Video: Digit's Prototype Datum Trail Bike and Clever Hidden Shock - Sea Otter 2022

Apr 9, 2022
by Mike Levy  


The Digit Datum is a 140mm-travel trail bike with a novel suspension system that sees the shock, which they also manufacture themselves in the US, tucked up inside the toptube. The load-bearing shock slides on a set of fork bushings - it's a structural member of the frame - and a short link rotates around the bottom bracket to connect the front and rear triangles together. It's a clever arrangement, so we tracked down Tim Lane, Digit's founder, to take a closer look.

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mikelevy avatar

Member since Oct 18, 2005
2,032 articles

92 Comments
  • 56 1
 Always kind of scary buying into these unique designs but good to hear they put a lot of effort into making to it serviceable for the common dude.
  • 29 1
 I really really like it. I like how it looks, I like how unique it is and I love the simplicity and serviceability. Bit rich for my taste but so is most stuff in this hobby, so whatevs.
  • 12 0
 Only scary thing is the massive hole at the steertube...
  • 2 0
 @Zany2410: Take a look at observed trials frames, their machined out head tubes look skeletal by comparison, and they're designed to be endo'd and levered on from every concievable direction. Here's one: trial-bikes.com/39685/jitsie-varial-26-frame.jpg
  • 2 0
 @DirtBagTim: Well i sell ebikes where the battery goes in the frame thru this hole, but its commuter bikes not enduros. tbh i guess i will never ever see one of these here in germany or are likely to ride one
  • 2 0
 @Zany2410: I think the only time I’ve seen those observed trails bikes was in Germany at Eurobike. I’m hoping to get some European distributors for Digit, so hopefully you’ll eventually see them in Germany again (“again” because the frame in the video went to Eurobike last year and won the Eurobike Gold and Start-Up awards).
  • 30 2
 can somebody copy paste the ext aria air shock story here for me to read it ? haha, just kidding..
  • 28 6
 Pay us monies to read about a shock you can’t afford. PretentiousAF. Tired of the Beta shtick.
  • 10 1
 Ok, fine. I've been reluctant to post this. Most paywalls are designed for the common browsers used: chrome, safari, etc...Step 1: Google is your friend. Hint: it involves firefox.
  • 14 1
 My guess: "EXT poised to disrupt market by creating whole new pricing tier above existing options"
  • 2 1
 @AndrewHornor: That is the opposite of market disruption.
  • 15 1
 The only time the Beta paywall thing has legitimately ticked me off was the article about progression of adaptive cycling and athletes. Those dudes (and dudettes) don't get enough exposure as it is, so it sucks that an article celebrating the growth of the sport is stuck behind a paywall.
  • 2 2
 @AndrewHornor: their coil shock is cheaper than a PUSH but almost 200usd.
  • 4 0
 Use reader mode on safari if you want to see the full article.
  • 6 0
 You’re not missing much, basically an E-Storia with a two chamber airspring like a Mezzer. There’s about another thousand words of breathless blather which is rather pointless. But that’s the gist of it
  • 13 1
 @EdSawyer: Beta seem to be doing lots of these rubbish fluff pieces. Great titles, very thin superficial reads. a bit rubbish.
  • 6 0
 @ahootes: totally agree. I regret paying the money. Won't renew at this rate
  • 1 0
 007
  • 4 0
 @EdSawyer: thanks man.
Honestly, my desire to read is mostly hecause I dig the brand, I have used their shocks since 2018, and… I listened to the wwc podcast with the ext boss.. You’ll be more inclined to spend your money into well designed not highly compromised pieces, believe me.. like 80% the stuff is out there .. pretentious market dominators..anyway, If the money of the paywall would go to the brand i read of, i would pay it..
  • 3 0
 @WasatchEnduro: There will plenty of reviews once it’s actually available. PB wants to make money, that’s the gist.

We know two things without doing any reading:
EXT makes good stuff.
EXT is expensive

I’m never gonna pay for Beta, it’d have to be significantly better than what PB already offers.

Yeah, not worth it.
  • 1 0
 did y'all see? There's now a PB review of the production bike: pinkbike.com/news/review-the-digit-datum-delivers-on-most-of-its-promises.html
  • 1 0
 Hey look its a high pivot!
  • 5 0
 Maverick bikes did it again early 2000's.
  • 15 0
 All I am seeing is 3 water bottles in a frame.
  • 22 0
 a pinkbike users wet dream
  • 17 0
 @ShredTilBed: underrated pun
  • 1 0
 @ReformedRoadie I've been riding with 1800ml in two bottles, a tube and CO2 under the saddle (the mullet allows clearance over a 29er), and an EDC pump/tool. It's enough for 5 hours in the SoCal heat without a pack. Beyond that, for BIG rides, I could carry another liter under the down tube, and of course I can ALSO wear a hydration pack.
  • 11 0
 Clean and simple lines, I like how it looks.
  • 7 1
 Look at all the 'new, bikes that come out, same same...they just tinker with little changes, this bike is forward thinking, outside the box, something really new. Like the linkage front ends, let them work out he kinks, these are 'new' bike stuff.
  • 4 1
 @DirtBagTim I wish you all the luck with this; it’s great to see some really sensible engineering decisions being made that have resulted in a clean, well thought out design with some genuine benefits. Wish I could afford / justify buying one myself!
  • 6 0
 I dig dat um, digit datum.
  • 8 0
 I dig it, dat um... Digit Datum...
  • 5 0
 Is it the same guy that used a single fox 40 stanchion to make a similarly designed DH frame?
  • 4 0
 I love it.. but the pricing is a little extensive... Hope he is gonna make a longer travel version.. would be very interested to take up a mortgage for it
  • 29 1
 I plan on building a full line of bikes.

If it affects your perception of the price, there’s $225 of headset and BB included. Made in USA in small volumes conspires against a low price. If y’all can help buy buying boatloads of bikes I’ll be able to drop the price .
  • 7 1
 @DirtBagTim: helpful and proactive comments won’t get you anywhere with this user base, you need to bring the sarcasm I’m afraid.
  • 5 0
 @pimpin-gimp: I think I’m allowed to be either sarcastic, or a grammar and spelling pedant, so:

@DirtBagTim, surely you mean ‘by buying’, not ‘buy buying’.
  • 4 0
 @DirtBagTim: damn, calling out your own posts. That’s some big dick energy right there.
  • 5 0
 But Levy, this is the exact opposite philosophy of linkage forks (less bushings more pivots).
  • 3 1
 Looks cool but will need a way to keep water/moisture and dirt/debris out of the top tube where the shock rebound knob sticks out. you wouldn't be able to wash the bike without getting water in the top tube and it doesn't appear to have any place to drain.
  • 7 1
 Tim fcuking rules!!!
  • 6 2
 Pinkbike comment of the year contender right here!!!

Thanks @sonuvagun, you rule too.
  • 4 0
 Anyone else cringe seeing the shock parts laid out on the mulch bed? Contamination! Lol.
  • 3 0
 This looks fantastic. And if it rides well and can have many water bottles in the frame... I just might suddenly be in the market for a 140mm bike :-)
  • 3 0
 Looks super clean. I'd have to hoard shocks/parts if I brought that frame though.
  • 3 0
 Pretty cool. I like different that doesn't look wonky unlike Scotts bikes with their hidden shock those look etardedray.
  • 4 0
 Now it just needs a linkage fork for the full reversal.
  • 3 0
 Rad, I like it, now to design a sticker that doesn't look like it came off of a wheelbarrow.
  • 5 0
 Production frames will be anodized. This is well used a prototype with helicopter tape over the decal.

It’ll look more like image #4 here: digitbikes.com/bikes/p/datum
  • 2 0
 I love the simplicity of the shock and the ability to rebuild yourself. I would definitely want to demo a bike before I bought though.
  • 1 1
 I was intrigued until the buried detail on Digit’s site that the BB is PF92 with a 30mm axle and the spindle is the main pivot axle as well. All 41mm OD/30mm ID bearings are compromised designs that have around half the load rating and durability of standard BB 6805/6806 bearings (with the exception of BBInfinite 4030 bearings). Shimano specifically designed BB86 to exclude any reasonable off the shelf bearing options for 30mm spindles. Based on this BB/pivot design decision alone, I would not trust the reliability of the custom shock.
  • 6 2
 $3825 USD O_O
  • 3 0
 Great looking bike. Didn’t Foes do one like this a while back?
  • 3 0
 Looks like progress to me. Hope it does well.
  • 4 0
 Hopefully my next bike.
  • 1 0
 Boost or Super boost? On paper it seems like this will be good for a big boy? Is that accurate? What's the psi to weight ratio?
  • 3 0
 The production bikes use 148mm OLD.

The shock needs about as many psi as the rider weight in lbs. 1:1.
  • 1 0
 @DirtBagTim: What's the max PSI on the shock?
  • 2 0
 @RusMan: I don't have an official answer for that yet, I'd have to do some some tests, safety margin calculations, legal review etc before making an official statement.

However, anecdotally, based on preliminary tests of prototype parts, the air spring chamber has survived 1200psi (which corresponds to bottom out for a rider weighing about 450lb). Most bikes and standard safety tests are developed around a 300lb rider weight limit, and the Integer air spring wall is similar in thickness to other shocks which are rated for 350psi, so TLDR, the max PSI likely isn't an issue. I suspect the I'll end up just saying the max psi is 350psi.

HEY LAWYERS: THIS POST IS DISCUSSION, NOT AN OFFICIAL ANSWER.
  • 1 0
 @DirtBagTim: thanks!
  • 2 0
 Love the old school porn music
  • 1 0
 Thanks to your comment, all the information given in the previous 190 seconds was wiped out in the last 10. I think the bike was black and something something headtube.
  • 2 1
 Waiting for a 170mm version. And if it could have Supre Drive I'll never need another bike.
  • 1 0
 Looks very cool and innovative, but I just wonder about the adjustability and weight.
  • 1 0
 I’d worry about mud and dust and abrasive stuff getting in around the BB link. Otherwise I love this!
  • 1 0
 The sloped top surface of the link shown here digitbikes.com/concentric-bb>; is intended to direct mud/dirt/water to the non-drive side of the bike rather than into the pivot or drivetrain #antiloamshelftechnology
  • 2 1
 This thing is pretty cool...full 29 would have me interested.
  • 1 1
 There’s hope! I plan on building a full line of bikes.
  • 2 0
 A 29er if coming soon, here's the info: digitbikes.com/ring
  • 1 0
 Lost me a proprietary shock
  • 1 0
 Can we get a ride review of it? Definitely intrigued.
  • 2 1
 There’s a handful of reviews* here: digitbikes.com/bikes/p/datum#Reviews

The Beta review isn’t paywalled. It’s a good read I think.

*Those reviews are of an earlier prototype, the production strut has less stiction, a larger negative air chamber, and many other improvements. I’ll have production bikes in about a month, and I’m hoping to get some long term reviews then.
  • 1 0
 I'd love to learn some more about the BB concentric pivot arrangement.
  • 1 0
 I've tried my best to describe it here: digitbikes.com/concentric-bb
  • 2 2
 oh shit, yeti's rail just got one upped
  • 2 1
 Awesome concept
  • 1 0
 I dig it!
  • 4 5
 Soo… no shock upgrades for that bike..?
  • 4 1
 The Integer strut is the upgrade.
  • 1 2
 Nothing NEW here, Maverick executed this design a while back !
  • 1 2
 Maverick bikes reincarnated Far from a NEW concept
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