DVO Factory Visit/Bryson Martin Interview
DVO Factory Visit/Bryson Martin Interview
MTB – MAG – Bryson, good to see you – things have come a long ways since our last visit. You guys are in full swing with the Emerald and it’s quite successful. The Diamond is just about ready and the Jade seems to be making great strides. Any ballpark release date for the Diamond/Jade?
Bryson – Yes, most of the DVO crew will be heading to Taiwan after Interbike to assembly the first batch of Diamonds and the Jade is already shipping to customers. Intense bought up our first couple months worth of Jade production for the 951 EVO DVO bike but more will be shipping to our customers.
MTB – MAG – We noticed Cedric Gracia was finally on a Diamond at the Whistler EWS round. He was quite floored with it when we asked him about it. How has working with him been, in terms of development?
Bryson – CG is awesome, he knows exactly how a suspension system should perform at the highest levels and he’s crucial in helping us develop all of our products. He was really happy with the performance of the pre-production Diamond we had at Crank Worx so I know we are good to go with production.
MTB – MAG – Speaking of development and fast guys, is it safe to assume Bryson Jr. plays a key role in R&D? We know he’s extremely fast, but after our last chat with him we noticed that he’s also very perceptive and can articulate what he’s feeling out on the trail really well. That has to give you guys an edge, right?
Bryson – Oh yes he’s really a big help in the R&D process. Between Jr and CG, I have two fast guys who can really give me great feedback on how the products should perform. With Jr, he’s been around suspension his entire life so he knows how it should feel and I trust his ability to articulate what changes should be made. Plus its awesome to have my son working and riding with me all the time!
MTB – MAG – We don’t want to get ahead of ourselves here, but we have to ask – You guys seem to be committed to coil rear shocks with the Jade – are there any plans to go into an air rear shock? Is it too early to say, or are you guys just taking your time and not rushing products to market?
Bryson – For sure! We have plans to launch the air enduro shock towards the end of this year, so we will keep you guys posted on the prototypes for testing.
MTB – MAG – So the DH fork has clearly proven it’s prowess and has even been piloted by some World Cup guys. Are there any plans for OEM for next year? We noticed a pretty cool Intense bike with a whole lot of green bits on it while we visited the office.
Bryson – Yes, we have had a lot of OEM interest and the guys at Canfield and Intense have built up custom DVO spec’ed bikes this year. We also have a few other top tier players in the loop for next year.
MTB – MAG – One of the really impressive design elements that really sets you guys apart from the competition is (easy)access to custom tuning. The Emerald and Diamond can both be re-valved in a few minutes without having to disassemble the fork or change the oil – that clearly is VERY important to you guys. After all these years of MTB suspension, DVO are THE pioneers in that. From a marketing standpoint, this must appeal to the tech savvy consumers, but do you worry that as you expand, people will be ripping into their forks/shocks and then reassembling them incorrectly, and crying warranty? Or have you made it fool proof enough that even less experienced mechanics can figure it out?
Bryson – Up until now, we haven’t had any issues with people incorrectly reassembling the forks but I am sure it will happen! As far as incorrectly shimming the bottom loader, the only problem that can occur is the compression damping won’t feel correct but there’s a very limited chance of that causing damage, its fairly mistake proof and we are always a phone call or email away for help.
MTB – MAG – So the Diamond is squarely aimed at the Pike and the new 36. We’re eager to get our hands on it for an extensive test, but as we got to fiddle with it in the office, we noticed it has some unique features – some of which are also found in the Emerald. Most notably, OTT(off the top) but we also like the 6 position low speed compression adjustment. It just makes sense. What inspired those options?
Bryson – A few things inspired us to include the OTT design first used on the Emerald, the first thing is that Enduro is quickly progressing into the DH arena in terms of speed and terrain. Therefore, the performance of the suspension must be elevated from trail style to nearly full blown DH performance. That means stiffness of the air spring rate will be higher and the side affect will be harshness and loss of traction in the initial part of the travel. That’s where the OTT comes into play, with a turn of Allen key at the bottom of the leg, you can improve the initial suppleness of the fork without sacrificing the mid stroke or end stroke, just like on the Emerald DH. The 6 position low speed is a quick and easy way to choke the oil flow through the low speed circuit to stabilize the fork during climbs but the high-speed compression has a full range of adjustability. The other big players are really dumbing down their adjustments and limiting the performance aspect to just three settings really restricts the ability to tune your fork for a wide range of riders.
MTB – MAG – Very cool. We’re looking forward to throwing a leg over the new fork. Thanks for the tour and letting us poke around with the camera. Best of luck and congrats on the success thus far!
Bryson – Thanks, and always a pleasure to have you.