CAN_KIS_CenteringBars_turned position
KEEP IT STABLE

Canyon's K.I.S. Tech Promises Steering Stability

Words Pete Roggeman
Photos Boris Beyer and Roo Fowler
Date Oct 25, 2022
Reading time

The invitation didn't have a lot in the way of details, but it was long on promise: "come to France to ride a new steering technology from Canyon (and partners)." It wasn't a new bike. It was a steering technology. Huh. In a world full of rumour and gossip, no one I spoke to in advance had much of an idea of what it was, but we all semi-jokingly mused about whether it was anything like the old Hopey steering dampers that emerged in 2002 and disappeared shortly thereafter. I was certainly willing to hop on a plane to find out more.

Canyon's K.I.S. - which stands for Keep It Stable - is in fact a steering assist technology developed by Jo Klieber at Syntace and engineered by Canyon. Initially developed for use on the new Canyon Spectral CF8 CLLCTV, K.I.S. will certainly be added to more models in the future. For the first year, K.I.S. is exclusive to Canyon as well as Liteville (a bike brand owned by Syntace), and after that, we can expect to see it start popping up on other brands as Canyon's one-year exclusivity is relaxed. But we're getting a little ahead of ourselves.

What the Heck is K.I.S.?

The heart of K.I.S. is very simple: the system consists of a spring mechanism anchored within your top tube that connects to a cam ring that is attached to your fork's steerer tube. Turning your bars away from center elongates the springs, adding tension and the sensation of a counter-force that can be felt in your hands as the bars try to self-center. You may imagine this is a foreign sensation, but the system has been engineered to add stability, not jerk your hands around, and that's how it feels after a short acclimation period. Canyon describes it as adding a 'weighted feel to the steering' and that sums it up well. Tension can be adjusted by loosening the plate on the top tube with a 4mm Allen. Slide the plate away from the stem to elongate the springs and increase tension, or slide the plate towards the stem to shorten the springs and ease off the tension (all the way to 'off' if desired).

K.I.S. only weighs 110 grams, requires no maintenance, and does not seem vulnerable to damage: an integrated rotation stop prevents the bars from turning past 90º in a crash, and a breakaway function on the cam ring clamp prevents damage in the event of a violent twisting crash that overwhelms the rotation stop. If this happens, the system can be 'reset' by popping the head tube access port which looks a lot like a cable ingress but accommodates a 4mm Allen which you use to loosen the bolt holding the cam ring. Re-align, re-tighten, replace the port, and you're riding again. That same port allows access if you need to remove the fork (the only added step is to loosen the cam ring and the fork steerer will slide through). Fork installs simply require that you push the steerer in at a slight angle so it will 'snag' the cam ring, slide it through, set everything to straight, and tighten the bolt that holds the cam ring in place - everything else is the same as before.

Is K.I.S. Something We Really Need?

When I first saw it, that was my initial thought. Better geo has greatly improved stability and control and bikes are so much better for it. I don't recall thinking that steering stability was a problem that needed solving. However, there are a few interesting ideas at play here, and while the system is simple, some of the ramifications are not, so let's talk about them.

First of all, the Hopey/damper issue: K.I.S. is not the same thing at all. Steering dampers are used in the Moto world, where wheel mass leads to greater risk of deflection and crashes aka the dreaded tank slapper. But bikes don't have the same issue with an unweighted front wheel under power, nor is the front end as heavy as on a motorbike. Most importantly, dampers are counter-productive in MTB because they actually dull your reaction time by slowing your steering inputs, whether away from or back towards center. K.I.S. is not a damper, it's a spring, and the idea is not to slow down your steering or add friction, but rather to make it more deliberate. It does have a similar effect in one way in terms of encouraging your steerer to stay straight (riding hands free is super easy), but it's not intended to overwhelm your intentions like a damper might. If it helps to compare to steering a car, here goes: in a long presentation that covered a lot of theory that I would have found much more interesting if I wasn't crushed by jet lag at the time, Jo Klieber talked about how steering a bike requires between 100-1,000g of force, whereas a car isn't much more: between 500 and 2,500 grams. A sports car will usually have heavier steering, or the power assist will be tuned to diminish as the car reaches speed, so that deliberate inputs give the driver a feeling of control and therefore confidence. It will also very easily hold a straight line at speed. That stability is the same idea K.I.S. is after, only the user can tune the amount of tension. Heavier or more aggressive riders will prefer more tension, whereas lighter riders, or ones that want a more agile steering feel (slow speed tech, for example) may opt for a lighter spring rate.

Canyon KIS Torque Curve Graph

The initial tension in the KIS system is fairly strong for the first ten degrees. After that, it barely ramps up.

Here's an unexpected one: K.I.S. connects the front and back wheels in a way that doesn't normally exist. On regular bikes, the wheels are independent, but K.I.S. establishes a connection between the two. In talking to the other journalists there, some felt this more than others, but Fabien Barel described it by saying that in a turn where you're experiencing oversteer, as you work to correct it, the connection between the front and rear wheel encourages a faster and more natural return to neutral. He also feels like the system allows you to use your feet to steer more than normal, a bit like skiing, because you can impart more impact on steering from the back wheel. That part I can't confirm, because in my three days riding the K.I.S.-equipped Spectral, I was usually focusing on navigating more than nailing turns at my top speed, however I did feel a bit of the front-rear correction in some of the loose turns we encountered.

K.I.S. is not actually the only stabilizer out there - they exist on urban and kids' bikes, however those ones use a single spring and become progressively harder to turn through their range of motion. They are not performance-based solutions, they're simply there to keep the bars straight. Mountain bikers don't want that, and that's not what K.I.S. is all about.

Canyon_KIS_0O9A2631

Surprisingly, KIS felt beneficial on climbs as well as descents, by helping to keep the front wheel from wandering around or flopping.

There is even a benefit to the system while climbing. Slacker head angles make our front ends more susceptible to wheel flop, which we're willing to put up with because that slack head angle makes for more confidence and stability when we head back down. However, there is a physical price to pay every time you have to correct a floppy front wheel - you have to accelerate to regain control and then put it back into place. With a bit more stability, that wheel is less likely to flop. K.I.S. cannot, however, make it easier to get your monster wheelbase around a tight corner - that's still on you.

Riding the Canyon Spectral K.I.S.

Theory and diagrams are all well and good, but this was something we would have to feel for ourselves, and after two and a half years off from media camps, it was nice to go and ride trails somewhere else for a change with old friends and new ones. We stayed in a charming small town called Peillon, about 20 kms NE of Nice, France, close to Peille, where riders with names like Barel, Vouilloz, Vergier, Bruni, and Barelli all learned to ride. Thousands of kilometers of trails trace the valleys and mountain passes, and there is a wide variety of terrain, from rugged limestone cliffs to forests of chestnut and pine. The smell of sage, rosemary, and thyme is prevalent, and while the area sees 300 days of sun per year, we were the beneficiaries of some rain about three days earlier, so the dirt was about perfect.

We were in a large group and there's always the need to get the photos done before time runs out, so the morning ride had a bit of a stop-and-go element to it, which made it a bit tough to get into a rhythm. Having just flown in the day before, my body wasn't yet adjusted to the clock, so add that to the list of variables: new trails and dirt, foreign bike, and a newfangled steering doohickey to try to sort out. We were asked to start with our K.I.S. systems in the middle mode - this allowed us to feel it at work without it being overwhelming. After about an hour of riding, we started to play around with it a little bit - I pulled mine almost all the way to max to get a bracketed sensation. Some of the early trails were bench cut and had a bit of exposure, but I eventually settled into the bike a bit and was able to focus more on what I was feeling rather than just keeping the wheels between the lines.

Several trails had ruts formed by the rain from a few days earlier and this is where I started to notice the stability of the system making it easier to keep the wheel where I wanted - in the middle of the rut - rather than having it skip off the walls and try to climb up one of the edges. We also encountered some technical rock gardens with blind risers and up-and-overs that were a lot of fun, especially as we all got more comfortable on the bikes, and here again I found K.I.S. was giving me a bit of added confidence in spots where a misplaced front wheel could have led to trouble. At this point I had been riding with it at almost max tension and I was struck by the fact that in general, there wasn't much of a learning curve - at least on most terrain - and that it felt natural. It was possible to perceive the difference in feel, but it wasn't as foreign as I had suspected. In no way did I feel like my steering inputs were being hindered, it was more like everything was more deliberate. It wasn't drastic, though - this wasn't like a two-wheeled epiphany. However, when I released the tension and rode for a while with K.I.S. off, I realized I didn't like it as much, so I turned it back on after 10 minutes, and that was as telling for me as anything else.

Canyon_KIS_066A0511-2

Day Two - Learning More About K.I.S.

The official part of the media camp only called for one day of riding, but several of us stuck around for a few more days (and a few of us even made the trip up to visit Canyon in Koblenz - more about that in another article). After shuttling for all of day one, day two was a mix of shuttling and pedaling. And it gave us a better chance to spend some more time with K.I.S. I had two main revelations from day two. The first is that, due to the fact that we climbed for about an hour and almost 1,000 meters after lunch, I got a better sense of how the system feels on steep and technical climbs. And the second finding was the one weak spot - for me - in my limited time with K.I.S.

Climbing first, and right after lunch in the valley, we left the shuttle rig behind and pointed the bikes up on a rocky trail that switchbacked and snaked its way up for 3-400 meters before tapering off. Number one, don't order a Croque Monsieur before a big climb. My gut is pretty hardy, but the béchamel sauce in the middle was cold because it wasn't heated up properly, and - cry me a river, I know - that made for some slow chewing. Anyway, up we went and it was steep and hard, but I did notice that having a front end that didn't tend to wander allowed me to focus on trying to spin circles and suffer with some degree of poise. Chalk one up for K.I.S. as it seems like it does indeed climb well.

Now, number two. We were in France, and we all know that the French excel at the nose pick. Thankfully we didn't encounter as many of the nasty, tight switchbacks the area is known for as I thought we would, but they did pop up on day two. I am no master when it comes to plunking the front wheel into the apex and lifting the back wheel into a graceful, rotating arc (at least not when it calls for more than 40 degrees), however many of the switchbacks we encountered should have been manageable with my 'pick a wide line, cut it tight, and let it ride' technique. In reality, I bungled four or five of them so badly I gave up positions to other riders like I was a newbie. Without further evidence to prove me otherwise (and while also acknowledging my lame switchback technique), I blame K.I.S. for throwing off my timing. It's likely I would have adjusted, but it was the one scenario where the different steering feel seemed to mess with me.

Conclusions

It's easy to look at something new and different and proclaim that it's more about the marketing than meaningful advancement. Mountain bikes are complex editions of the simple bicycle, and we're right to reserve judgment until something new earns its stripes. K.I.S. is not revolutionary, however in the short time I spent riding it, the pros far outweighed the cons and the telling moment for me was that when I had the chance to disable it, I decided instead that I preferred to keep it activated. If it was complicated, heavy, expensive, or required maintenance, it would be a lot easier to dismiss it as unnecessary, or perhaps superfluous. However it is none of those things, and because it adds something to the riding experience, whether that's confidence or performance or both, I think there is a future for K.I.S. It is honestly difficult to look into the future to predict how successful it will be, and I think Canyon shares that view, however I can say now that if given the choice between a bike that had it or one that didn't, I would elect to Keep It Stable.

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Comments

mrbrett
mrbrett
3 months, 2 weeks ago
+11 PowellRiviera Cr4w Shoreboy IslandLife Vik Banerjee doodersonmcbroseph danithemechanic nothingfuture cornedbeef Zero-cool Endur-Bro

Paradox, according to bike companies:

Make holes in your headset to let the cables through. Less holes in frame good. Don’t worry, your bearings will be fine.

Make more holes in frame to allow tightening the clamp for porch door tech in top tube. 

Is there a market for this thing? In some ways I’m happy to see it because it reminds me of that 90s inventiveness that came up with all sorts of kooky bike products.

Reply

danithemechanic
danithemechanic
3 months, 1 week ago
+2 Andrew Major Zero-cool

I was telling the same thing to a friend regarding Specialized new Diverge.

I have the feeling that companies now have the money and resources to bring back all those crazy and wacky ideas that were so popular in the 90's, and sort of make them work.

Hopefully this will bring us some wild looking bikes again!

Reply

niels@nsmb.com
Niels van Kampenhout
3 months, 2 weeks ago
+11 roil Timer Pete Roggeman Vik Banerjee T0m Andrew Major HughJass danithemechanic nothingfuture Todd Hellinga NewGuy

The main takeaway from this article for me is that I need to get back to Southern France. I'm sure someone in Germany can come up with another strange apparatus that needs testing on thousands of kms of sunny trails with perfect dirt, smelling of sage, rosemary and thyme.

Reply

pete@nsmb.com
Pete Roggeman
3 months, 2 weeks ago
+2 Niels van Kampenhout HughJass

The coffee was good, too ;)

Reply

tashi
tashi
3 months, 1 week ago
0

The south of France is really quite nice.  Big recommend from me.

Reply

T0m
T0m
3 months, 2 weeks ago
+5 Mike Ferrentino Hbar kcy4130 imnotdanny mikesee

There is a Cane Creek upper headset bearing - the Viscoset- that is a polymer steering damper intended for E-bikes with speed wobbles. I try to never mention my fat biking but the Viscoset helps immensely on mine in soft snow (it’s a Mike Curiak tip- he is a boss.) Anyway when I tried it on dirt I thought the damped steering was subtly beneficial but big movements like tight switchbacks were harder as it slows high-angle steering down. Not a game changer IMO unless you like to scrabble through unpacked continental sugar snow. I also have used a VO steering spring thing on my Riv, which is an ancient Eurobike idea that works subtly to stop a front load from doing your steering, but is not really that effective. Based on this history I think Syntace/Canyon’s tech is a subtle control improvement that some may love but few will see as essential.

Reply

pete@nsmb.com
Pete Roggeman
3 months, 2 weeks ago
+3 T0m bishopsmike Dan

You've just illustrated the difference between a damper - Viscoset - and a spring - KIS. It doesn't have the same effect, and doesn't slow down your steering like a damper does. I realize it's a subtle distinction, probably has to be felt to be truly understood, but they are different.

Reply

kcy4130
kcy4130
3 months, 2 weeks ago
+1 Hbar

Why would a steering damper be more helpful on a fat bike in snow? I'm just curious. Is it just because you unexpectedly  hit things hidden by the snow, like hard/lumpy snow or rocks? I've had than experience, also similar to rocky trails covered by leaves in the fall. Or is it something fat bike specific?

Reply

mikesee
mikesee
3 months, 2 weeks ago
+1 kcy4130

See my response to Hbar, a few below this one.

Reply

ehfour
ehfour
3 months, 2 weeks ago
+5 mikesee papa44 Velocipedestrian BlazersDad89 Tremeer023

No idea if this is a good innovation or not- but kudos to Canyon for doing things that others wont consider doing-  (Shapeshifter) #sheep4life

Reply

AndrewMajor
Andrew Major
3 months, 2 weeks ago
+3 TristanC Velocipedestrian BadNudes

"K.I.S. is not actually the only stabilizer out there - they exist on urban and kids' bikes, however those ones use a single spring and become progressively harder to turn through their range of motion. They are not performance-based solutions, they're simply there to keep the bars straight. Mountain bikers don't want that, and that's not what K.I.S. is all about."

I love this paragraph. This clear shot across the bow to anyone who would think about posting a picture of Early Rider's $4 rubber o-ring (which does technically get progressively harder through the range of motion, but not really) or any number of cheap single-spring add-on steering stabilizers.

But... I'm a little bit disappointed in the lack of DIY innovation. Sure, a "single spring" setup isn't going to do what K.I.S. is doing but what if you take two Velo Orange Steering Stabilizers, which are tension adjustable, and then run them from your downtube to a p-clip on either side of your fork crown? Properly min-maxed for $12 USD a side plus p-clamps (or hose clamps) so I figure you're up and running for around $26 USD | $36 CAD. Total bargain for this level of innovation with no propriety frame design required!

Reply

BadNudes
BadNudes
3 months, 1 week ago
0

LOL I think you're on to something.

The special sauce in Canyon's version of the stabilizer is entirely in the cam ring around the head tube. That is what stops it from becoming "progressively harder to turn" and gives constant feedback through most of the steering range. Your 2 springs hack, if I'm imagining it right, would still be progressively harder to turn with more steering angle. I'm sure some smarty-pants could design a dynamic spring anchor for the fork crown that would do the same thing as canyon's system on the cheap. Makes you wonder, if it's so simple but it's never been done before, why not?

Reply

mikesee
mikesee
3 months, 2 weeks ago
+3 Pete Roggeman bishopsmike Hbar

Can't wait to try one.  Long time coming.

I ride Viscosets on my hardtail and FS, and a Viscoset + a Hopey on my dedicated snowbike.

All three always cranked to max/full damping.

I expected Trek to be the first to introduce something like this.  They crammed Knock Block down our throats even tho literally no one was asking for it.  Swapping damper/stabilizer parts into that space could/should be cheap and easy, and with (wait for it...) an *actual* benefit.

However it is achieved, removing the ill effects of wheel flop when climbing steep tech and slowing down deflections when hauling the mail going down can only be categorized as 'good things'.

Reply

Hbar
Hbar
3 months, 2 weeks ago
0

This is interesting to me. I'm trying to think of what fat/snowbiking situations a steering damper would help, but I'm not recalling any. however, both you and T0m in another comment suggest it helps, so I'll keep this in mind while I'm riding this winter. We just got our first snow of the season.. :)

Reply

mikesee
mikesee
3 months, 2 weeks ago
+2 Hbar T0m

I wrote this ~3 years ago to help explain.  It is verbose, redundant, pedantic even -- but complete:

https://lacemine29.blogspot.com/2020/02/damp.html?q=damping

Reply

Hbar
Hbar
3 months, 2 weeks ago
0

Thanks!

Reply

T0m
T0m
3 months, 1 week ago
0

Mikesee is a hugely accomplished all-season rider whose advice I take if offered. Continental temp-gradient snowpack can be nearly impossible to ride in certain conditions cos it just doesn’t stick together.

Reply

LoamtoHome
Jerry Willows
3 months, 2 weeks ago
+3 Niels van Kampenhout GB Andy Eunson

I think we've come to a time in mtb'ing that changes are going to be incremental....  released on new models to keep sales going.  Wireless will be the big driver on this.  Geo and suspension (except Fox shocks) are close to being sorted.

If the big brands don't adopt this particular tech, it'll end up proprietary and probably fade away like most "fads" do.  Another option would be do some pushups or get a gym membership.

Reply

mikesee
mikesee
3 months, 2 weeks ago
0

Pushups/gym: you're fundamentally misunderstanding.

Schwarzenegger -- and everyone else riding modern geo bikes -- would benefit from steering damping.  So would you.

Reply

pete@nsmb.com
Pete Roggeman
3 months, 2 weeks ago
+1 IslandLife

Fox catching stray bullets! Haha.

It's interesting to watch human nature manifest itself with stuff like this. It's new and different, and no one is saying it's a must-have, nor claiming it's changing everything. It isn't a new standard, and you won't have to buy it. The curious ones see it and think 'hey, what's going on here, I wonder if that might be useful?' The 'who moved my cheese' types see something foreign and just stick their tongues out. 

I don't think it's a substitute for push-ups, though, Jerry. You still need to be strong to negotiate high-speed turns and g-outs and this won't change that, but this also isn't correcting something that strength can overcome. It's a 'touch' thing, or a handling mod and like any other mod, I don't think it's every going to be universally adopted.

Reply

LoamtoHome
Jerry Willows
3 months, 1 week ago
0 Endur-Bro IslandLife

from the other site: 

" When turning, you are more giving an input to stop the inherent turn than force the bike to turn. Wheel flop is therefore an ASSET for a responsive, maneuverable and ultimately safer bike.

Some here have said that this is a solution to a problem which does not exist. I would go further. It actually takes out a considerable advantage of current low, low and slack bikes. It is REGRESSIVE."

With Fox, you can't even buy a shock and have admitted their shocks have issues.  How is that even possible nowadays.

Reply

pete@nsmb.com
Pete Roggeman
3 months, 1 week ago
+1 IslandLife

So you're quoting a comment from a PB commenter as, what? A counterpoint? A dissenting opinion? That same guy compared design premises of fighter jets - ones that are controlled by computers, by the way so it's a terrible comparison - to bikes which in recent years are being designed to be more stable? Also, we have two wheels, fighter jets fly in the air and use flaps and ailerons and wings to control themselves. Complete head shaker of a comparison. But anyway, sure, go ahead and believe that wheel flop is useful for bike control. Jerry, I have the utmost respect for your riding and building prowess, but that's a shitty take.

That find about Fox is from a third party site, though, right?

Reply

LoamtoHome
Jerry Willows
3 months, 1 week ago
-1 IslandLife

My take from the analogy is that’s it’s going to be harder to initiate the turning of the bike. Going from a 2.6 to a 2.3 tire you can really notice it and I think (without actually trying) this “stabilizer” will make it harder to turn.  The tester from pb wasn’t a fan but you seem pretty sold on it?

Reply

pete@nsmb.com
Pete Roggeman
3 months, 1 week ago
+1 IslandLife

It's not harder to initiate, but what took time to get used to was holding a line - the wheel wants to self-correct, effectively causing understeer.

Elaborate on the tire width thing - are you saying a narrower tire initiates more easily?

Seb at PB wasn't sold, you're right, but he also said pretty much the same thing as everyone else (including the inventor, Jo Klieber, from Syntax) which is that he'd want more time on it before truly deciding. Seb had only one day on it, I had three, so more time to get used to it. A few other opinions worth reading were Rob Johnston's over at Loam Wolf (he had two days on it) and Jon Simonetti at Vital (also two days).

And we've got a tester coming, so I'll put more time on it, but I can also bring it by the Dumpsters if you want to take a lap on it ;)

LoamtoHome
Jerry Willows
3 months, 1 week ago
+1 Endur-Bro

going from 2.6 Butchers to 2.3 Butchers, the cornering is quite noticeable, especially on trails like Empress Bypass.  

I watched the Loamwolf on Youtube  and he was kind of meh about it.  Until WC/EWS guys start using steering stabilizers, it's probably going the way of the Hopey but I'd try it.

waiting for neg vote from @islandlife

Reply

pete@nsmb.com
Pete Roggeman
3 months, 1 week ago
0

Fabien was asked about racing and he said it seemed likely but that it hadn't been widely tested yet due to timing and frame availability and also because like everyone else, racers would need time to get used to it. Mark Wallace tested it at Ft Bill but didn't race it. 

The racing question is interesting though. Obviously some things racers use translate to the rest of us, and some don't. This is one where it probably does.

syncro
Mark
3 months, 1 week ago
0

As much as I like to disagree with JW, I think he's got a solid point WRT upper body strength. Casual observation tells me that many/majority of mtb'ers (and most other sport/activity participants) suffer from the plight of really only doing the one activity and thus having a relatively poor balance of muscular strength and endurance. In fact, constantly participating in only one activity leads to imbalances that can be detrimental to performance.

At a cost of say $450+tax (as mentioned below), imho most mtb'ers would be far better off spending that money on a gym membership and some personal training sessions with someone who has a solid idea about the physical demands of mtb'ing. Or even getting some private coaching on riding skills. The problem with both of those however is that there is a requirement for the rider to actually put effort into the training program and then maintain it. In today's world of let's find ways to make things easier for ourselves, I don't know if the end result would sway in the favour of a strength or skills  training program or a spring inside your frame, but I would state a professional opinion that the money spent on some quality training would be more beneficial to most rider's performance and far more beneficial to their overall quality of quality of life in the case of a strength training program. 

If pro-riders adopt this en masse because they ride faster with it (placebo effect or real world benefits???) then there could be some merit for the avg member of the riding public in terms of riding perf. But again, I would still argue for spending that cash on other things like fitness training or bike skills training. Either way, I'm sure there are enough people with the cash who are willing to spend it on this thing to make it worthwhile for the manufacturer to sell it and increase profits even if it is doing absolutely nothing for the end user. 

It's the age of zero-integrity manufacturing that we live in; it doesn't matter if a thing actually works or what the enviro costs might be, if it makes a company profit they'll sell it. Less can definitely be more.

Reply

mikesee
mikesee
3 months, 1 week ago
0

I think that pure strength has nothing to do with this.  It's balance and finesse.

P.S. You might be more cynical than most...

Reply

syncro
Mark
3 months, 1 week ago
0

True wrt to pure strength, but that's not what I'm arguing for here. I am arguing for strength balance and muscular control, two things that are important for mtb'ing and different from pure or brute strength. Strength training can be about a lot more besides adding muscle mass and building peak strength.

And yes, more cynical about certain things than most, but a lot of that comes from watching and learning about the environment that I'm in and how systems and structures affect our world.

Edit: I don't disagree with your point about people benefiting from steering damping, but how effective it is, what the overall costs to mtb performance are, what the costs to the consumer are and most importantly at what point it becomes useful have yet to be determined. Riding motorcycles I know full well the benefits of a steering damper, which is why I have to question whether most riders are going to see any sort or real performance benefit even if they can "feel" something happening.

Reply

mikesee
mikesee
3 months, 1 week ago
0

I guess I don't understand what 'strength balance and muscular control' means.

Clarify?  More than mere muscle memory?

I agree that damping is probably not for everybody, and I'm virtually certain we're not in danger of finding out.

I thought the idea was silly when it was first suggested to me: I was given a demo bike for a few days back when the very first gravity dropper came out, and it came packaged with a Hopey installed.  I thought both were stupid, useless ideas that would never catch on.  It took a few years to get to where droppers were good enough to want one.  

Perhaps that's where most people are with dampers?  Resistant because they've never tried one, and thus have no idea how it might benefit them?

The wife and I swapped bikes for a minute yesterday because something felt off to her on her bike.  Hopping on my immediate, visceral thought was "holy shit, this thing is %$#@ed".  But that was just because she has no steering damper, and her front wheel was flopping all over the place...

syncro
Mark
3 months, 1 week ago
0

@mikesee

Pure strength like you mentioned earlier is generally thought of as max strength or close to max strength, so the most amount of weight you could squat for say one to five reps. Strength endurance would be the amount of weight you could do for say 20-50 reps. All our muscles work in opposing pairs or groups, and there is a certain strength balance between them. That balance can be changed via one's activity methods and levels, including strength training. Most, or really all muscle groups don't have a perfect 50/50 strength balance due to various reasons such as size development and the number of muscles involved. An easy example of opposing muscle groups to think of is biceps and triceps. If your biceps become over developed in relation to the triceps this will affect posture, mobility, muscular control and of course strength balance for your arm at the elbow and shoulder joints.

So the point about strength being important is that good strength and good strength balance will allow you to ride better by having better control over the bike as well trained muscles are not only stronger but can react faster too. 

From the perspective of this steering stabilizer, I don't disbelieve Pete's thoughts, but I do have trouble believing that the system can have enough measurable benefits to justify the cost. I'm sure that part of the perceived benefit here is placebo effect, but the only way to tell of course would be to do a controlled double blind study. Maybe Canyon will make this happen so they can support this innovation with hard data that it works as described.

TristanC
TristanC
3 months, 2 weeks ago
+2 Andrew Major rg-nw

My initial retrogrouch reaction is, "Back in my day, we had to steer the bike OURSELVES! None of this new technology for me!" and "who is this for, exactly? Aren't bikes complicated enough already?". But then I wondered - would this help with self-steer of certain tires (especially fat bike tires)?

It sounds initially like it's providing a solution no one asked for, but like you say, there are similar things for urban bikes. Somebody must be buying them.

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AndrewMajor
Andrew Major
3 months, 2 weeks ago
+5 Cr4w Lynx . Ryan Donnelly Ryan Dr.Flow nothingfuture mikesee

Typically on urban bikes you see steering stabilizer springs combined with front racks and they're there to help manage the additional loaded weight when steering, or they're on long-tail bikes where anything your transporting (say kids) has a high center of gravity and again really affects cornering. 

I clearly haven't ridden K.I.S. but can't help but wonder if the actual KISS answer to adding some stability on a modern mountain bike would have been for Canyon to simply lengthen their chainstays by 1-2cm.

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craw
Cr4w
3 months, 2 weeks ago
+12 ElBrendo Shoreboy 4Runner1 Andrew Major Timer roil Adrian Bostock andyf Dan nothingfuture DylanZ91 Tremeer023

Lengthening chainstays wouldn't have gotten them a full article on each of the major bike websites.

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roil
roil
3 months, 2 weeks ago
+1 Dan

And they can't uncharge you $300 for that longer CS or maybe they can in today's pricing structure....

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pete@nsmb.com
Pete Roggeman
3 months, 2 weeks ago
+2 mikesee Cr4w

Lengthening chain stays would create stability, of course, but in a different way. To think that is the same thing is to either not grasp or willingly oversimplify what's going on here. I didn't get into all the theory that is involved, but it has to do with weight distribution, trail, contact patches, and turning dynamics. Of course geo affects those things, but KIS is intended to address some things that are unique to front wheel behaviour in a way that longer chain stays can't accomplish.

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mikesee
mikesee
3 months, 2 weeks ago
+3 Pete Roggeman Vik Banerjee Nologo

There are many downsides to long chainstays.  Not everyone wants a plow bike.

Dampers/stabilizers can be turned off or deactivated very quickly/easily if you don't like/want them.  Can't say that about a plow bike.

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AndrewMajor
Andrew Major
3 months, 2 weeks ago
+5 Vik Banerjee dave_f Andy Eunson Blofeld Dr.Flow GB mikesee

Perfect reason to put sliding dropouts, or multi-position flip-chips, on everything. A cheaper simpler system than steering dampers or KIS.

mikesee
mikesee
3 months, 2 weeks ago
0

Curious if you've tried a Viscoset on your Walt?

I haven't internalized everything you've written about that sled, but the points you lean into the most (big tires, inserts, unsuspended) point pretty squarely at the Viscoset being a boon for the way/places you ride.

Doesn't come in pink/purple tho.

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AndrewMajor
Andrew Major
3 months, 2 weeks ago
+1 Ryan

I have not tried the Viscoset in my Walt and certainly would be keen to give it a go if only because it exists.

Actually, I'd love to try it in my Walt V1 (EC34/EC34 rigid specific) to see how it splits the difference between that bike (66 HTA, 430-450 stays) and the V2 (64 HTA, 450-470 stays).

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mikesee
mikesee
3 months, 2 weeks ago
+2 Mike Ferrentino tashi Bikes IslandLife

Please do.

As for flip-chips/sliding drops in everything?  Vomit.

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karakoram
Ryan
3 months, 1 week ago
+1 Andrew Major

Would love to hear about that experiment

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craw
Cr4w
3 months, 2 weeks ago
+4 Shoreboy TristanC Mammal kcy4130

Back in my day we had Hopey Steering Dampers on our VPS1s and we liked it!

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shoreboy
Shoreboy
3 months, 2 weeks ago
0

Hopey's made biking for my wife much more enjoyable back in our day too. Big bikes, and small people didnt really mix well, and it helped her confidence a ton knowing she had some assistance in stabilizing the deflection through the chunder.

Im not sure I really see all that much of a difference with the KIS without actually riding one. The Hopey would only assist going away from centre, and had no assist on the return. It was also tuneable. You could go from zero assist to full on assist with just a turn of the dial.

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dan
Dan
3 months, 1 week ago
0

Somebody/bodies will undoubtedly buy them, but will they have *sought this feature out*? My cynical guess is no - it’ll just be another invisible feature on an anonymous urban rig.

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IslandLife
IslandLife
3 months, 2 weeks ago
+2 Niels van Kampenhout Andy Eunson

Interesting… reading another article, they pointed out this system adds $300 EUR to the price.  For me… at current bike prices, that will make this an easy no.

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pete@nsmb.com
Pete Roggeman
3 months, 2 weeks ago
+1 IslandLife

I'm trying to get a bit more info because I thought I had heard there were a few other things thrown in, however after looking at the UK site, at this point it looks like the CF8 KIS is identical to the CF8 in spec and build, other than the addition of KIS. I likely wouldn't pay that premium either without getting a chance to ride it first. Canyon does have a pretty impressive satisfaction/return policy, so you could take a flyer and send it back if you didn't like it, but it's still understandable that it feels like a premium to pay for a benefit that's hard to imagine without trying it first.

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shoreboy
Shoreboy
3 months, 2 weeks ago
+1 IslandLife

The Canyon Canada website shows no difference between the two CF8 bikes apart from KIS and $450.

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IslandLife
IslandLife
3 months, 1 week ago
0

They're charging $450 for this!!?  That will be the death of it for sure.  If it was optional at no cost, or maybe minimal ($50), that might have gave it a chance, but not at $450.

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PeakHopper
Stephen
3 months, 2 weeks ago
0

My thinking is the opposite, with bikes costing many thousands what's another $300 for a tangible benefit?

I'm actually very surprised the system is only an additional ~$300

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IslandLife
IslandLife
3 months, 1 week ago
0

Guess we'll have to see.  In Canada it's $450, so $472.50 with tax.  That's a lot of dough for a simple little system that you may or may not like/use.  Another review called it a hindrance and preferred it turned off.  Time will tell.

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Ride.DMC
Ride.DMC
3 months, 1 week ago
+2 Andy Eunson IslandLife

Consider me curious, but not curious enough to cough up any amount of extra cash without trying it out first.  To me it seems to be a solution to a problem I didn't know existed until I clicked on this article.

But, I also didn't think a dropper post was something I needed until I got one.  Now I don't like riding without one.  Heck, I even want to put one on my kids Dirt Jumper to make riding to/from the pump track more enjoyable!

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pete@nsmb.com
Pete Roggeman
3 months, 1 week ago
+1 IslandLife

It would be a short article if I just stopped there, but you're right, it's certainly something people should try to demo if they're curious. That's not going to be feasible for everyone, but there it is. Even the inventor was candid about not thinking this was a problem that needed solving! They're not asking everyone to drink the kool-aid...just to try a little bit of it.

Droppers are a good example of a technology that took about ten years to mature (I think Cam was one of the first journalists to test one back in 2004 or so). But I don't think KIS is going to reach that level of adoption. Still, it'll be interesting to see how it develops.

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papa44
papa44
3 months, 2 weeks ago
+1 mikesee

I’m prepared to say it looks interesting and I’d like to try it, however my real problems riding are getting my mega long barge round switchbacks and high siding or tank slapping or whatever it’s called when your front wheel catches into a hard turn and you get booted out the front door. Wide bars and grippy shoes have been the biggest aid to me but I can see how this would help others, it’s almost like we’re all different and need different approaches and different solutions to different problems

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pete@nsmb.com
Pete Roggeman
3 months, 1 week ago
+1 Andy Eunson

You mostly have it. The spring rate diagram shows that in the first 10-15 degrees you encounter the most 'ramp up' and after that, the ramp is minimal. If we were talking suspension, the curve would be an initial rising rate followed by a slightly rising (basically flat) rate. So, after you get past that first 15 degrees, it pretty much feels the same after that. When you're riding, it's not as noticeable, because it's a dynamic environment, and steering forces are minimal anyway.

The difference between this and a damper is that a damper will slow ALL movements - back and forth - whereas KIS wants to help you return the bar back to center. A damper resists on the way out and back in again, and that's a big part of the reason why they didn't catch on for MTB. It did the first part of its job in a useful way, but that return trip was no bueno.

I believe Canyon runs demo programs in most markets. I don't think they have a Canadian demo program (yet) but I do think the US demo truck made its way up here for Crankworx and a few other times. Not sure about plans for 2023.

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mikesee
mikesee
3 months, 1 week ago
+2 Andrew Major Shoreboy

The Viscoset resists movement both away from and returning to center.

The Hopey has free return to center.

The difference is pretty big.

In practice I vastly prefer the Viscoset for dirt, and the Hopey for snow.

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shoreboy
Shoreboy
3 months, 1 week ago
+1 Velocipedestrian

Hopey has free return to centre, no damping. The Hopey is also speed sensitive. Low speed deflections are not damped, high speed movements are. Pete, here is a genuine question. Have you ever ridden a Hopey? Some of the responders here have, and are aware of its nuances. This is why we are trying to figure out how the KIS is being marketed as different. None of us have ridden the KIS in order to make the comparison.

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pete@nsmb.com
Pete Roggeman
3 months, 1 week ago
0

I haven't ridden a Hopey (I mean, maybe I tried one in 2003 but it wouldn't mean much now) and you got me - I didn't know it was free return. That's still weird, though. I can point out a big difference, despite my ignorance on that, which is that KIS wants to bring the bars back to center, and that impacts steering feel throughout a turn, in off-camber sections, etc.

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shoreboy
Shoreboy
3 months, 1 week ago
0

I guess that is the question to be answered. Why would I want a device to bring my steering back to center on a turn? What are the advantages to this? I have ridden a Hopey quite a bit back in the day, and I understand why it helps to stop deflecting my steering off centre. I want to be able to freely steer back to centre without any assistance. Does the assistance back to centre cause understeer?

Thanks for clarifying that you haven't ridden a Hopey. It wasnt an attempt at a 'gotcha' moment at all.  Just as I have not ridden the KIS, I cannot make any claims on how it works on the bike while riding. I think your beliefs about how previous dampers work have led to some of the confusion in the comments section. This isnt a criticism, just something to make note of for future comparisons.

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pete@nsmb.com
Pete Roggeman
3 months, 1 week ago
+1 tashi

The band doesn't touch the steerer. The springs won't get stretched by bars going past 90 because the system will have released. The entire system is contained within the top tube other than the small slider on top.

No one is lying to you. Saying something is maintenance free simply means - and let me be very clear here since apparently it's needed - that regular maintenance is not needed or prescribed to keep the system running well. That is not a guarantee that nothing will ever happen that requires attention. I'd think that would be obvious, but I'll take the blame for not heading off every single pedantic argument at the pass on that one.

Syntace is a super careful, precise component manufacturer with a long history of successfully manufacturing excellent stuff to very high standards - so high that German mags like Bike (that are known to test things beyond what might even be considered useful) have used Syntace's testing equipment to test other components for product comparisons in the past. 

If wiping off the top panel to clean it counts as 'maintenance' to you, then I guess you win this round. I don't know what makes it the most maintenance-heavy bike ever, though.

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Ride.DMC
Ride.DMC
3 months, 1 week ago
0

We the reader do need to differentiate between repairs & maintenance, even though the terms are often used interchangeably. 

Lubing a chain and keeping tires inflated to the correct PSI are maintenance items that everybody does and no one really gripes about. A lot of people probably don't even think of them as maintenance, but they are.

I don't know that this system will require as much maintenance as our tires & chains.

Resetting the system after a crash is more akin to a trailside repair than maintenance - just like straightening your bars after the same crash.

Through that lens I can see why they would claim the system is virtually maintenance free.

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danithemechanic
danithemechanic
3 months, 1 week ago
0

Pete you don't have to take blame of anything! 

I'm sure the no maintenance claim came out in the press release it's not your own claim.

My purpose wasn't that of upsetting you or being pedant, i didn't even want to pick on this technology in particular, i'm just really annoyed by hyperboles and absolute truths (and acronyms btw) plaguing the language of this industry.

Why can't everybody just put technologies in terms of options?

All i see is a mechanical device made of a multitude of parts put togheter with some fasteners inside the main frame of the bike anchored to the frame and the fork's steerer tube. I strongly doubt this will unaffect normal maintenance of any bike (picture cleaning and greasing the headset parts as an example) so i can accept to a degree that the device itself can be free of maintenance but it will surely add to other maintenance procedures.

I was speaking in general, mountain bikes are the most maintenance heavy bikes ever, with or without steering dampers.

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cxfahrer
cxfahrer
3 months, 2 weeks ago
0

The top tube of my Capra cracked just there where this slider sits. I hope Canyon got the strength of this tube right for that slider (they failed quite often with their frames cracking).

Regarding this KIS I think this is all what good engineering is about - finding solutions to problems no one thought of as a problem before, but once it is out, no one can ignore it anymore.

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pete@nsmb.com
Pete Roggeman
3 months, 2 weeks ago
+1 tashi

It's a stretch to compare the crack you got on a YT to another brand. Everything can break, what matters most is that brands deal well with those issues and take steps to prevent them in the future. Hopefully YT took care of you.

I got to see Canyon's testing facility up close and will write about it in the future. Can confirm that they are taking QA and testing very seriously - to a level I hadn't heard of before. I know they've had some issues in the past but they're definitely doing what it takes to put out consistent quality frames and components. More on that soon.

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Flatted-again
Flatted-again
3 months, 2 weeks ago
0

Yesterday the bike had a will of it’s own, now the bikes are self-centered?! What’s next?

But really, this seems cool. Seems a bit e-bikey. I’d be curious about how it measures up to the (simpler) cane creek viscoset. I guess it’s more of a dampener than a stabilizer though. Any thoughts?

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shoreboy
Shoreboy
3 months, 2 weeks ago
0

'If it was complicated, heavy, expensive, or required maintenance, it would be a lot easier to dismiss it as unnecessary, or perhaps superfluous. However it is none of those things, and because it adds something to the riding experience, whether that's confidence or performance or both, I think there is a future for K.I.S.'

None of those things? I guess we all have different interpretations.

It is definitely more complicated than not having one installed. Dropping your fork for any reason means you need to disconnect and reconnect the KIS if I am not mistaken?

110g isnt what I would call 'heavy' for an individual component, but it all adds up.

Its a 400 euro upcharge to get a bike equipped with KIS. I would consider that expensive, others may not.

Maintenance is required if you manage to get your bars past 90 degrees with a need for a reset.

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pete@nsmb.com
Pete Roggeman
3 months, 2 weeks ago
0

I'll grant you that the 400 euro premium is far from nothing. And as I just mentioned in a comment above, I had actually thought the uncharge was concealed somewhat in a slightly modified spec but that doesn't seem to be the case. I wouldn't expect that uncharge will always cost that much - recoup the R&D and marketing expense and all that.

Of course it's more complicated than not having it installed, but you're choosing to ignore the fact that the system itself is simple, and that was my point. The connect/reconnect to drop a fork is one more bolt to deal with.

Call a reset maintenance if you like, but again, you don't need to pull it apart and lubricate it, replace components that wear out, etc.

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andy-eunson
Andy Eunson
3 months, 2 weeks ago
0

Sometimes we like increased complexity. Like suspension or dropper posts. When you think about the first droppers it’s surprising in a sense that they took off. The first ones failed at a mad rate but here we are. 

Gearing systems actually became a bit less complex with one by set ups and we all like that. Most of our bearings in hubs headsets and bbs are pretty simple now as opposed to the old cup and cone loose ball kits that required lots of maintenance and many discarded bearings and cones. 

This steering thing is a bit of both with increased complexity that requires (they say) no maintenance. I can think of a few trails where the KIS might be a good thing. Slots with a bunch of loose jagged big rocks where keeping your line is the challenge. And a few climbs that are steep and covered in loose rubble. Maybe I’ll gorilla tape a bungee to my bars and top tube and experiment. 

I know MotoGP use steering dampers, but do motocross do too? I see that they are available but do the pros use them?

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mikeferrentino
Mike Ferrentino
3 months, 2 weeks ago
+3 mikesee Andy Eunson mnihiser

Motocross, not so much. Desert racing? Steering dampers are pretty much considered "must-have" equipment.

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balldontlie
Ryan Donnelly
3 months, 2 weeks ago
0

I can't help but think of Knock Block when I see this. "Innovation". Now the new Slash's don't come with it. The Remedy's still have it but likely won't in the next update. I haven't ridden it obviously, but I can't help but feel like this will fail spectacularly. Or, it'll provide such little difference that some will still buy it because Direct to Consumer is still cheaper?

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pete@nsmb.com
Pete Roggeman
3 months, 2 weeks ago
0

I don't really think there's any comparison between this and Knock Block except the bump stop element of it, but in this case that's to protect the system, not an arbitrary restriction that, as you say, no one needed or wanted.

I don't think there's an easy way to convey how it rides without having someone try it themselves. It's certainly not a revolutionary, 'gotta have it' next hot thing in MTB, but it is an interesting take on controlling certain aspects of steering dynamics that I'm quite certain some riders are going to both enjoy and find beneficial.

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andy-eunson
Andy Eunson
3 months, 2 weeks ago
0

Lots of bikes have steering limiters not just Trek. I have a Trek Remedy with nock block and I can count on one finger when I actually had the steering that far over and needed a touch more.  In four seasons. People love to nock on Trek for this (hehehe) but really it’s a non issue. That said, I would prefer not to have it. 

If it’s done correctly steering limiters are a good thing. I mean you don’t want to use your top tube and brake or other levers as a steering stop.

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balldontlie
Ryan Donnelly
3 months, 1 week ago
+2 Jerry Willows Andy Eunson

I appreciate the reply! I think something about it just rubbed me the wrong way before I fully had my morning coffee. I think it's a symptom of a broader societal issue I am struggling with right now, which is over-complexity and removing the ability to work on things ourselves (ex, right to repair, new EVs). I am trying to be open minded and not completely dismiss it, and I appreciate you saying that it might be beneficial to some riders, and giving it a nuanced approach. As many things in life, it's not black and white.

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andy-eunson
Andy Eunson
3 months, 1 week ago
0

Way back in the late 80s I had a road bike with a brinelled headset. Common issue for me as the head tubes on the small bikes I ride placed more forces on the bottom race and I went through a headset a year. I would notice it in corners where the balls would partly come out of the dents they made for themselves and go back in. The result was polygonal turns. Shitty. With the cam in the KIS there is greater spring force during the first bit of turning but that spring decreases as the bars are turned further. Is that correct? And if so how was riding no handed or in longer sweeper turns? Could you detect any sort of brinelled headset issue? 

I find this concept really interesting. I can’t figure in my head how this would be different from a steering damper though. It makes the steering more stable at speed and slow riding. Isn’t that exactly what a damper does? 

And how could a person test ride a Canyon?

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shoreboy
Shoreboy
3 months, 1 week ago
0

This comment has been removed.

dan
Dan
3 months, 1 week ago
0

My take - good luck trying to ride no-hands with this device in place.

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Bikes
Bikes
3 months, 1 week ago
+1 tashi

Why I ride a unicycle.  KISS

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pete@nsmb.com
Pete Roggeman
3 months, 1 week ago
0

No hands in a straight line = super easy. Try to make a turn by 'nudging' the front wheel from your hips and it's not so good.

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danithemechanic
danithemechanic
3 months, 1 week ago
0

The system usefulness and purpose might be debatable, but the need for maintenance is undeniable.

If you want to compare it to a part of the bicycle that you can claim "without maintenance" compare it to bottle cage rivets. Those are effectively free of maintenance. On some old frames they might loose up, and you can still fix them with the proper rivet pliers, but that might never happen through the life of a frame.

Here we have a complex additional part with moving small part and even springs. I'm sure there would be issues along the way such as: the band rubbing a nasty scar on the fork's steerer, springs getting stretched by handlbars going past 90 degrees, various forms of bolts stripping, even just having to clean a perfectly working system on the yearly rebuild adds maintenance.

It's annoying that we still have to read such claims when so much information is available. I really don't see the point in lying to the customer purposely to assure him that this other part in its million parts bycicle it's just going to sit there like a new decal on the toptube.

In the end if this is working for you, you should accept the maintenance it comes with it wich, as little as it could be, it still adds up to the most maintenance greedy bikes ever.

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just6979
Justin White
3 months, 1 week ago
0

Makes sense you were having trouble with that (looks like) off-camber and varying traction turn in the pic. With KIS muting the feedback from the front wheel, making tiny steering adjustments to adjust traction and lean angle is going to be much harder.

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pete@nsmb.com
Pete Roggeman
3 months, 1 week ago
0

I never really had the sensation that it was muting 'feel' or feedback and while it did change turning sensation, after some time getting used to it, I did start to prefer it. Now, that was after only three days. It's going to be interesting to try it on my trails here on the Sunshine Coast and on the Shore, in the wet and greasy conditions of fall and winter.

As someone who looked at it and, like most commenters here, thought: "that's something I never thought about needing" but felt differently after trying and getting somewhat used to it, it's a bit surprising and intriguing. We'll see, but I'll have more to say after I've ridden it some more.

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tashi
tashi
3 months, 1 week ago
0

Goddam I'm loving the "passion" on display around this little product. :)

I'd be pretty interested in trying it, I've used lots of steering dampners on urban bikes and wondered how they'd be on the mountain bike if they worked just a little differently...just like how they happen to be describing it actually.  Would be pretty cool if this evolves into an aftermarket or easily/cheaply added or removed OEM frame feature a la chain guide mounts.

Edit: it seems like it could be very easy to design as an ad-on product - special headset spacey plus a anchor box that mounts to the top tube with metal bands or something. Even better if there’s a little threaded boss on the top of the top tube.

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Lynx
Lynx .
3 months, 2 weeks ago
-1 RG Dan bishopsmike IslandLife tashi

I had to log in to that other site and post the first comment there ever when I read the press brief over there and I have to do it here. When they were coming up with KIS crap, they didn't remember the most important rule of design and engineering, KISS- keep it simple stupid.

How about we don't go so stupid with the geo and then you won't have to try and implement BS like to try and Band-Aid the floppy steering. If you want help, Hopey.

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pete@nsmb.com
Pete Roggeman
3 months, 2 weeks ago
+2 bishopsmike IslandLife

1. We get it, you don't want a head angle slacker than 68 for your trails. Modern geo is far from stupid, it actually works very well these days on the terrain that warrants it. Come ride the shore sometime, and see for yourself.

2. Hopey isn't the same, and the reason it never took off is it doesn't work well for most riders' needs. It also wouldn't help with wheel flop in a useful way.

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Lynx
Lynx .
3 months, 2 weeks ago
-3 bishopsmike IslandLife tashi

@ Pete Roggeman - Amazing how people see and read what they want to instead of what people actually type. I never said a HTA of 68* is all you need, I said for most, a HTA of 66-68 would work just fine. While I know this IS NSMB, you do understand and realise that in the MTB world, you are such a minority or those who make up riders with your terrain, probably less than 0.05%, you're as niche or nicer than me and my liking not so steep, long or low geo.

I'm looking forward to when things fully settle from the last couple years and my work picks back up enough that I can afford to go on a riding vacation and BC or Quebec are at the top of my list of places to go. If it's BC (most guys want to go to Whistler on the trips), then for sure I'll drop you a line and let you so me the goods.

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pete@nsmb.com
Pete Roggeman
3 months, 2 weeks ago
+6 bishopsmike JVP Jerry Willows Dr.Flow IslandLife Spencer Nelson

Hey Mr Lynx, I'm just reacting to what you wrote. You're right that this is NSMB, and hey, guess what? that's the filter we use when writing about bikes, but you're wrong that 0.05% of world terrain is steep. Yes, the shore is unique, but there is really steep and technical terrain in LOTS of places, including the entire PNW (WA, OR, northern CA), most of BC, anything bordering on the Rockies, the Western states, many of the Northeastern states, Costa Rica, Mexico, Alaska, the Yukon, Chile, France, the UK, Italy, Spain, New Zealand, Switzerland, Austria, heck even Germany in a few places...I could go on but I don't think I need to. It's not an exhaustive list - those are just places I've ridden bikes where I'd prefer a head angle in the 63-65 degree range. 

Your contention that 66-68 degrees 'works fine' is the same as saying that 160mm rotors, 2.1" tires, and fully rigid bikes (sorry, Andrew) 'work fine'. Sure, you can get down the hill - maybe. But that's not really what we're talking about when we're evaluating modern bikes intended for riders that care about performance. No one spending thousands of dollars on a bike is looking for 'fine' and they shouldn't be - their expectations are 'as good as it gets'.

I'm not saying your preferences are wrong. Fill your boots with your twitchy front end and I wish you all the best. But I am saying you're wrong to call modern geo 'stupid', because there are a lot of people - much more than 0.05% of the riding population - that simply don't agree.

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JVP
JVP
3 months, 2 weeks ago
0 IslandLife Joseph Crabtree

"for most, a HTA of 66-68 would work just fine." Hard nope on that. I bet you a dollar and a donut that many world cup xc bikes will be right around 66 in a few years. Those guys are slow adopters, but they're getting there now that they've moved past that shameful dirt roadie phase.

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shoreboy
Shoreboy
3 months, 2 weeks ago
0

Im not quite clear on why a Hopey would not help with wheel flop?

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mikesee
mikesee
3 months, 2 weeks ago
0

Hopey does help with wheel flop.  If it stopped there we'd all have been riding them for a long time.

Hopey has other downsides that make them sub-optimal for riding on dirt.

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