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Prototype ND Tuned Forks Get Triple Springs Stacked onto Damper

ND tuned prototype enduro mountain bike bike fork with hybrid shock

It’s been a while since we’ve heard from ND Tuned, but they were showing off some very unique prototype forks and shocks at Taipei Cycle show.

Known for their tuning kits and replacement dampers for Rockshox and Fox forks, ND Tuned also makes aftermarket shock valve kits for off-road motos, too. Now, they’re working on their own complete suspension products for mountain bikes.

The forks will use a hybrid spring that relies on dual positive air chambers plus a coil negative spring. They say this design has several advantages. The coil negative gets the fork moving easily when it first encounters a bump. The dual positive air spring lets you set one chamber firmer for an improved pedaling platform and resisting bottom out, then set the other one softer to keep it plush over small- to medium-sized hits.

machined alloy crown on prototype ND tuned enduro mountain bike fork

The system is their alternative to using volume spacers, letting you tune two different air chambers rather than trying to make one handle every type of compression.

Making it even more unique is the fact that the spring is stacked on top of the damping cartridge, all inside of the same leg. The other leg is empty. They say this makes it less likely to have uneven compression, where the spring is resisting compression on one side of the fork while the damping side is allowing it on the other.

carbon fiber arch on prototype ND tuned enduro mountain bike fork

But, mostly, keeping both legs moving in unison is handled by the oversized carbon arch and stout machined dropouts.

Inside are a combination of sliding and fixed bushings. The upper bushing is fixed on the lowers, just below the wiper seals. The lower pushing is on the stanchions, so during compression, it’s always as far away from the upper bushing as possible, maximizing the distance between them. They say this offers improved reliability and less friction than having both bushings fixed into the lowers.

It has an all-alloy chassis, no magnesium lowers. The fork will launch with a 38mm trail version, and it’s light – target is 2150g with axle. An enduro and dual-crown version are planned next.

Prototype ND Tuned Inline Shock, too

prototype ND Tuned inline rear coil shock for mountain bikes

ND Tuned has offered a piggy back shock for a while, and now they’re working on an inline version, too. It’ll have high IFP pressure to give it a bit of a pedaling platform by resisting light compression. But it’ll also have a coil negative spring that helps overcome that force on impacts so the shock can do what it’s supposed to.

Inside are separate low- and high-speed compression damping circuits, pre-tuned for anticipated riding speeds and the corresponding impact speeds. That means no external compression adjustments to keep costs down, making them more competitive. Also, it’s designed intentionally for e-bikes, where you’re less likely to care about having a lockout switch.

They say removing the required internal porting and parts that allow for external adjustments also helps keep oil temperatures down for more consistent performance…slightly. How? it lets them use a larger piston diameter that lets more oil flow through larger compression circuits, rather than forcing it through tinier circuits located away from the main shaft where controls will fit.

The result is a shock that’s very simple, but with consistently high performance run after run. Claimed maximum weight is just 295g w/o coil, and about 630-650g with a coil spring. That’s respectably light for a coil spring.

All products likely coming later this year.


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