Field Trip: 8 Value Bikes Hucked to Flat in Super Slow Mo

Apr 22, 2020
by Mike Kazimer  

PINKBIKE FIELD TRIP

8 Bikes Hucked to Flat in Super Slow Mo


Hucking in the name of pseudo-science.



Hucks by Jason Lucas


It's time for another round of hucks to flat, this time with the eight bikes that were featured in our value-oriented Field Trip. Our trustworthy wooden kicker and Mike Levy's not-even-close-to-trustworthy Mini didn't make it over the border, so we found the next best thing - a skate park with a healthy sized drop onto a pancake flat landing.

Once again, Jason Lucas sacrificed his ankles and wrists for the team, and now you can watch all of the frame, fork, and handlebar contortions at 1000 frames-per-second. Enjoy!


In order of appearance:

Calibre Bossnut
YT Jeffsy AL Base
Commencal Meta TR Ride


Norco Torrent HT S1
Santa Cruz Hightower D
Giant Stance S1


Vitus Mythique VRX
Kona Honzo






Pinkbike Huck to Flat presented by CushCore





Field Trip supported by:
Smith
7mesh
Over The Edge Sedona

Additional footage by Lear Miller






174 Comments

  • 305 0
 Man, those hardtails really don't have rear suspension.
  • 53 4
 Ah, probably just shitty setup. (I’ll see myself out.)
  • 6 75
flag pellegrinimtb (Apr 22, 2020 at 7:45) (Below Threshold)
 no shit!
  • 27 2
 They forgot to flip the lockout lever on the hardtails.
  • 65 2
 Hmm, hard to tail.
  • 20 1
 I'm sure you could change that with a new real axle standard.
  • 6 0
 Just huck harder.
  • 2 1
 It's hard to describe, but the hardtails definitely look pretty trippy here.
  • 3 2
 @big-red: The "Invisi-axle" - designed for infinite rear wheel travel and reduced weight!
  • 2 1
 I was going to say, "AND THAT'S WHY I RIDE A HARDTAIL". So the chainstay isn't 2 inches off the ground.
  • 7 1
 I reallydont like these. They look like you walked in the bathroom without knocking while they were taking a shit. Its hard to unsee.
  • 1 0
 The honzo cratering into the ground looked painful to the human body. It’s out of scope for the bike and it did not break the frame so that says something.
  • 172 1
 With the lower pricepoint of these bikes, it's amazing that the quality control was good enough that none of them appeared to have prototype XC rear triangles affixed.
  • 6 1
 lol...
  • 168 0
 No Poles were injured in the making of this video
  • 55 6
 Or Rocky Mountains
  • 96 22
 Or Dick Pound
  • 17 1
 @joedave: AHA last time I mentioned that dude I got banned lol Big Grin
  • 2 1
 @DaFreerider44: no way, really?
  • 1 1
 nor broken...
  • 2 2
 @DaFreerider44: holy Dick Pound....
  • 2 1
 @DaFreerider44: what was the actual sentence?
  • 1 1
 Thank goodness, I hear those types of fractures are painful and require a long recovery time.
  • 1 1
 Too soon? ????.....nope...????????????????????????????
  • 1 1
 Emoji fail ... hilarious comment
  • 1 0
 @BenPea: I literally said Dick Pound
  • 1 0
 @DaFreerider44: didn’t check your privilege before you said it. Gets you every time.
  • 1 0
 @PtDiddy: are you suggesting it wasnt consensual?
  • 1 0
 @takeiteasyridehard: I don’t even know... I’m so confused in This woke world.
  • 77 0
 I'm always amazed at what our bikes can put up with. And then something stupid breaks or creaks and I'm ready to throw it off a bridge.
  • 2 1
 Couldn't agree with you more.
  • 12 0
 I want my bike to be comfortable climbing up the steepest climbs, confident enough on the steepest downhills, comfortable on 60ft jumps, and all the rest. But I’ll be dammed if I hear chainslap
  • 3 0
 @kleinblake: Also needs to be less that 28 pounds.
  • 40 0
 Did anyone find the chain slap surprising and distracting?
  • 6 0
 yes, I really thought clutched derailleurs would move less. These kind of footage really shows how hard the chain gets thrown around. I also thought the chain slap effect that Steve at Vorsprung talked about was a bit exaggerated to show us the idea, but it turns out it's really not.
  • 1 1
 Yes and that's the video evidence of the pedal kickback myth
  • 24 0
 Funny how every suspension curve/graph shows the rear travel being totally smooth but ever HTF video I have ever seen seems to show the travel moving in a stepwise function. Like 75% stroke then a pause and then the remaining 25% stroke.


Any suspension gurus care to help me understand?
  • 26 1
 The initial compression is aided by the rider's legs. Notice the second portion of the stroke only begins after the ankles and knees have absorbed the initial impact.
  • 8 2
 I figure it’s the reaction between rate of the air in the tire (spring) vs. the rate of the shock. Additionally, there is a rebound effect from the bounce of said tire that is applied through the rear axle into the shock after initial compression begins.

Disclaimer: This opinion posted by an Engineering and Physics dropout
  • 11 1
 Yeah, watch the rear tire bounce. The tire hits and compresses, then rebounds, then compresses again. The point where the shock appears to stop compressing for a split second is second compression of the rear tire.
  • 3 6
 This is your suspension trying to do what its supposed to be doing under extreme compression force. When your shock or fork compress, they will hit a point where force being applied is not enough to overcome compression resistance + stiction, and will stop compressing. In this case forces being applied are uneven between the front and the rear as the rider's weight shifts from pedals to bars, so you see the rear end compress, resist compression, which causes the front to then bottom, which then shifts remaining energy to the rear to bottom as well. For some of these bikes like the SC, its a lengthier oscillation, but the same idea!
  • 11 0
 like what @spankthewan said, the whole bike/rider system is a complex moving machine with many different points of suspension. There is a cascading wave effect, where the force from the ground travels as a wave up though the many different compressible parts of the bike/rider, from the tires, rims, frame, suspension, cranks, handlebars, and then of course the many parts of the human body.
  • 3 0
 @hamncheez: yea I figured it was due to the actual “suspension” of the bike being a combination of many things (rider, tires, etc.)

It would interesting to see if anyone has done work to optimize the system as a whole but maybe this is what the telemetry systems are trying to help riders do?
  • 7 0
 @Paddock22: How do you "optimize" suspension when the factory doesn't know the rider weight, rider style, or rider skill/speed?

Tuning bike suspension is a tough job.
  • 1 0
 @hamncheez: well, what I meant was not necessarily the factory optimizing the system but more of someone deep diving and coming up with a dataset like X suspension design + X settings + X rider type + X whatever provides the optimal setup (from a shock performance/setup standpoint).

Maybe Quarq has something close with all the shockwiz data they have collected?
  • 2 0
 @hamncheez: True. There's a lot of mitigating variables to account for in a tune. Optimizing the curve path wouldn't be too tough. But optimizing the complete system would be much more difficult to maintain that curve. Viscosity of the oil, binding, friction, stiction, rider joints, input force.....the list goes on.
  • 2 0
 I think the earlier commenters hit the nail on the head. I might just add though, that the initial suspension movement appears to be from the weight of the bike hitting the ground, and then the weight of the rider eventually transfers through the pedals quickly afterwards. So that's why you see an initial compression, a bit of a bounce, and then fully compressed all the way through. I guess imagine dropping a basketball and a bowling ball together, and you'll see the basketball spring a little bit before the bowling ball comes down and crushes the whole lot.
  • 2 0
 @KxPop: Are you calling me a bowling ball? Because my dad bod is definitely not something I'm sensitive about and my feelings are definitely not hurt.
  • 1 0
 They measure the curves with the frame on a rig designed to test the suspension, the rig doesn't factor in tire pressure, rider weight or rider position, the curve is the result of the suspension in the "best" condition so to speak.
  • 23 0
 Someone should edit all of these huck to flat videos together. Maybe insert text in the upper corner with the year, make, and model of each bike. Who wouldn't enjoy that? Get some popcorn, make a night out of watching these with your buddies or kids.
  • 23 0
 The 1000 FPS Camera should have captured Jason's facial expression, not the Bikes. This would be much more entertaining. Thanks Jason, for doing this for us!
  • 12 0
 it does but that's for private viewing only
  • 25 0
 I also close my eyes when hitting full stroke.
  • 18 0
 Jason's humour is hilarious when he sends the last drop to flat just fo the sake of it and mutters "oh God!" Big Grin
  • 6 0
 Agreed. The editing/delivery of this video was awesome.
  • 2 0
 @kittenjuice: Yep, quality fun and entertainment from Jason. The sounds he makes on his final DtF riding off is the sort of noises I make almost constantly riding down most trails! :-D
  • 18 1
 Is it just me or was the value bike huck to flat significantly bigger than what the more expensive bikes went trough?
  • 22 1
 Not significantly, maybe by a foot or so. This one was a little more controllable as it was a drop to flat rather than a jump to flat.
  • 1 1
 And onto concrete!
  • 15 0
 @jasonlucas: a foot of acceleration is considerable.
  • 1 0
 @jasonlucas: same thing surely? If it’s a jump, once you reach max height you are no longer travelling up or down, momentarily static in a vertical plane. Then you fall, under gravity, as you do launching from a step down, at 9.81m/s/s accelration. Speed at impact is greater from a greater height.

TLBig Grin R, this was much more worserer and severe a test.
  • 2 0
 @jasonlucas: I agree, a "Jump to Flat" would not be as controllable as a "Drop to Flat", as the jump can change the takeoff height, etc, which can then affect the landing ...Keep on "Hucking It" Jason!
  • 1 0
 @rockhopper70: He didn't say it was bigger, just more controllable. With a drop, you're hitting the same max height every time. With a jump, there is going to be variation on max height each time depending on how much speed you hit it with and how much pop you get off the lip. Even a good rider will have variation.
  • 16 0
 the way that honzo's fork bottomed out...
  • 1 1
 Haha just a little bit leaned this is (looks) the harder he takes!!
  • 10 0
 Pro tip: Set playback speed to 0.25 (you may also want to mute the sound).
  • 11 1
 That Vitus is smooth.
  • 1 1
 Thought the same. Seemed more composed than the others.
  • 1 1
 @Dav82: i agree. Looks most stable and probably the cheapest aside from the calibre id guess. Interesting..
  • 2 0
 The Marzocchi fork seems to flex less than the others, could have just been a more controlled landing though...
  • 1 0
 How much of that was the landing?
The Vitus came in almost flat, while others were lots more tail-first.

The bikes which hit tail-first had a lot more front/back hurky-jerky....
  • 5 0
 So did the Sedona Skate park start allowing bikes or was this an early morning bandit sesh? Last time I was there on a bike (a looong time ago) we were trying to convince an office that we couldn't read too good and that's why we missed the signs Wink
  • 2 0
 Yep, they allow bikes now, and this was also an early morning session.
  • 8 0
 Well done picking the biggest employee available for the huck to flat contest. Really stick it to those bikes.
  • 51 0
 Pinkbike feeds me a healthy diet of donuts and beer just for these videos.
  • 2 4
 @jasonlucas: If you guys ever do an e-bike field test please make it a mandatory part of the test loop that each tester must eat 1 donut per 50 pounds (rounded up) before doing the test loop. THAT would be some accurate, real-world immersive journalism we could all enjoy.


PS - no offense was intended: I just know from riding the chair in Whistler with you that you're a stallion of a human being.
  • 4 0
 .... nothing broke, and these were the "cheap" bikes, very interesting.
  • 9 2
 @j-t-g: please PLEASE don't encourage them to do ebike field tests.
  • 3 0
 I think I’d take the biggest employee award, sorry @jasonlucas
  • 4 9
flag j-t-g (Apr 22, 2020 at 10:06) (Below Threshold)
 @kittenjuice: encouragement or not, it's coming whether you like it or not. Might as well have a bit more fun with it.


The future is now old man.
  • 5 4
 @j-t-g: oh my sweet summer child. We've had motorized bicycles for over 100 years.
  • 9 0
 I think the Vitus made the huck to flat look the best.
  • 7 1
 The hardtails flexed a lot and the santa Cruz looked similar. The head angle on the norco mustve been 60 degrees for a moment.
  • 4 2
 Watching how steep those hardtail head angles got killed any nascent desired I had for a hardcore hardtail. All things being equal it just looks like those bikes would catapult me off the front in a hurry.
  • 5 0
 @freestyIAM: It's no big deal if you don't land them flat like that.
  • 4 0
 @freestyIAM: which is why a hard tail like the Chromag Doctahawk makes so much sense.
  • 1 0
 @freestyIAM: Also, look how harder the ankles get pounded, without a rear shock to dilute the impulse.
  • 1 1
 @Tasso75: dude, I think you're doing it wrong. No rear shock seems like it would be easier on the ankles - but I bet this is position dependent.
  • 3 0
 @mattr: huh? Are you saying that a hardtail would be nicer to your ankles than suspension?
  • 1 0
 @Deoratwo: No, an attempt at childish innuendo ala PB comments.
  • 3 0
 When we look at geo, BB height and BB drop are measured, but does anyone ever measure BB height or pedal height at full compression? Might even make sense to have a mid travel dimension cuz that's often where pedal strike is a problem.
  • 2 0
 Or at least BB drop at sag.
  • 2 0
 It probably doesnt matter as much, because you're generally not pedalling when your bike is at full compression.
  • 2 1
 Bird publishes their numbers at sag. More manufacturers should do this.
  • 1 0
 @Canadmos: but definitely peddling at 50% as you weave through a rock garden.

Some bike suspensions have better platform, it’d be nice if these subtleties could be reported.
  • 1 0
 BB drop at sag, or BB height at sag, lets you know the real maximum clearance your bike has over rocks and obstacles. From that point on, if your cranks are not level or your suspension compresses further, clearance can only decrease. I understand that low-slung BBs help in railing corners, but some last generation bikes are just plain stupid low.
  • 1 2
 @Tasso75: Learn to time pedal strokes or even better, learn to pump instead of pedaling?
  • 7 1
 The YT almost looks like it did break in the picture.
  • 2 0
 Probably due to the low pivot point. Looks like a folding bike! Hope my Jeffsy never sees a bottom out like that. I don't think my body could take it!
  • 2 0
 Jason sure sacrificed himself there! Even the hardtails were landed with tires hitting simultaneously, ouch! I always enjoy watching these. Could you guys add a bit of insight of why engineers use a test like this and what type of movement might catch their eye(PB comments tk w/ grain of salt)? Pretty sure everyone would love a little Mike begets Mike banter, lol. Not to take anything away from the other contributors/ editors but you guys and Daniel make for great content together (MTB Top Gear). Personally, I'd love to see you drag Levy to Daniel's stomping grounds, in the SE.
  • 4 0
 We'll see what we can make happen.
  • 4 0
 @danielsapp: Have you seen the wired videos where they have an expert analyze popular videos in their field? One of them was alex honnold analyzing climbing movies for example. Would be sweet to get an engineers outlook on these huck to flats or some other aspect of bike design.
  • 2 0
 @LeoTProductions: great idea!
  • 3 0
 @LeoTProductions: I have, they're pretty cool. @dan-roberts has been working on some cool stuff with his 'Behind the Numbers' series if you haven't seen it. Check it out here.
  • 3 0
 Love the slo-mo hucks, I'd be cool to get a little real time clip at the end to see if the bikes sound as bacd as they looked fully compressed
  • 1 0
 It's so interesting to see the time scale of it all. The bike is a series of springs, and they are all compressing/rebounding at different times. Tires, suspension, frame/fork flex, handle bars, THE RIDER. So much going on. One thing I noticed pretty consistently is that the tire hits and rebounds before the suspension has a chance to go to full stroke, so that the suspension moves in a 2-stage step. That tire bounce even goes to the rider, you can see his calves flex, stop, then compress again to full bottom. It all happens so fast, though! Do you actually FEEL that double-hit when you land heavy? And where would you lose control if you crashed from a heavy hit? One the first tire bounce or the full-bottom impact?
  • 2 0
 Interesting how much handle bar flex all the bikes got, some more than others. Makes me realise how much abuse our trusty steeds put up with, particularly when we get it wrong!
  • 1 0
 What frame contortions at 1000 fps? The handlebar and fork are noticeable enough, but could use a hint for what part of the frame.

Also what camera is that? Modded Phantom VEO? Is there anything to slow it down more? How about plowing over a small car tire laid on its side?
  • 1 0
 Watching the video, I highly recommend a mouthguard and full face helmet attempting these, especially onto concrete. I don't want to think what kind of facial damage a broken handlebar or hand slipping off the grips would incur.
  • 1 0
 Daaaang, that Norco has some flex! It looks like the fork and front wheel move about six inches relative to the frame.

On another note, is Jason the guy from that "How to buy a mountain bike" video with the Australian voiceover? :-)
www.youtube.com/watch?v=yotOZVELSMc
  • 2 0
 You know what, that giant stance actually did okay relative to the others...I don't know what I was expecting but it certainly was no worse than most of them.
  • 3 0
 its almost like Giant knows a thing or two about building bikes...
  • 3 0
 I still don't understand the point, except showing the too low pressure in the tires !
  • 2 0
 Front tire on the onzo stay seated by miracle! Jason probably felt the rim to concrete hit in his hands...
  • 2 0
 And they wonder why dint rims and need cushcore..
  • 3 0
 Wonder how this would feel on a BMX. They jump stuff that is 10 timmes higher
  • 3 0
 Love this so much! I'm not sure why, but I do.
  • 1 0
 I was hoping I could see the Torrent deflect, but I don't think I could "visually" see a different between that and the Honzo.
  • 3 0
 Not as much bendy boing boing in the alloy frames Frown
  • 2 0
 Jason's left wrist looked like the first thing to go on that Honzo. Ice up buddy!
  • 3 3
 Interesting to watch the head angle changes in some of the bikes as they compress. shows how different bikes are when subjected to an extreme load. Shame the SC was landed rear wheel first compared to the others.
  • 3 0
 The pained look on every landing, too funny!
  • 3 0
 That Norcos fork and bottom tube were really flexing...
  • 2 0
 I love these!! the only way they could be better is if they were even slower!
  • 2 0
 I know this is kind of obvious, but it's amazing to see how much more impact his knees/feet take on the hardtails.
  • 2 1
 What a noodle festival!!! Except the Marzocchi, every fork looks so flexy. I know a fork has to be a bit flexi, but hum..... Give us a new TOTEM!!!!
  • 3 0
 Love it but no drama. Jason PLEEASSE break a bike next time!
  • 3 0
 Next challenge: Huck to flat with both brakes applied!
  • 1 0
 I rode that skate park on a Giant Trance at this years Sedona MTB fest and I can confirm that Mr. Lucas is indeed hucking to flat from considerable height.
#someonehastodoit
  • 2 0
 The rear shocks on the hard tails look pretty stiff. They should remove some psi and add volume spacers
  • 3 0
 "I'm Jason Lucas, and I drew the short straw"
  • 1 0
 I don't get why you run such low psi that your bottoming the tread to the rim off a 3 foot drop. I'm guessimg noone at pb pays for their own rims.
  • 1 0
 Oh that's just fabulous! Jason's face on impact made me laugh out loud every time, thank you sir! Your poor feet and ankles with those hardtails was hard to watch
  • 2 0
 The rider took the most abuse on those hardtails. Looked painful to land Eek
  • 1 0
 They say carbon is stiffer than AL but these videos always show the carbon bikes flexing- the aluminum doesn't seem to flex at all...
  • 2 0
 So much pain felt in my bad ankles and shot knee!
  • 1 0
 Look at the squish on that Santa. Dude´s heel is almost dragging the ground.
  • 3 0
 I noticed that too but, when comparing the position of his foot to all of the other still frames, he’s toes down in all but the frame for the SC.
  • 1 0
 Yeh, it just looks like it broke!
  • 3 1
 Love watching those cheap forks noodle around
  • 11 0
 I thought the lyrik looked like it noodled the most?
  • 4 1
 The Lyrik looks the most noodly to me....
  • 3 2
 The Norco has a Lyrik I think...it still did the same thing. I thought the fox-based Marzocchi on the Vitus was one of the better ones.
  • 1 0
 The handlebars have some serious flex as well.
  • 6 0
 @schooledrider: Isn't the Norco a steel frame? Isn't "compliance" the whole point of steel tubing?
  • 5 0
 @Maestroman87: I have a feeling that the angle and weight distribution of the rider adds a huge factor of randomness to the test. Not that anyone claimed it was scientific.
  • 1 0
 Tell you one thing - it's amazing that the chain doesn't fly off the chainring.
  • 3 1
 This is why a hard tail only needs 100-120mm of travel
  • 1 0
 Looked like the Cush came in handy on those rear wheels. I need 30 psi in my rear tire (with CC) & I weigh 175.
  • 1 0
 Now I know why my 45-yer old ankles hurt when I ride the bike park on my hardtail.
  • 1 0
 I had the sound off, but I’m guessing the Giant made a run over dog sound?
  • 2 0
 Love the pain faces. You're a braver man than I J Lucas.
  • 1 0
 You should Huck a Walmart bike to flat. It would probably break of a 3 foot drop.
  • 2 1
 It was interesting to watch that Norco folding
  • 1 1
 i am paying attention to his body position upon landing moreso than the bike itself. it's quite telling
  • 1 0
 And...?
  • 1 0
 really pushing that Norco HT
  • 1 0
 One of these days they need to start filming these in 60FPS.
  • 1 0
 This is oddly satisfying.
  • 1 0
 I now remember why I don't own any hardtails
  • 1 0
 that santa has an Ugly cable routing when bottomed out. If that matters.
  • 1 0
 Lyrik on that Norco blew through its travel for fun.
  • 1 0
 I haven't seen a single pedal kickback, does it exist ?????
  • 1 1
 Best performance in the huck test is the Norco ????
  • 7 0
 By best, you mean most painful looking, right?
  • 1 0
 Huck the G-Donut!
  • 1 0
 It's GLOR-EE-OUS!
  • 1 0
 that was glorious
  • 3 4
 Not enough air pressure
  • 5 0
 Same pressures as we would run on a trail!
  • 1 1
 @jasonlucas: is the test to see if the bikes fail or is it to see how they behave?
  • 1 0
 @jasonlucas: What pressures 21-25psi and same for all the bikes in the test? Would be interesting to see the difference with running more tire pressure (maybe 40psi) on at least one of the bikes just for comparison?
  • 1 0
 Even with Cushcore, that's not enough pressure. You need + 5psi front and rear at least.

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