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Elitest thrill junkie
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I'm 6 5 245 solid

VPP v Horst link v DW v re aktiv

I have used VPP and found pedal
Striking common.

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Older "VPP" blew through the travel because they had wonky leverage curves that exaggerated flat-mid-stroke shock issues. Since they moved the shock to the lower position on most frames, this has eliminated the crazy leverage curve and straightened things up a lot.

In general, most bikes these days are doing around 100% anti-squat through about 1/2 of the travel. Some of the newer horst-links have flattened out their AS curve a lot, so it mimics what a DW link can do. Some like Evil and Canfield achieve a similar AS curve with totally different designs. The more or less constant is most have moved towards 110-90% AS through at least half the travel, then either linearly deceasing or progressively decreasing after about that mark or a little further.

What does this mean? Not much. It doesn't have much bearing on anything related to heavy riders. That's all leverage ratio and other design elements.

In general, you want a low leverage rate, 2:1 ideally, 2.5 or 2.6:1 probably max. Anything higher than that is generally a bad idea for heavier riders. It makes it hard to get the right spring rate or you are maxing out shock pressure. A lot of air shocks have moved to much higher volume setups that require more pressure than older ones. Luckily a few makers have upped the max pressures accordingly, but you are still stressing everything more with a higher LR. Other things you want to consider are the shock bolts, you want as short as possible. Short means less leverage on the bolt itself and less chance of bending. Beefy stout links. Some of the single-pivot bikes like the old SC heckler are a bad idea, because the rear triangle can easily flex side to side and there's nothing on the top-side of the triangle preventing this flex. The shock becomes a stressed member in the system and this leads to all around poor performance and increased shock ware. Similarly, "shock yoke" designs like Specialized loves to do are also something to avoid. This also puts increased stress on the shock and often leads to premature shock failure. Look for large sized pivot bearings.

A lot of how a bike "feels" comes down to the leverage curve and the shock type and tune. This tends to vary quite a bit, with some manufacturers not really setting up the bike properly or with questionable tunes. Some on the other hand tend to nail it. Being a heavy rider, you almost always benefit from a custom shock tune, although only certain shocks can be tuned aftermarket or are available with a specific rider tune. This is also something important to consider, you want a bike with a common shock size, not some proprietary BS or uncommon size. Metric vs. standard doesn't really matter as long as it's not something wacky.

If you don't want to go the custom route, I would highly recommend to look for something with a Fox X2, DHX2, CCDB or Ohlins type shock. These tend to be very tunable for high speed compression and high speed rebound, which is key to setting up the shock to significantly different weight riders. Performance won't be as good as a custom setup, but it's probably the next best thing. What to avoid would be things like Fox DPX2, DPS, RS Deluxe, SID-anything, Bomber CR. These either won't be reliable or they won't be tunable for higher weight.
 

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Elitest thrill junkie
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What does that mean ?

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That means the ratio of the wheel travel to the shock stroke is what dictates how much stress is put on the shock and frame/bearings.
 
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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Older "VPP" blew through the travel because they had wonky leverage curves that exaggerated flat-mid-stroke shock issues. Since they moved the shock to the lower position on most frames, this has eliminated the crazy leverage curve and straightened things up a lot.

In general, most bikes these days are doing around 100% anti-squat through about 1/2 of the travel. Some of the newer horst-links have flattened out their AS curve a lot, so it mimics what a DW link can do. Some like Evil and Canfield achieve a similar AS curve with totally different designs. The more or less constant is most have moved towards 110-90% AS through at least half the travel, then either linearly deceasing or progressively decreasing after about that mark or a little further.

What does this mean? Not much. It doesn't have much bearing on anything related to heavy riders. That's all leverage ratio and other design elements.

In general, you want a low leverage rate, 2:1 ideally, 2.5 or 2.6:1 probably max. Anything higher than that is generally a bad idea for heavier riders. It makes it hard to get the right spring rate or you are maxing out shock pressure. A lot of air shocks have moved to much higher volume setups that require more pressure than older ones. Luckily a few makers have upped the max pressures accordingly, but you are still stressing everything more with a higher LR. Other things you want to consider are the shock bolts, you want as short as possible. Short means less leverage on the bolt itself and less chance of bending. Beefy stout links. Some of the single-pivot bikes like the old SC heckler are a bad idea, because the rear triangle can easily flex side to side and there's nothing on the top-side of the triangle preventing this flex. The shock becomes a stressed member in the system and this leads to all around poor performance and increased shock ware. Similarly, "shock yoke" designs like Specialized loves to do are also something to avoid. This also puts increased stress on the shock and often leads to premature shock failure. Look for large sized pivot bearings.

A lot of how a bike "feels" comes down to the leverage curve and the shock type and tune. This tends to vary quite a bit, with some manufacturers not really setting up the bike properly or with questionable tunes. Some on the other hand tend to nail it. Being a heavy rider, you almost always benefit from a custom shock tune, although only certain shocks can be tuned aftermarket or are available with a specific rider tune. This is also something important to consider, you want a bike with a common shock size, not some proprietary BS or uncommon size. Metric vs. standard doesn't really matter as long as it's not something wacky.

If you don't want to go the custom route, I would highly recommend to look for something with a Fox X2, DHX2, CCDB or Ohlins type shock. These tend to be very tunable for high speed compression and high speed rebound, which is key to setting up the shock to significantly different weight riders. Performance won't be as good as a custom setup, but it's probably the next best thing. What to avoid would be things like Fox DPX2, DPS, RS Deluxe, SID-anything, Bomber CR. These either won't be reliable or they won't be tunable for higher weight.
Damn that is super informative!

I'm looking @ the Stumpjumper Evo expert v Ripmo v SCHT S kit.

However all seem to have the rear shocks you advise against .

Is the leverage ratio listed anywhere ?

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Elitest thrill junkie
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Damn that is super informative!

I'm looking @ the Stumpjumper Evo expert v Ripmo v SCHT S kit.

However all seem to have the rear shocks you advise against .

Is the leverage ratio listed anywhere ?

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Yes, you can calculate the leverage ratio by taking wheel travel and dividing it by the shock stroke, all of which will be listed on the specs for the bike.

Yes, those bikes incorporate several design features that are not conductive to heavier riders, including the yoke-linkages, shocks that are not tuned to heavier riders and/or not appropriate for heavier riders, and so on. I had a Specialized Enduro from a few years ago and while I was not a clyde, one thing that was evident was the frame really wasn't intended to last more than a couple seasons. The rear seatstay had a bearing design that couldn't be removed and it was basically just a disposable part, not good. For some some people will come and say they are riding these frames and they are "just fine", but if you want to set yourself up for success and with as much in your favor as possible, you'll keep looking.

Even a newer Santa Cruz like a hightower would avoid most of these issues. LR is 2.63, importantly the LC is decent, no strange shock mounts, comes with a RS Super Deluxe, which can be re-valved by Vorsprung Suspension in BC. Not that you should get that bike specifically, just that it would be better than the other two you mentioned from a design standpoint.
 
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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Yes, you can calculate the leverage ratio by taking wheel travel and dividing it by the shock stroke, all of which will be listed on the specs for the bike.

Yes, those bikes incorporate several design features that are not conductive to heavier riders, including the yoke-linkages, shocks that are not tuned to heavier riders and/or not appropriate for heavier riders, and so on. I had a Specialized Enduro from a few years ago and while I was not a clyde, one thing that was evident was the frame really wasn't intended to last more than a couple seasons. The rear seatstay had a bearing design that couldn't be removed and it was basically just a disposable part, not good. For some some people will come and say they are riding these frames and they are "just fine", but if you want to set yourself up for success and with as much in your favor as possible, you'll keep looking.

Even a newer Santa Cruz like a hightower would avoid most of these issues. LR is 2.63, importantly the LC is decent, no strange shock mounts, comes with a RS Super Deluxe, which can be re-valved by Vorsprung Suspension in BC. Not that you should get that bike specifically, just that it would be better than the other two you mentioned from a design standpoint.
Thanks for you feedback ! Especially on the specialized .

I mentioned the Ripmo because it has the Fox suspension you recommended + Carbon wheels.

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Elitest thrill junkie
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Thanks for you feedback ! Especially on the specialized .

I mentioned the Ripmo because it has the Fox suspension you recommended + Carbon wheels.

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Yeah, but it has the yoke-mount for the rear suspension, that's not a good idea for heavier riders. They use it to "get around" the seat-tube, but these tend to side-load shocks. Pivot makes similar-travel bikes with DW link suspension without this feature, except they really like the DPX-2 style shocks...but luckily it would be easy to switch the shock on the design due to it being a common size and not proprietary.
 
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Avoid the Speshy. Just my 2 cents.

I'm a big dude who owns three Ibises and another bike, and they all have yoke-mount suspension design. Bigger than you anyway. I haven't had any problems. Granted all of them are fairly newish, but still, not something I'd really be concerned with at your weight. You're still well within the standard deviation as far as weight is concerned.
 

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Btw, just thought I'd add that the leverage ratio for the Ripmo is less than ideal for my weight, and it's taken some work to get it where I need it, but at your weight, you're perfectly fine. It's a fun bike, although way more bike than I and many others need.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Btw, just thought I'd add that the leverage ratio for the Ripmo is less than ideal for my weight, and it's taken some work to get it where I need it, but at your weight, you're perfectly fine. It's a fun bike, although way more bike than I and many others need.
Way more bike as in ? Sluggish ?
Wouldn't a guy your size need / want the extra suspension?

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Bad leverage ratio with low BB height means lots of peddle strikes.

As for Rip being a lot of bike, it’s not necessarily a bad thing. Just depends on what you like. Bigger travel bikes aren’t as efficient. And I don’t need that much travel on 75% of what I regularly ride. That’s why I have other shorter travel bikes.

Also, In the past I did need a bigger travel bike b/c I needed something burly. But these days, with the low and slack geo, there’s plenty strong shorter travel bikes that’ll work.

I don’t know, since Covid hit, I’ve seen a lot of folks who are newbs on bikes way beyond their skill level. Can create unearned confidence=getting hurt.
 

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I'm 6'4", 220-225 and I love my Canfield Lithium. The CBF suspension platform is very supportive and pedals incredibly well, especially for a long-travel 29er. Plenty of pop/support out of corners and off features. No harsh bottom outs.
I have been really interested in the Revel Ranger or Rail that uses the CBF. Thinking the rail might be better suited to big riders as the frame is more Stout, but I don't really need that much travel.

I really care more about how the suspension handles the weight and forces exerted by our mass, especially with regards to climbing, actually more specifically out of the saddle climbing.

I have loved hardtails or rigid bikes because they don't care as much about rider weight (rigid could care less). No worries about fork dive or hang up, just lift the front and and roll. I have been looking for that magical fs that is stout, agile, and doesn't feel numb. Have yet to really find that bike yet, and all the new stuff with 65hta just doesn't make sense for Midwest riding.
 

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As a 193cm and 107kg rider I've found to my cost the challenge of a high leverage ratio on a bike. It just made finding the sweet spot on suspension set up very difficult. Being under or oversprung means the ride is seldom right.

I'd also check overall geometry.
Many manufacturers make the XL frame rear centre the same as the small frame size. So as the front gets bigger, it becomes less well balanced.
Look for brands that make a decent change through each size and not just a few mm.

STA is critical too, steeper can help keep your weight centred especially as we tend to have higher saddle height.

Finally stack height matters so you're not too high or low at the front end. This is more solvable with riser bars and spacers though.
 
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