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Eagle-eyed viewers of the new Santa Cruz Nomad launch video may have noticed a new FOX 36 fork being used on the front of Dylan Wolsky's Nomad. To date, FOX hasn't made a 36 with 27.5-inch lowers.

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The use of the gold-colored "Kabolt" thru axle may indicate that it's a special Racing Applications Development (RAD) Program fork. Also note the dual pinch-bolt clamps on both sides.

Racers and discerning riders alike have been asking for independently adjustable high and low-speed compression, and the 36 delivers in that regard. The right leg appears to have the same low- and high-speed adjuster found on current 36 forks.

Photo: Gary Perkin / Santa Cruz Bikes

Photo: Gary Perkin / Santa Cruz Bikes

What's going on internally? That's anyone's guess, but if it's anything like the prototype RAD 34 fork we rode a few months ago, it's going to be a big improvement for FOX. Browse through this slideshow where we previously discussed and rode a fork that may have an influence on future offerings or hold clues about what's coming next from FOX:

“Stiffness has become more important to the Pros, and I’m sure it will get even more important as the bigger wheeled bikes progress.” - Mark Fitzsimmons, FOX RAD Director

The damper, seals, lubrication oil, bushings, and axle on the RAD fork we rode all saw changes that may or may not make it to production. Most changes were made in the name of improved damping and control while lowering friction. Of particular interest was the prototype RAD CTD damper, which included a mid-valve.

Similar to the new FOX FLOAT 40, the RAD fork used Kashima coated damper rods, 20-weight gold lubrication oil, and new seals throughout to reduce dynamic friction. The bushings were also opened ever so slightly to further improve the smoothness of the fork.

There's no official word on whether or not this 36 will see production, but given that castings aren't cheap we're betting it will be available soon. Expect more details from Sea Otter next week. In the meantime, don't miss the new Nomad video to see it in action...

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