Recently I was able to sit down and interview John Hauer of X Fusion Shox. John’s been at X Fusion since 2007 and is currently focusing on their North American marketing efforts.
How did you get involved in MTB and X Fusion?
I grew up heavily involved in my local BMX scene but as I entered high school and began working in bike shops my focused turned to MTB. I began racing and was completely dedicated to the sport. After a very fun junior race career on the national and international race circuit I met Alex Wheeler. Alex was running the US division of X-Fusion and decided to sponsor myself along with 2 other pro riders (Ryan Condrashoff, Evan Turpen) to race domestically for X-Fusion.
That season on the road was one of the best times of my life, but as the season ended and I needed something to generate some income. Alex was kind enough to hire me on at X-Fusion to handle sponsorship and other miscellaneous marketing tasks. From that point on I began to grow within the company.
What bike set up are you and your team running right now?
I have a bunch of different bikes that I am constantly riding to test products, but the bike that I have been racing our local Super D series on is a KHS Velvet. It’s outfitted with a 2012 Vengeance HLR prototype and a 2011 O2 RCX AV.
The team for 2012 is going to be slightly different than years past. We have merged resources with DRD to create an even better program but all the details have not been released yet. They will however be on Intense Cycles for the 3rd year running.
What has your role been in growing X fusion?
X-Fusion has grown significantly since I joined in 2007 simply due to the passion our small staff has for riding and creating suspension. I have been lucky enough to work with great people and our combined efforts have really positioned X-Fusion in the right direction. My roll personally has always been marketing related but since we are a smaller company everybody assists and shares tasks. A lot of the daily work I perform for X-Fusion includes, Print and Viral Marketing, Producing Literature, Event Coordination, Athlete Management and of course Budgeting for it all.
What separates you from the other suspension companies out there?
I would say attention to detail and attention to our customers. We pride ourselves on the connection we have with our customers and always try our best to offer amazing pre and post purchase service. The attention to detail we have when manufacturing shows externally and internally with all our products. When taken apart you will not find cheap plastic parts or see that we have cut any corners. You will find high-end CNC’d parts engineered to provide the best performance possible. We keep true to our values while offering the products at a very competitive rate. We know what kind of suspension products consumers deserve and that is what we set out to produce.
Can you tell us anything about the future of X Fusion? What new products or product lines do you have upcoming?
We sure have a lot of projects in progress but not too many we can talk about just yet. You can expect to see more of our tool-less axle system across the fork lines. We also have a few other bigger products brewing that you can expect to hear more about as the 2012 line is released.
What can you tell us about the X-Series tool-less axle system that is on the Velvet?
The X-Series quick release system was developed by Syntace; a leading German company specializing in engineering precision cycling components. The X-Series tool-less axle system technology is licensed to X-Fusion from Syntace. The X-Series axle system is light, stiffer then standard 9mm QR and provides a more accurate alignment system for taking wheels on and off. Once the axle’s lever direction is set it will always go back to the same spot. No matter how many times the user removes the wheel, they will always get the same accuracy and precision when reinstalling.
The Vector HLR looks really cool, what can you tell us about that shock?
I agree that these shocks do look really cool, but the looks are not what make these shocks so rad.
First off for 2011 we reduced the knob height for extra frame clearance and switched to an aluminum shaft to save weight. On top of that we improved the low speed compression circuit for an even better damping range. This shock is loaded with all the adjustments you could possibly need to tackle the roughest tracks and trails. You have the ability to control high and low speed compression, rebound damping, bottom out and air pressure. Other than the air pressure all these adjustments are tool-less and can be adjusted by the rider’s fingers. More information can be found on our website about the Vector HLR.
Are there any X Fusion riders that we should be following?
X-Fusion sponsors a bunch of great riders but I would definitely keep an eye out for Jack Fogelquist. We picked him up mid last season and the rate that this kid progresses is amazing. Jack killed it at Crankworx Colorado and even put down some good runs at Crankworx in Whistler, BC. He is just starting to become noticed at the international level but I believe there is much more to come from Jack.
Where can our readers pick up some X Fusion suspension?
X-Fusion products are distributed in the United States by QBP, BTI and Hawley. These key distributors allow most bike shops to carry and sell X-Fusion products. Consumers can also purchase X-Fusion products direct at email@example.com or (831)221-5047