Despite a dedicated wall display shining with World Cup stripes, Fox was being pretty mum on these prototype gravity shocks. These prototype units that have seen some race time, with Greg Minnar riding the coil at Pietermaritzburg and South Africa, while Mick Hannah pushed the air can. Other athletes have also been spotted riding it lately, too.
So, no specific specs, but we do have a few detail shots and some speculation…
Earlier this year, Fox revamped their popular RC4 shock to better mach current trends in DH suspension design. Frames have become more progressive since the original RC4 was introduced, so they backed off those adjustments and introduced better preload tune-ability.
The other big adjustment was decreasing the diameter of the shock shaft in order to reduce stiction. Many of the World Cup sponsored riders they work with to tune their shocks claimed this change noticeably improved suppleness, responsiveness, and rear end traction. The other big advantage in doing this was a huge reduction in the break in period for the shock.
On this proto, one obvious visual change is the greatly reduced diameter of the shock shaft. The engineers seem to have taken this new design philosophy behind the current RC4 one step further. In order to make this happen, we suspect they’ve had to change over from aluminum shaft to steel.
The other obvious new feature is the new four way adjustable tuning knobs located just before the shocks piggyback. A layout which is very reminiscent of the highly tunable Cane Creek Double Barrel shock.
From what we can tell, blue is for compression, and red always means rebound. So the protruding silver knobs are likely high speed adjustments.
The new RAD air closely mirrors the appearance of the excellent new Float X, but omits the three-position CTD lever for what appears to be a high/low speed adjustment. For those who have been yearning for a wider and finer range of compression damping adjustment, this could be the shock. Fingers crossed.
What does come over unchanged from the Float X is the hard to reach rebound adjustment. Luckily, that’s usually a set it and forget it type deal.
Of course, everything is speculation at this point….but we’ll you updated as details trickle out.