influencers on Geometry & Suspension

2/1/2024 4:18am

Hello, trying to find most influencing persons on Geometry (like Gary Fisher, Ceasar Rojo,..???) Who else involves in some greater steps in MTB geometry???

And the same for Suspension? I´ve only noticed Horst Leitner, Dave Weagle,...but who else did something big for suspension?

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2/3/2024 5:15am

Don't forget the racers either: Nico Vouilloz, Fabien Barel, Greg Minnaar are the ones that spring to mind first but I am sure there are others that pushed the envelope too!

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Maxipedia
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2/3/2024 6:56am

As far as I know, Gary Fisher has influenced MTB geometry twice: once in the 80's and then exactly in 1998, when Fisher bikes were the first to have longer top tubes and shorter stems plus shorter chainstays. They called it the Genesis geometry back then. Bikes typically had 120-135 mm stems on medium/large sized bikes, Fishers sported 80 mm. I think they also had custom crowns with different offset on the forks. Trek bikes had a toned down version of the geometry. And don't forget about the pioneering of 29” wheels, as it is also a geometry thing. Fishers were the first to have proper 29” trail bikes as early as 2010, with the Rumblefish.

Also regarding geometry, Joe Murray was very important in the late 80's, early 90's. He was a racer and a designer, spent his years on Marin/Kona/Voodoo and is credited at least with bringing sloping top tubes to Kona's back then and they were very sought after because of that.

Mx

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2/3/2024 7:12am Edited Date/Time 2/3/2024 7:17am

Regarding suspension, except Leitner, you also have to think about Jim Busby of GT, as the RTS was probably the first mass produced full suspension bike that actually worked. Then came the LTS, which was popular for good reason, and the i-Drive, that was maybe the first effort to properly isolate suspension movement from the transmission, as early as 1999. GT have videos regarding this on their YouTube channel.

 



Robert Reisinger of Mountain Cycle made the San Andreas, which was way ahead of its time, and of course you have Jeff Steber of Intense, who created the M1.

Mert Lawwill's suspension system was highly respected and it was to be found on Yeti's, Schwinn's and later Tomac bikes. I might be wrong, but probably some later bikes had it too.

Then you have to see who actually created the patent for the Virtual Pivot Point for Outland, that was sold to Santa Cruz and used by them and Intense.

Also, don't forget the so-called jackshaft bikes like Brooklyn Machine Works and Clif Cat from the first part of the 2000's.

Olivier Bossard is your man for anything relevant on Sunn back then and they were ahead of their time, with data acquisition in 1997! Made their own shocks and forks and later rally suspension for Nico's Peugeots.

And while speaking of historic bikes, don't ignore Cannondale and Trek. Cannondale's Super V will probably remain the most ripped off full suspension bike of all time. They ever had a print ad with the famous cloned sheep Dolly, where the tagline read ”they say plagiarism is the most flattering complimen”, with the Super V next to it. Trek's Y bikes with their URT were also copied a lot and they worked decent for those times and were very popular.

Scott Nicol of Ibis created the Bow-Ti from titanium with no links, but a shock, a long time before Cannondale, Trek and Specialized thought of that. Google it, it's a gorgeous bike.

You might also want to look into what the Germans did back then. Peter Denk and Thomas Fuderer created Hot Chili in the mid 90's and Markus Klausmann brought them a second place in Kaprun on the X-Rage at the ripe age of 17. I don't know of Fuderer, but Denk then moved to Scott and later to Cannondale. Every time you see one of those pull shock bikes, don't have second thoughts: it's all him! He now works for Specialized since some years. They also had another partner in crime: Wolfgang Ebersbach who made a DH fork with adjustable travel via knob. It was sold to RockShox and was named U-Turn.

That's pretty much all I can remember for now. Hope it helps.

Cheers,
Mx

gibbon
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2/3/2024 8:07am

For Geo I'd say Chris Porter of Mojo/geometron. The first Geometron prototype still would'nt look too out of place nearly 10 year later.

1
2/3/2024 8:29am Edited Date/Time 2/11/2024 9:08am

Chris Canfield with his CBF.  Canfield was also making high pivot idler bikes that worked, way before it was cool.  I am not sure why CBF hasn't caught on more over the years as it is a pretty amazing platform that is a good compromise of plushness and efficiency.  

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Big Bird
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2/3/2024 10:24am

I don't remember what bikes they were riding at the time, but I have a few frame design drawings with more modern geometry that I labeled "Atherton Edition."

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owl-x
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2/3/2024 10:32am

Both Pilgs and Jordan Boostmonster mess with suspension. 
Like and subscribe!

Who’s the first to suspend the bike and not the rider? As in, who made the first move to squish the fun parts of mtb, not the pedaling? I’ll go with them… 

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Maxipedia
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2/3/2024 12:19pm
owl-x wrote:
Both Pilgs and Jordan Boostmonster mess with suspension.  Like and subscribe! Who’s the first to suspend the bike and not the rider? As in, who made...

Both Pilgs and Jordan Boostmonster mess with suspension. 
Like and subscribe!

Who’s the first to suspend the bike and not the rider? As in, who made the first move to squish the fun parts of mtb, not the pedaling? I’ll go with them… 

Dude, when the man said ”influencers”, he actually meant the people who PUT IN THE WORK and changed our bikes for the good, not some guys from YouTube, who turn some knobs and are all in for the news. Before there were influencers of today, followed on social media, the people who were influencing stuff were the ones who worked in certain domains, mostly behind the scenes, and used their work to change their respective industries for the better. There is a misunderstanding. Pilgrim and Boostmaster are probably nice people, but they are definitely not bike or suspension engineers, just riders.

Mx

2/3/2024 12:34pm
Maxipedia wrote:
Regarding suspension, except Leitner, you also have to think about Jim Busby of GT, as the RTS was probably the first mass produced full suspension bike...

Regarding suspension, except Leitner, you also have to think about Jim Busby of GT, as the RTS was probably the first mass produced full suspension bike that actually worked. Then came the LTS, which was popular for good reason, and the i-Drive, that was maybe the first effort to properly isolate suspension movement from the transmission, as early as 1999. GT have videos regarding this on their YouTube channel.

 



Robert Reisinger of Mountain Cycle made the San Andreas, which was way ahead of its time, and of course you have Jeff Steber of Intense, who created the M1.

Mert Lawwill's suspension system was highly respected and it was to be found on Yeti's, Schwinn's and later Tomac bikes. I might be wrong, but probably some later bikes had it too.

Then you have to see who actually created the patent for the Virtual Pivot Point for Outland, that was sold to Santa Cruz and used by them and Intense.

Also, don't forget the so-called jackshaft bikes like Brooklyn Machine Works and Clif Cat from the first part of the 2000's.

Olivier Bossard is your man for anything relevant on Sunn back then and they were ahead of their time, with data acquisition in 1997! Made their own shocks and forks and later rally suspension for Nico's Peugeots.

And while speaking of historic bikes, don't ignore Cannondale and Trek. Cannondale's Super V will probably remain the most ripped off full suspension bike of all time. They ever had a print ad with the famous cloned sheep Dolly, where the tagline read ”they say plagiarism is the most flattering complimen”, with the Super V next to it. Trek's Y bikes with their URT were also copied a lot and they worked decent for those times and were very popular.

Scott Nicol of Ibis created the Bow-Ti from titanium with no links, but a shock, a long time before Cannondale, Trek and Specialized thought of that. Google it, it's a gorgeous bike.

You might also want to look into what the Germans did back then. Peter Denk and Thomas Fuderer created Hot Chili in the mid 90's and Markus Klausmann brought them a second place in Kaprun on the X-Rage at the ripe age of 17. I don't know of Fuderer, but Denk then moved to Scott and later to Cannondale. Every time you see one of those pull shock bikes, don't have second thoughts: it's all him! He now works for Specialized since some years. They also had another partner in crime: Wolfgang Ebersbach who made a DH fork with adjustable travel via knob. It was sold to RockShox and was named U-Turn.

That's pretty much all I can remember for now. Hope it helps.

Cheers,
Mx

you, buddy, rocks!!!!!!!!!

Big up for anybody who helps me with this list of persons, who did anything noticable to MTB Geo and/or Suspension !

I´m really fishing for names like Dekerf, Brodie and who will know any other name from "canadian school" ?
Maybe even Chris Chance.. ?

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Simcik
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2/6/2024 10:13am
Chris Canfield with his CBF.  Canfield was also making high pivot idler bikes that worked, way before it was cool.  I am not sure why CBF...

Chris Canfield with his CBF.  Canfield was also making high pivot idler bikes that worked, way before it was cool.  I am not sure why CBF hasn't caught on more over the years as it is a pretty amazing platform that is a good compromise of plushness and efficiency.  

Chris Canfield designed CBF (and has a few other suspension designs) Suspension Formulas – Kinematics by Chris Canfield (suspension-formulas.com). Lance designs the bikes. 

Progressive with the 5th element was pretty advanced back in the early 2000s. 

Also consider Mert Lawwill with his suspension design work

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tullie
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2/9/2024 3:20pm

Transition Bikes was the first one as of late for there Speed Balanced geometry and having fox/rockshox change the fork offset for most or all bike manufacturers

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Digit Bikes
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2/9/2024 4:31pm Edited Date/Time 2/12/2024 8:15am

As founder of Rock Shox, Paul Turner had a very significant influence on MTB suspension.

After Rock Shox, Paul founded Maverick, the Speedball was the first mainstream dropper post, modern geometry would not have developed as it has without dropper posts. 
 

 

smelly
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2/9/2024 4:58pm

How has Dave Weagle not yet been mentioned?

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smelly
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2/9/2024 5:02pm

And how has Horst Leitner not been mentioned? 
DW and Horst link are used on like half the suspension bikes that get sold (since a Giant is a DW link). 
there were plenty of people who made good suspension for the era, or made something innovative. But these two guys have made something that lasted. 

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owl-x
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2/9/2024 8:31pm
owl-x wrote:
Both Pilgs and Jordan Boostmonster mess with suspension.  Like and subscribe! Who’s the first to suspend the bike and not the rider? As in, who made...

Both Pilgs and Jordan Boostmonster mess with suspension. 
Like and subscribe!

Who’s the first to suspend the bike and not the rider? As in, who made the first move to squish the fun parts of mtb, not the pedaling? I’ll go with them… 

Maxipedia wrote:
Dude, when the man said ”influencers”, he actually meant the people who PUT IN THE WORK and changed our bikes for the good, not some guys...

Dude, when the man said ”influencers”, he actually meant the people who PUT IN THE WORK and changed our bikes for the good, not some guys from YouTube, who turn some knobs and are all in for the news. Before there were influencers of today, followed on social media, the people who were influencing stuff were the ones who worked in certain domains, mostly behind the scenes, and used their work to change their respective industries for the better. There is a misunderstanding. Pilgrim and Boostmaster are probably nice people, but they are definitely not bike or suspension engineers, just riders.

Mx

😐

4
2/10/2024 6:39am

Joe graney at Santa Cruz did a ton of work on outlands’ vpp to make the packaging and functions top system before Dave pretty much hacked that patent. Joe also pioneered sending bikes and prototype linkage sets to “locals” all over major market zones for real world testing before cell phones could even take good pictures. He was aligning the function of Vpp and its packaging with real world riders before a lot of brands even had teams. 

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TheRealist
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2/10/2024 6:41am

Dave Turner Chris Cocalis Jeff Steber Brett Foes Tony Ellsworth Canfeild Brothers Charlie Curnutt Kevin Menard and Kyle Young Leo Kokkonen

Here’s a few. But there are many more 

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1
2/10/2024 11:31am
Maxipedia wrote:
As far as I know, Gary Fisher has influenced MTB geometry twice: once in the 80's and then exactly in 1998, when Fisher bikes were the...

As far as I know, Gary Fisher has influenced MTB geometry twice: once in the 80's and then exactly in 1998, when Fisher bikes were the first to have longer top tubes and shorter stems plus shorter chainstays. They called it the Genesis geometry back then. Bikes typically had 120-135 mm stems on medium/large sized bikes, Fishers sported 80 mm. I think they also had custom crowns with different offset on the forks. Trek bikes had a toned down version of the geometry. And don't forget about the pioneering of 29” wheels, as it is also a geometry thing. Fishers were the first to have proper 29” trail bikes as early as 2010, with the Rumblefish.

Also regarding geometry, Joe Murray was very important in the late 80's, early 90's. He was a racer and a designer, spent his years on Marin/Kona/Voodoo and is credited at least with bringing sloping top tubes to Kona's back then and they were very sought after because of that.

Mx

Gary Fisher were doing 29ers back in about 2002! Marzocchi made special forks for them. They were also the ones to push LONGER offsets on 29" forks which took about a decade to undo.....Still they were way ahead of their time

4
2/10/2024 10:33pm
Maxipedia wrote:
As far as I know, Gary Fisher has influenced MTB geometry twice: once in the 80's and then exactly in 1998, when Fisher bikes were the...

As far as I know, Gary Fisher has influenced MTB geometry twice: once in the 80's and then exactly in 1998, when Fisher bikes were the first to have longer top tubes and shorter stems plus shorter chainstays. They called it the Genesis geometry back then. Bikes typically had 120-135 mm stems on medium/large sized bikes, Fishers sported 80 mm. I think they also had custom crowns with different offset on the forks. Trek bikes had a toned down version of the geometry. And don't forget about the pioneering of 29” wheels, as it is also a geometry thing. Fishers were the first to have proper 29” trail bikes as early as 2010, with the Rumblefish.

Also regarding geometry, Joe Murray was very important in the late 80's, early 90's. He was a racer and a designer, spent his years on Marin/Kona/Voodoo and is credited at least with bringing sloping top tubes to Kona's back then and they were very sought after because of that.

Mx

Gary Fisher were doing 29ers back in about 2002! Marzocchi made special forks for them. They were also the ones to push LONGER offsets on 29"...

Gary Fisher were doing 29ers back in about 2002! Marzocchi made special forks for them. They were also the ones to push LONGER offsets on 29" forks which took about a decade to undo.....Still they were way ahead of their time

Gary Fisher was doing 29er back in 1989, (I have been able to grab a Sphinx, the first "mass produced" 29er mtb). He also pioneered press fit BB (bearings secured by clips), oversize headset and  wider BB, he was also pretty early on titanium and alu frame and even made a composite cromo rear triangle/alu front triangle, I think he also also pretty early on the first full suspension with the lawhill system just after Cannondale..

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Maxipedia
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2/11/2024 3:02pm
Gary Fisher was doing 29er back in 1989, (I have been able to grab a Sphinx, the first "mass produced" 29er mtb). He also pioneered press...

Gary Fisher was doing 29er back in 1989, (I have been able to grab a Sphinx, the first "mass produced" 29er mtb). He also pioneered press fit BB (bearings secured by clips), oversize headset and  wider BB, he was also pretty early on titanium and alu frame and even made a composite cromo rear triangle/alu front triangle, I think he also also pretty early on the first full suspension with the lawhill system just after Cannondale..

I don't know of a 29er in the 80's (I am wondering who made the tires), but I have one of those Fisher frames with a proprietary press-fit  BB and the 1.1/4” head tube. It is interesting how Klein made something similar on the Attitude and the Adroit around the same time and both Fisher and Klein ended up under Trek, who sucked the soul out of both. I have one of the last ”real” Kleins, made around the time Trek took over, a 1996 Attitude in ”Team” colorway. I have no clue what the name of the Fisher is, I got it with pretty bad white paint on it and had it painted gun smoke grey.

Mx

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smelly
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2/11/2024 4:56pm
Maxipedia wrote:
I don't know of a 29er in the 80's (I am wondering who made the tires), but I have one of those Fisher frames with a...

I don't know of a 29er in the 80's (I am wondering who made the tires), but I have one of those Fisher frames with a proprietary press-fit  BB and the 1.1/4” head tube. It is interesting how Klein made something similar on the Attitude and the Adroit around the same time and both Fisher and Klein ended up under Trek, who sucked the soul out of both. I have one of the last ”real” Kleins, made around the time Trek took over, a 1996 Attitude in ”Team” colorway. I have no clue what the name of the Fisher is, I got it with pretty bad white paint on it and had it painted gun smoke grey.

Mx

I recall reading/hearing once that guys like Tom Ritchey and Keith Bontrager were welding two road rims together then sewing cross tires together for fattties.  couldn’t find the source on that though if my life depended on it. 
…and here we are complaining about carbon vs aluminum rims and if a DHR is better than a Kryptotal

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chasejj
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2/12/2024 8:45am Edited Date/Time 2/12/2024 8:46am

In my miind Charlie Cunningham (W-T-B ), Horst Leitner (AMP/Horst Link), Dave Weigle(Multiple patents), Chris Porter (Geometron), Keith Scott (Banshee) are the most influential engineer/designers in cycling today. Chris and Keith are leading the way in future geometry and most mfgs are still 2 years from copying it and marketing it effectively. The current sales downturn and product pipelines/marketing are so screwed up that they are paralyzed from acting on what they know it should be. 

2/12/2024 9:18am
Gary Fisher was doing 29er back in 1989, (I have been able to grab a Sphinx, the first "mass produced" 29er mtb). He also pioneered press...

Gary Fisher was doing 29er back in 1989, (I have been able to grab a Sphinx, the first "mass produced" 29er mtb). He also pioneered press fit BB (bearings secured by clips), oversize headset and  wider BB, he was also pretty early on titanium and alu frame and even made a composite cromo rear triangle/alu front triangle, I think he also also pretty early on the first full suspension with the lawhill system just after Cannondale..

Maxipedia wrote:
I don't know of a 29er in the 80's (I am wondering who made the tires), but I have one of those Fisher frames with a...

I don't know of a 29er in the 80's (I am wondering who made the tires), but I have one of those Fisher frames with a proprietary press-fit  BB and the 1.1/4” head tube. It is interesting how Klein made something similar on the Attitude and the Adroit around the same time and both Fisher and Klein ended up under Trek, who sucked the soul out of both. I have one of the last ”real” Kleins, made around the time Trek took over, a 1996 Attitude in ”Team” colorway. I have no clue what the name of the Fisher is, I got it with pretty bad white paint on it and had it painted gun smoke grey.

Mx

I think stock tires were made by Fisher but remember at the time mtb tires were something between 29x1.75 or 29X1.5 and they were pretty commonly used by CX or touring bikes, 26 were actually more of an anomaly. The struggle for 29 mtb tires came way later when they were a need of very wide and aggressive tires.
The sphinx was designed for mixed suface.
Sphinx 1992-750x501

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Maxipedia
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2/12/2024 9:29am
I think stock tires were made by Fisher but remember at the time mtb tires were something between 29x1.75 or 29X1.5 and they were pretty commonly...

I think stock tires were made by Fisher but remember at the time mtb tires were something between 29x1.75 or 29X1.5 and they were pretty commonly used by CX or touring bikes, 26 were actually more of an anomaly. The struggle for 29 mtb tires came way later when they were a need of very wide and aggressive tires.
The sphinx was designed for mixed suface.
Sphinx 1992-750x501

I checked it out last night, after reading what you said. It is interesting, but it looks like e CX bike with flat bar. But a very good insight, don't get me wrong.

Thanks!
Mx

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w4s
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2/12/2024 11:34am Edited Date/Time 2/12/2024 11:35am

how about alex morgan and BCD racing making high pivot carbon fiber 29'er DH bikes in his garage back in 2006.

BCD Racing 29er Carbon Fiber DH Bike

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Simcik
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2/12/2024 11:55am
w4s wrote:
how about alex morgan and BCD racing making high pivot carbon fiber 29'er DH bikes in his garage back in 2006.

how about alex morgan and BCD racing making high pivot carbon fiber 29'er DH bikes in his garage back in 2006.

BCD Racing 29er Carbon Fiber DH Bike

And from my understanding, he essentially created I-Drive which GT used for decades. 

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Maxipedia
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2/12/2024 3:24pm
Simcik wrote:

And from my understanding, he essentially created I-Drive which GT used for decades. 

Isn't i-Drive a Jim Busby creation?

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wydopen
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2/12/2024 3:37pm Edited Date/Time 2/12/2024 3:40pm

Cortina Cycles was one of the first 8" travel DH frames I believe. Can't find a pic of the earlier ones. I have a few later proto's of the next model hanging in the garage..

CORTINA

 

3
2/12/2024 3:39pm
Simcik wrote:

And from my understanding, he essentially created I-Drive which GT used for decades. 

Maxipedia wrote:

Isn't i-Drive a Jim Busby creation?

Yes it was, I don't believe Alex/BCD ever worked for a mainstream brand and was mostly just making bikes for himself and trying out a bunch of concepts

 

I can't really think of too many people that haven't already been mentioned. DW was a big one for me - the original DW bikes were really the first frames that could blend good bump performance and grip but still feel lively/pedal well. He really brought a much better understanding of kinematics that wasn't present in the mainstream before that.

 

Slightly related (and controversial?) is Charlie Curnutt and Foes - the stable platform damping idea was another thing that helped make bikes more versatile in a lot of ways. I'm not sure how many people realise that the Patent and concept of those early Curnutt and 5th element shocks survived in the Fox Rp23/CTD and RC4 boost valve dampers up until around 2015! In a way that contributed to the idea of long travel bikes being ridden all day (which we take for granted now) before frame design really caught up and we didn't have to rely on excessive damping to make something pedal half decent! 

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