Syntace | Canyon | Liteville
K.I.S. | KEEP IT STABLE
THE BALANCED STEERING SYSTEM BY SYNTACE
First Ride Review at the bottom of the page.
The following is a brief introduction to the Syntace Keep It Stable (K.I.S.) steering device.
At the heart of K.I.S. are three parts: The cam, the belt, the spring. Together, they add symmetrical torque into the steering axis of two-wheel (single track) vehicles. This creates torque balanced, stable steering with proportional feedback.
To compare the effects of this system under real life conditions to conventional, unstable steering, an easily attachable Demonstrator-Kit is available. This allows direct back-to-back evaluation by activation / deactivation of K.I.S. on the fly.
The main reason why the application of nonlinear symmetrical force improves vehicle stability and cornering handling, is rooted in the two-wheel vehicle’s native steering instability (as soon as they are built with a steering angle below 90°). This “wheel flop” lifts the steerer tube in straight position, and lowers the front (stack height) when turning into a corner.
Applying nonlinear force directly into the steering axis allows K.I.S. to counteract this native instability in the steering of two wheelers. By adding an accurate 0° position reference point and a relevant amount of centring force over the full range of steering improves control and precision (which has been known in most cars, trucks, tracked vehicles, airplanes, boats for decades.)
The Syntace K.I.S. is virtually friction and stiction free. It is not dependent on any user input, and it rides more intuitively and predictively than current (conventional) steering systems. K.I.S. also applies no additional damping forces, for fast, direct feedback / balance of grip, and full agility throughout the entire speed range.
In serial production the K.I.S. system can be almost invisibly integrated into the scooter, motorcycle, bicycle frame or its components.
The system weighs approx. 80 g on MTBs, around 220 g on motorcycles. Syntace K.I.S. is 100% mechanical, it exceeds 50 Mio. load cycles in fatigue testing. It is maintenance free over vehicle lifetime, including an additional failsafe mode.
K.I.S. According to Canyon
Bicycle Steering Dynamics Have Turned A Corner
SMOOTHER. FASTER. MORE CONTROLLED.
Bicycle steering dynamics have turned a corner. Invented by Jo Klieber at Syntace, and engineered by Canyon. K.I.S. is a steering-assist technology that raises the bike handling bar to the next level.
Bold claim? Absolutely. K.I.S. makes you smoother in the rough. Faster through every corner. More controlled on sketchy descents. It even helps climbing too. Welcome to the Evolution.
Recent years have seen only marginal gains (in mountain bike design) with few ground-breaking developments. We’ve hit a stage of fine-tuning and balancing relatively minor potential gains and losses. K.I.S., on the other hand, represents a much greater leap forward in performance and control.
Control, it’s worth noting, doesn’t mean ‘boring’. Many of us appreciate gently feathering powerful hydraulic brakes on the edge of traction in the steeps. Or knowing the bike’s suspension and kinematics will handle the incoming impact when we overshoot a jump. Not many riders would swap out to some old V-brakes or a rigid bike in those situations.
So, do you need K.I.S.? You can decide: Some horse riders didn’t want cars, some candlemakers didn’t want lights, some mountain bikers didn’t want disc brakes, but few would step back now …Canyon have worked with this all new concept from Syntace, carefully engineering it into Canyon’s debut K.I.S. equipped bike: the all-new Spectral CF 8 CLLCTV K.I.S. model*.
* K.I.S. will also be featured on select models from Liteville, a brand which sits within the Syntace family.
K.I.S. aids stability from impacts and deflections from rolling rocks, wet roots, or loose surfaces. K.I.S. can improve handling in nearly all off-road riding scenarios. In fact, the only bikes in our range we do not think could benefit from K.I.S. are the dirt jumpers.
Dropping into a descent is where you’ll first notice the benefits of K.I.S. The higher the speeds or the wilder the conditions, the more the cam system increases control and precision. The combination of pre-tensioned springs, specifically shaped cam ring and the precise dimensions of the connecting bands create a steep initial torque curve and centring effect that keeps riders on line through the rough on the way down. This additional security and predictability of the forces riders feel through the bars not only increases confidence, but also helps reduce fatigue on long, epic descents.
K.I.S. keeps working on the way up as well as down, countering pesky wheel flop on steep climbs. Riders nowadays are tackling tougher and techier climbs than ever. The e-bike boom, in particular, has raised the bar on just how much climbing many of us want to do and how steep we’re willing to go.
There’s also a noticeable difference in climbing efficiency. On steep and slow climbs, riders have to work to keep balance with bursts of pow-er required to get the bike back on line. Testing with K.I.S. tells us that approximately 30 % less of these power surges are needed to hold lines and maintain balance on steep climbs. Leaving riders with more energy to rip through the trails.
CONTROL WITHOUT CONSTRAINT
Thanks to the ingenious shaping of the K.I.S.’ cam, what you experience is more supportive and stable steering that never feels tight or restrictive, even when you are steering through particularly tight corners with your handlebars turned at extreme angles.
The tuned torque curve produced by the unique cam ring shape and ultra-strong synthetic fibre band design means that while the initial ‘ramp up’ in centring force is high – to help keep the bike on line, the force from the system feels almost the same as you turn from 15 degrees through to 50 degrees.
TIME TO LET LOOSE
During our testing, it became apparent that K.I.S. helps to connect the front and rear wheels of the bike. Combined with the more predictable steering feel offered by K.I.S., the system works to make riding loose turns and terrain more manageable. Filtering out interference from braking or rough terrain K.I.S. evens out traction demands on front and rear tyres through the corners. Turn the bars and the bike will follow. Front wheel understeer? K.I.S. will work to keep both front and rear wheels inline. Rear wheel breaking loose? As you naturally steer into the slide, K.I.S. can help to bring the rear wheel back in line and keep you on the trail, offering a handy centre point reference ‘feeling’ to minimise over corrections.
No two riders are alike, which is why you can easily tune K.I.S. to compliment your own riding style and terrain. Are you looking for maximum stability and control on fast, wide-open trails? Then set K.I.S. to a strong setting.Want the utmost agility and re-sponsiveness on slower, tighter trails? Choose a lighter setting. Either way, achieving just the right steering feel is quick and simple with K.I.S.: Take a 4 mm Hex key and wind up the tension, set, for-get, and shred. There’s no need to adjust K.I.S. once you have dialed it into your preference. An indica-tor graphic on the top tube shows the level of tension to which you’ve adjusted K.I.S..
The K.I.S. system requires no maintenance. Cleverly and discreetly packaged inside the top tube of your new Spectral, there is no need for cleaning or lubricating K.I.S. The corrosion resistant hardware and coil springs and the ultra-strong synthetic fibre bands will just keep on working away, maintenance-free.
The components should last a life-time as the forces going through them are minimal compared to their maximum load capacity. No matter how hard or far you turn the bars you cannot overload and damage the system. There is also an integrated rotation stop to prevent the handlebars from turning past 90° in the event of a crash. There is a breakaway force on the cam ring clamp, meaning that in an extreme crash the fork or bars may turn beyond 90°, but the system simply cannot over rotate and become damaged.
Should you happen to crash hard, the system may need to be reset. Simply pop off the headtube cover to reach the cam ring clamp bolt. Loosen, re-align, re-tighten, and you are good to go. For maintenance or bike assembly this is also the access point to the cam / steerer connection for fitting or removing the fork.
K.I.S. will debut on our bestseller, the Spectral CF 8. It’s a bike that can handle any kind of riding, loaded with an uber-reliable parts kit that suits most budgets. Why didn’t we kick this project off by equipping our top-tier model with K.I.S.? We truly believe that K.I.S. can benefit all riders and we wanted to allow as many riders to experience K.I.S. as soon as possible.
The 160 mm / 150 mm travel Spec-tral all-rounder boasts modern geometry that allows it to climb and descend any trail. From all-mountain tours to enduro and freeriding, the Spectral is our most capable machine.
THE FUTURE OF K.I.S.
If it’s so good, why not prove it on a DH race bike, EWS race machine, eMTB, or the top-of-the-line Spectral?
The Spectral CF 8 is just the starting point. Again we wanted to make this technology available to as many riders as quickly as possible. We plan to roll out K.I.S. across many other models in the future.
K.I.S. has a huge future ahead of it. Trail and Gravity MTB are the clear starters, but we see a future where road, gravel, commute, and cargo bikes could all potentially benefit from the increased control delivered by K.I.S.