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On The Pedals

The Daily Grind

Over The Bars

Gear Review: Trek Full Floater
By MBT Staff

New Rear Suspension Design For 2008 Explained

Full Floater.

For 2008 Trek is pulling the stops with an all-new rear suspension design intended to address some of the shortcomings that plague many modern 4-bar, VPP, and single pivot systems. Affectionately labeled “Full Floater” by the engineers, the concept is actually far simpler than the marketing gurus would have you believe. The crew at MBT has been following these developments closely and are pleased to tell you all about it.

What’s Floating?
The label Full Floater insinuates that the shock is literally being suspended in thin air. While bike technology hasn’t reached that level of advancement yet, the shock is, in fact, not connected in any way to either the seatpost or downtube. Rather the shock is mounted on moving links both at the top and the bottom. The top mounts to a rocker (which is a pretty standard affair these days). The bottom mounts to an upturned extension of the chainstay itself.

What this means is that the shock is isolated from the front triangle and actually floats on two suspended attachment points.

How’s It Work?
The relationship between the rocker angles is more consistent since both the upper and lower rocker links pivot together (as opposed to the bottom of the shock being firmly mounted to the seat post or frame spar as is tradition).

According to Trek, what this means is that their bike designers will not be forced into working with a fixed shock angle. A traditional design forces the developer into compensating for the fact that the lower shock mount is affixed at a set point. This means more finite control over the shock’s rate and leverage ratio.

The Full Floater design will rock at both the top and bottom mount meaning less angled flex on the shock itself. Not only that, but by rocking as a unit, the brake caliper maintains a nearly constant relationship to the brake rotor (apposed to the caliper rotating around the disk as the suspension moves through its travel). You tech savvy readers out there have probably already realized that this Active Braking Point or (ATB) essentially duplicates the advantage of a floating brake caliper.

What’s the Bottom Line?
Each year we study a stack full of brochures and marketing press material boasting the best possible results through newly developed technology. To this we are genuinely excited as it proves there is some forward thinking constantly taking place in the industry. The Full Floater’s claim to fame will be its ability to remain active and compliant in even the sketchiest braking situations. In addition the system intends on making better use of the existing travel options by feeding more precise leverage ratios into the shock. Only time will tell if Trek has truly designed a flawless suspension system and you can count on MBT to keep you posted along the way.

For more information head over to: Trek USA.

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