Mountain Bike Reviews Forum banner

21 - 40 of 46 Posts

·
Elitest thrill junkie
Joined
·
35,025 Posts
It does not require (and does not provide any option for) a remote lockout for rear suspension and it is really cool feature.
Ahem, that's BS. In XC racing, you need a lockout to combat rear end flex, mashing, furious throwing the bike around, etc. I don't care what kind of FS bike it is, it will not transmit power like a hardtail and to that extent, I'd never buy a bike for XC racing that doesn't have a remote lockout option. It' the same reason forks have lockouts.
 

·
chasing simplicity
Joined
·
1,271 Posts
I emailed Unno about it. Here is their response.

 

·
Registered
Joined
·
41 Posts
Discussion Starter #23
Ahem, that's BS. In XC racing, you need a lockout to combat rear end flex, mashing, furious throwing the bike around, etc. I don't care what kind of FS bike it is, it will not transmit power like a hardtail and to that extent, I'd never buy a bike for XC racing that doesn't have a remote lockout option. It' the same reason forks have lockouts.
I have the same thoughts a while ago. I had a lot of FS bikes and always looked for a very firm rear. But after riding some modern bikes with high anti-squat I realized that I do not always need that feeling of a hardtail and I do really need speed in the most conditions during a race. Only race finish position counts, not the feelings. And I still used to lock my front suspension in out of saddle position since I have a lot of weight over my front wheel and I want more support from front suspension that locked position does.

And of course I will use my hardtail on some smooth terrains where I do not need rear suspension at all. I have just some local XC races that offer those smooth trails. The best MTB stage races in mountain areas of Europe are FS demanding with a lot of stones and roots on the course.

In February 2020 I raced Andalusia Bike Race, a famous MTB stage race in Spain. I have finished on 7th position in Masters 30-40 category. The reason I mention it – I have never locked out my rear suspension during the race (even manually using a lever under top tube) and I have never regret it. Last year I did it on hardtail, it was not a huge problem, but it required much more accelerations after some technical stuff and much more concentration on loose gravel\stone accents.
 

·
Elitest thrill junkie
Joined
·
35,025 Posts
I have the same thoughts a while ago. I had a lot of FS bikes and always looked for a very firm rear. But after riding some modern bikes with high anti-squat I realized that I do not always need that feeling of a hardtail and I do really need speed in the most conditions during a race. Only race finish position counts, not the feelings. And I still used to lock my front suspension in out of saddle position since I have a lot of weight over my front wheel and I want more support from front suspension that locked position does.

And of course I will use my hardtail on some smooth terrains where I do not need rear suspension at all. I have just some local XC races that offer those smooth trails. The best MTB stage races in mountain areas of Europe are FS demanding with a lot of stones and roots on the course.

In February 2020 I raced Andalusia Bike Race, a famous MTB stage race in Spain. I have finished on 7th position in Masters 30-40 category. The reason I mention it – I have never locked out my rear suspension during the race (even manually using a lever under top tube) and I have never regret it. Last year I did it on hardtail, it was not a huge problem, but it required much more accelerations after some technical stuff and much more concentration on loose gravel\stone accents.
Congrats on your placement. First of all, high-AS in my mind would be around 130-200% through at least half of the travel, which will ride very bad over rough terrain while pedaling. Normal is around 100% (sometimes a bit more) that counteracts the the rearward weight shift when you pedal. Many bikes will have a steeply falling anti-squat profile, which means whenever the suspension activates, like going over a bump uphill, it gets into a feedback-cycle and saps more and more energy. Less than 100% and you get squat that sucks energy during climbs. So if by "high", you mean well over 130%, then I wouldn't want to be on that bike anyway.

But on light short travel XC bikes, it doesn't make a radical difference either, especially with a lockout. The primary reason for a lockout though is not suspension efficiency, it's simply moving your weight around, thrashing the bike around, making sure that all of those movements are converted to forward movement. I too ride bike with a good amount of AS through most of the travel, a Pivot 429 SL, but even it benefits greatly from a lockout. Even though XC races are now more challenging and varied than in the past, there are still lots of sections where you can take advantage of better power transfer and a stiffer rear end.

I've raced both ways and IMO, you are fooling yourself at the top levels if you think it doesn't make a difference. I'm not saying it's a huge hit either, but at those levels, seconds, even fractions of a second, count.
 

·
Formerly of Kent
Joined
·
12,197 Posts
I think it boils down to usage. The longer a race gets, the less a lockout matters, IMO. If I'm doing a 5 day stage race where I'm grinding up a fire road for 5km at a time to the top of the next singletrack descent, I have plenty of time to reach down and hit a lockout lever, manually.

If I'm racing a 20min short track race, a remote would be very much essential.

Horses for courses.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
55 Posts
Those are two gorgeous bikes! The suspension *looks* a bit like the VPP design from Santa Cruz; I wonder if it feels similar. It seems like everything you read about Santa Cruz, esp the current 2018+ Blur (which I ride) is that it pedals so efficiently you don't need the lockouts.

I never really understood that though, as even a little bit of squish feels sluggish to me when I'm trying put down anything north of 300w. By a wide margin, I prefer to climb locked out, even on an efficient VPP suspension. But in that mode the dampers are so rigid that wheelspin becomes an issue over rocks and bumps, so having the remote lever right there is super useful. I probably toggle it back and forth 3-5 times per km when climbing; it's night-and-day noticeable.

Sent from my SM-G965U1 using Tapatalk
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
217 Posts
Igor,

How much compliance does the Gelu saddle have?

I've often wondered about that. Do you have any other saddle to compare it against for compliance?

They have a wide nose. Do you find your thighs hitting it much?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
846 Posts
Thanks for posting! really cool build. I've been wanting a Horn for over a year now but they are very slow to produce new models and haven't begun making larger sizes yet.

I am one of the people who emailed asking about a remote lockout for the rear. I 100% disagree with his stance that it isn't useful. I don't think any antisquat value is effective enough when standing and pedaling, especially when doing so in a way where you don't hold your body very still (there are many techniques to standing and pedaling).
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,237 Posts
Very nice bikes, and very clearly inspired by the Intense Sniper. Cesar Rojo has been working with Intense for a while on their suspension, so it makes sense. My Sniper Trail has 120mm travel front and rear, 66.5 degree head angle, and weighs 9.9kg with Ikon 2.6 tires, dropper post and DPX2 rear shock. It also doesn't need a lockout for the rear. In fact, I did some testing, and the bike rolls worse with just trail mode activated on anything but the smoothest dirt. And during standing sprinting it is enough to lock the fork, the rear end sits solidly in it's sag point due to the anti squat.
 

·
Thicc Member
Joined
·
1,029 Posts
I could put a lockout on there withe some zip ties, and I would do it without a doubt if I owned this bike. I'm with Jayem; I don't care how good you say your suspension is, I'll still want to lock it out pretty frequently. There is also the issue of pedaling through rock gardens, to keep the bb high with the lockout to avoid pedal strikes. So many reasons to use it. This also allows the open mode to be really open for coasting descents without some tune that compromises with a higher compression to accommodate pedaling.

But why I probably wouldn't buy it is because of the seat tube angle. With those short chainstays and slacked front end, that saddle needs to be close to the center of the bike. You shouldn't have to work to weight the front wheel for a flat corner. For a bike like this, I don't see why they went with such short stays. I'd want something around 440mm, no lie.
 

·
chasing simplicity
Joined
·
1,271 Posts
Seatpost seems pretty much XC-level steep going from 75.1 to 73.7 degrees...no?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
41 Posts
Discussion Starter #33
I'm sorry for not being here for a while.

First of all, high-AS in my mind would be around 130-200% through at least half of the travel, which will ride very bad over rough terrain while pedaling. Normal is around 100% (sometimes a bit more) that counteracts the the rearward weight shift when you pedal. Many bikes will have a steeply falling anti-squat profile, which means whenever the suspension activates, like going over a bump uphill, it gets into a feedback-cycle and saps more and more energy. Less than 100% and you get squat that sucks energy during climbs. So if by "high", you mean well over 130%, then I wouldn't want to be on that bike anyway.
High-AS is just higher AS values than some common bikes have. Yes, I mean AS values on 34-50 gear in some pedaling range of suspension near a sag point. A good suspension in my mind is active on rough terrain and still supportive in terms of pedaling efficiency, that is about 100% AS near a sag point. I would include a progressive rear shock (and frame) characteristics, shock compression and suspension ability to recover to a sag position (rebound) to your feedback-cycle formula.

I too ride bike with a good amount of AS through most of the travel, a Pivot 429 SL, but even it benefits greatly from a lockout. Even though XC races are now more challenging and varied than in the past, there are still lots of sections where you can take advantage of better power transfer and a stiffer rear end.
We are different in assessment of benefits values. Exaggerating, there are Specialized Epic FS with Brain technology and some new bikes with Fox Live (including Pivot Mach 4 SL) that use lockout in event more radical way but they are not noticeably much faster bikes. Yes, totally agree, there a lot of places during short XCO where I would prefer riding FS with remote or even a light hardtail, especially start and finish sprint areas. And there are no huge difference at majority of stage XCM events.

I've raced both ways and IMO, you are fooling yourself at the top levels if you think it doesn't make a difference. I'm not saying it's a huge hit either, but at those levels, seconds, even fractions of a second, count.
This was my topmost concert before building this bike. In my races time on long climbs and fast descends matters and it is not just about seconds even at elite level (I am much slower).

BTW here is my weapon for shorter events that has remote lockout for both front and rear suspensions:
IMG_4503.jpg
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
41 Posts
Discussion Starter #34
There is also the issue of pedaling through rock gardens, to keep the bb high with the lockout to avoid pedal strikes.
A funny fact. I had some pedal strikes before with Scott Spark that had remote lockout and I had zero strikes with Unno. Riding through rock garden is very demanding to suspension itself and not the lockout type.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
41 Posts
Discussion Starter #35
Igor,

How much compliance does the Gelu saddle have?

I've often wondered about that. Do you have any other saddle to compare it against for compliance?

They have a wide nose. Do you find your thighs hitting it much?
Sorry for late response. I would say it is a pretty stiff saddle. I am able to squeeze its wings just for few millimeters by hand. But in same time it feels comfortable to me during a ride.

Yes, its nose is too wide. I would prefer few millimeters more narrow but it is still acceptable to me. I haven't any issues with my thighs and I had no sores after a 6 days stage race.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
41 Posts
Discussion Starter #36

Attachments

·
Thicc Member
Joined
·
1,029 Posts
A funny fact. I had some pedal strikes before with Scott Spark that had remote lockout and I had zero strikes with Unno. Riding through rock garden is very demanding to suspension itself and not the lockout type.
There are a lot of factors involved, from the bb height of the frame to the placebo effect.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
40 Posts
Thanks for the info about the post hardware.

How are your Gemini handlebars holding up? I am thinking about these for my wife's new xcm race bike build.
 

·
Elitest thrill junkie
Joined
·
35,025 Posts
I'm sorry for not being here for a while.


High-AS is just higher AS values than some common bikes have. Yes, I mean AS values on 34-50 gear in some pedaling range of suspension near a sag point. A good suspension in my mind is active on rough terrain and still supportive in terms of pedaling efficiency, that is about 100% AS near a sag point. I would include a progressive rear shock (and frame) characteristics, shock compression and suspension ability to recover to a sag position (rebound) to your feedback-cycle formula.
Well, I think the 100% at the sag point is a fallacy in design criteria, one that Specialized and others have invested in for years, but one that's shown to be faulty in the last 5+ years or so. Even Specialized has changed their Epic to have not more anti-squat, but a flatter anti-squat profile. Halfway through the travel, it's at 90%. The DW Link, Santa Cruz, Yeti and others maintain 100% to 1/2 or 2/3rds of the travel, then it drops off. The idea is that if the suspension activates, like riding over bumps, especially uphill, it won't reach a position where there's significantly less anti-squat, which would require you to pedal a lot harder AND cause your pedal-strokes to compress the suspension. Note, I'm not talking about high anti-squat that is significantly over 100%, that would cause interference between pedaling and bump absorption, but the old school idea of 100% anti-squat at the sag point, and then significantly decreasing, is flawed IME. There are still plenty of bikes like this, but more and more manufacturers have been flattening out the anti-squat curve, which make the pedaling performance much more consistent, uphill, downhill, under load, with more weight rearward, etc.

Bottom line, the 100% at sag point only works if you stay at sag point all the time. That's not the real world. That's more like a totally smooth road IMO. 100% through most of the travel (is still not "high AS") is what's made the newest crop of bikes pedal so well.

That said, low travel (100mm) and light weight will always be easier to ride faster, and race bikes with lockouts can overcome some suspension inefficiency.

If you didn't have decent AS, yes, progressive would pedal pretty poor. Most XC bikes are not very progressive, since they don't see as many bottoming-type events, although the nature of air-shocks is progressive, so they usually end up with some. It's more the all-mountain and big-hit bikes that tend to have more travel progression. Although no one makes them anymore (because they were bad), the falling-rate designs did pedal pretty well, since you needed a much higher spring-rate than normal to avoid bottoming out. Some people can't understand this, but if you think about spring rates and how progressive means "very little resistance"-early on and a whole lot more later, it hopefully starts to make sense.

We are different in assessment of benefits values. Exaggerating, there are Specialized Epic FS with Brain technology and some new bikes with Fox Live (including Pivot Mach 4 SL) that use lockout in event more radical way but they are not noticeably much faster bikes. Yes, totally agree, there a lot of places during short XCO where I would prefer riding FS with remote or even a light hardtail, especially start and finish sprint areas. And there are no huge difference at majority of stage XCM events.
I don't think that's a fair comparison. It would be a fair comparison if there was some FS bike being used by top pros that did NOT have ANY kind of lockout. Then we could see if there is a difference. Bikes like the Epic and ones with the Live Valve do what lockouts do, just with less interaction from the rider. I would imagine no pro would use a bike without some kind of system like this, because it's going to give away too many watts to not have a lockout. Those watts make a difference. We are talking XC race bikes. It always matters.

This was my topmost concert before building this bike. In my races time on long climbs and fast descends matters and it is not just about seconds even at elite level (I am much slower).
Sure, but the seconds DO matter. If you've competed at these high levels, it's flat out amazing how close you can be to other riders over the course of 50KM or more. There's always the random chance effect and to a large extent, that's part of the fun of racing. You "gamble". You put forth your best guess as to what gear you need and how to approach it, and you hope to come on top. After a while, there's a lot less "chance" to it, but through that process, you try to get everything on your side as much as possible. The right tires, the right jersey, the right hydration mix, the correct shock settings, and so on. Each tiny little thing that you can control gets you a little ahead and saves you a little time or makes you able to perform faster. There is a limit to what we can control, but the more you can control everything, the more you can understand your performance and how to get faster.

BTW here is my weapon for shorter events that has remote lockout for both front and rear suspensions:
View attachment 1335701
Looks like a good bike for it.

Could I see an endurance XC race where you don't "need" a lockout? Sure, but by the same token, there are enough that would have long road/smooth segments that it would be a mistake to sell an XC race bike without one, no matter what that XC race purpose is. I don't see a lot of difference in an XCM bike, only that I like slightly beefier tires that are more durable for longer distances. For some people, a "trail" bike may be better for them to do an XCM event on.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
372 Posts
So because some people don't care for lockouts means they would be better suited racing on a trail bike?

To be fair I did race pretty much on a "trail" bike most of the last year. ;-)
 
21 - 40 of 46 Posts
Top