The dw-link suspension design allows us to achieve the ultimate ride. The perfect balance of traction, acceleration, square-edge bump performance, superior braking, and the ability to handle big hits with ease is what Pivot bikes are known for. The dw-link’s patented position-sensitive anti-squat eliminates pedal bob during hard pedaling efforts out of the saddle. The design also gives the bike additional traction while climbing (seated or standing), in addition to helping propel the bike forward during sprinting and hard efforts out of corners. The design starts out with a slightly rearward travel path for better square edge bump performance, and then goes to a more vertical path, remaining active throughout the travel. The dw-link truly allows us the tunability to give the rider the best pedaling performance possible, without sacrificing braking or suspension feel. Simply put, the dw-link is the next level of suspension design.
DW-Link bikes: The single biggest thing that separates all DW-Link bikes from the other SDL’s (short dual links) is the concept of anti-squat. It is a direct correlation between the rider’s center of mass, the link locations, and shock positioning covered by the DW-Link patents. No other SDL design has this. Basically, anti-squat allows dw-link builders to achieve better overall suspension performance, without having to control bob through the use of lock-out, heavy pro-pedal settings, or the use of excessive compression damping. The end result is a bike with much more versatile in a variety of conditions.
In the case of our Pivot Mach 4, you have a bike that can climb and sprint with the most efficient world cup racers, yet when pointed downhill, it is known as a great trail bike that feels like it has more than 115mm of travel. These advantages are even more pronounced in our longer travel models, like our 167mm of travel Firebird. The Firebird is a bike that can truly take hits and handle rough terrain better than some DH bikes on the market, but when it comes to pedaling climbing, there is no equal in its class. Editors and customers alike have compared it to pedaling a 120mm travel bike. We even have riders race it competitively in 24 hour endurance events.
This versatility goes right on through to the Phoenix, which gives our World Cup riders a bike with suspension travel, plushness, and control that is at the top of the class, and pedaling performance that kills the other designs on the market. When a racer is chasing that last 10th of a second, superior pedaling performance matters.
There are other key details that allow dw-link designers to build a better bike. Because of anti-squat, the bike does not sag under power; therefore, the bottom bracket does not lower when attacking steep or technical terrain. This allows us to design frames with lower bottom brackets while avoiding the negative effects of hitting the pedals on obstacles. Riders feel the positive effects of a lower BB are in a better handling and better cornering bike. The lower overall center of gravity gives riders the confidence of feeling more in the bike as opposed to on top of the bike.
With the dw-link, we have the ability to control the wheel travel path at different points in the travel. The characteristics and path you want at the very beginning of the travel are not necessarily the same as what you want in the middle of the travel. In this regard, Pivot’s designs really focus on traction and incredible square edge bump performance in the first part of the travel by employing a more rearward travel path. As the bike gets into the travel, it follows a more vertical wheel travel path. This, combined with our shock tuning and overall suspension curves, gives the bike a really smooth transition into the middle of the travel. It also allows us to balance the braking effect on the suspension. The Mach 4, for example, features fully-active braking that matches the best 4-bar link bikes on the market. The dw-link suspension design doesn’t stiffen under hard breaking, allowing the rider to carry more speed and brake much later into the turns, all because the suspension will continue to keep the rear wheel actively in contact with the ground and the braking traction high.