It’s becoming more and more rare to find a truly new suspension design these days, but small city and commuter bike company Spot Brand seems to have done just that.
Designed by none other than Avid founder Wayne Lumpkin, it’s called the Living Link suspension system. What sets it apart is the lower linkage, which is built around a titanium leaf spring coupled with a pivot. The visual effect is a very interesting rear triangle motion, and the performance effect claims to be an enhanced spring curve, efficient climbing, smooth descending, lighter weight and less maintenance. Oh, and it’s extremely stiff laterally…
A collet-style main lower pivot with dual row Enduro bearings per side effectively unifies the pivot with the front triangle to make it extremely stiff. Since the leaf spring is a shear plate in the horizontal (left to right) directly, it can’t flex or twist in any other way except the intended one. That makes for a very laterally stiff rear end.
We watched as Spot Brand’s Andrew Lumpkin compressed the suspension through its travel and the spring goes from flat to curved to flat again. That means the leaf spring is very relaxed at the top of the travel, not bending to oblivion. In fact, they say it only bends a few degrees. Which is part of why they say the fatigue life is as long or longer than the carbon frames will be. Yep, that’s right, the actual production frames (plural) will be full carbon fiber.
UPDATE: Here it is in action:
They say the tensile yield strength of four bearings (two on front of a rocker arm, two on the rear) is 5,300lbf, but this titanium leaf spring’s is 40,000lbf.
When they launch in Spring 2016, they’ll have Boost 148 rear axle spacing and come in two versions: The Rollik 557 with 140mm travel for trail/AM riding, and the Yobbo 657 with 165mm travel for enduro and gravity.