Monday, February 6, 2023
HomeCyclingAuckland Cycle Works exhibits KOLARP linkage prototypes at Bespoked

Auckland Cycle Works exhibits KOLARP linkage prototypes at Bespoked


Gary Ewing wasn’t solely certain what he was making an attempt to attain when he started engaged on his “Sort of like a Rearward Pivot URT” (KOLARP) suspension design. It appears the entire course of has been extra of an exploration and studying alternative from the outset, relatively than a selected mission on the finish of which he had a aim in thoughts. Nonetheless, having solely embarked upon the Auckland Cycle Works journey at the start of the pandemic, he turned up at Bespoked 2022 with not one, however two prototypes, one among which value him round £30,000 to make! The Marra and The Reiver are the fruits of his labor, and we suspect there’s much more on its approach.

We had a protracted chat with Gary on the present, studying extra about the place the concepts for Auckland Cycle Works got here from, and his plans for the model’s future.

Gary Ewing’s Auckland Cycle Works

Gary Ewing is a bicycle mechanic and bike store proprietor from Bishop Auckland, England, who has taken it upon himself to design some fascinating new suspension linkages with out using any software program. He has relied principally upon his personal imaginative and prescient and talent to mannequin his linkage designs utilizing little greater than a pencil, a chunk of paper, and entire bunch of Lego. It began 20 years in the past with Gary’s good friend, Mike Corridor.

endurance cyclist mike hall achievements and outlook on life inspiration for gary ewing auckland cycle works

Mike Corridor was an extremely endurance bicycle owner that was tragically killed 4 years in the past whereas racing within the Pacific Wheel Race throughout Australia. Gary was a long-time good friend of Mike, and places a lot of the inspiration for Auckland Cycle Works all the way down to his using companion. Twenty years in the past, Gary remembers quizzing Mike in regards to the bike he designed for his A-Stage mission; all he acquired out of him was that it was “Sort of like a Rearward Pivot URT” (therefore KOLARP).

It was a “Rearward Pivot” as a result of the rear axle was pivoting a few level in area that was inside the circumference of the rear wheel. And, it additionally resembled a URT (Unified Rear Triangle) as a result of the underside bracket was really situated on the swing arm (see the Paradox prototype for a newer instance of that). Appears loopy these days, I do know.

gary ewing prototype rearward pivot urt inspired by mike hall

Gary Ewing’s prototype rearward pivot URT, a design impressed by endurance racer Mike Corridor

Two and a half years in the past, Gary determined to embark on the KOLARP mission after rising bored of operating his personal bike store, Inspiral Cycles (which he nonetheless does, by the best way). He wanted a facet mission, and re-creating and creating his late using buddy’s suspension linkage was the concept that captivated him most.

Gary tells us that, within the case of some URTs, while you stamp on the pedals, the suspension compresses and principally folds the bike in half. To realize first-hand expertise of how a URT suspension platform performs, he determined to make a couple of for himself, however his differed in that they really had a rearward axle path. He questioned if that will overcome the drawbacks of conventional URTs.

gary ewing original prototype urt rearward pivot linkage close up drive side

Right here, the underside and center hyperlinks co-rotate anti-clockwise because the swingarm compresses in a clockwise trend, monitoring a downward and rearward arc. That is the important thing hallmark of Gary’s now extra refined KOLARP suspension design seen on the Marra.

The preliminary prototype was horrible, apparently, however not horrible for the explanations he was anticipating it to be. He anticipated it to pedal terribly for the aforementioned purpose, and simply really feel very unusual altogether due to the underside bracket’s place transferring in relation to the saddle.

The movement of the linkage is better understood with a view of the non-drive side

Neither of these items really occurred, nevertheless. Gary says that it climbed very effectively in straightforward gears, however as quickly as you shifted into more durable gears, it really did develop into terrible. It was an excellent technical climber, however carried out poorly below energy in a dash state of affairs.

When freewheeling down easy singletrack, Gary says it was fast, one thing he places all the way down to the rearward axle path. That bike had the linkages in the identical place as these seen on the Auckland Cycle Works Marra, however the backside bracket was on the swingarm. It was that latter side of the design that “needed to die” in Gary’s phrases.

auckland cycle works marra tweedlove fest 2022 kolarp kind of like a rearward pivot urt

I first met Gary on the Tweedlove Bike Pageant the place he was racing the Auckland Cycle Works Marra on the British Enduro Championships. Its rearward axle path extends the rear-center size by 45-60mm. I had a fast pedal about on it and located it virtually inconceivable to wheelie, no surprises there!

Shortly after that, Gary had a “sit up in mattress second”, the place he realized precisely what the prototype wanted to develop into the bike it’s at this time. That concept was to make use of a high-idler, with the loafer on the decrease hyperlink positioned above the chainring. He drew it out on a chunk of paper, went to sleep, then when he awoke he went straight to work on prototyping the entire thing in Lego (extra on that later).

As you possibly can see within the above video, the 2 hyperlinks co-rotate in an anti-clockwise path because the suspension compresses. Gary says the Marra’s rearward pivot exaggerates the curvature of the rear axle path such that, at east for the primary half of the journey, you get a really diagonal rearward axle path, adopted by a extra vertical axle path within the latter half of the journey. He hasn’t measured it precisely, however reckons the rear-center size will increase by someplace between 45mm and 60mm throughout suspension compression.

We requested Gary why he thinks this explicit linkage had not been tried earlier than, or not less than made it onto a manufacturing bike. “Cos computer systems”, was the brief reply he gave.

“I all the time felt that it was value doing one thing this bonkers. Individuals design issues on computer systems in accordance with values and numbers. For instance, braking anti-rise must be inside this vary, pedaling anti-squat must be inside this vary, motion of this factor must be inside this vary. It simply limits creativity. How are you ever going to design one thing that’s totally different when you’re solely ever sticking to these parameters?” – Gary Ewing.

auckland cycle works marra enduro bike 17.3 kg

Auckland Cycle Works Marra

auckland cycle works marra tweedlove fest 2022 kolarp kind of like a rearward pivot urt

Gary could be very proud of the Auckland Cycle Works Marra in its present configuration. There are in fact various issues that want refined, however he says it isn’t to date off what he would contemplate the completed Marra. Listed below are some ball park numbers to mull over:

  • Bike: Auckland Cycle Works Marra (prototype)
  • Wheel Dimension: 29″ F, 27.5″ R
  • Fork Journey: 170mm (will take a 200mm)
  • Rear Wheel Journey: Adjustable between 155-180mm
  • Head Angle: 64°
  • Rear-center size: 415mm (unloaded)
  • Attain: 475mm (Giant)
  • BB Drop from rear Axle: 5mm (however this will probably be adjustable)
auckland cycle works marra kolarp suspension platform

The chain tensioner on the decrease chainline is there merely to enhance shifting efficiency on the derailleur

Gary did experiment with numerous swingarm lengths, just by welding an additional tube onto the entrance of the swingarm housing holes for the pivot {hardware}. Within the brief place he describes it as “amazingly playful and agile”. Within the longer chainstay place, as seen on the bike ridden on the British Champs Enduro, the climbing efficiency is improved, however the bike does lose a few of its playfulness.

The plan is to maintain the chainstay size adjustment characteristic in any manufacturing model of the bike, however this will probably be extra historically situated on the dropouts.

auckland cycle works idler on marra kolarp suspension platform

Gary seems assured that his design is sufficiently totally different to i-track suspension that it’ll not infringe upon that patent. The loafer itself will probably be greater on the manufacturing bike, however not massively bigger as it would begin to intrude with the higher hyperlink.

Gary experimented with six totally different positions for the loafer. He imagined that one place can be finest for climbing, and one other place can be higher for descending. He says he by no means anticipated the identical place to be one of the best for each climbing and descending.

He additionally believes the Marra will make for a wonderful eBike. “If you level it uphill the suspension doesn’t compress. With a protracted journey bike, while you level it uphill, the rear suspension sags extra as a result of your weight has gone again. This resists that tendency”. Gary places that all the way down to the 45° axle path, although he isn’t precisely certain why.

“My subsequent step is to design the suspension linkages as a module, that may then be given to another person to weld into an entire metal body. Bikes is perhaps prepared in very restricted numbers for spring/summer time 2023”.

Auckland Cycle Works Reiver

auckland cycle works reiver prototype xc downcountry mtb

The Marra wasn’t the one Auckland Cycle Works prototype on show at Bespoked 2022. Feast your eyes on the Reiver, a a lot flashier prototype produced from a carbon tubeset with 3D printed aluminum lugs. It’s an XC/Marathon bike that value Gary someplace within the area of £30,000 to make. This one was so contemporary that the joints had not but set, so by the point Gary confirmed it at Bespoked, he’d not really ridden it but.

The Reiver too started its improvement as a Lego mannequin. Observe the anti-clockwise co-rotation of the 2 hyperlinks that join the rear triangle to the entrance triangle. Right here, the BB is positioned on the decrease hyperlink itself. Because the suspension compresses and the rear-center extends, the underside bracket strikes downward.

Gary’s intention with the Reiver was a bit unusual, however sort of is smart, too. He requested himself, “How can I steal the advantages of [the Marra’s suspension design] whereas getting across the patent that I’ll write for it”. To do this, he determined that, as an alternative of getting the high-idler on the decrease hyperlink, he’d have to put the BB on the decrease hyperlink. So, that’s precisely what he did.

uckland cycle works reiver kolarp linkage

The Reiver prototype is ultra-adjustable. The decrease hyperlink homes the BB offset of heart, and it may be oriented to present the BB 4 doable positions. It may be flipped back-to-front and sideways to place the BB nearer to or additional away from the pivot on the entrance triangle, or greater or decrease relative to the swingarm.

kolarp suspension auckland cycle works reiver linkage non drive side view bb on lower link

Additionally, you will discover there’s a flip-chip situated on the pivot the place the decrease hyperlink meets the entrance triangle. So, really, there are 8 totally different configurations through which Gary wants to check his bike! That’s earlier than you even contemplate potential use of offset bushings and tokens, and so on. In its present configuration, it has 120mm of rear wheel journey, and is paired with a 120mm journey fork.

Gary hoped the Reiver’s suspension can be tremendous stiff when the rider is sat down pedaling, however extra supple while you get up. Since arriving dwelling from Bespoked, he’s managed two check rides aboard the Reiver. Right here’s what he has to say:

“When seated, the Reiver climbs like a short-travel XC race bike. When standing, it rides like a 150mm path bike. Slack geo makes it protected to assault the downhills, however isn’t an obstacle wherever else”.

We’ll be staying in contact with Gary over the approaching months and years to comply with the journey of Auckland Cycle Works. You may get in contact with Gary to be taught extra in regards to the model via his bike store, Inspiral Cycles.

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