Canyon's Wild DH Drivetrain Disconnect - Eurobike 2016

Sep 1, 2016 at 4:52
by Mike Levy  
Eurobike 2016


Eurobike 2016


''Imagine being able to boost your chassis performance at the push of a button - this was the idea behind Project Dis\Connect,'' reads the words on the wall above what appears to be a shock-less but otherwise normal looking Canyon Sender downhill bike. It's anything but normal, however, as the bike is equipped with a novel system that allows the drivetrain to be disconnected from within the hub in order to completely free the bike's suspension from chain-induced forces. Check the video below to see it in action.


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The video above shows the system in action. The first time the suspension is activated, when the drivetrain is engaged as it would be on a normal bike, you can see the cranks rotate backwards as the Sender's suspension goes through its travel. The rider's weight on the pedals would keep the suspension from working freely; this is what happens on most full-suspension bikes to some extent. Next, the rear hub's clutch is disengaged when the remote lever is pushed; when the Sender's suspension is activated, notice how the cranks no longer rotate backwards. This means that the rider's weight on the pedals will have zero effect on the bike's suspension.

Why would you want to remove the chain's influence on a bike's rear suspension? To allow the suspension to work as freely as possible, especially in this day of clutch-equipped derailleurs. You can't simply say that removing a drivetrain's influence on suspension is a good thing, though, as a mountain bike's rear suspension has been designed to work with, and often to harness, chain induced forces and to use them to the rider's advantage.
Project Dis\Connect Details

• Intended use: downhill
• Shown on Canyon's Sender DH bike
• Decouples drivetrain influence from suspension
• Controlled via bar-mounted button
• DT Swiss' Star Ratchet clutch
• Availability: maybe never

Bikes whose suspension is firmed up or extended under pedaling loads, usually referred to as having anti-squat, are often thought of as lively, fast accelerating machines. Bikes with less chain induced suspension influence, aka low anti-squat, are usually considered to be more active, forgiving, and possibly able to provide more traction over a wider range of conditions. Those are some pretty wide generalizations, of course, but that's the general idea.

A bike's designer must strike a balance regarding how much they want their bike's suspension to be affected by the drivetrain; downhill rigs will often be less affected as the spotlight is on outright suspension performance with less consideration to pedaling performance. Cross-country and trailbikes will usually take a more balanced approached. Why not just design a bike with suspension that's totally impartial to drivetrain forces? Because it'd pedal like total shit, and even the most downhill-focused riders out there still need to pedal sometimes.


Eurobike 2016
Eurobike 2016
The interactive display in the Canyon booth shows the difference in how the suspension is affected by the chain, and also how it works when chain forces are removed.


Canyon's Project Dis\Connect allows the bike's drivetrain to be instantly disconnected from its suspension with the push of a button, thereby keeping chain forces from having any effect whatsoever on how the Sender downhill bike's suspension performs. Neato. Canyon says that this allows the suspension to work ''precisely as it was intended to,'' although I'd argue that the Sender's suspension, and any other bike's suspension, was designed to work with chain forces, or at least be designed with such forces in mind.

Regardless, the idea is that a rider could be approaching a section of track or trail where they won't be pedaling, so why not decouple the bike's drivetrain to give it total suspension freedom.

Who remembers that time Aaron Gwin did that trick where he won a World Cup after breaking his chain right out of the gate? That momentous race run of the ages raised a few questions besides what planet Gwin comes from; mainly, just how much better does a bike's suspension perform when it doesn't have to deal with anti-rise, anti-squat, pedal kickback, or any other words you'd use to describe what a drivetrain does to a bike's rear end. For the record, Canyon says that they were four or five months into development of Project Dis\Connect when Gwin took that chainless win, but also that it certainly did highlight the possibilities.


How does the system work?

The display bike in the Canyon both was rigged up to show looky-loos how Project Dis\Connect works, so Canyon had a repurposed shifter attached to the setup to make things easy. Pushing on the shifter's thumb paddle pulled a cable, just like normal, only instead of the cable being attached to the derailleur, it tugs on a plunger that runs down through the center of the bike's rear axle, very much like how an old Sturmey-Archer internally geared hub is activated only with a different outcome.
Eurobike 2016
The bike's modified hub is home to a DT Swiss Star Ratchet clutch, and the two Star Ratchet wheels are moved apart by a complicated system of three movable pawls that extend outward from within the special axle. Picture a Swiss watch, only inside a bike hub and a lot more interesting.

Once the thumb paddle is pushed, the Star Ratchet wheels separate and the freehub and drivetrain have zero influence on the bike's suspension - pedaling will result in nothing, and it's as if there's no chain on the bike at all.

Pushing the thumb paddle a second time will retract the three pawls back into the axle and allow the Star Ratchet wheels to re-join again as if everything was normal. Now you can pedal again.

Eurobike 2016

Canyon says that they're working with Fabien Barel, the legendary mad scientist of downhill and enduro, to develop the Project Dis\Connect system. Will it ever be raced or see production? Canyon was coy when it came to answering that question, as you'd expect them to be, only saying that they're evaluating the system and learning from it. It obviously makes the most sense for downhill and enduro racers, and what it could do is allow for the performance window of a bike's rear suspension to be larger because designers won't have to compromise as much when it comes to balancing drivetrain and suspension performance.

Cayon is known for doing things differently - take their Shapeshifter suspension and geometry adjustment system, for example, and whatever does come of Canyon's Project Dis\Connect system, you can't argue that it isn't interesting.


MENTIONS: @Canyon-PureCycling




177 Comments

  • + 195
 Any time I'd make up with slightly more active suspension I'd lose 10 fold by going over the handlebars when I forgot to re-engage the hub and went to put a pedal stroke in.
  • + 33
 I have this concept already, a chain idler on my high pivot. Zero pedal kick back and no need for a fancy hub.
  • + 23
 @bat-fastard: nailed it! @canfieldbrothers figured this out a decade ago. Seriously... a suspension is garbage if you even have to lockout the shock. Now you have to lock out the drivetrain? Lol
  • + 16
 You mean Commencal is giggling in french?.
  • + 34
 @chyu: I like that Canyon is putting the effort in and going outside the box with their concepts. This is neat, and I could absolutely see potential use in the future with the addition of sensors and electronic engage/disengage based on rider action (re-engage automatically when rider pedals somehow)
  • + 2
 Lets face it if your on a proper DH track how many times do you need to pedal once your out of start gate.. Suspension design and wheel path are far more important than chainline. Just stick an idler wherever it needs to be on frame to stop kickback and job done.
  • + 2
 @Terrafire: Agreed, very cool that Canyon is experimenting and integrating electronics
  • + 3
 Exactly what I was thinking. This is one of those things that looks good in a show booth and sounds good in the sales pitch but won't provide a real net gain in the real world. People will forget to turn it on and off. Forgetting to turn it on will cause serious crashes and injuries. It adds another control to the bar when reducing bar clutter is a major selling point of 1x so in that respect its a step backwards. More important is free hubs are under a lot of stress and many manufacturers have had problems getting what we have right. This adds complexity, weight and probably a few new failure modes so again were going backwards.
  • + 0
 @Terrafire: Do we really need more electronics on the bike for this? Lets wait and see if Canyon racers dominate on this setup before deciding its a benefit... assuming Canyon puts all of their racers on it and it sounds like they haven't.
  • + 12
 Cough.....Zerode......
  • + 12
 @davemud: I think you're missing the mark a bit, or perhaps I'm wrong, but what I really see here is a proof-of concept, not something that (in my opinion) is refined/functional to the point of being beneficial just yet. Hence the comment about sensors/development above. Its just cool to see that new concepts are being fleshed out and explored, and to me, that shows that Canyon is really active with their R+D, so props to them, not every company can say that they're pushing boundaries.
  • + 1
 @Terrafire: Hardly, I've been around a while including 10 years as part of the product development team of two major bike brands.

Sure its fun to tinker with things like this but it should be a good indicator to you that it isn't on all of their top athletes' bikes this season.

They may be experimenting with it but when it counts its not on the Race bikes. Gwin's chainless win is a testimate to Gwin not how the lack of a chain affected his suspension.
  • + 2
 @bat-fastard: I second that, and now I have a gearbox to go with it!
  • + 5
 @davemud: I too, have worked in industry. Thanks for psudo-qualifying your credentials, therefore giving your opinion more weight and really showing me how wrong my personal opinion was!
  • - 3
 @Terrafire: Glad I could help.
  • + 1
 @TopperharleyPT1: I thought the consensus was that they rode like a shopping cart
  • + 0
 Has anyone else realized how unstoppable Gwin would be on one these?!
  • + 1
 @poozank: In the car park, yep. On a DH track, pretty f*^cking sweet and fast shopping cart eh.
  • + 1
 Enduro gets a dropper seat post and downhill essentially gets a dropper chain system. Seems like a rad idea. I've definitely bottomed out my suspension before because of pedal kickback (high gear at low speed). I would really like to see this type of system integrated into a gearbox rather than your rear hub. I don't have a great reason why other than I like the idea of a gearbox over a traditional derailleur. I'm getting off topic. I like this idea and I would be willing to use it. I do think @bigtim is right. I would end up forgetting to re-engage the drivetrain once or twice before getting use to it. But I'm sure that has happened with a dropper post.
  • + 1
 @mooseman414: I would have to agree, who is going to have time to think about hitting a switch on and off during an intense DH run?

Running a high pivot with an idle gear virtually eliminates this problem. We mount our idler gear concentric with the pivot. Routing the chain over the idle gear then around the BB gear and back up to the pivot almost, there is only a very slight pull on the chain during the very last part of the suspension, so small, a few millimeters, you cannot even feel it.

And gearboxes are the way to go. The more I ride this Pinion, i would never go go back to a junky derailluer. Makes a derailluer feel like Walmart quality.
  • + 1
 It's just a concept, geez, distress your breasts a little!

do you see any concept cars on the streets? no!
but little things to make into the production line when good ideas on paper also work in practice
  • + 94
 What would happen if you put a clutch on the chaining so it can spin backwards without the crank arms moving backards? then it can be like that all the time?
  • + 1
 That'd be hawt.
  • + 33
 well sir i think you've just blown this idea out the water
  • + 14
 A chainring on a freewheel... Same result, simple(er) execution...
  • + 9
 That has actually been done schwinn started using it in I believe the early 70s and now there is a company called HxR that is making them for mtbs.
www.bikerumor.com/2016/01/14/119081
  • + 7
 Freecoaster?
  • + 28
 If the chainring can spin backwards pedalling forwards wouldn't do anything.
  • + 6
 You wouldn't be able to pedal though...
  • - 4
flag simooo (Sep 1, 2016 at 6:59) (Below Threshold)
 @G-Sport: When do you need to pedal backwards?
  • + 17
 @simooo: if the chainring can move backwards while the crank is stationary, the crank can move forwards ehile the ring is stationary. Meaning you cant pedal.
  • + 3
 my wife's mid 70's Schwinn Suburban has that
  • + 0
 @inked-up-metalhead: I think you need to look at how your rear wheel works, only free running in one direction
  • + 2
 @milestogo: are you sure thats not a normal crank mounted freewheel where the chainring and chain keep moving?
  • + 4
 @simooo: yeah, the opposite direction to what your on about. You cant turn the wheel backwards without the cassette, its only forwards. Imagine the chainring is the wheel and the cassette is the crank.
  • - 6
flag simooo (Sep 1, 2016 at 7:14) (Below Threshold)
 @inked-up-metalhead: You're not getting it mate.
  • + 5
 @simooo: no, your not getting it. The chainring can't rotate backwards on a freewheel if you want to go in the opposite direction with drive. Its the entire principle of ratchets. If your on about a trials style crank mounted freewheel where the chsin carries on moving it would do nothing to help the backwards pull of the chain. If you dont believe me get a ratchet, amd set it so you can turn the socket anticlockwise without the handle. You can then hold the socket still and turn the handle clockwise. Thats in effect peddling
  • - 5
flag simooo (Sep 1, 2016 at 7:24) (Below Threshold)
 @inked-up-metalhead: I know what you mean. pushing on the pedal wouldn't engage anything. But I thought that was obvious! there would need to be some clever innards.
  • + 3
 @simooo: so just like canyons system that employs clever innards to disconnect the drivetrain? Not really gonna be simpler or lighter, only thing centralising it would do would aid balance and unsprung weight. There is no wsy to do it without something disengaging, because its the same problem of having to drive forwards.
  • + 3
 @simooo If I am not mistaken there is a brand doing that somewhere in Europe, but they removed the rear freewheel, so one could shift without pedaling, as long as the bike is moving.
  • + 4
 The brand is HXR (hxr-components.com)

Anyways it won't keep the crank from interfering with the suspension, even with both freehubs. One would need the same engage/disengage system that Canyon has on their hub, on the crank.
  • + 1
 If you get a stick in your chain it's lights out though. Your drivetrain will be shredded wether you are pedaling or not.
  • + 5
 truvativ hammerschmidt could freewheel like that in one of the two gears.
  • + 1
 @Caiokv: Why not? It would remove counterclockwise feedback wouldnt it?
  • + 2
 @poozank: no, only faster than the crank forwards (clockwise) forces. Counter clockwise is the same as pedalling forwards.
  • + 0
 @taquitos: I think a free coaster would work.
  • + 0
 @inked-up-metalhead: it wouldn't work while the bike isn't moving but will work fine while the rear wheel is spinning forwards. if the chain ring can move forward on a ratchet while the rear wheel is spinning and the chain goes tight with suspension movement the chain ring will simply spin forward too to eliminate tension
  • + 1
 @albrow22: except its backwards pulls on the chainring the canyon system eliminates, the derailleur does that job anyway by being sprung.
  • + 0
 @inked-up-metalhead: but while the wheel is spinning forward this will in effect do the same thing, all its doing is relieving tension
  • + 1
 @albrow22: no it won't, the tension would be held against the ratchet mechanism. Relieving tension has to be done in the same direction as the tension, otherwise its adding tension.
  • + 1
 Its chain growth thats causing the problem, I.e. the distance between the chainring and cassette grows as the suspension moves through its travel. Watch the first 5 seconds of the video repeatedly and youll see why it wouldn't work
  • + 0
 @inked-up-metalhead: while the wheel is spinning forward the chain would always be able to move forward too which would relieve the tension
  • + 1
 @albrow22: thats not how it works. Its nothing to do with the wheel. Its the distance between the chainring and cassette getting bigger, the force is along the top of the chain. If your not pedalling, thats a static length of chain. If the gap gets bigger, the chain in effect shortens, meaning one of the cogs needs to move towards the centre of the chain. Yes, the cassette csn move forwards, but its the kick you feel through the crank on hard landings, when the tyre has gripped the ground and the rotational force would have to accelerate the wheel, which is harder than rotating the crank backwards. Pedal kick is a real thing, its been a problem for mtbs since rear suspension was invented.
  • + 3
 @inked-up-metalhead: it makes every difference that the wheel is spinning forwards. its always giving the top more chain but as you said is pulling on the mech which nowadays are very stiff. say for instance you land off a big drop with your back brake on solid so the wheel can't move you'd have a good chance of snapping your chain because the wheel isn't giving the chain it needs along the top. the only time i can see this been an issue is if you land a massive drop with no forward momentum but when does this ever happen.
  • + 1
 @albrow22 is correct!

There is a common misconception of pedal feedback - it's actually a function of 3 things:
1: Chain extension of the frame/gearing (the only commonly recognized one)
2: FORWARD VELOCITY (moving forward = reducing or eliminating feedback)
3: HUB ENGAGEMENT POINTS (less = better)

Companies that wank on about pedal feedback being some huge drama don't understand the mechanics of how pedal feedback is generated. It might be an issue justifying this if we all bounced up and down without moving forward, or only did huge hucks to flat.

If you are rolling forward at all, suddenly it's much harder to generate pedal feedback. If you have less hub engagements (eg. an average 40 or 44 is far slower than instantaneous) then that too is helping reduce pedal feedback (specifically: it reduces the forward riding velocity you can compress the suspension at and not have perceptible feedback, i.e. don't have to be moving forward as fast to eliminate feedback). That's why all these tests are shown with a static bike - it makes it easy to sell the snake oil.

By all means add a bunch of weight to your bike for no reason though... ahh, ze Germans.
Ushering in a new Bender era.
  • + 27
 Cool idea, i'd like to try it but I kept thinking in my head through the whole article, ugh another lever on the bar...
  • + 2
 That would be electronics .
  • + 22
 Dis/Connect AND Shape Shifter AND shock lockout AND dropper post AND Garmin for Strava.

I cant wait for the lever that airs my tires back up like on the old Batman show.
  • + 15
 It's for a DH bike, how many levers do you plan to have other than for your rear mech?
  • + 4
 @Thustlewhumber: they have that...
  • + 8
 @Thustlewhumber: hahahah Big Grin I want a lever for Dis/Respect, wonder what would that do...
  • + 8
 Nah. Use data acquisition on your practice run. When watching the GoPro footage, tag the spots where you want to engage/disenage, the system automates everything during the race run.
  • + 4
 @SpillWay: I believe guys like Minnaar have certain parts of the track worked through by centimeters, I don't see any data acqusition or positioning system getting precision counted in meters, 10m maybe... It's like analyzing Strava onshort tracks to find the spot where you are losing seconds. It's a one big approximation

What they could do instead is a button that keeps the freehub engaged only when you are holding it pressed. Disengages as soon as you let it go. Could be coped with shocks LSC valve. I'd love a remote lock out like that, with "push-for-pedal" option so I lock it almost fully during sprints, but release it just by letting go of the button. In this way I don't forget to unlock it.
  • + 1
 @WAKIdesigns: knowing the line you are taking within centimeters is different than knowing that within 5 m of a certain point you won't be pedaling.
  • + 6
 They should integrate a sphincter pucker sensor to dis/connect the drive train when you need it most.
  • + 8
 @bhd13: I already pattended sphincter triggers for dropper posts
  • + 0
 @WAKIdesigns: make it bluetooth and make a plug end so it stays in place. Maybe shitmano is designing one...
  • + 2
 Put the switch on the seat so you can flick it with your butt
  • + 21
 everyone is forgetting one major thing .the rear suspension moves through its travel when the bike is moving . not static a impact of that magnitude would more than likely take place over the course of a bike length so the rear hub will be spinning freely . now if you hit the brakes.... different story
  • + 5
 Totally true. You have to be going pretty slow for the chain growth caused by a bump to engage the pawls.
  • + 2
 No matter how fast the wheel is spinning, there is a fixed number of chain links between where the chain leaves cassette and meets the chain ring. As bump induced chain growth (distance from cassette to chain ring) comes into play, that number of links cannot grow which means that at any speed when you hit a bump you're going to get the same amount of pedal kick or chain induced resistance to suspension compression (based on gear combination, suspension design, etc...) Using this video as reference, you would get the same result whether the wheel is rotating or not. Maybe our writer can get a follow up video to show exactly that.
  • + 0
 @nickster426: your freewheel would simply rotate to account for the chain grown, since your wheel is rotating faster than your freewheel there would be no transferred motion to your cranks.
  • + 0
 any change in chain length is accounted by the freewheel rotating forward and feeding some links. This device would only work if you hit a drop perfectly straight down lol.
  • + 0
 @nickster426: Like these other guys point out, it's taken up by your derailleur cage. The cassette and freewheel rotate forward along the chain, at a slower rate than the wheel spins, as links transfer from the lower run to the upper run to accommodate the extension.

It's only at low speeds, like tight technical ledge drops where you notice the tug, and it usually comes with a big clang when the pawls engage and the spokes ring from the impact.
  • + 1
 exactly. Also, arguably the worst influence on the suspension is from chain pulling onto the clutched derailleur. This does nothing for it
  • + 20
 Secondary benefit is that freeriders can now do fakie tricks in rampage
  • + 18
 Chris Porter just passed out.
  • + 12
 Cool idea, but splitting c*nt hairs....
People just want to make money having the "next big idea", iv owned the hammerschidt, and a few other strange prodcucts... Over thought, simplicity rules. Solving problems that arent problems, isnt good for anyone.
  • + 15
 dont like it dont buy it. innovation is good for any industry. people said the same thing about dropper posts didnt they?
  • - 5
flag WAKIdesigns (Sep 1, 2016 at 5:43) (Below Threshold)
 @Ninjasstolemytv: and about not trusting Hitler, so no, not a good analogy.
  • + 7
 @WAKIdesigns: I dont think hitler was very privy about his hatred for jews

Although i am sick of seeing this very conservative viewpoint on pinkbike, where if its not some sort of fixie steel unicycle built in an amish barn then its better off dead. Especially since the industry is still pretty young
  • + 0
 @Ninjasstolemytv: Certain products will stick but it seems like the constant innovation and changes allow companies to charge more for newer products. As 26 wheels had been around for years, there was a ton of companies producing components that were compatible for that setup. With the introduction of the mass production shift towards 27.5, 29 and now 27.5+, component companies can charge higher prices for the new forks, wheelsets, etc as there was less supply. Just the flux of the industry, as older products become affordable the new ones will come in to keep profits up. I think that's why large manufacturers have moved from 26" wheels. It helps drive up demand and cost for components that are compatible with the new products and geometry.
  • + 2
 @Ninjasstolemytv: I dont like, and i wont buy it thats likely. And im not about that conservative view point either, im about shit that works, works well, and works for alot of people. This might tick one of those boxes, will someone buy it, sure they will people buy stupid shit all the time.
  • + 2
 @zion-i: Yeah but canyon's just f*cking around here, who knows whether or not itll make it out to market. Im sure plenty of wacky shit had to have happened before we got the stuff that just "works" now, only difference here is that we're seeing it.

Cant say that a manufacturers not allowed to experiment.
  • + 0
 @VPS13: but when is demand that high for boost forks and wheels that they can jack prices up? Havent seen any evidence for prices going up either, but very well could be wrong. Although RRP for rockshox forks havent changed with boost- but still stupid expensive
  • + 1
 @Ninjasstolemytv: I agree. People act like its some scam to make money. Of course these companies want to make money - they're businesses.

It's a competitive marketplace and its not like these companies have Apple like margins so innovation is going to be pretty incremental. There's not the money to make the "iphone" of bikes and completely change they way we think and use the mountain bike...
  • + 1
 @dhx42: Im not saying its a scam for money its part of the evolution of the industry. It does create demand however for people who are seeking the latest and greatest innovations much like when a new Iphone comes out every fall. We all know those people that must have the new phone even though the old one worked just fine for what it did. The slightly faster operating system, better camera, etc. is comparable to bigger wheels being more efficient in rough terrain, better braking, suspension etc. For many riders however, the increases in efficiency and performance are largely unrealized because it takes very good riders with exceptional talent riding the products at the limit to fully experience the benefits of these changes.

I ride what I have and generally only replace parts that I feel are restricting my riding or are no longer functioning as well as they once did. Some however, enjoy having the latest and greatest parts and these companies are catering to that demand. Not saying there is anything wrong with that, its a good business model centered around increasing demand and profit.
  • + 13
 Just hear me out on this one: using this to do racing starts at high revs on e-bikes, like dumping the clutch on a sports car but with less noise. Or acceleration. Or cool factor. Hmmmm
  • + 45
 Electric motors produce max torque from 0 rpm. So it would be totally useless.
  • - 3
 That sounds awesome! haha Big Grin
  • + 2
 @K4m1k4z3: And they have no flywheel
  • + 15
 @K4m1k4z3: Humans don't though! imagine seeing wc riders spinning bmx cadence before blasting out the start gate! provided the star ratchet can take the shock loads...
  • + 4
 @GumptionZA: Humans aren't mounted to rigid motor mounts either. if you were pedaling a free-spinning hub & suddenly engaged it, the resistance would just pitch you forward & stop your legs.
  • + 2
 @groghunter: true, instead of rigid star ratchets then, clutch plates! that allow for a gradual application of power until a full lock

this is a waste of time, humans probably just make their max power at low rpm anyway.
  • + 3
 @ BeRudeNot2 - Add pavement, slicks and some bleach and they could do burnouts... lol
  • + 12
 So I need a clutch in my hub to counteract the clutch in my mech.......
  • + 2
 b b b but how does it counter the effects of a clutch derailleur anyway?
  • + 2
 The derailleur clutch will keep on resisting suspension movement as long as you have a chain on your bike (chain growth). Canyon's system won't help in that regard.
  • + 2
 @kanioni: it disengages the drive completely from the frame?
So there's zero effect?
  • + 1
 @nojzilla: That disengagement removes all pedalling forces from suspension, but the clutch is a different case. Your chainstay gets longer during suspension and your derailleur compensates for that by letting the cage move forward. The clutch resists that movement, so the clutch movement is caused by suspension (and changing gears), not pedalling.
  • + 1
 @kanioni: as mentioned in the article, those effects are taken in to account whith the frames desighn an suss tune?
  • + 1
 @nojzilla: Probably, I dunno. Just saying that this hub clutch isn't for counteracting the clutch in your mech.
  • + 1
 @kanioni: nah its for counteracting any pinkbikers ability to recognise a sarcastic post..............
HashtagFacepalmemoji
  • + 1
 @nojzilla: Your shit seemed quite legit tbh
  • + 1
 @kanioni: cheers sometimes I even forget when I'm lost in the endless cycle of my own sarcastic trollisms
  • + 10
 Nice to see Canyon trying something progressive rather than just adding a few mm's to the spacing of a hub
  • + 7
 This is asinine. Here is a thought - have them re-make that video, but this time spin the back wheel up to speed before compressing the suspension. Then what happens? Oh, yeah, whether or not the drivetrain is connected becomes completely irrelevant.

If you are coasting, the chain tension can only affect the suspension if the suspension compresses quickly enough to make the pawls on the spinning hub re-engage. In a DOWNHILL RACE, where you coast pretty fast most of the time, this happens basically never. Certainly not often enough to justify a complex hub pawl mechanism and its risk of failure.
  • + 1
 Something else is going on then. Last DH trip my chain broke on the 2nd run, it felt like I was floating on a cloud that run, the suspension was so active and alive it was amazing. And the bike was eerily quiet, I could go faster just because it was not jarring and sucking up every big and little hit with more plushness. Perhaps this system will not do anything, but whatever we can do to get as if the chain isn't there, I guarantee you everyone will switch to it quickly. It is a massive difference.
  • + 1
 @Rasterman: Chainless designs are appearing a lot lately, whether as satire or not it does make for an interesting thought.

I personally hate not having a chain, the cranks feel nasty without resistance there but I agree with you that the suspension comes into it's own all of a sudden without it.

So as much as I'd love to bash it and moan because I hate new stuff - actually this clutch might be a good idea.
  • + 6
 The derailleur still moves in relation to the back wheel though, so the clutch is still influencing the suspension, and as other people have mentioned, with the wheel spinning, the freewheel shouldn't introduce any chain forces either. Meaning this is bunk... unless I'm missing something.
  • + 7
 Here come the experts to tell Canyon they are idiots and this is wrong etc etc blah blah blah.
  • + 3
 I am a huge fan of this type of thinking. One of the biggest factors in suspension performance on mountain bikes is chain growth and retention forces, even on bikes that pivot on the BB. I'll keep a close eye on this development, would like to see it progress to the point where there is no "button" or shifter on the bar, a la "active suspension" concepts. I'd like a mechanical solution where any forward input on the cranks/pedals engages the "engine". Very cool technology. #slowclap
  • + 3
 You never know when you will need to put a quick pedal in.... I would have to push a button to re-engage the hub? No thanks. Seems like any potential benefit is lost with the potential reaction time and possible fumbling of a button push.
  • + 3
 Some lever in the shoe or the pedal/crank would be sick!
  • + 10
 go to crank it without reengaging it and BOOM you are through the front door
  • + 1
 @sewer-rat: great point
  • + 7
 that is fucking stupid
  • + 2
 Nice demonstration. So if you land on the rear wheel real hard, the wheel locks when it hits the saddle helping to lower the front end whilst it simultaneously rebounds. Is this a common thing with bikes with a lot of rear wheel travel? I know some set their saddle on their BMX or DJ hardtail this low that it occasionally rubs, but it seems undesirable on a bike like this.

As for the disconnect critics, relax. This is a German company, they like to explore new stuff. They're not going to release something that gets people crashing clearly attributable to their new technology. It doesn't seem they're at that stage yet.
  • + 3
 Cool idea, except I can imagine that the Star Ratchet will get stripped from repeatedly disconnecting while hitting bumps, unless there's a forward torque/spin on the disengage mechanism.
  • + 2
 Yess! these are the kind of things I look forward to during eurobike, interbike, etc. Good or not, it's great to see companies thinking outside the box when developing new tech. Kudos to canyon.
  • + 2
 Jackshaft is simpler in use and virtually does the same. Whether it's lighter - or could be - or not is a different story, but I myself would prefer a jackshaft over an extra lever IF I was that picky.
  • + 1
 or just a high idler rather than a full jackshaft. only real advantage of a jackshaft is you can run a 22t chainring..
  • + 1
 Well, that is not entirely true. High adler only helps up to a point; the chain still does stretch and there still is a pedalkick. So I, as a person that did have various frames with both - high pivot idlers and jackshafts - have to disagree.
  • + 1
 Very small chain growth on mine, there is no pedal kickback as chain length between cassette and chainring doesn't change, exactly the same as jackshaft. Any small chaingrowth is taken care of by the mech and doesn't produce kickback. I can do exactly that in video..
  • + 1
 Not entirely related to this disengaging hub. But when i first installed a clutch derailer on my dh bike i could definitely feel it in my suspension. It made it a tad stiffer due to resisting chain groath. I actually backed my compression off a click or two. So i can see this having some affect. But likely only at lower speed where the free hub is catching up to the wheel.
  • + 5
 ... or we could just bring gearboxes to the masses
  • + 2
 As much as I rail against gearboxes for trail bikes, for DH it makes perfect sense. Since it seems you only need 7 speeds and a narrow range for DH, and who ares about efficiency when we are talking about disengaging the rear hub? With a narrow range and less gears, a gearbox could maybe go on a huge diet and get more competitive on weight.
  • + 1
 I had a similar idea a few months back, but for slopestyle use. Would disengage the freewheel in order to go reversal without needing to sping. I'm pretty sure we would see a lot of new sick trick and I hope that will happen somehow.
  • + 4
 Part-time freecoaster?

And let's not forget Neko's fourth place at the world champs a few years ago.
  • + 3
 Neko's 4th place, the most notable chainless run in recent times.
  • + 5
 @Patrick9-32: You quite sure about that?
  • + 1
 @Patrick9-32: I mentioned Neko's run because the article mentions Gwin's, but Neko's was the first world class chainless run in the 'watch DH live' era (I think it was Cousinie who once qualified first with a broken chain). Warner thought Neko's race was over and so was shocked to see his splits being fastest, so when Gwin broke his chain Warner thought he was in with a chance because he, and the rest of us, had seen that a fast run was still possible.
  • + 1
 "Why not just design a bike with suspension that's totally impartial to drivetrain forces? Because it'd pedal like total shit"

You shouldn't be talking about bicycles Levy, because you don't know fvck all about them. Yeah I'm sure the Stitched 720 pedals sooo much worse than low pivots that bounce or highs that kick back. Neutrality is the best way to do it & this idea is utter fvcking stupidity. Canyon wants a gimmick to call their own by the looks of it.

You've gotta push a fvcking lever to use it! What's the next "BIG" thing in this cesspool of an industry now, a zillion reasons to put more levers on your handlebars? If I'm gonna use a lever, it's gonna lock the shock so this thing here, is totally fvcking irrelevant & that locked shock is gonna be on a bike with chainstay neutrality so everything works right when it needs to work.
  • + 3
 surely we set our bike up with this chain tension so isn't it irrelevant? with this do you set up with it engaged or without?
  • + 1
 This will make very little difference for fast riders; the faster the hub is spinning, the less likely the freewheel is going to be able to catch up when the suspension moves - have you ever noticed your noisy freehub go quiet when your rear suspension compresses?
  • + 1
 Why we always gotta try and make things easier! Just get yourself a nice hard tail ride up hills in pain ride down hills rail sum rutz nail some slutz and be done! At the end of the day we are all just riding a bike!
  • + 0
 If you're training with this system you are only going to forget to re-engage the hub maybe 2-3 times.

I do wonder though if more time could be made up for the pros with Aero than fancy disconnected drive trains? I know skin suits are not popular but they are certainly fast and then add in some bits on the bike and one assumes there would be tangible gains
  • + 2
 Skinsuits are banned by UCI, as are visor-less helmets. Some racers like Loic are already wearing slim-fit clothing that's probably about as close to the rule as you can get.
  • + 0
 @dthomp325: Yes I am aware of the ban although not 100% sure why it was implemented. I remember back in the day Rob Warner being opposed to skin suits for style reasons but then he back peddled in a recent interview stating that if it made you faster then why not?

DH Skiers are all about the skin suits.
  • + 1
 I never understood the ban, especially when there are plenty of photographs showing the same riders shouting for a ban wearing them themselves!?

The only reason I can think of is so companies could advertise shorts, trousers, tees and jerseys. Imagine if all the pros wore skinsuits - These companies wouldn't sell many skinsuits as regular riders would just wear whatever clothes were in their drawers at home.
  • + 2
 For as long as I ONLY RIDE PARK (park park park) I won't be running a chain anyway, so this brand spanking new technology is obsolete
  • + 1
 Sorry but this won't do anything to mitigate the forces of a clutch derailleur. There will still be chain growth. Very interesting idea though. I'd be interested to try it out
  • + 3
 the bike industry is coming out with some beautys lately. its not even April 1st yet
  • + 3
 Bike Industry: slow down - I only just went tubeless.
  • + 2
 Cant you just add a couple of links, run a chain guide and disengage the clutch on the deraileur?
  • + 1
 Someone will buy this just to see what it feels like to be Gwin with no chain while being too lazy to get out their chain tool.
  • + 1
 I'm just going to leave this right here.... canfieldbrothers.com/canfield-balance-formula-suspension-patent-u

Check out point number 2.
  • + 0
 Wait until this lands on enduro bikes. A lever for this, a lever for shapeshifter, might as well add a lever for the fork, and it'll look like something fresh out of the Wonka factory.
  • + 2
 Easier to put on the crank with the rachet mech for the chain ring to disengage - already out there for some time.
  • + 2
 Wouldn't use of a pinion type gearbox eliminate the need for something like this?
  • + 1
 i've already broke this frame Big Grin sorry guys. Bike is awesome to ride but carbon is not good quality
  • + 1
 Does this explain why we occasional see blisteringly fast chainless race runs!?
  • + 1
 I'd say this is a dumb idea, but it takes a bunch of bad ideas to hit the brilliant one.
  • + 1
 My G spot doesst have to worry about this with its bb concentric chainstay pivot! Big Grin
  • + 2
 Now let's see that test with the wheel spinning.
  • + 1
 Exactly!
  • + 1
 Inspired by Aaron Gwin and Neko Mulally chainless runs. But nothing wrong with experimenting... Smile
  • + 1
 Would get more benefit from a day with Mojo/etc setting up suspension than the funky hub
  • + 2
 Dirtbike with motor removed. Problem solved.
  • + 2
 Next big idea is the "CHAIN - UNCHAIN" switch. You're welcome.
  • + 8
 Devinci will be next to implement that technology on their Django model....You're welcome.
  • + 2
 Don't need it, my frame has an idler for the high pivot already Smile
  • + 0
 Need one more switch to disable brakes and make suspension totally independent!
  • + 1
 Want to know the secret of this?
Ask Mased Magician.
  • + 1
 The Spesh Demo 8 has done that for years!!!
  • + 1
 Splendid idea or just buy a Knolly.....
  • + 1
 Ha! Awesome
  • + 1
 Based on Aaron Gwin's chainless run at Leogang
  • + 1
 • Availability: maybe never
yeah,you made a point.
  • + 1
 Great for fakies! Big Grin
  • + 0
 Won't go into production. Canyon is afraid of warranty claims.
  • + 0
 Wheel in the A$$ while riding?
...Ain't no one got time for that!
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