New Mountain Bike Suspension at Sea Otter Classic

Fox Racing Shox, Rock Shox, BOS, and DVO suspension were present at the Sea Otter Expo with new some exciting new products to show. Fox debuted their new 40 Float downhill fork and Float X rear shock. Rock Shox had the new 35mm stanchioned Pike all-mountain fork on display. The French suspension manufacturer BOS was on hand with their entire line that has previously been unavailable in the U.S. DVO had their hotly anticipated Emerald downhill fork and Jade coil DH rear shock.

Fox’s new 40 Float is over a pound lighter than its predecessor and offers a tuned flex that helps the fork to track straighter in the rocks. To say the new fork has gone through extensive testing is a massive understatement. Pro Fox Shox sponsored racers, including World Cup overall champ Aaron Gwin, have been racing the new 40 on the World Cup circuit for two years now.

2014 Fox Float X

Expect the 2014 Fox Float X to be on plenty of enduro race bikes this year.

The Fox Float X is aimed at the burgeoning enduro race segment of the market and trailriders looking for a high performance shock without going to a heavy downhill shock that would be overkill for 20 mile long singletrack rides. The piggyback oil reservoir offers greater damping control throughout the stroke while offering improved consistency on longer runs when damping oil can heat up and affect performance.

Anneke Beerten's Rock Shox Pike

Anneke Beerten’s Rock Shox Pike has seen a bit of use.

Rock Shox’ new Pike fork was found on a number of pro’s bikes and is likely to chalk up some podiums finishes before the weekend is over. We spotted it on Anneke Beerten’s Specialized Stumpy Evo 29er and on Mitch Ropelato’s Specialized Enduro 29. Kyle Strait’s race bike had a top secret fork installed. We asked Rock Shox suspension honcho Jeremiah Boobar what he could tell us about it and all he would say was that it had “experimental dampers.”

BOS boss Oliver Bossard

BOS boss Oliver Bossard. A real legend in mountain bike suspension.

If you haven’t heard of BOS suspension yet, let us give you a quick primer. The company was started by Oliver Bossard after the breakup of Sunn bikes. Bossard was responsible for the World Championship winning suspension designs found on Nico Vouilloz and Anne Caroline Chausson bikes throughout the 1990’s. Since that time Bossard has engineered WRC rally car suspension and put together a World Cup worthy line of mountain bike forks and rear shocks. In Europe, BOS is the brand of suspension that everyone wishes they had on their bike if they don’t have it already. Dirt Magazine consistently picks BOS as  their favorite suspension manufacturer. Given the quality of products on offer from Rock Shox and Fox, this is really saying something. In our parking lot test of BOS’ forks and shocks the suspension felt incredibly plush and very sensitive. It’s not hard to imagine how this could really help to maintain grip and feel in the corners. Art’s is working on bringing in BOS Suspension products soon.

DVO Emerald fork

DVO Emerald fork looks stunning in bright green ano.

DVO’s revolutionary Emerald fork looks like it will make some major waves in the suspension fork market. The carbon fiber fork guard/chassis stiffener is ingenious. Far from some flimsy guard that is made from carbon for bling factor alone, this structural component of the fork is incredibly solid. Holding it in your hands it is extremely difficult to flex. Expect more upside down forks to come to the market using an arrangement like this. Parking lot tests revealed that the Emerald felt very smooth and controlled. The best description is that it felt moto-like.

The Jade rear shock is fully user serviceable like all of DVO’s suspension products. This means that the damper shims are easily accessible and can be infinitely tuned to match a rider’s weight and riding style. Even if you aren’t a suspension guru this is great news. Your trusted mechanic or suspension tuning company can get you dialed in without having to machine special parts or order custom built dampers.