First look: Prototype Foes FFR downhill bike

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Plenty of brands bring their new production items to show off at Sea Otter, but Brent Foes of Foes Racing decided he wanted his latest experiment to see the light of day. This prototype downhill frame has yet to be ridden, let alone proven, but its interesting suspension design is worth checking out.

Foes does a lot of work with outrageously complex trophy trucks, and as such he knows how important it is to keep your wheels on the ground. After all, if the wheel isn’t on the ground it can’t steer, brake or apply traction. Normally, small bump sensitivity is lost when a suspension is designed around big impacts, but this dual-stage system hopes to alleviate that. In keeping with the times the bike is built around 27.5 wheels and weighs in a a surprisingly svelte 37 pounds.

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Though it looks complicated, the idea is simple: When the bike is sitting on the ground with a rider’s weight, the secondary shock is compressed.

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When the bike is unweighted, that small shock applies three inches of negative travel to push the wheel down, keeping it in contact with the ground.

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It’s not an off-the-shelf item either, Foes built it in-house and admits there is lots of testing and tuning to be done. Will it work? Stay tuned!

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