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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
New to the Forum, just a quick question.
Saw the thread about the smoothlink system on the 2011 Element - functionally and in detail, how does this compare to the 3d link system that in on the 'older' Element ( I ride a 99 Race) wondering what riding difference I would see.

Thanks
 

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The major difference will be in the leverage ratio of the suspension.

The earlier 85mm travel Instinct/Element had a 3D Link rising rate suspension so that as it progresses further into it's travel it has more leverage on the shock so it is fairly stiff in the first 1/3 of it's travel and then gets a bit more plush (but not a huge swing) in the last 1/3 of travel. That makes it a bit Pro-Pedal like so it doesn't compress easily into the sag but in the last third of travel it's more supple and on bigger hits blows through the travel more easily.

The 2011 carbon Element 100mm travel frame has a falling rate suspension so it is fairly supple in the first 1/3 of its travel for sag but the leverage ratio falls quickly so it becomes harder to compress the shock as it gets deeper in the travel. That allows the bike to get into the sag easily so that the rear end is active and supple over bumps but it won't blow through the travel as it gets further into the suspension travel. That should keep it very supple and active on rough surfaces but won't sponge out when you're pedaling or hitting bigger bumps. This is the sort of thing that results in a bottomless travel feeling.
 

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What he said.


The 3D link should ride "like a hardtail with blow off".

The SmoothLink bike has more of a "real suspension feel". That, plus a tuned shock, means firm platform when needed, but more of a bottomless feel deep in it's travel.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thanks..
I will have to try as well, however I do like the 3D as I like the response for climbing, but then I haven't tried 'bottomless' suspension. Does this mean that 3D is no more?


I like the look of the new Element - however I have a bit of a anti - carbon vibe - (based upon none bike work experiences)

S
 

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I've become very pro-carbon frame wise, the 2011 Element would be my third carbon frame to go along with my Vertex RSL and Altitude 90 RSL frames. :D

The new style alloy Elements will likely be a while as it will take some serious design work to match the carbon frame characteristics and features in aluminium, so the 3D link might persist in the aluminium frames for another season.
 
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