Cascade Components Announces V4 Bronson Link

Feb 20, 2022 at 19:42
by Cascade Components  


Press Release: Cascade Components

Things have been busy as usual, so we are just getting around to officially announcing our link for the V4 Santa Cruz Bronson (2021 and up). As with our other links, this one makes the new Bronson more progressive and increases travel a little... Or a lot. Similar to our 5010 link, the Bronson link has a flip chip that, instead of controlling geometry, controls the amount of travel that the link delivers. So, depending on shock stroke, the link can achieve 160mm, 170mm, or 180mm of travel. That just about covers the entire range of “I want a little extra out of the rear end” to “I want a mullet Nomad”.

Bronson 4 link colors
The link is available in black, silver (clear ano), and blue
Depending on shock stroke flip chip setting, the amount of progression ranges anywhere from 34% to 42%, with 34% being the short travel setting with the stock shock size and 42% being the long travel setting with a 5mm longer shock stroke. For reference, the stock set up is 27% for progression. Both of these progression numbers ride well with both air and coil shocks, but people may find themselves taking out volume spacers or wanting a larger volume air can with the higher progression settings. This is a good thing as it makes rebound more consistent though.

Now I’m sure a lot of you are wondering what the deal with geometry is since the flip chip doesn’t change geometry. Regardless of what setting the link is in, the bottom bracket height is the same as what it is in the low position with the stock link. This also means you can expect very similar climbing characteristics to the Bronson in its stock low setting.

Specs and Details:

• 160mm in ST setting with stock shock(230x60)
• 170mm of travel in LT setting with stock shock
• 170mm of travel in ST setting with 230x65 shock
• 180mm of travel in LT setting with 230x65 shock
• Progression increased to 34%-42% depending on setting compared to 27% with stock link
• Sealed Enduro MAX bearings
• CNC’d from 6061-T6 in the USA
• Colors: Black, silver, blue
• Cost: $337 USD.

Yes, there are indeed two 170mm settings. That is not a mistake. If you are looking for 170mm of travel you can choose how you want to go about that based on whether you want the leverage curve higher or lower and whether or not you want to change the shock stroke. Heavier riders will be better served by increasing their shock stroke in order to keep the necessary spring rate/air pressure required to get proper sag down.

Mega Bromad. 180mm on a coil out back and 170mm up front.

For more information click cascadecomponents.bike/collections/santa-cruz-linkages/products/v4-bronson-lt-link.


157 Comments

  • 130 7
 One thing I don't get is why the people who review bikes are so fastidious about the climbing performance of a bike in the open travel mode. My Ohlins TTX22 has 3 setting. I have it open for descending really rouch tracks, mid position for technical climbs and smooth jump tracks and closed for climbing fire roads. On an enduro bike I want the manufacturer to design it for descending, and have a vlimb switch for getting back up the hills efficiently. The descending ability of a bike should not be compromised to make the bike better at climbing in open mode.
  • 3 0
 This is one of my bugbears too.
On another note - how do you find the climb mode on the TTX22? I have the same shock and can barely tell the difference in terms of platform.
  • 3 1
 Amen. Your comment reminded me of this www.pinkbike.com/news/opinions-we-need-lockouts.html
  • 26 12
 Nah man, you complain out optimization of bikes for climbing in open mode and your bandaid for that, imo not existing problem, is actually creating problems regarding downhill performance. Those platforms mostly mess with the main piston and in my experience you achieve way better designs without having to implement stooopid platform damping. On the other hand, a bit of anti squat has never hurt anybody, especially not the downhill performance. And do not mention pedal kickback, please, that should be no concern. Plus with more AS your axle path gets better as well. So no, bike mags should look out for open mode climbing performance, cuz imo this is absolutely the best way to achieve good climbing paired with uncompromised dh performance.
  • 5 2
 I'd like to put my two cents in here: on some bikes that I have ridden, the "climb switch" eliminates shock movement from actual obstacles and, while it lessens pedal-induced bobbing, the bobbing is all you feel since the trail feedback is gone. So while it may technically be more efficient, it feels like shit because all you feel is the bobbing sensation. Thus climbing in open mode is essential. This was pronounced on my Evil Insurgent LB in particular.
  • 1 0
 @ihertzler: Some climbs you use it, some climbs you don't. Good to have the option and maybe it wouldn't do techy climbs so well if the pedaling performance was improved without the climb switch?
  • 17 0
 If you use your big bike for undulating “trail” type riding, flipping switches gets a bit much sometimes. Remembering to flip it at the top of a big climb doesn’t always happen either. I like a bike you hop on and it’s ready for technical, rocky climbs, popping off a few trail features, but also feels bottomless on big hits.
  • 2 0
 @ArturoBandini: They implement platform damping anyway, at least Rock Shox does it in EVERY shock they make even without a climb switch! And those with CS have double platform damping in reality so ... It's much better to have shock with climb switch than have a shock with climb switch built-in. Because in reality any shock properly tuned for downhill will suck when climbing. And believe me, I have a bike with loads of AS and in still bobs uphill with proper shock tune and CS off. And with stock tune I never ever used CS, but the bike rode like sh*t.
  • 15 0
 Besides the fact the climb switch can mess with the damper circuit and that I’m guaranteed to forget to turn it back at the top?

Bump compliance is useful for efficiency as well as speed. Getting the wheel over a small obstacle without changing the path of the main mass is very helpful, and it’s why full squish XC bikes out climb lighter hardtails on bumpier tracks. If you get all your climbing performance by making your enduro a shitty hardtail you miss out on that. Efficiency matters on descents too, which is why top level racers train the engine so much. You only get a few pedal strokes out of that corner, and if your suspension is soaking them up they’re just gone.

And it’s not really necessary. Plenty of bikes climb well without trick switches while descending like demons, and it’s fair to judge bikes to that standard in 2022. It’s a reviewers job to tell you about the bike. They can’t just ignore a weakness and assume everyone is going to use a climb switch.
  • 6 2
 @chakaping: Authorized Öhlins service with people who know what they are doing should be able to sort you out with a tune where the "hardest" setting is really hard and "plush" is as plush as you want it. I will be doing that for my TTX this spring.

@Rammet - a good shock has enough "flexibility" in LSC to deal with undulating terrain in "open" or "trail" mode. But you still save energy on long climbs with climb switch. I can only say good things about CCDB Coil CS in open mode.

Yes bikes with "normal" lock out theoretically perform worse, but that's not the only reason why certain shocks with lock out are not top performers. For some it is a matter of trying to pay less and I can buy that argument. Öhlins EXT absolutism is not my thing so I get that. But some people will pay thousands for a boutique frame and then put simple air shocks on it to save weight. They can only blame themselves.
  • 17 5
 @Blackhat: Some poeple forget to pick up the kid at the daycare, turn off the iron before leaving to work or left the toaster on before going to the grocery store. I've done all that. But it happens extremely rarely. Once you blow your stack by hucking with lock out on, you'l learn. Poor focus is not an argument against climb switch. Each to their own Smile
  • 6 5
 @calmWAKI: But the requirement for focus is absolutely an argument against them.

All such settings represent a mental load for the rider beyond just focusing on the trail itself and enjoying the ride. So we put timers in our toasters, have irons with auto shutoff, and setup autopay for bills. It’s not at all unreasonable for someone to balk at adding such a mundane task to their leisure activity.

Remember that we’re not talking about whether lockouts are evil levers that must be destroyed. We’re talking about whether they are a negative reviewers should mention that designers should work to avoid. And for basically every rider not pursuing seconds on an enduro clock they detract from the ride experience if they’re required by poor pedaling suspension.

Now, if someone hates anti-squat/pedal kickback and finds it detracts more than a climb switch then great. As you said, to each their own. That doesn’t change the fact that the switch itself is still an objective negative to the experience because it requires part of the riders focus.
  • 3 3
 @Blackhat: I personally have no problem with climb switch myself. I have a personal problem with lack of it, so I choose my shocks after having it (or as with TTX, having possibility to max out LSC wihtout calling it a lock out/climb switch) I don't even have a problem with people not wanting it since lock outs are going nowhere. Damn give me travel adjust like UTurn coil slacken my seat angle and let me run shorter reach.

I do have a problem with focusing on what antisquat my bike has as it interferes with focusing on my riding. I don't even know exactly what SAG I run. What I mean with this cheeky line is that different people will obsess over anything to a point where it will get in a way of enjoying the ride.

Finally - poor pedaling of a particular suspension: I don't know about VPPs and stuff, but most bikes out there pedal almost the same, I mean all 4bars. Their antisquat numbers are comparable, their lower pivots are all placed within few mm above the BB. Shock quality is what will make the actual difference. Kinematics are given too much credit/ bashing. In the recent Field Test Henry said there were differences between Capra and Transition, was it the shock tune or kinematics?
  • 2 3
 @Blackhat: also when it comes to enjoying the ride and focusing on experience, I know things for it. Particularly for enjoying the view instead of hurrying down the mountain - which can also be enhanced with same supplementation at according dosage - On same ride Wink Mindfullness and appreciation are a wonderful thing.
  • 8 0
 @calmWAKI: It kind of seems like you’re pushing this into a false choice. Surely there is a middle ground between ignoring all details of a bike and letting every detail fill your mind every moment of the ride.

Like say, recognizing they matter when making purchasing and setup decisions but then not worrying about them when riding? Reach and angle headsets are super interesting on the couch. When I’m riding I literally never think about reach or head angle.

But if I’m actively changing a setting like a climb switch that’s not an option. Mindfulness and appreciation are wonderful. That doesn’t mean we can clutter our lives with all kinds of distractions to overcome then say “just be more mindful” as if those distractions aren’t part of the issue.

Anyway, circling back to the actual point I was making when I mentioned forgetting to flip a switch… regardless of your life choices and preferences or whether the shock tune or frame kinematic is to blame - if a bike relies on the climb switch to pedal well it should be mentioned in a review. And unless it’s a pure pedal DH rig like the Range, it deserves to be criticized as a weakness. If you personally prefer to use the climb switch even on a bike that pedals well open, more power to you. Doesn’t mean the rest of us should need to use it to climb well.
  • 1 1
 @ihertzler: This is why I had the lockout circuit on the DPX2 (remote) on my Calling tuned to medium, so it reduces pedal bobbing while allowing movement with obstacles encountered while climbing
  • 3 3
 @calmWAKI: Hey didn't know you were back.

Anyways, I would have to throw a switch 1000x/ ride, often times as I crested a steep rise and needed to be hanging on with both hands. Also lockouts don't actually climb well unless you are on a road climb. I know that's common in some locales but where I live it's nearly non-existent.

No interest in any climb switches here.

Now should SRAM integrate an electronic lockout timed with their electronic dropper post or grade dependent, and adjustable by a phone app? Absolutely!
  • 1 0
 Your comment is based on the assumption that it's not possible to design a bike with both high anti-squat around sag, but where said anti-squat (and whatever other principles, not an engineer) drops away rapidly once you get farther into the travel. Do you have evidence that this isn't possible to accomplish?

Very few fast riders have plush suspension, as the faster you go the more damping you need to counteract the higher forces. It seems a totally reasonable assumption that you can have a bike that's firm off the top and also delivers fantastic downhill performance.
  • 1 0
 @calmWAKI: Flight Control enters chat.
  • 1 2
 @friendlyfoe: whoever your comment is directed at, what you describe is true for almost every bike. You just need to downshift and antisquat decreases with chain going down each cog in the rear. If antisquat was such a big thing nobody would use chainring size other than what bikes are designed around. A bike designed with 10-50 cassette in mind would be evidently stiffer on 10-42. Fluid dynamics trump kinematics unless something is completely messed up.
  • 6 2
 @Blackhat: lol indeed. I had an old Jekyll with a nice switch that changed its HTA and every swapped to a shorter travel setup (two shocks sorta). Guess what? I always forgot to turn the damn thing on and off.

I’m all for climbing switches on shocks if it improves the Dh…but I want it automatically tied to my freaking damn dropper post. But no…that’s too much to ask for apparently from the silly bike industry. It’s all this sensor based garbage when we really just need a climb mode linked to our dropper post (with an override and adjustment). So simple
  • 3 0
 @Svinyard: I too had a Jekyll and it was a PIA to ride. Upvoting that dropper idea too, I almost posted the same thing and ended up deleting it.
  • 3 0
 @Tuna-Flapjack: Oh god no.
  • 1 0
 @calmWAKI: Agreed. I use my climb switch for getting to and from the trailhead or for long fire road climbs, but I place a high value on peddling efficiency while still in the open position for added traction and extra pop. I ride a Ripmo V2 with X2 and it checks all the boxes. I'm sure its not everyone's cup of tea, but I get along with it.
  • 2 1
 I disagree completely. I don't wanna flip a switch every time the grade changes. I want to ride an open shock all the time. In my opinion most modern bikes climb tech way better when fully open. I don't ride much fire road where I live. It's all fast single track. If I lived in a winch and plummet area I might think differently, but I doubt it.
  • 1 0
 @Rammet: one thousand percent!!
  • 1 0
 @Blackhat: brilliant
  • 1 0
 on technical trails for bikes that are not designed to climb well both open and "trail" or "semi-open" sag too much in many situations, so you end up switching modes a lot. That's why some bikes have a shock (and sometimes shock+fork) remote control on the handle bars.

I personally find that have a bike that can climb great full open is really convenient. Depending on your trails it may or may not matter. Plenty of trails have a uphill that isnt overly technical and does just fine fully locked out, so you lock at the bottom and unlock at the top. Options are nice imo.
  • 1 0
 @ArturoBandini: Tell me you're clueless without explicitly telling me.
  • 3 0
 I just mean that in my experience of riding 20 different bikes over last years, the shock design is the crucial part and that lock outs/ climb switches are not made equal.
  • 2 0
 @ArturoBandini: You're basically describing a Scott Ransom. Very good downhill performance with 170mm of very plush suspension but also decent at climbing thanks to 105% anti-squat at sag.

Plus, it also has TwinLoc, which is the single best way to design a "lockout". It is far superior to a conventional lockout, as it alters both, the effective springrate and damper characteristics.
  • 2 0
 Because a lot of people buy big bikes and then complain they don't all climb like a "insert efficient bike name here." I agree wholeheartedly. And also agree that 'middle' setting on shocks like the ttx, kitsuma, dpx2....are the best for extending climbing because you still get traction but a little firmer pedaling platform. I find the closed setting on many shocks is undesirable no matter what you're going up....it was only put there to say it is there.
  • 1 0
 @chakaping: it depends on which compression valve you have, the blue one is Enduro and the 3rd position firms out very noticeably
  • 1 0
 To dig up an old thread, I just rode my new bike with Rockshox best air shock, Super Deluxe Air Ultimate. The lock out 7 climb Switch on it does pretty much nothing on climbs, I'd fail almost every blind test of "is your shock in climb mode or not". And I run only 180psi. LSC adjuster does more than this lockout. Compared to CCDB coil CS, it's a joke.
  • 1 0
 @calmWAKI: It's not possible because all this lockout does is to close the same needle used for LSC ... Check your IFP pressure for once. Or maybe something was wrong with this particular piece.
  • 14 4
 I still can't wrap my head around how the frame manufacturers allow Cascade to make these links? I do see Santa Cruz stated in 2020 that mounting a Cascade Link will void your warranty - which makes sense to me. But others like Transition say "Its Fine". Definitely a touchy subject to encounter every time they have someone on the phone I expect.
  • 23 1
 I don't really think the companies can do much to stop them making parts.

That said, I 100% get Santa Cruz wanting nothing to do with warrantying bikes with parts that change suspension behavior and forces.

That seems like the right balance to me: "you can do whatever you want to our bike, but don't expect us to fix it"
  • 5 21
flag Muscovir (Feb 21, 2022 at 8:37) (Below Threshold)
 Cascade has apparently falsely claimed on at least one occasion in the past that these links don't void warranty - which is obviously bullshit. A Santa Cruz employee told me that they had to send a cease and desist letter.
  • 41 4
 @Muscovir: Santa Cruz has not sent us such a letter. They have also told a bunch of people different things. Their most recent statement we have seen, which comes from that article that was on Beta was “Yes—if we didn’t design it, we don’t officially recommend it, so it would technically void the warranty. That said, if something completely unrelated were to happen to your bike with the link installed, we’d cover that.”. That statement makes a bunch of sense and is in line with how warranties are supposed to function. This stuff has been figured out in any motorized industry for years and that's how it is in that world too. You can throw whatever you want on your car and your warranty remains in tack, but if that thing you throw on it causes a failure then obviously that wouldn't be warrantied.
  • 3 1
 @CascadeComponents: In the UK it’s pretty widely accepted that if you modify your car in any significant way (e.g. an exhaust or remap) as to alter performance warranty is long gone if the engine, transmission or management fails - which is the most important aspects of a cars warranty or course.

Your links would be much the same - crack the bike anywhere and I have no doubt the links getting blamed for causing additional stress to the frame exceeding it’s design limitations.

Nothing stopping you from removing the link if such a thing should happen of course, we don’t have an ECU logging everything on a push bike so imho warranty isn’t really a realistic issue unless the link causes weird and obvious issues, which I imagine it won’t.
  • 4 4
 @justanotherusername: That's interesting. I'm not familiar with warranties laws in the UK. I would have guessed that they'd be even more lenient because the laws about returns and refunds certainly are. In the US you can completely swap out all the suspension on your vehicle and it won't void the warranty of anything. But if your wild control arms blow off the frame and into the engine that's pretty obviously on you more often than not. Where it gets complicated is determining whether or not it happened because of a manufacturing defect or not. Technically the provider of the warranty is supposed to prove that the control arms blew off because of something to do with the control arm. Usually it's obvious because someone decided to jump their truck. Otherwise it would still be a manufacturing defect and still be covered under warranty. The only way companies can mandate that you use a specific brand of part to maintain your warranty is if they provide replacements for free. This is to prevent companies from saying you have to buy their stuff to keep the warranty while making their parts very expensive.
  • 3 1
 @CascadeComponents: That might be true for the US, although a quick research suggests that even there the situation is a little more complex than that, legally speaking. But that is definitley not how warranties work here in Germany (and most other European legal systems). To put it short: If the product is modified or used outside of the manufacturers specifications, any warranty is void.
  • 6 1
 @CascadeComponents:

interesting comparison.

Without going into an entire book of written though I'll say this.

You're not asking people to upgrade their struts. What you're doing is having people put a lift kit on their truck. Coil overs. Longer stroke and travel. Changes axle angles. You have to add spacers to realign the rear axle. Etc.

So anything that's easily associated with that the manufacturer is pretty likely to deny unless it's a kit they install as a dealer option on their trucks. Axles blow out early. Trans damage due to changed angles. Brake line tears out. Chassis cracks at the mount area. Sway bar damage or mount tears out. Etc.

Seems to me that unless you have agreements with manufacturers in writing that say their frame and bearing warranties will be honored then you should just say you're on your own. People are still going to buy your stuff but at least they'll know there's a 50/50 chance they're on their own if they crack their frame in a non impact situation.

Saying that... I love your stuff. I've recommended it as recently as Sat.

Just thinking out loud referring to my own experiences with warranty claims. I've never owned a stock vehicle.
My wife's forester isn't even stock. And I've run every bike I've owned with different suspension than what was offered by the OE going as far back as running a Jr. T on my hard tail.

I'd be willing to be that the honor to deny rates on warranty claims are probably 8/2 in favor of. And I'd imagine there aren't many that aren't related to someone crashing and trying to pull a fast one.
  • 10 3
 @onemanarmy: We pretty much just tell everyone to email the manufacturer. Always email because then whatever they say is in writing. All the people talking about us telling them one thing or another are people recounting what they have heard from others. The last time we said anything about a warranty to anyone was back when there weren't enough links for manufactures to be bothered and that was actually me telling someone I had called a particular manufacture and was told a specific thing. There are some brands where the answer you get seems to depend on the day also. Personally I think manufacturers should be held accountable for manufacturing flaws regardless of what parts are on the bike, but I also think they shouldn't be on the hook for cosmetic claims because we ride bikes through all manner of debris.

I've actually put a longer travel lift kit on something and had the steering rack warrantied when it started leaking. They didn't care one bit about the suspension modifications. Broken CV axles with that same set up and didn't bother with trying to do any sort of warranty because that happens when you use too much throttle at full droop and haven't dropped the dif and they had 150k on them by then anyway. But lets say you had dropped the dif to keep the CV angle within spec... then it would be pretty likely they would warranty as long as they were still under warranty and you weren't doing something really dumb that the vehicle wasn't supposed to do anyway... which would probably not be the case because not going through all that trouble just to creep around on pavement. In my mind the way that interpolates to bikes is if you put a link on it and then go shred crabapple hits on your trail bike and it cracks then that's not what the bike is made for at all so you'd be assuming that risk. But if your brake mounts crack out of the frame all that should be looked at is were you using a brake rotor that's compatible with the frame.
  • 1 1
 @CascadeComponents: Definitely not saying you're wrong. And definitely not saying I don't agree.

I'd run your stuff if you made something for my current bikes. Unfortunately you don't make links for hard tails or
Cannondales. LOL! I love the staff. Very well designed and thought out and helps a lot of people get to a spot with their set ups they otherwise wouldn't be able to.
  • 4 2
 @CascadeComponents: The control arm on a car while a good comparison to your link as it’s a suspension component doesn’t really work in terms of a warranty comparison - you are unlikely to seek warranty for suspension issues if you know you pissed about with your suspension and if your chassis cracked your warranty is gone.

As I say, modify your engine map and kiss goodbye to warranty for any engine or trans related problems.

A bikes a much more simple system than a car though and unique in that the manufacturer only usually provides warranty for the frame, so modify the frame by changing the link and let’s be honest any structural frame issues could be attributed to this modification.

I will say again though - it’s a non issue really, anyone would surely remove the link prior to any warranty claim if such an event took place.
  • 5 4
 @justanotherusername: If you have a manufacturing defect in a car frame that would be an issue regardless of what parts you have installed on it, it would 100% be covered in the US. The gray area there, and with bikes, is whether or not that modification is what's causing the other bit to fail. If you were to have a bike that's known to be susceptible to a certain manufacturing defect and it happened with your frame but they denied the claim because you had installed part x, y, or z that didn't come on the bike you'd tell them to piss off no? If you believe a link throws your entire warranty in the trash like that then so does installing a coil shock on a bike that was never intended to have one.
  • 3 0
 @CascadeComponents: have to agree to disagree here.

Prove ‘manufacturing defect’ - fit a part to a car and the chassis cracks or is damaged when this is not a known area of failure and what do you think they will say?

Change your link and the chainstay or shock mount cracks - manufacturer will attribute it to the link, increasing travel beyond manufacturer design is totally different to an aftermarket damper, completely different.

Anyway, as I say for the third time, it’s a non issue, remove the link prior to warranty or ask the manufacturer before fitting; non issue.
  • 3 4
 @justanotherusername: I get it's a non-issue for most people, but I also think people should fight for some accountability with manufacturing defects (not cosmetic). If your frame rusts out on a car it's not because of whatever else you've installed. Assuming you didn't grind through the frames coating. If your BB cracks out it's likely due to surface prep or resin being off. I get that it's easy to allude to something causing issues even if you don't know for sure so long as they are somewhat related, but if a warranty were to be denied due to a link being installed that is clearly not link related the manufacturer wouldn't be doing right by their customer. In the US you can only disclaim a warranty for damage caused by an unauthorized part. You can't disclaim it for damage on a whole when there is the presence of an unauthorized part. I guess it sounds like that's not how it is in the UK unfortunately.
  • 1 1
 @justanotherusername:

I've seen this first hand. Back in the day, people started putting these massive sway bars on their civics and integral. The chassis were like freaking cardboard. So those upgraded bars had issues with completely tearing out of the frame. When that happened Honda didn't have anything to do with repairs/warranty servicing on hose issues. They said... you put that part on, not us.

That's why I went with one that not only added the larger bar but reinforced the chassis.

@CascadeComponents, if I'm following right I don't think he's saying it would necessarily kill the entire warranty. It could create complications depending on the company and their individual policies. I think what he's saying is that it could/would void the warranty of the parts directly connected to the link. Which on the much more simple bike over auto is I suppose the basis of the warranty. It's mainly the two triangles you're concerned about with a bike in this case. Unless it's an e-bike.

@justanotherusername I think the gray area he's talking about is why manufacturers would have a hard time denying any claim related to this. Everyone puts parts on their bike that may or may not be an option from the OE. A coil shock instead of an inline air shock. A fork with 10-30mm more travel. Longer seat posts that in theory could create more stress on frame. Etc.

Bottom line... I'd think frame failures related to these parts are pretty minimal and denials are a small fraction of a small fraction.

We're mostly all big boys. Pay to play.
  • 2 0
 @CascadeComponents:

Maybe not super relevant to the warranty discussion, but pro riders run custom links all the time of course. Personally I’m not too concerned with a link causing some catastrophic failure, it’s a small piece of the entire bike. Bike brands experiment a ton with different links before eventually deciding on what they want.

And anecdotally, I’ve been running your patrol link since it became available. No issues.
  • 2 1
 @CascadeComponents: Its not 'like it is in the uk' at all, be sensible - you are making ridiculous assumptions and even more ridiculous comparisons like frames rusting out from fitting suspension parts or bb's cracking - who mentioned anything like this?

I was much more specific - remap your cars ECU and the engine fails for example, or fitting a link to a suspension frame that increases its travel beyond its design intention and the frame cracks, who said
anything about rust or bb's 'surface prep being off'?

@onemanarmy - A coil shock v air shock or different component is completely and entirely different to modifying the function of a frame by physically increasing its suspension travel.

Anyway, this has become some weird conversation about opinion and speculation.

Fitting a link wouldnt bother me in the slightest but if my frame did crack after fitting it and it wasnt a known issue I would either take it on the chin or remove the link so I dont get told to piss off.
  • 3 5
 @justanotherusername: Changing from an air to a coil shock is not that different. If you are slapping bottom really hard you are way more likely to damage your frame than by putting a link on it. That often happens when you throw a coil shock on a bike. There's a reason I don't run air on anything with a shock stroke less than 65mm. Warranties cover everything from structural integrity of the frame to finishes and what not. They don't have a chainstay specific warranty. That's where the comparisons with rust and BB and brake mounts come from. When you buy a new car the entire thing is under a warranty. Not just the engine.

It sounds like what you mean is if something fails that is caused by a specific part then it won't be covered, but if something else fails that's not related then it's still covered, which is true. I think we can all agree your frame won't fall apart simply because you upped travel. Like @sudochuckwalla said, WC racers run different links all the time and they aren't magically splitting bikes in half. I'm not sure why you're so hell bent on your whole warranty being out the door for just one thing. If you don't believe me about the whole "tie-in-sales" thing not allowing companies to require running a specific brand of part give this a read www.ftc.gov/tips-advice/business-center/guidance/businesspersons-guide-federal-warranty-law#Magnuson-Moss. The FTC does have some authority over this stuff after all. Side note, there is a whole section on how lifetime warranties should be advertised.
  • 6 2
 @CascadeComponents: As I say, I will agree to disagree at this point.

You are entitled to your opinion, I am entitled to mine and a frame manufacturer would be entitled to theirs if the frame should fail with one of your links fitted.

By the way, WC racers are essentially company employees, using links provided by said company, I dont think they need to worry about warranty.

I will repeat again for the 4th time just incase you missed it the previous 3 - I dont think this will become an actual issue.
  • 7 3
 How would Santa Cruz even know? Just STFU and put the regular link in before warranty. These are the wonders of keeping quiet
  • 2 1
 @emarquar: would you expect them to warranty a frame if you changed the fork?
  • 4 0
 @CascadeComponents: That is incorrect. If you put on wild suspension and it causes a failure, say something such as a shock tower, they can absolutely deny your warranty (at which point you're SOL until you decide to take legal action) and they have a legitimate case if you try to pursue the MMWA. You do not have a get-out-of-jail free card with Magnuson Moss, if you do crazy things then don't expect for The Act to cover you.
  • 5 0
 Always wander why people stress about the warranty with this link. If your bike breaks put the original back on and santa cruz won't have a clue
  • 2 1
 @CascadeComponents: Yikes dude. You should slow down. Claiming all these things might give people wrong ideas.
  • 5 1
 I think you all need to chill out and read a little deeper into what is written. If a link causes the your frame to crack you're shit out of luck. If a bike has a link on it and the paint bubbles, which is usually covered under warranty, you should expect that to be covered regardless of ANY part that's on your bike unless it happens to spray acid over the frame or something like that. Everyone is out here acting like the only thing warranties cover are structural damage due to suspension links when it covers a billion other things. If everyone just blindly assumes that their warranty can be completely and utterly voided for any one part being on their bike or car or anything in life, then it makes it infinitely easier for the concept of a warranty to be taken advantage when a company decides it doesn't want to cover things.
  • 1 6
flag foggnm (Feb 22, 2022 at 9:17) (Below Threshold)
 I think the bigger mystery is why so many people buy them, rather than tuning their shocks to get the desired ramp. No offense to Cascade, but I think their business shows that mtn bikers will buy anything if you show them a graph that something is 'more.'
  • 5 0
 @foggnm: tuning my shock doesn't increase my chainstay length or travel
  • 2 4
 @CascadeComponents: I’m not sure you are in the best position to ask others to ‘chill out’.

At this point you are almost arguing with yourself.
  • 4 3
 @CascadeComponents: It's the PB Comment section. Telling these people to chill out is about the same as telling a bear not to shit in the woods.
  • 2 0
 I think its good that theres option to tweak your suspension with custom links, i bet that manufacturers tries different options during r&d and settles to golden middle road for consumers ( what works for large user group etc) same as damper tunes, they are made for large audiense but custom tune makes huge difference.
About car warranty, remaped ecu software can void your car engine, gearbox, reardiff warranty but if your ac or radio broke down its still under warranty Smile
Calm down every one, no one is forcing anyone to buy cascade links but for me (and many others) it would be perfect choice (if you could make one for nukeproof mega 275 2017)
  • 1 0
 @CascadeComponents: Thank you for the update. I know for a lot of SC riders (including myself), the warranty is a big part of the affinity for their bikes.
  • 1 0
 @garrisond5: Yes as long as it meets their specs. Most manufacturers say that in fact. Usually as long as you don't exceed their stated travel it's absolutely fine.
  • 7 0
 Well, these work for me. Long time SC rider, and I've previously used Cascade links in a V3 Bronson and V4 Tallboy, and have had this new link in the MX Bronson for the last month. The links suit my riding - I'll run a coil shock where I can and am pretty aggressive, and the increased progression from standard fits nicely with how I want my bikes to feel. I view these items as no different to a multitude of other after market parts available to easily customise how the bike feels and performs.
  • 8 1
 I do love me some custom tuning parts, but that is quite an extreme leverage ratio. And not in a good way. That could cause problems for heavier riders and it will be hard on rear shocks.
  • 4 0
 As a heavier rider, anything over 3:1 and I probably cant set proper sag without exceeding max PSI. Theres no chance this link would work for me, but my guess is it wasn't intended to either and thats fine.
  • 5 0
 This. Those ratios are ridiculously high.
  • 5 0
 RIP your shocks and any level of compression support. You could retune to a firmer compression tune setting but springs rates required will be silly. Leverages this high make zero sense.
  • 2 0
 This. I don't know who though an average linkage ratio of 2.8:1 sounded like a good idea.
  • 2 2
 ok so don't buy it, problem solved.
  • 1 1
 @SimonJaeger: pretty typical leverage ratio for DH bikes actually, that's what gives you 210mm out of a 75mm stroke shock.
  • 8 0
 You'd have to have a death wish to turn 180 on Bronson
  • 1 1
 @thegoodflow: vigilante link about to turn 170mm. Rockit
  • 5 1
 Nice option for those who want to put a 27.5 wheel in the front and bump up the fork travel 20mm too. As long as you don't mind a 42-44mm fork offset instead of 37mm, the Nomad is practically obsolete with this link...
  • 1 1
 Don’t believe the Bronson is rated for a dual crown though
  • 6 0
 Just get a Nomad then?
  • 27 21
 Does subscribing to outside remove these cascade adverts?
  • 20 3
 Sadly the opposite, Pinkbike is now just for adverts, Beta is for content.
  • 15 1
 every god damn link is a press release....
  • 3 0
 Get yourself a pihole. Never see another ad on the web again.
  • 8 0
 Lol, yeah, let's remove all knowledge of the possible options to customize/improve our bikes.
  • 4 0
 @L0rdTom: beta field tests are the worst bike-related content out there tbh. I'd rather have levy read marketing copy than listen to an independent review from 4 medriocre riders drinking shitty beer in a parking lot
  • 1 0
 I personally like it. I don't consider myself a gear nerd but it is good to know about the upgrades out there. They can make a big difference the bike; the custom parts some boutique manufacturers are coming out with these days is pretty cool.
  • 12 11
 Such increase in leverage ratio also requires at least a drastic change of shock settings or even a revalving (especially compression adjusters have much less range than you think). But sometimes it overcomes built-in shock platform (as in RS shocks) and then you get bit more bobbing uphill but a better ride downhill.
The real question is why such links have to exists in the first place, why manufacturers cannot make it right just from the factory? Sure they make compromises but I think then nowadays they are trading downhill performance to gain uphill. All those lively, poppy bikes that feel harsh (or sporty) are just bikes with shocks tuned towards uphill performance.
  • 26 0
 My understanding is that the manufactures need to make their bikes to suit as wide a range of people as possible. These links are only for a small proportion of owners who want to tweak the bikes characteristics to suit them better. Ie. if they are harder on their bikes or just want their bike to ride slightly differently in specific circumstances.
  • 7 1
 I guess manufacturers make bikes for their chosen target market, which means that for chunks of the population, the stock linkage isn't working for them. If you wanted to keep the bike feeling the same, yes you might need a revalve, but actually the point is to make the bike feel different, so you could argue this is an alternative to a revalve. How many people have enough knowledge to know whether they need this or to change their shock parameters is another question altogether.
  • 32 0
 I think this "aggressive riders benefit from these" is part of the marketing strategy for these. Buy one and _you are_ an agressive, advanced rider. Way more rad than the average joe.
  • 2 1
 @bikefuturist: On the contrary, good suspension action and small bump compliance is most important for average or little above average riders. EWS-level riders seem to ride very stiff setups and ride so fast that they are on top of things mostly. The combination of high leverage and progressivenes lets normal people have lot's of sag and ride comfortable and plush suspesnion.
  • 1 0
 @bikefuturist: they're a small company, presumably not selling huge numbers of these things, presumably not many to noobs and average Joes. I think it would be interesting if, say, Trek sold links like this as an option - how many people would actually admit that they're an average Joe and not order their bike with the aggressive link?...
  • 2 0
 @drelley15: its exactly this. Cascade is designing links for a niche market and is fine with meeting the needs of a few. Santa Cruz needs to design a bike that works well for a large spectrum of folks to maximize their sales.
  • 2 0
 They exist because 3% of the riding population rides way harder than the other 97%. There is a demand.
  • 2 0
 @lkubica: It's harder to use all the suspension on a Cascade equipped bike because of the increased progression.
That's exactly why the manufacturers don't do it. It just won't suit most riders.
  • 3 0
 @mountainsofsussex: I feel like this kind of already happens with geometry adjust / flip chips. Feel like I've barely ever talked to anyone who doesn't run theirs in the mOsT AgGrEsSiVe setting. Or look at the buzz around the Evo versions of the specialized bikes vs the non-evo versions. I think you're absolutely right that most ppl don't want to think of themselves as an avg Joe (not that there's anything wrong with that I guess).
  • 1 0
 Such increase in leverage ratio requires a longer lever. The increase in 'chainstay' length alone, +6mm for Bronson.4, is significant for ease of weighting front in sweepers and steep ascents. Despite the need to increase shock pressure by 10-15psi, the longer lever overcomes seal friction more easily. The stock rockers must be designed for heavier riders who want their bikes to feel more lively at lower speeds--shorter stay. While Cascade rocker isn't a bargain, it's cheap relative to the cost of a longer chainstay. Downsides: no grease fitting, heavier than stock by about 35g
  • 6 0
 To say 42% progression is fine for air and coil shocks is nonsense. A specialist company like cascade shouldn’t be talking BS to try sell a part to everyone in every scenario. An air shock with this progression and amount of travel will be either a saggy mess or never reach full travel. 42% is heavy progression for a coil with this much travel - more than DH racers use.
  • 4 0
 @EarIysport: Super deluxe coil with no volume spacers reached full travel on the local trails just fine. It sounds stupid, but it's not. DH bikes have much longer shock strokes so they don't need as much progression to get the same bottom out resistance out of a shock.
  • 1 0
 @bikefuturist: i used to have a mate like u.
  • 1 0
 "why manufacturers cannot make it right just from the factory"

Lots of them did. Just because Cascade makes links that are different does not mean they are better. Some brands run lower leverage curves that will work just fine with Cascade links (First Gen SBG Transitions are a great example). Others (like Santa Cruz and Specialized) run curves that are already quite high. Raising the leverage curve further (like this 180mm like) will just make your bike ride like a sack of marshmallows.
  • 1 0
 @RoboDuck: It doesn't though. Unless you've ridden a bike with this particular curve, which there aren't many of, it's very hard to comment on how exactly it will ride.
  • 1 0
 @CascadeComponents: 'There's a reason I don't run air on anything with a shock stroke less than 65mm.'--because a coil is less likely to fail outright? You'd use coil on a 5010.4 with your link at 130mm travel?

Here I was thinking that Santa would maximize the potential of Bronson.4 and that it might not be worth it to make a link, but they left even more on the table. Bravo
  • 3 0
 @ceecee: The reasoning for not running a coil with a shock stroke less than 65 is because the amount of energy the spring can store is proportional to the compression squared. So a 65mm stroke shock is about 40% harder to bottom out than a 55mm stroke shock with the same spring rate just due to the stroke alone. That amount of energy drops off super quick too. If you look at a 45mm stroke shock, the 65 (again with the same spring) can store a little more than double the energy in the spring. So for a bike like the 5010 with a 50mm shock, I wouldn't run a coil because it would make it next to impossible for me to get the bottom out resistance I want out of it without making the entirety of the stroke really stiff.
  • 1 0
 @EarIysport: Some of these air shocks, like the Mara Pro with the big can, are quite linear actually.
Also, if you calculate progression from 30% - 95% which is considered more applicable (if not more common) the stock Bronson has 13% progression stock (too low ime), the ST has 19%, & the LT has 30%. None of those are too progressive for an air shock imo.
Based on my my Cascade equipped SJ Evo which ends up with about 16% progression (from 30-95%) I still have to stuff my Mara Pro full of volume spacers and divide the can in half to get enough ramp up.
Personally I'd like to test a bike with an air shock in the mod 20s progression (once again, measured from 30-95% travel).
  • 2 0
 @CascadeComponents: got it--energy gets glossed over. I'm using air with Bronson.3 and 5010 links, so the misstatement alarmed me. Cheerio
  • 1 0
 I’m in the process of setting up my Bronson now and I’m running my pressure pretty low to get the feel off the top I want but I’m blowing through my travel quickly. Should I just add volume spacers? Would one of these links help?
  • 6 1
 Play around with damping and volume spacers and see if you can get a good balance. If you find that you're not getting what you want out of combinations of those then yes the link will help.
  • 2 0
 I think you would like trying a megneg first. The larger negative volume will help get the shock into the travel but the larger pressure overall in the positive chamber will help with mid and bottom out support
  • 1 0
 Thanks I’ll check it out, probably just try some spacers first. The setup feels great I’m just going through most of the travel without any big hits, more pressure felt a little harsh early stroke tho
  • 1 0
 I mulleted my old carbon Tallboy just for fun. It turned out kinda fast and fun.
Then I put the 29” wheel back on- holy crap, guess I didn’t know what I was missing. The front end felt like it was on pavement! Steering was super precise. Like stock.
If a bike has a handling problem that can be fixed with a linkage (1980’s Honda MX bikes..) great. But if it ain’t broke..
  • 5 3
 can't wait to read Pinkbike Comment section Engineers explaining why Cascade components engineers are better or worse than Santacruz Engineers
  • 9 1
 No one is better or worse, their designs have different intended end results. One is a bike produced to make the most people in the market satisfied as possible, the other is targeted at a very specific market segment.
  • 4 1
 Why don't they make one for older Bronson frames. That seems a better market because those users might want something new.
  • 1 0
 ..and, if you need more progression because you floor your properly set up Bronson off every tree root, then you can always go to an air shock. Endless options with psi and tokens.
  • 2 0
 I wanted a link to mullet my Megatower and increase the progression. Instead maybe I'll have to get a Bronson and run this link!
  • 4 3
 So basically, turn ur Bronson into a mulleted Nomad. Thank you Cascade Components, very cool! - would love to see some more links for Commencals in the future
  • 2 2
 So it would be possible with the link to ride a 29" wheel in the rear?
  • 1 1
 I don't know about the latest Meta but the previous one has no room for travel increase because seatstay bridge will hit the seat tube. At full compression there's 5-6mm left. Same is true inside the front triangle, the clavicle rests at only 6mm from the seat tube. They would need to make both new clavicle and new seatstay. Just buy Transition Spire, Norco Range or Nicolai G1 at this point... It's easier to convert Meta AM to TR.
  • 4 0
 Based on no science, I whacked a 650b in the back of my TR 29, replaced the shock bushings with inverted offset bushings (thanks to red loctite) and lowered the stem 5mm. I did some measuring and found the BB was 4mm lower. No increase in travel obviously.

For my simian skeleton it's a much better fit as I was close to getting a Maxxis tattoo on my arse.

A dozen rides in, the bushings haven't moved, no pedal strikes, muchos fiesta!
Probably much slower and a million reasons not to do this but this isn't my EWS breakout year anyway.
  • 4 3
 @Steventux: all this mulletry and general geometrical "optmizations" would be much easier if more companies had Banshee style drop outs. Of course then the client would have to be numb to general antisquat theory of everything. It's a abit of the bummer that most bikes are not transformable and when you use 230 shock (or 210 trunnion) there are many options to run different travel lengths
  • 3 0
 @calmWAKI: Yeah I really don't think either Meta needs more travel, maybe just some more progression. I would really like to see a 180mm Clash link.
  • 2 2
 @ChristianToole: Meta has a rather long upper link and long clavicle. It's not possible to make it progressive in any noticeable manner. EXT with hydraulic bottom out or Air shock with extra tokens is the only way. If anything I'd like 10-15mm longer stays on it. It's weird they made such short stays given they have Clash and Furious as park bikes, so if someone wants more pop of jumps, they simply buy a different Commie.
  • 1 0
 @ChristianToole: I would LOVE a link for the clash. Bump up travel to 180 or 190mm and progression wayyyy up. Furious too cos why not.
  • 2 0
 @NoahJ: why not just buy Furious if you want 190 clash? For folks under 180cm tall it will have as goos effective seat angle as Clash. It looks better in my opinion and is sturdier.
  • 1 0
 @calmWAKI: I am probably gonna buy a furious, but I feel for freeride there is no advantage to having 170 in the back when you have a 180 fork. Mostly I just want a bike thats 190/190 because that seems sick.
  • 1 0
 @NoahJ: I have seen a polished version with Öhlins kit and it is in top 3 most spectacular bikes that I have ever seen.
  • 1 0
 @calmWAKI: those yellow coils....
  • 4 1
 Please bring out a trek slash link
  • 1 1
 I own a new Slash, curious to understand why? What do you dislike or want changed?

Erik
  • 1 0
 This intrigues me. Stock travel is 150mm. Can bump it up to 160/170 with same shock then 170/180 with longer stroke. 180mm would make for an amazing park bike
  • 2 0
 @CascadeComponents will we ever see one of these links to make a Megatower into a mullet in the future perhaps?
  • 2 0
 Make a status link please
  • 2 1
 Make a link for the new Rocky Mountain Element plz. It could use some more progressive linkage.
  • 2 1
 My brain combined this and the article above. "Brosnan Link to upgrade your Broken Ankle"
  • 7 8
 can you please stop posting this worthless updates pinkbike? cascade components releases a new link seemingly every week.
people can check their website to see if they make one for a specific bike.
  • 1 4
 Hard agree. Or at least stuff them into one of the listicles along with the other stuff most ppl don't care about.
  • 1 1
 @bkm303: just because you’re not one who maxes out their bike when riding and sees no use in this doesn’t mean there are not people out there who actually can and would be interested in a product who allows them to push said bike a little further. I get it not everyone knows how to really ride a bike ;-)
  • 1 2
 @gspottickles918: or maybe it's just that these announcements are completely irrelevant to the 99.9% of people that don't own (or want to modify) a V4 Bronson, or whatever bike they happen to be tweaking this week.

Glad you really know how to ride a bike though, we're all proud of you buddy.
  • 1 0
 I never said that buddddy.. Just wanted to call you out for being a Negative Nancy.. 99.9%?? LOL ya ok @bkm303
  • 2 0
 I want a nomad 5 to be mullet too.
  • 2 1
 Holey shiitake - new bike day with the Bronson.
  • 1 0
 Love the dedication to the rockfox setup
  • 1 0
 Commencal Clash link please!!!!
  • 1 0
 This is now the ultimate bike holy fuck
  • 2 1
 Bronson going in deep!
  • 1 1
 +6mm chainstay = less snap, harder manuals etc
  • 1 1
 loses the point of a mullet then?
  • 2 4
 Wish there was an option to turn off Cascade articles in preferences.
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