THIS MTB HIMALAYA
JOURNEY TO SHIMLA
THE BATTLE BEGINS
WEATHERING THE STORM
Draw straight lines through the pivot locations of most dual link designs, and you’ll find they intersect at a point somewhere in front of the bike’s bottom bracket. This “instant center” changes as the suspension compresses, altering the point around which the rear axle rotates.
The relationship of this constantly changing instant center to the line your chain traces as it travels from the gears of your cassette to the top of your chainring determines how well the bike pedals and how sensitive it is to bump forces.
Unlike most dual link designs, the 3VO system’s unique instant center path maintains consistent alignment with the chainline.
Optimal Instant Center and Center of Curvature for All Gears Through Full Range of Travel
The majority of “forward instant center” designs focus on aligning the instant center and chainline during only one stage of the system’s movement. The performance of these designs often varies a great deal, depending on gear combination, terrain, pedaling effort, and where in its travel the rear axle is positioned. These systems often require precise setup of suspension sag and even specially tuned shocks in order to function properly.
Unlike these less predictable designs that project an instant center out in front of the bike’s bottom bracket, the 3VO system projects an instant center behind the bottom bracket and directly along the chainline. The 3VO system’s patented rearward instant center is more effective and consistent than conventional dual link designs because it locates each of its instant center points along the chainline. The 3VO system’s instant center path also creates a consistent anti-rise response and an anti-squat response near 100% throughout the travel range, counteracting rider weight transfer under both braking and acceleration to keep all pedal input driving you forward while allowing the suspension to remain active and responsive to impacts, even while pedaling and braking.
Key Advantages of the 3VO Instant Center
The most efficient propulsion, with no loss of pedal energy due to suspension movement, regardless of gear combination, wheel travel, terrain, and rider power output.
With all drive forces being directed into and through the center of curvature or “virtual pivot” at all points in the travel, the design remains extremely active and supple to absorb even small impacts.
Not Dependent on Gear Combination, Sag, or Rear Shock Tune
The unique pivot location created by the patented 3VO design performs regardless of what gear you’re in, how much sag you prefer, or the specific damping of your rear shock. While we always recommend well made shocks, no special damping or tune is required, and coil springs are welcome.
BRAKE FORCES ISOLATED
System remains highly active and responsive during even the most aggressive braking, and high anti-rise counteracts forward weight shift to maintain stability.
A rear wheel that stays planted while charging through rough terrain is crucial to providing an intimate connection with the trail. 3VO’s initial rearward axle path allows the bike to be supple on small bumps and square edge hits while its tightly tuned relationship with the system’s leverage ratio keeps the suspension highly reactive even while pedaling.
PHASE 3: Falling rate tapers to prevent bottoming
PHASE 2: Controlled falling rate through mid-range
PHASE 1: Slight rising rate through sag point
Changing center of curvature remains aligned with pedal forces
The unique rearward instant center of the 3VO system allows for a highly tunable axle path and takes full advantage of virtual pivot locations, placing the pivot in a location impossible to achieve with a mechanical pivot, and creating a shorter effective lever, allowing the swingarm rotation to feel noticeably quicker and more responsive. A trademark of the design is the short distance between the instant center and the rear axle, which allows for excellent anti-squat behavior and a high degree of responsiveness to bump forces.
The axle path initially moves slightly rearward, allowing the bike to be supple and responsive to small bumps. It's optimized to be at its most rearward position when the bike is just beyond its sag point, allowing for excellent anti-squat stability.
Beyond this point the axle path moves forward, minimizing chain growth and the potential for pedal kickback. The shape of the 3VO’s axle path, allows the system to be highly reactive to small bumps, even under pedaling.
Key Advantages of the 3VO AXLE PATH
Reactive to Square Edge and Small Bump Impacts
The initial rearward phase of the axle path allows the rear wheel to move in the direction of least resistance to bump forces more freely, for excellent square edge and small bump sensitivity.
The rearmost position of the axle is found just beyond the most common sag point, offering additional pedaling stability to the already highly efficient rearward instant center design of the 3VO system.
No Pedal Kickback
After an initial rearward motion, the axle path moves forward at a rate optimized to provide maximum tire clearance for the specific amount of travel of the bike while also ensuring no pedal kickback is felt at the pedals.
Overall Vertical Path
The slight initial rearward motion followed by a balanced forward motion creates an axle path that is predominantly vertical overall, offering improved small bump compliance as well as the ability to absorb larger impacts efficiently.
Imagine having two bikes in one, that’s essentially what we’ve got with 3VO. The tuned multi-phase leverage ratio with initial rising rate provides an unparalleled pedaling platform while remaining keenly adept at sustaining repeated bumps without holdup.
Portal and Hardline's leverage ratio begins with a slight rising rate for an optimal pedaling platform that peaks just beyond the sag point then transitions to a slight falling rate to allow for medium and larger hits to be absorbed efficiently.
Up to just beyond the sag point, the system employs a slight rising rate. Some designs claim an initial falling rate with high initial leverage improves sensitivity and responsiveness, but these claims seem more driven by a need to market a deficiency than by any genuine benefit. Why? Because up until the sag point of the bike, sensitivity and responsiveness are primarily felt when the suspension is able to extend, not compress. The 3VO system excels at stepping down off of ledges and into holes in the trail, without disrupting forward momentum or wallowing during compression. An initial rising rate is almost always more energy efficient and responsive than an initial falling rate.
Beyond the initial slight rising rate, stage two of the system employs a slight falling rate. Combined with the inherent anti-squat and reactive instant center location, this dual stage leverage rate allows the bike to have both excellent pedal acceleration and be very sensitive to bump forces, while also being able to absorb large impacts more efficiently.
Efficiency of the pedaling platform created by the 3VO system is complemented by a comfortable, natural seat tube angle. This promotes neutral weighting when a rider is seated and pedaling.
Reach measurement and seat-tube angle work in conjunction to evenly disperse a rider’s mass when seated. Combined with a natural seat-tube angle, reach measurements for Portal and Hardline promote balanced dynamic weighting, encouraging efficient rider input response in the form of fore-aft weight transfer.
Ability of the front wheel to track effectively with rider input is the result of an optimal steering angle combined with natural front-end weighting. Portal features a neutral head-tube angle optimizing both climbing and descending capabilities while maintaining responsive handling. Hardline, for more aggressive applications, features a slacker head-tube angle to prioritize steep-grade or high-speed riding while producing maneuverability similar to Portal.
Chainstay length has a direct effect on both low-speed maneuvering cababilities and high-speed stability. Portal and Hardline feature rear-center lengths designed to optimize responsiveness to riders' lower body input while also promoting stability at speed.
Portal and Hardline feature an effective ratio of wheelbase length to rider’s body weight location. Portal features a slightly shorter wheelbase than Hardline, placing a rider in a neutral position between the wheels. Hardline has a longer front-center which increases the wheelbase and moves the rider’s weight slightly rearward to encourage confidence on steeper-grade terrain.
PORTAL CARBON FIBER
HARDLINE CARBON FIBER
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