Fox's Prototype Inverted DH Fork

Feb 9, 2012
by Mike Levy  
 
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Fox inverted fork prototype
  Fox's prototype inverted DH fork whipped up a storm of excitement, but it isn't looking like the upside down slider will be hitting the production line.

Pinkbike gave you the first look at Fox's inverted DH fork when Gee Atherton did an early morning practice run at the US Open with it bolted to the front of his bike. It garnered a massive amount of attention, and we took some bold guesses as to the details of the prototype slider, but Fox shared the real story with us during our visit to their new building in Scotts Valley, California. According to Fox, there were a few different versions being tested under their RAD (Racing Application Development) program, mostly under Gee and Aaron Gwin, that focused more on chassis performance than any new damper technology. The fork utilizes Kashima coated 36mm stanchions that slide into massive 48mm upper tubes, and there were a number of different axle setups that were investigated on track. Fox didn't elaborate on that last point, but we would have to assume that they are either referring to a larger diameter axle, or possibly even a non-round version, in an effort to increase torsional stiffness (the fork pictured uses a standard 20mm axle setup).

We were told that this particular version uses the same FIT RC2 internals as a team version of the Fox 40 would, although we wouldn't be surprised if there are some far from standard components inside. The spring leg in particular looks to use a different arrangement, with its preload dial at the bottom of the leg and a 5mm hex bolt at the top. The preload dial clearly means that the fork is coil sprung, but the 5mm hex bolt could possibly be some sort of air volume adjustment feature, or maybe serve an entirely different function.

  Standard FIT RC2 damping? Maybe in the fork pictured here, but you can bet that Fox tested other internals as well.

The outcome? After much testing it was decided to discontinue development of the inverted fork, simply because Fox couldn't attain the torsional stiffness that they were looking for without it becoming much too heavy for their liking. Word is that both Gee and Aaron were big fans of how the prototype fork handled fast, rough sections of trail head on - thanks to the increased fore/aft stiffness of the inverted design - but felt that the standard right side up arrangement of the current Fox 40 had the inverted fork soundly beaten in the corners. Fox admitted that they could likely remedy this by added more material, but the fact of the matter is that the majority of competitive downhillers would likely balk at purchasing a new fork that weighs substantially more than what they are currently using, even if it did offer advancements in damper technology or other areas.

While there are surely going to be riders out there who are disappointed that they won't be able to ride an inverted Fox fork anytime soon, Fox doesn't look at this project as a failure, but rather an exploratory exercise to learn from. You may never be able to use one of these forks, but you may be riding suspension technology in the near future that owes some of its DNA to the fork pictured above.

www.foxracingshox.com
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288 Comments

  • + 124
 It sucks when you spend that much money for the sick kashima-coat and not be able to see ;(
  • - 38
 more lower kashima = increase chances kashima hit by rocks? instead you'll need to hide your blink stuff
  • + 312
 Because thats EXACTLY what kashima was made for, pretty-ness instead of function...
  • - 93
 All the opposite. Kashima was made to increase the performance of forks, by reaching the perfect balance between the lowest possible stiction on stanchions and higher durability.
  • + 275
 That's what I said, evidently sarcasm doesn't translate very well lol
  • + 138
 ^^ but the germans have never been known for their dry wit anyways
  • + 21
 You can have this for ONLY $2500
  • - 237
 haha my friends gonna be pissed. he just baught a brand new 40 kashima and now a new invert fox fork is coming out haha
  • + 74
 They should have hyped the sh!t out of it, released it, and then sold it for $2,695 for one season.

"Suckers, they'll buy anything with our sticker... *Laughter all the way to the bank* "
  • + 37
 Did either of you 2 READ the article? Didn't think so. Clearly states they aren't being put into production, due to them still being too flexy in the corners, and this couldn't be fixed without adding a substantial amount of weight. Educate yourselves.
EDIT: not you sniggles, 2 above.
  • + 23
 @ tomcrowther: Dear god, sometimes it's really embarrassing to read the smart ass comments of my dearest fellow countrymen... (relating to annimaxdh)
  • + 8
 Don't worry about it, there's idiots in ever single country, technically he's at a disadvantage not sharing the same first language and everything Big Grin
  • + 5
 SOOOOOOOOOO true mazze !!!!!!! Wink
  • + 28
 @tomcrowther:
As for the flex, I have to say that some people actually think of it in a positive way.
I can't talk about my own experiences on this yet, but I was riding a 40 the last two seasons and now I'm going to test a Dorado for 2012 in the same ol' rig - so I'm pretty excited about the difference. A shootout between the stiffest fork on the market against the "flexy" Dorado should be really interesting, as the difference couldn't be any greater. To be honset, I can't really imagine that there is a fork out there which actually works better than my 2010 forty, that's how good it is.
But fact is, I heard about lots of people who changed from Fox to Manitou and were absolutely stoked, but I don't know nobody who did it the other way round..?
If the Dorado can handle Romo's riding style, it can handle mine for sure... So I guess the flex argument could be more of a internet half-knowledge gossip talk and maybe a way of marketing weapon from FOX against Manitous Up-Side-Down competition, than a real well-founded argument.
My guess is, that IF this fork was to hit the market any time soon (which obviously is not the case), it would NOT be a substitute for the 40 anyway, since it is just a different product with different pro's and con's. I'm all for diversity in the productline.
  • + 9
 Sneaky way to attack competitors such as ehemdoradoo.
  • + 7
 Whats wrong with the usual Fox 40's?
  • + 2
 Nothing, but there a real benefits to usd that some riders may prefer.
  • - 2
 any body know what the weight difference would be...?
  • + 5
 there is lower unsprung weight with a USD fork. its a big long argument that basically results in:
USD: more performance, more flex, more maintenece
STD: Less performance, less maintenecns, less flex

so in conclusion: USD IS MOAR!!! Big Grin
  • + 1
 There he just highlighted what I could not begin to quantify.
  • + 9
 They should make a cheaper DH fork, cuz not everyone can just pay $2000+
  • + 6
 I'm certainly no expert (and maybes someone's already said this) but i hear loads of MX bikes with inverted forks precisely BECAUSE of the flex they incur and not in spite of it. This is because the flex (apparently) helps the bike grip around corners (or something like that) which is why DH manufacturers are keen to try it out. Id on't really want to invite too much comparison, but obviously with MX, you're talking about all kinds of extra torque and weight so I'm sure the needs are very different but this is also why you can probably get away with a heavier fork.

Anyways its good to see fairly direct evidence a manufacturer trying something new, letting the pros test it and tell them it doesn't work the best and not just building it and selling it anyways to feed the ever efficient beast of the 'hype-machine'. Not that this is particularly new, but it's nice to see it happening.
  • + 3
 I believe its called the 'prototyping' process....duh! Big Grin
  • + 1
 disgusting..
  • - 1
 Gee was racing this "new" shock at the US Open. I'd say a $2k-$3K... Avalanche Ti
  • + 1
 The guys you pass in practice will be able to see it; kinda like having TV's in the back of your backseat headrests.
  • + 1
 'sessionman123' there a lot higher maininance fork, i doubt many people would buy these but get them through sponser ~ (the cheaper lower maintinance one being the 40), if you want fox just get a 40 if you want invert fork just get dorado
  • + 24
 From Fox website: "kashima coating is a molybdenum disulfide solution"
From Wikipedia Molybdenum disulfide: "Appearance: black solid"
From Wikipedia Dry lubricants: Anti-friction coatings: ".., these lubricants bond to the metal surface and form a dark gray solid film."

I'll eat my balls if the gold colour is there for any other reason than aesthetics.

www.foxracingshox.com/technology.php?m=bike&t=kc&ref=lnav_tech (the vid)
en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Molybdenum_disulfide
en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dry_lubricant#AF-coatings
  • - 1
 having the oil always sitting on the seal helps keeps it smooth too, but that does mean itll piss itself a lot more regularly though. which is one reason they will be higher maintenance and so race only
  • + 4
 I'm sure I only speak for myself here, but I value dampening performance and bottom out resistance WAY more than weight (Considering they stiffened it up for corners by adding material and therefor weight)....I'd have likely bought one if the price was on par for the rest of the DH forks....
  • - 1
 lol. ze germans.
  • + 3
 Maybe Fox is afraid to loose the competition against manitou for the 29" fraction.
I bet we will see this thing htting the shelves sooner as expected... when the first decent 29er dh rig is availible. Gogo Intense 2951Smile

Although they take a lot to get used to the look. And there some you do not want to see at all: www.littermag.com/techno/bcd29er/1.htm
  • + 2
 @ hertz32, there is negligible difference in unsprung weight for USD or STD for mountain bikes because the lowers on STD forks weigh so little. Just pick up a set of stanchions in one hand and a set of lowers in the other and you'll see.

I was going to write an article on it and the first manufacturer I approached said it was not an issue.

@jack clarke - what you say makes sense. It was reported on pinkbike some years ago that when they were redeveloping the Boxxer they tried larger diameter stanchions and the riders didn't like them and the stopwatch agreed - they found that the stiffer stanchions had less fore-aft flex and didn't move out of the way of rocks as quickly. Riders felt more beat up. So they wen't back to their regular diameter. Mind you, that was not an inverted fork so they didn't have to worry about lateral flex in the corners as mentioned in this article.
  • - 31
 fox is gay they make terrible suspension
  • - 16
 I like the idea of Fox coming up with this new idea, but the one think i dont like is that it is kinda bland as in the color on the top
  • + 4
 Yes...the color...That's definitely an important factor on forks... Facepalm
  • + 7
 Anyone who thinks USD forks take more maintainance is retarded. Have you ever actually owned one? Truth be told, due to the greater bushing overlap, and greater oil res, they take LESS keep up than traditional forks. So saying otherwise is just about the most idiotic thing ever said.
  • + 1
 These were going to be the shizz inverted is a great idea shame it wasnt available to the public. i hope they develope it and bring it to the market Smile
  • + 1
 Bottom line is that while we bikers generally prefer function over form, something looking sick as f*ck is no bad thing right? Keep the good stuff coming I say. Kashima looks good, fact.
  • + 3
 @VictorMAAS The gold could be due to it being in smaller quantities when in a solution compared to the crystals. Whereas the crystals appear black, when in a solution the particles are distributed in a much thinner coat and may cause a different refraction with light which could possibly cause it to appear gold. Keep in mind the stanchions aren't silver or colourless to start with anyway, they already have a yellowish tinge to them, so maybe the coating just exaggerates this a bit.

To simplify what I'm trying to say I'll put it into a simpler analogy. Think of Guiness, it looks black but when you pour it and more light can pass through you can see that it isn't black but more a goldish colour (much like Kashima come to think about it). I also noticed the Kashima has changed colour over the years, the 2012 ones seem much more gold in comparison to the 2011 models imo, maybe they did add a little bit of dye in the electrolysis process as a selling point but the gold colour in general could be genuine to the coating. It'd be interesting to see how it would look on a different metal though for sure to test this theory.
  • + 3
 Nice one Ollie Wink Guiness analogy worked really well.
  • + 1
 Damn techy answer ols, good lad
  • + 1
 Cheers bud Razz I know it isn't just that stuff they said either, I know there are Nitrides and stuff in there too lol
  • + 2
 @OTheNoes
The kashima did get darker for 2012. a higher concentrate molybdenum was used. they say its a touch better. like 3% or something
  • + 1
 Ah makes sense I suppose as I'd say in comparison the 2012 ones didn't really look gold but if anything more orange, which a higher concentration would more than likely be responsible for. Good shout z-man Salute
  • - 1
 @OTheNoes Haha could be, could be. Or the solution needs some stuff to make the coating adhere properly, which just so happens to be bright shiny gold, could be, could be. But like I said: I'll eat my balls if something like that is the case Wink
  • + 1
 Well it adheres due to electrolysis Razz
  • + 1
 Dont shun usd forks until you have owned some. My stratos fork is still oing strong and its getting on for 10 years old or so. Yes its ehavy but performs so so well.
  • + 2
 If specialized didn't sue Stratos out of existence, they would be probably one of the biggest suspension companies around today. Too bad. Stratos was top notch. Literally, legendary, and probably 2nd to Avalanche forks. And yea cyfa, I bet you will get another 10 years out of them before they need some new uppers made.
  • + 1
 When people have a feel of them they dont say oooo theyre heavy, they say oooo they feel really good!
  • + 1
 Yup, same as my Shivers with the custom lathed stainless axle. Almost as good as Avalanche in valiving, and as stiff as a foes F1 fork. Stratos is the sad story of MTB. Literally. The guy who made them most likely will help you source parts for them even though Specialized ruined his life. I wish he teamed up with Avalanche... as that would be the best combination ever made.
  • + 1
 He needs to do it!
[Reply]
  • + 37
 Pity Marzocchi didn't continue refining the Shiver.
  • - 16
 there was a reason why... they were shockingly crap
  • + 6
 They weren't shockingly crap, ok so they flexed a fair bit but I've still felt plenty worse
  • + 4
 the old dorados were twice as flexible then the shivers, yet they continued them in 2010 and look what happened... sucsess and a lot of owners, they realy should bring back the shiver, and tbh i would realy like to have the option btw the regular, and the usd 40's to buy. it looks fantastic imo!
  • + 34
 Shiver is coming back. Just wait.
  • + 8
 I have read this too.
  • + 5
 I spoke to Windwave recently with regards to my 03's Shiver and obtaining spares, they told me that there was the possibility of a limited run of a new Shiver but nothing more. Would be amazing!
  • + 3
 Yeah man, legendary fork. They do realise there is market for it and knowing Marzocchi, if they get stong take up on the run then they could go full bore production run. They have been doing so for MX and have been evolving the tech side so it would be interesting to see how it pans out.
  • + 7
 I run shivers on my kona stinky....only issue is weight, but since they're bolted to a stinky, it actually balances the bike.
I love my shivers and always will....and a new pair would be sick!!! :-)
  • + 11
 look a this guys 3.bp.blogspot.com/-lrpf2quIoQ0/Tj40Sk52RwI/AAAAAAAAACk/afstpY5tHts/s1600/Kowa200+GF+10.JPG
if you ask me id rather buy this kowa than fox cause is cheaper and "maybe" better than fox, fox is just big name nothing more!
anyway KASHIMA is kowa technology since many years, and fox stanchons are made by KOWA!
  • - 5
 yeah fox is just a big name.. you must be special.
  • + 2
 Dave, You are always getting crapped on, on pinkbike! I agree though.
  • + 7
 Must be because I'm welsh and shag sheep or something ha Wink
  • + 2
 I've never owned a 888, just a shiver. Kinda made me feel uneasy.
  • + 1
 wait a minute ribo88....how are you managing to consider the new dorados successful??? yea, yea, everyone said they wanted one because theyre shiney and different, but how many of them do you see on the trail??? theyre still flexy, the spring didnt work for the first year of production (something people dont know because they only sold about 3 of them) and they are ridiculously over priced!!!
  • + 6
 But Dorados are automatically cool because they shipped in a gun case! hahahaha
  • + 1
 Now that would convince me to buy em.
  • + 9
 Interesting how the only people who say the Dorado doesn't work are people who don't own them. I haven't read a bad review of them yet, and haven't seen a single person who hated it and switched it to something else. What This little article suggests is that Fox knows the only real competitor they have performance wise is the Dorado, and they need to slam it. To make it work, they would need a larger axle ala Maverick, or a different shape ala Manitou hex axle. Oh wait, other companies already knew that and made it work. Maybe fox can convince us that non cartridge forks don't work as well as the cartidge forks. Oh wait, that isn't new either LOL!!!!
  • + 4
 Also, they could not waste the weight on 40mm tubes, and use a 36 mm tube with more overlap in the uppers, and a more rigid axle interface. Oh wait, that is how the competitors do it. In the moto world, regular forks went up to 50mm tubes, and seal stiction became an issue. The inverted forks were able to use 45-48mm tubes (with less stiction) to get even better precision. Axle size went up to and there was the best of both worlds.
  • + 0
 im saying that it was a successful fork as in it was an improved and better working, and all around better fork, much stiffer and nicer than the old one, isnt this the goal of an old fork being brought back to production? imo the new dorado is much better then the older versions, altho they are truly overpriced etc. i would realy like to see and try a new improved shiver, cause the old ones were good as they were, but lighter and better materials with a better improved internal system could make it even better suited for the modern expectations.
  • + 0
 Willie1, your first comment says exactly what I thought.
As stated above in my comment, I would fully subscribe to your view regarding oppinions of the Dorado as well as the marketing procedure of FOX...
But your second comment is not really sophisticated, is it? The reason for the use of their 40mm tubes seems to be more of a cost-saving method to produce a performing prototype of a completely different product by using as many already available production parts as possible and therefore not having to design and produce every single bit completely new. Despite the fact, that Fox Shox definitely has the means to invest millions in product development, it doesn't mean they have to pour money down the drain. Other than that, your argument has a point though..
  • + 1
 How do you know that the hell is ugly?
  • + 3
 He compared it to my pet sheep
  • + 1
 mazze, the article suggests they could not get the weight/rigidity balance they wanted. This is not a problem with the inverted design, but a poor execution of the design. The 40mm tubes cost approx $10.00 each at my cost, plus some time on the lathe, polishing and anodizing. What do you think fox pays for them? The machining is custom, the cartridge fit is custom etc. If they wanted an honest appraisal of the competitive weight/rigidity question, using a 35-38mm tube would provide equivalent stiffness to the 40mm uppers on the 40. Using 40mm lowers would be comparible to a 43-45mm upper with a traditional fork. No one is suggesting to use a 43mm fork as the benefit would be offset with weight. Mute point.
  • + 1
 To Schwimble, wow you have no clue what your talking about buddy I've owned a Dorado for 2 summers living in whistler my bike probably goes through more runs in a month then most bikes in the world and probably yours. Anyway the flex that people are talking about is nothing obviously there is a little flex it as never affected my cornering i can very very rarely feel my fork flexing but sometimes in steeps rough rock gardens which I find good anyways. This fork is a huge success if you saw the amount of them on the BC race circuit and around Whistler and Vancouver. I wouldn't trade this fork for anything its feels like you can run over anything or pop a root and land in the middle of a shit show of rocks and roots and the forks just takes it laughing.
  • + 1
 I have an '01 shiver, I weigh about 215 with helmet, boots, and pads... The fork works. That's all that matters in the end. Plus, nowadays it costs as much as a grocery trip.
  • + 2
 Cheera... I too am a little heavier, and the shivers have never failed me... like the 888;s did. I could go if I wanted to really push it 8-10 years without service on these forks and they would work mint. And, it's not just if I wanted to... I have on a set of ultra heavy use forks. IE forks that have had over 1,000 miles of riding on them with NO oil change or seal change. They work.... period.
  • + 1
 Maybe can forget this hype ,, marz got something to say about inverted fork!... Marz for me!
  • + 0
 Hate to say I toda so, but I toda so.
[Reply]
  • + 24
 Would like to feel the difference between a standard 40 and those Smile
  • - 29
 Stantions stay cleaner, look a hell of alot worse... so not much Smile
  • + 6
 @allan-taylor64 You should become a pro rider then! Live the dream!!!
  • - 1
 Why does that get neg props????
  • - 15
 Why have kashima if you can't appreciate it, work on internals not appearance on fork... Looks Great atm!
  • + 1
 its not just for looks broo!
  • + 1
 STD or USD . . 40's bladder damage issue need to be solved quickly
  • + 1
 I said work on the internals because they already look good...
[Reply]
  • + 22
 MORE HYPE PLEASE
  • - 1
 We are one step from a 29" DH bike after this gets into production (just as they did with limiting travel on Dorado to accomodate bigger wheel)

Now the real question is: I wonder if it will use another axle "standard"...
  • + 2
 iggys - top post!
  • + 2
 Maverick had a 24mm standard with their forks a long time ago... SpecialEd did something with a 25mm axle more recently. On the other hand I wouldn't be surprised if Fox did something different just so they can claim its revolutionary.
  • + 3
 24.5mm's then i suppose :p
  • + 1
 doubt the current 29'' rims will be able to stand up to the forces they would be forced apon in dh
  • + 1
 To be honest no words can describe how much less could I care for Fox releasing an USD fork... and I wish more people would...
  • + 1
 I have a 29" downhill bike and the rims hold up fine if you get 36h flows on single speed Hadley's. I got an 05 dorado carbon, used it a season, did no maintenance on it, and it still was way better than the forks on the rental demo bikes at trestle. My only complaint is that it gets stiff in really cold weather since it is coil/oil.
  • + 1
 In a previous article they discused how the rims got slightly weaker due to the size.. I personaly think 26 is ideal as it isnt too small and gives you more than ample control Big Grin
  • + 1
 Yeah, you just overbuild the wheel set and then don't have to worry about it. Most stock wheel sets for 29ers are for xc, if you build your own you can use hubs with 36h, wide flanges, and stronger rims.
  • + 1
 still wouldn't trust them, look and how would you even fit 29'' through the say on the lowers of fox 40's or the rear triangle unless you had them custom made on a dh ?
[Reply]
  • + 16
 "Well we had some time on our hands and some money to piss through. So we decided to make a prototype. During the building process of this fork we decided to not release it to the public. Here at Fox we do what ever the hell we want."
  • + 1
 Hahaha... hilarious.
But then again you possibly underestimate the idea behind their statement that should tell us "well, it's just not possible to build an USD fork that is up to our standards... so you better be buying our regular stuff instead of anything else, because we are better than the rest.. especially Manitou with them USD crap".
  • + 1
 this gave me a laugh
[Reply]
  • + 9
 It was a good "idea", but ultimately fox were trying to achieve something better than there 40's in terms of smoothness and control witch they achieved but at the price of stiffness, weight and cornering characteristics! The fact that they ditched the project says it all but you cant blame them for trying to improve their shock technology.
All the manufacture's are looking for that next improvement, but now its got to the point with suspension where they cant go further with their current set-up's in terms of "radical new changes" so everyone is trying to refine what they've got! Question is what will they do when they cant refine any more! Smile
[Reply]
  • + 6
 As a current generation Dorado owner I can say that flex is a 0% issue and it is the best fork I've owned yet. I've also ridden and owned most other forks in the past including the Fox 40 which is a great for too. I bet this fork would be awesome but if they were having stiffness issues it would have been cured by the Hexagonal axle which Manitou has had patented forever. If you want a inverted chassis the Dorado is the way to go. It even has a similar coating to Kashima and the inverted chassis also benifits from better lubrication as the bushings/seals are always below the fork fluids- like when you store your regular shocks upside down to keep the seals from drying out.
[Reply]
  • + 7
 Its a good job Fox decided it wasnt feasible. Becuase if it even offered tiny improvements in some areas, they would of for sure been shoving the marketing down everyones necks and reaping the rewards.
  • + 1
 Well said mate!............Could you imagine if you had spent a small fortune and purchased a new fox 40 fork, and then they produced this and said it was better! Lots of angry people!
[Reply]
  • + 8
 inverted forks.less unsprung weight,very tuneable,best option by far,just ask White Brothers,overall weight is not as significant
[Reply]
  • + 8
 all part of the evolution of tech. only ever means good things in the long run Wink
[Reply]
  • + 6
 Back when that James Doerfling big mtn video came out, I was wondering what a purpose-built big line bike would look like. Something tells me a big heavy pair of inverted forks would have a place on such a bike.
[Reply]
  • + 5
 Only thing I hate about inverted forks is the ridiculously low axle to crown height (however that is dropping across the board, I actually plan to do a power point presentation on how ridiculous it is getting).
BUT anyway, I run 10 year old Stratos Super8's and inverted forks are the best.
  • + 1
 Ummm. that's the point... low axle to crown height, so you don't have to run those retardly lame flat bars.
  • + 1
 Flat bars are another problem! The roadbikification of downhill bikes. My power point should be done this week!
[Reply]
  • + 5
 "but the 5mm hex bolt could possibly be some sort of air volume adjustment feature, or maybe serve an entirely different function" Like holding the stanchions on, LOL. Um Inverted footnut, trick. I want one.
  • + 0
 The stanchions on the shiver are held on by small circlips, pretty sketchy when you think about it.
  • + 1
 You realise the old 888s were also held together by a circlip?
  • + 2
 It's not a circlip, it's called a flippen e-clip. They are E shaped.

And sketchy... imagine this... you take a 150/1500 or 250/2500 etc truck out, you realize your axles in your truck, all the way through a 750/7500 truck, use clips just a bit thicker than mars's e-clips to hold the axles in.

But then again, all the people who think Mars's e clips are shady have never EVER seen the inside of the rear end on their vehicle. Soo.. Please...

If a vehicles axles (including rims, tires, rotors etc can stay on... with a tiny clip, I'm sure on a DH mtb it will be fine). Also not that marz made forks with such clips for over half a decade, and never had one truly bad failure in those years.
[Reply]
  • + 4
 On topic: At least FOX figured out that:
- that the air is lighter than oil, hence they moved the expansion bladder to the top (read inverted FIT),
- the old Kashima is crap and it rubs off , hence the new improved one (improved with ?)
Off topic: Fox technicians won't tell me how much of which oil should go into my RC4 damper. I figure the company is hungry for my money
[Reply]
  • + 4
 Rode all sorts of inverted forks over the years stratos, white bros, avalanche, manitou and the foes xtd. Ya some of them do flex alot and some are rock solid the foes and avalanche ford are killer strong. The stratos and white bros not so much. I personally loved my o3 dorado and iam a solid 225 guy. I had my best pro season on manitou dorados with little to no issue with them. USD handles the rough stuff way better tha std but the do flex more. Sometimes you want some flex sometimes you don't. For the people who have never ridden inverted forks
[Reply]
  • + 6
 Hopefully fox can break the exclusivity of their hybrid air 40 with the session 9.9.
[Reply]
  • + 5
 look awsome...shame they wont be publicly available...id love to waste my money on a pair!
[Reply]
  • + 5
 Nice to see some of the successes and failures of these big companies. They are always working at something.
[Reply]
  • + 2
 What a shame to discontinue. I understand weight being an issue. No one will buy a new design if it weights significantly more. No sense in taking a step forward to take two back. That said I would be curios to the ideas they had to get the torsional stiffness under control. Maybe a bump up to 42 mm stanchions and maybe a new hub standard (hint hint, Shimano) did it with the 15mm why not a 25mm?
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  • + 2
 too all the people that are slaming fox as this is a marketing ploy I would first look at who went to who pb went to fox and I'm assuming had questions on the prototype this isn't a fox press release to slam other companies. as well the whole kashima is crap idea is bull dont knock it till you have tried it I bought my fork not really caring about the coating i wanted a low axle to crown 7in fork form am and dh the180mm talas fit that bill, using the standard seals there was a noticed improvement in the sensitivity this is compared to rockshox, and marz i own forks from all three
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  • + 2
 the real problem is the axle ``stantdard`` its too small for todays high speed and big drop riding style, yet every manyufacturer sticks with it because no one wnats to try, just look at bb30, its a better standard and the only one who had the guts to pull it off is canondale... modern bike are still in their infancy, standards should be played with, the tech is moving to fast for the industry to settle on standards for everything just yet, while I understand thats its an economical reason, the bike makers are way too rigid
[Reply]
  • + 2
 STEFAN is right, FOX didn't invent Kashima they just license it from SHOWA motocrossactionmag.com/Reviews/News/MXA-TEAM-TESTED-SHOWA-AKIT-WORKS-KTM-SUSPENSION-8185.aspx ---DON'T BELIEVE THE FOCKS HYPE KIDS--- Well, Kashima is great and all but it isn't bloody FOX who invented it that being said if Kashima makes noobs buy stuff why dont the other big manufacturers use it, seems like it just makes money which makes $en$e to me
[Reply]
  • + 5
 I have to say I think Manitou have the lead on this with their Dorado fork.
[Reply]
  • + 3
 something cheaper than the 40 that does the same job but heavier would be worth it. fox inners are good enough that i'd take them over the new Domain or a low end boxxer.
  • + 1
 888 rings any bells, no? ffs.
  • + 1
 888 may be good. Marz has serious customer service issues though and it seems like the last big thing they came out with was anodized green stantions. Maybe they are under rated though. . .
  • + 1
 if you consider the color of a coating a "last big thing marzocchi made", you deserve to ride a completely stock boxxer wc @retail price.
[Reply]
  • + 1
 such a fork really like the production of Manitou. Fox really tried to do something different from Manitou, and wanted to be better than the production before. Personally, I think the technology of up sidedown have already been possessed by Manitou. To invent a more advanced technology for up side down silder is really a challenge for Fox.
  • + 1
 horizontal slide technology. HST. Patenting it.
[Reply]
  • + 2
 what I take from all this: the ride quality and sensitivity of the inverted design is superb. The materials available to fox to work with are not quite up to the job. In a handful of years, I bet we'll see another attempt.
[Reply]
  • + 1
 I've never ridden a inverted fork, except on dirt bike. Why would it be beneficial for DH?? I think Fox does make a exceptional fork, I ride on 40s I it's pure smooth sex. But inverted just seems like... I dunno if u got the money why not.
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  • + 3
 Instead of spending a fortune on a fork will spend that money on bike trips, bike is no object of worship is a machine for making fun
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  • + 3
 I got shivers on my old battlax and all my mates think they are the most plush forks they've rode! I hope Marzocchi does bring them back!!
[Reply]
  • + 1
 You'll never know what anyone is talking about except repeating what you read on the net about stuff. Going with a hex axle or a larger diameter axle is the way to go. The biggest draw back is twisting them up in a crash the more resistance at the axle the better. Every couple of years a invert fork shows up and sparks a debate.
[Reply]
  • + 4
 i don't remember me wanting to try out some last made forks, but those sure will be an exception.
[Reply]
  • + 1
 Why put the preload knob at the bottom of the forks? I thought they smarten up when they swamped the compression and rebound these past years. Also I'm all up for inverted forks as I myself went from a 40 to a dorado but why not let everybody get the hybrid cartridge?
Better yet for weight weenies and other custom setting freaks, i know for a fact how easy it would be to convert a 40 to a full air cartridge.
I would instead try to improve the current model as I highly doubt the new inverted version would be lighter than the current model.

List of revisions I would like to see:

- torx bolt all around
- Kashima on the the rebound compression cartridge rod
- metal or aluminum insert for the lower 4 bolts that pinches the axle
- 1 piece spacer on the spring side
- put some motor oil in the lowers instead of the grease and suspension fluid mess. (the cartridge is seal so find a better slick compound that will lubricate the main seals and bushings.
[Reply]
  • + 5
 I wonder what's the problem to melt two leftys together...
[Reply]
  • + 3
 Awesome forks shame they wont be coming out. Until I have money to get a Dorado or a Kowa Inverted fork I'm sticking to my Shiver
[Reply]
  • + 2
 No one mentioned the idylle fork by BOS which Dirt magazine consistently say has the edge over ALL other forks on the market.
[Reply]
  • + 4
 Wouldn't that front brake mount be flexy?
  • + 1
 probably, but its an inverted fork. Not exactly known for their stiffness. Maybe I am just jaded from the year I spent on a shiver, but color me skeptical on this.
  • + 5
 If they can do it stiff enough for MotoX.... can't see why they can't do it for MTB!
  • + 7
 Maybe because pounds aren't quite as crucial in MX as they are in DH.
  • + 2
 and Moto x courses rarely have rooty sections or rock gardens, so a little more flex is no big deal.
  • + 1
 intrepidbiped +1
exactly... the thing is, that motox forks weigh like 4 times as much... surely this makes a difference in the possibilites to add stiffness.
But then again, who said, that flex is so bad?
When I got it right, one of the biggest Pro's of carbon as a construction material for frames is, that it flexes and therefore handles much butter as it has something like a built-in suspension system to absorb highspeed vibrations.
  • + 1
 mazze... motox bikes weigh 4 times as much also. Use your common sense when replying. Moto x bikes aren't running 888's... they are running forks with the equivalent for their weight. So, take a few hundred lbs, do the math, and a 14lb fork on a dirt bike is like having a 2lb fork on a DH bike. Simple.
  • + 2
 @rffr:
So what you are saying is, that the fork of a 450kg motobike like the Honda Goldwing is weighing 3 times as much as the fork of a light motox bike, just so the weight is equivalent? That, Sir, is bullcrap.
Actually we are talking like 6lb for a DH fork on a bike that weighs ca. 39lb and about 17-19lb for a motox fork for a bike that weighs 330lb and up(!) WITH fuel.
So if you'd really done your math, you would have realized that a DH fork makes about 15% of the overall bike weight, whereas the motox fork makes like 5% of the overall weight of the motobike. This is anything, but NOT equivalent.
And thats exactly my point... you don't need to double the material and therefore the weight, to double the stiffness.
Take a look at the development of bikes... a quarter lighter and twice as stiff as a few years ago.
Cheers..
  • + 0
 Wow, your switching btw KG and lbs and it makes NO sense.

So, a bike that weights 500lbs... and has forks that weight say 20lbs at very most... do the math on the ratio. 20lbs to 500lbs. And 6lbs at 38lbs. See the ratio difference.

And a quarter lighter and twice as stiff comment... yea... also twice as weak. Some of us have forks that have seen the most insane beatings and crashes and have still lived without breaking after 10 years. Try that with your new ultra light forks. There is a reason forks are obsolete as fast as computer equipment now... it's called fadsters. Point is, many people (non pro) go to races on stuff from the early 2k's like shivers, and spank the shit out of people timewise running top end new stuff.

New doesn't = better. It ='s lighter... but weaker. And that is a fact. Put ANY and I mean ANY new DH fork against my Avalanche mTn 10 forks... and If you or anyones forks break before mine during riding... I'll literally sign you off a 5,000$ check. New ='s weak and replacing every season or two, old ='s beating the shit out of them for 10+ years and still riding like new.


btw, by adding a LB to my shivers.. my shivers are stiffer than EVERY non USD fork on the market. Bar none. Stainless Axle... no flex. My shivers are stiffer than Foes F1 forks which have a crazy big axle OD. So for the extra weight nothing compares to stiffness. No fox forgery, no rock shoxfailurely, no 888 crapery nothing.
  • + 1
 First of all, I really did mean a 450kg or to be exact 418kg motobike... since KG is the measurement to go with in Europe and as I honestly was too lazy to convert the weight.
But then, for making my point on the actual subject, namely the weight ratio discussion, I figured it would be helpful to talk in lbs since you startet the discussion with lbs. What is more, I really don't understand what your point is in using my own argument in which I advised YOU of the significant ratio difference and therefore disabled your bullcrap equality argument, and now YOU are trying to tell me something about the different weight ratio?
I mean.... really?
But wow, it definitely made you look really smart insulting me how stupid it was, to switch between KG and lbs, although it was just in the first and examplery sentence that I used KG.

Now to get to your stiffer and weaker comment. I was talking stiffness - not durability.
The production technology has increased, so has the stiffness, but there is less material.. so it's just obvious that i.e. the frame does get dents when it crashes on stones and gets serious damage.
But then again, why is it, that the bikes get lighter and lighter? It's not, that companies want to reduce the durability, it's because WE, the consumers, ARE ASKING for it. Try to sell a wheelset with like 2,2kg and just NOBODY will buy it... it has to be beyond 2000 grams by now.
The demand induces the supply, bro.

Besides that, I'm actually in complete agreement about the fact, that parts should not get too light at the expense of durability, that's exactly what I wrote a couple of lines further down to some guy that foolishly demanded a cut of weight from the 40 - and got neg propped for it.

So to sum it up, you actually do agree with everything I said, but you just needed to distinguish yourself by talking pseudo knowledge bullcrap and then trying to talk yourself out of it, so nobody notices that it was actually loads of stupid meaningless words?
[Reply]
  • + 0
 Just for all the misinformation that's flying around here: Kashima hard anodized coating was a process developed by the Miyaki Group in Japan in 1981. It was NOT developed or owned by Kowa or Showa. It is performed by the Miyaki Group still, and all fork companies pay them license fees, not Showa or Kowa.

www.kashima-coat.com/en/company/company_history.php

www.kashima-coat.com/pdf/English_pamphlet.pdf
[Reply]
  • + 1
 I was only considering the possibilities of this earlier, but I decided id prefer to have the heaviest bit lower down for stability, but they have probably though of that anyway, considering its their job to Smile
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  • + 4
 i so hope that marzocchi brings back the shiver
  • + 1
 i think if fox is so are they
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  • + 1
 SHIVER!!!!! Come on Marzocchi! listen to the consumers!!!!!! by the way Fox, if I don't have to sell a kidney for this, I might buy one, if they become available in the future.
[Reply]
  • + 3
 Simple solution. 40mm axle made of Unbendium. Those Fox guys ought to have me on the payroll. Sheesh!
[Reply]
  • + 1
 I'm pretty sure i work like a block away from these new offices, because on my way to work the other day I saw a fox van pulling out...
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  • + 1
 not trying to offend any one but wouldn't you have for a hell of a lot less kashima 40s look way nice and you see more kashima , tbh these look rank
[Reply]
  • + 2
 I wonder if they'd have pursued it if Manitou let them use their hex head axles.
[Reply]
  • + 1
 i agree kashima looks real neat when mccaul and sorge get sideways in my neighborhood. get ready for a great weekend to ride if you live in the southwest
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  • + 2
 its a fucking shiver kashima with fox stickers -from marzocchi with love
[Reply]
  • + 2
 just me or is it one of the ugliets forks youve ever seen (apart from the kashima Big Grin Big Grin )
[Reply]
  • + 2
 Holy shit, last week I was saying I wish fox made a inverted fork...... maybe dreams do come true!
  • + 3
 can you say: i wish that more dh girls should ride naked. plz Smile
[Reply]
  • - 1
 haha what a tool how many people acctually feel the flex in the fork unless your like 150 lbs or more and ride really hard yuo wont feel it! and with the inverted forks why they are better is cause the weight balance is off but high so when you pick up the bike to bunny hop it will be a lighter feeling becaus the weight your picking up is closer to your hands hense lowbbs and shock position in the frame
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  • + 4
 BRING BACK THE SHIVERS
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  • + 2
 great , a prototype, that other manufacturers have been doing successfully for years,
[Reply]
  • + 4
 I like RAD programs Big Grin
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  • + 2
 Look cool. Only a matter of time 'till they switch to USD forks. Just copy a KYB or Showa set & scale down!
[Reply]
  • + 1
 theres looks to be a gap at the top where there are outside set of seals, surely mud is going to collect up there and destroy them?
[Reply]
  • + 1
 Won't go into production cos Fox can't make seals live like manitou ones :-D
[Reply]
  • + 0
 @ all the brainiacs who criticized my first comment:

www.kashima-coat.com/pdf/English_pamphlet.pdf

Read the sources before you post some moronic comments.
[Reply]
  • + 1
 definatley doesnt have the same sick look of the 2012 40, please dont change!!
  • + 3
 why do you think this is called a prototype?
[Reply]
  • + 1
 Where does the corrosive to seals brake dust go....... I guess many will remember Shivers when they look at these!
[Reply]
  • + 0
 I lost my cool when I read Lumpy12's comment... Back your shit up dumbass, don't just insult one of the biggest MTB industries like Fox. Moron.
[Reply]
  • + 2
 Yeah!!! Love this! Competition between FOX, MARZOCCHI and MANITOU
[Reply]
  • + 1
 if we cannot buy it.. fudge that.. no wonder my gf calls this bike pornography..
sure bike technology is cool, but what..?
[Reply]
  • + 1
 Fox inverted carbon fork from 2002 i think, on my friends skibike www.pinkbike.com/photo/7695966
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  • + 2
 i got me a shiver, shiver i got me a shiver.
[Reply]
  • + 1
 thats sick. i have inverted forks and love them, i can only imagine how Badass these would be.
[Reply]
  • + 2
 thinking in 29" wheels maybe?
  • + 2
 I think that 29" wheels could be one of the key driver for a USD fork to be in development.
[Reply]
  • + 1
 it's not gonna happen..
fox stay on standard 40 fork...

maby you see this on some bike for 3 years... not earlyer Frown
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  • + 2
 Bah, if you want an inverted fork just get a Shiver.
[Reply]
  • + 1
 so much to do at fox shox land but you cant come, especially you stan and kyle
[Reply]
  • + 1
 Amazing. But kashima is not needed on an invert fork in my opinion. I guess because the 40 isn't open bath it helps.
[Reply]
  • + 1
 This post just makes me want to buy a dorado.
[Reply]
  • + 1
 I'm more a fan of RockShox
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  • + 1
 I really dislike the look, but I'm sure this shock will kick ass.
[Reply]
  • + 1
 Fox are def getting ready for the possible 29er pandemic.
[Reply]
  • + 1
 Will they make that for a 29er? :-P
[Reply]
  • + 1
 wait...how do dorado's survive?
[Reply]
  • + 1
 id take a dorado over this.
[Reply]
  • + 1
 I thought April Fool's Day falls on April the 1st.
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  • + 2
 I'll stick to my Dorados
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  • + 1
 Wow they are the daddy pimp of pimps
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  • + 0
 Iinstead of making this huge contraption they should take some weight off from the 40's
  • - 2
 Or may be they should just leave them 40's as is, since it is by far better performing as any superlight boxxer and holding up Red Bull Rampage whip-2-wallride abuse, whereas the 888 tattered in like 100 bits and pieces. If I remember correctly, Gee was actually not the only one who managed to get the landing dialed, but the other guy (don't remember the name) just didn't have a fork to ride on anymore, after hitting the ground.
Not to disgrace any names here, in fact I would love to ride a 888 Ti one time soon, but then again I'm not up for the abuse those guys can throw at their forks.
[Reply]
  • + 0
 PROTOTYPE also means "start phase, so there's always room for improvement!" c'mon, give FOX a break.
~ from a Fox Fan Smile
[Reply]
  • + 1
 Is everyone forgetting durado's.
[Reply]
  • + 1
 Waiting For that come to china
[Reply]
  • + 1
 Saw that coming from a mile a way
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  • + 1
 looks Ordinary..there's no FOX forks essence
[Reply]
  • + 1
 cool... crappy damping in a crappy hull...
[Reply]
  • + 1
 i like them. they should put them on the product line
[Reply]
  • + 0
 they should have rubber boots as covers like a Lefty so that dirt does not degrade the Kashima.
[Reply]
  • + 1
 I'm throwing hundies at the screen, but nothings happening
[Reply]
  • + 2
 Oh Snap Son!
  • + 2
 literally as it may seem according to their findings lol
[Reply]
  • + 1
 Such a shame they wont put these on the Production Line.
[Reply]
  • + 2
 No i dont think so....Foes F1 its dy far the best dh inverted fork just because the build it no for comercial reasons but with no money and resources limitation.. Just for example Foes F1 uses hybrid coil-air set up from 2004..and FOX-TREK launch that in 2011 and the try to promote this like some kind of unique and new technology... IF you check Curnutt-Foes history you wil see that a lot of modern technologies its in this products for a lot time..
  • + 1
 I Know i owned in the past 2 foes, with the foes fork, i know it's not the same, my point is just that the look of the fork is similar.
[Reply]
  • + 1
 it suck when you cant see the buttery smooth Kashima-CoatDead Horse
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  • + 1
 i would def buy some if they were bring them out!
[Reply]
  • + 1
 forks+inverted=sh*t
[Reply]
  • + 1
 that looks so old!
[Reply]
  • + 0
 is GWINNY really going to ride that
[Reply]
  • + 1
 What... Why?!
[Reply]
  • + 0
 Whats the advantage of having these rather than normal 40's?
  • + 3
 less unsprung weight= better ride in the rough. that's why motos do it.
  • + 1
 is that 100% true, or is there some mileage in the thought that when they came out for moto, there was not a 'normal' fork that could handle the loading, coupled with the front end height/offset advantages of a USD fork, that does not apply to Dh?
  • + 2
 betsie, for MTB it is not true - to quote Maverick:

"So, unsprung weight, is this an issue on MTB forks? In our opinion, very little. The total weight of bicycle forks nowadays is so light that unsprung weight is negligible between inverted and standard."

Pick up a set of cast magnesium lowers from a set of 40s and compare them to the stanchions. Now compare the weight to a DH wheel with a DH tyre on it. The difference between RSU and USD when compared to the unchangeable unsprung mass (the wheel) is negligible.
  • + 1
 Good point, except the pros both said if rode better in the rough, but that could be due to other things I guess?
  • + 1
 iamamodel, you are correct.
If the weight was that important they would all use the smallest brakes and rotors they could, including the exotic carbon rotors.
As for what the pro's say, what is said in the press is not necessarily what they say off the record ;o)
[Reply]
  • + 1
 Gee was with this fork!
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  • + 1
 1" 1/8... really?!
[Reply]
  • + 1
 Damn! I would it!!!
[Reply]
  • + 0
 a bunch of foolish noobs you are. there are some exceptions, though.
[Reply]
  • + 1
 I prefer RST 318R's
[Reply]
  • + 0
 well thats neat.
[Reply]
  • - 2
 Problem is flex when pushed hard in corners with these typ of forks.but I'm shore fox no shot they are doing
[Reply]
  • - 1
 Very similer to manitou dorado, think fox have sen some propect in these
[Reply]
  • - 1
 FUCK YOU FOX RACING and ALL ITS GENERAL MANAGERS !!!! FUCK YOU !!!!!
[Reply]
  • - 2
 these are tidy!!
[Reply]
  • - 2
 Who didn't see this comming Wink
  • + 2
 I'm not joking, i was actually thinking about this fork this morning for some reason.
  • + 7
 sionr644 - Fox engineers sneaked into your room at night dressed as aliens and they planted a hype probe in your anus. It's this hype-anal probe sending signals to your brain, that why you thought of it. Please tell us when Fox informs you that they will use Kashima on internals.
  • + 1
 haha, will do Smile
  • + 3
 Saw on pinkbikes Facebook, mike found one in the bikeshop!
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