2016 Spot Rollik full suspension mountain bike with Living Link design by Wayne Lumpkin

Spot Brand showed us a rideable prototype of their full suspension mountain bike concept exactly one year ago. At that time, it was using a similar suspension design, but had a titanium flex plate in place of a lower linkage arm. Now, a ballistic carbon fiber plate has replaced the ti, which improved fatigue life by many multiples. So much so, in fact, that their test rig was no longer putting the plate through its paces. Rather, the carbon flex plate was testing the limits of their lab equipment. As Spot’s folks put it, you’d have to ride every day for 12 years to match what they did in their testing (3,000,000 cycles) and it still wouldn’t be worn out.

But durability is only part of the suspension’s story, which is only part of the whole bike’s story. The new Spot Rollik was built as a spare-no-expense exercise in making the best mountain bike they possibly could…

2016 Spot Rollik full suspension mountain bike with Living Link design by Wayne Lumpkin

The Living Link was designed by Wayne Lumpkin, the original founder of Avid and father of Spot’s founder. It replaces a lower linkage arm with a carbon fiber leaf spring that only pivots at the front. It bolts into a fixed sleeve on the rear’s unified rear triangle, which forces it to flex through it’s range of motion. At rest, the spring is unloaded. Half way through the bike’s 140mm travel it’s maximally flexed, then is fully relaxed at bottom out. The effect is a sort of spring loading of the suspension they say helps improve rebound speed. Coupled with the kinematics, it also enhances the bike’s anti-squat characteristics, too, which should help keep the rear wheel planted when climbing up rough terrain. Absent pedaling effort, though, they say it’s very active.

2016 Spot Rollik full suspension mountain bike with Living Link design by Wayne Lumpkin

Another benefit of the design is the improved lateral stiffness. Because a flat blade like this can’t flex in such a way that could fishtail the rear end, and because they used ample TeXtreme carbon fiber throughout the entire frame, the bike is very torsionally and laterally rigid from front to back.

The front of the leaf spring is connected by conical washers to lock it into the frame and dual row Enduro Max bearings throughout all high-stress pivots.

2016 Spot Rollik full suspension mountain bike with Living Link design by Wayne Lumpkin

2016 Spot Rollik full suspension mountain bike with Living Link design by Wayne Lumpkin

Image on the left shows the bike with zero compression. Image on the right shows the bike deep into compression.

2016 Spot Rollik full suspension mountain bike with Living Link design by Wayne Lumpkin

All bearings are externally sealed with O-rings to prevent contamination. The upper rocker link is a two-piece carbon fiber machined alloy part with custom fasteners that act like a pin joint to keep them together.

2016 Spot Rollik full suspension mountain bike with Living Link design by Wayne Lumpkin

Spot has spec’d a “Metric” sized shock on the Rollik, one of many modern features. Others include Boost 148mm rear and 110mm front spacing and internal routing for all shifting and dropper posts. Those lines run through internal conduits to, as they put it, slide in the front and pop out the rear for extremely easy installation. The rear brake hose, however, remains outside the frame and runs through a combination of zip-tie and bolt-on guides.

2016 Spot Rollik full suspension mountain bike with Living Link design by Wayne Lumpkin

2016 Spot Rollik full suspension mountain bike with Living Link design by Wayne Lumpkin

Boost spacing provides for stiffer wheels, but not “plus” sized tires on this one. Instead, it’s designed around normal 27.5″ wheels and tires, fitting up to a 2.4 in the rear. It comes spec’d with a 2.2, though:

2016 Spot Rollik full suspension mountain bike with Living Link design by Wayne Lumpkin

2016 Spot Rollik full suspension mountain bike with Living Link design by Wayne Lumpkin

The bike uses rigid EPS foam internal molds to press the Oxeon TeXtreme carbon into place. TeXtreme’s already able to maximize the fiber-to-resin ratio, and using hard internal molds optimized compaction to further reduce resin levels. The result is a lighter, stronger frame that’s also more impact resistant.

On top of all the tech, Spot did some interesting things with the geometry. To aid climbing, they use a very steep 76º seat angle to keep the rider’s weight more centered. And the largest frame size uses a slightly longer chainstay length to help taller riders maintain traction on the steepest climbs.

2016 Spot Rollik full suspension mountain bike with Living Link design by Wayne Lumpkin

Available now, the frames come in at about 6.25lb with shock (claimed) and retail for $2,999. Complete bikes have a 150mm Rockshox Pike RCT3 Boost, Cane Creek headset, SRAM X1/X01 drivetrain with GXP 73mm threaded bottom bracket, Maxxis Ardent 2.4 and Ikon 2.2 tires, Race Face bar and stem, Reverb Stealth 125mm dropper post, and WTB saddle. Wheels are new Stan’s NoTubes Arch MK3, which will be formally unveiled on April 14th. Complete bikes retail for $6,499.

SpotBrand.com

22 COMMENTS

  1. 76 degree seat tube!? Now that’s a brand after my own heart! I might even be able to stomach what look like dw-like antisquat levels in exchange for everything else that’s so right about this.

  2. There is an awful lot to like about this bike. Like the 76deg STA and what could be DW AS percentages .
    But the ridiculous length of head tubes these days (not just Spot here) indicates all but the hardest core run 30-40mm in spacers (look at their show bike here). Why not add 25-30mm back in the HT length? Especially on the L and XL sizes? So much smart thinking on this design. Why not fix this issue as well and blow everyone away?

    • Just to be that guy. I’m 6ft 5 and like my bars as low as possible. Long head tubes on some XL bikes are something of a deal breaker for me since they put the bars unacceptably high and my weight too far back. You can always add more spacers if the bars are too low, but you can’t cut a head tube down.

  3. Everything looks and sounds right about this bike- except the internal cable routing, although I understand why it’s there. Internal cable routing almost completely died out in the 90’s because it was harder to work on and service than external routing. I think the reason it has come back is because of cable proliferation- in addition to cables for front and rear shifters, we also got them for front and rear suspension lockouts, and for dropper posts. The loss of the front shifter on some bikes is not quite enough to compensate.

  4. @Antoine

    That old trope is dead.

    There needs to be a Godwin’s Law equivalent; I propose Flatbiller’s Law: The inevitable post in which someone compares a new bike to an older bike by pointing out similarities that are inevitable intrinsic to the art and science of bicycle design. For example, “The new bike has wheels, so it’s copying a previous bike that also has wheels”

  5. I’m giddy to be getting mine. I’ve ridden a demo a few times and it was such a great climbing bike and that was with the rear shock with open compression. It eats rock gardens up.

    • A vertically flexing plate instead of vertically flexing chainstays? What are you achieving? Maybe I don’t understand what you want “thrown on” a softtail.

      • It doesn’t really flex vertically. if it had traditional pivots at the back, they would only rotate by a tiny amount. The flex of this plate takes care of that, but way more importantly, it’s a gimmick, and people love gimmicks.

        It looks like it’ll have lots of anti-squat and plenty of pedal feedback, btw.

    • It has to do with molding likely by a “caul plate”. It is impossible to do overhang features with this approach. However, it is a good approach because the resin-fiber ratios are STUPID good, and it is exactly how I’m planning on building it with my current frame.

      I like this frame tech quite a bit – the EPS mandrels reduce waste and are good for impact resistance. I’m kinda surprised at the frame price, not bad considering how expensive it is to use Textreme.

      • Perhaps, but the shape doesn’t prevent the use of a female form caul plate. Granted I can’t see where it mates to the rear triangle. Anyway, I’m sure there is a reason. Me? I’d work on making that one piece for strength and aesthetics on v.2 of this frame

      • But are they using textreme through the whole thickness of the laminate? My guess would be it’s just the marketgeneering way to replace the outer layer of woven cloth and still maintain some resistance to crack propogation. Now if they used it for the full laminate it might be significatnly tougher.

  6. JNH-I am gonna guess that your ETT is a bit shorter than ideal, forcing you to go low on the bars. You should try a longer frame style or even a XXL of amy brand that offers it. For a 6-5 guy of top proportions you need 26″+ to be fit properly with a pretty steep STA and maybe longer CS dimension. Which is very rare in this world of bike molds that cost $50K or more a size.

  7. The writer doesn’t understand what a “unified rear triangle” is. He is confusing a “one piece rear triangle” which this bike has to a “unified rear triangle” where the front and rear components of the drivetrain are mounted to the rear triangle. To unify is to become a single unit, hence the unification of the drivetrain with the rear triangle. That is not going on with this bike.

COMMENT HERE: (For best results, log in through Wordpress or your social media account. Anonymous/fake email comments may be unapproved or deleted. ALL first-time commenter's posts are held for moderation. Check our Comment Policy for full details.)

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.