The Pinkbike Podcast: Episode 47 - High Pivot Bikes: The Good, The Bad, and The Why?

Feb 8, 2021 at 13:03
by Mike Levy  
Art by Taj Mihelich.


The last few years have seen more high-pivot full-suspension bikes debut than ever before, arguably spurred on by the success of Commencal's' Supreme downhill bike under Amaury Pierron and Myriam Nicole on the World Cup circuit. Norco's Aurum downhill bike was born shortly after that, as were a handful of others that have been released since, but there have also been plenty with less travel and more well-rounded intentions. Forbidden's Druid and the just-released Dreadnaught are some recent examples, but Deviate's Highlander, Norco's Shore, and the wild-looking P-Train have all been reviewed recently, as well as Kavenz's VHP 16 with its virtual high-pivot suspension layout.

With all these high-pivot bikes out there, it's probably time for us to dig into the design and talk about inherent traits, what they can excel at, their weaknesses, and why you may or may not want one for yourself.




THE PINKBIKE PODCAST // EPISODE 47 - HIGH PIVOT BIKES: THE GOOD, THE BAD, AND THE WHY?
February 10th, 2021

If high is good, isn't more higher better?


Hosted by Mike Levy (usually) and featuring a rotating cast of the editorial team and other guests, the Pinkbike Podcast is a weekly update on all the latest stories from around the world of mountain biking, as well as some frank discussion about tech, racing, and everything in between.


Forbidden Dreadnought
The just released Forbidden Dreadnought has a rearward axle path that moves the wheel back 30mm by the end of the travel.

Deviate Highlander review
Tom Richards photo

Kavenz VHP 16 review
2021 Norco Shore
Clockwise from top left: Deviate's Highlander, the Actofive P-Train, Kavenz's VHP 16, and the Norco Shore all employ differing takes on the high pivot rear-suspension layout.

Honda G-Cross DH bike
The most lusted-after high pivot bike? Probably Honda's RN-01 G-Cross.

Devinci Wilson Carbon - Simon Nieborak
Devinci's Wilson downhill bike has always used a high main pivot (the 2016 version is on the left), but the latest prototype (right) takes that to extremes with an even higher pivot and idler pulley combo.

Amaury Pierron's Commencal Supreme DH 29 at the 2019 World Championships.





Previous Pinkbike Podcasts
Episode 1 - Why Are Bikes So Expensive?
Episode 2 - Where the Hell is the Grim Donut?
Episode 3 - Pond Beaver Tech
Episode 4 - Why is Every Bike a Trail Bike?
Episode 5 - Can You Trust Bike Reviews?
Episode 6 - Over Biked Or Under Biked?
Episode 7 - Wild Project Bikes
Episode 8 - Do We Need an Even Larger Wheel Size?
Episode 9 - Why Are We Doing a Cross-Country Field Test?
Episode 10 - Getting Nerdy About Bike Setup
Episode 11 - Are We Going Racing This Year?
Episode 12 - What's the Future of Bike Shops?
Episode 13 - Are Bikes Too Regular Now?
Episode 14 - What Bikes Would Pinkbike Editors Buy?
Episode 15 - What's Holding Mountain Biking Back?
Episode 16 - Who's Your Mountain Biking Hero?
Episode 17 - XC Field Test Insider
Episode 18 - Electronics on your Mountain Bike: Good or Bad?
Episode 19 - The Hardtail Episode
Episode 20 - MTB Conspiracy Theories
Episode 21 - Stuff We Were Wrong About
Episode 22 - Does Your Riding Style Match Your Personality?
Episode 23 - Grim Donut 2 is Live!
Episode 24 - Why Even Buy a DH Bike?
Episode 25 - Fall Field Test Preview
Episode 26 - The Three Most Important Mountain Bikes
Episode 27 - The World Champs Special
Episode 28 - All About Women's Bikes
Episode 29 - Freeride or Die
Episode 30 - Would You Rather?
Episode 31 - Wet Weather Riding Tips & Tricks
Episode 32 - What Needs to Change in the Bike Industry?
Episode 33 - Behind the Scenes at Pinkbike Academy
Episode 34 - Grilling Levy About Field Test Trail Bikes (and His Bonspiel)
Episode 35 - Story Time - Stranger Than Fiction
Episode 36 - Grilling Kazimer about Field Test Enduro Bikes
Episode 37 - The 2020 Privateer Season with Ben Cathro
Episode 38 - Editors Defend Their 2020 Best-Of Picks
Episode 39 - Predicting the Future of Mountain Biking
Episode 40 - The Pinkbike Awards!
Episode 41 - Racing Rumours and Team Changes
Episode 42 - Mountain Biking's Guilty Pleasures
Episode 43 - Dangerholm's Wildest Custom Mountain Bikes
Episode 44 - Mountain Bike Suspension Decoded
Episode 45 - What Makes a Good Riding Buddy
Episode 46 - Episode 46 - The RockShox Zeb vs Fox 38 Deep Dive


158 Comments

  • 43 1
 I've put about 1200 miles on a Forbidden Druid since October and there's no denying that the drivetrain is more high maintenance. It requires way more lube, dries out faster on desert rides, and requires an occassional re-grease of the idler bearing if you want to keep your watt loss low. That being said, I could not care less. Most people who love bikes also love working on their bikes, and this averages out to probably an extra 30 seconds every ride. The benefits you gain in descending and climbing capability far outweigh marginal loss of watts. I'm not saying this set up is for everyone. Lycra fans and watt nerds need not apply. But for shredders who want a trail bike, it's the perfect set up.
  • 2 1
 Just building mine up now. One of the few bikes on my list that was actually in stock!
  • 2 1
 I could not agree more with this! I've got 600 or so miles on mine, and just find that I wash and lube my bike a little more often, which isn't a bad thing.
  • 24 7
 I don't think you need to be a "Lycra fan" or watt nerd to not be into high pivot bikes. I'd argue that there are more well-rounded designs out there, even if the high pivot better suits your style and terrain. It's not just the extra complications (I do love me a linkage fork, after all), it's how they feel on the trail Smile
  • 1 0
 Totally agree, it gets noisy in muddy wet condition but with good maintenance and cleaning there is no problems.
  • 3 0
 I'm really looking forward to my druid coming together. Can't wait! I have already toyed with the idea of putting ceramic bearings in the idler pulley to make it a little smoother and with less maintenance. This obviously isn't needed, sensible, economic, logical, or defensible... but I might do it mid season to see if I notice a difference.
  • 5 1
 The only problem i have so far is my xt 12 speed derailleur
  • 1 1
 This feedback makes me a little sad. I really wanted the latest generation of high pivots to be more reliable. I had a Corsair Maelstrom high pivot bike and haven't found anything that came close to matching its performance since. I got rid of it in the end due to how much of a pain the idler was. That was a 2x drivetrain though, so the idler was far more complex and poorly executed.
  • 5 4
 I loved my druid for all the reasons stated, but the drive train noise/drag drove me nuts and I sold the bike. I love working on my bikes, but if my bike isn't silent and free of creaks/noise I don't want to ride it. I also discovered that I enjoy more POP in my bike. If I rub my crystal ball just right, I think the hype for the high pivot/idler frames will fade.
  • 6 0
 I can't really see why it would need more lube... ? The Beta review of the new Dreadnought killed me. Guy was lubing the chain mid-ride and complaining it attracted dirt. WTF. Anyway, anyone every try wax lubes - they've been golden for me...
  • 6 0
 I think people get a little too caught up in manufacturers words about their suspension layouts, truth is lots of suspension is good these days from the true single pivots on oranges to the complex evil thing-a-ma-jig. Levy’s comment for example, already 3 people have downvoted a comment saying basically ‘there is a possibility that another suspension design other than a high pivot might work or feel better to someone somewhere that isn’t a complete xc nerd.’ disagreeing with that is crazy, I feel like taking a step back and seeing lots of designs have pros and cons is important.
  • 1 0
 @fullendurbro how do you respond to the comments in the podcast that "high pivot is less nimble and playful"?
  • 1 0
 @ybsurf: Those are very problematic on their own! Regardless of the bike, they have proven to be more maintenance than previous generation 11 speed derailleurs.

Shimano has released an upgrade kit for the clutch and lever assembly however, so there is some hope.
  • 2 2
 @shredddr: The forbidden (and many others) have chain above the upper seat? stay so the dirt from tyre goes straight to chain, rather than catching on the stay.
  • 2 0
 Have over 800kms on my Druid, the extra drivetrain maintenance is honestly not that bad once you have done it a couple of times. Winter riding on Vancouver Island has been wet, wiping down the entire drivetrain every ride or two has become the norm with Idler regreasing occurring every 7-8 rides. I do not mind the noise or "drag", kinda reminds me of my old DH bike chain guides. The fact that Forbidden are so open with owners working on their bikes make it easier.
  • 1 0
 @uphillsg: The amount of dirt flung onto the chain from the rear tyre would be absolutely negligible compared to the amount of crud that the chain would collect from hitting the ground, or even from dust flung up from the front tyre.
  • 1 0
 I have ridden the Deviate Highlander for half a year now and I don't feel that there's more maintenance to it than on my previous bikes. Yes, the idler needs regreasing but a grease gun and a minute later and it's done. Even if I don't grease the idler, I don't realize any watt loss and I think for amateur riders this is negligible in any case.
  • 1 0
 @nickkozak: I noticed on my druid the drag mainly coming from lower chain guide I removed it and was a big difference and yet to drop a chain.
  • 1 0
 @Lanebobane: I would say it's pretty fair. To get around this, I run my rebound fully open both front and rear (which isn't too far off what I do with my long travel non high pivot anyway). The DPX2 also keeps it a bit more playful.
  • 1 0
 @mikelevy: Since you've ridden so many bikes, what other bike(s) match a high pivot's ability to not squash down into it's travel when sprinting? Maybe a Yeti since they can tune high anti-squat (but then you have to ride a Yeti). One of my favorite things about my Forbidden is that it's just so darn supportive when sprinting out of the saddle.
  • 1 2
 @nickkozak: too bad the spec on your rig is bad. Just think about how much better your life would be if you didn't cheap out.
  • 2 0
 @ybsurf: I'm not sure you're supposed to remove it. With a high idler there may be too much chain growth (I mean total chain growth, not upper link growth which is close to 0 on the high pivot) and so on the biggest gear the chain may be too short at full travel if you remove the lower chain guide because I guess you also shortened the chain.
See what I mean ? no lower guide + biggest cog + full travel may be equal to chain snap, though I rekon you rarely use full travel in the biggest cog. May be even more true on the Dreadnought which has even more travel.
  • 1 0
 @ybsurf: I have heard of some owners removing the lower guide outright aswell as switching to the MRP SXg 2 bolt lower guide. Might consider removing it for the wet season and run a lower guide again once it's dry out.
  • 1 0
 @Will-narayan: I asked forbidden and they said it's not "recommended " but mostly because the chance of chain drop which could happen but I heard people removed it and didnt had any problem. The p-train, shore, deviante are not quite the same but they dont use one and dint seems to have any problem.
  • 1 0
 @nickkozak: It's my understanding that most riders will not have an issue removing the lower chain guide because most people think that "sending it" consists of riding over a few rocks at 8.9mph. However if you're in the habit of properly thrashing, it definitely does happen.
  • 22 0
 Thanks for doing these, definitely making my workdays more enjoyable.

What is like to hear a bit of discussion about is why some pros size up, some size down, and which is faster. Another online magazine did some bro-science testing and they liked the shorter bikes better, and some riders like Rude or Ed Masters ride size M bikes. Does stability matter less if you’re a pro rider where it might be all about corner exit speed?

Is there a thing as too modern geo? Kazimer had his fastest time in the field test on the altitude which wasn’t long or slack enough for him. Is it just personal preference and what you feel fits best, or is there a bike size/geo that is objectively faster than a smaller or bigger, steeper or slacker bike, given the same setup and rider?
  • 6 0
 I think you hit the nail on the head at the end there. Personal preference. If you throw any bike down a hill without a rider on it won't get very far, so no bike is inherently faster for everyone. Some things make a bigger difference to a bigger proportion of riders, but at the end of the day it only works if you're comfortable with it. Some riders like a wheelbase the length of an aircraft carrier and can plow through and go faster, others don't enjoy that, aren't as comfortable and won't be as fast. Companies can throw around as many numbers to prove how much objectively better an inanimate object is, but once you start throwing a squishy, opinionated subjective lump in, all science becomes bro-science at best and the numbers become meaningless. Those are my two pennies at any rate.
  • 4 8
flag gorideyourbikeman (Feb 10, 2021 at 8:04) (Below Threshold)
 I think yes. modern geo is out of control. I'm 5'9 on a medium and the bike feels huge. Running 66.6 degree head angle and it feels like crap on a climb but is also the fine line for descents. I wouldn't change it even though I could (ride 9). I'm fully convinced we passed the sweet spot. maybe not for downhill but for trailbikes forsuuure,
  • 1 0
 I seen somewhere that stability is just a feeling, for us mere mortals it’s like a comforting hug, but for the pros with balls of steel it doesn’t matter so much because they are in total control and prefer the ability to throw the smaller bike about.

Or I could just be making that up and they just prefer a smaller bike whilst some people prefer a bigger bike, I mean Laurie Greenland was talking about trying to get his bike 3mm longer or something stupid like that and I do believe they can feel that and know that’s what they want to feel most comfortable
  • 14 0
 We'll def do a geometry podcast at some point soon. There's a lot to talk about.
  • 5 0
 @gorideyourbikeman: if it feels like crap on the climbs the bike might not be the problem 66.6 should climb pretty well. I was running my 2018 altitude under 65° and was climbing really well.
  • 1 5
flag gorideyourbikeman (Feb 10, 2021 at 13:54) (Below Threshold)
 @ybsurf: misunderstanding me.It's the sweet spot in my opinion. I came from a 98 stump jumper (76 head angle) and it was a mountain goat. 66.6 is going to be max. im used to it now and wouldnt change a thing. cheers.
  • 1 0
 @codfather1234: I didn't have much of a choice on my new bike, a 2020Giant Reign 29. The medium is slightly too short for my preference and the large is probably too long. There's a +-40mm jump between sizes. They should make a M/L model for people who are in between sizes. I took the medium (got a good deal 2nd hand) and will just have to swap the 40mm stem out for a 50mm which will hopefully not affect the handling too much.

The days of being able to upsize and fit a shorter stem are mostly over now that bikes come specced with short stems and wide bars. Now it's the opposite, but smaller and fit a longer stem if it wont mess up the handling.
  • 2 0
 @Jacquers: 40mm feels like a lot between sizes.
  • 1 0
 @mikelevy: Apparently during development the taller riders wanted a longer bike, while shorter ones wanted a more traditional one. 600mm vs 640mm ETT and 455 vs 493 reach. The could do with a size in between like Trek does.
  • 1 0
 Another point to look at would be how bike training / handling advice should change with the times. The geo we have today can be quite different to 10 years ago.
  • 1 3
 people got mad and downvoted me because i rode an older bike in my past F^&%$^&ING WOW
  • 1 0
 @gorideyourbikeman: no you got downvoted because you said 66.6 is max for a good climbing bike while most bikes have around 65-65.5° and climb really good, you have the ride 9 just put it on the slack mode and try it you'll be surprised on how little it affect the climbs but how great it makes the downhill.
  • 20 0
 Every time I see a photo of the honda bike, I always end up staring at it for half a minute. I just like it so much.
  • 6 0
 You got a gearbox, alloy frame, high pivot, inverted fork, Kashima, all from 15 years ago!
  • 3 0
 @hamncheez: ah yes.... "gearbox"...
  • 9 0
 I really enjoy your podcast guys. It's so fun to listen too.
I would like a "where are they now" segment from time to time where you get some old legends on here to shoot the shit and talk about their life. On top of my list would be Josh Bender.
  • 13 1
 Agreed, Bender would be an amazing guest. I'll see if he's game.
  • 8 1
 I have an Aurum HSP. Here's my take:

Good: Insane speed, insane grip, smooths everything out, pedals well for a DH bike
Bad: Preservation of geometry under braking, minimal pop, feels strange at first

Easy to overcome the braking issue; don't use the brakes and trust the grip. It's significantly changed my riding style. I'll never go back from a high pivot.
  • 4 0
 Do you occasionally have gnarly pedal strike or foot smash moments from the bb drop? I rode a hsp and learned you cant pedal as often in tight spots because the bb drops so much. I broke a few toes...a couple of times. Rock foot pedal sandwich if you pedal with your body forward and toes down....that being said, I love hsp bikes...other than lack of pop and pedal strikes, the traction and butteryness is worth it
  • 8 0
 @takeiteasyridehard: Oh ya. I took a really good pedal strike and had a huge OTB over the summer. Luckily my neck broke my fall.
  • 3 0
 I'm not going to say the preservation of geo is a good or bad thing. I also have an HSP - when you're breaking hard and the bike squats, it makes the head angle slacker and MAINTAINS geometry on steep shit. I had a session before that would do the opposite - try to have the rear tire rise/more pressure on fork under hard braking. On the session, I had to ride quite a bit more back seat on steeper stuff than I do on the Aurum - I can be forward and confident.

It definitely made me change my riding style too - let the bike run until you need to grab those brakes! But it's not strictly a bad thing IMO - just different.

And yeah I've had some really spooky pedal strikes on that sucker!
  • 2 1
 Who pedals when braking??
  • 7 0
 High Pivot Take Aways:

More drivetrain maintenance, but not that much
More drivetrain drag, but not that much
Rearward axle path improves square impacts
Rearward axle path increases wheelbase/rear triangle
Extended wheelbase and rearward axle path reduce bike playfulness
High pivot increase rear wheel traction

I still want to ride one, but do I want one, that's to be seen....
  • 7 1
 A popular suspension service in Poland claims that the black FOX finish lacks durability and after a few (2-3) years of proper riding it starts to come off near bushings... So it is not that Kashima is great, it is the standard black coating that sucks.
  • 9 0
 oh no! better buy the $1500 fork then.
  • 3 1
 @gorideyourbikeman: no, simply don't Fox unless you have 1.5k to spare.
  • 14 1
 I wonder how much following service intervals will help this.
  • 7 0
 @mikelevy: The problem with following service intervals is that nobody really does that.
If you have fork A and fork B, and you service them once a year and A lasts twice as long, then which is one better? I mean, they have great sample of all brands and I am sure RS customers neglect service intervals as much as Fox's.
This is a great material for survey btw. And a great industry insider question - how much service intervals are to keep fork running, and how much is to earn more money on parts. I believe that lower leg service should be done one a few months because it is easy. But let's take RS 200h service, where you are forced to but a new damper head, a new air chamber head, instead of just seals.
  • 10 1
 @lkubica: And aren't service intervals supposed to happen too often? I feel like a $1,000 fork should go a lot longer without needing love...
  • 2 0
 @mikelevy: Just for fun... forkboot use to be a thing right? Why it isn't now? I would keep the crap out and you could do with a less striction due to the seal that have to be in perfect contact quite tightly. Just laying the idea.
  • 6 1
 @bikeboarder: They also can trap dirt and water underneath the boot, possibly defeating their purpose entirely.
  • 1 0
 From my experience I've seen far more black fox stanchions worn out from use/lack of maintenance than any other.
  • 2 0
 @mikelevy: And why aren't service interval recommendations made at the time of purchase. I have never had a bike shop tell me to bring my bike every X number of months for servicing to sustain the performance of the bike. I have to wait until things seem to be degrading before I make that call. As a result I suspect most bikes never get their forks/shocks serviced and that owners just fix things as they cease to function correctly. Every new bike should come with some kind of preventative maintenance guide based on time (months) or miles ridden (not all too different from what we see in the automotive world).
  • 2 0
 @lkubica: Are you implicitly recommending Rockshox by default here?
  • 5 0
 If an un-named Polish suspension service purportedly makes an unmeasurable, uncorroborated claim, it must be true
  • 6 0
 If you guys haven't tried MTX brake pads, they make Codes even better...

mtxbraking.com/product/red-label-brake-pads
  • 3 0
 They make everything better. Shimanos with modulation? CRAZY!
  • 5 0
 Hey thanks @davec113 - great to hear that you like them. Appreciate the input.
  • 3 0
 I'm riding them too! So far so good!
  • 4 0
 Does better mean more power?
  • 2 0
 @jeremy3220: the Gold Label HD will crank up the power on them, but we also focused heavily on the delivery and control-output. More power won't do much if its super-abrupt and explosive.
  • 7 0
 Please do an entire podcast where Levy & Kazimer are only allowed to talk in their mock whisper voices!
  • 1 0
 AMSR trash-talkin'!
  • 7 0
 High pivot bikes: why are they the fkn BEES KNEES
  • 4 0
 High pivot just makes sense. You want the rear wheel to move out of the way on the path of least resistance, and that can only achieved with a high pivot (are there other setups that result in a rearward axle path?).
  • 2 0
 One thing I've wondered but never seen directly addressed:
If the rearward axle path allows the wheel to move out of the way of objects, shouldn't it interfere on the return? Do HSP tend to pack up over repeated hits because of this?
  • 2 0
 @mtmc99: I have no clue...but I can imagine that the force required to return may actually be smaller because the axle has to travel more in "plane" with the terrain..again purely armchair engineering here, someone will surely chime in with some equations (please!).
  • 1 0
 Yes, in theory, but do realize we're not talking about a rearward axle path on the order of inches, rather we"re talking single digit millimeters...could that really be that significant? I have my doubts. They are cool, but superior performers, I'm not fully convinced. I suspect same or marginally better performance.
  • 2 0
 @mtmc99: For what it is worth, Forbidden suggests running the Druid with wide open compression and rebound, when I first got it I tried to set it up like I how I did my old bikes and it rode fairly harsh.
  • 6 0
 I was promised a link to some sweet Brooklyn Machine Works repros on Instagram.....
  • 2 0
 I think what James was talking about is Peregrine Bikes.
  • 1 0
 @srsiri23w: Dang! Yeah, there is what I’m looking for!
  • 3 0
 Food for thought with electric wireless drivetrain designs. Why not integrate a small generator into the battery packs that functions off of the vibrations passing through the bike? Similar things exist (in a different form) for light switches and other devices (lookup EnOcean to learn more). This would eliminate the need to recharge batteries in shifters and derailleurs. Wouldn't have to be very complex. Not 100% sure how much energy is transmitted through the frame though but I suspect it may be enough to energize a small battery pack.
  • 2 0
 There's rumours of Shimano using this in their next gen Dura-Ace 12 speed shifters...

www.cyclingweekly.com/news/new-shimano-dura-ace-will-be-12-speed-wireless-and-batteryless-476577
  • 1 0
 @UKCA: This does get close but it only appears to address the trigger shifter end of things by using a piezoelectric device to facilitate sending an electronic signal to the derailleur. The derailleur, though, appears to still be equipped with a battery that is charged through conventional means not using the same piezoelectric wizardry. Perhaps the vibrations on the back of the bike are not enough to charge or maintain charge of a derailleur (some people shift a lot). Hence one battery to recharge. No battery in trigger shifter. That comes at a minor loss though, which is a likely loss of a display showing which gear you are in at your handlebars (most shifters though, especially high end ones, don't provide a display feedback because experienced riders don't need that feedback; the expcetion here being Di2. I do not believe AXS has a screen). XT, XTR, or XO1, XX, or XX1 certainly don't have displays.
  • 2 0
 so a lot of the OG high pivot bikes had floating brake mounts (which decoupled the braking forces from the suspension forces. With 4 bar these are effectively part of the linkage. With a return to single pivot, will we see a return of floating brake arms\mounts or were they useless?
  • 1 0
 Most riders can get along just fine with an antirise anywhere from 0 to 150%. Single/High pivots will naturally be 100+% and feel kinda choppy on the brakes when ridden back to back with a lower antirise bike, but otherwise ride great.

If given a choice (such as when riding a test mule with adjustable antirise) most people settle on a range from 30-70%, but it's a personal preference kinda thing.

I don't think they'll come back. Extra weight & extra stuff to break, impacts the ride in a relatively minor way.

Leverage ratio curve and your shock tune is 10x more important than antirise.
  • 1 0
 I've been wondering the same thing.
  • 1 0
 @thelibrarybiker: On the flip side though, a contemporary design could look very similar to say the rear suspension of a Specialized Demo albeit with the axle on the lower link and the brake on the upper link (i.e. stylized floating brake bar).
  • 2 0
 I've just bought a Druid frame to build and I'm really excited to ride it once winter is over. I think it's just another suspension option for people to try, some folks like VPP, DW or single pivot, why not another option? @mikekazimer you wrote what seemed to be a positive review for the Druid, but on the podcast you said you wouldn't want a high pivot bike as a trail bike, care to elaborate?
  • 1 0
 @mikekazimer would love to hear thoughts on this as well
  • 7 0
 For me it's simply a matter of personal preference - I'd rather save some weight and complication if I was building up a shorter travel trail bike. That doesn't mean there's anything wrong with the Druid; I had a ton of fun on it when I reviewed it. It's just that for bikes with less travel I don't think the benefits of a high pivot layout are enough to put that design on my 'must have' list of features.
  • 1 0
 @mikekazimer: Curious, did you ever get to ride the Deviate Highlander? That seems like an awesome rendition of a high single pivot trail bike.
  • 1 0
 @mikekazimer: what frame would you feel is a better performer in the DH area with similar travel numbers?
  • 2 0
 I have a question that the dreadnaught inspired. Do bikes with size specific chainstays have more travel in larger sizes? Like a 433 mm chainstay draws a smaller "arc" than a 465 by a fairly significant margin. Does forbidden control for this within the linkage?
  • 2 0
 Can't speak to forbidden specifically, but most frames with varying csl do so with different pivot placement on the front triangle, rather than different chainstays, in order to minimize the number of molds needed.
  • 1 0
 @thegoodflow: Yup I think you're right. I just checked their website and it looks like they actually just move the bottom bracket and seat tube forward in the mold to accomodate. I wonder if this affects the bike feel differently than a different size chainstay. It moves your feet further and further away from the suspension pivot.
  • 2 0
 @mikelevy Long time listener, first time caller. Really enjoying the podcasts!

Regarding anodizing of fork tubes- There are a few reasons why OEMs anodize fork tubes and they are- resist corrosion, abrasion resistance, and reduction in friction. The main difference between standard anodizing and Kashima is the addition of MoS2 or Molybdenum disulfide which should help reduce friction. How much? Not much, but... marketing.
  • 1 0
 Why is it called "chain growth"? The length of the chain stays the same, while the distance it needs to wrap around increases. The chain length effectively shrinks compared to the distance it needs to wrap, so I would call it "chain shrink".
  • 2 1
 Its called chain growth because normally as the rear wheel goes through its travel the length of chain from the top of the cassette to the chain ring gets longer/grows. This causes pedal kick back. With chain growth/pedal kick back when pedalling it helps keep the rear wheel lower in its travel.
  • 2 0
 @StraightLineJoe: I understand the concept, but the naming convention is backwards. If the chain lengthened it wouldn't be pulling the rear axle and bb toward each other. The distance between these axes is growing while the chain stays the same length, effectively shortening the chain compared to its path, which causes the tension.
  • 1 0
 I was very interested in HP design for my next FS frame until I started reading about the lack of pop. If I could afford an even bigger quiver I’d add one but for 1 do it all full suspension bike in my shed I’ll probably go for a different design. Still looking forward to list to this podcast and haven’t ruled a HP bike out of my future.
  • 1 0
 @mikekazimer re: Brooklyns for sale:

I'm the owner of the Brooklyn in www.pinkbike.com/news/remember-these-11-classic-mountain-bikes-crankworx-whistler-2017.html, still regret that we didn't talk about whether it could fit a bottle cage (maybe if you moved the shock piggy back?). I'd be happy to lend it to you so that you can crush Levy in a race on the 8 Ball, but no way is it for sale. BMW for life!
  • 2 0
 Dude, that thing is amazing. Wow.
  • 1 0
 @mikelevy: Thanks man. No disrespect meant about the race, I'm just placing bets on the bikes Smile
  • 1 0
 @frankincense: It doesn't matter what he's on Wink
  • 1 0
 On the merits of Kashima, look no further than AvE´s engineerding speak on the subject about 10:20 in: www.youtube.com/watch?v=99WSFkYu8SY&t=1156s
To summaries, Kashimas only advantage is on clean surfaces with dry friction. Any reasonably fresh bath oil och seals will will make the possible effect it irrelevant in practical terms.

Normally AvE is brilliant but as to how shocks work he is somewhat lacking, mind you that doesn´t really effect the review on merits of Kashima..
  • 1 0
 Regarding wireless drivetrain stuff: my only bike is a modern hardtail and I love running it single speed, but I don't want my only bike to single speed. So of course I run gears on it. If I had a wireless drivetrain it would be super easy to pop off the shifter, derailleur, and cassette to get it going single speed, without having to cut off zip ties and remove the cable/housing. At first I balked at wireless shifting (because I am often a luddite), but after thinking about it more for this use case I would definitely go for it if the price was right.
  • 2 2
 Conflicted on this.. friends all have Forbidden's.. they love 'em. I like 'em too - their local (to me - as in very local), super cool, ride well etc etc.... but the added complexity, maintenance, something else to break steers me away. There's also this part of me that whispers 'marketing gimmick'.. despite knowing the science behind it.

On another note - whoa.. that Honda is something else.. I wonder what their product would look like if they kicked out a 2021 model?
  • 3 0
 So all your friends have one and they love it but you worry about marketing gimmick?... from your friends?? Do they have issues with the drivetrain maintenance? Try one and see what's the hype is all about.
  • 2 0
 @ybsurf: Maybe someday I'll try one - my wife did - back to back against other demos and went another direction but she did say it was the closest in 'feel' to what she ultimately went with. Personally, I'm just not a fan of added complexity when it comes to extra pulleys and chain length.

Marketing is what it is - the newest chic flavor often drives sales - but in this case I do feel its not just hype and I love that the brand is homegrown (so to speak). I wish the company all the best, thats for sure!
  • 1 1
 I literally want to do back to back demos comparing my bike (GG Shred Dogg 29) to a hgigh pivot like the Druid.

First, a stair set up and down for starts, just to see what real square hits feel like.
Second, a short track of tech, low and high speed, lots of rock, some drops.
Third, an extended tech climb

It's hard to buy something so different without a demo, esp if I really like what I ride now.

My dream bike is a short trail Effigear bike, like the Cavalerie Anatrail but in carbon.
  • 2 0
 High Single Pivots are arguably no more complex than a conventional four bar suspension design. Take into consideration all of the bearings of a 4 bar, and it might actually be more simple. I think we all get hung up on the idler pulley as something of concern. That seems to be pretty well debunked now.
  • 2 0
 @SuperHighBeam: I don't think the idler pulley is a deal breaker, I think the issue is whether that rearward path will make a bike less poppy, ie less fun.

Most folks who ride short travel bikes are looking for fun and playful versus the enduro bike plowiness.
  • 1 0
 @nurseben: I have not heard that concern nearly as much as concern about the idler pulley. I'm inclined to disagree with this statement, "Most folks who ride short travel bikes are looking for fun and playful versus the enduro bike plowiness." I think most people who ride short travel bikes buy within that bracket because it's less expensive, better reflects their skill level, or feel the bike is more versatile if they choose to partake in organized events/races. For some, very particular riders, playful poppiness is more important than a smooth fast ride over rough terrain. I think the bulk majority of full suspension bike owners purchase in that realm for rider comfort more so than bike performance. If outright playfulness was the common desire there would be a lot more hardtails on the trail, and that certainly isn't true.
  • 4 0
 MRP Bartlett: "Am I a joke to you?"
  • 5 0
 Exactly! I think dual crown enduro forks make a ton of sense. Wish I had remembered the Bartlett when we were recording Smile
  • 2 0
 @mikelevy: ask MRP to send one over for review
  • 3 0
 + 1 for dual crown enduro forks. I haven't tried it, but the theory seems sound to me. I'm not really interested in any of the current offerings on the market though. The MRP has lots of negative reviews. The boxxer would be better if it could reduce to 170mm and had mostly of the offset in the crowns with various crown offsets available from Rockshox. The other big negative is that bike manufacturers don't spec them. Upgrading is expensive and not worth it to me. I would be very interested in an enduro bike that came stock with dual crown. The Norco shore doesn't fit the bill for me, but a new range with DC might.
  • 3 1
 @zacjob: biggest barrier is hub and axle spacing.
  • 2 1
 @zacjob: Also, I bet the zebb and 38 aren't any less stiff than a boxxer

imgur.com/a/LwLDhkA
  • 2 0
 And the Mojo Rising Fox 36 dual crown! I'd love to see a good review of that setup
  • 1 0
 Has anyone done a review on the Bartlett ? I feel like it's been ignored. A 170-190 dual crown enduro fork with low ATC and a 15mm axle. I would think people would be interested in a review. It's been out for over 2 years.
  • 4 0
 Can we get a review of the Ochain Components Pregio?
  • 2 0
 @mikekazimer from my experience in a workshop I can say that kashima coating is less prone to small scratches it also stands a little better against lack of lowers service
  • 1 0
 @ mikekazimer What about past coatings like nickel nitride or the goldish stuff FOX used before Kashima. How did those compare to Kashima?
  • 1 0
 I'm so in love with the Sturn.
  • 1 0
 Olivier Bossard built the V Process for Nico Vouilloz, a high pivot idler bike 2 decades ago, this is only new to marketing departments and not engineers.
  • 1 0
 @hamncheez: that's the one. ????????
  • 3 0
 And there were high pivot bikes before Bossard was around, too Wink
  • 1 0
 You could make a lighter dual crown 180mm fork than you could a single crown 180 fork. The crown steerer is not an efficient structure at this length.
  • 6 1
 You don't even need a steerer tube if you have two fork crowns!
  • 1 0
 So, the mention of the KHS Dominatrix brings back memories of the first ride landing me in the ICU with a Kidney Hurt Seriously.. And a blown shock..
  • 1 0
 I think that dual-link design put a ton of stress on that poor Romic shock. I remember his needing to be fixed every few months. Crazy how bad bikes used to be!
  • 1 0
 @mikelevy: mine lasted 1 ride.. After I got out if the hospital, I sold that bike.. Too much bad juju..
  • 1 0
 I loved this podcast!! This guy was awesome and my takeaway from this was simple; ride what you have and love it, but take some time to set it up!
  • 1 0
 This is probably a better question for an older podcast. But between the 2021 Carbon Stumpjumper and the Norco Optic what one do both the Mikes prefer right now?
  • 3 3
 Lets not forget the OG high pivot bike! Decades ahead of its time

awesomebikes.files.wordpress.com/2016/01/klein-mantra-pro.jpg?w=1200
  • 1 0
 Classic. And scary to ride from what I've heard, although I've never been on one.
  • 1 0
 @mikelevy: worse than a hard tail
  • 1 0
 That's a high pivot Unified Rear Triangle which only works when you sit down so not comparable.
  • 2 0
 @SintraFreeride: Still a high single pivot with a massively rearward axle path tho
  • 1 0
 @mikelevy: with 3 inches of total travel, how much rearward would you actually get?
  • 1 0
 “If only I had more time on the bike” - Brian after having 6 months on a hardtail...
  • 3 0
 loool in my defence I sent that bike back last fall, but finally took a break from working in the spreadsheet mines to write it up. Wouldn't have minded an indefinite test period though...
  • 1 0
 james mic is louder and clearer than evryone else. So much British in my ear. please adjust.
  • 2 0
 I tell him to dial back the Coronation Street a bit.
  • 1 0
 @mikelevy: hahaha shit mike.
  • 2 0
 Grim donut v2: high pivot, titanium, no cable bosses
  • 3 0
 Be still my beating heart.
  • 2 1
 There’s a Towelie joke in here
  • 1 0
 Needs a picture of Nicos VProcess way ahead of its time
  • 1 0
 GT did without a idler pulley; AOS and i-drive
  • 1 0
 Mike “am I completely out to lunch?” Levy
  • 1 1
 We love your podcasts - Levy - you should be a super-famous TV personality. Maybe you missed your calling Smile
  • 1 0
 Pivotal question.

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