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Podcast #086 – Chris Canfield explains multi-link suspension designs

chris canfield interview about mountain bike suspension design

If you think mountain bike suspension is a mystery, you’re not alone. From kinematics to anti-squat to compression ratios, there’s a lot of terminology piled on top of designs like VPP, Horst Link, CVA, DW Link.

Add CBF to that list and you have the suspension design and philosophy of Chris Canfield. He’s my guest today and had been designing full-suspension mountain bikes for almost 25 years.

We talk about how things work, why multi-linkage bikes work well (as well as why some maybe don’t work as well as others), and we try, really hard, to explain brake jack and why braking forces negatively affect suspension performance.

And after all that, we talk about not one, but TWO new suspension patents he’s working on that are truly wild, and he explains them publicly for the very first time, right here. You can check out his website at Suspension-Formulas.com, and get the occasional sneak peek at new designs on his Instagram.

This episode sponsored by:

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Andrea Rearte
Andrea Rearte
8 months ago

Looking forward to this one! Gotta find a reason for a train ride.

A. Rearte
A. Rearte
8 months ago

Great episode, always enjoy nerding out.
I was a bit surprised about the brake-influence discussion. The brake induces torque to the system. single pivot systems get compressed by the torque, wherever the caliper is mounted because torque direction and compression is the same. With multi link i guess it depends on the linkage which supports the caliper. But i‘m not sure about that. that‘s where i would have wished some insight. On danny hart‘s cube it looks like the torque on the seatstay could act in both ways, depending on how much sag the bike is sitting on. If that is correct, i see why he would want a floating brake mount.

8 months ago

Interesting to make a pattent about a selectable axle paths frame, given that we already did that 20 years ago in France with the 24bicycles FatDaddy…The lower link has 2 mounting points ont the front triangle, to allow a different axle path, different suspension caracteristics as well that can be combined with several wheel travel.
It also had 2 height positions for it swingarm to be able to change rear wheel diameter (think mullet, but in 2003) without impact of the geometry (BB height etc…)
But hey, why not create a pattent with your name on it?

Déco FatDaddy.jpeg

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