This MTB Concept Explores a Different Kind of Linkage, and It May Be On to Something

Danang 05 15 photos
Photo: Carota Design
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Have you ever wondered what happens when an automotive designer decides to take a crack at building an MTB? If you have, then this next one is going to be interesting, to say the least.
I'll be honest; I don't often talk about full-suspension MTBs, but every once in a while, a design pops up that seems to be doing things a bit differently than what the industry is currently showcasing. Well, the Danang 05 MTB is one of those designs that's worth exploring.

But, just to be clear, this machine can't be found in any stores or dealerships; it's just a rendering. For the time being, that is, and if we have any frame or suspension engineers in the house, please feel free to speak up (comment) at the end of this article.

Now, the mind and hands behind the 05 are none other than Carota Design, a crew we've covered before. While they, he, or she mainly focus on automotive design and other mobility devices, every once in a while, they drop a bicycle design.

Danang 05
Photo: Carota Design
This time around, we're looking at a full-suspension MTB and one that showcases a rather odd frame design. For example, take a look at the rear tire construction or the swing arm. The drivetrain looks normal, and so does the 'carbon fiber' layup and shaping, but where's the rear shock? Well, this is where the whole 'questionable' side of things comes in.

According to Carota's Behance page, the rear shock is integrated into that bulbous section of the down tube and right in front of the bottom bracket. As for how the whole thing works, a short GIF provided by Carota offers insight into how this mechanism functions.

As the rear wheel takes a hit from the surrounding terrain, that rod protruding out of the frame is shoved back into the frame, all the while actuating a piston that's mounted in the frame. The problem here is the angle at which that shock sits, so to overcome this obstacle, another link is attached to the end of the rod and attached to the eyelet. Grooves in the frame also ensure that the rod moves freely.

Danang 05
Photo: Carota Design
Personally, I've never seen such a design, but this design got me thinking, so I did a bit of research. Come to find out, some manufacturers have developed similar setups before. But the idea behind it is simple enough. All that's left to do is test this design in the real world, but there might be some clear reasons why bicycle manufacturers don't use such a mechanism every day. It even looks as though Carota integrated rebound and compression controls into the frame, too, or it could just be the bolts holding the shock in place.

Regarding the rest of the bike, while I was analyzing its geometry, it became apparent that this is a cross-country machine at best. I'm not saying the suspension wouldn't be able to handle a downhill track, but the top tube is sure to remind you of where this bike is supposed to be ridden. Heck, the head tube angle, although no numbers actually exist, is a clear indicator that this just isn't slack enough to bomb down hills.

Still, the frame does express some rather attractive features, mainly the network of tubes, which would most likely be crafted from carbon fiber. Let's start off with the tube shapes. I particularly liked the fact that Carota varied the shape and thickness of each tube depending on where the level of stress it would potentially be susceptible to.

Photo: Cannondale / Cycling Sports Group
Because of this, we spot a rather neat construction near the head tube, similar to that spotted on some modern electric motorcycles - I won't say any names, but be sure to check out the gallery. That skeletal look is also spotted toward the rear, at the seat post, which places the rider in a suspended position similar to downhill MTBs, but it's not.

As for the remainder of this conceptual behemoth, we can tell that Carota is a fan of the automotive or heavy-duty MTBing world. I say this because the front suspension is rocking the name Ohlins, and all the car lovers in the house are sure to know what that name means. A flat bar completes the cockpit, and internal cable routing ensures everything is nice and snag-free.

The only question on my mind at this stage is why this design isn't such a common sight. Well, guess what? Some manufacturers do use something similar to what the 05 expresses, and one big name, Cannondale, has this on their Enduro Jekyll machine. It expresses this sort of idea, although clearly different. Be sure to compare and contrast the linkage.

Why this idea has been explored mainly has to do with lowering the bike's center of gravity, a massive plus when you're out there smashing trails to bring home the gold. This tells me that with a few tweaks here and there, the Danang 05 could very well be a machine we see in dealerships. GG Carota.
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Editor's note: Images in the gallery include an array of vehicles.

About the author: Cristian Curmei
Cristian Curmei profile photo

A bit of a nomad at heart (being born in Europe and raised in several places in the USA), Cristian is enamored with travel trailers, campers and bikes. He also tests and writes about urban means of transportation like scooters, mopeds and e-bikes (when he's not busy hosting our video stories and guides).
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