Mountain Bike Skid Plate

solstice_skid_sm One of the guys I ride with recently bought a new bike from Solstice, which is a very small one-man operation.  One of the unique features of the bike is its inverted 4-bar suspension in the rear of the bike.  One downside is that a big piece of the suspension linkage hangs down below the bottom bracket, exposing it to rocks and other obstacles that we regularly encounter here in New England all-mountain riding.  Solstice does supply a couple of P-Tex covers for this linkage, but my friend was chewing through them with his aggressive riding, and he wanted something better.

All good ideas start with a quick drawing, and while this one wasn’t on a napkin, it got the point across.  I took his hand drawing and made a quick sketch in my CAM software, bypassing the full CAD step since it was a simple part.  He brought over a big chunk of 3/4″ thick UHMW polyethylene plastic and we made a couple versions of the part on my CNC milling machine.  We had to drill a couple of holes in his suspension linkage too, which was easily done on the mill in semi-manual mode.

All in all I think it came out pretty well.  We’ll find out on a ride tomorrow how well it holds up.  He’s planning to send pictures off to the Solstice guy, since he expressed interest in what we were doing.  Fun stuff!

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