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Cascade Components Announces V4 Santa Cruz 5010 Linkage

Jun 1, 2021 at 16:31
by Cascade Components  
Black link installed on bike

Press Release: Cascade Components

We are excited to announce our most recent addition to our link lineup! Our new Santa Cruz 5010 link brings the alterations we have made to the kinematics of other Santa Cruz models to the 5010 with the addition of a new adjustment. The link employs a flip chip that, instead of creating minor geometry changes, alters travel by 10 mm. What this yields is a link that can be set to 130 or 140 mm of travel with the stock shock. These two settings correspond to 31% and 29% progression, respectively, compared to 24% with the stock link.

Flip chips

As a bonus, for those that are interested in Bronson-like travel numbers, increasing the shock stroke to 55 mm results in 140 or 150 mm of travel depending on flip chip setting. So there are options... lots of options. Each setting improves on bottom-out resistance and small bump sensitivity. Due to travel changes, how they feel in the mid-stroke range varies. The short travel (ST setting) has a hair less ramp than the long travel (LT) setting, but because the ramp occurs over a smaller amount of wheel travel, the mid-stroke brings more pop. The LT setting has even better bottom out and small bump than the ST setting, but because of the travel increase, the mid-stroke range has a little less pop. If you look at mid-stroke support as a percentage of travel used during something like a berm or g-out, both settings will use a similar percentage of travel, but with the LT setting this correlates to more wheel travel to get to that point.

photo
The link is available in black, red, and silver

Specs and Details:


• 140/130 mm of travel (LT/ST settings with stock shock)
• 150/140 mm of travel (LT/ST settings with 210x55 shock)
• Progression increased to 31/29% (LT/ST) compared to 24% with stock link
• +5 mm chainstay length
• Sealed Enduro MAX bearings
• CNC’d from 6061-T6 in the USA
• Colors: Black, silver, orange
• Cost: $337 USD.

Leverage curve comparison

Whether you are looking for more boost at the jumps, softer landings, less chatter, or a bit of everything, this link has something for you.

photo
Jumping bikes in the woods

For more information click Product page.

Author Info:
CascadeComponents avatar

Member since May 21, 2019
26 articles

184 Comments
  • 79 1
 Does this mean I can finally buy a 5010 and put a 40 on it?
  • 42 1
 No one is stopping you
  • 24 0
 5050 chance of success
  • 2 3
 @CascadeComponents: Whats next? A custom link for the Starling Murmur?

/sarcasm
  • 5 1
 @Jimmy0: more like 50 to 10 chance
  • 50 6
 I don't get the haters on this. The link I installed on my transition scout made a world of difference. I used to have to run below recommended sag because I was bottoming out all the time with full volume spacers so I had to over pressurize to compensate. I snapped two sets of the mounting bolts before I got my link. Now my bike rides higher in the travel. I can use the recommended amount of sag and have more traction as a result and without bottoming out. I also could remove the volume spacers for a smoother rebound feel. Before my bike felt it was wallowing in the travel and now it feels poised, and for less than a new shock would cost. I think these links are great for certain riders in that situation. Solved all my suspension woes.
  • 57 10
 They always love to hate something they've never tried it seems. Good to hear you're liking the Scout link!
  • 24 23
 Just PB trolls. I don't think anyone really cares that Casecade Components makes links that increase progression and cost more than other pieces of CNC metal chunks. I mean why would it bother anyone that you have an extra $300-$360 to spend. In the space of two weeks, I put a CC link on my 2019 Process 153 and hit the buy button on GX AXS to replace my XO1. PB trolls don't like it when you spend your money on stuff you WANT. PB trolls only like when the stuff they WANT cost less than a PBR Family Pack. I didn't need a set of 32" Nitto Ridge Grapplers on my new to me LX470 that only sees the grass/gravel parking lots at the trailhead. I wonder how many PB trolls run mall crawler Tacoma/Tundra/4Runner/TJJKJL/GX/LX Overland mall crawlers with recovery equipment, rooftop tent, etc.

My G2 Process has a similar leverage curve to your Scout. I got all the same benefits. I probably didn't NEED the link, but I like my Process even more for all the improvements you described. Can't wait to throw on a Marzocchi CR w/a progressive coil now that I have kinematics that will work with a coil.
  • 12 1
 @Texicans: Hell ya amen. If we are being real I don't even NEED a mountain bike but people forget that this is a fun hobby.
  • 7 0
 @CascadeComponents: I also love my Scout link! Works wonderfully and stopped my from looking at more new bikes that I don't really need.
  • 6 0
 I installed the link on my v1 sentinel because I had to do the same. It made a world of difference. Good on Cascade Components for coming up with simple solutions.
  • 10 1
 @CascadeComponents: Keep making cool stuff, and offering exceptional customer service. You’re stuff rocks, and I’ll happily let anyone test ride my Sentinel to see how they like it.

Was wondering if you guys had any “mistakes” you’d like to sell as desk art?
  • 7 1
 @CascadeComponents: Does the bike manufacturers hate on you guys for making their bikes better?
  • 3 0
 @Texicans: U'd man everyone wants to be!!!!@
  • 3 0
 @CascadeComponents: I know it’s new, but any plans to make a longer travel link for the Kenevo SL? I’d like to have 180mm and to maybe raise the bb a touch since I’m going to run 27.5 on it.
  • 3 0
 @Twenty6ers4life:

I have asked that as well. It’s a bit boutique. They may wait to see what the demand looks like. But fingers crossed
  • 1 0
 @Twenty6ers4life: Is not a linkage that you want, it is a longer i2i shock!!
Will it fit?
  • 2 0
 @RuckusRipzzz: What haters?
  • 1 0
 My friend who has a transition scout with the deluxe shock build said his link wouldn't fit with the stock shock. Seems like something they should have checked with before announcing that it works with "all stock suspension".
  • 1 0
 I also have the deluxe. Used a file and took off about 1mm around the top of the air can so the link would have enough clearance and it's worked great since. They also offered a refund to me and have since updated their site. But ya was depressing at the time.
  • 1 0
 @Texicans: I'd say 8/10 do.
  • 34 10
 “How to make a legendary bike even less playful then SC did in the last iteration” or “I just bought the wrong bike”
  • 14 0
 I go to bed dreaming of the V3 5010
  • 3 0
 this. if you need or want one of these links, cool. and its cool someone is making options, but in the example of the 5010, idk. I had a 2018 or 2019 5010, and I got it because it was a short travel fun bike. I am 5'8 215lbs and never once wanted to change anything about it. It was the bike it was designed to be. At the end of the day though, its nice to have options and do you to make you happy.
  • 3 0
 I went from large v2 to medium v4. Maneuverability is not a problem, as additional wheelbase is easily handled by shorter rider compartment. Removing a spacer from stock shock and adding 10psi also yields a plusher ride w/o downsides, for those not looking for extra stay length or travel
  • 2 1
 @jason475: I hear ya. Love the bike you brung, right? Where I see some great value in something like this is a year or two after a person has bought a bike and starts getting that N+1 itch. This link might allow that person to scratch the itch for more travel, more progressivity, etc. without buying a new whip. Hell, if you look at it right, buying this link rather than adding a bike to the stable is a person doing his/her part to save the environment.
  • 6 0
 Have ridden the previous generation 5010, and own the current generation 5010. It's still a big BMX. Adding progression means you can easily swap a bit of PSI and go between having a sending setup and a setup for lazier trail days. I tossed a megneg on mine and it's honestly great. When I first saw the new geo for the 5010, was definitely a little down that it looked like they made another trail missile. I'm very pleased to report it's just better in most regards. It's a mini-DH bike when you point it down. It's a big bmx when you want it to spin. Try one out, you'll come away pretty stoked.
  • 1 0
 @enurjetik: agreed
  • 26 4
 "As a bonus, for those that are interested in Bronson-like travel numbers" - buy a Bronson!
  • 6 3
 can I buy a bronson and put 29" wheels on it and a 120mm fork?
  • 11 1
 Yeah, cuz those are just laying around at SC's warehouse and not sold.
  • 4 0
 For me the Bronson at 160/150 is a bit too much. A 140/140 5010 might be a sweet spot for those wanting a little more from the 5010.
  • 6 0
 Come back to this comment in like 2 weeks...
  • 1 0
 @voghan: People have cut/removed the travel spacer in the shock to extend the travel, I have heard the resulting travel with the 55mm stroke is 143mm of rear travel. I haven't done it to my 5010 because I'm not sure I need it.
  • 1 1
 @jlauteam1: I haven't done it because you can't go back. This at least you can take off and not have to buy a new shock.
  • 7 0
 @voghan: You know you can buy the travel reducing spacers for $5-10 right?
  • 1 1
 @lefthandohvhater: cough mullet cough
  • 1 0
 @Texicans: can't tell if you're being serious. They actually are. No one wants the fun wheel size because apparently we're all pro racers now.
  • 1 0
 @sikeitsryan: Actually I didn't know that. Reading the forums on this topic sounded like you couldn't reverse it.
  • 1 0
 @voghan: Totally reversible! It is a little more difficult than cutting it off as you'd have to take apart the shock but if you're not comfortable doing it yourself your LBS should be able to do it for a reasonable cost.
  • 10 2
 I tried it on my V4 Nomad, my opinion is the stock bike feels much better. Tried it on pedal runs, East coast DH rocky runs, several sized jumps. My conclusion is the stock setup was more lively over bumps and bobbed less than Cascade linkage while pedaling, with Cascades modded shock settings and several other setup settings.
  • 7 2
 I tried one on my Hightower and felt the same. It did absorb a little more chatter and rear end did track a bit better, but the pedaling felt really inefficient and the bike lost a lot of its pop and “playfulness”. It kinda just deadened the bike for a little extra squish. It also made the bike so, so low. If I wanted an enduro 29er Santa Cruz bike I would have bought the megatower
  • 21 6
 Here's my feedback to both of you. It sounds like sag might have been a little lower than ideal. Because the link is more progressive, a hair less than 30% is the sweet spot. If you run too much sag it will sit deeper in it's travel where pedaling and square edge performance are negatively impacted. These happen to be two of my personal bikes. For less descent oriented riding on the HT I can see the stock link being preferable because that link does drop the BB a hair. Other than that, with the shock dialed it doesn't feel any more mushy or less poppy than the stock one. A properly set up shock with the Nomad link is quite a bit better than the stock one regardless of what you throw at it though. If you found it harsh on small bumps then something is definitely off because that's something it excels at more than anything.
  • 3 0
 I love it on my v4 nomad, I mainly wanted it for the increase in chainstay length but it is ,to me, all positive in the way it feels.

I can’t speak for what it’s like on a shorter travel bike.

I wish they made it for the v3 5010 , I had to run so much pressure in the dpx2 that it was insanely harsh. Put an x2 on and it’s a bit better but the bottom out resistance isn’t the greatest
  • 5 1
 @CascadeComponents:
Tried 3 different sags, including stock 30%. Tried 3 different tire pressures as well including my stock 29 psi.
Multiple shock pressure settings, changed compression and rebound as well.
I even let the shock cool between some of the runs so heat soak wasn't a factor.
I just did not feel better or felt the added travel.
  • 8 2
 @Fifty50Grip: 27% sag, no volume spacers, and two clicks of LSC added over what you would run with the stock link is what you'd want to try. You're an outlier when it comes to the affects of the link so there's got to be something going on that's different there.
  • 3 0
 @CascadeComponents: I have your link on my V4 nomad alongside a shortened DHX RC4 (230x65) and it’s pretty amazing, the climbing position is better than my V2 5010cc and the DH performance is crazily close to my DH bike, I’m pretty stoked by your link
  • 1 0
 @CascadeComponents: appreciate the feedback! I did adjust sag, just couldn’t quite make it feel they way I wanted it to. Heading to Whistler in a couple weeks so maybe I’ll throw it on and try it again, as it did make the bike feel more capable on big hits.
  • 1 0
 @Newfaces: Interesting review. I wonder if it is just the bike doesn't take to these mods well. I am about to install this link on my META AM 29 and I am hoping that the simpler suspension design lends itself well to this. i have yet to see a review of this link on the META AM 29.
  • 11 0
 I like options!
  • 7 1
 I've run 2 of their links on 2 different bikes. After playing with setup (back to back runs on the same trail changing pressures and clickers), it was significantly better on both bikes. I've just pre-ordered their Offering V2 link and I'm pretty stoked about it. Manufacturers have come a long way with designing progression into their linkage designs. A linear link dependent on air suspension is not the move. A highly progressive link with air suspension works incredibly well.
  • 7 1
 One thing most folks aren't considering...these links are cheaper than a shock upgrade. Cheaper than a Super Deluxe, DPX2, X2...and especially Push and more expensive options. I've run a cascade link on my Sentinel V1, Nomad v4, and now 2021 Stumpy Evo. Heavy, aggressive rider that likes big jumps and pumping. They are the shit for that use case. Don't hate until you try.
  • 1 0
 I have a push 11-6. It’s badass and 4x more expensive and I justified that purchase!
  • 1 0
 Not when you factor in selling your old shock. No one wants to buy your old link.
  • 1 0
 @ninjatarian fair point for sure. I guess it also depends on your old shock, as it seems like no one wants to buy OEM shocks for more than $300 or so...at least pre-pandemic supply chain issues. At that price, the link/new shock does net out.

@chileconqueso - I had a Push 11-6 on my sentinel v1 before I got the link. Once I got it...I realized the Push was solving for problems that I felt the link itself solved. I swapped back to the stock DPX2 for a bit and realized I LOVED the ride with the stock air shock and the link. So I ended up selling my Push and just running an OEM take off X2 Performance Elite from a Sentinal v2 with the link. It was a nice middleway between the plushness of the push (definitely missing a bit with the DPX2 and link, not far off though) and the poppiness I was looking for. So...just one anecdote, but it's worth considering.
  • 1 0
 @robotdave: I bounced back and forth with and the 11-6. i liked them both. With the 11-6 i can tune it for more jumpy stuff and rough stuff. The two circuits are pretty great if you set them up very different. I have a trail hoon mode and a super rough downhill mode. Its neat that these options exist. The link and push.
  • 21 16
 it would be intresting to test this kind of components "blindly" without knowing which bike is equiped, and by riders from all kind of levels and skills.
I am sure the results would be that nobody notice this kind of differences in the bike geometry, and most of us should keep these stupid 337$, and spend somewhere else
  • 15 1
 Ya, so, personally, it was less about the change in geo and more about making the change to increased bottom out on my trek remedy. Have to say, the link is HANDS DOWN a HUGE improvement over the stock bike, you notice it everywhere, especially when sending 'er deep. Hats off to Cascade, they are a "boutique brand" if you will, and definitely do not appeal to everyone. However, a blind test would easily result in riders clearly knowing the difference, it's a significant and substantial improvement. I guess it also depends how you ride, if you're not pushing the limits, then yeah, you wouldn't notice a damn thing. ~progression~
  • 6 0
 Leverage rate differences aren’t subtle, it’s entirely possible that you suck
  • 5 3
 Most people who buy these things will of course disagree, but basic human nature would suggest that there is probably some of this going on. If you spend $300 on a product that tells you it will make your bike more supple, bottom out less, jump better, etc, etc, then of course most people are going to put it on their bike and say it feels more supple, bottoms out less, etc.

I think if you made various links that change the suspension is all different ways and let average people ride them blindly, many would have a very hard time pinpointing exactly what each link was actually changing.
  • 2 1
 This is my belief too. Unless some people are just insane with feeling the tiniest differences. I'd love to get some blind tests and see what people actually notice. Of course when you spend $300 you're going to tell yourself the bike feels way better lol. Not to knock the product but PB should really do some tests since these links sure seem to be popular. More options is always better so kudos to CC for providing that, and they sure are beautiful.
  • 11 0
 @DylanH93: We believe the changes the links create are very apparent and will happily provide machined links that are a carbon copy of the stock one for a blind test so that it would be extremely hard to visually identify them on a bike. That said, there are reviews done by reputable sites for the Nomad link, Process 153 link, Sight link, and Sentinel link out there.
  • 4 0
 @DylanH93: When I installed a CC link on my V1 Sentinel I was able to tell the difference immediately just by sitting on the bike for the first time, with the shock aired up to the same PSI as the stock link. The difference for this bike is anything but subtle. Then, once I lowered the PSI, reset the sag and actually rode the bike, the differences are even more apparent.
I get you're suspicious of confirmation bias, but do some searching and you will find very few, if any negative reviews about their links across a wide range of bikes.
If I felt bamboozled by CC with their claims, I would have been all over these forums telling people not to waste their money, as would many others.
  • 3 0
 @DylanH93: I did a back to back with stock to Cascade 3 runs each(first stock) then back to stock for the final. Blew my mind with the difference. Was comparable to swapping a DPS to X2 on my old Mach 5.5, just made the bike ride higher, bottom out less and overall easier to have fun on up or down. When you're talking about $250 (on my '21 EVO) that's the cost of 3 tires with huge gains. But that's my experience... go get yours
  • 5 2
 @tolyho: But I think his point is that you know what you are riding. You know you changed the link and what they tell you its supposed to do. You are going to want it to feel more fun so its likely going to feel more fun. That would be the point of a blind test, to eliminate confirmation bias. Of course no one believes that they could be subject possibly fall victim to confirmation bias or a placebo effect, but years of research of all kinds would say otherwise.
  • 2 0
 @sino428: I think most people really do underestimate how much that bias of knowing its an upgrade, let alone wanting to justify the money you paid, can have an effect. It certainly affects me with upgrades. One of the most mind blowing things I've ever experienced was a blind folded beer tasting contest at a party. Most people literally couldn't tell the difference between a bud light and a Guinness. It was insane how wrong most people were. The only ones who were even semi accurate were a few women there. Unless we're talking about a pro, I really doubt most people would be able to tell in a true blind experiment. But maybe I'm just super imperceptive haha, always a possibility!
  • 2 0
 @DylanH93: The difference is not subtle and not only noticeable to a pro. As soon as someone is willing to do a legit blind test we will provide the links. All the pessimism around changing kinematics drives me crazy. So few people out there have tried swapping links, yet there are countless that are so sure that it's completely pointless. What about custom shock tunes? Do only pros notice those too. There's this strange double standard where things shock related are fantastic and well worth the while, but a link that could very well actually have a more profound impact on how the bike rides is not.
  • 3 0
 @CascadeComponents: With regards to custom shock tunes I think the answer in my mind would be exactly the same. Some might notice, many wouldn't even be able to tell the difference, and many think they are seeing an improvement simply because they are being told its an improvement.
  • 3 0
 @CascadeComponents: hey sorry if my comment was coming off as too negative. I think the custom links you guys make are awesome. Definitely didn't mean to say they're pointless or anything. I would absolutely love to see some blind tests, maybe double blind if possible since that can have an effect too. I mostly meant in general that people vastly over estimate how big a change is when they're aware of it. Like I said, maybe I'm just not very perceptive. But in the past I've been pretty shocked at how big of an effect bias can have on people's perceptions. I'd love to see some blind tests with forks, shocks, tires, custom links, etc.
  • 3 0
 @sino428: well said. Not to say there isn't any difference. But for your average rider, I'd bet the difference in perception from being aware of the change is far bigger than the actual difference from the change itself. Not that there isn't a physical change, but your mind is having a far far larger effect. And that goes for pretty much most components on the bike.
  • 7 1
 Back in my bike shop days we used to piece together chains from quick links and the excess links of newly installed chains, shame you can't do that with all these discarded stock links. #linkbike
  • 5 1
 Can confirm - cascade link worked wonders for V3 Bronson.
More supple off the top and no more harsh bottom outs. Solved all of my complaints about the stock leverage rate on that bike.
Was it worth $300something? I think so.
it's a practical solution to a problem that would otherwise be near impossible to remedy.
  • 1 0
 Good to know, I have the same issue even with the megneg..
Which shock do you use?
cheers
  • 1 0
 @Ets27: I am still using the stock superdeluxe with the stock air can. I had put the maximum amount of volume spacers in it to increase spring rate progression to help with bottom-outs but it killed small bump sensitivity and the mid-stroke was too supportive.
The Cascade link allowed me to remove all but the GnarDog (I think that's what they call it) spacer and now I can set my sag to ~20% without bottoming out too often.
Again - I understand that it is a pricey bit and it's not an exciting, flashy upgrade, but it made a noticeable difference to the V3 Bronson. I would buy it again.
  • 10 6
 Why doesn't the manufacturer just like, build a good link in the first place? How can someone in a shed make something that apparently does everything better and Santa Cruz just didn't think of it?
  • 7 2
 In this case, it's not really better. It's different. May suit some riders, but stock link is already good. Some other bikes made are way worse than a santa since the lower shock position.
  • 4 1
 they design these bikes to cater to a wide variety of riders. When you're a heavier rider or more aggressive rider, or a heavy aggressive rider, being able to add progression to your suspension curve can improve your ride quality without sacrificing your small bump sensitivity and traction.
  • 2 1
 Because its not generally better, its different. Its just a different option if you want to change the ride characteristics of your bike. "better" is subjective based one what each rider is looking for. I think its great that they make these things to give people options, but marketing them as making everything "better" is a little silly. Clearly the designers at every major bike company know what they are doing and made their bikes the way they are for a reason.
  • 6 2
 @Ironchefjon: it's allowed to say fat in pinkbike comments, most people who are implied with heavy and are in this category and ride mtb don't mind being called fat.

They have good self respect and self assessment. Incidentally a lot of those people live, ride and buy mtb in north America, so Cascade and Santa Cruz cater to them both.

Calling people heavier, more aggressive, misses the point most of the time. They are fat, they like to ride a bike with proper suspension. That's life, so what.

Beating around the bush doesn't help anyone.
  • 2 1
 @Wheeeliemann: it isn’t really about weight so much as how hard you are thrashing the bike. Heavier riders who don’t ride aggressively aren’t going to benefit from this.

I weigh 80kg at 1.8m so definitely not fat but was still hitting hard bottom outs while running proper sag and with bigger tokens. Putting on a cascade link kept ride quality good on small bump stuff and offered the bug ramp up to prevent hard bottom outs.
  • 1 0
 xc oriented trail bikes are probably designed with less progression in mind and this is where shock spacers or a revised linkage might be beneficial, if your personal bias is towards hard descending on the bike. an enduro leaning trail bike might have greater progression from the start and thus "need" less of a revision.
  • 1 0
 I don't have an answer to the first question, but I don't think CC is working out of a shed, lol.

They are a part of these two entities:

dive-xtras.com
claroworks.com
  • 2 1
 Remember, companies like Santa Cruz have to design their bikes to suit what they feel will be the greatest amount of people.. For most people, the stock links maybe just fine.. But, for others, this might be the hot ticket..
  • 2 1
 @lumpy873: nobody’s trying to make vanilla middle of the road bikes that will suit everyone especially not Santa Cruz. There’s a decades old arms race in mountain biking to make the fastest and bestest in each category. The bike industry doesn’t care if your not good enough to take advantage of how good bikes are getting these days. They’re just going to keep improving and trying to out do the competition. They’re not water them down for the average Joe, those bikes don’t win races and don’t get good reviews. It’s simply a case of cascade having a bigger R&D budget that the whole mtb industry combined and having the time and resources to analyse every bike and fix their suspension for them or maybe not.
  • 3 1
 @thenotoriousmic: last time I checked, Santa Cruz is in the business of selling bikes.. While they may not be trying to sell to everyone like the big 3, they aren't trying to make a bike so narrowly focused that it's only best suited to pro level riders.

Cascade has an idea of what they like and being that a lot of riders like to tinker with their bikes, a product like this makes sense. If I had a 5010, I'd probably look into it, if for no other reason than just to try it and see if I notice anything different..
  • 4 1
 I ride a Kona Process 153 29er with Ohlins Coil front and rear. Recently purchased the Cascade Link and have a couple rides on it. I first installed it with the stock shock (a rock shox deluxe with 3 tokens) and went out at 240 psi.

Wow. The bike was more active and consistent all the way through the travel. Way less chatter from the short rear end and even less noticeable brake jack. Overall, a better investment than most shock upgrades, and the ability to push of it when its already deep in travel is crazy.

I think its hard to realize that frame companies have to make suspension linkages work for a very wide weitght and size range of riders. If you are already 300psi can pressure, then this link may not be for you. Kona made a link that would work for everyone, but it's not going to be ideal for everyone. This is an available option if you're seeking these changes.

Also, Kona specced tiny bearings at the trunnion mount that wear out far sooner than the rest of the bearing kit. The link allows you to run a larger bearing available in max compliment.

It's $350 on a bike I have been riding since end of 2017. Or less than an XX1 cassette which makes no difference. I repair loose $1000 titanium cranksets all the time that make zero impact on riding. This changes the bike for the better.
  • 2 0
 @wolfowner thanks for this! I also have that same bike and have been debating whether to get the Cascade link for my Process 153 or not. Out of curiosity how much do you weigh. I'm 150 and I wonder if it will be too much progression
  • 1 0
 @Fullsend2-13: I made the switch this year.
I'm 152lbs and running a 450lb coil with the CC link, it's worth it. Better pedaling, better traction, way more composed bottom out.
  • 1 0
 @nbburg: awesome to hear! Do yo like how ot track over the rough stuff better?
  • 1 0
 Sorry botched that last sentence.
Do you like how it tracks over the rough stuff, better compared to the stock link?
  • 1 0
 @Fullsend2-13: I do, but a lot of that has to do with the switch to coil probably. I swapped the link b/c I was mainly having an issue blowing through travel, and I wanted to run coil. 100% recommend it if you're also leaning that direction.
  • 1 0
 @Fullsend2-13:
I weigh about 200. Still haven’t ridden it with my coil because I’m amazed the silly inline deluxe shock feels so good. I’m running more spring rate with less damping, so the shock isn’t as restricted and just moves great.
  • 4 1
 I'm confused, people always say 130 to 140 travel is enough.. And here u go that buy a link to make ur bike travel longer. Why not buy a longer travel in a first place? That's why I bought a 7 in travel bike so that I don't need to add more money or change on my bike.
  • 5 1
 Honestly I think most mountain bikers just have a bit of an upgrade addiction lol. Eventually you find yourself with a hole burning in your pocket and you convince yourself it's time to throw some cash at something shiny.
  • 2 2
 100%. why not just buy the bike you want in the first place instead of trying to make your short travel trail bike ride like a long travel enduro bike. also, not every bike benefits from being more progressive. For example, YT has been making the capra less progressive with each generation, and they still plow through the supple part of travel into the harsh end stroke way too easily.

I think part of the appeal are people trying to have their cake and eat it too—people trying to hope that they can retain short travel benefits, but add long travel as well. There’s always a compromise, and the manufacturers have spent far more money and time researching the kinematics of their bikes than this company has.
  • 4 1
 People get better? Ride faster? Move locations?
A new link is orders of magnitude cheaper than a whole new bike, so why not?
  • 1 0
 Its the progression changes that most folks are after, not necessarily the travel. That's why I've bought these links in the past. Some extra travel really is a bonus.
  • 5 0
 @cascadecomponents can I get an oil slick V1 sentinel link for monies + one pp touch??
  • 3 0
 We don't have any oil slick in the works, but maybe some nickel plated ones soonish. Will accept monies, but don't believe pp touch is considered legal tender.
  • 4 1
 I can't live without my Cascade on my '21 SJ Evo.

That said, is there such a thing as the 'correct' amount of progression? Cause it does seem like CC's position is that more is always better.

Please advise CC.
  • 3 0
 I would say that correct is somewhat relative to the particular person who's riding the bike and intended use. We are always constrained a little by the stock layout hence the variation across our links. Personally I like 35% and wouldn't dip below 25%.
  • 1 0
 @CascadeComponents: thanks. And is that 35% with a coil AND/ OR an air shock or would you prefer something different for these 2 different kind of shocks?
  • 3 0
 @SunsPSD: yes coil and/or air. For purely coil I'd go higher. Actually haven't found the limit for that yet, but right now around 40% is what I like. Shock stroke is a factor too. The shorter the stroke the more progression is desirable. I don't like running coils on bikes with less than a 60 mm stroke shock because the decreased bottom out resistance due to loss of stroke is very noticeable.
  • 4 2
 If you're an average rider then an average bike will probably be fine for you and you wouldn't understand things like the Cascade link. For the rest of us, we are fortunate to have things like the Cascade Link available to us.
  • 4 3
 Wow- so much hate from the pinkbike trolls today.

Aftermarket links don't have to exist. I'm glad to have that option in the marketplace of mtb goods. There are plenty of specific bikes and use cases that would justify (for some people) spending $300+ to try out a new linkage.
  • 1 0
 i cannot offer input on the 510 link. but the Hightwoer V2 link opened up new doors in the handling department. it was a bit of the "should of went with Megatower/bought the wrong bike" dilemma. considering I have my HT at 160/160 now and love it. but 300 for a link vs 3,000 for a new frame is the tits. plus my ht still out climbs out of the box mega's
  • 11 7
 It's called "I bought the wrong bike" link.
  • 11 11
 These links are just way way over priced.

cascade announced a 33% price increase a while back. Thats a huuuge increase.

Before the price increase it was bordering on being over priced, now it just takes the piss.
Of course a company has to make a profit but mark up on these is just too high.
  • 24 8
 Please explain to us your background in CNC and made in USA manufacturing and give us a cost breakdown on how these "are just way way over priced"
  • 10 5
 @NorCalNomad: happy to listen to you break it down please

a sudden 33 percent increase is hard to justify
  • 12 7
 @whatisthecolour: google "burden of proof"
  • 10 9
 @whatisthecolour: Best not to pipe in on subjects you have no clue about. The cost of materials alone probably fills that percentage increase, not to mention the increase in price of all the consumables that it takes to run a CNC machine and create any machined part.
  • 5 4
 don't like it, don't buy it, better yet don't read or comment on the post either! Cheers m8 Smile
  • 8 3
 @NorCalNomad: overpriced ie. Not a good value proposition for the average user. Ie. Not worth the purchase for the performance gain. Nothing to do with the manufacturing process.

If it was selling well, I would imagine economy of scale would become a factor and price would reduce, not increase as they could reduce their cost per piece unit by having it manufactured cheaper and reducing margin of profit per unit due to volume.
  • 2 0
 Their was a podcast with Darren Murphy at PUSH and he mentions that raw materials have gone up big time... I'm sure Cascade is dealing with the same issues..
  • 1 5
flag whatisthecolour (Jun 2, 2021 at 14:47) (Below Threshold)
 @NorCalNomad:

lol these links are clearly a rip off. The high price suggest low volume and low volume suggests no one is buying them.

haha you donkey
  • 1 0
 @CascadeComponents can you please make one for SC Hightower LT? Love to jump on and try one of your product after few years on this frame!
  • 1 0
 What do all these people think a stock link costs? Call Transition and ask for the price on a V2 sentinel link, which is made in big numbers overseas.
  • 3 1
 Why this to dumb it down? People purchased the 5010 because it was snappy!
  • 1 0
 @CascadeComponents Will there be a custom link for possible mullet or more progression for the RAAW Madonna. Would be sick
  • 1 0
 Just wait for the link to go on sale ‍♂️
  • 2 1
 hey its duthie hill mtb park. nice. totally have ridden that trail!
  • 4 3
 In a year or two these links are going to cost more than the frame!
  • 2 0
 Mmm graphs
  • 3 2
 Just buy a Bronson to start with ?
  • 1 0
 Serious question will this help when mulleting a 5010?
  • 1 0
 Unfortunately no, it doesn’t modify the geometry, even with a longer stroke shock. We went mullet on my wife’s 5010 and the initial feedback was it sucked at climbing, improved descending. I am going to tweak it with an offset bushing in the shock and bring the fork travel down to 130mm to help steepen the SA.
This is the third bike I’ve converted for her, but the first one she started asking about going back.
  • 1 0
 @nermol: good to know thanks.
  • 1 0
 @CascadeComponents, please can you make a linkage for a V5 Nomad. Ta.
  • 2 0
 All the progression
  • 1 0
 @CascadeComponents please make a Norco Optic link, thanks!
  • 1 0
 What about the v3? Frown
  • 1 0
 What about Nomad N3?
  • 23 25
 337 dollars just for a link? Am i reading that correct? Pricing is getting insane.
  • 37 5
 You have to factor in cost of CNC machine to make the link, the hourly rate of someone working the machine, the engineering department (or person) who is designing the link. This all costs money and has to be made up somewhere.
  • 51 1
 I receive 337 dollars. You receive squishy
  • 8 4
 @Ryan2949: this is true, but comparing it to other machined parts, it's still pretty expensive.
  • 14 6
 trendy = expensive
  • 15 0
 @danielfloyd: I think there's more engineering involved with suspension linkage/curves/leverage/progression vs a CNC'd stem or pedals. Just think some flat pedals are $150-$400 and require much less engineering and design. Even most CNC'd stems are well over $100.

Not to mention they aren't selling a million of these, so they can't lower the price and make up for it with units sold.
  • 25 2
 @Ryan2949: as a former machinist I can't for the life of me sort out why these are as pricey as they are. Simple shapes and getting tight tolerances is not rocket science nor difficult for these shapes.

Also i think a lot people are convinced they need more 'progression' in their suspension when they really don't
  • 6 2
 @artistformlyknowasdan: I still 100% think these are expensive. But I do think a lot of the costs are in the design stages of it.

These are confusing to me, because I can't see many of their links selling. It's obviously a super niche product, but the only people I can see benefiting from things like this are the 1% of riders who actually notice the difference in their suspension settings lol.
  • 3 1
 £337 for us Brits which equals $477
  • 1 4
 @Ryan2949: dunno about that. Most pedals or stems aren't costing way over a 100$ if we're talking about real world prices. And those that do have to be light and strong. Failure of a pedal or stem can be fatal so there's that.
  • 2 1
 @Ryan2949: I understand there is costs etc to producing these. But when i paid £90 (and i thought that was too much for a bit of metal) for a link for my Bird Aeris to increase travel it makes me wonder how they are making up these prices. I love the fact that bike companies are giving more options for their bikes, i just don't agree anyone should be overpaying for the stuff.
  • 3 1
 Do these void your warranty? I’m wary of how much design is really happening here. Their Forbidden links had fitment issues. It seems like he’s using customers as beta testers but cool product otherwise.
  • 3 0
 @artistformlyknowasdan: a volume spacer is a slightly cheaper method of adding progression, no?
  • 1 0
 @ReformedRoadie: 100% but adding progression via spring vs suspension design could result is a very different result
  • 1 0
 @artistformlyknowasdan: they probably do if they want to use a coil shock but agree, most people don't or wouldn't know why they might need it.
  • 4 4
 And no grease port. But at least it does come with crap bearings
  • 8 6
 @artistformlyknowasdan: this! people just drink the "progressive" kool-aid so hard. I would bet less than half the people that think they need to up the progressivity of their bike, don't even understand what that means...

protip: drastically changing the kinemetics of the bike without changing the shock valving is going to be a bad time, Mkay!
  • 3 1
 @Ryan2949: then the Druid link should have been $5.00 CAD because while they claimed it worked wonders for coils.. the release version didnt work with 99% of the coils out there due to clearance issues. To Cascades credit they were quick to send return labels and issued quick refunds for those that didnt want them.
  • 4 0
 How many of these will they actually sell? How many 5010's are there out there, and what percentage of people that own one want to go this route? Probably around 1%. It's not like they're gonna pump out thousands of them so there's little turn over to make the R&D cost back.
  • 12 2
 @dglobulator: this is the bit that doesn't seem to compute for people. It's not like we are getting batches of thousands made on overseas and the r&d cost can be distributed over all of those. Add in the fact that labor in Washington is expensive these days and you pretty quickly arrive at a high price.
  • 8 1
 @shredddr: Quick run down of my experience with the V1 Sentinel link. Obviously, its just my experience, so grain of salt and all that.

-As soon as I saw that there was a Patrol link, I contacted them directly, they replied 9pmish that night (Jimmy, the guy who runs Cascade, also the lead engineer I believe)
-Asked about a Sentinel link, said it was in the works, weeks went by.
-Got an email saying link would be available, promptly bought, arrived quick, no additional duty
-I’ve been wrenching bikes for a long time, I’ve installed any number of aftermarket items (dangerboy, Blackspire, etc). The tolerances on this link are exceptional. The finish is like jewellery, and the difference it made was noticeable. It helped with what I was looking for, and provided some unforeseen added benefits (climbing traction and suppleness)

It’s not all perfect mind you, to me there is some added flex, or more commonly called nowadays “compliance”, but only really noticeable while climbing on janky baby head size rocky terrain. I’m sure its there while descending, but my style of riding its not noticeable.

Their after service was excellent, several emails back and forth regarding setup, and coil/air options, and with the Transition link, its a fully warrantable change to your bike.

Hats off to both companies for that!
  • 3 0
 @artistformlyknowasdan: Agreed, but given the percentage of riders that in tune with suspension performance, that they're going to be that critical of the difference in progression between altering volume/pressure and spring curve...the cost / benefit is dubious. Which then makes sense for the production scale and resulting costs.
  • 5 1
 I have a Cascade Components link for my Stumpy Evo. (I cannot speak for other frames/links.) It is well worth 300+$. Adding progression to the suspension was a significant improvement, better than any of the shock tuning and upgrading that I also tinkered with. So, actually a bargain when compared to buying different shocks. Also, the links will last for a very long time. A bargain in my opinion. And yes, different suspension designs likely have different results, but FWIW- Cascade Component links are quality upgrades to FSR linkages. (I haven't tried one on VPP, but I'm guessing they know what they are doing.)
  • 2 1
 Yeah, it also costs a lot to run a business in the US. The CNC machine alone is probably over a million. Then you have a shop, employees, R&D, materials, marketing, etc. I just installed their link for my Stumpjumper Evo and it works great. Even if there was a cheaper Chinese knockoff I would still buy from Cascade.
  • 1 0
 @artistformlyknowasdan: agreed entirelly and would one more thing:
Learn how to ride, follow Lee Bikes and others. It won't cost almost anything, it's transfareble to any bike, and you'll feel better at the end of a ride!

Now... if I could only get some "master your mtb skills pill....."
  • 2 0
 @JosHan: which IS a lot when a replacement SC link is around £50-60 with 4 new bearings installed
  • 5 0
 @Ryan2949: absolute bullshit comparing a link to a set of ground up designed pedals which have to worry about axle design, tolerance, strength, bearing and bush wear followed by body design and all that entails.

Reverse engineering a link by taking one someone has already designed and changing a few positions is an absolute engineering cake walk in comparison.

My qualifications to state that? I own a cnc shop and design / help to design parts.
  • 5 0
 @killjoyken: do you know anything about cnc machinery? We don’t have a machine in our shop worth over 150k new and making this link would be absolutely no problem at all.

Million dollar machine? Stop drinking the cool aid, most shops in the USA are just filled with Haas.
  • 1 0
 @chunkymcpot: I think the bird link is made in the UK by superstar too, so people bare that in mind when talking about USA costs etc etc
  • 1 0
 @justanotherusername: Own a CNC shop, spectacular.

I spent a couple months going down the rabbit hole of designing/configuring one of these links myself before the Cascade link was available. I’d like to try my Sentinel as a mullet, and think there would be some tweaking to do at the links to make that happen. I’m not a suspension engineer, and would be looking for some help/direction in this area. I would also like to change the profile of my brake lever blades to something I had in the past (anyone remember Dangerboy levers?)
All the companies I spoke to were leery/priced the projects so high it wasn’t feasible to do.

Please contact me directly so we can go over my ideas.

Cheers,
Be good to one another out there!
  • 1 0
 @onawalk: sorry, we are in the UK despite the Canadian flag - since Covid have been unable to service our own product line let alone take on additional work, the same as a few shops we know of.

One off machined parts of any complexity will always be very expensive though, it may take a day to programme a part, tear down of the machine setup to run for 30mins, I imagine that’s why the cascade stuff is so expensive as numbers will be pretty small for each type / run.
  • 1 0
 @justanotherusername: Don't think superstar make them, i might be wrong, but they seem to only be produced when there's enough demand for a batch to be made.
  • 1 0
 @justanotherusername: Oh,
Well thats unfortunate.
Expensive for one-off machined parts you say,
And you’re too busy, which would even further raise the rates and costs.

So to do a one off part, without the engineering costs, intercultural property, risk associated, I’d be looking at possibly shop time for a day ($110/hr?), plus cost of materials, bearings, etc, so $1200-$1500?
  • 1 0
 @onawalk: We mainly make our own product here so don’t do much ‘job shop’ work, so cost per hr is difficult - you may only be asking for a small amount of actual machine time, but hours of programming, the part may need complex fixturing etc or may be something you can use existing fixturing and tools to run.

I’m not sure how CAD directly relates to GBP but I would be over the moon, and a rather well off man if we ran our machines at £110/hr.

The reason quotes you may have received are so high is you want a one-off, no chance to recover lost time if something goes wrong over the whole production run and as I say potentially a machine tear down and re-tool to run for 30mins, unless setup for prototype work most shops will quote very high as they don’t really want the work.
  • 1 0
 @justanotherusername: Nope, I sure don't and I don't like cool aid. I thought I had heard a while ago that a 5 axis machine cost that much. Guess I was off. Now that we know how easy and cheap it is to make, when can we expect your $60 link?
  • 1 1
 @killjoyken: Well you absolutely can buy a 5 axis machine for 1 million - did you think there was only one level of machinery? That’s like saying there are only Bugatti’s available for cars.... so yes, a little ‘off’ and you don’t need 5 axis to make this part, if just helps.

Great response ‘where is your $60 link?’ - where did I suggest the link should be $60, or even that it should be cheaper?

As I said above, they likely make these in such low quantities the cost isn’t that far off - want 1000pcs though and yea, $60 may not be far off....
  • 1 0
 @justanotherusername: Really,
Our local trade bill out rate varies between $80-$120 hr, so I’d expect a shop running a CNC, for small batch items to be at least that.
Mechanics are close to that, with bike shops charging $60-100/hr.
  • 1 0
 @justanotherusername: Shouldn't be hard to undercut them. I've made plenty of money by looking at someone else's effort and thinking, "I can sooooo beat that".
  • 1 0
 @onawalk: As I said, I don’t know how CAD and GBP directly compare in this manner, I also addressed the cost per hr when making single items.

What I referred to was running my machines at £110/hr, we don’t do that but we run our own product on fairly cheap (sub 150k) machines, we also run multiple machines with single operators for long runs without setups, we are happy with our hourly rate as a result - believe what you like but also understand just how many variables exist.

As for mechanics and other trade being close to that- yes I know, it’s a long standing grievance for many involved in the CNC industry in that it’s often undervalued compared to the investment required, I know some shops in the UK that run around £50/hr, I think Hope once said they were running a product around £40/hr - cheaper than getting your car serviced but again machine/ product dependent.
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