The Outlier - The Full Story of the Wild Insolent DH Bike

Dec 27, 2017 at 20:32
by Mike Levy  



Nothing wrings out an idea like the passing of time. You can do all the engineering and testing you want, and maybe you'll even speed the process up, but there's no getting around the fact that it takes many, many years - decades or longer, even - for a design to near its full potential. And something funny happens when that point gets near: designs can start to converge and appear quite similar as people learn what works and what doesn't. An obvious example is the mountain bike's distant motorized cousin, the dirt bike; most of us would probably have a difficult time telling modern specimens apart if they shared the same plastic bodywork. One could make the same argument about all sorts of things: internal combustion engines, squash racquets, the common fork and spoon.

Oh, and of course the mountain bike. There's a reason that the "Looks like a Session" comment is so pervasive... it's because, well, a hell of a lot of bikes look like a Session.

The vertical shock, big ol' rocker link, four-bar layout makes a load of sense, so it's no wonder that many brands employ those basic principles in one way or another. This was happening long before the Session was even a twinkle in Trek's eye, too, don't forget. But as we get closer and closer to there being only a handful of truly different suspension designs out there, albeit being executed in distinct ways, it's the outliers, those who go in a different direction, that stand out more and more.


Resistance Bikes Insolent Jean-Francois Boivin photo
No, an engineer doesn't need to be an artist. This is an initial sketch of the Insolent by Boivin from 2013.


One man going his own direction is Jean-François Boivin, a thirty-seven-year-old mechanical engineer from Quebec, Canada, who wanted to work in the cycling industry so badly that he relocated his entire life to Europe to chase that dream. ''I moved to France hoping to find work in the bike biz, but it was actually pretty hard,'' Boivin said of that period. ''However, I had the opportunity to work as a consultant with Cedric Braconnot at Labyrinth bikes.''

That led to Boivin designing the linkage on Labyrinth's Minotaur and Agile models before returning home to Quebec where pedal-power took a back seat, at least professionally, to electricity and automobiles: ''I moved back to Montreal and worked as a professional engineer for ten years in the field of electric drive systems (motors and inverters) at TM4 and continuously variable transmissions for heavy vehicles at CVT Corp.'' You know, just your normal, everyday CVT engineering job.


Resistance Bikes
A rendering of the 203mm-travel Insolent.


But like a lot of us, bikes were always in the back of Jean-François' mind regardless of what he was doing professionally: ''I still had that wish to be a full-time bike designer. Then I had this idea of integrating the suspension in the top tube and thought it would make for a great looking bike.'' Which, was the genesis of Boivin's 27.5'' wheeled Insolent downhill bike that's surely one of the more interesting - and best looking - machines I've seen in ages. ''I began to work on the project during my spare time." Said Boivin. "And then, from initial sketch, through 3D modeling and supplier selection, the bike slowly became a reality.''

Did it ever. The 203mm-travel carbon frame, which was manufactured for Boivin in the UK by Carbon Wasp, has an Effigear gearbox bolted to the bottom of it, uses a belt-drive system, and has its shock located inside of its top tube. Oh yeah, Boivin also made his own shock, as you do, by cutting up a Kashima-treated Fox 40 stanchion and plugging in a FIT damping cartridge from a 36 fork that he heavily modified to suit his needs. More on that later, though.


Resistance Bikes Insolent Jean-Francois Boivin photo
Gearbox jewelry. Boivin designed the Insolent's carbon frame to accept an Effigear 'box.


Boivin's creation lit the internet up after he shared a video on Facebook, with every major mountain bike website lifting photos and what little info there is on the sparse (and very French) Resistance Bikes website to get something posted ASAP. The handful of photos and speculation-filled words that I put together on Boivin's Insolent DH bike a few weeks ago did nothing but make me more curious, and judging by many of the nearly three hundred comments, it had the same effect on others as well.

Of course, both the Insolent and Boivin himself deserve more than my microwaveable dinner of an Internet story, and while the cheeky name of Boivin's bike hints at his thoughts on the mountain bike industry, the man himself is eager to share his ideas.





Building The Frame

Picture this: you've got a great concept for a bike, one that you're sure has potential, but as clever as you are, manufacturing your own carbon frame isn't on the cards, at least not yet. What do you do? The obvious way to solve that dilemma is with a welding torch and having someone build a one-off frame for you, but not if you're Jean-François Boivin. A chance find on YouTube of a Red Bull-curated series called 'Fettlers' introduced Boivin to Carbon Wasp, a small operation in the UK that specializes in producing low-volume carbon creations.

Surprise surprise, you can't just ring up China and have a single frame made for you, but Boivin now had a plan and a way to carry it out.

Wouldn't it have been easier to turn to aluminum? In some ways, yes, but going that route presented its own share of concerns. ''My original intention was to make the frame out of aluminum, but the distortions during welding would require a lot of alignment and machining, and that might not even procure proper performance. Carbon manufacturing doesn’t have this problem. The frame has a straight shape out the mold, so it was the way to go,'' Boivin said, which means that while carbon isn't the obvious choice for a first go, it turned out to be the material that made the most sense for his needs.

Being a hands-on chap, Boivin didn't just send Adrian Smith at Carbon Wasp his design and then wait by the mailbox for the frame to show up. Instead, the Canadian traveled to Leeds to see his creation come to life in person, and even got a bit hands-on himself, although not as much as he would have liked. ''For the next model, I will definitely participate in the carbon layup process, as I want to understand and control every detail of the process,'' he said, before going on to explain how what began as a one-off project has now morphed into a long-term goal of being able to manufacture his own carbon frames in Quebec.
Resistance Bikes Insolent Jean-Francois Boivin photo
Boivin traveled to the UK to see his design come to life in person, but his long-term goal is to build carbon frames in Canada.

bigquotesThen there was the selection of suppliers which took a lot of time. Many found the project interesting but were not willing to spend time on such an eccentric project. Jean-François Boivin

Every small business owner knows that having a product is only part of the battle, and Boivin is realistic but also sanguine about his chances: ''In the beginning, the intent of the project was only to make my own bike," says Boivin. "I have been racing downhill for a few years here on the Coupe du Québec, so making a downhill bike was an obvious choice, especially with a gearbox. Right now, there is only one frame in existence and it kind of serves as a proof of concept. When I started, I didn’t even know if all the parts would fit together and that the suspension would move freely. Now that the bike is assembled and performing very well, we are sure looking at making a small production. We are quoting parts with our suppliers as you read these lines and will come up with a price tag for a very limited run of ten units when ready. Then you will be able to pre-order through our website with around a 30-percent price commitment. If enough customers step in, production will begin; if not, customers will be refunded. There is also the financing side of things that we have to cover. We are evaluating our options right now. So, if any serious investors out there feel the project has potential and would like to join us, we will be glad to discuss.''


Resistance Bikes Insolent Jean-Francois Boivin photo
Boivin decided to use carbon fiber because the mold method essentially eliminates the possibility of misalignment.


While they might be the Formula One cars of our little world, the demand for high-end downhill bikes is roughly similar in size to the goat rental market, and Boivin is well aware that a downhill frame on its own probably isn't going to keep Resistance Bikes around for the long haul. That's why he's looking at bringing an enduro-focused bike to the market as well, presumably of a similar design to the Insolent and making use of both carbon fiber and a gearbox.

So, how much does one have to lay out to get their hands on a limited production, carbon fiber, gearbox-equipped downhill bike with a custom designed shock hidden inside the top tube? Boivin doesn't have an MSRP locked in yet, but his goal is to ''remain competitive compared to other gearbox bikes.'' Let me translate that for you: it won't be an inexpensive option, even if he does go ahead with his plan to sell direct to consumers through his website, thereby cutting out the distributor's mark up, and to accept crypto currencies like Bitcoin, Litecoin, and Ethereum.





The Suspension and Custom Shock

If you're going to build your own one-off carbon downhill frame, you might as well make your own shock because, well, engineer. There is, however, another reason that Boivin built his own shock using part of a Fox 40 stanchion tube: because the 203mm-travel Insolent's shock is a stressed member of the frame, and an off the shelf shock would simply not suffice. The 40mm diameter Kashima-treated tube provides the lateral support that the frame requires, and it's also home to the damper and spring element that, you guessed it, Boivin pieced together himself. However, he admits it was not a simple task: ''The design of the internal suspension parts was definitely the hardest part. It had to have the damper and spring in the same tube and be compatible with air or coil springs. Disassembly, access to adjustments, and low friction were all challenges as well.''
bigquotesSome other bike designer might have even had the idea of the integrated shock. But when presented to the product manager, the answer was probably something like 'good idea but too risky; we can’t go there.' Resistance bikes did because we have nothing to lose. Jean-François Boivin


Resistance Bikes Insolent Jean-Francois Boivin photo
Is that a stanchion tube or a shock? Turns out that it's both.


When I first saw the Insolent's rear end, I suspected that the 40mm gold tube was hiding a normal, production-spec damper of some sort, but I was only partly right. Boivin did try to fit a production shock and damper inside the 40mm tube, but that idea was eventually shelved when nothing usable came of it. Instead, he's heavily modified a Fox 36's FIT damper cartridge to do the job: ''I don’t want to give many details now," said Boivin. "But, we are evaluating the possibility to use off-the-shelf parts integrated into a custom-made slider. We will see how this turns out. For people interested in the project, we plan to make the next phase of development public. Which means I will post any advancements, design techniques, questions or problems we might encounter has it happens. We think it will be very interesting for the customers to be invited in our design space. That is surely something other companies would not allow. You can probably begin to see we intend to do things somewhat differently at Resistance Bikes.''

The FIT damper retains its low-speed compression, low-speed rebound, and high-speed compression adjustment dials and function, and all of the new internal components, which were manufactured by Machine Pro, have been inspected and approved by Boivin's suspension specialist consultant, S4 Suspension.


Resistance Bikes Insolent Jean-Francois Boivin photo
Boivin modified a Fox 36's FIT cartridge to use as the damper for the Insolent's shock.


The FIT cartridge was shortened down to 92mm of stroke to provide 203mm of travel at the wheel, and the shim stack was reconfigured to work with the Insolent's slightly progressive leverage ratio that goes from 2.36 in the initial stages to 2.0 at bottom-out. ''The average ratio is about 2.2, which is low, to improve damping performance,'' said Boivin before pointing out that, because the main pivot is concentric to the gearbox's output, there also won't be any feedback from the belt drive.

He's prioritized having an active suspension system over one that firms up under pedaling loads to feel more efficient, but Boivin is well aware of the consequences and compromises that come with such a design: ''It will come at the expense of some suspension compression during pedaling. We think the pros defeat the cons here. I remember smiling when Aaron Gwin and Neko Mullaly had tremendous race runs with 0-percent pedaling efficiency.''

Of course, Jean-François doesn't have to adopt the "It's the best at everything'' marketing spiel, given that the French Canadian isn't aiming to sell the thousands of frames that he's ordered from China and already had to pay for. Being a low-volume outfit means that he can be more straightforward and open, which is a refreshing change from what we're used to seeing.


Resistance Bikes Insolent Jean-Francois Boivin photo
The shock body - the large silver tube at the top - will be bonded into the top tube. All of the other suspension components can be removed.
Resistance Bikes Insolent Jean-Francois Boivin photo
The assembled unit: Note the low- and high-speed compression adjustment dials at the shock's rearward mount that are still entirely functional. Rebound is adjusted externally at the opposite end of the shock.

Resistance Bikes Insolent Jean-Francois Boivin photo
Resistance Bikes Insolent Jean-Francois Boivin photo
The shock can be fitted with either an air spring or a coil spring, and Boivin is planning to use progressively wound coils to provide ramp-up.


Boivin came up with his own dual-chamber air spring, hence the two external air valves that can be seen on the non-drive side of the frame. Boivin says the setup process is similar to a two-chamber air-sprung fork: ''To set up the suspension, a rider would begin by adjusting positive air chamber pressure to get the right sag, then add enough pressure in the negative chamber in order to balance the forces at zero travel. At this point, the suspension becomes very sensitive. We use Viton quad rings on the dynamic seals, so the movement is super smooth. I was impressed myself when I tried it the first time. We don’t have a bottom out control per say. There will be a rubber bumper to absorb hard hits like is found on standard rear shocks.''


Resistance Bikes Insolent Jean-Francois Boivin photo
The slightly progressive leverage ratio that goes from 2.36 in the initial stages to 2.0 at bottom-out.


Without a linkage of any sort to manipulate the rate, the Insolent depends on the air spring to provide more or less ramp up. To tune this, a rider can adjust the position of the main air piston that divides the two chambers; a smaller positive chamber would provide more ramp-up and vice-versa. Volume spacers are on the cards as well, and Boivin is considering going with progressively wound springs for the coil-sprung setup.

Yup, unlike any other shock out there, Boivin's creation can be fitted with a coil spring or run air internals - it's your choice. ''We began with air springs because custom coil springs would have been more expensive considering many spring rates would need to be purchased. Air springs provide more tuning options for us in the beginning,'' he explained of why air made the most sense for these early days.

Alright, it's one (impressive) thing to make your own shock, even if you've done it by modifying existing components, but it's a whole other ball game to go from that to making a reliable version that can be manufactured over and over again. I had to question Boivin as to if he could make the shocks using his own parts, and if the tolerances would be good enough. ''That is a good question," he says. "And, being a professional engineer, I certainly know not to overlook manufacturing tolerances. I will admit that the internal suspension sleeve was pretty hard to produce. This design will probably have to change a bit in order to be economically competitive.

"But, we have very good machining suppliers, and we got them involved early in the design phase, so we didn't get big surprises during fabrication,'' he replied, before also explaining that his plan is to consult with some well-established bike studios in the future, and to not get in over his head: ''Production is always a challenge; we will begin with low volume and build from there gradually in a safe and reliable way.'' If you ask me, that sounds like a very un-bike industry-like approach.
Resistance Bikes Insolent Jean-Francois Boivin photo
Boivin is especially proud of his rebound adjuster solution. A small external dial controls the position of a conical-head screw, which then moves the rebound rod in or out of the damper rod.

Boivin says he isn't dead-set on the shock design you see here: ''On the following design, we will try to make the shock system more like a fork, with bushings or maybe needle bearings in the top tube. Again, we would like to know what you think in the comments section." I'm picturing a four-sided stanchion with needle bearing strips, much like the torsionally rigid Lefty chassis employs, but we'll have to wait to see what he's cooking up. One thing is for sure; he'll need to manufacture his own suspension components for the customer version rather than modify Fox parts - I doubt that Fox is all that keen on having their chopped up bits in a production bike, as neat as it is to see.


Resistance Bikes
If we had X-ray vision, we'd be able to see the shock inside of the Insolent's top tube.






Why is the Shock Inside the Top Tube?

It surely would have been an easier project had Boivin gone with a more conventional shock mounting location like, oh, I don't know, not inside the bike's top tube. Then again, there are a bunch of things that would have been easier had he taken a different approach, but we'd be looking at a much more conventional - and not nearly as good looking - downhill bike.

Boivin happily admits that the internal shock placement is largely for aesthetic reasons, and I can't argue with him that it worked. ''I really like a direct slopping line between the head tube and rear axle. The shock integration inside of this line made much sense,'' was his answer when I asked him why he went this route. And while I can't tell you there's a performance advantage, even the uneducated, non-engineer in me knows that the internal frame mounting provides support for the custom made shock that must also supply lateral rigidity on top of its bump-absorbing duties.


Resistance Bikes
While the shock plays a vital role in the rigidity of the Insolent's rear end, the majority of its length being nested inside the top tube means that it does have help.


A comment that popped up under that original article a few times questioned if the shock's temperatures would be quite high given that it's nested inside a carbon tube. Boivin doesn't believe that this will be an issue, though: ''As for the shock getting too hot, we don’t think it will be any worse than a fork. Moreover, on a future version, we would like to have the slider be the damper’s body, so in that case, the oil would be in contact with a metallic external surface, same as a regular shock, so no problem there.''

As it is right now, the heavily reconfigured FIT damper is a separate unit that sits inside the Fox 40 stanchion, so there are two aluminum 'walls' between the damping oil and the outside air that act as an insulator. If the stanchion tube was the damper body, as it is on some forks and pretty much all shocks, the damping oil should stay a bit cooler because there's a single 'wall' between the oil and the cooling atmosphere outside.

Another valid concern that was raised by forum engineers was about service, and if the shock could be removed from the frame when required. The answer: sort of.

The plan is to have the shock's body bonded into the top tube on the production version, but riders will be able to disassemble and remove all of the shock's components from the body as needed. While Fox obviously doesn't recommend it, a FIT cartridge can be rebuilt by someone with the right tools and knowledge without having to ship it to a service center, so I don't see why someone with the same skills couldn't give the Insolent's shock some love if it were needed.

Many of those same commenters questioned Boivin's decision to not employ a rocker link of some sort, if only to add rigidity to the frame while removing much of the side-loading from the shock. ''It is our belief that the bike is going to be sufficiently stiff without a rocker,'' was his retort when I laid that concern on him.
Resistance Bikes
A 40mm diameter stanchion tube from Fox's downhill fork was used because the shock is a stressed member of the frame in Boivin's faux-Macpherson strut design.

''The 40mm diameter stanchion tube is pretty stiff in itself. And then, inside the suspension tube there is a 60mm long Igus linear slider combined with a piston ring giving a 150mm span between the two supports. This distance even becomes greater as the suspension compresses, meaning it gets stiffer along the travel. Also, the intent of the design is to be as sleek as possible, and we think a rocker would not have looked as good.''

If it turns out that more rigidity is required, Boivin's first-gen prototype is ready to be tested with an SKF linear ball bearing setup, although this would require a heavier hardened steel slider rather than the aluminum tube that he lifted from the Fox 40 downhill fork.









From a Simpler Future

Even if you're not a believer in the design or in gearboxes, I bet that most of us can agree that Boivin's creation is a thing of beauty. To me, it looks as if it's been shipped back in time from a future that's actually simpler rather than more complicated; the lack of a conventional drivetrain contributes, of course, but it's the integrated suspension and sleek lines that do it.

A gorgeous bike is not necessarily a fast bike, however, and let's be honest with ourselves and admit that a Session, Glory, Tues, et al. aren't about to hold any of us back, which raises the question: why choose the Insolent over those examples, or any other off the shelf downhill sled? What, exactly, does the Insolent bring to the table that a mass-produced downhill bike isn't able to?

''First is good looks, which many traditional off the shelf bikes don't have,'' replied Boivin to that slightly pointy question. Sure, I'll give him that, but what about reliability? Performance? Weight? You know, the things that really do count. Take it away, Jean-François: ''The maintenance will be reduced compared to traditional derailleur design. I, for one, absolutely hate to clean dirty chains. The belt design with no lubricant sure is an improvement. The internal suspension should not require any more attention than the fork. The suspension is coil-spring compatible, so low maintenance. The frame is free of small, hard to reach details, so you will waste no time cleaning the bike after a ride. Low unsprung weight and low-middle center gravity are immediately noticeable, but any gearbox bike provides that. Then the suspension becoming part of the structure and having direct, minimal tubing has the potential of being the lightest design of all [the first prototype weighs 35.24lb]. The current unit is not optimized, but when we are done, the result might be surprising.''


Resistance Bikes Insolent Jean-Francois Boivin photo
With a gearbox, belt drive, and integrated shock made using parts from Fox's 40 and 36 forks, the carbon fiber Insolent is not your average homemade mountain bike.


In another time, Jean-François Boivin might have been the guy welding together a race car chassis in a French garage in the 1930s, or even tinkering as an early innovator in the aviation field. Instead, Boivin's attention has been focused on the humble bicycle and, as bikes look more and more alike every year, he's an outlier who stands apart for going his own way. Whether the Insolent is better than a common, run-of-the-mill downhill bike is almost beside the point when the point is that Boivin created exactly what he wanted, for better or worse.

And that, dear Pinkbike readers, is something that we need more of.


252 Comments

  • + 746
 This is what innovation looks like. Not shifting hub standards an irrelevant distance from side to side, not adding a silly fork offset, not an absurdly sized rear cassette... I could go on. But this right here is some outside of the box thinking that actually has some relevant, real world improvement.
  • + 203
 OEMs pay attention here....

Please read @Rucker10's comment. Now read it again. Now take it to your next staff meeting and read it aloud.

Getting the point yet?
  • + 81
 100% - These are the kind of changes we want not a 3.2% increase in stiffness from a 2mm hub change which means we need a totally new frame

Its an elegant evolution of Turners Maverick ML7 - great work
  • + 12
 @kabanosipyvo: Yes, someone spent a lot of money to create a frame that may end up being absurdly expensive and have zero impact because no one can afford one. If any of the big guys went book-koo crazy on budget and put real time and effort into something like this, they'd smash this product out of the window.

No reflection on what was achieved here, it ticks all of my boxes except for blasting the "shock"with grime.

@Rucker10: Have you ridden a 5 year old dh bike back to back with the amazing 33lb carbon wunderbeists that are being put on chairlifts these days? There are most certainly amazing outside of the box things going on with all aspects of bikes each year.

There are just too many people with not enough money and we allget jealous.
  • + 18
 To put it simply, unlike other “innovations” that could go either way, this thing is undeniably f*ckin’ awesome.
  • + 42
 @raditude: It's 2018. 5 years ago people were riding 33lb carbon DH bikes. If we're talking 10 years I would agree with your statement. I have a hardtail(5 y/o,) a trail bike(4y/o,) and a DH bike(also 4 y/o.) All of them are almost identical to what the same companies offer now. Innovation since 2011 has stagnated, which I actually don't think is really a big deal. What is a big deal is industry on an almost weekly basis trying to convince us that they have the new hot shit when really it's a pointless improvement that only serves to line their pockets.
  • + 10
 Hell yeah! Push the envelope! You make an enduro bike, you have a buyer here-- promise!
  • + 33
 I don't totally disagree with you (f*ck Boost, etc.), but I feel like if Specialized or Trek did this people would be PISSED. "WHAT?!?! WE CAN'T REPLACE THE SHOCK??"

That said, I think this bike is rad and I wish I had DIY skills to a quarter of this level. "Oh whatever, I'll just build my own damper stack and stick it in the top tube." Amazing.
  • + 4
 @bmck: Dude it doesn't take much, you just gotta try. It would surprise you what you can build with a drill press and a bench grinder. Don't even get me started on what you can do with a lathe and a milling machine.
  • + 4
 Let me show you my single pivot bike!
  • + 20
 at one time goat rentals were sky high?
  • + 42
 @fullbug: Yeah, before the goat rental market tanked.
  • + 60
 @mikelevy: i blame e-goats, mike.
  • + 11
 Comes with a free tube of anal ease.
  • + 15
 @bmck: Yea, you're absolutely right... If it was Trek or the Big S, it would be: "Look at the new proprietary shock that's being forced on us by the Man!!" Also agree with you on the second point. Totally rad bike.
  • + 36
 @bmck @Chadimac22 - Agreed, there would likely be more push-back if this bike came from a big manufacturer. Think a lot of us just like to see a small time operation or lone wolf make something rad, even if it's not a product that we're likely to see in person.

The Insolent isn't perfect - no bike is - but Boivin's story makes it interesting.
  • + 8
 @fullbug: You can't even get them here anymore, one of the downsides of living in a nanny state.
  • + 0
 @mikelevy: Isn't it possible though everything is so played out a big box company might actually have some success pushing something somewhat radical? The Lefty struggled because it was getting good when things like the newer Pike were coming out. If the Lefty came out today when nearly every fork offered is super nice (and almost identical to each other) it might actually gain some traction.
  • + 1
 Yes yes yes, total rethink, minimum unsprung mass. I'd like to see a slimed down gearbox with maybe 3 or 4 gears. I ride mine single speed for park days now with a 34/12 combo. This with a intend fork would make interesting combination.
  • + 5
 thank you for showing the industry what real riders wanna see regarding innovation!
  • + 5
 @raditude: Do you mean "beaucoup"?
  • + 2
 The only "good" and "innovative" besides the gearbox is that it looks better ?
Correct me if I'm wrong but the only reason mentioned in the article why the shock is in the frame is to make it look better ?!
This bike is more art than engineering. Function follows form and it looks really amazing
  • + 6
 @fullbug: they were once considered the rural equivalent of Bit-coin...whatever the f@#k that actually is...
  • + 1
 Nailed it. And to add to the fury of standards why is this innovation coming from an individual instead of a bike company?
  • + 2
 @emptybox: It's not that the shock is is the frame, the value is the rear kinematics. Still wish the geo was better.....
  • + 1
 Truth!!!
  • + 5
 You did read the part where he says it was basically for aesthetic reasons?
  • + 2
 This looks to truly be a step in the right direction. However, the ports on the side of the top tube scare the heck out of me as what happens if one is sheered off? And lastly, not water bottle cage mounts (JK)?
  • + 6
 @Rucker10: Really? The Lefty would have an easier time establishing itself today, at a time when "nearly every fork offered is super nice" somehow? As in, back when it first started getting half-way decent, the new generations of super nice forks was only just coming out, so the competition sucked, but now the competition is fully dialed and pretty damn cheap, so it would be easier to convince people to take a flyer on a proprietary thing? I think you overestimate people's desire to be different for different's sake, while perhaps also underestimating their desire to be sure the stuff they spend their precious resources on actually works...
  • + 1
 Total and complete agreement. This guy is a design genius.
  • + 3
 @emptybox: There is also a stiffness to weight benefit. The shock and rocker becomes structural parts so less material is needed. In the final stage i think is has the potential to be one of the the lightest design.
  • + 2
 @richierocket: Thank you, for air the ports, there will eventually be only one port on the upper pivot part
  • + 1
 @bmck: I agree as well. That is why i say that someone out there might have had the idea but no product manager wanted to adventure in this direction. But If i was to make a bike it would have to have something special
  • + 1
 Plus it's bloody gorgeous!
  • + 3
 @Rucker10: not sure about it not taking much. if i tried to build something like this it would probably end up being a dildo, not a bike. well, maybe an e-bike.
  • + 0
 I dont know...innovation looks different . One look on the cut open section and I would never consider to buy a frame like this.
  • + 1
 @metaam: love what you did there...
  • - 8
flag PinkyScar (Jan 4, 2018 at 22:35) (Below Threshold)
 It's admirable what the creater of this bike has done, but is this actually innovation or just novelty? This design ignores the inherent uneven loading of the shock assembly, the subsequent flex and stress on fewer load-bearing parts, and the places aesthetics over function. I'm going to ignore the gearbox/belt drag and its energy draining effect on puny meat engines. It's an old Kestral/Turner design revamped for 2018. It might make a great conception story, but this bike looks more like an ultra-expensive, labour intensive, step backwards from current proven designs. And finally, what is so terrible about cleaning a chain from time to time?
  • - 2
 Totally agree and it's rad a f**k
  • + 2
 @g-42: Real innovation for consumers would be proven, cost-effective designs with fewer proprietary parts and fewer imposed standards.

Oh wait, we're moving the OPPOSITE direction. My bad. Nevermind.
  • + 1
 @PinkyScar: That was pretty much my point in response to that comment about the Lefty. Somehow, the poster thought that now that we have pretty decent forks at pretty decent prices, a proprietary fork that struggled to be an also ran in performance even back then would have an easier time, presumably because people want to be different. Frankly, I'm much more concerned with my fork working than being unique, and the idea that I might have to wait for parts, or not be able to get them anymore after a few years because all these damn 'standards' are splintering is sending me into an apoplectic rage...
  • + 2
 @kabanosipyvo: very funny and on point
  • + 1
 The standardized gearbox seems pretty sweet but I think I'd rather have a traditional shock bolted in there.
  • + 4
 Girth still play a part then. Not just long strokes.
  • + 2
 @Rucker10: "with a drill press and a bench grinder" uhhh...I have an impact driver and some sandpaper? GONNA BUILD ME A BIKE Wink
  • + 1
 @diggerandrider: The shock simply screws into the body of the frame, look at the diagrams.
  • - 3
 Actually, i enjoy my huge cassette, and wider hubs make wheels noticeably stiffer for a 29. people like you are generally salty because of having $$ in old gear and realize the new stuff is better.
  • + 1
 @BryceBorlick: not to mention that that stanchion is in the way of a metric shitload of mud and rocks. I can only pray they make some kind of mudguard
  • - 3
 Only flaw I see is the arc of the rear travel. Under braking it will provide horrible damping
  • + 1
 especially because it uses a gearbox AND its a belt drive! thats not easy to do on a full squish bike. id love to have one of these in a trail/all mountain travel configuration.
  • + 55
 Kudos for this guy turning the bike everyone drew on a napkin into something real.
  • + 35
 I am just here to make a stupid joke about butt sex...
  • + 14
 Not sure there are any original ones left. The original article on this bike was pretty cathartic.
  • + 1
 Based on the expression on his face in that opening photo, I think he's here for the same reasons....
  • + 24
 So happy to see more news on this bike. This is by far the most innovative bike I have seen in the last 5 years. Big props to this guy for comming up with a brand new design and choosing simple and effective methods for solving the current problems with mountain bikes. I really hope that this brand becomes a big success.
  • + 4
 What current problems are you referring to? The gearbox solves many problems but that is not a new idea
  • + 23
 It has such a beautifully simple external look, without all the derailleur and linkage bits hanging around. That's not true internally of course, with the gearbox and shock guts and all; but oh the outside of it pleases my OCD.
  • + 18
 We're going back to the future! images2.imgbox.com/0c/df/wyaoMFzj_o.jpg

That Boulder does look cool though.
  • + 11
 Those Boulders are so beautiful in an awkward looking kind of way. Forgot to mention that bike in the article - good catch!
  • + 2
 @mikelevy: Thanks. It was driving me crazy trying to remember who made a frame like that. I thought it might have been AMP or even Merlin. Whatever happened to Boulder Bicycles?
  • + 10
 And the Monolith : youtu.be/d76PFjH1SJA
  • + 2
 @wallheater: Wow that is an interesting design!
  • + 4
 @wallheater: Love that thing.
  • + 4
 The Monolith! The original superbike,designed in 1991. Yes,27 years ago. And so many bike designers could learn from it today.
  • + 4
 yes it is very important to note the history of the MTB here... a lot of people throw the word "innovative" around. this frame design is not innovative. and that's just fine. but give credit where credit is due. the "off the shelf" shock though - i'm actually far more impressed with that than anything else on this bike.
  • + 11
 Yeah i guess the design has already been made. I found it after i made the first sketch (i swear) when looking for patents about the design. I was disappointed that it had existed before. But i think that i managed to improve the design a little.
  • + 4
 @jeboi: I would say more than "a little". Your bike is beautiful!
  • + 3
 @jeboi: haaa. absolutely. this bike is 100% stunning!
  • + 2
 @wallheater: It looks like Mt. Airy Bicycles has one of these bikes for rent! If I was close I would take it out for a day of fun.

bike123.com/used_bikes/used_sbikesview.php?ID=1490
  • + 2
 @EndlessWheelie: Wow that's amazing! Bit far for me too though ha...
  • + 2
 @jeboi: I believe you. It happens. I've dabbled with custom BMX race frame designs for 30 years, and for about 20 I've said "everything has already been invented." Just look at 100 year old bike designs, it's crazy. Best of luck to you!!
  • + 9
 I like this.
How can I work for you?

Seriously, I would like to support you with this in some way.
Not pretending to have a lot of time to spare or to know anything about these things, but I have a mechanical / hydraulical background and a small engineering company with a SolidWorks licence.

Does not look as if you need a lot of help in that department, however..
  • + 8
 Wacky design, fantastic commitment to the project and great execution. Someone give this guy a job at a bike company and some resources to play with. If it works as well as other systems, I don't know the answer to that but daring to be different and follow a design in a professional and innovative way is what the industry needs - not more people adding 50mm to reach figures on hardtails or dredging up old designs and calling themselves pioneers.
  • + 10
 id like to see a vid of someone riding it
  • + 7
 This a true piece of ingenuity !!!
Hats off, I want one to go with my Zerode Taniwha trail bike
Gearboxes are awesome
Well done Jean-François Boivin, you are a clever clever man Smile
  • + 4
 Really glad to see the overwhelmingly supportive comments in here. Let's be honest - most of the time something new and different comes out, it is met with a barrage of shit talking on these very forums.
  • + 3
 This design intrigues me in the ways of the old days. When nearly every companies flagship bike was a marvel in its own right. Cant wait to see real world tests and reviews. This will likely be the most supple and bump sensitive rear suspension ever made. Now hopefully they can tune it to also pedal decently.
  • + 3
 Hoping @jeboi (I think I got that right) is still reading this deep into the comments.

Just wanted to say bravo on going out there and making your vision a reality. I'm sure this took forever and wasn't cheap and there's no guarantee of success, but he's doing it and that's commendable.

@mikelevy As much as I love nerding out on gear (which I seriously do), that aspect of the story was great. Thanks for reporting in along with showing how the crap the rebound dial works.
  • + 2
 i like the level of completion to the thinking ive seen so many gearbox bikes and asked why there isn't a belt drive on there to myself its nice to see someone take liberties of throwing standards out the window to make something genuinely different

on the other hand besides hiding half of the internals inside the frame is this really all that different from foes 2:1 concept where they made their own linkages and shock to get a lower leverage ratio in the shock for increased performance and justified excessive cost with low production numbers?? i also dont see how an air spring would work, considering how much companies like fox, rockshox and vursprung have worked on negative air springs i dont see any of that going on in there.... i love the look and idea behind it but sadly i dont see it working in the real world Frown
  • + 2
 Belt drives have pros and cons, especially on suspension bikes where you need to run an tensioner. Nicoli do one on a gearbox bike if you're into that kind of thing. A number of gearbox bike builders have tested them and decided a regular chain was more practical.
  • + 4
 I'm not an engineer or suspension guru but when I look at the bike I just imagine all sorts of binding and kashima coating getting worn off.
  • - 1
 I think someone said in the first article that there may not be more constraints on the shock's damper than on the fork's one.
  • + 2
 i thought that too but then when you look at the computer drawing of the leverage ratio you can see the the have a floating seatstay that allows the shock leg to move freely as long as the bearings are not worn but once the bearings start to wear there might start to become more constraints on the shock but as Will-narayan said there is not supposed to be any more constraint on the damper than a forks damper.
  • + 1
 Just like any regular fork/shock if you don't service it. Sure.
  • + 2
 The pivot on the stays where they meet the shock keeps that from being an issue.
  • + 2
 Surely there are more sideways forces on fork bushings due to impacts that are outside the direction of travel AND braking forces (the latter being a non-issue with this design).
  • + 2
 could the bottom of the seat tube mounting section be a weak point,?as the amount of carbon looks pretty thin in that area?plus will it heat up on long runs likr some shocks do ,,great bike thow , if it doesent work out, just make a rep honda rno1 out of carbon and an achillotti dhp carbonised with gear box please .tomaso will be pissed but you will be minted.
  • + 3
 Real nice bike, although I have some concerns that rear shock servicing might suck a bit.

Really curious how he's planning to do an enduro version. Where's the seat tube (or the seat post) gonna go?
  • + 2
 You have a very good point, we are working on a way to use a 150mm dropper post. It is one of the most important aspect of the next enduro design
  • + 1
 @jeboi: If it can fit an integrated dropper like eightpin's model, it would be the tits. No idea how you could manage that exept with a low stand over top tube. Anyway, bonne chance avec votre projet!
  • + 2
 Don't forget the Zerode. I have a G2 27.5 DH and the Taniwha Enduro 27.5 and I love not having a derailleur. There is some other innovation going on - in New Zealand [Zerode]. This one looks cool, too. I wonder how pricing will turn out?
  • + 1
 Wow what innovation! Amazing looking bike, and from just one guy. I love the look and hope it works out in practice. Hope the rear end is stiff enough and the shock can be cooled adequately. If it could last a day in the Whistler bike park, I would be impressed. Good luck on your project, we are all looking forward to see how it turns out.
  • + 1
 Not to hate on it, but there are some serious flaws here.
How are you going to cool that shock? A coil might be fine, but on air it'll overheat in a few seconds.
How can you make an enduro version? I'm pretty sure everyone wants dropper posts these days, they can't go through the shock right?
  • + 1
 External routing
  • + 1
 It looks very good to me!Keep it simple as possible is a good idea.
This summer I do a few rides near 40º C and never feel any dramatic change in suspension performance when things are getting really hot on long DH style trails. Is more noticeable the cold weather,my new 36 forks feels horrible near to 0º C it takes a long time to perform as usual.
My only concern is about that Fox 40 tube being exposed to the dirt and mud,maybe a piece of fabric to hide it or a mud deflector can solve this issue.
  • + 5
 A sexy fork boot, à la 90s.
  • + 1
 How about innovation and integration with our derailers and gears. We moved to hydraulic discs over a decade ago... brakes are awesome now, how about leaving our drive sprocket enclosed with a built-in chain cleaner and a derailer above the rear gears so we quit breaking derailer mounts and slipping gears. Or a dual chain bike with opposite sprockets on the wheel and the drive to make for smoother shifting and higher speeds on street bikes. I'm sure someone can come up with something innovative.
  • + 3
 @Icdbm89: And heavy. And complex. And disobeys the laws of physics.
  • + 1
 There is nothing new under the sun. Clem Twins cranks from the 80s:

bmxmuseum.com/reference-images/img_1932_blowup.jpg
  • + 1
 Is it just me or does mr Boivin look like Ferris Buellers friend(Alan Ruck) from Ferris Buellers day off? Seems like PB is playing a joke on us hiring actors to portray designers. If you back peddle that bike will it take time off your strava Times?
  • + 3
 how dare you reference Ferris Bueller's Day Off without mention of Sloane Peterson.
  • + 1
 My first thought was wondering how the damper will hold up under lateral loads, and how fast the bushings/bearings will wear and need servicing. But I guess it wouldn't be too much different from a fork, although a fork has 2 stanchions to spread the load. Props for trying something different and not super crazy or ugly!
  • + 1
 Isn't this similar to another QC brand from the 90's/early 2000s... Balfa Belair. I borrowed one very briefly in the day. Ended up with a different Balfa, the 2Step I think it was called. I loved riding that bike. Aluminum front with steel rear end... Anyway. First looks seem to be similar in principle.
  • + 1
 Forgive me for asking, but what’s the point of the proprietary rear suspension design? Without a rocker link of any kind, there is going to be less lateral stiffness and customers won’t be able to go into their LBS for replacement parts should they have a failure (this is especially important if you’re away from home / on a trip where time matters). I just keep thinking this might be another one of those “just because you can, doesn’t mean you should” examples.
  • + 6
 No problem, it's a good question. My idea was to make a full suspension with all gears but with the look of a single speed hardtail. It can be done but i agree that it doesn't mean it has to. Further testing and business case study will show if it has its place. But i'm personally very happy with the result i already have. Also, since the slider is stiff, it acts like a rocker. Would you want a rocker on your fork? For the replacements parts, you get a good point, we will try to get parts available and shipped fast, if you do break anything. Cheers
  • + 1
 @jeboi: Fair points all-round. Have you considered using a black stantion tube instead of the Kashima? If you’re looking for that ‘hardtail silhouette’, the all-black approach might help with that.
  • + 3
 @cwatt: Yes, a black stanction is on the list for the enduro version. The ultimate goal would be to have the rear suspension disapear, or kind of.
  • - 1
 It's incredibly dumb for many reasons
  • + 3
 PUT IT IN A WORLD CUP. Would love to see a real rider put it down a real track and see the advantages and disadvantages.
  • + 1
 I like the idea and engineering thought behind it. Kudos to them for sticking to their guns so to speak but please just change the color on that shaft. It looks wrong when it cycles trough it's travel. Smile
  • + 0
 One of the reasons i have lost so much interest in mountain biking over the last few years is the complete lack of innovation. I find it unbelievable that carbon is still sold to us a an amazing thing..its not it been around for decades!! We are still using the spoked wheel. We are still using cassette gears and rear mechs. Yet we are told that all these new standards in hub sizes, offsets and wheel sizes are innovation! Its complete bollox. I wish Elon Musk made mountain bikes...we would be light years ahead of where we are now.
  • + 4
 NICE, the last time I saw something this innovative was Millyard Racing
  • + 3
 Cannondale tried to replace the top tube with a shock didnt turn out anything like this
  • + 1
 Wasn't very aesthetic to say the least.

ep1.pinkbike.org/p4pb2506524/p4pb2506524.jpg
  • + 1
 glad to see new bike designs, not like cannondales innovation and creativity, but something more like this, its abstract, it's different, and its sick! it's just simple and awesome... just my opinion though.
  • + 2
 From one aspiring carbon frame builder to another, nice work! It's great to see some real innovation and the mechanical creativity to make it happen!
  • + 4
 What about a bike with leafspings
  • + 2
 it has been done or forks atleast look up lauf forks only have xc and gravel tho
  • + 2
 Spot uses a carbon leaf spring in their linkage. It's one of my favorite suspension designs.
  • + 1
 this is the kind of innovation id see regularly in mtb mags in the early 90's. Its rare to see nowadays. awesome! hopefully a big brand will pick up Jean Francois and fund this project further.
  • + 3
 That is really really cool, looking forward to videos of it riding. Keep up the good work guys!
  • + 1
 I love innovations and this is very promising. In the travel video, I'd like to de the wheel taking a different path in its travel and I wonder if something like the old Yeti DH6 system or the new Eminent would help that.
  • + 0
 Somebody mentioned the 1990 Boulder defiant... It has the top tube rear shock and that was 28 years ago, we don't see everyone out riding these for a reason haha. And how long have gear boxes been around? I know when I was a kid I could shift my parents redline road bikes while sitting on them and at the time I didn't know any different... Why would the combination of the two make a bike any better. I guess if you're going for a gravity bike and you just keep adding weight to it it should be faster in theory right?
  • + 4
 innovation is so stimulating
  • + 6
 I am stimulated.
  • + 4
 @mikelevy: By the innovation or the quick thrusts of that shock?
  • + 2
 as a very novice rider, it's the cleaning of my new full suspension that I love and hate. Having no outer gears and a less cluttered rear sus/triangle is a deal changer .
  • + 2
 Nice work JF!! I've tried A similar design ( Maverick ) and I likes it. I'm glad to see that someone has kept that innovation in mind and has done something with it!
  • + 2
 "Hold up, let me air up my frame". This is very cool and kudos for coming up with someone and turning it into reality no matter the obstacles.
  • + 3
 Almost makes me want to buy a dh bike
  • + 3
 Cool looking bike..... How does it ride?
  • + 3
 @mikelevy Great article, good job!
  • + 1
 It would be nice to see it in action against a regular DH bike , same rider split screen type comparison, looks an amazing bit of kit I'd have one????
  • + 2
 Wow, wow, wow....take note MTB industry before dropping another boost standard on the market.
  • + 2
 "We don’t have a bottom out control per say"
*per se (as in SEntry).

It's latin.
  • + 3
 Is it too early to call this The. Bike. of 2018?!
  • + 1
 More pictures pleasure. Interested in the linkage area around the BB and molding for the seat/chainstays and headtube (thickness, layout, etc.). Also lets see a top view!
  • + 2
 ''I really like a direct slopping line between the head tube and rear axle."

That's an odd place to feed pigs!
  • + 2
 Absolutely crazy project! I cannot offer enough props for your ambition and dedication!
  • + 2
 The whole thing make sense to me... But i really wanna see a video with a good rider pushin´ it hard
  • + 2
 Boivin in the first photo has the smile of a guy who's holding the world's sexiest bike by the front and rear naughty bits.
  • + 0
 If any big brand would come up with this for mass prodoction now it would be selling like popcorns. Thos is two steps ahead... Also I can't figure out why integrated transmissions are not the norm yet for DH.
  • + 2
 Imagine a Rockshox Boxxer on the front
  • + 1
 Is the gear box not hooked up? Or wireless? I don't see a cable going anywhere from the shifter... Very confused
  • + 4
 You have some good eyes! We are finalizing the assembly and we will post a video of the working bike shortly, with shifter hooked up!
  • + 1
 A DH bike that’s as clean looking as a street or park bike! Absolutely beautiful!!
  • + 1
 Balfa, Devinci and this guy. East Canadians make some innovative bikes and do it in a way that makes sexy machines!
  • + 1
 Balfa...

Shock inside the toptube is reminiscent of Balfa's Belair: www.balfa.wooyek.pl/balfa-belair.html

And although Balfa's BB7 was not a gearbox bike, it's idler pulley helped separate pedaling forces from the drivetrain (not unlike gearbox bikes), allowing the BB7's high pivot point to provide a rearward axle path, but without excessive chain growth or anti-squat.
  • + 1
 What is the software used for the leverage ratio ? I see it often but never got the name of it.
  • + 4
 The name of the program is Linkage. You can find it here: www.bikechecker.com
  • + 1
 i hope he has his IP legally protected well. The Big Boys will be buying him out soon!
  • + 1
 This looks incredible, but if you're riding this thing let's have a video of it in action!
  • + 1
 Very interesting, I'd like to see some kind of mud guard near the rear shock.
  • + 1
 now that makes a sense, also I am still expecting a review of Zerode Taniwha from @mikelevy
  • + 1
 This’ll be so much easier to clean with out have to work around those brackets and rear shock.
  • + 1
 the suspension design is similar concept to Boulder Defiant from the early 90's, which was a sik bike back in the days.
  • + 1
 Is it just me or is the video near the end more pornographic then it is bike porn?
  • + 1
 **a - - l machine**
  • + 1
 Funny how when this bike was first shown everyone said it was crap or looked terrible and all that. Now everyone loves it
  • + 1
 will this bike be brannigan approved?
(www.instagram.com/p/Bbnx_zxl57I)
  • + 2
 Very impressive tup it looks very sleek and very exotic
  • + 3
 Kief!
  • + 2
 There's a goat rental market?
  • + 4
 *was

It crashed a few years back after the goat bubble popped and now there are only a few places to rent goats in North America.
  • + 2
 Such a beautiful piece of engineering, thats real innovation!
  • + 0
 ''I really like a direct slopping line between the head tube and rear axle"
Slopping between the head and the rear with a design like this could be sketchy...
  • + 1
 2.36 to 2.0 leverage ratio? one main pivot point? "holy fecal matter". back to the future



and 26ers for life.
  • + 1
 this is such a cool idea, gear box and integrated rear shock, be cool to see the production model or try one out !!!!
  • + 1
 I'm just happy fox hasn't pooped themselves rushing to file lawsuits over ip "theft"
  • + 2
 inspired by matt macduff's custom slopetyle bike?
  • + 2
 Next step...Internal cable routing for the rear brakes! What a beaut!
  • + 2
 Nooooo
  • + 1
 Cable brakes, now that's innovation!
  • + 2
 How has this bike not won some innovation awards already
  • + 2
 How is it innovative? It's f*cking cool, that's for sure, but I don't think that I'd call it innovative. What it is, however, is an ambitious project that Boivin pulled off beautifully.
  • + 1
 @mikelevy: Yeah, the execution and rear shock design are astounding for a one man show. Great to see...this reminds me of the Engineer at Intend building his own forks and components....
  • + 1
 OK it's Mc Pherson strut but what Loamhuck said
  • + 1
 If not for the $7-10K bikes already being sold something like this would never happen.
  • + 1
 Am I the only one thinking that stanction is gonna get owned being placed there not having a shield of sorts?
  • + 2
 There's a simple solution to that if it's required.
  • + 3
 Yes, it's one of our main concern. Will find something to protect the slider, at least a fender but there is some other options.
  • + 2
 Sweet and beautiful and exciting.
  • + 1
 this article says its a cross between a rear shock and a fork stantion. I beg to differ. This is clearly a dropper post.
  • + 1
 If you want to build your own shock, maybe look into Linear rails. Stiff and smooth
  • + 1
 Simplification of the bicycle, I hope, is the way of the future. Nobody needs more 'boost' innovations.
  • + 2
 Bloody love it! Commitment and ingenuity. Hat's off
  • - 3
 Someone needs to give this guy a harsh does of reality from a business perspective. He is making a bike that will perform far worse than any of his competition. Looks will only get you so far in the real world; it has to be backed up by performance if he ever wants his company to take off; he has sacrificed every aspect of kinematic suspension design for a look. There is a reason why nobody has done this before. This looks like a great project that he put his heart and soul into, and i'm not saying it isn't cool, but someone needs to knock him over the head and tell him not to sink his life savings into this venture. Pinkbike is acting like the mom who always tells her daughter that she has a beautiful voice getting her to go on stage and perform, only to get boo'd off and then cry for a week.
  • + 12
 Hello jefe, i'm the guy who made this bike. First, thank you to worry about me. I do have a day job and did not put all my life saving into this project Smile Looks is pretty important but as you say it MUST be backed with performance. I think more time and effort will prove it good. As far as kinematics goes, the next models might have other suspension design while keeping the integrated shock and gearbox. Which one would you prefer?, VPP, Horst link, mono pivot with linkage? I beleive that at some point this type of design will have it's place but only time will tell. Cheers
  • + 1
 @ jefe boooooooooooo.....
  • + 1
 Cool design but won't cool properly in that carbon shroud.
  • + 1
 So no active rear end under braking
  • + 1
 Blah bllah blah no geometry, figures, fools
  • + 1
 Google Allen Millyard's downhill mountain bike , now there's innovation !
  • + 1
 so when starts the mass production?
  • + 2
 Looks like a Session xD
  • + 1
 Wicked bike, nice work Smile
  • + 1
 What i would give to have a go on this bike!!! such an amazing idea Smile
  • + 1
 But
How
Does
It
RIDE???

Novel design means squat if it rides like crap.
  • + 9
 To be honest, I don't have a clue. There's only one Insolent in the world and you're looking at it, and even if Boivin does start producing them, it'll be in small numbers. This isn't a review or anything, just a story of an interesting bike and the guy behind it. That said, I am hoping to get one the Insolent at some point.
  • + 3
 I'm guessing it pedals like a pogo-stick.
From article-
He's prioritized having an active suspension system over one that firms up under pedaling loads to feel more efficient, but Boivin is well aware of the consequences and compromises that come with such a design: ''It will come at the expense of some suspension compression during pedaling. We think the pros defeat the cons here. I remember smiling when Aaron Gwin and Neko Mullaly had tremendous race runs with 0-percent pedaling efficiency.''
  • + 1
 @mikelevy: No doubt, Mike. I wasn't really lobbing the question at you but out into the ether. It's intriguing for sure, and new mousetraps are intriguing... but I confess that I am skeptical. Doesn't much matter - it's not a bike that I'd ever have in my garage simply from a cost standpoint.
  • + 1
 @Myfianceemademedoit: it's gonna pedal like garbage
  • + 1
 looks like an early Yamaha mono shock (motorcycle)
very impressive
  • + 1
 So fucking clean! NICE!!!!!
  • + 2
 Sic bike.
  • + 1
 So awesome! Simple and a gear box!
  • + 1
 Is this really a better mousetrap? Or just different.
  • + 1
 Where can I get a test ride?
  • + 1
 great looking bike! Not sure how to feel about a belt drive, though.
  • - 1
 looks like it might break easy...
  • + 1
 Can't wait to see what @Protour has got to say about this design.
  • + 2
 Likely not much. He only really had issue with the FSR on Spesh's last couple of Demo versions.
  • + 1
 @mikelevy Did you get to test ride this beast or what?
  • + 1
 This article needs an editor... \u kant spel
  • + 1
 how much bitcoin ready////////////
  • + 1
 i want to see it in action on the trail
  • - 3
 Now that I have read the comments my initial opinion has changed. Originally I thought this man has something really innovative here and that the rear shock was a form of genius. If most dh riding is done in the dirt and mud, how long will the rear shock last with nobby tires throwing sand-filled mud and rocks at it? And we don't want a more expensive bike, what we need is quality and affordability. Why spend $5,000 on a bike? The engineering is the McDonald's of it all, and quality bikes aren't "made in China". At the end of the day, you're not going to reinvent the wheel! A bike is a bike and it's getting to the point where people don't even care who made their bikes because it's got a hundred different manufacturers parts on it before you can ride it anyway. Just make it functional and affordable...
  • + 1
 ^^^^^^^^^^^^^
boooooooooo...
  • - 1
 And you thought internally routed cables suck to work on. Love the concept but a bit skeptical regarding long-term rear suspension durability.
  • + 0
 Pop lock and drop it. Comes with a lifetime supply of Ky!
  • + 1
 coil sprung?
  • + 1
 I'd ride it.
  • + 1
 1990 Boulder Defiant
  • + 0
 Go black instead of kashima so it doesnt look so pornagraphic
  • + 1
 Unbelievably stupid
  • + 0
 Quiver killer
  • + 0
 coil option please
  • + 4
 Boivin says that the same shock can be setup to run an air or a coil spring.
  • + 0
 @mikelevy: fine, but if I can't get a MARS air/coil hybrid in there, i'll have to pass
  • - 1
 Missing bottle mount and 29" : add them and I buy!!!
  • - 3
 Hope there’s an all mtn one of these. Without a gearbox.
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