Black Market Killswitch: In Detail

May 21, 2010
by Mike Levy  
Black Market will soon release their much anticipated full suspension frame, the Killswitch. We caught up with the Killswitch's designer, Pablo Tafoya, and fired him some questions to get the inside scoop on the new bike. There is also a great video inside of Adam Hauck getting rad on the new bike!

Updated with X-Fusion suspension video!

Read on...
Listen to Slayer and watch Adam Hauck shred on his Killswitch!
Views: 32,174    Faves: 349    Comments: 38

X-Fusion worked closely with Black Market to develop the correct tune for the Killswitch's unique suspension. Watch the video to find out!
Views: 17,587    Faves: 123    Comments: 16

There are not many bikes that have generated as much buzz before their release as the Killswitch has. When we first showed you pictures of the prototype back in August of last year the interest was overwhelming. The new 4" travel full suspension frame can be used to shred bike parks, bring home the gold in slope style events, and as a burly short travel all-rounder that handles very similar to Black Market's already proven hardtail offerings. Despite the addition of a rear shock and pivot, the Killswitch maintains the simple and clean lines that the company's bikes are known for. We caught up with the man responsible for the new design, Pablo Tafoya, and he was kind enough to sit down and answer our questions.

Blackmarket Killswitch

The Killswitch uses your Hammer-Link rear suspension. Can you tell us what the design goals were when coming up with this system?
Carter has a great company and we've know each other for a long time. When taking on projects I don't care about the product at all, I just care about being inspired by friendships and when the relationships are great the design goal always comes out rad. The Killswitch is one of those rad results. The best goal when designing the Killswitch is being aware that it's a service, not a product. It's the result of listening to both the environments of riding and manufacturing and when you do it right those environments design the product... not you. I'm not a fan of swoopy soft shapes so the all-business, military style shows. The Killswitch is a gun in bike form and it matches the identity of BlackMarket and Carter. Geometry is by far the most important environment to listen to so when we finalized it 'one' of the trillions of ways to compress a shock came to light.

Hammer-Link detail on the Killswitch

The rear suspension uses a floating rear shock, why?
The Black Market Identity fueled the idea of getting away from the other common straight push suspension solutions. Running a BB pivot location and the environment this bike's going to be put through fueled the position and rate of the linkage. I like hiding high tech functions into the bike and not flaunting them for marketing. Like diamonds on the inside of the ring rather then outside.

Hammer-Link unwrapped

One of the design goals was to make a full suspension bike that handles similar to a hardtail. What are the features of the Killswitch that help this?
Geometry. Its constraint controls the functions of everything designed into Killswitch. Without a deep study into what creates confidence for the rider there can be no technology that assists it. Like all suspension bikes, without great geometry and good suspension tuning there is not one suspension design on the planet that can make up for them.

Concentric B.B. pivot and replaceable hardware

The rear end pivots around the BB. Was this done only to make running single speed easier, or was this another reason?
I did studies of both a BB and mid-pivot locations and for the intended purpose of the bike the BB won out for stiffness, simplicity and the single speeding...

The Killswitch uses a custom tuned X-Fusion RCX shock - Can you tell us what the custom tune accomplishes?
The compression and rebound settings are the most significant decisions Carter makes with X-fusion and they did a great job of helping it get to where the bike is now. So to really answer that... it accomplished maximizing confidence.

There are a lot of small, but smart details, on the Killswitch (replaceable threaded inserts, nylock nuts, ect).
How many revisions have there been throughout the design process from start to finish? One revision came though with the nuts and bolts and that came from what I did with the Corsair designs. We just can't trust ourselves with being nice to threads so everyone else gets nice countersunk hardware.

Where would a rider benefit from using a Killswitch over a hardtail?
Options. The option to cross over to more than one type of riding though purchasing a single bike. Again designing and bringing a product to market is a service to everyone who buys the product. This service is like being a sushi chef... handing the rider a plate with both California and Spicy tuna rolls.

Is the Killswitch strictly a slope style slayer, or can it be ridden effectively as a short travel aggressive f/r bike?
It just fits into riding FR, but keep your eyes peeled for something new....

Who are the riders that we can expect to see shredding on the Killswitch?
Adam Hauck, Carter Holland, everyone who's pre-ordered and ME! I can't wait to get my production one from Carter!

Killswitch Features:

-Handmade from a custom 6061 T6 tubeset with precision CNC'd linkages & yokes.
-Black Market's own proprietary Hammer-Link design with 100mm travel.
-Replaceable Nylock nuts and threaded inserts milled into the frame at all bolt locations and shock mount points protect against over zealous mechanics and owners a like.
-Custom Killswitch tuned X-Fusion 02 RCX shock.
-All hardware and bearings are easily accessible for ease of maintenance and repairs.
-Blk Mrkt Cartridge Zero Stack headset (included) design to allow for the lowest front end possible. Replaceable BB shell also acts as massive 40mm pivot axle keeping things stiff and true.
-Replaceable drop outs in horizontal (included), vertical or Maxle versions(sold separately). Sizes: S (21"), M (22") & L (23")

Killswitch Vital Statistics:

TT - 21", 22", 23"
CS - 16"
SO - 26"
BB - 12.5"
WB - 41.25"
Shock - 6.5" x 1.5"/ 165mm x 38mm air
HA - 69 degrees
Weight - 7 lbs. 10 oz. with shock
Travel - 4"

Seat clamp - 34.9mm (included)
Seat post - 30.9mm
ISCG 05 mounts
Internal headset

Colors: Flat Black, Flat Grey, Flat Purple.

For more info or dealer inquiries please e mail or visit

Posted In:


  • 32 1
 what's the dog's name?
  • 19 1
 His name is Zeus Deuce and I miss riding with him right about now....
  • 11 4
 Looks really good, but i can't help thinking it'll be too saggy to ride park, and too rigid to ride downhill. Can it really compete with a 24" hardtail on dirt jumps?

That said, i'd like a go on one, what's the price tag?
  • 1 0
 1500 euro in europe..
  • 16 5
 I feel bad for all those Transition Doubles already starting to collect dust...
  • 3 0
 2000 for the frame here in NZ. We can already get them here, for the last 2 weeks or so.
  • 1 0
 i absolutely love it... first thing i thought was im gettin it but yer o recon this could actually replace bikes like thetransition double or kona bass or other bikes like that... if it is 1500 euro that shud be good cus i live in england so i thing its like the same... 1500 euro = 1500 pounds or summin
  • 3 0
 Hey MAtt-W, there is a huge range of things between park and downhill. DJs, trails, SS, A-line style trails, Freeride...
  • 2 0
 "It just fits into riding FR, but keep your eyes peeled for something new...."

New Black Market Free-ride bike? I'd be keen Wink
  • 1 0
 its only like £1200 on chainreactioncycles
  • 1 1
 We're lucky here in NZ.... At our shops, a rear saint derailleur cost 260 bucks, which will be the same except in pounds at your shops, but thank to the exchange rate, we get stuff of CRC less than half the price you guys pay Smile i got a saint derailleur for 120 + postage.
  • 1 0
 kwl, i'm gonna find a friend in nz, then get crc to send them my stuff and ask him to send it back to meee,,, i wonder if that will be cheeeper...
  • 3 0
 saint derailer is only £79 for us though Razz
  • 1 0
 i was thinking.. wtf.. ? but i am happy as it is. i bought my saint-mech before the shimano price upgrade
  • 11 0
 I ordered one, its gonna be sick
  • 7 0
 jelous Smile
  • 4 0
 Ur so Lucky! Have fun! tup
  • 2 0
 can i come over and hang out?
  • 1 0
 sure man
  • 12 1
 thats not a bike its a weapon
  • 1 0
 no. its a switch. haha lol
  • 3 0
 This bike is so soooo sweet! I say it everytime I see it but it's just amazing how well in this bike function & construction meets a great form... everything is there and its done in such a clean way, without any strangely bend tubes, gussets, rockers. Everything has it's function and justification, and it's totaly compacted.

I use to be so picky and sceptical about most of stuff but in this frame I can't find anything I don't like, even more, there are many details and features I would never think of.
  • 4 0
 Doesn't Pablo design and part-own Corsair? Or am I behind the times?

He has some interesting designs, I must say. I'd love to ride one.
  • 2 0
 What I mean to say is is he still with Corsair and shopped out his talents to Blackmarket for the Killswitch, or he works for Blackmarket exclusively now?
  • 1 0
 This may answer your question:

Corsair is part owned by Pablo and part by Atomlab (who clearly have a close relationship with Blk Mrkt).
  • 1 0
 Ta. I did remember that article, but I missed the Atomlab/Blackmarket connection. Sounds like a bike designer with lots of ideas' wet dream.
  • 2 0
 Our boy Pablo has come a long way from the days of racing with all of us in the 3 man DH's at the old Wolf Laurel. Big props to you brother. You still speak in riddles just like back then. Thought you were a little whack when you told us all you were going to move out west to start your own bike company and call it triple 8. Props!
  • 4 0
 I'm glad I'm listening to some good music nowadays on Pink Bike videos... Not that crappy emo shitty stuff...
  • 1 0
 Holy random comment buddy!
  • 1 0
 I've been noticing it in for a while now... Just felt like commenting...
  • 1 0
 I got to ride a prototype kill switch at woodward, This bike rips. I had not been on any sort of bike for months, jumped on that and felt almost back to normal in 2 runs. it lays power to the ground like a hard tail but when you come up short its not bone rattling. Then one adjustment on the shock and you have a flickable short travel trail bike.
  • 2 0
 For 1400$ it's quite reasonable, could have slightly better graphics but everyone customize their bikes anyway so it doesn't matter that much.....does it come in white?.....I think I'm getting one.
  • 1 0
 To clarify on the decals...the ones shown in all the photos have all been in various stages of the prototypes and not the real decals. It actually was a process to get the right decal finish to look good on the bikes flat finish. This was all ironed out prior to production and the real kit showcases the same attention to detail as the rest of the bike. The production bikes will have a full decal set with artwork and logos not yet seen by the general public. Just one more suprise for the lucky few that get to ride the switch. Believe the hype...throw the switch!
  • 1 0
 I reckon you'll do a great job on it but just a small note. I think all these scrambled/scratch graphics are getting old. I'd go with something more solid/mature than that..whatever though, it's up to you guys to decide.
  • 1 0
 OMFG: black market freeride bike?

"Is the Killswitch strictly a slope style slayer, or can it be ridden effectively as a short travel aggressive f/r bike?
It just fits into riding FR, but keep your eyes peeled for something new..."

I want it!
  • 4 0
 that looks wicked! i love it.
  • 3 0
 sick bike but those decals need some work but I guess you know already that's why you don't have them on the last picture Smile
  • 4 1
 Yooo, That is such a sick bike!
  • 4 1
 weapon of masse destructiv ;-)) nice bike
  • 1 0
 So freaking awesome, I was there a day or two before those photos were taken and I got to meet the bunch of em. that last shot was taken behind the oakly factory
  • 1 0
 beautiful bike. but not enough travel for what i do. and i cant have too many bikes. one AM and one Slope style/FR/DH is all i need
  • 2 0
  • 1 0
 this looks like it will be a great bike, just a little bit of shock to take the sting out of things
  • 1 0
 I would buy one in a second if I had the $$$$$! Definitely would replace my hardtail
  • 5 7
 Everyone's a critic and I don't like it, then again, I don't care much for SS bikes in general. So all you teenie wannabe DJ's go and negative prop me. I want to get over 67649823477 neg props from all you DJ posing wank jobs. The end
  • 1 3
 But on that note, well done Black Market and good luck for the future.
  • 3 1
 you're cool
  • 1 0
 i like this guy.
  • 1 0
 I guess the million dollar questions is when are these bad boys being shipped out?
  • 2 0
 what? I thought the million dollar question was, "Who's gonna buy me one for my birthday this year?" :p
  • 1 0
 i have on on reserve as well. hurry up blackmarket it was suppose to be under me on the 15th of MAY whats up????????
  • 1 0
 Almost sure i'm going to buy one, any one know what sort of front travel you could run? Want to run it with a RS pike.
  • 1 0
 Ywell i think it runs anywhere from like 80 - 120 but not too sure but i know that that range is fine.
  • 2 2
 Now make a 6 inch AM like it and I'll ride that, the design looks real effective!!!
  • 2 1
 He says to keep your eyes peeled for something new when asked if the KS is good for Fr
  • 1 0
 that bike is so sick.
what fork is that in the grey frame?

greets maici
  • 3 0
 Looks like a lowered X Fusion Vengeance
  • 2 1
 anyone know what the price is gonna be yet?
  • 1 0
 i dont even dirt jump and i want that
  • 1 0
 such a nice bike how much
  • 1 0
 looks like a hardtail when u glance at it. such a good design
  • 1 0
 I'd like to have children with that bike.
  • 2 0
  • 1 0
 One of the guys at the bike shop has one they are so dope
  • 1 0
 is it using them decals? cause they are shit! nice bike shit decals man
  • 1 0
 easy to remove for your viewing pleasure.
  • 1 0
 those things can get so light, guy at the store i work at just got one!
  • 1 0
 hopefully ordering mine tomorrow
  • 1 0
 filled out the special order forms today gonna be sick
  • 1 0
 that bike is a work of f***ing art Big Grin
  • 1 0
  • 1 0
 what was the second bike in the video
  • 2 1
 that looks so sick
  • 1 1
 that thing looks unreal..
  • 1 1
 i only watched the vid cuz of slayer lol
  • 1 0
 i want 1 so bad
  • 1 0
 "that shits the bomb"
  • 1 1
 killer bike!
  • 1 0
 That went straight into my desktop Smile
  • 1 1
 super hot
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