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This place needs an enema
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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
I do not work for WB, but I live nearby and ride several of their forks. I stopped by to chat a few days ago and heard that they had filed their patent paperwork, which meant that they could stop being so tight-lipped about what they'd been working on.

It also meant that after a year of riding on, loving, and wanting to spout off about how amazing this damper is, not only could I finally spill the beans but I finally knew what it was that I'd been riding on.

When I asked for an explanation of how it worked, I understood it but then I found that I couldn't explain it myself without getting tangled up in words. So I copied this blurb from an email correspondence with one of the powers-that-be at WB.

The new White Brothers damper (initially available for XC application) combines the benefits of a true open bath damping system with an intelligent magnetic valve (patent pending) that prevents bobbing on hills and during sprints but allows the fork to be fully active when it hits bumps.

Open bath damping relies on a relatively large volume of oil, making it immune to unwanted changes in damping response due to temperature/volume effects (e.g., 'fade' during long technical descents). It is equally insensitive to loss of small quantities of oil and provides automatic, continuous bushing lubrication in the damper leg. There is less background stiction in an open bath damper because it does not require as many seals as cartridge or twin piston dampers. The revolutionary new White Brothers damper is one of the few true open bath dampers with both compression and rebound adjustments on the same fork leg.

The heart of the damper is a magnetically-actuated compression valve (patent pending). When the fork hits a bump, vertical acceleration 'shock force' produces a sudden 'spike' in damper pressure. However, this spike or peak in pressure fades quickly--long before the bicycle wheel has finished traveling over the bump. Unlike typical sprung valves, the White Brothers magnetic valve 'senses' the pressure spike and then holds the damper compression circuit open until the bump is finished. This prevents any harshness during the bump. This is the clear advantage of the White Brothers magnetic valve over other advanced bicycle damping systems, the fact that the magnetic valve, once it is activated by the pressure spike, stays open during the entire bump and closes simultaneously with the rebound flow of the oil. This ensures that the White Brothers fork will be fully active during very small and very large bumps, and that the valve will close simultaneously with the end of the bump. Since the magnetic valve works off of the pressure spike and the flow of the oil to be activated and to close, the White Brothers magnetic valve cannot be tricked by different riding situations, thereby providing exactly the performance you want, when you want it. Because the pressure spike does not occur when the rider stands up to climb or sprint, the valve lets very little oil through the compression circuit, eliminating unwanted 'bobbing'.

The magnitude of the pressure spike that accompanies a bump varies with the weight distribution on the bike (e.g., the weight of the rider and gear), so the White Brothers damper has an indexed knob at the crown to adjust the compression response to suit the individual rider.


I'm guessing that there will be several of these available to be demo'ed at the on-dirt in Vegas in a few weeks. I'm also guessing that they will be available for purchase by the end of this year. I know that they will be retrofittable to all current BW forks--the ones that I'm riding were retro'd into my existing forks.

So there you have it. I can't answer tech questions about it, but I'd be happy to chime in about how it responds on the trail, going up, going down, durability, etc...

And I can't guarantee it, but maybe if people ask tech questions here one of the engineers from WB will be able to respond.

MC
 

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Your experience?

OK, I'll bite. How does it ride compared to the current system, stiction, squeeks etc. No bobbing, no bs? Will it be the mac daddy of all 29" forks available?
 

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My gloves stink
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Who cares?

Bigwheel said:
OK, I'll bite. How does it ride compared to the current system, stiction, squeeks etc. No bobbing, no bs? Will it be the mac daddy of all 29" forks available?
Who cares? I want one anyway!
 

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Harmonius Wrench
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What has the Open bath design done to weight?

Is this damper technology alot heavier, or only a little bit. What has it done to the price? Is there adjustable travel? Previous White Brothers efforts are berated for having too much stiction. I take it that this has been eliminated? Does this surpass the Reba?
 

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Guitar Ted said:
Is this damper technology alot heavier, or only a little bit. What has it done to the price? Is there adjustable travel? Previous White Brothers efforts are berated for having too much stiction. I take it that this has been eliminated? Does this surpass the Reba?
...what Appendage says...
 

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rider
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Cool, real open bath...

The "pull your forks every couple of weeks to smear Slick Honey on the sliding bits" routine of the old WB forks really turned me off. I have wanted to support WB as they have supported the 29er community for so long.

The open bath system is one big reason why Marz forks are so smoooth and reliable. Their loss that they offer no 32mm tubed forks for 29er's.

Now all we need is a bigger WB arch to clear the big wave of 2.3-2.5 fatty 29er tires that are going to become available any time now. Err, right! But it never hurts to be ready.

Pricing and availability ASAP please Jason!

29erchico
 

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Retro-fit

I've already asked about retro-fit availability. Here's what they had to say:

"We will have a magnetically-actuated compression system or "threshold system." Not necessarily a "platform." The new damper will not be available until Oct."
 

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Schipperkes are cool.
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I was able to ride Curiak's Moots Single Speed, with said fork, from the shop, over the stairs and it was like no other fork I have rode on. Where the FOX inertia valve fork feels like your traditional sussy unit 3/4 full of water & muck; locking up when you don't want it to, etc.

The WB fork was very smooth, almost unnatural for a WB. Push the bars down hard, it stays firm. Hit a bump and the fork moved with ease.

Scoty
 

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Cassoulet forever !
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magnetic vs spring

the magnetic force decreases with the distance, whereas a spring force will increase with the distance.

This means that WB valve is hard to open at the beginning, and then tend to stay away (weak force) once it is open.
I think that this is smarter than the spring design (being a real metallic spring or compressed air) where the valve is easy to open at the beginning and then tend to come back locking with force.

I still think a good design inertia valve (where the oil flow keep the gate open) is still interesting
 

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Appalachian Singletrack'n
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An open bath WB is liable to cut Padre’s post count in half, He wont be able to talk about stiction whores any more. :D

Will this system be available on the BW1.3?

Ill definitely send my BW.8 in as soon as the retrofit is available. This system sounds very promising.
 

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what a joke
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Endomaniac said:
An open bath WB is liable to cut Padre's post count in half, He be able to talk about stiction whores any more. :D

Will this system be available on the BW1.3?

Ill definitely send my BW.8 in as soon as the retrofit is available. This system sounds very promising.
I was thinking I would wait for the Padre review....... seriously! No disrespect to anyone but its good to hear some opinions from all angles.
 

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Endomaniac said:
Will this system be available on the BW1.3?
I was wondering the same thing, got this in an email from Jason:

"As for the BW 1.3 it will not see any major changes for
next year. The shorter travel forks will begin to use the new
"smart" damping system, but it will be a little while before that
technology is perfected for the longer travel forks.

The current BW 1.3 uses a much different style of damper that
allows for quite a bit of adjustment both compression and rebound.
The 1.3 damper is much more sophisticated than what we use in
the 1.0 and .8"
 

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have to agree that using magnetic forces to close the valve is a smart idea.
Will be interesting to see how the other other fork manufacturers eract to this.
 

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WB is not on their radar

Rockshox, Manitou, and the other biggies don't notice or care what WB does, I'm guessing. They're too busy coming out with some new castings so that their lowers are a slightly different shape, arguing about what color to make their forks, and renaming their products (the new Trudy replaces last years Hike line, at a higher pricepoint, with the same features!)

People talk trash about the performance of the WB forks, but I've probably sold 20 or 30 of those suckers this year, with nary a complaint from ANYONE. I'm sure, just like any forks, there are a few lemons out there. But they're darn good at taking care of problems when they arise, no?

People have also bashed on the WB stuff for not looking cool or new-agey enough. Fah. Give me good customer service and easily interchangeable parts any day. Let's hope the new WB damper puts them back on the sussy fork map - but let's hope they keep their small-company feel when they hit the big time.

-Walt

Brad said:
have to agree that using magnetic forces to close the valve is a smart idea.
Will be interesting to see how the other other fork manufacturers eract to this.
 

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Shout out to WB

Gotta give White Bros. their props... About two weeks ago I had a horrific crash..ok, maybe I'm embelishing a bit, and lost the dust cap to the air side of my .8.
Dropped them an e-mail about getting one, got two in the mail no charge in about 3 days!
I've never gotten service like that from anyone in this industry.

Funny story too... Years ago when there used to be a show in Philly (talking old school here) my shop asked me to go down since I had to stay home while they went to Vegas.
Well I took the train in and wore a sweat shirt and White Brothers t-shirt with the red/white/blue flag motif.
Walking from the station to the show I took my sweatshirt of and started walking. Couldn't figure out why I was getting alot of "stares", particullarly from the african-american crowd. Needless to say a "White Bros." t-shirt in the inner city isn't always a good idea.
 

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toddre said:
Gotta give White Bros. their props... About two weeks ago I had a horrific crash..ok, maybe I'm embelishing a bit, and lost the dust cap to the air side of my .8.
Dropped them an e-mail about getting one, got two in the mail no charge in about 3 days!
I've never gotten service like that from anyone in this industry.
Similar story here...lost a cap, got two in the mail. I also snapped the head off the rebound adjustment bolt while rebuilding the fork. Called 'em up and got the bolt and adjuster when I only needed the bolt. Great service.
 
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