Longtime champions of simple but very effective mid / high single pivot swingarm suspension, Santa Cruz, have bought the patents and copyright of the Outland VPP system.
|Damned cunning linkage action, and real purty CNC work.|
As can be seen from these proto shots, the system uses a rigid rear subframe that moves on two small linkages. The lower linkage just above the bottom bracket, carries the mount for the long stroke Fox shock. The upper linkage hangs vertically from the rear of the seat tube stub. These linkages ‘unfold’ as the wheel strikes an object, moving it rearwards and backwards around a ‘Virtual’ pivot point. By using a straighter stroke path rather than a curved radius, pedalling and suspension characteristics remain far less affected as the suspension moves through the mid section of it’s travel. However he design of the lower linkage also ‘tucks it back in’ if pedalling in the first part of the stroke, pulling the rear wheel into the ground for better traction and accleleration in smoother secions where the suspension is uncompressed.
The system also uses a seperate disc brake arm linked to the upper linkage, to stop the rear end from squatting under braking, a problem which afflicted previous parallel path bikes such as the Schwinn Straight 8.
|9″ of travel but still a proper pedaller|
Although the design was widely praised when launched, the Outland bikes were underbuilt and prone to failure. Santa Cruz have built the system into a 9 inch travel DH rig using tubular and square pipe plus CNC sections which looks absolutely bombproof. They’ll be debuting the bike at this weekend’s Sea Otter event, but the British distributors, Jungle aren’t expecting production models till next year despite sending us these exclusive pics.
Intense have also licensed the design from Santa and are planning their own VPP rig.
For more details on the VPP bike and the rest of the Santa range then ask the nice folks at Santa Cruz UK.