"The suspension is gonna hit and link in - it's like the planets!"
- Kirt Voreis
Going into his third year of riding Niner's CVA suspension
, nobody knows better how it works than Niner athlete Kirt Voreis. In the span of a month, puts our bikes through more punishment and random abuse than most riders do in a year. He's given us heaps of feedback on making the new RIP 9 RDO the best it's ever been. And there's no doubt he could tell you what his bike is doing at any single moment on the trail.
But can he actually explain why
Nope. Not at all. Not one bit.
But check out the video. He's giving you his best effort, giving us a laugh, and getting a lot of help with oversimplifying the design, thanks to the disembodied voice of an actor imitating an engineer, plus a sequence of marginally accurate computer-generated animations.
The CVA system controls unwanted suspension movement with calibrated anti-squat provided by chain force, rather than relying on rear shock compression damping or manual lockouts. At the same time, CVA keeps the suspension active while climbing and descending, thanks to careful pivot placement which effectively tunes the amount of bump input required to overcome the anti-squat.
Niner’s CVA axle path (and hence chain growth) is designed to maximize anti-squat right at the sag point, or within the first 25-30% of suspension travel. Chain tension from pedaling force helps to hold the bike up in its travel, right at the sag point, and prevents it from squatting or bobbing under pedaling load. Furthermore, CVA anti-squat is amplified in larger cogs, which happens to be the gearing most used when a rider is pedaling uphill. This goes a step further in minimizing pedal bob and loss of efficiency, particularly when climbing.
Beyond the sag point, chain growth and anti-squat are reduced to near zero. The drivetrain is effectively decoupled from the suspension as CVA moves deeper through travel, allowing the suspension full freedom to absorb impacts and track terrain. This keeps the suspension sensitive and fully active while descending.
But don't trust Kirt. We don't.
Just go ride a Niner and see for yourself.