Mountain biking comes with a fair amount of baggage that has been formed over previous decades. Certain types of bikes and components are strongly associated with one sort of discipline and ride characteristic. The only problem is, that all of these early “hard and fast rules” don’t really apply anymore, thanks to advancements in bike and component design.
Suspension travel is one of the areas that needs more attention and better explanation to bring it up to date – So let’s dive in!
The benefits of suspension
It’s best to start with the basics and raise the question of; what are the benefits of having suspension in the first place? An increase in ride comfort is certainly one, but not the only thing. It’s not even the most important benefit, especially when we are talking about high-performance equipment, whether it’s in the world of bicycles or motorsports.
Firstly, the goal of suspension is to increase grip by minimizing the variations in contact forces between the ground and the tire. It’s easy to imagine why big variations are a bad thing; if grip varies between zero and full grip in close succession pose challenging riding conditions for any bike. Correctly functioning suspension (and properly set tire pressures) keep the tires glued to the ground increasing grip and control.
Secondly, the suspension absorbs energy during impacts. When landing a drop or plowing through a rock garden, properly set up suspension works its magic by converting impact energy into heat by limiting oil flow inside the damper.
Besides these two factors, an increase in ride comfort is not to be overlooked. It’s a welcome byproduct that makes it possible to ride harder and longer without degradation in ride performance caused by fatigue.
Breaking the mould
Until very recently, increases in suspension travel have meant a compromise in pedaling characteristics and efficiency. In other words, long-travel suspension numbers make the bike descend like a dream, but the only sensible way to get back up to the top of the hill was by hopping onto an uplift or the back of a pickup truck. Big travel meant a bike capable of taking big hits that were only meant to be pedaled downhill.
That’s not the case with the Stamina 180 or the freshly released Voima with its ground-hugging 190mm suspension travel. When originally launched, both bikes sported numbers that were unheard of at the time. Anything that was rolling on 29″ wheels and had more than 150mm of travel was considered a long-travel bike. With its 180mm of travel, Stamina moved straight into the territory only occupied by downhill and freeride machines at the time. Voima did a similar thing while taking advantage of the new generation of long-travel single crown forks.
The suspension system found in Stamina has proved itself in the highest levels of racing in the EWS circuit. A top 10 finish proves that it’s highly capable when charging downhill but can also be pedaled up time and time again with ease.
The Sensei Suspension system goes even further, not only in travel numbers but in every area when it comes to suspension performance. Honed kinematics means an improved leverage ratio curve which translates to improved sensitivity, mid-stroke support, and bottom-out resistance. Even the pedaling characteristics have been improved by keeping the anti-squat value just above 100% at sag point – on every gear ratio!
Both bikes – Stamina and Voima – have created a category of “superbikes” that can do nearly anything and excel in the process. A testament to this is that the rest of the industry is just starting to make their way in catching up – but we’ve already taken the steps forward in the meantime.
More Is More™
When it comes to suspension travel, more is more – quite literally. Before the launch of the Stamina 180, the happy medium of travel was considered somewhere around 150mm. If you wanted a bike with snappy pedaling characteristics, a bike below that number would have been the choice. However, if the ability to handle big hits was more important, then you would choose travel numbers above that.
Stamina 180 made it clear that when it comes to suspension travel, more is more, and more is better. Big travel numbers can absorb more impact energy which means that the bike can handle big hits with more control. On top of that, lower spring rates can be used which enhances sensitivity and increases grip even more.
With Voima, you have even more finely controlled travel to play with which means even faster speeds, rowdier line choices, and bigger jumps that can be handled with ease. Couple that with the assistance of the very powerful drive system and a battery with an ample capacity of, and you have the option to convert every hill onto a bike park.
To sum it up, when big travel is packed into a class-leading suspension design, the bike can be ridden faster for longer with more ease and fun. With Stamina 180 or the new Voima, you can choose nearly any line imaginable on the trail, while the most-used lines are just a mere option.
Remastered as the New Normal
For 2021 the Stamina is better than ever before. Not only is the Stamina Remastered a true world-class performer, but it’s also pretty pleasing on the eyes, thanks to the electrophoretic clear coating used only by us in the bicycles industry. It goes without saying that the Voima is supplied with a matching surface finishing as a default.
Besides the CNC’d details and unique finish, both bikes are strong enough to handle the demands of modern riding day in day out. Whether it’s racing in the highest levels or hitting the biggest lines in the local bike park. A testament to this is that the Stamina 180 passed the EFBE TRI-TEST® with flying colors – the gold standard in testing for gravity bikes. The test protocol is designed for downhill bikes, and Stamina 180 is one of the very few frames which has passed the test outside of this category. Testing of the Voima frame will be completed soon.
Something for Everyone
Are you on the lookout for a top-level enduro race weapon that is at home on day-long epic loop as well? Look no further as the Stamina 180 ticks all the boxes and even more than that!
If on the other hand you are looking a big hit machine with electrical assistance, Voima is the unparalleled weapon of choice! 190mm of ground-smoothing travel means rowdy lines, fast speeds, and big grins! Coupled with it’s e-bike drive system it’s a machine that turns even flat trails into a flowy sections, and converts even a modest hill into a bike park.
Voima presale is now open. Ensure your position in the delivery queue by placing a deposit.
Stamina frame deliveries are ongoing! Order yours now.