When it comes to mountain bike suspension, there are many different designs and technologies available. Two popular suspension designs are CBF (Canfield Balance Formula) and DW-Link. Both systems aim to provide a smooth, efficient ride, but they have some key differences that may impact your riding experience. In this article, we’ll take a closer look at CBF and DW-Link suspension to help you understand the pros and cons of each system.
CBF suspension is a dual-short-link platform that aims to keep the rear wheel moving in a straight line, regardless of the terrain. It does this by keeping the distance between the rear axle and the point where the chain meets the top of the chainring constant throughout the travel. This design results in a suspension system that is very active and responsive, providing excellent traction and control on technical terrain. However, some riders have noted that CBF suspension can feel a bit harsh on larger hits, and it may not be as efficient as some other designs when it comes to pedaling.
DW-Link suspension, on the other hand, is a four-bar linkage system that was created by renowned suspension designer Dave Weagle. It aims to provide a balance between pedaling efficiency and suspension performance by minimizing unwanted suspension movement during pedaling. The system achieves this by using a patented anti-squat design that reduces the amount of suspension compression that occurs during pedaling. The result is a suspension system that is very efficient when climbing or sprinting, but still provides excellent traction and control on technical descents. However, some riders have noted that DW-Link suspension can be a bit complicated to set up and tune, and it may not be as active and responsive as some other designs on rough terrain.
Understanding Suspension Designs
When it comes to mountain bike suspension, there are several designs available, each with its own advantages and disadvantages. The suspension design you choose will depend on your riding style, terrain, and personal preferences.
CBF (Canfield Balance Formula) suspension is a relatively new design that has gained popularity in recent years. It is a simple design that uses a single pivot point, which is located above the bottom bracket. The suspension is designed to remain active under braking, pedaling, and bump absorption, providing a smooth and responsive ride.
One of the main advantages of CBF suspension is its efficiency. It provides excellent traction and control while climbing, and it is also very responsive when descending. The suspension is also easy to maintain and adjust, making it a popular choice among riders.
DW-Link suspension is another popular design that has been around for several years. It uses a four-bar linkage system that is designed to provide a smooth and responsive ride. The suspension is designed to remain active under braking and pedaling, providing excellent traction and control.
One of the main advantages of DW-Link suspension is its ability to separate pedaling and suspension forces. This means that the suspension remains active even when you are pedaling hard, providing a smooth and efficient ride. The suspension is also very responsive when descending, providing excellent traction and control.
Choosing the Right Suspension Design
When choosing a suspension design, it is important to consider your riding style, terrain, and personal preferences. CBF suspension is a great choice for riders who want a simple and efficient design that provides excellent traction and control. DW-Link suspension is a great choice for riders who want a suspension design that separates pedaling and suspension forces, providing a smooth and efficient ride.
Overall, both CBF and DW-Link suspension designs are great choices for mountain bikers. They both provide excellent traction and control, and they are both responsive and efficient. Ultimately, the suspension design you choose will depend on your riding style, terrain, and personal preferences.
CbF Suspension: An Overview
If you’re in the market for a full suspension bike, you may have come across the Canfield Balance, which features the CbF (Canfield Balance Formula) suspension platform. This unique design has received a lot of attention in the mountain biking world, so what exactly is it and how does it work?
At its core, CbF is a dual-short-link platform that is similar to the popular DW-link suspension system. However, there are some key differences. CbF was designed to keep the rearward axle path consistent throughout the suspension travel, providing a more supple ride and better balance. This is achieved by keeping the distance between the rear axle and the point where the chain meets the top of the chainring constant throughout the travel.
One of the benefits of CbF is that it’s a relatively simple design with fewer moving parts than some other suspension platforms. This can make it easier to maintain and repair. Additionally, the platform has been designed to work well with a coil shock, providing a plush ride that many riders prefer.
Canfield Balance has put a lot of time and effort into developing and iterating on the CbF suspension platform. They have tested the design extensively and have fine-tuned the values to achieve the desired balance between suppleness, efficiency, and performance.
Overall, CbF is a unique suspension platform that offers a supple ride and efficient climbing performance. While it may not be the right choice for every rider or every situation, it’s definitely worth considering if you’re in the market for a full suspension bike.
DW-Link Suspension: A Deep Dive
If you’re in the market for a new mountain bike, you’ve probably come across the term “DW-Link Suspension” at least once or twice. This suspension design has been around for over a decade and has been used by a number of popular bike brands, including Pivot, Ibis, and Santa Cruz.
At its core, DW-Link Suspension is a dual-link system that uses a pivot located above the bottom bracket to connect the swingarm to the front triangle. This design is intended to provide a balance of efficiency and traction, with the suspension remaining active even while pedaling.
One of the key benefits of DW-Link Suspension is its efficiency. By carefully tuning the suspension layout, designers can reduce the amount of pedal kickback and anti-squat, which can help to keep the rear wheel planted on the ground while climbing. This can be especially important for enduro or trail bikes, where efficiency is often a key factor.
Another benefit of DW-Link Suspension is its small bump sensitivity. The design allows for a relatively low leverage ratio, which means that the suspension can respond more easily to small bumps and trail chatter. This can help to improve overall traction and control, especially on rough or technical terrain.
Of course, like any suspension design, DW-Link Suspension has its compromises. Some riders have criticized the design for its relatively high weight and complexity, especially compared to more traditional suspension layouts like single pivot or four-bar. Additionally, some riders have noted that the suspension curve can feel slightly “poppy” or harsh in certain situations, although this can vary depending on the specific bike and setup.
Overall, DW-Link Suspension is a well-regarded suspension design that has been used by some of the top bike brands in the industry. While it may not be the right choice for every rider or situation, it can provide a good balance of efficiency and traction for many riders.
Comparison: CbF vs DW-Link
When it comes to mountain bike suspension design, two popular options are Canfield Balance Formula (CbF) and DW-Link. Both suspension platforms are linkage-driven single pivot designs that aim to achieve a balance between efficiency and traction. However, they differ in their approach to achieving this balance.
DW-Link, which stands for Dave Weagle Linkage, is a suspension design that features a complex linkage system that separates pedaling and braking forces from suspension forces. This design aims to provide anti-squat and anti-rise characteristics to the rear suspension, which reduces pedal kickback and brake jack. This gives the rider more control over the bike, especially in technical terrain. Brands such as Santa Cruz, Ibis, and Yeti use the DW-Link suspension design in their mountain bikes.
On the other hand, Canfield Balance Formula (CbF) is a suspension design that uses a dual-short-link platform, which is similar to the DW-Link but simpler. The CbF design aims to keep constant the distance between the rear axle and the point at which the chain meets the top of the chainring through nearly all of the travel. This provides a consistent and supple feel to the suspension, especially over small bumps. Brands such as Canfield Brothers, Raaw Madonna, and Orange Bikes use the CbF suspension design in their mountain bikes.
When it comes to efficiency, both suspension designs have their advantages and disadvantages. The DW-Link design provides a more efficient pedaling platform because of its anti-squat characteristics. This makes it a good option for riders who prioritize climbing and want a bike that can handle technical terrain. However, the CbF design provides better small bump sensitivity and suppleness, making it a good option for riders who prioritize downhill performance and aggressive riding.
In terms of maintenance, the CbF design is simpler and easier to maintain than the DW-Link design. The DW-Link design has more moving parts and requires more attention to keep it running smoothly.
Overall, the choice between CbF and DW-Link suspension designs comes down to personal preference and riding style. Both suspension platforms have their strengths and weaknesses, and it’s important to consider factors such as efficiency, traction, small bump sensitivity, and maintenance when choosing a suspension design for your bike.
When it comes to choosing between CBF suspension and DW-link suspension, there is no clear winner. Both suspension systems have their own strengths and weaknesses, and the choice ultimately depends on your personal preferences and riding style.
CBF suspension offers excellent pedaling efficiency, which makes it a great choice for cross-country riders who want to maximize their speed and power output. It also provides good traction and control on rough terrain, thanks to its active suspension design.
DW-link suspension, on the other hand, is known for its excellent traction and bump absorption, which makes it a great choice for aggressive trail and enduro riders. It also provides good pedaling efficiency, although not as good as CBF suspension.
In terms of maintenance, both suspension systems are relatively easy to maintain and service, although DW-link suspension may require more frequent maintenance due to its more complex design.
Overall, both CBF suspension and DW-link suspension are excellent choices for mountain bikers, and the choice ultimately comes down to your personal preferences and riding style. Whatever suspension system you choose, make sure to take the time to properly set it up and maintain it to ensure optimal performance and longevity.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is CBF suspension and how does it compare to DW-link suspension?
CBF suspension stands for Canfield Balance Formula, which is a dual-short-link platform similar to DW-link suspension. Both suspension systems are designed to provide anti-squat and anti-rise characteristics to improve pedaling efficiency and traction. However, CBF suspension differs from DW-link in that it uses a virtual pivot point that changes location throughout the suspension travel. This allows CBF suspension to provide a more consistent and predictable feel throughout the travel, while DW-link suspension is known for its excellent small bump sensitivity and traction.
Which mountain bike brands use DW-link suspension and how does it perform?
DW-link suspension was developed by Dave Weagle and is used by several mountain bike brands, including Pivot Cycles, Ibis, and Turner Bikes. DW-link suspension is known for its excellent small bump sensitivity and traction, which allows riders to maintain control and speed on technical terrain. It also provides efficient pedaling characteristics, making it a popular choice for cross-country and trail bikes.
What are the pros and cons of VPP suspension compared to CBF and DW-link?
VPP suspension, which stands for Virtual Pivot Point, is another popular suspension system used by several mountain bike brands, including Santa Cruz Bicycles. VPP suspension is known for its efficient pedaling characteristics and excellent mid-stroke support, which makes it a popular choice for enduro and downhill bikes. Compared to CBF and DW-link suspension, VPP suspension can feel slightly harsh on small bumps and lacks the same level of traction and control.
How does linear suspension compare to progressive suspension on a mountain bike?
Linear suspension provides a consistent rate of compression throughout the suspension travel, while progressive suspension provides a more gradual increase in compression resistance as the suspension compresses. Linear suspension is typically used on cross-country and trail bikes, while progressive suspension is used on enduro and downhill bikes. Progressive suspension provides better bottom-out resistance and control on technical terrain, while linear suspension provides a more efficient pedaling platform.
What are the differences between DELTA link and DW-link suspension systems?
DELTA link suspension is a patented suspension system used by Marin Bikes that provides a similar anti-squat and anti-rise design to DW-link suspension. However, DELTA link suspension uses a floating pivot point that is located above the chainring, which allows for a more active suspension feel and better traction. DW-link suspension, on the other hand, uses a virtual pivot point that is located behind the chainring and provides excellent small bump sensitivity and traction.
Is DW-link suspension the best option for a mountain bike or are there other comparable options?
DW-link suspension is an excellent suspension system that provides excellent small bump sensitivity and traction. However, there are several other comparable suspension systems available, including CBF, VPP, and DELTA link suspension. The best suspension system for your mountain bike will depend on your riding style, terrain, and personal preferences. It is important to test ride different bikes with different suspension systems to find the one that works best for you.