Pinkbike Awards 2015: Suspension Product of the Year Winner

Jan 20, 2016
by Pinkbike Staff  
new MTB awards logo 2015
Suspension Product of the Year Winner

Fox Float X2 Shock


A wise man once said that geometry is the most important factor when it comes to how well (or how poorly) a bike performs, followed closely by its suspension. That's never been truer than today, and as geometry has evolved to allow us to ride quicker than ever, suspension has also had to develop in order to keep us in control. The three Suspension Product of the Year nominees were RockShox's new Lyrik, a single crown fork that can be had with up to 180mm of travel that's controlled by their Charger damper; Fox's sub-four-pound Factory Series Float that offers heavyweight performance; and the new Float X2 shock, with an internal design that's a major departure from the architecture that Fox has used for their previous shocks.

It's the Fox Float X2 that takes the win in 2015, due to its massive and effective range of adjustments, reliable performance, and action that anyone would be hard pressed to tell the difference between it and a coil-sprung shock during a blind test.





FOX Float X2 shock review

FOX Float X2 Shock

Billed as Fox's “highest performing air shock,” and aimed at gravity-oriented riders, the $595 USD Float X2 has externally adjustable low- and high-speed compression damping, as well as low- and high-speed rebound adjustment. Also, the amount of ramp up at the end of the shock's stroke is also adjustable by sliding off the outer air sleeve and adding or removing volume spacers as needed, all of which makes it Fox's most adjustable mountain bike shock to date.

Internally, the X2 employs a twin-tube design, which is exactly what is sounds like: a smaller tube is situated inside a larger tube, with bleed holes strategically situated at the bottom of the smaller tube to allow oil to circulate as the shock goes through its travel. It's worth mentioning that Cane Creek and Öhlins were the first companies to bring this design to the mountain bike world back in 2005, although it had existed on cars and motorcycles for many years prior.

The X2 has not only proven itself to be extremely reliable but also offers the most coil-like feel of any air-sprung shock that we've spent time on.
FOX X2

The standout trait of the X2 is how well it handles high-speed washboard sections of trail, the type of conditions that are common in the summer due to months of dry and dusty weather. The shock made it seem like those repeated bumps had been covered by a layer of carpet - you can still feel them, but they aren't nearly as jarring and painful as they could have been, and the feel of the shock never varies no matter the length of the run. At slower speeds, the performance remains just as impressive, with plenty of suppleness to keep the rear end velcroed to the ground for maximum traction, and enough support deeper in the travel to prevent it from wallowing. Bigger hits never pose a problem, either, and even with four volume spacers installed there isn't any harshness at the end of the stroke. In short, the Float X2 just plain works - there are no weird noises, no odd spiking or fading, just an incredibly consistent smoothness no matter what nastiness you roll through.

When all is said and done, the Float X2 earns its place as one of the best gravity-oriented air shocks currently on the market, one that's capable of anything from World Cup downhill racing to rowdy all-mountain adventures in your own backyard.

Must Read This Week

174 Comments

  • + 865
 The suspension product of the year should go to the height adjustment on office chairs. Only they have been able to handle all of these desk jockeys complaining about every single award that Pinkbike has posted.
  • + 113
 My chair has multiple adjustments, very small wheels, doesn't say enduro, and was inexpensive. Does my chair win things(other than getting to touch my @$$ each day)?
  • + 246
 I leaned my chair back a few degrees to slack it out, and moved away from my desk 50mm to extend my reach. It works, seems to have made my work go downhill fast. Plus+ size castors are next.
  • + 21
 @gnartail are you a carpenter by chance? Because you hit that nail square on the head.
  • + 71
 Does Pinkbike have a comment of the year award? I nominate gnartail.
  • + 8
 @MTBrent are you sure your wheels have a wide enough ID for that? Maybe adding a Booster seat would help?
  • + 29
 Works better than my reverb. @gnartail
  • + 9
 my office chair came stock with a flush lever. and by office, i mean bathroom. and by chair, i mean toilet...
  • + 26
 Why is it that desk chair height-adjust works flawlessly for years, but dropper posts rarely last more than a few months?
  • + 3
 What about the guy complaining about the complainers?
  • + 15
 Mine came with ProBitch, flick the lever and I can whine all day
  • + 2
 U guys have chairs in the office?
  • + 0
 @Drew-O you ride your office chair in mud? Huh.
  • + 1
 i have 100 mm shock travel on my office chair
  • + 30
 You notice how a $99 office chair will stay at WHATEVER height I want for years but my $450 dropper post only works for 6 months?
  • - 8
flag dugglesthemuddled (Jan 20, 2016 at 17:37) (Below Threshold)
 Notice how much your office chair weighs? Or has no rotational constraints? Or can't be actuated by a lever on your desk? Or is not exposed to mud, rain, jetwash, heat, cold? Not a fair comparison.
  • + 5
 Commenting to apologize to @gnartail for the accidental fat-fingered neg prop. Sorry friend!
  • + 2
 Can't believe Marzocchi doesn't oem office chair. My chair squeeks after a year. Wonder what are the service interval. Fox , Rs anyone?
  • + 31
 Suspension chairs suck. I'm all about the rigid chair. 4 legs. Learn to sit like we did back in the 80's....you'll be a much better sitter for it.
  • + 1
 Don't put avids on their
  • + 3
 Anyone want to buy my chair? I've had it for only a year, but I'm upgrading to an internally routed one with a remote.
  • + 120
 You sure you couldn't find a shock with a battery :p
  • + 2
 I laughed for an hour from your joke!!! Big thanks and a plus from me!)
  • + 6
 gold
  • + 2
 Next year ????????
  • + 0
 Yeah! But first the CCDB copy...
  • + 54
 Suntour rux, honestly. Amazing price, amazing performance!
  • + 139
 of course we approve that message!
  • + 10
 just doing my job @SRSuntour ! You guys are an awesome company, with some rad forks!
  • + 6
 Not trying to get a sponsorship or anything Razz
  • + 5
 I race for Knolly and am sponsored by suntour already. They help me out. Truly are a great company!! & their forks really are amazing !
  • + 4
 Lol nice plug then
  • + 1
 thank you(:
  • + 5
 As a mechanic, ever since I called Suntour for a tech question and was told sarcasticly to "call China," I have a hard time putting any value into the company. Not to mention other problems I've seen.
  • + 1
 Suntour is Taiwanese isn't it?
  • + 1
 @dannygoesmtb . who r ya ?
  • + 7
 @dannygoesmtb: Dude, you're not sponsored. From your comments last month:

"Hey knolly, what if I only have one race under my name, but everyone says I could race pro? I'd be a great brand ambassador as Im a business student who understands advertisement and locally talk to everyone. Id absolutely love to advertise you guys! I came 8th on a single crown bike on a downhill race!"

--You're probably a young dude who thinks sponsorship matters and makes you look cool. It doesn't. Just go ride faster. Don't worry about impressing people on the internet.
  • + 2
 Did you read my post after that saying that's what half the people there sound like ? I was making a joke, but of course you can't take one. What a surprise eh? & yeah I actually do race for knolly, with support of knolly, spank, IXS, Gravity Cartel, suntour, Canecreek. But thanks for the info. I appreciate it(:
  • + 1
 @dannygoesmtb: This is getting too meta for me. Enjoy your sponsorships (aka 10% discount w/ free stickers) dude!
  • + 1
 Thank you I will (;
  • + 0
 oh your that danny. sorry dude i dint see you there among the tree of sponsorship labels.....il look out for ya at the next knolly event. pen and paper in hand
  • + 0
 I don't see the issue here in all honesty. I just said that suntour makes great forks. I have their fork on my delirium, and they support my racing. I'm not saying I'm some big shot or anything. All I said was they were a great company!
  • - 3
 yeah I actually do race for knolly, with support of knolly, spank, IXS, Gravity Cartel, suntour, Canecreek.you said this. this to me is somebody who feels he is good...look at me
  • + 4
 Well he must be decent to get any form of sponsorship.
  • + 1
 @dannygoesmtb I'm on the same grassroots racing program. It's not sponsorship man, at the most it's "endorsement"
  • - 1
 Im not on their grassroots team though, I was last year though, this year I'm on tier 2.
  • + 1
 & also, I give up on this conversation with everyone cuz apparently everyone some how thinks they know my life without knowing me at all and its getting ridiculous, so have a good day guys and keep shredding hard!
  • + 0
 I believe you Danny. Good luck with the race season ahead.
  • - 2
 Thanks bud! Really appreciate it! You too, keep shredding!
  • + 42
 but can I put this on my hardtail
  • + 24
 sure you can, hockey tape and a hose clamp should do the trick.....
  • + 9
 Don't forget the hacksaw to engineer enduro specific flex into the chain stays.
  • + 1
 but my hardtail cost less than the shock. Doesn't feels right Smile
  • + 31
 PUSH ELEVENSIX must feel like gore in the 2000 election right about now.
  • + 2
 Haha good one!
  • + 27
 PB - I suggest you get a bit edgier and forceful with your writing style. This article and the Di2 one come of as a bit apologetic which opens the door to so many angry comments. Also, why are you so shy about comparing products by name, geez! It's my biggest grip about MTB writing - are you so beholden to advertisers?! Here is my edit for an example sentence:

PB Original: "The X2 has not only proven itself to be extremely reliable but also offers the most coil-like feel of any air-sprung shock that we've spent time on."

Proposed: "The X2 has proven itself to be extremely reliable with zero issues, leaking or squeaking after 2000 miles of combined use on our test bikes. It offers a more coil-like feel than the Monarch Plus based on our swap test with 3 riders unanimously agreeing that the X2 is smoother, controls the rear tire better and provides a better riding experience. 2 riders spent their own money to upgrade their existing shock to the X2 - it's that good!"

If you aren't going to be more serious in your test methods and reporting then ask yourself - what it the value of the 'product of the year' award anyway?
  • + 2
 Well said!
  • + 2
 Well if PB says that this air shock is better than any other air shock they've tested (assuming that they tested all relevant competitors), then by definition they don't need to specifically reference another shock since you could substitute whatever shock is comparable and the Fox would be better than it.

I do agree that they could have spelled out the differences a bit better and offered more details, as you propose.
  • + 1
 Rigor is the name of the game - especially when people are dropping their cold hard cash on these products.
  • + 26
 Well that's a shock
  • + 7
 How do we know its reliable? did Pinkbike do any reviews/longterm tests? seems like this article was written by fox.
  • + 2
 I have found the shock to be reliable on the 2 bikes that I've had it on, however it is really easy to damage the shock when tuning. Adjusting per instructions involves rotating the 6mm HSC and HSR to a closed position, and back off X clicks to the base tune. When finding the closed stop, it is very easy to turn it too far and cause a leak.. much easier to damage than any other shock I've had. If you pay attention to that, the shock has excellent tuning potential and performance.
  • + 2
 I used one for about 10 hours a week for 3 months last year and never had any problems. I know I was supposed to service it but never did. It felt the same day 1 as it did after 3 months
  • + 1
 @rattpoison: it's the exact same for the ccdb shocks. They can be damaged by turning out the knobs too far as there isn't a very hard stop.
  • + 0
 What you're mentioning is not the exact same for ccdb shocks; it's same for every shock. What I'm saying is to be careful of this for those who want to try the X2. Other than that, it's my favorite shock to date. Quit taking a little advice for others who want to try this shock as a knock on it.
  • + 2
 ^ If the adjuster knobs on a CCDB are turnout out to zero, they can still be turn out even more if the user is not careful and doesn't feel where the knobs are supposed to stop. Quit taking my comment as a knock on it.It was just an informational comment, not a knock
  • + 6
 2016 suspension product for a 2015 suspension product of the year, Great job!
  • + 3
 I can picture Darren from Push Industries squeezing his head in one of his presses. The 11/6 is the best shock that has come out EVER in my opinion and I've run a RS, FOX and DVO. I've been running it for 8 months and it works exactly as the first day i got it. This shock is a game changer, and its a shame PB picked a shock made for the masses and not based on innovation and performance.
  • + 6
 Now they just need to release it like the proto with the trail adjust and it would be the best shock ever.
  • + 5
 Surprised by the difference of msr price givin that we pay around 750€ for an X2 when US msrp is 595$.
  • + 1
 750€ with taxes
  • + 4
 Gwin, riding a Remedy with XTR Di2 and Float X2. He'll also be running a live valve, be chainless, and will be joined by Rachel, riding at Crankworx ews.
  • + 6
 Honorable mention: BOS Void?
  • + 3
 will fox win again next year for the same shock with completely re-valved damping? haven't ridden an x2, but based on everything else they've released in recent years, i can't see this one going any other way...
  • + 5
 Deeight time, but didn't Romic first use twin tube technology with their....Twin Tube shock?
  • + 1
 Yeah I've got a 2003 Foes Fly (currently collecting dust in the cellar).
It's got a Romic twin tube shock
  • + 3
 Fox comes out with an air shock 4 years after the cane Creek DB air that equals its performance and wins product of the year???

That makes sense
  • + 5
 Why wasnt it called the foxocchi float??!!
  • + 0
 Haha
  • + 16
 Why wasn't it called the Fox Double Barrel Wink
  • + 2
 over under was suggested, nobody seemed to think it was funny
  • + 2
 @jewpowered that's a shame, because that is definitely humorous!
  • + 5
 I believe this is a great choice, I am throughly enjoying mine.
  • + 5
 Time for a head to head challenge: CCDBA vs Fox X2
  • + 6
 They'll never do it.
  • + 3
 there already was and Fox won...
  • + 0
 I totally agree thax this is awesome shock, however avarage joe could benefit from that shock only after setting it properly for specific terrain, frame and riders ability, that's why half of the users will not simply use it as it was designed, without proffecional mechanic..

personally I would prefer well tuned and setted up mid / lower range shock, Without any external adjustment( except probably reboud) rather top shock with dozen parameters to adjust without proper tuning or mechanic team.
  • + 2
 Strange. I knew that FOX would be the winner before even opening the article.
  • + 2
 So stoked I just bought one for my DH bike. Can't wait to see how it rides. Smile
  • + 2
 I'm just thankful suspension is finally leaps ahead of the old tumultuous days, by far.
  • + 3
 Foxane Creek Double Float X2 ftw!
  • + 4
 Ohlins TTX FTW!
  • + 2
 I was really hoping for a Marzocchi win here.
  • + 8
 I suppose Marzocchi was a suspension related thing that you could buy in 2015...
  • + 1
 I so want one of these, but they're like $900 in Canada...what a time for the ass to fall out of the loonie.
  • + 1
 So winner award of suspension is a shock that came years after the CCDB and doing the same???...really????
  • + 2
 wish it fit into my chain stays Frown
  • + 13
 It's a shock, not a tire, silly!
  • + 6
 correct. but it still wont fit due to my stays. take a gander at the commencal meta sx thread and look at the issues with the new and old stays.
  • + 4
 Did you know that Commencal sell Piggyback compatible chainstays for all Meta V3 frames?
www.commencal-store.co.uk/PBSCProduct.asp?ItmID=14018492
It may not fit such a big shock as the fox X2 though...
  • + 3
 They should have done that from the start tbh.
  • + 2
 i have the piggyback compatible stays. even with those you have the grind the stays down so the debonair shock it comes with still hits....
  • + 1
 wow, what a shit design.
  • + 2
 It sucks but the bike is STUPID fun to ride. Slack and playful. Its worth the trade off
  • + 1
 Are you running a debonaire+? I've been pretty impressed with that shock; haven't run the latest round of dh air shocks, but it's the best air shock i've ever had. I wouldn't be too sad not being able to run the x2.
  • + 1
 Yeah i have the +. I get in trouble following my buddies on dh bikes. I not a small dude and it still hands it well.
  • + 1
 Where is the lockout Fox? X3?
  • + 1
 Too bad about the reliability part.
  • + 1
 Is there a seal kit available for the X2?
  • + 1
 got one on my downhill bike awwwwyeahhh!@@!@!
  • + 1
 I just can't care.... Sorry pb
  • + 1
 It should have been the PIKE!
  • + 1
 @wmv7766 give it just a little time and you'll be stoked
  • + 1
 would rather have a push 11-6
  • + 0
 This one got a Shreddie - moving on Big Grin
  • + 1
 shreddies for breakfast every day dude
  • + 4
 the 11/6 is truly a next level deal. What's going inside of that things is just correct compared to the mass manufactured stuff. the x2 is sic nasty but doesn't even come close to the 11/6. If only Push would offer it in black.
  • + 1
 you are so right @kunther. i have it, and there is nothing like it.
  • + 2
 not the PUSH 11Six Then?
  • + 2
 Mmmm
  • + 1
 WHAT?!?!?!
  • + 1
 Agreed!
  • + 0
 If you haven't got a x2 !! The question is why not this is the nuts !!
  • + 1
 Good choice
  • + 0
 Doesn't fit with my claymore.
  • + 0
 that fox shox looks like their copy of the cane creek DB
  • + 2
 Which originally licensed the design from Öhlins...
  • + 2
 Nope. CC payed a royalty fee to use twin tube tech, the design was 100% their own. Ohlins didn't have any products in the mtb market for many years after CC brought twin tube tech to the industry.
  • + 1
 oh right ya forgot about the Ohlins tech that went into the creek. seems that all the major shox companies are taking lessons form Ohlins.
  • + 0
 @satanslittlehelper

"The technology, which originated with the suspension gurus at Ohlins, is so effective that versions of the Double Barrel are used in some forms of auto racing"

m.pinkbike.com/news/Cane-Creek-Double-Barrel-Air-Tested-2013.html
  • + 1
 @meathooker What's your point? I never said Cane Creek invented twin tube, just that they designed their own version of it. Again, a royalty fee was payed for the use of twin tube tech, then the design of the CC shock was done independently of Ohlins. Other than the fact the oil circulates through an inner and outer tube, the CC shock is completely different from anything Ohlins offered then.
  • - 1
 Am I hear too early for all the complaints?
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