Santa Cruz Bicycles have historically frowned upon through-axles on their VPP-equipped frames, saying in-house testing proved them unnecessary on the fully enclosed rear triangles. Marketing pressure being what it is, though, it seems Santa Cruz are changing their tale.
We spotted a prototype 142x12mm through-axle on a Santa Cruz Blur XC frame during the recent FOX launch and when asked, Santa Cruz PR man Mike Ferrentino wouldn't deny its existence but didn't deny the tide was coming, either.
According to Ferrentino, through-axles still aren't needed but even a company as popular as Santa Cruz can't resist the pressure alone. We can likely expect to see the new rear ends gradually phased into the lineup as current inventory is exhausted.
The new Santa Cruz through-axle rear ends look to use a DT Swiss RWS skewer system
RockShox’s new Trek EVO specific shock
Meanwhile, we'd heard that RockShox were developing new shocks to work with Trek's proprietary side-mount EVO Link as found on the Fuel EX, Remedy and Slash platforms, but Sea Otter provided our first opportunity to see one in person.
Mounted up on the Remedy 9.9 of Trek factory rider Ross Schnell was a new side-mount Monarch RT3, meaning that 'Rad' Ross no longer has to run custom upper links but also that the rest of us will have more shock options soon.
We'd heard that RockShox were developing a specific Monarch head for use on Trek's proprietary side-mount Remedy linkage but this is the first one we'd seen in person