Bike design is moving towards integrated, clean solutions. One such trend is internal cables and the benefits are significant, including quieter, better protected cables and less chance of cable rub. Of course the visual improvements are important as well, we all want cleaner looking bikes right?
Why then are the shock lockout cables not routed internally? The benefits for the rider would be clear.
Orbea and Fox working together
In 2016 we started redesigning the Oiz which we would release in 2018. We were really pleased with the design changes and new innovations but it was also really important to us to find a solution for that external shock lockout cable. It was a key point we needed to address to fully realise our beautiful new Oiz frame design.
The first step to solve this problem was a change to the design of the top tube so that the shock could be recessed in as far as possible. From there we had perfect access to run the lockout cable into the frame while still ensuring that the other shock controls were easily accessible.
There was just one problem! Since nobody else routed the lockout cable internally, the attachment on the shock body was on the wrong side. Luckily we have a really good relationship with Fox and we managed to convince them to change the design of the shock just for us. By moving the position of the lock-out to the other side of the shock body, on the opposite side from the other shock controls, we had a custom shock that was the final piece in the puzzle to make I-Line work.
The Final Result
After all this work we had the result: the cable from the shock lockout follows the most direct path possible, inside the frame, all the way from the shock to the remote on the handlebar. This gives the Oiz the sleekest, sexiest shock mounting on the market as well as protecting the cables and lockout mechanism from dirt.
The direct cable routing means less corners and less cable, both of which give our remote the lightest, smoothest action possible. Finally by recessing the shock into the frame we also freed up more space for the water bottle, making it much easier to grab when you are in a hurry.
The Oiz has the sleekest, most integrated internal lock-out routing on the market, and we call our solution, “Inside Line”, or “I-Line”.
I-Line was deemed innovative and original enough to enable us to be granted a patent for it. Inside line is protected by our European and American patents, EP3587234 and US11077913.
Let’s stop for a second to have a look at that patent process because it is a big deal. In fact we got two!
There are 3 basic criteria for a patent. You must have a novel invention, meaning that it must be new at the date of the patent application. The product must be an inventive solution, not something which would be obvious. Finally your invention must have industrial applicability, meaning that it must be possible to manufacture.
It took us 3 years to receive our patent for Inside Line.
The process of receiving a patent is long and difficult. First you need to check that there are no obvious barriers to being granted a patent. The next step is fill out your patent application and submit it, you are then assigned a patent examiner. The patent examiner examines the invention against the criteria above and has the power to reject your application at any stage. Often the patent process involves consulting with competitors and numerous refinements, only to be finally denied permission. It took us 3 years to receive our patent for Inside Line.
One step closer to perfection
As you can probably tell we are really proud of our team here at Orbea. These small details would be easy to pass over in the search for an easier life but our team is obsessed with perfection and it is this obsession which helps drive us all continually forwards.
These are small details, we agree, but when your bike is so close to perfect we think that we are allowed to obsess over the details.