Tested: Does a Lockout Actually Make Climbing Faster?

Mar 12, 2021
by Seb Stott  
Drawn by Taj Mihelich
Mike Levy may hate lock out levers, but now there's science to show that he's wrong.

Have you ever wondered if reaching for the lockout lever is worthwhile? Sure, a firm lockout can make a bike feel more efficient, but does this really translate into faster climbing? And if so, how much faster can you go for the same effort?

To find out, I've ridden up the same climb way too many times, using a power meter and a stopwatch to try and find some answers. To control variables and keep things repeatable enough to measure this in the real world, I picked a short road climb with 44m of elevation gain and a nice consistent gradient.

The short climb made it possible to do lots of timed runs so I could see if my times were consistently faster with the lockout on or off - if you only do a couple of timed runs you can never know if you would have gone faster anyway.

The climb's consistent gradient is important because changing gear or effort mid-climb can make it harder to stay consistent between runs. I picked a day with barely any wind and kept the same position so changes in aerodynamic drag didn't affect the results. I measured my time and average power output over a marked section of the climb, and aimed for smooth, efficient pedaling at a cadence of around 80 rpm, trying to keep as close as possible to a 315 watt power output. I did a total of twelve timed runs over two bikes, alternating between riding with the lockout on and off.

I kept a close eye on my power output with a Garmin while riding to keep it as consistent as possible.
SRM power meter pedals measured the watts.


Privateer 161
Geometron G1

I rode eight runs on a Privateer 161 (four with the lockout on and four with it off), then I did four more runs (two on, two off) on a Geometron G1.

The 161 has 161mm of rear wheel travel and 120% anti-squat at sag, making it an efficient peddler, but the RockShox SuperDeluxe shock has a light damping tune which allows some bob when open. The firm lockout virtually eliminates bob when closed, which should increase the difference I'm trying to measure. The Geometron G1 was set with 175mm of rear travel and an EXT Storia Lok shock. This bike has around 100% anti-squat, and bobs noticeably more than the Privateer when fully open. Anti-squat values are calculated with an arbitrary center of mass height, so because I'm tall I need more than 100% anti-squat to minimize pedal bob.

It's not easy to hit the exact same power output every run; sometimes my average power was a few watts above or below the 315 watt target. Fortunately, it's easy to compensate for this using math. Climbing speed is, to a very good approximation, proportional to power output on a steep climb (I've checked this by riding the same climb at different power), so it's easy to work out a very good estimate of what the times would have been if each one was done with exactly 315 watt.

Results

On the Privateer, the average time of the four runs with the lockout off was 3:14.7, while the average of four runs with lockout on was 3:13.9. That works out to 0.4% quicker when locked-out. Meanwhile, the G1 was on average 0.8% faster with its lockout on.

Looking at all the results from both bikes together, there is a statistically significant difference between the times with the lockout on vs off. In other words, I was consistently faster with the lockout on, and it's unlikely that would happen by chance if the lockout wasn't having an effect.


Isabeau and Bex head out on the climb to the start of stage one.
Getting to the top faster and with less effort can be a big deal in enduro racing.


So using a lockout is faster, but is it a big deal?

Based on this, over an hour-long road climb you'd save 14.4 seconds by using the lockout on the Privateer and 28.8 seconds on the G1. That's not going to make a huge difference to most of us, but if you're at the sharp end of an XC-marathon race, or running late on an EWS liaison, that kind of time could be worth a lot to you.

Put another way, the time taken to dispatch a steep and simple climb is more-or-less proportional to the total weight of the bike plus rider; so if you have a combined weight of 100kg you'd need to save 400g from the Privateer, or 800g from the G1, to make the same difference. To me, this says more about the effectiveness of saving a few hundred grams than it does about the effectiveness of a lockout.

On the other hand, if it takes two seconds to lock and unlock your shock, you'll need to be climbing for about eight minutes before you recoup that time on the Privateer.


What's the bottom line?

In a nutshell, the advantage offered by a lockout under these conditions is measurable but modest. It's safe to assume though that when riding out of the saddle, pedaling with poorer technique, or riding a bike with less anti-squat, it will be more pronounced - possibly a lot more. So the results here are probably the lower bound of the effectiveness of a lockout (on an enduro bike). Measuring the difference when out of the saddle might be trickier though, because it's harder to do consistently.

It's worth acknowledging that on a steep and smooth climb the main advantage of a lockout might be the steeper dynamic geometry and the more comfortable position this provides, so any increase in speed may be considered a bonus.

The effect of a lockout on a rough climb is a separate question. I'd be interested to see how rough the surface needs to be before the lockout is no longer an advantage, and if it makes climbing slower at some point. Perhaps I'll do a part two to find out.

Let us know in the comments if this is something you'd like us to investigate further.


419 Comments

  • 1227 13
 My experience of lockouts:
1. Remember halfway up a hill to lock out the shocks.
2. Fumble around losing momentum, speed and line trying to get the switches flipped.
3. Get to the top of the hill.
4. Forget I locked out the shocks.
5. Get halfway down the hill wondering why my bike feels like crap.
6. Remember I locked the shocks.
7. Fumble around losing momentum, speed and flow trying to get the switches flipped.
8. Use above as an excuse to my friends as to why I was so slow.
9. Forget lockouts for about 6 weeks, then repeat above steps.
  • 88 7
 That's why I never lock out Smile
  • 16 2
 Well spoken! Although I would for me I change point nine to deliberatley decide to not use the lockout for a few weeks until I forgot again the pain step 4 caused.
  • 32 75
flag Serpentras (Mar 12, 2021 at 0:49) (Below Threshold)
 Riding for 8 years now and I forgot it only 5 times and I pulled out of that trail after the first turn to open it.
Dunno why you need that much time to open or close it.
I even done it on the bike for the older pro10 Propain shock placement. If you would hit a bumb while doing it you would lost a finger because the chainstay eat it.
Bikes I had before and now the 161 also are simple. Just move your hand from the bar under the top tube near the seat tube and your done. Maybe two seconds while your already going.

On the mega avalanche I found the remote was the most useful thing ever.
I did used different compression settings to save energy or generate more speed.
I would love them if they are not so prone to breaking/don't work and are a hassel to maintain. Never installed them on my 161 and won't do them of they are still that bad.
Instant compression and rebound changes are super nice if your on the run.
Dont care for xc though, only Enduro here...
  • 29 2
 Exactly this until I took the lockout off the bike to save myself from this spiral. The bike climbs really well without it anyway.

I remember one of the glowing reviews the bike received at the time said:

"if you need to use the lockout on this thing you should consider trying mountain biking"
  • 92 2
 I use a lockout regularly for long, smooth climbs - mostly for the more upright position but any extra speed is a bonus. I honestly find that if you use it regularly you never forget to turn it off, especially with a firm lockout where there's no mistaking the difference in ride feel.
  • 1 2
 my shock has a three position HSC switch that in the #1 setting is basically a lockout. this would be just fine if it weren't for the fact that #1 is all the way down and it's very easy to rub the switch with your leg and knock it to #2 or worse, #1. then you start the "what the eff is wrong with my bike!??" on a descent. It's about the only badly designed thing about the Ohlins shock.
  • 8 6
 this is exactly why we need small wireless lockout switches, which I believe RS is working on atm
  • 88 4
 @Serpentras: he used the technique of exaggeration to make a humorous remark. its also known as a joke
  • 47 3
 @gluxx: There’s no jokes in Germany, what’s the matter with ya??
  • 1 1
 eh eh great!
  • 12 53
flag getsomesy (Mar 12, 2021 at 2:14) (Below Threshold)
 @bigtim wow do you forget how to wipe your behind too? hard life ahead of ya...
  • 9 1
 @getsomesy: I hope for your sake bigtim is little
  • 69 3
 @getsomesy: No, Tarquin (my butler) does that for me, but it's difficult for him to reach the lockout switch when I'm riding.
  • 1 2
 This, absolutely this.
  • 2 2
 @JanB: Set and Forget.
  • 3 1
 I only ever lock the rear, so i would replace 4 with "Get to the bottom of the trail, think "wow, that felt good", look down realise the rear shock is locked, and think maybe Aaron Gwin has a point!
  • 11 60
flag DoubleCrownAddict (Mar 12, 2021 at 4:11) (Below Threshold)
 It depends on the bike. On my 190 mm travel e bike, the bike bobs insanely when I stand and pedal, to the point of feeling ridiculous and like you are fighting the bike. So the lockout is necessary to allow me to take a break from seated climbing. But I do wish there was a reminder of some sort to unlock it before the downhill.
  • 3 1
 @Pyres: Austria is not exactly Germany. Or maybe it is in winter and summer season when Austrians seem to become a minority Wink
  • 1 0
 Did you watch my riding last weekend, @bigtim ? Big Grin
  • 2 2
 @JanB: Why I never pull out
  • 4 6
 I actually feel similar about my dropper post. Blame it on a decade of XC racing prior to dropper posts being available. I almost never use it and it feels weird when I do.
  • 4 1
 I actually went to the effort of painting flouro green and red behind the fork lockout and on top of the shock lockout so they'd catch my eye if I'd left them in the wrong place. Still did it though...
  • 2 0
 Depends on the climb, tech needs traction soft need a reaction of the thumb.
  • 2 1
 @lkubica: are you a F1 fan? Great driver
  • 1 3
 ????????????????ah mate idk y but reading your comment made me laugh way to hard
  • 6 3
 @mountainsofsussex: just leave them open and live with it, it will make your life so much easier.
  • 4 3
 That is funny. I appreciate that thought. The article measures the average speed controlling for physical variables such as the ones @seb-stott mentioned. To measure the same metric, average speed, and then trying to control for *user forgetfulness* would require a much different experimental structure. You would have to:

1: Probably use something like: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Two-sample_hypothesis_testing (the t-test gives some guarantees of significance even though you might not have a full distribution).

2: You would have to measure people going downhill (forgetting) to turn their lockout off, or alternatively, simulate this hypothesis by having people leave their lock on/off and then justifying this is similar to forgetting the lockout.

3: Try to control the downhill, so that you have maybe one section that is bumpy, so that you can attribute the metric changes to that feature.

4: If you want to enumerate the situation where you are half-way down, and then remember, you can do that too but you would just have to add that condition to the experiment but would require the pair-t test to be done differently. You would have to decide which specific condition you wanted to test, otherwise you might run into issues around simpson's paradox.
  • 1 2
 You have perfectly captured my experience as well!
  • 2 0
 @oatkinso: Live valve. Done.
  • 4 0
 @mountainsofsussex: Did the same, put a bright reflective sticker that shows when it's in the locked position. Surprisingly it's worked, haven't accidentally left it locked out in ages.
  • 1 1
 Perfect description!
  • 1 0
 No puns about this study being “underpowered”. I’m disappointed.
  • 5 1
 Jokes on you, I ride a hardtail
  • 12 1
 @seb-stott: I will continue to 'argue' until the end of time that the benefit of a lockout - as I see it - is preservation of bike and body geometry, and thus, slightly less muscle fatigue as my body is kept in a relatively static, relatively more upright position. Not to say your post isn't illuminating, but I think this is the key advantage of lockouts. I have regularly used my lockouts in the last 10+ years for this reason alone as the bikes I've owned have been efficient (to me) pedaling bikes. (Yeti SB66, Trek Remedy, and 2 Trek Slashes) and I live in the PNW where sustained, steep climbs are the norm.
  • 3 3
 Easy solution to this: Just be better.
  • 5 0
 @sngltrkmnd: I"ll agree that keeping the body in a more upright position overall creates less fatigure, even if statistically you're hardly saving any watts, which is a surprise to me. Lots of my friends can't be bothered to use lockouts and compression adjust but I use it all the time on every ride.
  • 6 0
 Remember the Cannondale Headshock? I used the lockout all the time on that, as it was staring at me from the top of the stem cap. Never forgot to turn it on or off, as it was always in my field of vision, especially on tough climbs where my nose was practically touching it.
  • 2 0
 Use a lockout lever on your bars? That's what I do since I love crushing climbs out of the saddle and don't need the bobs.
  • 1 0
 @PhatBrett: We usually always say "levers to the fun position" at the descent start, I had always wondered if the bobbing of the rear shock on a climb steals watts or not.
  • 1 0
 @seb-stott: Would you publish the raw data, please?
  • 1 2
 man, you need to stop smoking so much weed Smile
  • 4 1
 I have stolen golf flags attached to my lockout levers; super easy to see what position it's in (even from 200 yards away), and I don't have to reach far because they're like 7' long. Also pisses off golfers and ebikers (for some reason, mostly that I wanted to say something about ebikes on here and be popular).
  • 2 2
 man, you need to stop smoking so much weed Smile
  • 2 6
flag rjrx (Mar 12, 2021 at 14:09) (Below Threshold)
 @Serpentras: don't say anything sensible here at PB woke, or it's an automatic dv...lol
  • 3 0
 @seb-stott: Hard agree. I feel like I'm not making use of my bikes features if I don't flip the switch on fireroads. Can't afford an e-bike so riding clipped in and flipping the switch is all I got right now.
  • 1 0
 @gluxx: flag checks out
  • 3 0
 @mrmikebikes: but however better yiu get, will you be even better locked out
  • 2 1
 Comment of the year
  • 2 0
 @MB3: Yep, the dial lockout right in front of you was the best. The push button lockout on the Lefty just as good.
  • 1 0
 @fattyheadshok: i miss my Headshok now. But after 25 years, I couldn’t find any replacement parts or anyone locally capable of working on it, and 50mm travel wasn’t cutting it any more. Such a great design otherwise... light and crazy rigid.
  • 1 2
 @seb-stott: Not a bad comparison Seb, but you didn't include the variable of different trail conditions. Your experiment result is valid if you only ever climb up smooth climbs, but is that seriously all you ever do? My sympathy if it is, but I think your trial would be more useful if it was done on a trail with some tech features :-)
  • 1 1
 Epic explanation bigtim. However, this test lacks real riding conditions as it appears it was done on a road, not a trail with rocks, roots, obstacles, etc.......which would be benefit from the suspension open
  • 2 1
 ride alone and be more focus
  • 1 0
 Spot on!
  • 2 0
 @MB3: Mendon cycle smith does all the lefty and headshok service. www.mendoncyclesmith.com
His prices are totally reasonable and he does a great job. I’m about to restore my old F700. He’s rebuilt the 80mm headshok for me and he rebuilds my lefty Max 140mm for me every year. New bikes have their advantages to be sure (I have those too) but the older bikes are honestly a blast to ride. Just like an old MG or Triumph is a blast to drive. Nope they aren’t a McLaren but still so much fun. Honestly I’ve yet to find any telescoping fork that tracks as solidly as an old Headshok or Lefty.
  • 1 0
 So perfectly put! Comforting to know that I have company. Cheers!????
  • 218 3
 It's funny how some people will lose there shit over Anti-squat numbers and bike weight when most of the time the thing slowing you down are those DD Assegai's.
  • 273 0
 You're right that tire choice is a much bigger factor, but I can't work out how to turn my Icons back into Assegais at the top of the climb.
  • 32 1
 @seb-stott: wasn't there an article on PB 2 or 3 months ago about this tyre manufacturer offering tyres with a zip (to change the big knobbies for small ones)?
  • 5 1
 @seb-stott: Maybe self inflating and deflating tyres are the answer?
  • 8 1
 @vhdh666: This is the solution! www.retyre.co
  • 105 0
 @vhdh666: we spend 3 months scrubbing this from our memories and then you come along.
  • 1 0
 @j0lsrud: yep that's the one
  • 13 0
 @BenPea: always glad to help
  • 33 0
 @seb-stott: Dropper tire knobs. push a lever, knobs retract, push again, they extend.
  • 14 0
 @kcy4130: The Mach 5 had a button for that feature. ;-)
  • 1 1
 @IanJF: @IanJF: Under rated comment of the month right there. Go Speed Racer, go Speed Racer, go Speed Racer GO!
  • 1 0
 @seb-stott: i want a button/lever for that instead of suspension lockout
  • 2 0
 @seb-stott: soms old Schwalbes had a feature where they shed all their knobs during the down, so you had less rolling resistance on the up. I don't think they solved the 'going down again' bit, because they seem to have dropped this feature on their latest tires...
  • 54 0
 I'd like you to do a comparison to climbing off-road as I have read an article before that compared the climbing of a hardtail xc bike to the same weight and Geo full sus xc bike, ridden by an athlete measuring Watts etc just as you have, but they concluded on the basis of times that the full sus was quite a bit faster as the suspension allowed the bike to have a more consistent contact patch. My guess is that your data is accurate for a smooth fire road climb but would be very different on a proper trail.
  • 13 1
 Came here to say this. Just as Seb found fatter tires were faster on dirt and the margin increased with increasing trail roughness, I suspect open suspension - assuming reasonably high anti-squat - would pull ahead as the terrain gets rougher.
  • 21 1
 I wouldn't be at all surprised if open suspension is faster on anything bumpy. Have you got a link to that test?
  • 5 1
 @seb-stott: open suspension and bigger tyres are defo fast on rough climbs
  • 3 1
 @R-M-R: I think the cadence/pedalling technique has a lot to do with as well. I find that for many moderate gradients unlocked is faster as it smoothes out my (evidently) lumpy pedalling technique, where its steeper I start to lose out to the sag increasing fork extending and would rather be propped up on the lockout.
  • 2 1
 @benpinnick: Yes, there's something to that. I find my road bike (rigid, naturally) is smooth and my Aeris 145 / 160 and AM9 Wink are smooth when open, but feel less smooth when locked. The only think I can think of is bounce from the tires, especially given that I ride the largest ones I can cram into your frames!
  • 3 1
 @landscapeben: Thanks for the links - not exactly conclusive though. I did find this paper which used a drum to simulate a bumpy surface and got people to ride with the back wheel on the drum on a HT and FS bike. They used at least 30% less power on the FS bike, which suggests there could be a lot of time to be made with open suspension on rough climbs and traverses.

ojs.cvut.cz/ojs/index.php/ap/article/view/468/300
  • 9 0
 @benpinnick: Might want to check the author on that article
  • 4 0
 @seb-stott: I would also like to see how much or if at all the numbers change if you increase the grade. I have usually been fine with no lockout while climbing until things got steeper and push my center of mass over the rear wheel more. Also you picked 2 bikes that I would assume have extremely steep seat tube angles what if they had more "standard" seat tube angle.
  • 3 1
 I would bet that even on a very slightly rough climb the open suspension would be an advantage. Considering that on an asphalt road the difference is only 1%! In the road bike world there has been some investigations into the increases in rolling resistance from different asphalt types and there is some large differences there (bigger than 1%!). Bicycle quarterly found that a road bike fitted with a suspension fork rolled faster on asphalt than a rigid bike (might have been chip sealed asphalt though...I can't remember). Anyway, sending vibration into your body sucks up a TON of energy.
  • 3 0
 @WheelNut: I’m not convinced that current suspension fork technology is sensitive enough to be effective on asphalt roads. Perhaps it was actually the natural slop in the fork acting as suspension instead (flexier rigid forks would achieve the same effect).
  • 3 0
 @seb-stott: agreed, they are indicators but not conclusive, which is why I thought you should have a crack Beer
  • 2 0
 @MaplePanda: Yeah, I agree on the telescopic fork and common road surfaces not being a good match. If I remember correctly, that BQ used in the test WheelNut is referring to was a Rock Shox Ruby, which was part of their brief foray into road bike forks in the 90s. Besides the bushing slop you mention, it also only had something like 28mm stantions and curved lower legs to mimic a steel road fork, all which would increase the type of flex you're referring to. On a related note, the Lauf fork with its carbon leaf springs seems like the layout that would be best suited to the high frequency of pavement vibrations.
  • 41 1
 @seb-stott
Hi, interesting test, would have been really nice to see a comparison with standing up. I get that you need to keep variables to a minimum but at the same time i feel that your efforts in doing so somewhat minimized potential resultat.

As a damper always works against a motion there has to be some movment in the linkage for it to steal some energy. So your efforts in keeping everything smooth and stable would have minimized the negative effect of the damper. So i think you could view your test as a good estimate of the minimal positive effect of a lockout.

Or you could view it as a meassurment of your personal ability to pedal smooth.

Anyway i feel you have gotten one end of the spectrum and by doing the same test again standing up you could get an estimate of the potential maximal positive effect of a lockout and catch the other end of the spectrum. Then we all just have to realise that the real world would most likley be some where in between depending on terrain, rider etc.

Your ability to keep a stable power and hit correct average power will probably decrease but as you said but you can easiliy compensate the average power. Also might be interesting to look at the average deviation of power to see if that correlates with efficiancy.

So please load up some more carbs and get climbing again, ill be waiting in my armchair.????
  • 9 0
 Agreed- it’s harder to test, but I think mimicking the conditions of an XC race would be the most interesting.

This would probably mean 1. Test on a longer trail with mixed conditions. 2. Pick some sections to stand and mash the pedals 3. Do waaaay more tests and use an xc bike.

Nice to have Seb here on Pb! Let’s get nerdy
  • 12 0
 I agree that it's probably a minimum estimate (at least for a long-travel enduro bike). But a minimum estimate is what you need to prove that there is indeed a benefit.

The main problem with riding standing is (as mentioned elsewhere) that the vertical movement of the bottom bracket relative to the rider's mass can result in more physiological effort to provide the same power. In other words, the power meter would no longer be a good gauge of physical exertion. Heart rate is too inaccurate so you'd ideally need oxygen monitoring equipment. I might have a go anyway if this article does well to see if i can "feel" a difference in exertion when riding to a constant speed.
  • 7 1
 @seb-stott: is that true? All of your energy (and power is just a measure of energy over time) is still being delivered through the pedals. The bottom bracket movement is secondary; that energy is already in the system from the pedal input, so it won’t affect the input energy measured at the pedals.

But that’s exactly the point of the standing test. Now that you have seated figures, a standing test would show how much work you’re doing against the damper (I.e. bouncing about and producing heat), vs how much against the hill (I.e. raising yourself and the bike up it); and, after turning the lockout on, how this ratio shifts when you’re being prevented from working the damper. I agree that this would be much more enlightening. Otherwise you’re really only testing whether the anti-squat is as effective as the climb switch or not.
  • 1 0
 I would like to see a comparison with an XC or (cringes) a DC bike. My thinking is that these long travel bikes gain the most from a lockout and it seems marginal gains on them. Maybe a shorter travel test would prove a lockout negligible.
  • 3 0
 @vaedwards: I included some of these factors on a "test" I ran last year with my SC Blur. 1k with a rolling start, finishing with 30m of climbing, all on a gravel road (i.e. exactly the type of conditions I would use a lockout in an XC race).

Ran it 8 times, alternating locked (rear only) and unlocked. All results were within +/- 2 watts of 320, and +/- 2 seconds of 3:10. Unlocked averaged +1.25 watts higher and 1.5 seconds faster.

Obviously not super scientific, but conclusive enough for me to be comfortable forgoing a lockout for XC racing purposes.
  • 1 0
 @seb-stott: hmm....there could be an elegant test in there, killing two birds with one stone. Looks to me like running both PM pedals and a rear hub PM should “capture” those physiological losses and also highlight the difference in efficiency due to differing anti squat numbers?
  • 2 0
 @dominic54: Think of it this way, you could do push-ups on your handlebars for an hour with your feet on your pedals and your power meter would tell you you've generated 0 watts. But you'd have certainly expended some energy.
  • 29 0
 Finally some science about it! To me the lockout mainly is a mental game as it stops me seeing the bobbing of my shock. Next bike will have a vertical mounted one without lockout. Problably will do the trick as well without the downside of forgetting to turn off the lockout before going down.
  • 7 0
 It probably is mental and the margins are tiny like they're saying, but i find it more comfortable to have the bike stable to maintain the riding position, compensating for shifting around on the saddle, occasional poor pedalling technique due to tired legs, not wallowing when you hit a bump, etc.
  • 1 0
 @pbuser2299: I absolutely agree on the stability. Might even be that Im only looking down to see whats going on because I notice the bob. I love my lockout living in a very flat country where I need to pedal many k's on the road to get to the trail. Let alone that golden medium position on the DPX2 when you are out on the local XC tracks with the DownDuro Big Grin
  • 3 2
 This is no science about the benefit of a lockout on a mountainbike on anything other than a paved road. Which I personally find the least important. Anything rougher and the difference will be smaller or flipped and there is weight involved in a remote lockout as well. It is minor, but it does eat into the 0.8% difference quite a bit.
  • 2 0
 @Ido83: yeah I agree. As soon as on a proper trail even when up I never use lockout. The added grip and smoothness of the ride makes it so much easier to pedal consistently I find. If you however pedal up fire roads or roads I find the lockout help a fair bit. For all those uses a remote lockout is overkill I guess. If you're using it for (XC) racing it's a different story but tjem we are also talking about getting out of the saddle for which the gains must be much bigger one generates a lot of Bob then also on the fork
  • 29 4
 So basically it's a no brainer given the chance you might have a bad time on the downs if you forget to unlock. Thanks, Seb.
  • 39 0
 Personally I use the lockout for most long, smooth climbs mostly because I prefer the more upright feel, but the fact it's a little faster is a bonus. Because I use it often I honestly never forget to unlock it!
  • 4 1
 @seb-stott: I found the 161 rides really well even open but I am on a p3 and only 1,78cm tall.
I recently swapped the RS with an DHX2 and there it is way more noticeable when it is open.

I don't see why we should not use the leavers. I also used 3 POS remotes on races to change the compression on the fly to accommodate those parts where you need to pedal more and just not dive to much on stepper stuff / fast corners.

Have you test some coil overs for the forks or will you test them like the Vorsprung Smashpot?
  • 7 2
 @seb-stott: I try to avoid long smooth climbs, no need for a lockout that way.
  • 3 0
 @Serpentras: I ride a 161, always fully open since it bobs a lot less than my Transition Scout (with 30mm more travel)
  • 9 0
 @zonoskar: I think you avoid all climbs, or even not encounter them, considering you live in the Netherlands
  • 1 0
 @seb-stott: what about the front fork? i would imagine there is way less relevance to study that at this point. for deciding to lock out the front, i equate it to adjusting front tire pressure, so not a huge concern.
  • 23 2
 When I bought my Ransom I was sure that the first thing to do was to get rid all the Twin-lock spaghetti in the front of the bike. After few rides up I totally changed my mind. Twinlock makes this 170 mm, 29"wheeled beast very efficient uphill comparable to my previus 140 mm trail bike. And then on the downs it is allmost as fast as downhill bike. If you ride your MTB both up and down lockout mode on the bar makes your bike faster uphill and more versatile.
  • 5 0
 I am also a big fan of the twin lock. It's great. Especialy the middle position that shortens the stroke of the shock.
  • 5 0
 And the best part is that using the system quickly becomes second nature. You never forget to have it in the right mode for the current situation.

I suspect most Scott riders rarely select the fully locked out position - it's that reduced-travel "traction" mode that makes the system so useful.
  • 2 0
 Not sure it does the same thing, but my 11-6 coil switch runs a stiffer tune. It works great for climbing and I’ll also run it for big hits as it’s harder to bottom - on my Offering. If you forget to flip it open it’s not going to kill you. It just has more ramp up. I’ve always wanted try a Ransom. What does the medium lockout feel like? Do you ever use when not climbing?
  • 2 0
 @txcx166: I think the Fox DHX2/Float X2 are quite similar - the lever isn't a lockout but stiffens the LSC damping for pedalling etc.
  • 3 0
 @txcx166: On my Ransom medium lockout feels like reduced travel with increased compression. Works great on semi-hard technical climbs and going down on easy flow trails l. As you might expect full lockout is an option only for tarmac and gravel climbs. Anyway on very hard technical climbs it is better to go full open.
  • 1 1
 @Pokrowiec: ????????
  • 1 0
 @Pokrowiec: sounds cool. thanks man!
  • 24 3
 I'm not surprised by the results because Seb choosed his power output to normalize his climbs. What if he had chosen energy expense or perceive exertion ?
  • 24 3
 Power output is energy expense per unit time.
  • 17 9
 @captainian: no it isnt. It is useful energy per unit time. It does not account for efficiency, which might be compromised by having suboptimal bobbing pedaling posotion.
  • 8 0
 @GZMS: captainian is right. the power measured is just energy into the pedals per unit time. the effeciency comes out in the speed. ie more effecient/less bobbing means more of the enegry was coverted to forward motion means quicker time
  • 7 2
 @gerbers: i wasnt talking about bike efficiency, i was talking about pedaling motion efficiency of a human body.. if you are pulling into the bars to keep the front wheel loaded, you will expend more energy compared if you are just sitting relaxed upright. Even if in both cases you produce same amount of watts.
  • 4 0
 @GZMS: isn't that the whole point of this test? controlling for watts into the bike, is climbing with lockout more effecient?
  • 1 1
 Given that 1 Watts = 0.8598 KCal/Hr, then power output = energy. Also in a sustained effort without peaks, normalized power = avg. power so not much difference there.
  • 3 0
 I guess here we're measuring the Kinetic Energy being turned into Heat Energy by your dampers?
  • 3 0
 With seated climbing, I think the same power at the pedals implies the same physiological effort. I did use a heart rate monitor, which is not a great indicator of exertion, but there was no difference in HR between open and closed. Interestingly, this isn't true if pedaling out the saddle, where the vertical movement of the bottom bracket relative to the rider can result in more physiological effort to provide the same power.
  • 2 1
 My thoughts exactly. With a compromised seat position (shock compressed, no lockout, lower riding height) it should take more energy to create the same power. Heart rate isn't a good unit for measurement either as that is not a single effect of power output.

We are splitting hairs here, but at some point we need to look at the scientific approach that roadies use. (Try telling a TDF racer that he can lower his seat by 50mm and not notice a power to energy change.)
  • 1 1
 haahaha, Even if not commenting, Waki is watching and kinda commenting on the comments ; ) @seb-stott: he sends his kudos for the test hahaha.
  • 1 0
 @gerbers: it is the point of this test, but this test is only half the story.. heart rate alongside power data can shed some light onto the other half.. thats what original commenter had in mind i suppose, that energy expensed when pedaling is not in a fixed relationship to the energy that goes into pedals.. anyway, science is hard.. i rarely use lockout as most climbs are sub 10mins here ????
  • 2 0
 @seb-stott: I thought there'd be more difference - my gut feeling is you're a smooth pedaller Big Grin
I think standing-up-pedalling might be a more interesting test.
  • 2 1
 @noplacelikeloam: The seat position isn't compromised relative to the BB just because the shock compresses. Pedal stroke length remains exactly the same when a bike squats (unless it's a URT or iDrive, but let's skip those). It's completely different than actually lowering the saddle even 5mm.
  • 2 0
 @seb-stott: if you have the power metre data you could integrate the data and actually confirm how close the effort (energy used) was.
Also nice work on recognising anti squat is affected by CoG.
  • 2 1
 @justinfoil: Yeah, good point. I stand corrected. Thanks dude.
  • 2 0
 @justinfoil: While noplacelikeloam seems to agree with your counterpoint to his comment, I was under the impression that noone here is arguing that seat height is being compromised by suspension movement. Instead, they are arguing that seat position is being compromised, which is a different thing. Effectively, as the rear shock compresses on a climb, you are slackening the seat angle, and thereby changing where the riders center of gravity is relative to the BB, what angle the saddle is relative to level, etc...

Effectively, rear shock compression on a climb will have the opposite effect as the move toward steep seat angles, slammed forward saddles, and nose down saddle angles that have been becoming increasingly popular, due to their claimed benefits for in the saddle climbing.

It is also somewhat like going up a very steep hill, where it becomes progressively harder to pedal effectively as you feel like you are shifted into the "back seat" of the bike and you have to hunch further and further forward over the bars in order to maintain somewhat normal front to rear wheel weight balance. If you take it to an absurd level, just as a thought experiment, you could imagine being rotated so far that your saddle height would be the same, but the biomechanics would actually become those of a recumbent bike, which are totally different, and not noted for being advantageous on climbs (although they do have advantages on the flats).
  • 2 0
 @thekaiser: "Try telling a TDF racer that he can lower his seat by 50mm and not notice a power to energy change." - What does that imply? Obviously changing the seat-to-BB height. If they had said "raise the handlebars by 50mm", then you might be able to assume they were only talking about relative position change caused by the suspension compressing under load.

You mentioned both biomechanics of pedaling and CG location, and I'm saying that for riding trails, one of those is marginal and one of those is huge. The marginal raw power gains of a more hips-over-BB pedal stroke is vastly outweighed by the fact that you don't have to fight the bike's tendency to lift the front and take away steering or potentially loop out, that you can just sit and pedal and deal with the terrain instead of dealing with both the bike and the terrain. With proper sized chainstays and a good seat tube angle, the "effective seated rear center" is plenty good enough on modern bikes, even with extra sag in the shock, for most riders to keep the power on.

You mentioned imagining a rotation of the whole system making it like a recumbent, except the bars and pedals don't move relative to the seat in that rotation, and you're still on a normal bike saddle, so it's not really at all like a recumbent, it's just a normal bike rotated. Recumbents are harder to put power down on because you're literally sitting back in a chair, isolating all of your upper body, most of your back, and a lot of your hips, meaning the vast majority of the power is coming from the legs only, and that causes the drop in power (literally less of the body involved), not just because your pedal stroke direction is less vertical relative to gravitational pull.
  • 1 0
 @noplacelikeloam: No prob, I'm actually pretty sure I tried to make the same argument once, haha.
  • 13 1
 It very much depends on terrain. If you're climbing 1000m vertical up a road, you'll be standing on the pedals sometimes just to switch things around for comfort and to relieve boredom. A lockout on the rear will clearly help a lot on tarmac seated or standing. Don't think that's news to anyone. Anything bumpy and I'm not so sure. The moment the back wheel starts getting skittish and stops tracking properly going up a trail is the moment the lockout has to go. It's all about what gives you enough traction on the current terrain. Fork lockout? Useless. On-the-fly fork travel reduction is a different story and gets you in more of a mood for some serious upduro if things are steeper.
  • 7 0
 Fork lockout is useful if you sprint on hard smooth ground as the fork doesn't pump for no reason. I use my lockout only on the road while going to the trail or when I climb long smooth fire roads.
  • 2 0
 idk if fork travel adjustment really has a future considering no one makes them anymore. If anything something like the Shapeshifter seems more betterer, but with more modern geo numbers than the strive, like 76° for flat and 78° for steep.
  • 2 0
 Reducing fork travel can help with weight distribution and pedaling geometry, but it reduces anti-squat and lowers your bb, which can lead to pedal strikes. It's better to hold the rear end up like the old Dyad shock or Canyon Strive - but it's even better to just ride your bike.
  • 1 0
 @zede: the first and last time I locked the fork, it started pissing oil out of the top caps. That may have swayed my opinion, but I've never had bobbing issues up front.
  • 1 0
 @FatSanch: works for me man. High BB thanks to overforking so pedal strikes minimal. Don't understand the anti-squat thing though.
  • 1 0
 @Upduro: yep, they seem to have killed it off for different reasons. Shapeshifter seems like a good solution.
  • 1 0
 @BenPea: just look at a diagram for how AS is calculated, then imagine what happens when you lower the front end.
  • 1 0
 @FatSanch: this is why I dropped out of engineering. So the lower the fork, the less anti-squat right? Thing is, I still have a granny ring, so the anti squat on my bike is way above what is normal today anyway (correct me if I'm wrong).
  • 1 0
 @BenPea: correct on both counts. Just having more anti-squat won't make your bike more efficient. It needs to be the correct anti-squat for your COG, which can also change by wearing a pack, etc. There are a ton of factors. But lowering your fork with a granny ring could very well work out.
  • 11 0
 Scott twinlock is the way to go. The suspension is still there when you need it but never bobs a milometer. I never use full lockout unless I am on a road, and yes, it makes a way bigger difference than these test results show.
  • 1 2
 Came here looking for the comment about Scott bikes. Their engineering dept is definitely loving this article seeing as they slap a lockout on every bike they offer except the dh.
  • 3 1
 i used to have a remote lockout (you dont need a scott bike, you can get fhe fox remotes they work just the same) but now that ive a bike thats designed to work full open (ie a Hightower 2) i just dont need it anymore.


locking out makes the bike very rigid, usually more so than a hard tail or even a road bike - which can be quite uncomfortable over long hours of climb.

on a bike that isnt like that, lock out definitely makes a big difference. mainly you can put out more power. when its bobing the suspension absorbs part if the energy, so when the test tries to keep the same power output, its not testing that at all, its testing if the suspension delivers better grip, which.. it does. 0.4% on that amount if time is also within margins of error anyway.
  • 5 0
 @p1nkbike: The Scott twinloc isn't just a lockout, it's a three stage kinda thing:
* Fully open fork and shock
* Shock travel restricted down to like 70% and compression tune firmed a bit - this is great for pedalling up non-smooth climbs or riding on trails where you don't need all the travel, or on pump tracks even.
* Full lockout of fork and shock, really only use it for climbing on smooth surface out of saddle

And that's why the twinloc is good idea IMO, people can diss the extra cables all they want but it works.
  • 1 0
 @rarerider: I know what twinloc is Smile The fox remotes are both 2 and 3 positions. The 3 position will give you locked out, intermediate and full open. The intermediate mode is pretty much the same thing, though it always depends on the shock tune (you can have the shocks retuned by fox)

The only real difference between the two has the way the remote lever operate and whatever tune you get with the bike, the rest is +- the same.

Most people have no idea that you can get these directly from fox, because no bike vendor sells that directly on the bike, except for scott, which have their own lever action for it. The scott remote is fine, but the fox is fine too. A few years ago the fox remote was significantly different from scott (and pretty bulky)
  • 9 0
 In addition to giving a link to statistical significance in general you should share the data with us in order to document your calculations in a replicable way. It seems unlikely to me that such a small difference in mean times between lockout and non lockout becomes significant also on such a small sample basis. also, it would have been better to control for the average watts of each run statistically.
  • 3 0
 Call me a nerd, but the thing that excited me most is that you showed very clearly that a statistically significant difference doesn't need to show a 'high' overall effect.
@seb-stott: I second morgiou; Could you please share the statistical tests and/or the data with us?
I realize I might be overthinking this; I also think that for this goal the sample size is just fine if you don't start adjusting for wattage.
  • 5 0
 On that note, it's worth noting that the time difference can also equate to 1m of deviation off the same line pedalled up the hill (assuming 4% grade) less so if it was steeper!

Also accuracy of timing comes into scrutiny on such small margins.
  • 6 0
 I don't have the times to hand right now but P=0.02 in a 2-way paired T-test (comparing the 1st run unlocked with the 1st run locked and so on, to compensate for drift in the times as conditions changed and to use data for both bikes together)

I know that's not strong evidence by scientific standards but this is a PinkBike article not a PHD project. Wink
  • 2 1
 @seb-stott: dot/box plot or it didn’t happen. Wink Agree it’s not a PhD project, but I’d argue a small fraction of people *really* understand those suspension graphs and pb posts those. I’d be happy to provide charts given the dataset. If I ever see you in person, I’ll flash the physics gang sign.
  • 1 0
 @seb-stott: sounds ok. I would still appreciate to get those 6 times. The topic is interesting!
  • 8 1
 I know this is sort of missing the point of @seb-stott fantastically scientific approach to minimising the variables, but does anyone else HATE the feel of a fully locked out bike. It feels different, and worse, to a hardtail. I'm pretty sure it's the slight compressability of the oil or the IFP, but whatever it is, I hate it. I would rather pedal on a smooth surface with a bit of suspension movement because it feels more natural. The only lockout I have ever liked is the Cane Creek Climb Switch, because it's not a full lock, and it works on both circuits, so it's like instantly adding 8 clicks of low speed compression and rebound damping. That calms the bike down without giving it that weird tiny undamped bounce feeling of a full lock. Actually brought home to me recently when running a Rock Shox Super Deluxe, which in all other respects is a great shock, but the lockout felt horrible to me!

This is a very unfashionable opinion, but I really miss the remote for the Climb Switch on the new Kitsuma shock too. Despite myself I ended up using that all the time on my enduro bike when I was running an Air IL on it. You could keep it firm for smoother section, then open it up for rougher sections of climb for traction just by moving your thumb. Fiddling around between your knees for the lockout switch is a PITA.
  • 1 0
 I agree, a locked out full suspension feel so much less efficient than a hard tail. Especially when out of the saddle giving max effort. I think it's not only due to shock, but partly because of lateral flex. Suspension always makes for a less rigid bike laterally, more noticeable when a bikes' pivots are getting worn out. I can feel the bikes rear end flex when I put power down. But I weigh 235 lbs, so it'll be worse for me than lighter riders.
  • 1 0
 Agreed. The Super Deluxe lockout somehow feels worse than a 35lb bike with open suspension.
  • 6 0
 "The effect of a lockout on a rough climb is a separate question. "
I think you already know what you have to do next @seb-stott
And after that, perhaps a head-to-head between the Cane Creek Climb Switch and whatever Fox call the Propedal lever these days.
  • 8 0
 I find it makes no difference having a lock out on when I'm pushing the bike up a hill.
  • 5 0
 Surely nobody actually has a problem with lockout/climb mode, if you don't like them then don't use them but leave them for those who do want them, i feel like the real complaint is with ease of use and cable management, having had both a shock lever (where like many i commonly forgot to turn it on or off) and a remote lever i can say a remote makes lockout much more user friendly yet the vast majority of bikes don't have a remote for fear of people hating on the handlebar clutter (every Scott twinloc review ever), but that just brings us to a simple cable management problem, people are fine with dropper remotes and would find it absurd to reach down to operate the dropper so why is it not the same for lockout switches? As for the clutter I use a neat spiral cable tidy that combines my rear brake, dropper and shock lockout cable into one where they all enter the frame together so the 5 cables look as neat as 3 (with front brake and shifter), just need more frames to incorporate smart cable management to account for it and we could all be using handy remote lockouts with no worries, who knows the future might even bring wireless or combined dropper/lockout systems.
  • 1 0
 Agreed - A bar mounted lock out remote lever makes forgetting to switch modes basically a nonissue. And heat shrink tubing is a great way to clean up cable clutter on your bars.
  • 2 0
 ^This. My daughter runs a remote lock Super Deluxe on her Range and I have taken a lot of crap (as her head mechanic) for the way the cables look. Ends up mediocre cockpit cable management does not impact race speeds at all even if it looks like a early 2000s COLO server room Smile
  • 6 1
 The ultimate question is whether you believe that a compression and rebound cycle are actually taking energy out of the system. The answer is a resounding YES, or they would not work as a damper! Shock lockouts resisting compression absolutely will improve pedaling efficiency because less energy is lost into the shock circuit. It’s not rocket science. It’s mechanical engineering.
  • 2 1
 "Pedaling efficiency" is only one part of trail riding. If adding three quarters of a percent to pedaling with lockout costs a few percent in lost traction (just one decent spin-out on a hard climb can be pretty brutal to both speed and energy), it doesn't take rocket science to decide to not use lockout.
  • 1 0
 This is my thought aswell. It takes more effort putting down a given amount of watts when the bike gives in, and this energy will not help you when the shock extends because the damper will control the rebound.

And this is before considering unwanted geometry changes because the rear suspension sags further than with a lock out activated.

To quantify the losses you would have to measure the heat build up in the shock, but oh boy, think about all the variables. A click of rebound would throw everything off...

Perhaps easier to apply lactate testing on the top after each run to quantify the fatigue from each run? The watts alone will not give the whole truth
  • 1 0
 @suppehue: agreed, and smooth seated pedaling vs standing up will also rob the rider of some of the energy put into the pedals. Fundamentally a hardtail is the most efficient climbing platform, and a smooth pedaling stroke will give even more efficiency than any amount of anti-squat or compression damping.
  • 1 0
 @nicktapias: hardtail is only the "most efficient pedaling platform" on smooth trails. At some point it's going to take more energy to manage the bike getting over obstacles and maintaining traction, in which case the hardtail is not the most efficient at actually climbing on trails, which is really what matters, isn't it?
  • 7 3
 315 watta is a bit odd. Its threshold or above for many people, and noone is climbing enduro bikes at threshold. 200-250 is a more realistic number. When going 315, rider’s core and arms are much more engaged in keeping the position fixed, also pedaling has to be smoother to keep the power up, wonder if at 200w, when pedalling is sloppy and you are sitring upright in the saddle like youre on a couch, there would be another result.
  • 2 3
 Threshold power is what a person can output for one hour. Since most climbs are way shorter than an hour and most people are knackered at the top, I conclude, that most pedal above threshold power. Maybe another sample group of riders just take it easy on the climbs, but most people I ride with go hard on the climbs, even though they ride for the descends.
  • 1 0
 Yeah, I have a power meter on my bike (and I’m average size/weight/climbing speed), and averaging 315 watts is really cranking. 200-250 is much more common, as you said.
  • 1 0
 @endoplasmicreticulum: most climbs I do are 1hr +. Not everywhere has short climbs.
  • 5 1
 It would have been more interesting, to compare a bike like the Scott with a TwinLoc Remote on fork and shock turned on or off. A heavy plush bike with a backward seating position most naturally climbs long fireroads better with the rearshock locked out, and it would be less exhausting with some pounds less weight. But reaching down switching the lever of the shock all the time on and off on a technical climb is not worth it with a modern bike. No one would do that. That is where a Twinloc might make sense.
  • 6 2
 I don’t think the methodology warrants any conclusions on lock out switches here. Two bikes, 12 runs, unevenly distributed. Lacking in power. Statistical power that is. It’s a good pilot project, but useful data it’s not. Design the study well and report the data accurately, then you have scientific method. This is still anecdotal evidence, not a study. I don’t come to Pinkbike for the science, to be sure. But if I did, I would want real data, not pseudoscience. Until then, I’ll read these articles for the comments. Which are exquisit as usual, but statistically significantly worsened by my boring statements.
  • 1 0
 Agreed. Let’s see more riders on more bikes doing a lot more runs. Then we’ll see.
  • 4 0
 You should do a similar test on a downcountry or xc bike like a scott Spark. I ride a 120mm Spark most of the time and I use the lockout religiously. On long climbs you can get up out of the saddle and really stand on the pedals which really allows you to fly uo hill.
  • 5 1
 Find this article a bit bizarre tbh - I may be on my own here - but I couldn't give 2 sh*ts about whether its FASTER - no-one's timing me on climbs!?

I want to know if it's EASIER - how much more energy am I wasting on the vertical bob from an open shock, how much difference in that do certain shocks have? etc.

Speed ain't everything unless I'm racing, which is rare, and I can't imagine many Pinkbikers are "...at the sharp end of an XC-marathon race, or running late on an EWS liaison...". (I'm sure the few who are will chime in claiming that they represent many hundreds of others ;-))
  • 5 0
 Its right there in the text, about 0.8% different. He is measuring the watts at the pedals which is the amount of energy you are burning. So if you went the same exact speed it would be 0.8% easier or if you put out the same exact power (what he did) you would go 0.8% faster.
  • 2 2
 @mtmc99: Riding is much more than just power to the pedals. I think the "easier" in the original question was about the whole bike getting up a trail, not just how much power is put down on a fricking road climb. Does lockout make you lose traction more often on a long but sketchy climb? Then it's not easier, especially at less than 1% raw pedal efficiency change.
  • 2 0
 @mtmc99: I take your point, but we're talking very rudimentary maths here. I think I'm after some more in-depth info on the dynamics of it all. As @justinfoil said Power at the pedals is one thing, but realistically no-one on earth could spot 0.8% more efficiency on an MTB up a fire road. You could probably do basic maths on the energy needed to compress the shock given the air pressure, rider weight, travel used in pedalling etc, too. But on a more complex climb, could they measure the amount of energy lost to unnecessary bob in open-setting, and compare with the locked (and maybe mid) shock settings and see energy wasted vs perceived rider effort?

Maybe the end effect is ultimately as much a quantitative thing as qualitative, so its a moot point?
  • 4 0
 Title should be, "Does not thinking make biking more fun?' Isn't that the point? Grey matter dominates enough day to day- time to unplug and go muscle memory. At some point on a decent/nice bike use the force and 'Let go Luke.' Of course comment section is 'see how intelligent/clever we are' and not 'Let's let our inner child ride a bike and scream with joy.' Sorry about all the quote marksSmile
  • 4 0
 "The effect of a lockout on a rough climb is a separate question"
I remember seeing a video or interview a while back where an XC racer who said she chose between a hardtail and a full suspension bike based on how rough the climbs were, and not how rough the descents were. Obviously there is more time spent on climbs, but she clearly felt that having suspension working on the climbs to help with traction would be faster.
  • 1 0
 Hard to argue that, owning both a hardtail and FS.
  • 4 0
 It's really good to have Seb content here on PB. I've always enjoyed your articles.

I haven't raced in years so I don't care about my times (well I sort of do, but not really), but I often end up on long sufferfest climbs and those are all mental. Flipping switches and the 450g saved by going carbon 'feel' like they are making a difference, therefore I'm choosing to ignore your conclusions and believe switch flipping makes a huge difference.

But really, I know the biggest actual difference I can make in the short term is choosing wisely for breakfast.
  • 2 0
 Obviously it would need a full study to measure it and therefore actually know but I can believe that the placebo effect of something that we are told will make climbing a lot easier could be pretty big over the course of a day's riding.
  • 4 0
 yes as per previous comment/s - a lockout is really for when you have to stand up and power down, doing a seated test of lockout vs non lockout makes no sense, its like testing which tire has the most corner grip by riding in a straight line. And yes a lockout in stand up pedalling will be more efficient - the battle between lockout / non lockout is on proper trail climbs. This makes it harder to keep power exact but repeated efforts at a lower more achievable repeated power on trail climb of say 250w will yield good results. As an xc racer i can tell you that smooth / fire road - standing up to give sit muscles a break - lock out wins, which is why they are on xc bikes and have a button on handle bar. On Trail climbs its a mix, if its really bumpy, non lockout will be faster because lockout has your bouncing all over the place. Instead of suspension absorbing bump, the bump lifts bike & rider vertically which takes energy, breaks traction, breaks pedalling rhythm - so in real world climbs you have to decide when you use lock out and when not - sometimes it will be way faster, sometimes a little, sometimes a wash but more taxing on body like a hardtail , sometimes clearly slower and harder on hard tail.
  • 4 0
 Are these "hard" lockouts?

Because if the difference between open and full lockout is 0.6% then the difference between a descend mode and a firm climb mode, like my cane creek, must be very modest.
  • 3 0
 I like having a lockout, but I think it has to be controlled by a remote lever on the bars, so that your not fumbling around looking for a switch. Its less about the small percentages than it is about how I feel on the bike. When I owned a Scott, I used the TwinLock more often than the dropper post. I also don't mind how many cables I have on the bike, because I don't look at them when I ride.
  • 6 0
 what about if you put a piece of wood instead of a shock, how much faster?
  • 3 1
 does the piece of wood look like a duck? does it float?
  • 2 0
 @conoat: she turned me into a newt....
  • 2 0
 @justincs: A newt?
  • 6 2
 Next test: what is the disadvantage of forgetting to open my lockout on a descent?

This test says all I need to know to comfortably leave my lockout open all the time.
  • 6 1
 By this logic, you should also get rid of your dropper post, in case you forget to lower the seat, and also your gears, in case you're in the wrong one.
  • 2 1
 @twopoint6khz: Different, in that those are actuated very very often, when lockout is actuated much less frequent.
  • 1 0
 @justinfoil: The twinloc lever on my Scott sees more of my thumb than the dropper lever does
  • 1 2
 @boozed: that's great for you, but I'm pretty sure the vast majority of riders are the opposite, so the point still stands
  • 1 0
 @justinfoil: You're correct but only because the vast majority of riders don't have a Scott twinloc lever on their handlebar
  • 1 0
 @boozed: Nope, still wouldn't use it more. I don't ride mountain bikes on trails that frequently vary from smooth enough to not worry about traction to rough enough to want fully open suspension (lock-out). I do ride on trails that frequently vary from up to down (dropper) and remain not-smooth-enough that open suspension's traction gain vastly outweighs any lockout gain..

I can only hope that most people also have access to and utilize trails with similar features. If someone does feel a _need_ to lockout that often (outside of a race), I feel a little sorry that you don't have cooler trails.
  • 2 0
 Really interested in these kind of tests. It would be great to repeat the test but with a heart rate monitor attached as well. That you you could tell if you need to work harder to maintain the same power output with the lockout open.
  • 9 0
 Glad you like the style of test. I used a HR monitor but you can't tell much from the data. Heart rate varies with many factors like hydration, what you're thinking about, how warmed up/tired you are. As far as I can tell, the physiological effort to do 315w is the same whether locked out or not.
  • 2 0
 @seb-stott: would it be possible/pointless to do a test like this based on HR? I know this messes up variables a lot, so you'd likely need a million runs.
For enduros, speed on the transport climbs for me is dictated by how much energy I am trying to save, so keeping my HR in check rather than watts. This means speed varies a lot by weather, how far I am into the race, how many crashes I've had etc.

The big question is how to measure the effect of using lockouts during an XC race. Would like to see the data behind Specializeds Brain development.
  • 2 0
 @knutspeed: I know Nino says he uses his lockout all the time. World Cup XC courses tend to have at least one long non-technical climb where it's probably a significant benefit.
  • 6 1
 So a hardtail climbs faster, natural lockout and less weight, best of both worlds.
  • 11 0
 And a rigid climbing road bike is even better than that.
  • 4 0
 @optimumnotmaximum You might find it hard to unlock the hardtail before the descent though.
  • 4 2
 @bananowy: true, but be carefull to speak to me about hardtails : coming from an endurobike, out of curiosity i built such a good hardtail that i cant stop riding and talking about it in the downtime:

Moxie Mx3 29er with a Mattoc 140, Hayes Dominions, xo1 11 speed, HT X2 custom long axle, Revive, Vittoria Mazza and Airliners. Especially the Airliners are such a blast on a hardtail, you can literally hit stuff as hard as you like without flatting or dinging, they dampen the ride too. I have run cushcore before and the protection was way less. Frame, fork and brakes are brilliant too, i am not seeing myself riding an FS outside the park again.
So fast and so much fun.
  • 2 0
 To me is all about feel you have while pedaling. Most of enduro bikes feels like crap/meh while pedaling, Mix fat tires and long travel and you have a not so engaging bike to pedal uphill. I was very surprised how the S.Enduro feels,it is "slow" but it feels good,very reactive,it wants to go fast while pedaling. Not an XC bike but it is not so painful to ride uphill.
  • 2 0
 @seb-stott i like that you controlled as many variables as possible and used a power meter. Also that you did this on a smooth constant grade. I think you made the test very fairly, but too fair. Personally, I can do long (60+ minutes) climb on my bike with the suspension open or closed, sitting down, putting out constant power and the times will be similar. How about as a contrast you do some all out efforts? I think that is where the locked out times will come down. Standing up, smashing the pedals in an all out effort is going to compress the rear shock a lot more and slow you down in my experience. I leave my shock open, unless I’m really trying to cover ground on the climb.
  • 2 0
 Old school rider here...I lock out because I hate the bobbing action and I stand quite a bit while climbing. Growing up riding full rigid you get that feeling you are getting all the power in and out of the bike. For me it's just a 'feeling' thing...But yeah, forgetting to unlock can suck but it rarely ever happens. I think people spend more time adjusting their gps, phone, etc...
  • 5 1
 Seeing the cockpit, it's obiously a scott bike that has been used for the illustration
  • 1 0
 A Scott bike assembled by a lunatic!
  • 4 3
 "To me, this says more about the effectiveness of saving a few hundred grams than it does about the effectiveness of a lockout."

Thanks Seb! I've been saying this for years. This is exactly why bike weight matters a lot more than people think. For racers anyways.
  • 11 1
 I actually interpret it the opposite way. Most people don't realize that saving 500g (about the difference between a carbon and alloy frame) is only going to make you about half a percent quicker uphill. Alternatively, you could say that using the lockout is a similar advantage to a carbon over alloy frame when pedaling seated, and probably more when standing.
  • 1 1
 I had the Spindrift mod 2017 and it bobs like hell, old DH style. I needed to change the chairing on my 161 because it drained to much power upwards despite the fact it was much better preventing Bob and better seating pos. Well my SD weight 14,7 with chunky tires. The 161 on the other hand 16,5 with light equipment and chunky tires.
  • 3 0
 @seb-stott: Right. I guess the deciding factor between our two different interpretations comes down to wheter or not a 0,5% difference is significant to what you're doing. I'm an XCO and Marathon racer, so to me it is.
  • 7 2
 @seb-stott: "... saving 500g (about the difference between a carbon and alloy frame) is only going to make you about half a percent quicker uphill."

That's the upper bound of the difference it can make, assuming a linear relationship. That would be the case only if all the work went into raising our potential energy. Accounting for tire rolling resistance, tire-dirt interface slippage, drivetrain friction, air resistance, etc., that 0.5 kg difference will increase the pace of a 100 kg system by less than 0.5%.
  • 4 1
 @BenTheSwabian: What he's saying is that spending $1000+ to save 500g gives you only as much performance gain as flicking a lever for free. I mean the flicking is free, not the shock, but most trailbikes and even more so xc bikes come stock with lockable shocks.
  • 5 0
 @seb-stott: Many of these factors - locked out vs open, EXO vs DD tires, extra kilo of bike weight etc. I think everything you've said here (and everything I've read from @R-M-R in various forums in the past) leads one to believe none of these factors are actually that significant. We're likely talking a couple of percent even when considering all of those factors combined... Which unless you're racing is not very important, not when weighed up against the extra durability and reliability the extra weight can bring.

My real world experiences don't correlate so well with this though, perhaps because all of these studies and calculations are premised on equal power. I feel like out on the trail far more damage is done by the bike feeling rubbish to pedal - psychologically it's unrewarding to pedal heavy, squishy bike. You don't even feel like trying and so you perhaps don't attack climbs in the same way, preferring to sit back and wind your way up more gently. This perhaps leads to a far bigger difference in the real world, for most users.
  • 2 0
 @tom666: Your perceptions are likely accurate. Bikes that are rubbish to pedal and demoralizing probably do waste a lot of power or inhibit you from producing power in the first place. The points Seb and I are making is that the causes of rubbish efficiency are not always things that are commonly blamed, such as a shock that's not locked or an extra pound or two.

Tire rolling resistance and poor ergonomics, for example, can be far more significant than a little bobbing from a generally efficient suspension design. There have also been some inefficient suspension designs that would benefit more from a lockout - or, better yet, a redesign to avoid the need for the lockout.
  • 3 1
 @seb-stott: It's easier to get 0.5% stronger instead - just buy a single speed as a second bike.
  • 7 0
 @R-M-R: Totally agree. @seb-stott It would be cool to do a test with different casings and treads to quantify how much difference that makes. I reckon it would be quite substantial.

I also wonder if the metrics that we're using here - % difference and time in seconds have a tendency to sound insignificant - who cares about a few seconds unless you're racing? But actually, emotionally and psychologically a few seconds ahead can mean quite a gap - and your buddies pulling away from you does feel pretty terrible lol

Also, Seb, great article, thanks for putting this out there. Reading through the comment section there's a lot of people talking about the various things you could have done differently - but this is already great content and I appreciate you taking the time to create this!
  • 2 1
 @tom666: Yeah, it's nice to see some controlled testing.

Many relationships between variables are linear, but one that definitely does not respond linearly is our emotional state! Doesn't take much to demoralize someone who's oxygen deprived and drowning in lactic acid.

Regarding tires: Some elements of rolling resistance could be tested in a lab. One difference, though, is that mountain bike tires should be tested with a powered wheel, rather than a powered drum. All test equipment of which I'm aware use powered drums; this is adequate for road tires, where shear deformation of the casing and tread is minimal, but mountain tires - especially fatbike tires and low-rebound compounds - require a powered wheel.
  • 2 0
 @fartymarty: easier is debatable... also with this argument, it’s not an either/or. Get the lighter bike and get more fit, and just like that: double your gains. All else being equal, the lighter bike still comes out ahead.
  • 1 0
 @tom666: This website is a good resource for tire rolling resistance:
www.bicyclerollingresistance.com
  • 1 0
 @R-M-R: Why do you reckon MTB tires require a powered wheel opposed to a powered drum? In rolling resistance tests, the wheel is pressed against the drum with half the weight of an assumed average rider+bike, so something like 45kg, which gives you a representative deformation. Whether you then power the wheel or the drum is irrelevant.
  • 1 0
 My philosophy as well. BUT WAIT, there's more! I bought a bike with 2lbs heavier frame and sure I noticed the weight. Running light-ish wheel/tire brought back the quick-to-accelerate feature I value. The new bike was still 4lbs heavier than the old one, but I adapted to that and really enjoy/appreciate how quick to speedup and lift off it is compared to most others I demo. Where the weight is seems to matter, and the frame is perfect place to add any. I may start a ride with 5lbs of water & bag on my back, but the bike doesn't change its characteristics.
  • 5 0
 @tom666: I really appreciate that comment. For sure it's easy to criticize and of course it would have been better if I had done 120 runs instead of 12, tested on four different surfaces, five different power outputs and all of the pedaling styles, but this is a PinkBike article not a PHD thesis!
  • 1 1
 @rarerider: There are essentially no shear forces in the tire without a powered drum. This models a front tire, but to model a rear tire, the shear forces must be incorporated.
  • 1 0
 @fartymarty: I love my single speed but find that it doesn't really change the way I pedal on a geared bike. I think that I unconsciously adapt to the way the bike "wants" to be ridden (aggressive climbing on the SS & lazy spinning on the gears). I suppose people who ride this way might be more affected (psychologically if not actually) by inefficient suspension designs.
  • 1 0
 @R-M-R: You're right it is the upper bound (which kind of backs up my point), but if you assume rolling resistance is proportional to rider weight (I'm not sure if this is the case in MTB) then it's only air resistance which doesn't scale linearly and that's probably quite small on steep climbs.
  • 1 0
 @seb-stott: Yes, it makes an even stronger case for the argument that weight is of less consequence than conventional wisdom would have us believe.

Maybe air resistance is a minor factor for you, but at the rate I climb ... lol

But seriously, it took me quite some time to spot the other non-linear factor. At low speeds, all sprung masses, including the rider, closely track the contours of the ground, i.e. the transmissibility ratio approaches 1 when the frequency approaches zero. As speed increases, the sprung(ish) wheel and fully sprung rider can "skim" the terrain, i.e. transmissibility ratio drops below 1 for each suspension system as the impact frequency of terrain roughness (not trail contours) exceeds √2× the natural frequency for each system.

Steve's Tuesday Tune #23 covers this succinctly near the beginning.
  • 1 0
 @seb-stott: half a percent faster up a road climb, doesn't matter. How does half a kilo weight savings help you navigate techy climbs or bouldery traverses, with literally less bike inertia to manage?
  • 5 0
 Yea but... what about when you're standing on the pedals?
  • 1 0
 Locked-out suspension is likely more efficient when standing on smooth terrain, but there's another variable: as the terrain gets rougher, a rider on locked-out suspension will need to start hovering over the saddle, then fully standing, sooner than a rider on free suspension. This probably tips the balance in favour of the free suspension. When the terrain is so rough that standing is required, even with free suspension ... I'm not sure what would be most efficient.
  • 2 0
 You got my attention with the comparison to weight savings. I guess it depends on the type of rider as to whether 400g for that test scenario is a huge deal or not. Thanks for the different perspective.
  • 1 0
 Next time, if you choose a technical climb, add a dw-link, a vpp and a horst bike. I ride a Horst link bike, I use my cs when I remember to switch it, and I keep reading about that dw riders never do it, they leave it “open”all the time. No war intended, just curious about it
  • 3 0
 Suspension layout doesn't matter. The anti-squat does. Unfortunately, as there is no standard for COG height, it's actually impossible to compare between brands, and possibly even within brands, depending on how disciplined the engineering team is. It also varies with frame size even when designers don't intentionally address it - longer front center = increase in anti-squat (which is good - you want anti-squat to increase with frame size due to taller riders needing more).
  • 2 0
 @FatSanch: I appreciate your knowledge. Maybe I didn’t explain myself correctly in the1st place. I am curious to see the difference on a dw-link bike, with the gadget on and off, cause people keep saying they don’t use it. Peace
  • 1 0
 You can estimate the energy loss in rough climbs with an excel table.
Assuming: hit size distribution, hit geometry, wheel radius, weight distribution. It's easy to then estimate roughly the energy losses due to the horizontal component of he hit.
Suspension locked you can take the potential energy to scale the kinetic energy losses
Suspension unlocked you need to estimate the dissipated energy (knowing the damping forces) and add a small amount of the potential energy depending on how much your suspensions are moving (50% to 80% of initial potential energy remaining)
You'll see that for a single hit, the difference is quite significant, but the hit distribution has quite a dramatic effect on the actual losses when locking the suspension (losses by hits being a fraction of total losses). Actually there is theoretical scenarii where locking the suspension is more beneficial as you can get back quicker some momentum before the next hit, and some where letting the suspension move is a no brainer. You'd need many different measures on different real tracks to have a useful measurement.
  • 1 0
 I don’t have a lockout, I have a 170 Fox 36 on the front of my HT and mucking about trying to get it stiffer for climbing usually ends up in me forgetting what I had it at before and dropping into a trail with a fork that may as well be rigid lol.
  • 1 0
 Hi Seb, since you are a garmin user. Have you ever tested the myth, that garmin manipulate the geo data to be quicker on strava vs an iphone? I seriously need proven scientific reasons, why im so far off local KOM’s.... ha!
  • 1 0
 I think it's obvious that lockout will make you faster on a road climb, as you waste less energy compressing the shock and more goes into moving you forward. I'd love to see this test repeated offroad, on a trail climb, where you may want some suspension squish to keep traction and roll over bumps.
  • 1 0
 When the rear shock on my V3 Bronson was off for a service I turned to my wife's Chameleon, both 27.5 bikes. " Time to set some new climbing PB's!" I thought. But no, the PB's set on my previous V2 Bronson stood firm. Fitness levels remained much the same, make of that what you will but seems to tally with the above.
  • 1 0
 I always look at my strava segment times so it's very interesting to me to get faster.
That's also my motivation for trying different suspension settings.

But most of all I want to know, which (Maxxis) treads/casings roll faster. There is nothing to find online.
So please make a rolling resistance test for enduro/dh-tires as minions, high rollers, assegais, some Schwalbes and other brands!
  • 1 0
 Going by the highly scientific value of "FEELZ" I actually prefer to UN-lock my super deluxe coil (Commencal Meta AM29) when climbing on anything other than asphalt roads, as it makes it much smoother and comfortable. Conversely I do notice I can put more power down easier when riding asphalt, but that is not really the surface of interest here and only the means to get to the trails, so what I am saying is, for actual riding, I could easily do without it, I just have it there because I have the remote lockout version and the shock looks ugly without it Big Grin
  • 1 0
 Was this test based on a valid test method?

Measuring just power through the pedals does not factor in all variables. With the additional grip provided with the lock out off you may he able to apply more power for the same level of fatigue.
  • 2 0
 Thinking the same. If your suspension setup is optimum when it's open for the biggest amount of variables in terrain then leave it alone. For a road section between stages of course a lock out will be quicker. For the majority of people they are only going to talk shop for an extra 14 seconds at the top anyway.
  • 1 0
 Definitely worth repeating on a rough-surfaced off-road climb, especially where the added traction available from having more active suspension may help. On a smooth road climb it is hardly surprising there is a benefit, kinda surprising it is so minimal.
  • 1 0
 So you have 0.8% advantage on a road. But we all now suspension has a benefit on uneven terrain. So we know for a fact that the benefit will be smaller for rougher roads, and for rough sections the benefit will be for the unlocked shock.
So please redo on a dirt road :p.
Do you also take into account the 200 grams or so that a shock remote would add? That would be half the difference already!
So when you are racing marathon it is very likely you are better of with the weight advantage!
  • 1 0
 Ya what about climbing a trail? One that is bumpy enough that I can feel the suspension tracking up and down with the ground shape, and steep enough that I would potentially loose traction locked out because of the rear wheel bouncing?
  • 1 0
 I'd like to see this test repeated on a short gravel loop with steep rolling hills at sustainable race effort. Also would like to see it repeated on an XC course. I had my XC FS on a gravel loop once before and fully locked out.. but man I could feel every micro give on the climbs that had me wishing I was on my HT.
  • 6 0
 Part 2, part 2, part 2!
  • 2 0
 I had the 2016 Rocky Mountain Altitude Rally edition with Float X DPS remote lockout. I rode it for 2 weeks out west in Slocan valley, Nelson, and Whister. The fireroad climbs with the lockout was absolutely incredible.
  • 2 1
 Given the small sample size, close average times, measurement error for stop watch, scaling to normalized power, and the qualifying statement that the times were combined for the two bikes to find statistical significance, I question whether their actually was a statistical difference. I'd like to see the raw data and also methods used.

To note, if it's just a "firm" lockout and not an actual "locked" lockout, you may be losing equivalent power to damping. Sure, you're bobbing less, but the force put into the damper is higher over that lessened travel. If it's truly "locked" then you're not losing anything to the damper.
  • 1 0
 I just got my first modern geometry full suspension bike after riding a fatbike with 29 plus wheels for the last 5ish years. After being overwhelmed with the sheer number of possible adjustments, I decided to go with the "always open" strategy and that way not have to think about the shock setting. Over the last week or so, I've started to use the rear lockout and on my bike, with my style, on my regular trails, it is an absolute advantage. I have an Alchemy Arktos with a Fox dpx2. I like the full lockout setting for long, sustained climbs, the trail mode for pedal sections/traverses and wide open for downhill. There are a couple of downhills that have pedal sections and I'll reach down and switch the shock into the middle setting to get some speed. I live in Boise, ID where my rides are roughly 1,000ft of climbing per 10 miles of trail. I am seated 99% of the time when I climb. I leave the fork open because my weight is so biased toward the rear (long legs, short torso). Obviously, this is an opinion based on anecdotal evidence, but I've made better time and noticed a lesser perceived exertion and gotten off fewer times since using the lockout. I think a handlebar remote option would be tempting. I am not sure I'd want the fork to mimic the setting of the rear.
  • 4 3
 This test and conclusion don't make sense to me. Climbing isn't an important characteristic in enduro racing, let's face it. For most decent racers and decent bikes a lockout doesn't matter. XC racing climbing is far more important, but a lockout advantage is not in a 3 min steady state climb. My race bike is a BMC fourstroke and a seated at threshold effort there is no difference in pedaling efficiency between fully open and locked out. However, Lockouts are very useful in attacks, punching over climbs, sprinting, standing, change of tempos etc. None of what this test attempts to identify. Additionally I would argue a locked out bike provides a more stable platform in a sprint or attack allowing for more watts to be applied. A 1 min full gas effort is dramatically more taxing on a fully open bike compared to locked-out bike on smooth terrain.
  • 2 4
 agree'd, this article is wack... I almost feel pinkbike does it on purpose to stir shit up judging from the amount of comments already
  • 2 0
 Lower back issues at the bottom of your 4th race race segment, how much did you have to use your core to make it up those climbs on time?
  • 2 0
 These were bikes with well laid put pivot designs.

How’s about those flashy new carbon high pivot bikes with 0% anti-squat, I’like a rock bar in the shock mount to pedal those for extended climbs...
  • 1 0
 This test is very limited.... doesn't say if its fully locked out of halfway locked out but we will assume fully, also it does not mention anything about lockout of the 170-180mm fork..... if you got lots of suspension front and rear and just lock out the rear then most of your pedal bob will just transfer to the fork so it makes sense there is very little difference here Also this test is on a heavy bike with lots of rolling resistance. I ride a scott spark rc 900 with twinloc and I can guarantee you that if I am riding up a smooth road that's 3 minutes long using 300 watts of power I will save a lot more time then a second or two, I would say more like 6-10 seconds I feel I need to go get myself a power meter just to prove a point
  • 1 0
 Totally inconclusive for any real-world applications. Just too many variables to make this test worthwhile. Of which this biggest is cadence and pedalling stroke. Put a track rider on a 50% AS bike and they do 300W up anything at 110rpm with zero suspension activation. Put the average 200lb chump on the same bike and it’ll be a mess and he’ll be saying “this bike don’t climb for shit bro”.
  • 1 0
 Nice little article. Thanks.
Honestly, what I typically get from Pink Bike articles and the accompanying comments is just how varied terrain is, yet it seems the bulk of PB comments are always about riding up...then down. Don't people ride trails that do both...a lot? I guess if you're in Squamish you basically ride up, then down, but I don't think that's the reality for most riders. So that being said, I tend to choose between "open" and "trail" (or whatever the middle position is typically called) and never lockout. In fact, I don't even fully lockout on the steep road climb back to my house. I guess I'm too XC and not enough downcountry.
  • 1 0
 Yea idk. I live in utah so my rides are all up and then all down with the exception of one local trail. I came from California where the majority of trails were the same with one exception that I knew about. So like 2%. I'm sure in arizona and the midwest however it's a different story.
  • 2 0
 I use lockout on smooth climbs just because it feels better and keeps the geometry consistent. I'm skeptical that the energy causing the shock to compress is magically transmitted to the chain when the lockout is engaged.
  • 1 0
 From my experience in normal riding (not racing), the lockout is more for better efficiency to save energy than to be much faster. The lockout does work better for long smoother climbs to save energy and some time. However, with technical climbs not using the lockout can help with traction and help climbing. If I was racing XC, I would want the lockout with a lockout lever switch like Scott has.
  • 1 0
 Fun test. Truthfully the difference locked out felt much more significant to me than the small % you found. This is why testing is good.

I'd like to see a timed comparison with like a Downcountry bike vs. a nice pedaling Enduro bike, up a more typical climb (for me anyways) on rough terrain.

First comparisons would be as the bikes come.

Second would run the same timed climbs but use the identical wheels/ tires on both bikes to find out how much of the climbing difference is just drivetrain induced drag.

Maybe a third test could be strapping the weight difference to the downtube of the DC bike.

Thanks for doing it.
  • 1 0
 As an XC racer, I removed the lockout on my fork (Fox 34SC), but left it on the rear shock (100mm). On smoother climbs or ones with just an occasional root here and there, I use the lockout. More to give me a little more pep when starting and attack or countering one. Also use it for fast starts and finishes on flat ground. On the rare occasions when I have to do a really long road climb, or think I might be coming in for a sprint at the end of the race, I'll reach down and flip the lever on the fork. With the twist lock on the bar and the little indicator window; I don't find that I forget to unlock the shock after the smooth climbing.
  • 1 0
 "Based on this, over an hour-long road climb you'd save 14.4 seconds by using the lockout on the Privateer and 28.8 seconds on the G16"

For the average Joe / Josephine, 30s over a 1hr climb is negligible. Maybe it would be worthwhile for those racing, and this is a good followup:

"The effect of a lockout on a rough climb is a separate question. I'd be interested to see how rough the surface needs to be before the lockout is no longer an advantage, and if it makes climbing slower at some point. Perhaps I'll do a part two to find out."

Maybe MFG's will be able to adapt a lightweight automatic system that will handle lockouts.
  • 1 0
 I just leave everything wide open since I always forget to put the shocks in descend mode after my climbs. The lockouts don't make much of a difference anyway since I can't stand up out of the seat to pedal like a hardtail. The bike still sags under load. So, why bother locking out.
  • 1 0
 Based on my experience ... on a bike with full suspension, pedaling with flat pedals is a completely different story than with a clipless. I'm pretty sure the results would be completely different for flat pedals, especially when you pedal out of saddle which is quite common with flat pedals Wink
  • 1 0
 If you're asking whether lockout is worth it or effective, you've never ridden an old bike with poorly designed suspension which rides like a pogo stick with wheels. When lockout arrived several years ago I was stuned at the climbing abilities I had suddenly 'gained'.

For me, it's a no brainer in this sort of scenario however I understand that these days modern suspension design with anti bob and decent damping do mean lockout is less of a requirement. My last two bikes haven't even had lockout due to their modern design mitigating the need for it; the only time this bothered me was when standing up on the pedals uphill.
  • 1 0
 If longer travel bikes are barely more efficient when locked out, on pavement, it’s easy to imagine that shorter travel bikes, somewhat designed for pedaling efficiency, would be ever less apt to need a lockout.

Maybe Levy was right all along
  • 1 0
 I have a 3 pos switch and just leave it in the middle (climb) for all of it. Gives me more pop when descending, maybe not as buttery smooth as open. I'm also only setting the rest of the shock settings up for when it's in climb.
  • 1 0
 The results are no surprise. If you measure the power input at the pedals and the output at the wheel (which basically is time in climbing), the difference will only be the damping of the pedaling-induced bobbing. I am quite sure the bigger gain is that your pedaling gets more efficient without the bobbing as you need less energy to keep your body stable. Nonetheless, I am sure the differences are still small even when taking this into account. In the short period of time I was into Strava some „competitors“ suspected my KOM was down to riding a 10 kg hardtail. I took a 13 kg, 130 mm travel full suspension bike and without mich hope rode the same segment. I don’t remember the exact difference, but it was significantly less than a minute over a 23 minutes climb.
  • 1 0
 Sorry if this was already said, but I'd love to see this taking the same two bikes, and the smooth climb but doing the same for a off-road climb. And then having the same test with smaller trail bikes or XC bikes. It seems that with the higher anti-squat value there's less of a time advantage, but off-road where some people still use their lock-outs as an efficiency crutch may be better off with the suspension open. Also, if a smaller travel bike has less suspension to bob-and maybe on average higher anti-squat do those bikes benefit less from a lock-out, both on and off-road?
  • 1 0
 Lockout is only useful for short duration maximum power steep sprint climbs where you're out of the saddle and your weight is over the front of the bike. It's not required on a modern enduro bike, but still essential for several xc courses.
  • 1 0
 I’ve got a remote lockout (low speed compression and low speed rebound) on my cane creek and use it all the time. Usually have it on when pedalling hard, flick it off the rest of the time. If the platform you push against is more stable, the more power will be transmitted to the rear wheel, so really depends on what traction you have
  • 1 0
 I'd love to see the same thing done on trial climb. I am not a believer in lockouts at all. Dave Turner has been my suspension guru since the mid 90's and I sold his first offerings in Vail. He always said if the suspension was property designed and set up there was not need for a lock out and I believe that to this day. I have been riding full suspension XC since 1996 and I have never locked out once. I guess this test shows that there is a slight advantage when riding on the road but that is not really the point of suspension. On a trail where a good suspension design keeps your tires stuck to the ground I think a lockout defeats the point of riding a suspended bike. I'd love to see the test done on the trail with both a single pivot and with a DW or Infinity link type suspension.
  • 1 0
 Very interesting article and test to inform those who have never used a lock-out yet remain curious if it would benefit time in steep climbs? I ride cross country often on pretty rough, rocky and steep climbs and ride a full suspension Epic Sworks with the brain technology suspension where I know the suspension helps climb over the rough terrain yet I remained unsure of the lost of power if the suspension bobs at all? Thanks for the article! ????
  • 1 0
 I'm using a manitou McLeod shock which has a handlebar lockout. So I have no excuses. Also people cringe when they see my '09 trek with front derailer and both shock and dropper post levers on the bar.... Screw em it works for me.
  • 1 0
 One BIG flaw in this review is that they did the test seated. A seated test will be much different than a standing test. Seated I can get minimal bob on even my squishiest bike but will definitely have more bob standing.... and that IMO is how this test should have been conducted. Personally I only lock out for long smooth climbs, I want the increased traction on anything less than smooth.
  • 1 0
 I have an old Fox air shock with lockout that had been "tuned" by a 4x racer in Colorado and it is awesome! Maybe he got it just right, but it makes it act like a hardtail (even when popping off of stuff) and then releases cleanly only when you need it to like a rough landing.

I have lockouts on other bikes and don't think I've ever used them. I'm not even sure if lockouts are supposed to "release" like that 4x shock does, but I like it.
  • 3 3
 That's like the difference between a well lubed chain or a dry and dirty chain. I'm going to have to say that it's not worth it, unless your on a really long paved climb. If I'm climbing a trail I would prioritize traction over that 0.4% efficiency, losing traction would probably cost me more energy.

(Though I'm a bit surprised there wasn't more to be gagging from the lockout, given the bikes you tested this on)
  • 9 0
 According to the below article, the difference in power transfer (which is proportional to climbing speed) between different chain lubes can be over 1%, so the difference between a dry and well-lubed chain will likely be much bigger than that. Definitely a test worth doing another time.

cyclingtips.com/2018/03/fast-chain-lube-that-saves-you-money
  • 1 0
 Not worth what? The time it takes to lock out the bike? It’s not hard. Why not have the gains of a well lubed chain and locked out suspension? Every little bit helps.
  • 1 0
 @BiNARYBiKE: I don't really like them, it's another thing to fiddle with, and it's usually not that easy to flip while pedaling. As I wrote, if it's a long paved climb I'll flip the lever, but on the trail I simply don't think it's worth the fuss.

If you have a remote it's a bit less of a hassle, but having the extra weight and clutter on the handlebar is again not worth it to me.

And seeing Sebs results from running these bikes that should definitely gain from a remote I'm thinking my bike that has a rather pedaling friendly linkage has even less to gain.

YMMW
(If I was racing XC, hell yeah I'd want a handlebar remote for all those sprints, but I'm not so.. Wink )
  • 2 0
 It would have been interesting to share the time of the nicolai so we have a feeling of the difference that two differentt bikes makes compared to the remote influence
  • 1 0
 To be honest, I expected a larger difference. Good to know! However I do use the firm mode on my RS Super Deluxe on more mellow trails to give the bike a little more pop and agility. It is not a lock out though.
  • 1 1
 Is this very small difference an argument against remote lockouts? If a remote lever and cable adds 200g, then the added weight is slowing you down more than the benefit of less bob.

As someone that forgets to turn lockouts off, I now feel much better about leaving my shock fully open, all the time. Which is a nice outcome.

Thanks for doing these sorts of analyses, by the way. Too much of MTBing is based on hype, so some actual research is welcome.
  • 2 0
 So if 400g weight saving is worth as much as a lockout then are we going to start calling out trail bikes that weigh nearly as much as dh bikes as an issue
  • 1 1
 Testing mountain bikes on a road climb. Makes sense?

I don't think anyone was ever debating if a lockout was worth it if you had road climbs in your future. The real question is whether it's worth it on a medium to long trail climb where traction might be at a premium and that 0.8% increase could be completely obliterated by a lack of traction at some points.
  • 2 0
 More about ride height on the steeper fire road climbs for me. Sag is sag, but if the shock stays there longer, I'm more comfortable.
  • 1 0
 Why more comfortable?

None of your contact points changed location: your seat is still at the same height relative to the BB, and the bars are still in the same place relative to both of those points. On a well designed modern geometry (steep seattube and decent chainstay length) you shouldn't even have to drop your chest and shoulders all the way down to the bars so even your torso can stay in relatively the same position on all but the steepest climbs (and then you're standing so all that positioning goes out the window anyway).
  • 1 0
 @justinfoil: If the bike is sitting on average deeper in the travel with the climb switch off, it does so even more when climbs get steep and your weight bias is further back. Seat tube gets slacker the further into the travel you are. I'm not sure by how much, but I know I can feel it, particularly on some local pitches that I'll ride 10x in a week in the ~18% grade range. "Comfort" to me is less about chest bars and hands than feeling like I'm doing forward leg presses, or sitting on the nose of the saddle to avoid doing so.
  • 1 0
 @scvkurt03: The only reason it feels like you're doing forward leg presses is because of the chest to the bars positions. If you can avoid that, whether with better geo or a climb switch, the leg press feeling will decrease.

And I'm just saying that doing with a lockout/climb-switch is silly, because it costs traction. Doing it with geo (steeper seat-tube, appropriate length chainstays) is a much much much better option for bikes made to ride on trails.

It also depends a bunch on pedaling form and suspension design. Shit, on a high-pivot design (with an idler and dialed anti-squat hovering just under 100%), letting the suspension sag and thus lengthen the chainstays would be amazing for helping maintain normal/ideal riding position no matter how steep and just blast the power down. A lockout/climb-switch could be quite detrimental in this case, because it would keep the chainstays short _and_ reduce traction.
  • 2 0
 @justinfoil: My seat tube is 78º with 440 chain stays on a 485 reach. Geo is dialed. All I'm saying is that given a fire road climb where traction isn't an issue, I prefer to preserve this geo by flipping a switch. I agree, if I'm actually climbing a trail I much prefer the leave the shock open because the stiffer thumping on my taint isn't worth the subtle gain since I'm not sitting in the same position for 10+ minutes at a time.
  • 1 0
 Great job in the analysis! I often ask a similar question in job interviews to see how well applicants handle data and discovery. You nailed it man! Now we just need to send you more bikes for more samples Wink
  • 3 0
 I LOVE my lockout..... for my 2 mile uphill road ride back from the local trail. But that's it.
  • 1 0
 @seb-stott: nice troll on @mikelevy and the PB comments section. Tiny sample size per test condition, no raw data or mention of statistical power or confidence, just "statistically significant" statement.
  • 1 0
 Worth pointing out that the Super Deluxe does not have a real lockout. Just a very firm LSC switch. Gotta go down to an XC shock like a Float DPS or the Sidluxe to get a real lockout.
  • 1 1
 Bike Company: Our crap design descends fine, but doesn’t climb very well.....and we lack the willingness/budget/whatever to bother engineering a suspension platform that’s efficient under power AND descends well. Let’s slap a heavy, cumbersome and unreliable system to lock out our poorly designed suspension!!

I’d be curious to see what the difference would be on an Ibis, Yeti, or something else that climbs better.
  • 3 0
 ...a heavy, cumbersome and unreliable system...
Literally a lever on the shock body

I see it the other way. There's only so much you can do to optimise climbing without compromising descending, and vice versa, so lockouts give the designer more freedom to prioritise descending.
  • 1 1
 @boozed: I’d agree with you, if there weren’t several ripping trail/enduro bikes that climb great with the shock open.

And the lockout isn’t just a lever and cable. That cable attaches to either a complex frame lockout system (Cannondale, Scott, Canyon style) or some unneeded valving hard wear in the shock.

Just like 1x is better because it eliminates an entire mechanical system, ditching the lockout also gets rid of a bunch of unneeded stuff. Well, unneeded if your frame design is good.
  • 1 0
 @peleton7: Sure but a lot of shocks have a lockout or compression adjust lever on the shock without also including (or needing) a handlebar remote. Except for XC bikes, it's the case for the vast majority.
  • 1 0
 I'm sure it doesn't make me much faster, but if I'm climbing a flat fire road or the like I just want the suspension to shut up. A stiff bike for long, smooth-terrain pedals is more relaxed, to me at least
  • 1 0
 What I gathered from this article was that I can carry 2 beers on my next ride and exert the same amount of energy if I lock out my shock on the climbs vs unlocked and no beers.
  • 2 2
 Sorry but no. You cannot say it's statistically significant unless all the variables were the same. I'd argue those variable were not all the same. Rider fatigue, weather conditions, under tyre conditions, posture all the way through, exact same line, new tyres on each run etc etc.
  • 2 0
 Got to draw the line somewhere on test controls. I think he did a pretty good job of nullifying the influence of other variables. That said, I don't think most of us would look at a 0.4% time reduction as statistically significant unless of course you're talking about the impact over a 90min or longer race where top times are often mere seconds apart. Of course is everyone in the top ten is using their lockouts equally than that advantage disappears and you're no better off anymore. For general exercise though, that efficiency improvement equates to more gas in the tank to ride a little farther since less energy will be expended on the climbs. How much farther would 14 seconds take you? My estimate, assuming an average pace of 12mph is that an extra 14 seconds would get you 0.04miles farther or a whooping 250ft...whoopdy-do.
  • 1 0
 @SuperHighBeam: Statistical significance and practical significance are two entirely different concepts.
  • 1 0
 @pmhobson: Ah. I learned something new today. You compelled me to look up these terms and better understand them. Yes, now I agree the results of the test were statistically significant in that it could be deduced that suspension lockout does have a notable impact on climb time/rate rather than that just being a chance outcome. And yes although statistically significant, depending on the context (mountain bike racing, vs. pleasure riding) there may or may not be practical significance to the gain in distance over a duration of time or time saved to go a desired distance. Very interesting. Statistical Significance does not mean what I thought. Thank you for challenging my statement!
  • 1 0
 @SuperHighBeam: Cheers, man. I now wish I had provided more context/info for you. Some of the comments here were getting pretty spicy and I wasn't sure I wanted to get dragged into anything. I started talking statistical concepts in the comment section of a Rampage article once and let's just say I wish I could have that time back.
  • 2 0
 @pmhobson: You're right some people have a hard time having a healthy discussion about statistics or numbers in general. Despite my engineering education, I was never required to take a course in statistics so I never did...definitely kind of regret that choice. It's come back to haunt me a few times. There are so many terms in the world that manage to mean different things to different groups of people despite being the same and that leads to all kinds of empassioning arguments simply because both sides are not talking about the same thing despite using the same term albeit in different ways.
  • 2 1
 So I did the same test, with one bike, and multiple runs over an entire season. There was zero impact from my shock being locked on or off on the speed of the shuttle getting me to the top of the climb.
  • 1 0
 Depends on suspension design and terrain. I'm not a big fan of complete lock out, but if your bike's suspension is super active then some added compression helps with bob and pedal strikes without compromising traction.
  • 1 1
 @seb-stott what was your rebound set to on each bike? LSR, particularly on the rear shock, has a massive effect on suspension efficiency. An interesting experiment would be to see if you could achieve a 'locked out' level of performance by only slowing LSR.
  • 1 0
 Probably all ready said in the comments, but would be interesting to see comparisons on standing sprints, as it would probably make a far bigger difference with bobbing vs locked
  • 1 1
 I have a Trek Top Fuel that I always ran wide open, so much so that I bought a shock with less damping in the open position. I also race endurance xc, and find a lockout not to be faster, but just something to just waste mental calories thinking about.
  • 1 0
 Would love to see this with various trail types. My enduro rig shock doesn't have a lockout so: stuck w/ that, but the hardtail climbs like a beast so - both extremes here and I just deal.
  • 4 1
 Power meter pedals? Now I have seen it all.
  • 1 0
 1- But would a remote lock not lose the advantage with the added weight of the system?

2- I would like to see a test on an HT comparing the lock on the forks.
  • 1 0
 It's also nice to be able to climb standing with a locked out bike.A change in position can be quite nice during a long marathon race.
  • 2 0
 The lockout on my super deluxe is so firm it's uncomfortable. I never use it any more.
  • 3 1
 Would be more interesting to climb at same speed and check watts at the end
  • 2 0
 Would certainly be interesting, and also to just climb without looking at a power meter or timer - to see if the feel of the lockout encouraged more effort from the rider or not.
  • 1 0
 @chakaping: yes indeed but comes the "feeling" part that is more bro science. Note he says it feels more efficient once locked.
  • 2 0
 You should really make the part two on a rough terrain as on the road the suspension is simply not needed
  • 2 0
 Now test again with all of the lockout crap physically uninstalled. Probably just as fast.
  • 3 0
 Buy an ibis, and let it do the job up and down.
  • 1 0
 I don't know if someone has already written it (I'm lazy and I don't want to read all the posts), but Nicolai looks more like a G1 than a G16 ......
  • 1 1
 Only place lockout is faster is on a smooth road. Might as well be on the gravel bike.

At this point, lockouts are just a holdover from when suspension sucked but sponsors made their XC racers ride f/s bikes.
  • 1 0
 Thanks so much for this analysis, very insightful. Can't wait for a similar comparison on a rocky and rooty technical ascent.
  • 1 0
 Now try this with an XC/'downcountry' bike that is known for it's 'efficient pedalling'...Do these have less or more difference than the enduro bikes?
  • 1 2
 Lockouts, sure whatever, but please don't make them remote. Lockouts for the average joe are completely useless anyway, as you forget about them more often than not and modern bikes are efficient enough anyway. I can count the instances on one hand where I used my lockout in the past year, because it just makes so little difference to me.
  • 1 0
 I prefer to be locked in, to avoid needing to lock out.

When doe they put an accelerometer in the shock so it locks out automagically?
  • 2 0
 Lockouts are great for getting from my garage to the trailhead on pavement.
  • 1 0
 Exactly. A lot of us use bikes for multiple things, and something as simple as a lockout to make road riding a little more efficient when there’s no downside, then turn suspension when it’s beneficial is worth it.
  • 1 2
 Um 0.4% faster is NOT statistically significant. I would argue that the threshold of significance has to be at least 5.0%. Bigger question though, why was this test carried out on two long travel Enduro bikes? Seems like an unlikely and impractical choice to evaluate climbing efficiency on.
  • 1 0
 Hi @seb-stott

Great article! However, I’m pretty sure that’s a G1 in stead of a G16. What’s hour thought on the G1 vs Privateer 161?

Cheers
  • 1 0
 The lockout naysayers who say "just get better at riding" are probably the same ones who ride with these unnecessarily large 50t cassettes.
  • 1 0
 I’d love an answer to this! The geometron is apparently a g16 but has a g1 link and rear triangle so is it a g1? Or does it have a updated rear end?
  • 2 0
 As a hardtail rider.... Yes, being locked out makes you a far superior climber in every way.....
  • 2 0
 I don't care about getting up a climb quicker, just want to reduce how much energy I expend
  • 1 0
 I don’t use lockouts for climbs.
I use it for when I’m on smooth pavement.
For me suspension is more about reducing fatigue than going faster.
  • 1 0
 I am shocked to learn suspension is not a significant factor when climbing up a short road section. Who would have thought...
  • 10 9
 I feel like anyone who runs a lockout probably owns a set of walking poles....
  • 6 0
 Guilty, but I always forget to use them, for reasons of symmetry.
  • 3 0
 I don't lockout but I do use walking poles when I've been doing long distance hikes in places like Nepal. Walking poles help save your knees, lockouts don't.
  • 3 2
 @Aphex-: Me and my buddies went to Nepal and I got hit with walking poles so many times I've gone off them completely
  • 2 0
 @T4THH: That's exactly what I experienced there, too! I'd like to run a campaign for pole awareness for all those people.
  • 2 0
 @maybenotaprofile: One lad was using his like oars in a row boat, naturally I was livid
  • 3 0
 @T4THH: Ah the best! It seems like you have to hold your hands and poles at least 1,5m apart on narrow tracks to provide the neccessary stability. Especially when people want to pass or come towards you this is vital!
  • 2 1
 Imagine how small the advantage of only a fork lock-out is when you subtract the weight penalty of the remote.
  • 1 0
 I've found sometimes pulling a wheelie whilst climbing can 'feel' (could be wrong) easier....
  • 3 0
 I feel the same! But I think it feels easier because wheelies are fun, and grinding up a steep hill is really not fun.
  • 1 0
 @j0lsrud: yeah true, maybe because you concentrate on maintaining the wheelie and not on the arduous climb.
  • 1 0
 what about if you don't spin smooth circles and you are up out of the seat like you're squashing grapes?
  • 20 22
 You took it the wrong way.
If you want to measure the benefit of a lock, you have to take the same climb, the same speed and then you measure the difference of energy (watts) it took you to make the climb with and without lock.
  • 1 1
 That may work to see how much energy is saved in theory, but in real world practice, it would be extremely difficult to go the same speed and get the same time even on a short 3 minute climb.
  • 1 2
 @tacklingdummy: easier than maintaining the same input in the crank. 1 crank rev every second and it's good.
  • 1 0
 Now you need to test systems like Trek's Re:Aktiv and Canyon's shapeshifter
  • 1 0
 Great article, Seb. I like seeing these cold hard measurements cut through subjective views and anecdotes.
  • 2 0
 Thats a 36 Dualcrown on the Geometron btw...(by Mojo)
  • 1 0
 @seb-stott what was the average time for the geometron out of interest can't see it in the article?
  • 2 0
 I don't know about the lockout but the lockdown made me definitely slower.
  • 2 0
 Lock out with your cock out!
  • 3 5
 Sorry to burst your (testing) bubble: since the srm power pedals have a measuring accuracy of +/- 1%, a supposedly measured „advantage“ of 0.4% is bull. Besides, the statistical sample you used to „prove“ your point is way to small. Add to all this the human factor - even though you tried hard to keep it small - and all you have left is a crap shoot...
  • 6 0
 +/- 1% error in absolute value, not realtive. Think of it like your kitchen scale. When you put a known weight on it, its unlikely to measure the weight exactly, but when you take that weight off and put it back on agin, the scale will very likely give you the same or almost the same value as before.

This is because you measure something that has a very similar absolute value, so linearity isnt an issue, and all other factors like temperature stay almost the same.
  • 1 4
 @endoplasmicreticulum: even the kitchen scale does not have the exact same deviation all the time - take temperature etc.
With power meters it is even worse - a slight temperature change will change values enough to erase a 0.4% differential. And you did not say anything about sample size and the human factors.
I would not dispute the conclusion of the article if the supposed advantage were larger. 0.4%? Please...
  • 2 0
 Pretty sure the 0.4% advantage was in the time, not the power output. All he used the power meter for was to maintain a consistent power output.
  • 2 0
 "...hour-long road climb"

What a truly hideous thought.
  • 2 0
 Hour long climb gets you a lot of descending. Just sayin......
  • 2 0
 Sounds like the lesson here is to stay off fire roads.
  • 1 0
 i'm just curious how you got a set of the mtb SRM power meter pedals. review units?
  • 1 0
 14 seconds is 14 seconds. I'm gonna kick your ass on this climb and on the downhill.
  • 2 0
 Fuck lockouts... once you're off a smooth service it's dead weight.
  • 1 0
 surface*
  • 2 1
 Dead weight? What the extra 15 g for the lever and the mechanism?
  • 1 0
 Nice job. A simple test with some real feedback. Please keep exploring ideas like this!
  • 1 0
 Am I the only one who uses my lockouts when hitting the dirt jumps/pump track??
  • 1 0
 It definitely slows the subsequent descent when you forget to turn the lockout off...
  • 1 0
 Yes, please Stott - investigate further(& THANKS for doing this in the first place)... =]
  • 1 0
 Funny, IMO this is probably similar to the the real-world difference between MIPS/non-MIPS helmets
  • 1 0
 You guys should do a how to not look like a complete jerry podcast/video
For example not wearing that detachable bell helmet
  • 1 0
 I think it can be made more comfortable. And that has value too. Feeling more supported. I sound like an old man.
  • 1 0
 4bar by default climbs subpar, i bet any dual link/vpp/ks or so will have different results
  • 1 0
 I wonder how it would turn out in actual testing with the lockout on descending?
  • 1 0
 I never lock out for climbs - I hate the way the bike feels when locked out and climbing - feels weirdly annoying.
  • 2 0
 Lock out for the pavement.
  • 2 1
 "Siri, lock out rear shock, add 2 clicks HSC"
"Siri, open shock"
  • 6 0
 Siri: Did you mean leak out of sheared cock? Raising dropper and applying brakes with full force. Injecting two units of hematopoietic stem cells.
  • 1 0
 @Konyp: haha brilliant.
  • 3 1
 less than 1%.... pffff
  • 1 0
 @seb-stott I think that's a G1 no?
  • 1 0
 And then you get smoked by someone on an ebike...
  • 1 0
 Hmm, looks like I am the only one that uses and likes the lock out switch.
  • 1 0
 Post the raw data or it did not happen!
  • 1 4
 timed runs comparing a lockout is a bunch of crap unless the tester has NO idea what bike they are riding. Every run depends on that moment of fitness, pressure to perform and other obvious traits.

I find this "testing against the clock" to be a scam.
I ride better not locked out and have more energy climbing since i do not feel every bump or non-smoothed out terrain.
I am also less exhausted climbing without a lockout.
my 3 cents
  • 1 0
 Now do it on a trail and see what happens
  • 2 1
 Who cares how fast you climb? It’s how fast you descend that matters
  • 1 1
 How stupid. Even In a race it wouldn't matter. How many xc races are won by a a couple seconds? ZERO.
  • 1 0
 I always use the twin lock on my ransom when I’m climbing
  • 1 1
 cable activated lockouts just need to go away.
  • 2 0
 No they don't. They have their purpose.
  • 1 0
 Love my Lockout
  • 1 1
 live valve will do
  • 2 3
 Who even gives a shit
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