I went with a 4 bar design after reading about the pros and cons of the current designs like 5+years ago. Single pivots arent something I like riding even though they work for others. Getting a design that is active in everything is the way go IMO. There is no design that actually does all that but I think 4bars come pretty close to that.
I have my enduro FSR which I love. I also have a Trek Fuel, with the cantelever thing (I don't know what it's called). FSR is much better. The Specalized web site has a good comparison of different suspension designs, complete with nice animations. Of course they say that theirs is the best, but it's still interesting to see.
for overall riding performance. I own a Specialized FSR and love the way it rides. I will definitely consider that design next time I buy a frame, but I may go to a different manufacturer (nothing against Specialized, but I do like the Turner and Ellsworth designs too).
The only down side to the four bar for me is that in the UK the bearings take a beating due to the very wet conditions. In my opinion, well-built single pivots have a distinct advantage in maintenance. One thing's for sure, I will never buy a "faux bar" single pivot; I want four bar performance along with all those extra bearings!!!!
I have owned a Y22, Rocky Mountain Element, Titus Loco Moto, and now a 5 Spot. There really is a difference with the horst link. I like the Turner design for many reasons plus the uninterupted seat tube.
good reviews in the UK; high quality bushings with grease ports. One UK rag said that the Turner design was so good, you could hardly be blamed for thinking he's a Brit (ok that's a bit of an exaggeration with the state of UK manufacturing, but you get the point)!
In my FSR I've gone to stainless bearings which are far, far better than the stock Specialized bearings, so I think I'm set until I get my next frame.
The FSR is an amazing design and I love riding mine, but I just love the Mantra and its URT even more. It was stiff, fast, and climbed like a monkey. Much better performance than my Stumpjumper even with its crap Fox Alps 5.
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