Inside Guerrilla Gravity's Denver Headquarters, Plus a Sneak Peek of the New Megatrail All-Mountain Bike

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It seems like just yesterday we were introducing the Vital audience to Guerrilla Gravity, a Colorado-based bike company that's staying true to their values, keeping it local, and creating some interesting new rides. Now they're making another big move, and this time it's into a new facility. We stopped by the shop on their opening night to see what it's all about. We also got a special preview of their new Megatrail all-moutain bike...

If you're ever in the area, give them a visit at 2031 Bryant Street. In addition to seeing where the frames are made, they also have a full retail shop with all the gear, components, and service you need to keep rollin'. Check out for more details.

Photos by Evan Rohrig
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  • Shishka

    12/7/2013 7:49 PM

    What about a 26" front and 27.5" rear????? Huh huhuuuhhuhuu!! OHHHHHH No he didddn

  • Daniel_Layton

    12/6/2013 1:39 PM

    I'm a Colorado native and i'm all for another local bike company springing up BUT i have to say... i'm not so stoked on either the GG/DH or this new Megatrail. The DH has a low single pivot which means the wheelpath will be up and forward (and forward is the wrong way as far as i can tell). Moreover, it quite frankly looks like an uglier non linkage drive version of the Transition TR450 (Sorry but the tubing connecting the chain and seat stays looks especially clunky and walmartesque). Now the Megatrail is a linkage driven low single pivot.

    Why are you guys sticking with this low single pivot suspension design? Is it just easier/cheaper to manufacture and you need to keep the costs down somehow because you are using local manufacturing? Are the patent costs on better sus designs prohibitive? If you guys really did pick the low single pivot sus design because you think its a good design then i'd love to hear what you guys think are its benefits to ride quality? I'm all for supporting the local guy ... but only if its good stuff.

    PS i feel the same way about one of our other local brand, Yeti, and all their ASR (5, 575, 7 and only the 575 is still around since they've moved to an eccentric single pivot linkage drive design) bikes which also use low single pivot linkage drive sus. But i have to say that they are prettier, but not really made in Colorado.

  • moe.alarcon

    12/6/2013 4:56 PM

    I'm curious what you ride?

  • Daniel_Layton

    12/6/2013 5:02 PM

    GT Force and a Giant Glory, Why? What do you ride?

  • moe.alarcon

    12/6/2013 5:26 PM

    Intense tracer / Intense 951 / Karpiel / GG-DH / CRF450 / Ellsworth Aeon - Trying to understand your hate of the pivot location.

  • Daniel_Layton

    12/6/2013 5:39 PM

    Nice, so how does it ride compared to the 951 (and the others i guess, although i don't have much of a frame of reference for them)? Specifically, how do you feel about the suspension relative to those other bikes? The geometry of the GG/DH looks like its in line with the rest of the field so i expect that in those terms it feels pretty standard.

  • moe.alarcon

    12/6/2013 6:02 PM

    I think the best comparison is the 951 to the GG-DH. I don't buy into the forward/rearward axel path debate too much, as I rely on the ride comparison more than the path debate. After riding the bikes back to back, I think the most important aspects of a bikes ride is the geometry, followed by suspension leverage curve, and then followed by quality of suspension components. It took me weeks to tune the 951 to a feel that I liked, in comparison it took me days to get the GG tuned to a feel I liked. The GEO between the bikes is similar but the suspension leverage curve is where the two bikes differ significantly and this is why I think the GG is a better design. As for pedal-ability, the GG is better than the 951 due to the way I have the 951 setup versus the GG. However, they are both DH bikes and are made to go fast not pedal uphill.

  • Daniel_Layton

    12/6/2013 6:32 PM

    Awesome thanks for the info. I'm not sure which of those aspects i value most. I feel like you need to get them all right to a certain extent.
    I think that wheel path does matter. the GT force has a really good one (it has other problems but that's another story) and i definitely feel like i carry more speed through hits than say my old trance x (but it was also 1 in shorter travel so who knows)
    I don't think that a 1/2 degree HA ruins the feel of a bike.
    Optimum chainstay length and wheelbase depends on track (fast or technical) and intention (flickable fun or maximum stability at speed)
    Pedalability doesn't matter much to me bc i don't race

    I guess i haven't thought much about leverage curves. What is the GG/DH's leverage curve and what does it do that makes it feel better than say your 951?

  • dudebrah

    12/7/2013 8:40 AM

    I came off a Giant Glory and went to the GG DH. I tried a 951 and a Demo 8 before purchasing this bike. My honest review.... The Glory pedals more efficient imo. I could have probably pedaled the Glory as a trail bike to be honest with you. I don't buy DH bikes to pedal uphill, I have a trail bike for such occasions. The GG DH does everything very well. After riding the Glory for a season I can say that the GG descends much more comfortably, corners better, pedals very well (better than a Demo), and is overall much more playful than most other bikes I have ridden. I have to say that this bike has helped with my riding confidence in many ways. It is a DH race bike that feels like a slopestyle bike when you want to have some fun. If you were blindfolded and put on this bike you would never know it was a single pivot. I say go down to the shop and check one out before you judge it. I think like many of us you will be sold!

  • The Enginerd

    12/6/2013 7:03 PM

    Daniel, Thanks for the passion and taking the time to ask a bunch of questions. First and foremost, since you're local, you should come down to GG and check them out in person, and we can arrange a test ride so you can get a real idea of how they actually ride out on the trails. People that check out the bikes in person and ride them usually like the aesthetics, layout, and definitely the ride.
    As far as suspension, I have previous experience in motorsports doing suspension design and tuning. The most important thing I learned in motorsports that transfers directly over to mountain bikes is how important it is for the suspension to make riders feel comfortable straight away with predictable performance. As mentioned in the slideshow, we were able to achieve the results we were looking for on the GG/DH with a single pivot non-linkage system, so that's what we went with. On the Megatrail, the application is a little different, such as pedaling efficiency being more important, the need for a longer, straight seat tube, and of course being optimized for air springs vs coil. Like the GG/DH, the pivot point was placed where it is to balance all of those factors into a package for efficient pedaling, liveliness, square edge performance, and without producing excessive chain growth or brake interaction. For the Megatrail, we ended up needing the linkage to get what we wanted.

    We also have a local rider that's been on a GG/DH for the past year that previously rode a Giant Glory. I can put you in touch with him for comparisons. I'll ping him and see if he wants to post on here.

  • Daniel_Layton

    12/7/2013 3:09 PM

    The Enginerd (is this Matt of GG?), i would love to do a test ride on this bike next season when the bike parks open again. The ride always trumps all the armchair engineering, but until then that's to only way i can get to know whether or not I might like the bike. And if the design is good then there should be reasons which can be articulated to someone with someone with rudimentary understand of bikes, and they should be able to understand them (and hopefully i have a rudimentary understanding of bikes). So i'm going to lay out what i think i understand about the single pivot bike suspension design and the various pros and cons and you can tell me where i'm off the mark or what i am missing

    In a single pivot sus design, the rear axle and the pivot form a radius and the axle moves along a curve that is the circumference create by that radius. They are simple and therefore more reliable, and easier to manufacture all things being equal.

    The pros of a low single pivot are that
    a) you can have a stiff unified rear triangle (this applies to low or high single pivots)
    b) The lower the pivot the less chain growth you'll experience. Some chain growth isn't bad as it creates a small amount of pedal feedback which increases pedaling efficiency, but too much and the amount of pedal feedback makes it difficult to pedal during suspension movement or suspension resists movement as you weight the pedals. In the end its a zero sum game between pedaling efficiency (through chain growth) and active suspension. The low single pivot design emphasize active suspension over pedaling efficiency.

    a) a low origin (pivot) relative to the axle has a more forward axle path which is not optimized for square bump hits
    b) the lower the pivot the less chain growth = less pedaling efficiency (but again there is only so much pedaling efficiency you want to build into a bike before you are compromising suspension movement and on a DH bike pedaling efficiency its arguably the least important aspect of a suspension design, especially when there is another mechanism through which to create pedaling efficiency namely platform valving in suspension components.
    c) the Internets says that single pivots (all of them) suffer from brake interaction but i haven't wrapped my head around this
    so please enlighten me. I would think that designs where the caliper rotates forwards of backwards around the rear axle would create interaction and that the unified rear triangle would prevent that and reduce brake interaction but i'm sure i don't have the full picture or am thinking about it incorrectly.

    Note the problems with chain growth management are not inherent to single pivot designs. Its created when the cranks are part of the front triangle of the bike, and the rear axle is not moving concentric to the cranks, and the cranks and rear axle are connected directly by the chain. This chain growth can be eliminated from the equation either by making the cranks move as part of the rear triangle or floating it between front and rear triangles (in the case of GT's independent drive) or by connecting the chain from the crank to a intermediate stage nearer to the pivot location and then connecting it from that intermediate location to the rear axle (like the Zerode design).

    So really, given that GG is using a single pivot without an intermediate chain stage like zerode (is that patented?) or a floating bb like GT (which is most definitely patented), it seems like the low single pivot is the better option for GG relative to a higher pivot, and the higher pivot would offer only better square hit performance at the cost of all the stuff listed about. But why is GG going with the single pivot at all or not going for one of the designs work arounds which would allow them to have a higher pivot and better square bump performance? Do the other designs or the single pivot work arounds really add too much complexity and therefore unreliability and manufacturing difficulty or patent costs? Or what variables in the equation behind settling on a suspension design am i missing?

  • The Enginerd

    12/8/2013 9:20 AM

    Yeah, I'm Matt from GG. You're on the right track as far as axle path. Although, keep in mind that axle path is one of the factors in suspension design, and there are other factors that are at least as important. For example, the spring rate curve at the rear wheel (ie leverage rate curve combined with spring curve).

  • wakaba123

    12/7/2013 5:30 AM

    Single pivots work really well, easy to tune, easy maintenance. Engineeringwise a fully triangulated rear is way stiffer than the multilinks. All things equal - single pivot works and multipivot have torsional issues - muting any perceived benefit. So, in my world of engineering, GG, Foes, Intense, Scott got it very right. Brakejack (except on FSX), chaingrowth etc. are lesser issues. Brakejack is only a problem if you brake in the wrong moment. Easely avoided.

    My old Supreme Racing has 4 huge single pivot inline bearings on a massive axle. Great riding but you start feeling the twisting in the reartriangle which is not up to par to pivot stiffness - its a precise steerer up to a point. My Hydro single pivot does much better and has an extremely stiff rear end and follows the front track well. Now the Boxxer upfront is feeling twisty and lacks precision. So, in my opinion, many frames and components in dh are not rigid enough and bending hurts performance. Blame it on weight weenies.

    Ride dh since 1992. Today I ride only single pivots, long TT, slack HA and low BB. Tuning wise - the logic is in the damper and not spread over damper and rearend. The other thing is I prefer local made artisan frames from the likes of Intense (which is technically a single link), Foes and mostly US-sourced parts. GG is right on track. Will definitely look at their dh-frame in the future.

  • shredder

    12/5/2013 10:41 PM

    Once I have the money I am going to be the owner of a GG bike, factual statement.

  • chrismckleroy

    12/5/2013 3:54 PM

    26 inch rear only? cant be.

  • The Enginerd

    12/5/2013 4:02 PM

    Correct, not the case. You choose which size you want and order accordingly.

  • CombatMutt

    12/5/2013 5:39 AM

    That frame looks really big.

  • The Enginerd

    12/5/2013 1:29 PM

    That's what she said.

  • CombatMutt

    12/6/2013 5:39 PM

    Yup, walked right the hell into that one.

  • leiramosbalaoro

    12/5/2013 12:22 AM

    cool! no 29" wheelsize!

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