Foes LTS Prototype - 1994
Brent Foes came from off-road truck racing, and when he discovered mountain bikes, the talented fabricator immediately set to work on a dual-suspension chassis. The LTS was one of his breakthrough designs, and while some say he hammered out the LTS monocoque frame and swingarm in 1993, Brent claims he finished welding the chassis in early '94. It had six inches of rear-suspension travel, powered by a Fox air-sprung emulsion-type damper. That kind of wheel travel was unheard of then, as witnessed by the-state-of-the art, 1994 RockShox Mag 21 fork. Armed with a one-inch steerer tube and a paltry, 60-millimeter stroke, the made-for-XC-racing slider was woefully inadequate. It would be years before fork makers would catch up up with advances in rear suspension.
The restoration was the work of Stefan Utz, who says that the bike will be on permanent display at the Marin Bicycle Museum. The components were collected from unlikely sources: road racing cranks were the only ones available with large enough chainrings. Shimano "rim-rubber" V-Brakes were the best available stoppers, and HED carbon aero wheels ensured that its rider could take advantage of the 52-tooth chainring. Shifting was arguably Shimano's most stable and reliable transmission: the blue-parallelogram, eight-speed XTR.
The two-bolt fork crown suggests that the LTS's RockShox Mag 21 was an early production model.
Single-pivot swingarm and elevated chainstays made for a simple and sturdy rear suspension.
External stiffeners prevented the brake pivot posts from bending outward under heavy braking.
"Shorter," 125mm stems were used for downhill stability. The original probably had a threaded steerer tube.
Three-finger XTR brake levers.... Yeah, sometimes, you needed three fingers.
The hole stiffened the forward frame section. Two halves were welded together to create a box section.
Foes hammered out the prototype by hand and soonafter, he built a hydroforming press to create the matching halves needed to create the production versions. Serial production Foes LTS frames can be easily recognized by the pocketing formed into the front sections - a technique used to add stiffness to a hollow sheet metal structure, which is a feature that continues throughout the Foes product line to this day.