Point: Suspension Lockout Levers Have Made Bikes Worse

May 2, 2019
by Mike Levy  
Mike Levy


You know what they say about opinions, right? Speaking of a*sholes, Levy and Matt Wragg are never short of opinions, and most of them are at complete odds with one another. This time, it's lockout levers and whether they make sense or not. Matt is all about having two bikes in one, whereas Levy is convinced - and will try to convince you as well - that they're just a crutch for a design that could be better. Check out Matt's thoughts on lockout levers and then chime in below. Who's right might not be the best question, but is one of them less wrong than the other?




I don't think many would disagree with the idea that, along with disc brakes and dropper seatposts, modern rear-suspension surely sits up near the top on the list of important things that make our sport faster, safer, and loads of fun. But despite decades worth of really smart people doing clever things with pivot locations and nearly indecipherable shock technology, when faced with a stiff climb, most of us still depend on a tiny lever that essentially turns our modern full-suspension bikes into hardtails.

Just so we're on the same page here, we spend thousands and thousands of dollars to get the latest suspension technology... And then, in the name of efficiency, we make sure that it doesn't work at all.


Drawn by Taj Mihelich
Today's otherwise impressive bikes shouldn't ever need to have their suspension turned off, but most of us are just fine with doing exactly that.


With a strong rider able to put out something like just a single horsepower for a handful of seconds, it's easy to understand the need to get the most out of what we're working with. One horsepower (if you do your squats and lunges) pushing a 200lb-ish wheeled package up the side of a mountain is a math equation that, thanks to that whole gravity thing, doesn't work out in our favor.

Locking out your shock might save you the slightest sliver of power, which doesn't exactly sound like a bad idea when you're just trying to do your best on that long, steep pitch but your best is, well, barely enough. I feel you because that's me, and it's probably most of us at some point.

But damn, it feels wrong to me every time that I consider reaching down to flip that cheater lever. I don't think we should ever have to turn off, or even just firm up, our rear suspension.

Today's modern mountain bikes, regardless of whatever nominal niche they fit into, shouldn't require the rider to decide when its pricey, high-tech shock is best turned on or off.

They should damn well be on all the time and working for you, not against you. In fact, I'd even go so far as to say that the suspension designs we rely on today aren't as good as they could be had the lockout switch never appeared.
Specialized S-Works Stumpjumper 29 review test Photo by Trevor Lyden
You'd never lockout your suspension when riding a trail like this, but you might when pedaling up the steep as hell gravel road to get to the top of it.

Instead of sporting an active rear-suspension that's also incredibly efficient because it has to be, many bikes have active rear-suspension that depends largely on the rider firming it up, which is a bit of a joke when you look at how amazing our bikes are otherwise.

Of course, there was a time, not all that long ago, when it absolutely made sense to have an easy-to-reach lockout lever that helps direct your watts into forward motion. And the further back in time you go, the more important that lever was. Up until maybe six or seven years ago, there were loads of mid-travel bikes that had all the efficiency of rolling coal from stoplight to stoplight through the middle of Los Angles. No one really cared, of course, because it was the first time we had sturdy-ish rigs that we could both pedal way out into the forest and ride off good-sized drops and jumps without worrying if our headtubes would snap off.


Drawn by Taj Mihelich
PB's Matt Wragg believes that lockout levers make too much sense to not use, while I think most examples act as crutches for poor designs.


Long climb ahead of you? Flip the shock's cheater switch to turn your rear-suspension off, but also forget to unlock it before dropping in at the top and having a shit ride until you realize, about halfway down, what's happening. Queue reaching down to casually flick the lever open without your buddies seeing. I know you've been there, too.

I'm not saying that lockout levers don't help or that you shouldn't ever use them, only that modern bikes shouldn't require them to feel sporty and efficient. The list of 150mm-travel bikes I've spent time on that can do that is pretty short (Mondraker, Ibis, Polygon, and a few others) and I'm well-versed on the balancing act that designers go through when trying to prioritize suspension action (the cool, interesting trait) with pedaling performance (the boring stuff) and other things.


The only thing worse than a lockout lever is a remote lockout lever. And the only thing worse than that is a remote lockout lever with a cable for your fork and another for your shock.
Fox Coil remote lock out.
Remote lockout levers even showed up on World Cup downhill bikes at Fort Bill in 2017. The winner, Greg Minnaar, ran a coil-sprung Fox shock without a lockout.


Yes, I know that reaching down to lockout your shock, thereby turning it into the world's most complicated hardtail, isn't exactly a huge burden, but don't you think that these bikes should be better? Don't you think that your many-thousand-dollar all-mountain machine should be able to, you know, cover all of the mountain without having to literally turn off the technology that's supposed to be so amazing?

Well, maybe you don't, but I certainly do, and I'm tired of reading reviews that sum up an enduro bike's climbing manners with something like, ''It's not the most efficient, but it pedals well when you lockout the rear-suspension.'' Yeah, no shit, Sherlock, and so does a downhill bike.

We shouldn't need to be turning our suspension off. Ever.


Fox
Is Fox's electronic Live Valve suspension the answer? Maybe, but not until the price comes down, and even then it's not something that enduro types are all that interested in.


Things were different "back in the day,'' of course. Back when full-suspension was in its infancy, shock strokes were shorter than my attention span, and pivots were higher than me after 5pm, a little cheater lever sure made a lot of sense. If you were around in the early days of ''performance suspension,'' you might remember an overriding preoccupation with making sure that tiny shock wasn't sapping away any ponies, and because of the now rudimentary technology at play, being able to turn your shock into a block of useless metal and oil kinda did make sense. Pivot locations looked arbitrary. The pedal-assist switch made sense back then. It was needed back then.

And it's still needed now, but it certainly shouldn't be.

The solution? I won't even to pretend to know the answer, but I know that using loads of anti-squat probably isn't the way forward, at least not without something else that I'm not smart enough to think of; it just makes for an unforgiving ride and less traction. Regardless of how you feel about their looks, Polygon and Marin's NAILD R3ACT-equipped bikes manage to offer crazy impressive efficiency and ground-hugging traction at the same time without resorting to witchcraft.

Those bikes aren't perfect by any means, but name me another 180mm-travel rig that pedals like a trail bike. Thought so.
Yeti SB100 Review
With many trail associations focusing on creating smooth trails that focus on flow over skill, it might seem like the ideal time to praise lockout levers. Let's hope that doesn't happen.

I can't argue that lockout levers don't make complete sense today - they do - but it's only because today's bikes require them. We don't make much horsepower, and a lockout lever offers the best of both worlds, right? Sure, but my point here is simply that today's bikes would be much better all 'rounders if the smart people who designed them didn't get to factor in lockouts.


Drawn by Taj Mihelich
Whose side are you on: Are you good with lockout levers and extra cables, or do you want your bike to work well without any of that stuff?


There's a long list of stuff that we used to think was indispensable but might laugh at now. Bar-ends for extra leverage when you're climbing? Wide handlebars killed those. I think toe-clips are about to make a comeback but everyone tells me that clipless pedals are the future. Tubes and front derailleurs? Never heard of 'em.

All of those sit somewhere between irrelevant, endangered, or extinct because we evolved and so did mountain bikes. Bar-ends didn't disappear just because we think they're dorky now, but because improvements in materials and understanding allowed handlebars to go from comically narrow to comically wide. You (probably) don't use tubes because tubeless rims, sealant, and tires are finally good enough to be relatively dependable. Do I even need to make the case for the great front derailleur cull of 2013?

Nowadays, you might be hard-pressed to find any of those items on a Saturday afternoon at your local mountain, or anywhere outside of casual cycling. I hope that we can say the same about lockout levers at some point in the future, and our bikes will be better for it.





Illustrations by Taj Mihelich


485 Comments

  • + 374
 As an engineer this article really grinds my gears.

First, the author constantly confuses the concept of 'lockouts' versus 'pedal platform'. I can't think of a single bike sold in the last 15 years that actually has a literal lockout on the rear suspension. So saying you shouldn't be locking out your rear suspension is beating a dead horse. We can't, and nobody wants to.

Second, by implying we should be climbing and descending on the same suspension settings is absolutely bananas. That same logic would mean you should be able to race XC on a good DH bike. Going up hill versus down hill are very different tasks experiencing drastically different forces and conditions(which is why XC and DH bikes look so different). To imply one setting effectively serves both needs fully goes against all common sense and the entire history of race design.

I get it; you're fit, you're light, you can get away with not flipping the switch. Well you're also the 1%. Spreading this nonsense only servers to confuse, opinionate, and provide an overall disservice to the mountain bike community.

*Cue Pink Bike backlash*
  • + 87
 Congrats. You pointed out that the two opposite ends of the mtb spectrum involve drastically different loading environments, therefore requiring drastically different bike types (suspension, geo, weight, etc.).

But what about the in between... Trails! You know, those things the majority of us ride that (hopefully) have lots of ups and downs and twists and turns. Do you really want to be constantly flipping a lever along the way to best suit the immediate trail conditions? I don't.

A really long fire road climb followed by a really long descent warrants a flick of the lever since it's really only happening once at the bottom and once at the top (if you remember...). Otherwise, you shouldn't have to worry about changing settings on the fly during a trail ride. Or at all.

I'm with @mikelevy on this one.

p.s. This may void my opinion, but I mainly ride a singlespeed hardtail everywhere, and not having to think about shifting or touching suspension settings (I leave my fork alone) is bliss.
  • + 15
 sorry, i tried but that little green button only works once!
  • + 10
 Engineer as well, wouldn't touch a lockout if my life depended on it.*

*actually use it all the time since switching to coil, thought they were dumb for a short period of time though.
  • + 7
 "be climbing and descending on the same suspension settings is absolutely bananas." ....no kidding. A lot of people whining like a bunch of brats in the comments today(generalized, overall, no one specific). We can't have perfect uphill and perfect downhill and perfect bars with nothing more than, heaven forbid, just grips and grips alone on them?? The horror!!! It's ok to dream...but holy shit so many people bitching like they're entitled to this "perfection".
  • + 46
 If you are an engineer you should look into how the dampers are designed. Simply having a pedal platform requires compromises to the design of the damper in terms of suspension performance. This is why companies like avalanche racing and vorsprung exist. Pedal platforms ruin suspension performance. If you want the pedal platform to climb more efficiently just realize you are making a compromise on the suspension when you really need it. My personal feelings are climbs are just a means to have fun. If i lose a little efficiency by not having a pedal platform on a climb the performance gain everywhere else is more than worth it.
  • + 339
 Once again engineers let you know they are engineers in their first sentence.
  • + 87
 @acali: I approve this message. I'm an engineer.
  • + 128
 @acali: How do you find the only engineer in the room? You don't have to, he will tell you.
  • + 7
 @MTBrent: I'm a ss hardtailer these days too for similar reasons.
Good points made about the differences between xc and dh bikes though. The author seems to think that if it wasn't for 'cheater' switches, some sort of magical full sus wonder machine would have been created (don't mention the 'e' swear word).
Personally I think the physical restraints are too great (gravity/average fitness level). Can't see it happening until graphene or similar (maybe Buckpaper?) is as widely used as carbon fibre.
  • + 3
 *Buckypaper
  • + 4
 @MTBrent: Lol, I appreciate your input. Maybe it's the terrain we ride? Personally I like steep and gnarly. So dropper dropped and suspension wide-open is ideal for descending that type of terrain. Then for the climbs it's pedal mode and dropper at full mast. I don't think I would have as much fun if I couldn't drop the post and have rear suspension. But def would love that setup on some of the more tame stuff around here.

@konarider94 Yes I totally agree about the compromise. For a bike that needs to climb and descend, I think I get close enough to what I want on those two ends that I'm willing to make the sacrifice. But I agree, by adding the pedal damping circuit, you are sacrificing a small amount of performance.

@acali LMAOOO just trying to add some context, but yeah totally see what you're saying!

@tremeer023 I appreciate the simplicity of the SS hard tail. Also I agree, I don't think you can just force technology like a wishing-well.
  • + 5
 @MTBrent: I agree with you and @mikelevy on this one. The pure XC hill climb then pure DH are edge cases. If it were truly like that someone could just engineer a system that completely disengages the chain for DH. Real life has it's up's and downs and I love me some anti-squat.
  • - 7
flag DDoc (May 2, 2019 at 14:15) (Below Threshold)
 Thats why the Trek Reactiv tech is so good, Instant switch from pedaling platform to wide open and back. Try it. its the best compromise for perfectionist engineers like us.
  • + 1
 @InsaNeil024: If you feel like you get close enough thats all that matters. If you ever get to ride a custom damper from one of the companies i mentioned it may forever change you. Its not a small difference that you indicate though. This is also why the cane creek helm doesnt have a pedal platform but you can instead tune high and low compression, and rebound separately.
A quote right from the helm article on pinkbike "There's no pedal-assist lever that would firm the fork up for smooth climbs, and Cane Creek says that they decided to not include one in order to avoid sacrificing any damper performance for a climbing aid. That's a telling decision as it shows how Cane Creek intends the Helm to be used. "
Don't be confused its not just on descents you notice those sacrifices. Any transition or corner that can g out the suspension, high speed chatter bumps, square edge hits, these are all typical things that suspension must mitigate even on flat trails.
  • + 15
 @MTBrent: Nope. Second sentence. You're most certainly not an engineer.
  • + 6
 @acali: We're like vegans in that regard.
  • + 7
 @acali: How do you tell an engineer their wrong? You don't bc their never wrong, they just weren't right
  • - 9
flag dirtworks911 (May 2, 2019 at 14:34) (Below Threshold)
 Today I lost even more respect for Pinkbike. Wonder how far down they'll go.
  • + 15
 Whoa.....I never realized I was the 1%

Hell yea
  • + 12
 The lockout point is just so nitpicky. Lockout has colloquially come to mean the act of putting your fork and shock in its stiffest position.
  • + 1
 @MTBrent: on the money, last thing I want to do is remember to flip a lever on every up or down, I want it to just work be good on the downs and the ups. Closest bike I’ve ever had to “leave in full open and just ride” is an NS Snabb T, best overall bike I’ve ever had. My Radon Swoop you can ride full open everywhere but it’s noticeably easier up hill flicking to trail mode, but why should I have too?
  • + 4
 Agree with @MTBrent. I usually have several short, steep climbs on relatively long descents. I've got my hands full (literally) shifting and raising/lowering the saddle. Given the choice, I'll pick a bike where I don't feel the need to mess with a compression lever as well.

In the trail category, it's a moot point since there are so many bikes that ride impressively well up and down with the same damper settings. I run the Float X2 on my Fugitive LT open all the time and i'm completely happy with how well it climbs.
  • - 4
flag AutumnMedia (May 2, 2019 at 15:40) (Below Threshold)
 Hey @InsaNeil024 - say that to the guy going off a huge gap jump and his rear suspension knob accidentally clicks midway down the trail and he unknowingly goes off the lip front end forward and breaking his collar bone. This did happen to a good buddy of mine and has happened to many people trailing and jumping - Most times you break your fork or your shock is because you locked it out dumbass...thank you @mikelevy for your words of wisdom - quite bold but I appreciate and agree - full open
  • + 12
 @konarider94: Arguing with an engineer is a lot like wrestling with a pig in the mud; after a while you realize the pig is enjoying it...
  • + 2
 @skerby: Engineers love talking about how things should work not actually using them - @mikelevy however actually rides and doesn't pretend on graphs all day that he's a genius...
  • + 60
 @InsaNeil024

- Meh, you know what I mean when I say lockout and pedal platform. I'm simply referring to the act of firming up your bike's suspension, no matter how you want to say it. Your engineer is showing here but it's just colloquial.

- I don't think it's bananas at all to suggest that we should be climbing and descending on the same suspension settings. I think it's bananas that we're okay with doing the opposite Smile An XC race bike and a DH bike are niche examples. Think trail bikes and how most of the world rides... Not in a bike park or on an XC race course.

- I'm neither fit or light, TBH. I just want my mountain bike to work well without turning off the suspension. Crazy, I know! It is an op-ed, though, hence the opinion. But how does it "provide an overall disservice to the mountain bike community"?
  • - 18
flag scottyrides5 (May 2, 2019 at 16:10) (Below Threshold)
 People who need lockout to enjoy their bicycle are the the same people buying ebikes. "That same logic would mean you should be able to race XC on a good DH bike." Sure... you "should" be able to, but you wouldn't. You would choose the XC bike because it is better at it. Just because the DH bike "should" be able too, does not mean you should or would pick a DH bike for XC. People want the bike to make up for all the short-comings one might have. It's all a compromise. If you buy a long travel bike, you are compromising pedal performance right off the bat. If you slap on some weird pedal-platform shock on your DH bike, you are compromising suspension performance. Is it not common sense that a long travel bike will not pedal along like a 100mm bike? You buy the long travel bike to have suspension, and then complain about it using the suspension? Developing proper form and fitness will help much more than a little lockout lever. Set your suspension up firm if you are going on a long pedaly ride, and know that you compromise a bit of cushion on the downs... Or vice-versa. Why is it so taboo to ride up and down on the same settings? Is a bike supposed to be some sort of shape- shifter, morphing into any bike I please as I ride along? Am I that lazy? People are becoming more and more lazy and instead of trying to change something on their end, they want the bike to make up for it. They think the bike sucks. If the bike could talk it would say that you suck!
  • + 5
 I paid Fox about $100 extra to put a firm switch on my 170mm DHX2.
  • + 4
 He calls it a lockout because that's the accepted term for it. Obviously no modern shocks have a mechanical lockout, but that's just what people call it.
  • + 0
 @butters1996: SC Blur, gen z mothaf*cka
  • + 1
 You're spot on! But please remember these articles are not meant to generate new suspension ideas; but to generate controversy/opinionated views.....and READERSHIP/HITS.....that generate more sponsor and ad income, etc.

We all get to contribute, if so inclined, feel good about voicing our opinion, etc.....and contribute to a growing, self-licking ice cream cone of capitalistic/"journalistic" entrepreneurship.

What a concept. Wish I'd thought of it!! :-)
  • + 4
 Bravo - couldn’t agree more. I just put a fox X2 factory with climb switch on my enduro. Amazing! It is like a DH shock going down and firms right up on the climb back up. It’s perfect - just what I want it to do.
  • + 4
 @acali: as a doctor, I see your point.
  • + 0
 @insaneil024 I am with Levy. My rig came with a remote for the rear suspension. Took it off after one season. Decent gravel climbs would be the only time I turn the fork dial to firm, but it really doesn’t make enough of a difference for what mtb’ers get up to the rest of the time. I prefer to think about other things than my suspension when I ride....more like cold beers and bbq.
  • + 8
 @mikelevy: Errr..... you were never supposed to see that. Hahaha, if I thought you might read my comment I would have kept a much cooler tone. I guess you struck a cord with a debate I have with another guy in my ride group, which is probably a part of what makes this such a good topic.

-Hahaha, definitely and I'll fully admit it. But to me it's the difference between agreeing with you or not. I don't see pedal platform as "it doesn't work at all". If anything, in my personal experience, it works way better(for climbing/flats). Given, it's not a make-or-break. But I'll have an equally bad climb if I'm in DH mode as a bad DH if I'm in climb mode. They just serve different purposes. If we were literally turning the suspension off, I would completely agree with you. That's crazy. Suspension is traction and traction is control(even uphill), you paid good money for that, why turn it off?

-I may be projecting my own riding style here, but I live for the downhills and live hours from decent lift access. So if I want to shred down the local gnar, I have to climb it too. I don't want to ride the same 6"s of dopey, mushy travel up the trail that allows me to shred down. Just like I don't want the same seat post height. XC and DH are extremes, but they illustrate the point I'm making.

-Hey, don't be modest! But this circles back to my earlier point; I don't see it as "turning off" the suspension, I see it as optimizing it with tangible results. I guess you can ask for a bike that does just as well going up as going down in one setting, but experience has taught me there is always going to be compromise when it comes to designing one tool to do two tasks. If anything, the rise of new technology such as dropper posts and pedal platform serve to diminish that compromise. I respect your opinion, and appreciate your article. Again, sorry for the cool tone; but this goes back to my ride group. The fit guy tells everyone to ride with their rear shocks wide open, full-time. I don't think that is good advice for most riders and I think they will have a less fun time riding and end their rides more tired and frustrated and less likely to come back. He can do it, but I don't think they should.

Thanks for responding to my initial comment!
  • + 4
 If you’re slow up the hill with your $8k AM bike you’re the problem. Lay off the Doritos.
  • + 1
 Horst links aren't the most efficient, but damn its nice to be able to actually use your suspension on a climb when you want to just by flicking a switch. Comfort on the way up, shredding on the way down. Giddy Up!
  • + 3
 How do you know a konarider is in the room? @konarider94:
  • + 2
 @Foolcyclist: as a doctor of engineering, I agree your case is sound.
  • - 1
 Couldn’t agree more. It’s unfortunate such an ignorant viewpoint is awarded a platform such as this. Thanks for writing @insaneil024
  • + 1
 @MTBrent: SS Hardtailer, isn't that just a roadie that got sick of getting dropped?
  • + 2
 @MTBrent: try rigid as well. It's great as you don't have to think about anything except riding (and seat height).
  • + 2
 @MTBrent: I'm also an engineer (chartered as well) but not qualified to comment on suspension design / shock design. IMO it's a dumb statement to make.
  • + 6
 Yes he pointed out the two opposite ends of the spectrum, because it's easier to illustrate his point, however it doesn't invalidate it.

I'm sure Mike Levy rides more than one bike, and I'm sure he probably appreciates that each serves a different purpose and fills a different niche. Different suspension characteristics, different travel and geometry, that suit different styles of riding.

I'm sure he also might change his damping rates depending on the type of trail he's riding - e.g. less low speed compression on a wet day, less high speed compression on a fast chattery trail - such as a choppy bike park trail.

As the above poster points out, we haven't had an ACTUAL lock-out for years and years (my customers occasionally ask me why their fork on their new $5k trail bike doesn't fully lock out. I tell them they don't want it to), and platform damping is a wildly different thing. To call platform damping null and void because 'suspension geometry should be better' is the same as ragging on any type of damper adjustment, because 'suspension tunes should be better'. They're not, because it NEEDS to be tuneable for different purposes.

The few suspension designs that I've ridden recently that have climbed incredibly well have been less than inspiring descenders. There's no magic formula to suspension geometry. There's no unicorn. There just isn't.
  • + 7
 That said, all Scott bikes with their spaghetti headtube mess can burn in hell.
  • + 5
 I'm so mad at this article I didn't even read it!
  • + 1
 @MTBrent: I can see both sides but overall I think a perfect setup is one that can adapt without rider input. For example if the bike sense it has been on flat ground longer than x seconds it could firm up x % compression. Personally I setup my bikes for what type of riding I like the most and do the most of which is the "normal" trail stuff which means semi firm setup. Overall I think it is a non issue and not having a for the moment a perfect setup is about a 1 on a 10 scale of issues that bugs me. Too few really good trails and having to pedal to shift is way higher in the priority list.
  • - 1
 " I can't think of a single bike sold in the last 15 years that actually has a literal lockout on the rear suspension." I don't get this sentence, I believe there are plenty of examples for sure. My kona with a Monarch RL really locked the thing at the rear, then I upgraded to a Plus and full lock was gone, just a platform of compression and still absolving... or do you mean a structural lock?
  • + 5
 Genuinely lost as to how people agree with this but guess that's what makes us all unique.

Personally i love a lockout lever, frustrates me so much climbing without it and knowing i'm loosing so much energy.

Anything that's really bloody good at something is always uncompromising and anything that needs to be good at multiple things is never as good at one thing, that's just physics. I believe that we pay thousands and expect uncompromised performance and to provide a trail bike that descends like a DH bike it needs to be setup like one with suspension tuned like a race bike but that incidentally doesn't suit the demands of climbing and a trail bike is also expected to climb like an XC bike so in comes the climb mode (side note cane creek does this best) and then you get a bike that can save you energy up the hills, perfect!

I understand wanting one setup to do both but the performance we expect now has gone far beyond what one setup can achieve without compromise, so why not have 2 or 3 setups in one bike, is flicking a switch 1cm away from you thumb not worth that?

Think of all the new cars that have different driving modes on a switch, put it in track mode and it will go very quickly round a track but drive on the road to work in that mode and you'll be very uncomfortable very quickly. but if you expected one mode to do both then it could but it wouldn't be ideal for either.
  • + 3
 @mikelevy: Aren’t you guys just arguing about the difference between Trail bikes and Enduro bikes? The first should be able to hammer round a loop without lockout and the second should be able to take on a WC DH course and pedal up too?

No one likes lockout levers but it’s horses for courses...
  • + 1
 @MTBrent: If you want to have one less thing to worry about switch to the rigid singlespeed like me. Of course, I ride that mostly because I break everything else (including three different saddles).
  • + 8
 @konarider94: what is the difference between an engineer's boots and a cattle farmer's boots?

With a farmer, the bullshit is on the outside of the boots.


as a geologist, I couldn't help myself.
  • + 7
 You lost all credibility by leading with "as an engineer". All the engineers I've ever known have needed a flow chart to wipe their asses.
  • + 0
 @telemarc67: He probably doen't even have a PE.
  • + 5
 As @MTBrent points out, your opinion on whether you like levers or not probably depends heavily on the terrain you ride. For a 120-130mm bike ridden on constantly rolling terrain, with short steep ups and downs, most people will consider it too much of a pain in the ass to reach down to the shock to flip a lever every 30 seconds. For more enduro-style riding on a 160-180mm bike, a lever is perfectly acceptable to maximize the performance of the suspension for the intended purpose, which is going downhill.

However, people's responses are slightly missing the point of @mikelevy's hypothesis. No one is arguing whether lockouts are practical, or whether or not they work. They obviously work. The challenge is that suspension *could* be better (for trail bikes) if the pedal platform were not available to designers to cover up poor pedaling manners. "I'll just make the most supple suspension I can design, they will be ok firming up the shock to climb and not give the company too much grief, and we're all set." This may sound exactly like the bike you want, and for many applications it's just fine. It's just not the core of the argument.

What gets demanded gets worked on. If people are happy (not complaining) there is not much incentive for improvement. This is the reason that most automobiles sold in the US get relatively poor gas mileage -- gas is cheap enough that it doesn't matter much and people don't demand it. Even though high efficiency vehicles are clearly technically feasible because they already exist.
  • - 3
 HAHAHAHa someone actually uses the lockout cables ad lever's.
  • + 1
 Love articles like this: provocative title followed by a complete disregard for how we got here.

Sure, if you are stuck on a Horst Link, or a single pivot, bike you will need a lockout, and we have been knowing this for at least thirty years. The Horst is an improvement with respect to a single pivot but both would have disappeared if position sensitive shocs had not appeared around the turn of the millennium.

But guess what! if you want a trail bike that climbs and descends without ever needing a lockout you can get a Dave Weagle equipped bike. For example Ibis or Pivot. I have been riding Ibis for 15 years and I never, ever, touch the little blue lever.

(Ad far as fork lock out? That is nuts, unless you ride on asphalt-like trails).
  • + 1
 @duzzi: We already decided the term lock-out in this context really means firmer, pedal-friendlier suspension setting adjuster, not Rigid Zero-Suspension Button.
  • - 1
 @mikelevy: going back to the point of your article, first change I made to my 2008 Ransom, was to remove thelockout lever. Even before that, I have not even a single time used the lockout, find it ackward, removes traction and makes me bounce on my bike. Never needed in Reign, Enduro, Ransom, SB6, or Lapierre. I am not fit, I don't race, I just enjoy my bike. Lockout made me umconfortable. And proved myself no need for lockouts, having well tuned air suspension. Good article. Thanks Mike.
  • + 3
 @duzzi: You do realise there are bigger differences between different Horst Link designs (based on which way the rocker rotates) among themselves than there are between certain Horst link and short multilink suspensions?

Specialized's FSR is closer to DW Link than for example Birds (i know because i have one) is, which is actually closer to a VPP design. The instant center of rotation moves front to back on the DW Link and FSR, while it moves back to front on the VPP and Bird's Horst Link.

Hell, you can make two bikes with 'the same suspension design' behave completely differently and two bikes with 'completely different suspension' behave similarly. It's not about the marketing names, it's about the nuances in pivot locations.
  • + 1
 @acali: Like meeting a vegan...
  • + 1
 @DirtbagMatt: A straight-edge vegan singlespeeder will have a lot to tell you in the first 2 minutes of meeting.
  • + 4
 @acali: how do you know an engineer is chocking ? ....he hasn't told you he's an engineer in more than 30 sec.
  • + 2
 I'm not fit. I'm obese. 5'10" 275lbs. But I climb good linkages wide open. Weagle's designs, (Split Pivot, DELTA, DW Link,) don't seem to need a flippy lever. Switch Infinity is pretty good too. Niner's CVA isn't bad. VPP feels like garbage open or closed.
Old Horst links, (Like my Chumba,) benefit from the lever. Some of the newer Horst links don't seem to need it, (Transition's Giddy Up or Norco's Drop Link.) With Spesh, I can't even tell the difference. It feels like a hardtail with a broken frame 100% of the time.
It's probably super personal and subjective. I know folks who love VPP.
I think Scott and Cannondale's superflously clever designs are really neat, but I'll take a good linkage ridden open over their sorcery.
  • - 3
 Lockout opponents should try to ride on fully with a heavy backpack. 15kg - something like more than the bike and 90kg rider.Could be for example hotel - railway station road. Like 10 or 12km. They need to try this only once. That will stop this discussion forever.
  • + 3
 @SirLapLack: Personal opinion is certainly part of it. I rode a couple of VPP bikes (nomad and bronson) recently and definitely didn't get on with them. Impressive amounts of anti squat meant that they climbed crazy well but I didn't feel any of the hype riding down the hill... They just felt like they sat too high in their travel and were too harsh/poppy.
  • - 1
 @AutumnMedia: "The rear suspension accidentally clicks midway clicks midway down the trail"? Happens all the time...
  • - 1
 @endlessblockades: Better watch out. I hear they click on midway down the trail right before huge gap hits....
  • + 0
 Just curious - as you are an engineer, have you ever taken apart any forks or shocks and successfully rebuilt and reshimmed it?
  • + 1
 @DirtbagMatt: it’s actually the other way around. Once non vegans realize someone is a vegan, it’s the non vegans who won’t shut up.
  • + 4
 @manback: Congrats, you just demonstrated why having the correct sag for your bike and height is essential. By putting an additional 10 kg on your back without firming up the shock, you got much more sag. And much less antisquat, which, of course, means pedal bob.

Inflate your shock and try your experiment again with the shock open and see what happens then.
  • + 2
 I think your all missing how lockout switches have evolved. Back in the day it was essentially an off switch, but today's modern dampers that isolate low-speed compression circuits to decrease the effects of pedal BOB are great. They make pedaling easier but also work as a great adjustment for your bike. I run the CC DB air CS, all the climb switch does is affects the low-speed compression dampening. It provides so much support that I run the switch on while riding smooth bermy bike parks, and only turn it off when shit gets roudy. So I agree, you should never look-out your suspension, but the extra support from the LSC circuit certainly makes my bike faster!
  • + 0
 It has also been said for the Telescopic handlers: "All these cables! What is the use !? Make the climb and lower the dinghy!"
How to have a change of 10 speed but you have to get off or stop during the fun to change.
Don't stop on all terrains in all conditions, just adrenaline no lactic acid .. Good fun
  • + 2
 @Covich: Dropper posts with levers turned out to be a dead end. In that case, remove the lockout levers and replace them with remotes.

The catch is that we can make the bikes work without flipping the lockout lever. It's much harder to make them work without dropping and raising the seat. Therefore dropper posts with remotes.
  • + 2
 Spot on Neil
  • + 1
 @acali: am engineer, can confirm.
  • - 1
 @manback: I just rode to and from the auto parts store with a car battery in my backpack. I didn't lockout the sus.
  • + 3
 @InsaNeil024: great points.

dropper posts help bridge a compromise - noones complaining about them.
  • + 2
 I’m just glad we live in a world where manufacturers make suspension with and without these options and make frames that may or may not need them and we have to choice to buy either or the other.
  • + 1
 Must be an engineer for Scott...
  • + 111
 Can PinkBike introduce a Certified Engineer status, proof and evidence, then allocate a little icon like the MOD and PLUS next to staff and significant contributors. ENG wound designate that indeed these people responding are reputable and certified to make statements around engineering subject matters. We will need ENGSUS indicating expertise is in suspension, ENGDES as in design, ENGMAT nominating those of material expertise, ENGRAC supporting those engineers of race origin and supporting professional recognised teams and ENGIND as in the engineering expertise of the bike industry as whole. Only then can we filter out ENGGUT as gut feel, opinion and conjecture. Comments can then be filtered accordingly as the importance and time one feels they have to undertake peer research or random conspiracy.
  • + 25
 Underrated comment here
  • + 0
 Lol...soo good ×D
  • - 2
 Why? Engineers just make bigger mistakes.
  • + 6
 What about an icon for expert certified welders? Or does that fit in with the material experts?
  • + 7
 Title in engineering doesn’t guarantee sanity...
  • + 5
 What is needed is a little poo flair to show by your name after enough people click the "this dude's full of shit" button.
  • - 2
 @acali: report button. Kills social media influencers and repost whores like flies
  • + 6
 I think PB just has to hire AVE as the official armchair engineer of pinkbike.
  • + 2
 I am an engineer for large scale and efficient reductions in liquid held within beer cans. Where does that put me?
  • + 1
 @goldencycle: I know an engineer working with sewage sanitation plants. He must be full of it
  • + 2
 @acali: If you mean negative downvtoes, the irony is that sane people with fact based comments usually get the downvotes as well.
  • + 2
 @vtracer: He did get into bikes recently and i Canadian. Perfect fit!
  • + 2
 Engineers that to state they are engineers haven't been working long enough to realize that people generally dislike them! Therefore, their "expertise" should be ignored on this point alone.
  • + 2
 @derekr: I would not go this far, but Pinkbike is filled with students and post graduates of some sort of engineering and they think they have learned everything. Now the grey reality will cut their wings. It makes me chuckle how proud my engineer friends were of their exam project and what they do now. I know, because I’ve been one of them. Now I look at experienced people in my office and people I meet in various projects, clients, other engineers, consultants, entrepreneurs and it is funny how easy it is to tell an old wolf from an old dog. The latter is evidently someone who decided he knows everything and still wastes 80% of his energy to make the world bend to his vision. Over the years of failure at achieving that they grow sour and rigid. Meanwhile Wolves enjoy their life, see challenges instead of problems and absolutely kill it when necessary

On Pinkbike people often refer to engineers as Gods, Masters of Science and Technology as if they weren’t as every single group of human beings where you have 10%morons, 10% geniuses and 80% of everything. And if you come upon a young machinist?! Oh God...
  • - 1
 @derekr: Oh, believe you me i know i'm disliked. This just fires me up. Wink
  • + 0
 @WAKIdesigns: So... You're a grumpy old dog then?
  • - 2
 @Primoz: I troll even at work and at meetings with clients... if someone pisses me off for real, and it happens once a year, I will find a humorous way to get it back on him/ her in a public forum. Humorous for a few people, not for the person in question. The forced smile is the most precious...
  • + 4
 Same for doctors.
"Now Jenna, medically speaking, for your height, your weight puts you in what we call the "disgusting range". Fortunately, there are solutions. For example, crystal meth has been shown to be very effective. How important is tooth-retention to you?"
Dr. Spaceman, 30 rock
  • + 0
 I'm a final year Engineering student and I know some people about to graduate with BEng and MEng certificates I wouldn't even let near my bike lol
  • + 4
 @tom666: a good engineer doesn't necessarily make a good mechanic and vice versa. Depends on the engineering discipline.
  • + 5
 @Primoz: That and you can get through engineering exams by just being good at academia - good at cramming information into your head and regurgitating it in an exam, rather than having kind of inquisitive, mechanical and logical mind you would normally associate with an engineer.
  • + 68
 I'd never put a remote firm-up lever on the bar, but I don't mind flipping a lever on the shock. Hell, I even spin my Charger dial all the way out on a nasty long climb. Problem is, after recovering/hydrating/medicating at the top, I'll forget to return to fully open for the descent and have to slow down and fiddle after the first harsh feature.
  • + 22
 The same thing used to always happen to me. Especially after medicating Smile but now I make sure I flip the lever back before getting off the bike at the top of the climb. Kinda become a habit for me now.
  • + 8
 @cassonwd: F'IN GENIUS!!! Hopefully i can be trained! Thx.
  • + 5
 @cassonwd: This memory issue (ok, that and bar clutter) seem to be the only argument against. Maybe Levy should only ride before 5PM. Or tipp-ex a reminder on your bars.
  • + 8
 Yeah I did the first two stages of the BC Enduro in Vernon last year with my rear shock mostly locked out and it was awful.
  • + 3
 I really think this argument is null and is all about preferences. IE: I think the temperature specific climate adjustments in my wife's car are pointless compared to the knowledge of knowing the difference between too hot and warm etc.
  • + 7
 @TheOldRichard: "I really think this argument is null and is all about preferences". This comment should probably appear beneath every single article.
  • + 13
 If bikes could talk- "he had me on lockout the whole time"
  • + 3
 "medicating"....helping humans 'forget' to do shit since forever. Anyways...I'm opposite as I mentally prioritize DH...I tend to forget to lock on the way up Razz
  • + 1
 There is an argument to be made for rear shock cheat levers, but really there is no argument for fork lockouts - handle bar mounted or not. Just no
  • + 5
 Some of the Fox shocks I’ve had in the past have a floppy pedal-platform lever that would flip down into open after a few hits, whether I wanted it or not.
Maybe this can be a feature? Big enough hit and it pops to open, you can set the threshold. Fox Flicks, are you listening??
  • + 4
 @g123: It's called "brain" by specialized.
  • + 2
 @faul: yeah because that works really well...
(errr no)
  • + 2
 Props to people who can medicate before/during a ride. I tried it once and crashed hard on the second corner of the trail. Never again ha ha, I save that for after the ride now. Settle into the couch for dinner and a movie. Oh Mr. Attenborough, take me around the world and show me some crazy nature stuff.
  • + 1
 @highfivenwhiteguy: hahaha...too true. You, me...many can't ride 'medicated'....reaction time is totally shot, Ha! But get the mind expanded and watch all Planet this and Earth that with Attenborough? eff yeah...amazeballs. Throw in some Space stuff with Brian Cox ...and some Human History with Randall Carlson and Graham Hancock.........and Holy Shit Smile
  • + 2
 @highfivenwhiteguy: I find that in small doses the internal dialog really cranks up and I'm cracking myself up on the climbs. On the trail, I never medicate myself to the point where I'm getting in touch with my insecurities while taking inventory of life's problems - that happens on the couch. F that part. THAT'S what I don't get about chronic herbsmen and herbswomen. They are just mentally stronger than me.
  • + 1
 @endlessblockades: The variety of strains are many. On top of that...each strain can, and does, give totally different reactions depending which pheno was chosen and who grew it....but they'll have the same name. Then....each person reacts differently to different ones. The complexity is vast. So vast.
  • + 1
 @loopie: Agreed - I've been gettin 'noided for 30+ years and haven't bothered to figure it out!. I'm never going to make it a lifestyle though, so I don't bother. It's like doing LSD from the street - you never know how high you're going to get.
  • + 1
 Get some vinal stickers and put them at the top of your top tube.
  • + 0
 @IllestT: I say the fork lockout is way more important on the climbs. I keep the rear open and lock the fork when I need to climb out of the saddle to keep traction.
  • + 1
 @g123: the best rear suspension I have ever felt was a FloatX2 on my E29. Going from the stock c-t-d to the big piggy back air shock made me even better at climbing! I don't know how this was possible, but it also felt like a moto on the descents. 5⛤
  • + 1
 I had a remote once, switched to non remote shock...and then always dreamt about having a remote shock again lol.
  • + 31
 In sum - Levy hates them, but admits they're absolutely necessary, unless magic.
  • + 7
 Nailed it
  • + 1
 @mikelevy: Poligon and Marin thank you for this comment.
  • + 28
 I don't mind levers, as long as they're not cluttering up the handlebar. I'm with Matt Wragg on this one.
  • + 3
 RockShox TwistLoc for the win, Mike?
  • + 3
 @handynzl, that's definitely a good option, especially when it's paired to a coil shock. It'd be cool to see something even more svelte - a slider switch on the innter lock-on grip or something.
  • + 24
 Mike VS Mike...?
  • + 24
 @mikelevy: I'm ready.
  • + 3
 A button or lever under the saddle nose..called the "Jimmy"
  • + 1
 @mikekazimer: French décathlon bikes (rockrider) have that kind of turn switch for the fork, I guess you could use it for the shock
  • + 0
 I can’t stand the remote lockout systems. Especially dual lockout platforms from Fox, Scott and the hydro system from Rockshox. They are unnecessarily complex, tend to breakdown often, clutter up your cockpit etc... only elite cross country racers need those things, everyone else can just reach down and move a lever easily.
  • + 2
 Likewise, I can't stand the clutter. We don't need six cables.
  • + 3
 With axys I can see the lockout being tied to the reverb position. Anything less than full height and the suspension would be open. That’d be good
  • + 19
 I loathe lockouts, mainly because I can never remember to flip it back to gravity mode and ride half the trail wondering why it feels so chaotic before it slowly dawns on me. Nope nope nope, not for me. I wanna set it and forget it...I won't remember anyhow.
  • + 8
 Yup. My bike rides uphill and downhill on the same settings.
  • + 3
 This x100, I think I've used my lockouts only a handful of times and forgot to turn them off every single time.
  • + 1
 @alexsin: mine too most of the time. If i remember to flip the lever i do it but ye... mostly not.
  • + 4
 @DC1988: flip it more and you'll use to switch at the top. Like any else tasks repetition makes it more efficient...
  • + 17
 You're complaining about forgetting to unlock your suspension and having a harsh ride on the descents. Bikes that pedal better have high anti-squat figures. Anti-squat comes from chain growth. When your pedaling you're effectively pulling the rear hub towards the BB. If the wheelpath requires the hub to move away from the BB your pedaling forces are neutralizing the suspension forces. It is common knowledge that chain growth cause suspension to not be as active which is why HSP DH bikes use idlers to eliminate all chain growth above the chainstay effectively giving the bike 0% anti-squat but also 0 pedal kick back resulting in a suspension design that has no restriction from the riders weight. If a bike had enough anti squat to climb like a bike with a full lock out it would have high pedal kickback resulting in a 'harsh ride' that couldn't be rectified by simply remembering to flick the switch before bombing down a descent. Having a lockout switch allows bike to be designed to descend with active suspension and still have a stable platform for climbing.
  • + 2
 Yes, I agree and said the same things. That stuff isn't my point, and I don't have a solution Smile
  • + 12
 I object complaints without solutions @mikelevy:
  • + 2
 Suspension is still "active" when not pedaling, regardless (to an extent) of antisquat numbers. If the wheel is rotating faster than the freehub rotates (i.e. coasting) when the suspension compresses, there will be no pedal feedback, rendering the "rear suspension still needs to be active on the descent" argument moot.

Being active while pedaling is another whole story. And that's the holy grail: suspension that keeps you up in the travel, but will be supple over bumps without much pedal feedback all while pedaling.
  • - 2
 @MTBrent: on high speed compressions where you're in your smaller cassette cogs the freehub will spin much faster than the hub. Look at your hubs while riding (obviously not on the trail) and you'll see just how slow your hubs rotate and that's how much speed your freehub must match for pedal kick back to occur.
  • + 0
 @IronWheel: That's a good way to do things
  • + 1
 @mikelevy: seems like it's pretty common here on PB
  • + 3
 High pivot designs with idler sure as hell don't have 0 % antisquat. Quite the opposite.
  • + 2
 @Primoz: chain growth above the chainstay determines the amount of anti squat. Idlers result in 0 chain growth if the idler is on the pivot.
  • + 4
 @Bflutz625: Nope. Let me quote myself from another comment here:

"You get antisquat values through suspension geometry which wants to either squat, extend or do nothing, depending on how it's designed. This is purely from the forward force on the wheel axle influencing the suspension links. With a high pivot, the axle wants to fold under the bike, effectively giving you antisquat, much more antisquat than with a conventional design.

The other part is from the chain being taught by pedalling. If you don't have any chain growth through suspension movement, you don't have any work done from it and therefore you don't have any antisquat from it. And no pedal kickback. And vice-versa.

With a high pivot you can lay it out in such a way to provide enough antisquat from the geometry itself and then configure the idler (well... I'd do it Brooklyn Machine Works style instead of with an idler to have a normal 30-ish chainring in the front, no noise and better efficiency) to not have an effect on it and not have pedal kickback.

I'm sure it can be done or at least approached better than conventional designs and it should therefore work better both up and down and not need a platform as much."
  • + 1
 @Primoz: never thought about the position of the IC in relation to the axle having an effect on anti-squat I guess that is true. But the chain on a HSP with idler does not contribute anything to anti-squat values.
  • + 3
 @Bflutz625: It can, depends on the idler position. But in any case, usually less than with a classical design, yes.

As for antisquat, of course, cars have it too and they don't have chains, at least not for the past 100 years Smile
i.pinimg.com/originals/ef/86/17/ef861788eb491359bb855102839227cb.gif

Any suspension design has these characteristics, but in some cases it's more of an influence than in others. And in some cases other elements also give an influence (chain drive) that are missing in other cases.

Honestly, bikes are an outlier and are, in all actuality, a very complex system. Antisquat is hugely important to prevent pedal bob because the frequecy of pedaling is just right to induce it (you have torque ripple with motorbikes, but don't notice it because the frequency is much higher, ~50 Hz at 6000 rpm for a single piston bike but fast enough for the bike not to be left squatted down. And you don't want constant squat anyway.

Then the bike has to be light enough, the rider weight varies massively, but is by far the major component of the system weight, which means you need different spring rates and damping rates as well! And the centre of gravity again changes massively, much more than with motorcycles, which again influences suspension performance. And then you have relatively big hits which mean high piston speeds and a whole other damping tune again. So you have to civer huge spectrums of different parameters on a very simple, light and 'cheap' design.

Then also make it out of carbon.
  • + 13
 If only there existed a magical system to reduce chainring size for the climbs thereby increasing anti-squat values while providing easier gears...
  • + 14
 Someone should invent something that does that via a handlebar-mounted remote!
  • + 3
 @mikelevy: They should make it wireless so it doesn't clutter the handlebar too.
  • + 0
 lol best comment on here.. (cuz i use that system for that very reason).
  • + 10
 The need for lockout levers depends heavily on your pedaling style! I hardly ever used the lockout, even in the bad old days of bouncy 4-bar suspension. But that is because I like to stay in the saddle on the climbs, spin smoothly, use clipless and hardly move around when pedaling on smooth ground. If you like to stand up, hammer down on the pedals, use flats and move around a lot in the saddle, you might benefit greatly from a locking shock and fork.
  • + 14
 Of all the bullshit reasons to use clipless, this is the second most bullshit.
  • + 1
 I was looking a Cadel Evan's mountain bike back in the Cannondale days. He had carbon bar ends and on the inside of the left bar end was a small clear rubber button. When asked I was shown that it was electric lock out button for the rear shock. The wire ran through the bar end, through the h-bar, a small hole was drilled to have the wire come out of the h-bar open face stem clamp, and the wire followed the brake line before connecting to the rear shock. There was a small plastic item clamped around the rear shock with a small gear in it that went back and forth. The button would light up red when locked out and not light when it was off. The wire was super small and likely added minimal weight. This was about 16 years ago. Not sure what happened to that technology but he said it worked well.
  • + 3
 What? If I dont firm up my rear for climbing my shock goes down and I am sitting at the end on steep climbs beyond 60 % sag. Even If I would pedal perfect the shock will compress and the front will lift it self fast.
  • - 4
flag Ttimer (May 2, 2019 at 14:16) (Below Threshold)
 @PhillipJ: Care to elaborate? If you found a way to apply pedaling power evenly through the turning circle of the cranks with flat pedals, the cycling world would love to hear about it.
  • + 1
 I totally agree Ttimer. I've always ridden Horst link bikes and when I am riding up a fire road or smooth trail and I look down the shock isn't bobbing at all. The only time a lockout seems useful is when I stand on a road climb to stretch out or if I"m sprinting on a trail ride. But if I'm on trail, I'm not interested in messing with a lockout anyway I'll just take the slight hit to efficiency in the name of compliance. This is current for me as I just bought a Scott Ransom so I've been playing with the shock lockout and firm modes and I find they are totally useless for me unless I am riding a very smooth road or standing up while I climb up a road.

I know some say without a lockout they sag too much, I guess that's not a problem for me as I tend to run more pressure/less sag or something or else I setup my pedal position to take it into account. And yeah smooth pedalling under sprint conditions can help.
  • + 3
 @vjunior21: or it powered the motor hidden in the frame :0
  • + 0
 @Ttimer: If you need special pedals in order to pedal smoothly then git gud scrub.
  • + 1
 @TheMountainBikeAdventure:
He was winning a lot that year.
  • + 2
 @PhillipJ: Tell that to the racers who depend on smooth pedaling. Or to the generations of cyclists who put up with annoying and dangerous toestraps for better pedaling efficiency. But I guess Eddy Merckx was a scrub too.
  • + 2
 @Ttimer: you pedal smooth because you can, you can do it with every pedal. Clips help but that's the same for a bunny hop it helps but if you can't you can't do it with either.
  • + 1
 @Serpentras: Exactly, that was my entire point. It helps. Just like suspension helps with going downhill fast. You go downhill fast because you can, you can do it with every bike.
  • + 1
 @vjunior21: That was the on/off switch for the motor, silly boy. Seriously, I'm rather PO'd at the sheer volume of content-free verbiage being flung around here. Bike suspensions lacking some sort of "intelligent" sensor feedback will be extremely difficult to design, and expensive beyond reason, for the same reason a World Rally car needs a different suspension than an Indy car - the range of travel, response time, forces dampened, depend on the desired performance over entirely different terrain. Further, suspended weight even in motorbikes is many times the rider weight alone. Yet in bikes, the rider is all over the place, adding leg input as a second suspension, or seated while cranking up slow, steep grades. Keeping a suspension free on slow, rough uphill trails allows for the flow, evening out peak lifting over roots and steps, yet on a smooth trail or road, "lockout" reduces wasted bobbing energy. Of course, people too lazy to learn how to shift a front derailleur, move a lockout lever one or two times an hour, or change a tube, believe if they just pout and whine enough, the magic bike will be produced for them.
  • + 12
 You know what else is stupid? Convertibles. Just pick roof or no roof. None of this namby pamby bs.
  • + 9
 well.... they should forbid horst-link designs then !! all of them (even new FSR or Transition Patrol) need lockout lever to avoid pedal-bob ! but then, they are nice and active under braking.

you can make good climbing suspension (dw-link etc.) but then, it won't behave so well under braking....
  • + 6
 Correct -there are compromises made in all designs....taking Matt Wraggs comment (in his article) that riding chainless makes for the most active suspension is all well and good until the hill goes up (or flattens out long enough), so again, not a perfect system. The design challenge is to find a way to minimise the compromise...a lockout is a simple and effective method to do this. The next question is the methodology in actuating the lock out - lever on the shock, or a lever/TwistLoc on the handlbars with a cable.
  • + 23
 And we should forbid chicken bones because you can choke on those. But they are really tasty when you find them. You can make chicken without bones but it won't be the same as when it did have bones. Does anyone have any chicken? Asking for a friend.
  • + 4
 @handynzl: Don't forget you can replace the lower cog with a spacer. Has the same effect. You just lose the smallest gear obviously.
  • + 1
 My 140mm Rocky Instinct is excellent climbing up without the switch and a tuned dpx2 factory. The anti-squat isn't 100% either. It's done really well. I do use the middle switch on some long climbs but I'm not even sure it's that helpful tbh. The Ripmo I've ridden is pretty cool and has this weird/cool pedal feel. But yeah braking is a thing I don't have to worry about with the Instinct. Always a trade off. Someday Fox Live will be awesome I'm sure.
  • + 2
 I have a Knolly Warden. They kinda do their own thing. On cycle paths (to the trails) or fire roads, you need the lockout, but once the trail gets bumpy, it's actually much better to keep the suspension in open. It's the first bike I've had which behaves in this way. All my previous rigs just added more bob uphill rather than just filtering out. It shows that you can engineer a bike to be open on a trail, but I'm happy to have the switch for the long, boring, flat grinds.
  • + 1
 if the design is relying heavy for a platform shock that it wont matter. I have VPP design and even with the platform firmed up all the way the bob was stronger then my last horst-link bike with open mode.
  • + 0
 Then forbid Maestros and DW Links and the like, it's like Horst Link, just the bottom link is shorter! And then ban the VPPs as well since you have Horst links with counter rotating rockers as well! Or just forbid full suspension bikes and be done with it.
  • + 9
 Disagree with this piece. Cant have your cake and eat it too. There are physical limitations.

What next? You want a 20lb downhill bike that can take a beating? A slack headangle that feels steep on the climb up? Your getting too soft Levy when flipping a lever is a burden. Run a shock without a lever, problem solved Smile
  • + 8
 In my riding there are a ton of situations where I don’t need my suspension “working for me”. Paved climbs, fire road climbs, un-technical singletrack—it’s best to have your bike locked out. I don’t think that many people out there are tackling insanely technical climbs every weekend ride.
  • + 8
 boost, superboost, disc brakes, through axles, bigger fork stanchions, twin-tube damper systems, XD drivers, 12 speed cassettes, hydraulic braking, additional pivots and linkages, 35.0 mm bar clamps, tapered steerer tubes, carbon fiber frames, straight pull spokes, dropper posts, internal cabling, carbon fiber rims, linkage forks, padloc grips, narrow-wide chainrings, threaded steerer tubes for your EDC tool, switch infinity, shockwiz, clipless pedals, plus-sized tires, cushcore, tubeless sealants, dual-air springs, solo air springs, coil springs, centerlock hubs, on-frame storage, in-frame storage, 27.5 wheels, 29 wheels, offset headset cups, flip-chips, electronic shifting, wireless groupsets, lefty struts, wide rims, and pressfit bottom brackets are all fair game for technological advancements But lockout levers is the hill you're gonna die on
  • + 1
 Most of that shit is dope.
  • + 6
 Nino uses a lockout. He has a few more WORLD championships and Olympic Gold Medals than anyone named Mike.
There is a market, and the best in the world are at the top of that market.
Just let it be.

I have a bike with dual lockout and it is F-ing awesome when I really need to put down power.

I have a 170mm squish bike w/o lockouts. It is awesome.

But great job stirring the pot pinkbike.
  • + 6
 I'm totally against having levers on the handlebar/cockpit, but I'm all for using the levers on the shock/fork themselves. If they didn't increase performance, then why would the companies put them on there in the first place?
  • + 8
 As a crutch to fix poor pedaling action Smile
  • - 1
 @mikelevy: biking is about downhill or as some call it "downcountry". Therefore stands to reason that a more active suspension is better. Hence why lots of companies use a climbing switch for "upcountry".
  • + 2
 @jaydawg69: What kind of goober calls it down-country?

But yeah, the levers do make a lot of sense for many of today's bikes. I just wish they didn't haha
  • + 1
 @mikelevy: Well I want an electric vehicle that has a 500 mile range and can recharge on 110v in 5min but u know...sounds like a damn unicorn lol.
  • + 5
 Lockouts aren't bad design - they're good design. They're taking a shocking that is maximized for downhill performance and with a SIMPLE flip of a lever making the same thing also do a great job uphill - it's clever, not stupid.

Pros: Superior all round downhill performance, basically no reduction in uphill performance, the difference is so close that a fit rider doesn't even bother to use it, the ability to select when to use it (fire roads) and not to (loose tech climbs).

Cons: Um, sometimes I forget to unlock it . . .

Yeah, can't say I agree with you on this one Levy.
  • + 9
 Incorrect.
  • + 10
 That's just like, your opinion, man
  • + 1
 @ItsOnlyJayke: The dude abides.
  • + 4
 Mr. Levy: a missed opportunity at "witchcraft" that should have been "(s)witchcraft." You have infinite humorous metaphors to my observation but I might have chuckled at that one too.

You don't care but I disagree with you. My 5010 never needs to have the switch flipped and is perfect for most of my riding. But when I go for big days in the mountains I am tickled pink whenever I flick that X2 climb switch on my Nomad after the grueling climb to the top to be greeted by a completely different machine ready to devour everything in its path below the size of a Yugo.

Also, keep up all the great work. I disagree with you alot but love to read/watch your work anyway.
  • + 4
 If you ride a bike with a high percentage of anti-squat, then a rear shock lockout is unnecessary. The more power you deliver to the cranks, the more tension is on the chain which pushes the rear wheel down into the ground. This is so basic and largely misunderstood by many riders. Even standing up climbing tech in low cadence will result in a pretty stiff rear end.

Don’t have a bike with good anti-squat? Then you rely on shock tuning and lock out.
  • + 2
 But again, a bike with too much anti squat, 110% and above, will have a poppy and chattery ride.
Since most of the adrenaline is made on the way down, most people prefer a suspension tuned to these parts. And that's why the cheater lever was brought to us in the first place.
  • + 5
 I don't understand the whining about cables. Maybe I value function over form to a degree where I don't care. There are certainly people who more heavily weight form vs function than I do...so...eh.
  • + 20
 Found the Scott rider Smile
  • + 2
 @mtmc99: Ha!
  • + 1
 Some people just want to cry about what other folks run. I still catch shit from some folks for running flats and 1x.
  • + 4
 Im not an engineer, lets get that out of the way. Since im in the market for a coil rear and pretty much looking for a dhx2 I will say if you live in the mtns and have to climb to go down why wouldn't you want a 2 position switch on a coil shock?
  • - 2
 If you are weighing between having it and not, i say go for it. If i had the option of getting the Super Deluxe RCT (with the switch) and the World Cup? (same but with no switch), i would have taken the switch one. I have one since that was the only option, but i don't use it. There's always the resale value, visiting a pump track or a flow trail, where the platform could actually prove usefull Smile

And it doesn't weigh much as well.
  • + 3
 Lock out? No it firms up the suspension at the flick of a switch. So my Enduro bike can be set up for ultimate DH feel . Flick that lever climb. Flick it again plushness.
Sorry bro but you just can't make a bike perform perfectly at climbing with out compromise on the DH.
Just offer us choices and it's all good.
  • + 1
 What do you do on a short climb mid descent?
  • + 2
 @Primoz: what can I say . Sometimes I just leave the suspension on plush and use my body English , weight shifting , being in the correct gear. You know that thing called skill.
  • + 1
 @Sshredder: What if your bike... dunno, worked?
  • + 3
 You can't have your cake and eat it too. No matter how much time you spend on kinematics, you still have to pick what you want a bike to excel at, and let's face it: we want our bikes to excel on the downs. That's where the fun is, right? If I have to choose between a compromise in downhill and climbing performance or having to flip a lever to have the best of both, I'll take the lever.

PS Cane Creek got it right with the Climb Switch in keeping the suspension active, just firmer.
  • + 5
 Cane Creek's Climb Switch slowing down the rebound is so good on technical climbs.
  • + 3
 @GuerrillaGravity: I'm in the minority. I'm rocking a Climb Switch and a TALAS fork.

Also, loving your new carbon modular frame. You will be my next frame, and I didn't think I would say that about a carbon frame.
  • + 1
 @GuerrillaGravity: Haven't tried the CC but I've noticed the same after upgrading to the Fox X2 on my Spitfire. I think it slows the low speed rebound and firms the low speed compression? The end sensation is just feeling glued to tech climbs.
  • + 2
 @babymorox: it can't slow the rebound down as CC has a patent on it with a switch. It will only do the compression.
  • + 1
 Mountain bikes will never get to the point that your 160mm enduro bike will pedal like a hardtail. Looking at the car industry you can either choose between comfort or speed, the only way you can get a comfortable ride that's nearly as fast (low body roll) as a harsher one is the predictive technology that Mercedes and other manufactures use that scan the road and will adjust the damping if you are about to hit a pothole or something. On a lower end but still nice car many will have the option to change between road, sport and track modes which will generally change the damping among other things, this is basically the same as a climb switch on a bike.

I think most trail bikes should be able to climb decent without needing lock out, but if you want the ultimate downhill performance the pedaling is going suffer some because of that. Even in something like a dh World Cup you would ideally want lockout for sprinting on the pedaling sections to be able to achieve the fastest time.

I think the cane creek "lockout" is exceptionally good on trail climbs but for road climbs when pedaling standing up I would prefer if there was an even firmer option.

Honestly I think that geometry changes like the canyon shapeshifter or rockshox dual travel forks need to be more common and developed more. Has anyone ridden a climb on a modern bike and thought that the head angle was too steep or the front end too low? I have a bike with a 160/140 dual air shaft fork and reducing the travel so that the front end is 20mm lower makes much more of a difference to how that bike climbs on steep slopes than any shock lockout will.

I think we have all accidently started a descent without opening the suspension back up before. If you use it regularly it's something that will just become habit, how often do you accidently start a descent with your dropper up or start a ride with out turning your gps or strava on?
  • + 3
 @JasonALap: you won't regret it, and you don't really need to ever use a lockout on our bikes, but it's there if you want to use it, just like the additional impact resistance.
  • + 1
 @Joeshreds: you can have comfort and quite some speed, but the car won't look 'as good' because it won't have big wheels and thin tyres. Put some higher sidewall tyres on it, tune the suspension for that and you have al the comfort and all the grip on bumpy roads you could want.

Geometry changing is not needed, properly designed suspension AND frame geometries are needed. Geometry changing is just as much of a bandaid as the platform shocks are.

Also, i used U-Turn a lot and ended up hating it. I had DPA on my previous bike and used just enough to see it's horribly useless.

As for flipping the switch on the top, you'd have to flip it also before and after any technical sections on the climbs since an active suspension helps a lot there too. So now you're constantly flipping it. Or you can leave it open...
  • + 3
 I prefer the lockout. Just make it cleanly integrated into the bike. If riding cross country or enduro it makes sense when time matters. For the average trail rider just hucking around for fun and not counting seconds it doesn't really matter having one or not.
  • + 3
 I have the new Scott genius and also the new cannon dale Jekyll. Both of them have bar controlled lockouts and both of them benefit greatly from the design. I usually take the one off the fork on any of my Scott bikes, but I’m definitely into it. Don’t knock until you really try it, more and more companies are going this direction because it works.
  • + 3
 Suspension designs have gotten better.... Shocks have gotten better... Lockouts aren't making things better... I haven't used the lever on my Slash yet... Its been a while since I used the lockout on any bike I ridden.. Suspension helps both up and down the hills..
  • + 3
 Don't mind a lock out one bit! I'm a winch and plummet style rider and want to know that my suspension is optimized for the plummet part. If it worked as well on the way up as it did on the way down then, frankly, it's compromising somewhere. I'll take ground hugging traction and a magic carpet ride any day - if a lockout helps on the way back up - I don't really care!!
  • + 3
 Marin wolf ridge works great. No lockout, no fancy shock. One of the best riding bikes I have owned. And it does not need an upgraded shock or lever to make the bike perform. In fact I climb faster on the wolf ridge than I do on my rigid forked hard tail.
  • + 3
 The many Treks I owned in the past benefited from a pro-pedal platform due to wallow, I would run the pro-pedal all the time unless at the top of a very long DH. I recently picked up a Santa Cruz Hightower and can run it full open all the time. huge difference. Its nice not having to switch back and forth.
  • + 3
 Seen a ~2015 slash bouncing around with a closed Monarch+ RC3 platform right besides my opened up, yet calm 2015 Giant Reign. Couldn't believe my eyes.
  • + 3
 Err.. this seems nuts. Do you think variable compression damping is also a backward idea on sports cars and rally cars?! If so, you might want to chat with a bunch of suspension engineers about how adaptive damping has 'made cars worse'.

Seems to me that the ability to vary (in real time) the amount of damping in a vehicle's suspension is pretty damn useful, particularly for a vehicle which crosses surfaces with a broad range of roughnesses at a wide range of speeds. And for an MTB, there is the added factor of a rider who might be doing anything from coasting to jumping up and down on the pedals like an uncoordinated overweight gorilla (that's me these days).

For a rider who is really attacking an up-and-down trail with lots of different surfaces, like many modern 'XC' courses, I think a remote 'lockout' is the cat's meow.

Combine said remote lockout with a linkage that has modest anti-squat, and you have a versatile mile-crunching machine --albeit with a cluttered handlebar.
  • + 3
 Oddly, I have to go with Levy on this. A good suspension should never need any levers, buttons or other crap. The last time I utilized any such thing was with the early 00's Marzocchi ETA levers. These altered the bike's geometry for a better climbing position. Modern geometry has negated has made such things irrelevant, but back in the high bottom bracket/slack seat angle daze these worked well.
  • + 2
 Are you talking about that switch on Marzocchi forks where you could flip it and then compress the fork down and it'd stay there? I think that was them...?
  • + 2
 @mikelevy: That's what he's on about. Guaranteed pedal strikes on any technical terrain.
  • + 1
 @mikelevy: Yeah, they were present around '00-'02 on Z1's and the like. The made climbing steep fire roads on my Bullit slightly less arduous.
  • + 1
 And FOX had (has?) TALAS, U-Turn was used on older RS forks, but was replaced by Dual Position Air.

Used U-Turn a lot on the old old bike, hardly ever used (and never liked) the DPA on my previous bike (2015 Reign). Current ultra long and ultra steep 29er climbs better than both of them. And probably better than the old 26" XC whips (because i sit more upright and relaxed and can focus on the technical details more).
  • + 2
 Anyone, who's talking about having a spaghetti bowl on the front of their bike that has twinloc knows nothing about cable management and heat shrink, My ransom has three cables on the front with just a little cable management they can look just as clean as any other bike on the market.
  • - 2
 Your Ransom would on the other hand be a much better bike without the handlebar rmotes, a Grip2 fork and a Float X2 rear shock.

And my bike only has two cables by your metric. One from the left (brake and dropper) and one from the right (brake and shifter). Ziptied together.
  • + 3
 @Primoz: Yeah you're going to tell me how my bike would be better? Have you rode the Ransom? (oh of course you have you're a bike expert) You don't even know what's spec'd on my bike or if it's stock or not. Get out of here with your subjectivity.
  • + 3
 @Primoz: Shit you don't even know where I ride, if I'm riding super long sustained climbs or short punchy stuff get out of here dude jesus.
  • - 2
 I haven't and i won't ride a Ransom because it doesn't fit me with the bent seat tube (the actual seat tube angle for my height would be way too slack). My friend has a Genius and was happy with the Twinlock. Now he doesn't use it anymore (because it's not needed). I haven't used lockouts on my bikes (Giant's 2015 Reign before, Bird AM9 now), not even on asphalt climbs. Because the bikes work.

As for climbs, i've done 1500 m vertical climbing in basically one go, from the bottom to the top of the mountain. Technical 30 % climbs. Fairly flat rides, the lot. On those two bikes i mentioned above. And yet i still haven't used the lockout on them. Funny eh?

As for the Ransom, it would be better because it would have a)top of the line components (fitting for a bike of that caliber) instead of a FIT4 and ordinary Float shock and b)standard components that can be swapped out or fixed by the local bike shop without the need for a specially trained technician, who went through the peculiarities of the Twinlock required changes in the design of the damper and the shock.

Yet you wouldn't lose anything from the bike. For the few times that you think you need to turn on the platform, you still could. But like I say, with the proper design you don't need that. And i doubt the Ransom has such a bad suspension design to really need the twinlock. @mikekazimer can chime in here, he's swapped out the suspension on his Ransom for a Zocchi and a Super Deluxe
  • + 3
 @Primoz: Oh man don't you just have it all figured out, I'm sure all these companies are just chomping at the bit for you to come in and tell them what they need, and tell them how shit their designs are and how their degree's and product testing is worthless compared to your ultimate opinion

Just another keyboard warrior who thinks his opinion is the best save your wall of text for someone else man. I don't give a shit about your subjective opinion.

And TBH I f*cking love Twinloc all we have is sustained riding where I'm at and I'll f*cking lock that shit out all day to save all the energy I can for my decent and you don't know shit about the rear shock on the ransom if you're calling it an ordinary float shock because it's far from it. No need @ bro because I already don't care. And if you read Mikes right up on the rear shock the only reason he swapped it out is because he would have to ride it fully open (because it's remote only) so he swapped it to the Super so he could use the climb switch. Way to read full articles.
  • - 1
 @KillaK801: My opinions are as objective as they can be. The market is massively subjective. I'm a horrible customer because i know what i want and why i want it. And it usually goes against the grain. But don't worry, i'm used to negative props from the likes of you Wink

And yea, it's not an ordinary float shock, it has an additional chamber that can be closed off, a ramp control thingie, etc. It's actually a float shock with some more bandaids.

Also about Mike, he swapped out the fork for a Grip2 damper and hated the remote, which is why he would have to run it wide open. So... I was right all along? Big Grin

And another also, for someone not caring you write fairly long and angry comments Wink

EDIT: oh, forgot to mention it, i do have it figured out, yeah. That's why i'm a bad customer, like i said. I know what i want and i bought that. And i don't have a lockout lever on my fork, i have it on the shock but don't use it because i don't need it, i have a steep seat tube angle, an aluminium frame, aluminium wheels and a bike that rides awesome. I doubt the Ransom can come close to it Wink
  • + 3
 @Primoz: Keep telling yourself you're objective with language like "I know what I want and why I want it" "I don't need a lockout lever" "i don't need it" i i i i i i i i i i i i everything you're saying is subjective please realize that you're the definition of subjectivity. I also know what I like and what rides well for me. That may not work well for you as we are to completely different humans who are two different sizes so for you to come and say I need this on my bike and you don't need that is based off you're subjectivity, and may not and probably wouldn't be beneficial to me. I've owned many bikes 90% of them with out lockout on the fork and many of them without it on the shock and though I may not need lock out on my fork I f*cking enjoy it and you may continue to talk shit on the Ransom and lockout/twinloc but go read the BikeMag review and numerous others that point out the benefits. And to be clear the "likes of me" isn't the one down voting you, everyone is entitled to their subjective opinion. Yeah I bet your birds a blast that's why I've never seen one. While Scott is one of the bigger brands in the industry with positive bike reviews, and Olympic winners who love twinloc that would blow you out of the water that you wouldn't be able to come close to. [ Insert smiley face]
  • - 1
 @KillaK801: oh, I just saw your aggressive first reply of 'you're going to tell me how my bike would be better'. While it looks like this is what i'm doing, you do in fact have tons of engineers trying to tell you that through selling you as good of a product as possible and even more marketers trying to do that for shitty things through good marketing. So there are tons of people telling you that already in all aspects of your life. If nothing else, these people are called experts in their field.

I mean, do you have innate knowledge on all aspects of building a bike, through which you determined that the Ransom you ride is the absolute best, perfect thing for you to ride? If yes, props to you. You have some insane bike building knowledge and you've mapped your riding very specifically.

If no... Well you've fallen for the marketing trap.

Scott is doing this twinlock thing because it's their identity. They're doing it on a bike that really shouldn't be held back by it (the Ransom). And they've been doing it since... 2003? The first Genius with the HORRIBLE pull shock came out around that year as an XC racing full suspension bike (with a horst link to boot! but then lost it because patents). All Geniuses since have had it, it has since become a trail bike and the XC bike has become the Spark. Then you had the original Ransom with the Equalizer shock that was a work of art complications wise. And it never worked properly as well. That's what you get when you spec custom components that can't be tested as well.

And saying i don't know if your bike is factory spec or custom... Does it matter? You are saying you love the twinlock. You therefore have it. You therefore run the factory suspension, because twinlock requires a custom shock and a custom fork damper. That doesn't come in Rock Shox, 36 Grip2, Float DPX2 or Float X2 flavour.

As for subjectivity or objectivity, i said that i tried to be as objective as possible. I'm still subjective, of course, because i have my own views on the matter - i think the components on a bike should be as standard, off the shelf as possible. And that the base of the bike (kinematics, frame, etc.) should be as good as possible and not supported by things like lockouts, twinlocks, etc. I think that to have servicing done as easily as possible (no custom guides and tools needed) and to have as good a base as possible. Because all of that is possible and everything else is just differentiating for differentiation's and marketing's sake and making things harder for the end user.

A float X2 with the lever that you would turn would work just as well for you, if you use the platform on long climbs, the fork really doesn't need a lockout on climbs (which is a stance even Matt made in his counterpoint) and the suspension performance could be improved through better adjustability and better control through more oil volume (for the shock).
  • - 2
 @KillaK801: Saying that i'm objective is not the same as "My opinions are as objective as they can be." They are not, They are opinions, which are subjective by design. I just try to back them up with logical facts with a sound base, like i already mentioned. So no, I am NOT the definition of subjectivity, quite the opposite. I could point some fingers around here as to who is subjective though.

You can happily disagree with them. I will still think the Ransom would be better with a Float X2 shock and without the twinlock mess on the handlebar.

As for the lockout lever, i don't need it because the bike works. Flipping it on or off would make a negligible difference, so why bother?

As for the olympic winner, it's actually not twinlock, it's a standard remote lockout on Sram stuff. So no multiple chambers and the like. And it makes at least a bit sense on an XC bike to have it remote. More than on a full enduro bike.

EDIT: oh, when you say bikemag review, look at the Pinkbike Ransom review. They said that it's not really needed, but a beefier shock would be a better choice Wink
  • + 1
 @Primoz: ALL HAIL GOD, Everyone must bow to @Primoz he is the bike God he knows all. I didn't read your wall of text and I literally could careless of what you've had to say.
  • + 1
 @Primoz: Also ALL HAIL PINKBIKE IT IS THE BIKE BIBLE AND ALL OTHER MEDIA SITES ARE BEARING FALSE WITNESS @Primoz did I get that right? Don't worry I'll just ask Nino what he think about Twinloc.
  • + 0
 @KillaK801: You do realise you are on Pinkbike, right? And that you used Mike Levy as a reference why lockouts on Ransom are good?

And you do realise how these comments make you look, right after yelling at me that i am subjective? While i have been calm and have supported my opinions with facts and explanations? That you didn't read anyway.

Also, if you will maaaybe read this comment, here's a fun experiment for you. What do you think is more expensive for Scott to buy, an off the shelf 36 Grip2 and Float X2 or arrange with FOX to setup a parallel production line with a custom fork damper (which doesn't have any clicks in it because the twinlock lever keeps it closed) and a more or less completely custom shock body and aircan with a recalculated and redrawn design? On a relatively small run, compared to the standard Grip2 and Float X2?

I honestly wouldn't be surprised if the inferior 'Float' shock with Twinlock was more expensive than the Float X2 option with less performance. Which would mean only one thing. Marketing wins.

Enjoy your twinlock Wink
  • + 2
 @Primoz: God is that you? I didn't think I'd hear from you so soon. You know I've been thinking God maybe it's time to not ride my Twinloc and be more like you. The things you've said like "blah blah blah" and "yada yada yada" have really recalled me from the darkest crevices of my mind and have really shown a light of truth and knowledge.

God I just wanted to apologize for thinking differently from you, I'll let the other losers like myself and the demons over at Scott to heed thine words, and to stop burning money on the Float TR and that it's horse shit that isn't worth any bike and should be stricken from the earth. oh God please forgive me of my trespasses against you as my transgressions were made in vain and a far inferior lack of knowledge to thyself, I seek forgiveness and to be exactly like thee in all shapes and forms of riding across all disciplines.

I'm going to the nearest Bird dealer and picking up my AM9 God, God I can't wait to ride such a superior machine, that isn't dreadful nasty Satan Scott like carbon because ew I no no no WE hate saving grams no God I will stand by thine side and ride aluminum in to the depths of night to battle against all these lyrcra thugs with their step casts forks, God together we can show them the truth and light by riding our 36's Grip2's and X2's against they're abominations.

God I love you and hope to become more like you through the power of aluminum and the our birds we can conquer the pinkbike universe and only keep our opinions limited to Pinkbike and bring in no outside sources. God let me be thine rod to strike all these naysayers and unbelievers down through our downvotes we will conquer I love you God can't wait to hear from you again.
  • - 1
 @KillaK801: you're in luck, you don't need to go far, they are a direct sales company, so just open a new tab and type in bird.bike and spec away.

Not sure if they ship to the USA though...
  • + 2
 @Primoz: God, Soo Good to hear from you again, I know you've been busy with your other children on this page and understand you have a flock of comments to tend to I appreciate your grass roots marketing of Bird the only true word in bikes. God if there's a will there's a way, I'm burning my Ransom tonight as sacrifice to you and will be on a Bird within a fortnight. You're blessing is all that matters to me and I will take your thoughts in my heart and spread your joi. Thanks God, Love you.
  • + 0
 @KillaK801: I'm sensing some sarcasm in the love you bit...
  • + 1
 @KillaK801: That's good bc men's lycra gots to go.
  • + 3
 @mikelevy how did you come to the opinion that ‘Locking out your shock might save you the slightest sliver of power’? Is this based on any actual research or is just an assumption?
  • - 1
 I've always wondered this. I'm not a physicist, but I don't see how the energy causing a shock to compress while pedaling would be redirected towards driving the wheel with a lockout.
  • + 3
 @dthomp325: I was kinda inferring that his assertion was incorrect, I think having a shock locked out is way more efficient and energy saving than ‘saving a slight slither of power’. Of course that switch can be flicked off when things get bumpier, but for the majority of my time at least I’ll be grinding out long fire roads and farmers tracks where things are generally fairly smooth. All I know is that I’d rather do climbs on my hard tail than my full sus enduro bike.
  • - 2
 @oatkinso: Why would locking out the shock suddenly send energy to the drivetrain that wasn't going there before? I'm skeptical that lockouts do anything to increase efficiency.
  • + 3
 @dthomp325: some chain load is effectively used to compress the suspension (in a not very direct manner - basically the rear wheel tries to drive itself forward underneath the rider's mass, which loads up the suspension causing compression, and allows the rider's mass to not accelerate forwards as hard as it otherwise would). If the suspension resists more, it's a more rigid connection to the wheel, thereby a higher percentage of the load is transmitted to the wheel and energy is not dissipated as heat by the damper.
  • + 0
 @Socket: but most modern suspension designs have 100-110% anti-squat at sag, which means the chain forces are doing the opposite, extending the suspension.
  • + 3
 @dthomp325: and those don't bob while pedalling.

We are talking about the bikes that do bob while pedalling. And if you have bob, you need to get energy for it from somewhere. Suspension damping characteristic is a hysteresis by design, air shocks also lose some energy through all the friction in the seals, air heating up, etc. All that energy doesn't come from the air but from the rider.
  • + 2
 Lockout/platform/whatever levers are not needed and i've hardly used mine in the past four years. One of the reasons is forgetting i have them (because i use them too rarely), but the main reason is that in my opinion the bikes these days just work.

We won't get rid of them, people will not be comfortable without them, but yeah, there is no point in having them. The bikes should work, like @mikelevy said. It's the same point i have with geometry, every bike that gets pedalled should have the geometry dialed for pedalling. Same with suspension. Make the descending fit when you have the basics (the most time and energy consuming component of a bike ride) handled. What are you going to do on a short climbing burst during a stage? Flip all the switches? Or just get along with it on a bike that works? I know what i actually do.

Bikes like these exist. And work damn well.
  • - 1
 Forgot to mention, proper sag setting for the design of the suspension platform is ESSENTIAL to put you in the correct antisquat area.

And i kind of think that a high pivot bike could be made even better in these regards since you can tune the antisquat value with the pivot height (since the rear wheel wants to kick under the bike when pedalling) without relying on the chain force extending the suspension. That way you decouple the chain forces and the suspension performance.
  • + 2
 He has a valid point and it made me reconsider the whole deal about suspension-lockout. I remember you mentioned it in another article for the first time and since then I just stopped using it. I never liked it but thought I needed it for the "better uphill experience" but quickly found out that I don't really need it. I think it's high time to challenge the industry to do better.
  • + 1
 Yes! Exactly Smile
  • + 2
 "I'm tired of reading reviews that sum up an enduro bike's climbing manners with something like, ''It's not the most efficient, but it pedals well when you lockout the rear-suspension.'' Yeah, no shit, Sherlock, and so does a downhill bike."

Have to disagree with this...
  • + 2
 Lockout allows you to have a bike with extremely low antisquat and pedal kick. Thus you get more active suspension when you open up that lockout lever. That’s why it matters. Lockout on a bike with 120% AS doesn’t make sense. Lockout on a bike with 60% AS does, however.
  • + 1
 High pivot.
  • + 1
 @Primoz: what about them
  • + 2
 @kleinblake: You don't need chain growth, you don't have pedal kickback, but you have antisquat values that prevent bob. At least it can be made that way.
  • + 1
 @Primoz: not typically. Most high pivot bikes with a regular idler either suffer with pedal kick or antisquat. There’s a huge misconception about them thanks to marketing and media. There’s a reason Amaury’s bike has a different idler position than everyone else, and it isn’t to make the bike pedal better
  • + 2
 @kleinblake: Therefore my 'at least it can be made that way' part of the comment.

You get antisquat values through suspension geometry which wants to either squat, extend or do nothing, depending on how it's designed. This is purely from the forward force on the wheel axle influencing the suspension links. With a high pivot, the axle wants to fold under the bike, effectively giving you antisquat, much more antisquat than with a conventional design.

The other part is from the chain being taught by pedalling. If you don't have any chain growth through suspension movement, you don't have any work done from it and therefore you don't have any antisquat from it. And no pedal kickback. And vice-versa.

With a high pivot you can lay it out in such a way to provide enough antisquat from the geometry itself and then configure the idler (well... I'd do it Brooklyn Machine Works style instead of with an idler to have a normal 30-ish chainring in the front, no noise and better efficiency) to not have an effect on it and not have pedal kickback.

I'm sure it can be done or at least approached better than conventional designs and it should therefore work better both up and down and not need a platform as much.

As for Amaury and the factory team, the idler has been moved lower down. Giving MORE antisquat through MORE chaingrowth.
  • + 1
 @Primoz: on a high pivot bike with an idler the relationship between antisquat and pedal kick isn’t so perfect. For Amaury’s custom idler, he’ll have near 0° of pedal kick but more than 200% AS, so it’ll pedal like trash. BMW is the way to go. Jack shaft does have an amazing balance of pedal kick and antisquat that you just can’t get with a typical idler.
  • + 1
 @kleinblake: I know the relationship isn't 'perfect', that was what i was saying. As for antisquat, i'm not sure i'd say it's 200 %. Maybe at zero travel, but that should drop immensely through the travel (just the nature of the high pivot designs).

As for kickback, the idler position gives MORE pedal kickback due to more chain growth. Zero chaingrowth would be the case of the idler cocentric with the pivot. This one is lower down so it's going more towards a high pivot design without an idler. And we know those don't work because they have insane kickback.

I'd say the standard Supreme rides well for bikepark and light race use, but the pros required more support during pedalling and don't mind the kickback as much (which presents itself mostly when locking the rear wheel), so the idler was moved lower. You can see it's as low as possible since in some cases (smaller sprockets in the rear) the chain is rubbing on the rear triangle.

As for jack shafts, it can be completely, 100 % the same as the idler. If you used the idler in the same position and of the same size. The chain mechanics will be the same. The catch is that with a jack shaft you use decently sized chainrings which means there is less chain rotation in the links when they go from going straight between chainrings to wrapping around, which means better efficiency and less noise.
  • + 1
 @Primoz: most of what you said is untrue. Jackshact with the same position and teeth as an idler delivers totally different AS and PK. I have absolutely no idea why this is, but it is the case. Technically Amaury’s bike does have “increased” PK, but only because stock has negative PK. So increasing it brings in closer to 0
  • + 1
 @kleinblake: Um... The factory supreme has the idler concentric witht he pivot. So the distances between the BB and pivot and pivot and rear axle don't change through the travel. Which means no chain growth and no pedal kickback. And anti squat only based off the high pivot geometry. I didn't look at the pivot position before, only now and couldn't claim that before.

As for Amaury's bike, the idler is below the pivot. Which means more than zero pedal kickback. I wrote why. And you can't have negative pedal kickback, otherwise it would be taken up by the freehub and the derailleur cage, but you'd get pedal kickback once the suspension would extend again. And a setup with 'negative pedal kickback' would cause pedal induced bob, so the use case is... limited to say the least.

As for jackshafts, what o you base your claim off then if you don't know why it's like that? One thing to note is that idler pulleys are usually swingarm mounted and jackshafts are frame mounted, so the behaviour of the idler changes through the travel, but not for the jackshaft. But i said same position, same size. The system is the same with the only difference of having two chains. But the power flow, the mechanical coupling, etc., is completely the same, therefore the only logical explanation is that the behaviour is also the same.

If you say most of what i say is untrue, back it up with an explanation please.
  • + 0
 @kleinblake: Hm... I've had a proper think and yeah, maybe there is some slackening of the chain and an effective 'negative kickback' with the supreme that doesn't happen with the jackshaft. With the jackshaft you wrap the chain around the chainring and when you go through the travel, it unwraps at the top and rewraps at the bottom of the chainring. This doesn't happen with the idler, since the chain just unwraps itself. That slack has to go somewhere.

There is an effect then, but my gut says it's small enough to be discounted. On the other hand, my envelope of comparison (same position, and, more importantly, same size) would cause a bigger difference since the angle of unwrapping stays the same, but the lenght of the chain unwrapped increases with a bigger chainring.

Gee, thanks man, how can i go to sleep now?! Big Grin
  • + 2
 @Primoz: the supreme idler isn’t concentric with the pivot, it sits just below and to the left, and is also mounted to the swing arm so it moves slightly. I’d highly encourage you to spend the $25 on the bikechecker program and run it yourself to see how it all works out.
  • + 0
 @kleinblake: Ah, i see now, it made sense to me to have a single bolt going through the idler and the pivot.

I have Linkage bought for quite a while actually. And i do more or less know how everything works, it's just that the devil is in the details and if you make assumptions (like the idler being cocentric with the pivot) things change a bit.
  • + 3
 It's o.k.We are constantly being told by everyone that the latest 170mm travel 36lb enduro weapon climbs like a 100mm xc bike from last year anyway.Such is progress/marketing/same difference.
  • + 1
 Ugh
  • + 2
 @mikelevy: Aaaaarghhhhh
  • + 2
 I remember riding the Kona Magic Link suspension about 10 years ago on a 150mm travel bike, and though the system was far from perfect (a bit too complex too adjust, too flexy...) I've never needed to lock the shock at all, even on paved uphills.

Suspensions that lock themselves up exist, but technically speaking it seems way easier to switch a lever than rethinking a whole suspension design from the ground up.
  • + 1
 That was designed by Brian Berthold, who started the Tantrum cycle with the magic link. It is exceptional on climbs, no need for lock out.
  • + 1
 @ALTA-RACKS: Tantrum is the best definition of function over fashion Smile
  • + 2
 @mikelevy

you are wrong to say that lockout makes a full suspension practically a hardtail; as you know pretty much every lockout acts hydraulically to add some dampening, and still has some compliance, especially to large hits.

The world is made a worse place for all every time someone blows smoke, because it obfuscates reality to those who cannot see through it, and burdens those who can with the often prominent perspective of the inaccurate misconstued masses. ie 2016 democratic primaries.
  • + 1
 That's an impressive tangent you have there. The point is/was: the lever keeps your suspension from moving as freely as it could otherwise, regardless of what you want to call it. Some have more compliance than others, sure, but they're all terrible.
  • + 4
 Mike Levy likes for people to suffer. He doesn't like slack bikes, doesn't like climb switches, probably still says shit like "steel is real"
  • + 5
 Steel is real.....so is carbon....and all alloys....unobtanium however is not real, no matter how hard you wish for it, or how many times you ask Santa for it....
  • + 3
 i liked the talas feature fox had for a while, something about flipping the switch and one or two compressions to lower my front end and firm it up made climbs so much more enjoyable
  • + 5
 Experience tells me that if I do anything to firm up my suspension for a climb, I will forget to undo it before the descent.
  • + 2
 So far I've never came across FS bike that never needed cheater lever. Maybe there is such suspension layout that can prove me wrong and would be very happy to admit that no lockout is needed but for the time beeing it's a necectity not an option.
  • + 2
 If we're talking about 150mm+ bikes, there are only a few, including Mondraker and Polygon.
  • + 7
 @mikelevy: what about Tantrum?
  • + 5
 @EnduroriderPL: RC did a first ride report, and then nothing from PB after.

Get on the Tantrum review already @mikelevy @RichardCunningham
  • + 2
 @privateer-wbc: I'm also looking to read more about Tantrum Smile
  • + 3
 @EnduroriderPL: back in 2016 @RichardCunningham said:

"Brian Berthold's Missing Link delivers the goods - direct drive pedaling with supple suspension action - and it does so without electronics, remote levers or voodoo shock damping. Compared to the current crop of carbon superbikes, the Tantrum Meltdown looks rough around the edges, but it performs well on the downs - essential for any 160-millimeter trail bike - and its pedaling action is better than all of them.

Bold statement? I've ridden many trail bikes that were supposed to, '...pedal like a cross-country bike and descend like a DH bike.' (I've written that phrase more times than I should have) Only two have actually performed that ballet: the Meltdown with its Missing Link, and a Kona Process outfitted with Fox's prototype Live Valve electronic suspension. Neither are perfect, but both set the bar well above today's crowded pack of carbon uberbikes.

Send the Meltdown to finishing school, add a better component selection and a more sophisticated fork and shock, and I think it has the potential to take on the big guys. Brian Berthold's Missing Link is proof that there actually is significant room for improvement among the present crop of all-mountain trail bikes. Cheers to thinking outside the box. - RC"
  • + 2
 @EnduroriderPL: Yup, possibly. I haven't ridden it so I didn't want to include Smile
  • + 1
 @mikelevy: Brian Berthold has his next generation of "Tantrums" in the offing, i think its time to have a word with him ;-)
  • + 1
 @privateer-wbc:
The Tantrum works really well. I never ride my other bikes anymore. But unfortunately you can't buy one.
  • + 1
 @jnicol: I rode some of the early Tantrums with Brian and i loved them. I am still in contact with him occasionally and i know he is currently working on the next generation of his Missing Link bike. You will have to contact him to find out when they are scheduled for hitting the trails.
  • + 1
 I just picked up a Jamis Portal and that thing doesn’t need locked out at all. The 3VO suspension kinematics seem to really do a good job of keeping the bike active without wallowing under pedal power
  • + 2
 @MegaStoke: GL w it, hopefully they've figured out how to keep linkages from dissolving.
  • + 1
 @matttauszik: please elaborate?
  • + 2
 @privateer-wbc: Jamis has historically had issues building full suspension frames that didn’t crack.
  • + 2
 @MegaStoke: right, so not necessarily commentary on this latest generation bike.
  • + 1
 @privateer-wbc: exactly. I’ve personally had nothing but good experiences with Jamis so far, and am super amped on the Portal I just got a few weeks ago
  • + 2
 @privateer-wbc: I had a virtue. The bb linkage cracked. Single bushings were impossible to get w/out getting the whole set for like $500. I'm sure the bikes have gotten better but 1 was enough for me. I honestly don't think there's a single jamis dealer in Utah. There's probably a reason.
  • + 2
 it also comes down to the fact that off-the-shelf and even factory tunes on suspension are pretty terrible. Get your shock custom tuned for your weight, bike, and riding style and I bet you'll touch that lockout a _lot_ less.
  • + 2
 What if the lockout lever was shaped like a donut? You've got a dilemma on your hands now huh?

Real question: is it possible to make a bike that climbs and descends just as well without the use of a lever (especially above 150 travel) as a bike that has one? I have serious doubts. It's always going to be a compromise. The lever should theoretically make any bike better both up and down, especially with 3 positions. We spend our lives pushing buttons, this isn't a massive extra burden. Doesn't have to be on the handlebar either.
  • + 1
 Look at this document from manitou:
drive.google.com/file/d/0B7grOSQ82keNXzU4MlhhYVltdDA/view?pref=2&pli=1

If you see the differences between a "padal friendly" and a "bump friendly" setting, it's obvious a compromise can't be done without huge loss.
  • + 1
 @faul: shimtastic
  • + 1
 Lefty PBR has been am excellent solution to this issue: Lockout push-button right up there on your left side. They've killed it with Lefty Ocho though, which is a single crown fork and must have a lockout lever. The future is definitely wireless Wink
  • + 1
 I too take great comfort from not having to lock out my front and rear suspension on my current crop of bikes. Even on pavement. I can't remember too many times in the past when I DID use lockout levers on the bikes only to fail to un-lock them when it came to the big descent in the ride. Never failed. I 'prolly lost a few fillings in my teeth due to that....
  • + 2
 Having remote a 'lock-out' is an easy get-out of jail for a poorly designed suspension systems. I've never felt the need to 'lock' any of the suspension on my SB130 which feels so good under pedalling.
  • + 1
 I like to ride with quite a lot of sag and progression in the rear on steep trails to get the planted feel when I'm weighting the front wheel in steep corners. Normally climb on steep fire roads to get there and don't want to sag as deeply into the travel and wreck the seat angle so long live the climb switch on my x2. Can't stand technical climbing so grip in those situations is less relevant to me. I've never understood firming up the fork outside of an xc race though, surely it must slacken the head angle by holding the front up when ideally you'd want it to sag and steepen
  • + 1
 I'm sorry but this article is quite possibly the biggest load of crap I've ever read on here.

I have an old Trek fuel EX9 from 2009ish and it's got a manitou McLeod rear shock (after the fox one died surprise surprise) and it has remote lockout and a threshold valve. So even when locked it will open if it hits a big enough hit and it works a treat. I've tried a £7k yeti SB5LR and the SB5C and despite being unfamiliar with them compared to my own Trek I could never justify the massive price difference even Fe Trek were new. Despite how excellently the yetis suspension works climbing even on open.

As for that rhetorical rubbish about front derailleur and bar ends they have their place too. The MTB world really is a blinkered hypocritical place to be at times.
  • + 3
 Its nice to use your imagination, but lockouts seem to best the solution for current understanding of physics, so i think we have quite a ways to go before they are gone.
  • + 0
 You should improve your understanding of the physics, lockouts are definitely not needed.
  • + 1
 I don't mind. But think that ride by wire systems will eventually take over the landscape as we know it. Pretty soon WAHOO with come up with a set of buttons you can program on each side to do all of your adjustments for you electrically. Plus have a heads up display on your trail glasses/goggles. Bring on the progress and the frustrations that come with it.
  • + 1
 lockouts are bandages for poor designs. once upon a time in a universe far away, The Outland VPP7 was a 7 inch trail/xc bike without lockouts, it climbed like a goat. unfortunately being a 7" bike it was adopted for DH use and they mostly broke from the overloads put on the trail weight tubesets. I once put a basic coil/rebound shock into a SC Blur and found it worked perfectly despite having zero pedal platform or lockout. (random Giant house brand shock we had at the shop)

a good design doesn't need a lockout, Elegant functional design is often difficult to see!! VPP, Meastro, DWlink.
  • + 1
 I don't see the problem with having a lever on the shock, but I draw the line at a bar mounted lever. I prefer a clean, simple and neat cockpit with as few controls as I can get away with. I have ridden bikes with remote levers and I don't like idea at all. What's most surprising is that some brands seemingly have a total inability to acknowledge that most MTBers don't want a remote lever on the bars. Instead, the double down and persist. It's actually hard to believe! It can't be that difficult to offer customers choice.
  • + 1
 Its true that the Nailed bikes manage to make this happen, so I see the point, maybe the gearbox bikes can figure it out, I do find it slightly annoying to flick the compression adjust on my slash all the time for climb\dh\trail\short steep climbs\off again, she'll scrape the BB in downhill mode, but not enough travel in climb mode.
  • + 1
 Seems like a clickbait article looking to stir up discussion to get the season going.

The rockshox oneloc dual lock allows you to have a really good pedal platform for a superdeluxe rtr coil and charger 2 rtr lyrik with coil instantly with the flick of one lever. My 180mm travel bike climbs like an xc bike this way (I have climbed it over 10k vert on a 24 hour race). Coil forks and rear shocks with lockouts are the best thing ever for lightweight long travel bikes if you live somewhere with a lot of climbing. If my main trail system was flat or rolling hills, then yeah, no point in lockouts.
  • + 1
 I had an Ellsworth Epiphany a decade ago that had no lockout/ propedal lever, never felt it needed it. It was so plush but always pedalled crisply everywhere, even on long road climbs up to the trail just pedal 'as is' fully open and it felt great- whatever anyone thinks of the company now this was an awesome design truly the best suspension I've ever straddled...I believe it to be almost 99%efficient, ahem. In contrast my modern SantaCruz needs its lever to pedal/ climb well, and though ace smashing down, feels sluggish when putting the meat down on the metal - so agree that this is something modern designers could improve, it's so nice to just jump on a bike and ride without having to flip levers.
  • + 5
 I ride an Unicorn so none of this concerns me
  • + 1
 Currently riding a Strive and on the weekend's Enduro race I dumped the bike into the "DH" mode, finished my run and kept pedalling. Only when I get to the top of the climb did I noticed I never bothered to touch the shock or shape shifter...

Not a hater of the "cheater switch" but definitely hoping the next bike will have a less cluttered cockpit and less things to go wrong during a ride..
  • + 3
 Mike, if you believe locking out the shock turns a FS into a hardtail, I think maybe you haven't ridden a hardtail in a while.
  • + 2
 Just an expression Smile
  • + 1
 I see the author’s perspective here.

I ride hardtails and full sus bikes - because I appreciate both. They’re different bikes for different moods.

One time, I bothered to strava my basic loop, and expected to find the HT faster up and FS faster down. It wasn’t; FS was faster everywhere. Rear suspension can work magic at keeping the tail in contact with the surface so that traction is happening rather than letting it ping around as a HT might. Why would I want to turn that off? Ditto forks- BITD lockouts made sense but a good fork now just doesn’t need it. Offering a switch on the crown for the hardcases is fine, but a lever on the bar is a turnoff for me. Likewise shock bodies. If high efficiency XC bikes want to continue having bar setups covered in switches for everything that’s cool but so far as trail bikes are concerned I honestly don’t believe they’re necessary.
  • + 2
 Reckon SRAM/RockShox will be working on a AXS wireless lockout. What ever happpen to Fox terralogic? Remember RockShox/Lapierre lockout system? www.pinkbike.com/news/ei-and-RockShox-Show-Electronic-Shock-2012.html
  • + 1
 Terralogic 'lives on' in the form of Spec's Brain. Wireless lockout is still user controlled, e.i. and LiveValve are automatic systems, two different things.
  • + 1
 On my old Dawg Deluxe I used to lock my sus out for the ride to the trails near me as that was pretty much a road ride, i liked basically having a hard tail for the 30 minute ride to the trails the resuming normal function in the woods. Other than that, I can't see a use for it, and haven't really missed it on bikes since that old Dawg.
  • + 1
 I think a rear suspension design that's as efficient as a hardtail may be possible, but it won't be as effective over the rough stuff compared to a frame designed to be active with platform damping or lockout in those cases where you'd like to firm things up. So it kind of depends on what's most important for you. If you want hardtail like stiffness on the smooth climbs but don't want platform damping or lockout, you're going to accept that you're going to compromise on the rough stuff. If you want a frame that's effective over rough terrain, you can either accept that pedal efficiency might suffer (which I'm usually fine with), you can use a manual switch (remote or not) or you're going to sell your house and buy one of these electronically controlled units that do that bit for you. Out of that list, I think the switchable lockout or platform damping makes a lot of sense. If going down that route, I'd prefer the remote option. Of course you're going to forget that it is on and you don't want to pull over or stick your hands down into that moving linkage when going down a fun descend.

So yeah, nothing against any Mike but I'm with Matt on this one. If you invest in a bike with rear suspension, you want it to perform there where it matters. If you also care about the pedal efficiency over the smoother (uphill) sections, switchable platform damping or lockout makes a lot of sense. And if you're getting that, best is to keep your hands on the bars and use a remote. What's next? People complaining that after all those years of bicycle design, we still don't have a frame that has does away with the adjustable seatpost (qr or dropper) and just gets us a single saddle that's both high and low? Please Mike, write an article defending that statement. Just for laughs.
  • + 1
 Maybe this is a thing because people are riding the wrong bike? In my area we don't have anything worthy of a downhill bike or a fullsus setup really. I think people, out of a lack of experience and understanding, are all riding heavy ass full sus bikes with lockout levers.

I have come to prefer XC for all of my trail riding. If it gets rough I just get light and get on it and move my body. Lots of fun and I'm ready for the climbs in my light hardtail.

I have a front fork at 100mm but I lock it out and have come to resent the weight it adds. I'm looking for a XC hardtail with a carbon front fork on my next bike. I might have to build it.
  • + 1
 Ok I get it. We are not enduro racers, we need to wake up: as much as the industry keeps on telling us we NEED the ultimate 160+mm bike, 99% of us will do well on a trail (130mm an less) bike. I see it every weekend, I experience it first hand too: I ride a yeti sb75. For the weekend warrior, the casual rider, for those who are after having fun on every ride, travel is overrated. And when your bike has less of it, even the climbs are fun.
  • + 1
 All I can say is “F1” the absolute pinnacle of all things racing. Aerodynamics, engine performance and ...Suspension technology. All three of those things are controlled at the drivers fingertips on the steering wheel. I like it !
  • + 0
 Most of their "suspension technology" comes from tire sidewall flex, although there are some neat anti-roll/heave things going on!
  • + 1
 @mikelevy: The high sidewall tyres handle the bumps (going over kerbs and the like), while the suspension itself, so wishbones, (torsion bar) springs, dampers, 3rd spring (double heave only) and inerters (don't get me started on these) are there to provide as stable of an aerodynamic platform as possible (as little roll in any direction as is possible, unless the aero design allows it and the mechanical grip requires it) and to provide as constant the force between the ground and the tyre (ignoring the bumps) as possible.

Apparently not changing or changing the force of the contact patch as slowly as possible gives you the most grip.

F1 is all about aero lately, but i just saw an Autosport video on Red Bull's new wishbones that influences front camber through suspension travel (roll mostly) to improve front tyre grip as it's loaded in the corners. So things might change. And will change if the 18" abomination of the wheels gets introduced.
  • + 1
 @Primoz: I saw that video, too. Interesting stuff. I like the look of the upcoming low-profile tires, but I should probably keep that to myself haha
  • - 1
 @mikelevy: My god do i hate them... because i know what an issue they will make with car design (seeing how thin they want to make them) and mostly because Michelin was vocal about 'we want them, road car carry over, blah blah', when it was all about marketing. They were saying LMP and GT cars use 18 inch tyres as well and that that is the reason for F1 to use them, but both LMPs and GT cars use HUGE wheels which still gives you a very thick tyre, so you still have quite a lot of bump absorption from it and can use the suspension for the aero platform (with LMPs of course).

Plus with LMPs you have the space for a more complicated suspension design, like Porsche's separated roll and heave setup, which takes quite a bit of space in the front.

EDIT: so it's not as much the looks that bother me but the general idea of them. And yeah, i do know i seem somewhat grumpy with the 'never something new' style of thinking, but... It's F1! It looks wrong! It's supposed to look wrong!!! Smile
  • + 1
 @Primoz: That Porsche's suspension setup makes me erect. The road car relevance thing is always funny.

You still notice the Halos? They're invisible to me now but man, it was all I saw at first.
  • + 1
 @mikelevy: I completely agree with everything you wrote in your comment Smile
  • + 1
 Ridding a Cannondale Jekyll with more options, pedal platform and reduced travel I rarely touch the 3 position lever but the travel reduction I think is useful. You get a little more support with no much impact in performance overall. But the bike pedals reasonable well so you can go all open/long travel mode 100% of the time no problem. Most trail-enduro bikes are good climbers today.
  • + 1
 Your sort of talking about 2 seperate things. A full on LOCK OUT lever has no business being on a bike, but a lever that allows you to firm up a fork or a shock is most definitely welcome. If I'm riding tech, I'm want my suspension eating up the drops, bomb holes, rocks and roots I'm rolling thru. If I'm hitting the jumpline, i prefer a bit more support and dont need my suspension soaking up the takeoff.
  • + 2
 What you need is separate compression settings on your suspension so you can firm up your low speed compression to prevent diving/squatting a bit more, but adjust the high speed to properly handle the big hits.

And the pedal platform shouldn't do much of a difference for those rocks and roots since it's a closed low speed compression circuit, that gets blown by on a big hit.
  • + 1
 You are aiming to those who actually like to know what their bikes are capable of. If I use the lever on my shock is due long gravel wide roads that need to pedal to enjoy my way down, but I don't see why I should for most of the trails I ride. Of course that's now and not a few years back when I used to ride a bike that has a really active suspension and without some sort of lock lever it wouldn't pedal as good as the bike I have now. To me, is all about taking the time to know how you like to ride and know your numbers to find the best bike that suits you. If you just want to hop in and pedal then just make sure your bike has lock-levers, or maybe not, because you don't really care of that.
  • + 1
 Bikes designed around a pedal platform usually have less anti squat thus less pedal kickback on dh. There is no definitive answer if less anti squat is faster on the downhills though.
  • + 1
 Just use high pivots, it's all the antisquat you need with no pedal kickback Wink
  • + 0
 “With many trail associations focusing on creating smooth trails that focus on flow over skill, it might seem like the ideal time to praise lockout levers. Let's hope that doesn't happen.” Really? Come on Mike. Is this really what you think? Don’t jump on the hate wagon. Trail associations are building trails to make the networks more inclusive for all rider levels. Variety is the objective. Not focusing on smooth trails for the sake of it. Anyways, getting more beginners and intermediates into the sport is good for the industry you work in and good for your career presumably.
  • + 5
 I do think that most (but certainly not all) trail organizations are focusing on flow-style terrain over trails that require skill, and you can see that almost everywhere. Some places surely need exactly that, of course. That's not a hate wagon, it's just my opinion and nothing to do with being inclusive or growing the sport Smile
  • + 0
 @mikelevy: so only technical trails require skill in your opinion?
  • + 2
 Flowy trails that don't require as much skill should hold up better under the masses - less intense braking, rear wheel dragging, less shortcut making, etc. Insanely hard, steep trails must be designed veeeeery carefully to be enjoyable by a lot of riders of all skill levels and it's often hard to achieve all of that.
  • + 2
 @james529529: Eeesh, are you trying to get me to put my own foot into my mouth? Or maybe I already did? Either way, of course flow trails require skill to ride well. Of course a technically difficult trail requires more/different skills.
  • + 1
 Less is more! No need for the extra mumbo jumbo on the cockpit. Seems like a solution looking for a problem. Can't wait for my 15 speed drivetrain with electronic blah blah blah
  • + 0
 love scott frames.. but those levers keep me away!!!! never used the lockout on my forks, only use the lockout on my shockclimbing on my dual sus bike, but a lever is totally useless for that, your not locking and unlocking everytime... only when climb starts and when you reach the top you unlock and get ready to go down with a smile in your face without having trouble with useless levers The only lever I love is the one from my dropper post!
  • + 3
 I run an x-loc sprint remote on my hardtail, it's not connected to anything. 'Placebo lever' is the future....
  • + 1
 So good. Think of the watts saved when you flip the switch!
  • + 2
 @mikelevy this entire article relies on the false premise that a pedal assist lever is a lockout lever, and in the majority of cases these days this is simply not true.
  • + 0
 In essence it is. Is it usable for anything else other than pedalling up the hill?
  • + 0
 Sure, you can call it whatever you want. My point is that it doesn't matter how much it firms up your suspension, it shouldn't be doing it at all Smile
  • + 2
 @mikelevy: But you keep talking about it turning a full suss into a hardtail, and "literally" turning the suspension off. It's an important point that you repeat several times. A pedal assist lever that isn't a lock out literally does not turn a bike into a hardtail, and it literally does not turn the suspension off. If you're confident in your argument against the technology that exists in the real world, you shouldn't need to employ this rhetorical trick of only arguing against the worst and most basic implementation of that tech.

A good one literally makes the suspension better at doing the job you're asking it to do at that moment. There are a lot of techy climbs that I personally find easier on a mid travel bike with a pedal platform than on a hardtail. So all that fancy expensive suspension I paid for? Still doing a really good job even though there's a lever attached to it.
  • + 2
 @wingguy: I turned on the platform on my Super Deluxe RCT when coming back from the trail (gravel and aphalt road) today. I didn't like it. I bounced around on the bumps, but the pedal bob was only marginally reduced (from only a little to only a little less). So i got the bob and i had the comfort of a hardtail. Worst case scenario then.

I'll be keeping my lever in the open position!
  • + 2
 I think part of what makes this amazing technology so amazing is that you have the ability to turn it on and off whenever you want.
  • + 4
 Me caveman “grunts,” remote lock out not help me start fire
  • + 2
 Levy must not understand technological progression. Part of me feels like he's also the guy that likes saying things just rile people up.
  • + 2
 Better suspension kinematics negating platforms IS tehcnological progress. Platform shocks is a bandaid covering the real issue.
  • + 2
 @Primoz: Exactly Smile
  • + 2
 @Primoz: Right, but since there seems to be no current way of creating a suspension system that is efficient enough to forget lockouts then there's no good reason to remove them. Bandaids have a purpose too, and sometimes removing the bandaid too early creates a higher potential for infection. Until there's a solution I feel as though a simple lockout is allowed and really doesn't hurt the riding experience much, especially when most bikes requiring a lockout don't have a front derailleur anymore and you can very easily push a button with your left hand.
  • + 0
 @grntnckl: like I said in another comment:

"I turned on the platform on my Super Deluxe RCT when coming back from the trail (gravel and aphalt road) today. I didn't like it. I bounced around on the bumps, but the pedal bob was only marginally reduced (from only a little to only a little less). So i got the bob and i had the comfort of a hardtail. Worst case scenario then.

I'll be keeping my lever in the open position!"
  • + 3
 I'll keep my cheater switch on the shock body...but cluttering up the cockpit with more cables is a real no no!
  • + 2
 I never lock suspension, my bike climbs well with all plush settings, I only add some compression damping when I go dirtjumping
  • + 3
 Just be poor and ride old bikes. I don't have the option of a lever to hit, so it doesn't cross my mind.
  • + 1
 It's not the age, it's the pricing of the bikes as far as i can see. I've had lockout levers on all of my bikes since... 2005 (front lockout on two XC racing bikes until 2008, front and rear lockout on AM/enduro bikes up to past February, rear lockout on the rear of my new bike, because Lyrik RC2).

And yes, lockout != platform and all of that, sadly lockout is too ingrained into the culture i come from (XC racing from the early 2000s). It's the O.G. full enduro Razz
  • + 0
 First off, I still love my bar ends. They are far more ergonomic for climbing, especially steep sectoins. And they offer a second hand position for longer climbs. Second, I run a triple - on my 2018 Niner RKT. That's right, brand new bike, brand new triple (bless you shimano). Why? I'm no pro, so I don't have the lungs to ride a 1x up the MOUNTAINS I ride. And I ride mountains, granny gear ups to big ring decents. I use all the gears. Don't believe the lazy bike manufacturers. If a brand says 1x is better it's because A) they are too lazy to properly design a suspension around it. B) They are cutting costs to make more money. I can't count the number of people I've passed on the flats/fireroad downs as they spin out their cute little 1x. Nor can I count the number of much fitter people I've passed while they walk up that steep section because their precious 1x doesn't have an easy enough gear. Long live 3x. Third, Mr. Levy is right. Just like with 3x/1x - manufacturers use lock outs to make up for lacking suspension designs BECAUSE IT'S CHEAPER. I had the first gen Ellesworth 29er evolve. They had suspension nailed. Spinning a middle ring climb = no bob. Standing and sprinting = bob for the first couple of pedal strokes, then no bob. Yet good suspension at all times. (Unfortunately, the frame and shock weight seven lbs+, and was just to much of a pig to push up the hills, even with the bobless climb). My Niner is very good, but even it still uses a 3-way lockout. (Which I essentially just leave in the middle for everything but really long climbs or really long decents).
  • + 5
 Works for Nino Schurter
  • + 0
 this is stupid Levy, you just can't see the whole picture. Can't you see that all the events that take place in this world have an effect on the future. Lockout levers had a place and also had a problem, without these, evolution stops.
  • + 3
 Dunce-level trolling attempt by Levy / Pinkbike.
  • + 1
 I think it makes me a dunce if I believe it, too.
  • + 3
 I feel stupider for reading the whole thing.
  • + 1
 Trivial. In all honesty who really cares? Lockouts or not, clipless or flats, electronics or none, at the end of the day we all share the passion of riding our bikes.
  • + 2
 If I could only remember to flick the switch at the top of the climb before descending Id have no beef with the RT lever.
  • + 3
 I'd rather focus our attention on getting rid of the rear derailleur next.
  • + 1
 Just let people enjoy things. I've ridden and had fun riding bikes with remote lockouts and bikes without them. Bikes are fun.
  • + 1
 Tantrum Cycle does exactly this, without the cable and electronics. I have one, and have never ridden bike like this before. The rear Magic link is revolutionary.
  • + 0
 Ha, ha, ha, I just installed a dropper on a Scott Spark with Twin Lock, looked just like that first pic, maybe not so twisty, but a real wad of housing coming out the front of that bike.
  • + 1
 dumb shit. not all levers full lock and pedal bob is not good for climbing. have you ever ridden a bike. gotta get up to get down!
  • + 2
 These endurobros are barely above "untrained" in fitness. So yeah, he's ridden a bike. Did it do him any good? Not really.
  • + 1
 And because you gotta get up a bike should pedal well. Without a platform lever.
  • + 3
 Aggressive comment, @fotop I've ridden one or two bikes, yes. Maybe three. I'm a dumb shit about a lot of things, but this ain't one of them. My point is that we shouldn't need to firm up (or lockout) our suspension at all.
  • + 1
 I have just realized I have never remembered to use them on any trail ever since I started mtb, that was a good few years ago ;-p
  • + 1
 I ride a '17 Scout and an '18 Nomad. Neither needs the shock firmed up to climb well. The Nomad hasn't even got the option. My hardtail climbs quicker but has less grip.
  • + 1
 I use my switch on my 2018 Jeffy's DPX2 when climbing, but when I demo'd a 2019 Yeti SB150 with an X2 I didn't need to. Yeti has their shiz dialed.
  • + 2
 Wow, "one horsepower". Brutally low number. I always thought it was higher.
  • + 2
 @Kramz Actually, it's probably lower than that for most people. According to this article
"the maximum output of a human is a bit more than a single horsepower. For extreme athletes, this output can be even higher with Tour de France riders outputting around 1.2 horsepower for around 15 seconds, and just under 0.9 horsepower for a minute."

energyeducation.ca/encyclopedia/Horsepower

Yikes. Even 1 HP is likely a stretch for any period of time. Interestingly, a horse is actually capable of about 15 HP work output. Shows you how logical definitions for standard units are in the English system!
  • + 1
 Peak outputs can be over 1000, even close to 1500 W. That's 2 horsepower, thereabouts. But those are shorts sprints. For prolonged periods (15 minutes to half an hour), 300 W is a seriously impressive figure for someone not on a training program. One horsepower is around 700 W.
  • + 4
 I just ride my bike.
  • + 3
 "The laws of physics shouldn't apply so I can be spared moving my finger"
  • + 2
 I agree it would be best if they weren't needed, but shock mounted isn't too bad.
  • + 3
 Two Words: Push Industries
  • + 1
 2 separate dampers in one, the best and only shock I want to run
  • + 1
 And the nett effect is the same as a pedal paltform. Only that you can adjust it. Why not have one thing that works all the time instead of switching between two?
  • - 1
 I agree 100%. The question I have is: how much, if any energy is supposedly wasted without a climb switch? I ride my Bronson fully open fork and shock all the time. I do flip them switches from time to time just to see and I really don’t feel any difference. But I rarely ride smooth climbs. It’s almost always steep and rough and I want my suspension to smooth things out and provide traction. And would be that rider that forgets to switch to descend mode. Or move that ridiculous TALAS back to full travel.
  • - 1
 Would anyone put up with a car that you had to press a special little button on the dash to make it go up a hill, then press it again before going down a hill otherwise you bounce off the road? Would anyone accept a phone that had a send/receive switch and you had to switch it back and forth every time you wanted to talk/send a text/send email or listen/receive a text/browse PB/look at other stupid comments like this one?

Imperfect analogies, but the expectation, or at least what designers should strive for, is for stuff to just work. All the time.

Wait, hold on, I've got to get off the internet so we can unplug the modem and switch over to let someone make a phone call...
  • + 2
 There’s a lever for just that in many cars...
  • + 1
 @korev: No there's not. There's a comfort and sport 'lever'. And is just as much of a gimmick.

The E39 M5 didn't have any. Yet it's touted as one of the best handling and enjoyable cars of the past few years. The suspension is soft, the tyres have a high profile and it hardly has any nannies, but all of that makes it work on the road. It's not razor sharp like the new cars are, but that just means those don't track over bumps as well and only work on the track. For the real world you need compliance.
www.roadandtrack.com/new-cars/car-comparison-tests/a25248/the-comparison-2003-bmw-m5-versus-2015-chevrolet-ss

I went from a 17" shod sports suspension hatchback to a 15" shod high profile, boat-like-leaning huge estate with REALLY soft suspension. The latter must be slower (god i hope it is), but it actually works on the road and doesn't skip over the bumps out of the corner like the hatchback did. It feels slow and soft, but it's much faster over the bumpy roads we have over here.

But people like to be shaken around when they are in 'sport mode' but don't want that in the everyday, so we have switches. It's the same with lockouts, you can design it to work everywhere perfectly fine, but people want that bit of extra, more control over the thing they own or something and that makes these things worse.
  • + 2
 @Primoz: I meant the gear stick Wink
  • + 2
 @korev: Thanks for completely invalidating my rant... I mean, people these days...

Big Grin

EDIT: though automatics are slowly taking over the world. Plus, electric cars... Smile
  • + 1
 @Primoz:

Well said, and wise.
  • + 1
 I want a power meter in my cranks that modulates a solenoid metering the low speed compression circuit of my rear shock, k thanks.
  • + 2
 What happened to Mike vs Mike? And, I guess I'd glean from the preamble that Levy just disagrees with everyone.
  • + 4
 It's still a thing - there are more in the works. Levy likes arguing, so this one is a Mike vs. Matt.
  • + 1
 I don't see the point of one personally. Learn how to pedal a circle, on a hardtail. Once you can hammer on a hardtail smoothly...
  • + 2
 Hard-tails for the win. Love my Explosif. Its slower and my Kidneys hurt on the downs, But fun none the less.
  • + 1
 Two people that have more opinion then anything else. The articles this two write are only worth checking the pictures if any.
  • + 6
 Yeah, well, you know, that's just, like, your opinion, man.
  • + 2
 Lockouts are pretty worthless on singletrack climbs, but I think they will always be worthwhile on long fire roads.
  • + 3
 Thanks for your input Macklemore.
  • + 1
 Word
  • + 1
 I agree, Mike Levy. You should also take your dropper remote off your bar. It will unclutter it, and the quick release lever on the seat post binder works just fine.
  • + 1
 That sounds like you're referencing de-cluttering the handlebar as a good reason to lose the lockout lever haha
  • + 1
 I don't think my climbing is fast enough to make a difference locked out. I pretty much leave my fork and shock on open all the time.
  • + 4
 Levy be trollin'!
  • + 2
 There's a solution to this debate. Become a dentist buy a YETI switch infinity bike. PROBLEM SOLVED!
  • + 0
 @mikelevy 100% agree with you dude- LO levers clutter up the bikes and unless your racing world cup XC you DO NOT need the damn things.
  • + 2
 E-Bikes climb pretty well.....
  • + 1
 I would like a 'cheater lever' for my bank account that makes it possible to afford one of these wunderbikes!
  • + 2
 All these levers, there's an app for that!
  • + 2
 Don't use mine, but I ride a Yeti and I'm not a dentist.
  • + 1
 I can't believe I'm going to say this but I agree with Mike Levy! Lock levers are a crutch to compensate for bad design.
  • + 2
 Lock outs maximize low speed compression damping, which means they limit oil flow inside the shock/ fork which makes suspension compress less, meaning rider uses less energy to propel the bike forward by pressing on the pedals.

In simple words: a bike with lock out on does less bouncy bouncy than the same bike with lock out off.

There is really nothing more to it than this.
  • + 1
 @WAKIdesigns: I am well aware what a lock out does and does not do. I just happen to agree with Mr. Levy (a first for me) that bikes should be built so that they don't require one in the first place.
  • + 0
 @SintraFreeride: best rider on best bike with best shock will still benefit from lockout. A bike that bobs too much will also be crappy on descents in open mode since it will blow through travel too easily. World's best kinematics are nothing without a decent shock. Hence I have no clue what Mike meant, especially since he rides rather shitty shocks on these DC bikes.
  • + 2
 @WAKIdesigns: What about on a technical climb where the suspension should work? That same rider will benefit from a disengaged pedal platform. And on a short climb during a descend?

Good kinematics work with shitty shocks. Shitty kinematics require world class shocks with platforms.
  • + 0
 @Primoz: Climb Switches are for climbs longer than 15mins, it doesn't matter if it's a fireroad or a singletrack. I consider myself as a rather skilled and strong climber when it comes to tech bits and I'd still use climb switch if I had long climb ahead. I am not Jeff Kendall Weed but I cannot imagine how softer suspension could help on a climb through rocks and roots? if someone can't control weight distribution, ratchet, hop, track stand, no suspension will ever help him. Climbing... you do it.

SHort climb during descend, well I would not reach down for the climb switch... if someone can't climb for a couple of minutes or sprint with open shock, change the sport.

And I'd rather have Orange Five with Cane Creek CCDBcs than Bronson with RS Deluxe Debonair+ Ultimate... anytime. Any fricking time.
  • + 1
 @WAKIdesigns: I've done 1500 m ascents with the switch open. I have it and i don't use it because the bike doesn't wobble much. Unless pedalling standing up, but you can only do that on asphalt. And i've gotten used to not do that anyway.

Open suspension helps you get over the rocks and roots IMMENSELY, you still have to do the work yourself, but kinda like you said, why not use the help you have?

And i mostly do climbs longer than 15 minutes (the average climb i do on a ride is usually 500+ meters, so 30 to 40 minutes in total), and... Yeah, switch open Wink

I also don't like the Bronson. The Orange? Yeah, not bad, could still be a bit steeper though. And you're implying the Orange doesn't pedal well? Why? The pivot location can be optimised on that as well.

And when you say a couple of minutes, what is a couple of minutes for you? What is the difference between two minutes (which is much longer than i had in mind when mentioning climbs during descends) and 15 minutes? Or 30 minutes?
  • + 1
 @WAKIdesigns: I think super tech climbs need give. But I'm probably not as good at ratchet, hop, track stand as you.
  • + 0
 @Primoz: I am sorry, this is an insane conversation. Lockout makes you use less energy to achieve same result. The more travel a bike has, the more it matters. There is nothing more to say. 99% of shocks have it, so chosing not to use something that is literally within reach of your hand is just ridiculous. It is a mental disorder. It’s like saying 5th gear in a car is for losers, I get anywhere with 4. And for tech climbing I chose hardtail any day, unless My technique would be to sit on my ass and spin. In which case yeah, open suspension works better because it would have to carry my ass up.

There is really nothing to talk about.
  • + 2
 PLAESE 2 FASHION THE CABLE INTO A NOOSE AND BE DONE WITH IT ALL
  • + 3
 Word
  • + 2
 Lockout levers are for crap bikes, or just riders that are on the Wragg.
  • + 1
 can we get Noel from @KNOLLYBIKES to weigh in here ? I feel like he'd have an interesting perspective.
  • + 1
 They need lockout levers to lessen the squat when going up the hill at least a little bit with those slack seat tubes...
  • + 1
 @Primoz: youve gotta try one on rough ascents, so well balanced, I was really impressed on the north shore climbs (and descents obviously)
  • + 1
 @DGWW: I won't like it, i can tell you that right now without trying it. There's a specific reason.

I'm tall, i've finally gotten round to buying an XL framed bike. And i was very specific at choosing the right one. That 76° seat tube angle that Knolly (and most other brands) advertise? All fine and dandy as long as your inseam is within ~10 cm longer than the stack height. When you add an additional 20 cm to it and extend the seat accordingly, to ~10 to 15 cm over the bars, like i have to, that nice and steep 76° seat tube angle becomes, measured between BB and actual seat rails, much closer to 70°. I've had that with the Giant Reign (advertised 73°, actual 69°) and the effective angle came out to 72°. The Warden, based off a picture, has an actual angle of 70° and an advertised angle of 75° at stack. For me that would be 73,8°. That's too slack.

With my height and so slack seat tube angles, i get too far over the rear wheel, where i hate the feeling of pedalling forwards instead of down. I'm currently on a 75° actual angle (76°/71° based on frame data) with a very long reach and it feels amazing going uphill, because i am actually upright and centred over the bike. Like most people riding M and L frames feel like. Therefore i'm in a small circle of very specific frames when it comes to stuff i like based on what i've seen with my new bike. And i've come to that conclusion a while ago, i've just confirmed it in practice as well now.

So yeah, i'm the 'never steep enough, never long enough' bike camp, because it actually does work for me and my XL size. And no, tight corners at almost 1300 mm wheelbase are not an issue Wink
  • + 2
 @Primoz: that sounds like a legit and well reasoned argument. for average inseam guys like me, the theoretical seat tube angle works well.... maybe the fugitive or other upcoming bikes from knolly will address big-inseam riders better
  • - 1
 @DGWW: I can't believe, finally someone that doesn't downvote me for my 'radical' thinking! Big Grin

FWIW, it's not only Knolly that does this (though their frames at least look a bit extreme in this regard), it's the majority of the industry (Santa Cruz is just as bad and very few are 'good').

And it's only logical, the industry designs frames for M and L sizes, where things work, then you scale it up and down a bit and try to make the S, XS, XL and XXL frames fit as good as possible with the design language you have. It's far from perfect and we on the outskirts suffer, but it's, ballparking here, about 5 % of the population that suffers this. It's simply not worth it to spend dollars on the design of these frames to earn pennies from the amount of frames sold.

In a perfect world the frames bearing the same name would look completely differently between each other at different sizes with different suspension geometries (because an XL rider has a much higher CoG than an S rider and thus gets less anti-squat from the same suspension geometry), different frame angles, actually different chainstay lengths (don't get me started on Norco's way of lengthening the chainstays), maybe even different wheel sizes, different shock sizes (larger riders do tend to be heavier, so need a more capable system) with different tunes, etc. But all of this means $$$.
  • + 1
 Cough cough Anything by Pivot
  • + 2
 That's why hardtail.
  • + 2
 haters gonna hate
  • + 1
 My Ibis stays on the open setting all the time.
  • + 1
 Yup, Ibis does it well, too.
  • + 2
 My last two bikes (non-ibis) have never seen the fork nor shock in the lock-out mode either. I actually think they ride worse in the "trail" setting. I had a Niner WFO back in 2014 and literally couldn't ride it uphill without the lockout on. Guaranteed pedal strikes and wild suspension bob otherwise.
  • + 1
 I never lock out my suspension regardless of how much travel the bike has.
  • + 1
 Specialized Brain. You can’t mention it on PB, but it exists.
  • + 1
 You can certainly mention it on PB and it kinda sucks for anything but full-on XC.
  • + 1
 @mikelevy: i leave my brain turned off and i don't even ride a Spesh.
  • + 1
 @mikelevy: for some, this is the only way they can get any brain...
  • + 0
 i never lock the suspention coz my ass never leaves the saddle on uphills, dropper posts in the other hand are a treat...
  • - 2
 I think all this suspension lock out rubbish is total bollox. The fact is when you turn the pedals the wheels turn too, simple as that!!. This utter bull that the suspension saps the power is ridiculous!
  • + 1
 Buy a Commencal Meta.Problem solved.
  • + 1
 They have RS remote lockout shocks on them lately.
  • + 2
 Disagree
  • + 2
 nah.
  • + 2
 K.I.S.S.
  • + 2
 Blame pinkbike
  • + 0
 Sorry
  • + 2
 Blame Obama.
  • - 1
 Mike, you convinced me. Using the lock out lever is a matter of intelligence Smile
  • + 0
 Sick burn, bruv...
  • + 1
 I even hate gears
  • + 0
 Greg Minnaar, ran a coil-sprung Fox shock without a lockout. Ok, Im Out.
  • + 2
 If the GOAT does it, I'm gonna do it.
  • + 0
 I am with you, OFF with lockout levers!
  • + 1
 The printer agrees.
  • + 0
 Remote everything wireless. The only cables you need are brake lines.
  • + 0
 Agree x1000 Any words beyond the title of this article are superfluous
  • + 0
 That is the only thing why I will buy a Specialized: Brain!
  • - 1
 Taj has replaced Waking art Frown ?

I am sad
  • - 1
 waki*
  • - 1
 Well, let's be honest. A little dorky.
  • + 0
 Go Levy go!
  • + 0
 ...
  • - 3
 I take great pride in never ever touching my lockout.
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