Using Linkage

After starting the program, the main window of the program appears.

It has these buttons:

Open button for opening a saved file.
New button for creating a new project.
A list containing the opened files. It is empty for the first time. You can click on this list to activate the specific project window.
The main window has further buttons with common functions, like closing all windows, showing this help, setting global options etc.

After launching Linkage for the first time, opening a ready-made file is recommended. Linkage uses .LTX extension files for storing data.
After opening a file and the calculation, you will see a project window bike drawing, some diagrams, and various controls for several option and editing the project.
You can open several files at the same time, a new window is opened for each.

Left side controls of the project window:

Save – save your work in an LTX extension file. "Save as" saves to a new filename.
Upload to web library - see more at the web library section.
Move – animates the bike. You can control the amount of front/rear movement with the trackbar below the button, as well as control the speed of the movement with the +/- buttons.
Duplicate – creates a copy of the current window, so you can make minor changes, then compare the curves of the different bikes and save it under a different name.
Export JPEG - save hi-resolution images of the curves and the frame in different positions. These files will go to the chosen folder with names like “bikexxx_geo.jpg”, “bikexxx_10.jpg” where “bikexxx” is the title of your bike and the number is a travel position.
Export Text – save text data of the calculated bike. These files may be read by other programs – spreadsheet applications, CAD programs.

The current values listbox on the top left show the actual values for the frame, they change as the shown bike moves.

The upper checkbox list contains several settings.

Show rear part only – zooms to the rear suspension.
“Horizontal mode” – keeps the bike standing on its wheels. When unchecked, the main frame stays stationary and the wheel “lift up in the air”. In other words – Horizontal mode means a moving coordinate system defined by the current wheel axles. No Horizontal mode means a fixed coordinate system defined be the zero travel positions of the wheel axled.
Show axle path perpendiculars – displays perpendicular lines to the axle path for each 20mm travel (by default). The parameters of these lines can be changed in the main window’s Settings dialog.
Show actual IC and CC – displays the actual instant center and “center of curvature” points of the axle path. These are useful for 4-Bar linkages (Horst-link, VPP), in every other case the CC is the main pivot of the swingarm and not drawn specially.

More checklists below as follow:

Show other frames – if there are several open project windows, you can display other projects’ curves in the same diagram. You can make comparisons this way. The other bikes’ curves are shown with thin lines and a legend.
Show axle paths – you can switch on/off displaying certain points’ path through the full travel of the frame. The rear axle path is shown by default.

Below on the left you can see the current diagram graph. You can switch to view another diagram by using the tabs at the bottom. The thicker lines are always for the actual bike, the thin ones are the ones for other bikes, if you choose to display other frames too. See the diagrams section for more info.

The right side controls of the project window:

Reference point - zou can change which point you wish to use as the origin of your coordinate system and the displayed grid.

Edit... Press this button to roll down the editor section. More on this in the editing section.

Undo/Redo - just like in other program you can revoke or reissue changes. Very useful if you should get into a situation where your bike is erroneous. Then you can step back to a working model again.

Bike Image - the actual image of the bike, according to the travel position scrollbars.

In this area you can use several mouse functions. The toolbar above has buttons to select the mouse mode - pan, measure, travel change and point moving modes.

Pressing the “Edit” button, drops down the grid for the point coordinates and other parameters. All of the changes take place only after pressing the Apply button, but some of them instantly or after pressing the Enter key on the keyboard. See more in this section.

Note: some of the fields show a hint if you rest the mouse over them.