Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I’m intrigued, want to share your experience with a Cascade link on your bike? Good, bad, indifferent or thoughts?
Good to hear of your positive experience. Links for some bikes however do get bumped to 30% progression or more. The model I am considering is an example. For the Pivot Switchblade it takes it from 25 to 31% with an 8mm bump in travel.I'm using one on a Yeti SB130LR along with a coil. Definitely better than stock for me. I used it with the stock air shock, also, and still impressed. It does everything they say it does. Mine is not 30% progression like the inexperienced gentleman above says.
It goes from 12 to 25. Their web site incorrectly states 15 to 25.Doesnt the cascade bring the yeti from something like 13 to 26? Roughly?
Heard you need to go stiffer on the coil. So you will need to factor that into your cost.
I've installed several. My 30% reference was conservative. CascadeComponents Apr 18, 2021 at 13:05:I'm using one on a Yeti SB130LR along with a coil. Definitely better than stock for me. I used it with the stock air shock, also, and was still impressed. It does everything they say it does. Mine is not 30% progression. I doubt the gentleman above has ridden one.
That is possibly the very best explaination of how Cascade links work that I have ever read, well done SirBased on my experiences, I have to say the need for more progression from the frame/link depends on several factors. In most MTB articles, the reader is often being told that a bike that's more progressive means it's a better bike than one that's less progressive. This is IMHO misinformation.
When we're discussing progressivity of a frame or how progressive it is, what we're actually talking about is the range of leverage ratios. With linear bikes, the leverage ratio doesn't change a lot throughout the stroke, however some bikes do change a lot more throughout the stroke and those modern bikes are progressive.
Example A: With some bikes, you start off with a sag point, let's say 30% is your preferred sag. The bike feels okay for general riding but when you come off big drops or big hits, you bottom out the shock pushing the sag ring off the stanchion. You try to compensate by adding a few tokens, maybe max out the shock with tokens and notice it feels harsh deeper in the stroke because the shock pressure ramps up so much and quickly. Then finally, you try adding more air in the shock and end up with less sag as a result, let's say 22-23% sag. You ride around and find that the bike feels like the rear is too high, it's not as supple on smaller bumps, but at least you get a little better protection during bottom outs and a touch better mid stroke support by sacrificing the rear end being higher than you'd like and less small bump compliance.
This is the kind of issues some riders face. For example you're a hefty rider, in excess of 225 pounds, you like riding off big drops or you're in love with good size jumps. The solution to the above problems can be made through changes in the progessivity of the bike.
Let's use my own bike, a 2018 Trek Remedy 9.8. When I'm not on the bike, the leverage ratio is around 2.92:1 at zero sag. Then as you compress the rear suspension, that ratio drops to about 2.43:1 near the end of the shock stroke. As you know, having more leverage means it's easier to do work. So the Remedy has an easier time getting the shock to move at the start and gradually has to work harder to get the shock to move deeper in the stroke. This means it's softer feeling for the small bump stuff and it tries to prevent harsh bottom out by taking away leverage.
However in Example A, the question is, what is a rider supposed to do? Here comes the Cascade Link. What they seem to offer is a change to your range of leverage ratios. At the start, you may end up having more leverage (for example in the Remedy, the start would be higher than 3:1 as opposed to 2.92:1). Because you have more leverage from the new link, that means if you use the same pressure (or coil spring), the bike will sag even more. This means you have to add more air pressure (or use a heavier weight coil spring) to compensate. This naturally makes the initial stroke zone supple again and by using more pressure (or heavier spring) in the shock, it firms up both the middle and end stroke naturally. However Cascade Link alters the rate in which the leverage ratios change so the bike will lose leverage (meaning the bike will have to work harder to compress the shock) at a faster rate, giving you much more support and bottom out protection than by relying on using a lot of tokens (or compression damping).
This means that towards the end of the stroke, the ramp up will feel less harsh from using the link, than by using the stock link and simply relying on a lot of tokens (which tends to feel very harsh).
So, if you fit into the category of being a heavy rider, ride off big drops or big hits and you find yourself using up too much stroke too easily and you've tried higher air pressures, tokens or coil springs and can't seem to find a nice balance, then the Cascade Link might be the solution for you. It's not for everyone because if you're a light rider that mostly rides flow (smoother) trails, the Cascade Link may prevent you from being able to use all the travel in case of emergencies.
Another way to use the Cascade Link is when you have a bike that's mostly linear and not really progressive. The Kona Process 153 is a linear bike for the most part. The leverage ratios don't change much and this can be a problem for those who want to use a coil shock instead. Having a Cascade Link will provide the bike with some progressivity it needs to use a coil.
Just a few tips: The ramp up affect near the end of your suspension stroke can be achieved in basically 2 ways. The frame's progressiveness or the shock. With Linear bikes, it relies on the shock to do all the work to protect the bike from bottom outs. Bikes like these are very harsh near the end stroke. However when you have a progressive frame, the ramp up will be provided by lowering the leverage ratio the bike has against the shock which will give you a nice ramp up with less harshness. So the bottom line is, progressiveness is preferred to deal with end stroke bottom out and mid stroke support than using the shock.
exactly. those people don't ride aggressively which in turn will be fine on the stock linkJust a third party observer. How much progression a suspension should have is not a one sized fit all number. It is a function of the damper used, travel, and riding style. A coil needs more progression than an airspring, how much depends on the air spring. Some air shocks are close to linear, some have such a steep end curve ramp up, they are nearly impossible to bottom on a frame with a linear rate (remember falling rates and small air cans?). A person who is looking to ride chunky technical terrain with few drops and jumps, is going to want far less progression than someone that rides float trails and hits big jumps and g outs.
There is no just slap it on and it is automatically better. The link may make the shock/frame combo used better for some riders (those who blow through the travel), but will make it worse for others (those who have sag right, but don't use full travel).
Those people would benefit from the small bump sensitivity of the Cascade without having to deteriorate shock performance by using volume spacers.exactly. those people don't ride aggressively which in turn will be fine on the stock link
Same here, for this bike it's a must. The V1 was way to linear and couldn't be properly tuned to be supple up top, have mid support and not bottom out. You could get 2 of the 3 but not all 3. Completely changed the bike. For some bikes I doubt a cascade link makes as much of difference, but for the V1 sentinel it's perfect.I have one on a transition sentinel v1 with the stock air shock. It does everything better, I'd highly recommend it.
Yup, pretty much on point here. Having a progressive suspension and a shock tune together can really help the bike feel more lively and pop off stuff easier than a linear rate frame and just relying on a shock tune alone to achieve similar goals.In my opinion another big thing to consider is the effect on damping. If the leverage on the shock decreases through the travel, the shock will effectively have more damping at the axle, assisting with bottom out support on big compression events while allowing supple high speed compression at the top of the stroke to deal with fast square edges. So even if you managed the same wheel rate spring curve with tokens, the progressive linkage will have more compression damping deep in the travel, and therefore more support. Also a shock packed full of tokens will rebound faster from bottom out vs a shock with no tokens and a progressive linkage, even if the rebound speed around topout is the same.