n a

Suspension Product of the Year Winner


Who remembers when our suspension forks had rubber bumpers in them, and adjusting them started and stopped with turning a preload dial that may or may not have done anything at all? Now, we're riding highly advanced suspension that borrows and shrinks down technology from the motorsport world to deliver some seriously incredible performance. And not only that, these things can be adjusted every which way to suit nearly anyone's needs and terrain.

That description is especially true when talking about all three of our Suspension Product of the Year nominees, but there is one that stands above the rest when it comes to performance.










This isn't exactly an upset win, is it? If you've spent any time on Fox's top-tier mid-travel fork, you'll know why it's at the top of our list when considering what to put on the front of your all-mountain or enduro bike, but it's also a fact that there are more options in 2016 than ever before. Yes, we've spent a load of time on offerings from DVO, Öhlins, and Manitou, and you can't talk about killer suspension without including the Pike and its big brother, the Lyrik, can you? The truth is that no one is going to be disappointed to have any of those forks working for them, but there's one that always seems to be just a bit ahead of the rest: the Factory 36 Float.

An all-new 36 was introduced back in 2014 and it was impressive right from the get-go, winning this very award last year. In fact, it would surely still be a contender had Fox left it at that and moved on to tinker with other stuff. But they didn't leave it alone; instead, they refined the fork's tune to further improve its action, and it's gotten even better since its initial release. Another reason for the 36 taking the Suspension Product of the Year honors is its consistency, and I'm not only talking about its dialed FIT4 damper. Every Factory 36 Float fork that we've dealt with, be it on test bikes here to be reviewed or personal steeds, has been flawless in its performance, often leaving us with not much to write about in reviews that we haven't said before.

With its dependably top notch performance, and effective and easy to understand adjustments, the Factory 36 Float is our choice for the 2016 Suspension Product of the Year.


Pinkbike’s Take:
bigquotesThe current Factory 36 Float fork is the perfect of example of a product that has been honed to near-perfection, and it doesn't require any gimmicks or tricks because of that fact. It's reliable, easily tuneable, and extremely capable. - Mike Levy



Click here for information about the judging and selection criteria for Pinkbike's Year-End Awards




Posted In:
Industry News



173 Comments

  • 134 14
 For a group all about fun and good times, we mountain bikers sure are a bunch of haters when it comes to free internet content.
  • 53 3
 maybe fun and good times for some of us means arguing in the internet
  • 16 4
 I didn't Read any hate on this post so far
  • 8 19
flag JoseBravo (Dec 8, 2016 at 4:14) (Below Threshold)
 @freerabbit: maybe you should open your eyes
  • 15 4
 @freerabbit: just kidding, have a nice day my fellow pinkbiker
  • 2 9
flag vikb (Dec 8, 2016 at 7:29) (Below Threshold)
 @TBrandt - Stop hating on the free content in the comments section. If you don't like 'em don't read 'em.
  • 17 4
 Stop that "free content" shit. PB earn money with publicity and they have publicity because we visit this website and comment even if it's some hateful bs.
  • 2 1
 @passwordpinkbike: Exactly, thanks to us, this site exists.
  • 6 3
 lyric all day
  • 2 6
flag Dhminipinner (Dec 8, 2016 at 13:12) (Below Threshold)
 @passwordpinkbike: do you pay for the content? No... therefore it is free for you.
  • 5 0
 Can't understand what makes a man hate another man, help me understand
  • 4 0
 @crag222: if you can't spell it you shouldn't get to vote for it lol:p
  • 4 0
 @Dhminipinner: I don't pay, but I am giving them money
  • 1 1
 @WAKIdesigns: 'Enve', jealousy, pride, ego, property; it's more of an individual basis. Then there are some people that don't feel complete without drama in their life.
  • 3 0
 @XCMark: these were Lyrics of a song by Depeche Mode Big Grin
  • 1 0
 Fun, and good times is a lifestyle that you grow into, first comes fun, then comes great times, but you really have to nurture it like you would a tiny plant, before it blossoms into gigantic oak tree like mine has.
  • 81 27
 Like a Pike only twice the price
  • 41 28
 and not twice as good either.
  • 19 0
 The Pike seems to be creeping up in price in the UK, I went for a Mattoc instead because even the RC Pike was more expensive than the top end Mattoc
  • 12 2
 there very similar in price in Canada, maybe $180 difference at best.
  • 2 1
 And here I thought brits had better prices! Pikes are easy to come by over here for somewhat reasonable prices.
  • 29 23
 Pike wins the people's choice award.
  • 3 0
 @ThomDawson: its probably a little more split then you would think. There are more and more fox 36 forks being spec'd on high end bikes. Every bike resort I've been to this summer, it was a 50 / 50 draw fox vs pike..
  • 4 0
 @BoneDog: fair enough dude, I think it's different over here though. Certainly in my part of the midlands anyway, here all I see are Pikes. Seen some 36s at the races but don't remember seeing any out on the trails. I'd love a 36 29er with a 26" crown but getting a custom fork from mojo would likely cost more than my house, I can't afford the stock fork as it is! Next one will be a Lyrik for me and I hate SRAM. I just can't pay the 36 price and don't know many that would. Doesn't mean I don't respect the 36 as a great piece of top tier performance mind you.
  • 6 1
 @ThomDawson: thats cause more american bikes are spec'd with american made forks. its cheaper for canadian bike industry to import bikes fitted with fox shocks than it is to import bikes fitted with rockshox,

I used to work at a Santa Cruz bikes dealer, when we brought in bikes for stock, it was cheaper to get a top end build kit featuring a fox 36 at the time vs. a mid range AM kit featuring something like a rock shox revelation. This is cause duties on importing products made outside of the continent.

This still occurs today and is probably the reason there are more fox 36 forks around here. dealers bring in american bikes featuring fox suspension cause its the same price as bringing in a mid range build with a foreign manufactured product.
  • 2 0
 @Jokesterwild: i got a set of 160mm lyricks in 650b for £600, bargain
  • 3 1
 @BoneDog: had a feeling it would be something to do with the price difference and availability to US and Canadian brands/ import duties etc. Thanks for the insight.
  • 3 0
 @foespower: that's the same price as my fox 36 was here with the current exchange rate
  • 2 0
 @Jokesterwild: I am crying. You can't buy a 36 second hand here for £600!
  • 2 2
 @Jokesterwild: my point being that a 36 is £400 more expensive than the lyrik maybe more
  • 3 3
 @BoneDog: really surprised to hear fox are made in the us and not the far east, are you sure?
  • 2 0
 @ThomDawson: that's crazy! How do they justify that!
  • 4 0
 @foespower: There about half and half. All CNC machined parts made in house in the US, all plastic injection molding and cast parts like blanks for lowers and crowns are out of Asia.

On paper as for import, they are a considered a made in the US product.
  • 7 2
 Pikes are dead cheap in German webshops because they are OEMs. Fox doesn't sell OEMs to them. You can basically buy a Lyrik and a Pike in price of one high end 36 and you will still have some cash left for energy bars
  • 10 3
 @hairy1976: Try a 36 2016 and a pike back to back and you will understand why one is cheaper than the other... I did.
  • 6 3
 @gnralized: both Lyrik and 36 take time to setup, so I call it BS... yes 36 is nicer but not 600€ nicer
  • 1 0
 @Jokesterwild: everything's more expensive in UK...
  • 2 0
 It also seems like Pikes are becoming less aggressive for shorter travel trail bikes, and most more aggressive Enduro bikes are running Yaris or Lyriks
  • 2 0
 @WAKIdesigns:
36 2016 on backcountry : 699 USD (u can find it on ebay too)
www.backcountry.com/fox-racing-shox-36-float-27.5-160-hsc-lsc-fit-fork-2016?skid=FRS002R-BK-S15TS1520MMTA&ti=U2VhcmNoIFJlc3VsdHM6Zm94IDM2IGZsb2F0OjE6Njpmb3ggMzYgZmxvYXQ
pike rct3 2016 130: 499 USD (same on ebay) + 60 USD for 160mm piston rod
www.backcountry.com/rockshox-pike-rct3-solo-air-130-fork-27.5in?skid=RSX002H-DIFBK-S15TS15MMMALI&ti=U2VhcmNoIFJlc3VsdHM6cGlrZSByY3QzOjE6MjA6cGlrZSByY3Qz

So d=200 USD at least, u can argue a lot about d worthing it or not, but most of us agreed that RS forks needs to be prepared to reach 36 mid-stroke support, which will cost you 200 USD more at least, so...
  • 5 5
 Also to people who find some bigger differences between 36 and Pike/Lyrik, I have no idea what is your depth of comparison but my perspective meter shows first world problem. Have you ridden DH tracks on Suntour Duro? Manitou Black? 66SL? I have.
  • 1 0
 @BoneDog:

The difference is you can find the Pike and Lyrik on sale online; good luck doing that with a 36, especially a boost 36. I just picked up a DPA Lyrik for $300 USD off list.
  • 2 4
 @gnralized: i did say prices in Europe isn't it... and ebay's all good to me with paying customs and shipping I'll pay exactly the same as if I paid msrp - typical 10%.
  • 3 2
 Also please note. I have 2011 36 Van RC2 and Lyrik. Back to back the 5 year old fork is better. But I will not spend 1200€ on latest 36
  • 5 3
 36 is better by a considerable margin that the Pike, if riding hard. Tested back to back it's just calmer, more predictable and stiffer.

The Lyric will give it a better run for it's money i'd say, but not ridden it so can't say.

36 is far better for service intervals than any Sram fork, just as easy to service, but feel good for longer post service and need it less.

36 Floats adjustability (that actually makes a difference) is another reason i'd send the extra $$$
  • 1 2
 ...
  • 1 0
 Fox stanchions are so slick that they always stick Big Grin a fact ...
  • 2 1
 @WAKIdesigns: True, when you see Remy Absalon take the piss out of everyone else on Suntours every year at the mega.
But we like our prestige brands, ha! I wouldn't be seen dead with a pair of suntours, not cool!
  • 2 1
 @gnralized: I agree--- I compared both, swapping them back and forth on the same bike over a couple weeks, and the damping on the Fox 36 was clearly better. I also felt the Pike rode too high in its travel for my tastes. Both are great forks but I'd bet 7 out of 10 guys who actiallly rode both would choose Fox.
  • 2 1
 I'm not sure if you've ever had to deal with rebuilding a pike, or replacing the internal components of the fork, but IF YOU HAD/HAVE you'd prefer the Fox 36 over it, 100%.
  • 3 0
 @Janes28: how can anything be easier than the Pike!?
  • 1 1
 @WAKIdesigns: Point taken, but what about mountain biking isn't a first-world problem?
  • 2 3
 @WAKIdesigns: huge difference in each and every product. When your on your bike 3 - 4 times a week, 2.5h+ each time, it starts to feel like an appendage. I can tell the most minimalist differences in my bike, starting with high contact points like grips, seat and pedals of course. But I would certainly say that suspension is not far behind.
  • 6 4
 @BoneDog: you forgot to add "for me" in between every third word. Your sensitivity rivals and overcomes one of many worlds cup podium visitors, mechanics and product designers. If I rode as much as you do I'd be a one of the best privateers on enduro circuit.. you must be a God at bike setup as well. Ever considered wrenching for a top 10 rider? #envious.
  • 2 0
 Getting on just fine with my bos deville's,can even get em serviced BUT that bos boutique website is the biggest pile of wank I've ever come across. Feckin disgrace Frown
  • 2 0
 @WAKIdesigns: yes but he's the big dawg Smile
  • 1 2
 @WAKIdesigns: maybe if you spent less time on PB drawing your little pictures you could ride as much as I do Smile Jokes man, I live for your art! its wicked.
  • 3 0
 @BoneDog: it's directly underneath you
  • 3 0
 @WAKIdesigns: My first DH race was on a Manitou Mach Comp. What a terrible fork. I was jealous of my friend because he was running a fresh yellow Quadra 21R. 60mm of elastomer-sprung "suspension" tends to put into perspective how spoiled we are with our modern choices.
  • 3 1
 I just bought a new 2017 36 Factory for $800. I saw no reason to save $50 or $100 for a lesser product.
  • 1 1
 You can get 36's damn cheap if you know were to look Wink *hint *hint

Just got myself another new set and bloody love them.
  • 44 2
 Damn, my money was on float x2...
  • 126 1
 Well that blew up on you eh!
  • 22 3
 I mean it really is quite an explosive product!
  • 23 2
 Its da bomb.
  • 12 2
 Does this outcome leave you feeling deflated?
  • 11 4
 Boom
  • 9 3
 I also thought it would have been the x2 for its explosive preformence
  • 7 4
 All float x2's exploded when they heard the news they didn't won.
  • 7 1
 I was shocked that it wasn't the Float x2.....
  • 9 1
 The X2 was under too much pressure and gassed out in the second round.
  • 6 1
 I can't recall why the X2 shouldn't have won?! Maybe Fox has another trick up its sleeve to make the X2 a winner next year?
  • 6 1
 Needs less explosions and a better climbing switch.
  • 1 0
 Wrong on suspension of the year x2
  • 27 0
 I'd like to nominate my seven year old Fox 40. I regularly ignore service intervals and only change the seals when oil starts seeping from them. Despite my blatant disrespect and neglect, it's been dead reliable and buttery smooth on any given day.
  • 5 0
 Maybe it is just dead from the inside Big Grin
  • 25 4
 Wish they start putting oil inside them as OEM for brand new bikes. Shame on you Fox
  • 12 0
 Not just fox, but yeah it pretty frustrating getting brand new gear $+6k worth off the shop floor and having to service it straight away...
  • 2 0
 What do you mean by this? That the fork oil they put in there during manufacturing isn't quality oil? I was under the impression that it was the standard Fox fork oil.
  • 5 0
 @tgent: It's not the kind, but the quantity. Fox are known for not putting enough oil in, or maybe they do and something happens to it as it's broken in. Both my Float 36 and my Talas had about half the recommended oil in when I checked them a couple weeks after riding.
  • 4 0
 Yup. Fox is known for low amounts of oil. But luckily it's just the bath oil; you can just pull the legs off and add more without tearing it down.
  • 1 0
 RS is no better most new forks I've seen come with little to no oil in them
  • 22 2
 I thought Eagle was going to win this too. Sure, it's not "suspension", but c'mon, 50 teeth man.
  • 6 0
 The long chain slapping the ground probably provides a little bit of suspension
  • 1 2
 Eagle did win component of the year! How did you miss that
  • 2 0
 @T1mb0: they said "too", how did you miss that?
  • 2 0
 ah well Rolleyes
  • 14 3
 Seems like every year with Fox forks I am hearing how bad the previous models were but the current version has fixed the issues......vicious cycle......that and shipping without oil has me weary about purchasing another Fox fork.
  • 1 0
 Last years were great. Mine had the right amount of oil in them. Just got this years and they're fine too.
  • 31 18
 Rather have a Pike. Because. Service intervals.
  • 21 4
 You know you don't actually have to do them when it says to....
  • 7 13
flag ThePriory1978 (Dec 8, 2016 at 7:10) (Below Threshold)
 @Jokesterwild: Agreed, but Fox soon get constipated without at least a fresh flush of fluid every...... week.
  • 8 1
 @ThePriory1978: lol every week... well that hasn't been my experience
  • 2 2
 Anyone else comment on this? I had a 2011 or 2012 Float 36 and it slowly started feeling worse and worse over the course of a month which is as often as I could be bothered servicing it (about 75 hours of mostly lift-accessed singletrack riding in a month). Change oil, felt good again, repeat. I've had two Pikes over the last four years and do the same service routine but there is far less of a change over the course of a month of riding. Are the current 36s better than the old ones in this aspect? Similar to Pikes? Even if the 36 performs "better" than Rockshox models in some aspects, and ignoring the price difference, the fact that the maintenance is more necessary than with Rockshox is my main reason for avoiding Fox.
  • 1 0
 @Jokesterwild: @ThePriory1978: At least do it ever 120hrs... AT LEAST... make your life easier! dropping the lowers and changing the oil isnt that bad of a job! Wait is this the right place to lecture about service intervals?
  • 5 0
 There is no discernible difference between the recommended intervals because comes down to the usage and your interest in having a better performing fork. The more you change the oil, the better your fork will feel. Less stiction means dampers that function well. But in case you are wondering:

Pike calls for removing the lowers every 50 hours and "the rest" every 200 hours.
sram-cdn-pull-zone-gsdesign.netdna-ssl.com/cdn/farfuture/x7W1QSXggty6eyvRkZB7p4OYIM3sApQ67nWHhPhdduo/mtime:1471279267/sites/default/files/techdocs/gen_0000000004461_rev_e_2014-2017_pike_service_manual_english.pdf


Fox says 125 hours for a "full service". They figure most high useage riders will drop the lowers and change the oil a few times a year.

www.ridefox.com/service.php?m=bike&ref=topnav
  • 5 1
 You have to use zip ties to bleed errant air and buy 3rd party parts to get a Pike to actually function properly. The Fox is actually a lot less fuss. Go browse mtbr to see what I am talking about. There's a lot of people discussing their disappointment with the Pike.
  • 4 1
 @IronBender: you are correct. Blew charger dampers, sucked air past the air piston, had steerer tubes come loose etc . . . . . . . Running 36's with no trouble, not even close which is better!
  • 4 0
 @IronBender: Agreed fully with that.
Moreover my pike and lyric saw their performance progressively decreased between two services, thing that didn't happen with my 36 past the break in period.

I would really like to know if there is a difference between OEM and aftermarket RS and Fox forks.
  • 10 0
 Almost bought a 36, but it was a bit out of my price range. Sounds awesome, but I found a lightly used Pike for 400 bucks and it is a total BEAST.
  • 7 1
 forks are all so refined and perform so close to each other it really just comes down to things like budget, weight and personal preference. suspension has gotten to such a high level that they are all extremely good as mentioned in this write up. good stuff.
  • 7 1
 i would have said the RS yari, lyric like stiffness for revolution money, or even fox's new elite forks, near same performance as the factory without paying out the ass for kashima.
  • 13 5
 Not a scratch on the Lyrik
  • 9 3
 CALLED IT!!! Who else knew it from the time they read the article title...
  • 5 0
 I was expecting it to have a 33.33% chance.
  • 2 0
 I thought it would have been the dhx2 with SLS coil. We finally have a fully tuneable coil shock that is near the weight of a double barrel air shock and now has an all important climb switch. Plush small bump compliance has never felt better.
  • 4 0
 I've got a Fox 36 on my '15 Spartan and couldn't agree more about how awesome it is! Fox sure makes a great product, their suspension is on my bike, truck, and sled.
  • 4 2
 Should a product of the year be the 'best' possible product in industry terms? I kinda feels this undermines everything. Sure, not all get on with the 36 bit it's a pretty high benchmark for something that should be on top of it's game. But that doesn't mean the Mattock is any lesser of a fork.

At it's price point and performance that's a whole lot of fork for much less than the 36. To me, Manitou have finally got a fork worth fighting for again and yet it's been beaten here by a thundering heavy weight in the MTB world.

We all know the story of David and Goliath. I was hoping this was Manitou's year this year. Maybe next year?
  • 3 1
 Totally agree. I have one on my rig and I absolutely love it for the banging price. Astounding how they nominate two inexpensive forks with competitive performance and then throw in the $1000+ fork and proceed to hand the trophy to it. So, basically you won't get "the best fork of the year" unless you fork over a grand. My analogy might be wrong but would that be picking a Bugatti over a 911 GT3?
  • 5 1
 Mean while there's a Pike on near everything and we love it.....Go Fox though.
  • 2 1
 I might be bias cause I own one, but shouldn't the Mattoc at a 34mm stancion that can compete with the stiffness and performance of a pike and fox 36 for a fraction of the price have a strong lead for suspension of the year? More so than the Fox GRIP surely...
  • 1 0
 my 2013 fox 36 have never been serviced (got them in 2015) but in all honesty they still work the same as when I first got them as far as I can tell....mind you I have just found somewhere local to me that can do this so I will be getting this done in the new year. They aren't on my most used bike but they have seen hundreds of miles use Smile
crikey I have loads to get done my fox 40, 32, 36 and a several fox rear shocks....better stagger the servicing I guess or I will be broke.
  • 1 0
 Performance of most forks is a little subjective. Fox forks in every longer travel category have a lower weight and a shorter axle to crown than the competition. Please everyone upgrade to the new 36 and sell me your old one.
  • 9 4
 no love for x-fusion?
  • 3 1
 I have two x fusion on my norco range 7,4 and they woek really well
  • 4 1
 I'm excited to see the 2017 Metric. Saw one for sale here on PB, all black with a roughcut damper.
  • 2 1
 I have a basic Metric on my Scott Voltage FR - I absolutely love it.
  • 4 0
 nothing wrong with them but they're not anywhere near the forefront...
  • 6 2
 Suntour dont pay? a pity. Only expensive fork is wort of this title.
  • 5 4
 Hoe can a service-intensive product such as this be product of the year? We actually ride our forks, "Product of 5weeks at a time" is more like it for fox suspension products. Hoed about sr durolux or 350ncr ti, or deville?
  • 6 0
 That's a lot of hoes...js
  • 1 2
 Fox has done a good job in the last few years......really stepped up their game. My only question is how are they stealing the Ohlins Twin-tube damper patent and haven't go in trouble yet? Cane Creek licenses it....hmmmmmmmmmmm LOL
  • 4 0
 They are different technology, like saying every shim stack piston shock is the same . . . . .
  • 2 0
 I'm still running a 2008 Fox Float 36 RC2 on my winter bike. Great fork still going strong after 8yrs of hard use.
  • 4 2
 Nothing like a little ridefox banner to accompany an advert disguised as an award/article...
  • 1 0
 I just bought one of these 36's from local shop...the owner took it off his new bike so got it for only $700 OTD...glad i did
  • 1 0
 Does the 36 really have enough support, without any tokens or closing lsc even or more than 1
/4 when going aggressive and strong breaking on steep technical terrain?
  • 2 0
 Fox Factory vs. RS Bling vs. stealth black
  • 3 1
 when 36, than with RC2 FIT, not a FIT4
  • 2 1
 Oh? They fixed the cryo-creak? Great!

What? You've got a bridge for sale? I'll take it!!!
  • 3 0
 Ho hum.
  • 2 0
 My Lyrik is epic - if the 36 is even better than damn!
  • 3 2
 I'm SHOCKED to see this one!
  • 3 1
 Manitou Mattoc
  • 2 0
 Fox win all
  • 1 1
 If THIS is the pinnacle, I do not want to know how the base of the pyramid looks like..
  • 2 1
 Google "rockshox pike"
  • 1 1
 Revolution Suspension Grip got robbed!! No hand jobs for the remaining of the year!
  • 1 1
 Still un decided on the lyric or the 36 for my new nomad that I may be getting in the next couple of weeks
  • 1 0
 I rode my new nomad for the first time this morning. I have a 36 170 hsc/lsc and the ride was short and more about getting a feel for the bike, but I certainly paid no mind to the fork as it was great. The Monarch RC3+ that comes on it, though, that was less than stellar, but I have a float x2 on the way to replace it.
  • 2 0
 Ahh for Fox sake...
  • 3 2
 Winner in stickiest stanchions awards !!! Or dryest dust wipes nominee Big Grin
  • 1 0
 From: $1293.50CAN .........excitement increases exponentially
  • 2 1
 I said it once and I will say it again.... FORMULA 35. Made in ITALY.
  • 2 1
 Just curious - how is it specifically better than the Lyrik?
  • 1 0
 question? fox 36, RS Pike or RS Lyrik?
  • 1 0
 .....without being overdamped and too harsh in the slow stuff? ;-)
  • 1 0
 I gotta agree, just got one of these, it's marvelous.
  • 3 3
 @Murbahman, because it's always in for repairs.
  • 1 1
 SRAM is really getting there ass kicked in these awards
  • 2 1
 Marzocchi lives!
  • 3 2
 Recount the ballots
  • 2 2
 Yawn!
Below threshold threads are hidden





Copyright © 2000 - 2022. Pinkbike.com. All rights reserved.
dv56 0.020746
Mobile Version of Website