Canadian Cycling Magazine

Structure Cycleswork­s SCW1 Foundation Series

A novel linkage system for a smoother, faster ride

- reviewed by Terry Mckall

You’ll notice that Structure Cycleworks’ mountain bike doesn’t look like other mountain bikes. The scw1, by ythe Calgary-based brand, is exciting. And don’t worry. You’re not alone in thinking it looks unique. It does, which is kind of the point.

Structure’s founder and ceo Loni Hull wanted to see what was possible if he put aside the traditiona­l constraint­s of modern mountain bike design. Specifical­ly, Hull wanted to resolve one of the main drawbacks of a telescopin­g front fork – the standard feature used on every other mountain bike. Even the best forks will tend to dive under hard braking. That steepens the head-tube angle, making the steering faster, almost twitchy at a moment when you want the opposite.

Structure’s solution is a linkage-based system, similar to what mountain bikes already use for rear suspension. Hull claims this design can reduce brake dive by as much as 40 per cent, while also keeping the head-tube angle consistent. In practical terms, your weight stays more centred on the bike instead of pitching forward as the bike moves into its travel.

Hull knows that his bike turns heads, and embraces the distinctiv­e esthetic of the scw1. He’s named his suspension design the “without telescopin­g fork” linkage. Or for short: wtf linkage, a tongue-in-cheek nod to the initial reaction he got to the bike’s design.

Structure has built its first bike around 27.5" wheels and a balanced 150-mm travel for both hoops. The bike works as a long-travel trail bike or enduro racer, which is a very competitiv­e category at the moment. So how does the wftequippe­d scw1 stack up on the trail?

Well, at first the scw1 doesn’t feel that different from a normal highend bike. You have to look down to remember you’re on a very different machine. Once you start pushing the pace or start hitting rougher trails, the wtf design keeps the scw1 more balanced and composed deep into the bike’s travel. This balance makes it easy to carry speed where you might normally slow down.

It’s not all roses, of course. While fans of 27.5" wheels will be happy with

Structure’s choice hoops, the scw1’s ground hugging design seems tailormade for the increased rollover of 29" wheels. The frame is built solidly, which puts the Foundation Series scw1 a couple pounds heavier than similarly priced alternativ­es.

Structure’s scw1 is an innovative design from a Canadian company. With a substantia­l price tag and integrated frame-fork design, you do really have to commit to the company’s linkage system. But, if you want to ride a bike that really is like nothing else on the market or you really want a solution to brake dive, the Calgary brand’s debut is an interestin­g option.

“This balance makes it easy to carry speed where you might normally slow down.”

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