What do you do when you have an unused front shifter and a Fox AX suspension fork? If you’re Wolf Tooth Components/Otso Cycles, you think, “hey, that could be useful as a lock out switch.” Thanks to the number of bikes they were shipping with Shimano 1x drivetrains which lack a true 1x front shifter option, Otso thought they could make better use of the non-functioning front shifter. After confirming with Fox that it would work and having fox techs walk them through the set up, Otso was left with a way to make a Shimano 2x STI lever into a functioning Fox AX lockout lever for 1x gravel grinding awesomeness…
According to Otso, the hack doesn’t require any special parts – just a Shimano 2x or 3x front shifter on a 1x drivetrain and the new Fox AX fork with the FIT4 2-position remote damper. After anchoring the shift cable to the fork’s top cap, shifting through the trim to the full stop activates the lockout and downshifting to the “easiest gear” opens the system back up. Otso has only set these up with 2×11 road shifters since that’s what’s available for hydraulic drop bar shift options from Shimano, but theoretically a 3x front shifter would work as well if you were riding mechanical disc brakes. Using a 3x shifter and the 3 position FIT4 damper might even open up the ability to shift through Open, Trail, and Lockout modes.
The best part is that if you’re planning to order a new stainless Otso Warakin with the Fox AX fork, you can order this set up right from the factory. Warakins equipped with the AX hack start at $3849 complete, which is a $650 upgrade over the carbon fork and any bike with the AX fork is available with or without the lockout hack (provided it’s a 1x drivetrain with Shimano shifters).