BikeRadar Tech Talk Ep 6 and 7: Suspension springs and MTB drivetrains

We discuss the science of suspension springs and ask why derailleurs still exist

Look that the sleek derailleur!

A double-whammy of Tech Talk Podcasts for you this time!

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First, in Episode 6, tech editor Tom and tech guru Seb discuss suspension springs – whether that’s air or coil. Coil springs disappeared for a little while from mainstream mountain bikes, but seem to be making a mini-comeback, while air springs are increasingly popular on downhill bikes, but why is that? We’re also seeing a number of coil conversions for popular suspension forks coming to market.

In Episode 7 the team chats drivetrains. For as long as gears have existed on bicycles, the derailleur has been the dominant way of shifting from one gear to the next. However, given that it’s exposed to the elements, and hangs by the rear wheel, it seems rather vulnerable. Why haven’t planetary gear systems taken off?

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Chainless MTB drivetrain
CeramicSpeed has a prototype MTB drivetrain that’s certainly unique.
Oliver Woodman / Immediate Media

Previous BikeRadar Tech Talk Podcast episodes

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Two mountain bike rear suspension shocks
Air sprung shocks (left) and coil-sprung shocks (right) do the same job, but there are subtle differences in performance.

Previous BikeRadar Podcast episodes