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Interbike 2009 – Kona Cadabra and 2nd Gen Magic Link Suspension

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INTERBIKE 2009Kona’s suspension engineer Brian Berthold walked us through Kona’s 2nd generation Magic Link mountain bike suspension technology, employed here on their new 2010 Cadabra trail bike.

Brian, a former engineer and developer for automotive and racing suspensions, made the move to bicycles because he wanted to be able to ride and use the tech he was working on.  The result is Kona’s Magic Link, a dual shock system that makes for a short and long travel bike depending on the forces being acted upon the rear wheel.

Already in use on the Kona Coil Air bike, new for 2010 is the Cadabra and Abra Cadabra.  Check the video for a solid presentation on how ML works, then hit ‘more’ for pics of the Cadabra mountain bike…


The Abra Cadabra (above) is the upper end of the line and gets a Scandium frame, 15mm thru axle on the front and Shimano XT / SLX drivetrain and brakes.



This one didn’t even have time to get the head badge applied before rollin’ to Vegas.


Here’s what it’ll get.  This is the Cadabra model, built with the same Scandium frame but spec’d with Shimano Deore all around save for the XT rear derailleur.  Shimano M575 disc brakes and levers, Mavic Crossride wheels, WTB Rocket V saddle and Kona bar, stem, grips and seatpost round out the package.  This one has a $2,799 MSRP.


The downtube comes down in front of the BB to make room for all the magic.


The magic is revealed:  During normal XC riding and climbing, the bike only gets 4″ of travel using the air shock.  Because the air shock is pushing directly (linearly) down on the lower linkage, it won’t budge the coil shock.  When you hit something bigger or land hard, it instantly pulls the chainstay back and activates the coiled pull shock.  The result of which is that it moves the lower linkage (silver part) out of the vertical plane and allows the air shock to also push down on it, yielding another 2.5″ or so inches of travel.  Thus, the bike hammers like a 4″ XC bike, but can take hits like a 6.5″ freeride bike.


That hole above the bolt holding the coil spring to the linkage is an alternate mounting position.  It doesn’t change the travel, just the spring rate, allowing you to fine tune the magic.


Rear brakes use a pretty tall adapter to accommodate the 7″ rotors.

Kona has more videos on their website showing the Magic Link moving around under various riding situations, too.

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