linkage: Refers to
systems with three articulating levers:
(1) The swingarm.
(2) The seatstay assembly
(3) And a link that drives the shock. The fourth “bar” is the rear section of the frame between the swingarm and upper pivot locations. (Specialized FSR and Intense M-1).
Mac Pherson-Strut suspension: A conventional swingarm that drives a shock that is rigidly attached to the seat-stay assembly. (The Yeti ASR uses modified Mac Strut.)
Swing link: A link that serves no purpose other than to eliminate lateral stress from the shock assembly. (As on the Yeti ASR, and ASX.)
Monoshock: A term stolen from circa ’70 Yamaha motorcycles that refers to a
triangulated swingarm with a single pivot near the bottom bracket. (Santa Cruz Superlight, Foes DH-Mono and Ellsworth Joker.)
Cantilever beam: The simplest design, it uses a large-diameter swingarm with a single pivot near the bottom bracket area (Rocky Mountain RM-7 and Orange 223).
Parallel link swingarm pivot: A pair of linkage arms above and below the swingarm that allow it to swing in a different arc than a conventional single-pivot swingarm. (For examples see the Rocky Mountain ETS-X, KHS’s and Karpiel’s downhillers.)
Horst-link: Any rear suspension that uses a conventional swingarm linked to a seatstay assembly that is rigidly attached to the rear dropout. (Specialized FSR, Intense Tracer, Ellsworth Truth.)
Floating drivetrain (URT): When the bottom bracket is mounted to the swingarm instead of the frame. (The Ibis Bow Ti, GT i-Drive and Maverick American are modifications of the concept.)
Active suspension: Any suspension that reacts to bumps without being affected by braking or pedaling inputs. (Intense Uzzi, Specialized FSR, Ellsworth Truth.)
Reactive suspension (Also semi-active): Any design that is affected by braking and pedaling forces. (Giant NRS, Santa Cruz Blur.)
Progressive rate (Rising rate): Any configuration that amplifies the effects of the spring and shock as the suspension reaches full compression.
Falling rate: Opposite of progressive rate suspension.
Straight rate: A suspension system that causes the spring and damping forces to increase in direct proportion to its rate of travel.
Plain bearings (Bushings): The tubular sleeves of metal or plastic that the suspension’s pivot pins rotate within.
Sealed bearings Generally refers to cartridge-type ball bearings equipped with seals. “Cartridge” describes the fact that the balls, races and seals are permanently assembled into a single unit.