The Coast Mountains. The Selkirks. The Kootenays. The Rockies. Canada’s rugged and wild mountains have always been a driving force in the evolution of mountain biking.
Structure Cycleworks is based in Calgary, Alberta, where the limestone peaks of Banff and Kananaskis meet the prairies and shape every aspect of our design. We invite you to meet the team that developed the SCW 1 and learn what led us to pursue the road less traveled.
“Some will say we’re crazy to do a linkage chassis, but riders already know linkages are the best solution for rear suspension and engineers know linkages are the holy grail for front suspension. Finally, we have the tools and materials to do it right, so we almost had to do it. This has been a labour of love from day one.” – Loni Hull
Loni Hull, Founder and CEO, has loved everything on two wheels since he learned to ride an old Hawthorne that was too tall for him by sitting on the rear cargo rack.
After decades devoted to motorsports, vehicle and engine design, and research and development work on early electric drive systems for motorcycles and plug-in hybrids, Loni became a founding member of the Portland, Oregon-based Motoczysz team that won the Isle of Man TT Zero motorcycle race four times in a row from 2010-2013. His efforts are documented in the 2011 film Charge by Mark Neale.
Structure’s integrated linkage chassis was born from concepts developed for the MotoCzysz E1pc, the drivetrain and chassis of which Loni helped to design. In 2012, he brought design goals from motorcycle racing to his other great passion, mountain biking, and began sketches that led to the founding of Structure Cycleworks in 2014 and Structure's first model, the SCW 1.
“You could say I’m not afraid of things that are unconventional,” says Loni. “But I have five bikes out in the garage with telescoping forks and a car that runs on gasoline. You have to understand and respect those who went before you if you want to do something that advances art, sport, or technology.”
If it has two wheels, Ryan Rasmussen, Structure’s VP Product Development, has definitely ridden it, probably raced it, maybe designed it, and almost certainly crashed it.
He has always been drawn to the unconventional because “you learn what’s possible when you explore the outer limits of design parameters. Step-changes don’t happen through cautious, incremental updates to traditional
Even his approach to engineering is unconventional. A background in mechanical and materials engineering is expected in this industry, but Ryan has also spent several years in the world of big data analytics and incorporates this experience in his design process.
“An extensive dataset is the foundation. You can never have too much data!” He’s not joking: his database of bike geometry and kinematic parameters currently tracks over 30,000 points of data. “When you have this much data, the whole world becomes your R&D lab,” he says. “If I want to investigate a relationship, such as how reach and trail influence steering stability, I can find bikes that already have the dimensions I need. It’s like having a thousand prototypes at my disposal. I can even plot trends over time, which allows me to predict, for example, how much ‘longer lower and slacker’ bikes are likely become over the next few years.”
Ryan’s combination of analytics and engineering provides unique insights into the needs of progressive riders and how Structure can lead the way.
“You learn what’s possible when you explore the outer limits of design parameters. Step-changes don’t happen through cautious, incremental updates to traditional designs.”
As radical as the SCW 1 design may appear, it its roots are more than a hundred years old. Countless hours and billions of dollars have been spent over more than a century of bicycle and motorcycle chassis evolution, with many breakthroughs – and missteps – along the way. Structure has learned from these pioneers, built upon the lessons of the past, and added our own innovations to produce a bike that solves problems widely considered inherent and unchangeable.
“In 2012, when I first considered how to separate steering, suspension, and braking forces in a front suspension, I was determined to harmonize the front with the more advanced kinematics of rear linkage designs,” says Loni. “Front suspension design has plateaued to the point that it takes careful attention to feel the differences between this year’s model and the one from last year (or the year before). New products boast a couple percent more stiffness, a few grams of weight reduction, and updated decals. Riders deserve more than marginal gains.”
Better handling means a faster bike. With up to 40% reduction in brake dive, nearly frictionless small bump compliance, and a head angle that slackens throughout suspension travel, Structure’s WTF (Without Telescoping Fork) chassis is the next step in the evolution of mountain bike design.
Structure Cycleworks exists for those who expect more from their bike and the company that created it. You’ll find the same devotion to customer service as you do the smallest details of every bike we create. Visit us at regional events and trails throughout North America or test ride a Structure at your favourite shop.
We can’t wait for you to throw a leg over one of our bikes and see for yourself!
A Message from Founder and CEO Loni Hull
Bringing the benefits of Structure’s WTF suspension system to riders everywhere is a dream come true. Eight years ago, I crashed my downhill bike and suffered a broken collarbone and concussion. During my recovery, I gave a great deal of thought to bicycle handling dynamics, with the certainty that the same principles that drove a successful vehicle design career could translate to mountain bikes. In 2012, I began drawings of what became Structure’s patented linkage suspension and collaborated with talented engineers and designers to perfect every element of the design.
Ride the SCW 1 and see for yourself why we believe this is the most significant evolution in mountain bike chassis design since rear suspension.
Founder and CEO