Going Deep: Inside Fox's GRIP2 Damper

Oct 24, 2018
by Mike Levy  

Back in 2016, I spent many months on, and then eventually reviewed, Fox's economical-ish 34 Float with their new (at the time) GRIP damper inside. It impressed me enough that I said something like ''I can't tell the difference between GRIP and FIT4,'' the latter being Fox's pro-level damper, which really says something given that GRIP was supposed to be a budget system.

Fox was apparently impressed with it, too, because they debuted their new GRIP2 damper earlier this year that's largely based on what was in that 34 Float that I swooned about over two years ago... But there are a few big differences.

Unlike the original GRIP damper, this high-end version is meant to compete with the best of the best from RockShox and the rest, and it's Fox's replacement for their long-in-the-tooth RC2 damper. GRIP2 also makes for Fox's first four-way adjustable fork by offering both low-speed compression and rebound, and high-speed compression and rebound, all tuneable via external knobs. All the knobs!
GRIP2 Damper

• External low- and high-speed compression adjustment
• External low- and high-speed rebound adjustment
• 15 clicks of LSC, 27 clicks of HSC, 16 clicks of LSR, 8 clicks of HSR
• Variable Valve Control high-speed rebound
• Low friction seal head
• Replaces RC2 damper
• Used in high-end 36 and 40 forks

The debut of GRIP2 slid under the radar a bit, especially with all the hoopla surrounding Fox's electronic Live Valve system, so I met up with Ariel Lindsley, Fox Suspension Engineering Technician, in Whistler to take the damper apart, learn how its Variable Valve Control (VVC for short) high-speed rebound adjustment works and, most importantly, do some laps of the Whistler Bike Park... I mean some ''testing.''

GRIP2 Damper Oil Path Video with Fox's Ariel Lindsley

Below, Lindsley runs you through the path that the oil takes inside of the GRIP2 cartridge. It gets much, much more complicated than this, but this shows you what happens after that initial compression and then the fork extending during rebound.

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Budget Damper to World Cup Wins

With that original GRIP system, Fox was looking for less expensive but high-performance internals than what they were using in their Performance range of forks. What they came up with proved to not just meet their expectations, but surpass them. ''The original GRIP wasn't 'How do we make in an inexpensive damper work well?' it was 'How can we make a good damper and pull cost out of it?''' Mark Jordan, Fox's Global Marketing Manager, said.

Then, when they realized the potential that the layout had, Fox's engineers were let loose to cobble together some proof of concept prototype dampers.

Fox Grip2 Photo by Justin Kious
My GRIP2-equipped Fox 36 saw action on the front of Mondraker's new Foxy Carbon XR 29 over the last four months.

It wouldn't be long until long-stroke GRIP cartridges found their way into some Fox 40s on the front of World Cup downhill bikes. They had success, too, with Lindsley saying that up-sized and modified versions of what was used in that 34 Float back in 2016 have been employed to win World Cup downhill races by the likes of some people named Rachel, Aaron, and Greg.

''It pretty much was the same damper,'' Lindsley answered when I asked what different was between the one in my 34 Float GRIP back in 2016 and what Minnaar was using, but with one major difference: He was installing custom high-speed rebound valve codes (otherwise known as a shim stack) that better suited each rider's spring rate. Remember, the firmer the spring rate, the more rebound damping you'll need because the spring is pushing back that much harder. The modified World Cup GRIP2 cartridges performed so well that they ended up being the impetus for Fox's adjustable high-speed rebound valve stack, and they do it in a pretty clever way.

Greg Minnaar V10 29er
Richie s prototype Fox RAD damper
That's the top of Greg Minnaar's Fox 40 on the left, and the top of Richie Rude's 36 on the right, both from 2017. Notice anything different? The 'RAD' prototype compression adjuster looks a lot different than the top of a FIT4 or RC2-spec'd fork.

Of course, given that Fox has plenty of forks out there using the FIT4 system, they weren't exactly publicizing the fact that their racers were winning on what was basically a giant-sized ''budget'' damper. A bit of a conundrum on their part then, especially when GRIP2 and FIT4 are both positioned as high-end damping systems... Which one is better? ''You've got a couple of ways of looking at it,'' Jordan said of the two layouts.

''There's a little bit of a weight penalty with this [GRIP2] because it's a bigger damper with a little more oil, so if you're on a 34 Step-Cast and you want the lightest bike, you probably want the FIT4 damper. We do have people who are super weight-conscious 36 users, and FIT4 has the three-position compression. People are still into that and it's a super easy adjustment, so FIT4 is staying around for people who want that.''

So FIT4 and GRIP2 will live in parallel inside of similar platforms, but RC2 has been put out to pasture.

GRIP2 Damper Design

Suspension forks generally employ one of two systems: Open dampers are far less common than they once were, largely because of how making the oil do both lube and damping duties also lets the same oil slosh around inside the fork and mix with air. As you can imagine, that's generally frowned upon as the resulting foaming can lead to an inconsistent feel.

Fox Grip2 damper overview
Looks simple, right? Look again. The GRIP2 cartridge is considered a closed system, despite the purge hole at the top of the unit.

Closed dampers are just that, they're sealed from the outside world and are generally air-free. Problem is, you gotta allow for fluid displacement as the damper rod is compressed into the cartridge because, well, oil doesn't squish. So that's why sealed cartridges use some type of compensator. RockShox's Charger system, along with Fox's FIT4 system, both use extruded rubber bladders that expand to allow for that displacement by literally creating more room inside the cartridge as it's required. The spring-backed internal floating piston inside the GRIP2 cartridge, or any IFP-based system for that matter, does the same job, too. And when the rod extends back out, the bladder relaxes again or the IFP extends to take up that space.

All of the above is many decades old now and not news, but it surely means that the GRIP2 damper, with its spring-backed IFP, is a closed system, right? Correct, but also not all the way correct. While the damping system is sealed, there's small but very important port (a VIP, of course) at the top of the cartridge that lets it burp. I'll explain soon.

Fox 36 2019

Instead of fighting to keep air and lube oil out of the cartridge by employing tighter and tighter tolerances, especially at the main seal head, Fox says that they've ''reduced the squeeze on the shaft seal, but still control it with very tight tolerances.'' This can let in around 5cc of oil after 125 hours of use, which may not sound like much but it all has to be accounted for, and while oil getting into a cartridge generally be a bad thing, it's not when your whole system is designed with that in mind. ''Only oil is ingested. Air is not ingested,'' they also said.

As is often the case, this is an approach that's been used before in the moto world, as is the other part of the equation. The looser fit at the main seal head has a big plus: Way less inherent friction from the main sticking point, but letting it ingest oil whenever it wants would quickly result in the cartridge hydraulically locking unless Fox took that into account. Remember, oil doesn't compress, so when it's full of oil, that's it. Good thing Fox took that into account.

Fox Grip2 damper overview
Fox Grip2 damper overview
You're looking at the spring-backed internal floating piston. See that teardrop-shaped divot (right) on the silver compression rod? When the compression piston passes over that, excess fluid is burped out to the opposite side of it, and eventually out of the cartridge through a purge hole.

A small, teardrop-shaped bleed passage on the spring-side of the IFP allows excess oil to actually back-fill a bit behind the IFP as it passes over what is essentially just a small dimple in the shaft. That oil is then expelled through a port at the top of the cartridge to flow back down the inside of the fork leg for lubrication duties. ''It's kinda like its self-healing all the time,'' was how Lindsley described it. ''This isn't' anything revolutionary; it's been around forever,'' he also stressed. ''If we took a moto fork apart off an old CRF it'd have something similar to this. It'd be a lot more robust because it's for moto, of course.''

Fox also says it makes for easier bleeding because you can pretty much just over-fill the damper and the excess magically exits out of that nifty hole to make you look like you knew what you were doing.

How Fox Did High-Speed Rebound Adjustment

A fork's high-speed rebound setting has a big say in how your bike reacts when your hitting things hard and fast, but it also plays a part in where the fork will sit in its travel while you're rolling (spring rate determines static ride height). My testing of the GRIP2 damper at the two extremes showed nearly a full inch difference in ride height, which I wouldn't have believed if I didn't see it with my own eyes. More on that later, though.

Fox Grip2 damper overview
The anodized orange part is your rebound piston, but it gets weird from there. See that dark gray disk? The high-speed rebound shims rest between it and the piston, and the VVC system adjusts how they react.

It turns out that Lindsley was already adjusting high-speed rebound internally for of many of Fox's athletes: ''When you valve a fork for everybody, most forks are kinda over-valved for a lot of people, so you have this big range with the orifice adjuster. But if someone wants to improve their performance, the first thing I do is go in there and pull a valve or two off if they're lighter, and maybe add one if they're heavier, but that's pretty rare.

''Then it became really important and I was doing that for all those riders, and it worked really well for them, but wouldn't it be nice to be able to do that without having to take the fork or damper apart? So we wanted to do high- and low-speed rebound, but that adds complication. But the reality now is that, with a few clicks, I can basically get the rebound as close as perfect as you can without having to take the fork apart.''

It wasn't that simple, of course, and the 'but' in this one comes down to real estate. As you might expect, simply adding in another external adjustment isn't an easy task, especially when you need to cram it in there without adding more length or width to the whole thing. Don't forget that every single gram counts as well.
High-Speed Rebound VS Low-Speed Rebound

The obvious question is, of course, why the hell would a rider want yet another dial to turn? And what does high-speed rebound even do?

First, always remember that when we're talking about speed, we're talking about damper shaft speed, not your literal speed. That part is important. You could be riding slowly and get a high-speed compression from a big drop with a flat landing that would compress your suspension quickly, and Fox wanted a dial to control the resulting rebound speed from those type of hits, AKA high-speed rebound. But if that drop had a steep landing that eases your transition from being in the air to being on the ground, your suspension is going to compress relatively slowly, making for a low-speed compression and low-speed rebound control. There's a dial for that, too, but that's old news.

Fox Grip2 damper overview
The silver part with the pinch clamp is actually the center bolt, and it's attached like that so it can be as small as possible. That silver tong sticking straight up (there's one opposite it, too) is the leaf spring. When you turn the adjuster, the wings on the leaf spring rotate around the spiral that's on the face of the dark-colored disc to change the leverage applied to it.

Traditionally, high-speed rebound adjustment was done via preloading that valve, but that can cause the orifice to choke up, Lindsley explained, and then more force is required to open those preloaded shims. ''You get this in-between shitty point and then finally the valves crack open. It does work, but it's not ideal,'' he went on to describe. For the record, this layout is what's used in many dampers.

It's all about that real estate. ''You're really constrained with the size because there's not a lot of room in there to do stuff, as far as diameter goes. And we wanted to keep the relationship between the center bolt [commonly known as the piston bolt] that holds everything together and the outside [diameter] of the valves. We want as much distance as we can there because that allows the valves to flex more.'' I'm a visual learner, so I pictured a frisbee (the valves) sitting dead center and face up on top of a skinny pole (the small center bolt) - you'd be able to easily flex the frisbee over the pole if you pushed down on it. Now picture the same frisbee on top of a larger diameter pole that covers nearly all of its footprint - it'd be much more difficult to flex.

Fox Grip2 damper overview
The patent-pending VVC system sits at the bottom of the GRIP2 cartridge, and while it's actually pretty simple, the small packaging is a clever solution.

They needed a way to provide external high-speed rebound adjustment but had next to no room, didn't want to use an existing and, in their opinion, compromised system, and also wanted to let the valves flex as much as they needed to.

''This is something that Damon and Bill Brown, the Head of Engineering, came up with,'' Lindsley said while holding up Fox's Variable Valve Control (VVC) adjustable high-speed rebound system, otherwise known as The Answer. At first glance, the rebound piston looks a lot like, well, a rebound piston, but then you notice that funny looking center bolt that I just mentioned. And then the dark-colored plate that's between that and the high-speed rebound shims. And then there's the even stranger leaf spring thingy. What's going on in there?

Here's how VVC works: The dark brown disc the looks like a piston with a bunch of tiny holes in it isn't a piston at all, but rather the face for that double-ended leaf spring. On that face is a raised spiral that's been machined into the top of it, with each end of the tiny leaf spring resting on it.

When you turn the adjuster, the wings on the leaf spring rotate around that spiral to change the leverage applied to it. When you're in the softest high-speed rebound setting (least amount of rebound), the ends of the leaf spring are contacting the outside of the disc where the spiral is farther away and pushes on the outer end of the springs to provide more leverage on the disc. More leverage makes it easier to move the disc. Turning the knob clockwise to add high-speed rebound damping rotates the spring so that the ends contact the spiral closer to the center, meaning they're both shorter leverage arms and more force is required to get the valves to open, and therefore you have more damping. Pretty clever and very compact.
Fox Grip2 damper overview
The tiny leaf springs ride on a spiral on the face of the gray disc, and their position on that spiral determines how much leverage is applied to them.

''It's not preloading the leaf spring, it's just changing the fulcrum point,'' Jordan underlined for me. ''So, instead of pushing on the leaf spring from the outside where it has the most leverage and is really easy to flex, it moves the fulcrum point closer to the middle, effectively making it stiffer.'' The key thing to remember is that a shorter lever, aka the leaf spring, means more damping and vice versa. Lindsley said that the dark colored disc that rides on the leaf spring will move evenly, and there's still a valve stack in there, albeit a fair bit lighter than it would be otherwise.

Fox 36
Fox Grip2 damper overview
You've got four knobs to play with on your GRIP2 fork, and Fox includes recommended starting points not just for air pressure, but for damper setting relative to your spring rate.

Fox isn't the first to do adjustable high-speed rebound on a fork - Marzocchi had it years ago - but they were going for a more usable, more tuneable system that provides a nice, linear line on the dyno without any funny spikes. Marzocchi's wasn't as effective, they say, largely due to due there being barely any room from the outside diameter of the bolt to the outside diameter of the valve, so they couldn't get the flex that Fox wanted.

Eeesh, that's a buttload of tech to swallow, and we can talk about valves, piston bolts, and doodads all day long, but it doesn't matter if it makes no difference on the trail. So let's find out if this extra knob on Fox's new GRIP2 damper makes a difference in the real world.

Does it Matter on the Trail?

I've had Mondraker's new Foxy Carbon XR 29 in my stable for the last four months (I also reviewed it, too), and it conveniently came with Fox's 160mm-travel Factory 36 Float EVOL GRIP2 29 bolted to the front of it. Let's not be so formal and just call it the 36 GRIP2 for short, though. The big blue bike has had a metric shit ton of miles put on it over that time, all of them without a hint of complaint from the fork so I'm satisfied on the reliability front.

The performance is top-notch, too, as it should be for a fork that hovers around the $1,000 USD mark. How does it compare to its closest competitor, RockShox's Lyrik? Neither are going to hold you back, of course, and you can read all about how the two fared in Mike Kazimer's comparo review. Spoiler alert: He preferred the 36.

A Fox 36 working well is about as newsworthy as anything from the most recent Interbike, so not at all, in other words. We know the 36 is badass. What I wanted to find out, however, was what sort of difference having an external high-speed rebound adjustment makes, and also if it's even worthwhile. To do this, I started at the two extremes of the damping range and did the same run over and over again; fully in (0 clicks out) and fully out (8 clicks out) so that the two extremes underline the difference in action. This was done on the same lap, and with the same spring rate in the fork.

And what a difference it was.

With the high-speed rebound completely closed for maximum damping, I noticed two things right away. First, my handlebar felt lower, like I had ditched a few headset spacers from under the stem. I hadn't, but that's the impression I got. Lindsley explained how what I was feeling was the 36 sitting lower in its travel because it was returning to its sag point slower, or sometimes not at all if it didn't have the time to do it before the next root or rock got in the way. Makes sense.
Mondraker Foxy Carbon XR 29 photo by Justin Kious
Big Blue saw plenty of descending, from big days in the Whistler Bike Park to all sorts of ill-advised adventures and line choices.

There was a new harshness through the grips as well, which certainly wasn't a surprise, and the bike felt a touch pointier and more nervous than it had before I closed the high-speed rebound circuit. This would make sense if the fork weren't getting a chance to extend, effectively making the Foxy's head angle a bit steeper. Actually, the sag-o-meter (otherwise known as the O-ring) showed that I was sitting close to a full inch deeper in the fork's stroke through most sections, which is nearly a full degree of change up front.

I certainly didn't want to spend too much time with my fork set up like that because, well, I don't like eating shit, so the next step was to go in the opposite direction: Fully open high-speed rebound. This means that the HSR knob was set to eight clicks out from closed. Two examples of the same damper can sometimes have a different number of clicks due to manufacturing variances, which is why the number of clicks is always referenced from fully closed.

Mondraker Foxy Carbon XR 29 photo by Justin Kious
If you're the kind of rider who enjoys getting the most out of your equipment, or at least learning how it works, the four-way adjustable GRIP2 damper is going to make sense.

So with the HSR dialed completely off, the bike was an entirely different animal that reacted in a completely different way from when the HSR was fully on. Instead of a strange harshness and odd handling, the front-end wanted to skitter across fast, rough ground, and one tricky part saw the front tire slide across a section of rocks like it was wetter than the front row at a Shamu (RIP) SeaWorld show. But it was dry, and what I was feeling was the front tire losing contact with the ground as the nearly undamped fork wasn't able to keep up.

Back to my preferred setting, which is 6 clicks out from fully closed, and the bike was yet again a different animal, only this time it was predictable and felt like home. It also re-confirmed my thoughts that Fox's new 36 and GRIP2 damper is probably the most potent off-the-shelf fork that you can get right now if you're into the enduro and all-mountain thing. It's also the only one that lets you externally adjust your high-speed rebound to best suit your spring rate, which is more of a tuning advantage than I thought it would be.

This means that a 120lb pint-sized sport-level rider can get the same rebound control that a 210lb pro racer wants, but neither will have to open up their forks to do it because of that new dial at the bottom of the fork leg. There's a sticker on the fork with recommended damper settings to match each air spring pressure suggestion, so it should be a no-brainer as long as you can read and spend the five minutes required to have it work well. Spend the five minutes.

Pinkbike's Take
bigquotesWhen it comes to external adjustments, there are two trains of thought: Give the customer all the knobs to tinker with, or give the customer only the essential knobs. Neither route is wrong - a less adjustable Pike or Fox fork with an original GRIP cartridge isn't going to hold 98-percent of us back - but, surprise surprise, more external adjustability can make your bike feel better if you set it up right.

Of course, a GRIP2 damper, or any extremely tunable damper, set up poorly is going to be worse than a less-adjustable damper set up well. That's obvious, but it was still a shock to see exactly how much one extra dial, albeit it one that controls an important function, can make or break a bike. Personally, I view the 36's HSR dial as just another tool I can use to go faster or feel better, and I enjoy fiddling with such things until it's performing how I like. But if that's not you, don't spend this much money on a fork. Stick to the standard GRIP damper in a less expensive 36 and you'll be pumped.
Mike Levy

Author Info:
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Member since Oct 18, 2005
2,032 articles

  • 72 3
 That grip dampener technology is from Fox's Daughter company Marzocchi, I have been riding the Grip dampener in my Marzocchi 380 Ti for two years now and can say it works very well, you just have to spend time to tune it from the baseline settings.
  • 18 2
 Exactly what i was thinking, pretty much why Fox Marzocchi in my opinion (DBC damper was amazing).
  • 20 18
 pretty weird that the word "marzocchi" is not mentioned once in the article even though it is supposed to show the history of the grip damper.
  • 39 1
 @optimumnotmaximum: check again. Mentioned twice. Ctrl + F "marzocchi". here you go
  • 9 3
 Grip is just a DBC damper rebranded but it would sound bad to say so in a Fox article.
  • 5 1
 I was thinking reading through that it sounds a lot like my DBC fork, Fox no doubt will have executed the design better as my 350cr wasn't great, tons of stiction in the oil/wiper seals from factory and suffered from terrible almost dangerous fork dive at any pressure that gave it nice small bump compliance, increased the pressure to stop the dive and just an incredibly harsh jarring ride over bigger bumps.

Ended up fixing the issue by putting 35ml oil in the air spring to make it ramp up and running LSC almost all the way on (no difference between clicks up until the last 2 clicks anyway).

Just recently serviced the fork, bled the damper and put Enduro seals on. Had to run more psi as was getting 5% more sag with the reduced friction of the better seals, 2 clicks less rebound damping with the correct weight oil in them and finally a useable LSC dial, forks must have had something like 5wt or lower damping oil from factory the whole time along with the shitty seals.

Have ridden these new Fox 36 forks and they are in a league of their own performance-wise, such a nice feel to them.
  • 10 0
 "That grip dampener technology is from Fox's Daughter company Marzocchi"

Came here just for that comment and what do you know, its at the top of the list Wink
  • 4 1
 @EnduroManiac: true, but i do not think thats how the story goes. as far as i know fox bought marzocchi and developed the grip damper on the basis of their system as a budget version for the fox 34 etc. thre article makes you think marzocchi developed something similar but it never caught on.
  • 6 0
 @ctd07: 350s troubles come from a chassis, no matter what damper you put inside. Tight seals and tight bushings and sometimes even misaligned bushing. Also marzocchi always struggled with air springed forks.
  • 3 0
 @graved1gger: yeh even when stripped apart with no damper or seals installed, the stanchions still had a fair amount of stiction just from the bushings alone :-/
  • 4 1
 @EnduroManiac: I'd avise him to use CTRL + W or ALT + F4
  • 1 3
 Don't believe the hype
  • 3 8
flag WAKIdesigns (Oct 24, 2018 at 12:33) (Below Threshold)
 ok it is time for me to mention Manitou Intrinsic system from 2006 Travis and Marzocchi fanbois can go back to only thing they have left. 2003 Shiver and service once every 2 years. Thank you
  • 1 0
 I agree and yet disagree I posted a separate comment to go over the stark changes from c2r2 to grip 2. The grip 2 blows my 380 away, and you know how much love and time I put into it.
  • 1 0
 @EnduroManiac: i did not know ctrl f function
  • 1 0
 @graved1gger: I'm currently riding a 350 CR and I guess I was lucky to get one with no chassis issues, although the damn thing had maybe 5ccs of oil in it from the factory. It took about a year (3+ oil changes and frequent seal lubing) to get rid of that sticky, notchy feeling.

At the current moment it's feeling as good as any air fork I've used. We'll see how long that lasts...
  • 1 0
 @SonofBovril: People like to say that new products aren't worth it, and have been done before, all the time on pinkbike. I think it's their way of relieving stress.
  • 1 0
 Marzocchi is fox’s adopted child more than it’s direct daughter...but still Smile
  • 44 2
 So its cheaper for FOX but not cheaper for the customer......
  • 12 1
 Yeah but since they are probably saving $1 on a $13 assembly, even if they did pass the savings on you wouldn't notice
  • 8 0
 @jaame: it probably is also cheaper, but in the article it says that the GRiP damper was cheaper, the GRIP 2 isn't the same damper, and it will be more expensive than the GRIP. As to how the cost of the GRIP 2 compares with the RC2 damper is an unknown
  • 14 0
 @tiagomano: its got a 2 after it so it must be twice as expensive
  • 1 3
 @SonofBovril: as far as I know, grip 2 is the same as grip, but the spring retainer is made of metal on the 2, as opposed to plastic on the 1
  • 5 0
 @SonofBovril: just be grateful it wasn't the GRIP^2 damper
  • 2 0
 @Ozziefish: What are you talking about? That would be 2x as good as the GRIP2! It's basic meth...
  • 1 0
 @SonofBovril: This math checks out. Made me laugh out loud in a quiet maze of cubicles, thank you.
  • 1 0
 @SonofBovril: I think your mistaken the 2 means it's squared.
  • 2 0
 @SonofBovril: or maybe twice the BS :-p
  • 36 3
 While I love these technical breakdowns of new stuff suspension technology, I wonder why we had an article on both the GRIP and GRIP2 dampers, but nothing on for example the ABS+ or MC2 dampers when they were introduced. At the time they provided tech and performance that handily beat both Fox and Rockshox for half the price.
It's understandable that Fox and Rockshox get the most attention, being the largest most popular companies. However, not covering X-Fusion, Manitou, DVO, BOS, etc. enforces the status quo and prevents the big two from feeling pressure to truly innovate and lower prices.
  • 13 1
  • 11 1
  • 4 0
 This is so true. Admittedly, I was always a Fox fanboy riding 36's on trail bikes because it's a 36. It's supposed to be the best fork on the market. Then I rode a Mattoc with MC2 and upgraded it with the IRT when it was released. And although that was a few years back on 26" wheels and I've moved back to Fox because of wheel sizes and finding what I can afford (used forks, haha), I still miss the ease of service and buttery goodness of that fork. It really makes me reflect.
  • 33 0
 @Mac1987, we reviewed both the Manitout Mattoc (www.pinkbike.com/news/manitou-mattoc-pro-review-2014.html) and the Mattoc Pro 2 when they were launched (www.pinkbike.com/news/manitou-mattoc-pro-2-review-2016.html).

We've also reviewed the DVO Emerald and Diamond, along with the X-Fusion Trace and Sweep. We're not trying to ignore anybody - if there's new, relevant technology out there we try to cover it.

Fox and RockShox happen to be the largest two players in the suspension market at the moment, which means that there are many, many riders out there on their products - it makes sense to open one up and provide a little more insight as to what's going on inside.
  • 14 4
 @mikekazimer: maybe you guys could write an open and honest article explaining the basic funding and advertising model behind pinkbike? I guess its advertising based on us as user being the product, but what is sponsored/paid content vs good old bike geek content

Even though the quality of your reviews is going up, we are seeing more comments suggesting the review is nothing more than a commercial plug for your ‘biggest’ sponsor/fincial contributors.

An element of this is sociatal...people are getting pissed with there fun space being monetised (maybe they should pay?). But can we believe that reviews and product discussions are impartial?

I’m wittering...but hopefully you get my point?
  • 18 0
 Im confused now. Tuesday Tune gospel had it to fully crank the high speed rebound on the rear damper in order to get the most usable adjustment range of the rebound circuit. Steve tested that on a dyno and it looked really plausible.

Here, Levy reports the high speed rebound to have a huge effect on ride height and quality.

Is that down to the difference between fork and rear damper (both reacting differently to HSR, no linkage involved at the front end) or did I miss something else?

Care to comment @VorsprungSuspension ?
  • 7 0
 ^ Subscribed
  • 3 0
 came here to say that after Steve's lectures, I scroll by any advice on setup... anyways.. I think if you drop an ACS coil into this fork, you have a unstoppable beast of a fork.cheers
  • 4 0
 More HSR is generally preferred regarding the rear shock, as this keeps the bike more stable and planted, and keeps the front end a little more slack. Works the opposite regarding the front fork.
  • 5 0
 Think maybe it has to do with the Twin Tube style damper of the DHX2 or Cane Creek shocks. I tried this method with my DHX2 and have been pretty happy with it over the stock recommended settings from Fox.
  • 3 2
 Just do what Steve says, end of story. **this comment only applies to suspension tuning**
  • 2 0
 Just recall that the Vorsprung video was all about the Fox X2. It is entirely possible that the same does not apply to the GRIP2. I would hope that the high and low speed rebound adjustments actually work at different shaft speeds. The Vorsprung video shows that on the X2 they have tremendous overlap and very little separation. @rippersub:
  • 31 1
 The HSR adjuster in the Grip2 is basically linear, and behaves completely differently to the X2's preloaded (digressive) HSR adjuster which in this article is what they mentioned as being exactly what they were trying to get away from. There's no need to use that method in the Grip2 forks, it isn't beneficial there. IMO this is an excellent means to adjust HSR, it's basically equivalent to revalving the HS circuit.

The setup method mentioned in that Tuesday Tune video was for the sake of simplification and getting a decent usable setup from the X2. It isn't the only viable method of finding a good setup, nor will everyone out there necessarily prefer the result it'll give you - it just helps minimise confusion caused by the amount of crosstalk between the HSR and LSR adjusters on that particular shock, without doing anything dumb, dangerous or unpredictable.
  • 2 0
 @VorsprungSuspension: Hey Steve, that makes real sense, thanks for setting that straight. And great in-depth info on the grip2, cheers!

Would the compression circuit benefit from something similar?

Keep up the good work, hope there will be more Tuesday Tune eps sometime!
  • 7 0
 @sebazzo: Yes and no. I would agree with Fox that this kind of adjustment is arguably more useful on the rebound than on the compression, but it could definitely be used well in compression adjustment too. The difference is that some degree of digression in compression is generally accepted as a good thing, but there is less consensus on that for rebound.
  • 2 0
 @VorsprungSuspension: I see. I assume the difference is down to the variable shaft speeds in compression versus the spring-rate dependent shaft speeds of the rebound circuit. Thanks again.
  • 15 2
 Never got why somebody has a problem with too many adjustments. If you don't know what each of the adjustments do and you don't want to play with it, as long as you can count to 27, you can always go with the factory recommended settings for your weight.
  • 22 0
 That's more than my fingers and toes. . . .
  • 3 0
 @Waldon83: Y'ain't from round here are ya boy!
  • 2 0
 @lluvRIDING its not the fact that there is to many adjustments its the fact that half the adjustments are pretty much useless. I especially notice it in the rebound.
  • 17 2
 I did not understand anything but I certainly want one.
  • 8 1
 It'll look great on the front of your new Yeti.
  • 14 3
 What would be awesome is if Fox could design a single crown fork that doesn't develop a horrendous creak after 6 months.

Honestly, all this advancement in Grip2 means nothing to me when I have my ride ruined by a snap-crackle-pop I can feel in my grips.

I would pay $500 more for a fork that weighed 1lb more if I could get a guarantee it wouldn't creak.

So @foxfactory whats the plan?
  • 1 4
 Warranty it...
  • 7 0
 @Loamhuck: Yeah "warranty" it and still have to pay $175 for new seals. Great warranty department fox. 10/10 would not recommend.
  • 6 0
 @Loamhuck: The warranty only lasts so long my friend.

I know its crazy to assume someone would ride a high end suspension fork for more than two years though.
After 4 CSU's you just gotta sell the fork and start over.

@yetikid Yup totally. Gotta have it serviced to get the CSU replaced. No guarantee it wont start creaking again in 8 weeks depending how and what you ride.
  • 5 0
 Ha, yours actually made it 6mos! My buddy has a brand new bike (two weeks old) with a DPX2 with a dead spot and a creaking 36 crown. Fux...
  • 1 0
 @Eatsdirt: How can you identify there is a dead spot (newbie here sorta)
  • 3 0
 @devin-m: Actual advice - buy the E Bike version of the fork. Heavier, stiffer but thicker stanchions and CSU.
  • 8 0
 It would also be awesome if they had the parts to fix said creak. True story, I had a fork go off for warranty in the first week of September. A week later, I ordered a brand new Hyundai - according to the dealer, it hadn't been built yet. The car arrived last week after being built and shipped (yes shipped, on a boat) from Korea - but still waiting on a f'n CSU from Fox.
  • 4 0
 Would love to see one piece crowns from the big players. This is an issue fox and Rockshox alike.
  • 2 0
 @Svinyard: That's a good question... the only way I can describe it is there's no mid stroke support and with a weird hitch. It's not a bind in linkage and it doesn't seem like a neg chamber issue. Having ridden multiple demo bikes (same bike/shock) it is very apparent.
  • 2 0
 Has no one heard of the green Loctite fix?

I had one creaky fork (not Fox) and it worked like a charm.
  • 4 0
 @ninjatarian: A few of us have been there, done that with 290. Doesn't always work, doesn't last. I did it on multiple Fux CSU's like I lubed my chain.
  • 2 0
 @ninjatarian: Have tried loctite before with mixed results, works for a while and than just comes back.

Not sure why @foxfactory isn’t working harder on this it must cost them a fortune.

I have a buddy who’s been through 3 I’m less than a year. Sometimes only lasting weeks. So Godamn ridiculous.
  • 2 0
 @devin-m: if you'd pay $500 more and deal with the extra pound... that's a DC fork, might actually be worth considering? A Boxxer WC is about 1 pound heavier than a Pike for example, and you can cut and re-tap the air shafts on the older (pre-2019) ones to fit whatever travel you want. I personally don't think we'll ever get away from creaky CSUs on long travel singlecrown forks, look at the amount of leverage between the contact patch on the wheel and the steerer tube and how little material is there to deal with it. Nowhere else on the bike has that kind of load and that little to support it. But where you or I might be ok with an extra pound, consider that people are spending like $3500 on wheelsets to save 1/3 that.
  • 1 0
 @Socket: MRP actually makes a dual crown fork aimed at trailer / enduro now. 15mm axle and a very low axle to crown height.
  • 3 0
 Amen to that! Been waiting 4 months for a CSU under warranty, and just know that (if) when it finally comes I’ll get 4 to 6 months silence before I have to buy the next one. Fox need to stop damper development until they’ve engineered a reliable CSU that’s fit for real mountain biking!
  • 2 0
 @BCDragon: how do you test and identify the CSU creak? Is it a small click or a loud creak? Just wondering how you isolated and identified it. (newbie here to CSU issues but have Grip2 36)
  • 2 0
 @Svinyard: I took my 36 to the local Fox-approved service centre, and they diagnosed it. I was unsure whether it was headset or CSU until then. It’s worth noting that exactly the same thing happened to a 2017 36 of mine last year. To add insult to injury, Fox and their distributors never have any CSUs available for warranty repairs because they need so many and make so few!

I’m ready to ditch Fox in favour of RockShox despite their superior performance. The customer service BS just isn’t worth it!
  • 2 1
 @Svinyard: Take the front wheel off and flip the bike upside down so the handlebar and seat are touching the ground. Next, grab the fork legs and push one leg towards the back wheel while pulling the other leg towards the front of the bike.
  • 2 0
 @charmingbob: This, or twist bars with front wheel between your legs.

From my experience the creaking / crackling sensation is most felt while in big compression's, or when hard on the front brake. Its an awful, ride ruining feeling tht can be heard / felt in the grips. Mine currently feels like something is cracking or about to snap off.

Nothing worse than your 1600$ suspension fork feeling like a loose shopping cart.
  • 9 0
 This system is super clever, as it is a TRUE HSR adjuster. Most everything was discussed in this article, but maybe TOO in depth, so many of you may not get the importance of WHY adjustable HSR is so important to have.

High-speed-rebound is extremely important especially regarding the fork, compared to the rear shock. When the HSR is too slow to return as Levy discussed, you end up "packing up" through chundery repetitive hits. In other words, the first root you may hit feels fine, but as the tire moves closer up to the next obstacle, if the front tire did not shoot back down to the ground fast enough, your fork is already sitting deeper in the stiffer zone of the travel, and ALL the next quick hits after the first are going to feel STIFF. Same cycle over and over...

The adjustable part of this is important as Levy notes, as a pro 200+lb rider may have 120psi in the fork, and a pro 130lb rider may have 70psi in the fork. Both riders need the fork to shoot back to the ground at the same speed. If the HSR is not adjustable and both riders are on the same fork tune, the 200+ lb pro may have a perfect/fast rebound speed, and the 130lb pro might be stuck with a fork that won't rebound/extend fast enough.
  • 3 0
 You had me at ‘in the stiffer zone’
  • 9 0
 I had been running a 2018 Fox 36 Factory Fit 4 fork and my 2018 Ripmo came with the OEM Fox Performance 36 Grip fork. The Performance Grip fork is a night a day a better performing fork then the previous Fit 4 factory fork. If the OEM Performance Grip fork was available aftermarket it would be the dark horse champion as it uses the same 7000 series chassis as the Factory and Performance Elite forks.
The new Marzocchi Z1 is a close match but uses the heavier 6000 series chassis. As much as it is nice to have the additional adjustments the ability to use the compression sweep of the 3 way 36 Performance Grip fork is perfect before a big climb or to open it wide open on a long descent. So far the simplicity of the base Grip fork has far outweighed the fork tuning I used to look for. Moral of the story is buy the Bomber Z1 fork and just ride unless you are a knob grabber it's the best value/performance fork out there right now in the AM/Enduro space.
  • 2 0
 I have 36 Factory Fit4 and demoed a bike this past weekend with a 34 Rhythm with the Grip damper. I was really impressed. The bike I rode wouldn't ever really call for a 36 so other than weight savings due to the 6000 series chassis I can't think of reason I would change the fork out. I agree, unless you really need the adjustments the regular grip damper seems great.
  • 9 0
 Whats the take of Vorsprung on this?? Steve say a word...you disappeared for a while!!
  • 16 9
 Dear Mr Levy,

The obvious competitor to the 36 Grip2 isn't the PIke.... Why not a comparison to the new RC2 Lyrik???


Pinkbike Forum
  • 4 1
 Maybe because he's testing the 34?
  • 2 1
 Only in conclusion does he mention Pike as a less adjustable option like Fox's Grip but in the article he talks about Lyrik RC2 as it's main competitor.
  • 8 0
 Calling Levy out on the "metric shit ton of miles". Cunningham would never mix miles and meters in the same sentence.
  • 9 0
 The bicycle world is all about mixing and matching different measuring systems. I am only adding to that confusion and dogma haha
  • 2 0

You didn't have the metric system fed to you in school like the Canadian kids did.
He didn't actually say meters though.
Just Saying.
  • 3 0
 @mikelevy: while giving Fox all the praise for designing cool springs and dampers, why has Pinkbike never taken them to task for their shocking record on CSU? They can’t make them properly, and they don’t have the foresight to have sufficient spares for warranty replacements! This issue affects many, many Pinkbike users, so why not do your readers a solid and get Fox to open up! I’ve now had two riding seasons affected significantly by this BS, and I know I’m not alone...
  • 3 0
 @BCDragon: For sure, but it's not just Fox. I've seen creaking CSUs from pretty much every brand (save the one-piece CSUs that Ohlins and X-Fusion were using), and I think it's a lot more difficult to keep multi-piece CSUs from making noise than we think it is. That's not a free pass, of course, only that I've been hearing creaking CSUs for 20+ years now.

Bottom line, if I had a creaking CSU on a test fork (or a test bike), you'd hear about it. But I haven't had this come up on any test (or personal) bikes.

  • 2 0
 @mikelevy: Mike, it’s no surprise that test (new) bikes don’t exhibit these problems, but I am surprised to hear that you’ve never had it happen on a personal bike. I could name five to 10 riding buddies here in North Van who’ve experienced issues - particularly with Fox - before a fork/CSU is a year old.

The big issue is that Fox doesn’t care, or is in denial, because they NEVER have enough spare CSUs (here in BC at least) to be able to cope with the demand for replacements.

I’ve got one bike, so lost riding time for four months last year waiting for a CSU for my 2017 36, bought a 2018 because I was tired of waiting, and have now waited four months again, because the 2018 started creaking after five months. Throughout, Fox and their distributors have been nothing but empty promises. I could give you a list of people who would report the same BS service!
  • 3 0
 @mikelevy: I've got to agree with @BCDradon here. While I know you're not really about advocacy - your readers are your "customers" and we would appreciate it if you threw the weight of pinkbike behind our cause to get better customer service from fox. Fox says - don't ride it when it creaks, it's not safe, but then take months for a part to become available to fix the creak. It's terrible. There's an article that I guarantee your readers would be interested in - how do we get the big monopolistic suppliers to care about the consumer, because right now it seems fox is giving us the big f#$% off.
  • 2 0
 @nzstormer: Your sentiment is a good one, but readers aren’t the customers. Advertisers are. If you’re getting something good for free, you’re the product, not the customer.
  • 2 0
 @mrbabcock: I agree with you in theory, but there's a bit of a grey area when it comes to a format like this where the reviewers are supposedly independent. It's also grey because the advertising "customers" want as many eyes on their paid ads as possible, which will only happen if the reading "customers" are satisfied with the content. If pinkbike is perceived to be nothing more than bowing to the will of their advertisers - they will lose both types of customers eventually. I hear what you're saying, but this is one of the few places I stand a chance of fox (and other brands) hearing where we are disappointed with them and i think pinkbike gets that, so i will leave it up to pinkbike to deal with the conflict of interest.
  • 5 0
 This is pretty interesting to see from Fox. So basically HSR and HSC are "overflow" dampers for when the LSC or LSR get overwhelmed. Fast/bigger hits will overwhelm the LSR/LSC and therefore the HSC/HSR damper is now being used to handle the excess oil being forced through their valves.

It definitely highlights how the LSC/HSC (or LSR/HSR) function as a team. If your LSC is a bit more closed...it'll overflow earlier on high velocity cycles/hit thus engaging the HSC more often and earlier in the travel. I used to think of them as more separate but thats not the case.
  • 6 0
 How many people swapped out a budget Grip dampened fork without even riding it? You would have been riding the same damper as Minnaar!
  • 1 0
 The poor man's secret. Minaar is now on GRIP2.
  • 2 1
 Brilliant marketing by Fox too. "Hey folks, you know all those budget forks you were riding? Actually they are awesome too!"

Makes you wonder how good the new Motion Control Damper is by comparison.
  • 2 2
 @PHeller: the new ones they are putting in the Yaris and Revelations are actually pretty dang good.
They took the tech from the top level WC RC2C Motion Control dampers that were on the Boxxers and what not and stuffed it all in a single turn dial damper system and its proved to be pretty dang good.

But if we are comparing the Motion Control budget damper to the Budget Grip dampers... different ball field
  • 2 1
 @TheBearDen: Why a different ball field? I would be interested in a comparison between the Motion Control Damper found in the Revelation vs the GRIP damper found in the 34.
  • 2 0
 @PHeller: Oh I am definitely not the person to Break this down in a way that would be understandable in the form of typed out words. But as for real world testing... on my bike I have grip Damper 36 and one of my riding buddies has a Yari. We both own the same bike but different trim packages. Anyways back to back riding of each bike and the forks don't feel at all the same.

The easiest way I can explain it is the Grip Damper feels as if it is taking care of the terrain and does well managing very rough terrain where as the Motion Control damper felt a little more stiff off the top (lower small bump compliance) and when things got chaotic on the trail it was surviving more than controlling.

I am more than confident there are gonna people on here that can better explain the differences from a technical standpoint than I can, so lets leave it to them haha.
  • 1 0
 @TheBearDen: I ride a Grip 36 and it's brilliant. So composed when things get rough and the small bump is the best I've ever felt.
  • 1 0
 ... stupid double post.
  • 1 0
 @PHeller: I can't speak to the current year, but the 2017 model year Lyrik in the cheapo/OEM R spec that came on my bike SUCKED when pushed hard. It tried to kill my on chunky, fast DH style trails. I hear the RC2 is much better. Who knows if the current year R is still the same.

I'm not a flyweight, about 200lbs geared up, ride hard. The fork felt under-damped and divey in the first half of it's travel, though it did feel like butter on small chop. If I turned the compression dial up a few clicks, it felt really harsh when smashing into anything chunky.

Even if I had the compression set all the way open, it would feel fine 99% of the time, but then when pushed really hard it would spike and cause lack of control. That might not sound like much, but it's only that 1% when your fork really matters.

Weirdly, I rarely used that last 15mm of travel, even without bottomless token. On anything rough it would spike instead of smoothly going to the end. Basically blow through the first half of travel, start ramping up quickly, then BAM! it would try to blow your hands off the bar. This is going fast on DHish stuff. Fork felt great on anything low-moderate speed, loamers, etc.

Reading around, this is a known thing, but I think expert riders rarely get on the Lyrik R. Word has it that it's massively over-shimmed on the HSC circuit in order to make the lockout feel like a lockout. Who knows if this is true, but it makes logical sense.

TLDR; Lyrik R is great for intermediate riders, horrible for experts. Higher end Lyriks are fine.
  • 1 1
 @JustinVP: the Lyrik uses a Charger damper which is nothing like Motion Control (or GRIP) found in the Yari and not the topic of discussion. I wish you could go back and delete your comment because its really unnecessary for the topic of Motion Control vs GRIP.
  • 1 0
 @PHeller: What about the oem charger rc dampers coming on the gt force.
Yari charger rc and revelation charger rc both have a spring backed ifp life the grip damper
  • 1 0
 @Tvaneijk: That's a different setup from the Charger damper in the 2017 Lyrik as JustinVP was talking about. The Charger RC is new for 2019. It is however, kind of what I was after...is Rockshox developing an improved "simple" damper that will perform better than Motion Control, but be significantly cheaper than Charger 2/RC2.
  • 1 0
 @Tvaneijk: I have an open bath charger damper, its very similar to the grip. Came in a revelation on my gt sensor expert. Its the obvious direct competitor to the grip damper, literally the exact same architecture just missing the high speed adjustments, but no mag has mentioned it yet. I think RS might not want to draw attention away from the recently released Charger 2, cuz hype sells.

So far it has been a great fork. I can confirm it doesn't have the lock out like the charger RC so the compression tune is much more reasonable. I also rode a moco yari, my least favorite fork ever, @thebearden did a great job explaining its issues. The Charger open bath does not have the high speed choking issue and is really smooth on big hits. Also doesn't have the diving issue. I broke my finger on my first big ride so I only have a few short rides, but its a very promising damper! Only negative I experienced is more hand fatigue than I'm used to getting with my 170mm avalanched yari, but without HSBV thats expected. A little less air spring pressure may nearly fix it.
  • 1 0
 @Purpledragonslayer: I read your review over on MTBR. Definitely makes me a bit more interested in a Charger RC. I wonder what it might cost to get that damper separate of the fork. Makes the Revelation and the Yari a bit more of a bargain if you manage to get one with it.

I'd love to see a comparison of the GRIP damper vs the Charger RC respectively on the 34/Rev and 36/Yari.
  • 8 4
 I'll be honest, my eyes rolled and I stopped reading once I got to this line:

"A Fox 36 working well is about as newsworthy as anything from the most recent Interbike, so not at all, in other words. We know the 36 is badass."

My 2017 Fox 36 is not badass. It's harsh as hell or it's too soft and blows through travel, without spending a ton of money on a custom damper and tune.
  • 2 2
 you should get the 2018, or 2019. both badass Smile
  • 1 0
 I have a 2016 Fit4. It wasn't as plush as I would have liked, so I spend $100 on a Luftkappe, and it now perfect. Great small-bump compliance, good mid-stroke support, and full travel. Definitely worth the extra $$.
  • 1 1
 @Skooks: unfortunately that's probably not something I could install myself, even if I bought the $143 version with the special tool. So if I'm paying someone to do it then it'll probably get serviced at the same time as well. Even more money to spend on my trail bike that I can't afford since the DH bike needs stuff too.
  • 6 0
 @howsyourdad: The 2018 and 2019 crop was blessed by mild summers and wet winters resulting in a full bodied well damped fork. The was a blessing after drought weather produced a 2017 vintage with dry seals and creaking crowns.
The forecast for 2020 forks is not promising. Sporadic precipitation is predicted that may lead to inconsistent damping and overfilled lowers.
The special "Screaming Orange Select" crop is not likely to be affected but supplies will be limited to select customers in Temecula and Pietermaritzburg.
  • 1 0
 add tokens
  • 2 1
 @conoat: no tokens equals blows through travel. Tokens equals harsh.
  • 1 0
 I add an MRP ramp control unit and it works. Only thing is at 65 kg rebound noob is almost useless. That HSR sounds really good to me,cos I´m looking for a custom valving but it is not something everybody knows about it. Luftkappe works really well,a buddy have it installed himself in a pike and a boxxer and it is crazy smooth compared to my 36
  • 3 0
 There's also a BIG difference between the RC2 (or HSC/LSC as they started calling it) and the FIT4. The RC2 is still a great fork, the FIT4 never was top in it's class. Why anyone would ever buy a fork in the class of a 36 with a lockout is beyond me. You just don't need it, it actually makes tech climbs worse, and too many compromises required to get that lockout. I guess the general public can't be expected to understand all that, so many buy the wrong version of the 36. Bike companies that spec the FIT4 36 need to be kicked in the junk.
  • 7 1
 I want to see a back to back comparison of a stock 36 grip2 vs Avalanche cartridge... with its (yawn) two external adjustments.
  • 7 0
 You don't need high speed adjustments when it's valved for you...
  • 4 0
 I would just love an avi cart review from PinkBike. In a boxxer, 40, 36, I'll take what I can get.
  • 4 0
 Exactly... valved for you. I’m not on a crusade or anything but I get a kick with articles like this where they plainly state they’re custom tuning for the pros but here have all the adjustments you could need for us mortals. My avy cart is just for me and still one or two clicks can make all the difference on specific terain. Bigger point I want to make is how is ones money best spent? $1000 for a new 36 or the same for a used chassis on PB with better internals? In the end either if it makes you want to ride I guess! @crimedog:
  • 4 0
 @Fifty50Grip guys stole my glory, I'm the DBC OG expert. Keep in mind DBC is the same stuff my 06 showa fork has in it.


So compared to the c2r2, it's truly refined completely different HSR making the rebound more adjustable is the most noticeable.

But also consider comparing the compression damper as well. the piston is smaller and lighter, the IFP is much simpler and lighter, and only utilizes 1 spring and a smaller seal for less friction.

As an expert on the subject, Marz stole this from Showa/Kaybaya etc moto forks, they used the design in their moto forks and shrunk it for MTB. When fox bought the patents they figured out the marzocchis parts were cheap and worked. but by no means is this the same damper.

Grip is to C2r2 what the Lambo Adventador is to the Countash. The logical progression of refinement and engineering.

So what do we get when we upgrade from the c2r2? Refinement and tuning, I don't have to take my shit apart any more, lighter weight, and even less friction, with the same easy service. AND you get better slipperier more consistent oil (ptfe 5wt vs marz 7.5).

I loved my 380 but I ain't mad, I think it's awesome and the new MARZ stuff is Rad too.
  • 15 8
 This fork got 4 external adjustments, but Randy got 5. #Dealwithit
  • 9 3
 I heard Randy is riding the Grip3 damper now.
  • 1 3
  • 5 2
 Do you remember MX Comps?
nearly a litre of sloshing about, Rebound adjusted internally, Compression and spring curve adjusted by changing the oil. A Schrader valve on the top of each leg. 10+ years between services.

That was peak suspension. Give me that, in a 29er with 36mm stations and a 20mm bolt through.
  • 2 0
 @OllyR So basically a 66 RCV then
  • 1 0
 Marzocchi Monsters Triple duhdoh
  • 3 0
 Interested to see if Steve at @VorsprungSuspension will test this on the dyno and see if the highspeed rebound truly stays independent of the low speed? If it doesn't, tuning for us average joes will be a lot easier. I'll admit, even though I know which circuit does what and how to adjust it; when trying to go fast through a rough section I have a really hard time telling which circuit I need more or less of to get it really dialed in.

Great article and read, these articles are always appreciated. I love seeing and understanding what's going on inside suspension.
  • 2 0
 As a lifelong motocross guy who has done my suspension for years, I've honestly been surprised to see that it seems to me like bicycle suspension companies are un-aware of the technologies out there as this is all stuff that (as they mention) has been standard in moto for many, many years. I'm no engineer and I give these guys credit, there has to be a reason for it (of course weight being a big one) but I've always thought that bike suspension guys were just behind with their technologies based on what has been learned on the moto side of things.
  • 3 0
 If you want moto suspension on a bicycle check out Craig at Avalanche. High quality, impressive stuff.
  • 3 0
 Thanks! Really enjoy reading the in depth techy articles. Props to Fox for explaining in depth about how their damper functions.
  • 1 0
 It cant be stressed enough how awesome the self bleed system is on these dampers. No Air build up or extra oil build up is huge when it comes to sealed cartridge designs.

The Grip Dampers do not have a change in feel like the RS Charger Dampers can fall victim too over time. Every 6 months on the Charger dampers I'd give them a bleed (time it to do this during a routine lowers service)) and they would go back to feeling super good, but its still an additional service thing to do. This has not been the case with my Grip Damper, it has yet to give me a change in feel at anytime and thats a nice feeling.

I will say, if you get a new fox fork, I suggest getting the oil needed to do lowers on them. My 36 was nearly bone dry on the air shaft side and definitely not the correct amount on damper side.

I have never been a fox suspension guy, but the Grip damper on the 36 has deeply changed my feelings about their products. Cant wait to try out the GRIP 2
  • 2 0
 It looks pretty legit, all metal, a mid valve even! I like that they pointed out this is old technology in MX, and just now being applied to mountain bikes. Instead of being disgruntled more companies (besides avalanche) took so long to do this, I'm just stoked it's being realized as a standard in mountain bike suspension. Finally.
  • 1 0
 The bugget charger rc damper o oem rs forks like my new yari is a spring backed ifp with the same self bleeding design
  • 1 0
 @Tvaneijk: show me this thing you speak of.
  • 1 0
 The open bath charger has the same ifp w/ bleed valve. Its also got a midvalve. Just no HSC or LSC.

Another huge benefit to the easy bleeds is that its easier to make internal adjustments. You dont even need shaft clamps to pull the valves, so a little simple messing around to get the perfect high speed tunes and youre set.
  • 3 1
 Not one comment about the suspension components laid out on all that peeling paint? Next time just toss them in your cats litter box...it will keep them from rolling off the paint flakes onto the floor...
  • 3 0
 Use more oil and less complicated parts. Add a blow off valve. Add a coil spring to that damper and you have a winning combination.
  • 1 0
 I'd love to see a blind review of the major forks, surely it could be done. Might be hard to disguise a Mattoc, but at the end of each run, the rider could request a change (more HSC, more LSC etc) and it could be done by someone else. Then they set off again. Suspension is so subjective. I had a Pike RC and it was possibly the worst performing fork I had. Great for DH, but too harsh for trail or lower speeds.
  • 1 0
 The new charger rc damper coming on OEM revelations and yaris is using the same kind of self bleeding spring backed ifp. I have it on my new gt force and with the debon air spring it is way better than my pike rc solo air ever felt.
  • 1 0
 works great in the revelation on the sensors too
  • 1 0
 Great dive into the tech! Love these articles.

Had a FIT4 for a short time, and then a GRIP. I actually liked the GRIP better. Actually, that Rhythm GRIP fork was the first FOX fork I actually liked. Well, to be fair, the first Fox fork I rode was assembled wrong and had all the lower leg oil in the air chamber, so it was like running 4 tokens or something and would never use more than 2/3 of its travel. Didn't know it until I did a rebuild. It felt great after, but then 27.5 and Boost came out and it was time for a new ride.

Riding a Pike and a Lyrik now, Pike feels better than the Lyrik. But may be swapping a bike again soon, may go back to a GRIP fork.
  • 4 0
 gotta admit I zoned out....
  • 2 0
 I’ll reread this tonight if I’m having trouble falling asleep.
  • 5 0
 Thanks to Marzocchi! Smile
  • 1 0
 Quick question: has anyone seen anyone with Fox’s live valve suspension yet? I’ve been to a few racers with thousands of mountain bikers there but I still haven’t seen any.
  • 1 0
 I met Ariel in 2014 and he ripped the arms off my favourite TroyLee t-shirt at the TransSavoie after party. I have bought another TL t since then and whilst I forgave him pretty quickly, I have been avoiding him ever since.
  • 3 0
 Horatio Caine: HSC doesn't have 29 clicks.
  • 4 0
 Any new information on the extra (useless) clicks on hsc?
  • 1 1
 @kwapik: It's called "fine tuning"
  • 3 1
 So the dampener just blows excess oil out and it just disappears like magic.
  • 3 2
 The damper oil and lubricating bath oil are one in the same.
  • 1 1
 Yep, exactly what they say in the article. Or maybe read it again and look at the cut away damper to realize the excess oil path is well thought out.
  • 2 0
 @LoganKM1982: do you believe in magic?
  • 3 1
 Awesome article, thanks for the in depth, clear explanation of how it works.
  • 3 0
 All this time these Co. have been selling shitty forks!
  • 1 0
 Hahaha. I go by the old, "everything is low quality" as portrayed to me most of my life. Don't think there's going to be some mystical turnaround with, "Captain Caring" all of a sudden at the helm or something.
  • 1 0
 That being said, I would say I've been pleasantly surprised by setting the bar low.
  • 2 1
 I guess we are ignoring the elephant in the room where numerous forks have 32 clicks of LSC/HSC with only 16 clicks actually making a difference.
  • 1 0
 The extra clicks would be ok if moving to "closed" only had a single "closed" click...but it doesn't have a hard stop right at "closed". There are like 3-4 clicks of "closed" and therefore setting the fork from fully closed has ambiguity in it hence all of the confusion and people setting it from Opened. If you let all of the air out of the fork, turn the HSC to all the way closed and cycle it, then add 1 click towards open and do it again. You'll see the difference there.
  • 3 0
 Who cares? It states it in the manual too.
  • 1 0
 @Svinyard: they recommend that you start from 10 and 6 clicks out so don't worry about it.
  • 2 1
 Marfoxxi, my buddy randy came up with that one. he used to date my sister. they're still friends, that's how cool randy is
  • 1 0
 "Going Deep: Inside Fox's GRIP2 Damper" I was hoping for some fork-porn today, thanks!
  • 2 0
 Is this going to be coming to the Fox 34 platform?
  • 1 0
 Any word on what pressure the standard GRIP fork works properly at without needing to be revalved?
  • 2 0
 Jordi from Fox-Minaar point: is first click zero or one?
  • 1 0
 How is the grip damper dignificantly different from the suntour r2c2 cartridge? (except fort the small tear shaped orifice)
  • 1 0
 I'm glad that the best damper that I ever tried didn't die with Marzocchi.
  • 2 0
 durolux like
  • 4 0
 Yeah, I was actually interested to see a comparison between this fork and the Suntour forks indeed. It will probably come in a few weeks or so. In fact I expect Suntour to release some more refined (and expensive) forks anytime now. They've been supporting some high profile DH and big mountain FR athletes (Rampage champ) for a while now. They wouldn't if they weren't onto something.
  • 2 1
 Still smashin on my 888.
Marzocchi >Fox
  • 2 0
 Fox's Daughter ?????
  • 1 0
 Whats the difference between pink 2 and purple 2?...
  • 2 0
 sip it, grip it, rip it.
  • 1 0
 Good review. Nice to see the fork broken down and explained
  • 1 0
 Gripping read
  • 1 1
 Rebound slow fork stay down. Rebound fast fork bounce up. Brilliant
  • 1 0
 RIP Interbike.
  • 2 4
 Bla bla bla bla...
All i want to know is:
How it rides and how often i need to take it apart to keep it decent.
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