Sneak Peek: Siren "Song"

Siren Song prototype

One of the highlights for me from the recently held Interbike trade show was catching up with Brendan Collier of Siren Bikes. Here’s Brendan and his latest creation, the Siren “Song”. It’s Brendan’s take on a soft tail design with a twist. It’s a “69er” and he’s not relying on the aluminum stays for flex, as some other famous soft tail designs do.

Siren Song detail

Here’s what is flexing to get the estimated 2″ of travel from this design. It’s a titanium plate attached at both ends to the aluminum frame at the rear of the bottom bracket and the yoke between the chain stays. Brendan stressed that this is still in development and that he has plans to more cleanly integrate the plate into the frame structure.

Siren Song detail #2

Here’s another view of the plate and it’s design. Brendan expressed to me that he has several options to explore before he settles on a final design for the plate. In the meantime, this frame shown at Interbike is already being ridden by endurance athlete extraordinaire, Dave Harris. Dave will be using this for his assault on the 24 hours of Moab soon, so make sure to check out the results after the event to see how things went. You can also keep up with how the Siren Song prototype is doing at Dave Harris’ blog.

Brendan was pretty excited about this new project and described to me how the suspension should work. It has a proprietary shock by Cane Creek, specifically tuned to work with this design. Based on the AD series, the shock is set so it has a “preload” condition allowing the shock to be more active over smaller trail chatter. The shock is also very tunable, and should work for a variety of trail conditions and rider preferences. Cane Creek also offers different valving options that can further alter the way the rear end works for a rider.

Finally, I had to ask if Brendan planned on offering a full on 29″er version of this design in the future. The answer was a resounding yes. Brendan wants to first get the 69″er version in the can and then he’ll focus in on the 29″er version of the Siren Song sometime in early ’08.

I can’t wait to see how this bike works for Dave Harris and to see the 29″er version in the future. I think Brendan is on to something here, since soft tails and 29″ers seem like a great idea to me. Check out the future progress and Siren’s other bikes at their website.


No Responses to “Sneak Peek: Siren "Song"”

  1. Dirt McGirt Says:

    Me likey! That plate is looking kinda flims-o-rama, though.

  2. Guitar Ted Says:

    DirtMcGirt: Well, as I stated, it’s still in development and the plate design has been used to great effect in Dave Funk’s design called the LaRuta. Ibis also used something similar at one time. It may look flimsy, but titanium will not be a problem used in this manner.

  3. MMcG Says:

    It has to be somewhat thin for it to flex – so I think the flimsy comment might be a tad off on this design. You wouldn’t want a huge hunk o’ titanium in there now would ya?

  4. Sevo Says:

    Still ugly no matter which way you look at it though.

  5. jb Says:

    Ugly is right. An inelegant solution to the problem, to say the least. Between the kludgy seat tube gusset and that hunk of junk at the bottom bracket, that frame is no looker. Please send it back to the drawing board for the sake of Siren’s sales…

  6. Desert9r Says:

    I must be from a different generation than you guys, I quite like the look. Its not a work of art like a Retrotec or an Orbea, its more of the Industrial art/ metal sulpture/ Transformers(cartoon/movie) feel, dare I say it a refreshing view on the same ol’ Boring bike.

    Part of that Is that Ti plate, a new Totally different way to add suspension to a bike.

    I’m still waiting on the Leaf Spring suspended bike.

  7. Gamelin Says:

    I don’t think the look is bad at all. It’s just different from the norm. Full out rear shocks have much less aesthetic appeal than what this can have, we’re just used to them. And if they did decide to make it look ‘cleaner’, all it would take would be to recess the bolts a little and round off some corners.
    Cool stuff!

  8. Guitar Ted Says:

    Well, for those of you not digging the look, have some patience already! Sheesh! I did write that it was going to be refined, didn’t I? And this design is not new in it’s basic workings. As I have mentioned, other bikes exist with a similar suspension design and I think they are rather ordinary in appearance actually. Once built up, designs like this one tend to be kind of hidden from view.

    Anyway, kudos to Brendan for showing this work in progress, warts and all. He didn’t have to and maybe he shouldn’t have. 😉

    I’m willing to bet that the aesthetics will be very refined before Brendan signs off on the Song. More importantly, I’m betting it works even better!

  9. Walt Says:

    TiSports has been making something essentially identical (a cnc’d titanium plate that takes the place of the chainstays and serves as a flexible “pivot”) for well over a decade.


  10. kinkcrazy Says:

    I got a chance to pedal around on another proto Song this weekend at the Tour of the White Mountains and again in Tucson. I got to follow Mary dialing in her Song for Moab. I was blown away by how active this thing actually is. I’ve followed riders on Dos Niners and never have I seen the “suspension” actually work. This Siren motors! Needless to say, I’m more than interested even after being a dedicated believer in the hardtail for years. I’ve been grilling Brendan about the nitty gritty details and I can assure all of you folks crying ugly will be impressed by future iterations.


  11. Vecsus Says:

    I’ve always been a function over form kinda guy. If it works well I don’t really care what it looks like. Although I do happen to think the Siren design looks good. I ride a rigid 29er right now but am planning to add something like a soft-tail or light FS in a year or two. I will have to follow the development of the Siren. I love the concept.

  12. Kid Riemer Says:

    In response to Mattg’s statement above re: the Dos Niner. Rest assured, the Dos Niner’s 1″ of rear travel does work.

    An O-ring on the shock is present and is easily checked to make sure a rider is running through their travel.

    Keep in mind that 1″ of travel is hardly ‘full-suspension’ and neither is it intended to be. It is there to take the edge off of hits that the 29″ wheel size doesn’t smooth out.

    If a rider isn’t seeing their O-ring move on a Dos they need to lower the amount of air pressure. It is a low pressure shock. Riders should move through the 1″ of travel frequently during a ride, much different than a 5″ travel bike where you should max travel only a few times per ride on big hits.


  13. Mike Says:

    I join the ugly look band wagon. However, it does look like the prototype is put together more to show the concept than to appear pretty to the picking eyes of the mountain biker consumer.

  14. Guitar Ted Says:

    Kid: Thanks for chiming in here. I can vouch for his testimony. I own a dos and you really shouldn’t be running much if any air in the can. I have about 10psi in mine and i weigh about 240lbs. I get all the travel, as Kid recommends, several times throughout the ride.

    The Siren Song should be not much different in this regard.

  15. Vic Says:

    It may not be beautiful, but if the flex plate were to be replaceable, it would ease my porky mind (Actually belly, my mind is probably sort of skinny) over riding a bike that depends on flex for rear suspension.

    Also the ti plate on an alum bike makes loads of sense from a cost perspective.

  16. Desert9r Says:

    Vic- The plates are just bolted on, how much more replacible do you want?

    Al w/ ti plate- would you want to pay an extra $1k+ for a Ti frame?

  17. Vic Says:

    Uh, I think you missed my point

    I was praising it. I think the ti plate makes loads of sense from a cost perspective, that;s why I said it.

    I was not certain the plate is replaceable as earlier posts said this was a prototype and further integration was on the list of things to do. I am not sure if further integration means replaceable or not.

    Anyway, so I am clear, I think this bike looks like it has a lot of potential. I like the design ideas regarding a ti plate on a aluminum frame.

  18. Desert9r Says:

    Sorry Vic! my mistake

  19. Brendan Says:

    Hello all, I’m Brendan, the creator of this bike.

    Here’s a few clarifications:

    I like building pretty bikes, this will be one of ’em too. The bikes you’ve seen really are protos, just to prove to concept. Things will get shapely & tapered, the brace will likely become integrated, and there will be some changes with the hardware too. Its a simple design & ought to look that way too. It’ll look nice, ok?! 😉 Not everybody will like the look of the bike, and that’s ok too; the frame will occupy a rather small niche anyhow.

    We build primarily with aluminum, for a variety of reasons. The comments about the bike’s cost effectiveness are right on the mark. The idea is to have a light, vertically compliant, torsionally stiff bike that works & comes at a reasonable price.. and handbuilt.

    I’m excited to combine the two materials & see a lot of potential looking forward.

    The plate’s thickness is just about right. We arrived at it using computer modeling & a little know-how from other builders– it gives plenty (well within its limitations) and has adequate torsional stiffness. The brace on top helps here too. Probably won’t need different “springs” for different riders.

    The shock handles most of the spring and all of the damping. The first 30% of the travel is loaded negatively into the plate, which also helps eliminate shock seal & bushing friction. It also makes the overall spring rate somewhat progressive, which is a good thing in this case.

    The shock pressures so far are running about 75 psi for Mary (she’s light) and about 90 psi for Dave. This is firm enough to have virtually no sag, but takes the edge off.

    So that should sum things up. We’re on the road right now riding & having fun on our way to Moab this weekend.

  20. Siren “Song” Update | Twenty Nine Inches Says:

    […] might remember our Interbike Coverage from last fall when we showed you the first prototype of a new soft tail design by Siren Bicycles called “Song”. The first prototypes have […]

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