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Slingshot road bike
#1
Early '90s road bike model Slingshot (c. '91). Just curious if anyone has any experience riding this bike. True Temper CroMo frame with Vitus alloy fork. Heavy duty sprung cable as downtube/suspension; flex "bushing" at rear of top tube connecting to seat tube.
I am told the weight was about 25 lbs without pedals so not a very lightweight design even if fit with lower weight components. I guess the spring assy and beefier top tube with the flex joint adds a fair amount of weight compared to a lightweight down tube and top tube design.
Since these were used in an off-road capacity (see mtb versions in following post) it would seem that the design is durable enough, but I would be curious as to how much rotational and lateral flex occurs at that joint, especially during hard climbing/sprinting put of the saddle. With that one joint providing all of the stiffness to the front of the frame, and also being designed to flex in the vertical plane it seems that it would be difficult not to have unintended flex when under heavy load.
I'm not sure if you can ride the bike without the cable (breaks on a ride), or how much flex that joint allows. Can the flex joint hold enough for a "limp home" ride if problems arise? I know the cable design was made to be durable, but what if? Oversized top tube with gusset reinforcement looks pretty heavy duty; more like an mtb than a road bike.

           
Take care,
Jesper

"I am become Death, the destroyer of bicycles." NJS
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#2
Mtb version (c. '92 and later) with substantial top tube design difference not having a gusset, different rear drop-out and off-road fork.
   

Earlier mtb version with dual top tubes design.
   
Take care,
Jesper

"I am become Death, the destroyer of bicycles." NJS
  Reply
#3
Wow! Those look seriously cool.

They also look seriously sketchy, especially as various bits age. Sad
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#4
WOW, this Slingshot looks so out of this world. I had that reaction when I saw a friend's Cannondale Lefty. This Slingshot takes it to the next level. Not sure how many have seen a Lefty, so attaching a stock photo from the web. My friend loves her Lefty but that's not her only bike though. In other words, she's a small-level bike collector/a big time passionate rider as well.

I would love to see/hear from someone who's ridden a Slingshot. That would be something..:-)


Attached Files Image(s)
   
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#5
It would seem that they had a good following and were not suffering from design problems; but apparently were not light enough (20%-30% heavier) for serious road competition use and thus never had sufficient exposure and/or results in sanctioned events, etc.
I think the mtb versions were not able to keep up with suspension advances (they did offer various springs to "tune" the suspension some given a rider's size and terrain use, but I think it would still be limited more of a gravel/"groomed trail" use type application; but newer versions are touted as being full bore mtb's with heavier duty design and lighter weight (mtb model is full alloy frame at 5 lbs per website).
Newer designs are seemingly eschewing the cable design and are more conventional.
They still have an active website so a rare bike industry survivor for a small volume manufacturer that is still USA made.
Take care,
Jesper

"I am become Death, the destroyer of bicycles." NJS
  Reply
#6
https://slingshotbikes.com/mountain-ripper.php

Thanks, Jesper for pointing out their website. Sadly, their website seems a little neglected and doesn't have any videos of their "Slingshot" bike. I was hoping to see it in action. The only video shows their "conventional" bikes in action. I tried to check out various models and most have, "arriving soon".

Regardless, I would love to hear from an owner or anyone who got their hands on these machines. Truly perplexing design.
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#7
(02-19-2024, 06:36 AM)GirishH Wrote:  WOW, this Slingshot looks so out of this world. I had that reaction when I saw a friend's Cannondale Lefty. This Slingshot takes it to the next level. Not sure how many have seen a Lefty, so attaching a stock photo from the web. My friend loves her Lefty but that's not her only bike though. In other words, she's a small-level bike collector/a big time passionate rider as well.

I would love to see/hear from someone who's ridden a Slingshot. That would be something..:-)

I have thought the "lefty" fork to be a good design except for getting equal loading of the bearings. I would like to see a hub after significant use both with and without routine maintenance to determine if the "inner" and "outer" bearings are experiencing comparable wear to each other. I assume that a standard fork can be installed if one requires it. Question: is there a performance advantage, weight advantage, cost advantage, etc.?
Take care,
Jesper

"I am become Death, the destroyer of bicycles." NJS
  Reply
#8
interesting design, was the road bike used as a time trial bike? it looks sort of effective for that since the string would produce less drag versus an actual tube. would love to hear from people who have tried this for that discipline
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