Rampage Innova mountain bike swaps rear shock for a leaf spring
While there's no denying that having a rear shock can improve some aspects of the mountain biking experience, it does add weight and complexity. The Rampage Innova cross-country bike offers an alternative, in the form of a simplified leaf-spring rear suspension.
Created by Italian mountain bike manufacturer Lee Cougan, the full-carbon Rampage Innovation forgoes the usual rear shock absorber and linkage. Instead, it features flexible chain stays, oil-damped pistons at the top of each seat stay, plus a carbon fiber leaf spring which is joined to the two pistons at the top, and to the seat tube at the bottom.
As the rear wheel goes over bumps on the trail, the chain stays flex, causing the connected seat stays to move diagonally forward and upward. They compress the hydraulic pistons as they do so while also extending the leaf spring, thus absorbing the impact energy.
The spring and the pistons subsequently push the stays – and the rear wheel – back down to their default configuration. This setup, which is known as Innova Structural Suspension (ISS), provides up to 30 mm of travel. While that's significantly less than what's offered by many conventional cross-country rear shocks, the system is meant to put the Rampage at a sort of half-way point between a hardtail and a full-suspension model.
While no weight figures have been provided for the ISS itself, the whole bike is claimed to tip the scales at just over 9 kg (20 lb).
The Rampage Innova is available for preorder now, in four different component packages. Prices range from US$5,159 up to $9,239. A frame can also be purchased on its own for $2,449.
The ISS can be seen in action, in the video below.