Elka: Get to know your new shock manufacturer

Rank-and-file riders of stock suspension bikes have not had tons of options when it comes to boingers. On the front end, you’ve got your Big Three: Fox, Manitou, Rock Shox (whither Marzocchi?)

Choices are even fewer in the rear: Fox (and development partner Specialized) and Rock Shox together have pretty much cornered the market, unless you go hunting for exotica or Brand X.

So it can only be a good thing to have Canadian manufacturer Elka enter the market. The new Elka mountain bike line will roll out at Sea Otter. Elka is new to bicycling, but they’ve been building hefty suspensions for the motorbike and ATV world for years. Unless you’re winning every race this year, you’re bound to be drafting behind a few of these on the trail.

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Not to knock the established brands — personally, I love my triad Fox Pro-Pedal and lowly Manitou Black (!) — but competition has a way of making everyone pull through harder, build better stuff, and offer it at better prices.

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