We have been developing the MTB since 2019. After many hours of design, CAD, FEA, kinematic studies, our first prototype frame was made. It combines our three main focus points, high-pivot suspension, drivetrain adaptability, and the centralization of sprung mass. We believe these are key factors for creating a fast gravity-oriented mountain bike, all the while being pragmatic about ergonomics.
The suspension kinematics are quite unique thanks to the i-Track idler position. With the idler placed on one of the suspension’s linkage members, it allows us to tune the anti-squat, anti-rise, and pedal kick back figures independent of the axle path. The idler has been placed in a relatively conservative spot for initial testing, but we can change its mounting position to either increase or decrease the squat and rise numbers. The leverage ratio falls from 3.1 to 2.3 which yields roughly 35% progression. This will give a very supple beginning stroke resulting in great traction, all the while maintaining support and stability through the mid - ending stroke.
After countless hours of scratching our heads, we decided that an inverted Horst-link design would help us achieve the desired numbers and also aided in achieving the dense packaging and centralized sprung mass as aforementioned. Furthermore, we designed the frame to locate the shock as close to the BB/gearbox junction as possible to maximize the weight centralization. It also means we can accomplish a high-pivot suspension design at the same time.
Prototype #1 can be run in multiple drivetrain options, depending on the customer's needs. The bolt on bottom bracket junction means that a standard BB can be run (with traditional cassette gears/derailleur or a single speed), or a gearbox can be just as easily bolted on. By having this design, it also enables us to do back-to-back testing on both a conventional drivetrain and a gearbox (on the same bike) to solve the long-debated question; what’s better and why? In any drivetrain configuration, the positioning of this junction capitalizes on getting the sprung mass of the frame as centralized as possible.