Pocket RocketWe’ve been testing the Pocket Rocket for over two years now, and finally saw it fit to put into production. Its a 4″ travel URT design optimized for dirt jumping, park riding, and slalom racing. It does quite well as a short-travel trail bike to boot. In short, the ideal all-around play bike.

What is URT, and why are we using it? URT stands for Unified Rear Triangle – it means the bottom bracket is mounted to the swingarm rather than the front end. For this application, with this layout, its the perfect choice. Mounting the bottom bracket to the swingarm means zero chain growth – you can run it singlespeed without a tensioner, and geared with the shortest, tightest chain possible. Awesome. Also, no moving parts between your feet and your wheel mean excellent power transfer, perfect for gate starts.

But wait, how can the suspension work if you’re standing on the swingarm? Well, it works remarkably well. Imagine putting a pivot in the middle of a 2×4 with a spring under it. If you jump on the 2×4, you’re going to compress the spring no matter what side of the pivot you’re standing on. The reason early URT designs were so bad was that they would place the pivot way up high. This meant that the bottom bracket would move an enormous amount as the suspension compressed, and this sucked for two reasons. One, you had a seat height that would change as the suspension compressed. Two, the suspension would only work when you were sitting down. This was advertised as a benefit, but in reality it was horrible. When was the last time you flew into a rock garden sitting down? The reason the Pocket Rocket works so well is that our pivot is right about the bottom bracket – the BB only moves .5″ through the entire stroke of the shock. Its almost impossible to notice as you’re riding along that the BB is moving at all. The suspension works just fine when you’re standing, and seat height variation is negligible.

Specifications:

  • Tig welded 4130 steel construction
  • 7.2 lbs with shock and hardware
  •  44mm headtube
  • 4″ travel via 1.5″ x 6.5″ air shock
  • 30.9mm seatpost
  • European bottom bracket 68mm
  • Nickel plated
  • Horizontal dropouts with derailer hanger
  • $2100 msrp with Fox RP23 rear shock

In the media: