Dave Weagle explains the Devinci Split Pivot Suspension Design
What is Split Pivot?
Along with the Axis Technologies, Dave Weagle’s Split Pivot is the heart of our three new full suspension bike designs. The goal behind the complex engineering in the Split Pivot is to make the suspension transparent to the rider so that they can enjoy the ride and have fun. Dave’s approach to suspension is one that seeks to maximize bump compliance, traction, and efficiency; factors that are typically at odds with each other. The patented Split Pivot technology backed up with DW’s engineering approach give the bikes their incredibly active small bump compliance, and at the same time allows them to achieve pedal efficiency that will surprise even the most experienced riders. The system is called Split Pivot because of the concentric rear dropout pivot placed in line with the rear wheel axle, but there’s more to it than just that.
The concentric rear dropout pivot, along with careful swing arm and linkage pivot location allow for a level of performance that is so good you’ll hardly notice the suspension at all. When you pedal, the bike rockets forward, when you corner, the bike nails your lines, when you brake, the bike maintains traction. Forget about shock lockouts, this finely tuned blend of traction and efficiency makes bikes for any discipline perform better so that you can enjoy the trails.
How does Split Pivot work? Split Pivot’s concentric dropout pivot design separates acceleration forces from braking forces in the suspension. The system is engineered through careful pivot placement to reduce excess suspension reaction to acceleration forces, and at the same time reduce excess reaction to braking forces. Braking neutrality can be tuned independently of acceleration characteristics, and suspension feel can be tuned by varying leverage ratio curves in a wide range of options to suit different goals in suspension feel and riding discipline.
Split Pivot engineering
2011 is the most aggressive new MTB model lineup that Devinci has ever produced, and we wanted to make these new Split Pivot models our best bikes ever. We knew that achieving this goal would require us to challenge ourselves, and an injection of new ideas and processes. When we sat down to develop the new models, engineers from Devinci met with Split Pivot designer Dave Weagle and we discussed our goals for the performance of each new model. These goals are not always the same. For example, the needs of a high performance XC bike are different than those of a World Cup downhill chassis. Once the team had an idea of the performance goals that they want to meet, DW developed suspension kinematics that tuned pedaling and acceleration characteristics along with leverage ratios to work in unison with third party air springs and dampers.
Our World Cup downhill chassis was designed to help the world’s fastest riders go faster. It uses a unique pull-link Split Pivot design that helps to keep the bike’s shock and chassis low and centered. Leverage ratio is optimized for coil springs, and it features a motocross inspired shape that is progressive throughout the entirety of the travel. Its long 89 mm stroke shock and end travel leverage ratio ramp combine with its 216 mm of travel for a bottomless feel. Downhill racing is a game of seconds, and the Wilson’s main pivot location gives a perfect balance of square edged bump compliance, cornering feel, and pedaling performance.
The Dixon is the best performing all-mountain trail bike that Devinci has ever made. Its design epitomizes the amazing balance of small bump compliance, traction, and efficiency that the Split Pivot suspension design is capable of. Its leverage ratio was designed with air shocks in mind, and was specifically developed to work with available off-the-shelf shocks, so that no custom parts like inertia valves or dual rate control valves are required. With 145 mm of efficient and bump eating travel, this bike is made for having fun and enjoying the ride.
The Dexter is Devinci’s high performance XC bike, with the pedigree and performance of a thoroughbred. The Dexter is a bike that will surprise many riders. It’s not often that a 110 mm travel bike like this can have such an amazing blend of explosive acceleration and plushness. The secret to this unique combination is the Split Pivot’s concurrently engineered anti-squat, braking, and leverage ratio curves. With an emphasis on integration with the latest in dampers and air springs, we’ve given the Dexter performance capabilities that were bred to make the strongest riders even stronger.
The integration of the Split Pivot to our frames has also been engineered to offer a very low shock leverage ratio. This provides a suspension that is more sensitive to the terrain and is more responsive to tuning. It also means that the shock, pivot shafts and bearings take less of a beating because the internal loads in the suspension system are lower. In short, this is a more tuneable, durable and reliable suspension system.
Split Pivot Testing and Tuning Designing a bike on paper and manufacturing it is only the first step in our process. In addition to superior design engineering features, the rear shocks on all of our Split Pivot models have been custom tuned by Dave Weagle, in direct collaboration with world class suspension manufacturers and skilled test riders. Dave personally rode our bikes on his favourite East Coast XC trails and Downhill spots. He worked with the shock manufacturers to perfectly adjust the internal and external settings of their latest offerings to extract every last drop of traction, efficiency and performance from our 2011 bikes. This custom tuning is the key element to make sure that each unique shock works in perfect harmony with the Split Pivot, thus giving our bikes their superior suspension feeling and a ride that will make you want to be on your bike more often.
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