Featuring a different kind of rear suspension called Analog, the Datum mountain bike claims to be a game-changer in terms of weight, reliability, storage space, and dropper capacity.
Designed and manufactured in California by DigitBikes, Datum is an all-mountain/trail bike that doesn’t feature your conventional suspension, but one that is described by its maker as innovative, stiffer, lighter, more efficient, and more reliable, to name just a few of its qualities. It is a patented technology called Analog, a multi-link rear suspension system that comes with fewer parts and in which the rear shock of the bike slides into the top tube of the frame.
As explained by DigitBikes, the slider in the Analog system does away with the short upper link parts, while still functioning like an infinitely long link. The slider is stiff as it uses well-spaced and well-supported fork bushings to control the linear path of the rear triangle’s upper pivot, and rigid, triangulated structures for the front and rear frames.
It may all sound very techy and difficult to grasp, but what it comes down to in the end is a suspension system that brings more advantages compared to the traditional ones. One of the benefits of this design is the fact that the bike has a long, straight seat tube that allows you to use the longest dropping posts even on small frame sizes.
Another benefit is that by using fewer parts, the overall weight of the bike drops, and you get an increased chassis stiffness. Also, you’ve got more room in the front triangle for your water bottles, and the 140 mm of rear travel will deliver a smoother ride than you’ll get with shorter shocks.
In the front, the Datum bike should be matched with a 29” wheel and a fork with 150 to 160mm of travel. The rear wheel should be a 27.5” one. The complete prototype bike shown in the video below weighs 28.4 lb (12.8 kg).
We used the word “should” because the Datum is offered as a frameset only. You can currently find it on Indiegogo for a price of $3,150, with the estimated shipping date being May 2022.