The familiar debate when purchasing a full-suspension mountain bike goes something like this: do I buy the fastest, most-efficient bike possible, or a more capable, versatile platform that can take me anywhere?
Generally speaking, more travel offers greater capability, but less efficiency. Most riders are not committed to a single type of riding or trail, and finding one bike to perform effectively in all situations can be difficult. Full Floater was developed as a solution to this dilemma. Riding with a rear shock set up in Full Floater, the rider will feel as if they have more travel than they would with the same traditionally mounted shock. Because Full Floater allows for extremely supple and responsive rear suspension action, riders experience greater confidence in a variety of situations that arise on technical trails.
Full Floater is a rear shock mount with two suspended contact points, allowing the shock to effectively “float” through its entire range of motion, giving you the impression of bottomless travel and unmatched tracking over any type of terrain. Full Floater does not actually increase the shock’s travel, which is advantageous in terms of pedalling efficiency and ride feel on less treacherous sections of trail.
Many riders have experienced the jolt that comes with bottoming out on single-pivot suspension, and the feeling of frustration as the shock moves through its mid-stroke too quickly. Mounting the shock in Full Floater allows it to be fine-tuned to perform more effectively throughout its range of travel. This set-up simultaneously offers a more versatile and predictable full-suspension experience.
With Full Floater, suspension can be dialled to respond effectively to hits of any size—from smoothing out washboard fire roads to keeping you in control when landing a large drop. The entire suspension system is tuned to work in harmony with the specific shock spring technology, (either air or coil), by feeding precise leverage ratios into the shock at all times. You’ll simply feel more stability and control, without pedal bob or suspension that is overly active.
How does a shock float?
Whereas many rear shocks are directly mounted to the frame, Full Floater holds the shock in a suspended state between the rocker link and a mounting point attached to the swing arm. As a result, the shock “floats” between two contact points that are suspended separately from the frame. The system works in conjunction with EVO link, which connects the seatstay, seat tube and shock through a triangular pivot. The chainstay and shock are indirectly connected via a smaller, upward-moving mount.
By mounting the rear shock on two mobile pivots, rather than one, Trek’s suspension engineers discovered an increased ability to tune shock performance. With two moving mounts that can be manipulated and controlled, engineers can adjust the instantaneous ratios of the suspension system throughout its full travel range. This increased precision allows for a system that is active over the small bumps, offers excellent support during the mid-stroke and provides a gentle progression at the end of the stroke. Ultimately, the shock feels more controlled no matter what conditions you’re riding in.
Low and centred, stable and controlled
Confidence on the trail requires a riding position in which you feel centred and in control at all times. Full Floater positions the shock low and centred on the frame, which contributes to mass centralisation. Frame and rider weight is centralised over the bottom bracket, or brought to the middle of the bike. The bike’s centre of gravity is directly under the rider, in line with their own weight and point of movement, resulting in a bike that is significantly easier to handle than other designs.
Clean and convenient
Tired of ruining your flow to make a quick adjustment to your rear shock’s settings? Constantly paranoid about dirt and grime or other trail debris damaging its performance? Because Full Floater places the shock in front of the seat tube, seals and bushings remain well protected from debris kicked up by the rear tyre. This decreases the amount of cleaning and maintenance that the shock requires, and increases its longevity. Adjustment knobs and air valves are well within reach of a seated rider, simplifying the task of making minor adjustments on the fly.
What sets Full Floater apart?
No contradictory tuning requirements. While many in the industry offer multiple-linkage suspension systems, Trek's testing has shown that many of these designs result in tuning demands that are inconsistent on each end of the shock’s range of travel. In other words, riders are forced to choose between tuning a shock to be either responsive or efficient, whereas Full Floater is both in a single setting.
The leverage rates of competitor’s designs have the potential to respond to small bumps quite effectively, but setting them up to do so will cause the bike to blow through its travel too quickly with larger impacts, leaving you at risk of bottoming out. On the other hand, you can tune these designs to be stiffer or lock them out, but such an inflexible solution is far from ideal in light of the quick and drastic terrain changes that make mountain biking so much fun in the first place.
Full Floater takes you anywhere
Controlled yet supple response throughout the rear shock’s range of travel is beneficial no matter which discipline you’re passionate about. That’s why you’ll find Full Floater featured on most full-suspension mountain bike that Trek offers. Whether you ride DH or XC, prefer trails or the gravity park, Full Floater offers a more enjoyable and confident full-suspension experience.