Brent Foes has been building long-travel full-suspension and downhill bikes since the early ’90s, and he has two new prototypes hot off his welding tables for 2010 – the long-forked AMX hardtail and Fluid downhill bike.
The AMX is basically a rigid equivalent of Foes' FXR 6.5in-travel all-mountain frame. It's a 'hardcore hardtail' – a type of bike that's particularly popular with British riders – designed around a long fork (up to 180mm travel) and with a tapered head tube for added strength and stiffness.
“The AMX is built for the different trails we’ve got,” said Jamie Lynn, who works for Foes' UK distributors Balfa. “Rather than have three bikes, this is one bike that covers two or three categories.”
The AMX is the hardtail equivalent of the FXR 6.5in-travel trail bike
The prototype on display at Sea Otter had a Fox 36 TALAS up front. Lynn said the fork is perfect for the bike because it can be wound down to 100mm for dirt jumping, set at 130mm for trail riding or raked out to 160mm for downhilling.
Foes will offer the FXR in three sizes, with 22in, 23in or 24in top tubes. Chainstays will be around 17in long and a full-length seat tube will be specced to extend the bike's range. Lynn expects production to be underway in eight weeks and estimates the frame will cost around £800 (US$1,100).
Foes is an advocate of low ratio suspension systems and was one of the first to build a ‘platform’, in the form of low-speed compression, into his dampers to make his bikes pedal better. For his latest project, however, he has set aside some of his design ideals in an effort to build a more affordable (for a Foes) bike.
The Fluid is Foes' new 'budget' bike, though it’s still designed and welded in his California shop. It will accept any aftermarket rear shock with a 10.5in length and 3.5in stroke, which brings its price down when compared to Foes’ Curnutt equipped 2:1 models. If you want to upgrade to a Curnutt shock, you can simply change the top mount plate.
Foes' new L-3 link system provides a low 2.3:1 ratio with a relatively standard 10.5x3.5in shock
The concept of a low leverage ratio is at the heart of Foes’ suspension design philosophy and isn’t abandoned on the Fluid, which uses a new linkage called L-3. The new bike has 8in of travel produced with a relatively low 2.3:1 shock ratio, which means a 180lb rider can get away with running a relatively light 300lb spring. The bike offers ISCG chain guide compatibility and 150mm rear dropout spacing. The frame will cost roughly £2,000 (US$2,700).
Foes also makes components, like this D6 stem which is machined out of 6061-T6 alloy