Sneak Peek: Fox 650b/27.5 140mm Fork


We visited Mark Jordan, Marketing guru at Fox Racing Shox and he quickly gave us a peek into their new 650b/27.5 trail fork featuring 140mm of travel. Currently, they have a 160mm travel fork and a 120/160mm Talas CTD fork that feature 34 mm stanchions. Both forks are big and are well over four lbs. in weight so they are suited for burly, All Mountain bikes. Most of these bikes are very capable of going up and down any terrain but they are usually 30 lbs or heavier. Many of the new bikes are featured here in the 650b/27.5 Round Up.

Mark explained that this new fork will feature an all-new 32mm stanchion chassis so it will be optimized and very light. The crown is new, stiff and light and the brake posts are beefy and mounted low. Mark said they their goal is to be “the leader in this new wheel size platform” so expect great things from Fox when it comes to 650b/27.5.

The big question of course is availability and no one will be excited about this answer. “It will be featured on many bikes at Eurobike and Interbike 2013 so it really is for 2014 model year bikes.”Expect the consumer to be able to purchase these as original equipment on bikes at the end of 2013.

What are the specifics on the fork?
Well, this fork is a Float air fork on the all new 32 mm chassis so expect it to be light and stiff. It has 140mm of travel and of course will be available in Kashima and their standard stanchion coatings. The weight for the 15mm thru-axle, tapered steer version will be in between:
32 FLOAT 120 FIT CTD w/Trail Adjust – 3.22 lbs
32 FLOAT 29 100 FIT CTD w/Trail Adjust – 3.43 lbs

So expect 3.3 lbs. Given that the current Fox 650b/27.5 fork weighs about 4.38 lbs with 160mm travel, this new fork will open up a new array of trail bikes. The current big fork is really driving manufacturers to make big, capable bikes so most of the bikes weigh 30+ lbs. This new fork will forge the way towards 25 lb. 650b/27.5 bikes as pound shaving occurs in frames and wheels as well.

What else did we learn from Mark?
Well, Mark came from a bike shop, RST Suspension, Marzocchi, Decline Magazine and now Fox Racing Shox so he is one of the smartest and most respected guys in the bike industry. He said Fox Racing Shox participates in high-end motos, trucks and snowmobiles yet their bike division accounts for arond 70% of sales. “Most of the folks here ride and love bikes,” he says.

We also learned that almost all their forks now are air suspension based. The coil spring front fork is almost dead as the the advancement in front air suspension has been dramatic. Out of their 40 fork models, only a couple DH ones are coil spring based and even those are going away. Air is just so much more configurable, tuneable and controllable. “Even supercross forx are air forks now,” he said. So the technology should be able to handle all bicycle needs. “The new Honda 450 model motorcycle runs an air fork,” Mark also said. On rear shocks, coil spring still has its place in downhill applications.

Asked about dropper posts, he said “I wouldn’t ride without them.” In fact Mark says experienced riders are now using their dropper post remote lever more than their front shifter. “We want the dropper post lever to take the place of the front shifter.” he said. “Most often used is the right shifter, then the dropper post lever, then maybe the front shifter,” he explains. This is indeed enlightening as equipment is changing and dropper posts are becoming more important. Read about mtbr’s Dropper Post Round Up here.

About the author: Francis Cebedo

The founder of mtbr and roadbikereview, Francis Cebedo believes that every cyclist has a lot to teach and a lot to learn. "Our websites are communal hubs for sharing cycling experiences, trading adventure stories, and passing along product information and opinions." Francis' favorite bike is the last bike he rode, whether it's a dirt jumper, singlespeed, trail bike, lugged commuter or ultralight carbon road steed. Indeed, Francis loves cycling in all its forms and is happiest when infecting others with that same passion. Francis also believes that IPA will save America.

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  • sucka? says:

    typo, there is no 150/120 34 talas fork currently available.

    • Francis says:

      >> typo, there is no 150/120 34 talas fork currently available.

      Ahh…. we have it on our Scott 720 bike. It is probably an OE fork only. We shall check on that.

  • Vince says:

    Fox behind the eight ball again……looks like Rock Shox will have the entire year to gain market share in the short travel 650B format

  • Oliver says:

    What is the benefit for having the brake mounts so low?

  • Francis says:

    >>What is the benefit for having the brake mounts so low?

    It just seems like that’s where the brake mounts fit best with the longer legs. It seems like they did not have to extend the legs as much.

  • Bikethrasher says:

    Hoping this means we are finally going to see some 5inch travel trail bikes to slap these on. I’d like to give 650b a try but, I don’t want or need a 6″ travel All Mtn bike. I’d love to see Santa Cruz give the Blur TRC the 650b treatment. Adding 650b wheels to that frame would raise the BB a bit and resolve my only issue with it. Santa Cruz if you build it I will buy it! If its already in the mix put my name on a large.

  • Josh S. says:

    Please, PLEASE give us a 20mm axle option!!! I know, 15mm is stiff enough – NOT! Until then, I will continue using a Fox 36 (which, by the way, accepts 650B with no problems), or the Rockshox Lyric.

    • Harold D says:

      That’s not the point of this fork. That would be like putting a truck bumper on a sports car. Now if you’re talking about the 34mm stanchion fork, then I agree. There should be a 20mm axle option.

  • Bog says:

    Pretty ugly fork in my opinion. Did Mark style the fork arch but forget that he no longer works at Marzocchi?! Definitely is an M in that arch. Or maybe he was drinking and watching the Dark Knight.

    • Roger says:

      I was just thinking that too! It looks like a the Marzocchi arc!
      Don’t you find it kinda funny when someone buys a carbon bike with the intention of building a light bike, then adds a dropper post, bigger wheels, and longer suspension.

  • Josh S. says:

    @ Harold-
    You’re right, a 20mm axle is not appropriate for this platform i.e. xc riding, and I was talking about having the option for their larger forks in general. However, if given the choice between larger stanchions or a larger axle, I definitely take the larger axle!

    @ Roger-
    The real benefit of carbon over aluminum is stiffness. Anyway, why wouldn’t someone try to save weight on the frame if they know they’re adding heavier parts? The trails where I live in western CO eat xc bikes for lunch so beefier parts on a smaller frame makes the most sense.

  • Reformed Roadie says:

    Will the lowers be available separately to swap with 26″ floats?
    The dropouts and post mounts remind me of the DT Swiss fork that was modified for Nino to run 650b.

  • David says:

    fox website now says 3.75lb with 165mm so 3.8lbs indeed! Lighter?! Not.

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