A recent discovery by Bikerumor unveils a potentially groundbreaking advancement in mountain bike shock technology. SRAM’s patent introduces shock eyelet mounts equipped with elastomers or rubber springs strategically positioned between the shock and the bike frame. These elastomers are ingeniously designed to absorb the high-frequency vibrations generated by minor bumps and uneven terrain.
Mountain bike suspension systems, especially air suspension, have historically struggled to effectively respond to these subtle fluctuations in ground force. While these low-amplitude yet high-frequency vibrations might seem insignificant, they can contribute to rider fatigue and joint discomfort. The incorporation of elastomers offers a promising solution, potentially delivering a more responsive and comfortable riding experience.
The elastomers not only respond to the small vibrations that air shocks may struggle with, but they also have the potential to enable the suspension to compress slightly earlier upon encountering a bump. This early responsiveness can significantly impact ride comfort, variation in contact patch load, grip, and overall performance. SRAM SRAM SRAM SRAM SRAM SRAM
In contrast to RockShox forks’ ButterCups, which provide only modest benefits due to friction, these shock elastomers collaborate seamlessly with the entire shock system. Consequently, they require minimal effort to overcome suspension linkage friction and start functioning. Furthermore, the rear wheel’s movement can be amplified compared to the shock’s compression, potentially resulting in up to 12 mm of rear axle movement if the elastomers can compress by 4 mm.
One notable advantage of this design is its accessibility. The elastomers can be easily swapped out for alternatives with different levels of hardness, enabling riders to fine-tune their suspension to match their weight and preferences. However, it remains uncertain whether this technology can be retrofitted to existing shocks, and compatibility with various frame types may pose challenges.
While the production prospects of this concept remain uncertain, it represents an exciting development in the world of mountain bike suspension technology. Keep an eye out for unconventional-looking shocks in the future, as this patent could potentially pave the way for significant advancements in the field.