Riding FOX's RAD Suspension

Oct 10, 2014
by Paul Aston  
We were invited out into the hills of Finale, Italy, after the last Enduro World Series round to shake off the post-race party cobwebs and test out some of FOX's rather special RAD products. This isn't the first time that we've had an opportunity to sample FOX's pro-only suspension, with us spending time on a RAD 34 fork last year, but this time around the 34 would be an even more evolved version. RAD is an acronym for Racing Application Development, a department of FOX where new technologies are bred and ideas are put through their paces by professional and development riders, and while this can and does lead to improvements in production offerings, the real goal is to allow FOX sponsored racers at the highest level to go faster.

Many things go through the RAD program, but FOX also admits that many things don't make the grade and never progress past the prototyping stage. Perhaps the most famous example of this is the inverted DH fork spotted on Gee Atherton's bike a few years back. FOX believed that they had found the rigidity and performance needed in an inverted fork, but it came with a weight penalty that couldn't be overcome with the current materials and manufacturing processes so it was returned to the prototyping room.

Fox RAD Suspension Testing

I'd be spending the day on Josh Bryceland's FOX RAD suspension.



Bryceland's RAD Fork And Shock

We'd be spending our time on two different prototype units: A standard 34 chassis filled with prototype RAD internals in a similar vein to the new and vasty improved 36, and a revised air shock that FOX calls the EVOL. That's not the only interesting bit, though, because both were actually built for Santa Cruz Syndicate racer Josh Bryceland to use at the EWS race. That is, if his utterly massive gas to flat near the finish line in Norway hadn't destroyed one of his feet. Ratboy's injury is a terrible thing, no doubt about it, but his mandatory vacation time meant that I could sample his rather special shock and fork. FOX said that Josh is a rider who would choose to race in Finale on a lighter and more nimble kind of bike, despite the rocky tracks, and the plan had been for him to be on a Bronson that would suit his poppy, floating style on a bike. This is in contrast to the bigger bikes like the Nomad with 36s and Float X shocks that other FOX riders reached for, which meant that both the 34 and EVOL spec'd shock had been kept unmolested in a locked box until FOX engineer Tyrone Dines installed both onto my test bike. A man could get used to this sort of VIP treatment.

Fox RAD Suspension Testing

My test platform for the day was a Santa Cruz Bronson that saw both production and RAD suspension units bolted to it.



So, what exactly is going on inside this very special 34 fork and shock? Mr. Dines wouldn't let on, unfortunately, as to what we were riding, but he did admit that inside the fork lived an entirely new damper that doesn't employ a single component from the production version. The crown-mounted dial still offers three-way compression tuning, but this doesn't mean that it resembles CTD internally, and an updated FIT system prevents air and oil from mixing together. And, if we believe FOX when they said that the RAD 34's air spring resembles what's used in the new 36, then it'll depend on a self-adjusting negative air chamber rather than the stock 34's negative coil spring - that's 90 gram weight savings, by the way - along with a larger positive air chamber. One of the more interesting hints was that the RAD fork might utilize some sort of accelerated rebound system to help keep the fork higher in its stroke during continuous, high frequency impacts. The benefit of this is that it could allow riders to run slightly more sag than normal without the fork getting stuck down when there is little chance for it to breathe between impacts. Interesting stuff all around, and it's certainly neat to see FOX take what they've learned on the bigger 36 and apply it to the lighter 34, an approach that's making for some pretty hard charging trail bikes these days.


RAD On Trail

The key to any proper testing routine is to establish a baseline to work from, and this is especially true when one is sampling prototype components or bikes. With this in mind, I started off the morning aboard the Bronson with a standard production FOX 36 and Float X fitted before moving on to the RAD suspension. Two new trails had been cut into the Madonna della Guardia hillside that would serve as my test track, and they were filled with banks, drops, compressions, and plenty of ledges and rough ground. Conditions were also dry and loose, meaning that traction was at a premium. In other words, the ideal place to smash into things with some prototype suspension.

Fox RAD Suspension Testing

Flow trails? I don't think so. This place is full of the ideal terrain for what we needed to get done, and I admit to being pretty happy that I packed my knee pads.



Tech jargon and RAD secrecy aside, the only thing that really matters is how the pro-only suspension performs on the trail. And, not really too surprising, the fork and shock both felt like a jump forward in performance compared to what you're going to get from your local bike shop. The 34 chassis, which is the same as what's used on the production unit, is obviously not as rigid as a 36, but I'd argue that this fact can help you hold a line on loose, off-camber
bits of trail. FOX was keen to stress that the 34 is and always will be more of a trail / all-mountain fork rather than an enduro race offering, but, rigidity aside, it came across as a scaled down version of its bigger brother. The RAD 34 damper, whatever it looks like, felt like a very different beast compared to a production 34, and the fork felt like it matches the new 36 in terms of control and support. More supple as well, so better all around.

The fork's damper remains a bit of a mystery at this point, with FOX stressing that it is in fact not related to CTD, but is still a three-way adjustable compression system. The firm mode still felt as firm as you'd like it, while the mid and open settings were forgiving and more forgiving, yet both offered more control and support than what we're used to with the production fork. The anodized blue dial atop the fork leg is a one-off piece that's been machined in-house by FOX, much like most of the RAD components hidden within the fork, and it had a very light indexing through its three positions. Firm was at 0 degrees, soft at 180 degrees, and the medium was somewhere towards 120 degrees, which I'd say felt to be on the more open side of halfway.

There was also an obvious difference out back, with the EVOL shock offering a super easy breakaway as it went into its travel, enough so that it felt quite coil-like. Martin Maes used a version of an EVOL shock last year for some races, and Mick Hannah's bronze medal winning Polygon was running it the South African World Champs, so they certainly see the new shock as an upgrade. Suppleness at the start of the stroke is linked to good support later on, while interchangeable volume spacers can be dropped in in order to adjust progression during the later stages of the stroke, and the shock felt quite lively and active on the trail, something that no doubt has been dialed in for Bryceland's style. The three-way adjustable compression is different from CTD in how it functions, yet it still offered a firm, medium, and wide open range, with the difference being a lack of the sometimes notchy feel associated with up-rated compression modes in current products. In fact, FOX was heavily stressing that it is in no way a CTD system, but rather an entirely new thought process for them that works in a different and somewhat more effective way than what the current production suspension employs. They were also tight lipped about whether any of this is going to hit production soon, but it all seemed to be quite close to being a finished product to me. Certainly not 2015 as that is already out there, but 2016 perhaps?

Fox RAD Suspension Testing

Different variations of the RAD EVOL shock. Not your average suitcase.



It was an interesting day in Finale, but what does all this new stuff mean for what could be available in a year's time? Well, letting me ride these prototype units certainly has a dash of marketing to it, that much is clear, but there's also no doubt in my mind that the RAD suspension I rode is a step forward from FOX's production offerings. But what if these are race-ready parts sport bored-out bushings and slacker sealing for a more active ride, as well as other tricks that will only be reserved for EWS podium contenders? That's likely the case for what I rode, but the real story is the new dampers that are very clearly different. These will likely make production in some form or another, and FOX is likely going to impress some people when that happens.

Fox RAD Suspension Testing

You couldn't really ask for better terrain to test suspension on.


@foxracingshox


141 Comments

  • + 208
 Rock Shox's Pike is RADer.
  • + 192
 Since riding the Pike, Fox suspension isn't even on my RADar
  • - 65
flag BoneDog (Oct 10, 2014 at 11:24) (Below Threshold)
 I'd take a pike if it was handed to me, but due to lack of durability and long term usage I wouldn't ever buy a rockshox again. 4 years old and its obsolete, good luck rebuilding your damper as its made of plastic so you will have to buy a new one. half the seals aren't available individually. It's all plastic shit that seems to do the trick for a 2 year period and then shits the bed hard. My fox fork can be rebuilt at low cost with few components that are easy to acquire. Quality and long term durability are top of my charts and fox is my go to ticket.
  • + 21
 I already knew Fox was pretty friggin rad but I didn't know they could be this rad. Way out of line!
  • + 76
 You better get good at doing the service since fox says you need to take the fork apart every 4 rides…
  • - 5
flag HutchJR (Oct 10, 2014 at 11:43) (Below Threshold)
 you don't have to.... its just useful if you want a good functioning fork. nobody is forcing you too buy it, just look elsewhere.
  • - 75
flag eldofreeride (Oct 10, 2014 at 11:48) (Below Threshold)
 @bonedog Why would anyone keep a bike for longer than a year? Buy, ride for a year, sell, repeat. Loose less $ and ride new shit every year.
  • + 22
 @BoneDog You sound like you`d be charmed with Marzocchi forks. So easy to service and repair that you can almost do it between race runs.

For me, I would only leave my money either on Zocchis or Manitous. Best bang for the buck you can get nowadays!
  • + 56
 @eldofreeride

Not everyone can afford to change bikes every year
  • + 19
 I bent the dropouts on my Pike. Yes, I live in the mountains and ride a lot. It was a good wreck, but that would never have happened on my old 36.
  • + 10
 I have a brand new pike for sale if you want another one @parkkills Wink
  • - 5
flag deletedacc123456789 (Oct 10, 2014 at 13:16) (Below Threshold)
 HATTERS GONNA HATE POTATOES GONNA.. NAH.. dirtworks911 I'M WITH YOU
  • + 11
 I can't believe it, haha. Pike lovers rarely realize that in 2013 Rock Shox finaly reached the quality of damping that Fox offered with Fit RC2 dampers since 2010? Only Fox hate can blind you that much. Ahh... The stiction right? Yes Fox did suffer from it, but, stiction means static friction aaand that is a parking lot test issue - the faster you go the less it matters.

Basicaly 2014 Pike is an equivalent to 2010 36 Float RC2, only 300g lighter which is nothing. I like 180deg regulator on Pike but I take 20mm axle and proper clamping any time. Only 3% of RS owners get it
  • + 12
 CHARGER DAMPER FTW
  • + 14
 @Wakidesigns

Did you ever try the Lyrik? It was pretty boss as f*ck back in 2010. I wouldn't say RS has been playing catch up at literally any time.

Also, I'd have to say, I liked RS's dampers MUCH more than I liked my RLC FiT 36, and I liked my RLC FiT more than I like my CTD Factory. RC2 is definitely the shit, but if we're being all rose tinted goggles about it, why not the old R2C2 shit? I'd say that was superior in tuning range by miles.
  • + 9
 Cane Creek
  • + 8
 c'mon, waki. the lyrik was well done
  • + 7
 I used to be a snobby Fox fan: "God wouldn't allow anything to be superior to my 36." ...but then I tried the Rock Shox Lyric back in 2012. Ever since then, I have been Rock Shox all the way. Feels just as good, if not better than any Fox I owned. Rock Shox, as a company, is SOOOOO (you can stretch out those O's as far out as saying "Rock Shox has been playing catch up") much better of a company to work with than Fox too.

Fox Racing's MTB department was handed their rep by all their other departments (ATV, MOTO, OFFROAD.) Rock Shox had to earn it.
  • - 4
flag peanutbuter (Oct 10, 2014 at 14:16) (Below Threshold)
 rock shox aren't as bling as fox but there so much better CHARGER DAMPER
  • + 3
 Unno, RS has had a few really bling things before. Think about the pre-release black magic stanchions that a lot of riders got. That was the most bling thing you could do to your bike at the time. Fuck I'd go so far to say as a Pike is basically a gold chain for your AM ride.
  • + 5
 i like my durolux it just feels like a 2012 fox 34 i mean after 25 year of developing suspension every company should have a good fork
  • + 3
 @WAKIdesigns who cares where they were 4 years ago? I live in the present, and presently the Pike is just as good if not better. I like how my Pike has a much longer service interval and came with a rebuild kit and instructions on how to DIY. Fox can suck it if they think I'm sending my fork in to them every 4 rides.
  • + 10
 A-I rode Pike on three different occasions, 275 twice and once on a 29er. It's great.
B-I own a Lyrik. it's great.
C-I own a 36RC2 Van - it's great
D-I own other Fox fork and Shocks and I do not service them every 4 rides, when I do, I do it myself and it takes 10-20mins
E-RS motion control, currently RCT3 (not charger) is the shittiest damper I have ever used since Manitou Fluid Flow.
F-for max first world problem performance You should get stuff with PUSH or AVA logo and you can get it for your 2007 fork, it will still outperform that Fox or Pike
G- Pike is the most hyped suspension product since Fox did Kashima. Great value for money comparing to Fox, unless you buy a second hand 36
  • + 2
 I think RS is now up to almost 3000 warrantied lowers now. The pike is a nice riding fork, but current quality control is still an issue (buddy's Marin attack with DP Pike came dry in the left leg). Hard to have a consistent line of spares up here as well.

Ohlins upgrade your fox guys!
  • + 10
 @sherbet i never understood why people loved the black stanchions so much (look wise) i mean marzocchi was doing that for years and people hated it. They even had the all black fork in 08-09. As soon as rock shox said it was new people went nuts.
  • + 19
 Nearly all modern forks are awesome, just pick the one you like the look of and go ride...
  • - 1
 Can one person explain what they actually note as better about RS damper? Who wouldn't rather be able to dial in high and low speed compression like the rc2? I don't see a point in these three setting dampers like ctd and pike have. I only need on the fly changes for my rear shock on climbs. I don't have either pike or 36 btw
  • + 7
 Get an Avalanche shock Revalve and fork cartridge for whatever platform you prefer and it will perform much better than stock.
  • + 21
 RS can do high and low, and the damper is about equal to fox, except you can fix it with a crecent wrench, some snap ring plyers, and an hour in the shed.
Fox has been losing since the pike came out (you can tell because they keep trying to release entirely new things every year, much the way car companies release new models when it is clear the old model sucks), but for those who have been paying close attention RS has been superior for a while (the lyrik is a pike with 10mm more travel and a 20, minus a rubber tube on the damper). Fox uses crappy seals to give higher race day performance, and their dampers are pretty sweet, but their air shocks need rebuilds once a month (3 rp23s and a dhx air and the propedal failed on everyone of them in less than 30 days) and their forks need servicing every other week (never seen such gray oil so quickly).
RS on the other hand has reliability and pretty great performance too. Plus RS parts work across platforms. Try a totem damper in your domain. Throw some pike lowers on your boxxer. Grab a pike damper for your lyrik.
This is the kind of stuff that makes homegrown mechanics like me happy. I like to buy subarus because I can mix and match parts. I like RS for the same reason. Add to that, that I can dismantle any RS damper I have ever seen and put it back together in an hour and with any mods (shims or whatever) I may want and i can't imagine paying that high price for a fox.
I personally think fox is a touch more plush and the 40 is famously stiff, but that is easy to do when you sacrifice longevity. It is like saying it is worth it to have a high maintenance girlfriend as long as she is hot. Let me just tell you, she aint going to let you ride as much.
  • + 6
 @FlowMasterO
All my friends loved the look of the old marzo stuff, just they tended to fade pretty hard after a few years use. I've had several of their older forks. Love 'em! Their new stuff looks absolutely keen too.

I just love a blacked out bike, personally. Subtle is nice.
  • + 9
 I ride a marzocchi fork at the moment and love it. Riding my bike puts a smile on my face, not the fork I'm using!
  • + 2
 Perhaps your comparison is valid back in 2010 but, in 2014 Rockshox has definatley stepped up thier game where it seems that Fox sat on thier laurels for a bit. I have not ridden a RAD so I will not draw a conclusion. I can say that the three Fox forks I have owned all developed stantion creak and one had a blown damper. None performed as well as my Pike.
  • + 1
 I want to know how long i takes for a RAD to actually enter the customer market and if we will ever ride this shock or if we get the watered down version.

It always appears that this years RAD will be our production next year but I always question how similar if at all the RAD and the consumer model (developed from RAD) is, given there are multiple aftermarket tuning and upgrade for fox production shocks even full damper replacements that do better jobs.

Pinkbike It would be awesome to see a test of last seasons RAD and previous years, back to back with production consumer suspension over the years. Id be curious to see how far back we need to go in RAD to find similar performance to our consumer shocks, and what the gap in years actually is by time RAD level shocks reach the consumer.

Yes I said this just below but I think the active users under this comment might have something to say.
  • + 10
 It is all a farse anyways. Soon öhlins cartridge will become available for Fox fork and this will be the end of bicycle suspension development, unless some company will be willing to invest in raping internet with electronic forks and shocks. As if tuning services like Ava, Push, Mojo were not maxing out the potential. I'd argue that even for an expert rider, Lyrik is enough. So let's enjoy what we have because it is awesome!
  • - 2
 @slidways Remember what happened with Vivid. RS released the statement saying that only recognized pros could ride it to its full potential so they wouldn't sell to the consumer market. This deal with the RAD stuff is all a big marketing trick, and pretty soon they are gonna make a big deal about how we can ride like josh Bryceland
  • + 1
 Funny hearing about all these forks my 09 55 ata's were probably one of the best forks I've ever rode and yes I've owned pukes a 36's I find the adjustment range on the 55's blew both the pike and the 36's adjustment ranges away big time
  • + 1
 Bought a 2006 66RC3 second hand, rode it at Whistler with no problems and no oil changes. Thats 3 owners and barely any service. Yap Zocchi will still get my vote any day. DVO also looks like a great product.
  • + 3
 I had 2006 66 RC2x and it was an amazingly working fork, I don't remember anything as smooth and hit absorbing but the weight was a killer, 3kg with alloy steerer. 66SL was 2,5kg so in Lyrik coil/36 Van area but while RC2x was slightly divey, the SL was a holy diver. Build quality, servicability were incredible,
  • + 1
 Correction, mine was also 66 RC2X. And I couldn't agree more about the quality, reliability and performance. Yes, it was a hefty fork too but those beefy crowns inspired confidence, and the M arch along with black stanchions looked bad ass! Love the old Zocchi! The new 350s look great as well. I never liked RS as reliability is not great, my last RS Lyrik U-turn coil felt like crap and leaked oil. RS always explode or leak. Got me a used pair of Rebbas 29er for XC, not exactly enthused about them but they were budget xc fork.
  • + 2
 Weird how we can all have such different experiences with the same forks. I will say the Reba I bought had to be made into a coil fork because of a pin sliding out of place and gouging the inside of the stanchion (fail by the engineers for sure). That was lame. Fortunately I recently pulled some parts from a recon and was able to switch stuff around until I got the reba to a solo air and the recon to a uturn coil. Basically i swapped the uppers and dampers. Easy peasy.
I feel like if your Lyriks explode you might be doing something wrong. Maybe check you oil level? As for the leaks, where? Are we talking a little on the stanchions or a drip from the rebound bolt or something coming up through the compression damper?
My lyrik was pretty beat up when i got it so I put enduro seals and new o-rings right away. I also pulled the lowers off my Domain since it was much newer and then sold the domain with beat up lyrik lowers for like $100 and a warning that it needed some love. At the end it took about 3 hours of labor and $100 (after selling the domain) and I had a lyrik solo air with new seals and bushings. And it performed beautifully. No flaws, even though it hit the park a few times, handled plenty of rough trail days, and I liked to run it very plush so it went through the travel all the time.
That is why I love RS. When you can do your own work and parts are available for cheep you can have a great fork for very little money.
  • + 1
 Did you ever hear about the reliability issues that the lyric and totem had? My lyric literally fell apart within the first month, lost all it's travel, lost all the detents on the low speed compression dial, then the entire mission control nob seized. I replaced it with a 36 I still have today, I don't hate rockshox I had an older pike that was awesome, I liked it so much I bought a second, but that one was a dud leaked from day one. Rock shox is known for using a lot of plastic internals, the entire motion control cartridges were 80%plastic they are not as well built as fox, forks, even if you don't like CTD you can't deny the quality of fox internals. I've owned quite a few rock shox forks and quite a few fox forks, I never had a fox fall apart like my rockshox forks did.
  • + 0
 I'll have to take your word for the failures. I have only heard of the two step failing. The plastic compression damper relies on the elasticity of plastic for its function. I never had any trouble with it, though I have seen failures on fox talas and the steel spring that backs the shim stack in the suntour durolux. Metal ain't always what it's cracked up to be. I was thinking, and I guess every fork has weaknesses. If I had my lyrik fail like yours I would have cleaned it out and checked the o-rings in the top since those sound like they might have been letting dirt in. When the detents failed it would have been easy to see why. It only would have taken a second and you could have fixed the whole thing before it got worse. I also would have been frustrated with how something like that could have happened so I get it.
  • + 2
 I agree things can go wrong with any fork, my personal experience with fox forks has been good as far as reliability goes. I did rebuild one of my talas cartridges from a 07 36, but I beat that fork, I even rode it on my winter bike for a couple years. As for rock shox I think they make good forks I just had bad experiences with some of them right from the get go, I really like the lyric it was stiff maybe even more than my 36, and I liked the mission control as well, it just all fell apart in the first month I owned it. Normally I would have taken it apart but it was under warranty so I didn't want to void that, and I really didn't want to be tearing apart a fork I just bought. When I brought it in for the third time the bike shop gave me the option of sending it in again or swapping it for something else so I got a 36 instead. The pike I had that leaked I rode that for a bit an then pulled it apart changed the o rings on the Motion control and air uturn cartridges and it was good for a year and was still good when I sold it.
  • + 0
 Rockshox definitely had qc issues in the 07-10 era. Since then I've had pretty good luck with them. Long service intervals.
  • + 4
 Totems and lyrics had terrible reliability issues when they launched. We are talking oil leaks, damper failures, 2-step travel failure, creaking crowns and mismatched bushings causing binding, lack of oil during assembly.

I warrantied 100+ for customers including 2 Totems and 2 lyrics for myself. My 2nd totem lasted 4 days from box fresh before spilling it's guts all over the bike Park in Whistler, way to ruin my hard earned vacation....

Only fork I found RS got right in that era was Domain and Pike which were a sturdy performer although the MoCo damper would get over faced on chunder.

Had lots of Fox after that: 40, numerous 36 in coil and air, plus 32's. Main problem was higher maintenance to minimise breakaway friction (talas so poor converted each pair to float) and single crown forks all developed creaking crowns within a year, required CSU replacement and rebuild - crazy expensive when just out of 1 year warranty.

Last pair of 32 just creaked their last creak, cheaper to buy new Manitou fork on sale - really liking it feels solid and plush like old Marzocchi but with better damper.
  • + 4
 From what I read here, I must be the luckiest MTBer in the world, none of my forks ever failed, including 2007 Lyrik ut which I have to this date and don't plan to sell.
  • + 2
 Did we just witness the 2016 prototype XT crank?
  • + 26
 Props to new technology going into bikes & letting us find out about it. Anything that progresses what we're able to enjoy is a good thing despite the brand we're biased towards. Fox gets better, then Rockshox gets better or vise versa. We all win.

I like bikes
  • + 5
 The only question I have now is what will this RAD feel like compared to what we end up with next season as the customer?

It always appears that this years RAD will be our production but I always question how similar if at all the RAD and the consumer model (developed from RAD) is, given there are multiple aftermarket tuning and upgrade for fox production shocks.

This can be said for other manufacturers too.

Pinkbike It would be awesome to see a test of last seasons RAD and previous years, back to back with production consumer suspension over the years. Id be curious to see how far back we need to go in RAD to find similar performance to our consumer shocks, and what the gap in years actually is by time RAD level shocks reach the consumer.
  • + 19
 here come the people saying how its shit and overpriced but have never tried it....
  • + 11
 No what we're being told is that everything we're currently riding is shit and we should all upgrade as soon as possible.
  • + 6
 I've heard that before... Something about wheel size...
  • + 14
 "The 34 chassis, which is the same as what's used on the production unit, is obviously not as rigid as a 36, but I'd argue that this fact can help you hold a line on loose, off-camber bits of trail"

that was a good example of marketing BS!

well, you want to sell 36 fork ? then say "stiffer is better on technical terrain"
now you want to sell 34 fork? then say "finally a flexible fork is better on loose terrain"
  • + 4
 If you read it right the reviewer is saying he likes a bit more flex. Personal opinion not marketing. Also a bit of flex isn't always bad. I know the fox40s got to a point of being too stiff so fox did add a bit more flex.
  • + 1
 Early 40s were crazy rigid really liked that fork for confidence during extreme freeride I was doing, but found it a little too rigid when doing tree roots off camber during the odd DH race I did on that fork. Found 32 boxxers a little more controllable on that same track
  • + 1
 When they redeveloped the Boxxer some years ago they tried going to larger diameter stanchions, but the test riders didn't go as fast because there was less fore/aft compliance and the riders were less comfortable.

That was reported here on PB. I'll see if I can dig up the article.
  • + 1
 www.pinkbike.com/news/2010BoXXerRelease.html

“The first step for the team was to determine the size of chassis to be developed. During the development of the Totem, RockShox had determined that 40mm served well for a long travel single crown fork in helping generate additional stiffness, but on a dual crown it would create too much stiffness. The concern with creating a fork that was too stiff is that it can deflect off of some bumps, knocking the wheel offline and providing additional hand feedback. Both things our BlackBox riders didn’t want."
  • + 4
 Conclusion: not marketing BS.
  • + 0
 so why did fox sell some 36 fork 160mm? and why RS is selling some pike instead of some revelation?
and why cannondale is saying that their lefty is better than other fork because the lefty is lighter and stiffer?
  • + 1
 xc/ lighter riders may find some forks to heavy or too stiff while DH or heavy riders may find some forks too flexy. its all about how you ride.
  • + 9
 Correct me if I'm wrong but is that an old XT Crank arm (4-5 years) in the second photo? I'm sure it doesn't matter but it threw me off a little.
  • + 1
 Not sure of it's age but it looks to be a Deore LX crank, which is a bit odd.
  • + 2
 look at the rest of the bike ( ok maybe not the frame) and notice that all the parts look like they are from 2010 ahaha
  • + 10
 It only looks like an old XT crank arm - it hides the new RAD power meter, GPS, electric assist motor, and chronic stash.
  • + 5
 Good eye, they look like 760 XT cranks from 2006! Take a look:

www.sicklines.com/gallery/showphoto.php?photo=776
  • + 6
 @rattpoison-nailed it! I'm certain I had the same cranks on my 2006 Cannondale Rush. Sigh...we are such nerds.
  • + 1
 Hahahaha! Woah! Ur right, those are 9 speed xt cranks! Eagle eye!!!!!
  • + 8
 "...the fork felt like it matches the new 36 in terms of control and support. More supple as well, so better all around."

so... just buy the new 36 since it's just a RAD 34.
  • + 6
 Well, the 34 is lighter, I think that's the angle they were going for. That its lighter than a 36, but despite this, it still handled like one!
  • + 8
 I wonder why the fork isn't kashima... Because Kashima Is a SHAM!!! Jk i really don't have a clue. But seriously why. did i miss something?
  • + 8
 Id imagine its because its only in prototype stage. Omitting kashima allows them to properly see where the updated damper has its advantages, with less external factors affecting its performance! I think.
  • + 5
 danob is right, almost all suspension products with fox focus on the damper and how it works. adding kashima makes a little difference , but for prototype models that will not be sold for profit, there is no need for kashima to be added
  • + 6
 surely fox get all their 34 stanchions kashima'd tho? why would they pull this set before the kashima process? especially if they know a) they were destined for bryce's race bike and b) they were gonna be given to journo's to have a peek at? Very strange...
  • + 6
 It's not a scam!!! My stanchion tube just doesn't feel right without proper Kashima coating.
  • + 6
 To isolate the effects of damper changes from effects induced by kashima.
  • + 10
 but if all their test rigs use kashima there will be no changes induced by the use of kashima. no?
  • + 0
 The reason is that fox changed what oil and seals they were using and thus the performance benefits now are so small its not worth it. The other reason is that when they csu units are made, they are shipped off to china for the kashima coat and then sent back, however there was so many coming back with different shades of stanchions the about they had to scrap cost them a fortune
  • + 1
 that was all making good sense until somewhere after the last comma....:P I guess not having to send them to China and back would be a bonus.
  • + 2
 Correct me if im wrong but im pretty sure that the kashima coating is clear and that Fox just chooses to anodize the gold/orange/whatever that colour is
  • + 1
 I cant remember what colour the coating is as it has been a while since I was told but it was an issue of one stanchion was one shade and the other one was slightly different so so many csu's had to be scrapped. In rear shocks this insnt as bad as how often are then lined up side by side for someone to notice.
  • + 3
 I have owned the 2013 Fox 34 and Fox 36 and they were alright. There was an issue with the 36 that needed to be handled directly with Fox. After submitting the original receipt, 5 forms of photo ID and a urine sample it was handled in a timely 3-4 weeks. Whatever, they took care of it questions asked. Any problem I have had with SRAM products in last 4 years has been handled with one phone call. Trust me there were plenty of call about their brakes alone. But they took care of everything. I have been riding a 2014 Pike since March and it's just a better riding fork, not that the 36 was a terrible fork. I'll give something a try and if I like it it, I'll run it. I have been burned far too many times with Manitou and Marzocchi to give them another penny. I ordered a new 2015 Fox 36 for my Intense build, the media loves it. Maybe I will too, who cares. Maybe I'll try a DVO next Brand loyalty would be fine if I was getting paid to ride a specific brand's product, but I am just an average rider at this point in life and if a brand wants me to ride the product they'll have to earn my business.
  • + 7
 Honestly who cares if kashima doesn't provide any stiction benefits. It makes a more durable stanchion, is a smoother finish so the seals seal better/let less grit in, and it looks dope.

Those are things I really care about. If you really care about stiction put some skf seals on your fork.
  • + 6
 hey, here's an unrelated and frivolous question. does or can fox produce dark/black stanchions similiar to the current pike? i like the black stanchion look because it ain't flashy, to me, like the kashima gold. on a lighter note, who had brewskis for lunch? i sure as hell didn't...at all. not a driz-op.
  • + 6
 Subtle marketing from fox, placing the 34mm fork in front of a Kawasaki Eliminator, a bike which uses a 34mm carburetor. Subtle indeed.
  • + 4
 haha, that bike was was just sat there in the carpark, and we just chose it at random as a backdrop. good eye for detail though lad!!
  • + 3
 It's a good time in suspension tech, and a great time to pick up a used 34/36 and install Pushed system, Vorsprung, Ohlins piston and shim stack, etc. So much excellence for the fork you may already have (34/36). Thanks Pike owners for the generous deals in the Classifieds. Sometime the best fork you ever ridden, may be the one you already own;-)
  • + 3
 So much hype.. I am riding my 2012 fox 36 float factory with kashima. I had it tuned for me by james at Suspensionwerx in North Van(the shore) . Love this fork more than I can describe. The qr system is till better than the new one(no tools)
An it fits 650 b wheel and tire. Running a dhf tr eco 2.3 sweet setup with wtb i23 team rim on hope hoops./..
  • + 7
 IVE GAINED NOTHING FROM THIS, WHAT WAS THE POINT?
  • + 2
 That is interesting how it will unfold because few parties are already testing 34 with Öhlins cartridge which in case of 40, isn't exactly breaking the bank, considering how much you can spend on titanization and carbonization of your bike.
  • + 4
 summary of article: "Fox's rad stuff is rad. You wish you had it. I hope it comes to market. sometime"

Nice pics though, thanks
  • + 3
 Now I need to consider large vs extra large volume and rad or not so rad. Fox is making it pretty hard these days, thats what she said. My bike shorts are always extra large volume so at least thats easy.
  • + 5
 Just stuff in some internals from Avalanchedownhillracing.com and just be done with it !
  • + 6
 Fox forks also creak and make snapping noises within a week. Screw that.
  • + 6
 if your running a 32 tossing flips and shit anything is going to hate its life. I have a couple 36's and have never had any issues with them. I may not be a nutcase like you but I've DH'ed them pretty darn hard.
  • + 4
 Yep, almost all Fox single crown forks I know of around here have the creak. Damn shame their crowns suck so bad.
  • + 5
 True story. I have owned over 10 fox single crowns including late 2013 models and every single one had creaking crowns.
  • + 10
 call your dentist-quickly! squeaky crowns can lead to gum disease.
  • - 1
 Ive ridden an argyle rct on all my bikes and never had any issues fox are just over priced garbage
  • + 1
 "self-adjusting negative air chamber rather than the stock 34's negative coil spring" = RC's Solo Air

"RAD fork might utilize some sort of accelerated rebound system to help keep the fork higher in its stroke during continuous, high frequency impacts" = RC's Rapid Recovery

Nice to see so much innovation from Fox... if this was 2010
  • + 3
 choosing between the new 36 (which is actually really good) and the pike is hard.. thank goodness I work at a bike shop. discount double check
  • + 1
 You know what would be RAD, if Fox warrantied all the worn out stanchions that exist. Mine started to wear before the first service, MOJO said it was my fault for not following the recommended service the thick muppets, I now have Pikes and no problems.
  • + 3
 Get a job people. Why do pinkbike readers whine like guinea pigs. Go ride your bike!
  • + 0
 @sadfusde Marzocchi are still the best, imo. User serviceable, dump the oil once a year and you're done, ready for the next season. Fox require an expensive rebuild ever couple of months, ridiculous, and their performance is often inferior.
  • + 0
 The latest 55 RC3 is 170 mm of travel with buttery smooth open bath damping. Probably a half pound heavier but a year from now my 55s will still behave like the day I bought them.
  • + 0
 "The three-way adjustable compression is different from CTD in how it functions, yet it still offered a firm, medium, and wide open range"

That right there is what is wrong with bike journalists. Complete and utter contradictory BS. Reminds me of how in 2012 they all said the new 2013 Fox CTD forks were the bestest everrrr . ... . and actually they were shit.
  • + 2
 I'm guessing they mean the actual mechanics of it are different, but the function is the same.
  • + 3
 every year they have the best forks and shocks ever...... ahaha or at least enough money to pay people to say that!
  • + 4
 @the-one1: I doubt the mechanics are any different at all. The CTD is 3 different levels of compression damping and that is exactly what is described in this article on the new shock - "three-way adjustable compression" offering "firm, medium, and wide open" damping. Yeah, that's nothing like CTD. Fox are the masters of doing the same shit every year, slapping some new bollocks labeling on it, and getting journos to say how much better it is than last year's stuff.
  • + 0
 Its Evol Its RAD and what was wrong with the old stuff? Plenty.
I got a chance to test a 2014 Park 180 air. All the previous years gave me sore hands half way down the trail never mind the bottom. The 2014 Park 180 is valved far better to handle small frequencies.
Fox is the king of hype!
  • + 1
 And the 36 is just as good as the pike if not better. I'm sure the 34 will be sweet. Looks like they are doing a version of debonair with the rear shock. With the big negative spring
  • + 3
 Fox RAD looks pretty awesome, but can they sell us those in large quantities at a reasonable price like RS ?
  • + 0
 I'll never buy Fox again for 1 simple reason new product comes in and they tell you " O yeah your old ( 1 year old ) can be upgraded " and later they said can't be upgraded because is totally different.
and I got it on record here in Pinkbike .
not a pinkbike fault .
So be wise and choose something that can be good all the the way from company words to your bike and wallet.
  • + 4
 Hey guys look at all this high tech stuff you cant have. SUCKERS!
  • + 3
 How telling is it that Fox is so pressed to get across that the dampers are not related to CTD?
  • + 1
 And I have a Van R 36 open bath and I like it. Very much. But I also like the 26 "wheels.
I'm old-fashioned, but happy.
Stop whining, on the bike and into the woods!
  • + 2
 Mik Hannah got silver, not bronze, at the 2013 World Championship. Trace got bronze.
  • - 1
 I'm still loving my old RS Pike 426 u-turn and god knows how old that is! With a few mods to the internals to improve reliability and some super light 4-5 weight oil it's mega plush (does need servicing regularly though, especially now that it's probably old enough to be eligible for a pension) I've been riding a custom built Lyrik coil recently with mods to the sealing, internals and lubrication and it's spot on with great small bump sensitivity! But if I had to say it seems Marzocchi have it all sewn up with their current range and if you really want an epic fork and your not scared of paying the price and taking time setting it up go for a Bos Deville, team it with a CCDB air CS out back and you're sorted!
  • + 2
 All THis Fancy Fox Propaganda Marketing Shi+ realy start to annoy me. The Show must go on....
  • + 2
 In case you missed it, it's definitely NOT CTD!
Yes it has 3 settings. Perhaps UP ALONG DOWN? UAD? Whatever, it's NOT CTD.
  • + 1
 I'm happy with my X-Fusion. It works great, less money than Fox or Rock Shox , Easy to work on and great people to deal with.
  • + 1
 Rode Fox only pretty much because of support of their moto roots. rode a Pike, sorry Fox. I'd still like to demo the new Fox 36, but the Pike will be hard to beat.
  • - 1
 Fox is good quality but it's so expensive when it goes rong but I also like rock shox perform just as good as each other from my point of view !il still stick with my bomber forks really love them and can't go rong with money and are much less complicated bomb proof !!
  • + 1
 ask their customer service how many faulty forks they have haha. I work on a bike shop and the number of faulty fox we get is amazing! is just expencive and not good quality, even rockshox with plastic parts on the inside is better haha
  • + 1
 I ride fox however from speaking with friends the RS Pike is a game changer and has left fox for dead no matter what size 34 or 36
  • + 2
 tell you a little secret,pike rct3 costs only 300euro in china,so who cares rad? XD
  • + 4
 That's rad....
  • + 1
 Fox forks are a piss take price Pikes a lot cheaper and just as good if not better
  • + 0
 My fox van has just packed in and it's a 120 quid to service could get a newer shock for that money looking at manitou seem to be good
  • + 2
 Fox is not my choice. Overpriced service parts.
  • + 2
 I call bullshit on it being specially made for Josh bryceland
  • + 2
 Drop their prices and they'll be rader than Rockshox. lol...
  • - 2
 See, now that's real shakira coating, almost black. Not this gold crap that they use to get more money out of me. Although, I'm not fast enough to actually feel the difference and don't really care, I just want to have fun. Although it would be nice to have some RAD suspension on my bike.
  • + 0
 By RAD I think they met SAD, because compared to Pikes, that's exactly what the current fox range is..
  • + 1
 Rock Shox production 2013 = Fox RAD 2014
  • - 1
 Sorry FOX I just got the rock shox Debonair rear and I have pikes and they kick ass over any fox shox ive ever had .best of luck fox you will be missed )
  • + 1
 @parkkills

Pics or it never happened
  • + 2
 I love my Avalanche DHS!
  • + 1
 They look rad
  • + 0
 You had me till utilize.
  • - 3
 everyone is talking Fox this and RS that...the DVO diamond is coming out soon and will poop on everything!

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