There are many variations on the two of the most common suspension designs: Horst-link (owned by Specialized) and the standard 4-bar. Both camps have some major players with Specialized, Ellsworth, Norco, Titus and others using the Horst-link design and Kona, Turner, Jamis, Transition, Ventana, Rocky Mountain and others using variations on the standard 4-bar (which is really a single pivot with some extra linkages).

What’s the difference, you might ask?  Well, boiled down, it is as subtle as the rearward pivot location… seatstay or chainstay.  The Horst-link places the pivot on the chainstays and brake mounts on the seatstays, thus removing braking and pedaling forces from the suspension movement while the standard 4-bar places the pivot and brake mounts on the chainstays, which can potentially “lock out” the suspension under braking and pedaling.

Good designs in either camp are stellar performers under all conditions and can be found on a variety of bikes from cross-country racers to freeride or dowhnill rigs. While both designs try as much as possible to place the pivot location in just the right spot to mimic each other’s axle paths, none have yet to place the pivot around the rear axle… until now.

Introducing the Trek Remedy 9 with ABP Suspension

New for 2008, the Trek Remedy 9 utilizes Trek’s new ABP (Active Braking Pivot) suspension design with the rearmost pivot rotating around the rear axle. Finally, bike technology and building capabilities have gotten to the point where a pivot around the rear axle is a reality. This effectively eliminates brake-induced suspension lockup and ensures a consistent suspension feel under both hard braking and pedaling.

Trek ABP Rear Dropout Design - Courtesy

Not satisfied with the advancements of the ABP design alone, Trek has slapped two additional innovations onto the Remedy 9.  Those include Full Floater and EVO Link.

Full Floater refers to how the shock is mounted to the frame. Well, in this case, it isn’t mounted to the frame at all, but it is suspended between the rocker arm on the top and the extended ends of the chainstay linkage. I’m sure it makes for some interesting engineering to effectively place a shock in that type of a floating location, but I’m told it makes the suspension feel more plush and bottomless.

EVO Link is an all-in-one rocker pivot to increase stiffness and efficiency. While most rocker arms are made in several pieces, EVO Link is a one-piece design, thus increasing stiffness and efficiency.

Trek Remedy 9 with ABP Suspension Design

Between the ABP, Full Floater and EVO Link, I’m completely geeking out.  This triple-threat combo is featured on the Remedy and Fuel EX lineups . I have yet to ride a new Trek Remedy 9 on the trails, but I’m hoping to before the summer is out. With 150mm in the rear and 160mm up front, it looks stellar on paper. If I don’t get on one, then look for a hands-on review of the Trek Remedy after Interbike 2008 in Las Vegas, NV. MSRP for the Trek Remedy 9 is $4729.99.

More Info: Visit to see the Remedy 9

About Author

A native of the Pacific Northwest, Jason quickly developed a love for the outdoors and a thing for mountains. That infatuation continues as he founded this site in 1999 -- sharing his love of road biking, mountain biking, trail running and skiing. That passion is channeled into every article or gear review he writes. Utah's Wasatch Mountains are his playground.


  1. Thanks for the great review! I just picked up a 2009 Remedy 9 frame and consolidated two bikes (one XC and one AM) into this bike. All I can say is WOW! I’ve been actively riding mountain bikes since ’93 and these latest designs are amazing. I can definitely notice the ABP and Full Floater difference. I can climb better and still rip the DH. I’m now a believer in the “One bike for everything” mindset.

  2. How come you write reviews about ‘tech’ stuff but don’t seem to know really what you’re on about?

    The brake mounts will both be on the seatstays – not many bikes have them on the chainstays, regardless of suspension design.

    • Jimbo… thanks for your comment. As you can see from the first comment, someone mentions that I had it wrong initially. Well, I actually had it right, but in my haste, I quickly changed it without thinking (my bad). Now, you’ve so astutely pointed out that I should not have changed it (thank you). I just went back in time and found that my initial post was correct indeed.

      I have corrected my errant correction based on a knee-jerk reaction from Paul’s comment. It’s understandable that people can make mistakes, but thanks for calling me out.

      AS far as brake locations on the chainstay… the Horst-link bikes all feature that location as well as other designs, like the Felt Equilink.

      Homework is always necessary on all fronts. Again, I appreciate you calling this to my attention and correcting my misguided edit from a year ago.

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