One of the most popular booths at Interbike this year was Fox, no doubt due to all those cool looking forks on the walls. Like a window display in the red light district, you just have to stop and look. Well trek7k and I had a chance to talk with Elayna Caldwell, Marketing Manager at Fox, to go over the line up and to preview some cool things to come.
To start, Elayna mentioned that all the 2011 top model aftermarket forks, from the XC-oriented 32 F-Series forks all the way to the big 40 RC2, will get an new Kashima coating. Kashima is a slick anodizing coating laced with molybdenum disulfide and Fox is the only MTB shock company that has a license for the process. The cool thing is you can actually feel the difference between a regular fork and one with the Kashima coating.
Not only do these forks have a fancy new coating on them but they are also reworked internally with a more linear air spring as well as a lighter QR15 axle (21grams lighter). The reintroduction of a totally new Terralogic inertia valve is a new addition for this year and can be seen throughout the line-up of 32mm forks (except the 831 and 32 Float). The Terralogic valve acts much like an intelligent platform adjustment – it “senses” the trail (actually it is sensing the shaft speed of the damper and not your pedaling forces) and opens up the damping unit when it needs to. Otherwise the Terralogic valve stays closed for maximum performance. You can also adjust the threshold level by choosing from one of 15 positions.
Another key addition to the 2011 Fox line-up is an all new 180mm fork. You might assume Fox just went and extended the stanchion legs a bit to get more travel and called it done but no, not Fox. The company went and designed this fork from the ground up with durability, light weight and stiffness in mind. How’d they do it? Well they started with a new lower fork chassis to allow for more overlap of the DU bushings and Kashima coated stanchions (on the RC2) models. The fork body extends about 1.5 inches below the axle mounts that allows a lower placement of the bottom DU bushing. A new FIT RC2 damper has been added for fade-free performance and increased small bump sensitivity. A few more key features like intelligently placed compression adjusters up top (previous models were on the lower right fork leg) and a stiffer fork crown make this a killer fork that delivers on Fox’s ambitious design criteria.
The TALAS suspension forks (both the 32mm and 36mm chassis) sport a host of new features, all of which made me salivate when thinking about the options (yes, options). In the 32mm TALAS you can get the fork with or without Terralogic, 140/110mm of travel, and either a standard 1 1/8″ inch or tapered steerer. If none of that floats your boat and you want the RLC version, this unit is offered in 150 / 120mm and 140 / 110mm travel configurations with two steering tube choices. All the forks come with either a QR15 or a QR9 axle. The 36mm units feature either 180/140mm of travel using the new FIT RC2 damper or 160/120mm of travel using the improved FIT RLC damper (based on the successful 32mm model). The 36mm chassis forks only come with a 20mm axle (as they should).
Forty. Need I say more? The big 40mm FIT RC2 fork from Fox has been improved once again for those who love pointing bikes downhill and riding really fast. At 6.81 lbs. this isn’t the lightest fork out there but it’s probably one of the most bomb-proof forks you’ll find. The slick Kashima coating really improves the sensitivity of the fork and should perk up small bump compliance. To further improve the feel of the fork, Fox added a lower friction titanium coil in the left leg. All of this allows the rider to really dial in this beast. Speaking of dials, the 40 also uses the same design as the 36mm chassis which places the compression dial up top with the rebound dial on the bottom. This fork reacts quicker, keeps a consistent feel all day long, and makes adjustment easier as well.
And now for something completely new from Fox: a telescoping seatpost. Looking at the prototype I noticed right away the improvements Fox is targeting for this product release, most notably a lack of hydraulics to spit out. The activation lever is a tiny pivot that shouldn’t interfere with seat rails or dig into the seat itself. The prototype also seemed very stiff with little side to side movement unlike other telescoping seatposts on the market. Even though this is only a prototype I can tell it will be a game-changer. Short video below.
Another ber cool item on display was the titanium one-piece fork crown. Ohh yeah that’s right, titanium – not carbon. Up close it looked so nice. Will it come into being for us mere mortals? I just got a smile and a maybe from Elayna.
Check out the Fox Racing Shox website and take a peak at the rest of the line up. Hopefully trek7k and I will get a few full-on reviews of some Fox shocks for you soon!
Boy my Fox stuff is REALLY out of date now,hahahhahahahaha.I don’t suppose they had a ball park figure on how there seat dropper was gonna cost but if they did I would’nt mind knowing,just curious.
HI Steve.. Unfortunately there was no price set on the seatpost however conventional wisdom tells me it will fall in the range of the others out there.
As far as your fork is concerned. The changes that have happened over the last two years from FOX alone are significant. So there will be a big enough change that you will feel the difference..Maybe it’s time to change.