With the Olympics looming, we're expecting to see a lot of prototype kit surfacing at the XC World Cups this year. So far we've seen Tokyo-ready full suspension bikes from Santa Cruz
and now the latest bit of tech we've been sent photos of is the new full suspension Kenta bike from the Spanish brand MMR.
Much like the previous version of the Kenta that was developed in the 2017 World Cup season
, this is a full-suspension XC race bike with a linkage-driven single pivot and a super low profile. We called that previous bike "one of the nicest looking steeds" of the XC field at the time and, from first impressions, this new bike will probably live up to that legacy.
MMR has spent the most time working on the linkage area and has developed a new link and re-shaped mounting. The new link is more triangular in shape and has separate mounting points for the shock and the seat stays, which MMR says has optimised the kinematics. There's also apparently more space in the top tube mount that will allow you to run the bike with either 100 or 120mm of travel by swapping out the shock.
The old (left) vs the new (right) link on the MMR Kenta.
MMR tells us they have also reworked the geometry and, although they wouldn't give us any exact figures, the bike is now slacker and is shaking off its old-school racing geometry or, in other words, it's probably longer and lower. We also noticed the shorter seat tower, which should improve standover height and help to get the saddle out of the way on descents now that dropper seat posts are more common in cross-country racing. Finally, it looks like the cable routing has been reworked - with the shock now oriented the other way round, the remote lockout can be routed straight into the top tube through the shock cradle for a cleaner look.
If I were racing world cups, I'd probably prefer the Spark/BB design for its inherent robustness, but as an amateur who doesn't have a pit crew, I love having space for two bottles. It lets me leave my hydration pack at home on 99% of rides.
So the design is just much easier to make lightweight. And that's ignoring how it's the best layout for bottles.
This design looks almost like a hardtail, creating a fast perception, while a four bar design could create a more enduro/DH perception that is slower to pedal on.
This can only be confirmed/busted by doing extended market research, but it could have a small/medium/big effect on the sales of a bike.
And let's be honest, pro riders need to be fast, but the reason for them being sponsored is not a charity, but a business model to sell more bikes of the brand they ride for.
So selling bikes that look fast might actually be important for sales.
Looks like a good application for a flat-mount caliper.
[Edit - just looked at the Orbea Oiz bike check...they agree with me. www.pinkbike.com/photo/20621647]
But its noted under the pic of the “floating” brake that its decoupled from the swingarm.
My question is, given that this is a single pivot as the seat stay acts as a “pivot” isnt the brake still coupled to the swingarm (chainstay)? It looks to be de-coupled from the seatstay, and I’m really interested if this does in fact separate the braking from suspension action.
Am I looking at it incorrectly?
By the looks of it, it is a “floating” brake of sorts, as its been de-coupled from the seatstay, that acts as the pivot, similar to a faux-bar suspension.
My question is, given that it is still attached to the chainstay, wouldn’t it still affect the suspension action of the bike?
The typical DH “floating” brake pivoted around the axle, similar to this, but was then taken back to the seat tube, isolating the brake from acting on the suspension.
How would this differ from the brake caliber being mounted directly to the chainstay, like road bikes are?
Mostly just trying to wrap my head around the big brained theories of engineers, and understand how this works, or doesn’t work?
Copied from a Vital article on ‘brake jack” or “anti-rise” in an explanation on the how Eminents floating brake works.
What is anti-rise? To answer that we must first think of what happens during braking to slow or stop any bicycle. The rider’s body weight moves forward on the bike and unweights the rear end. There is a natural tendency for the rear end to expand due to the rear wheel unweighting, but this does not always happen with bicycle suspension. Mountain bike suspension designs which place the axle and brake mount directly on the chainstay (single pivot/faux bar) are heavily influenced by the force of the brake slowing the rotation of the wheel. This drives the suspension forward to compress or “brake jack”. This can be improved by moving the brake and axle mounting location to a separate portion of the linkage, not directly pivoting on the frame. Common examples of this are split pivot and Horst link designs where in both examples the brake mount is not on the chainstay, but the seatstay. By mounting the brake on the seatstay, the brake follows the seat stay motion and lowers (but does not completely eliminate) the transfer of compressive forces to the suspension.
Would you find MMRs normally out at a trail network in Europe?
Looks like an Oiz
Looks like the unannounced Santa Cruz (blur? superlight?)