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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Does anyone know a bike co or frame builder that can build a custom DW-Link frame? I can't quite find the frame I'm looking for from the various DW-Link builders out there (Iron Horse, Turner, Pivot, Ibis). I really want a 5" travel (front & rear) bike that's more XC than AM, but not so much XC that it's twitchy or whippy.

Here's what I'm looking for in geometery specs:

Head tube: 4"-4.33" length Tapered head tube with a 1.5" at bottom tapered to 1.125" at the top with zero stack
Seat tube: approximately 17.5" from center of BB to top tube
Seat post diameter: 30.9 mm
Head tube angle: 69.5 degrees
Seat tube angle: 72.5 degrees
BB height: 13"
Effective top tube length: 22.75"
Chainstay length: 16.75"
Other: sealed cartridge bearings at all pivots, setup to use a Fox RP23 7.5" x 2.0", disc brake only, cable routing on the underside of the top tube setup so I can run full derr housing

ideal otal frame weight with shock: 5 - 5.5 lbs

Is this possible? Thoughts?
 

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Good luck...

I think the answer is probably no. You want an ultralight all-mountain bike with a specific (patent protected) suspension design and a host of non-standard features. Sounds like a recipe for an unhappy builder and an unhappy customer as well, to me.

Get a Turner.

-Walt

ThornPatch said:
Does anyone know a bike co or frame builder that can build a custom DW-Link frame? I can't quite find the frame I'm looking for from the various DW-Link builders out there (Iron Horse, Turner, Pivot, Ibis). I really want a 5" travel (front & rear) bike that's more XC than AM, but not so much XC that it's twitchy or whippy.

Here's what I'm looking for in geometery specs:

Head tube: 4"-4.33" length Tapered head tube with a 1.5" at bottom tapered to 1.125" at the top with zero stack
Seat tube: approximately 17.5" from center of BB to top tube
Seat post diameter: 30.9 mm
Head tube angle: 69.5 degrees
Seat tube angle: 72.5 degrees
BB height: 13"
Effective top tube length: 22.75"
Chainstay length: 16.75"
Other: sealed cartridge bearings at all pivots, setup to use a Fox RP23 7.5" x 2.0", disc brake only, cable routing on the underside of the top tube setup so I can run full derr housing

ideal otal frame weight with shock: 5 - 5.5 lbs

Is this possible? Thoughts?
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Walt said:
I think the answer is probably no. You want an ultralight all-mountain bike with a specific (patent protected) suspension design and a host of non-standard features. Sounds like a recipe for an unhappy builder and an unhappy customer as well, to me.

Get a Turner.

-Walt
I don't quite understand why I would end up as "an unhappy customer" since this is exactly what I want. I do understand that the DW-Link is a patent protected design, I just didn't know if there were any custom builders that licensed this design. But if it's not possible then I'm glad I found out now before I wasted too much time dreaming about it.
 

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those are some extremely weird wants.. how'd you decide you want up to 4.33 inches for a head tube? why not 4.4 or 4.30? why a 7.5 shock instead of the much more common 7.875 shocks with the same stroke? why the 30.9 post?

have you ridden the turner, pivot or ibis bikes? i bet you'd find one you love.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
One Pivot said:
those are some extremely weird wants.. how'd you decide you want up to 4.33 inches for a head tube? why not 4.4 or 4.30? why a 7.5 shock instead of the much more common 7.875 shocks with the same stroke? why the 30.9 post?

have you ridden the turner, pivot or ibis bikes? i bet you'd find one you love.
You're right, they are "wierd" wants, but that's why I was looking for a custom build, beacuse I have some "wierd" body dimensions.

Desired head tube length was an approx range of 4" - 4.33", so it's not exact but the idea was that I didn't want a tall front end.

Based on my desired frame sizing I thought it would be easier to fit a 7.5 shock in the smaller front triangle than a 7.875. If a longer shock is easier to build, than I'm ok with that.

I would like to be able to use some of my existing parts including my 30.9 mm Thomson Masterpiece seat post.

I have rode the DW-Link before; I owned an older iron horse dw-link bike, and recently demo'd a friend's Turner flux for 2 weeks. I really liked the Flux but felt it didn't quite "fit" me, even with a few mods.

I had a custom built hardtail several years ago before going to full suspension. Beacuse that bike was custom fit just for me it handled way better than any "off-the-shelf" bike I every owned. I was hoping to duplicate that same experience with a fs bike.

But, since the DW-Link isn't available from a custom frame builder, I'll just have to wait until Turner, Pivot, or one of the other DW-Link manufacturers comes up with a frame that close to my specs.
 

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Tough crowd, eh?

It can be done, but probably not by any existing (aluminum)custom guys. One or two may be capable of doing it, but I doubt that they'd be willing.

Anything is possible, but I imagine that the cost would be 5X what you'd be willing to pay, unfortunately.
 

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Ride the dream
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<Thinking out loud>

Is there any reason you couldn't just get a steel front-triangle fabbed up with the geometry you want that will link up with a rear-end from a DW bike (a mkiii for example)?

Wouldn't be cheap I suspect (and your stays probably wouldnt be the length you want) but seems like the closest you'd get.
 

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Sounds like a fun project , not sure of DW would grant his god like permission to a smaller frame builder allowing them to do this thought .

English T has a decent idea but your still working within a grey area in patent law , I know of several smaller frame builders working on their own proprietary suspension systems so it might be better to wait and see what's available within the next year as the economy get's a bit better .
 

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I was going to do this exact thing with my MKIII. I dis-assembled and made a full sized drawing of the pertinent points, shopped and bought the tubing.

Then...I-horse went out of business and linkage hardware for the frames became hard to come by. Well, it was a fun thought but I'm on to the next great idea that I can waste my free time on and I've got some tubing to use up too. :)
 

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you move a pivot just a couple mm and it rides different though.. maybe worse, maybe better, maybe not. turner has had their problems with the dw link setup, and ibis did too until the lopes link. mkiii's all cracked. its just a super picky design. the geo might be right for you, but the rest is almost a crapshoot.

plus the ibis is near spot on what you're asking for.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
I really appreciate everyone's input, and didn't mean to open a big can of worms.

I really loved my old custom hard tail, and was hoping to do the same with what I think is one of the better fs designs that works for my style of riding. I haven't tried all the various fs designs out there, so maybe there's one better for me than the DW-Link, but the truth is every design has its draw backs.

Maybe the answer is a custom softtail with a slack head tube. . . but that's a different story.
 

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Delirious Tuck
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have you spent long enough on the DW link to know its the one for you? Or are you into it b/c of e-reviews? I think if you're willing to try a bunch of different suspension designs, like those that some custom builders currently have in their pipelines, you'll be a happier camper. do your homework full and buy once, cry once.
 

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Your frame specs are within a few millimeters in ETT of a medium Mojo or 5-Spot using a layback seat post and 130mm fork except 1/2 inch more travel that you could run firmer to limit to 5 inches. You'd have a 13" BB height, 69.5' head angle, adjust your seat to the desired effective STA. Standover is great on those bikes. You might have to go to a small size to get the ETT you want using a layback seatpost. The Mojo is a little lighter and the 5-Spot a little heavier than your desired weight range.

When that close in frame geometry then sag, handlebar fit, and seat position make more difference in fit than exact frame geometry.

Get a demo on either of those two and see if its what your want in a custom build.

Independent Fabrication may have the license to do a custom center frame for you. A few years ago they had a 5 inch travel DWL on the drawing board maybe prototyped but never produced.

DW designs every DWL suspension himself. So unless the suspension design exists already with a licensed builder it will be very expensive to do a one-off DWL suspension.
 

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..

derby said:
Your frame specs are within a few millimeters in ETT of a medium Mojo or 5-Spot using a layback seat post and 130mm fork except 1/2 inch more travel that you could run firmer to limit to 5 inches. You'd have a 13" BB height, 69.5' head angle, adjust your seat to the desired effective STA. Standover is great on those bikes. You might have to go to a small size to get the ETT you want using a layback seatpost. The Mojo is a little lighter and the 5-Spot a little heavier than your desired weight range.

When that close in frame geometry then sag, handlebar fit, and seat position make more difference in fit than exact frame geometry.

Get a demo on either of those two and see if its what your want in a custom build.

Independent Fabrication may have the license to do a custom center frame for you. A few years ago they had a 5 inch travel DWL on the drawing board maybe prototyped but never produced.

DW designs every DWL suspension himself. So unless the suspension design exists already with a licensed builder it will be very expensive to do a one-off DWL suspension.
Agreed - the Ibis sounds pretty close to what you are looking for. We used to do a lot of custom frame building, in fact, that's all we did. It is very time consuming and expensive to build the jigs - and we also realized that unless the person was 6 feet 7" or 4'11 - a range of sizes usually did the job with proper sizing. Just my 2 cents.
 
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