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mcdoodle mikelevy's article
Sep 30, 2011 at 16:06Sep 30, 2011
Fox Prototype Inverted DH fork - World Exclusive
Inverted shocks or struts were specifically designed for racing to transfer the weight of the spring shock combination from unsprung to sprung weight. The reason being that the less unsprung weight in a wheel/suspension system the quicker the shock reacted to road surface changes keeping the tire in greater contact with the surface thus increasing traction and handling performance. How this advantage translates to mtb biking is not so clear. Since our sport is already obsessed with weight. Things such as light weight wheels and tires and air springs have already reduced unnecessary un sprung mass to a minimum. Other issues that arise are the stiffness versus conventional forks. If you are downhill racing and need a stiff setup regardless of total weight the quickness of the inverted fork would offer increased contact with the dirt and the bike would handle better. Where weight is a premium the benefits may not be as noticeable. But the good news is that light weight xc bikes have reduced unsprung weight in other ways most noticeably the wheels. I might add a suggestion for the xcers to lose more unsprung weight would be to go back to v-brakes which are not only lighter but also reside on the sprung side of the suspension. Most rim brake only wheels are 100 grams lighter than disk add to that the 200 plus grams for rotors and calipers and you have lost 3/4 of a pound per wheel of unsprung weight !!! This obviously would not work for downhill bikes which would melt the pads off in one run or less. I don't think that damping characteristics other that the decreased loading of the fork and quicker valving are different between the two designs
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