wondering what you all think.

  2. #2
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    This site should tell you all you need to know. You'll see that on paper that they can all be made to have similar kinematics, even single pivot designs[ e.g. Commencal Meta AM].

    Linkage Design
    Last edited by gvs_nz; 09-14-2014 at 05:26 PM.

  3. #3
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    I've ridden a VPP ('14/'15? Bronson C Demo) and currently ride a DW Link ('09 5 Spot) and aside from how radically different both bikes just felt, the climbing felt the same. Both designs worked really well for my style of climbing which is almost completely seated and usually over really rocky terrain. As for split pivot, never tried it. Both bikes have created a bias towards those two suspension types, so when I go to get a new frame, DW or VPP will be the only two designs I look at (for now).

  4. #4
    heaven help me
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    I have a Blur XC. I test rode a Pivot and all I can say is that the suspension disappeared under me when I rode it. It was amazing.

    btw the test track had rocks, logs and short steep climbs.

  5. #5
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    I test rode a Tracer T275 and thought the VPP was very good. Great small bump and excellent square edge response. Didn't ride it over sustained chunk so don't really have a feel for the mid stroke. Wide open it bobbed a bit with stand and hammer.

    I went with the Troy because the over all package was tough to beat for the price. Don't regret it. I ride with the rear in descend ask the time. Super steep Rocky technical climbs, it is in descend. As a pedaling platform it is super stable. Small bump compliance is also excellent. Large square his are a bit less supple than the tracer but still very good. I am still dialing in the shock (Fox FIT CTD) but the mid stroke over chunk is good while it lasts but it tends to eat up the travel when extended over long periods, but I am running more sag than Fox recommends.

    You should really demo the bikes. The differences in suspension are real both VPP and split pivot are very good and I have heard nothing but good things about dw link other differences in the bikes might outweigh the differences in suspension.
    It's just a flesh wound!

  6. #6
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    I'd like to offer my experience to hopefully add some value to this thread and to the OP....

    I've ridden all 3 designs.

    VPP bikes I've ridden:
    Tracer VP (tested and currently own)
    Carbine (short test ride)
    Carbine 650b (45min on twisty rocky ST)
    Intense 6.6 (long time ago)

    DW Bikes I've ridden:
    Ibis Ripley (short section of smooth Moab ST)
    Pivot Mach 5 (a few rises)
    Turner 5Spot (1 short test ride)

    Split Pivot bikes I've ridden:
    Devinci Troy (brief test ride)

    I currently own a 2010 Tracer VP and here are some general, personal observations and comparisons:
    1. DW vs VPP - DW climbs steep and/or tech chunk better and generally pedals better, but I think (tracer vs Pivot M5) that Tracer is a better DH machine - stiffer fork, slacker angles. Generally comparable.
    2. Carbine 26 vs 5Spot (same test session) - Carbine felt much more lively, but (and this is HUGE but) when I climbed up a sort of ridiculous rock step thing, I was blown away by the 5spot performance.I would have bought it on the "spot" (ha!) if I had the coin.
    3. Ibis ripley is the single fastest pedalling bike on smooth ST I have ever experienced. I feel like it almost accelerated out from under me. But it's too steep for me. With a big fork and an angle set, I might change my tune.
    4.Troy. - It climbs up steep chunk weell, maybe better than my Tracer and it feels very lively. Too short of a ride to tell. I may ride that bike again as a friend is selling one and I am in the market.

    VPP specifics:
    1. Rear shock choice and set up makes or breaks the bike. It came with a RP23 HV shock and I could never get it "just right" and keep it there. It is/was extremely sensitive to pressure - like target +/- 3psi and it was either a pogo stick or would climb like garbage. I replaced it with an X-Fusion VPP tuned shock and forgot about wanting a different bike.
    2. It's killer DH, especially after I ditched the Fox 32 for a for 34. Transformative.
    3. This generation of VPP may (does?) suffer form small ring crap tastic pedalling. This only became painfully obvious when I went to a 1x10 with a 30t NW ring and Hope 40t cog. It simply pedals much better with a bigger ring up front. I think because it moves the chain forces away from the pivot thereby minimizing the torque effects.
    4. Wide bars and short stem further improved the ride.
    5. It's a very versatile frame with the option to choose travel between 5.5" AND 6". more than the change in travel, the change in frame angles between settings makes it really 2 bikes. You can build it light with a 140mm 32mm fork and run it in 5.5 "steep" mode, or you can run it burly with a 34/36 fork and run it in 6" "slack" mode. Depending on ride, I use both settings.
    6. Climbing steep chunk, which I ride a lot, accentuates the VPP flaws however, the suspension bogs down when your CG points more toward the rear axle. This is a characteristic that DW seems NOT to have.

    For #6 alone, my next bike will probably be a DW design - unless I get a killer deal on another VPP! Newer comparable bikes are coming with steeper ST and slackish HT, so #6 above combined with advances in VPP design might make it better.

    Who knows....

  7. #7
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    DW vs VPP is pretty irrelevant these days. I have both designs in my garage right now with a Nomad3 and HD3. The differences really come down to the goals of the implementation. Each can be tuned by the engineers to act any way they want. IE straight line ramp rate, rising/falling/rising, falling/rising, etc. DW works better if you like a lot of pressure and a bike that rides high in the travel. The complaints that you hear about pedal feedback etc on VPP come from people that are setting their bikes up similar which is NOT what you want to do. I ride my Nomad at 38% sag while seated and it is just as fast or faster uphill compared to my HD3. There is also zero pedal bob with seated climbing. Standing climbing does have a little more bob than DW, but that has to do with the implementation, not the overall design. Take a look at the differing suspension curves for a comparison

    Pedal Kickback



    As you can see the kickback with any of these bikes is virtually identical until the very end of the stroke at which point nobody is pedaling anyway. Also do you hear anyone complaining about pedal feedback on the SB6c? People have heard this so many times from the early implementations that they are now hypersensitive to it with VPP.

    Leverage Ratio



    Here is the leverage ratio of the Nomad vs Bronson



    As you can see it is not so much about VPP or DW, but what they are trying to accomplish.

    More than anything else I look to geometry and not suspension design. Personally I like long/low/slack bikes, but that is just my personal choice. Others like steep and short, it is all personal flavor.

  8. #8
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    Good info salespunk! I just switched from a ks link banshee rune v2 to a intense tracer 275c. The only real difference in climbing was when standing and hammering on pedals the vpp felt a little mushy/bobbing. But the vpp on the dh felt sweet. Seemed to deal with square edge hits a lot smoother.

  9. #9
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    Actually, salespunk, how about a comparison between a single ring modern HL or SP bike and VPP/dw linked bike. Using linkage, you will actually see similar anti-squat numbers with much better kickback numbers. Look at a transition scout for example.

    My whole point is that suspension design is all relative. Buy a bike not a suspension design.
    It is the Right of the People to Alter or to Abolish It.

  10. #10
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    I spent 3 seasons doing demos, renting, test rides and borrowing to try different types. I had Horst-type and single pivot prior. My preference ended up being the Trek "Reaktiv" shock which is really a single pivot bike but floating axle for braking.

    What I found was some were stiff or had platform when pedaling but not when you pump or lean into it, some not as plush overall. I watched friends deal with creaks and maintenance when my single pivot bike didn't have any. Then all of a sudden I rode same Trek frame with that new shock. It's platform all the time, not just when pedaling, plush the instance you need it, and very good rear braking power.

    It's important to point out that with all the testing some bikes just stood out as great. As an example I loved the Santa Cruz 5010 even though I felt the VPP was too off or on compared to Trek's shock. Kona geometry was super fun. I rode more than one Trek with that new shock and the Remedy 29 itself also had a lot of influence - not just the shock that I felt was the suspension solution I always wanted but didn't know existed.

    This characteristic of platform all the time but plush the moment when that's best might be lost on a whole lot of riders. When I'm on group rides and observe many on a new 2 mi flow trail we have lots of them just don't know how to pump or don't do it. Some switch their shocks to firm when they hit the pump track or rollers. If I ride our Covert I have to switch the shock to firm. For the Remedy it's just go.

    With all the testing I also tuned into not wanting chain stays too long or short. We have short with our Honzo but for a suspension bike I wanted total versatility.

    Having done so much testing I'd say go for that and get the bike you love with real world riding above all. In my case there was that epiphany having ridden the Remedy 29 with old shock and front der and then 1x and new shock. The latter was more of a revolution than I expected and it stopped me wasting time on what linkage type.

    I share bikes with my wife who's same height. Her interest is really telling. She doesn't care about linkage, brand, gear. She just likes or doesn't like some bikes. The Reaktiv shock bike is by far her favorite. She's riding more than she's done in 15 years. She says it just always feels right no matter what she does, and no fooling with levers.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by yogidave View Post
    I'd like to offer my experience to hopefully add some value to this thread and to the OP....

    I've ridden all 3 designs.

    VPP bikes I've ridden:
    Tracer VP (tested and currently own)
    Carbine (short test ride)
    Carbine 650b (45min on twisty rocky ST)
    Intense 6.6 (long time ago)

    DW Bikes I've ridden:
    Ibis Ripley (short section of smooth Moab ST)
    Pivot Mach 5 (a few rises)
    Turner 5Spot (1 short test ride)

    Split Pivot bikes I've ridden:
    Devinci Troy (brief test ride)

    I currently own a 2010 Tracer VP and here are some general, personal observations and comparisons:
    1. DW vs VPP - DW climbs steep and/or tech chunk better and generally pedals better, but I think (tracer vs Pivot M5) that Tracer is a better DH machine - stiffer fork, slacker angles. Generally comparable.
    2. Carbine 26 vs 5Spot (same test session) - Carbine felt much more lively, but (and this is HUGE but) when I climbed up a sort of ridiculous rock step thing, I was blown away by the 5spot performance.I would have bought it on the "spot" (ha!) if I had the coin.
    3. Ibis ripley is the single fastest pedalling bike on smooth ST I have ever experienced. I feel like it almost accelerated out from under me. But it's too steep for me. With a big fork and an angle set, I might change my tune.
    4.Troy. - It climbs up steep chunk weell, maybe better than my Tracer and it feels very lively. Too short of a ride to tell. I may ride that bike again as a friend is selling one and I am in the market.

    VPP specifics:
    1. Rear shock choice and set up makes or breaks the bike. It came with a RP23 HV shock and I could never get it "just right" and keep it there. It is/was extremely sensitive to pressure - like target +/- 3psi and it was either a pogo stick or would climb like garbage. I replaced it with an X-Fusion VPP tuned shock and forgot about wanting a different bike.
    2. It's killer DH, especially after I ditched the Fox 32 for a for 34. Transformative.
    3. This generation of VPP may (does?) suffer form small ring crap tastic pedalling. This only became painfully obvious when I went to a 1x10 with a 30t NW ring and Hope 40t cog. It simply pedals much better with a bigger ring up front. I think because it moves the chain forces away from the pivot thereby minimizing the torque effects.
    4. Wide bars and short stem further improved the ride.
    5. It's a very versatile frame with the option to choose travel between 5.5" AND 6". more than the change in travel, the change in frame angles between settings makes it really 2 bikes. You can build it light with a 140mm 32mm fork and run it in 5.5 "steep" mode, or you can run it burly with a 34/36 fork and run it in 6" "slack" mode. Depending on ride, I use both settings.
    6. Climbing steep chunk, which I ride a lot, accentuates the VPP flaws however, the suspension bogs down when your CG points more toward the rear axle. This is a characteristic that DW seems NOT to have.

    For #6 alone, my next bike will probably be a DW design - unless I get a killer deal on another VPP! Newer comparable bikes are coming with steeper ST and slackish HT, so #6 above combined with advances in VPP design might make it better.

    Who knows....
    Here's a follow up:

    I did an extended ride on the Devinci troy, a split pivot 650b bike and here's what I thought:

    It was super fast up hill, like way faster than my 26" intense tracer VPP bike. Super fun. DH was also fun. It's a fast bike through the chunder. I liked it so much that I thought I'd buy one as my next bike.

    Then, a month later, I broke my intense frame. In a panic, and because i couldn't afford to switch to 650b, I bought a lightly used yeti Sb66 frame and moved all my 26" parts from the tracer frame.

    Wow.

    The yeti is heavier, longer and slacker than the tracer, but it absolutely rips up and down.... it pedals far better than the tracer did. So, I'd definitely throw switch into the mix. I don't give up much to guys on 650b bikes and the yetis kills it.

    In fact, other than the "new it bike" feeling, I don't really want anything different.

    The yeti does have a rockshox monarch debonair plus, which is probably the best rear shock made, so that helps.

    I can't think of anything to upgrade, except maybe brakes? New dropper?
    So, here by renaming this thread to:

    VPP VS DW VS SP VS SWITCH



    Sent from my SAMSUNG-SM-G900A using Tapatalk

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