Interview: Formula's Suspension Engineer, Luca Rossi

Apr 28, 2020 at 7:43
by Matt Wragg  



If you only look at Formula through the lens of mountain biking, then their decision to start making suspension nearly a decade ago would seem like a strange one. Yet when you pull the lens back a little and realise that they have been making suspension for motorbikes for many years now it starts to make for more sense. When you then appreciate that they have been making suspension for the likes of Honda for many years the more appropriate questions seems to be why did it take them so long? Driving their push into mountain bike suspension is Luca Rossi, their suspension engineer. With a background in motorcycle racing, he brings a very different perspective to their products which in many cases take a different approach to the more established players on the market.

Editor’s note: This interview was recorded (in Italian) in early 2018 - but between the improvements in transcription technology and the extra time the pandemic has provided it is only now we are able to finally publish it.


Nero fork production Formula. Prato Italy. Photo by Matt Wragg


How did you end up working at Formula?


I'm not here because I have a passion for bikes, I am here because of my experience working with suspension. I was working for another company, Paioli [editors note: an Italian motorcycle suspension manufacturer], I was there for five years. I started in the technical office then moved onto research and development and racing. I developed a suspension fork for 125cc GP racing in 2008, 2009. We had Andrea Iannone racing for us, but we didn't give it to him when he was young. I did a lot of years working on Supermotards with them - an Aprillia with my suspension won the world championship one year.

Did you study at university?


I studied mechanical engineering at Florence university - I did my industry placement at Ducati, I was working on steering testing and the fork. But I always had a passion for suspension as I always loved riding motos and that was what I wanted to work on, that was my passion. This stood me well for working on bikes as the products are quite similar.

You have said that mountain biking is the sport where the suspension makes the greatest difference.


Yes, that's something I discovered. I thought that with bikes the suspension counted for less, that the rider could just pedal. Instead I discovered a world where even in the case of low-level users they understand a lot more about what is going on and demand more from their suspension.


Datalogging with Formula

Datalogging with Formula


Which year did you join Formula and was the plan always to make a mountain bike fork?


2010, I was supposed to do both. When I started I made a pit bike and trials fork and began working on a mountain bike fork in parallel, but it turned out to be a longer process to develop it because it's a completely different project, you're using different materials, it has to be a lot lighter and you need to have a lockout. That doesn't exist for motos. It's a limitation with how space you have and the pressure inside the cartridge. It took some time studying the system to understand how to make a product that performed at 100%.

How long did the development take for your first fork?


Our first fork was the 33. It took two years to make our first forks, but the level wasn't as good as I wanted it to be, we weren't on the same level as the big players. But we learned a lot, we sold a few. Then we made the 35 and that was really our first fork with balls [laughs].

Was your CTS adjustable compression system the first big breakthrough for you?


The CTS system was born because we felt riders needed it. For the moto, you don't need to have a colour [editors note: Formula CTS valves are colour-coded]. an explanation that everyone understands because the final user never really touches their fork. They take it to a mechanic who does everything. They add their sticker, you know "X Suspension". The users aren't interested in what's happening inside, they just want it to say X Suspension. With mountain bikes, riders want to know what the mechanic did to the fork and to be able to do it themselves. The CTS was born because of this. There is the possibility to remove it easily, it's colour-coded so it's intuitive to understand, it's really simple for the users.

The CTS system is a completely different approach to changing the compression damping to any fork on the market, was it your idea? How did you end up with this system?


It was an intuition I had, I don't know how to explain it.

Is it something you see in moto?


No, as it's not only a technical innovation, it's part communication too. Technically it's really easy - remove, modify, re-mount. It's a communication, a collaboration with the final user. The final user has the chance to change the settings in their own garage - this is something nobody else has, you can normally only make these kind of changes in a specialist workshop.

You explained to me before that it has a similar effect to changing the shim stack, but without opening the fork.


It's quicker. Practically, if you take a look at Moto GP, moto in general for their special settings, and then the Formula CTS system you can see the difference. In Moto GP they modify both the piston and the shim - they will have settings for Valentino Rossi in the rain, settings for Brno, settings for Valencia. They change everything. With moto in general the piston always remains standard, you buy a Showa fork and you change the shimstack. In our case you don't modify the shims, you modify the piston. So there is only a single shim that remains fixed, so you don't change the thickness of the shimstack, but how the oil pushes against the shims. It's a different way to achieve the same thing, doing it this way there are so many ways you can modify the behaviour of the fork. You don't just change the number of holes, you can change how it supports the shim. There are so many options, in the same way, you can do so many different things with a shimstack - but the final user can do this at home, which most people can't with a shimstack.


Nero fork production Formula. Prato Italy. Photo by Matt Wragg



Why did you choose not to use this system for your DH fork, the Nero?


For the Nero we skipped the CTS system because it wasn't needed. When you change the piston you change the heart of the system, it really changes the character of the fork. If you're just changing the shims through the adjusters you reach upper and lower limits of what you can do. With the single crown fork it's going on many different bikes used for many different things, different weights, ebikes, full suspension, and hardtails - for this you need a fork with a huge range to adapt to each bike, which is why we have the CTS system. Instead with DH the bikes are much more similar, their weight is similar, they're always full suspension, they're ridden in the same way. You can be more precise with your changes because the range of use for that bike is not that big, you don't need to be able to remove the system quickly. Without a lockout there is more space inside to do this - you're using the whole cylinder just for one thing and we can be more precise.

How did you decide how rigid you wanted the Nero to be? You don't seem to be chasing after the most rigid fork possible.


When we talk about why we chose 35mm stanchions for the Nero we need to talk about our experience with other forks on the market, because before you make a new product you need to study the market. We prefer to have a 35mm stanchion rather than a 40mm stanchion because it's more difficult with 40mm. A fork helps the damping when it flexes, it's easier to do the hydraulic side to deal with situations with vibration.

Having worked in both industries, what do you see as the differences between the moto and mountain bike markets?


There are a lot of differences. If we talk about the final users, as I said before, tuning for motos is done by mechanics. For mountain bikes there so much information, and disinformation, on the web. There is this desire to understand how it works. If we talk about the moto market, it's different, the approach sales is very different. When you sell, for example, as Suzuki it's completely Suzuki. With bikes, the frame is this, the brakes are that, the fork and shock are something else. That means as a business the impact of marketing is much bigger - you have to do marketing. With moto, you are only marketing to the manufacturers and if riders aren't asking for it, they won't spec it on a bike. Then there is the problem of support. If you want to sell products across the world you need to have a network for distribution, support and spares across the world. Instead if you make a trial fork for Honda it's sold as Honda and if the user wants spares or support they ask Honda. If you break the fork you send it to a Honda mechanic and he repairs it.

Is there a big technical difference in the suspension for the two?


The substantial difference between the two is the weight. As I said before in the bike industries we use different material, that in a way help to you to reduce the weight but in another way reduce also the life of the components. Another important difference is the function of the suspension due to the different percentage of the weights. For an offroad moto, 40% of the weight is the rider, 60% the vehicle. For a DH bike, 80% is the rider, 20% the vehicle. That means that bike the suspension has to be studied more in contact with the rider, and you must follow the riding style more.

It's interesting you mention having the right flexibility in the fork, because in mountain bike a fork is designed in isolation from the frame it will later be fitted to. Do you think that it's the direction things will head in, where companies produce a complete bike where they have control over the frame, the suspension, the wheels to have them all work together perfectly?


It would become too complicated if we told every brand we could make modifications for them. In my opinion, I do think it's right that we start to look in the same direction as the moto industry. But we can't do it on our own, you can't escape the general dynamic alone.


Datalogging with Formula

Datalogging with Formula
Datalogging with Formula




It surprises me that we don't see more of that approach in DH, where you're looking for fractions of a second, surely a bike designed as a complete system would be a big advantage?


Yes, in my opinion it is very important as it is possible to optimize the weight by putting it only where it is needed, moreover the elastic response if it is studied together with the frame gives the structure a certain continuity. For example, it is useless to have a rigid fork on an elastic frame or an elastic fork on a rigid frame, it doesn't work well. But. if you can engineer the continuity of the complete system, then I think yes, you can gain some seconds.

Between your CTS system, then your R spec forks with an adjustable negative air chamber, at what point do you think your products become too complicated for consumers?


I'm something I'm always thinking about. There are the decisions we've already made, but I wonder about the double air system, in the end I think it will come down to the bike manufacturers and what they want. We have done many products, but we don't have a constructor that is speccing a significant number of our components on their bikes. In the beginning, we didn't have the communication, now we have the communication, then we needed time to prove the products, now we have the reliability, and it's now their decision - but I think that is our future. We don't want to draw conclusions, we need to see what they want.

There are seven CTS right now


I'm not working on an eighth, not a tenth - there are plenty right now. To give you an example - XC. With the same damper, identical, but what do you want? Say you're descending and there are three stones then a corner. A DH or enduro rider will see that and think one thing, an XC rider will see something completely different. They will put their weight behind the saddle and take the hits with their body. A DH or enduro rider would use the first stone to jump the second and third stones and land ready for the corner. Obviously you can't have the same fork for those things. It's a completely different idea. That's why we have our special soft CTS. It's designed for XC where you don't want the same reactivity from your fork. The hard is much faster. Then there's the ebike to give you more support so you're not just relying on the air to take the additional weight of the bike. So if we explain our system well I don't think there are too many options.

I have had a colleague tell me that he thinks your forks are too complicated.


For a mechanic, with our fork in their workshop, they don't need many parts as they're all very similar. The damper is the same for all our forks - with the Selva all the different versions have the same cartridge. It's the same for 29 and 27.5, the whole range in fact. There are 7 CTS pistons and they work in all versions. We work to continually evolve the fork but the basics stay the same. Ask your colleague to try and find a part for a Fox fork from three years ago, there are so many different sizes and specs - ours is simple in that respect. Say you have the standard air spring you can easily change it for the coil spring or the double air, we may even release the triple air system from the Nero for the Selva. All with the same fork. Ok, there are a lot of options for you to play with, but that doesn't mean everyone needs to use them. But at the end of the day the fork is 50% of the suspension, the other 50% is the person using it and it needs to be adaptable as we are all different.

What is next for Formula suspension?


I have a unique project that I'm working on, but I can't talk about right now [Editor's note: that project turned out to be Formula's Neopos volume spacer system].


87 Comments

  • 113 5
 Rad. The first comment, "I'm not here because I have a passion for bikes" is something a full on, intense engineery socially awkward kind of person dedicated to their craft would say. You need guys like this in the industry who are lateral thinkers, paired with people (riders) that can feed them data and the info on what's needed on the trail.
  • 29 0
 it reminds me of how different f1 drivers can be from the people who have a passion of building and tuning the machines that the drivers race. Sometimes, they say that the driver is only "borrowing" the car from the guys behind the scenes. Each sport has an opportunity to create separate forms of passion, whether it's team management, the driving, the engineering, or even the fans(ex: Scuderia Ferrari)
  • 38 0
 Not to mention he basically called the 33 a turd, but its still on their site... I admire the engineers who can critique their old work.
  • 13 0
 That was a brave start haha
  • 13 1
 Absolutely great points. I also liked that Luca shared his frustrations on needing to make a marketable product rather than necessarily the *best* product.
  • 14 0
 @BeardlessMarinRider: I disagree. Luca seems to understand that there is no "best" product, at least not in such simple terms. That is what most of the interview is about, isn't it? He even made an exception for DH, stating that DH is comparatively narrow in scope and so it is much easier to create "the best" without a lot of options.

I think you might have misread his statement of needing to communicate with the user as marketing? I don't think that this is what he meant. He meant that, in mountainbiking, users want to understand and tune suspension themselves. Therefore the need to make the product understandable. Communication at its best, not marketing (which is the worst kind of communication).
  • 5 0
 @theobviousfaker: I'd take the below as an example (it's a little out of context but gives the gist). Any engineering or designing needs to make a product that will sell and keep a company going but MTB has additional challenges which can add extra frustrations or compromises. Selling an OE part to a big company only vs selling to a community that thinks they know everything but probably doesn't is a really nice blunt reminder of what people like Luca face Big Grin That is where the adjustability, intuitive use and communication come in afterwards.

"If we talk about the moto market, it's different, the approach sales is very different. When you sell, for example, as Suzuki it's completely Suzuki. With bikes, the frame is this, the brakes are that, the fork and shock are something else. That means as a business the impact of marketing is much bigger - you have to do marketing."
  • 4 0
 @BeardlessMarinRider: Ah, I get what you mean. I saw this more as a comment on the fact, that in mountainbiking there really are no "bike brands" as in "car brand" or "moto brand". Just frame and component brands, where the frame brands also coincidentally act as distributors of completed bikes.
That does not necessarily make the products worse because of the need of marketability. If you have such a technical crows as in high-end mountainbiking, a lot of marketing revolves around technical performance - I would argue at least more than in moto/car. There, just the really stupid "engine KPIs" are used, whereas real "performance" regarding suspension, etc is often not really talked about.
  • 7 0
 G O L D S T A N C H I O N S
  • 1 2
 @JimmyWeir: Unless it has Cashima™, I'm not interested. It's just so much better than anything else.
  • 1 0
 @supercollider: that is not te 33 he was talking about. Formula's first fork was a 26" XC fork called the 33 and had completely different internals (open oil bath more similar to moto fork) to the later model 650b and 29" 33's. Not to be mistakened, as the later model 33's (650b and 29") have the same internals as the SELVA, are equally as good just not Boost! ;-)
  • 40 2
 "I have had a colleague tell me that he thinks your forks are too complicated."
Once I moved to a super adjustable fork, I understood how Fox and RS are low tech pogo-sticks in comparison.

What is complicated about it? Everything is easier. If a rider does not understand the additional settings, it can just do the standards.

In the past four years, I have had Formula Selva, Fox 36 and Pike. I liked them all.
The Selva is the higher end product. It is few years ahead. And now I understand why. Moto GP.

It is very easy to set up, and you can actually tune it how you like it. I never liked Fox and RS lack of adjustability and continuous need of complicated maintenance.
It needs less service to run well, and service is easier.
It has a more precise steering.
It has better finish.

Every time a new version comes out (double air, coil) it is compatible with the older model (single air) and you can upgrade.

This is the benchmark.
  • 5 0
 This whole article, from a mechanics perspective, is a dream. This guy gets it. Interchangeable everything, on each fork, for each of your bikes. Whats not to love?
  • 22 0
 This guy seems legit. I'm more interested in formula after reading this.
  • 11 0
 He only worked on Moto GP with aprilia/iannone and won a world championship on Supermotards.
I wonder what are the credentials of people working for others.
  • 27 0
 I rate Luca as one of the smartest people I've spent time with anywhere in the industry.
  • 1 1
 @mattwragg: Thanks for this article. Very good, and refreshing to see a person like this in the industry.
A side note, the DT Swiss F535 fork and the Formula Selva have been on my want list for a while - if you could get a similar in depth review out of the DT fork development team and their approach to the fork development that would be great!
  • 1 0
 @mattwragg: Giancarlo V who also does work for formula is one smart cookie too!!
  • 2 0
 @ckcost: I've never really sat down and chatted with Giancarlo in any depth - I guess when I've visited it's usually suspension they want to talk about.
  • 13 0
 So dope you could follow your passion with your engineering degree, these are my goals in life
  • 6 1
 Keep pushing! You'll getthere!
  • 12 2
 @Bureb: "Keep pushing! You'll get there!"

#thatswhatshesaid Beer
  • 1 0
 Do it! There has never been a better time to pivot direction and the future seems to be golden for those that can make real value. The hard part is manufacturing, like Elon has often mentioned.

To anyone considering this but has math anxiety (like I did): it is just work. Its hard, and some have to do less than others, but you can do it.
  • 9 0
 I really liked what I was reading about Formula - both brakes and forks - but was worried about access to service and parts and support. Now Alba Distribution is setup in Canada (Whistler) and fully supports the Formula product, so I jumped. I have the Selva 160mm 29r fork and both Cura 4 and regular Cura. So far, all have been outstanding. My trail bike has the regular Cura and the lever feel is outstanding. Reasonably crisp, reasonable modulation, and excellent power for such a small brake. The Cura4 is on the enduro bike. Way softer lever feel, but intensely more modulation. Not "woody" feeling at all and lots of power once you're finally fully pulling on the levers. Very NOT Shimano in feeling. The only issue is that I have 'medium' hands and have the levers set nearly all the way in, so careful if you have small hands.

The Selva fork is outstanding (so far) if you're willing to put the time into it. I've spent the first 2 weeks playing with the supplied CTS valves, air pressure, and # of Neopos. Adjusting one a time and in different pairings to see what works best for me. What is amazing is how noticeable each of them are - they are REALLY doing something to the way the fork works. This was critical for me with problematic hands in long descents and enduro stages. I needed to build something soft off the top, but still riding high, and then having really smooth progression. The blue CTS with one neapos and 5 psi lower than recommended and I'm riding faster than before with less hand pain. This coming from a Fox 36 Kashima (201Cool which was too primitive feeling in the early part of the stroke. Then upgraded to the Vorsprung Smashpot, which was a godsend in suppleness for my hands but had higher brake dive characteristics. So far, the Selva is acting as promised.
  • 9 1
 Pinkbike slips into the ridiculous: "Editor’s note: This interview was recorded (in Italian) in early 2018 - but between the improvements in transcription technology (?) and the extra time the pandemic has provided (??) it is only now we are able to finally publish it."

So, that means that Matt Wrang can do an interview in Italian, but he cannot translate it ... and has to wait two years until trascription technology improves to do so. But that is not enough: Pink Bikes needs a global pandemic to find the time to use goggle translate!
  • 2 0
 Maybe another sponsor "accidentally" removed the bookmark to Google translate.
2 years in such a marketing universe worths a lot.
  • 9 0
 Excellent interview and insights
  • 8 0
 Ladies. Ladies. Ladies. One at a time please. He's got time for each of you.....
  • 1 0
 I have been always interested in Formula's products like brakes and forks. I gave several serious considerations to get them, but each time I did not. My concerns were mainly the availability of Formula's service/warranty in North America. I'd like to hear more about their plan in NA market.
  • 1 0
 I have had the fork and brakes for few years. Zero issues regarding warranty.
If you email them, they respond right away.

When I had to buy maintenance parts, I found them online. Or you can call/email the distributors.
If you have to do major service, the fork can be sent to the distributor (i think).

They are present and behind the product from what I have seen.
  • 3 0
 BTI USA has everything needed to service the brakes in my experience. Switched to Cura brakes and am never going back.
  • 1 0
 Actually I really enjoyed the practical and organized ideas from Luca to tackle our suspension industry never-ends-problem about the wide range of rider profiles in direction to their riding preferences and riding style inside mtb categories, and the need of wide tuneable options for everyone, the most spicy comment he did for me, was about exhibing the continuous overwritting products from brands like Fox , I love my float 36' but I feel so bad and shy about not blowing up the bladder in the cartridge because it's an old model, if you can't even find easily a 3yo part from one of their dampers... think about me having a 08-09' inverted Fit Fox damper, even buying a 2020 fork with effort ,the sweet sensation to be so up to date in suspension or parts doesn't last more than a few months because some months later Fox unveiles the 2021 and what you have now it's in the dust and outdated-again!-. I love how formula parts can be retro compatible with their forks because you cant simply upgrade a 34 or 36 from other years they don't list and recheck for updates about it,Eventually the trash can it's their future over the years and it's sad because they do well while still working sometimes, bravo for formula I applause Luca he has a great vision and point of view.
  • 5 0
 Love it!
  • 3 0
 Luca is the man. One of the most switched on suspension people I've met in the industry.
  • 4 1
 Please make the springkit (for selva) available, i cant see it anywhere.
  • 1 0
 It's already available in Germany, but due to the lockdown in Italy, some versions are sold out at the moment, but will be back, soon. Part numbers: 27.5 160mm: SB40237-00 ; 27.5 170mm SB40238-00; 29 160mm SB40239-00;
  • 1 0
 Anyone want to chime in regarding support and parts in the US? I've been considering getting some Cura 4s, but amlhavent pulled the trigger because of this
  • 2 0
 I had a set of used RX brakes about 6-7 years ago that had a bunch of issues. Shot the US branch of Formula an email and they sent me a package of parts for free. The brakes were still junk even after rebuilding them, but the support was great. They've got more presence in the US now, so I'd hope that the support is the same, if not better now. I had a set of Curas on my last bike, and they were great brakes. Not the best for small hands, but that's the only complaint I had.
  • 4 0
 @ChristophColombo: I had RX too and at a race in La Thuile they started losing oil from the lever - Formula was there and substituted the whole body of the lever on the go for free. Not the most blink blink brakes but got the work done. After that I bought Cura 2, Cura 4 and the Selva fork and I have to say they made huge steps forward in reliability - and simplicity which I think is a big plus (cross compatibility etc). Got a warranty issue on the Cura 4 (had an early batch with lazy rollback of the pistons ), I emailed Formula and within one day I had my answer identifying the problem so I could send them to the Swiss distributor for a warranty service. Waiting to get a Selva R with reduced offset (seems extremely hard to find) and potentially the new coil shock to substitute an EXT (maintenance is too expensive, even though it's a great product).
  • 2 0
 @keru: How would you know whether the offset is reduced or not? Like is there any indicator/code to check or you have to measure it? Just wondering as I have heard that some OEM versions had the offset simmilar to FOX and RS (37mm) and Formula has around 46mm ?
  • 2 0
 @johnyyy: for the aftermarket ones, it's usually specified - I'm looking at 29" and the standard one is 51mm, and I've seen a couple of stores that have the 46mm one too. It's specified in the description/tech features.
  • 3 0
 My experience with the 2-piston Cura on a "downcountry" bike has been really good. There is plenty of power and modulation and a consistent bite point. They are probably due for a bleed since they've been on the bike for 9 months or so. I've got the discontinued quick-disconnect version and have not had any issues with leaks.
  • 2 0
 Parts you can find them online i.e. Universal Cycles or directly from distributors. Support you can just email them and they respond in a day or less.
  • 2 0
 If got cura4s and they are the best i ever had in 20 years of riding, just stay away if you want a really hard bitepoint, they feel rather soft but modulation and power are top notch.
  • 1 0
 I've got R0's and have been running them for four years. They're the best brakes I've owned. I had one blow a seal at the lever after a race in their second season. I contacted the shop I bought the bike from and the brake was shipped right out to their US distributor and I had a fully rebuilt brake in less than two weeks. I'm sure if I had the time and asked they would have just sent me the parts. I'm very please with my Formula experience and will be looking at the Cura 4 for my next build.
  • 1 0
 Have a set Not as firm lever as formula is known for. Caliper not as rigid Not enough pad rollback so they drag on any disc less than perfect.
  • 3 0
 @englertracing: may I suggest you contact your local distributor as your brakes may be affected by the issue some from the first production batch had? If they are, the distributor will sort them out, the CURA’s both 2’s and 4’s have plenty of roll back ;-)
  • 3 4
 I always wonder, as the engineers tweak and tweak on these forks, at what point is it fruitless?

Unlike a rear suspension, a fork is static in it's attachment, other than changes to offset or HTA, it's a telescoping suspension. So they can tweak on damping till the cows come home, but it's the basic layout of the fork that is the problem, ie limiting factor.

So yeah, time to adopt a better mousetrap: Trust?
  • 5 0
 Trust is great when you want another overpriced carbon part that introduces more issues than it solves. Plenty of potential for improvement in telescopic fork, just no one willing to put resources in it.
  • 4 4
 Interested in his view on stiffness. The point of flex in all forks is where the fork meets the bottom bearing race. This doesn't change with fork leg diameter
  • 2 0
 I don't think its that simple. The frame is not infinitely stiff. And the stiffness of the steerer, combined with the stiffness of the frame will change the system's answer. Imagine a really noodly steerer tube that will flex easily and not transfer any load to the top headset bearing. This will reduce the leverage that the fork has against the frame. In contrast, if the steerer tube stiffness would be designed in accordance with the frame, you could make the whole fork-frame-system flex "continously", avoiding peak stress at the bottom race for example (or anywhere else). That is what he meant with "But. if you can engineer the continuity of the complete system, then I think yes, you can gain some seconds."
  • 1 0
 I suppose that forks and frames have probably developed broadly symbiotically, and probably broadly match each other. The head tube area is pretty similar on most frames, and the crown/steerer is pretty similar within forks of the same purpose. And there are probably bigger variables in things like damping, wheels and handlebars, so that interface is hard for a rider to pin down whether he or she would like a stiffer CSU. I think it was Jordi Cortez or Cesar Roji on an ancient downtime podcast talking about how a DH track is incredibly variable compared to a MotoGP circuit, making telemetry fairly pointless. I suspect that same variability would make a truly integrated frame fork system unviable
  • 1 0
 @mountainsofsussex: How would FOX or UNNO know anything MotoGP? I don't think they have any experience working for any team.

A DH course may seem more variable, but the speed and force is non existent in relation to moto GP.
Because of the speed and braking, on moto GP it just takes one single corner on one track to change everything.
  • 1 0
 @mountainsofsussex: I agree. I guess it's not wrong to think in these directions as stated above, but probably overkill.
On the other hand, we are slowly getting there. We might not perceive every year's performance increase, but look back 5, 10, 20 years and the progress is undeniable. So any racer at any given time might not be able to pinpoint the need for a stiffer/flexier CSU, but the performance increase might be real in 10 years?
  • 1 0
 @RedRedRe: think it was Rojo in the interview - he was heavily involved in suspension design and data acquisition for KTM MotoGP.
  • 2 0
 @RedRedRe: well, everything is exactly the oposite of what you said.

Cesar Rojo has extensive experience in moto gp ( es.linkedin.com/in/cesarrojo/en-us ) , and sure fox has the knowledge to understand it too even if they don't work directly into it (wich I don't know if they do or not).

Is mountain bike where the difference
can be made in one corner; one run, one mistake, you loose a second, and here you go 5 positions. Moto gp has it's edge on consistency, if the bike loses traction on braking or acceleration, it'll happen in the same spots in every corner of every lap.
Also even if travel speed is slower in mtb, damper shaft speeds are much higher.
  • 1 0
 Rojo has experience working on production bikes, KTM. At least this is what I remember him saying.
I think his father may be KTM boss of Spain. That may explain few things.

Regardless, on a DH race, the bike only accounts for a fraction of a winning race (i.e. Gwinn win no chain).
It does not make that big of a difference unless the rider and bike do not match or something breaks.

On motorbikes, the bike and bike development done by the pilot is more important.
You don't loose a race for 1s, you loose it for 0.1s. This is after a 50 minute race, not 3 minutes.
  • 2 0
 @RedRedRe: here's the link of you've got some time on your hands - most of us do at the moment!
www.downtimepodcast.com/cesar-rojo
  • 1 0
 @mountainsofsussex: Thanks! I am not on lockdown, work is slow, lots of riding now.
  • 1 0
 @RedRedRe: Fox is big in the Moto world. They were in the dirt bike industry (motorcycles) before getting into MTB.
  • 1 0
 excellent article...I know what company I will be looking at for my next fork!
  • 1 0
 The Selva damper parts are hard to find, if anyone got info getting the R damper or even the coil conversion, i'm all ears.
  • 1 0
 The damper in all Selva forks is the same. Contact your local distributor they will either have it or at least can get it for you. The coil conversion is not available in our country yet but will be soon, just check with your distributor, they will be able to tell you whether they have it available already.
  • 2 0
 Italy.... when you do things professionally and with an artistic touch !
  • 1 0
 I have never heard of formula suspension until now
  • 1 0
 What does it mean Patrizia on his left arm sleeve?
  • 2 0
 It's Patrizia Pepe a fashion brand - Patrizia is the female version of Patrizio (Patrick) in Italian
  • 1 0
 @keru: thank you.
  • 1 0
 So what you're saying is MTB smart, moto dumb?
  • 1 3
 Suspension of disbelief
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