No, that headline isn’t a typo, this is lining up to be a real, production 2015 product.
Their goal is to make a sub-4lb 160mm travel fork. From an engineering standpoint, they like the ability to fit various wheel sizes easier, gravity keeps the seals lubricated and binding is reduced on big hits, particularly with some head angles.
General manager Joel Smith says that’s why they went to an inverted design on motorcycles.
Inside, they’ve applied for a patent on the design to increase torsional stiffness inside the uppers. Without an arch, extra measures need to be taken to keep the stanchions from rotating in the uppers. A big thru axle solves some of that, but Joel say it wouldn’t be enough to keep the wheel straight in line with the fork under hard riding. According to Joel, you’d need a 38mm diameter axle to get the same benefit as their new system.
Currently, it’s weighing in a bit heavy, but they’re looking at taking the Uni-Crown design introduced with their 2013 forks and extending that to create a full one-piece steerer/crown/uppers.
Joel says its an immense engineering challenge because you’re trying to 3D forge something that needs to be exactly parallel on both sides and through the steerer.
And just for fun, here’s a cutaway of their shocks: