Welcome back to another year of Sea Otter Pit Bits coverage from sunny Monterey, California! Sea Otter has traditionally been a place to officially kick off the biking season, smash some berms, debut new kits, and launch next year's products.
The new Foes FFR downhill bike prototype was the highlight of our Day 1 stroll through the pits. Like all Foes bikes, the FFR was handmade in California. What makes it truly unique isn't the 27.5-inch wheels, but rather the suspension design, which is unlike anything we've seen before.
Speaking with Brent Foes, he told us that the goal of the system is to increase negative travel, helping to keep the rear wheel on the ground more often. This will, in theory, provide more traction and better braking. Much like the trophy trucks with ample negative travel that Brent has spent plenty of time working on, the rear wheel should be able to follow the contours of the ground much better with this design.
Brent achieved this by incorporating two shocks into the linkage - a traditional Cane Creek DBair and a custom made 1-inch stroke shock that is only active when the Cane Creek is fully extended. The bike has 8 or 9-inches of travel via the DBair and the single pivot linkage PLUS and additional 3-inches of bonus travel that comes via the second shock. The second shock is actuated by a few small links connected to the swing arm. Accessing the full 12-inches of travel is only possible when the bike is unweighted and the rear wheel can drop down.
Click next to see the linkage up close, as well as many more new and prototype products from Sea Otter.
Credit: Brandon Turman // Vital MTB
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