Makers of very good coil shocks EXT are in full tease mode, as they prepare to reveal their first MTB suspension fork.
We reviewed the EXT Storia V3 shock recently, and it left our reviewer very impressed by its performance. Count us interested then in what this Italian company might be able to do for the front end of out bikes.
EXT and its distributors – which includes UK based Mojo Rising – are busy revealing lots of little bits of information, teasers and sneak peeks. Presumably they’re hoping to build some hype behind the launch, and maybe get a few people to wait and see what’s coming before buying anything new right now. Frankly, it’s working. We are very keen to see what’s inside this EXT ERA Fork. Let’s take a look at what we can see so far.
We can see they’re pretty advanced in the development, with fully rideable prototypes out in the field across the world, so we’re guessing the launch can’t be too far away:
There’s a little close up of the fork lowers:
And another one here, with what is maybe some internals in the background?
Mojo Rising – owned by Chris Porter – has been posting the same images, but is accompanying them with ’38 reasons’ why you should be waiting for this ERA fork to launch. So, a 38mm fork then, maybe?
We literally CAN NOT wait for this to happen!! Just in case anyone is drawn in by the marketing BS of other, bigger suspension companies and is considering a new fork this year?
We are going to give you ’38 reasons’ 😉 why you should wait for the ERA fork from @extremeshox
- Number 1- a massive reduction in Friction, static friction and sliding friction brings benefits everywhere!
- Number 2- you get more POP!
- Number 3- you get more GRIP!
Part two of our occasional social media series ’36 (or should it be 38?) reasons to wait for a new ERA in fork design from EXT before buying your next fork.
- Reason number 4: EXT have been benchmarking all the enduro fork options on the dyno to find out how much stiction there is in each single part of the forks… Dampers, air shafts, seal blocks, main seals and bushes have all been tested individually and as assemblies for static and sliding friction with and without side load. You would be amazed how much support comes from stiction in a long travel, single crown fork. so much that damping is largely irrelevant at many shaft speeds…
- Reason number 5: EXT have tested a lot of different types of bushings and bushing materials in these lowers and have made massive strides forward in reducing static and sliding friction. This is music to our ears as we’ve learnt a thing or two about this and modified/changed/swapped/hacked countless sets of bushings over the years and nobody listened… Until now
- Reason number 6: Reduce un-predictable stiction and you can add support with more predictable and configurable damping! I could write another 10,000 words on why stiction is the enemy of the bicycle fork and where it can come from but I won’t bore you here!
What can we see here from @extremeshox … A damper made by the damping experts. Looks a little different to current mountain bike fork dampers. If you’re in the market for a new fork this year here’s 2 more of the #38reasons we’re going to give you to wait for the ERA.
- Reason 8- a damper with a large piston provides much greater control over the damping behaviour. Access to a greater variety in shim sizes and shim stacking sequences.
- Reason 9- a new style of adjusters to individually tailor the adjuster range above and beyond the main piston.
- If you really want to know more about damping and it’s fundamentals, visit EXT’s website and read their Tech Lab episodes.
A whole 21 more reasons to come? Will we get to ‘number 32 – every fork comes with a free carrot, number 33 – free postcard of a kitten is included in the box’?
Over in the USA, the distributor there, Suspension Syndicate, is also teasing things.
The big question we’re wondering is if it’s an air fork or coil sprung one, and we’ve not managed to spot anything in the comments to clarify this. We know EXT can do incredible things with coils, but then they also do some clever things with hydraulics and friction, so they can probably do clever things with air too. We can’t figure anything out for sure from the pictures that have been shared.
Given EXT’s enduro and downhill shocks, we’re going to assume it’s not going to be hitting the XCO race course. They do seem to be big on having a component you’ll keep though, so we’d expect to see the fork having plenty of swap and tune options for adjusting the travel as you move between bikes.
And what’s in a name? Other EXT products have Italian names (Arma = Weapon, Storia = History). The hashtag #ERA is being used – so is that ‘era’? Which google says is Italian for ‘was’, which doesn’t sound that exciting. Or is it E.R.A… EXT Rimbalzante Aragosta?
Head down to the comments and join us in the speculation! While you’re at it, why not wonder how much it might cost!