PRESS RELEASE: Today, the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) issued Trek Bicycle a patent on its Active Braking Pivot (ABP) suspension system, #7,837,213.

Invented by Trek suspension engineers James Colegrove, Dylan Howes, and Jose Gonzalez, ABP has been praised for being the first suspension technology to effectively separate braking and suspension forces. This separation allows the suspension to remain active while the rear brake is engaged.

Trek’s ABP patent has broad implications, as it covers a concentric pivot in combination with much more sophisticated and varied types of rear suspension designs.

ABP, utilizing a concentric rear pivot, was first introduced to the marketplace in May of 2007 and has since evolved to become the foundation of Trek’s full-suspension bikes, offered on eight platforms to date.

From its origins in 2006 to today’s 2011 Trek full suspension lineup, Active Braking Pivot remains a competitive performance advantage found exclusively on Trek and Trek’s Gary Fisher Collection full-suspension mountain bikes. Now patented, ABP is further proof of Trek’s commitment to leading the world in mountain bike technology.


  1. Well, I read what the patents actually say, and the Trek patent reads like it’s more for the patent on the way the rear shock “floats” between both chainstay and seatstays. Here’s a quote from the actual patent:
    “A bicycle frame assembly having a number of rotatable members configured to absorb shocks and impacts associated with operation of the bicycle. The assembly includes a frame constructed to support a rider and a chain stay having a rearward end that extends toward a wheel hub and a forward end that is pivotably connected to the frame. An absorber is pivotably connected to the forward end of the chain stay and extends to a rocker arm that is pivotably connected to the frame. A seat stay is pivotably connected to a rearward end of the rocker arm and extends to the rearward end of the chain stay. The rearward ends of the seat stay and the chain stay are pivotably connected to rotate about a common axis.”

    The Weigle patent for the Split Pivot reads more for the rear concentric pivot:
    “The invention relates to suspension systems comprising, in certain embodiments, a pivoting means concentric to a wheel rotation axis so that braking forces can be controlled by placement of an instant force center, and so that acceleration forces can be controlled by a swinging wheel link. “

  2. One party had deep pockets, the other had legitimate rights to the technology. They system is obviously broken. Basically this gives license to big businesses to plow over the patents held by real inventors. I don’t know if there are other cases of this in history, but this could completely destroy the system that was designed to promote ingenuity and innovation.

  3. haven’t bikes with a single pivot point done this for years?
    and how many “trek terms” do their bikes have all over them now like:
    Full Floater
    EVO Link
    None of these abbreviations or terms make any sense to anyone in the general public who buy these bikes
    Last thing what does this term “trek guys” mean? I don’t get it at all, I see it in adds of theirs for the road line all the time.
    Are they talking about Tour De France riders?

  4. Just because DW and Trek both use a concentric axle pivot doesn’t mean that the examiners allowed either or both to claim the entire spectrum of possible concentric axle pivot designs.

  5. Did they forget about Specialized FSR suspension with the hosrt link that has been around for years. That every other company would love to duplicate. It also has independent braking.

  6. @garrett
    Single pivot suspensions have the hub and the brake caliper mounted on the chain stay. There is no separation of braking action from swingarm action. In that configuration, when the rear brake is on, the swingarm cannot pivot as freely and the suspension cannot track the bumps as well. Next time you see a Kona or Jamis or Ventana or a previous-generation Rocky Mountain, squeeze the front brake and compress the rear suspension. Notice how the wheelbase changes and the rear wheel actually rotates relative to the chainstay. With the rear brake on, the rear tire is forced to drag along the ground as the wheel base changes and it can’t rotate relative to the chainstay. It’s even worse with both brakes on. This is why single pivot designs feel harsh with the brakes on.
    The ABP, or Horst Link or multi-link (think of the lower link connecting the rear triangle to the frame as the swingarm) or any well-designed suspension configuration that separates the rear brake from the swingarm allows the rear wheel to do what it needs to when the suspension actuates without influence from the rear brake.

    Now, remember the floating brake arms that came with Foes DH bikes or the Brake Therapy kit? That did what ABP does; it separated the rear brake action from the suspension action.

What do you think?