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Foxfolk Launches Dirtskirt Lower Linkage Frame Protection

Aug 11, 2022
by foxfolk  
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Press Release:Foxfolk

So you’ve just bought a shiny new modern geo Trail/Enduro carbon mtb and you’re beyond excited. It’s expensive, beautifully designed and incredibly well engineered, but as bike designers squeeze 29’’ wheels combined with short chainstays to create phenomenal handling full squish bikes - a new problem is born. Debris flies through the rear wheel, rocks and mud enter the loam shelf. As the swingarm goes through its travel, trapped debris in that small tight space can act as a nutcracker which can lead to frame damage, or even worse, catastrophic cracked frame failure.

Why does this matter if you have new bike warranty? Well, unfortunately mtb brands deem this particular issue as wear and tear, so it's not covered by any bike warranty! This can result in the rider having to shell out several thousand for a new frame or alternatively a complex and costly carbon repair. As well as the inconvenience of riders being without their bike in the middle of their riding season, while trying to source a new expensive replacement frame or repair.

Our team at foxfolk™, a New Zealand based mtb product innovation company, set out to solve this problem, offering riders full peace of mind while riding and saving them potentially thousands along the way.

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After testing 186 prototypes on the trails of Queenstown, we’re excited to announce we have launched The Dirtskirt™ which features a proprietary acetate-backed EVA laminate designed to adhere and flex around the bike’s main lower linkage pivot. This prevents mud and stones from getting trapped in the dreaded loam shelf, and eliminates the risk of frame damage and breakages caused by trapped debris in the lower linkage. We think of the Dirtskirt™ as an affordable insurance policy, for a worldwide non-warranty covered problem.

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The Dirtskirt™ uses the highest density of EVA foam available on the market; we chose it for its high impact resistance as well as its malleability, which is important to enable the double curvature bend required as the rear wheel is pushed through its travel.

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There are no zip ties or velcro straps involved here, just premium grade 3M VHB foam tape. During our 18 month R&D of the Dirtskirt™, we tested 57 different adhesives to ensure the product can absorb significant shock from suspension movement as well as withstanding any form of debris, mud, water, heat, cold and humidity across vastly different climates around the world. Our final adhesive selection is commonly used in the aviation/automotive industry. We had local pro riders testing the Dirtskirt™ for 250+ days, over two full mtb seasons, and the Dirtskirt™ product never came off any frames.

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Frame Compatibility
The first Dirtskirt™ SKU is custom designed for 2019-2022 Stumpjumper carbon and 2019-2022 Stumpjumper EVO carbon frames. Why is it not a generic fit product? The reason why, is due to the design of lower linkages between bike brands being predominantly asymmetric from left to right, front to back and often off axis in design. To add to the challenge, different bike brands use completely different suspension kinematics based on licensed linkage patents. Combined, these variables create a rather tenuous R&D challenge.

The good news for non Stumpy riders is foxfolk™ have a more generic fit Dirtksirt™ V2.0 in development which will fit a large range of bike brands and frame models - we’re super excited moving towards launching V2.0 in the last quarter of 2022.

Pricing & Availability
The Dirtskirt™ retails for $29.99 USD and is available now, shipping worldwide from our direct to consumer website www.foxfolk.co.

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33 Comments
  • 25 1
 It annoys the hell out of me that the bike manufacturers don't design bikes with mud guards and frame protection built in. If Rocky mountain can put them on their "loan shelf" then so can everyone else. Get with it!
  • 5 0
 Salsa Cycles have done the same with their Blackthorn and Cassidy... Not a big brand by any means, but took care of this small detail.
  • 9 0
 Indeed!

Ibis is an exception: they noticed a similar issue on their Ripley V4, created a rubber protector and sent it to existing customers -- for free.
  • 2 0
 Bike manufacturers are not overly interested in solving this problem as it's bad for their core business - they wanna sell you tons more product! Manufacturers are also not interested in riders preserving the resale value of an $ expensive carbon bike. Most riders on the other hand are very interested in protecting their bikes and many wish to retain high $ resale value when they decide to sell and upgrade! foxfolk™ is rider owned and operated batting for riders who want to look after their expensive bike investment!
  • 3 0
 @FloImSchnee: Ibis did but it only protects the lower linkage - meanwhile the upper linkage is where the most damage is occuring on Ibis carbon DW link bikes & the rider demand for the upper linkage protection is HUGE! Thankfully foxfolk™ are currently developing a Dirtskirt for Ibis upper linkages to solve yet another bike brands lower linkage frame damage problem!
  • 3 1
 @foxfolk: You're going WAY too hard with the pushy sham-wow level sales tactics here. Mellow it out dude. I was interested until I saw these comments
  • 1 0
 @pgomez: They are absolutely right though! Lots of bike manufacturers (and not only!) decisions or omissions make no sense, except for sales. That's no surprise and the scale is way higher than usually thought. I am an engineer in automotive where it happens exactly the same thing (and without regulations would be much worse). From the well known "right to repair" to way more subtle tactics, like voluntary omissions. That's not a conspiracy or some sham-wow idea...
  • 9 0
 won't the loose part of this start to wear through the paint on your swing arm as it moves back and forward over it?
  • 3 0
 This sounds like a problem. I would put some frame protection on, like helicopter tape, before installing the dirtskirt.
  • 1 0
 @endoguru: The idea is that the dirt skirt would be there forever. The HeliTape might be the weak link.

But also you could do a DirtSkirt out of HeliTape.

And what about bearing replacement, you need to remove it before change the bearings and then install a new one?
  • 1 0
 @Notmeatall: Nope. No need to remove Dirtskirt™ to service bearings, clean frame or remove rear triangle as can be viewed here youtube.com/shorts/I3LagGnlC6Y?feature=share
  • 4 0
 So Trek Rail is a rock cruncher. Take a 4” piece of Gorilla tape, attach flat packing foam cut to fit flat on the chainstay yoke. Tape goes on the seat tube. It’s been there for most of 6000 mi without a thought.
  • 1 0
 I’ve bought the ride wrap chainstay armour for 20 bugs and put it at the lower link space.

And I have plenty of it left for all my buddies.

Great idea, but 30 bugs for one piece is a lot of money in my opinion. But sales will show.
  • 1 0
 I'm still waiting for mine to turn up to see if it's a better than the one specialized fitted which leaves small gaps for stones to still get in. I'm starting to lose hope it will ever arrive considering I ordered it on the 3rd September, and it's been stuck in Belgium for the last 2 weeks on it's way to the UK
  • 2 0
 Still waiting
  • 3 1
 Never arrived after 6 weeks so I claimed a refund directly from my bank. 2 days later I received an email from foxfolk to tell me the parcel maybe with customs and could take upto 90 days to clear! So unless you live in China where the dirtskirt is sent from. Even though foxfolk are based in New Zealand. Don't bother wasting your time or money.
  • 2 0
 Brilliant! I want. Tired of my overpriced main/lower pivot bearings going bad so soon due to loam, muck and debris getting wedged in there. One bearing for that pivot is $29 USD alone
  • 2 0
 Surprising that Specialized does not cover this design flaw under warranty, nor offer a solution for free to frame owners. Design flaw + manufacturer non-support would definitely influence my bike choice.
  • 1 0
 Almost every modern full squish Trail/Enduro carbon bike frame from multiple brands suffer from similar problem and NONE of them cover damage to lower linkage region as part of any new bike owner warranty. Dirtkskirt™ is a very affordable insurance policy $29.99 compared to replacement frame cost starting around $3,000 upwards!
  • 4 1
 Take an old plastic fender, scissors, double sided adhesive tape and make your own. It will also look prettier than this one...
  • 1 0
 I can affirm it is simple and effective..and also fits Epics and Epic EVOs. Aside from saving the frame from catastrophic failure, it just simplifies cleaning if your pivots in general. Well worth it.
  • 2 0
 Oops, looks like my frame isn’t compatible. Please make available for other frames (Trek Rail)
  • 2 0
 We have a Dirtskirt V2.0 in development which we'll launch in the last quarter of 2022 which should be compatible with the Trek Rail. Be sure to subscribe to our newsletter at www.foxfolk.co for future product launches + info.
  • 3 0
 A piece of innertube and 3 zip ties do it for me.
  • 2 0
 There is a Guy in the Facebook Revel group that does 3D printed guards for Rascals and they are awesome and cheap.
  • 1 0
 Nice - Looks like the ones I make out of cut-up inner tubes for my rigs...
Cable tied around the Seat-tube and Chainstays keeps things from rubbing Wink
  • 2 0
 Makes me cringe how much these companies charge for such a simple item... die cut foam $30... madness.
  • 1 0
 Make a long fender like the fenders used on forks and zip tie it on the back of the frame. It cant be that hard to do.
  • 1 0
 Duct tape between chainstays and top tube. I don’t even bother to calculate the cost.
  • 1 0
 Proudly manufactured by the close cousin of Fox Racing company.
  • 2 0
 Maybe they give zero fox about the trademarks...
  • 1 0
 Nice solution - I like it
  • 1 0
 Just what we need, a third MTB products company named Fox.







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