Dave Weagle’s SPLIT PIVOT suspension system awarded patent

Jul 26, 2010 at 9:05
by Mike Levy  
Dave Weagle was just recently awarded the US patent for his latest design suspension design, the Split-Pivot system. Inside you can read all the details, as well as check out some photos of the upcoming bikes that will be using Split-Pivot suspension.

Read on...Source: Matthew DeLorme

Dave Weagle’s SPLIT PIVOT suspension system awarded patent


The new Devinci Wilson DH bike uses Dave's Split-Pivot system
The new Devinci Wilson DH bike uses Dave's Split-Pivot system


On May 18, 2010, Dave Weagle, the creator of the World Champion and internationally acclaimed dw-link suspension, and the DELTA System was awarded US Patent 7,717,212 for his SPLIT PIVOT concentric dropout pivot suspension technology. Dave had the following to say about the patent being awarded:

“Wow, what a trip this one has been. Since I launched the existence of this design publicly in May of 2007, I’ve been inundated by requests from bike brands interested in partnering up to develop new Split Pivot frames. I feel like I’ve chosen some great brands to welcome into the Split Pivot family, brands that have their own individual flavor and ideas, and who really complement each other. It’s been a crazy ride getting the Split Pivot design to this point, and I’m thrilled for my partners to finally be able to show off that patent number proudly on their bikes. We’ve been testing prototypes from different brands for some time, and I know the member companies of the Split Pivot family are excited for the world to see the benefits of our collaborations and hard work. We’ve discussed, designed, tested, and refined, and we feel like the bikes that we’ll be bringing to the market with Split Pivot technology showcase a level of suspension refinement that riders of any skill level can appreciate on the trail. It’s has been so difficult keeping the existence of new prototype models secret for so long so I am glad that part is nearly over and that it’s time for the world to see how good this design can really be when dialed in. I think that riders are really going to enjoy this system. It allows for atypical main pivot placement that works great for acceleration and bump absorption, and the concentric dropout pivot lets me tune braking forces and leverage ratios to a high degree at the same time. Basically the Split Pivot design helps us to make bikes that are a lot of fun to ride.”


Split-Pivot is found on the new Devinci Wilson DH bike
Split-Pivot is found on the new Devinci Wilson DH bike


What is SPLIT PIVOT?

Split Pivot is a patented suspension system for high performance bicycles, where traction, efficiency, maneuverability, and frame stiffness are important factors on the track and trail. Split Pivot’s (concentric dropout pivot), a pivot at the rear wheel axle joining the seatstays and chainstays on a bicycle, is the heart of this new design. Shaped by Dave Weagle's competition proven engineering and testing process, each unique Spilt Pivot frame is engineered to combine the best performance traits of single pivot and long arm linkage suspensions. Split Pivot is all about having fun on the trail, and each unique suspension layout is designed to offer a ride that will make you smile no matter what your riding style or ability level.


Devinci trail bike with Split-Pivot
Devinci trail bike with Split-Pivot


How does it work?

Split Pivot’s concentric dropout pivot design separates acceleration forces from braking forces in the suspension. The system reduces excess suspension reaction to acceleration forces, and at the same time reduces excess reaction to braking forces. Braking neutrality can be tuned independently of acceleration characteristics, and suspension feel can be tuned by varying leverage ratio curves in a wide range of options. It’s no secret that mountain bikers like individuality, and the Split Pivot design lends itself to a wide range of different looking and performing designs. With so many possible mechanical layouts, not every Split Pivot bike looks or performs the same. Shock layout can be vertical, horizontal, floating, or even driven by a rate modifier link. This variability lets Dave tune the suspension performance and feel to each manufacturing partner’s preference, giving each Split Pivot bike its own personality unique to each brand. Split Pivot bikes are tools for having fun, and each is carefully engineered to offer a ride that will make you want to be on your bike more often.


Split-Pivot details
  • Concentric dropout pivot system
  • Separates acceleration forces from braking forces in the suspension
  • Braking neutrality can be tuned independently of acceleration characteristics
  • Shock layout can be vertical, horizontal, floating, or even driven by a rate modifier link


An exploded view of the Split-Pivot system
An exploded view of the Split-Pivot system


Currently there are six licensees of the patented Split Pivot technology worldwide. 2011 Split Pivot models will be available in late 2010 from four USA and International brands. Two of the six brands have already announced their collaboration with Dave Weagle and Split Pivot. Seven Cycles, one of the world’s premier custom fabricators, will be offering a full line of Split Pivot suspension frames, including the world’s first ever custom suspension kinematics. A product of Seven’s leadership in custom bike fit and design and Dave’s work in human ergonomics and suspension tuning, each Seven Split Pivot frame is custom tuned to accentuate an individual’s specific riding style, ability level, and body type.

Legendary East Coast brand Spooky Cycles will be offering two models in 2011, a downhill race model reviving the Project X moniker and a 145mm trail bike for aggressive XC called Mothership. Eurobike and the UCI World Championships will see the launch of full Split Pivot MTB lines from two highly respected International mountain bike brands that have yet to be announced.

Weagle to date has designed some of the most race proven bicycle suspensions on the market, and it is expected that Split Pivot will see the same pedigreed success as its predecessors. Riders can learn more about the Split Pivot design, and those with too much time on their hands can download and read the Split Pivot 7,717,212 patent, at www.split-pivot.com. The Split Pivot design has additional patents pending in the USA, Asia, and Europe. Split Pivot, Split-Pivot.com, and Ride for fun! are pending trademarks of Split Pivot Inc. Ride for fun!

Check out the Spit-Pivot website to learn more about the concentric dropout pivot design.



Are you excited about the new Split-Pivot bikes for 2011? Any guesses as to who else will be using the Split-Pivot design in the near future? Lets hear them below!


65 Comments

  • + 9
 I don't post here often, but reading through these posts kind of makes me giggle. To put my points in context, I've been riding "mountain bikes" since before any suspension bikes were available. My wife's high-tech Trek 930 with the original polymer Rock Shox still hangs in the garage (gotta love the CroMo stuff).

1. Equipment is equipment. No amount of engineering will make up for lack of skill or ability or balls. If you think any new suspension design will be the difference that puts you on the podium, you probably just suck and will rarely if ever see one. Just go ride.

2. Almost any decent design, if tuned properly to the terrain and the rider's style, is going to be fun for the rider. Tune it and ride it.

3. Who cares what it looks like. Some of the best rides are homely but eager, and some of the worst are beautiful but not worth the time.

4. Have some appreciation for contributions to the sport you love. Dave Weagle is an engineer's engineer and takes the time to properly document and patent what he creates, and he seems to do it for the advancement of the sport. The fact that other companies have similar designs that seem to work for people is good for everyone but him. Don't hate. If more people in the industry were like him, we'd probably have even better bikes.

Apparently I own two DW designs (a Trek and an Iron Horse), and I love riding them both. It's a far cry from riding a converted single-speed cruiser down a rocky hill with just a coaster brake, but to be honest -- not all that much faster.
  • + 6
 You all should read this little piece of knowledge en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bicycle_suspension

According to Wikipedia Dave Weagle's Split Pivot patent was applied for before Trek applied for the ABP patent. The ABP design is still listed as Patent Pending as far as I can tell, so Dave actually getting a patent for the Split Pivot may mean that Trek will have to license it, no idea, I'm not a suspension engineer or a patent lawyer.

My point is that there are a lot of people talking all sorts of shit that they don't really know anything about. Take some time (at least 5 minutes) and learn about something before you post, it will make you look smarter.

Even the Wikipedia article may not be correct, but for now I'll take it until someone proves otherwise...
  • + 1
 interesting stuff. i always thought the "imaginary pivot point" that elsworth is all hot about was pixy dust, but its part of the dw-link desings as well. anyways, who knows the backroom details and contracts, but it says that Dave came out with it first, so until someone can PROVE otherwise, I'll run with it, the idea that is, not the actuall suspension.
  • + 1
 en.wikipedia.org/wiki/First_to_file_and_first_to_invent

In the USA, filing first doesn't necessarily matter.
  • + 1
 Right, so Dave getting the patent is an affirmation that the patent office considers him the first to invent.
  • + 1
 unless trek provide proof that they had a working version of it before weagle applied for the patent, as far as i can tell from that wikipedia article which is ridiculously confusing to read as it is seems to be using the wrong words and phrases to describe a simple concept.
  • + 3
 I love these new designs. People clamor for it like a new iPhone, touting its characteristics and advantages at the trailhead, walking to the coffee shop and posing it prominently on the garbage can so everyone can see it, yet they think 'sag' is what teenagers in Oakland do.
  • + 1
 i like it.
  • + 1
 Oakland Rocks! Has the SF Chronicle successfully sculpted singlemindedslayer?
  • + 2
 I dont' know about The whole "patriotic' vibe. I just don't really appreciate being called useless American when I dont really see game changing technology coming from the Uk.I've got a rusty MG with n o hope of ever seeing asphalt to prove it. Epecially when Everybody knows that just about all of the knew agressive ideas have come from the US in the last 10 years. And DW is one of the Gurus of the sport leading the way. He is a graduate from MIT, w a degree in robotic engineering and has stopped working for US Government to pursue a dream in revolutionizing MTB technology and making a little money at the same time. 2 fine lofty ambitions. Instead of smart ass comments, I just think the man deserves a thank you. He could have dedicated his big brain to finding more efficient ways of killing people. SO here's to Dave. A Fine Bloak!!!
  • + 2
 When Dave got out of school he was originally going to be a suspension engineer for F1 race cars, but decided he liked bicycles better, so here's to Dave!
  • + 1
 nothing good comes from uk? hope m4's! nuff said
  • + 1
 Speaking of useless, in reference to DW/ -SP or Trek-ABP (US company) I gues the Americans job is to invent the technology and the Brits job to sit on their arses and snipe. OH.....and occssionally ride their single pivots. ie: Orange, which currently resides in the where are they now file. Even The King of UK DH Steve Peat has switched to a US company. Hmmmmm! I am just kidding also.
  • + 1
 I remeber being excited about the SP design when it was announced in 2007. I honestlt thought it fell off because Trek beat him to it. Gues I was wrong. Maybe that's why the sessions are SOOOOOOO much money. Trek knew their days at exclusivity were numbered and tried to reap as much profit on the ABP as possible be for the DW-SP Bomb went off. I love the way the session rides and I just got lucky and got a LBS leftover frame very cheap. Maybe now more people will be able to enjoy the Split Pivot/Abp techology by being able to afford it. The competion can only help with that. Isn't just a great time to be a fan of this sport? Smile
  • + 1
 totally agree. If my session didn't weigh 40lbs it would be a pleasure to pedal. Maybe it will be my winter fitness bike...
  • + 1
 As far I know about the patent process, the fight between DW and Trek will be based on how their patents are writen and presented. If DW patent is on the rear axle pivot and the pivot alone, then Trek may have a problem. But if the patent is based on the whole suspension system, then it would be a different story. Trek mounts the shock between the rocker and the chain stay, while in the DW design (based on the model on the website) the shock is mounted rigid to the frame. That would be 2 different system and should be 2 different patents.
  • + 1
 wow, whats the point of having a comments section when the sad little people who call themselves moderators delete everything? This is a third of the comments that were on here yesterday. There was a lot of good debate along with a fair share of my nonsense, but it was all harmless. But I guess some people need to feel powerful somewhere, god knows it isn't happening in their mothers basement.
  • + 1
 ^^^^ I retract that.. The kind and wise pinkbike folks contacted me to inform me they aren't deleting a large number of comments, they are having some sort of tech problem. My bad.
  • + 1
 at the end of the day its a bike. Yes i know we are all bike "finatics" here on pinkbike and the reason we joind this site was because we all have the same overall interest. yeah some may ride differant bikes. like me i ride a full rigin, i love it and think there is nothing more fun

www.pinkbike.com/photo/3799444

some of my mates i ride with do all the full DH tracks and i often join them on some of there trips, maybe not the full heavy duty stuff as i do want to keep my joints in one piece and riding a full rigid down a single track is really fun.


I think reading all the coments was much more fun than reading the actual artical. all the bitching going on about what bike is better/who had the design first.

at the end of the day this "DW" charactor may be a god to some people he may not be to others. But its like with everything you will get some people that love to sit at home on pinkbike and just bitch out about almost everything. People like certain bikes hence why there are so many differant types of bikes and riding. if there was just one type of bike and 1 type of riding then this would just be boring.

Like football.. its just kicking a ball around a field, i hate the sport but some people love it. but im not going to sit here and bitch about how some guy started the game first but no someone else did.

At the end of the day it is a piece of suspension, yeah it may enhance it a bit it may enhance it alot. At least this "DW" is trying to make this sport better and push it forward.

I rekon for all you people bitching yeah thats fine go out there and prove him otherwise. but until you can go make a better product then why you sitting there arguing saying his stuff is just a rip off and anyone can do it. you go out there and do it. i bet this guy is making a shit load of money. good on him.

Stop crying over the internet please its very pathetic.
  • + 2
 i lov this guy lol, not only is he right but that is the most epicly long post.
  • + 1
 sorry why were my comments deleted on this? as far as i'm aware there was nothing untoward about them? i just said weagle probably wont be able to sue trek as they already had the product in market and why should they stop producing bike using the ABP just becaue weagle applied for a patent for a system before them? i also expressed my irritation at people constantly saying that: trek/giant definatly stole weagles ideas and offered an alternate viewpoint ,that maybe it was him who stole the ideas. also if trek can prove they were developing ABP before weagle applied for the patent then he cant sue them for using his idea but they also cant license ABP to other companies.
  • + 1
 just got a message from a mod pinkbike were having a techy problem and a load of comments got deleted but i reiterated what i wanted to say in my last post so no harm done ey.
  • + 0
 I'll take a mert lawwill's designed bike anyday over any other's to date. He was truely the man. everything else has no real advantage over a well designed single pivot. Thats why most all top world cup racers ride them.
  • + 1
 honestly from the pictures I don't really understand how it works!I would like to see more close pics!
  • + 2
 is it going to have the floating pivot as well?
  • + 1
 looks like the new wilson 2011
  • + 1
 Saw it n person, very sweet!
  • + 1
 lets call it a california roll.... yeah that sounds marketable!
  • + 1
 Sweet, bring on the Evil all-mountain bike Mr. Weagles
  • + 1
 Lolz, Does this mean weagle can sue trek?
  • + 1
 In case Trek uses this same system: Unless Trek payed for the patent, yes.
  • + 4
 I don't imagine that it's that simple, RobbyBriers. Patent law is complicated and none of us know the real details regarding Trek's ABP and the Split-Pivot design.
  • + 0
 well abp is differnt in one key aspect, it uses a total of 4 bearings instead of Weagles 2.
  • + 0
 also abp is for use with any axle type, quick release or thru axle
  • + 0
 im a lawyer guys Smile tup Razz
  • + 0
 Just keep it simple...
  • + 0
 I love it!
  • - 1
 this is what i have to say, great design.
  • - 1
 intresting... looks like it will work good.
  • + 36
 Nah, he's "like" the master of suspension hype.
  • + 16
 Most linkage suspension designs have some kind of pivot in the rear triangle, just on the bikes I have owned, my RM switch has a pivot above the rear axle and I had a norco which had a pivot below the a axle.
Its a good design to combine the pivot within the axle at the back of the triangle, but unless it enables further advantages in the suspension design I cant see that its a big leap forward, just something different.

Just another set of bearings that require maintanence. Frown
  • + 0
 yes! ive been waiting for more details on spookys project x. sounds like its gonna be sick with the split pivot
  • + 2
 the advantage as i understand is to reduce breakjack (single pivot issue..) and to help with the linkage for the suspension... i want to see some feedbike by riders now if it is worth it!
  • + 1
 Can't wait to see the 'zzzzomg split pivotzz rule!!' bandwagon. Actually it looks pretty good though. Just when everyone thought every pivot design had been tried already.
  • - 3
 I would love to see this thing in action, it's a great idea!
  • + 12
 While ABP was available first, I'm under the understanding that both designs were developed independently. Regardless, it's a bold statement to say that "Trek ripped the design off...", feel free to back it up with FACTS though.

Regarding Maestro and DW-Link, just because they both have two short links does not mean that they function the same.
  • - 3
 Yeah a diff of 1mm is a patent yeah that's a real joke....
  • + 1
 @jasonleebleer:

Giant consulted with outside help to develop the NRS design, and the minute it came to market Specialized said it was FSR and then Giant pulled NRS straight away. Once bitten and now twice shy, Giant set about designing something in-house so they wouldn't go through something like the NRS debacle again and came up with Maestro. I've spoken with the Maestro engineers and they said they did not copy DW-Link, they came up with Maestro independantly.

Giant did not copy DW-Link!
  • + 6
 I invented the DW link in '85 then swapped the designs for a packt of crisps
  • - 2
 oh yeah, daves weagles patents are great Salute
  • + 3
 DW released blueprints and articles on ride monkey and other industry blogs about split pivot years ago. He released his idea before Trek came out with ABP. There is speculation that DW sold his knowledge to trek. Split pivot has been out for years its nothing new its just that hes got it under patent now. This is definitely an upgrade from abp.
here is a link to one of the articles written. Plus the suspension design website was launched back in 2007. forums.mtbr.com/showthread.php?t=306924
  • + 2
 norm, dave w unveiled his split pivot well before trek attempted to integrate such technology into their bikes (and information about it was available in forums FAR before trek adopted the design). trek essentially ripped him off in this deal...
  • + 2
 I would suggest that as Dave has the patent now he also has the proof that this design was original and unique enough for the patent office to grant him that patent. There are lots of "similar" designs, but if they're exactly the same then they are now ripping off Dave who has the patent.
  • + 1
 HAHA you are so full of useful knowledge.
  • + 1
 hell yeah Smile thought my rant was needed if i am honest. i like all the technical coments and then mines the longest and most pointless.

its like i am doing the americans job, being long and useless. i am just kidding Wink
  • + 0
 i find it interesting US patents arent that respected outside the US
  • + 1
 From what i recall about patent work from what we have done here at my job, you can't get a patent on something that is already in the "industry" (whatever the industry may be). It must be different by 30%. Now, based on your guys arguments that Trek bought or ripped off DW, he in reality could have had a contract written thus allowing him to go to the patent office and prove the design was originally his in the first place. But someone said "this is an upgrade from ABP" and i don't see how. It's a pivot at the axle like ABP so how is it different?
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