Rebirth of the URT suspension MTB? Say it ain't so

As if by cue, the gods of irony seem to be poking me in the eye. After URT coming up in a bike setup topic just last week… we see this KickStarter shared via a couple of bike media outlets.

Reposting what I shared on one of the sites:

In the world of KS funding projects, this sets a new low bar. The videos and sketches are laughable. The depth of coverage here is less than you’d have for a senior project. I flagged it for a reminder to get a good giggle again in 4 weeks. I’m all for new stuff and people from outside the lines, but you have to do better than we see here.

I can’t decide if this is an elaborate joke (noting the name in particular) or just someone well out of their depth and way short of what is appropriate for sharing wide and far?

https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/paradoxmountainbike/paradox-mountain-bike/description

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I thought at first maybe the sketch in the Bike Rumor article was wrong and there was a pivot either side of the BB shell and that he had some weird floating BB 4-bar (faux-bar) but then watching that video on Singletracks clearly shows that this is just a URT that only works as suspension when seated. Stand up and the force at the wheel has to lift the rider and compress the shock.

URT died a death and should be consigned to the history books.

Yeah, it is essentially a URT considering where the BB is and the fact that it “moves” with respect to the main “triangle”. In the KS and comments in the ST article, the designer is making many grand claims that this design solves the URT problems of old. I have not taken a deep dive into it yet, but I find it hard to believe.

The major change he made using a 4-bar linkage to support the URT vs the single pivot present in all prior models I have seen. This does potentially change things a bit, but I don’t believe that it is the salvation the designer thinks it is.

The 4-bar is a “floating pivot point” when you boil it down to the essentials. The links and their respective pivots create and “Instance Center” that is the effective pivot location at a given point in the travel. From what I can see, the pivot point doesn’t make a major move compared to many of the old URTs with relatively low and BB adjacent pivots.

I may toss this into SolidWorks to play with a bit, and try to understand his claims better, but it might be a fools errand. Either way, he is coming off like he has solved all the worlds suspension problems here, and I find that hard to believe. It may well be a better URT, but my gut says it will still be sub-par when compared to just about any other modern full suspension design.

I can only laugh at this. It’s so horrid. It really doesn’t matter if he designed it as a 4-bar instead of a single pivot. It’s just so laughable.

The kickstarter, is just to fund him, lol. The whole thing is just so odd.

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I’ve never ridden a URT that I can think of, but I’m having a hard time beleiving that a design that moves the BB while under compression would be a trait that I wouldn’t notice. That said, it’s pretty hard to find a unique suspension layout, at least this is that!

Reminds me of the claims on the nailed suspesion design - that layout was so far away from what most people would find appealing that it never attracted enough interest. Dual link, horst link, single pivot and four/faux bar bikes dominate for a reason. I think the biggest suspension innovations are going to come from the suspension companies themselves…

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Me too, that’s the whole thing that sinks URT, for me. I’ve never understood suspension as tying RT movements, to the bottom bracket and hence the pedals, and hence the rider as well as a moving rider reach, moving in direct proportion to the suspension movement. It just seems antithetical to having suspension, which is to decouple all of that.

It just seems so flawed that I think URT should remain dead.

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Right on point to all above. As PinkBike covered in their article documenting the history and demise of URT, it was a solution to a problem long solved with other designs. The two big ones are:

  • Kinematics of suspension motion are so well understood now as compared to the old days. We can fine tune desired performance for conditions so much better than ever. Assisting this is the fact that 1x drivetrains have stabilized the control point of the chain location on the drive sprocket to eliminate one of the problematic variables of old 3x & 2x systems.

  • Shock performance is on another world for compression and rebound control of the suspension.

With that, I just don’t see a need to bring URT back, even if he is able to address the long known issues (which I doubt are real anyway).

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