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Discussion Starter #1
I have been seeing this mentioned form time to time and how nice this version is over maybe other models of f/s bikes. What makes the Horst a preferred suspension model?

I just bought a KHS XC204 frame as a project and one poster stated that it has the Horst rear model which is sweeeet! If it is so sweeet, why are there other models and this not the industry only????
 

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It is a suspension type. Specialized bought the patent several years ago, and you must now pay them to license it in the USA.

Several other suspension platforms have been developed to give a similar or better ride characteristics.

It is used very extensively outside of the US.
 

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The horst link (HL) is a link below and in front of the drop out. It was created by a fellow named Horst Leitner in the late 80's/early 90's when he was designing the first FSR for Specialized.


The HL was designed to reduce brake and peddling effects on the rear suspension and to keep the suspension as active as possible.

As people have mentioned, Specialized owns the patent and you can't sell a HL bike in the USA without a deal with them. In Europe, there are many bikes that use the HL and many are very, very good (ie. Lapierre).

When the HL patent expires 2012, expect a lot more HL bikes in the US, which honestly, will be a great thing for consumers.
 

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I own a Turner Horst Link bike and it was a great system back in the day.
I recently demoed an Ibis Mojo with the DW-link suspension design which I found to be much better than the Horst link.
Try a DW-link.
 

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Very few companies use horst link. Why? Because it's not very good.

Cheers, Scott
 

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Vespasianus said:
The horst link (HL) is a link below and in front of the drop out. It was created by a fellow named Horst Leitner in the late 80's/early 90's when he was designing the first FSR for Specialized.


The HL was designed to reduce brake and peddling effects on the rear suspension and to keep the suspension as active as possible.

As people have mentioned, Specialized owns the patent and you can't sell a HL bike in the USA without a deal with them. In Europe, there are many bikes that use the HL and many are very, very good (Lapierre).

When the HL patent expires 2012, expects lots more HL bikes in the US, which honestly, will be a great thing for consumers.
Wasn't Horst designing suspensions for ATK when he came up with this design?
 

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scottzg said:
Very few companies use horst link. Why? Because it's not very good.

Cheers, Scott
Titus, Norco, KHS, Ellsworth, Lapierre, Boardman, Sunn, Nicolai are just a few of the excellent bike companies making HL bikes. Most are European and are some of the highest rated bikes made.

All suspension designes have positives and negatives. Plain and simple. Nothing is perfect and for the most part, suspension systems are all very good.
 

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NedwannaB
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Ditto

Vespasianus said:
KHS are some of the highest rated bikes made. All suspension designes have positives and negatives. Plain and simple. Nothing is perfect and for the most part, suspension systems are all very good.
For my sake I hope this is true, contrary to what scotty said, as I am going to be building up a 555 soon. I doubt they would pay the Big "S" top dollar for patent use of the suspension if the bike wouldn't perform. :cool:
 

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I've ridden/owned bikes featuring most of the common suspension systems available (single pivot, rocker links, DW, Horst/FSR, etc.). The Horst/FSR system is the one I keep coming back to. I don't find much in the way of negatives. Perhaps I'm not as exquisitely attuned to the ins and outs of bike suspension as some other folks in this thread.

I wouldn't say Horst is the be-all-end-all of bike suspension, but then I don't think there is one.
 

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Vespasianus said:
Titus, Norco, KHS, Ellsworth, Lapierre, Boardman, Sunn, Nicolai are just a few of the excellent bike companies making HL bikes. Most are European and are some of the highest rated bikes made.

All suspension designes have positives and negatives. Plain and simple. Nothing is perfect and for the most part, suspension systems are all very good.
Well, I wouldn't say that at all. Only SOME of those companies are "excellent" IMO, some are downright shady.

Sure, all designs have tradeoffs, but it's pretty ignorant to think that suspension does not advance and that you can get a better bikes with less negatives these days (and in the future).

I have a horst link bike, and a "TNT" single pivot, but I've owned others and demoed about everything else out there. The TNT actually pedals better than my horst link, which simply squats (and robs power) excessively when the grades get steep in my middle-ring. I have to shift to granny to make it "keep going", not because the grade is too steep, but because the difference in energy transmission is significant. I usually run the same gear combo as if I was running middle ring. My 'TNT" bike only has one ring up front though, so from a design standpoint it was much eaiser to make it pedal well in the range of gears it was designed to be equipped with. It's much more challenging to make a bike that is designed to have 2 or 3 rings up front.

The better braking characteristics with the horst link can be nice, but they can also "extent" and stinkbug under braking, not to mention that most single pivots "squat", which helps keep the geometry better suited for heavy braking. These traits are not always very significant and negated by some of the parallel link designs and active-braking-pivot designs we see today.

All in all, the difference between a well designed horst link and a well designed linkage-single-pivot like my TNT turner is pretty much nil. Put a better shock on one and it will be the better bike. Put the exact same parts on both and you'll find very little differenc, and slight advantages to each in certain situations.

If I wanted a new bike, the suspension would be ONE of the very important considerations, but not the only one. There are a few systems that I would consider, but the bike has to be complete from all the other aspects as well. That said, I was amazed by the power transfer of the DW link on flat and uphill surfaces especially. This was combined with very active suspension under power and ability to absorb square-edged hits. This is what I'd probably try to get for a new bike, although I'd be open to a few other designs.
 

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NedwannaB
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Given 'all' that jm....

Jayem said:
Well, I wouldn't say that at all. Only SOME of those companies are "excellent" IMO, some are downright shady.

Sure, all designs have tradeoffs, but it's pretty ignorant to think that suspension does not advance and that you can get a better bikes with less negatives these days (and in the future).

I have a horst link bike, and a "TNT" single pivot, but I've owned others and demoed about everything else out there. The TNT actually pedals better than my horst link, which simply squats (and robs power) excessively when the grades get steep in my middle-ring. I have to shift to granny to make it "keep going", not because the grade is too steep, but because the difference in energy transmission is significant. I usually run the same gear combo as if I was running middle ring. My 'TNT" bike only has one ring up front though, so from a design standpoint it was much eaiser to make it pedal well in the range of gears it was designed to be equipped with. It's much more challenging to make a bike that is designed to have 2 or 3 rings up front.

The better braking characteristics with the horst link can be nice, but they can also "extent" and stinkbug under braking, not to mention that most single pivots "squat", which helps keep the geometry better suited for heavy braking. These traits are not always very significant and negated by some of the parallel link designs and active-braking-pivot designs we see today.

All in all, the difference between a well designed horst link and a well designed linkage-single-pivot like my TNT turner is pretty much nil. Put a better shock on one and it will be the better bike. Put the exact same parts on both and you'll find very little differenc, and slight advantages to each in certain situations.

If I wanted a new bike, the suspension would be ONE of the very important considerations, but not the only one. There are a few systems that I would consider, but the bike has to be complete from all the other aspects as well. That said, I was amazed by the power transfer of the DW link on flat and uphill surfaces especially. This was combined with very active suspension under power and ability to absorb square-edged hits. This is what I'd probably try to get for a new bike, although I'd be open to a few other designs.

Being a 'light' xc rider and all, weight wise I mean, the horst link will suit me fine, yes?? :cool:
 

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Jayem said:
Well, I wouldn't say that at all. Only SOME of those companies are "excellent" IMO, some are downright shady.

Sure, all designs have tradeoffs, but it's pretty ignorant to think that suspension does not advance and that you can get a better bikes with less negatives these days (and in the future).

I have a horst link bike, and a "TNT" single pivot, but I've owned others and demoed about everything else out there. The TNT actually pedals better than my horst link, which simply squats (and robs power) excessively when the grades get steep in my middle-ring. I have to shift to granny to make it "keep going", not because the grade is too steep, but because the difference in energy transmission is significant. I usually run the same gear combo as if I was running middle ring. My 'TNT" bike only has one ring up front though, so from a design standpoint it was much eaiser to make it pedal well in the range of gears it was designed to be equipped with. It's much more challenging to make a bike that is designed to have 2 or 3 rings up front.

The better braking characteristics with the horst link can be nice, but they can also "extent" and stinkbug under braking, not to mention that most single pivots "squat", which helps keep the geometry better suited for heavy braking. These traits are not always very significant and negated by some of the parallel link designs and active-braking-pivot designs we see today.

All in all, the difference between a well designed horst link and a well designed linkage-single-pivot like my TNT turner is pretty much nil. Put a better shock on one and it will be the better bike. Put the exact same parts on both and you'll find very little differenc, and slight advantages to each in certain situations.

If I wanted a new bike, the suspension would be ONE of the very important considerations, but not the only one. There are a few systems that I would consider, but the bike has to be complete from all the other aspects as well. That said, I was amazed by the power transfer of the DW link on flat and uphill surfaces especially. This was combined with very active suspension under power and ability to absorb square-edged hits. This is what I'd probably try to get for a new bike, although I'd be open to a few other designs.
If you have issues with Ellsworth as a company that is one thing, but their bikes actually ride very well. I have ridden TNT turners and they are nice but comparing a proper HL bike with any old single pivot bike is silly and just BS.
 

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Vespasianus said:
I have ridden TNT turners and they are nice but comparing a proper HL bike with any old single pivot bike is silly and just BS.
Silly and BS is to claim that a "proper" HL bike are somehow magically better in any significant way. They are not. I would take, say, a Ventana or Yeti frame over Specialized or even Horst Turner, or Elsworth any day. Single pivot bikes pedal and brake and ride just fine - and in many cases better.
 

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el_chupo_ said:
It is a suspension type. Specialized bought the patent several years ago, and you must now pay them to license it in the USA.

Several other suspension platforms have been developed to give a similar or better ride characteristics.

It is used very extensively outside of the US.
He developed it with AMP research. Specialized bought it later
 

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Curmy said:
Silly and BS is to claim that a "proper" HL bike are somehow magically better in any significant way. They are not. I would take, say, a Ventana or Yeti frame over Specialized or even Horst Turner, or Elsworth any day. Single pivot bikes pedal and brake and ride just fine - and in many cases better.
And, as is always the case, there's no accounting for individual taste. I've owned several single-pivot bikes including a nicely built 575. Great bike, but there's no way I would report that it pedalled better than any of the Horst/FSR bikes I've owned ('10 Enduro, Horst RFX, etc.)

Try climbing an extremely steep, rocky/ledgy trail (for instance, National Trail in Phoenix) in the little ring on a SP vs Horst bike and you'll see the difference.

Again, not saying Horst is the best thing out there and I generally like single pivot bikes. But I also feel the need to give credit where it's due.
 

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Vespasianus said:
If you have issues with Ellsworth as a company that is one thing, but their bikes actually ride very well. I have ridden TNT turners and they are nice but comparing a proper HL bike with any old single pivot bike is silly and just BS.
Sorry, I gotta say that overhyping the Horst link as some godsend FS system is just silly and BS. I've ridden ellsworths and many other horst lnks (owned 4 of em myself) and no, it's not all that. Ellsworth's entire premise is pretty shady, in terms of how they explain their bikes, the advantages, the claims, and so on. Yeah, a shady manufacturer that has mislead people on many accounts. The others that you mentioned have either put out some pretty lackluster bikes, or simply do not do enough volume to really be noticed. Not the "excellent" manufacturers like you claim.

What part of the claim do you not agree with? There are some advantages to HL, there are some advanages to SP(linkage driven), there are no big advantages with HL at all though.
 

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Blatant said:
And, as is always the case, there's no accounting for individual taste. I've owned several single-pivot bikes including a nicely built 575. Great bike, but there's no way I would report that it pedalled better than any of the Horst/FSR bikes I've owned ('10 Enduro, Horst RFX, etc.)

Try climbing an extremely steep, rocky/ledgy trail (for instance, National Trail in Phoenix) in the little ring on a SP vs Horst bike and you'll see the difference.

Again, not saying Horst is the best thing out there and I generally like single pivot bikes. But I also feel the need to give credit where it's due.
Well, your RFX most likely had a coil shock (mine does, and 99% of em do) and 6.4" of travel, that is going to give you FAR more traction than the 575, and it ain't because it's a horst link. I can moto and power up stuff on the RFX that others can't clear on their wimpy XC bikes, but it ain't because it's a horst link...as evidenced by the pic of a non-horst link bike :)

My highline does pedal better than my RFX uphill. When the going gets steep the RFX boggs way more and effort dramatically goes up with little gain, the highline keeps going with much more consistant effort. On level ground I like the RFX better due to being lighter and such, but if bike weight wasn't an issue, I'd take the highline due to it's better pedaling characteristics, although it's optimized for only one ring up front, but that's fine because I usually ride in the middle ring on all my bikes, just that my RFX kind of forces me to use the granny to avoid the excessive squat, even though it still squats in the granny.

I think that Specialized may have backed themselves into a corner with their horst link patent. It worked great for a while in terms of sales and development, but now the industry is getting past it. It's not that they are useless bikes or anything, but better things can and will be developed.
 

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No Clue Crew
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I've sadly been reading your posts long enough to realize that you do, in fact, know it all. With that understanding, I'll choose to stand by my own years of experience and not argue with you about suspension.

My Turner had an air shock, as did my Enduro, as did my Yeti, as did my Prophet, as did my Monk as does my El Guapo, etc, etc., ad nauseum. You're smart enough to figure out the picture I'm painting. I've reported my particular experiences with a variety of bikes. I like Horst bikes. I like SP bikes. I like DW bikes. Hell, I like hardtail 29ers, too. Have a good day.
 
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