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Cascade Components Announces Norco Optic Link

Oct 20, 2021
by Cascade Components  
Raw Optic link


PRESS RELEASE: Cascade Components

bigquotesAnother oneDJ Khaled
Here we are again with yet another new link. Almost a year after putting out our first Norco link, we are now doing one for the Optic. As with all our links, this one makes the suspension more progressive, going from 17% up to 23%. It also increases travel by 5 mm, putting it at 130 mm even. What does this result it? The usual stuff. The suspension feels softer off the top and tracks over rougher terrain better then ramps up to deliver support as it gets into the latter half of its travel. Because this is a short travel bike that also needs to be able to pedal well, we made sure the link preserved the pedaling characteristics and didn’t turn it into a tank to pedal. Geometry also remains the same since that is one of the traits we enjoy the most about the Optic.

Optic link colors
The Optic link is available in black and silver

So, if you’re trying to change up the suspension to help smooth out that chatter and don’t mind 5 mm more travel, this might just be the ticket. Or maybe you want that 5 mm of travel too. Now, we read enough of the comments to know what the usual responses are. Let me tell you something, installing a different link doesn’t mean you have the wrong bike any more than installing volume spacers would mean you have the wrong shock. It’s a tuning tool. It doesn’t make the Optic not an Optic anymore, it just makes it a different version of itself.

Specs and Details:


• 130 mm of travel
• Progression increased to 23% compared to 17% with stock link
• Sealed Enduro MAX bearings
• CNC’d from 6061-T6 in the USA
• Colors: Black, silver
• Cost: $332 USD.
Leverage ratio comparison

So there you have it. If this seems like your jam we’ve got them.


For more information on any of our stuff click cascadecomponents.bike.


199 Comments

  • 172 0
 Still waiting for hardtail links.
  • 22 0
 Links to turn your fully into a hardtail? Should be doable.
  • 40 0
 1. Find old broom handle
2. Cut to length of shock
3. Paint to frame color (optional)
4. Drill 2 holes
5. Impress friends w. new hardcore hardtail
  • 22 0
 @vinay: Fill your mates' shocks with epoxy for fun and profit!
  • 11 0
 @PinkyScar: now that you told everyone good luck getting a patent
  • 4 0
 I'm waiting for the floating brake for hardtails
  • 6 0
 I hear they are due early April...
  • 8 0
 @PinkyScar: Drill more than two holes for adjustable head angle and bb height.
  • 2 0
 @hirvi: Now that's proper innovation
  • 2 0
 @leon-forfar: unreal plug there, you dropped this (crown emoji)
  • 2 0
 All those high pivot fullies made me want an idler for my Hardtail. @vinay:
  • 2 0
 @Kenroth33: Just loosen your caliper bolts.
  • 1 0
 @brassinne: santa cruz bikes made the floating brake pivot for its single pivot suspensions. Trek has the ABP.
  • 1 0
 @Kenroth33: I am well aware. It was intended as joke. I've had many bikes with a floating rear caliper setup. Including a santa cruz super 8. I've also had magura gustav m's, which were an actually floating caliper. They dragged like hell, but also had huge amounts of power.
  • 1 0
 @brassinne: Remember Pro Stops from Mountain Cycle. They were floating rotors.
  • 1 0
 @brassinne: Don't confuse floating caliper with a floating brake. Floating caliper is indeed the Magura Gustav caliper (where the caliper slides axially on the mount) whereas the floating brake that was called for rotates around the axle. Like the Santa Cruz and Kona bikes indeed, though I'd call Trek ABP a floating brake mount too.

I actually got a Magura Gustav here too. I've got the saddle to attach it to an 8"PM tab (Fox40, Magura Wotan etc) and run the 210mm rotor. But my hardtail just has a 7"PM tab. I'm going to try and see if it works with my 190mm brake rotor. Otherwise I'd have to find a 185mm brake rotor.

And indeed floating rotors are just the rotors. You can indeed have it all floating (brake, caliper and rotor) and feel proper high.
  • 1 0
 @vinay: Those Magura forks were amazing. Too bad they gave up on their suspension.
  • 1 0
 @brassinne: It was impossible to keep up with changing standards. At some point they released the Boltron e-bike fork with regular 20x110 axle. Bike manufacturers went "very, very nice fork, but we prefer boost". That's when they called it a day. They are pretty big in the OEM brake market, especially with the emergence of e-bikes (and primarily the commuter side of it). Compared to that, there is massive risk and little reward in the suspension market. We'll see though. It seems like the new axle standards business has settled so it may be more doable. But it is not something you just dive into unless you've got something special to offer. Remember they already used to cooperate with WP/Rond with the FIRM-tech standard (hydraulic rim brake direct mount, so no need for boosters) until in 2003 they adopted Rond because Rond was just a hobby for WP and Magura was more serious. But they didn't start from scratch. WP has quite a history in suspension. Magura has been away from the scene for a couple of years now, I think it is hard to get a foothold again. But yeah, I still love my Magura forks.
  • 142 7
 “ Let me tell you something, installing a different link doesn’t mean you have the wrong bike any more than installing volume spacers would mean you have the wrong shock. It’s a tuning tool.” well said!
  • 67 51
 A volume spacer kit doesnt cost $330
  • 86 4
 @Tr011: A custom shock tune does though
  • 17 2
 @Tr011: This guy knows math!
  • 4 2
 @Tr011: username checks out
  • 77 0
 Me: How progressive is that new bike?
Cascade Components: Not progressive enough!
  • 13 2
 What my 125mm travel bike really needs is a coil and the stock link just doesn't cut it at 20% progression
  • 57 1
 I want to make crack jokes about how Cascade gives every bike gets the exact same treatment, except I then stuck one on my SJ Evo and it made the bike so much freakin' better. It's more plush, it has more midrange support & it bottoms a lot less often (which was a constant problem when stock).
These things really work well!
  • 8 0
 Exact same experience on my Meta, world of difference would be selling it short. I honestly thought I was wasting my money but the results made me a believer. I would buy again and recommend Cascade to everyone that will listen!
  • 13 0
 I installed a Cascade link on my Transition Sentinel V1 and it was a game changer for me. As a heavier rider I really appreciated the extra progression and the ability to run a higher volume air shock.
  • 3 2
 @mgs781HD: Would you not get the same results by adding a meg neg?
  • 1 2
 @Kamperk87: meg neg would help with 2/3 things thats the link does, it increases support in the mid range, and makes the first parts of the travel more plush, however the megneg would not increase the progressivenesses of the shock!
  • 3 11
flag Simzesun (Oct 20, 2021 at 14:36) (Below Threshold)
 @Bloop88: of course it increases the progressiveness because you put more pressure for same sag
  • 9 3
 The deal with the megneg is it can do some funky things to rebound since that is pretty much pressure dependent.
  • 4 0
 @CascadeComponents: What is the trade off that you need to do to get the extra travel and progression?
  • 2 0
 @mgs781HD: yes i also installed on a meta am 29 and totally agree. I also added a 1.5 works angleset and swapped to coil.
  • 1 0
 Love mine on my patrol, going to coil and the link is magic! Stays playful enough, but just feels so much better on the rough stuff. To get even close to that feel with the stock set up, im constantly bottoming out, more volume spacers doesn't do the trick for me.
  • 3 0
 @notai: it's not trade off as much as a characteristic of going more progressive. If you look at the graph, the new line is higher everywhere on the curve.

So, at the beginning of the stroke where it used to move 3 mm for every mm of shock travel, now it moves 3.4 mm. As every point on the new line is higher than the old, this means the rear wheel moves more per mm over all of the shock stroke. Hence, the total travel used has increased.

To maintain travel, the lines would have to cross and balance each other out.
  • 1 0
 @Bloop88: that's what the bottom out tokens are for. I do agree that if you are running coil that this link would be a good idea though
  • 1 2
 @Kamperk87: MegNeg can be a good bandaid or final tuning tool but it doesn't help if there's something fundamentally wrong with the setup. If you weigh over 180 lbs the stock suspension tune on a lot of shocks isn't going to work for you. My most recent experience with a superdeluxe ultimate and at 200 lbs it had a complete lack of mid stroke support. MegNeg helped a little but way better with a custom tune (from Vorsprung) and the stock air can back on. ymmv
  • 1 0
 @Kamperk87: i am not so sure about that i have got a bike with avery similar progressioncurve as the cascadia optic and a coil shock feels harsh in the midstroke: a lot of support from the shock +a lot of support from the frame can be too much. I installed a superdeluxe with megneg ( which has still less support than a coil) and its fine now. I guess i am trying to say there can be too much of a good thing.
  • 6 4
 it does make sense a 5 to 10k bike does need an aftermarket link
  • 3 0
 @quesoquesoqueso: you are paying for a frame, components and suspension, but not for a custom change. All the bikes are genric made around a media of the people weight and size per each size, that doesn't mean that will fit exactly for each one in that range, sime will fit better than others and for some will fit nohing, at that point is where you start making investments in a custom tune or in a linkage for improbe that dead zone that others enjoy just from the box. I has been there a lot because my sie and weight, so custom tunes or linkages are the way to go for me. Wink
  • 6 2
 @quesoquesoqueso: Why change tires, handlebars or anything on an expensive bike? Oh, because the bike can in no way be perfectly setup from the factory for people of varying size and skill plus be tuned for every style trail out there. Tuning isn't always necessary but it sure can help make your ride that much better for your type of riding...or it can make it worse. That's all a part of tuning and that's why I'm thankful that companies like Cascade Components exist.
  • 13 1
 So wait - the people the actually own these link are saying they work, and it's just the armchair team that's posting all these judgements? What's up with that?
  • 2 0
 @Kamperk87: The MegNeg can offer some great tuning options on some frames, if you own a SuperDeluxe shock.

Although increasing the negative chamber size can in fact improve bottoming resistance, it doesn't do that in isolation.

As you increase the negative chamber size and the shock requires more air pressure to maintain the proper sag %, eventually all that air pressure results in your shock having way too much midrange support, to the point it essentially quits moving freely in that range.
  • 4 0
 @Kamperk87: Theoretically yes, MegNeg would probably yield the same result. But MegNeg isn't an option on the Superdeluxe Ultimate DH that comes on the Optic. They don't make one for that size air sleeve.
  • 2 15
flag BenTheSwabian (Oct 21, 2021 at 9:26) (Below Threshold)
 @SunsPSD: The Cascade linkage doesn't add any bottom out protection either - not in the way of mechanical advantage in the end stroke anyways. It might increase bottom out support, but only by the necessity of having to run higher air pressure to ensure proper sag (due to the over-proportionally increased leverage ratio in the beginning of the stroke).
  • 22 4
 @BenTheSwabian: You clearly don't understand how bottom out resistance works considering it's an amount of energy absorbed by the shock not an amount of force at the bottom of travel. Your comments are misguided and seem to only serve the purpose of casting doubt on something you don't have any experience with.
  • 5 2
 @BenTheSwabian: Totally incorrect.
  • 3 0
 @mdinger: Ok. Then why would Norco not use this set up for the stock bike? (That was my "real" question I guess)
  • 6 2
 @notai: Cascade is not for everybody. Less aggressive riders will find it impossible to get full use of their travel with a Cascade. The bikes are built stock for the 'average' rider, not necessarily the top 20% that are sending it harder than average.
That, imo, is why the manufacturers set up the suspension more on the linear side of the equation.
  • 3 0
 @SunsPSD: dont why you get downvoted, the cascade links are clearly for people who struggle with bottoming out and or not enough support, most of the times this is due to riding harder than most. The optic has a pretty good stock progression curve with no actual flaws, yes it is still possible that it is not progressive enough for you but it is also possible that making it more progressive is not for you. It is good to have the option of making your bike more progressive ( with a well thought out curve) though.
  • 1 0
 @notai: it depends on their development process and priorities. Their test riders may prefer air shocks and a cascade may be more suitable for a coil shock. They might have a design mentality that travel should fall on round tens (130/140) and not somewhere in between. Per @SunsPSD, it could be a aggression thing.

Honestly, they might not have tried this specific variation. Commencal is constantly tweaking their race bikes which shows up as "10% stiffness increase in certain area due to improved rider feedback".

Maybe they'll use this for version next. Could be many reasons for it.
  • 2 1
 @friendlyfoe: I found the SD on my Mega (or more likely, just the kinematics) unsupportive in the midstroke. Lots of playing with megneg, pressure, rubber bands and volume reducers fixed it so the bike is a lot more lively. For those with a SD, it's a lot cheaper than one of these links, and probably gets close enough to the link for the majority of riders
  • 1 0
 @mountainsofsussex: Just curious how much do you weigh? BB on my V3 Bronson is low enough that with MegNeg I couldn't run less than 4 bands or I would have constant pedal strikes. Was better than with the stock air can but not great. Sent it out for a custom tune to Vorsprung who also replaces some of the lower quality internal components at the same time and it's night and day better. Way more ground clearance in general because the shock rides much higher in its travel. Actually had so much support that I had to go back to the stock air can as the ramp up was far too aggressive with the MegNeg and custom tune. I did request 8/10 firmness and that's exactly what I got. Worth every penny.
  • 1 0
 @friendlyfoe: I'm 75kg. I actually found the megneg helped with pedal strikes on off camber pedally terrain as the bike was riding higher. I actually can't remember any more how many tokens and bands I'm running now. The bike lost its plough through anything feel, but gained pop and support. The Bronson already pedals quite well, doesn't it? My Mega doesn't feel like it has much AS, so I think I'm using the megneg as a band aid for that
  • 1 0
 @mountainsofsussex: Yeah the big downside to MegNeg is that to get more mid stroke support you need to run less bands which means more sag. Prior to getting the tune I think 3 bands gave me the best performance but it's really rocky where I live and I was constantly whacking my pedals off stuff. 4 bands was the best compromise where it was better than stock but still clearly a long way off from where it could be.

Yes the Bronson has good anti-squat for pedaling but I still had constant pedal strikes because it would dip into the mid stroke when trying to go up and over things.. The real surprise with the custom tune was that with the added mid stroke support it would keep me in the top of the travel when making low speed moves like that. Both a custom tune and MegNeg will keep you from bottoming out but for myself at least the MegNeg just felt harsher the faster I tried to ride, whereas the custom tune feels better the faster I go. In the questionnaire I think I said 6.5/10 skill level and 8/10 firm (with 1 being comfort). When I first got the custom tune I was concerned that it was too stiff but am now riding faster than I ever have by a wide margin. It only cost about $200 (CAD) on top of a regular full shock service which should be done every year anyway and was a night and day improvement over the MegNeg. MegNeg is $100 so for me the real question is why wouldn't you want a custom damper tune and improved internals? You'd have to be crazy fast to not be able to get the support you need with a custom tune and the stock air can.
  • 1 0
 @mountainsofsussex: And then there are those for whom "close enough" just isn't good enough. And can afford to spend $330 to try and get perfect for their bike and riding style.
  • 29 0
 If I run it upside down will I get 120mm and less progression?
  • 8 0
 Yes.
  • 2 0
 With a -20mm stroke shock, yeah Smile
  • 11 2
 Dear Cascade Components, Please make a link to 'mullet' the 2018-2021 Orbea Rallon R5. I tried mullet with the updated 2020 Rally On Linkage but the bottom bracket is too low even at the higher positon of the chip. All the best! Cheers
  • 3 0
 @cascadecomponents I would be interested in this. As would a few mates.
  • 3 1
 I think this is an excellent idea. A mullet link would be killer for any old 29r. Especially with all of the new mullet stock bikes coming out.
  • 12 4
 Maybe a section for new cascade links could be good? This will go on forever if they keep making new links.

Cascade makes link for…. And for…… and for……etc etc
  • 1 0
 A section where?
  • 1 0
 @mammal: Forum sticky / section or something?
  • 45 0
 @justanotherusername: maybe their website?
  • 23 0
 Like some sort of link to the links
  • 4 0
 their links dont come out very often, so i really appreciate it when they have an article on it.
  • 1 0
 @NoahJ: Join their mailer at the bottom of their home page. I get email updates on new links all the time.
  • 1 0
 @zarban: sick, thanks
  • 9 0
 Canadian buyers beware. Shipping is $52 and you'll get stiffed with taxes/duty/import fees on delivery.
  • 7 0
 Link for my Evo
235 link
29 shipping
264USD total

42$ duty

Cad total just under 400
  • 5 0
 If they're shipping UPS and you have a CBSA inland office nearby, self-broker. Fuck UPS and their brokerage fees.
  • 3 0
 @Bloop88: I bet that's $0 duty and $42 for sales tax/brokerage.
  • 6 0
 If you were charged duty or pst on a bike part you can make a claim with cbsa to get a refund. Bike parts are duty and pst exempt.
  • 5 1
 Shipping $100 + to Australia !
I emailed asking can you do it cheaper they said no . So ,,, no sale .
  • 2 0
 @handsomedan: if made in the USA, right?
  • 1 0
 @Artigas:

Most bike parts are exempt regardless of where they are made, with a few exceptions like frames, complete bikes and wheels (however if you got spokes, hubs and rims it wouldn’t apply).
  • 1 0
 @Bloop88: Oh nice, those specialized links are significantly cheaper . The link I'm looking at for my Transition is $353USD + $52 shipping + whatever duty. Looking at over $500 CAD.
  • 3 0
 @Rosemount: that's not on them. That's shipping. Shipping prices are astronomical these days.
  • 6 0
 The Optic is one of the most fun bikes I've ever ridden. The rear end can choppy at speed so I love the idea of a link to help smooth out the chatter. $410 Canadian without shipping makes it a little less appealing though.
  • 6 1
 Dude for real. I got an Optic this year. Love it. But of course I want the incremental improvements this link supposedly delivers. Then scrolled down to the price. Actually laughed out loud. Maaaaybe for +/- $200 USD.
  • 7 3
 @norcobicycles @cascadecomponents Looks great- any chance for a link built for the previous generation Range?

Lots of them out here on the shore and I would love to boost my travel a bit and add some small bump sensitivity without costing me too much mid stroke support and bottom out resistance.

Cheers!
  • 4 1
 Cascade transformed my Hightower V2. It just felt right immediately to the point where I may not consider a new bike until there is a cascade link for it. I guess you could argue that if there isn't a cascade link yet, then maybe the manufacturer did it right the first time haha.
  • 5 0
 Looking at this pregressivity curve can someone explain why this cant be acheived with air pressure and tokens?
  • 11 4
 You cannot change the ratio between wheel travel and shock stroke travel by either of those two methods.
  • 4 0
 @pcledrew: That makes sense. But to increase progressivity at the top and the bottom... wouldnt added air pressure, or a stiffer spring acheive this? Travel change aside.
  • 7 1
 @rbonnell: No. Progressivity is what pcledrew said, the ratio between how much the wheel moves and how much the shock compresses. The spring rate is determined by the lr and mass of the system.
  • 16 2
 @rbonnell: if you leave leverage curve alone, adding air pressure will increase bottom out resistance of course. It will also make the bike sag less and not perform so great on anything that isn't smooth. If you throw a bunch of volume slapacers in there it will be harder to bottom out and sort of sensitive off the top, but there are some caveats with rebound and what the actual spring rate is at the wheel that throw things off. Rebound speed is mostly driven by shock pressure so the rebound speed at top and bottom of travel will become quite different. This leads to the pogo stick feeling at the bottom of travel or slow rebound/packing up at the top of travel. Then for the stiffness at the whe bit, that's what the end-of-travel wall is. That doesn't exist with a more progressive link and a less progressive shock. Keeping the shock as linear as possible does a lot of nice things.
  • 2 0
 @JohanG: This makes sense. Thanks.
  • 6 0
 @CascadeComponents: Thanks for the reply. I know a little more than I did an hour ago. Kudos.
  • 2 0
 @CascadeComponents: The flip side is that you might want faster rebound deep into travel to return you to the sag point faster. Isn't this why offroad high performance shocks use two stage coils instead of a linkage?

Not being critical, just trying to understand.
  • 8 2
 @hamncheez: Faster rebound deep in travel isn't a nice feeling on big hits when it takes a little extra composure to hang on. If anything you'd want it slower so that you can get it back together when you overshoot something. Too fast of rebound easily makes the bike feel unsettled. Two stage coils on four wheeled vehicles are partially there to help with body roll so there's a lot more at play there. They generally rely heavily on damping to keep the vehicles from bottoming out since they are so heavy and let the massive tires deal with the really chattery stuff. If you look at bypass shocks they all have way less damping across the board at top of travel than they do at bottom though.
  • 6 1
 @hamncheez: Think of it this way: you want the rebound to be fast around sag so the rear wheel can keep up with small chatter, brake bumps etc. And slower rebound deep down to help control the big hits and keep you from getting bucked straight into Friday Fails from the moon booter you're planning to send.
  • 1 0
 @CascadeComponents: So on a more linear platform, this could be tuned with high speed rebound (for shocks that allow this), but by dramatically increasing the progressivity, this is no longer needed?
  • 4 1
 @hamncheez: You can't actually tune rebound to accommodate how much a shock is compressed with high and low speed rebound because the wheel might be supported or unsupported at any point in its travel. That's more what drives high vs low speed rebound than where the wheel is in its travel. Think of this, you might be 80% of the way through travel in a g-out, but because the bike is supported by the ground the rebound speed can be very slow. So no matter how much adjustment a shock has, there will be a big disparity in rebound speed between top and bottom of travel if a shock is too progressive.
  • 11 5
 These guys doing Gods work
  • 4 0
 Dressing up in lab coats, growing out their hair and holding out their hands with an ora around a new link they bestow upon us ?
I'm cool with that
  • 4 0
 Hallelujah brother
  • 7 5
 All the naysayers can nay. These links do as promised. I've just installed my third Cascade link tonight. They make every bike better. To the people that ask why didn't the bike maker make it that way already? They didn't have the luxury. Cascade is working on one little part for months after a bike release. They get to scrutinize it for performance with no real time constraints. Other than to stay as relevant as possible. I love my Cascade equipped bikes. All three have been substantially improved.
  • 2 3
 Improved how? I’ve heard the links make climbing a little worse on pretty much every bike? That’s the reason I’ve stayed away.
  • 3 9
flag BenTheSwabian (Oct 21, 2021 at 5:09) (Below Threshold)
 I mean there's pretty solid reasons why you'd think this is entirely pointless. Just look at the leverage ratio diagram.
  • 3 1
 @MillerReid: I can't speak to the multi link vpp bikes as I've only installed them on horst link bikes, but after the first one on a V1 sentinel, I was sold. It made that bike ride better everywhere. Climbing included. It actually made that bike so good I cancelled my order for a new Spur. I have since run one on a V2 sentinel with the saber results and last night I installed one on my brand new stumpy Evo. Can't wait to take it out today.
  • 6 0
 Will this work on my gravel bike?
  • 6 2
 FWIW I put the Cascade link on my Druid and its made the bike better in every way.
  • 8 3
 Same for my Ibis Ripmo AF. They've taken a bit of the "Ibis" out of the Ibis, and it's made the bike exactly what I was looking for when I first bought it.
  • 2 1
 It made my druid amazing. Cascade link, DHX2 and 160mm 36 turned this thing into an incredible bike.
  • 12 3
 Not a great sales pitch for the Druid lol
  • 4 2
 @mhoshal: The druid as a platform is an incredible bike. Like it is stated in the press release "installing a different link doesn’t mean you have the wrong bike any more than installing volume spacers would mean you have the wrong shock. It’s a tuning tool. It doesn’t make the Druid not a Druid anymore, it just makes it a different version of itself."
  • 14 0
 @mammal: So now you let your Ibis do the job?
  • 5 3
 @Vudu74: With some help from Cascade, yes.

Hilarious I got a downvote for my original comment too. "How dare you take the Ibis out of Ibis".
  • 2 0
 @mammal: I was actually going for a Friday Fails deep cut with that. Wwaayy back in the 120 episode. Nothing negative about Ibis.

I am sure Cascade helps. Everyone likes their products.
  • 3 0
 @Vudu74: I got the joke
  • 3 0
 @Vudu74: Oh I know. Being an Ibis owner, I've heard that a time or two (or three thousand).
  • 1 0
 @mammal: how would you describe the changes to your AF. I’ve been on and off considering for a few weeks now. You running coil or air?
  • 2 1
 I tried the same link on my Dreadnought. It’s borderline too progressive with an air shock. Even gas to flat and it’s hard to bottom. After I had a spacer milled, I could put a coil with the cascade link and it feels like a downhill bike that can be pedaled. Not everyone’s cup of tea, but fun to try different things.
  • 1 0
 @megrim: Yea I want to try with a coil as well. Really need to open up the compression with the Cascade link in my experience on the Druid.

@mhoshal - eh is what it is...issue for me was that the bike just wants to go too fast for 130mm...Cliche I know but it was constantly over its head for me. The EWS guys are running the Druid with a Cascade link and 160mm fork and angleset...its very much an enduro bike with that setup.
  • 1 0
 @MikeyMT: With a DHX2 on my Druid with Cascase Link I am fully open on low speed compression and 2 clicks from fully open on high speed. That's a 475# spring and I weigh 175. It definitely runs well with compression open and rebound fast. I'm planning to dial back my high speed rebound a little, I had not changed it from when I was running a lighter spring without the link.
  • 1 0
 @pisgahgnar: Similar settings for me on the X2.
  • 4 0
 @adriemel83: I run the stock Topaz, and had to stuff 3.5 spacers in the positive chamber to avoid bottoming out too often (I made a half-sized spacer to add a 4th). Another negative to the stock setup for me, was that there always seemed to be a bit of a "knuckle" in the leverage curve somewhere around the sag point, and when the rear wheel hit obstacles slightly unweighted, it was hesitant to move out of the way. This didn't seem to happen in other portions of the travel, and I hadn't experienced anything like that on any of the other suspension frames I've owned. So I think that's just part of the Ibis leverage curve that helps aid the climbing platform.

Anyway, the CL increases leverage around that "knuckle" area I described, and decreases leverage in a very smooth curve towards the end stroke. So the wheel moves much more freely around that sag point, and I was able to reduce my volume spacers to 2, which allows the rebound stroke to remain more composed on bigger hits. I'd say that the only compromise was a very slight reduction in the old Ibis pedaling platform, which is fine for me, as I'm a pretty good climber, and prefer a bit of active travel for climbing tech. Bottom-outs are nice and smooth now, and I don't really notice when it happens.

Take note that the CL voids frame warranty though, so don't tell Ibis or your dealer that you're running that link.
  • 2 0
 @mammal: that’s a solid report. Thanks. I haven’t noticed much of an issue on drops or mid point of stroke…. Or any performance really. Need to get out on some rowdier trails though to really push the platform. Hesitant on any additional BB drop. Still going back and forth… but mostly because I want to tinker I guess.

As for warranty…. This conversation never happened….
  • 3 1
 @adriemel83: Fun fact: only a few of our links actually drop the BB. Namely the Yeti links and a couple of Santa Cruz links. The rest do not.
  • 2 0
 @CascadeComponents how much do you need to change PSI (as a %) to achieve the same sag with the new linkage. Im already near max PSI (as listed on the shock) and not sure if I would go over the max rating
  • 5 1
 People should expect a 10% to 15% increase in air pressure from what would get them 30% sag with the stock link.
  • 2 0
 @mtmc99: I needed about 10% on my Sight.
  • 2 0
 In my experience these links are worth it when going coil. Progression does matter in that scenario. But it is painfull the price of a coil shock plus the link. Especially in canada!
  • 4 4
 I bought the mullet link for the Hightower. So far I am not convinced mullet is the way forward. My Hightower will likely return to a full 29er and I still have my v3 Bronson for when I want something a little more Maneuverable. 2 bikes are better than 1 anyways, given I always seem to be breaking something.
  • 1 1
 Some more delicious bike jewelry!
well done @CascadeComponents, The new Norco Optic looks to be an excellent addition to my collection. Might be time for the V1 Sentinel to find a new home.
Sentinel currently has a cascade link installed, and I would say it was a very dramatic difference. Little over a year on the link and I'm still tinkering with the suspension setup. It was great, just coming back from some time off the bike and setting it up a bit softer. I'm always blown away with the softness off top, and the suport. Love their work.
  • 1 0
 If your Sentinel is an XL I’ll give it a new home!
  • 2 1
 It seems like every time there is a new company in this market. First it was E-Thirteen, then BikeYoke, now it is Cascade. But somehow it is always only one. It is a bit like an relay race.
  • 5 0
 Huh?
  • 1 0
 @Deanobruce: I haven't seen any recent aftermarket links from those brands. But back when E-Thirteen made an aftermarket link for the BigHit, I don't recall having seen anything from Cascade Components.
  • 2 1
 @vinay: they are all doing different things. E*thirteen is irrelevant and did thing under names ”evil” ja ”bythehive” back when mountain bikes looked and felt more like a left-over parts from a soviet tank. Bike yoke only replaces Specialized own proprietary devices in order to use standard shocks. Cascade alters the behaviour of the bike by changing the linkage kinematics to what they feels to be better
  • 6 3
 Nothing like slapping the Norco engineers in the face. "Here, we fixed your bike".
Norco... " no warranty for you!"
  • 4 10
flag BenTheSwabian (Oct 21, 2021 at 6:20) (Below Threshold)
 Would you mind quickly summing up why you think that this linkage would improve the bike and also why you think it needed "fixing" in the first place?
  • 4 4
 I ask myself if all the guys who want to spend 400 bucks have ever played with their stock shocks before spending that much money.
I did so in my DPX2 shock and it made a huge difference to me.

My dpx2 came with the 0.6 volume spacer in the positive air chamber which works abolutely fine for me when riding in bikepark (with a little bit more psi than norco suggests). No harsh bottom outs with 80kg. I think one shouldn`t expect a trailbike with 125mm of travel to be a big taker but the rear end alredy has a good amount of progression and a really nice midstrokesupport!

What was interesting to me with the dpx2 was that it came with 2!! spacers in the negative air chamber. You have to press out the shock`s bolts to get to the negative air chamber, so I guess not many people take that step and even know, that the dpx2 comes with two negative spacers. The result of them is a pretty stiff shock on little hits, so I took one of them out making the rear end way more sensitive to little bumps and adding traction uphill.

This is exactly what the cascade link does without spending 400$.

For trail riding I even prefer the dpx2 with a smaller spacer (0.4) in the positive air chamber and a tad mor air pressure. Runs perfectly. No reason for me to spend 400$ on a really well made rear end.
  • 3 1
 can the frame (esp seat tube) handle that extra stress caused by the increased overall leverage ratio?
  • 3 0
 The Optic is overbuilt for a trail bike, especially the 2021 revision. It really shouldn't be a problem.
  • 2 0
 How would this increase the stress on the frame? The stress would be from the rider's weight and force of impact. If your rear shock was at 150psi, and installing this link requires 160psi, should be the same amount of stress on the shock/frame as any other dude that runs their shock at 160psi.
  • 3 0
 When will the cascade link be out for my orange stage 6?
  • 4 0
 Even if this were possible, how could they improve upon perfection?
  • 3 1
 Link for the Marin Rift Zone!
  • 3 3
 CC links are the real deal. Mine turned my Norco Sight into a flawless ride after I grew fairly disgruntled with the constant bottoming out.
  • 2 1
 Same with my Process 153, super happy
  • 3 4
 But see this is where it gets weird. As you can see from the linkage ratio diagram for the Sight linkage, it doesn't actually add any end stroke progression. The leverage ratio at bottom out seems to be identical to the stock linkage - which means that for normalized air pressure it results in the same wheel rate and thus requires the same amount of force to compress the shock. So either you're imagining things or your air pressure was just too low previously and you could have achieved the same feeling (or very close) by just adding volume spacers and low speed compression damping.
  • 3 3
 @BenTheSwabian: I was running a coil and didn’t change the spring. Maybe I was imagining things, but the ride felt much poppier and supportive at mid-stroke. As for the improved bottom out resistance, it wasn’t perfect, but it seemed like it improved—my ankles took fewer abusive hits. I haven’t studied the leverage charts, but I can vouch for the ride feel improvement.
  • 1 0
 @BenTheSwabian: mine really helped midstroke. Same sag with higher psi, 7mm extra wheel travel, not pinging off the bottom as with a bunch of tokens, but added resistance. Low speed only helps... Low speed, your solution would have made my bike wallowy at the top. Can't speak for this Norco one though
  • 3 2
 I take that back—I did change to a heavier spring, but due to the link even with a heavier spring, the small bump feel improved drastically. Certainly the increased spring weight contributes to greater bottom out resistance.
  • 1 1
 @cascadecomponents any chance one of the links for the Specialized Levo or any other Spec links would work on the Spec Status 140/160?
  • 2 0
 Pity they don’t ship using US Post and avoid the BS fees from UPS
  • 1 0
 I won't buy anything that ships UPS. They can suck it.
  • 1 0
 @bishopsmike: 100% agreed

@CascadeComponents any chance you could ship to Canada using US Postal? You’d probably get more sales that way - lots of us have been burned by UPS.
  • 4 3
 they should have made so the shock can be mounted the right side up
  • 1 2
 Any chance that there is a Niner RIP link in the making? Would love a bit more progressiveness and perhaps a few mm more travel.
  • 4 5
 Does anyone have one I can borrow to trace onto a piece of steel so I can measure the distance between the holes, drill them, press in the bearings, and tada.
  • 1 1
 Wish they'd make one for my merida e-one sixty. It has a linear leverage curve and its hard to tune for.
  • 2 2
 @CascadeComponents: Awesome stuff. What I was looking for my Optic. Any ideea when they will get on stock in Europe?
  • 4 2
 Just shipped a bunch over there so as soon as they make it through customs!
  • 2 1
 Hey Jimmy, Reign 29 link please!
  • 1 0
 Still waiting for a devinci troy link
  • 1 0
 K cool. Now please make one for the new Bronson
  • 1 2
 I'm just fired up for when the new Range Links come out, and we can all finally have some 200mm VHP goodness
  • 1 2
 Maybe that would press Norco in to offering it themselves eh?
  • 1 1
 I bet they could make it a three piece part and cut costs by 30%.
  • 18 1
 And then everyone would complain that it's three pieces. Pick your poison I guess.
  • 2 1
 @CascadeComponents: I would happily pay more for a one piece link for my Patrol!
Happily!
  • 1 0
 My Kona link is 3 pieces
  • 2 2
 patrol mk1 link to increase progression would be nice.
  • 1 0
 I believe they have done that
  • 1 0
 Link to the product @nskerb:
  • 1 0
 @mtb-scotland: Shit dude I was wrong, I was thinking the mk2 patrol. Sorry.
  • 3 4
 Who the heck are bike designers making stock linkages for if Cascade can make links that seem to improve every bike?
  • 6 1
 The masses
  • 4 0
 @stormracing: If that's the case, you'd think that these Cascade links would find some customers disappointed.
  • 4 3
 The 10% of people who feel this will improve their bike.
  • 2 2
 Marketing.
  • 1 2
 Lets them make the next model more progressive. Plus, I am guessing many bike designs take a few years from concept to production. So, what was on trend 2-3 years ago, is already outdated a bit. Pure conjecture on the timelines, but I can't imagine it's much quicker than that given the release cycles
  • 5 9
flag BenTheSwabian (Oct 21, 2021 at 4:49) (Below Threshold)
 Except that it doesn't "improve" the bike? What would make you think that?

You do realize that air pressure and linkage ratio practically cancel each other out. And the overal shape of the curves is identical for all intents and purposes - in the areas beyond the sag point anyways, where it matters. So, what you are getting effectively is a linkage that, for adjusted air pressures, exactly behaves like stock and, for normalized air pressures, makes the bike less supportive and go through its travel more easily. Also with the cascade linkage, the damper tune is wrong. Compression is too heavy and reboud is too light. Great success. Not an improvement in my books.
  • 1 0
 I wonder if cascade has ever decided a stock bike linkage is progressive enough?
  • 2 0
 @mb23: Good question, what you got to say @CascadeComponents ?
  • 1 0
 @chakaping: when asked whether don't make linkages for rocky mountain they said that rocky already makes their links more progressive then they can improve upon...
  • 9 2
 @BenTheSwabian: You're forgetting that the amount of energy absorbed by a shock is a huge part of the equation and this is equal to the integral of shock force over shock stroke. By increasing the air pressure you increase that amount of energy and hence bottom out resistance. Energy always gets glossed over and people focus way too heavily on force. When you normalize for air pressure, because the new leverage curve is more progressive albeit a higher leverage ratio, it still behaves like a more progressive curve so it's nowhere near the feel of the stock link. Furthermore, damping tunes are largely done off of average leverage ratio. The difference in damping force is inversely proportional to the average leverage ratio squared. For this particular link, this equates to about a 7.5% difference in damping force, which is something that can be accommodated for built in adjustment on the shock. Not having ridden a link or spent much time out of the armchair, you are making a lot of assumptions that don't hold up on paper or on the trail.

@mb23 & @chakaping for enduro and trail bikes, so far only some of the older YT stuff. The new Yeti E-bike in its more progressive setting looks pretty good too. There are plenty of DH bikes that have decent progression out of the box, but that's a slightly different world.
  • 4 0
 @Bloop88: Yep they have a ton of adjustment built into their stuff so what we'd do is pretty much already there.
  • 1 1
 @BenTheSwabian: have you ridden one?
  • 2 2
 Just bought an optic and now I gotta buy one of these. Damn
  • 1 3
 IMHO, Norco should have made this bike 130mm to begin with...I may have bought one myself had this been available when I was in the market.
  • 2 0
 5mm of travel was the ONLY factor in your decision?
  • 1 0
 Cool, now do the Spur!!
  • 1 1
 Would this work on the Fluid FS?
  • 1 4
 Thank you, Cascade for making progressive linkages great again. All the new enduro bikes I’ve been seeing have gone more progressive than their previous iteration.
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