When it comes to mountain bike suspension designs, there are several options to choose from. Two popular designs are the DW link and single pivot suspensions. Both designs have their pros and cons, and choosing between them can be challenging. In this article, we will explore the differences between these two suspension designs, helping you make an informed decision on which one is best for you.
Single pivot suspension designs are some of the oldest and most straightforward designs. The design consists of a rear axle connected directly to the main pivot, with the shock damper attached directly to the swingarm. The swingarm rotates around an instant center fixed on the main pivot, and the leverage ratio is determined by the position of the shock mount. In contrast, DW link suspension designs are more complex and feature a patented linkage system that separates the suspension’s pedaling and bump absorption functions.
Each suspension design has its advantages and disadvantages. For example, single pivot suspension designs are known for their simplicity, reliability, and low maintenance costs. On the other hand, DW link suspension designs are known for their excellent pedaling efficiency, traction, and control. However, they tend to be more complex, expensive, and require more maintenance. Understanding the differences between these two suspension designs will help you make an informed decision on which one is best for your riding style and needs.
Understanding Bike Suspension
Bike suspension is a crucial component of any mountain bike. It is responsible for absorbing shocks and vibrations while riding over rough terrain. This helps to keep the rider comfortable and in control, allowing them to ride faster and with more confidence.
There are several different suspension designs available, each with its own strengths and weaknesses. Two of the most popular suspension designs are the DW link and single pivot designs.
Single Pivot Suspension Design
The single pivot suspension design is the simplest type of rear suspension. It consists of a single swingarm and one main pivot located above and forward of the bottom bracket. The rear shock is often attached to the swingarm directly or via linkages to produce a more progressive spring rate.
Single pivot suspension designs are known for their simplicity, low cost, and ease of maintenance. They are also very efficient, providing excellent pedaling performance. However, single pivot designs can suffer from brake jack, which occurs when the rear suspension stiffens under braking, causing the rear wheel to lose traction.
DW Link Suspension Design
The DW link suspension design is a patented suspension platform that was developed by Dave Weagle. It is a four-bar linkage system that is designed to provide excellent pedaling performance, traction, and control.
DW link suspension designs are known for their excellent traction and control, especially on rough terrain. They are also very efficient, providing excellent pedaling performance. However, DW link designs can be more complex and expensive than single pivot designs.
Overall, both single pivot and DW link suspension designs have their own strengths and weaknesses. The choice between the two will depend on your personal preferences and riding style. It is important to consider the terrain you will be riding on, as well as your budget and maintenance requirements, when choosing a suspension design for your mountain bike.
Single Pivot Suspension
Single pivot suspension is one of the most common suspension designs found on mountain bikes. With this design, the rear axle pivots around a single point and the shock is attached between the rear axle and a part of the frame, usually the top tube or down tube. The swingarm is connected to the rear axle and pivots around the same point as the rear wheel.
Single pivot suspension is often found on entry-level bikes because it is a relatively simple and cost-effective design. The design requires fewer bearings and moving parts than other suspension designs, which means that there is less maintenance required. However, this also means that there are fewer pivot points, which can result in less precise suspension performance.
One of the main advantages of a single pivot suspension is that it can be set up to have a rearward axle path. This means that the rear wheel moves slightly backward as it travels through its travel. This can help to absorb larger impacts and provide a smoother ride. However, this design can also result in brake jack, which is a phenomenon where the suspension stiffens up under braking.
Single pivot suspension can also suffer from pedal bob, which is a bobbing motion of the rear suspension caused by pedaling. This is because the pivot location is close to the bottom bracket, which means that the suspension is affected by the rider’s pedaling motion.
Overall, single pivot suspension is a good choice for riders who are looking for a simple and cost-effective suspension design. However, it may not be the best choice for more advanced riders who are looking for a suspension design with more precise performance.
DW Link Suspension
DW Link suspension is a type of suspension system that uses a linkage to connect the rear triangle to the front triangle of a bike. This linkage is designed to create a specific leverage ratio that provides a balance of small bump compliance and big hit performance. The DW Link system is known for its anti-squat characteristics, which means that it resists compression under pedaling forces. This results in efficient power transfer and a more stable ride.
The DW Link suspension was first introduced by Dave Weagle, and it has been used by several bike manufacturers, including Ibis, Yeti, and Pivot. The system is also referred to as a “split pivot” or “faux bar” suspension.
One of the benefits of the DW Link suspension is that it allows designers to manipulate the leverage ratio throughout the suspension’s travel. This means that they can make the suspension softer at the beginning of the stroke for small bump sensitivity and then firmer toward the end of its travel for big hit performance. The DW Link suspension also has a relatively low pedal kickback, which means that the suspension does not compress excessively under braking forces.
The DW Link suspension is a four-bar system that uses a Horst Link pivot. The Horst Link pivot is located above and slightly forward of the rear axle, and it helps to control the rear wheel’s path through its travel. The system also features a floating drivetrain and a floating brake, which helps to isolate the suspension from drivetrain and braking forces.
Overall, the DW Link suspension is a well-regarded suspension system that offers a balance of small bump compliance and big hit performance. It is known for its anti-squat characteristics, which make it an efficient pedaling platform. The system is used by several bike manufacturers, and it has proven to be a reliable and effective suspension design.
Comparing Suspension Designs
When it comes to selecting a mountain bike suspension design, you’ll want to consider a few factors that will affect your ride. Two popular options are the DW Link and single pivot suspension designs. Let’s take a closer look at how they compare.
Single pivot suspension designs are known for their efficiency. They tend to be lighter and simpler in design, making them easy to maintain. However, they may not be as efficient when it comes to bump sensitivity and small bump sensitivity. In contrast, DW Link suspension designs are known for their bump sensitivity and small bump sensitivity. They can handle rough terrain with ease, making them a popular choice for downhill riding.
Both suspension designs have their advantages and disadvantages when it comes to balance. Single pivot suspension designs tend to be more stable, making them a great choice for riders who prioritize stability. DW Link suspension designs, on the other hand, are known for their balance. They can handle a variety of terrain with ease, making them a versatile option.
When comparing suspension designs, it’s important to test ride both options to determine which one is right for you. Pay attention to factors such as acceleration, rebound, and bump sensitivity. These factors will affect your ride experience and should be taken into consideration when selecting a suspension design.
Factors to Consider
When selecting a suspension design, there are a few factors to consider. These include weight, bearings, and curves. Single pivot suspension designs tend to be lighter and simpler in design, while DW Link suspension designs may require more maintenance due to their bearings. Additionally, DW Link suspension designs tend to have more complex curves, which can affect their performance on the trail.
In conclusion, both DW Link and single pivot suspension designs have their advantages and disadvantages. When selecting a suspension design, it’s important to consider your priorities and the terrain you’ll be riding on. Test ride both options to determine which one is right for you.
Frequently Asked Questions
What are the advantages of DW-link suspension?
DW-link suspension is known for its excellent pedaling efficiency, which means that it can handle technical climbs and rough terrain with ease. It also offers great traction and control, making it ideal for downhill riding. Additionally, DW-link suspension provides a smooth and stable ride, which reduces rider fatigue and makes it easier to maintain control on challenging terrain.
What is the difference between dw-link and single pivot suspension?
DW-link suspension uses a patented four-bar linkage system that isolates pedaling and braking forces from suspension movement, resulting in a more efficient and responsive ride. Single pivot suspension, on the other hand, uses a simpler design that can be less efficient and may experience more pedal bob. Single pivot suspension can also be more prone to brake jack, which can cause the rear wheel to lock up during hard braking.
What are the disadvantages of single pivot mountain bikes?
Single pivot mountain bikes can be less efficient than other suspension designs, especially when it comes to pedaling. They can also be more prone to brake jack, which can be dangerous in certain situations. Additionally, single pivot suspension can be less responsive than other designs, which can result in a less comfortable and less controlled ride.
Which bike brands offer dw-link suspension?
Several bike brands offer dw-link suspension, including Pivot Cycles, Ibis, and Yeti Cycles. Each of these brands offers a variety of models with different levels of suspension travel, frame materials, and other features, so you can find the perfect bike for your needs and budget.
What are the benefits of high pivot MTBs?
High pivot MTBs offer several benefits over other suspension designs. They provide excellent traction and control, especially on rough terrain, and can handle high-speed descents with ease. They also offer a more active suspension system, which can help absorb impacts and reduce rider fatigue. Additionally, high pivot MTBs can be more efficient than other designs, especially when it comes to pedaling.
How does Horst link suspension compare to single pivot suspension?
Horst link suspension is similar to single pivot suspension in that it uses a pivot point to control the movement of the rear wheel. However, Horst link suspension also includes an additional pivot point that helps to isolate pedaling forces from suspension movement, resulting in a more efficient and responsive ride. Additionally, Horst link suspension can be more stable and predictable than single pivot suspension, especially on rough terrain.