K9 Industries are best known for their head-angle-altering Angled Reducer Cups, spinning shock bearings and their ungainly-looking but top-performing DH001-S downhill bike, but they've got a load of other components for 2011, including a direct-mount stem, flat pedals, handlebars and fork bearings.
K9 debuted their thrust bearings for coil-sprung rear shocks a couple of years back. The thinking behind them is that as a spring compresses, some of the energy is converted into rotational movement. Normally, a shock spring is clamped between two metal plates, which resist this twisting motion. Positioning it between two rotating bearings instead removes friction from the system and allows the spring to move more freely. According to K9, this gives the suspension a more active and linear feel.
K9's fork bearings. The long shaft is for the Bos Idylle while the top cap bearings are for Fox and RockShox units
They've now applied the same reasoning to suspension forks and come up with bearings for the RockShox Boxxer (2009 and 2010/11, £20), Bos Idylle and RaRe (£35), and Fox 40 (£20). The idea is that you push the bearings into the top cap of your fork (or in the case of the Bos, insert K9's alloy shaft in place of the spring spacer) so the coil spring can spin. Weights vary from 16g to 65g, depending on fork type.
K9 offer two 780mm-wide downhill bars – the Static (£40) and Switch (70). As the name suggests, the length of the Switch can be adjusted by screwing inserts into the threaded end of the bar. These are available in 2.5,10, 15 and 20mm lengths. The threads on the bar are long enough that you can cut an inch or so off each end and still have the option of adding extensions at a later date.
K9's Switch bar has threaded ends so you can screw in a pair of their extender plugs for extra width
Both bars are made from anodised and laser-etched 7075 aluminium and they have identical claimed weights of 300g (not including inserts). The Static has a 7mm rise, 5° backsweep and 2.5° upsweep, while the Switch measures in at 20mm/8.5°/4.5°.
Direct 55 stem
There are a host of direct-mount downhill stems on the market these days but at just 115g (claimed), K9's Direct 55 must be one of the lightest. RRP is £100 but for that price you get a full complement of titanium bolts. Made of 7075 alloy, it has a 55mm reach and takes a 31.8mm bar.
The Direct 55 stem must be one of the lightest on the market at a claimed 115g
K9 are developing a flat pedal called the Clutch. The USP is a friction adjustment system which doesn't preload the bearing – the idea being that you can stop your pedals moving when you don't want them to (ie. when taking your feet off in mid-air to do tricks) but there's no loss of pedalling efficiency when you need to get the power down.
Other features include a concave 6061 alloy body, double seals and 14 pins, which screw in from the underside. The version shown here is a prototype; production pedals will have 1mm shorter pins. There'll be a titanium-axled version for around £170 and a steel option for £100-£120.
The Clutch pedals are still in prototype form at the moment but should be available any time soon
For more details about the K9 range, which also includes coil springs, brake pads and angled headset cups, visit k9industries.lixao.com.