Sea Otter 2012: Three new models from Foes Racing

Shaver 29, FXR and SSV, plus revised Hydro

The Sea Otter Classic has always been a springboard for new Foes Racing frames and this year continued the trend with three all-new or updated aluminum platforms for model year 2013: a revamped downhill machine, two new trail bikes, and an aggressive hardtail for when any amount of travel is still too much.

The new 29in-wheeled version of last year's Shaver 'Ultra Trail' retains that bike's hard-hitting personality, single-pivot rear suspension design, 142x12mm through-axle dropouts and clever modular ISCG tab system for easy replacement in the event of a hard impact. The stoutly built rear end shortens slightly to 5-5.5in of travel but retains the same sensitive 2.3:1 single-pivot leverage ratio as the 26in bike.

Geometry is modified to suit the bigger wheels, too. Head tube angle steepens to 68.5° and the chainstays grow by an inch but curiously, the seat tube has slackened by 2° and the bottom bracket is also 0.4" higher on the Shaver 29. Claimed frame weight is 7.3lb (3.3kg) and suggested retail price will be US$2,399 with a FOX Float rear shock when it begins arriving in stores in eight weeks.

The 6.3-7in FXR is completely fresh for 2013, featuring a new monocoque-style top tube, a curvier hydroformed down tube, and a revamped 2.3:1 leverage ratio on the single-pivot rear end. The front derailleur switches to a direct mount style and the rear end is sized for 150x12mm through-axle hubs. Suggested retail price is $2,499 with a FOX DHX Air rear shock and projected availability is this September.

Foes' new fxr features a new linkage design with a 2.3:1 leverage ratio, 6.3-7in of adjustable travel and an 8lb frame weight:
Foes' new fxr features a new linkage design with a 2.3:1 leverage ratio, 6.3-7in of adjustable travel and an 8lb frame weight:

Foes' new FXR features a new linkage design with a 2.3:1 leverage ratio, 6.3-7in of adjustable travel and an 8lb frame weight

Downhill riders get a revised Hydro platform for 2013, which switches from a conventional round seat tube to a monocoque-style piece that Foes say is both stronger and lighter than before, plus a new tapered head tube to replace last year's 1.5in front end. The single-pivot rear end still offers 8.25in of travel and a low 2.3:1 leverage ratio for supple, bump-eating performance. Suggested retail is $2,599 with a FOX DHX RC4 rear shock.

Foes introduced the hydro downhill bike last year and have already made a few big improvements for 2013:
Foes introduced the hydro downhill bike last year and have already made a few big improvements for 2013:

Foes introduced the Hydro downhill bike last year and have already made a few big improvements for 2013

Finally, there's the new SSV 'play bike' hardtail for use with 140mm-travel forks. Strength and stiffness are the key traits here, with a massively burly monocoque-style top tube, a hydroformed down tube, a machined chainstay yoke and enormous stays. The threaded bottom bracket is set up for either a multi-chainring or single-ring setup with replaceable ISCG tabs and the rear end sticks with conventional 135mm quick-release open dropouts. Suggested retail price is US$1,199.

New from foes is the ssv hardtail 'play bike', designed for use with a 140mm-travel fork:
New from foes is the ssv hardtail 'play bike', designed for use with a 140mm-travel fork:

New from Foes is the SSV hardtail 'play bike', designed for use with a 140mm-travel fork

James Huang

Technical Editor, US
James started as a roadie in 1990 with his high school team but switched to dirt in 1994 and has enjoyed both ever since. Anything that comes through his hands is bound to be taken apart, and those hands still sometimes smell like fork oil even though he retired from shop life in 2007. He prefers manual over automatic, fizzy over still, and the right way over the easy way.
  • Discipline: Mountain, road, cyclocross
  • Preferred Terrain: Up in the Colorado high-country where the singletrack is still single, the dirt is still brown, and the aspens are in full bloom. Also, those perfect stretches of pavement where the road snakes across the mountainside like an artist's paintbrush.
  • Beer of Choice: Mexican Coke
  • Location: Boulder, Colorado, USA

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