RockShox launched the completly redesigned 2009 Boxxer last Friday at Eurobike. RockShox General Manager Jeremiah Boobar outlined the benefits of the new fork to Spoke.ie.
The Boxxer is the most successful downhill fork ever with 56 World Cup wins and 345 podiums at World Cup level. The fork was first launched in 1996 and this is the 4th generation and the first major update in 10 years. However, this is no cosmetic change, the only original thing is the name. There a 3 things that make this new fork better: it is lighter, more precise and faster.
First up the stanchions have been rediesigned and are now 35mm in diameter. This results in a stiffer fork, giving more precise steering. By running stronger stanchions the steerer doesn’t need to be as stiff and can therefore be lightened. The fork legs feature power bulges, like its XC brother the SID and this in particular allows for the lighter weight of the fork at 90 grams for the World Cup fork (total 2721grams /6 lbs) and 180grams for the Race and Team edition (2948grams /6.5lbs). 31 different fork legs were trialled along with 3 different power bulges before the final package was decided on. Incidentally Boobar told us that he rides the Team edition, believing that unless you are a true World Cup rider, that fork is not neccessary. The fork legs feature guides for quick setup of the correct sag.
Here is a video of the World Cup fork, taken at the product launch.
The steerer has been lightened (it’s now the lightest ever produced) and the forged truss crown is stiffer and lighter. The fork also utilises the Maxle lite DH system, again saving weight and features post mounts set up for a large diameter 210mm disc. All three forks are available in Boxxer red, black or white.
The main development in the fork is the new internals. On the cheapest Race fork you get external low speed compression and rebound. However the next two forks feature the Mission Control DH system. This is a dual flow adjustable compression system with external high and low dials and dual flow adjust rebound.
There is also a drop stop system which is a spring within a spring to provide a smooth ramp over the last 20% of the stroke. This allows the rider to decide the spring curve rate towards the end of the stroke depending on how you ride. For example some people balance their weight over the back of the bike where as others through their weight over the fork. For these types of people the fork requires completly different setup and this is what Rockshox has worked on. To finish of the fork, Rockshox also looked at adding a direct mount stem. This Truvativ Holzfeller stem (see the video) mounts onto the top of the fork and is available in either 50 or 60mm lenghts. If you want to run a normal stem you can.
The bottom line is that this fork is faster than ever. In plain speak Sam Hill has shaved 3 seconds off his best times on his personal test rack in Australia and raves about it. So too do other Black Box riders, Steve Peat, Greg Minaar and Nathan Rennie. That, we feel, is enough information for most people…