2015 Canfield Balance

Words Morgan Taylor and Jon Harris
Photos Morgan Taylor
Date Apr 24, 2014

The world of patents is a funny place. You have to play your cards very carefully or someone else can snatch up your ideas. As a result, designers brew up plans that can’t see the light of day for fear of having their ideas ripped off.

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The Canfield Balance is one of said projects. We ran into Lance Canfield cruising the grounds at Sea Otter on this pre-production model and had to snap a few shots. Lance has been sitting quietly on this design for a couple of years, waiting for his patent application to get to the point where he can safely show the frame off.

Lance told us he built the Balance to be his “go-to” bike for any kind of ride – when he isn’t sure if he is being taken on an all day pedal or a big hitting downhill ride. Having moved the Canfield clan up to Bellingham from Utah, Lance knows the Pacific Northwest can certainly provide that variety.

The Balance will be sold as a frame only or as a frame kit with fork and shock plus a compliment of the Canfield cranks, pedals and wheels if you so desire. Watch for more details this summer.

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You know you’re looking at a Canfield when…

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Plenty of machining and welding going on here.

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The seat stay bridge is diminutive compared to the rest of the tubes.

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Another look at the bridge, and the ano blue linkages.

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160mm post mount out back with a 142×12 Maxle.

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The Balance’s rear end design is unique for sure.

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More on that machining and welding.

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Big chunks of alloy, yet the complete bike is claimed at 32 pounds as seen here. (Lance chimed in to correct the 27 lb figure)

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Canfield’s Crampon pedals help the weight case.

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And their cranks look the part.

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Also of note, but not likely to rise in popularity, is the 9-36 10-speed cogset.

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That’s 400% gear range, if you were counting.

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The frame has been optimized around the Cane Creek Double Barrel CS.

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The 2015 Canfield Balance. 160mm front and rear, 16.8″ chainstays, and a 65.5º head angle with the external headset cup seen here.


Note Lance didn’t once mention the word “enduro” to us. This one’s just a mountain bike…

Comments

geoff-hall
0
Geoff Hall  - Feb. 22, 2016, 1:10 a.m.

Its true they are no means a lite trails bike… I built one up and test road it yesterday around Bristol trails; Running 55 Bombers, Hope breaks, XT 11-42 running gear on 26″ wheels… It weighs 35.9lbs (16.32kg)… Compared to my Specialized Enduro 29'er at 32lb (14.5kg) which is like a tracker and will go over anything and everything, and has taken a lot of abuse from me over the winter I can't fault it (apart from everyone has got one) The Canfield ride was a lot more playful on the DH sections but was very slow on the flat trials… I did snap the chain on the one up hill section but I put that down to 11 speed chains being slightly thinner. Next test will be up the Quantocks and Cwm Carn and see how much my quads burst on the up hills given the extra weight!

Reply

cam@nsmb.com
0
Cam McRae  - April 24, 2014, 4:31 p.m.

Two of you were correct about the claimed weight. Lance chimed in on FB and told us that as shown it's actually 32lbs.

Reply

jason-f
0
Jason F  - April 24, 2014, 12:09 p.m.

I'd be curious if that's spreadsheet weight or measured weight. But yes, looks the part. Another good contender in the one-bike world and looks like good competition with my Chilcotin

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jack
0
Jack  - April 24, 2014, 8:38 a.m.

So what exactly has he patented? It's a short link all-mountain bike…am I missing something revolutionary?

Reply

Captain-Snappy
0
Merwinn  - April 24, 2014, 3:34 p.m.

You serious? The suspension design is patented, just like Giant has Maestro, SC & Intense have VPP, etc., etc.

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beyonces-left-buttock
0
Beyonces Left Buttock  - April 24, 2014, 6:35 p.m.

Seems like a fair question. What is special about the linkage that makes it worth patenting? The geometry looks great though.

Reply

TEMPLE
0
TEMPLE  - April 25, 2014, 11:12 a.m.

Small variations in linkage design, if considered to an improvement, are patentable. Older patents for suspension design may expired by now, or, similar to Canfield, be only for incremental improvements.

Not to nerd too hard on the whole patent thing, but the opening statements of this article aren't correct. Once an application has been filed, it is safe to show an invention to the general public. Nobody can take an invention from someone else if it is disclosed too early; worst case scenario is that an inventor loses his or her 20 years of monopoly granted by a patent- that is still pretty bad, but it isn't outright theft.

TEMPLE

Reply

Captain-Snappy
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Merwinn  - April 28, 2014, 9:52 a.m.

Oh it's fair, just surprisingly naive.

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jack
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jack  - April 24, 2014, 8:11 a.m.

Whats the travel and what wheel size?

Reply

mihr-cycles
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Mihr Cycles  - April 24, 2014, 8:33 a.m.

160mm, 27.5.

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prenis
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Prenis  - April 24, 2014, 8:03 a.m.

How the hell is that 27 pounds. Tires must be full of helium.

Reply

mihr-cycles
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Mihr Cycles  - April 24, 2014, 7:08 a.m.

Not sure on that claimed weight of 27lbs? The frame and shock are 8lbs alone. Oh well, still a killer bike I am sure.

Reply

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