The guys over at Vital have spotted some prototype suspension parts from Fox aboard a test bike reportedly piloted by Mark Fitzsimmons, their Race Program Manager.
Rumor is the shock is built for Enduro racing, and the fork’s internals match up with the intended use…as does the 160mm Santa Cruz Nomad Carbon they were mounted to. Details aren’t being released, but check VitalMTB.com’s post for plenty more pics and some audio from Fitzsimmons.
Making an Enduro-specific suspension set up makes a lot of sense. First, there’s growing interest in the genre, what with major events popping up in France, California and other places, along with the recently announced Enduro World Series. Second, it’s a very demanding type of riding with a huge range of conditions. Descents can border on DH level insanity in some cases, followed by grinding uphill climbs, all peppered with trail sections that can go from flowing to technical in a heart beat. The piggy back reservoir on an otherwise very XC-sized canister makes sense, helping to keep performance consistent on the long descents without adding too much weight.
Note the side-mounted rebound knob (backside of the shock), a new placement compared to their DHX Air or Vanilla, which would make it easy to glance down and check the setting from riding position. Adjustments should be pretty easy to reach, too.
We’ve reached out to Fox for comment and will update if/when we hear back…