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EB14: Roundup – Silverback’s Superbike Concept, Plus Asian Examples, Ti, Carbon & Other Hacks

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silverback-sbc-superbike-concept-full-suspension-XC-race-29er

Outside the exhibit halls were the award winners, among them Silverback’s SBC 29er full suspension race bike. Standing for “Superbike Concept”, it takes their technology to the brink to see what they can do. It’s not their only one, but this one caught our eye for the rather unique suspension design.

The closeups of that are after the break, but there’s more to it than that. The frame uses internal mandrels to help shape it and provide a strong enough base to layup longer strands of carbon. The result is a lighter, stronger and stiffer frame. The rear derailleur cable runs under the downtube in full length housing, and there’s room for a front mech’s cable, too, even though this one’s spec’d with a Race Face Next SL single ring crankset. There’s also a removable front derailleur mount, keeping things clean when you’re running a 1x.

Out back, a replaceable threaded insert fits 12×142 thru axles. On the left, a strut connects the seat- and chainstays to not only provide a rigid braking platform but also cool the rear brake. It’s angled, helping direct air over the rotor to blow heat away. Now, about that suspension…

silverback-sbc-superbike-concept-full-suspension-XC-race-29er

Look closely.

silverback-sbc-superbike-concept-full-suspension-XC-race-29er

Now look closer. Normally, when there’s a connecting beam from the chainstay to the seatstay, there’s also a lower linkage. Think Santa Cruz, Niner or Felt. The rear triangle is a solid piece, so it usually floats on the upper and lower linkages. Here, there’s no lower linkage. Normally, when that’s the case, the seatstays are not physically connected to the chainstays other than at the axle…or there’s a pivot near the axle (think FSR, Ellsworth, etc.). On bikes where there’s no pivot near the axle, the seatstays generally flex a bit to make up for the lack of a pivot (like the new Orbea Oiz).

What makes this concept so different is that there’s no pivot at the rear…and the connecting rod would basically prevent the seatstays from flexing. So, the entire rear triangle remains rigid, pivoting from the main pivot on the seat tube, positioned along the top of the chain. It drives the shock via an upper linkage, which is supported with an ancillary linkage to reduce lateral flex. It all comes together to provide 90mm of rear wheel travel, mated to a 100mm fork up front. The best part about this concept? It’s actually available, as shown and with a slightly lower level spec, too!

pronghorn-650B-suspension-mountain-bike-and-carbon-road-bike

Back outside at the demo, Pronghorn Racing has added a 650B version of their full suspension race bike.

pronghorn-650B-suspension-mountain-bike-and-carbon-road-bike

The Danish brand gets the most attention for their unique mountain bike designs, but they also do road, cyclocross and time trial bikes.

agogo-bike-titanos-carbon-fiber-29er-mtb

Agogo Bikes is mainly a private label manufacturer, so what better way to show off what you can do than with a slick looking bike? The Titanos 650B hardtail above has a few slick design notes:

agogo-bike-titanos-carbon-fiber-29er-mtb

A nice flat seatstay wishbone likely helps dissipate shock and vibrations, keeping your tail end fresher.

agogo-bike-titanos-carbon-fiber-29er-mtb

A sandwiched piece of carbon provides a stronger dropout, clamping onto the frame from both sides. A set screw lets you position the threaded axle nut to get the lever lined up properly on the other side.

colorful-suspension-linkage

Combining all of the above -weird linkages, Asian suppliers, etc.- was this colorful prototype showing off a different manufacturer’s capabilities.

FSA-demo-bike-with-kilo-fork-custom-Di2-shifters

Over at the FSA booth, this random bike was on hand. We couldn’t figure out if it was a demo bike, employee’s bike or just someone who happened to have a lot of new FSA components, but it had some rather interesting non-FSA parts. Like a German:A Kilo fork…

FSA-demo-bike-with-kilo-fork-custom-Di2-shifters

It also had a hacked together Di2 system. Up front are the Alfine thumb shifters…

FSA-demo-bike-with-kilo-fork-custom-Di2-shifters

…linked to an Ultegra rear derailleur and SRAM cassette. Pretty cool.

Van-Nicholas-titanium-fat-bike

Van Nicholas is a Dutch titanium bicycle manufacturer that’s been doing road and mountain bikes for some time. Now, they can add ‘fat bike’ to the catalogue.

Van-Nicholas-titanium-fat-bike

They make the fork, stem and seatpost, and it’s all equally gorgeous!

Van-Nicholas-titanium-fat-bike

Surly crankset and chainring finish things off.

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PROEDGEBIKER.COM
8 years ago

cant help but always look down at my nards when i see the Pronghorn Racing bike… #OUCH!

paulpalf
paulpalf
8 years ago

So that “superbike”….if they have made a once-piece rear triangle that pivots on the seat-tube, didn’t they just reinvent the single-pivot?
Shock is driven through a linkage, but so was my 2004 Giant VT.

Nice looking bike though, which is more than could be said for the Pronghorn.

JBikes
JBikes
8 years ago

paulpalf – Same thought I had. Seems like a nice “groundbreaking” single pivot, not that there is anythign wrong with them, especially at under 100mm travel.

craigsj
craigsj
8 years ago

“So that “superbike”….if they have made a once-piece rear triangle that pivots on the seat-tube, didn’t they just reinvent the single-pivot?
Shock is driven through a linkage, but so was my 2004 Giant VT.”

Sure, both those things are true. What’s unique is that there is a pivot “missing” and because of that there needs to be some flex somewhere. Usually that flex will be near the rear axle but on this bike it appears to be in the linkage.

It’s probably pretty good for what it is, but who gets excited about a 90mm travel 29er? To me a “super bike” is a whole lot different.

Clifford Domingo
Clifford Domingo
8 years ago

On that Pronghorn MTB: Your baggies or spandex doubles as shock seal wipes. Cool! At least on muddy or dusty trails, your shocks wili be one less item to clean! Trail cleaning anyone?

Hotep
Hotep
8 years ago

Your horn shall be pronged.

Matt
Matt
8 years ago

Geez guys, I’m stumped here as well. The reason those other pivots or links exist is to overcome the inherent shortcomings of a single pivot bike, namely, pedal bob and brake jack. I’m not sure what we’re supposed to be celebrating here.

i
i
8 years ago

The way that description reads, they didn’t reinvent the single pivot, they found a way to add a non-functioning shock to a hardtail. Anyone who remembers elementary school geometry knows that. In general “engineered flex” designs leave a lot to be desired. “uncontrolled flex” is usually a better description.

It’s probably more a case of bad journalism than engineering, as there are no shots or words that describe how that bike can be anything but a hardtail.

Bart Klaver
Bart Klaver
8 years ago

Living very close to the Van Nicholas HC, I am pleased to see it being mentioned here. What a gorgeous headtube-forkcrown design!

Kavik
8 years ago

1 piece rear triangle, Single main pivot, No flexing members.

The two links at the top drive the shock. The top compensates for the arc of the main pivot. The seattube mounted one sweeps to compress the shock.

Greg
Greg
8 years ago

Wish I had a need for a fat bike because that Van Nicholas is bad ass.

Big mike
Big mike
8 years ago

The silverback bike is using the exact setup that giant is using this year on the stance bike. I have ridden the stance and is very very nice.

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