Dave Weagle, the man behind the DW Link found on bikes such as those available from Turner, Pivot and Ibis, has been busy working on a new suspension system, for which he has just been granted a patent for.
The suspension design has been kept behind closed doors since he announced it several years ago in 2007, and Dave is clearly proud of the development of the Split Pivot, saying: “Wow, what a trip this one has been.”
Of course a new suspension design is nothing without a bicycle manufacturer to adopt it and take it to market, but there’s been no lack of interest in those wanting to work with Dave. “Since I launched the existence of this design publicly in May of 2007, I’ve been inundated by requests from bike brands interested in partnering up to develop new Split Pivot frames.”
Dave has been able to carefully pick those brands he feels will best work with the new Split Pivot. “I feel like I’ve chosen some great brands to welcome into the Split Pivot family, brands that have their own individual flavor and ideas, and who really complement each other. It’s been a crazy ride getting the Split Pivot design to this point, and I’m thrilled for my partners to finally be able to show off that patent number proudly on their bikes.
“We’ve been testing prototypes from different brands for some time, and I know the member companies of the Split Pivot family are excited for the world to see the benefits of our collaborations and hard work. We’ve discussed, designed, tested, and refined, and we feel like the bikes that we’ll be bringing to the market with Split Pivot
technology showcase a level of suspension refinement that riders of any skill level can appreciate on the trail.
“It has been so difficult keeping the existence of new prototype models secret for so long so I am glad that part is nearly over and that it’s time for the world to see how good this design can really be when dialed in. I think that riders are really going to enjoy this system. It allows for atypical main pivot placement that works great for acceleration and bump absorption, and the concentric dropout pivot lets me tune braking forces and leverage ratios to a high degree at the same time. Basically the Split Pivot design helps us to make bikes that are a lot of fun to ride.”
What’s a Split Pivot?
For the explanation of exactly what the Split Pivot is, we’re going to give you the press release verbatim:
Split Pivot is a patented suspension system, where traction, efficiency, maneuverability, and frame stiffness are important factors on the track and trail. Split Pivot’s [concentric dropout pivot], a pivot at the rear wheel axle joining the seatstays and chainstays on a bicycle, is the heart of this new design.
Each unique Spilt Pivot frame is engineered to combine the best performance traits of single pivot and long arm linkage suspensions. Split Pivot is all about having fun on the trail, and each unique suspension layout is designed to offer a ride that will make you smile no matter what your riding style or ability level.
How does it work?
Split Pivot’s [concentric dropout pivot] design separates acceleration forces from braking forces in the suspension. The system reduces excess suspension reaction to acceleration forces, and at the same time reduces excess reaction to braking forces.
Braking neutrality can be tuned independently of acceleration characteristics, and suspension feel can be tuned by varying leverage ratio curves in a wide range of options. It’s no secret that mountain bikers like individuality, and the Split Pivot design lends itself to a wide range of different looking and performing designs.
With so many possible mechanical layouts, not every Split Pivot bike looks or performs the same. Shock layout can be vertical, horizontal, floating, or even driven by a rate modifier link. This variability lets Dave tune the suspension performance and feel to each manufacturing partner’s preference, giving each Split Pivot bike its own personality unique to each brand.
When will they be available?
Currently there are six licensees of the patented Split Pivot technology worldwide. 2011 Split Pivot models will be available in late 2010 from four USA and International brands. Two of the six brands have already announced their collaboration with Dave Weagle and Split Pivot.
Seven Cycles will be offering a full line of Split Pivot suspension frames, including the world’s first ever custom suspension kinematics. A product of Seven’s custom bike fit and design philosophy and Dave’s work in human ergonomics and suspension tuning, each Seven Split Pivot frame is custom tuned to accentuate an individual’s specific riding style, ability level, and body type.
East Coast brand Spooky Cycles will be offering two models in 2011, a downhill race model reviving the Project X moniker and a 145mm trail bike for aggressive XC called Mothership.
Eurobike and the UCI World Championships will see the launch of full Split Pivot MTB lines from two highly respected International mountain bike brands that have yet to be announced.
Riders can learn more about the Split Pivot design, and those with too much time on their hands can download and read the Split Pivot 7,717,212 patent at www.split-pivot.com.