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KOLARP is a new patented suspension system that delivers better performance uphill, downhill, pedaling and braking.

The secret is in dual counter-rotating links, and the curved axle path that this delivers.

This unique design was uncovered following a process of experimentation that started in 2019. Gary Ewing had noticed a trend for ever-straighter axle-paths, and he wanted to build a bike with more braking anti-rise than could be achieved with standard linkages.

The deliberately curvy axle path, despite looking like a kinematic design nightmare, is actually something really special. And though the braking anti-rise appeared to be off-the-scale, it was only a moderate increase above bikes like the Yeti Switch Infinity and DW equipped Ibis and Pivot designs.

Crucially, braking anti-rise with KOLARP is highest at the beginning of the stroke, and reduces as the suspension compresses. This isn’t possible with conventional suspension layouts. Under braking, KOLARP keeps the suspension at sag, keeps the suspension super-active and delivers the most amazing braking traction and stability.

A long slow process of experimentation and prototyping has brought us to the current Marra.

This Lego video of existing suspension designs shows the knowledge that Gary already had inside his head, but also shows how Marra and Reiver are very different to everything else that currently exists. Gary really did use Lego for proving and refining the concept. Used like this, Lego is a very fast and effective tool for refining the entire concept.

KOLARP – full list of suspension characteristics and associated benefits:

Marra: KOLARP high pivot / long travel

  1. Curved axle path
    • Radically curved and rearward axle path is 21.5% more efficient at dealing with 100mm high square-edged hits.
    • Axle path is most rearward for the first 40% of the travel, effectively vertical for the last 40% of the travel. This increases the ability to carry speed, yet retains playfulness and agility as the chain-stay length doesn’t continue to grow deeper into the travel.
    • The first 40% of the suspension stroke / axle path is dramatically rearward. This allows the suspension to actively resist sinking deeper into the travel as the climb gradient increases. This makes the bike a good technical climber, even with a 190mm or 200mm fork. (Rear suspension performs 2 functions: it responds to bumps and impacts, and it resists the rider’s weight. The rider’s weight always acts vertically, yet the suspension stroke acts in a diagonal direction. As the climb steepens the difference in angle between these two vectors increases, effectively reducing shock leverage and preventing excessive climbing sag. This benefit becomes more pronounced as the climb gets steeper.)
    • Curved axle path improves the kinematics. Rider weight acts vertically, yet impacts are absorbed in a diagonal direction. KOLARP suspension works best with 20-25% sag. This utilises the most sensitive rearward portion of the axle path to give a remarkably supple initial stroke, but from sag to bottom-out there is 75-80% of the shock stroke remaining, rather than 60-65% like other long travel bikes. This simply means the shock isn’t wasting its capacity on the least important part of the action, and the bike delivers amazing mid-stroke support.
  2. Low idler mounted on the chain stay
    • More chain wrap means more chain security
    • Suspension actuation doesn’t move the rear mech. The stiffness of the clutch doesn’t affect the suspension. Gears are easier to set up and give road-bike-like shifting precision.
  3. High idler is mounted on the lower link
    • Controls chain growth.
    • Eliminates pedal kickback.
    • Minimal pedal bob even with the shock fully open.
    • Massive climbing traction and climbing efficiency.
    • Only needs a single standard length 12speed chain.
  4. Exaggerated swingarm rotation as suspension compresses.
    • Braking anti-rise is significantly higher than conventional designs.
    • Suspension stays fully active under braking.
    • Suspension stays at sag under braking, so the rider’s centre of gravity stays lower, so there’s more rear wheel braking traction.
    • This braking anti-rise effect only keeps the suspension compressed so long as there is traction between the rear tyre and the ground. If this traction is lost and the rear wheel starts to skid, the rear suspension will re-extend – until braking traction is resumed and the anti-rise effect kicks in again. This means KOLARP suspension has a built-in ABS braking effect.
    • Real-world braking distances reduced by over 10%. As the terrain gets rougher/steeper this gets even better.
    • Since hard braking causes the suspension to stay at sag, the rider can brake half-way round a corner without upsetting the balance of the bike.
    • A KOLARP equipped bike doesn’t need an excessively slack head angle to compensate for forward pitching under braking.
    • This incredible chassis stability means you can run a fork that is approx 10mm longer, yet still benefit from more nimble handling.
  5. High-Idler design is suited to long travel applications, because the marginal increase in chain drag is negligible next to the increased weight of a long travel enduro bike and the drag from enduro/DH tyres.

Reiver: KOLARP[X] / short and medium travel

Same excellent climbing and braking characteristics as above, plus…

  1. Bottom bracket is mounted on the lower link.
  2. Greater leverage on the shock when the rider is standing, less leverage on the shock when the rider is seated. When riding over variable terrain the rider will shift weight into the saddle when the terrain is smooth, and out of the saddle when terrain is rough. KOLARP automatically adjusts the amount of suspension available in response to the rider’s weight shifts. It’s like the most sophisticated system of lockouts or electronic suspension wizardry, and it works without even having to think about it.
  3. Curved axle path delivers a more rearward axle path for the first half of the travel. High pivot benefits without the need for a high idler.
  4. No pedal kickback = excellent climbing traction and descending feel.
  5. Increased versatility = wider range-of-use. 3 bikes will cover the entire spectrum of full-suspension usage from XC race to DH - many manufacturers need 7 bikes to cover the same span. Choose the fork to suit your purpose and build it your way.

range of use for Kolarp

So is it better than everything else in every way?

Objective measurements are only half of what makes a bike great. Watch out for independent reviews coming soon!

What’s next?

The KOLARP concept is proven. Auckland Cycle Works exists to complete the development and take the KOLARP concept to the world.

The KOLARP suspension concept as used in both Marra and Reiver bikes is protected by patent GB2611590, published 3rd January 2024. International patent application is in progress.