This German mountain bike has an amazing suspension system

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The Senduro could set new standards for rear-suspension performance. (Photo: EMRG)
The Senduro could set new standards for rear-suspension performance. (Photo: EMRG)
  • German engineering excellence comes to enduro mountain bikes, with a new suspension design.
  • Long-travel mountain bikes can often be annoyingly energy-inefficient, when pedalling up steep inclines.
  • This new German prototype mountain bike aims to combine extreme downhill performance, without completely sacrificing its climbing ability.

With its global reputation for engineering excellence, you’d expect German mountain bikes to be good. Very good.

Although German mountain bikes are quire rare, the numbers are increasing. 

Despite American and Taiwanese companies dominating the global mountain bike market, the German cycling industry has increased its product distribution over the last few years.

Customer direct brands such as Canyon and YT have brought German cycling technology to a wider audience. But the true German mountain bike gems are those small companies that fly under the radar.

german mountain bike
There is a lot going on here, with more pivots and linkages than you’d usually have, on a mountain bike. (Photo: EMRG)

Engineering a new enduro bike suspension system

Matthias Reichmann is a German mountain bike designer who gained a European cult following, with his RIP downhill frame. And his latest project is a heavy-duty enduro mountain bike, with signature German engineering innovation.

The Senduro is now in its final prototyping stage and promises to give riders a great range of suspension adjustments.

Many enduro and downhill mountain bikes have geometry adjustment chips, usually mounted on the chainstay or shock eyelet – but they only function in a narrow bandwidth. Matthias wanted a design that could help riders make bigger suspension adjustments. 

mountain bike design
The Senduro’s suspension design has small-bump sensitivity and an ability to absorb big terrain impacts. (Photo: EMRG)

If six is good, seven must be better

German engineers never shy away from complexity - as the Senduro proves. Where most dual-suspension mountain bikes have four or six pivots that allow movement of the rear-suspension, the Senduro has seven.

More pivots create greater suspension sensitivity and allow riders to tune shock performance more accurately. For those enduro and downhill riders who obsess about getting the most from their mountain bike kinematics and shock movement, this Senduro seven-pivot design could be the answer.

Extras pivots increase weight. The Senduro frame isn’t light, at 4kg. More pivots on a mountain bike also increase the burden of servicing, as pivot bearings require maintenance and replacing.

Designed to be good, in really steep terrain

The benefits of a complex seven-pivot system are inarguably worth the sacrifice in weight and servicing – especially for demanding riders. Designed to descend the most technical trails with confidence, the Senduro works with forks in the range of 180- to 200mm, and rear-suspension travel in a spectrum of 170-195mm.

Extreme enduro bikes are usually quite tiresome to pedal uphill, with poor climbing performance. Matthias wanted to create an enduro mountain bike for riding down the steepest descending terrain, that would also climb with moderate efficiency.

The Senduro project has been about combining the downhill riding ability of a long-travel enduro bike, with something that can be leisurely pedalled uphill, without wasting too much energy. And to achieve that, he upped the pivot count to seven – and made it work.

If tinkering with suspension settings are your thing, the first batch of customer bikes will be produced by the middle of the year.

 

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