In this article, we’ll be discussing a Bicycle Suspension System by Cycling Sports Group, US patent 9,527,545. The publication date is Dec 27th, 2016 and the filing date is Aug. 13th, 2015.
This will not be a full write up, since this is an old idea. I thought it was cool, and I wanted to write something down rather than just share pictures. I’m unsure if this was ever publicized, but this looks like a variation of the 2017ish Scalpel. Check out the patent above if you want to dig in further. Doing some searching on Google shows someone (bturman) posted this to the Vital forums like 5 years ago. I don’t think very many people ended up seeing it there, so here you go.
Look at this: 2 water bottles!
In short, this is a pseudo-electronic, split, internal shock assembly. Cannondale always pushing limits. Figure 2 shows a general assembly of this bike.
Figure 3 shows an internal look at this system. Components 412 and 414 are the important ones here.
Cannondale state this split design is for a better appearance.
The placement of the valve/reservoir unit internal of the tubular frame of the bicycle provides shock absorbing functionality in a sleek aerodynamic bicycle frame. Another advantage of the split shock format is to maximize space between the frame members for water bottles or other accessories, which creates a visually uncluttered look for the bicycle.
As depicted in FIG. 3, the second portion 414 of the split rear shock 410 is fully integrated into the front top tube 204.2 of the frame 200, and disposed in line with the first portion 412 of the split rear shock 410 to provide an uncluttered aesthetic.
This shock system has an electro mechanical actuator in the valve 420.
The valve/reservoir unit includes an electro mechanical actuator (EMA), which may be a rotational electro mechanical actuator (REMA), a lock-out valve, which may be a rotary actuated lock-out valve, in operable communication with the EMA/REMA, and a blow-off valve,
Figure 4 shows the basic structure.
Figure 5 shows the internals. 412 is is the air/damper side and 414 is the lockout/blowoff valve side. Component 420 is the valve containing the EMA.
Cannondale have a great line that states explicit intended novelty and key features of these components:
A key distinction here over other bicycle shock absorber art is that the split rear shock format employs a first outer portion 412 that includes a shock absorber (an air spring, a rebound damping circuit, a compression damping circuit, or any combination thereof)… and a second inner portion 414 that includes a valve assembly (valve/reservoir unit) having a lock-out valve and a blow-off valve, and optionally including a compression damping circuit, where the first and second portions 412, 414 are coupled in fluid communication with each other via the flexible hose 416.
Valve assembly 420 is also in figure 5. This piece is where the lockout is located.
…a valve assembly 420 includes a rotary lock-out valve 422, a bi-stable REMA 424, a blow-off valve 426, and a reservoir 428. A compressible air chamber 430 within the valve/reservoir unit 420 accommodates ebb and flow of shock absorbing fluid.
Cannondale also state that where the wires go. So, it appears this system may be actuated by some external sensors which are connected to the valve 420 (424) to adjust the shock.
Electrical wires 432 connect to the REMA 424, sensors, such as an accelerometer, and a power supply, disposed on or within the frame 200, for actuation thereof…
Cannondale explain what ‘bi-stable’ means:
An embodiment uses the bi-stable REMA 424 immersed inside the oil of the hydraulic damper unit 410 to either allow flow or prohibit flow, hence the term bi-stable, by actuating the lock-out valve 422.
Basically, the valve can open and close fluid flow between the separate components of the shock 412 and the lockout/blowoff valve 414.
Figure 8 shows the same idea, but with electronics and a ‘power generation device’ 160. The shock is attached to electronics 140 and a battery 150. Apparently there’s a regenerative system in this shock, as well.
In an embodiment and disposed within the frame 200, the top tube 204, or the front top tube 204.2, the second inner portion 414 of the shock 410 includes operably connected thereto electronics 140, such as a wireless data connection, a motor control, and/or an accelerometer, for example, and/or a battery 150, rechargeable or not, to power the system (the electronics 140 and the REMA 424 for example) via the electrical wires 432.
In an embodiment, the shock absorber 410 also includes a power generation device 160 operably coupled, via wires for example, to recharge the battery 150, either by an electro mechanical, a hydraulic electro mechanical, or a piezo resistive device and associated method,
There’s way more to this idea than I put in this article. I just picked the high level points and the novelty. If you want to dig in, the link is at the top of this page.