Spot is back with their Living Link suspension platform, putting it on two all-new, short travel lightweight XC/trail full suspension mountain bikes. What started out in 2015 as a prototype concept went onto the original Rollik, then the 130mm Mayhem 29er, and then an updated, longer travel, enduro-ready Rollik.
For the new Spot Ryve, they’ve dialed back the travel to 100mm and 115mm to create efficient XC and lightweight trail bikes, all still using that unique leaf spring design…
Fill me in, what’s Living Link?
The Living Link is a composite leaf spring that acts as a lower linkage between the front triangle and the rear triangle. The upper linkage is a more traditional rocker arm, and between the two, the connect the rear to the front. The Living Link flexes in something of an “S” shape as the suspension compresses, and they say it’s good for about 3,000,000 cycles…which is almost certainly more than you’re likely to put on it before other things break. You can see it in action here:
Besides being laterally stiff and keeping the rear triangle in line with the front even under hard corners, it’s designed to work with the rear shock to control the motion and provide a very linear mid-stroke suspension curve so that it can be active over most of the chatter. What’s more, it’s captured inside the two halves of the frame, so there are no lower bearings to wear out or develop play. They say it’s so efficient, you don’t need a lockout, either. Sweet, because that saves weight.
Why two versions of the same bike?
Above, the 100mm Spot Ryve, and below, the 115mm version. Basically, some people want a more playful bike with a little extra travel, and some people want a race-tuned, ultralight XC weapon with which to win races and marathons. So they made both. And both of them come with a dropper seatpost, because even XC racers like to get rowdy once in a while.
They say the Ryve 100mm is built as light as 22.9lbs with a dropper, with other build kits available (for both models) ranging from $4,599 up to $7,999 with the new SRAM AXS wireless group. Framesets are $2,999 and include the rear shock. Both models are offered in sizes S, M, L and XL. The 100mm comes with matching fork movement, and the 115mm gets a 120mm travel fork.
The upper rocker link is carbon fiber and uses the wider trunnion mount design with dual-row full complement bearings on all the main pivot points…
…and the lower shock mount uses a box shaped structure to maximize stiffness. It’s also open to the bottom so water and crud won’t get stuck in there.
Other features include their Groovy Guides for low-profile external brake hose routing…
…and a separate metal rear brake mount that keeps braking forces off the seatstay (so they could make it lighter). It’s also directly part of the axle interface, so your rear brake stays aligned with the rear wheel all the time.