Full suspension meets simple ingenuity and elegant design
In this era of mind-boggling complexity, we at Spot Brand never forget that the best solutions are often the simplest and most elegant. Simple Ingenuity and Elegant Design are core philosophies that inspired our first full-suspension bike, the Rollik with Spot Brand’s patented Living Link™ suspension. The Rollik (140mm rear, 150mm front) is a full-carbon rig that provides a quantum leap forward in pedaling efficiency, bike handling, durability, and pure fun.
Created by Avid founder Wayne Lumpkin, with brainpower from Maverick designer Andy Emanuel, Living Link™ takes a simple and elegant engineering solution used in high-performance motorsports—the leaf spring—and applies it to bikes. The Living Link™ carbon composite leaf spring provides many benefits over standard designs. It eliminates the most maintenance-intensive and failure-prone set of cartridge bearings. Manufactured with the same precision forming as ballistic military helmets, the leaf spring is crazy strong. We torture-tested it to three million flex cycles without failure. That’s like riding every day for 12 years. In addition to decreasing maintenance, the leaf spring’s anisotropic layup increases the frame’s lateral stiffness to provide superior control on rowdy descents. Living Link™ is even more impressive on climbs. The leaf spring, paired with a Fox factory-tuned shock and pivot, improves pedaling efficiency with copious anti-squat, while allowing buttery compliance over the rough stuff. We believe it is a state-of-the-art solution that advances suspension design.
And the frame? We sought out the best materials to enhance our frame construction: Oxeon TeXtreme™ carbon fiber fabric from Sweden. TeXtreme™ provides the best strength-to-weight ratio of any carbon fabric in the bike industry due to an advanced manufacturing process that yields more carbon and less epoxy matrix per given frame thickness. Hence our five-year warranty. To this mix we added a progressive geometry that centers rider weight precisely between the front and rear axle--eliminating front-end lift and providing a balanced attack that excels in both technical climbs and rowdy descents.
Learn more about Living Link™ and the Rollik’s many innovations here (PDF). But keep in mind that reading is one thing... riding is another. Rip the Rollik on your gnarliest trails and you’ll be convinced: it’s an ingenious, beautiful, and simply elegant solution for the modern mountain biker.
Living Link™ Suspension System
The Living Link™ system re-imagines and reinvents full-suspension technology to provide riders with multiple benefits over conventional systems. We accomplish this by replacing the standard, maintenance-prone cartridge bearings with a highly- developed composite leaf spring. We pair it with a finely-tuned air shock, which works in conjunction with the leaf spring, to harness the advantages of both. The Living Link™ leaf spring is both laterally stiff and vertically dynamic, providing a progressive flex through its range of motion. The result is a leap forward in bike handling, durability, longevity and pure fun.
Vertically Dynamic, Laterally and Torsionally Strong
How does it work? At rest, the Living Link™ is relaxed, with no stresses imposed. As the suspension compresses, the carbon leaf spring flexes. When the rear axle reaches a point approximately halfway through its travel range, the leaf spring reaches its maximum flex. As the rear axle reaches full compression or “bottom out,” the leaf spring relaxes again. The result is a spring contribution to the suspension system.
The Living Link™ improves efficiency in another way: it enhances the spring curve in the mid-stroke of the suspension travel. It does this by combining with the shock’s air spring to make the overall curve more linear within the sag range. This increases suspension response in the mid stroke where a bike spends most of its time. We believe it delivers a ride experience superior to any other suspension technology on the market.
Living Link™ also addresses one of the drawbacks of typical suspension systems: lateral flex. The composite plate of the leaf spring provides dynamic flex vertically, but it is incredibly stiff laterally. Think about a metal ruler. You can easily bend it with your hands across its flat surface. Now tip that ruler on edge and try to bend it. No chance. The composite leaf spring, acting as a shear plate, works the same way. It promotes and harnesses flex vertically and prevents it laterally and torsionally, in conjunction with its engineered layup schedule.
Lighter Weight, Improved Durability, 3 Million Flex Cycles
In addition to its fine-tuned spring rate, the Living Link™ reduces wear and tear. The leaf spring replaces the most problematic set of bearings in typical multi-link bikes with one composite piece. That means less maintenance, lighter weight, and one less pivot to impede efficiency. It’s a better and simpler solution. Your mechanic will thank you.
The Living Link™ leaf spring is incredibly strong. We manufacture it in Colorado using the same precise molding and CNC machining as ballistic military helmets. By using cutting-edge materials and carefully controlled manufacturing, the composite leaf spring is capable of supporting the weight of two full size pickup trucks. We fatigue tested many materials and various iterations of the leaf spring design over many months, subjecting them to millions of flex cycles. The production version of our Living Link™ leaf spring has been tested to 3 million cycles without failure. Our on-bike data acquisition systems have shown that 3 million cycles is the equivalent of riding 7 days a week for 12 years.
Gluey Traction, Rowdy Descending
Living Link™ was developed in the steep rocky terrain of Colorado and Arizona where we live, work, and play. The riding here is technical and rocky and aggressive. They don’t call ‘em the Rocky Mountains for nothing. We fine-tuned the Living Link™ to handle all that the Rockies can dish out, delivering both precision control on rowdy descents and also gluey traction on technical climbs. Today’s high performance rear shocks are all designed to maximize performance in their “open” modes. The Living Link™ suspension system has been designed with an anti-squat response, which enables the rider to climb efficiently with the shock wide open. In addition, the kinematics of the suspension system provide a large pedaling sweet spot. It feels like nothing else.
Here’s the problem with standard sag settings on other suspension systems: pedaling performance is compromised if the shock pressure is slightly too high or too low. Not so with Living Link™. It delivers efficient acceleration in a large range of suspension sag. Riders who like it high and tight and super firm, as well as those who like it plush and low, are all rewarded with a bike that excels on tough climbs. We accomplish this holy grail of climbing efficiency and descending performance by finely tuning the leverage ratio curve to work harmoniously with high quality air shocks.
Extreme Carbon: Oxeon TeXtreme
A premium suspension system like Living Link™ needs to be on a frame of the highest caliber. So we integrated Oxeon TeXtreme™. Made in Sweden, we believe it to be the finest carbon fiber fabric in the bike industry. TeXtreme™ is a different take on woven carbon fiber fabric. Most carbon fiber is produced in individual strands or filaments, which are then bundled together in tows. Resembling black string or cord, carbon tows typically range in thickness from 1mm to 12mm. Weaving the tows together produces the conventional woven look characteristic of carbon fiber products.
Oxeon TeXtreme™ fabric consists of tows that have been spread flat before weaving. This advanced processing makes the material stronger and lighter and more resistant to impact. The decreased ply thickness and reduced crimp on each carbon filament of TeXtreme™ means our frames have more carbon per given frame thickness than standard carbon weaves. How? The spread tow laminate requires each filament to make fewer sharp turns. This yields an incredible strength to weight ratio. The packaging of the spread tow fabric reduces the volume of epoxy matrix when compressed and cured. There is simply less space between the filaments for excess matrix to collect. Increasing the fiber-to-matrix ratio yields a structure that is lighter for a given strength than conventional woven carbon cloth. In layman’s terms, you get more carbon and less epoxy.
What does that mean? A frame that is more resistant to impact. The Rollik frame is dense with super-strong, thinner cross-section TeXtreme™. More meat, less fat. Go Sweden.
Advanced Construction Processes
The Rollik frame and its components are constructed using the most advanced processes in the composites industry. Instead of outdated tube-to-tube or conventional bladder molding, our carbon construction facility fabricates each frame using a rigid EPS foam mandrel. The mandrel is custom formed for the Rollik and its parts shaped in a bespoke mold that represents the shape of the volume contained within the part. The carbon fiber plies are arranged precisely on the mandrel. This technique ensures that nothing can move out of position when the mandrel and layup are inserted into the curing mold.
During the curing process the EPS foam expands uniformly, creating outward pressure on the carbon plies. The foam ensures even distribution of compaction forces on the layup throughout the part, preventing voids and delamination. The control and consistency of this approach are unrivaled. The benefits of TeXtreme™ and our superior construction methods ensure that each Rollik frame delivers years of performance and quality. The production facility we employ works for some of the best names in high-end bikes. We feel so strongly about our frame durability that we back every carbon frame with a five-year warranty.
Top Components, Low-Maintenance Design
There are myriad ways to attach all the required components to a mountain bike frame. The Rollik features the best performing and most user-friendly standards at component interfaces. It features a 73mm threaded bottom bracket for easy servicing. The Rollik also has internal cable routing with full-length internal conduits provided for the rear derailleur, optional front derailleur, and stealth-style dropper post. However, the rear brake housing runs externally for quick brake servicing and no bleed required for installation. Boost 148 rear hub spacing gives this frame fantastic power transfer with room to spare for a 36 tooth front ring on 1X drivetrains.
The Rollik’s pivot interface is also quite clever. We employ an innovative conical pivot interface on the main pivot to create a stout, flex-free connection between the front and rear triangle. Enduro MAX dual-row, full-complement bearings are used in high-stress locations to ensure longevity and minimize maintenance. In addition, all pivot bearings are sealed externally with a unique O-ring system to prevent dirt and moisture intrusion.
The Rollik’s frame geometry is also quite progressive. We designed the bike to place the rider’s weight precisely between the front and rear wheels. We accomplish this by extending the measurement between the bottom bracket and front axle. A roomy front center creates a stable ride, and mistakes are less consequential.
The Rollik’s seat tube has been steepened accordingly, too. We rode and developed the Rollik on steep terrain, and a steep seat tube angle is essential to keeping the rider’s weight between the wheels, instead of behind them, on climbs. This geometry eliminates front-end lift and wander. Technical terrain is easier to conquer. The traditional 72-73° seat tube angle found on most mountain bikes is a carryover from road bikes, which seldom scale 18% grades—and never encounter roots, rocks, and step-ups. The Rollik’s steeper, 76° seat tube angle means you spend less energy balancing your bike, allowing you to use that energy for what counts —powering up climbs and dropping your buddies.
The steep seat tube angle has descending benefits as well. Equipped with a dropper seat post, the Rollik positions the seat farther forward in the dropped position. This gives you more room to move around on busy descents, placing you in an optimal position for more aggressive riding. BTW, you can personalize your seat angle by simply moving your saddle forward or back.
A Better Fit for Riders of all Sizes
While people range vastly in height, weight, leg length, and other physical measurements, most mountain bikes do not scale accordingly. The Rollik provides a better size range. Our XL size features a chainstay length increase of 8mm over our large for the added stability that a taller rider with a higher center of gravity requires. In addition, the seat tube angle on our XL frame is slightly steeper than the large to bring the tall rider’s center of gravity forward to combat front-end lift on climbs.
On the other end of the size spectrum, all sizes of our frames feature a low standover height of 27.5 inches, allowing men and women with shorter inseams to find a perfect fit. We haven’t skimped on the amenities for smaller riders, either. Some small frames from other brands have no space for a water bottle. Our small Rollik frame has space for a medium water bottle within the front triangle; we know not every rider wears a pack.
See this diagram for an explanation of Rollik geometry terms.
|Eff. Top Tube Length||22" (559mm)||23" (584mm)||24" (610mm)||25" (635mm)|
|Seat Tube Length||15" (381mm)||17" (432mm)||19" (483mm)||21" (533mm)|
|Eff. Seat Tube Angle||76°|
|Actual Seat Tube Angle||74.2°||74.2°||74.2°||76°|
|Head Tube Length||4.3" (110mm)||4.7" (120mm)||5.1" (130mm)||5.5" (140mm)|
|Head Tube Angle||67°|
|Bottom Bracket Drop||0.5" (13mm)|
|Bottom Bracket Height||13.4" (340mm)|
|Wheel Base||44.9" (1140mm)||45.9" (1165mm)||46.9" (1191mm)||48.3" (1226mm)|
|Front Center||27.8" (707mm)||28.8" (723mm)||29.8" (758mm)||30.9" (785mm)|
|Rear Center||17.0" (433mm)||17.0" (433mm)||17.0" (433mm)||17.4" (441mm)|
|Reach||16.3" (414mm)||17.1" (435mm)||18.0" (456mm)||18.8" (477mm)|
|Stack||23.5" (598mm)||23.9" (607mm)||24.3" (616mm)||24.7" (625mm)|
|Component||3-Star Build||4-Star Build||5-Star Build|
|Shock||Fox Factory Float DPS Evol, 3 Pos. Adj., 210x55||Fox Factory Float DPS Evol, 3 Pos. Adj., 210x55||Fox Factory Float DPS Evol, 3 Pos. Adj., 210x55|
|Fork||Fox Performance 34 Float 27.5, 150, 110x15 Boost||Fox Factory 34 Float, FIT4, 27.5 Boost, 150mm, Black||Fox Factory 34 Float, FIT4, 27.5 Boost, 150mm, Black|
|Headset||Cane Creek 40, ZS44/ZS56 ZS44 upper, ZS56 lower||Cane Creek 40, ZS44/ZS56 ZS44 upper, ZS56 lower||Cane Creek 40, ZS44/ZS56 ZS44 upper, ZS56 lower|
|Crankset||SRAM GX1000, B148 Xsync 30t, 170mm||SRAM X1 1400, 24mm, 30t, Boost, 170mm||XX1 Eagle B148, 24mm,170mm, GLD 32t|
|Cassette||SRAM XG 1150||SRAM XG1175, 10-42t||SRAM XG-1299, 12-speed|
|Rear Derailleur||SRAM GX 11-speed||SRAM XO1 Carbon Black||SRAM XX1 Eagle GLD, 12-speed|
|Rear Shifter Lever||SRAM GX 11-speed||SRAM X1||SRAM XX1 Eagle Trigger GLD, 12-speed|
|Bottom Bracket||SRAM GXP 73mm||SRAM GXP 73mm||SRAM GXP 73mm|
|Front Brake||SRAM Guide R, 180mm Centerline rotor||SRAM Guide RSC, 180mm Centerline rotor||SRAM Guide RSC, 180mm Centerline rotor|
|Rear Brake||SRAM Guide R, 160mm Centerline rotor||SRAM Guide RSC, 160mm Centerline rotor, Matchmaker on right lever clamp||SRAM Guide RSC, 160mm Centerline rotor, Matchmaker on right lever clamp|
|Chain||SRAM 1130||SRAM 1130||XX1 Eagle Gold|
|Front Wheel||Stan's No Tubes Arch MK3 Team, Black Nipples, Silver TA 5807, Tape installed, Valves installed, Boost15x110||Stan's No Tubes Arch MK3 Team, Black Nipples, Silver TA 5807, Tape installed, Valves installed, Boost15x110||Stan's No Tubes Arch MK3 Team, Black Nipples, Silver TA 5807, Tape installed, Valves installed, Boost15x110|
|Rear Wheel||Stan's No Tubes Arch MK3 Team, Black Nipples, Silver TA 5807, Tape installed, Valves installed, Boost 12x148, XD Driver||Stan's No Tubes Arch MK3 Team, Black Nipples, Silver TA 5807, Tape installed, Valves installed, Boost 12x148, XD Driver||Stan's No Tubes Arch MK3 Team, Black Nipples, Silver TA 5807, Tape installed, Valves installed, Boost 12x148, XD Driver|
|Front Tire||Maxxis Ardent 27.5x2.4 EXO/TR||Maxxis Ardent 27.5x2.4 EXO/TR||Maxxis Ardent 27.5x2.4 EXO/TR|
|Rear Tire||Maxxis Ikon 27.5x2.2 - 3C/EXO/TR||Maxxis Ikon 27.5x2.2 - 3C/EXO/TR||Maxxis Ikon 27.5x2.2 - 3C/EXO/TR|
|Stem||Race Face Aeffect, 35mm x 60mm||Race Face Aeffect, 35mm x 60mm||Race Face Aeffect, 35mm x 60mm|
|Handlebar||Race Face Aeffect, 20mm rise, 760mm, Stealth||Race Face Next 35, 20mm rise, 760mm, Stealth||Race Face Next 35, 20mm rise, 760mm, Stealth|
|Grips||ODI Slip-On||ODI Lock-On||ODI Lock-On|
|Seat Post||RockShox Reverb Stealth 31.6x125, MatchMaker||RockShox Reverb Stealth 31.6x125, MatchMaker||RockShox Reverb Stealth 31.6x125, MatchMaker|
|Saddle||WTB Silverado Pro||WTB Silverado Pro||WTB Silverado Pro|
MF Tested: Spot Brand Rollik 557
“I think that’s where the Rollik fits: It’s for the cross country rider who wants to go bigger, the trail rider who might dabble in XC, and the warriors hunting epic singletrack.”
Read the full review in Issue 52 of Mountain Flyer magazine.
Outside Magazine (January 2017)
Five Hot Mountain Bikes for 2017
We’ve long appreciated Spot for its put-together single-speeds and belt-drive ethos, but we never expected them to show up with a highly refined, full-squish, all-mountain ripper built around a brand new suspension design. But that’s exactly what they’ve done with the Rollik. The rear end of this bike is a modified four-bar linkage with a carbon leaf spring standing in for the lower rocker. The result: the back end feels firm and efficient and pedals like a race bike, but it also ramps up cleanly and effortlessly into its 150mm of travel. The best way we can describe it is like a long-travel XC race bike—both fast and light (just 27.3 pounds), but also incredibly confident and frisky on even the most rugged terrain we threw at it. Our top-spec build came with the blinged-out SRAM Eagle XX1 drivetrain and matching Kashima-coated Fox 34 Float and Float DPS Evol suspension bits. And once again, Stan’s revised MK3 Arch wheels impressed for their lightweight and stiffness.
Mountain Bike Action (September 2016)
Way to go, Spot.
The Rollik is a trailbike like none other and loves climbing up the trails as much as it loves darting back down... For a trailbike, this thing can seriously climb. The Rollik is a mountain goat... The Rollik was designed with out-of-the-box thinking, and that is what makes it so fun to ride. This bike is an absolute trail killer.”
Bicycling Magazine (May 2016)
The Spot Rollik 557 Is a Pretty Damn Impressive Trail Bike
“The first thing I noticed was how crisp the Rollik feels at the pedals. It’s quick to accelerate and resists suspension movement well enough that I could leave the shock in the open mode everywhere but on paved climbs. Like my favorite short dual-link suspension systems, this one remains active under pedaling and braking forces, allowing the rear tire to follow the contours of the trail and seek traction at all times. I never felt any feedback or tugging through the pedals when smacking into rock ledges while climbing. The combination of ultra-efficient pedaling suspension and climb-friendly geometry (more on this later) means this bike absolutely flies uphill.”
Read the full review at bicycling.com
MTBR (April 2016)
A nimble and highly innovative trail bike
“The Spot Rollik 557 is an innovative, clever, and functional rig that is a serious contender for those riders who can only afford one “kick ass” mountain bike. Its balance of descending ability, cornering agility, climbing prowess, and lively feel thanks to the Living Link composite plate make the Rollik a must-ride. Although the seat tube angle is a little bit steep for my personal taste, the Rollik sacrifices nothing once the trail points downhill.”
Read the full review at mtbr.com
Mountain Flyer (April 2016)
First Impressions: Spot Brand Rollik 557
“Right out of the gate, the Rollik offered a familiar and satisfying ride. The geometry, handling, and suspension performance is right up there with the best bikes we’ve ridden. The 76 degree seat tube angle makes in-the-saddle climbing comfortable and efficient and all the angles add up to a nicely balanced ride for solid cornering and good overall stability. If you’ve ridden other short-dual-link bikes, the suspension performance will seem quite familiar. Without even bothering with the “climb” mode on the shock, the Rollik quickly showed its stellar climbing abilities. Just as intended, it responds to roots and rocks on the trail but not to pedaling forces. The Rollik felt snappy out of the corners and was just plain fun to ride.”
Read the full review at mountainflyermagazine.com