Suspension, Anti-Lock Brakes, and a Dropper Post Cable Kit - Taipei Cycle Show 2019

Mar 28, 2019
by Mike Levy  
Taipei Cycle Show 2019
Starting at $549 USD, the upated Aion gets Suntour's PCS damper.


The Aion all-mountain fork always sat just below the higher-end Auron model on Suntour's family tree, but it impressed enough back in 2015 to win the Best Value Product of the Year. It sounds like the Aion might surprise a few more people, though, with there being an EVO model for 2020 that gets Suntour's sealed PCS damper cartridge used in the Auron.

The layout of the sealed, spring-backed Piston Compensator System is not new - it's been around for many years inside of competitor's forks and shocks. Suntour's goal, however, is to bring the benefits of a sealed cartridge damper with an IFP system - damping consistency thanks to 1Nm of back-pressure provided by the IFP and the spring behind it - to lower price-points. In other words, better suspension that costs less.

Travel options will run from 130mm to 150mm for big wheels, and 130mm to 160mm for 27.5'' hoops. They'll be a few different models of the updated Aion, with prices ranging from $549 to $579 USD that still put it well below the pricier Auron. Expect the Aion EVO to hit the shelves by this coming September.
Taipei Cycle Show 2019
There'll be a few different options, including one with a crown-mounted lockout lever.



Taipei Cycle Show 2019
Jagwire's $20 USD Pro Dropper Cable Kit is designed to have less friction than a standard shift cable and housing, which can be especially important when dealing with tight bends.


Cables and housing don't exactly make for riveting reading but stay with me here because Jagwire's Pro Dropper Cable Kit might be a useful upgrade for riders facing a not so uncommon issue.

Internally routed dropper posts are great, aren't they? No more having to use a dozen zip-ties to keep slack housing from rubbing your legs or rear tire, and bikes just plain look better when all the lines disappear from view until they get to wherever they need to be. Installation can be a headache, sure, and there's often a relatively tight bend in the line where it transitions from being inside of your downtube to being inside of your seattube. That means friction, and friction means that the remote is harder to push and that the cable might even have slack in it despite it not being activated.

The answer according to Jagwire: More flexible housing and a smoother running cable, which is exactly what you'll find in the $19.95 USD Pro Dropper Cable Kit. The 4mm housing looks a lot like what you'd find connecting your shifter and derailleur, but they've used a more flexible type of steel for its construction that better handles tight bends.

The cable is also not your run of the mill job, with it measuring just 0.8mm in diameter. Regular shift cables are 1.2mm across, so you can see where they're going with this. The polished cable is also stainless steel and felt impressively smooth between my fingers.
Taipei Cycle Show 2019
Jagwire had their Pro Bleed Kit on display as well.



Taipei Cycle Show 2019
Taipei Cycle Show 2019
Anti-lock brakes for your bike could make more sense than it sounds like, especially for new riders.


We've seen OutBraker and their small ABS add-on before, but now they've got a sleeker, smaller production-spec version that blends in much better than the older design. A lot of riders (including myself) dismissed the OutBraker gizmo as, well, just another gizmo, but I can see why it might be useful to some riders now that they've had a second go at explaining the concept to me.

Just like the anti-lock brake system in your car, the idea is to keep the wheel from locking up when you yank on the brake lever, especially in panic situations. It's adjustable as well, with riders able to tune how much it affects their braking via a small dial. Remember, you have the most braking traction just a nip before the wheel locks, so if you can keep it right on that edge, you'll effectively be getting the shortest stopping distance.

It's essentially a small pressure regulator that screws into your hydraulic disc brake levers or calipers. Okay, so it's probably not the thing for a lot of us, but put yourself in the shoes of a green rider, or someone whose introduction to mountain biking is a rental rig in a bike park, and the idea might begin to make a lot more sense.


100 Comments

  • + 95
 Anti lock brakes sounds like an excuse for new riders not to learn proper braking techniques but also for more experienced riders to loose their ability to stoppy tight turns. I just don’t think this is a good idea for mountain bike riding.
  • + 120
 Is this their first step in trying to make skidding illegal?
  • + 39
 Please tell me how it will recognize the difference between sandstone slabs, moondust, and slop?
  • + 38
 @ncrider5: Exactly. We all know the best way to impress girls is by pulling skids and wheelies
  • + 12
 Hey off my lawn!
  • + 10
 @ncrider5: Oh the humanity! What will happen to the plethora of “raw” videos with slow-mo skidding shots? Is the end near?
  • + 25
 Will somebody please think of the berms! #ridtheworldofbrakebumps #makeWhistlersmoothagain
  • + 12
 What about people with city ebikes that have mountain bike brakes to deal with the added weight? The shop I work at even sells lots of electric mountain bikes to people who will never take them off tarmac. This makes sense for those people.
  • + 17
 There are two parts to this, the first is that the device above is not an anti-lock braking system like you see on cars or motorcycles. The concept of a true anti lock brake system is sound. It has been on larger offroad motorcycles for awhile and works extremely well. It's fitted to, and useful on larger adventure bike because of the type of riding they are used for, i.e. gravel roads where traction is limited and skidding is not desired when stopping. If all you did on a mountain bike was bomb down loose rocky fire roads abs might be nice to have. Couple of issues. the first is that a true and sophisticated abs system would add unacceptable weight and complexity to a bicycle. Adjusting riding style in conditions where traction is scarce is a much better way to go. Secondly, much like on a motocross bike, skidding is often used as a technique for maintaining control in various situations. ABS simply would not be desired by many aggressive riders because coming to safe and complete stop simply isn't on the menu often. Could I see it being nice on a touring bike? Yea, but I don't ever see it happening due to all the necessary equipment, cost and weight. It's just not that big of an issue that needs addressing. Bikes are light and they are generally easy to stop.
  • + 5
 @drjonnywonderboy: naw mate, the rolling stopple is the pantie dropper.
  • + 5
 #Skiddingaintdead
  • + 7
 To me it sounds like a way for someone to make money off something that isn't needed, the epitome of the mtb industry.
  • - 5
flag jclnv (Mar 28, 2019 at 7:38) (Below Threshold)
 Pretty much everyone on a trail bike would be faster and crash less if they were running one of those on the front brake, especially in loose conditions. It'd be nicer at the lever for ease of adjustment though. It's similar to running a smaller rotor up front or modifying pads to have less initial bite and some of the fastest guys ever did that.
  • + 4
 I disagree, the front brake provides most of the stopping, if anything a larger front rotor makes sense. Reducing the power slightly doesn't make the brake much less prone to lock up on a truly loose surface. Adjust technique in these situations. Fast riders don't brake much, and when they do, it's where they have the traction.
  • + 2
 @ncrider5: Tire companies will not like this new technology! No skidding, no accelerated tire wear. Wink
  • + 2
 at this point in time we no longer need "INOVATION" on mountain bike product..
what we really need is more race coverage on the EWS - that means more action footage on every stage in every leg..
another thing we need is more rounds on the world cup circuit..be it XC or DH..
stopping the so called "INOVATION" i already have the best bike i need for my riding...
  • + 3
 @englertracing: stoppie is rolling - endo is when it's not
  • + 1
 bosch made an actual electric ABS system with help from magura. seems kinda over complicated to be honest. www.youtube.com/watch?v=xn67KoF0Bhk
  • + 0
 It would be great for teaching kids how to use disc brakes, I have a five and six year old and it would be perfect for them, I agree for most adults this is not necessary. It’s easy for small kids to grab a handful of front brake and go over the bars. With this you could dial it down as they get more comfortable, and avoid any unnecessary face plants.
  • + 1
 what's next? Rider-less bikes?
  • + 2
 @englertracing: Agreed 100%... works every time, 60% of the time!!
  • + 6
 I agree that this is probably not a good thing for most mountain bikers and not real ABS. However, stop talking like there is some moral right or wrong to this. They think there is a market for such a device so let them build it. I'm guessing it won't sell and they'll lose money on it. Let the ideas flow, real innovation often comes after the failures.
  • + 1
 Dude with the huge uptick in MTB's popularity, it seems like 70% of riders are "new riders". The trails are getting beat. This looks awesome--an accessory that would work well for most riders I think.
  • + 2
 @laerz: I disagree. For offroad...you MUST learn how to feel the traction limit and modulate or adjust for it. Can be taught in a slow, controlled manor. ABS would take that away....all you would learn is that grabbing a fistful of brake = life is all a Peaches&Cream fairy tale Smile
  • + 1
 > an excuse for new riders not to learn proper braking techniques

As a big fan of old cars without anti-lock, I would argue that this is true for cars too! To each their own.
  • + 1
 @humanpowered: yep real mountain bike world is not targeted! It makes sense on city/cyclo/travel/gravel bikes etc.
  • + 1
 youtu.be/XniGRbfRvM0
Check his 3rd/4th braking test on E-MTB.

Pretty Shorter than what you imagine
  • + 1
 @loopie: I’m talking about five year old kids not eight or nine year olds, try explaining brake modulation to a five year old, sometimes they don’t even remember where the brakes are and crash lol. And besides once they are used to the power of the disc brakes you can turn it off. Do you have kids? Have you explained brake modulation to them at the age of five? It’s not as easy at you’d think explaining rational things to a five year old and having it sink in.
  • + 2
 @laerz: "Do you have kids?" Yes
"explained brake modulation to them at the age of five?" Yes
"It’s not...easy..." Agreed
  • + 0
 @laerz: lets just build AI bikes that do all the work for them so they are safe from having to think and learn or god forbid crashing and scrape an elbow. We seemed to be able to figure it out just fine when we were 5.
  • + 2
 @HARv379: so you had disc brakes on your bike when you where five? I doubt it, you probably had a shitty coaster brake like most other kids, making it very hard to go over the bars. My kids are not cushioned from bumps and scrapes, that being said, if you’ve ever gone over the bars and eaten dirt you know it can be a serious whipe out. I broke my hand going over the bars in a crash when I was younger, it’s also very easy to knock out some teeth or f*ck up your face, so if I can spare my kids that kind of crash I would. Also this device doesn’t brake for you or take away from learning how to use brakes, all it is is a proportioning valve that will adjust the brake bias to the rear, people do this on race cars all the time to adjust how the brakes respond. I love how it’s the all or nothing for you guys, not everyone wants to subject their kids to unecessary harm for the sake of learning things the hard way. Everybody does things differently and some people may find this thing useful. Also fyi I am teaching my kids to use disc brakes without this device and it is going fine, not easy but they’re learning, so don’t assume my kids are wrapped up in bubble wrap.
  • + 1
 @laerz: why are you buying a 5 year old a bike with disc brakes? Must be a big kid, I wasn't aware they made bikes that small with disc brakes. Going over the bars is kind of like touching the stove when it's hot.
  • + 1
 @HARv379: l bought my son a bike with disc brakes because I want him to learn real bike skills( like using disc brakes, shifting gears etc.) at a young age. I got a really good deal on a used specialized rip rock 20, it has disc brakes, 20” wheels, a seven speed drivetrain and is designed for kids 5-8 years old. Also I feel like most kids bikes are a joke, they weight a ton, have rediculous single speed gearing, terrible brakes, and apart from teaching some pedaling and balance skills they don’t have much to offer a beginner. I want them to learn on a real bike at a younger age so that they are good riders when they are older
  • + 43
 That’s not an ‘anti-lock’ device, that’s a pressure regulator. Nothing more. Anti-lock brakes are designed to allow for up to 100% of the braking force be applied and then release when lock-up is detected where as this device limits the maximal amount force (e.g., 70%). It’s dangerous. Don’t believe me? Imagine a water bottle rolled under your brake pedal and you need to slam on your brakes? How do you feel now?
  • + 19
 I used to program control systems for anti-lock brakes. That's exactly correct. A pressure regulator set to limit wheel lockup in slippery conditions will reduce braking power in high grip scenarios, thus increasing stopping distance. A proper Anti-Lock system would require some feedback (electronic or mechanical) from the wheel speed to adjust the regulator in real time. In addition, a second valve would be required to bleed off brake pressure if it needs to be reduced since the regulator can only prevent the pressure from building in the first place. At that point we're getting into recirculating brake fluid and powered brake systems.

At the end of the day, if you're putting a regulator on your DH brakes to reduce the power, yo should have just purchased trail or XC brakes in the first place.
  • + 0
 OOOOO what about learning to modulate your shiznit wouldn't that be a novel idea?

but i could see where it would be handy on a rental bike fleet on the front brake so that inexperienced riders do not kill them selves going over the bars by grabbing a hand full of front brake. But i suppose that how we all learned

but i would like to see it tested.
  • + 2
 Exactly. The effect could be far more cheaply and easily implemented with a brake lever stop screw. Except that would be stupid, just like this device.
  • - 1
 Well in an ideal situation, you would tune this so you were generating 99% of the force right before lock up, which would in theory increase braking force. In the real world though, I bet you are right and you'd simply be unable to lock up your brakes as this reduces the pressure making for a scary ride. Why not just buy some crappy brakes...
  • + 4
 @tgent: yeah the problem is that right before lockup varies according to the surface you're on, how much vertical load is on the wheel at that moment, how wet/dry it is, etc etc... it's not a fixed value, it's not even close. The correct response here is exactly what @hugebiff said OR to just pull your brake levers less hard if you want less power.
  • + 25
 I've got that much turkey gobble going on in my current brakes that I'm sure I've already got anti lock brakes...
  • + 11
 Inaccurate username
  • + 23
 Anti locking system - RS guides, SRAM was ahead of the game
  • + 14
 Don't you mean Elixirs? They definitely had a strong anti-lock.
  • + 4
 @ratedgg13: but they were superb at sucking air into the system.
  • + 12
 @K1maxX: And baffling the local wild turkey population
  • + 2
 Yeah, my first mountain bike in '91 had an early Shimano ABS technology too: DX cantilevers. After 5 minutes of descending I could barely pull the levers hard enough to even slow down.
  • + 1
 @ratedgg13: just LOLd myself. so true.
  • + 10
 Anti lock brakes make no sense on a mountain bike. The ability to lock a wheel is quite an important part of general bike control when out on the trail, from moving the bike around under neath you on loose material, pivoting on the front wheel to sweep the back end around and other technical moves that are far beyond me.
  • + 5
 Apart from the front wheel which you do not want to lock up like... ever.
  • + 7
 @WAKIdesigns: so you're not into stoppie 180s?
  • + 1
 @WAKIdesigns: I take it right to the edge though and never had any issues working the traction point myself. Well not in the last 15 years
  • + 2
 I never said I would like it or that ifeel it would make be "faster" but... a person that wears out front pads at the rate of two front per one rear raise your hand.
  • + 1
 @WAKIdesigns: I didn't
  • + 4
 @tufty: it is one of the best indicators of riding prowess. I wear them out quite evenly, maybe the rear a bit more than front. Pros often wear out 2 fronts per 1 rear. That is because they are very good at braking and front brake takes most of braking power. It takes balls and experience to press the front that hard.
  • + 1
 @WAKIdesigns: I have to admit that I barely wear them out. I get 2 years out of pads. I replaced my brake pads for the 2017 Ard'Rock in August and I have noted that they are both pretty f*cked now.

The bikes a 2015 and I have bled them once and that was more of a "I wonder how I am supposed to bleed these, I should probably learn" type thing
  • + 2
 @tufty: it was just an "anecdote".
  • + 1
 @WAKIdesigns: coming from an off-road motorcycle history, where we had disc front, drum rear brakes, I’d go through 2 or even three sets of fronts for every rear set. I usethe rear to create slight drag to keep the rear in line,
  • + 2
 @Willie1:

I suspect that you are correct about this being something you learn riding motorcycles. On my old Norton road bike I was replacing front brake pads maybe every 5K miles. Never replaced the rear drum shoes. On the motocross bike it was the same thing. If you need to slide the rear you use the engine.

On the bicycles, front pads are an annual replacement item. The rear go when they get so badly contaminated that they don't work at all. On the road bike, It is maybe 4 front pads to each rear. On the tandem, Both seem to go every other year. I use the rear as a speed limiter, which is not a bad idea on a touring tandem.

As for the gizmo in question? Why not just install smaller brakes?
  • + 8
 I don't see how this antilock can work, I mean, on cars AFAIK there's some high frequency regulator, I don't think you get this there, so it's "just" a pressure lock as you could use on a garden hose. So, unless I miss something, if you set it up on the pavement then go ride in the wood or whatever dusty trail where the grip is much lower, it may be pretty much ineffective and your brake will lock eaasily. Reversely, if you set it up on the trail, you make lack braking power when you're back on the pavement, or even on some more grippy parts of the trail.
  • + 6
 I've installed a couple of the older Outbraker gizmos on customers bikes. One thing that they do fantastically is help riders that only have one hand. You can run both brakes to one lever, then adjust the power on each brake to hit a good balance for them so they can get the right amount of braking from both wheels with one lever. I wouldn't put them on my bike but they do what they are supposed to very well. You just need to find the right applications for them.

a href="https://www.google.com/url?sa=i&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=images&cd=&cad=rja&uact=8&ved=2ahUKEwjO4c3UmKXhAhUDr54KHSCkBMcQjRx6BAgBEAU&url=https%3A%2F%2Fbikerumor.com%2F2016%2F12%2F20%2Foutbraker-doubles-puts-full-anti-lock-control-brakes-single-lever%2F&psig=AOvVaw2lR-z_QehDYcA8WZSxaBJT&ust=1553874747692998">link/a>
  • + 4
 You could get the Aion with the PCS cartridge last year too. My Guerilla Gravity Trail Pistol came with that fork when I bought it about a year ago. It has been a great fork so far, especially for the price!
  • + 2
 As others pointed out that isn't an anti-lock brake. It's just a brake limiter. I bet it's not even a true "pressure limiter" but instead just a one-way needle valve so you are really just slowing the speed the brake fluid enters the caliper when applying the brake.

This is beyond terrible.
  • + 1
 “The World Best Brake Riders” are typing keyboard here.
But
Seems way better braking performance than your thinking and ordinary riders for sure.

Hope you stopping imagine and check the REAL performance first before.

youtu.be/yTy_yp_mSXU
  • + 1
 Lock up brakes would sell me more than anti-lock ever will. Jagwire Pro kit is really good stuff, especially for mechanical disc brakes. I never thought mechanicals could feel that good until I tried some with a Jagwire Pro kit. Hopefully the dropper cable kit is similar. Not sure if I would notice much difference over their shift kit though.
  • + 1
 Cool idea for the anti-locking but it’s unneeded on a mountain bike. People just need to know how to control their fingers. Mountain bikes don’t go as fast as dirt bikes, motorcycles or cars and the brakes we have these days are very good at modulation. It’s unnecessary
  • + 1
 Hmmm...I wouldn't mind trying the anti lock brake system just to see what it is all about. Just wonder if it would allow a rider to carry speed all the way up to the turn and then brake in the turn if you need to. Maybe just one in the back? I know ABS on street bikes all but idiot proofed cornering to the point where...I don't think they can be used in sanctioned races...but I could be wrong on that. Could be nobody uses them because of weight or something.
  • + 0
 They're banned in Moto GP because it makes the bikes vastly easier to ride. Anyone who doesn't see the benefit of this thing, even if it is just a pressure regulator, is on crack.
  • + 2
 @jclnv: ABS, like a ton of other things (active intakes, winglets, etc), is banned in MotoGP for competition reasons. It's supposed to be about the racers, not who can shovel the most money into their bike.

The converse to your point would be "anyone who doesn't understand why abs could be a detriment in mtb is on meth."

Consider the question, if street bikes have ABS, why don't equally expensive motocross bikes have it?

Hint: it's the surface.
  • + 1
 @tsheep: Explain to me why a 2004 WRC car with ABS was massively faster than an 05 without?

Hint: it’s not the surface, it’s R&D.
  • + 3
 The anti brake gizmo might be just the ticket for reducing the brake bumps at the bike parks.
  • + 4
 The only thing of note in there is the Pro Bleed kit. Tell me more!
  • + 3
 Doesn't sram already make an anti locking brake? They are called guides if I remember correctly.
  • + 1
 Jagwire actually trying to solve problems we DO have. Weren't we just complaining about that yesterday? Thanks Jagwire and PB for reporting it!
  • + 1
 I could have used this last year when I had my XT 2 piston front brake, those suckers would suddenly grab, and OTB I went, the 4 pistons are awesome though, no complaints.
  • + 1
 Anti-lock brakes.... Yeah and there is a guy in the universe who will buy them... In an infinite number of worlds there must be a guy who will buy them...
  • + 1
 Aion is really good for for the money and that jagwire set makes a lot sens too. But that abs thing...
  • + 1
 "Starting at $549 USD, the upated Aion gets Suntour's PCS damper.". Typo here. Should be updated.
  • + 1
 Poppin' in to say I thought it was gimmicky too, but those Jagwire pro kits really work.
  • + 1
 My mountainbike is turning into a motorbike.
  • + 1
 Guides- best antilock brakes out there!
  • - 1
 I like the PCS sticker on the Suntour. Reminds me of pattern on worn out uppers.
  • + 1
 Erm....downgrade brakes?
  • - 1
 The jagwire dropper kit appears to be an ingenious solution to a problem that never existed.
  • + 2
 On some frames it exists because stupid engendered frames exist, even the more expensive one can have that.
  • + 1
 Phaha, *engineered
  • - 7
flag Balgaroth (Mar 28, 2019 at 5:46) (Below Threshold)
 True just get a Reverb and have no problem. Since I got cables I miss my Reverb, it wasn't perfect but still better than cable shite.
  • + 18
 @Balgaroth: 'Get a Reverb and have no problem' is not a phrase that exists
  • + 0
 @brunse: Then I must have been the most lucky rider ever. I had a Reverb for 2 long season, outside routing hose (one clamping on the seatpost head), the only time I had a problem with the remote is after a crash when I broke the plunger or something. Now I had to rebuild it each season because of the dreaded SAG but sure it was still functional and if you like your gear to last you should service it anyway same as your forks.
  • + 1
 I have a tight kink in the chain stay internal routing, I'm wanting this for me rear mech
  • + 3
 @Balgaroth: I'm guessing you ride somewhere warm - my brand new reverb gets very slow near freezing. Currently still working though. My first one failed after a few months and the warranty replacement lasted a dozen rides before getting really wobbly and leaking brassy oil all over the stanchion.
  • + 0
 @mountainsofsussex: I have a rebuilt Reverb with a Bike Yoke Dehy conversion and a ks southpaw lever. it works a treat. It works in freezing temperatures (it didn't with the hydro actuator), I can use whatever lever I want and it will lift a fully loaded bikepacking saddle bag. I realize it's not ideal, but the only way to have a dropper all the time is to own three droppers from three different manufacturers (per bike).
  • + 0
 Who cares? I mean, check out that penis pump.
  • + 1
 @mountainsofsussex: nope I had my Reverb when I was living in Ireland so not cold but not warm either. Then I used it for a winter where I live now (Strasbourg) where it is actually cold not like in the british isles, unless you ride in the highlands then ok.
  • - 3
 Everything that comes out of the Taipei show seems like shit TBH.
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