LA BRESSE, France – Is it the start of a new trend like electronic shifting at road bikes? Fox is launching Float iCD for which it teamed up with Shimano. It is an electronically actuated system providing the rider complete and easy control over the front and rear suspension on cross country and trail bikes.
Fox is all about the changes in 2012: with new company headquarters in Scotts Valley, shortening the name to Fox (they dropped “Racing Shox”) and complete redesign of 32 & 34 series forks and air shocks. The latest introduction is Float iCD that changes the ride experience on front or full suspension mountain bike. For this project Fox has once more teamed up with Shimano.
Control of suspension
Float iCD is electronically actuated system that gives the rider easiest possible control of suspension on the cross country or trail bike. System is super easy to use – rider just has to rotate the remote lever on the handlebar and choose the open or lock-out position; system will be available in two versions – one for full suspension bikes and one for front suspension bikes.
Fox was developing this system for couple of seasons and it is now already in use by selected athletes. Float iCD (i for Intelligent, C for climb and D for descent) is part of the Fox’s program Intelligent Ride Dynamics (iRD) through witch the company is integrating electronics into the suspension products.
Shimano’s Di2 battery
First product of the iRD program will be an application for smart phones and tablets that will help the rider to properly set up the suspension. In September the Float iCD will follow and we can only guess what is next in line after that.
Fox teamed up with Shimano for the iRD remote system, in fact Fox is using Di2 battery with mount and wires – this is the first time that Di2 technology (although partly) will be officially available for mountain bikes. We can again only guess where this will lead to, but for sure Shimano’s plans go way beyond just selling the battery unit to Fox. At minimum they will gain valuable data on battery operation on the mountain bikes.
Plug & Play system
Shimano and Fox worked together in the past – they developed the mechanical remote lock-out system and also worked on 15 mm through axle. Plug & Play system uses 2 or 3 wires, depending of the front or full suspension setup, and can be programmed with E-Tube software for Ultegra, Dura-Ace and now Alfine Di2 setup and maintenance. The battery life is long – even over 2.5 months.
Next to the remote lever, wires and the battery the system consist of actuator in the right fork leg and on the rear shock. System just controls the oil flow, but that happens really fast – Fox claims time of 0.25 sec for front and 0.45 sec for rear, which is faster than with any mechanical control.
The system enables the rider to choose between the following positions: climb, descend and climb rear only (last is only available on the full suspension version). The weight penalty is not big – 70 or 140 grams, again depending on the setup.
Fox will release iCD as aftermarket product in September on the new super light line of 32 series forks with 100 or 120 mm of travel and in both 26- and 29-inch versions. On the rear the system is integrated onto Float shock. Price is not released jet.