BY NICOLE FORMOSA
HOLBROOK, NY—Iron Horse Bicycles has acquired the license for the Instant Center Tracking suspension design from Ellsworth Handcrafted Bicycles, which will replace the DW Link on the brand’s high-end bikes in 2010.
Iron Horse will introduce the four-bar fully active suspension design to its 2010 line, including cross-country, freeride and downhill platforms.
“The folks at Iron Horse share my vision for building bikes with real, proven suspension technology, rather than concocting some gimmick to market for another few years before the next new gimmick,” said Tony Ellsworth, founder and patent holder of Ellsworth’s ICT technology.
Ellsworth patented the suspension design in 1997 and also licenses it to Merlin and October Bikes. Calfee Design has also used the technology in the past for its tandem bike, Ellsworth said.
The ICT system will improve efficiency, traction control, bump absorption and overall ride quality, according to Ellsworth.
Iron Horse has used the DW Link suspension design on its downhill, freeride, all-mountain, trail and cross-country bikes since 2003, but that license expires on March 31, 2009.
Dave Weagle, the inventor of the DW Link, told Bicycle Retailer and Industry News that he decided last July not to renew his license with Iron Horse because he wanted to move in a new direction. He recently licensed the design to Turner.
The addition of ICT’s energy-efficient suspension technology will enhance Iron Horse’s high-end lineup, which will launch in fall 2009, said Brad Accettella, product manager of Iron Horse Bikes.
“This is a very exciting time for our product development department. We are looking forward to creating unique frame platforms that carry forward Iron Horse’s renowned ride characteristics. The goal is to incorporate the key qualities from our existing models with benefits of the ICT system, Accettella said.
Iron Horse chief executive officer Cliff Weidberg announced earlier this summer that the brand would pull out of the independent bicycle dealer channel. As of Sept. 1, Iron Horse sells its high-end bikes exclusively through the Randall Scott Cycle Company, an online retailer with a showroom in Boulder, Colorado. Its low- and middle-end bikes continue to be available in the sporting goods channel.