Video: Chris Porter's Interview with Formula

Oct 17, 2019
by Ed Spratt  


bigquotesIn the next eleven minutes, you will learn more than you have learned in the last two years. We met Chris Porter of Geometron Bikes and asked him to tell us about his vision of the Bike Industry. During this meeting, we discovered that many of the beliefs we have about the bike are not that solid and that we are probably only at the beginning of a new era of technological development. There must be a reason if Chris is known in the UK as "The Godfather of Suspension".Formula



171 Comments

  • 78 13
 "Faster, good decision"
"Slower, bad decision"
- Funner, best decision!

This guys riding bias is so obvious and I don't think it applies to all riding on all trails. If I was riding mountains with long drawn out climbs then fast shreddly decents, I would be more inclined to ride a bike as this guy describes. My local trails consist of lots of flowing sections with short steep climbs and descents, with lots of tight corners - tight enough for my friend's Trek knockbox to get in the way - so a bike that is super slack and super long just becomes a hinderance on a lot of the climbs and also isn't as fun for popping off stuff (would you take this bike to the pump track - never!).

I love this guy's attitude, but I'm still not convinced the whole industry needs to "catch up" with everything he's on to.
  • 10 2
 Agreed- For me it's what I would call an East Coast bike. There are fewer and fewer choices for those of us that ride rolling terrain. Riding our trails you spend a lot of time in the saddle not climbing and all these new geo bikes just aren't fun or comfortable here- for me.
  • 4 1
 Yeah, agreed. I get the real metric of using the stopwatch and the one bike in concept, but what if the bike is so fun to play around on that instead of seeing how fast you can get from point A to B, you tire tap and bar spin your way down the hill? Also, isn't the whole concept of speed as the only real measurement something a roadie would say?
  • 6 2
 I see where he is coming from, and is at least quite forward about it. I also ride motorcycles as well, and have been for 15 years, so I do see his frame of reference.

That said, a Honda CRF450 currently sits at a 63 degree head angle (27 degree rake) and trail of 4.6 inches. Most of the current trail bikes, including Geometron, are within 1-2 degrees of this already. Smaller offsets on forks are also increasing trail, leading to more stable bikes. DH bikes already have slacker head angles than the moto.

What I believe we are currently running into is (finally) getting away from bike geometry that was the norm for road/street bikes, and that is a good thing. But as others have pointed out, where you ride also determines what works. I'm in the west, where we can climb easily for 1+ hours on a local trail, and descent for 15-20, so the steep seat angle to make the bike climb better with slacker head angles works. May not work quite as well with rolling terrain and flat pedaling.
  • 4 0
 @XC-Only: To add to your point he is very blatant about how he is making a bike specific to what he wants with the theory that if they like it others will as well, but it's probably not for everyone. The fact that the big brands new bikes are trending that direction is a good indication that people do in fact want this type of bike but maybe not to that extreme. As for head angle most mx bikes seem to be right around 63.5, despite what you said most DH bikes are not slacker than this in fact I just looked up geo for 7 of the most popular 2020 dh frames and most are at or very close to 63.5° HA. (New demo was slackest at 62.7°). Ironically the geometron G1 is listed at 62.5° which is slacker than any dh bike I looked up so maybe they are taking it a little too far for most in that regard. Looking at a lot of the long travel 29ers coming out it seems that 63.5 to 64.5 is the range most are in so maybe that is a sweet spot for this type of bike maybe? I dont know but I am looking to build a new bike and that is probably in the range of what i am going to try and demo some bikes in.
  • 15 1
 I think the point Porter is making is that a lot of marketing is stuff like "this new model is 6% stiffer in the rear flange matrix" or "for 2020 we reduced the the weight of the womble valve by 25g" ,without backing that up with why or how that's better. Fun is impossible to measure, whereas speed is not. Racing is a big part of mountain biking, and having a binary choice of "this is either faster or it isn't" with evidence to back that up cuts through all the crap.
  • 12 1
 @kiksy: Oh I agree- all you have to do is look a Trek and the knock block crap. When was the last time you read anyone complain the front triangle wasn't stiff enough. But hey they made it 5% stiffer and add a ton of Bullshit.
Marketing.
  • 11 2
 I got one of these Gemoetron bikes and it goes around tight corners just fine. I guess you just have to try it to realise there is more than just numbers and theories to it. I enjoy it a lot also. Just saying
  • 3 0
 @caveley: The very principle he displayed in the video goes against the tight turns we have. No berms, flattish, with a tree right there at the apex- no room to really lean it like he shows in the video.
  • 5 1
 @TheOriginalTwoTone: You are only leaning the bike (whilst staying centred yourself) so the tree on the apex is not really a factor. If your handle bars fit down the trail then a leant over bike will also fit on the trail. The stability off these longer bikes and the fact that one is riding more naturally centred is what makes leaning the bike (whilst climbing) possible in a way that it not possible on other bikes.
  • 1 1
 @andrewbikeguide: Come to DC, Does whistler even have a flat trail?
  • 10 1
 CP is probably the most important person in our sport in the last decade. He has lead the way in pushing geometry to find the limits. By knowing the limits riders can decide what works for them and their trails and choose appropriate geometry.
  • 3 0
 @fartymarty: Yes. I still think there is a way to go, particularly for taller riders. Most companies XL are still too small. Same size Clchainstays are also an issue at the extreme ends of sizing.
  • 3 0
 @TheOriginalTwoTone: for me longer bikes corner better and easier. The issue I have when things get super long is bunny hops and little manuals.
  • 1 0
 @kiksy: Agree for taller riders. Nicolai is one of the only companies that have this sorted.

Also agree on CS and F/R balance. Bikes need to grow and STA needs to get steep for larger sizes.
  • 2 1
 Just pointing out how funny it is that nobody is b&m’ing over a $3,000 aluminum frame ... :-p
  • 1 0
 @TheUnknownMTBR: made in Germany and not in Far East, so price wise I think it’s fair. How much would you pay for a USA made frame?
  • 1 0
 @mattvanders: and probably one of the best made bikes around.
  • 1 0
 It's why I sold my long-low and over squished (for the terrain I ride) fully in favour of the steel hardtail I only built up as a winter beater.
  • 2 1
 @fartymarty: That's a weird idea of important. I'd say the guy who drove the SRAM 1X project and the team who developed the Reverb have had 1000x more impact on' the sport' than Chris ever will.

He's designing a niche geometry bike, hardly rocket science, others have done it before, still do, and sell more than he does.
  • 2 0
 @TheUnknownMTBR: you want to see the build quality of them. Absolute work of art. $3k well spent, if it wasn’t for the shitty geometry, I’d get one.
  • 1 1
 @sq225917: No way on 1x the last time I used a front mech was in about 97 albeit with a chain guide.

Quality droppers are great but CP has found the limits of geometry. Without this we don't know how much is too much. It's like going to the pub and having no idea how many pints you can down before you are a blithering mess. If you know you can get away with 12 you know where you are. I'm not saying this geo is for everyone but it gives us a limit.

As you say others have dabbled - Mondraker but CP has gone beyond this and also stretched the rear.
  • 1 0
 @thenotoriousmic: Have you ridden one? The geometry works very well.
  • 1 0
 @iamalexm: my XL Murmur is close and I really like it.
  • 2 0
 @iamalexm: I’ve just been looking at them on there website. I want one so bad. I’m 6,3 I suppose I could just about get away with the smallest size. Ha. Seriously though the it’s almost the perfect bike. Coil shock, triple clamp forks, high grade aluminium with the best welds I’ve seen ever. Run any wheelsize. I just don’t want to ride a bike with a 62 degree head angle and a 450mm chainstay on the trails I ride most of the time.
  • 1 0
 @thenotoriousmic: a mate has got the new g1. It’s not a bike that you just buy, you can spend a day demoing and setting up a test bike to find a setup that works for you. The shock is seriously impressive in the way that it has spherical bearings both ends which allows it to operate properly through its travel even when the frame is flexing and out of line (there is limit to how stiff a frame you want for comfort).

I have a mk1 g16 and it’s around 3-4 years old and still going strong. When it’s geometry of a medium (longer) is still bigger than lots of current long low slack big brand large frames you know CP was way ahead of his time.
  • 1 0
 @mattvanders: I think formula probably wanted to avoid pointing out how amazing the EXT shock is that the G1 is spec'd with but it is a game changer (especially since EXT recently teased on insta that they look to be getting into the fork game). But besides the spherical bearings, the hydraulic bottom out is huge feature of the shock along with many of the other things going on with the dampening circuit. A side note to that though is that EXT will actually put spherical bearings into any shock for an upcharge although this won't work on trunnion mount for obvious reasons.
  • 1 0
 @thenotoriousmic: I just bought one - but have only had it out for a single day. The head angle really doesn't bother me at all, but the chainstays are another story - it is definitely going to be a bit of work to manual on this thing. It's the way bikes have been trending, but I will just probably adapt my riding style.

fwiw - I am 6' tall and bought a size large and it fits me great. You can't use the numbers from traditional geometry bikes and apply it to fit on these bikes. The 515mm reach I thought would feel long, doesn't. I have a size large santa cruz chameleon with a much "shorter" (30 mm shorter!) reach and it feels longer than the geometron.
  • 1 0
 @mixmastamikal: the G 1 can be even slacker with the modifiers. 61,1° without an angle set..
  • 2 0
 @mattvanders: I don’t have any issue with the frame or geometry or cost. It’s all quite interesting actually and wasn’t intended as any criticism of the subject, but more a playful observation on the usual PB commentary. Even got d-v’d for it; always with the negative vibes, you PB’rs. Given that it’s a higher spec 7020 material with all the machined adjusters made in the EU I’m surprised it doesn’t cost more; a lot more. Perhaps weight matters some to have not used beautifully TIG’d quality steel instead? I think it’d still be interesting to see what a proper plastic duplicate could do ... against the stop watch no less. It’s just the Mechanical Engineer in me, can’t help myself.
  • 30 9
 When will porter and weagle finally collaborate together and bring us the ultimate gimmick machine?
  • 8 1
 Actually, Weagle is already collaborating with the Athertons, which if I were in the market for an expensive bespoke frame, have a pretty compelling product, with development input from 3 top athletes.
  • 8 2
 They are the only 2 who impress me with their design theories. But DW seems to be more focused on marketability with his designs while CP is way more independent and focused on measurable performance.
  • 11 3
 @chasejj: Have you ever ridden a DW-Link bike? There's a reason why a lot of companies pay the licensing free, Its more than marketing hype. I think a DW bike with CP's geometry would be an interesting experiment, which I believe Aston previously attempted and reviewed.
  • 5 0
 @SlodownU:
All I can think of with the newest DW link is.

" We heard you like linkages..."
  • 2 30
flag thesharkman (Oct 18, 2019 at 8:57) (Below Threshold)
 @SlodownU: 2 top athletes and Gee.
  • 4 0
 We need more DW interviews. He hasn’t done any for ages, and it’s a shame because he’s funny as shit.
  • 13 0
 @thesharkman: Gee is still qualifying top 20 and placing there or higher at a WC level and he is 'older' than most of the field. In addition, consistent placing at Hardline and was going back to Rampage until he hurt his arm. What makes you think he isn't a 'top athlete'? He can out ride every single PB reader on a walmart tricycle hungover.
  • 2 0
 @bman33: he is a top athlete all right. One of many top athletes who have lost 1% of what they once had and will never win another World Cup race as a result... but still 76% better than the average fast rider.
  • 2 4
 @chasejj: They are both charismatic people who are featured in the media, which is probably why you know them. Most of the innovations created by brilliant engineers go unnoticed and unappreciated. For example, the performance of disc brakes, shocks, and forks is remarkable considering the cost and scale. Also, VPP is one example of a suspension linkage that is more innovative than DW link considering the state of the art at the time it was created. To this day it outperforms DW link as well.
  • 3 0
 @bman33: if you can even qualify for a WC you are a "top athlete" in my eyes. It is crazy to see local guys that I view as amazing riders go to a WC and not qualify. Just shows how high that level is.
  • 1 0
 @mixmastamikal: Exactly. I went to the WC in West Virginia (been years since I had been to a top-level DH race other than Enduro) and it was a friendly reminder how fast and precise the pros are, Gee included. Sure I could ride that course...but those guys are on another level.
  • 2 0
 @SlodownU: I have 5 Turner DW link bikes in my garage. I'd have 6 if Dave Turner would get of his ass and make a long slack Enduro version.
  • 1 0
 @SlodownU: Do you mean previous journalist in Pinkbike, Paul Aston? He is actually now somehow ambassador for Nicolai and lives in Finale Ligure. Guess what his favorite bike is? Nicolai/Geometron G1.
If I am not wrong i has a recently made a video on the features on the G1. Take a look at Nicolai on youtube and you will see it.
  • 1 0
 @SlodownU: the dw6 design was done for robot bikes before they were rebranded.
  • 1 3
 @bman33: because he is usually outside the top 20. Younger than the goat and cant ein a race on a course he lives at and does more laps of than anyone else
  • 4 0
 @CM999: Gee has also been through the ringer compared to Minnar. Way more injuries, as well he goes out and rides events like Rampage or Hardline which Minnar will never touch. There both still killing it at an age that everyone considers old for sport but the thing is there not that old and are still better than a majority of the riders worldwide. Personally I think Gee still has a podium in him he just needs a year of being injury free so he can get back up to pace.
  • 3 0
 @MikeGruhler: You could be right. A lot of people, including myself, thought Sam Hill was finished and then he came good that year, 2014 or 15 and won two World Cup races. I also think Gwin is finished but hey, he might win the overall again next year. That’s the beauty of sport.
  • 1 0
 I mean just throw the new Trust shout on the front of a G1 and you are pretty close to seeing this. I would love to see that fork on a bike with a 62° HA. It would look insane.
  • 1 0
 @mixmastamikal: I had a look in the trust website yesterday. Saw the shout, got excited. Saw the price, almost cried.
  • 1 0
 @jaame: ha ha, yeah definitely the way to go if you are trying build the most expensive bike possible
  • 1 0
 @mixmastamikal: I seemed to remember them dropping the price quite considerably. Was hoping to see $1200!
  • 1 0
 @jaame:
They lowered the price from $2700...I mean they can't just give them away.
  • 1 0
 @Chris97a: I would try one if I could get it for the same price as a 36. I would! I think they look cool and would be interested to try just for the sake of change.
  • 2 0
 @jaame:
It seems like a great option if they were the same price, or very close, as the other high-end forks. From people that have been riding them a bit that I have spoken to, they say that it is kinda nice that they dive a little less when on the brakes, but otherwise not really a noticable difference on the trail. Modern forks are amazing, if this refined of a linkage fork had come out in 2003 it would have been a game changer, but now it seems like a boutique item that works great, but the price is twice as high as the next closest fork and about 3 times as much as the vast majority are willing to pay.
  • 1 0
 @Chris97a: exactly. There is no way I’m going to pay $2700 for a single component
  • 1 0
 @jaame:
I just bought a new bike that has no need for upgrades...$2500. XT drivetrain, raceface turbine cranks and cockpit, Pike fork. Will ditch the xt brakes as I have magura's that I prefer and already own but not looking to put a $2000 fork on it that is for sure.
  • 1 0
 @Chris97a: my current bike cost me £1600 second hand, just to tide me over to 2020 models. I’m going to get a new bike at the start of the year but I won’t go over £3000 if I can help it. Even bikes in that price range can be found with a £1000 fox 36 though.
  • 13 0
 My next bike is a Geometron. Porter drinks is Hot Bev from the same mug as I do! Totally agree with his theory on bike design. Uncompromising and independent from industry trends and norms. Hats off to Formula for running this series of vids. Excellent content.
  • 25 1
 But he has to carry that mug in a backpack because he doesn’t believe in water bottles.
  • 3 0
 I would love to demo one. Have the Stumpy EVO and the geo is so much fun. Geometron seems like the next step up. Especially curious about Selva fork. Have the EXT storia and it is so good.
  • 5 0
 I bought a geometron Mojo g16 Last year, decission ever. The Bike is a beast in climbs and on downhills. I dont need a Downhill Bike anymore
  • 4 0
 @Mukkiman: The idea of a DH bike that climbs well, speaks to me. I will never beat good riders up a hill. So why even pretend I care? I can slay most on the way down though.
  • 4 0
 @slumgullion: I have a G1 and I really wish he had done some testing out here in Phoenix. It might have swayed is anti waterbottle zealotry
  • 3 0
 @scary1: I know PB loves a water bottle, but Chris has a point. Why fit the bike to the bottle when it can affect performance? Create solutions that work without impacting the bike. Fidlock strap design isn't a bad effort.
  • 3 0
 @kiksy: well, im not sure the shock mount couldnt have mounted on the tube, like Pole, opening up plenty of area for WB.
Trust me, dying of heatstroke tends to hinder performance. Not Everyone lives in Wales.
  • 4 0
 @chasejj: I am climbing fastest with the G1 then my previous carbon Scott Genius and carbon Transition Sentinel. And slay them downhill too. That is with much more confidence and calmness then any other bike I have tried.
  • 1 0
 @scary1: If you are depending on having the water on the bike, it is for sure possible to get some to attach around the downtube.
  • 1 1
 @slumgullion: That is what held me back on the Nicolai 2 years ago when I was close to getting one and they wouldn't do a WB mount anywhere!
I ride with my Weimaraner most rides and Homey needs his water. Got the GG and It's good but could be better.
  • 2 0
 @chasejj: Could have got a Stamina and had a water bottle for you and one for your pooch.
  • 1 0
 @andrewbikeguide: Stamina is still under consideration. Want to see how the frame/pivots on that bike stay together. One drawback is the Stamina runs same chainstay length in all sizes. Not the best thinking for truly balanced Geo.
  • 2 0
 @G1EXTStoria: yep, i know I have one. Just not actually easy to reach while riding. I also switched to a fanny pack, which works quite well, its just nice to ditch all the backpacks from time to time and ride free
  • 1 0
 @andrewbikeguide: can you actually "get" a Stamina now??
They should have called it the Notyet.
  • 1 0
 @kiksy: i have two because i originally had a Stamina on order . Theres no good place to put even one on the Nicolai
  • 1 0
 @scary1: What do you think of the G1?
  • 1 0
 @boxxerace: best bike ive ever had. Of course for 20 years, ive wanted a dh bike that i can pedal uphill. I actually climbs better than any bike ive owned. It is a dh weight bike , but with eagle and a 30th, the balanced seat position makes it quite easy on the legs
  • 1 0
 @scary1: I wonder if a trunion shock (which is shorter) could allow the G1 to use the same setup as the Saturn 14, with a vertical shock, it looks a bit less cool but it could make room for a bottle.

I don't have the money but if I did, it would be a dilemma between reason (cuz a Saturn 14 would be more than enough for my riding skills) and passion (cuz' the G1 is awesome).
  • 1 0
 A thought I had about the bottle is, why not put bottle bosses on the top of the top tube for emergency situations, like long hot trail rides?
One reason why modern frames don't fit a water bottle inside the front triangle is because the top tubes are a lot lower now - the space that was once inside the triangle is now occupied by the top tube. There is a lot of space on top of the top tube. Some bikes could perhaps even mount a bottle vertically on the seat mast, pointing up under the saddle.
If my bike had bosses on the top there, I would give it a try. Under the down tube, I have never given it a try. I know the bottle will fit, but who wants a dirty bottle?
  • 1 0
 @jaame: Nicolai told me that introducing the holes creates a stress riser in a highly stressed tube. Their words. To install one myself would void any warranty as well. I have a rivet nut tool and inserts.
  • 15 0
 He was never the same after those bike industry thugs stole his rug, it really tied the workshop together.
  • 12 3
 All I can say is that the G16 rips. My buddy had one for a few months before it got stolen. It was faster on the downs than my M9 and faster on the ups than my Django. He also cleaned some seriously technical climbs on it. I rode it for a few laps at our bike park and it is insane how fast it is. Less effort and more speed is serious fun. If I ever have 10k to build up a bike, it will be a Geometron
  • 23 4
 Sounds like your friend is just plain faster than you
  • 10 1
 @thesharkman: people are faster because their bike fits them and works right, which is kind of Porter's point.
  • 7 0
 @thesharkman: he is but thats not the point. We traded bikes for a few runs and I was pulling away from people that I normally struggle to keep up with. And I didn't need to fight the bike to do anything. It was just really fast.
  • 1 0
 maybe a bike from 2012 is slower than a new bike? no way? 26 vs 29 no way its faster
  • 10 0
 nice vid. Still believe that stopwatch is not a necessary bit of a kit on the trail.
  • 4 0
 @BurningBeard Porter wasn't saying that a stop watch is a necessary tool on the trail, it is a quantifiable metric as to whether or not a design helps make a bike faster (assuming the same highly skilled and rested rider on the same track in similar weather conditions) which is the best indicator that the design synergy is on the right path.

For example, I recently switched suspension, and I am no racer, but it is quantitative rather than qualitative that my faster lap on my local trail did not necessarily feel the best but the stop watch proved that the suspension settings for that lap must be the best ones (it is a very 'a bit of everything' trail which is why we use it for set up testing) even if it didn't feel the most comfortable. When I go out and ride with my mates I won't care about times but I will enjoy riding knowing that I have a well set up bike that I can trust to provide gobs of traction.
  • 1 0
 @andrewbikeguide: my point is that 5 years ago we didn't know better and still enjoyed riding. I can't remember any complaints about short reaches and steep HA. Even more on that, then big hit 2009 was first released, and it has quite a modern geo by todays standarts, people were complaining that it was too big and awkward to handle. No one told us what the geo should look like...
  • 2 0
 @BurningBeard: No one knew asbestos were bad, before we got told so ;-) I personally always felt mountain bikes were way too small and unstable. Could not understand why it shouldn't be possible to make a bike that you feel one with, like many motorcycles instead of on top of like all my old bikes. Was close to getting a custom frame build 5-7 years ago, but the cost vs the possible failure of the project with my limited knowledge kept me from it.
  • 1 0
 @Krikstar: I've got a friend who've ordered a custom ti frame with all the modern geo features like 5 years ago (64 ha, 75st, 465 reach for size L), the only difference is that he used a 26 wheels with a 45mm bb drop on a hardtail. That thing rails down everything. Today he says he wants a frame a bit longer and higher in stack, I wonder where he will stop.
  • 9 3
 Chris Porter is right and we should listen to him. Take two identical bikes, one 5% lighter and that one will climb better, but how much better? Use a stopwatch of course, but bear in mind a 75kg rider plus bike and reduce the total by the 5% saving on the lighter bike to see that the weight gain is now minimal, and factor in that you cant climb vertical anyway on anything, and now you see how little the real difference is. Now design a bike that turns, grips and stops and the difference is either greater exitement and confidence downhill for old gits like me or winning races for the young guns.Telescopic forks are one of engineering's most ubiquitous compromises, a design dictated by conservvative volume manufacturers. Every time a non telescopic fork design appears, made by a tiny company, put onto a race bike, it wins races, but always dissappears because the big companies don't dare change the look. You need to separate steering and braking forces, not necessarily to make them different geometry but to manage the geometry under different loads and steering inputs. There are at least two measures of front end geometry to consider, that is rake (head angle) and trail. So why does this industry only talk about the head angle? Both have significant impact, and both will be affected by rear end suspension movement just as much as front wheel position on the suspemnsion travel. And why do we have to put up with a spring on one side of a fork and damping on the other? This puts enormous faith in the rigidity of the front axle, so why do we allow fashion to dictate that to be so much smaller than it could be, or was once? And so on and so on........
  • 9 1
 When’s the last time a non-telescopic fork won a big race? I don’t recall that moment in history.
  • 1 1
 This. So much this.
  • 1 0
 @slumgullion: Sometime in the '90s would be my guess (Girvin, AMP or rigid.

Be interesting to know how many non-telescopic have actually raced recently and how they've placed bearing in mind the ability of the rider.

Let's face it, at some point in the past people scoffed at rear suspension on XC bikes.
  • 3 0
 @sargey2003: I am 44 and live/rode thru the 90's . Girvin forks were shit for the most part, especially the bumper ones. AMP, I have seen plastic lawn chairs with more rigidity. Credit for thinking outside the box, but they just didn't work out.
  • 1 1
 Certainly it’s happened in motorcycle racing. Not sure about MTB.
  • 2 0
 @jaame: No it didn't. USD was the last big development in Moto front suspension. In the 60's they had some leading link designs that were successful, but that was when travel was minimal as well and the sport was in its infancy. In the late 80's some experimental Valentino Ribi designs were tested by Suzuki and Honda and Moto Villa but Honda bought the patent and shelved it (too heavy).
  • 1 0
 Some 4X racers used to ride the USE SUB fork on the UK circuit. Not sure if they were dominant but they were definitely up there.
  • 1 1
 @chasejj: is that a fact?
  • 2 0
 Assuming your premise is correct. What options are there out there now?
Motion RIde and Trust are the only things that come to mind. Not sure either have really proven to be the ANSWER as I read about them on the various reviews.
  • 1 1
 @chasejj: what about that Britten in New Zealand?
And I’m sure there was another funny looking thing on some Italian Yamaha superbikes in the 90s.
  • 3 0
 Porter has never said a linkage fork was the answer to our telescoping fork woes, he has however, said that the bushing systems used on traditional forks aren't great for stiffness, and neither are single crowns. People hated the Lefty, for example, but there were a lot of ways it was superior to traditional single crown forks. Kinda funny that as the Lefty dies out...here comes Weagle with the Linkage Fork to convince us that looking different is worth it for better performance. Both break the mold of being produced in Taiwan by companies that are too attached to traditional bushings in the cast magnesium lowers.
  • 1 0
 @jaame: Affirmative.
  • 1 0
 @jaame: Road racing is a different game. Offroad is what is relevant in this discussion.
  • 1 0
 @PHeller: DW does nothing to "look different" its just not in his DNA to do that if you know where he has come from in education and career before bikes.
  • 1 0
 @chasejj: Britten - leading link fork and successful race bike: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Britten_V1000
  • 1 0
 @andrewbikeguide: Britten is a road racer. One of the best ever , but has zero relevance when discussing offroad machines.
  • 1 0
 "And why do we have to put up with a spring on one side of a fork and damping on the other?"

Yeah hasn't there been some sort of twin lefty recently ? Someone who did it himself.
Or maybe it could be a quad fork (2 springs, 2 dampers), but with smaller diameters, though this may mean more bushings.
Or those forks with a shock in front of the steerer tube, can't remember the name.
  • 1 0
 @Will-narayan: all the air/oil forks in the early to mid 90s had two of everything. Original rockshox rs1, mag 20, mag21, marzocchi xc500, original bombers.
I think the Judy was the first fork to have a single oil damper in one leg, and it was made of plastic. After that it kind of all switched to air side, damper side. Not sure when.
  • 1 0
 @jaame: My 2003 Marzocchi MX Comp had air chambers in both legs. Not sure about damping but I dumped oil in both legs Wink . Once in a crash one top cap hit a rock and the valve snapped off. I could increase pressure in the other leg and finish my ride, but every deeper compression had the other leg spraying fork oil at me Wink ! My Marzocchi Dirt Jam has coil and air working in parallel.
  • 1 0
 @vinay: I think they switched to the single sided design for a number of reasons. Probably the size of the air chamber is the main one. With an open bath coil fork it would be fine to use two springs and two dampers, but it would add cost. Also as stated in the video, people seem to care more about weigh than performance so I don’t see coils making a comeback any time soon.
  • 1 0
 @bman33: I'm 54 and raced XC in the 90's on rigid & (pretty rubbish) telescopic forks and raced DH on (much better) telescopic forks on hardtails and full-suspension bikes. Not that age has any bearing really.
I don't recall singing the praises of Girvin or AMP but I'll wager that someone somewhere won a race on them.



Plenty of the early forks were rubbish, using elastomers as the spring/damper or prioritizing low-weight over performance and most of the forks from the early '90s were barely worth having.

Again, none of that means a linkage fork could not do the job. The fact that many early telescopic forks for bicycles were rubbish does not mean all of them would be and the same applies to linkage forks.
  • 1 0
 @sargey2003: Henrik Djernis won three consecutive world XX titles on the rigid Ritchey P series bikes (softride stem?) then switched to Girvin. Did he ever win anything on that bike can you recall?
  • 1 0
 Just to clarify about my note on different front ends: I am only asking questions really, am convinced the telescopic set up is just an easy fall-back that has had the benefit of decades of refinement, while all the other possibilities remain under developed. My note about other designs winning races is true but I was referring to the likes of the Britten and others before and since in motorcycle road racing. The issues I question are that I dont understand why the stiffness is compromised so much, or rather that the flex is so uncontrolled, and the wheel has to travel in a straight line, and that line is at a variable rake depending on the wheels' positions, and that the trail is also variable all of the time, and that the braking forces, another variable, will always directly affect the suspension performance. I am also certain that a downhill machine needs radically different set up compared to cross country or trail machine, just as that is true today.
  • 1 0
 @MJT59: Familiarity breeds contempt. New design attempts are met with almost universal derision in whatever press they get when someone tries something new. I cheer for Trust and Motion to succeed. They have enormous balls to try, as the market is very cruel when it comes to accepting new designs. They will have to be superior in almost every way to make a dent in telescopic forks dominance. So far I haven't sensed that is the case. The hope is they don't bail out and cut their losses before that is realized.
  • 1 0
 @chasejj: Not really. Conventional technology at some point reaches a plateau and further refinements of that same technology lead only to tiny increments of what we already had. Telescopic forks arguably have reached that point already. Very different tech (and again linkage forks really aren't new, they're just different to what is common now) may have the potential to become better than what can currently be achieved with what we have now, but that doesn't imply that the first iteration (the one where people would call it "new") is already better than the conventional forks on all fronts. It may show improvement on one front and it may need some refinements on some others. It takes some early adopters to sacrifice themselves to be dick about it and invest in those first generations (and in case of Trust enjoy a discount on the second generation that supposedly sucks a bit less). A good example would be bikes with 29" wheels. Many of those who nowadays prefer 29" wheels over 26" would still prefer it the other way around when comparing what was available fifteen years ago. Early adopters may have helped the industry, but they haven't really helped themselves much. Wouldn't want to discourage those early adopters. Not saying they're clever but them throwing money at the development of products that may (or may not) lead up to improvement in the future is obviously a nice thing to do.

The other thing of course is that if a bike has been designed to work well with telescopic forks, the geometry will work very different with a fork with a different axle path. Some may prefer it, some may not. That's personal and not necessarily better. Just like manufacturers design a bike with a certain reach and head tube angle. Installing a reachset or angleset headset (increasing reach or making the head tube angle slacker respectively) hopefully makes the bike handle better for whoever did that as it is a conscious decision, but it isn't necessarily a good decision for everyone. Personally I believe it would probably work best if the bike is equipped with the front suspension it has been designed around. That could be telescopic. Could be a linkage fork like Trust too, but I'm not sure anyone has done that already. Maybe bikes that are designed to also take a German-A Kilo fork? The bikes I have seen designed to work with a linkage front suspenion are those from Structure. And to me that also seems like a more sensible concept as such than fitting an aftermarket product the frame wasn't really designed around.

So yeah maybe I'm particularly one to enjoy being at the tail end of technological progress (not likely to own a smartphone in less than a year from now) but I think for most of us just in it for having a bit of a blast riding in the dirt for our own enjoyment, there is no point investing in the bleeding edge stuff. We need something that works reliably and affordably, we can service ourselves and we can get spares for. If at some point that includes linkage forks then we may buy them by then.
  • 8 0
 Oh I love Nicolai
Ich möchte in die nächste Winter nach Freiburg gehen und darin will ich Nicolai und Intend kaufen
  • 4 0
 Nicolai ist aber viel weiter im Norden ;-)
  • 2 0
 get yourself some Trickstuff, too, if you're in the area anyway
  • 1 0
 @NoriDori: Nicolai würde billiger in Deutschland sein als in China,
ich denke. ????
  • 6 0
 In the next eleven minutes, you will learn more ......... well although I have liked slack geometry for years - the only thing I learned here was that Chris is pretty good on the guitar.
  • 5 0
 Did anyone else watch the out-take about chain vs. no chain? It poses an interesting question, as did some of the other things that came up in the video.

Kudos to Chris for thinking outside the box about a range of different things, integrated seat droppers, triple crowns on trail bikes (didn't SRAM have a Boxxer made for this at one point?) and bike geometry. We have some pretty amazing bikes now but watching this opened my eyes to thinking that we still have a ways to go.
  • 1 0
 I had the marzochi Jr T double crown fork in the late 90's. Big step up in stiffness back then, but then that was still a qr axle fork and so I just bent the brake bridge on mine. On tight switchbacks while climbing though I would just run the fork into the frame and hope it was enough to get around the corner.
  • 1 0
 Specialized had the Enduro Expert Evo in about 2015 which had a 180mm boxxer.

The suspension companies would make them if OEMs ordered them. There are a lot of options on rockshox. For example, last time I checked, pretty much every fork had 20mm axle listed as an option. That was probably 2016 MY. There are different offsets, different graphics, 1.8” steerers. You can order pretty much what you want and they will make it, but there is a minimum order for varies changes.
  • 2 0
 @Chris97a: Yep, his point on leaning slack bikes to make the turn is true but only if you have the speed...which you often don't on the climbs. I like the idea of dual crown forks on trail bikes but I also think the fork would be hitting the frame in tight spots.
  • 1 0
 I'm not sure about that point about chain vs no chain. It's a very specific situation that wouldn' teven work on some flatter DH courses.
Bikes with not enough antisquat get bad reviews so unless you come up with something that blocks the suspension when pedalling (other than an electronic device like Fox's livevalve) and that doesn't hinders the pedalling capabilities o the bike, you still have to do a compromise between AS & KB, between up & down.
  • 1 0
 Heading even further back Sunn made a very light and stiff dual crown XC fork. IIRC it would be mid to late 90s.
  • 15 6
 Oh look, Chris Porter is telling everyone they are wrong again.....
  • 10 1
 He's been right about a lot though.
  • 2 0
 @kiksy: which, logically, doesn't make him right abut everything Wink
  • 1 0
 “Just because I am in a minority of one does not mean I am wrong”
-Clive Woodward, 2004
  • 5 0
 I have owned a G1 for a couple of month now. I have been dialing in suspension for a while and last few weeks I have just been enjoying the ride. Yes it takes time to adapt the geometry, that is mostly how you stand, and how you need to get rid of the old habit riding over the rear wheel. The late two weeks the autumn rain season has settled here. The trails are so wet and slippery that you will need to go slower. Then you realize what you actually have been missing. Everything on the G1 is so much balanced, so much more grippy. Before when riding on old geometry bikes, you get all these scary moments, and now there is some strange happening with the G1, everything is so relaxed. These scary moments is just not there, at least when your wheel slips, you have just more control.

So what is happening? Is it the balance, front/rear weight distribution? The strange thing is after you get more and more used to ride the G1, the more you feel how much natural it feels. It takes time, and I will say you can get turned off when just taking a demo ride. I am admitting that I was in doubt for a few days, but luckily I gave it a chance.

I have not super tight crux and turns where I ride, but I have some turns on a few trails we ride. I was just laughing on a ride with a few friends, where they complained that they could not keep up with me in the tight turns. I could not not hold back, telling them that I have probably 50 mm longer wheelbase then their Trek and Santa Cruz bikes :-)
  • 6 0
 I met Chris once and after talking to him after 10 mins i was ready to buy one of the first Geometrons....lovely bikes and Chris is one passionate guy...
  • 4 0
 There is a small company from Austria that is trying to solve the weird seatpost-matrioska situation: 8pins www.eightpins.at/en/index-en and as far as I know Liteville has updated their frames to host their seatposts.
  • 8 5
 Most of it is true, geometry, design related to components etc... especially the dropper. But I will just point out here what I think is not IMO :

- BIKE WEIGHT :
It does have an impact on how much energy you need to climb, yes another kinematic can make climbing better, yes your body weight is much more and it's easier to go on diet but at the moment you got all those weight loss and good suspension properties, it still does climbing easier with less kilos from the bike.
The weight also has an impact on how stable or how quick the handling is, some people prefer to be driven by their bike (consider an Ebike on descend as extreme example), I personnally prefer to dictate my bike where I want it to be and do it sometimes quick. I don't believe heavier sprung weight makes the suspension better, I think you might just setup your suspension wrong and the added weight shows you the way on a better setting according to the weight of your bike.
Besides, unsprung weight has more influence on how quick your suspension can actuate.

- MEASURING A PERFORMANCE BY TIME :
In a perfect world where you do laps with the very same time like a bot, it would make total sence. Unfortunately there are so many variables that makes a time deviate, shorter or longer : wind, grip, track condition and add it the human : strength, stamina, line choice, brake points etc...
So the only reliable way to compare a performance still remains what we have now even if yes it sounds dumb but it is.
  • 12 0
 I am personally not feeling really good on bikes let´s say under 14 or 13,5kgs in rough stuff, yes I like to dictate my bike where to go, but I am talking about a bike, not about a skinny goat jumping all around like meth kids on a rave party.
  • 20 0
 @bok-CZ: you leave us meth kids out of this
  • 6 0
 Yeah, go pick on the crack babies you bully
  • 8 0
 @arrowheadrush: sorry dude, stay high!
  • 4 0
 If you have a light bike that fits poorly and sucks to ride or a heavy bike that fits well and is super fun to ride you'll ride the heavy bike every time. Ultimately performance is more important than weight. And that's not to say that weight isn't important, just lower on the rankings.
  • 2 0
 @alexsin: exactly, what I do care about is wheels and tires weight which I see as the most important making the biggest difference. Frame weight? Nah.
  • 5 0
 If you race measure in time if you ride for fun measure it smiles per miles.
  • 7 1
 faster is more fun
  • 3 0
 With facial recognition software this could be a thing. The "Grimace Quotient" is a valuable metric.
  • 5 0
 @jaydawg69: Funny enough when they first came with these bigger wheels on mountainbikes, there already was this discussion. Dirt magazine did a test with a couple of good DH riders. Ride 26" wheel bikes, ride big wheel bikes, time the laps and compare. Riders had the perception they were going faster on the smaller wheeled bikes but it turned out they were going faster on the big wheeled ones. So when it really is about the stopwatch (because you're racing or commuting) go with the big wheels. But apparently the smaller wheels feel faster and it will even last longer. Now wheel size is only one metric but I can imagine something similar goes with other metrics that allow you to go faster (suspension, geometry etc). What makes you objectively faster may not necessarily (subjectively) feel faster or more exciting.
  • 6 0
 Chris Porter knows his shit.
  • 5 0
 Always nice to hearing some Chris insights on the subject...Wink
  • 2 0
 I think he may be leaning towards a dual crown with Formula or USD to increase bushing overlap and stiffness with the DH head tube angles.
  • 1 0
 @chasejj: think more along the lines of a dual crown conversion for fox 36's and you'll be a lot closer to being right Wink
  • 1 0
 @b45her: I would be all in on that but still tinkering with the damping setup on my 17MY 36 with 20mm clamped axles. Not sure I want to ever part with it. Geometron dual crown kit may be just what I need.
  • 1 0
 @chasejj: its a conversion for the 36, uses the existing spring and damper (or custom damper i believe) from your donor fork, adds the longer stanchion and triple clamps, spent a few days in morzine in the summer with one of the mojo guys that told me about it.
  • 1 0
 @b45her: I've seen a shot on FB of the kit. But I think its still prototyping.
  • 7 3
 i got to the part where he was sat with a guitar wearing a ponytail, crocs & 3/4 length's and checked out...
  • 1 0
 What, Porter occupies the Dirt magazine office? So that's why they went out of print and no longer seem to update their website! See, I appreciate all he does for cycling sport and all but please get him out of that office so that these kind Dirt people can get back to business and you no longer have to put up with me in the comment section.
  • 1 0
 Cool video. We ride different trails. There are different styles of riding. Me I take my time on the climbs so I can savor the DH run. No ups and downs on the DH just steep fun. Mini DH bikes that can climb my kind of bike. I can relate to his thinking. Yes it's radical. Good thing or all bikes would be clones with different paint.
  • 1 0
 I used to think that he was a loud talking dude full of it to sell his stuffs. Then I met him which led me to buying one of his bikes (GLF). Now I'm an absolute convert to the point I believe everything that comes out of his mouth. I'm hitting bigger drops than I ever did on my Bronson, jumping better and that's just due to increased confidence on the bike because it fits me! If you ever get a chance to ride one, give it a try.
  • 5 2
 Measuring performance based on time.. such an innovation! never heard about that concept before
  • 4 0
 I love this article so much, it's like David Attenborough of mtb
  • 1 0
 That's a great analogy!
  • 6 3
 “The only performance metric the industry uses is how much the bike weighs”......sure buddy.
  • 1 0
 You can't be sure of anything without trying one, many things are not what they seem. I have one and it does everything better than any other bike I have had geometrically.
  • 3 1
 He spoke 1 or 2 words of wisdom. However, I can’t move forward past his crimes. Crocs, pedal pushers and a topknot. Sorry.
  • 3 2
 When you going to have a linkage fork?
  • 7 6
 Man-bun, socks with crocs, capri shorts, eek....
  • 4 2
 It's always croc-o'clock
  • 2 3
 I just figure its a Brit thing, but it is a bit off putting. At least he doesn't appear to be in the US Soy Boy camp.
  • 1 0
 Pfft. Waste...
  • 1 2
 Couldn't have come up with a better name than that huh?
  • 1 1
 TL : DR - He's mad

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