Originally Posted by Revelator
Gnarly wrote.................. "They are swingarm bikes posing as Rigids"
HaHa. Not Mine...... I actually
went with a different color on my softy swingarm so that It stands out more. (Brown frame/Black swingarm)
I wouldn't want any elite
rigid snobs to think I was posin.
His bike is seriously rad.
Ok throw all the cool/not cool or real/fake shit to the side of the road for a little bit. Believe it or not this sort of debate isn't exclusive to the chopper community, it was all the rage in the mountain biking cross country world maybe 12-13 years ago and there is all sorts of data to back it up. A bicycle has a power plant that's effected pretty much in the same way a motorcycles when it comes to efficiency, with a few odd considerations thrown in. For arguments sake I'm leaving the down hill gravity sleds out of the picture, from a power standpoint they are inefficient BarcaLoungers on wheels (fun as fuck though) and road bikes, they are a two wheeled celebration of self induced masochism in the purest form in the best of ways. A true cross country mountain bike is the most similar to a motorcycle. They come in both a rigid and suspended variety, including fully rigid (no front shocks).
1 - Lighter is better, less shit for a motor to haul around suspension adds weight and weight is slower.
2 - Suspension will always out perform a rigid over rougher terrain PERIOD.
3 - A good suspension design (not too heavy and balanced handling vs travel) is more efficient.
a - allowing the bike to absorb irregularities in the road surface without passing them on to both
the rider and the motor allows the rider to go longer before succumbing fatigue, the motor
can operate at a given RPM and load continuously isolated from terrain features without
having to work against what ever loads the terrain would pass along to a rigid unit.
b - what ever efficiency gains are made from the lighter weight are lost over time and distance
when compared to the benefits of a suspended bike.
c - a poorly conceived or heavy suspension design can actually cause a bike to become very
inefficient, robbing a motor of its power due to excessive monkey motion, and may actually
handle worse than a rigid bike and contribute to an increase of rider fatigue.
4 - There is no winning argument for suspension when it comes to direct power transfer from
the motor to the ground. The only slack time from when power is applied at the throttle to
the ground is in the chain. A suspended bike gets to play around with an active suspension
loading and unloading with shifting forces as torque is applied.
5 - Some rigid designs have passive suspension engineered into them, there's lots of ways to
accomplish this, an uninterrupted hoop sectioned chain and seat stay (Yeti is rebound for this design on
mountain bikes) allows for some vibration isolation, others use a slight S bend in the stays to
accomplish a similar effect. The variations of these designs are endless. Again another give
and take because this also negates some of the power transfer but nowhere near what suspension
would. Frame composition can play a part in this, motorcycles are usually mild steel so not so
much unless someone gets a wild hair up their ass and builds a frame with titanium.
What it all boils down to in some instances a rigid bike is going to spank a bike with suspension all across the board, and in others the suspension wins hands down. The trick is to balance things out as it appeals to you. Long distance hauler or quick jaunt bad ass no holds barred rigid. Me, I don't have a choice, if someone messes with my shock settings even just a little I hurt, too soft and it's worse than if it was tuned totally firm.