The Free-Rotating Suspension (FRS) provided casual Atlas customers with a suspension binding that was better suited to rolling terrain. This opened the door for Atlas to position their premium snowshoes at all pricepoints.
Atlas' patented Spring-Loaded Suspension (SLS) is ideal for core users because it keeps the snowshoe deck close to the foot during the step. Casual users prefer a deck that falls away from their foot. Atlas needed to create a system that included suspension like a classic Atlas snowshoe but allowed the tail to drop at each step. The costing also had to work for the lower pricepoint models.
A hinge was added to the system between the binding and the suspension bands. While the user's foot was on the snow the suspension behaved like the classic SLS. As the user took a step forward the hinge would become active allowing the deck to drop. The casual users now had the best of both worlds. The higher cost due to adding a hinge was accepted since the system functioned so well.
Primary Project Role: Senior Design Engineer