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Kavenz Launches New VHP15

Feb 28, 2023 at 4:36
by emptyagency  

PRESS RELEASE: Kavenz Cycles

Fast, nimble & fun

FAST: The VHP15 has our proven Kavenz DNA, it’s a bike that will make you faster.
NIMBLE: Thanks to the AM geometry and lesser travel, the VHP15 climbs even better than the VHP16 and VHP18. Not everybody lives close to big mountains, but with the VHP15 smaller hills and mellow trails become more interesting.
FUN: The VHP15 gives you more direct trail feedback and it’s easy to flick around.


The Tech
If you have a VHP16 and reduce the stroke of your shock from 65 mm to 60mm it will result in 150mm rear travel. If you want to maintain the original Kavenz Enduro Race geometry, you can keep the VHP16 shock mounts.

However, you can also get our new VHP15 shock mounts which will change the geometry as follows:
- Head angle: 65° (VHP16: 64°)
- Seat angle: 78.5° (VHP16: 77.5°)
- BB Drop: -21 mm (VHP16: -34 mm)
- Rear Travel : 150 mm (VHP16 : 160 mm)

This means that you will get more of an AM geometry which is cool for tracks with little elevation. Our bolt-on shock mounts give you much room to play with different settings.

Sometimes less is more
Every rider loves the big mountains, but not everyone has the luxury of having them at their doorstep.Sometimes less is more, especially if you don't have access to challenging and steep trails. For many riders, having less travel on easier tracks means more fun. Most new bikes offer more travel, more aggressive frame geometry, faster ride times. But at end of the day isn't the goal of mountain biking simply to have fun?

The VHP15 prioritises fun, making it the perfect choice for riders who want to enjoy the thrill of the ride, no matter the difficulty level of the trails.

Kavenz boss testing the new VHP15

The Kavenz VHP platform

By using different shock mounts and shocks, you can tailor your Kavenz frame to your needs:
205 x 60 mm Trunnion shock: 150 mm rear travel (29” rear wheel only)

205 x 65 mm Trunnion shock: 160 mm rear travel (27.5” and 29” rear wheels)

225 x 75 mm Trunnion shock: 180 mm rear travel (27.5” rear wheel only)

Rear shock

For the VHP15 we offer custom tuned Fox Float X shocks. We think they are very easy to adjust and pretty light too. However, you can also run a coil shock should you prefer that.


Semi custom geometry and custom paint
At Kavenz we are proud to offer a high level of customization. Riders can still order semi- custom geometry frames, however making these takes a little while. Reach can be anything between 440 and 540mm in 20 mm steps. The seat tube can be 420, 450, or 480 mm and the headtube can be either 110 or 125 mm.

In order to make it easier and faster to get your hands on one of our frames we stock the most popular geo options. We removed the 2XL from standard geometry frames from the list as we sold only three of these, however you can still order it through our custom program (at no surcharge)Customization does not stop here, as we offer countless frame finishes that riders can choose from: raw, black anodized or powder coated (more than 200 RAL K5 colours).

Suspension design
While many high pivot frames use a single pivot or linkage driven single pivot suspension design, our frames rely on the trusted Horst Link suspension layout. VHP stands for “virtual high pivot”.
We believe that our suspension design offers advantages over other options and brings riders the best mix of rearward axle path, high anti squat and balanced anti rise.

High Anti-Squat

Bikes with High Pivot suspension designs naturally offer excellent support under pedaling without the downside of pedal kickback when using an idler pulley to reroute the chain. But we went a bit further and optimized the Anti Squat throughout the gears and travel to achieve what we believe is perfection. Plenty of support when climbing but no pedal kickback in DH gears!

Negligible pedal kickback

Pedal kickback is nasty, but luckily our VHP design minimises pedal kickback to a level where you won’t notice it anymore. We believe that it’s so good that not even the most dedicated racers will need an active spider to reduce pedal kickback.
On the VHP15 pedal kickback is as low as 4 ° at 50 mm of travel, 6° at 100 mm travel and 7° at 150 mm travel.

Rearward axle path

While many suspension designs have a forward rear axle path, our VHP frames have a rearward axle path. The rearward motion of the rear wheel allows it to move away from obstacles (and over them) rather than against them. This helps riders to maintain momentum and makes them faster. At 50 mm travel, the rearward axle path is - 12.5 mm, the maximum is -17.5 mm at 110 mm travel.



VHP15 Geometry


2645 Euro (RAW)
+470€ Float X inkl. Hardware (205x60)
+990€ FOX 36 29in F-S 160 Grip 2

Available from: April 2023


Author Info:
emptyagency avatar

Member since Aug 9, 2022
7 articles
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  • 37 0
 "But at end of the day isn't the goal of mountain biking simply to have fun?"
Darn tootin'.
  • 20 0
 Can confirm Giacomo is a bloody good and fast rider, and a super nice guy!
  • 16 0
 Pretty cool system they’ve got going.

I do find it pretty wild that my 2018 enduro bike (based on a comparison of travel numbers and angles) is now considered a bike for “mellower terrain” and smaller hills. Wink
  • 17 0
 @quinn-39 Absolutely un-rideable on today's terrain! (/s)
  • 6 0
 absolutely. Maybe I'm not the norm as someone who only rides hardtails, but a 150 mm travel bike is not what I would pick for small hills
  • 4 0
 @SoddenDeath: "The Shore's changed man... you don't understand."
  • 4 0
 Some things to consider if buying in the US:
Prices are actually about 20% less because their prices include VAT that doesn’t apply to us.

You may however get hit with customs fees for buying something over $800. I think the fee would be $200-$300.

The cheapest shipping option is $100.
  • 7 2
 2645+470+990= 4105 Euro.
Is that with or without a wheelset, transmission, and brakes?
  • 2 0
  • 5 0
 I am looking forward to the VHP120
  • 6 0
 120mm of travel? Only rated for sidewalks.
  • 2 0
 @Quinn-39: have you ever ridden in Bend Oregon? Basically dirt sidewalks. So I'm good with that.
  • 3 0
 @garrisond5: Nice- it'll be perfect! Might want to bump up to 130mm for any sidewalks that haven't been maintained recently.
  • 5 0
 Incredible work as always Giacomo!
  • 4 0
 IF I was ever to own a high pivot.... This would be it. Pure functional beauty
  • 1 0
 Agreed. Beautiful
  • 3 0
 Looks nice, but can someone tell me why a less agressive bike should have a steeper seat tube angle than a more aggressive bike? Seems backwards to me.
  • 3 0
 Looks great. Expensive, but great
  • 3 0
 Is there an American distributor in the works?
  • 2 0
 Please check this out: cycolo.com/pages/kavenz
  • 4 1
 Sweet bike but why is he looking right while turning left
  • 1 0
 haha that is a weird photo.
  • 2 0
 To avoid the branches of that tree
  • 2 3
 Hmm,aß the kavenz vhp systems Feel Like more travel and are so potent a Change to 140/145 mm instead of only 1 cm would make more Sense. And to get a real different character I would Change the Link to get slightly different character For the rear end to become a more Poppy AM/Trailbike. That is the way LAST do IT With their coal and clay or Guerilla Gravity.

But in General nice that they make IT aß a plattform so one has Not to Change the whole Bike.
  • 1 0
 Nice to see a comparison between the different VHPs!
I guessed that 27.5" has a more rearward axle path, but now I have prove!
  • 12 12
 Reach of a small is what a large was just a few years ago. Sam Hill said it best, a medium man has not grown. Reach numbers have gotten ridiculous.
  • 15 8
 Reach is important only when considered relative to STA. So yes, 'reach' is longer, but that's because whole body positioning on a bike has changed. But sure, go back to 71 STA and 440mm reach bikes if you want.
  • 6 0
 @ratedgg13: I think it's also average stem length changing. STA certainly changes the feel when you're sitting down, but when you're descending it doesn't matter and a long reach bike can feel long. But stems have been shortened by 20-35mm on average, so reach increasing by that feels fairly natural.
  • 7 5
 The reach is about the same when you factor in the steep seat tubes we see today. The only difference is that your bike is better in almost every way.
  • 6 1
 Because of the changes to STA it's better to compare ETT instead of reach to the bikes of yore. I bet those numbers haven't changed as much.
  • 4 0
 @ratedgg13: correct me if I’m wrong, however, doesn’t reach have nothing to do with seat tube angle? It’s the distance from where the BB sits to the center of the head tube. The only time the seat angle would come into play would be the effective top tube length.
  • 4 5
 As a 5' 9" guy that wears medium clothes and considers himself to be a medium person, 475 reach with a ~610 ETT is the sweet spot for me. I like where kavenz's numbers are at.
  • 6 1
 @Keegansamonster: Reach as a measurement does not have anything to do with seat tube angle. However, the reach which you'll be comfortable at while pedaling does, and I think that was @ratedgg13's point. When STA's were slacker and the seat was further behind the bottom bracket (and stems were longer), you needed a shorter reach so as not to be overly stretched when pedaling.
  • 1 0
 The reach of the small is more than an Ibis Ripley LS (Long and slack, yeah right) X-LARGE!
  • 1 0
 @Keegansamonster: yeah, as @MarcusBrody notes it's about comfort and body position, not necessarily the correlation for how the numbers relate.
  • 3 0
 @Keegansamonster: Correct, assuming you mean reach being BB to central axis of the head-tube, measured at the top of the head-tube.

Reach doesn't define the fit of a bike, but nor does ETT or any other specific measurement. We could have a bike with a long reach and a vertical seat-tube that would feel tiny when seated, yet normal when standing. Or a road bike with a crazy short (by mountain standards) reach that feels too long when seated, yet still pitches us over the front on descents due to the short front-centre.

ETT doesn't tell the full story, either, as it's measured level with the top of the head-tube (at the central axis). Most riders' saddle height is higher than this, so seat-tube angle again plays a role, albeit less than when considering stack, since there's less distance through which to project the effective seat-tube angle. Also, ETT doesn't account for the stem or bar sweep.

I often use "butt-to-bar" to describe how long a bike feels when seated, as it takes all these into account, though even B-to-B doesn't describe the position of the hips relative to the BB, the fit while standing, steering stability, etc.
  • 4 0
 @MarcusBrody: which that would be effective top tube at that point. Reach is a better measurement of how large the bike will feel while standing. How big it will feel while pedaling, the effective top tube is a much better number to look at
  • 1 0
 @R-M-R: What's your take on RAD and RAAD?
  • 3 1
 @Keegansamonster: I agree. Reach being s better measurement of standing feel was the point of my first comment in this thread.
  • 4 1
 @skimgosu: I discussed it extensively in the comments here. The short answer is that it has no basis in physics and kinda-sorta works only because of a coincidental relationship to the underlying physics. If you want to read a little more, continue below. If you want more after that, feel free to check out the link where I attempted to explain it to a stubborn fan of RAD / RAAD.

As an analogy, consider KOPS (knee over pedal spindle). KOPS puts a rider's hips into a reasonable position on a road bike, but not because there's any truth to KOPS, only a coincidental relationship to the underlying physics of bicycle ergonomics. If KOPS were valid, recumbent bikes could not exist.

RAD / RAAD is similarly false and attempts to address its flaws by adding layers of additional constants. None of the measurements or angles are aligned with the elements of the human body they're trying to simulate, so they're doomed to fail. Anyone who wants to determine their fit by memorizing RAD / RAAD dimensions and angles would do just as well to memorize their preferred seat-tube angle, butt-to-bar, front-centre, and rear-centre lengths*. This leaves the rider to determine handling parameters such as stem length, reach, head-tube angle, and fork offset that can all be tuned within the given fit dimensions.

* It would be better to measure front-centre and rear-centre from the rider's centre of mass, rather than the BB, but I recognize the impracticality. Optimal seat-tube angle depends on the dynamic geometry, which is a function of travel, wheel rate, riding style, and terrain.
  • 1 0
 @R-M-R: seated riding on a climbing bike, sure, that makes sense, but folks looking at descending will be focused on an entirely different set of numbers.

Seat position is only about being seated, the relationship between pedal, bb, front and rear center, stack, and grips, these are what matters when we’re riding a mountain bike.

Since most numbers can be adjusted through changes in cockpit, the front and rear center, bb height, and stack are the key numbers to focus on.
  • 2 0
 Here's my opinion that nobody asked for.

I believe people overthink RAD. It is simply to optimize (I hate that word) the riders /strength power position with Row/Anti-Row movement (Lee Mc.'s holy grail) riding downhill. Standing straight up with my hands making a fist, the vertical distance from my palms to the ground, should equal (or be close to) the frame centerline distance from the bikes BB to the point between the center of my handlbar grips, or RAD (Rider area distance). One dimension.

If I lay on my back, with my bike pedals on my feet, hold the bars and bring them to my waist, it will illustrate this. If my arms are fully extended, I am at RAD (neutral). If my arms are bent, I'll be in a "weaker" position, likely on a longer reach bike or RAD+. It will affect how I bunny hop, jump and drop - all core mtb movements that are essentially a row/anti-row.

Separate from this, the bike itself might have inherently more stability from a longer wheelbase, reach, etc. And that's what muddies the waters.

I'm 5'9" and my 450-455 reach bikes match up close to my "ideal" RAD. A 430 bike I had previously felt cramped. 475 bikes I've tested felt roomy and stable, but less maneuverable and harder to do the movements I listed above. Going back to my Medium 450-455 reach frames, they felt right at home to me.

YMMV but that's what RAD sizing looks like for me. Someone also 5'9" with a shorter ape index (giving them a larger RAD) might feel right at home on a 475 reach frame.
  • 1 0
 @R-M-R: Thanks for the reply and link.

I understand that coincidental relationships (KOPS/RAD) are overly simplistic and, by definition, have no basis in physics.

You mentioned STA and a close variant of ETT, but I think it is a mistake to apply the concept of RAD/RAAD for anything other than out-of-saddle fit. In your experience, has RAD/RAAD not been useful or sufficiently accurate for out-of-saddle fits? If you think KOPS is sufficient for road bikes and RAD is similarly false, does that mean you think RAD is sufficient for out-of-saddle fit?

With regard to KOPS, wouldn't the concept work fine for recumbent bikes if we rotate the rider about the BB, since applying KOPS literally is impossible here?
  • 1 0
 @skimgosu: I am absolutely NOT saying KOPS is sufficient! It's a lot of crap and should be banished to the pile of bad ideas with zero-sag suspension! My point is that any coincidental relationship can get you in the ballpark if the parameters around which they were developed are held close to the values for which the coincidence was observed, but that doesn't confer any additional validity to the method.

Even if RAAD is sufficient to generate a kinda okay fit while standing, I see no valid argument for using it over other methods. The rider would still have to learn and memorize their RAAD values, so we might as well learn and memorize the existing dimensions, rather than introducing new ones. That's not to say existing dimensions perfectly capture the underlying physics, but they're a little closer to the underlying physics and we already have them, so there's little sense introducing new, sillier dimensions.

Regaring KOPS on recumbents: The whole (fallacious) point of KOPS is to determine ideal fit as the position where the tibial tuberosity is over the spindle. The method you describe in your example supposes a person first achieves an ideal fit on the recumbent, then rotates the frame of reference until the knee is over the spindle. This changes KOPS from a (pseudo) predictive tool into ... well, nothing. By that method, a person could be in a position that would make a contortionist cringe and we could still rotate the frame of reference until the knee is over the spindle ... and what would we have achieved? As you said, applying KOPS is impossible on a recumbent, yet we know recumbents can have perfectly good ergonomics, thus illustrating the nonsensical and coincidental premise of KOPS and invalidating it.

To tie it back to RAD / RAAD, those methods also have no relationship to the underlying physics and only appear more robust via additional parameters. The angle component of RAAD is like saying "KOPS only works if the rider's hip is within a certain angular range from the BB". These parameters only serve to disallow application of the flawed model in ranges that would reveal the flaws.
  • 1 0
 @R-M-R: And there I was, just sitting on the bike and see how it feels and go from there.. =)
  • 1 0
 Wow, with only 110mm of rear travel on my bike I must be restricted to parking lots and small berms at my local park!
  • 1 0
 Nice! looks good and wanna try one!
  • 2 2
 The small has the same reach as my 2016 XL Remedy. Good lord.
  • 2 2
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