The Trek Supercaliber features a whole new design of rear shock, and this time it is genuinely different.
The main difference between a standard rear shock on a full suspension bike and the new Isostrut shock seen on the Supercaliber is the integration into the frame. With a traditional shock the design requires there to a whole separate linkage system, which is generally independent from the frame.
However with Isostrut, all of the rear end movement happens in the rear stay. It is built to be very thin in order to allow movement in the same way a shock would usually do, allowing the equivalent of 60mm of travel.
What is the Point?
The thinking behind this revolutionary design is to reduce weight initially, the new Trek Supercaliber weighs in at only 1.95kg for the frame and shock. This was previously unheard of for a full suspension bike, and certainly gives the rider a keen advantage.
Furthermore, from afar, the Trek Supercaliber looks like a hardtail, and it also rides like one. The integrated shock means that the only movement in the rear end is to soak up bumps from the trail below. So pedalling efficiency is unparalleled for a full suspension XC bike.
We have seen similar systems with bikes however, the best one coming from Marin, implemented into their Wolf Ridge and Mount Vision range. Marin’s system is maybe even more vital to their bikes due to their decision to add it to longer travel, enduro style bikes. With 150mm and 160mm travel variants this bike is probably more appealing to most everyday riders, due to the extra comfort and versatility provided by longer travel.
Favoured also by pro enduro riders the Marin iterations house the system within the bottom bracket region, which assists more with the longer travel.
What are your thoughts, let us know in the comments?