Fox Announces New Float & Float SL Shocks

Apr 18, 2023
by Mike Kazimer  
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Fox Float

Two years after the return of the Float X into Fox's lineup, several of the design features from that single-tube shock have trickled down into the new Float and Float SL. The Float has a fairly broad range of applications, from trail to cross-country bikes, while the Float SL has more of a laser focus on the XC / marathon side of the spectrum.

Float Details

The Float uses a similar damper design to the Float X, but its inline configuration makes it 150 grams lighter and takes up less space, providing more clearance for things like water bottles.

External adjustments include rebound, and a two position compression lever that toggles between 'Firm' and 'Open' mode. That 'Open' mode can further be adjusted by selecting one of three options. The 'Firm' mode is tunable, allowing manufacturers to decide whether they want that setting to make a bike feel like a hardtail, or go with something a little more forgiving.

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The new Float uses a two-position lever to switch between Open and Firm mode.

Inside the new Float there's a larger piston, a new valve and IFP design, and an MCU bottom-out bumper instead of the rubber o-ring used before. That bumper should help make full-travel events less jarring, a feature that'll be appreciated by all the riders out there pushing shorter travel bikes to the limit.

The EVOL air spring's volume has been increased in order to give the shock a more linear feel, and to improve its small bump compliance. There are also new, smaller volume spacers that make it possible to really fine tune the amount of end-stroke ramp up.

Sizes: Standard eyelet: 170, 190, 210, 230mm. Trunnion: 145, 165, 185, 205mm.
Weight: 293 grams for 170 x 35mm
Price: $349 - $519 USD

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photo

Float SL Details

If the Float is a pared-down Float X, then the Float SL is a pared-down Float. It's 58 grams lighter than the Float, and is the replacement for Fox's DPS SV shock.

A three-position lever switches between compression modes, with three more settings to choose from in the fully open position. The Float SL (and the Float) are also available in a remote-compatible version, for riders who want to have a handlebar mounted lockout. The EVOL air spring is unchanged from the current DPS configuration – the curve of that air spring provides works well for shorter travel, XC-oriented bikes.

Sizes: Standard eyelet: 170, 190, 210mm. Trunnion: 145, 165, 185mm
Weight: 235g for 170 x 35mm
Price: $349 - $519 USD




More information: ridefox.com




Author Info:
mikekazimer avatar

Member since Feb 1, 2009
1,731 articles

112 Comments
  • 245 1
 Does anyone make a stick-on piggyback reservoir for these so my homies don't question my gnar credentials?
  • 28 4
 It won't help you if the shock ain't a coil.
  • 12 92
flag justinfoil (Apr 18, 2023 at 11:01) (Below Threshold)
 Do you not ride with your homies? Best way to show off gnar creds is to be f*cking gnarly on group rides. Out-shred them without a resi and rub it in their faces, if they truly give a shit what's dangling (or not) from your shock.
  • 73 1
 just put a shroud over your shock so it looks like you're running some secret squirrel prototype shit
  • 3 0
 3d print one.
  • 8 38
flag likeittacky (Apr 18, 2023 at 14:55) (Below Threshold)
 @justinfoil: I approve this message. True Alpha Grit not recommended for Beta soy boys.
  • 9 28
flag justinfoil (Apr 18, 2023 at 17:06) (Below Threshold)
 @NZRalphy: no, I got it. Funny, but dumb. I just think bike shaming is f*cking stupid, and is always masking the shamer's insecurities about their own riding. The fact that someone can make a joke about it and be understood means it's true in some sense, and that's a terrible truth about the bike world.
  • 1 1
 is it terrible that this kind of appeals to me
  • 5 3
 @justinfoil: I’m with you but from the other angle - bike shaming is pointless and stupid and rude, I’ll judge a homie based on their character and shred ability lol
  • 2 0
 @Kamba6: Amen brother
  • 4 0
 then I want one for my fork too, plus stick-on resevoirs for my brakes, and while we're at it another disc and caliper for the front wheel.
  • 1 1
 @justinfoil: so maybe give us a thoughtful, witty response to that, not the bucket of a*shole you dumped in here.
  • 1 0
 Get the Stompump and strap it to your hardtail. Will make it look like a big mofo coil shock. Added bonus, you can use it to inflate your tires.
  • 113 6
 just as long as it's not trickle-down technology from the x2...
  • 135 4
 you mean break-down technology?
  • 47 6
 Is it odd that myself and at least 2 folks I ride with have had X2 shocks for the past 2-4 years and haven't really had any issues other than normal service needs?
  • 19 3
 @yupstate: Id say its more common than not for X2's to fail. Every iteration they claim they fixed the issues, but they persist. I have had 2x Float X2's in the past 3 or so years and both of them failed frequently.
  • 11 1
 @yupstate: same. i have 2 current-gen X2s and haven't had problems with either of them in the last 2+ seasons.
  • 11 0
 Yeah, there is definitely something up with the X2. From my personal experience, along with the my circle of riding friends, the number and frequency of occurrences is pointing to a legit design problem more than internet rumblings. I gotta add though, when it works, it works really well.
  • 3 0
 @yupstate: Yeah my biggest issue is my LBS won't service them. Other than that mine has been going strong 3 years now.
  • 3 0
 I’ve had three warranty claims in the past 8 months. They are sending a new 2024 version that’s in the mail now, supposedly correcting the issue with material updates
  • 1 0
 @dresendsit: that sucks. what bike do you ride? aren't some frames known for killing shocks or is that a myth? maybe it is just bad luck
  • 4 2
 @yupstate: I've had warranty issues with several X2s but Fox's service has always been incredible and I still think it is the best air shock on the market...with maybe the TTX2 coming in second place. I'm happy to put up with issues for the performance. But Fox is certainly not the only suspension brand I've warrantied.
  • 2 19
flag jrocksdh (Apr 18, 2023 at 10:03) (Below Threshold)
 Exactly..x2 have high fail rate so why trickle that down?
  • 27 2
 @jrocksdh, that's not what the article says - the damper design of the new Float and Float SL comes from the Float X. Not the X2.
  • 3 0
 @twonsarelli: two different bikes/shocks. I rode a Mega V2 last season and warrantied that twice within four months. This season on an SB160 and it started making the wheezing noise at the top of the stroke after about ten rides. Fox is really quick on turnaround and the process is easy but I definitely lost faith in the shock. I’m hopeful that their new updates will help, they assured me it is fixed on the 2024 version. We shall see.
  • 1 0
 @dresendsit: copy that. bummer you had to chase it so much. did you have an alternate shock or bike to use in the meantime? i've been running one on a stumpy evo and an sb130LR and they've been sick on both of those rigs.
  • 10 2
 They should combine X2 performance (the first three minutes that it works before failing) with DPS reliability. Being Fox, they probably combine X2 reliability with DPS performance.
  • 5 0
 @dresendsit: I think tolerance stacking is the issue with the x2. I've had one that was just rock solid reliable and a couple that needed service every 3 months. I think due to how complicated the shock is once a couple parts are within tolerance but at the extremes of tolerance the shock starts failing.
  • 3 4
 "Trickle down technology from the x2"
The best example of how well thought out the x2 was is when they first came out they were exploding.
Instead of actually fixing the issue fox issued a "recall" and dropped the max psi to 250 on the early models.
The cheapest non solution they could actually do and still not get sued.
  • 9 16
flag justinfoil (Apr 18, 2023 at 10:53) (Below Threshold)
 @jrocksdh: Actually, they don't have a high "rate" of failure. It's a super common shock, the "rate" can be low even if the acute incidence count seems high. You don't hear about DVO* Jade failures because there just aren't as many out there, even if the failure _rate_ was be higher (no idea if it actually is).

In my experience, based on fellow riders, sample size of around 6 bikes/shocks, over a time period of about 4 years, the failure rate of X2 is _zero_. But my personal RockShox Monarch Deluxe and Cane Creek DB Air IL failure rates are _100%_, since I had one of each and they both got stuck down consistently.

I'd pick an X2 all day based on this.

*(sorry DVO, no shade, just needed an example of lower quantity)
  • 2 0
 @dresendsit: I hope so because I just got mine. Seems fine so far. SILENT when compressed.
  • 2 0
 @dresendsit: The Fox site says "NEW bearing housing seal package virtually eliminates possibility of aeration". I'm very hopeful this does the trick.
  • 7 1
 @justinfoil: Everyone has a different experience and interactions with others who have theirs. Mine come from only having 1/7 Monarch's failing, 0/6 Super Deluxe's failing, 1/3 Float DPS's failing, and 2/2 X2's failing. In addition friends that work all over the country and in Canada stating they see X2's failing at a higher rate than other shocks they encounter. I agree there are alot more X2's in circulation than DVO's and Canecreeks, but my experiance has been Rockshox shocks hold up much better over time than X2's.
  • 4 7
 @justinfoil: I also think some people are conflating failure with short service intervals. The X2 is definitely going to let you know when you've hit your service interval by either cavitating or emulsifying. A damper service will solve this. The actual failure of the damper body cracking is a known issue but doesn't seem as rampant as the internet makes it out to be.

As an owner of a previous-gen X2 I get cranky when it squelches, but then I look at how much I rode it, and I generally have met the service interval. So off to get rebuilt it goes.
  • 1 0
 @McKai:I agree. I had a previous gen that had no issues. And even the newer gen one i had did squelch, but the thing is... It still worked pretty stinkin well while being squelchy.
  • 5 0
 @dmackyaheard: when I called fox they openly admitted the X2 was a “black eye” for them at the service center. And like I said, I’ve had 3 fail in the last 8 months. No question there was an issue but that’s why they fixed it with these ‘24 updates. Idk how anyone can deny there was an issue.
  • 1 0
 Literally just heard from the shop that my X2 needs a full rebuild. Ugh.
  • 2 5
 @dresendsit: I'm gonna take this with a grain of salt. No company, especially one as big as FOX is going to have anyone at cs tell the customer that the product is a pile of crap, even if it is.
  • 4 0
 @everythingsucks: Literally their exact words from the service center tech. Why would I make this up lol. I'm not bashing Fox either, I think they make great stuff. The X2 has just had issues.
  • 2 2
 @Suspension72: Thanks, but I'm a Rockshox boy now. To date no issues with the RS and easier to setup.
  • 1 1
 @Suspension72: Is this account legit? If so, that's pretty awesome of Fox. Otherwise LOL
  • 3 2
 @dresendsit: It's a black eye because there are enough people yelling about failures (that aren't always Fox's fault. many may come from poor frame alignment), That still doesn't mean the actual failure rate is worse than anything else out there. Pretty sure if was actually that bad they'd have fixed it, instead of working on Float X and this new Float and other things, because doing constant warranties, combined with the "black eye" of PR from all the people yelling about, is not good for the bottom line. Unless it's not really as bad as you might think, and it's a vocal minority bitching and moaning.
  • 6 1
 @justinfoil: yeah you’re right. I guess the 3 failures I’ve had in the last 8 months and the service tech telling me it was a black eye for them, and the new release claiming to have fixed “the issues”, they all point to the old version being perfectly fine.
  • 2 0
 @yupstate: no, there are some legit durability concerns when they are trunnion or on a bike with a yoke but there’s a lot of people who just don’t service their shit and are shocked when they have issues
  • 2 0
 @everythingsucks: send it in to a quick turnaround service center like dirtlabs
  • 1 0
 @olafthemoose: they dont service their stuff and they are "shocked" when there's a problem. I see what you did there.
  • 1 0
 @justinfoil: based on your experience that is. My first float X2 ( 2019 ) failed within a month. 2 mates float x2 ( also the previous version ) failed within 6 months. Fox immediately rebuilt all of them and they all failed again soon after. We are all on coil now. One bough a fox coil ( failed with oil leaks) one EXT, one RS. No issues otherwise. Now a few others - 5 - have current ( 2022?) float x2 and only one of those blew up within warranty. I don’t think this scenario is an uncommon experience around our trails
  • 1 0
 @professed: What were your failures? For me (and for most of the X2 owners I know), the issue has been with aeration. My X2 had to be warrantied within the initial 2 rides.
  • 2 0
 Features improved SealPop™ technology first introduced with the Float X2! Now with adjustable blowout threshold!
  • 27 0
 I'm really interested to see the reviews on these. The DPS has been a solid, no frills shock for a long time. I'm still running one on a Spur, and have no desire to find something different. I'm glad they went to a 2-position climb switch on the standard Float, though; there's really no need for a full lockout unless you're mashing hard on perfectly smooth pavement.
  • 9 0
 Agreed. I have one of those Trek branded DPS shocks on my 2022 Fuel Ex and it's great. Never use the full lock out and am not really sure what the Re:Aktiv tech is supposed to do differently than a vanilla DPS but I have no desire to swap it out for anything else.
  • 3 0
 Been really happy with my DPS for the nearly two years I've had it. Works as advertised and barely makes any noise. What more could you want?
  • 29 0
 Bryn Atkinson edit....say no more
  • 6 0
 Bryn Atkinson in Cumberland.
  • 4 0
 I'll say more...that edit is certifiable Must Watch on my list.
  • 10 0
 I'm done for. Bryn is the rider in this video, therefore the riding will be unbelievable, therefore the shock is helping him ride to perfection, therefore I need a shock like this to attain said unbelievable riding prowess.
  • 9 0
 life goals...to ride more like Bryn. dang
  • 8 2
 A little weary of fox shocks these days, think I’ll see how the durability is on this before considering it.
  • 13 1
 X2 and DHX2 stuff, ehhh I get the weariness for sure, but the Float X in particular works a charm, and I have only heard good things about the DHX with its simplicity and consistent setup feel.
  • 1 0
 @wellst: I mean, I've even seen people complaining about the X. I was going to buy a Float X with to fit with the Bike Yoke adapter, but now I'm waiting.
  • 1 2
 @wellst: My 2023 Float X didnt make it 6 months before getting heavily aerated. My X2 is on the 3rd rebuild in a year. Even my old bike with a DPX2 got aerated to hell in about a year (I replaced that one with a Superdeluxe and it is still perfect after 3 years and lots of park).
  • 1 0
 @nickfranko: the only complaint is it's a freaking boat anchor of a shock.
  • 2 2
 Just spend the extra $200 on a Ohlins shock and be done. Night and day difference.
  • 3 0
 When I read it's the replacement for the DPS SV, I wasn't sure whether that's the version of DPS I'm using; I've never been good at remembering the differences between alphabet soup model names. So maybe I can spare somebody else the confusion by commenting here that the "SV" is the Standard Volume positive air chamber eyelet and the LV is the Large Volume eyelet.

I'm low key relieved to see that I'm running the LV, so I guess my shock isn't nominally obsolete (yet)?

Here's Fox's explainer on how to tell them apart: www.ridefox.com/fox17/help.php?m=bike&id=675

What they don't discuss there is how Trunnion models fit into this scheme--are they all LV?
  • 4 1
 More commercials! For the unavoidable 2024 Fox shock that, you guessed it, is better then the 2023, 2022, 2021, 2020, 2019, 2018, 2017, 2016, 2015, 2014, 2013, 2012, 2011... all the way back to the age of dinosaurs. Every year, around April, coming out like clockwork. Engineers seem unable to get it right, Pinkbike cheers on the quest without even trying it, and some might even upgrade the shock they bought in 2023 thinking they are getting something in return.
  • 4 0
 You should probably just write in the description that there's a Bryn video hiding in here and you'll get more clicks on this article than the clicks you get from a X2.
  • 2 0
 Clearly I’m just not down with the kids as I still use a 2019 DPX2 and apart from a seal going which then needed a service (possibly my fault for riding it after leaving out in freezing temp) it’s being spot on with no issues. I service the air can when needed and it does a mint job.
  • 4 2
 Does anyone have a breakdown of the internals? I snapped three Fox DPS's at the tiny inner rebound shaft with an XC bike ridden by a midpack cat2 dad, so going lighter seems like the wrong direction...ask your local Specialized dealer if they've seen any Levos or Epic Evos with snapped DPS's...
  • 6 0
 I'd be interested to see this as well.

For those who aren't familiar with this problem, it's related to the fact that Specialized uses super long shock yokes which greatly increase the effective eye-to-eye of the shock. This can drive a ton of extra side loading into the shock (which it's not designed to support). This puts a bending load on a damper shaft that eventually fatigues and breaks. You can reduce the chances of this happening with proper maintenance of the yoke/shock pivots, but part of it is down to manufacturing tolerances, so you really don't know how long it will take before a failure occurs.
  • 2 3
 @DaneL: happened to my trunion mounted Top Fuel too. It's a Fox problem across multiple suspension designs and frame manufacturers.
  • 4 0
 Aside from having the 'latest and greatest' is there any reason to actually upgrade my DPS factory to this?
  • 6 0
 probably not. but if you were considering the float x for performance reasons, except have frame fitment issues, then this could maybe be the ticket for more punch on an inline shock.
  • 1 0
 @wellst: i have been curious to know if a float x would fit in place of the dps on my stumpy but can't see why i'd update from DPS to this float.
  • 1 0
 @twonsarelli: what generation stumpy do you have?
  • 1 0
 @wellst: current one. i have a float x from my evo that i could slide in to check for fit issues but i just haven't done that yet. if it fits, i'd be stoked to have a little extra performance from the rear end
  • 1 0
 "The EVOL air spring's volume has been increased in order to give the shock a more linear feel, and to improve its small bump compliance. There are also new, smaller volume spacers that make it possible to really fine tune the amount of end-stroke ramp up."

Do you want that? Then maybe upgrade.
  • 2 2
 Nope. If you want to spend ~$200 more on the Ohlins TTX Air though, its basically twice the shock. Beceause of how the damper works, you can run it full closed on chunder and it will still blow off soft.
  • 2 0
 The real question is will this produce the same backlash as sram's expanding master cylinders? or bushing play in SID forks...
  • 4 2
 I think they took the term "Trickle Down Technology" a little too literally...
  • 4 5
 This is a Fox article, not Rockshox...
  • 2 0
 Are both the compression and rebound valves shim designs? Do you need a needle setup to pressurize the IFP?
  • 5 2
 The latest generation of goldfish toned mediocrity!
  • 1 0
 So they're not making any 165 x 38mm standard mounts on either float or sl, that seems weird? RIP all the old bikes running those shocks.
  • 1 0
 Very curious to see if they announce an update to the Float X at Sea Otter.
  • 1 0
 Probably not float x. Usually those types of models stay the same throughout their product run (old float x, dpx2) until replacement. Might see big news out of the live valve shocks though.
  • 1 0
 @grldm3: yeah, you’re probably right. I’m curious to see if they announce the production version of the electric float x Jesse ran at EWS Whistler
  • 1 0
 @finblarr: that would be cool. That shock looked very production ready.
  • 2 1
 Those renderings Fox has been using just dont look as good as real product photos IMO.
  • 1 0
 I wonder if the new lineup of supercalibers will use a standard shock like this
  • 2 1
 great, now a 34.9 seat post please!
  • 1 0
 Looks like they work pretty good.
  • 2 2
 dps shock ....worst `bicycle component ever created, hopufuly it will disapear because of this.
  • 2 1
 Edit: removed.
  • 1 0
 Alright already!
  • 2 2
 Place directly into trash can.
  • 3 4
 Will it feel like an 11-6?
  • 3 0
 Does a wank feel like having a girlfriend?
  • 2 0
 @velodonata: cheaper and gets the same job done so i guess you are correct
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