So how did a little Australian bike company do suspension better?
Ok, we admit it, it seems a little far fetched that a tiny little bike company out of Adelaide, South Australia, could reinvent the concept of suspension. But hey, when you think about it, a lot of the designs from over the years have come from fairly remote places that had a good history of biking - and guess what, Adelaide has just that.
Yep, little ol' Adelaide has some pretty prestigious bike history, from National Track Cycling programs, huge numbers of road cyclists, the world class Tour Down Under, and perhaps one of the most loved facts about Adelaide (well, by patrons of dirt-church, at least), a bunch of epic downhill racers doing us proud on the World Cup over the years.
So when you have that kind of following in a sport, and some super smart people who don't have to sit in traffic jams for half of their work day, you start to get some great ideas flowing.
Then this bloke came along Hugh McLeay - the inventor of i-track suspension.
His idea was to take something that wasn't entirely new - a rearward axle path for rear suspension - but certainly hadn't been done as well as it could be. It took a fair bit of determination, lots of long nights, and let's face it, probably a fair test of some relationships.
In the end, Hugh produced his incredible suspension design through Craftworks Cycles.
Craftworks Cycles has been in existance, as an Australian bike company, since 1996. Twenty two years is no mean feat when you consider the number of bike companies who've gone through the ringer over the years. But the i-track suspension design, on the Craftworks ENR, represented a complete rethink of Craftworks. The old models went, and the brand was recently relaunched with one bike, because this bike was different.
Believe us, it ain't easy pulling a massive change like that. But we also couldn't do it without a robust design. The ENR wasn't released on a whim. It wasn't conceived over night. It took years of designing and testing to get it to where it is. What's more, Hugh being the perfectionist he is, wasn't going to release a product that was half baked.
It's a big call, don't you think? Yeah, we agree! But why just release a product that's the same as everyone else's and fight noise with noise, when you can be the signal that cuts through. It's actually not a bad analogy if you've ever had the pleasure of piloting the ENR through a rock garden or two.
So why do we bandy this tagline around the place, "Change your expectations"? Well, we genuinely believe that we've all become comfortable with suspension operating the way we've had it dished to us for decades, not the way it could operate if we freed ourselves of the shackles of blinkers and mass marketing. Think about it, shocks have become more and more complex, with high and low speed damper settings, which often take a long time to dial in, when really, all they're doing is trying to control a system that perhaps isn't functioning as well as it could. Imagine if that marketing dollar was invested in a better suspension system.
i-track suspension doesn't need all that heavy control. In fact, we recommend you begin with your shock's settings wound completely off, then maybe wind just a touch of low speed compression in to settle the already very stable pedal platform depending on your riding technique. Yep, we designed a suspension system that works with the natural movement of a shock before it's had damping wound in. Wow, almost seems like a good idea, right?
That's how the ENR achieves:
- better small-bump compliance,
- better big-hit performance and,
- a more stable pedaling platform,
than anything else in its class. That's the trifecta! It's what bike companies all over the world haven't been able to deliver. You've always had one, maybe two out of three, but the Craftworks ENR gives you all three! Seems like a pretty good deal, really.