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I would like to hear people opinion on which suspension you think is better overall (uphill and Downhill) between VPP Vs DW Link Vs Switch infinity. I had multiples Santa cruz bikes in the past and in the past year I got a yeti SB 130 and Ibis ripmo. In my personal opinion is DW Link is better overall suspension, I feel has no effect while breaking when I compare it with the yeti. Also I think climbing with a VPP is not as efficient as the other two system.


What do you guys think?
 

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DW and Switch Infinity are forms of virtual pivot point suspensions.
As for the difference between DW & Switch, one is a swing link and one is a slide link, but they accomplish the same thing.
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Vpp bobs. Don’t let the advertisement fools anyone. Dw link so far I couldn’t replicate bobbing at the same climb.

Switch is like the in between imo. I climb alot more than most people, and actually use it for training, so bobbing bothers me alot. I like a system that doesn’t require flipping the switch under heavy efforts when one can hardly focus on anything else but making the summit.
 

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You'll probably get as many different opinions as replies. The answer (from my opinion) is: depends on the bike!. Even within the same make brand and suspension type, you can have a different dynamic. I've had all 3, and while right now I prefer DW from the bikes I've ridden that doesn't mean I've ridden all the bikes that SC, Yeti, Ibis, and Pivot have made. For example, the previous gen 5010 felt too harsh but it pedaled well while the Bronson felt more compliant but didn't feel as quick on it's feet. The SB6 felt hard as a board, while my old 5.5 had some bob that I managed to dial out pretty well using a X2. A demo Mach 429 felt like a XC race bike while my Mach 6 is more compliant overall but does bob on climbs, and the Switchblade feels somewhere between the two. Pretty straight forward, right? LOL
 

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You can't make useful generalisations from marketing names and basic link layout.

Santa Cruz use what looks like the same thing on the Tallboy and the V10 but I really doubt they have the same leverage ratio and anti-squat curves.
 

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They are all trying to get the same performance while avoiding everyone else's patents and sprinkling as much marketing BS around as they can.
Pretty much this. I'll add that the switch infinity is a more complex way of doing what the other two do, with additional reliability concerns that need not be part of the mix. It's usually better to do something with the least amount of complexity. All 3 aren't exactly the same as far as traits, but they are all pretty close and attempting to get ~100% anti-squat out to about half or 2/3rds of the travel, then dropping off.

The biggest difference is probably in the negative travel, the AS with DW goes way up in the negative travel, to supposedly pull the tire to the ground while climbing, for traction, but while this the biggest difference, it's still really not a significant difference, you spend most of your time from around the sag point to the middle or maybe 2/3rds point of the travel, so these all share very similar characteristics in that realm.

The REAL biggest difference will come down to whether they really tuned the leverage curve for the air shock on there, to combat the initial progressive then flat then progressive again nature of an air shock, whether the shock speced can function adequately and has the proper tune for the bike's suspension. When the bikes are pretty close, like in this case, factors like this and bike geometry will have a much bigger effect. DW or VPP is kind of meaningless, it only refers to one parameter really, there's plenty more for the manufacturer to screw up.
 
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They are all trying to get the same performance while avoiding everyone else's patents and sprinkling as much marketing BS around as they can.
This. All are four links and how each feels is a function of implementation with the tradeoffs between different leverage curves, antisquat, antirise,and pedal kickback. The differences in how the different bikes ride are a result of implementation, shock choice and geometry, not the name of the four bar design they use. Pick a bike based on fit and the tradeoffs in ride you prefer, not the name of the specific four bar design.
 

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I should probably add.
Functionally a slider like Yeti's switch can be replaced with a suspension link at 90° to the slider. That would give the same axle path, easier manufacturing and lower maintenance.

But I don't think they care about any of that.
 

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I think it makes more sense to compare the individual bikes and their particular executions than the basic link layout.

I have owned 2 different DW-Link bikes (IH MKIII and Turner 5-Spot) and the suspensions behave quite differently.
 

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I think it makes more sense to compare the individual bikes and their particular executions than the basic link layout.

I have owned 2 different DW-Link bikes (IH MKIII and Turner 5-Spot) and the suspensions behave quite differently.
Yeah, those were radically different. The first version of the "DW link", the IH bikes, had significantly different characteristics. That's the one that DW tried to sell to Giant, that Giant ended up stealing in the end. That would be a lot more different than any three of these bikes, those bikes did not maintain the nearly level AS levels like the more modern ones do.
 

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I should probably add.
Functionally a slider like Yeti's switch can be replaced with a suspension link at 90° to the slider. That would give the same axle path, easier manufacturing and lower maintenance.

But I don't think they care about any of that.
Great point.


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Yeah, those were radically different. The first version of the "DW link", the IH bikes, had significantly different characteristics. That's the one that DW tried to sell to Giant, that Giant ended up stealing in the end. That would be a lot more different than any three of these bikes, those bikes did not maintain the nearly level AS levels like the more modern ones do.
By 2008 (the model year I had) the MKIII was on the next iteration of DW-Link after the one that Giant was allegedly copying. Based on the limited experience I had trying out a couple of Giants around the same time, it did feel different to me.

Anyway, the point being that just because somethings says DW-Link, does not mean it will feel a specific way. Even when the layout is nearly identical (like with the MKIII and 5-Spot). The layout can be tuned a number of different ways depending on what the bike designer wants. I am assuming the same must be true for the other systems as well.
 

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By 2008 (the model year I had) the MKIII was on the next iteration of DW-Link after the one that Giant was allegedly copying. Based on the limited experience I had trying out a couple of Giants around the same time, it did feel different to me.

Anyway, the point being that just because somethings says DW-Link, does not mean it will feel a specific way. Even when the layout is nearly identical (like with the MKIII and 5-Spot). The layout can be tuned a number of different ways depending on what the bike designer wants. I am assuming the same must be true for the other systems as well.
Yep. Literally a couple of milimeters of change in link length and placement completely changes the knematics of the short 4 bar designs (VPP, DW, KS Link, and so on).
 

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I should probably add.
Functionally a slider like Yeti's switch can be replaced with a suspension link at 90° to the slider. That would give the same axle path, easier manufacturing and lower maintenance.

But I don't think they care about any of that.
At least it's leagues better than the original Switch in terms of both design and durability! lol
 

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By 2008 (the model year I had) the MKIII was on the next iteration of DW-Link after the one that Giant was allegedly copying. Based on the limited experience I had trying out a couple of Giants around the same time, it did feel different to me.

Anyway, the point being that just because somethings says DW-Link, does not mean it will feel a specific way. Even when the layout is nearly identical (like with the MKIII and 5-Spot). The layout can be tuned a number of different ways depending on what the bike designer wants. I am assuming the same must be true for the other systems as well.
I would still hesitate to classify the MKIII as an example of the modern DW Links. It's AS curve significantly decreases through the travel, mid-point only shows around 70%. I can't think of a modern example that isn't around 100% at that point. I think they have done a pretty good job of making most of the modern DW Links behave similar with regards to pedaling, not taking into account differences of travel, where a long travel bike is still going to pedal worse, differences in shock like a coil shock, which will also pedal worse. The thing is that the DW link curve is only one part of the equation and how it feels as far as suspension is still going to be radically different, due to leverage, shock tune, shock type, etc. I'm not saying they all pedal exactly the same, but closer together as a group and different than the earlier bikes, like the MKIII.
 

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IDK... I had a IH 6.8 and it rode DH better than a lot of modern day DW link designs so... to each their own I guess. That said the shock tune was critical as it had a light regressing rate and I had AVY tune it for me. My particular bike won the Fontana DH race back in the day (when Evan Turpen piloted it :)). I've owned many SC and Intense VPP designs that always left me wanting for more because of ramp up when pedaling, especially downhill. To me the Yeti SW link does the best job of reducing any chain input to the rear suspension and second place is not close (unless you want to include Canfield's CS2 design) but again... to each their own.

Have FUN!

G MAN
 

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IDK... I had a IH 6.8 and it rode DH better than a lot of modern day DW link designs so... to each their own I guess. That said the shock tune was critical as it had a light regressing rate and I had AVY tune it for me. My particular bike won the Fontana DH race back in the day (when Evan Turpen piloted it :)). I've owned many SC and Intense VPP designs that always left me wanting for more because of ramp up when pedaling, especially downhill. To me the Yeti SW link does the best job of reducing any chain input to the rear suspension and second place is not close (unless you want to include Canfield's CS2 design) but again... to each their own.

Have FUN!

G MAN
I was not going to go there.... but now that you bring it up.... I actually preferred the suspension behavior of the DW-Link on my MKIII to that of my 5-Spot. It seemed to do a good job of retaining the anti-squat I wanted when pedaling, yet it reacted very well to rocks and roots when pedaling hard over them (like when climbing). I always assumed that was due to the anti-squat dropping off into the travel.

I think the 5-Spot is an overall more efficient climber, but when pedaling over rocks and roots, I think the MKIII did better. While I have not owned any other FS bikes newer than the 5-Spot, my limited experience borrowing or demoing newer FS bikes leaves me with the impression that in general, things have moved more the way of my 5-Spot than of the MKIII. When I do look for my next bike, I want to see if I can find something more like the MKIII (at least in terms of suspension behavior.... I can do without the cracked frames and replacing bearings every 6 months).

Of course, the rear end of the 5-Spot is MUCH better pointing DH, but it is hard for me to suss out how much of that is due to the extra travel, the greatly reduced flex, or the suspension behavior.

I don't think Jayem's point was about which was better though... I think he was just pointing out that DW-links have all moved away from what the MKIII was.
 

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I was not going to go there.... but now that you bring it up.... I actually preferred the suspension behavior of the DW-Link on my MKIII to that of my 5-Spot. It seemed to do a good job of retaining the anti-squat I wanted when pedaling, yet it reacted very well to rocks and roots when pedaling hard over them (like when climbing). I always assumed that was due to the anti-squat dropping off into the travel.

I think the 5-Spot is an overall more efficient climber, but when pedaling over rocks and roots, I think the MKIII did better. While I have not owned any other FS bikes newer than the 5-Spot, my limited experience borrowing or demoing newer FS bikes leaves me with the impression that in general, things have moved more the way of my 5-Spot than of the MKIII. When I do look for my next bike, I want to see if I can find something more like the MKIII (at least in terms of suspension behavior.... I can do without the cracked frames and replacing bearings every 6 months).

Of course, the rear end of the 5-Spot is MUCH better pointing DH, but it is hard for me to suss out how much of that is due to the extra travel, the greatly reduced flex, or the suspension behavior.

I don't think Jayem's point was about which was better though... I think he was just pointing out that DW-links have all moved away from what the MKIII was.
In general, the amount of antisquat in bikes has been increasing over time. For me, I noticed a massive increase going from my FSR Burner (Gen 2) to a TNT 5 Spot (linkage actuated single pivot). The Gen3 Burner, if anything seemed to have a little less AS than the TNT Spot.

If you want more of the feel of the Iron Horse, Knolly is your bike. Noel uses much lower antisquat than other manufactures (but it has been going up a bit on the newer generations) as it is his belief that bobbing should be controlled by the shock platform and the rider should choose if they want to have the extra bump compliance or close the shock for climbing performance.
 

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If you want more of the feel of the Iron Horse, Knolly is your bike. Noel uses much lower antisquat than other manufactures (but it has been going up a bit on the newer generations) as it is his belief that bobbing should be controlled by the shock platform and the rider should choose if they want to have the extra bump compliance or close the shock for climbing performance.
This is good to know. Personal choice. As for me, I demand a bike that I never have to lock out the suspension to climb whereas my GF locks hers out all the time (and too often forgets to unlock it for the downs). Interesting that we’re both riding ‘18 GG frames (mine = Smash w/coils, hers = Shred Dogg w/air). I’m a foot taller than her (6’3” vs 5’3”) and I weigh 90# more than she does. Not sure how these variables factor.

Anyway, to each his own. We’re both happy with the suspension performance of our bikes. Are they optimized? Not sure, but they’re good. Even if they are optimized by today’s standards, next year’s suspension components will likely eclipse this year’s. Like everything else in the universe, bikes are temporary. We both have new ones on order (her = Ibis, me = Canfield).
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