Prototype FOX RAD DH Air Shock

Aug 17, 2014
by Mike Levy  
Prototype fox shock and fork spring side
Photo by Adrian Lee

FOX has been developing a new coil sprung DH shock for some time now, with it being fitted to a number of top pros' bikes near the end of last season and continuing through this year, but it appears as though the company is also looking to combine that same damper technology with an air spring in the future. Pinkbike member Adrian Lee snapped the above photo of FOX Suspension Engineering Technician Ariel Lindsley's Santa Cruz Nomad in the lift line during Crankworx. The prototype air sprung shock seems to employ the same four-way adjustable damper that was spotted on the coil sprung version, allowing riders to tune low-speed and high-speed compression and rebound separately from each other - this isn't possible on any of FOX's production shocks at this point, and the position of the four dials, along with the small shaft size on the coil spring model, point towards it utilizing a twin-tube damper design.


89 Comments

  • 203 1
 FoxCreekVividBarrelAir
  • 7 1
 I'm actually looking forward to how this shock performs! It looks alot better than that Fox Float X they built for Pietermaritzberg! This one looks like its actually engineered for descending!
  • 4 1
 It will be a while before we see an air shock that doesnt have heat fade, but I'm really stoked to see the progression of the designs. and also... scrader's comment... gold... pure gold.
  • 2 0
 @scrader i thought the same exact thing! Im not lovin the tiny stancion to fat sleeve look though, the old ones had a better flow to them. Still sick tho
  • 142 2
 Wanna keep something secret? Go test your prototypes in Whistler during Crankworx! And avoid the hype effect...
  • 25 1
 At least they didn't call it a spy shot...
  • 12 1
 The best ones are those where the bike owner smiles to the camera!
  • 14 0
 You can see the meeting at Fox:
"Where can we subtly leave it so EVERYONE sees it?"
"How about the lift station?"
"Brilliant, everyone goes past there!"
  • 4 5
 @Enduromaniac: thats what americans called subtle marketing Smile
  • 60 2
 looks like it has the twin tube woofle valve with built in giggle-sticks bet its got some mad sensitivity flaps.
  • 14 1
 So long as the flux capacitor works without fail I'll be happy
  • 2 0
 SIgn me up if it has the postfammulated ammulite.
  • 35 7
 Tough crowd...I like fox stuff.
  • 13 1
 Me too. But hey everyone is a critic.

Just imagine if FOX *didn't* innovate - there would just as much meaningless whinging.
  • 7 3
 I was a Fox fan for years, tryed boxxer forks but fox's were plusher if serviced correctly. I have however put a Devillie and Bos Kirk on my bronson and no fox forks or shock come close to these, they are so plush.
  • 3 0
 I still love fox. Nothin can touch my fresh 40s haha, jk. But there are deffinitely alternatives now, rear shocks however are still dominated by fox in my opinion, ockshox dont feel right to me
  • 5 1
 Just swapped my RC4 for an Ohlins ... No competition - Ohlins destroys it.
  • 23 2
 Looks like a Dairy but will cost twice as much.
  • 22 2
 DBair*
  • 11 40
flag caste1200 (Aug 17, 2014 at 12:37) (Below Threshold)
 looks like a session
  • 34 2
 "Dairy" is well better Smile
  • 6 14
flag cameronmcrobb (Aug 17, 2014 at 13:02) (Below Threshold)
 vivid still looks better although and anyone aswell as the top 20 riders in the world can use it! Play your card fox
  • 28 1
 since when does the look of the shock affect it performance?
  • 6 2
 XTR Custom cranks, just needs a sticker on it…
  • 11 1
 i agree. dairy is where its at.
  • 31 1
 Stop milking it!!
  • 6 3
 @EnduroFan84 But it has kashima...that makes it worth like triple
  • 17 1
 I find the Dairy stuff a bit cheesy
  • 12 4
 These puns are the cream of the crop.
  • 11 1
 moooooo ve on
  • 10 3
 I hope this doesn't utterly suck.
  • 5 5
 I'm just saying, but there really isn't a "better" air shock. The DB Air is a great shock, but not many riders are going to make use of all of its adjustments. Also the DB Air is more of a progressive shock, whereas the Vivid Air is a more Linear shock. That's why you'll often see riders go for the Vivid on DH builds(or any type of aggressive riding) and AM riders go for the DB Air. Honestly, if I had to choose, I would get the Vivid Air. I think the CCDB is a little too hyped up. Its a great shock! But too hyped.
  • 2 3
 I just ordered a Nomad with a vivid air Smile
  • 24 15
 It's not rockshox though...
  • 15 11
 vivid all day all night
  • 7 6
 Lot of fox lovers giving neg props here!
  • 20 23
 rock shox are miles ahead of fox
  • 10 4
 nah man they are kinda even at the moment... untill the new boxxer or pike arrives Wink
  • 12 11
 the charger damper #gamechanger is the best thing ever
  • 6 5
 Vivid for life
  • 2 5
 true dat bro
  • 9 6
 XFusion Vector destroys them all, when k here people say they like Fox you know they haven't tried anything else.

This looks legit, maybe. I will never buy any Fox again without trying it first though and never be a Fox Guinea pig first gen buyer.
Ive been raped enough.

I do like my Air 40 only decent Fox out they're currently that Ive ridden, not ridden the new 36 yet, hope its not like the POS stock tuned, damped Float X compared it recently to a Monarch Plus, CCDBa and Vector XF, comparing it was an insult to the other shocks, the XF Vector so far ahead it just amazes me we still pay so much for average tuned crap.

Fox I still haven't forgiven you either for raping me on my Digital shock pump, it was the second best Fox after my RAD 40 till the $1.50 CR22 battery died and it cant be replaced without pooping the pump.

$150 screwed pump sits in garage as a reminder.
  • 3 2
 I was disappointed that I had to get my F36 and my RP23 revalved straight out of the box for them to work properly because the stock tune was worthless. I have to admit they feel pretty good now but you'd think one of the top shock brand would be able to figure out a decent stock tune. I honestly expected my fox experience to be better than that.

My current boxxer has been absolute trash from day 1 though and I don't really feel like dropping 1000$+ on a new fork so I deal with it. Needless to say, I'm not much of a fan of RS anymore either. Lemons happen but it is always hard to trust a company after a bad experience. I was thinking of getting a RV1 since they're not too expensive and people who ride them seem to like them.
  • 1 1
 Rv1 feels just like a pike.
  • 4 1
 The Kashima coat doesn't really seem make any difference (to me atleast) performance wise on the rear shock. But is does feel better on their forks (to me atleast).
  • 7 1
 The kashima coat doesn't do much it's mostly for looks and they have a bushing that is very precise to the stanchion which is mostly what the difference is
  • 9 4
 waki's quadro barrel is bettar!
  • 5 1
 Add me to the hate bandwagon, I am looking for a new frame and part of my criteria is that it doesn't have a fox shock.
  • 4 1
 Gotta love that kashima goodness!
  • 5 4
 Previous Fox stuff imploded your wallet, the revolutionary new tech now implodes both your wallet and itself.
  • 2 0
 fox is competitively priced with rockshox...
  • 5 1
 RS pike is 640e on probikeshop, equivalent Fox 34 is 949e. Even if they were the same price, the RS is more reliable, requires spectacularly less maintenance and is unanimously rated as a better performer than Fox. Fox simply dont know how to compete, they hiked their prices without investing in performance or reacting to their issues. (Owner of a dead 32 float after 2 years, dead 36 float after 2 years, latest 36 survived as i sold it before its first birthday, RS products have never given me any issues (boxxer+pike))
  • 1 2
 dead? what do you mean by dead? have you ever worked on your own bike?? a fork isnt dead until the shims in the lowers are worn out or its literally snapped in half. In the US fox and rockshock are competitively priced. boxxer world cup is 1700 USD fox factory 40 air is 1700 USD
  • 2 1
 tdryan, usually the finish on the stanchions wears through and Fox wants as much as a new Pike to replace them, that makes a fork dead in most people's eyes. Or the fork hasn't worn out because they've kept to the maintenance hours and paid for a set of Pikes in a year anyway.
  • 1 0
 Whilst I don't buy that RS are "better" in any meaningful way (they weren't even in contention until the new PIke came out), their pricing in Europe is far better.
Much as I love my 36 RC2 Float, the way Fox' pricing has gone; I'll be looking elsewehere when the time comes to replace.
They need to get real and look around, there is lots of competition now.
  • 3 1
 Nothing about the shock but is that a Stages crank?
  • 1 1
 is there something wrong with the gap between frame and wheel? looks like a 29ER wheel assembly into a 650B frame....
  • 5 3
 I'll stick with my Cane Creek DB Air CS!!!!
  • 4 2
 Rad
  • 2 1
 I'll stand by my x fusion any day.
  • 2 1
 Looks like a pale copy of the cane creek...
  • 2 0
 About time.
  • 2 3
 it will have a stupid price and need servicing once a week. good old fox ay
  • 1 1
 I love fox stuff but this looks like a vivid Razz
  • 1 1
 A new shock from Fox?... That's weird!
  • 1 1
 I have the pike and vivid. Can't wait to try it out on the nomad.
  • 2 2
 Looks ugly too me. Tried to copy Cane Creek's double barrel air look imo
  • 1 1
 Because suspension is about looks?
  • 2 1
 you mad at my opinion? lol
  • 1 1
 I'm not mad at it necessarily. What bothers me is the fact that you're talking about its looks rather than how it might perform
  • 2 1
 Do you buy products that you think are ugly? Be honest. And i'm talking about any product in general.
  • 1 0
 Depends on the product. I bought 5.10 Impacts which are certainly not good looking, but they perform well! I understand what you're saying a bit! I personally like the look of this new shock, but at the same time if I didn't like it and heard that it was the best performing rear shock out there, I'd buy it! Now of course that's not very likely but its still an interesting shock. But I do agree with you a bit now on what your point is! Becaus if I were to spend $700 on a shock (which I'm assuming has how much they'll charge for this) I'd want it to look half way decent on my bike!
  • 6 6
 Rad.
  • 2 3
 money talk,,,ride epicon ^,^
  • 1 4
 Whoah, dude. Amazing! Totally lifechanging!
  • 1 4
 Vivid-barrel 5.0
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