Is Resistance futile?
Canadian carbon bike integrates the rear suspension into its top tube. A bespoke carbon fibre full suspension mountain bike that does things a bit differently.
There’s not a whole lot of information out there about this intriguing machine – and it’s not available to order yet, let alone purchase – but it’s still more than newsworthy.
For once, the gearbox drivetrain – from Effibox – isn’t the eye-catching thing about this bike. Nor does its application need explaining (we all know the unsprung mass and reliability arguments of gearboxes).
The striking thing about the Resistance Insolent is the rear shock. There isn’t one. Well, not in the traditional bolt-on sense. The Insolent’s top tube doubles up as the shock body for the rear shock.
This isn’t the case of a standard aftermarket rear shock being hidden inside a frame tube (à la Bold Cycles Linkin bikes). The top tube IS the rear shock.
The shock shaft appears to be a modified stanchion from a Fox 40 triple crown downhill fork. This slides into a metal sleeve that itself sits inside the carbon fibre top tube of the frame.
From the cutaway graphics it does reveal how the ‘guts’ of the Insolent’s rear suspension are significantly larger than a normal rear shock.
It’s essentially a volume the size of a Fox 40 leg doing the rear suspension work. This may have some advantages in terms of stiction, seal wear and consistency and maybe even heat build-up and dissipation (contrary to our initial thought the the system could suffer from heat fade).
Why make the top tube into a rear shock body? There’s no doubt a bit of “because we can”-ness about this concept. And the designers make no bones about liking the way it looks. But what about from a performance point of view?
Bike designers have spent most of the past few years removing the rear shock from being a structural part of the frame (to reduce sideloads on the shock which causes binding as well as undue wear and tear). Resistance do more than fly in the face of such ideas. They actively go backwards to such theories.
Perhaps this is why the model is called Insolent. (It is a great name, to be fair).
Resistance Bikes’ explanation: “The integrated structure of the Resistance Bikes frame reduces the amount of material required to achieve satisfactory rigidity.”
Perhaps the key word here is “satisfactory”. Not “unparalleled”. Not “none more stiff”. It is stiff enough to do the job in hand and has the benefits of being lighter overall weight.
Who are Resistance Bikes?
Resistance Bikes are from Quebec, Canada (not France as some might assume). We’ve dug out our GCSE workbooks to work out what they’re all about.
The man with the plan is called Jean-François Boivin. A mechanical graduate of Ecole Polytechnique de Montréal who worked as a mechanical enginner for a number of years before starting up Resistance Bikes in 2014. He also worked at Labyrinth Bikes for a while.