Prototype Fox Float X shock, mismatched rims and more from the Enduro World Series

Bike set-ups and prototype products we spotted in the pits

The town of Finale Ligure on the Italian Riviera was the location for Round 8 of the Enduro World Series at the weekend, and we were there soaking up the sun and checking out the trails. We also took a look at some of the rider set ups and prototype products that were on show in the EWS pits.

Nico Lau and Greg Callaghan of CUBE Action Team were among a small minority of riders still using two chainrings in Finale
Nico Lau and Greg Callaghan of CUBE Action Team were among a small minority of riders still using two chainrings in Finale

The weekend was won by GT Factory Racing's Martin Maes on his GT Sanction and we took a close look over his bike yesterday, but finishing third overall was Nico Lau of CUBE Action Team. Along with his teammate Greg Callaghan, Lau was among a small minority of riders still using two chainrings in Finale.

Both were also riding Cube’s Stereo 140mm 29er, fitted with Shimano Di2 2x11 gearing.

Nico Lau was sporting what looks like a prototype version of Fox’s Float X shock
Nico Lau was sporting what looks like a prototype version of Fox’s Float X shock

It also looked like Lau was sporting a prototype version of Fox’s Float X shock. Look closely, perhaps very closely, and you’ll notice the piggyback reservoir is a slightly different shape to the current version. More obviously, there’s a blue dial at the base of the piggyback, perhaps to adjust the volume or pressure of the IFP chamber to tune the bottom-out characteristics.

A lot of riders at Finale were seen stashing a spare split-link on the brake hose and we also spotted a few riders using mismatching rims — with a narrower number on the rear for lower rolling resistance and a more predictable slide, with a wider rim up front for more cornering bite and to allow lower tyre pressures.

Alex Lupato ran a 25mm/30mm rim combo and we also saw Richie Rude and Nico Vouilloz using wider front rims.

Alex Lupato ran a 25mm/30mm rim combo
Alex Lupato ran a 25mm/30mm rim combo

Another spot in the pits was Öhlins' growing range of air shocks, with versions of the STX 22 to fit standard eyelets on Specialized’s Enduro and Stumpjumper.

Öhlins showcased its proliferating range of air shocks
Öhlins showcased its proliferating range of air shocks

Öhlins also showed us the inner workings of its twin-chamber air spring used in the RXF 34 and RXF 36 forks. Uppermost is the main chamber, underneath of which (in gold) is the negative spring that screws onto the upper part with the main piston separating them. So far so normal. Below that is the black internal floating piston (IFP), which sits inside the lower rod below the main piston. 

When the ramp-up chamber is charged with air from the bottom of the fork, the IFP is forced up to the top, reducing the volume of the main chamber. The higher the pressure in the ramp-up, the smaller the volume of the main chamber as the fork approaches full-travel, giving a more progressive spring curve.

Öhlins also showed us the inner workings of its twin-chamber air spring used in the RXF 34 and RXF 36 forks
Öhlins also showed us the inner workings of its twin-chamber air spring used in the RXF 34 and RXF 36 forks

Seb Stott

Technical Writer, UK
Seb is a geeky technical writer for BikeRadar, as well as MBUK and What Mountain Bike magazines. Seb's background in experimental physics allows him to pick apart what's really going on with mountain bike components. Years of racing downhill, cross-country and enduro have honed a fast and aggressive riding style, so he can really put gear to the test on the trails, too.
  • Discipline: Mountain
  • Preferred Terrain: Steep!
  • Current Bikes: Focus Sam 3.0, Kona Process 111, Specialized Enduro 29 Elite
  • Dream Bike: Mondraker Crafty with Boost 29" wheels, a 160mm fork and offset bushings for maximum slackness.
  • Beer of Choice: Buckfast ('Bucky' for short)
  • Location: Bristol, UK

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