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Interbike 2010: Fox Racing Shox's RAD Float Ti fork

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Fox Racing Shox displayed its new Float Ti prototype fork - built using a cast one-piece titanium crown and steerer.

Fox Racing Shox displayed its new Float Ti prototype fork - built using a cast one-piece titanium crown and steerer.
(Image credit: James Huang)
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Adam Craig's (Rabobank-Giant) fork was fitted with RLC internals but the titanium crown could easily be paired with just about any set of 32mm-compatible Fox guts.

Adam Craig's (Rabobank-Giant) fork was fitted with RLC internals but the titanium crown could easily be paired with just about any set of 32mm-compatible Fox guts.
(Image credit: James Huang)
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The walls of the titanium structure are remarkably thin.

The walls of the titanium structure are remarkably thin.
(Image credit: James Huang)
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Fox showed the new RAD titanium crown and steerer in a tapered 1 1/8"-to-1 1/2" size - what is likely to become the de facto standard in the coming years.

Fox showed the new RAD titanium crown and steerer in a tapered 1 1/8"-to-1 1/2" size - what is likely to become the de facto standard in the coming years.
(Image credit: James Huang)
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The crown is hollow to save weight but it's not drilled from the outside as usual - rather, the hollow interior is formed that way during the casting process.

The crown is hollow to save weight but it's not drilled from the outside as usual - rather, the hollow interior is formed that way during the casting process.
(Image credit: James Huang)
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The new Fox Racing Shox Float Ti fork uses a hollow cast titanium crown.

The new Fox Racing Shox Float Ti fork uses a hollow cast titanium crown.
(Image credit: James Huang)
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The spring loaded wiper seal is similar to what Fox uses on its suspension forks.

The spring loaded wiper seal is similar to what Fox uses on its suspension forks.
(Image credit: James Huang)
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The middle position is set at 40mm and there's no mistaking whether or not you've hit it - the stop is intentionally loud and hard for positive feedback in rough terrain.

The middle position is set at 40mm and there's no mistaking whether or not you've hit it - the stop is intentionally loud and hard for positive feedback in rough terrain.
(Image credit: James Huang)
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The aluminum upper shaft and head are formed as a single unit to eliminate any potential issues with a joint failure while the minimally exposed cable should help prevent contamination from mud and water.

The aluminum upper shaft and head are formed as a single unit to eliminate any potential issues with a joint failure while the minimally exposed cable should help prevent contamination from mud and water.
(Image credit: James Huang)
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Fox Racing Shox unveiled a new dropper seatpost at this year's Interbike show, tentatively scheduled for a spring 2011 release.

Fox Racing Shox unveiled a new dropper seatpost at this year's Interbike show, tentatively scheduled for a spring 2011 release.
(Image credit: James Huang)
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Full travel on the upcoming new Fox Racing Shox DOSS dropper seatpost is 4 or 5" depending on rider preference.

Full travel on the upcoming new Fox Racing Shox DOSS dropper seatpost is 4 or 5" depending on rider preference.
(Image credit: James Huang)

Just when you thought there was nothing new in the world of bicycle suspension, Fox Racing Shox pulls a neat trick out of its hat at this year's Interbike show.

Mounted on the front of Rabobank-Giant team rider Adam Craig's Giant Anthem X was a prototype Float Ti fork, built with an experimental one-piece titanium tapered steerer and crown that race mechanic Mike Van Lienden says is not only more rigid than an equivalent aluminum piece but also lighter - despite titanium's higher density - owing to the thinner tube walls and more efficient one-piece construction.

Interestingly, Fox built the RAD (Racing Applications Development) crown with cast construction rather than forged as the hollow interior could be built right into the mould rather than have to be machined later.

And why not just go with carbon? According to van Lienden, the company simply has more experience with titanium than composites and also wasn't entirely confident in the long-term reliability of bonded joints.

For now, it's a race-only item as the company completes testing but consumers can probably expect to see it around spring 2011.

Another big surprise from the suspension company giant is the DOSS (Drop on Steep Stuff) dropper seatpost, which is a definite lock for release next spring.

Details are slim for now but we do know for sure that it's a two-position system with a 40mm intermediate setting and 100mm or 125mm total travel options, both using some sort of mechanical detent system and an air-charged return spring.

For the moment, Fox is evaluating the post with a Shimano remote lever normally paired to the company's fork or shock systems - press the lever about halfway to hit the very positive intermediate position or press it further to drop it down all the way.

Weight is said to be "competitive" with a one-piece aluminum head and upper shaft plus a one-piece aluminum lower shaft, all sealed up in between with a spring-loaded wiper seal. Fox was mum on the exact mechanism used to key the pieces together but play was admirably minimal on the demo unit.

Once the DOSS becomes available next spring, consumers will be able to choose from 30.9mm or 31.6mm diameters to fit the most common seat tube sizes.