Full Suspension WW Recommendations- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    Full Suspension WW Recommendations

    I am looking to build a super-light FS bike. Recommend me some frames. I want a 4-5 inch travel trail bike for my 165 pound self. Here are my initial sights:

    1) Intense Spider FRO
    2) Giant Anthem X
    3) Trek Fuel EX 9
    4) Specialized Epic
    5) Cannondale Scalpel Team
    6) Turner Flux

    I am gonna go with full XTR shifters, SID WC forks, Stans ZTR Olympics on DT Swiss 240s hubs and Ritchey Superlogic riser bars. Think I can build a sub 22-pound XC bike in small/medium? Here is my 19-pound, beloved hardtail I'll be retiring soon:



    Any input is greatly appreciated. Budget is $4000. TIA
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  2. #2
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    2011 Rocky Mountain Element Team

    20.5" RSL frame + RP23 XV shock: 1960g (4.3 lbs)

    18" RSL built with ALMOST Team spec (XTR / Next / Syncros Carbon wheels / Next SL crank, no pedals): 9.89kg (21.75lbs)
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Full Suspension WW Recommendations-element70rsl_details_20.jpg  

    Full Suspension WW Recommendations-element70rsl_details_01.jpg  

    Full Suspension WW Recommendations-element-kabush.jpg  

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  3. #3
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    Man, that Rocky is NICE!!!!
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  4. #4
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    Unpainted raw unidirectional carbon, some decals and clear coat. They are making a 120mm travel version too with a longer shock and a different link arrangement.

    I've got my name on the list at my LBS, as soon as they are accepting orders for August delivery.
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  5. #5
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    That is a sweet Rocky!

  6. #6
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    I noticed those are all aluminum frames. But if carbon is on the table, how about these:

    yeti asr carbon - 4.25 lbs, 68 HT angle
    santa cruz blur xc carbon - 4.2 lb, 69.5 ht
    bmc fourstroke (carbon and $$$) - 4.4 lb, 69.5 ht.

    Also, the pivot mach 4 might be worth a look, if you're considering the flux.

    The yeti may not have as modern suspension as some, but I like the slack head angle and it looks to be a very torsionally rigid frame. I don't understand why people want a steep head angle on an XC bike - 68 degrees is plenty manageable on climbs and a definite bonus on downhills and corners. I'd be all about an anthem but that 71 degree HT doesn't appeal.

  7. #7
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    Merida Ninety-six Carbon BB30





    I only would change to FS for this frame

  8. #8
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    if you are going to limit yourself to a normal, bland fork I wouldn't bother with the Scalpel. The headset reducers (and I'm assuming you'll need a BB30 adaptor as well) will just add weight.

    Plus, its sacrilege to put a normal fork on the best XC racing FS frame there is... you should know better - get a lefty!!!

    http://forums.mtbr.com/showpost.php?...&postcount=499

    On a serious note, are you interested in weight, racing qualities, handling, etc, etc as the priority?? the lightest frame may not necessarily be the best frame. for example, i love the ride of the Anthem X (and almost got the carbon version over my Scalpel...) but they are not the lightest frames around.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ansible
    I noticed those are all aluminum frames. But if carbon is on the table, how about these:

    yeti asr carbon - 4.25 lbs, 68 HT angle
    santa cruz blur xc carbon - 4.2 lb, 69.5 ht
    bmc fourstroke (carbon and $$$) - 4.4 lb, 69.5 ht.

    Also, the pivot mach 4 might be worth a look, if you're considering the flux.

    The yeti may not have as modern suspension as some, but I like the slack head angle and it looks to be a very torsionally rigid frame. I don't understand why people want a steep head angle on an XC bike - 68 degrees is plenty manageable on climbs and a definite bonus on downhills and corners. I'd be all about an anthem but that 71 degree HT doesn't appeal.
    The Scalpel, Anthem and Epic are carbon

  10. #10
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    29" Titanium Funk La Ruta 100mm ($2500 Frame) Medium 4.2lbs. Custom Geo.

  11. #11
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    Zachariah,

    I would whittle the list down by who offers a FULL lifetime warranty on the frame. You are buying a new bike, why get one if you either have to pay for a 5 year, or only get a 5 year warranty. There is no reason for a company to build a bike and not stand by their frame. I understand that no one wants to anticipate that their frame might break, but it is something to keep in mind. Obviously the warranty is only good if the frame is purchased new from a dealer.

    The Scalpel is a great frame, but the problem is that it is more difficult to get a new frame from a dealer. Typically the Scalpel is sold as a full bike anyway. Plus if you are going to put on the parts that you want (SID) you will need to put in heavy reducer headset bearings.

    The cool thing about the Specialized Epic is that you can order either the Carbon (S-Works) frame or the Aluminum Marathon frame, which ever you wanted. This would include the lifetime warranty.

    Anthem also includes the warranty if bought new from a shop.

    In my opinion I would say that the Epic would be your best bet for you, especially if you plan on staying with aluminum. The Aluminum Marathon frame dosnt have a tapered head tube, or an oversized BB that you would have to deal with either proprietary parts. The Epic is a pretty tight bike.

    Just a side question. Why not Sram for this bike? I noticed that you run Full X.0 on your hardtail.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by jason.R
    The Scalpel, Anthem and Epic are carbon
    Anthem x advanced and S-works epic carbon are the carbon models. Plain anthem x and epic are aluminum. Scalpel team is indeed carbon though, got me there.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by amillmtb
    Zachariah,

    I would whittle the list down by who offers a FULL lifetime warranty on the frame. You are buying a new bike, why get one if you either have to pay for a 5 year, or only get a 5 year warranty. There is no reason for a company to build a bike and not stand by their frame. I understand that no one wants to anticipate that their frame might break, but it is something to keep in mind. Obviously the warranty is only good if the frame is purchased new from a dealer.

    The Scalpel is a great frame, but the problem is that it is more difficult to get a new frame from a dealer. Typically the Scalpel is sold as a full bike anyway. Plus if you are going to put on the parts that you want (SID) you will need to put in heavy reducer headset bearings.

    The cool thing about the Specialized Epic is that you can order either the Carbon (S-Works) frame or the Aluminum Marathon frame, which ever you wanted. This would include the lifetime warranty.

    Anthem also includes the warranty if bought new from a shop.

    In my opinion I would say that the Epic would be your best bet for you, especially if you plan on staying with aluminum. The Aluminum Marathon frame dosnt have a tapered head tube, or an oversized BB that you would have to deal with either proprietary parts. The Epic is a pretty tight bike.

    Just a side question. Why not Sram for this bike? I noticed that you run Full X.0 on your hardtail.
    If I were gonna choose the Scalpel - I would go with a Lefty Speed DLR. There is no way I'll use reducers...
    Always wanted full XTR. However, I'll go XO if XTR prices don't go down anytime soon.
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  14. #14
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    You should be able to achieve a sub 22lb Anthem X pretty easy I would say, my modest build with no real WW parts is around 23.1lb (TBC) w/XT gear on it (2 ring chainset conversion). Bear in mind new XTR is on its way circa Sept/Oct with 2 ring chainset. ZTR Alpine rims are slightly lighter than the Olympics.

    2009 Anthem X frame
    Fox RP23 Shock
    RS Sid Teams (09) (w/custom white/blue decals)
    XT drivetrain (M770)
    XT chainset w/2 ring conversion - Specialite TA Chinook rings 26/40 w/KCNC short ring bolts
    Hope mono minis (07)
    Alligator Windcutter rotors - 160mm
    Bontrager Race XXX foam grips
    KMC X9SL chain
    Look Quartz pedals
    FSA OS-99 stem +/- 6░
    Thomson Masterpiece seatpost
    FSA K-Force carbon riser bars
    ZTR Olympic rims
    Superstar hubs (F-Superfast, R-Superleggera)
    DT Super comp spokes
    KCNC skewers
    Specialized Sauserwind Control 2bliss tyres (tubeless w/Stans sealant)
    Selle Italia slr xc gel flow saddle

    Weight...24lb 5oz
    Weight...23lb 15oz (10/09/2009)
    Weight...23lb 8oz (23/01/2010)
    Weight...23lb 1.6oz approx (TBC)

    cost approx ú2400...$3500 USD @ todays exchange rate.
    Last edited by stu8975; 05-31-2010 at 05:13 AM.

  15. #15
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    just get the blur xc carbon, and put a 5 inch fork on it > 68.5 HA. most fun bike I've ever ridden
    My bikes:
    2009 Santa Cruz Blur XC Carbon, 1x9 "trail monster"
    1996 Bontrager Privateer Comp, 1x9, Hydro V's

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by stu8975
    Bear in mind new XTR is on its way circa Sept/Oct with 2 ring chainset.
    So is X.0, X.9, and X.7.

    Quote Originally Posted by stu8975
    Specialized Sauserwind Control 2bliss tyres (tubeless w/Stans sealant)
    Great tires. I sometimes run them when it dries up around here, I prefer the Captain S-Works in the mud. Specialized and Sauser nailed it on that tire.

    Quote Originally Posted by stu8975
    2009 Anthem X frame...
    I cut off the rest of the build because I hate to derail this thread any more than I already have in this post.

    You have a really good looking build. I like it a lot more because it is light and you used really solid parts.

  17. #17
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    Must resist temptations...

  18. #18
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    holy &(*&( that rocky looks nice. super agressive and capable looking.

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cheers!
    Must resist temptations...
    why?
    I'm a member of NSMBA and IMBA Canada

  20. #20
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    I have a 2010 Sworks Epic that is modestly spec'd (XTR, X0, R1, SLR). It weighs 23.25 pounds with full UST tires. When I run 26x2.25 Racing Ralph EVO tires, the weight drops to about 22.5. I have a set of really light racing wheels ordered, which should bring the total weight under 22 lbs with light tires.

    I love the ride of the Epic, and would encourage you to also get an E100 fork, if you got an epic. It really balances out the suspension nicely. The Scalpel is nice as well, and can probably be built a bit lighter than the epic. Those 2 would be on the top of my list.
    "Confidence is the feeling you have before you fully understand the situation".

  21. #21
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    one more thing you should know: i dont think intense is making the spider FRO anymore
    My bikes:
    2009 Santa Cruz Blur XC Carbon, 1x9 "trail monster"
    1996 Bontrager Privateer Comp, 1x9, Hydro V's

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by jordanrosenbach3
    one more thing you should know: i dont think intense is making the spider FRO anymore
    True, but Cambria Bike and Jenson still have unsold inventory in my size(S). I just need to pony up the $2400 MSRP they want for the frame/shock.

    Hopefully, by year's end...the price may go to close out.
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  23. #23
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    Have you checked into Trek? Comes with Lifetime warranty on the frame as well. I have this one built and weighs 22.5 with pedals. Could still drop another 1.5-2 lbs by running lighter wheels, crank, pedals and fork.
    Wheels current 1875g.... Could easily find a XC set-up around 1380-1420g
    Crank current XT 855g.... XX crank 725g
    Pedals current Egg Beater 270g... Egg Beater Ti4...155g
    Fork current...Fox F100 3.5lbs... RockShox SID...3.1lbs

    Thats a total difference of about 1.6-2lbs...


  24. #24
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    Must Resist Temptation

    Be strong, Cheers.

  25. #25
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    ...all this temptation resisting will just strain something. Give in to temptation and you're free of the pressure.
    I'm a member of NSMBA and IMBA Canada

  26. #26
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    ^^I totally agree, Rocky - we only live once...make it count!!!
    "This is a male-dominated forum... there will be lots of Testosterone sword-shaming here" ~ Kenfucius

  27. #27
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    I don't need another bike...

    I just bought a fancy car too. Damn this thread.

  28. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cheers!
    I don't need another bike...
    Disagree. Everyone could use another bike

  29. #29
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    Zachariah i can imagine you on - #6 Cannondale Scalpel Team (are they available as frame only?)

    if you can hang on for the new XTR gear - it looks terrific: http://weightweenies.starbike.com/fo...651474#p651474

  30. #30
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    And we can't forget the MSC Koncept frame, 3.2 lbs. But more of something to drool over as it's out of my price range

  31. #31
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    Quote Originally Posted by seppk
    And we can't forget the MSC Koncept frame, 3.2 lbs. But more of something to drool over as it's out of my price range
    Mine was 1604g (3.5lbs) with a Fox Float RP23, standard seatclamp and alloy bottle cage bolts.

    Now in it's second season of racing, I've not had a single problem with it.

  32. #32
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    Quote Originally Posted by amillmtb
    Disagree. Everyone could use another bike
    B = N + 1

    B is the number of bikes you need

    N is the number of bikes you have now.

    +1 repeat as needed
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  33. #33
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    No ones mention a Scott Spark

  34. #34
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gezzza
    No ones mention a Scott Spark
    i was about to do the same... sparks are race proven, and have been built several different ways under 20lbs. for 4k you could easily do it.

    i also know a guy at my shop who has an 18lb s works epic... nasty.

    i also have to resist... i have no money... and want a racing weight bike so bad...

  35. #35
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    Quote Originally Posted by rockyuphill
    B = N + 1

    B is the number of bikes you need

    N is the number of bikes you have now.

    +1 repeat as needed
    Nice.

  36. #36
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    For consideration something more unique
    pic from building phase, final result 8.2kg

    <a target='_blank' title='ImageShack - Image And Video Hosting' href='https://img442.imageshack.us/i/200120109761.jpg/'><img src='https://img442.imageshack.us/img442/3286/200120109761.jpg' border='0'/></a>

  37. #37
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    oh yes! it's hella cool! what's your frame size and weight, chris? is it true that it cannot fit more than a 2.1" tire in the back? what kind of headset does it use? info on pronghorn website is pretty scarce.

    ~ Too weird to live, too rare to die ~

  38. #38
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    Frame size as you can see from the figures on the frame, is the same 20.5" 2087g, your pic shows version with integrated seatpost.
    I run Conti RK 2.2 on the back and there is still plenty of room.
    Frame comes with FRM D-Set Team headset. I use tune bubu on the top (always few grams saved), bottom FRM.

  39. #39
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    Do anyone have an opinion BMC Fourstroke 02 2008 frame? It seems to be pretty light 1900grams for the price 500Eur.

    Bikepalast.com
    http://tiny.cc/1f2jd

  40. #40
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    ?? Thats is a fugly looking bike..nice weight though.

  41. #41
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gezzza
    No ones mention a Scott Spark
    Was thinking the same myself as I was scrolling through.

    You have to get a Scott Spark!!

  42. #42
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    Yowza that is one long seatpost, that looks like maybe 33-34" between the saddle and BB centre. And a lot of headset spacers. A T-rex sort of setup.

    Quote Originally Posted by evil zlayo
    oh yes! it's hella cool! what's your frame size and weight, chris? is it true that it cannot fit more than a 2.1" tire in the back? what kind of headset does it use? info on pronghorn website is pretty scarce.
    I'm a member of NSMBA and IMBA Canada

  43. #43
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    Pronghorn looks very Alien!
    "This is a male-dominated forum... there will be lots of Testosterone sword-shaming here" ~ Kenfucius

  44. #44
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    I'm going to throw in a Noble F4 for good measure. Small frame probably comes in right around 5.6/5/7lbs including Fox RP23 shock. I have not put a small on the scale, but would be more than happy to do so.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Full Suspension WW Recommendations-noblef4_angle.jpg  

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  45. #45
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    Saw one of these in person today at the Rocky Mountain tent at the North Shore Bike Fest... it looks even better in real life than in the photo. No opportunity to ride it unfortunately.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Full Suspension WW Recommendations-2010_0606new0001-1.jpg  

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  46. #46
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    Quote Originally Posted by rockyuphill
    Saw one of these in person today at the Rocky Mountain tent at the North Shore Bike Fest... it looks even better in real life than in the photo. No opportunity to ride it unfortunately.
    Any idea on the frame price for one?

  47. #47
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    Based on the Altitude 90 RSL frame-only retailing for $2,999 in Canada and the current scandium Element Team being $2,499 retail, I'm guessing somewhere between but closer to the Altitude price. No one I've talked to has a firm price yet.
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  48. #48
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    Quote Originally Posted by Zachariah
    I am looking to build a super-light FS bike. Recommend me some frames. I want a 4-5 inch travel trail bike for my 165 pound self. Here are my initial sights:

    1) Intense Spider FRO
    2) Giant Anthem X
    3) Trek Fuel EX 9
    4) Specialized Epic
    5) Cannondale Scalpel Team
    6) Turner Flux

    I am gonna go with full XTR shifters, SID WC forks, Stans ZTR Olympics on DT Swiss 240s hubs and Ritchey Superlogic riser bars. Think I can build a sub 22-pound XC bike in small/medium? Here is my 19-pound, beloved hardtail I'll be retiring soon:

    Any input is greatly appreciated. Budget is $4000. TIA
    I'd say go for the Scalpel- you can get a used 08+ Carbon Scalpel -fully built bike @ your $$ range.

    Im 155lb but my bikes can handle a 200lb rider
    pictures of my Scalpel (s), both fully built w/ pedals, barends and very durable @ 21lbs
    2008 Scalpel Team Replica

    2010 Factory racing team replica

  49. #49
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mark Landsaat
    I'm going to throw in a Noble F4 for good measure. Small frame probably comes in right around 5.6/5/7lbs including Fox RP23 shock. I have not put a small on the scale, but would be more than happy to do so.

    Nice, FAUX BAR LINKAGE...wow, 2010 and you guys chose the oldest and worst suspension design!

  50. #50
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    Sounds tempting. Right in my price range. I'll keep a look out for it come august.

  51. #51
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    I still think the new element looks ugly compared to the altitude and slayer. That swing link and awkward shock angle.... UGGGGGLO.

  52. #52
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    Quote Originally Posted by ginsu2k
    Nice, FAUX BAR LINKAGE...wow, 2010 and you guys chose the oldest and worst suspension design!
    Hi Ginsu. To each his own. Obviously you don't like the suspension design and that's OK. There are however plenty of happy riders out there on this style suspension. Cannondale, Scott and Yeti all use this style suspension and have lot's of happy owners.

    Second we are doing quite well with sales and the people that own an F4 are all quite happy with the bike.

    Fortunately for you there are plenty of options out there. Curious to hear what you are riding.
    Design Engineer for Noble Bikes

    http://www.noble-bikes.com

  53. #53
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    Quote Originally Posted by ginsu2k
    Nice, FAUX BAR LINKAGE...wow, 2010 and you guys chose the oldest and worst suspension design!
    OK, I admit right away that I do not like the term "Faux Bar". It implies fake to me. I know what I will say next is controversial, but please read on. The Noble F4 is a 4-bar in terms of engineering.

    Every 4-bar is made up of 4 elements.
    Bar-1=grounded member with 2 fixed pivots.
    Bar-2=driver with 1 fixed and 1 floating pivot.
    Bar-3=follower with 1 fixed and 1 floating pivot.
    Bar-4=coupler with 2 floating pivots.

    I have included a SolidWorks screenshot of the Noble F4 with sketches of why the system meets these 4-bar requirements.

    I know this get's a little geeky, but according to engineering principles, the Noble F4 is a planar 4-bar linkage that satisfies "Grashof's law" in such a way that it would be classified as a class 2 4-bar mechanism. More specifically a "Double Rocker 4-bar linkage".

    Source: "Kinematic Analysis of Mechanisms" by Joseph Edward Shigley. Professor of Mechanical Engineering at the University of Michigan.

    What is comes down to in the end is because the F4 is also a four bar mechanism, we have the ability to greatly influence suspension behavior/performance by manipulating pivot locations. Hope this makes sense.

    Without going into all the details regarding specific suspension designs, I distinguish 3 main categories.

    Horst-Link 4-bar; Specialized, Titus, Fuji
    Short-Link 4-bar; Santa Cruz, Intense, Giant
    Single Pivot 4-bar; Noble, Cannondale, Scott, Yeti

    I'll happily answer questions
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Full Suspension WW Recommendations-f4_four_bar.jpg  

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    What about a Titus X ? Did anybody measure the real weight of a size M frame?
    Design is very similar to the noble above with the important addition of a real Horst Link

    fab
    flyMTBfish

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ausable
    What about a Titus X ? Did anybody measure the real weight of a size M frame?
    Design is very similar to the noble above with the important addition of a real Horst Link

    fab
    Hi Ausable, let me first state that I'm not claiming nor have I ever claimed that the F4 is a Horst Link frame. I would categorize the F4 as a "single pivot four bar".

    What I'm curious to hear from you is what you think the benefit is of the "important addition of a real Horst Link" over the F4 suspension.
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  56. #56
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    I'm no suspension expert but you asked.....here it is from Wikipedia....

    A Horst Link...

    ...works by providing a wheel path that helps prevent the suspension preload or unload (squatting and locking) during acceleration and braking. The design is regarded by some[who?] as superior to single-pivot/four-bar system due to other designs having a wheel path that either squats or "locks", depending on the position of the swingarm.
    :thumbsup:

  57. #57
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    Quote Originally Posted by 2times
    A Horst Link...

    ...works by providing a wheel path that helps prevent the suspension preload or unload (squatting and locking) during acceleration and braking. The design is regarded by some[who?] as superior to single-pivot/four-bar system due to other designs having a wheel path that either squats or "locks", depending on the position of the swingarm.
    Hi 2times, I'm glad you responded. There is a lot of negative prejudice against single pivot 4 bar designs and this gives me an opportunity to explain how the F4 works based on sound kinematics.

    First of all I will state that the following reply only holds for disc brake equipped bikes. V-brake equipped bikes with a Horst Link are superior to single pivot 4 bar designs when it comes to brake induced suspension stiffening.

    First image is a Horst Link 4 bar explained. You can see bar 1 through 4. Because the wheel is attached to bar #4 the coupler, the axle path is defined by the instant center of the 4 bar.

    Second image is Horst Link 4 bar with no compression and full compression. As you can see in this image the instant center moves throughout the travel.

    Third image shows Horst Link 4 bar instant center at estimated 25% sag.

    Fourth image shows F4. Because the axle path of the F4 is defined by the main pivot above the BB it's location does not change.

    So how does this work? When you use your rear disc brake the brake will create a moment around the rear axle. This moment creates a downward force on the main pivot causing the suspension to stiffen up. For the F4 the downward force is on the main pivot above the BB shell. and it will cause a certain amount of stiffening while braking.

    For a Horst Link style bike this downward force is on the instant center.

    From here it's pretty easy. The farther the main pivot or instant center is away from the disc to lower the amount of stiffening while braking. Since the instant center of the Horst Link style bike is slightly farther removed for the rear axle than the main pivot of the F4 the Horst Link style bike will have less stiffening of the suspension while braking.

    But look at the overall picture, the difference between F4 main pivot and Horst Link instant center isn't that much and as a result the difference in braking performance also isn't that great.

    Braking is not the only thing that matters. pedal efficiency is also important.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Full Suspension WW Recommendations-horst-link-4-bar.jpg  

    Full Suspension WW Recommendations-hors-link-instant-center-path.jpg  

    Full Suspension WW Recommendations-instant-center-25%25-sag..jpg  

    Full Suspension WW Recommendations-f4-brake-induced-stiffening.jpg  

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    Easy

    Scalpel 2011....1.52kg with DT Swiss XR Carbon

  59. #59
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ausable
    What about a Titus X ? Did anybody measure the real weight of a size M frame?
    Design is very similar to the noble above with the important addition of a real Horst Link

    fab
    I called up titus a while ago and they guy had to put me on hold to weigh it. He came back and said it was 5 lbs w/shock.

  60. #60
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    The new Scapel is crazy light. If I wanted a FS bike for all out racing that would be the bike.

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    Mark did you mention that when braking on the Horst Link the braking moment is completely reacted by loads going into the linkages? In a properly designed Horst-Link during braking there is no stiffening of the suspension because the loads going into the linkages produce a force couple that directly counter-acts the braking torque. This is because the Coupler Link can only load the links along their axis because they are two-force members and the rotation of the Coupler Link is governed by the movement of the Driver Linkage.

    Also, in all my real-world experience, trying to rotate the 4th bar on the Horst Link does not move/rotate the linkage assembly because it is not the driver or the follower. The only stiffening that may occur is due to bearing loadings on the the pivots of the Coupler Linkage-if you have sealed bearings then it should be very negligible, but if you have bushings on your pivots, then yes I could see some stiffening that could occur there.

    Also, do you mention that the only reason you would use a Faux-Bar Linkage is to not pay Patent License fees?

  62. #62
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    Zachariah, some suggested the 2011 Scalpel and they are partially right. It would be lighter than your hardtail and as far as race XC FS bikes go, it just made many others outdated, even just announced, not even shipping designs...





    Very light but also very stiff and stronger, tougher than the current Scalpel. And since you now have a Headshok and are used to have a stiff, precise direction, you may not like the noodly forks of non-Cannondales.

    The only thing is that you are looking for a 4-5" travel bike, I assume you want a light trail bike, not a race bike? The new Scalpel only has 80mm of rear wheel travel and it's geometry is less trail-bike-like than the 2008-2010 Scalpels, it's designed to be the best XC race bike without compromise...
    Last edited by Dan Gerous; 06-21-2010 at 09:42 PM.

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  63. #63
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    Quote Originally Posted by rockyuphill
    B = N + 1

    B is the number of bikes you need

    N is the number of bikes you have now.

    +1 repeat as needed
    My current stable is at the

    B = N + 2 equation

    N = number of bikes I need....

    must resist harder.

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    Smile

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    Last edited by cavry; 06-21-2010 at 08:37 PM.

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    I still think the new element looks ugly compared to the altitude and slayer. That swing link and awkward shock angle.... UGGGGGLO.
    Completely agree... the old elements were classic beauties (both in form and engineering) for more than ten years, and then they come up with this fashion bike

    I am loyally riding RM Element frames since 1999 and was not planning to change that - unless I saw the first pics of the 2011 model.

    This is what I am getting build right now (to get back on topic):



    I am doing a few changes to setup in the pic (complete XX drivetrain, Magura Durin SL fork, Formula R1 brakes, flat bar etc).

    Frame weight (large) is 4.2lbs (1.9kg) with shock and hardware. And that without any tricks (like the BMX-size RM Element frame) :-)
    Complete setup will be be around 21 lbs (9.5kg) w/o any "crazy lightweight" parts.

    Last edited by cavry; 06-21-2010 at 09:20 PM.

  66. #66
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    Quote Originally Posted by ginsu2k
    Mark did you mention that when braking on the Horst Link the braking moment is completely reacted by loads going into the linkages? In a properly designed Horst-Link during braking there is no stiffening of the suspension because the loads going into the linkages produce a force couple that directly counter-acts the braking torque. This is because the Coupler Link can only load the links along their axis because they are two-force members and the rotation of the Coupler Link is governed by the movement of the Driver Linkage.

    Also, in all my real-world experience, trying to rotate the 4th bar on the Horst Link does not move/rotate the linkage assembly because it is not the driver or the follower. The only stiffening that may occur is due to bearing loadings on the the pivots of the Coupler Linkage-if you have sealed bearings then it should be very negligible, but if you have bushings on your pivots, then yes I could see some stiffening that could occur there.

    Also, do you mention that the only reason you would use a Faux-Bar Linkage is to not pay Patent License fees?
    Hi Ginsu2K, we don't agree regarding the fact that there is no stiffening (or suspension compression) under braking. I encourage you read Tony Foale's book "Motorcycle Handling and Chassis Design the art and science" This book goes into great detail explaining how some stiffening (compression) under braking occurs in every suspension system, some just more than others.

    It is possible to counteract these forces with a properly designed floating brake, but it adds a lot of weight and complexity to the design.

    It is also quite easy to measure in testing how much of the brake moment is converted into a stiffening (compressing) force. When you replace the rear shock of a suspension frame with a load cell you can accurately measure how much of a moment applied by a rear brake is converted into a suspension compressing force.

    I realize that most people do not have access to a testing lab, but there is also a cheater method that shows the effect. Put the bike in a repair stand so the rear wheel is free to move. Replace the rear shock with a looped zip tie that is the same length as the eye to eye of the shock. Now spin up the rear wheel and apply the rear brake. if the suspension is completely neutral under braking the rear wheel will not move. If there is a stiffening (compression) under braking effect the moment of the rear wheel will be translated by the rear wheel moving up, or effectively compressing the suspension. I encourage everybody to try this test since it can be done at home and shows the effect of braking on the suspension.

    I'm also going to use Scott as an example. Scott used to have the Horst Link on all their bikes in Europe. Please check out all their current bikes and realize they no longer use the Horst Link on any of their bikes. If the single pivot 4 bar they use now was completely inferior to Horst Link why did Scott make this change? It certainly wasn't to avoid licensing fees because they don't exist in Europe.

    Last but not least, I'm very happy with the way the F4 turned out and will gladly continue to advocate why I think it's a good bike. Like I said before I don't expect everybody to agree with me, but It's my opinion the bike works very well and I will continue to tell my story backed by physics and engineering to the best of my ability.
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    Mark Landsaat: welcome to this forum, a much needed addition of knowledge!

    Regarding the suspension designs, it have to be a type of design which meets most of my requirements which is: light, stiff, taking away the big hits.
    So until now I think a Scalpel would fit me best, they are darn light too.

    A downhiller does not have the very same requirements as a XC rider, nor a weight weenie rider.
    Experimental Prototype

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mattias_Hell├Âre
    Mark Landsaat: welcome to this forum, a much needed addition of knowledge!

    Regarding the suspension designs, it have to be a type of design which meets most of my requirements which is: light, stiff, taking away the big hits.
    So until now I think a Scalpel would fit me best, they are darn light too.

    A downhiller does not have the very same requirements as a XC rider, nor a weight weenie rider.
    I don't know - are you sure you want to have a "flexing carbon chainstay" rear suspension design rather than proper bearings?
    I have taken a Scalpel 01 for a test ride and it feels more like a softtail, and rather unbalanced. But if speed/weight is really everything, I guess its not a bad choice.
    Last edited by cavry; 06-21-2010 at 11:42 PM.

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    Cavry: a 2001 Scalpel? it┤s a different animal to a 2009 Scalpel which I tested in my home trails.
    A second one that would fit me is a Rush but they are heavy and I didn┤t like the chain induced pogoing when running chainrings over or under the pivot.
    Experimental Prototype

  70. #70
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mattias_Hell├Âre
    Regarding the suspension designs, it have to be a type of design which meets most of my requirements which is: light, stiff, taking away the big hits.
    So until now I think a Scalpel would fit me best, they are darn light too.
    Hi Mattias, I think I'm with cavry on this one. Clearly it would be stupid to deny that the new Scalpel frame is an extremely light frame, but I'm not a big fan of no pivot in the rear suspension. This is based on my personal preference of having smooth suspension action.

    I have not ridden the new Scalpel but imagine it would be a somewhat harsher ride due to the lack of a pivot. With that said, it's up to the rider to determine what matters most. If you are willing to give up some suspension functionality to save additional weight the Scalpel would be the right bike for you.

    I'm curious to ride the new Scalpel at Interbike dirt demo. It will be interesting to see how it works.
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  71. #71
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    Mark: pivotless backend is a tradeoff, of course.
    I need a frame that takes off all big hits, with so small expense as possible to rigidity side by side, always a problem with a full suspension frame.

    But if you want a active suspension frame with more suspension movement, the Scalpel is not for you.

    Compromises is compromises.

    Is there any do it all frame and very light as a Scalpel?
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    @Matthias: sorry my mistake, I meant a 2010 Scalpel 1

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    Quote Originally Posted by cavry
    @Matthias: sorry my mistake, I meant a 2010 Scalpel 1
    As a note from the owner of a Scalpel, the rear suspension can be trickier to setup than most bikes. It's not rare that people need a few rides until they have it set properly since they try to set it as they have done on other designs. The flexing stays provide a certain percentage of the shock's duty so the shock can't be set like on a bike with pivots, it would be too stiff, bouncy and springy. The design typically needs much less air in the shock and much slower rebound to be smooth and plush (at 155lbs, I only put 55psi in the shock and the rebound almost to it's slowest setting). The first generation Scalpel was feeling really close to a hardtail or a softail, the second generation (2008-2010) can be set to be much plusher, it can double as a trail bike. The 2011 is back at being an all out racing bike...

    Picking the right bike depends of what you want to do with it and your riding style. A race bike? A trail bike? A comfortable bike? You like to plow through things? You are a smooth and good at picking the best lines? The Scalpel was designed as a race bike.

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  74. #74
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    Did anyone notice that the Rocky has Horst Pivots rather than above-the-dropout pivots like they've always used? That's a sweet frame!
    Keep the Country country.

  75. #75
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lelandjt
    Did anyone notice that the Rocky has Horst Pivots rather than above-the-dropout pivots like they've always used? That's a sweet frame!
    It is not a horst link, as the linkage is above the rear axle. There are similarities though. There is more information regarding the suspension design on the Rocky Mountain forum somewhere.

  76. #76
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    Yeti AS-R 5 or AS-R carbon. Do not accept anything steeper then 69deg head angle nowadays.

    Why would you retire your hardtail? Two bikes are always better then one. Convert it to 1x9 for smooth trails. And you could wait for the 2011 XTR for shifters and cassettes.

  77. #77
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    Still, why the F4?

    Quote Originally Posted by Mark Landsaat
    I encourage you read Tony Foale's book "Motorcycle Handling and Chassis Design the art and science"
    That's funny. I've read/own that book for quite a while now. It's a great book.


    It is also quite easy to measure in testing how much of the brake moment is converted into a stiffening (compressing) force. When you replace the rear shock of a suspension frame with a load cell you can accurately measure how much of a moment applied by a rear brake is converted into a suspension compressing force.
    This may be true, but it would depend on the design of the four-bar, and in a well-designed 4-bar (See Ellsworth, Nikolai, Norco, etc) I'm certain the Braking Moment would be considered negligible compared to the vertical forces compressing the suspension.

    Edit: Thought about this more and realized that the offset of the brake caliper would mean that the Follower Link sees a much lower loading than the Driver Link, thus the reaction force from the Braking Moment would be much lower on the upper link, which would further reduce the resultant vector (which could compress the suspension).

    So now, I'm certain that on a proper Horst-Link, like on an Ellsworth, the suspension would cycle pretty freely because the Vertical Landing Force is far greater than the Resultant Force Vector from the reaction forces due to the Braking Moment on the Coupler Linkage. I could provide some numerical estimates if need be.

    The essential design decision lies with having a Driver Link nearly parallel to the Ground Plane. AND having a fairly long Coupler Link to reduce the loads going into the Follower Link so that the angle between the vectors is minimized.

    I'm also going to use Scott as an example. Scott used to have the Horst Link on all their bikes in Europe. Please check out all their current bikes and realize they no longer use the Horst Link on any of their bikes. If the single pivot 4 bar they use now was completely inferior to Horst Link why did Scott make this change? It certainly wasn't to avoid licensing fees because they don't exist in Europe.
    All manufacturers seem to make the first models of any product the best, they rely on the positive feedback from the initial designs, then they usually make the product cheaper to manufacture and hope that people don't notice the design changes.

    Last but not least, I'm very happy with the way the F4 turned out and will gladly continue to advocate why I think it's a good bike.
    That's nice, I like to talk bikes too, but you're forgetting that this is a WW forum and your bike does not really fit in here. I keep wondering why you post that frame because it is not particularly light, and doesn't add anything new to the plethora of FS designs. You could just as well make due with a much older frame for the same weight/performance at a much cheaper price.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Full Suspension WW Recommendations-06ellsworthtruth1.jpg  

    Full Suspension WW Recommendations-brake-momemnt.jpg  

    Full Suspension WW Recommendations-motorcycle.jpg  

    Full Suspension WW Recommendations-motorcycle2.jpg  

    Last edited by ginsu2k; 06-22-2010 at 06:58 PM.

  78. #78
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    Quote Originally Posted by ginsu2k
    All manufacturers seem to make the first models of any product the best, they rely on the positive feedback from the initial designs, then they usually make the product cheaper to manufacture and hope that people don't notice the design changes.
    I find it hard to believe that placing a pivot on a chainstay or seatstay results in any meaningful change of manufacturing costs.

    If people do not notice design changes it means those changes are not important.

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    I come hear to read about WW stuff, but the last week or so, half of everything I've read is some technical suspension talk.

    There is a suspension sub-forum not to far up.

  80. #80
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    Yeah, the discussion is kinda heavy too.
    I'm a member of NSMBA and IMBA Canada

  81. #81
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    Sorry guys, it wasn't my intention to get off topic. My initial post was to show the Noble F4 as a light weight (5.6lbs including shock) affordable XC alternative. I wanted to respond to some of the comments made, but realize it got way off topic. No more suspension tech talk in the WW section.
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    Patent License = Money

    Quote Originally Posted by Curmy
    I find it hard to believe that placing a pivot on a chainstay or seatstay results in any meaningful change of manufacturing costs.

    If people do not notice design changes it means those changes are not important.
    It does when you have to pay Patent License Fees! BTW, Scott spent a lot of time in court over this, so don't tell me it doesn't save them money to use the Faux-Bar.

  83. #83
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    Quote Originally Posted by ginsu2k
    It does when you have to pay Patent License Fees! BTW, Scott spent a lot of time in court over this, so don't tell me it doesn't save them money to use the Faux-Bar.
    You do not have to pay license fees for that design in Europe.

    Faux-Bar? I laugh in your general direction. There is nothing wrong with bikes that use a seatstay pivot - nothing. They ride great.

  84. #84
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    Quote Originally Posted by Curmy
    Faux-Bar? I laugh in your general direction. There is nothing wrong with bikes that use a seatstay pivot - nothing. They ride great.
    Some do. They're single pivots with different main pivot locations and shock rates. They're not "4-bar" bikes, which feature a parallelogram with the wheel and main frame on opposite sides. However, some were marketed as "4-bar" during a period when that was a big selling point (like dual-link bikes that look like DW-Link now), hence "faux-bar". Just call'em single pivots.
    Keep the Country country.

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    yeti is more like 4.7 lbs. excluding the seat clamp which weighs 0.4lbs

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mark Landsaat
    Sorry guys, it wasn't my intention to get off topic. My initial post was to show the Noble F4 as a light weight (5.6lbs including shock) affordable XC alternative. I wanted to respond to some of the comments made, but realize it got way off topic. No more suspension tech talk in the WW section.
    I don't want to criticize your bike but a 2.55kg 4" FS is far from being lightweight...

  87. #87
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    Quote Originally Posted by Epic-o
    I don't want to criticize your bike but a 2.55kg 4" FS is far from being lightweight...
    Hi Epic-o, I don't think the weight is bad. The F4 including shock weighed in size large is actually lighter than the 2010 aluminum Specialized Epic Marathon Frame. And an F4 retails for $500.- less.

    German bike magazine did a big test of alloy 4" travel XC bikes and they weigh the frames themselves. In their big shootout, the only two frames that were lighter than the F4 were the carbon Scott Spark and the aluminum Giant Anthem. I included pics of the F4 on a scale as well as the weights from German Bike Magazine.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Full Suspension WW Recommendations-f4_scale.jpg  

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    Full Suspension WW Recommendations-bike_magazine_weights.jpg  

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  88. #88
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    Mark ,
    Hardtail frames 1kg <--- Lightweight
    Full suspension frames -2kg <----- Lightweight
    So that means your frame is heavyweight , chinese precision scale doesnt lie .

    PD This forum is for weightweenie not for noble bikes

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    Opinions are worthless - give me scientific facts.

    Quote Originally Posted by Curmy
    You do not have to pay license fees for that design in Europe.

    Faux-Bar? I laugh in your general direction. There is nothing wrong with bikes that use a seatstay pivot - nothing. They ride great.
    Well, obviously I'm done arguing about this, I don't care why Scott have such an awful suspension design-but I'm certain it was done to reduce costs (whether they be manufacturing or attorney fees).

    If Mark hadn't said what he said about the Noble F4 Faux-Bar being a decent design, then I wouldn't have to school him on why a true Horst-Link style 4-bar is superior (personally, I think the Ellsworth is the current best execution of this design).

    It's hilarious that Mark doesn't even understand the material from the book he recommended. The reason I posted those pics was to once and for all put the argument over Single Pivot (especially Faux-Bar designs) to rest. Maybe you can't understand the pictures (although, they are simple enough), but your opinions are worthless in light of Kinematic Analysis.

    The ONLY REASON why you guys don't notice how bad the Faux-Bar is on the WW forum is because you guys don't usually have a lot of travel, and you don't usually BOMB DOWNHILLS. But trust me, if you did, then you would be screaming for better rear brake performance.

  90. #90
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    Quote Originally Posted by xcatax
    Mark ,
    Full suspension frames -2kg <----- Lightweight
    2.5kg(5.5lb) FS frame is not particularly heavy by any means.

  91. #91
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    Quote Originally Posted by ginsu2k
    Well, obviously I'm done arguing about this,
    Well, obviously you are not.

    Quote Originally Posted by ginsu2k
    The ONLY REASON why you guys don't notice how bad the Faux-Bar is on the WW forum is because you guys don't usually have a lot of travel, and you don't usually BOMB DOWNHILLS. But trust me, if you did, then you would be screaming for better rear brake performance.
    Utter and unadulterated bullshiт. I mostly ride a 6" travel 35lb Kona, and it works just fine on downhills - in places like Downieville, CA for example. So do many other single pivot bikes. You do not know what you are talking about - or read too many marketing materials.

    Go to Ventana forum, or Kona forum, or Yeti forum, or Foes, or Morewood, or Orange, or to people riding Bullitt and other Santa Cruz bikes or many other models. All those bikes BOMB DOWNHILL just fine.

    Maybe you should learn not to drag your rear brake?

  92. #92
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    Quote Originally Posted by Curmy
    2.5kg(5.5lb) FS frame is not particularly heavy by any means.
    Its heavyW nowdays 2010y , wake up . I think that your not particulary heavy components never will do a lightbike starting with a 2,5kg frame .

  93. #93
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    Quote Originally Posted by xcatax
    Its heavyW nowdays 2010y , wake up .
    In 2010 people do not just ride wimpy FS frames with 80 to 100mm travel. Wake up.

    Author of this thread wants a solid 5 inch travel frame - look at his short list and what they weight with a shock.

  94. #94
    Hack Racer
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    Anyone have some specs on the Rocky Element? Estimated frame weight. Effective top tube length...

    Thieves stole my Kona... It was and is truly my favorite bike I owned...

  95. #95
    I Tried Them ALL... SuperModerator
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    Wow, this thread has snowballed! I am really liking the 2010 Giant Anthem X...I could splurge on better wheels with all the $ saved.
    "This is a male-dominated forum... there will be lots of Testosterone sword-shaming here" ~ Kenfucius

  96. #96
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    Seems like most frames with same capabilities weight about the same.

  97. #97
    ups and downs
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cheers!
    Anyone have some specs on the Rocky Element? Estimated frame weight. Effective top tube length...

    Thieves stole my Kona... It was and is truly my favorite bike I owned...
    The 100mm travel carbon Element Team is going to be very nearly the same as the current Element Team. slightly slacker HA at 70.5d, same HTT, 425mm chainstay instead of 432mm and 4.5pounds for a Kabush size XL frame with RP23 shock. At the BC Bike Race, the Rocky guys said that for all the miles that Kabush has on the bike, they haven't had to change any of the suspension bushings yet.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Full Suspension WW Recommendations-2010_0626new0006.jpg  

    I'm a member of NSMBA and IMBA Canada

  98. #98
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    What do you think about this frame ? Im not finding user info
    -1980g without rear shock
    -1200e


    Salu2
    Juan
    Last edited by xcatax; 08-01-2010 at 04:22 PM.

  99. #99
    I Tried Them ALL... SuperModerator
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    No boutique German Carbon Fiber for me...
    "This is a male-dominated forum... there will be lots of Testosterone sword-shaming here" ~ Kenfucius

  100. #100
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    intense spider FRO

    I built my large intense spider fro to 21 pounds 5 oz.
    i use a 1X10 sram xx setup, which took a lot of weight off...

    http://www.pinkbike.com/photo/5334160/
    http://www.pinkbike.com/photo/5334163/

  101. #101
    I Tried Them ALL... SuperModerator
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    Quote Originally Posted by dovitskycsu12
    I built my large intense spider fro to 21 pounds 5 oz.
    i use a 1X10 sram xx setup, which took a lot of weight off...

    http://www.pinkbike.com/photo/5334160/
    http://www.pinkbike.com/photo/5334163/
    Me likey...but finding a FRO is gonna be tough!
    "This is a male-dominated forum... there will be lots of Testosterone sword-shaming here" ~ Kenfucius

  102. #102
    I miss f88
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    Quote Originally Posted by ginsu2k
    Well, obviously I'm done arguing about this, I don't care why Scott have such an awful suspension design-but I'm certain it was done to reduce costs (whether they be manufacturing or attorney fees).

    If Mark hadn't said what he said about the Noble F4 Faux-Bar being a decent design, then I wouldn't have to school him on why a true Horst-Link style 4-bar is superior (personally, I think the Ellsworth is the current best execution of this design).

    It's hilarious that Mark doesn't even understand the material from the book he recommended. The reason I posted those pics was to once and for all put the argument over Single Pivot (especially Faux-Bar designs) to rest. Maybe you can't understand the pictures (although, they are simple enough), but your opinions are worthless in light of Kinematic Analysis.

    The ONLY REASON why you guys don't notice how bad the Faux-Bar is on the WW forum is because you guys don't usually have a lot of travel, and you don't usually BOMB DOWNHILLS. But trust me, if you did, then you would be screaming for better rear brake performance.
    Posts that are unbelievably stupid: ^^^^this one^^^

    OP: let us know what you do get.
    WHEEEEEEEEEEEEE!!!!
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  103. #103
    Tech geek and racerboy
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    Rocking XX or the new XTR, I would suggest the Trek Fuel EX carbon with some light wheels on it for a fast, light, fun 5" travel bike. If you're waiting until next year, you could even run the new 130mm SID with a QR15 and have a beefy front end on a bike that could easily be built to 20lbs with a high-end kit.

    I like the Scalpel, but it's a limited-use tool for XC racing and not that much fun just to ride. Geometry is decidedly "racey". The performance of the rear suspension is decent, but only when really pushed on a race course. Low speed performance is compromised.

    Incidentally, for a racier bike (that's still fun to ride), the Trek Top Fuel is wicked light and really fun, with excellent suspension performence. I've seen them built at 19lbs no problem.
    A hardtail is forever

  104. #104
    I miss f88
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    ...as to my opinion, the Spark is nice in that you can build them VERY VERY light while still having slightly more relaxed geometry and travel.

    The Anthem X is also a sweet bike.


    Though if I were to buy something right now I might just get that new Jet 9 (or a Tallboy)
    WHEEEEEEEEEEEEE!!!!
    ------__o
    ----_`\<,_
    ---(_)/ (_)

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