Motion Ride's 170mm Linkage Fork - Eurobike 2018

Jul 8, 2018 at 11:39
by Mike Levy  
Eurobike 2018


Let's be honest here: Linkage forks look pretty damn kooky, and I'd guess that one would need to perform considerably better than a Pike, 36 or any other top-tier telescopic fork for most riders to consider one. Matthieu Alfano, the engineer behind Motion Ride's linkage fork, swears that his design does exactly that, and all it will take is a ten-minute test ride to convince nearly anyone. Oh, and it uses a single carbon leaf spring, carbon legs, and a thru-shaft damper of his own design.

But there's been a load of stillborn linkage forks over the years, so what makes Alfano's different? Physics, he says.

The big promise with linkage forks is the anti-dive characteristics that, in brief, keep the fork from blowing through its travel due to weight transfer when you grab the front brake. Go fast in a straight line on your traditional telescopic, yank the front brake hard, and it'll gobble up a lot of its stroke just from your center of gravity getting pitched forward shortly before you get tossed out the front door. And while all that's happening, you're left with less travel to absorb bumps like, you know, it's supposed to be doing.
Eurobike 2018
Matthieu Alfano poses with his first proof of concept linkage fork.

But we're all just fine with the above, largely because telescopic forks have many decades of development behind them, and it's simply what we're used to. Linkage forks, however, sure as hell aren't what we're used to.


Eurobike 2018
We're not in Kansas anymore, Pinkers.


Alfano says that his linkage fork is the only one out there that truly offers real anti-dive abilities because it's the only one that his its pivots in the correct places. The others have anti-dive properties, he clarified, but how effective they are depends on the rider's weight, braking force, and terrain.

The location of the pivots on his Motion Ride linkage fork work for everyone, on any terrain, and any riding style, he continued. Bold claims.


Eurobike 2018
Eurobike 2018
While not exactly ready for sending it, Alfano's first proto proved that he was onto something.


Alfano started his linkage fork project back in 2013 with a homemade proof of concept that, while admittedly rough looking, showed promise. It employed a RockShox damper, was designed for 26'' wheels and looks more than a little bit sketchy. But it was enough for Alfano to follow it up a year later with a prototype that put his other ideas to use: Carbon leaf springs that are pulled rather than pushed, and a damper on one side. He actually used a steering damper from a dirt bike that turned out to be a great off the shelf solution. This prototype had carbon legs, a whole load of huge steel bolts holding everything together, and a bunch of extra aluminum everywhere.

But it worked. In fact, it worked really, really well, Alfano said.


Eurobike 2018

Eurobike 2018
Eurobike 2018
It ain't light, but the second prototype used carbon leaf springs and a steering damper from a dirt bike.


With the critical part dialed - the exact location of the pivots - and the leaf spring idea proven, the third prototype was all about Alfano designing and manufacturing his own damper. But not just any damper; this is a thru-shaft pull-damper.

Why thru-shaft? Because it doesn't require an internal floating piston that would introduce friction into the system or a bladder that adds complication. It worked, too, he said, which brings us to the pre-production fork pictured here.


Eurobike 2018
The thru-shaft pull-damper is designed and built by Alfano, and you can adjust its low-speed rebound and compression simultaneously by rotating the large collar on its body.


The fork's carbon fiber leaf spring is pulled rather than pushed because, Alfano says, that motion provides a much more useful spring rate than if the leaf spring was compressed. It's said to start relatively soft off the top before ramping up much as an air spring would. Only there's obviously none of the seals or complication that comes with an air spring.

It's also remarkably adjustable, too, with the standard leaf spring using a preload screw at the lower mount that, according to Alfano, allows it to be easily tuned for rider weights between 50 and 100kg. If you're out of that weight range, Motion Ride can make you a suitable leaf spring as well.


Eurobike 2018
Eurobike 2018
A hex bolt at the leaf spring's lower mount lets you adjust the preload. Apparently, it can be adjusted to work for a very large weight range of riders.


Here's a surprise: There isn't a single sealed bearing used at any of the fork's pivots. Instead, Alfano presses in high-end bushings that are precisely machined to match the aluminum axles that run through them. There are weight savings to be had from this approach - around 100-grams apparently - but Alfano explained that he went the bushing route not for gram cutting but because they last much longer than sealed bearings while also offering a bit of vibration absorption.

He also said that he has a test fork with well over 100,000 kilometers on it and the bushings are still running smoothly with zero tolerance issues.


Eurobike 2018
Eurobike 2018
Bushings are lighter than sealed bearings but, more importantly, they provide more support and are said to last an impressively long time.


Motion Ride has forks for both 27.5'' and 29'' (and 27.5+) wheels, with the former able to run up to 170mm of travel and the latter topping out at 160mm and at a claimed weight of 2.1kg, or 4.61lb. For reference, Fox's new 160mm-travel 36 with the Grip2 damper weighs 2.06kg or 4.54lb. You decide how much travel you want when you order the fork, so you can certainly go with less, too.

And speaking of ordering one, at €1,580, these things ain't cheap - I'll let you do the conversion to whatever your local currency is. Those who order a fork before the end of July will get a 20-percent discount if they do the whole brand ambassador thing as well, which sounds like it'd be worth a few social media posts.


Eurobike 2018
The Canyon that I pedaled around had a 170mm-travel linkage fork on the front of it.


Alfano is obviously a very clever guy, and he's well aware that his biggest challenge will be getting people on his fork and convincing us that there's a different way to get the job done. I started off my conversation with him by saying that it almost doesn't matter how much better the Motion Ride fork is - if it is better at all - because we're all used to telescopic forks and how they perform. He agreed, but also said that his design is so much better than a traditional bushing-based design that having people ride the fork will be all it takes for some. I'm not so sure about that.

I absolutely had to go for an extreme, long-term, in-depth three-minute 'First Ride Review' in the parking lot of the Eurobike hall to see what would happen when I got up to speed and jammed on the front brake. But nothing happened when I did that... The fork pretty much didn't move at all, no matter how hard I braked or how forward my weight was. And then I did the same thing right into a curb, half expecting to end the first day of Eurobike with bloody knees, but the fork erased the curb while also not diving. It also squeaked like a MF'er from the pivots, something that Alfano said is due to some dust but easily fixable with a spray from the hose. Pretty neat stuff, and a review will be a must when the production version is available this September.


Views: 15,668    Faves: 3    Comments: 2



I've always been a fan of linkage forks - they make so much more sense mechanically than a traditional bushing system - but liking them and actually owning one are two very different things. I mean, tell me the Motion Ride fork looks good and I'll tell you that your nose is getting longer. But what if it turns out to be just as good as Alfano claims? What if it doesn't dive at all, has way less inherent friction, and is more torsionally rigid than a telescopic fork to boot?

If all of that checked out, would you consider the Motion Ride fork? Or does the fact that it looks a bit kooky immediately strike it off your list of possible fork options?


177 Comments

  • + 106
 how is something so overly complicated not invented by a german?
  • + 50
 If it were built by a German you could not only race a WC DH on it, but also plow your farm's fields, put out a fire, and pave a road.
  • + 27
 @kabanosipyvo: maybe until warranty was up. Ask BMW, Mercedes and vw about that
  • + 5
 Does it conform to EURO7 emission standards?
  • + 3
 @kabanosipyvo: I think that is the Swiss with so much versatility. The good old Swiss army knife, not German Army knife
  • + 4
 @zrider79: I must have had Unimogs on my mind when I wrote that.
  • + 2
 Not exactly the same but goes into that direction:
www.german-a.de/c/7/p/4/produkte,3/kilo-no-1
  • - 19
flag tcamp86 (Jul 9, 2018 at 8:26) (Below Threshold)
 @kabanosipyvo: Unless you are Jewish, then it would just kill you.
  • + 2
 @kabanosipyvo: yeah, Unimogs are pretty rad and versatile
  • + 0
 @kabanosipyvo: yeah man. Those are nuts! I wish everything was built like a unimog
  • + 1
 @kabanosipyvo:

Unimogs are super cool - I happened to see one yesterday in Santa Cruz, CA.
  • - 2
 That fork just gave me herpes.
  • + 0
 @kabanosipyvo: Because the ski areas are grazing for cows and the DH courses go right through'm. Damn cows don't make for very consistent gates though. Big Grin
  • + 0
 @zrider79: swiss clock too
  • + 57
 I literally cannot believe the negativity here, this is a f*cking good re-stab at the linkage fork idea.
It's a product in it's infancy, it's neither massively expensive nor overly heavy, and by all accounts seems to live up to the hype. Give it time to evolve and give him props for trying, it's more than any of you f*ckers have ever, or will ever do.
  • + 5
 Onya deadmeat25 that was my sentiment exactly.
  • + 9
 Typical pb (or internet?) user behavior.. unfortunately. Many brilliant creators have been crucified here because their ideas don't look the way people are used to...

And if you go to the next article, you'll find a bunch of guys ready to sell their mom for a set of new colorfull grips..
  • + 3
 Looking forward to owning or trying one. Innovation is bad atm. It's all iterations of current tech by making things stiffer or longer or wider or... Oh er, suits you sir
  • + 2
 No kidding. I think this is pretty dang cool. I'd absolutely love to try one!!
  • + 56
 What's that squeaky sound?
  • + 163
 “Innovation”


Lol
  • + 0
 It looks like it'd hit the downtube at bottomout... ?
  • + 22
 ***engineer's tears***
  • + 1
 Any tuning knobs?.. lsc hsc rebound?
  • + 10
 By the looks of it, this fork tries to EXTEND under braking forces. Pretty cool.
  • + 8
 I'd assume that is front brake jack lol
  • + 3
 @blast-off: Isn't it about time a brake manufacturer released a model called 'jack'?
  • + 2
 @blast-off: Exactly. Except in the front it a benefit, balancing weight shift and dive.
  • + 1
 @blast-off: ^is a benefit
  • + 1
 New brakes.
  • + 1
 @mtbikeaddict: yeah they would totally release a design that did that!
  • + 3
 @kabanosipyvo: Are you sure that front brake jack is a benefit? If you're using the brakes on some rough terrain, do you want your fork to stiffen up and fail to absorb the bumps?
  • + 3
 @NotAnotherClimb: No, I wouldn't, but in the article the tester claims to have hit a curb under hard braking, and "the fork erased the curb." He could be playing word games there, but I think this parking lot test is good enough to warrant a long-term examination on real trails.
  • + 35
 E18 up front wolf ridge rear Sus, I wonder how that would compare to a “traditional” set up?
Please PB set up a test & write up. It’s about time things were shaken up a bit.... looking at that high pivot artical the other day reminded me how much innovation there has been in our sport, long may it continue! Also nice to see positive comments on something that’s based on engineering principles not a beauty pageant! (Good engineering is of course always a beautiful thing to behold).
  • + 2
 Hopped on a marin wolf ridge last weekend. Fantastic pedalling and bump-eating but man I don't think I've ever ridden a bike with that much suspension feel so poorly on jumps. The bike loves to mitigate your bunnyhops too. Incredible bike though and I'm sure with a couple more tweaks to the design it would become a much more manageable (ie the tiniest bit more feeling through the pedals) bike to throw over the lips of some jumps.
  • + 20
 i've wanted a linkage fork to work since i blew apart an AMP B3 25 years ago. want to hear more
  • + 14
 Another UK publication has had a test ride. Sounds promising. singletrackworld.com/2018/07/review-motion-ride-e18-anti-dive-linkage-fork-first-ride
  • + 5
 @kickmehard hm, promising indeed.

Would be cool to see future designs, something more universal in a way that fits the design of the rest of the bike. Then it might be more widely accepted?
  • + 6
 It looks mental, but if it works Mr Alfano needs to get a few out on the demo circuit. Lauf have made it worked with their weird ass leaf spring fork (and work it does), so no reasons he can't carve out a little niche if this thing's good. I want a go on one that's for sure.
.
Singletrack liking it is a good start indeed.
  • + 2
 @Milko3D: I definitely think that refining the aesthetic of a linkage fork will be the biggest hurdle. Even if it lives up to its potential it will need to look sleeker to again acceptance. I really hope it develops well, great to have some alternative thinking.
  • - 2
 Since when did singletracks start covering e-mtb news? Tried to follow link but that's fake news
  • + 0
 @Kickmehard: I think it looks pretty neat already! Kind of like a machine-gun.
  • + 8
 Every time someone claims bushings are more reliable and longer-lived than sealed cartridge bearings, I feel like they should go test their product through a British winter and say that again. Seriously. Bushings suck. End of.
  • + 9
 “... but the fork erased the curb while also not diving”
That’s impressive.
  • + 6
 It makes lot of sense. I remembre drawing something like this 20 years ago. I'm surprised the first application is not a DH fork. It's probably the application where it could prove its value. Let's put a fork under some fast worldcup privateers!! So hard to innovate with big players locking the market and customers that prefer jump on boost and dub than real new concept!
  • + 5
 Folk have been trying this stuff for ever on motorcycles, modern big BMW touring bikes have swingarms hidden under the bodywork for example. No one wants it on a road or race bike, partly because of weight, but also because dive under hard braking is desirable, since it speeds up the steering at a point when you want to trade stability for quicker, more precise steering. Telescopic forks are a great compromise.
Also, are they the same "high end bushings" that I had to replace every three weeks on my Ariel?
  • + 11
 There's a difference with diving under braking on the road, and diving through your suspension while using your brakes off-road, not being able to absorb bumps anymore. The first one might be desirable, the second one certainly isnt.
  • + 1
 Bushings wear out because of bad alignment, I have a 5 year old Nicolai running on the same bushings since day 1 and still going great! Admittedly I'm riding less now, but I've had no problems at all. And with bushings, the back end is really stiff, far better than the specialized I owned before.
  • + 4
 Somehow I don't think a saracen and a €1500 fork are gonna be using the same quality bushings...
  • + 1
 @inked-up-metalhead: Well said!!! A friend of mine owns a Saracen Ariel for 2 or 3 years now, and he hates this bike because of the bushings. Saracen gently offered him a huge bag of bushings but it actually never solved the problem. Even after mounting some new ones, this bushings take a play after....... 15 minutes of riding, making his rear linkage everything except stiff. A true hell!!!! Meanwhile, my old Rock Mountain Slayer SXC that I own for 8 years doesn`t have the least play behind and is as stiff as day one thanks to..... bulletproof sealed bearings. It is probably superstition, but I`ll never buy a full suspended bike with bushing linkages. I used to - briefly - have a Banshee Spitfire Version 1.0 that I did not keep long because of the doubtful trust I had in their bushing system.
  • + 6
 "It also squeaked like a MF'er from the pivots, something that Alfano said is due to some dust but easily fixable with a spray from the hose."

Alfano, shouldn't you have done this before (or during) the show?
  • + 2
 Good thing there isn't any dust on MTB trails.
  • + 4
 Bold claims... can buy two (very nice) telescopic forks for the price of one of these units. You’d also get a product that is easily maintained, easy to get parts for and doesn’t sound like an old squeaky mattress at hunting camp.
Just sayin...
But hey, I haven’t ridden one yet.
  • + 6
 If it's lighter than traditional telescopic forks and inherently has obvious higher performance, I'd ride one!
  • + 8
 It's hideous, I love it!
  • + 6
 Looks really cool, 100,000km on the test fork? Was that run on a motorcycle used as a daily driver for the last three years?
  • + 1
 Presumably it was stuck on a rolling road or a some other testing device and left to it's fate. Evidently that fate was 'just truckin' along,'
  • + 0
 Yamaha GTS 1000 (1993), It was a production motorcycle, a fair bit more complex than this but wasn't really a big success. Maybe it was too early.
  • + 5
 Well congratulations, that's the prettiest linkage fork I've seen, hope it goes off. We need some genuine innovation just like this. All you naysayers, off to your sheds.
  • + 6
 I'd like to try one, like the concept
  • + 2
 Best training tool there is... get your faster mate to put some big teeth on that chomping mouth and by gum you'd go faster with that inches from yer butt... Seriously, the science backs it up, but looks will kill it unfortunately.
  • + 2
 Been following this one for some weeks now. I'd have one if it didn't cost more than the equivalent telescopic options and was closer in weight. I'd also want to know how easy they are to tune and fix if broken. Product support is a big one for me to tick off before I commit.

As for looks, I imagine they'll improve as more companies try this approach (if successful). Form should follow function (yep, I'm an engineer)! ????
  • + 2
 I find the 'no need for servicing' very, very appealing. Just had a bladder in my fork broken last summer and it took 3months off my riding. And when the riding season in Finland is around 4 months that's fucked up. I'd sacrifice the looks for the reliability if it's as good as they say.
  • + 3
 That'll make me more uncomfortable than a single crown lefty!

So, when's the review due? Not getting one soon, but I'm curious about the performance.
  • + 2
 How about a Lefty version of this? I believe I would twitch a bit and then convulse and then puke. But on the other hand, suppose it worked?
  • + 1
 100kg max? These are Fat f*ck problems, but that's going to exclude a significant percentage of riders, including most people over 6ft. 40kg of range isn't terrible but I've not yet found anything telescopic that was incapable of handling my heft. A few wheels maybe...
  • + 2
 The video of the fork in action is available on Pinkbike www.pinkbike.com/video/488793 . The Motion website brings answers to most of questions I can see in comments.
  • + 1
 I like it a lot. Doesn't weigh any more than a traditional fork. In terms of bump absorption, any traditional suspension only absorbs linearly anyway, yet this doesn't dive when you brake. It actually is a (some might consider modest) step forward.
  • + 3
 1lb going from 4.5 to 5.5 is an extra ~23%

That's a lot.
  • + 1
 They obviously changed kinematics as well, because the first usable prototype with damper hidden in steerer was far from "anti-dive". I like they went more aluminium than carbon with this version, but still there're nonsense bushings and custom damper.
I mean, if I shall buy a modern bike, I would strongly consider this fork even if it's this expensive, but the God damn bushings and custom damper would repeal me, really.
  • - 2
 Wow what a f*cking idiot. Is it just because you couldn't design a damper, therefore no-one else could possibly do it? Do you believe that Fox, Rockshox, Ohlins etc are in possession of some mysterious magical powers that means only they can yield the black magic suspension wand? How complicated do you think suspension dampers are? Do you find everything complicated?
  • + 1
 @deadmeat25: as a counterpoint, this thing's damper only has one adjustment; a dial that simultaneously affects lsc and lsr.

Between that, the squeaking and the bushings, I do not desire this contraption.
  • + 2
 @deadmeat25: Chill out push rod. I haven't said anything like that. Just that they probably changed kinematics, which is a thing you probably can't think anything about.
  • + 1
 “You never get a second chance to make a first impression...”. Why not ensure the fork is A-1 primo, free of squeaks??? (Facepalm). Wish the guy the best but geez.
And three protos to determine pivot location is ideal? I hope he’s right.
  • + 1
 Also I never had volume on it when i watched the video the first time, its loud... keep in mind that its loud and makes popping sounds under their best case scenario demonstration here, so this give me zero faith that it will not be loud and creaky as all blue hell in application.
  • + 3
 Whacky suspension aside, can you stop calling the readers “pinkers?” We’re already a community of mountain bikers, no need to make the group any more niche
  • + 43
 I’m a pinker, also a browner on occasion
  • + 21
 @chunter: shockingly a 2:1 ratio
  • + 2
 No one bringing up the the girvin/K-2 vector fork? I remember claims of anti-dive and crazy linkage. I had one, liked it. Even had the elastomers. Later went to coil and carbon “lowers”.
  • + 5
 I actually think it does look pretty neat.
  • + 1
 That squeky sound of overtightened bushings is terrible. I'd do some terrible things if a suspension for 1.500eur annoyed me with this sound. I might like the fork, it's crazy lightweight, it may have nice performance, but that sound of dry overtightened bushings is a no-go. After converting my old Rune's rear suspension to use ball bearings I realized how much that God damn bushings were terrible. Never ever.
  • + 1
 I love the idea of linkage fork. I had a Lawwill Leader back in the day. But I have to see one I'd actually want to ride. They always seem to be designed by someone who isn't surrounded by actual gnar. Gnar people are too busy trying to keep conventional stuff running let alone add a dozen pivots to their fork.
  • + 1
 what's that noise on the last compressions?

So many interactions with front suspension not using telescopic suspension, that all comes down to:
what models still maintain?? BMW are very nice bla...bla...bla, but why the S1000R has telescopic suspension and when it was sold the G450X Enduro?
I love this front suspension style, understand that it's superior in many cases, but thing is....

Thing is... people buy "things" by looks...and everyone is very conservative / tradicional.
Unless this front suspension wins some EWS/DH (a 200mm version), I wish the best of all!
  • + 1
 more stiff, more torsional regidity... why are we always shooting for this when in reality who's to say this is not beneficial. We have so many inverted fork manufacturers telling us the opposite of what the linkage fork is trying to achieve.

This fork looks stupid as shit and considering the fact you have a 6:1 ratio (170mm travel, assuming 1" stroke shock) you will never get the damping capabilities you achieve with a 1:1 telescopic fork. This is why it has never been a successful idea and why the motorcycle industry has never adopted it.
  • + 2
 Then, mount some 180mm telefork up to your bike's rearend and you'll have amazing dampening capabilities of 1:1 ratio.
  • + 1
 @fluider: Wheel path, drivetrain forces, braking forces, stiffness, brake jack.... many more design limitations then a front fork, thus why we need a linkage system with engineered kinematics.

high leverage ratio in the rear suspension still drive a far better damped bike. Most bikes now considerably longer stroke shocks for the same travel they featured years ago. This was one of the pushes towards the metric shock standard. Shorter eye to eye with longer stroke, for greater damping ability
  • + 2
 @BoneDog: If we're to speak bit more precisely than neither telefork does give yoy 1:1 ratio. Due to angled axle-path telefork suspension is under-leveraged. Telefork_springrate / sin(head_angle) is reguired to compress your fork which is due to head-angle range 65° - cca 72° throughout the travel always higher than actual spring rate of your fork. That is just a spring rate, however. Damper adds another behaviour trying to dampen the spring just enough, and that is the last thing teleforks can slowly keep evolving. The rest of telefork is pretty much finished product with very small posibilities of development. Only materials and damping can dramatically change.

Telefork weight dropped significantly only and only with air springs. There are two, or three at maximum manufacturers that produce forks for all major brands, having amazing production technology and capabilities and yet, some to-be-established few-people company was able to develope and come up with product that is actually as heavy as serial-production competitors. Can you imagine what could be done if Motion Fork had access to resources which FOX and SRAM have at SR Sountour?

Linkage fork can have much more vertical axle path, and much more even impact force required to compress it. Along other gains.

What's going to run another industry revolution hype? 28.01mm BB axle? 157.01x12.01mm hub axle? Electro shifting? 14 speed casette? Some overprized tubeless solution?
  • + 2
 I’ve always been attracted to designs that are function over form. I think this thing looks fricking cool. Too bad it is price over affordability for me.
  • + 3
 Good for people who can think of a better way and apply it. Otherwise we might still have Ford Pinto exploding gas tanks.
  • + 2
 Would you rather have a new fork, a new frame, a high-end wheelset, or a whole 'nother (slightly used) bike? All the same price... Nuts.
  • + 4
 if the price point came down I'd buy one just because it looks wacky
  • + 5
 and fix the squeak that would drive me bonkers
  • + 3
 I own a scott gambler. If there's one thing I've learned it's the less bearings a bike has, the better
  • + 1
 But but... It has bushings!
  • + 3
 Well this would add exactly zero bearings to a bike.
  • + 3
 Where's Structure Works!!??!!!
  • + 3
 Right here, buddy. Preparing for production with an anti-dive system that doesn't attempt to defy the laws of physics!

Motion Ride has designed a great product with solid kinematics, but the marketing claims are driving me crazy. Anti-dive that doesn't depend on the rider's centre of mass? That's simply not how anti-dive works. What's next, frame manufacturers claiming their bikes resist bobbing with zero pedal feedback? Wink
  • + 3
 @Structure-Ryan: Well, it's worthy to read the already linked Singletrack review of this fork:
singletrackworld.com/2018/07/review-motion-ride-e18-anti-dive-linkage-fork-first-ride

And while your front suspension design is neat as well, I'd like to know how much of an anti-dive behaviour does you system has? With horizontaly oriented suspension arms the anti-dive curve will quickly dive, I guess.
  • + 4
 @fluider: Hi fluider,

I've read that article, plus several non-English ones. The Motion Ride fork has an average anti-dive of roughly 100%, but the value changes considerably throughout the travel. It's essentially impossible to create a system with a constant value, so this isn't surprising and it's not inherently bad.

Attempting to replicate the Motion Ride geometry and using the centre of mass location I use for Structure calculations, I came up with a starting value over 130%, dropping to under 70%, then going back up to 120%. My pivot locations are incorrect, as I can only work from photos, but it gives the general shape of the curve. I'm not saying these values are bad, just that it's dishonest to claim the value is constant.

A telescoping fork has about -30% anti-dive (i.e. 30% pro-dive), so anything is an improvement on this! 100% anti-dive isn't necessarily the ideal value. Dive and load transfer improve traction and compliance; the preferred amount will vary for different riders and different conditions.

The SCW 1 has four settings to allow riders to tune the level of anti-dive and compliance. Longer links generally allow for more consistent values and ours are fairly consistent throughout the travel. The values go from a little less than 0% at the lowest point of the lowest setting to over 30% at the highest point of the highest setting. As stated before, the values depend on the where you assume the rider's centre of mass to be. I adjusted every pivot on the SCW 1 - even on the rear - for the centre of mass of the "average" rider for each size to ensure each chassis size has the intended ride characteristics. As far as I know, we're the only company that does that on the rear, let alone the front.
  • + 2
 @Structure-Ryan: Thanks for your reply Ryan. As for Motion fork, I haven't tried to replicate their kinematics yet to see the anti-dive behaviour, but if it's within range between 130-70% as you're saying, than I've managed to design much much more even anti-dive curve. At three different levels. My layout uses little bit longer arms, which leads to heavier system.

SCW1 anti-dive curve let's say for the highest setting goes from over 30% to how much? They keep around 30%?
  • + 2
 @fluider: Fluider,
It's not difficult to design lots of anti-dive. You want 1000% anti-dive, I'll give you 1000% anti-dive. Just as you don't want 1000% anti-squat on the rear, you don't want excessive anti-dive on the front.

The challenge is finding the right balance of chassis attitude control, traction, and compliance.

My Structure settings have average anti-dive levels of a little below 0% to quite a bit over 0%. Each setting is fairly consistent over the travel range.
  • + 3
 @Structure-Ryan: I didn't mean I managed to design more anti-dive, but that I managed to design more evenly shaped anti-dive curve, in comparison to Motion fork according to your estimates. Their previous prototype, the one with damper within steerer tube seemed to have less anti-dive than this one, around 0%.

Sure, it's a matter of balance.
  • + 2
 @fluider: Apologies, I misread your post. I now see you said you created a more consistent curve, not just more anti-dive.

Yes, long links are the best way to keep the curve smooth. Short links offer more control to tailor the shape of one parameter, but usually other parameters deviate in undesirable ways. And yes, long links can be a stiffness challenge. Everything is a balance of advantages and challenges. Much like Horst link vs. twin-short-link rear suspension, neither is superior in every way.

I'm excited to see more companies appreciating the front linkage design and I can't wait for Pinkbike to do a shootout test between Structure, Motion, Adroit, etc.!
  • + 2
 @Structure-Ryan: Ryan, have you tested even higher levels of anti-dive in your earlier prototypes?
  • + 1
 @fluider: Yes, we've tested a range. The highest anti-dive setting is higher than I prefer, but some testers like it. The middle two settings are preferred by most riders and the minimum setting is for times when you want to maximize compliance.

Depending on the position of the instant centre, it's possible to have different axle paths with the same anti-dive. This means the balance between anti-dive and compliance isn't a constant ratio. Add to that the difference between sliding bushings, rotating bushings, and bearings; the quality of the damper; the leverage curve; etc. - it's a complicated system, and that's just the anti-dive and compliance!

Structure's WTF linkage gives us control over additional variables: as the suspension compresses, we can alter the head angle, the trail, and the bump steer. The most immediately noticeable properties of our design are the reduction in friction (typical of linkage systems) and increasing handling stability as compression increases (unique to our system). Anti-dive is great, but the magic happens when a bike can have all-mountain handling under light loads, then become more stable than a downhill bike when things get rowdy.
  • + 2
 @Structure-Ryan: Your system allows to choose between different axle paths with the same anti-dive AND different anti-dive, as well? :-/ How did you manage to built these adjustments into one linkage? I'm going to have to look at it, and see the Motion fork kinematics as well.

How much is WTF axle path vertical? Why did you not favour higher anti-dive levels, above 30%?

I am very curious how much of this technical information Structure will provide once you launch your product ;-), because even Motion does provide claims only. They have some low-resolution graphs in their video presentation. No axle-paths, leverage ratio curves, not even anti-dive curve.

I'm working on my version of Ribi style fork (I call all these versions like Motion fork a "Ribi style" since Valentino Ribi is the 1st one I know of about introducing this linkage layout), with anti-dive levels at 100%, 75% and 50%, slightly progressive leverage character and stock damper/spring. I'm about to do some radical weight saving because the 1st prototype is overbuilt way too much.
  • + 1
 @fluider: No, the four settings have slightly different axle paths and anti-dive.

The WTF axle path is approximately half as rearward - "twice as vertical", if you like - as that of a telescoping fork. Have a look at the animation on our instagram account: www.instagram.com/structurecycleworks Note the animation is centered on the rear axle, so the front moves rearward due to both the slight shortening of the front centre and the change in rear centre (which is slightly less than average, but pretty typical).

For our wheel path, AD levels above 30% weren't as "plush" as I wanted. Still better than a telescoping fork, but riders already know how to handle dive from riding telescoping forks and I didn't want to compromise braking traction or lose the incredible comfort a linkage can provide. By allowing a little brake dive, the ride isn't as foreign and braking traction is greatly improved. Zero brake dive can cause serious problems when traction is precarious.

The Motion Ride fork has different kinematics. To their credit, they can maintain "plushness" at a higher AD (assuming their damper and bushings perform as well as a high-end shock and ball bearings). What they can't do are the stability enhancing geometry changes of our WTF: increasing trail, slackening head angle, and minimized change of front-centre length.
  • + 2
 @Structure-Ryan: Well, Motion Ride fork obviously can't slacken steering axis or keep it unchanged, ability to do this is a major advantage of indirectly driven steering, but according to their promo-presentation video, their previous prototype with damper-within-headtube projects its axle path almost verticaly. Going slightly rearward, upward and finally forward.

Is the suspension stiffening or lock-up induced by braking really so significant in higher AD levels?
  • + 2
 @Structure-Ryan: Stoked to see it's still going well! I hope you get to production soon. I don't think I'd ever get to buy one of your frames, but is there somewhere i can chip in a bit to aid?

Super keen to have these sort of products on the market!!
  • + 1
 @fluider: When the fork doesn't compress due to braking - or even extends - the force at the tire's contact patch builds rapidly before weight transfer increases pressure on the contact patch. This makes the tire more likely to break loose.
  • + 1
 @freeriderayward: Thank you for the support! It's just a matter of funding right now.

There are many ways you could help and we would appreciate any of it!

The designs are done and we're seeking investors. If you know people or groups involved with angel investing, private equity, or other small business funding, we would be happy to talk with them.

Our sales model is a hybrid of direct, dealers, and representatives. Shops, guides, and rental agencies that purchase one or more demo bikes are eligible for large commissions on any sales resulting from their demos. Please ask your favourite shops, guides, tour operators, etc. to contact us about acquiring a demo (which will give you a chance to ride one!).

Positive word of mouth is a powerful sales tool. If you know riders in the market for a high-end bike, you could mention us to them and direct them to our website. The site is currently a placeholder with a tiny bit of information and a button to sign up for our mailing list. Even joining the mailing list is valuable and we promise to not spam anyone - I've sent maybe three messages in the past six months!

We will eventually need reps in countries that generate significant sales. This is a long way down the road, but we would pay reps to host demo events and there would be commissions on sales.

Industry connections are always valuable. We're currently weak on apparel and accessory vendors.

Social media is a great way to spread the word and we encourage followers to share content from our Instagram and Facebook accounts, which you can find via www.structure.bike

Thanks again and please drop me a line whenever you like!
  • + 2
 @Structure-Ryan: Ryan, I'm thankful to you for having this chat with me and also feel sorry if my questions are too trivial or sensitive to you, but unfortunately there aren't many linkage-ed front-ends out there that I could try in real/life, and everything one can find on Internet are either many-times rephrased comments 30 years old, or just a compilation of theories.

Naturally a stiffened suspension lacks from bump sensitivity when bump absorption is needed, but I can't guess/imagine how strong it is. Like, I've never ridden front fork without damper that's why I have no personal experience with the sole pro-dive effect of telescopic fork and hence how much the fork damper works against pro-dive.
Or, there're many bikes with fairly high and consistent anti-squat behaviour and I personally know that even 130% anti-squat allows the suspension to work, even though higher anti-squat works like a sort of dynamical threshold.

My interpretation on this is, that positive anti-dive actually pushes the front wheel against the ground, increasing the tire contact-patch and increasing the traction. If a sudden bump comes, then it's roughly about impact force (required upward movement of suspension) and suspension reluctance to compress under braking. Wheel with higher AD under hard braking will probably want to skid over small bumps.

The big difference against anti-squat is amount of acceleration. We can reach much higher accelerations under braking than under pedalling. I think this is a major reason why higher anti-dive levels like 100% may be undesirable generally (not only in user preference).
.
.
Where is Motion Ride team ?
  • + 1
 @fluider: I'll provide a counterexample:

People have proposed that high anti-squat causes the rear wheel to push down into the ground when it encounters an impact, thus increasing traction. This sounds plausible and I think it was ProFlex that called it "Dig-In Technology" (marketing terminology has become a lot slicker in the past quarter century).

The evidence is against this, though. Frames with extremely low anti-squat - Knolly being the best example - have incredible traction through rough terrain.
  • + 2
 @Structure-Ryan: Hi Ryan, Count me as another person who would like to see your fork/bike come to market. Since you brought up a historical example here, with the ProFlex rear suspension, I am curious about if you have ever checked the kinematics on some of the 90's era linkage forks?

ProFlex of course had their Girven Vector fork that originally had what they described as a "J" shaped axle path, that was back then up, which was supposed to perform a function similar to high pivot rear suspension in terms of better handling square edge bumps, with the added benefit of being less susceptible to pedal induced bob as the up/down motion of pedaling didn't as directly activate the front/back movement of the initial portion of suspension travel (this was before sag was a thing in bike suspension). Girven changed that "J" shaped path at some point, because riders complained it felt like the front end was folding under them on steep terrain as the front center would shorten more, at least initially, than telescoping forks. Obviously the situation with your fork would be reversed as you have a more vertical axle path than a telescopic fork.

Of more interest to me though is the AMP fork. I once saw a pic of John Castellano (who designed the Sweet Spot URT suspensions), riding with a modified AMP fork that had the "crown" and linkage spun 180 degrees from the stock setup that was sold to consumers, and I always wondered what characteristics he was hoping to improve with that reversal of the link angles. Any ideas on the axle path on that fork's travel (all 1.9" of it!)?
  • + 2
 @Structure-Ryan: Hi Ryan. I'd say that rear wheel under higher anti-squat has increased traction even when impacted by obstacle. But this traction is not directed in the impact direction, obviously. I don't want to say that higher AS is always wanted/prefered, and surely, overly stiffened rear-end may not be appealing to the most of average riders. I think low anti-squat is preffered in lower speeds, like pedalling up the steep rooted trail when staying upright is a challenge itself and too high anti-squat actually locks up the rear wheel when hit by tall root.

I'm not wanting to challenge your years long real-world testing of your prototypes, just would like to sort these things with your hints :-) You already made me to seek for alternative pivot positions in my linkage to gain even 0% for the 1st half of travel :-).
  • + 1
 @thekaiser: Thank you for your support! If I could trouble you to join our email list and follow us on Instagram and Facebook, those stats look good to investors!

I'm away from my computer, so I can only comment on what I recall from when I analyzed these forks quite some time ago.

First, the AMP is difficult to analyze with confidence because of short links - an error of a millimeter dramatically changes the outcome.

Almost every front linkage design has used the "J-hook" axle path. It sound reasonable to attempt to align the axle path with a typical impact vector for maximum compliance, but, as you noted, this results in the the wheel "tucking under" - i.e. rapid loss of front-centre length. One parameter was slightly improved at the expense of a more significant one. This wasn't a serious issue when travel was minimal, but longer travel designs, such as Whyte's PRST, became unstable in challenging terrain due to this effect.

By using bearings at our pivots, rather than linear bushings subjected to a severe bending moment, friction is nearly eliminated. There's little to gain by chasing the last few percentage points of compliance, so we focused on dynamic geometry changes to increase handling stability under load. That's the key difference between our implementation and past designs.
  • + 1
 @fluider: As designers, we can think our way through a problem indefinitely, but there's always a risk of thinking incorrectly. There's no substitute for a series of prototypes - or, better yet, riding existing examples.

When using anti-squat as an analogy to anti-dive, we have to consider the behaviour under pedaling load, as this is analogous to braking load. A high AS bike pedals roughly in rough terrain and can lose traction. The effect is more severe in the braking / AD analogy because brake forces can be so powerful.

It's difficult to know the ideal shape of the AD curve. As the suspension approaches full bump, there will be more force on the contact patch, so high AD shouldn't cause problems with traction. On the other hand, spring force is so high that there's little need for additional AD to support the suspension. AD is most valuable near full droop, when spring force is minimal, yet this is also when it has the most detrimental impact on traction.

This is a complicated issue and I haven't prototyped a wide variety of curves with radically different shapes. The SCW 1 maintains a nearly flat and very predictable curve. In most cases, predictable behaviour is better than "ideal" kinematics.
  • + 1
 @Structure-Ryan -Ryan: I don´t find where to suscribe to your mailing list in your web...
  • + 2
 @Davichin: Hi Davichin. They used to have a mailing list registration on their web few days ago. I see, it's gone already replaced by nice sideview picture, co maybe follow just FB.
  • + 1
 @Davichin: Sorry about the state of our website! We were going to launch the full site, then got caught up in the legal language and left the temporary site in a less functional condition.

You can just email me at Ryan at Structure.bike and I'll do it manually.

Thank you!
  • + 1
 Never use stillborn as a word in any of your articles. It's a very, very poor choice of word. As a writer use other words. There are plenty available.
  • + 2
 Sorry, I think I'll go ahead and use that word. While it obviously can be used in reference to a child, here's another proper definition: (of a proposal or plan) having failed to develop or be realized: the proposed wealth tax was stillborn.

It was used 100% correctly, was a very, very appropriate word to use, and certainly doesn't have to have anything to do with a child. Stillbirth, on the other hand, refers directly to an infant dying while still in the womb. I'd never joke about the subject, but it's also okay to use that word as well. They're just words @danlovesbikes I've written plenty of inappropriate things for you to word-police me about, but "stillborn'' ain't one of them Smile
  • + 1
 @mikelevy: I'm not the word police and I'm not particularly easy to offend (in fact I feel no offence whatsoever), I do think however, that it's connotations are simply too linear. As in it really only has one meaning, let's not pretend otherwise.
  • + 1
 @danlovesbikes: Who's pretending? It literally has more than one meaning. I think we'll have to agree to disagree on this one haha
  • + 1
 @mikelevy: all good. I enjoy your reviews regardless. Keep up the good work. Was just sayin... :-)
  • + 1
 I wonder what happens when this fork meets an obstacle (let's say a curb) on it's path. Typical telescopic fork would swallow it, but this?
  • + 2
 @Kramz: Thanks! Now i'm even more curious..
  • + 1
 that sound the linkage makes reminds me of the sounds a coil mattress makes, under the "right conditions" when bottoming out Razz
  • + 1
 For the plain fact that when you stand back and look at the bike as a whole, the front end just looks broken, so I say No. Talk about clean lines, I think not.
  • + 0
 As the fork compresses it looks as if the front wheel comes up and in? Wouldn't that alter the geo quite a bit and shorten the wheelbase?

Interesting idea.

Bushings are not better than bearings.
  • + 2
 100,000 kms, with bushings, and no play developed. I'm assuming this test was done in a vacuum
  • + 1
 I'm pretty much broke to the point of now being bikeless, but if I had a lot of money I'd put one on my bike. The one I'd buy with money.
  • + 1
 I feel like we've been through this with motorcycles already. It probably works better for intermediate level riders, and is worse for everything above that.
  • + 2
 You know what suppleness sounds like? Not like someone learning to play the violin.
  • + 3
 Sweet! 1,500 sounds reasonable I'll probably end up getting one.
  • + 1
 Hey Motion Ride - If I can trade it straight-up for my Cane Creek Helm I will gladly give it a whirl and spread the word!
  • + 2
 really glad to see that they kept with it after their kickstarter...
  • + 2
 Want one for my Wolf Ridge build...
  • + 0
 Yikes!!! That thing is ugly!!! This has been tried with motorcycles too but has never really caught on, probably cause it's aesthetically unappealing.
  • + 2
 See AMP Research linkage fork...circa 1990.
  • + 1
 Is it a fork or a 3D printer? Or maybe some kind of robotic arm used for manufacturing?
  • + 1
 My first reaction, “will it blend?”....thinking of the bass-o-matic skit.
  • + 2
 Suspension Made For Robocop.
  • + 0
 People actually get paid just to throw things at the wall until one actually sticks?
  • + 1
 Get baked and head out to the bike park with it alone. have a nice day.
  • + 1
 I just skipped straight to the comments.
  • + 1
 So... Would brake jack on the front be an issue?.....
  • + 1
 that, on a scott gambler, would make a 3 digit bearings bike...
  • + 1
 Weight in fact is 2.1, not 2.5 kg :-)
  • + 1
 i like the idea and concept of it but it does look heavy
  • + 1
 Is the puking in this comment section something NEGATIVE?
  • - 2
 This fork is too complicated, expensive to produce and ugly like a hell. In two-three years everyone will forget about it, but You can see another freak - try to sell a similar invention. History repeats itself.
  • + 1
 But can you mount a fender on it?
  • + 1
 A rearward front axle path anyone? Smile
  • + 1
 My inner dork is prevailing over the robber's dog aesthetic.
  • + 0
 Why
  • - 1
 Reminds me of the South Park Mormon episode. Dumb dumb dumb dumb
  • - 1
 Follow this link for more info.
  • + 0
 Oink Oink Oink...
  • - 2
 is it April the 1st?
  • - 3
 What the crap did my eyes just behold? I'm here for the comments...but that is sort of a cool idea
  • - 1
 oh god, i‘m blind!
  • - 2
 Make a longer travel one and i'll buy it Smile
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