With the Sea Otter Classic rapidly approaching, some brands are already showing their hand. Hoping to get the news out in front of crowd, and attract people to their booth, Jamis has taken the wraps off their latest project – and it’s a doozy. Chris Currie has been working on his patented suspension system for year, but it’s finally coming to fruition with the two newest bikes from Jamis. Called 3VO or Three Variable Optimized, the design claims to deliver true superbike performance for both the new Portal and Hardline.

Jamis heads to Sea Otter with all new 3VO Suspension design from Chris Currie Jamis heads to Sea Otter with all new 3VO Suspension design from Chris Currie

Apparently, what sets 3VO apart from other designs is the fact that this designs projects an instant center that’s behind the bottom bracket and aligned with the chainline. Many dual link bikes instead project the instant center (or point where straight lines through the pivot locations of dual links intersect) forward of the bottom bracket. This doesn’t allow the instant center to continuously align with the chainline like the 3VO system, which is supposedly what makes 3VO superior. The result is a bike that claims better efficiency, faster reaction, and all without relying on specific gear combos, sags, shock tunes, and without input from braking.


  • Unique instant center, center of curvature and axle path consistently eliminate unwanted motion when pedaling, regardless of position within travel or gear combination
  • Lower, rearward moving instant center allows for high anti-squat with less chain growth to eliminate pedal kickback
  • Tuned multi-phase leverage ratio with initial rising rate for added pedaling stability
  • Consistent, balanced anti-squat and anti-dive cancels pedaling and braking forces


  • Multi-phase leverage ratio combines both rising and falling rate for quicker impact response
  • Axle path and leverage ratio tuned to work together to keep the system active even when pedaling
  • Short distance from suspension instant center to rear axle for instant response
  • Virtual pivot location stays aligned with driveline, allowing  suspension to remain active at every stage of travel
  • Initial rearward axle path allows the bike to be supple on small bumps and square edge hits
    Jamis heads to Sea Otter with all new 3VO Suspension design from Chris Currie

Jamis heads to Sea Otter with all new 3VO Suspension design from Chris Currie

For its initial debut, 3VO will be found on two bikes starting with the 130mm 29/27.5+ Portal…

Jamis heads to Sea Otter with all new 3VO Suspension design from Chris Currie Jamis heads to Sea Otter with all new 3VO Suspension design from Chris Currie

And the 160mm travel 27.5″/26+ Hardline. Jamis mentions that both bikes will be available first as aluminum models late this summer, while carbon versions will arrive likely in early 2019. Stay tuned for more coverage at Sea Otter.



  1. Chris on

    Looks promising. Unlike a lot of designs it also has a relatively long straight uninterrupted seat tube to allow for longer droppers. Braking is mentioned but without any supporting anti rise graphs. Would love to see anti squat and anti rise graphs. Looks good Chris

  2. Mason on

    There aren’t enough pivots in that thing. I’d like anyone to to stand on their soapbox and proclaim…that without 6 pivots(4+2), you cannot ride as good as four pivots or even one pivot. That it’s impossible to 360 a drop, manual, whip, slap a burn or win a race without 25 and a half pivots. The part totals and maintainance is just ridiculous and It shows just how desperate Jamis is to sleeve themselves in between existing “patents” and their responsibility to new and old customers. Jamis just made the 14 blade Gillette razor SNL skit of mountain bikes

    • TheKaiser on

      You may be right in regard to possibly unnecessary complexity in this design, but not sure about your belief that it is motivated in part to get around existing patents. Horst is expired, VPP is expired, Giant and Trek have outspent DW on lawyers and now it seems many companies freely use DWlink and Split Pivot without concern of repurcussions. My point being, that Jamis didn’t need to go this route because there were no valid options still available to them.

      • Mason on

        More accurately is that this 25 pivot choice was a way to give them a “patented” path for the marketers, over “anything” reasonable to offer the true service of performance/simplicity. It’s overboard and nothing about this pivot-fetish trend can offer “provable” performance. The guy who designed the patent was just navigating what was left in the saturated “suspension design” patent universe. Once the single ring transmissions set into the market, all of the suspension complexity should go out with the mtb front derailleur.

  3. JBikes on

    Its got the leveraged growth ratio rising pivot center falling anti-dive optimization curve design!

    Ugh, I hate mtb suspension marketing. I understand the need to show its specs, but ugh.
    Most suspension designs out there are decent with traits one rider will love while another will pass. Very few are just bad performing (maybe bad maintenance or rely on platform, etc).

    So…visually looks nice and its compact. I hope it rides well and look forward to testing one. And I wish the designer success. Must be nice getting your stuff out there.

  4. DeafDaddy on

    Not to rain any hate on Jamis, but despite a different approach to MTB suspension they’re not going to make an impact with those geo numbers. More & more manufacturers (Sentinel, Pole, YT, Raaw, Orbea) are embracing more extreme geo numbers for trail & enduro MTBs…

    • JP on

      I don’t see anything wrong with those numbers. Just because they pushed out a new suspension design does not mean they need to be on the cutting edge of geometry.

    • Sevo on

      Eh, but too long of reach sucks too in it’s own special way if you’re not doing big fast downhills. No fun looking like everyone else and lemmings have proved for centuries blindly following is death.

      Numbers are solid all around except chainstay lengths are a bit long for my tastes….but that’s the key phrase here: my tastes. And my tastes are dictacted by the terrain I ride.

      • DeafDaddy on

        If the terrain you ride is mostly linear like most mid-western/east cost trails, then those geo numbers would suffice. Out west where trails are more more challenging, bikes with geo numbers like the Jamis would feel nervous and over-matched (but more ‘lively’ for experts).

  5. Tom on

    I thought one of the major advantages of 1x is that chain tension/torque vector is much more consistent than 2x or 3x. And yet, companies produce these Rube-Goldberg setups to fight pedal kickback/squat/dive etc. makes my head hurt. Give me a simple and well sorted machine any day.

  6. Smokestack on

    First, nice to see Jamis coming out with a new sus design that looks complete from the get go. Second, while the stays are a tad of a stretch, there is gobs of tire clearance on both these bikes better than any dual short link bike, and better than a lot of walking beam linked single pivots. I am actually interested in seeing how these perform in real life and reviews, a first for me and a Jamis in a long, long time.

    • MintZebra on

      Sounds like you’re one of the lucky ones to have already ridden it. Nice to get your feedback on the performance.

  7. Vincent on

    WHY always a downside???!!!! Why that 6061Alu bullsh*t (or carbon black-sh*t)!!! Why never anymore 7005 alu!!!!????


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