Fox forks and shocks will benefit from a gold-coloured Kashima Coat developed by the Miyaki Company of Japan for all 2011 models.
Already seen in the motorcycle and automotive world, the Kashima Coat technology’s low-friction and ultra-wear resistance properties are certainly appealing in suspension forks and shocks.
In the process, lubricating molybdenum disulfide is deposited, via electrical induction, into the billions of micropores on the surface of hard-anodised aluminium, providing better lubrication characteristics and an increased level of hardness and abrasion resistance: four times tougher than standard hard-anodised aluminium.
The technology has been race tested throughout the 2009 season by select riders. “Before we started using Kashima Coat, we’d been testing and racing on electroless nickel coated upper tubes during the past two seasons,” explains Fox Racing Shox Mountain Bike Race Manager, Mark Fitzsimmons. “Although the friction properties were decent, the nickel’s durability was not. The Kashima parts we raced on maintained the low friction requirements we were after and exhibited excellent durability, a very rare combination to find at the World Cup level with its wet and muddy conditions.”
Beyond the benefit of added durability, Fox claim the significant decrease in friction was found to provide a noticeable increase in suspension performance.
“When you’re racing on the World Cup level, a huge percentage of races can be won or lost in the preparation of the bike – the seemingly small details that take the bike from good to excellent,” said 2008 Downhill World Champion, Gee Atherton. “The Kashima coating made the forks so much more reactive to the small hits that I would normally feel on rough terrain. When the forks were skittering over tiny bumps they could soak up the impact much more quickly, without giving me so much feedback through the bars. That’s a huge advantage on long courses.”
Fox Racing Shox sponsored athletes collected quite a few victories aboard Kashima Coat treated suspension, including the men’s and women’s British National Downhill Championships, four World Cup wins, and a World Championship victory with Yeti/Fox rider Jared Graves in 4X
“We’re a race-driven company,” added Fox Racing Shox Executive VP, Mario Galasso. “We’re constantly looking for performance advantages that may lead to race victories. Kashima Coat is, without a doubt, one of those advantages. Since we also pride ourselves on racing exactly what we sell, we’re proud to offer this new performance advantage to our customers, through Kashima Coat.”