We’ve decided to re-instate the IDEAS LAB, due to all the development work we’re doing for our full suspension 2014 frames. After being blown away with the suspension platform Dean developed for our first FS frame The Hex, we’re expanding this into the world of cross country and maybe just a bit of down hill. Here’s the first of our re-invented and refreshed Ideas labs…The S57.
I came up with the concept for this bike many years ago while riding one of my favourite trails at the time, a downhill trail called S57. S57 is based in the foothills of Mt. Wellington, Tasmania, and is aptly named after the road marker that sits at the trail head. In it’s many years of existence it’s seen a lot of development, both beneficial and sketchy as hell.
Now I had a dilemma, I was beginning to explore the wide world of cycling outside cross country, and had nothing to do it on except a clapped out dirtjumper with a heavily modified RST fork. It hurt. So, so much. Being the bike nerd that I am i decided the easy solution to this dilemma was to develop my own bike. Buying one, I decided, would be too easy (plus I was broke). Please welcome the S57.
Being in development for a few years this thing has seen quite a few revisions, and a lot of hours. Oh boy has it seen a lot of hours! I’m very pedantic when it comes to suspension so if i can’t get my design to translate into a functioning model to my standards I’ll scrap it, so I scrapped a lot of designs. I always aim for a balance between pedalling efficiency and a linear progression on my downhill bikes, because I feel if you can get a downhill bike that shreds the gnar like a champ but pedals like an XC bike (albeit heavier), then that’s a winner.The S57 uses a linkage driven single pivot layout, and produces 8 inches of travel. I find a linkage such as this is beneficial because it allows you to adjust the squat and progression independently, meaning an all round balanced bike. In theory you could also change the characteristics of the bike by using interchangeable links. It was originally designed to be made out of Aluminium, but the scarcity of Alloy factories that work in our numbers forced it more toward Carbon Fibre. No projected weight figures as it’s only a concept, but I would expect it to be on par with most alloy frames on the market; I’d rather sacrifice a few hundred grams in exchange for extra structural integrity any day.
6061 CNC alloy links, replaceable dropouts and Titanium hardware round out this ensemble.
This frame is ever changing, but I feel I’ve finally got it right. Now it’s your turn to let us know what you think.
Stay classy, knights of the realm.