This innovative suspension system developed by Product M is so named because the design maintains the relationship between the critical human interface points on a bicycle (the bars, seat and pedals). By suspending the rider and keeping the distance between the saddle and the bottom bracket fixed, this design is meant to eliminate, as the website explains, the “unnatural crunch like activities that happen on a bike where the distance changes.” You can learn more about the design at the bicycle section of Product M’s website.
I first saw a prototype of this design, called “Suspend This” at the time, at an event that was held in Product M’s Atlanta office in the late 90s. Back then, I remember thinking that the concept was a good one and I hoped to see it on the market someday. In the following years, I forgot all about this idea, but recently I learned that Schwinn licensed the idea for one of their comfort bikes, the 2006 Sierra DSX. I was also happy to read that the licensing agreement with Schwinn is non-exclusive, so there is still a possibility that this suspension idea could be used on a performance oriented mountain bike as well. I think it is a pretty marketable idea in a very competitive industry. What do you think?
At any rate, Congrats to Mark, the principal at Product M and primary developer of the bike, for getting this patented suspension design on the market. Very cool.