Review: Fox 36 GRIP2 vs. RockShox Lyrik RC2 Fork

Sep 25, 2018
by Mike Kazimer  
Fox 36 RockShox Lyrik


The RockShox vs. Fox battle is mountain biking's equivalent of pitting Coke vs. Pepsi, or Ford vs. Chevy. They're the two biggest players in the suspension world, and if you're in the market for a new bike there's a very, very good chance that it will come with either a RockShox or Fox fork.

RockShox launched their new Lyrik earlier this year, and shortly after Fox debuted the new Fox 36 GRIP2. Both options are air sprung, and aimed at riders looking for a fork that can handle everything from enduro racing to aggressive trail riding. With similar weights, prices, and features, choosing one over the other is a difficult, but not impossible task. I've spent considerable time on both forks, including back-to-back testing in Whistler in order to assess their real-world performance.


Fox 36 Factory GRIP2 Details

• FIT GRIP2 damper
• EVOL air spring
• Adjustable high- and low-speed compression and rebound
• Wheel size: 27.5" or 29"
• Max travel: 170mm (29"), 180mm (27.5")
• Reduced offset options (37mm for 27.5", 44mm for 29")
• Weight: 2,020-grams (160mm 29")
• MSRP: $1,065 USD
www.ridefox.com
RockShox Lyrik RC2 Details

• Charger 2 RC2 damper
• DebonAir air spring
• Adjustable rebound, high- and low-speed compression
• Wheel size: 27.5" or 29"
• Travel: 150, 160, 170, 180mm
• Offsets: 37mm, 46mm (27.5"), 42mm, 51mm (29")
• Weight: 2,000 grams (160mm 29")
• Price: $999 USD
www.rockshox.com


Fox 36
RockShox Lyrik
Both forks offer adjustable high- and low-speed compression damping.


Design Details

The chassis design of both forks is fairly similar – they both use magnesium lowers and aluminum stanchion tubes, although Fox's Kashima-coated stanchions have a 36mm diameter, while RockShox's Fast Black stanchions measure 35mm.

Internally, both forks use a cartridge style damper, but the difference lies in how they deal with the increased oil pressure that occurs when a fork is compressed. RockShox's Charger II damper uses an extruded rubber bladder that expands as the piston moves into the cartridge to handle the displaced oil.

Fox has used a bladder-style system in the past, but they went a different route with the GRIP2, and chose to use a spring-backed internal floating piston, a simple but effective design that was originally found on their more budget oriented Rhythm forks.


Fox 36
RockShox Lyrik
The Lyrik has one rebound dial, while the 36 has two, for high- and low-speed rebound adjustment.


Adjustments

Fox 36 GRIP2

If this were purely a battle to see which fork had the most adjustments, Fox would take the win. The 36 GRIP2's exact number of clicks on the high-speed compression knob may vary, but according to Fox there are 16 usable settings when starting from fully closed. There are also 12 clicks of low-speed compression, 8 clicks of high-speed rebound damping adjustment, and 16 clicks of low-speed rebound adjustment.

Fox use plastic volume spacers that clip onto each other to adjust the 36's end stroke ramp-up, although a 32 mm socket is required to remove the top cap. It's a tiny detail, but I prefer the cassette tool style that RockShox use – no matter how careful I am, I inevitably end up with a few scuffs on the Fox style of top cap after a few volume spacer adjustments.

RockShox Lyrik RC2

The big news this year was the return of adjustable high-speed compression damping on the Lyrik. It'd been absent for a few seasons, part of RockShox's 'less is more' strategy when it comes to adjustments, but now it's back, and there are five possible settings, with the middle setting said to be identical to the amount of high-speed compression damping found on last year's model. The fork also has 18 clicks of low-speed compression, and 19 clicks of rebound adjustment.

Adjusting the amount of air spring ramp-up is as simple as removing the left top cap with a cassette tool (after letting out the air, of course), and then threading or unthreading plastic spacers to change the air volume.

Fox 36
Air charts on both forks provide a good starting point...
RockShox Lyrik
... But sag gradients are found only on RockShox's forks and shocks.

Set Up

By the end of the test period my final settings on both forks ended up being quite similar – the air pressure numbers were almost the same, and I ran two volume spacers in both forks in order to get the amount of end stroke ramp-up I wanted. Neither fork took very long to get dialed in, but the process was a little quicker with the Lyrik, simply because there were fewer knobs to turn.

Consummate tinkerers will probably gravitate towards the 36 due to the extra adjustability, but I was able to get both forks set to my liking with minimum fuss, and at no point during my rides on the Lyrik did I find myself thinking “If only I had adjustable high-speed rebound, and more clicks of high-speed compression...” It's also harder to make the Lyrik perform poorly - even with both compression dials turned all the way in the fork still remained rideable, although it was certainly much firmer than my normal settings. Doing the same thing on the 36 resulted in a fork that was basically locked out, a setting that would probably only work if your last name was Gwin.


NZ Lyrik
Getting acquainted with the Lyrik in New Zealand earlier this year. Photo: Boris Beyer


Performance

Time for the real test – how do they actually feel out on the trail? To find out, once I'd had plenty of time to dial in both forks on my home trails I headed to the Whistler Bike Park. I tested them back to back, riding a few laps on one fork before switching it out for the other, and then switching back again. The bike stayed the same – the only variable that was changing was the fork. I rode a mix of trails in order to subject the forks to a variety of scenarios, everything from the tight bermed turns of Angry Pirate to the rough, root strewn chaos of Lower Joyride.

The level of small bump sensitivity both forks deliver is excellent, and they both initiate their travel with ease, with plenty of traction available for those slippery, slower speed moments. The Lyrik does feel a little more supple off the top, but it also has a lower dynamic ride height than the 36 – the negative spring pressure really wants to pull it down into its travel, which means a few precious millimeters have already been used before you encounter a bump of any size.

I ended up running two volume spacers in both forks, with similar air pressures, and found that the amount of travel I used was quite close between the two. The 36 does seem to inherently ramp up a little earlier in its travel, and is a little less likely to use full travel, but there's not a drastic difference between the way the two air springs behave, and the amount of ramp up can easily be altered with spacers.

RockShox Lyrik
Fox 36

When it comes to torsional stiffness, neither fork gave me any reason to complain. Granted, I'm not the heaviest rider out there, but I didn't experience any unwanted twisting or flexing - there's plenty of support for those instances when the best option is to plow and pray.

Ok, so the small bump sensitivity and stiffness is similar, they both use the same amount of travel when ridden on the same trail – what's the difference? The difference is in the way they behave when faced with repeated hard impacts. Picture a high-speed stretch of trail that has tall roots zig-zagging across it in every direction, with deep holes in between the roots. It was in this scenario that the 36 took the lead – it did a better job of handling those bigger impacts, with a level of plushness deeper in its travel that wasn't present with the Lyrik. The Lyrik took those big hits in stride, but it wasn't able to erase them in the same way that the 36 was, and it transmitted more feedback to my wrists and forearms. The 36 had a more bottomless feel, as if there was always a little more travel left over in reserve, just in case things got really wild.

Durability: There haven't been any durability issues with either fork – no oil leaking, no crowns creaking, nothing. When it comes to service intervals, RockShox recommends performing a basic lower service every 50 hours, and a full rebuild after 200 hours, while Fox recommends a full rebuild yearly, or after 125 hours of riding. Those are very reasonable numbers, and worth paying attention to in order to keep your fork running as smoothly as possible.


The Wishlist

One feature I'd love to see on both forks is an air bleed valve on the lowers, similar to what's found on the Fox 40, or MRP Ribbon. Carefully sliding a zip tie behind the dust wiper every so often will let out any air that's gotten trapped behind the seal, something that can affect the small bump sensitivity of the fork, but it'd be much easier to have a little button to push.

While I'm dreaming, it'd also be great to see an integrated fender option – it seems silly to zip tie a piece of flexible plastic to a $1,000 fork instead of having a nice and clean bolt-on option.
Fox 36
I know there's at least one aftermarket option, but I'd love to see a bolt on fender come as a stock feature


Pinkbike's Take
bigquotesWhat's the verdict? Coke or Pepsi? It's a tough one to call, but if I had to choose I'd go with the Fox 36. The extra adjustability is a plus, but it's really the top-notch performance of the GRIP2 damper that gives it the edge over the Lyrik. The difference is slight, though, and both forks are at the top of their class, extremely capable options no matter if you have your sights set on EWS glory or just want something that can handle those after work hot laps. 
Mike Kazimer









369 Comments

  • + 217
 The real question is though ORANGE or RED?
  • + 162
 Black
  • + 231
 No...the REAL question is :Is a 1000$ fork nowadays twice as good as a 500$ one ?
  • + 52
 @themountain: you get a mattoc pro2 (irt) for half the price and after 4 months i am still blown away by it -so i guess the answer is no
  • + 32
 Black. Both forks come in black. So, black. Always.
  • + 40
 Best of both worlds... a red z1.
  • + 30
 As long time fox fan it bugs me that they still haven't provided a fix for creaky csu that is inevitable. It's like they pretend it doesn't or isn't happening. Fix that and I'll be back. Till then fox is off the table.
  • - 13
flag Whipperman (Sep 25, 2018 at 2:02) (Below Threshold)
 @megatryn: not sure the 36 grip2 is available in black
  • + 14
 @Ziph: is that really a common problem? I need new forks so am about to make this choice. I hate creaky bikes more than anything else (and people who ride creaky bikes near me!!). In my book unsolvable creaking should be a fair warranty claim :-)
  • + 10
 @Whipperman:
The 'Performance Elite' model should be exactly the same, but without Kashima (so black).
  • + 43
 DVO green
  • + 9
 @themountain: got the new Marzocchi Z1 and compared to my 36 it performs just as well so far.
  • + 3
 @Whipperman: So why do I have one?
  • - 9
flag endurocat (Sep 25, 2018 at 4:30) (Below Threshold)
 @cvoc: Performance Elite it's only available with FIT Cartridge.
  • - 8
flag doe222 (Sep 25, 2018 at 4:55) (Below Threshold)
 @Ziph: Both brands' forks are notorious for creaking. After a while it just stops bothering you.
  • - 5
flag ShempHoward (Sep 25, 2018 at 5:03) (Below Threshold)
 Never seen an orange marzocchi before
  • + 88
 My Girvin Flexstem with custom shim stack does everything I need and works with all wheel sizes.
  • + 8
 @doe222: really? I'm about ready to burn my 36s due to the creaking. The noise drives me wild, everytime I do a drop off or ride up a kerb it soundslike my head tube is about to snap.
  • + 6
 @aps62: yeah they do sadly but they do warranty them. It's when they start creaking just after warranty ends and then want £500 for a new csu that boils my pi55
  • + 23
 @bishopsmike: I’m having trouble finding the right elastomer these days to match the feel of my thudbuster.
  • - 2
 @endurocat: Wrong.
  • + 2
 @endurocat:
Yes, FIT, but still GRIP2...

From the Fox website:

Performance Elite forks retain the same adjustments, dampers, weight, and 7000 series aluminum upper tubes as Factory Series, but have black anodized upper tubes instead of Genuine Kashima Coat. A Performance Elite graphics package is found on these forks to tie in the black-on-black look.
  • + 14
 DVO blue
  • + 61
 @wibblywobbly: I find that if I microwave my elastomers in my Quadra 21R for 10 seconds that the small bump sensitivity is best in class.
  • - 14
flag gunslingger (Sep 25, 2018 at 6:36) (Below Threshold)
 @optimumnotmaximum: always someone with the manitou bs.....actually cane creek helm coil blows both away
  • + 3
 @gunslingger: I call that BS Wink
  • + 7
 @gunslingger: even if that is the case (which I doubt personally), his point still stands. No, the tested forks are not 2x as good as forks half the price.
Nor was this to be expected because of marginal returns though.
  • + 4
 @Mac1987: what does it mean "twice as good"? How do you measure it?
  • + 1
 @Whipperman: it is. i got one mounted on my spindrift. 36 2019 grip 2 black
  • - 17
flag owlie (Sep 25, 2018 at 7:28) (Below Threshold)
 @megatryn: Once you go black, youre not welcome back
  • + 5
 @jollyXroger: Orange is the new black.
  • + 5
 Green. Dvo
  • + 2
 @Whipperman: I have a 29er Grip2 170mm in black.
And as Ziph mentioned there is a slight CSU creak on really hard hits every once in awhile, but not consistent...
  • + 4
 @Ziph: Burn your 36's? You know what, I could just save you the trouble... PM me for shipping address. Big Grin
  • + 1
 Def not orange
  • + 1
 @doe222: regular service on my pike with extra grease in the stanchions has mitigated that! It is a non issue.
  • - 8
flag ViktorNovak (Sep 25, 2018 at 8:23) (Below Threshold)
 @optimumnotmaximum: Mattoc is pure shit Big Grin
  • + 21
 The real question which is not metioned is, do you wanna HAVE TO send it for service or you would like have choice to service it yourself. I like the RS because of spare parts availability and anything can be serviced at myself, even the rear shock, thats it for me.
  • + 0
 @jollyXroger: Orange is the new black!
  • + 2
 @bishopsmike: Ha! Went through 3 of those in one season back when I was 14 years old. Kept blowing through that 1/4 of an inch of travel and bending/cracking the angle supports.
  • + 0
 @aps62: I know people who have on 2018 foxes.
  • + 3
 @ShempHoward: Yep they took the Marzocchi NCR damper design and slapped the grip name on it.
  • + 3
 @Ziph: Same issues with Rockshox. 4 our of 4 of my Pike's developed creak.
  • + 1
 @endurocat: actually that isn't accurate. Look at what comes on the new Bronson x01 build.
  • + 2
 @Ziph: Creaky CSU issues are replaced under warranty under 2 years for original owners.
  • + 1
 @optimumnotmaximum: do Manitou offer a 160mm 29er fork with a 44mm offset and high and low speed compression?
  • + 4
 @Tmackstab: I think I had a Noleen coil on my Girvin Vector II back in the day, no creaks!
  • + 2
 @Ziph: have you tried the green wicking loctite (290)? I gave it a try on a creaky 2018 fox CSU this summer and it took care of 90% of the noise. Not perfect but stops the madness and better than the warranty game.
  • + 6
 @danlovesbikes: 48mm. But yes, they do offer high and low speed compression, as well as a much more tunable air spring, and a nifty HBO that as far as I can tell, works pretty well.
  • + 3
 @aps62: FYI: The Ohlins RXF 36 and 34 have one piece aluminium CSU's so they never start creaking. I seriously considered this fork just based on that.
  • + 5
 @doe222: I have had 36's, 40's and Boxxers off and on for years. Constant bike park laps, multiple Whistler trips, etc. zero creaks. Why is everyone getting creaks? May I turn over my forks prior to it happening
  • + 8
 @bman33: you won't get the same creaking in boxers and 40's because they don't have the same kind of bonded/pressed CSU! And there are two crowns to share the load also, but both are clamped on stanchions, not press fitted. The issue, in my mind, is that Fox and RS are making these assemblies as light as possible, and also not doing the proper prep, and the joints end up being compromised under heavy riding - they just aren't up to the task. Any creaking means the crown/stanchion or crown/steer join is compromised and is more likely to fail - usually the crown/stanchion in my experience. Mind you failure is probably not likely, but it sure is annoying as heck.

More robust joint and proper preparation using press fit locking compounds would be a good thing. But it will weigh more and the extra step will cost more.
  • + 2
 @themountain: that's a pointless question. Give me one example in consumer goods where a thing that is 2x in cost is twice as good as the thing that's x cost. I will save you some time, it doesn't exist. The law of diminishing returns still holds true in MTB, brother!
  • + 2
 @FLATLlNE: gotcha. I ride my stuff at an expert level. However, I maintain them well and most likely turn the over (sell them) after a two years or so lately. Maybe that's why my 36's haven't given me any issues.
  • + 4
 @ipattis: i had to do my 36's twice with 290 to fix it completely
  • + 4
 @robjob118: RXF has 1 piece CS (crown and steer), but not CSU. (Crown, steer and uppers, uppers being the stanchions). In my experience it's the stanchion and crown interface that has been the worst.
  • + 3
 @bman33: 36's may not be as bad. I know a couple people in my circle who have 34's and 32's that have needed warranty, or started creaking just outside warranty.

Rockshox are similar, but I think they are pretty good at replacement even after warranty as a CSU failure is pretty serious risk of injury or worse and it's a liability for them.

All my Pike's started creaking early on. My most recent went maybe a month before it started creaking at the stanchion joints, while the 3 others I got a year out of at least.
  • + 7
 @bishopsmike: I've been thinking about one of them, but it means swapping out my threaded headset and quill stem.
  • + 0
 @jaydawg69: tried this several times on a friend's 34 - zero success.

Wicking loctite seems to work some times, but it's still a bandaid fix. It might quill the creak, but it's not address the root cause - it does not really fix the compromised press fit. That little bit of loctite isn't going to prevent a fork that would otherwise fail, from failing.
  • + 2
 @metaam: I was going to ask if you’d consider a USE suspension seatpost to go with that, just to join in the retro vibe, but apparently they’re still a thing..! ultimateuse.com/vybe-suspension-seatpost
  • + 3
 @aps62: Haha, how bizarre. I was going to make a comment about the USE posts, I had one in about '93, but I also realised they're still available.
  • + 2
 @Ziph: I've had a both RockShox and Fox forks with CSU creaking issues. Most recently a Pike that had to get sent away for all new lowers and CSU covered under warranty.
  • + 10
 @danlovesbikes:

Incoming from manitou
180mm to 160mm travel
37mm stanchions
29 and 650b
Integrated fender
LSC hsc lsr and HBO
  • + 1
 @unloadingsomuch: yeah that ain't too bad, shame I was like 3mths over the period so no backup other than a slight discount on a new csu at £500
  • + 4
 @bansaiman: tell me more!
  • + 5
 @FLATLlNE: Good read here blueliquidlabs.com/suspension/article-two . I put my bike upside down and put the 290 around the CSU and stanchions for 24 hrs. Definitely made it better and I don't think it has any more chance of failing than replacing the CSU as it fills up the pours. I was quoted $700 to replace the CSU.
  • + 2
 @bishopsmike: and you can have it in ti stem and handlebar as the new trend goes
  • + 0
 @jaydawg69: loctite 290, the thin little bit that wicks in to fill the gaps, isn't some high strength mirical glue. Once the press fit bond is broken, in my opinion, the only real way to get it back is to bunch the things out and repress with something much higher strength. 290 has the same hit rate for me as oil for fixing stanchion creak. Doesn't always work, and certainly isn't going to stop failure of a CSU that would have otherwise failed. But that's just my opinion.
  • + 2
 I hear what your saying...but its like saying, which MILF would you rather 180mm travel in...Lisa Ann or Kendra Lust?...Just ride the damn thing and go balls out!
  • + 4
 @conoat: I’ll give it a shot how bout milling machines a Bridgeport is certainly better than a harbor freight mill. The iPod cord that came with my iPod lasted far longer than the one I grabbed from the corner store. Lots of things are worth twice the cost how about a 600$ bike from a bike shop vs a 300$ Walmart bike.
  • + 1
 @aps62: yes it is! They'll warranty it, so when your to tired of it - you get the csu swapped, sell it and buy a Lyrik. That's what I ended up doing anyway and wrt. Performance I'm very happy.
  • + 2
 Both are sick forks, but the red looks fast.
  • + 2
 @wibblywobbly: But why use elastomers when you could be riding a softride?
  • + 1
 @FLATLlNE: shouldn’t that actually be 638 green Loctite??
  • + 0
 @ziph I see equal amount of RS forks with the same issue.

Couple DVO’s.

Think Öhlins has the only answer with full one piece CSU.
  • + 1
 @stereo87: I think 648 would also work.
  • + 1
 @conoat: Chill , bro....and live a little Wink
  • + 1
 @stereo87: 638 might work if used before pressing, but it's not a wicking loctite and may not be able to penetrate into the gaps it needs to fill. 290 is a wicking loctite, and meant to be used on parts that are already assembled.
  • + 2
 @Ziph: FWIW. The only RS Pike I ever owned developed a creaky CSU. Same exact creak developed on my friend's Pike. Both of us got the CSU replaced under warranty. While mine was in for warranty repair I picked up a used 36 so I could keep riding. When I got the warranty Pike back I sold it and kept the 36.

I'm on my second Fox 36 now (sold my last bike) and haven't had one creak yet.

Neither Fox or RS are perfect in this regard, and either should be willing to replace/repair under warranty (once a licensed service center has confirmed the creak is coming from the CSU and not a janky headset or something).
  • + 2
 @Ziph: Get yourself some green wicking loctite 290. flip your bike upside down and put it around your stanchion and steer tube connections. Let sit over night and wipe away the excess that has not dried. I have done this on creaky fox forks with great success.
  • + 1
 @bansheeridermike: Mixed results here. At best for me, it was a temporary relief. I've done this on several RS and Fox forks.

Bottom line is, these units should not creak. A creaking CSU is a compromised CSU.
  • + 1
 @bohns1: mate you can’t stop the creaking by putting grease in the stanchions or regular serving lol the creaking is where the crown joins the steerer or stanchion. It’s the bonding material breaking free causing tiny movements which then creak and crack. Pretty much all forks with bonded crowns do it. It’s shockingly poor quality and I’d rather they all went back to pincer bolt set up like dh forks. Screw the few grams weight saving.
  • + 1
 @mikelee: I think it has more to do with machining time and cost but I totally agree.
  • + 3
 @mtbman1980: If that's true, then it should be quite a nice fork. I have a 350 NCR on my son's bike and it's fantastic.
  • + 1
 @themountain: Ohhhh the twice as expensive twice as good phenomenon. I think it is pretty "easy" to get to some point of weight, durability and functionality. And then it becomes tricky. Every single improvement above this point is very hard so if you want better item than this "standard line", you have to pay more and more, because beyond that point it becomes veeeery hard to spare some grams, to make it smoother, to add some more functions. And I ride 36 now but I love Lyriks and I don't think more adjustment is always a good thing.
  • + 1
 @ohboyjd: well..for me its different...I am "one time set and forget" guy. Big Grin
So ,more adjustments means more trouble, but that was actually not the point I was referring to.
  • + 1
 @santoman

There’s a company here in NZ that will re-press your steerer back into your crown.
  • + 2
 @bonfire: any machine shop can do that although I'll rather have it done there while I revisit your amazing country
  • + 1
 @pulDag: literally twice as good is obviously nonsense. However, it can be translated to be a very significant difference that puts it in another class. Like going from a Fox 32 Evolution to a Pike. Or from a Recon to a Mattoc. That's twice the price and at least a class better fork. Going from those forks to a Lyrik or Fox 36 gets you better stiffness but marginally better damping in case of the Pike vs Lyrik and comparable damping in case of the Mattoc vs
36.
  • + 71
 "similar ... prices" : Lyrik RC2 is 890€ and 36 GRIP2 is 1350€ in Europe
  • + 33
 Fox equipment is absurdly overpriced in Europe.
In the US, the damper removal tool costs $25. Here the same tool costs €50 ($58 at the current exchange rate)...
  • + 14
 The RC2 is $750usd in Hong Kong. Easy decision for me.
  • + 5
 Retail price for the Lyrik RC2 in Europe is 1.109 €, so not that much of difference. However, street prices are much lower for the Lyrik than for the Fox36.
  • + 4
 @Mac1987: check bitul.pl for fox tools.
  • + 10
 Yes, the real question for us in Europe: Is the fox worth 50% higher price or not?
  • + 2
 @EnduroriderPL: Will do, thanks !
  • + 10
 Yeah actually their "budget" Z1 is as much as a Lyrik. Plus you get every RS part in a couple of days for the next 10 years and licensed service points are abundant... you have to be a little nuts to buy a Fox here
  • + 1
 @EnduroriderPL:
I checked the site, but unfortunately my Polish is a bit rusty/non-existent... Is there an English or German version of the same site?
  • + 1
 Red always looks better
  • + 8
 Id like to point out that the New DVO Onyx SC has everything that these forks has, AND also what pink bike added to their Wish list. Along with being cheaper $1050USD, this is my choice of fork.
  • + 1
 @Geoff-Smith: No 29" version tho
  • - 11
flag conoat (Sep 25, 2018 at 11:04) (Below Threshold)
 @Mac1987: you can't blame Fox for that, blame the EU and their retarded economic policies.
  • + 4
 @conoat: while I agree the EU has some bad policies, I can buy a Manitou Mattoc for €450 or Shimano Zee brakeset (complete) for around €200. Not all bike gear is ridiculously expensive here.
  • + 6
 @conoat: the Z1 is 43 % more expensive here.... you can't explain that with tariffs. Also by that logic the Lyrik would be just as expensive as the 36. Thinking helps...
  • + 1
 @dubod22: from where man?
  • + 1
 @dubod22: where is there decent mountain biking in HK?
  • + 2
 @Mac1987: no Frown PM me and I'll help you Wink
  • + 1
 @Mac1987: by 'Mattoc for just 450€' you probably mean previous generations on sale? I need 29" version so only the newest 3. gen which goes by 700€ w/o IRT. It's still cheapest option when buying new but would like to save more.
  • + 1
 @AspidMan: the pro2 ist not much off the pro3, the pro3 comes with irt by default
  • + 2
 @AspidMan: yes I do, but it is 99% the same when you but IRT separately. The previous model Fox 36 Factory still costs roughly €1000...
For the 29", look for a Magnum. It's the same fork internally, only it fits 29" and plus tires. On sale it can be had for €500 on the usual sites (CRC, Bike-components, bike-discount, bike24, etc.).
  • + 4
 @kakkakakka: Onyx SC 29" is coming soon
  • + 1
 @Mac1987: Magnum is nice, but I need 140mm travel so Mattoc only
  • + 1
 @DVOSuspension: will there be offset options on the 29er Onyx SC?
  • + 51
 Nice, straight comparison. For the supernerds it would be interesting to the internls and the stack and the whole philosophy behind the damping concepts. Like a tear dow at the end of the test.
But one thing in the test is odd: you are complaining about the neg chamber behaviour of the lyrik being too soft at the beginning. I don‘t know the fox layout, bur the lyrik uses the shaft as additional neg chamber, so the volume is quite big (maybe bigger then the 36 volume).
So the logic behind that is to run more pressure to gain mid stroke support (and progression as a side effect) and maintain good small bump compliance. So for me it sounds like, that you should have tried the lyrik with a couple of psi more and one token less. If needed with a small damping adjustment...
  • + 18
 After changing from the old to the new air spring on my lyrik i added 5 PSI for the Same amount of Sag and removed 1 token.

-> softer beginning, better middle support and same progression.
  • + 3
 @garfunkel187: pretty much what i did with the rc2, but it was +10 psi on my side.
  • - 4
flag Lagr1980 (Sep 25, 2018 at 3:52) (Below Threshold)
 @ArturoBandini the real winner is FOX because now you can service your damper , before GRIP2 it was no-go for the home mechanic...
  • + 4
 @ArturoBandini I agree, basically the same idea as the Vorsprung Luftkappe tuning.
  • + 5
 @Lagr1980: the RC2 damper is not that hard to service. no professional training and I made out fine.
  • + 2
 @sam-swag-g: Vorsprung tells you to use 10% percent more psi when using the lufkappe
  • + 0
 @tim-from-pa: Yes I know that.. lot of people acknowledge fox's performance but stayed away ofnit because of the maintenance, now things change.. this is regardless of which one performs better in this head to head...
  • + 38
 Now THIS is the head to head I think we’ve all been waiting for.
  • + 8
 "The Lyrik does feel a little more supple off the top"..........Had me liking the Rockshox. I don't know, Fox make crazy trophy truck suspension, and every other type. I think bicycling is really the mecca of suspension performance, there's like 9 factors that you want in bicycle suspension, or probably way more. 1. Negative travel for holes 2. Supple initial stroke 3. No travel usage during rider skill input 4. No travel usage due to pedaling 5. Infinite travel support (never bottoming out) 6. High Strength 7. Low weight 8. Smooth operation 9. No packing over multiple bumps...............It's an extremely daunting task, and obviously nobody's, "solved" it.
  • + 8
 Also no compression under braking could be one.
  • + 1
 @Kramz: sounds like you need to ride a Structure Works bike!
  • + 1
 @Kramz: Preload and response for jumps, too.
  • + 17
 Thank you Pinkbike for having the Balls to do this head to head and to actually pick a winner!
  • + 2
 @RollinFoSho: I second that!
  • + 31
 yeah but can you put a wate......whoops wrong article to bitch on !
  • + 21
 No, wait, I think you're on to something. Why engineer a frame to fit a bottle when you could easily fit one to either lower leg of your fork, I see no possible downsides to this idea.
  • - 11
flag Dont-hit-trees (Sep 25, 2018 at 4:24) (Below Threshold)
 @DC1988: not that I’m Sam Hill, but I keep my lines tight enough that a water bottle would be getting smoked every run.
  • + 9
 @DC1988: it will also project your lowers against rock strikes!
  • + 31
 @Dont-hit-trees: user name does not check out.
  • - 1
 @DC1988: coz when stupid ass people put soda cans and it explodes midway thru the trail, then theyll just gonna bitch more haha
  • + 20
 I would love to see how much you give up to get lower-priced options. How much is lost with a Rhythm, Suntour or Manitou? If that comparison bothers the big guys, maybe a lower-priced fork shootout could hint at some answers?
  • + 5
 The Grip damper (Rhythm) beats them all. It actually performs better in a number of instances than the Grip2. I rode a Ohlins which was okay and a MRP which was on par with Grip but had a bunch of features.
  • + 8
 @GVArider, you typically lose adjustments and gain weight as the price goes down. That means it can sometimes be a little trickier to get a lower-priced fork to feel exactly how you want, although the mid-tier forks on the market now are better than ever. The RockShock Revelation is almost identical to the Pike from a few years ago, and the new Marzocchi Z1 is an excellent set and forget option (www.pinkbike.com/news/marzocchi-bomber-z1-review.html).
  • + 2
 @Loamhuck: My 36 with a Grip is very, very good. I can't compare it against the top-end stuff (Grip2, RC21, DVO, etc), but I know that it handles multiple big hits like a champ and I get zero arm pump.
  • + 1
 @mikekazimer: Speaking of weight gain to performance (adjustments) it would be nice if you could pit "standard" 36 vs e-bike version in a normal, non-ebike frame w/ slack HA (65°) and let us know how these two compare.
  • + 19
 I’d still take my MRP Ribbons of either of these. These are great forks, but the ability to adjust the ramp up, on the fly, depending on where you’re riding, is so addictive and just makes riding them a pleasure every time.
  • + 4
 Lyric with MRP ramp control... Big Grin
  • + 5
 @DrumCub: kudos for mrp ramp control, have it on my Fox36 wouldn’t go back to volume spacers
  • + 7
 I just got a new ribbon from Jenson for 575 USD. Very happy with it.
  • + 4
 @jpcars10s: cheapest I found on jenson was about $930 USD... not sure where he got that smokin' deal. seems ultimately impossible.
  • + 1
 @RideTahoe707: I can attest to the truth of @mfmediocremtb ... I saw that sale on Jenson... they sold out very quickly lol.
  • + 2
 Agreed. My ribbon exceeds my expectations every ride
  • + 2
 And I've got one for sale. Just saying Wink
  • + 1
 @RideTahoe707: they had the 27.5 170mm for that price. They sold out very quickly. I posted on the forum when I saw it and it was sold out almost immediately. I'm pretty happy with the deal, to say the least.
  • + 1
 @ozark42 @mikekazimer I''m close to buying a Guerilla Gravity (Shred Dogg) and you can get the MRP Ribbon instead of the Lyrik for another $50. A 36 is another $285. Which should I do?
  • + 19
 What about ease of service? For me that could be the deciding factor as a boxxer against a bos for example
  • + 1
 I hated/hate Pikes snap rings! do they still use it?
  • + 1
 @t-stoff: The snap rings are pain but get easier with repetition
  • + 2
 If price weren't an object I'd take the Fox over the Rockshox as you never have to bleed the Fox damper.
  • + 13
 What I like about RS is that you can swap parts it from one fork to another (Lyrik to Pike to Yari). This makes for a better used parts availability and easy aftermarket upgrading.
Plus if you still have a 26" lyrik and want to upgrade the damper and spring you can. It may not smooth out repeated rough bumps but at my budget the aftermarket long term parts availability means more than the margins performance.
  • + 13
 I've tried both, the Lyric takes the cake in the small bump sensitivity department. No doubt the 36 feels a bit more bottomless on hard hits, but I'm plowing through smaller bumps much more often then huge hits. For that reason the Lyric wins easily in my book.
  • + 3
 You tried it with a grip2?
  • - 4
flag WAKIdesigns (Sep 25, 2018 at 2:20) (Below Threshold)
 In previous iterations of both forks Lyrik sucked arse to Fox 36RC2 in every single department but the price. It's small bump sensitivity AKA grip, was on par with previous Lyrik. it got a bit more stable, not sure what the hell did RS improved over Mission Control. But it costed 60% of Fox so I got the Lyrik.
  • + 1
 I doubt you had your Grip2 setup or were on something else. The small bump is awesome. Other testers are saying its better than lyric
  • + 1
 The neg chamber is massive on the Lyric and thus if feels amaaazing in the parking lot and on small bumps (that's road riding and not applicable for me)...once you get into the stroke it's crap. Most riders spend their time between 30%-85% of the travel not 10-40%. You may have too much travel for the application. Performance wise the 36 is better (minus the lube that can be found in the air chamber.
  • + 4
 @Svinyard: My Grip 2 sucked for small to medium bump sensitivity until I realized I needed to run it around 25% sag. With 18% to 20% sag (as recommended by Fox) I was getting way more hand / arm pump than even my old DPA Lyrik . Night and day difference on the Grip 2 between 18% and 25% sag.
  • + 3
 @Loamhuck: lol all that slick honey. First thing I did was remove the lowers and swab it out. It wasn't bad tho. Nevertheless, my neg chamber is doing a lot and even sucks the fork down a few mm with the bike weight alone. It's very smooth off the top. The mid stroke is rediculously nice so if you aren't charging super hard, you can drop the psi even 15 or so and have a REAL plush ride that is still decently supportive (a few extra clicks of compression). You don't even feel brake bumps.
  • + 10
 What about service intervals?

I literally never maintained my 2014 Pike and it suffered a slight drop in performance in maybe 2+ years. A quick oil and seal change and it felt bright as a button again. Admittedly older, but my 2011 Vanilla RC2s felt like a bag of nails after a year, a strip down revealed the very early stages of stancion wear and an almost dry fork. Oil and seal change had it as sweet and slippery as new. Yes I ignored the service interval, but hey sue me.

RS always used to be a big wad cheaper than Fox, and there is still a bigger difference in real term UK shop prices, but the price gap is closing which is making me almost be tempted back to Fox again. However if the Lyrik is as fit and forget as my recent experience has shown me then they may still pip Fox to the post.
  • + 2
 The seal quality has improved and one of the major advantages of the GRIP dampers is simplification and improved reliability (see the Vorsprung Tuesday Tune ep 13 on the GRIP budget damper).
Whether they are now better than RS, I couldn't say. They are much better than before though.
(I do still prefer my Manitou Mattoc to my Fox 34 Performance GRIP, but I also prefer it to a Pike).
  • + 3
 I think service intervals are fairly conservative. I have a shock I haven't touched in 7 years, still going strong.
  • + 10
 FWIW: After doing a bunch of experimenting with my Grip 2 fork I have come to the following conclusions based on how I like my forks to feel:

1) If you really want to know what the LSC and HSC setting on your fork are doing, SLOWLY (so it doesn't get stuck down) let all the air out of your fork and then remove the valve stem. You can then get a pretty good idea of how the LSC and HSC settings work and interact by playing with them while manually compressing your fork. On my fork this re-enforced the advice I got from Fox regarding the 32 clicks of HSC my fork has: count clicks from gently closed (as per the latest manual revision). HSC clicks beyond 16 out from closed do not do much on my fork.

2) Don't believe Fox's rebound settings. I had my daughter do a slo-mo video of me riding some stairs with Fox's recommended rebound settings and the fork was definitely packing down. I opened the LSR nearly wide open (3 clicks short I believe) and the HSR 1-2 clicks more open than Fox's recommendations and it now feels right and looks right in slow motion. (Keep in mind that rebound settings are weight / pressure and number of spacers dependant so everyone's will be different).

3) If your fork is feeling harsh, don't first open up your HSC /LSC compression more (like I did), lower your psi / increase your sag. I had both LSC and HSC opened all the way, installed a Luftkappe, removed the stock spacer and was still getting more arm pump than my old DPA Lyrik. However, I was only running around 18% sag. I dropped this down to 25% sag, reset the compression where Fox recommends and all of a sudden I was using full travel and feeling plush for the very first time. I did end up adding the stock spacer (which is like 2 spacers if you don't have Luftkappe) back in to prevent bottoming out on slower trails and it feels pretty darn good now. I have ordered a 170mm airshaft which I'm going to try running at around 28% sag to see how that compares to my 160mm at 25%. I'm hoping this will get me exactly where I want to be, albeit with a little more standing pedal bob than I had to start with.
  • + 2
 From also riding the Lyrik, I feel it is a little stiffer than the Fox 36, especially if you use the torque caps with the Lyrik. The Fox 36 is especially flexy if you only have the quick release axle. I replaced it with a screw in One Up axle and it made it significantly stiffer when testing it in the garage while trying to flex it (especially torsionally). While riding, I only noticed the flexing in really tight, slow terrain where I was muscling the front wheel around and I'm a big guy (riding weight around 230 lbs).

On the flip side, for me the Fox is more confidence inspiring when I get myself in over my head on steep terrain or launching off stuff into rocky or rooty landings. There's some secret sauce in the damping / air spring combo that just makes it beg for more.
  • + 0
 @Xorrox: rule of thumb guide, RS everyday suspension and Fox when it’s full gnar.
  • + 1
 @Xorrox: Hey thanks man! This is really helpful as the waters were a bit murky for me. I felt like I had it dialed but still getting it worked out. This answered questions for me, specifically with rebound. You should do a YouTube video on this pls and put on that slowmo vid too.

Quick Question:
My fork (purchased) came with the stock screw in bolt with the Cam Lever. That isnt the QR you are talking about that is flexy I'm guessing, cause it's basically the same thing as a bolt on. I don't want flexy.
  • + 1
 Hey can you describe a bit as to what you found when testing the hsc/lsc in "what they actually do"? I have the general idea but not the experience. Considering airing mine down too.
  • + 1
 @Svinyard: Yes the "stock screw in bolt with the Cam Lever" was what I was talking about but I'm 220lbs (more for riding weight) so your results may vary. As I said, it made less of a difference on the trail than when I was actually flexing and trying to rotate in it the garage.

To see what LSC and HSC do after you slowly let the air out and remove the valve stem, first close them both all the way. As the review says, the fork is almost completely locked out. Then open the HSC a couple clicks at a time and try compressing the fork to see what it feels like each time. Now try the same test with the LSC open a little more. Repeat as you like. For my fork and my preferences I found that Fox's new manual settings (measured from gently closed) were almost exactly what I wanted the LSC and HSC to feel like, at least for this kind of static test.
  • + 1
 I recently learned about lowering PSI on my SID. It was high enough to where I couldn't get enough rebound adjustment to keep it under control. Little less psi, and lil more LSC made it better.
  • + 1
 As far as I'm concerned, Fox really dropped the ball on their tuning guide:
1) The optimal pressures and sag settings seem too high for the average rider.
2) They don't really address the extra HSC clicks that many of the forks seem to have, although the newer version of the tuning guide sort of does.
3) The base compression tune is the same for everyone!?! WTF? I'm pretty sure it takes more force to decelerate my 220 lbs than it does the average 160 lbs rider . Since force is proportional to mass times deceleration, and damping force is roughly proportional to fork velocity, larger riders with more mass should need more force (more damping) at the same fork compression velocities or they will blow through more travel.
4) The rebound damping settings, especially for LSR seem way too closed (slow) at least for heavy riders like me.
  • + 1
 @Xorrox:The things is that the starting settings are recommend for riders above average skill and speed riding rough tracks.
The extra clicks don't matter cause they don't work.
Compression works in conjunction with the air spring so your not learning as much as you think with your air-less experiment . It's also something that's personal to taste and therefore tough to recommend.

I'm about 210lbs and run the recommended settings. I've experimented with other settings but always come back to the suggested start points despite them being very different to how I used to run my '17 Lyrik.

As far as I'm concerned, Fox nailed it. I'm feeling faster and more confident than I've ever felt on a bike. Also the hand pain I've suffered from for years has mostly dissapeared.
  • + 11
 So based on your artical the dvo onyx sc checks all the boxes
  • + 3
 Was about to say same. Buttons, 36mm legs, bladder, bolt on mudguard as stock, coil option down the road. But no 29er just yet IDT.
  • + 1
 @jaame: and pressure valves on the lowers Smile

The Suntour Durolux would also ticks all his wantings.
But idk if it has a bladder.

But its less than half the price of Fox 36 here in Europe... I know what I would take
  • + 3
 @NotNamed: I've got a Fox 36 RC2 that I bought second hand. It has the 20mm bolt through axle too.
Still, I have been eagerly awaiting the DVO onyx SC aS my probable next fork.
  • + 2
 go pick one up today! @jaame:
  • + 2
 @freeridejerk888: it's a considered purchase. I ha envy seen one yet. Would like to inspect, mull it over, read reviews etc before taking the plunge! What colour to go for? I haven't seen the blue in the flesh.
  • + 1
 @freeridejerk888: Where is the Onyx SC on sale if I may ask?
Thought Not on sale until November Frown
  • + 1
 @NotNamed: Give them a call. I just ordered one yesterday. Not sure if its because I work in the industry, but I believe they are open to the public this week.
  • + 1
 @Geoff-Smith: maybe soft release, then full release and fanfare at the Taipei Show next month?
  • + 1
 @jaame: Quite possible. Either way I'm pretty stoked to get it. Putting it through its paces this coming weekend.
  • + 0
 @Geoff-Smith: good luck. I hope it turns out to be the absolute shit!
  • + 6
 I must say that I've never really got along with my Lyrik, compared to my DVO it's just nowhere near as supple on small bumps. Also it just seems to be harsher on big hits, maybe its just me but moving forwards it will take a lot for me to jump from DVO
  • + 6
 I have ridden the 2018 Fox RC2 (not grip2) and liked it quite well. Got a 2019 lyric RC2 on a pro-deal (had the option of the fox or the Lyric). The Lyric feels great and performs fine for me in all respects. I am sure the Grip2 is also a great fork and these are probably splitting hairs for 99% of riding.

My bias against Fox is that I still have 2 CTD 34 forks and those were perhaps the most confidence sapping suspension product I have ever owned (crazy dive). The fact that fox never owned up to this disaster has always soured me. I remember when I got my first pike it was a revelation compared to those garbage forks (riding high in travel, extremely supple and easy to rebuild).
  • + 1
 Totally agree about the CTD. Also, it just has not been possible for me to get the Float X to feel good. When I went to install a volume spacer, the tolerances must have been slightly off, cuz it was a wrestling match to get that effer in there.
  • + 2
 When a fork feels too harsh, wouldn't one immediately back the knobs off a touch? I mean, what it feels like is more important than what it says on a sticker.
  • + 6
 Why do none of these 36 reviews mention the issue of extra click of HSC that is all over the place with the manual saying one thing and fox reps saying another? I’m on a Lyrik and been happy but I like to look at all options and the mtbr forum for the 36 has a bunch of confused owner as to what their forks are actually supposed to have and I have not seen one review yet mention anything about it, feels like some favoritism going on. I’m sure it’s a great fork but having an issue like that in an 1,100 dollar fork feels unacceptable and to not even be mentioned anywhere is surprising.
  • - 6
flag Enduroisnotacrime (Sep 25, 2018 at 1:30) (Below Threshold)
 Thats why you better make up your own opinion and don´t trust the opinion of a website that funds itself by advertisements. The one who pays the most wins, easy.
  • + 16
 @Jesse221, there's no favoritism going on here - I gave each fork a fair shake. As for the extra clicks, that seems like it's being blown out of proportion - it's better to adjust the fork based on how it's behaving out on the trail instead of obsessing over exactly how many clicks the HSC dial has and the precise wording of the owner's manual.

And @Enduroisnotacrime, you're absolutely incorrect - I wouldn't work for a media outlet that didn't give me the freedom to write what I wanted in a product review.
  • + 2
 What does the Fox rep say, adjustments from Open? My 2018 RC2 rides very well with only a slight deviation from recommendation (2 clicks more open on HSC). I can feel the difference with adjustments in that range. OR is the issue with Grip? One thing I found though with the new forks and the super slack bikes they come on (Sentinel for example), I have just 1 single token as opposed to past years where I'd have like 3 to prevent bottom out when smashing. Pretty decent. But yes, mine creaks, and everyone else that I know that puts a lot of time smashing the Shore trails....creaks. But honestly RS forks are known to creak here too :-)
  • + 0
 @Enduroisnotacrime: Funny enough i see more sram/rockshox ads on here then fox....thanks for the article @mikekazimer
  • + 7
 @mikekazimer: I totally agree with you in regards to the clicks of HSC and how it relates to feel on the trail. However, with 32 options and 15 of those 32 potentially doing nothing. It's a bit challenging to establish a general baseline to start.

FWIW, I set my 36 up to recommended settings and it felt horrible. I then saw people were saying that fox told them to use the fist 16 clicks from open and it feels way better. I think some clarification from Fox is necessary here.
  • + 4
 Perhaps somebody at Fox did this on purpose to prove that people don’t actually know what the shit they’re doing with their suspension and are just trolling all the ctd haters.
  • + 4
 @iqbal-achieve: like all of the initial reviewers who had early access and said "wow and I was spot on with recommended settings". 15 to 20% sag and ultra firm compression felt amazing to all those guys??? It wreaks of the whole "they gave me free/tester stuff and I want them to continue to do that...so I'm more inclined to say good things and not compare to other competitors via name and give deep comparisons."
  • + 4
 @mikekazimer: yes but not one review has mentioned the extra clicks HSC and we aren't talking 1-2 extra we are talking now double the amount listed and then to further add confusion there is a ongoing discussion of if it's from full closed or full open. Yes going by feel is most important but when you don't even have a starting point and half your clicks supposedly do nothing and tuning you shouldn't usually do major sweeping adjustments (usually recommended 2 clicks at a time). So how many rides is that gonna take to even get close to dialed in with 16 clicks of nothing?

Seems like a big oversite on fox's part to release something like that and seems they are getting a free pass because they're fox. I can't think of another suspension company mtb or automotive related that has released something like that as a top teir product.
  • + 6
 This

"Grip 2 has 16 usable settings when starting from fully closed"

is 100% wrong - according to a number of fox technicians that GRIP 2 owners have had to call because FOX farked up their documentation / damper and refuse to acknowledge it - its 16 from open.

Info here

forums.mtbr.com/shocks-suspension/2019-fox-36-grip2-1081197.html

Come on FOX sort you stuff out - recall all the dampers and put the right stops on them. MTB media - the fact your not calling out this as a big issue on a $1300 fork is just a joke.

The Grip 36 is the best fork ive ever owned but FFS I feel like a beta tester on it.
  • + 10
 What's the difference between 16 from open and 16 from closed? Surely it's 16 clicks either way, your just counting from the opposite end?
  • + 1
 @inked-up-metalhead: always from closed And there is a chance you could have 15 or 17 at times
  • + 9
 @inked-up-metalhead:

Yep its all pretty confusing - most 36 Grip 2 forks (not all) have 32 clicks on the high speed - they should have 16.

Pinkbike seem to be saying that usable range of clicks is 0 to 16 clicks from closed - or another way of thinking is 16-32 from open.

In fact that range that does nothing. The real range is 0 -16 from open. Beyond that nothing changes.
  • + 2
 I wish I had 6 usable clicks. But I know people who would like 56 usable clicks... they also want 108 POE on their rear hub and 9-54 cassettes... they also change tyres for their regular rides depending on the weather. Maximum optimum
  • + 3
 @WAKIdesigns: Mooooooaaaaaaaaaaaaar clicks for the win Wink

For reference I ran 4 days on chairlifts in the range that Pinkbike suggested and got a bit beaten up by the fork. That was before the "clarification" on the MTBR thread.

Just returned from another 6 days on shuttles and took off 16 clicks to use the method the fox techs have outlined and its by far the best fork ive ever used. Like a magic carpet on the rough stuff. In addition the pressure guidelines fox suggest are for Gwin! Back them off 7-10 PSI like Pivot suggest in their setup guides and its game on.
  • + 1
 @Karve: who cares about people who can't setup their forks to balance out grip and stability. hahahah Big Grin Fox had a solution for them, it was called CTD. And apparently they said it was not good, having no base for saying it since they had no clue about setup and riding. Then RS came with RCT3 and somehow nobody complained. Even though it was technically same sht. Charger RCT3 isn't much better either. 3 positions and few clicks of LSC in the trail mode. The ironic bit is, I haven't yet ridden a better performing single crown fork than 2011 36 RC2 Van. Maybe this new 36 is. Also, when someone tells me something is supple? That's not hard, just run 25% SAG and back off LSC. A poppy playful bike? Really? How about back off rebound a bit and add 3PSI to the tyres? All I want to know is how much grip do I get on wet steeps with roots and rocks, at the point when the fork doesn't dive excessively. grip vs stability. Previous Lyrik wasn't that amazing at it. Older 36 Vans felt too soft, but they never dived under braking like a Scottsman after a penny.
  • + 12
 @WAKIdesigns: u called me - ah,never mind
  • - 4
flag WAKIdesigns (Sep 25, 2018 at 4:12) (Below Threshold)
 @optimumnotmaximum: no... I called maximum optimum! Men are not men if they cannot change air spring tokens under fire!

Attention! Remove the valve cover, release the air! Pick a socket wrench, unscrew the top cap check for lubricants in air shaft, install token, screw on the top cap, add air! Reset all the settings! balance out the rebound, press on the fork, add desired amount of low speed compression, throw the fork over enemy lines!
  • + 4
 @WAKIdesigns: haha less is more.

I just stick with my Formula EX Selva because full service is a piece of cake. Full service in 15min or less. Negative coil spring make it super sensitive for smaller bumbs. Fast shimstack change with the CTS valve's in 5 min. Less knobs more fun...
  • + 2
 @Karve: I have a new 36 and I can say it definitely is 0-16 from open (I have 32 clicks). If you go with base settings from fox from closed, you have an incredibly stiff fork. I went the opposite way and did this from open and you can actually feel the difference between clicks and the fork feels good.

It's a bit annoying because you typically always measure adjustment from closed and thats how it works with every other setting.

Now that I've figured it out I can say the fork is incredible and completely concur with @mikekazimer that this fork is incredible when you're taking big hits in the 50%-85% of the travel. The support and feel is outstanding.

For a premium product like this Fox should do a recall. Ideally, it would be great if you could get an RA and your local shop and they could get a new damper and have it installed there.
  • + 1
 @WAKIdesigns: more like unscrew cap and remove tokens...
  • + 3
 @fussylou: you like it Öhlins style, top cap into your eye socket, don't you?
  • + 2
 If you really want to know what the LSC and HSC setting on your fork are doing, SLOWLY (so it doesn't get stuck down) let all the air out of your fork and then remove the valve stem. You can then get a pretty good idea of how the LSC and HSC settings work and interact by playing with them while manually compressing your fork. On my fork this re-enforced the advice I got from Fox regarding the 32 clicks of HSC my fork has: count clicks from gently closed (as per the latest manual revision). HSC clicks beyond 16 out from closed do not do much on my fork.
  • + 8
 Rabbits and turtles are my language, I will pick the red on please.
  • + 4
 I guess you gotta start somewhere with the head-to-heads, but did anyone really expect anything other than a conclusion as, both fantastic... I guess Fox? (or RS depending on the reviewer). As long as this keeps going we wanna see shit like Helm Coil vs Ribbon Coil, Mattoc Vs Diamond...
  • + 4
 Love the side to side comparisons! Finally giving the people what they want haha... Shame its comparing only these two... I'd love to see how all the high end forks stack up against each other. RFX vs. Helm vs. Lyric vs. Diamond vs. 36 vs. Ribbon, etc...
  • + 4
 Shopping around I found the Lyrik to be available for $850 several places but I couldn't find the 36 discounted anywhere. I cant feel a $200 difference between the forks so the decision was easy for me.
  • + 7
 An integrated fender for the 36 is available from Syncros.
  • + 3
 Correct - he just didn't mention the manufacturer:

".. I know there's at least one aftermarket option, but I'd love to see a bolt on fender come as a stock feature..."
  • + 3
 Well written review. I spent some time on the older Fit4 fox 36 on the front of my 2018 Nomad, and then switced to the 2018 Lyrik and came up to fairly similar conclusions earlier this year. I would have to agree with the conclusion as I also feel the 36 is a bit better at times. That being said, I ended up with the Lyrik long term, and I am not dissappointed at all. Its so easy to set up, and after 200+ hours of use, it is still feeling super plush!
  • + 3
 I'll stick with my Mattoc's. Manitou have really smashed it outta the park with the new Mattocs. I have owned Fox 36 and have a set of BOS Devilles on one of my bikes and the Mattoc is in the same league super stiff and plush. People just write them off because of the early 2000's. Oh well enjoy your Fox service intervals (Dont miss that)
  • + 3
 When I read a suspension review or even see a suspension advertisement and one product is said to be better because it has more “mid-stroke support” I just want to scream ????- the classic critism of almost all suspension products is “not enough mid stroke support” - this is because we all want supple beginning stroke and most suspension ramps up at the ending stroke so the only thing left to complain about is the mid-stroke- so every advertisement for last 20 years for motorcycle,car, and yes bicycle suspension claims “our product is better because it offers better mid-stoke support” - yet here we are again, two highly polished forks that are both very successful in racing and in the marketplace but one has “better mid-stroke support” really? really??
  • + 0
 LOL, I actually think that my Fox 36 Grip 2 with the Vorsprung Luftkappe has too much mid-stroke support Smile That's why for the first time ever I'm running over 20% sag in an air sprung fork and at that its amazing. Anything less than 25% though and all that mid-stroke support just makes it feel harsh to me. I wonder what most people with coil sprung forks normally end up with for sag.
  • + 0
 I recently upgraded from an older Lyrik, and the "mid-stroke" support is noticeably better in the 2019 model, it's actually quite a big difference when ridden back-to-back.
  • + 4
 Mt. Biking is no longer fun, it’s just expensive! I bought my 1st mt. Bike at 16 while working through summer. Now people buy their 1st bike when they have a college degree or parents practicing dentistry!
  • + 4
 Years ago, I had a 36 that went back to Fox 4 times within 100 miles to fix the same problem. Add in the very poor customer service made me a RS fan for life.
  • + 3
 @worldwidecyclery just did a much more in depth comparison of these 2 forks www.worldwidecyclery.com/blogs/worldwide-cyclery-blog/video-2019-fox-shox-36-grip2-vs-rockshox-lyrik-rc2
  • + 2
 Lol. Indeed. The rider was a bit more pro to. Thanks Wink
  • + 3
 I've got a 2017 Fox 36 and she's a harsh one. Given that and the fiasco with the newest model and how many clicks of adjustment it actually has versus how many do anything... I'd buy anything but Fox this year.
  • + 5
 Gone from ohlins rxf36 to grip2. It's an amazing fork, very well composed and supple.
  • + 0
 Here too. The 36 is so good you forget about it. Ohlins messed up!
  • + 4
 Can we get a comparison between the Mantiou Mattoc 29 and the MRP Ribbon 29 pllllllllllease? Some of us don't support Fox or RS.
  • + 1
 this
  • + 2
 @mikekazimer Nice write up. I especially like the back to back testing of the forks on the same day. I have a couple of buddies who have this fork and have nothing but good things to say about the performance. However, the CSU's going after only a month or 2 is a bit much. My GRIP2 fork's CSU went after the first month too. But I was very unimpressed with it's performance too. Maybe I received a bad fork (I've had lots of good Fox 36's in the past), but it left me a little frustrated. I bought a new Lyrik in the meantime and I have nothing but good things to say. Easy to set up and functions as advertised. If I was to buy another fork right now, it would be a Lyrik.
  • + 2
 "Carefully sliding a zip tie behind the dust wiper every so often will let out any air that's gotten trapped behind the seal, something that can affect the small bump sensitivity of the fork, but it'd be much easier to have a little button to push. "


I did not know that! That might explain why my pike seems rougher laterly on small bumps. How much shoud I slide that zip tie in? Is there any dange if I go too deep?
  • + 18
 Take a small zip tie and carefully slide it between the stachion and the wiper seal (I find this simpler if it is a bit curved). A centimetre or two suffice. You will hear a "psh" sound if any pressure has built up. Whether there is any danger if you go too deep depends on you, big boy!
  • + 4
 Biggest OCD issue for me is different brands fork/shock on bike, be tempted to read fox36&x2 vs lyrik&superdeluxe pros & cons
  • - 5
flag zyoungson (Sep 25, 2018 at 4:15) (Below Threshold)
 Fox has way more adjustability, rs is just consumer bollocks with a few clicks here and there easy to setup and away you go.
  • - 1
 @zyoungson: your correct the RS way is keep it simple everybody is within 1 or 2 clicks of each other, I found that method is very wrong. Also RS never have the support unless you max out the volume spacers. RS everyday ride or fox when it’s full gnar
  • + 2
 Dear Fox: love the 36 grip2. But please, for the love of bikes, give us a firm answer on the # HSC clicks, and direction to from which to tune, and if we should warranty based on having too many clicks.
  • + 1
 Hi Caro, (we've talked before on mtbr RM Instinct). I'm pretty sure you just find the "closed" position by slowly clicking clockwise until it gets harder to click. That is when its closed. It's slight but def noticeable. That's my guess/gut after going around with Fox and others. If you are a light rider, your probably fine just riding with it open based on some other light riders that I spoke too with this. Mistet Lost Bike shop has an AMAZING video on this and he is only 150lbs. Running hsc wide open on 180mm fork with 2 tokens, 0 to 5 lsc depending on where he is riding and about 7 clicks of LSR (from closed/slow) and roughly 4 clicks of HSR (from closed/slow). Don't quote me on that. He is also running like 45psi. I just got off the phone with him after watching the video. Definitely helpful and he rides pretty hard out in Bellingham.
  • + 1
 @Svinyard: Hey! Ya I’m pretty much open on the HSC with 7-8 of LSC from open and only add a click or two of HSC when it gets real rough. I’ll check out that video you mentioned as well. That setup sounds vastly different from mine currently. I’m pretty close to the factory spec @57ish psi, honestly, and because I’m a lighter rider I don’t have to mess with the HSC too much. But for those in the middle of that HSC Range, I could see it being frustrating. Oh, also, my “no LSC” test didn’t work out and the fork got really harsh. I’m more annoyed that Fox is giving varying answers on this and it needs to be cleared up.
  • + 1
 Yep Ford vrs Chevy. Both forks work just fine.
And these are on most bikes.
How about a Suntour /Marzhochi/Manitou/MRP comparison.
BTW the Suntour Duralux has hi/low speed compression adjustment and never issues with creaky CSU. The Durolux is easy to service.
  • + 5
 Syncros makes a bolt on fender for Fox forks. No zip ties on my 36.
  • + 1
 Anyone here actually benefit from hi/low speed rebound adjustment??? maybe top 5% of riders. probably not even that.

How many people who buy that fox fork will not understand any of the adjustments and be riding a complete lemon of a fork but still preach how good it is.. :-)

The new lyriks are ace..

All my previous fox forks have needed custom damping to feel good. Don't be blinded by the Kashima!! although it does look the dogs
  • + 2
 youtu.be/D9vsOHmmmpo
This guy did a tuning guide on the Grip2.
  • - 1
 Yes absolutely. That Mister Lost guy highlights it well. If you run your fork plus enough to soak up big stuff when going fast and also little stuff too... you need that LSR to retain the pop of the bike. It's AMAZING how much character of the bike changes with a few extra clicks of LSR. You get the best of both worlds with ground hugging gnar yet stuff able to pop and flow off the small stuff while still having a plush fork. Apparently it can help in getting rid of needless arm pump depending on how fast you ride too. For me, it's the "fun button" without having to compromise when I'm trail riding.
  • + 0
 @Pavel-Repak: everyone needs to watch that. A great general education too! Fwiw, Mike/Pink Bike... That is what level of detail would be helpful for people trying to choose.
  • + 5
 Why drink coke or pepsi when you can have an MRP?
  • + 0
 Word.
  • + 3
 Or just have beer.
  • + 1
 The chassis and air side spring is identical on the '19 RS Yari as it is on the Lyric. So I picked up a new take off Yari at a bargain price and had Avalanche Downhill Racing toss the stock valving stack and install their adjustable magic in it's place. In the end I ended up with a superior product to either of the above, for a bit less money. It's also very easy to service. Just an option that some might want to consider. Take care
  • + 1
 Pinkbike takes fork intended for all types of riding and rides downhill park laps. No mention of how well it climbs and if on the fly compression adjustment helps on climbs. Checks out.
  • + 6
 Fork lockout is the most useless thing on 120mm+ full suspension bike ever invented. It almost never helps, except when you sprint standing on the bike, provided that you also have rear end lockout. Otherwise locking a fork actually makes you front end ride higher and put more weight on the rear, which actually compromises climbing.
  • + 0
 no. not meant for "all" types of riding. not at all.
  • + 1
 UH Mike, there is a bolt on fender option in the Syncros fender for the 36. Best fender ive used and does not look tacky with all those zip ties holding it in place. Simple, clean, and does its intended job.
  • + 1
 caption says "I know there's at least one aftermarket option, but I'd love to see a bolt on fender come as a stock feature." that is def a good looking fender though.
  • + 0
 I have a Fox 36 Fit4 2018 and I'm very disappointed about its sensitivity (small bumps, roots, etc.)
It is possible to upgrade as GRIP2 2019 for a lot of money here in Italy (about 500€, while in USA the damper costs 300$)

What's your advice ? do the upgrade or try to sell my fit4 and buy a new grip2 ?
  • + 2
 Thanks Pinkbike guys for doing a review like this! A lot of us would love to see a similar test for Z1 vs the basic 36 fork.

You're already on it aren't you?
  • + 1
 I´ll be able to know how the Lyrik feels as soon as Commencal has delivered my knew bike, I just cannot wait to try it out. they both look great, and i bet they´re great too.
  • + 3
 Who still drinks Pepsi? Coke from Mexico with Real Sugar is spectacular.
  • + 2
 I bet even after this article, rock shox people will rave over the lyric and fox people bow down to the 36
  • + 1
 Anybody know how a Lyrik RC2, would compare to a 2019 fox 36 fit (not grip)? Would the hard hit performance on the Fox still be slightly better?
  • + 1
 2018 even
  • + 3
 The real answer is DVO. Set up is a bit more involved, but well worth it.
  • + 1
 Thx buddy!
  • + 4
 DVO Diamond for the Win
  • + 2
 Thx for the love!
  • + 0
 I currently have the dual position Lyrik and drop it down from 160mm to 130mm all the time when climbing. Even if the Fox is marginally better, I'll be buying another dual position Lyrik the next time I get a new bike.
  • + 1
 From the diversity of these comments it is safe to say that every manufacture is selling product right now! This is why the market drives innovation.
  • + 1
 A 75 hour difference in full service time is not something I would class as 'good' for both manufacturers. Especially when dealing with a high mark of only 200 hours.
  • + 1
 So its not my headset that is making that sound, but my 2018 36 Performance Elite?
How do I proceed to get a warrant on this?
  • + 2
 Happy with my 160mm Mattocs. Loads of adjustment that I haven't even needed to touch.
  • + 3
 I'm furious that Mike Kazimer didn't confirm my purchase decision!!
  • + 3
 Trying to keep up with Xfusion no doubt.
  • + 2
 MRP Ribbon all the way. No creaky CSU, but it does make a lot of farty noises (or it might be my ass; I can never tell).
  • + 3
 it looks like a sess.... oh my bad. sorry. wrong post.
  • + 2
 Corporate Loyalty rears its ugly head again. These prices are an embarrassment to our sport.
  • + 3
 Kaz, waxing Lyrical about a Fox. Poetic.
  • + 2
 Mister Los did a cool video on the Grip 2 Damper

www.youtube.com/watch?v=D9vsOHmmmpo
  • - 1
 Good, or gooder. There're better options now, so why not go for better or best (though that's totally preferential)?
Cane Creek, DVO, MRP all ride better, have better support, and actually give a shit because they're (relatively) small companies.
I'm on the new Helm Air, it's a beast and I love it.
  • + 2
 I guess if I had to choose between the two, I'd take a Ribbon.
  • + 0
 My (probably ) new bike has a 2019 fox 36 performance. I have not ridden fox forks since 2009 so how does it compare to a (2014) pike or the current mattoc ? thanks
  • - 6
flag garfunkel187 (Sep 25, 2018 at 0:57) (Below Threshold)
 Also ich kann dir sagen, dass die 2018er Lyrik eine ganz andere Hausnummer als eine 2014er Pike ist. In allen belangen besser. ABER die 2019er DebonAir Luftkammer hebt das ganze nocheinmal auf eine ganz andere Stufe! Wenn man jetzt bedenkt, das die 36 und die Lyrik fast gleich gut gehen solltest du deine Antwort haben.
  • + 1
 It will be stiffer, although damper and adjustability wise the Mattoc still takes the win in my book. It will be better than a 2014 Pike.
  • + 1
 @Mac1987: thanks, i am curious which damper it will have, apparently the performance series comes with FIT or GRIP. (the official release of the bikespecs is sheduled for 1st of October). I ve always struggled with my pike and love the mattoc. If the fox comes close to the mattoc it would be ok for me -or I sell the fox and still get a new mattoc for the money -we will see
  • + 1
 @optimumnotmaximum: I personally would expect a simpler version of the GRIP(2) damper, as this seems the direction they are heading. This would be a good thing, considering how well both the GRIP and GRIP2 dampers work compared to their respective predecessors.
  • + 1
 How does the Fox reviewed here compare to the Fox Performance Elite with the Fit4?
  • + 2
 I swap with my buddies bike on fit4. My Grip2 is plusher off the top (just its design) yet I can turn up the LSR and it'll have more pop off the jumps/flow/fun....while still keeping it supportive and sticky on the bigger hits.
  • + 2
 mantiou and cane creek and x fusion are both still far superior
  • + 2
 The REAL question is will the CSU outlast the warranty ! ?
  • + 3
 Great test!
  • + 2
 Save your $ and get a Z1.
  • + 3
 Gripping stuff!
  • + 1
 Aaaaaand. Which one needs more service? Fox I bet?
  • + 0
 and i am stil struggeling if i should take fox factory 40 2018 or rock shox boxxer wc 2019 lol
  • + 0
 Fox forks are OK if you get them rebuild straight out of the factory. I haven’t ridden one that hasn’t felt harsh AF.
  • + 0
 Fox's forks have always look dope. The color of the stanchions looks really expensive and slick.
  • + 2
 D V O
  • + 0
 Crowns with offsets just look plain wrong. Keep the offsets on the dropouts. Ohlins DH fork is the exception.
  • + 0
 Rock Shox, was on the Fox bandwagon, but RS Seems to fit me better these days.
  • + 0
 Just no HSC at all and use tokens for the progressiveness... super smooth and plush ... best evah
  • + 1
 No surprise there. Pinkbike always goes for the FOX.
  • + 1
 It's just because it's better
  • - 3
 @freeridejerk888: have you ridden both then? Personally, no. I assume you neither. And I don't mind which is the winner - honestly. This is just a statement I made (I knew the outcome before even reading the Take. And it's not because it's better. It's what the reviewer think it's better. How come then the Enduro Magazine finds the Lyrik better? Is the reviewer there less experienced? It's an opinion. I stated that Pinkbike always finds FOX better. You cannot deny that and you cannot say "because it's better". Unless if you're sharing with us your valuable experience after trying both. If that's the case, I pass.
  • + 0
 Neither fork is perfect. Rude seemed to do pretty decent when he just won on his (and previously too). If you can dial in the Fox right (it's tricky this time), then it'll be the better fork. Most people who aren't getting along with it screwed up their settings because they followed Fox's first documentation and also ran psi like Richie would (stiff af) rather than what a regular Jerry would. If you set it up properly you'd know that the Fox is nothing short of exceptional.
  • + 0
 @Svinyard: this is a review about the FOX 36 fork. Not how Rude is setting up his fork and if others followed or not. That's irrelevant. And Sam is doing "pretty decent" and he's running a Lyrik. So what? What I'm saying is that depending on the site, opinions differ. Pinkbike goes with FOX. Enduro MTB went for the Lyrik. Does this mean that the reviewers here are more experienced? No. They just express their viewpoint. And that's that. Of course both are high end stuff. Who said the opposite? We (including my self) have become experts it seems.
  • + 2
 @starpak: Enduro chose the lyrik because of the price. They even said it in the 160mm fork test.
  • - 1
 @starpak: I mean, having separate LSR and HSR is pretty dang significant. Even more so than compression in my opinion. This gives you the option to make the top end of a plus fork playful and poppy while still staying stuck to the ground in the deeper hits or drops. Then on race day, you can drop the LSR back off and stick (or for wet days etc). It makes a big difference. I've been running to little LSR after setting up my sag at like 27%, so I just added a few clicks and boom now I'm boosting off the small stuff again without having to compromise air pressure or HSR or compression/plush.
  • - 3
 I've ridden both. The fox is a way more supportive fork and slamming into rocks the fox really give you better grip. Plus it'll work forever like all fox forks do @starpak:
  • + 0
 critical analysis@starpak:
  • + 1
 Kinda like when Fox finally came out with a fork comparable to the Pike they all of a sudden got Suspension Product of the year and it was as if Fox had cured cancer. Pinkbike and Fox are definitely in bed together. I've owned both Fox and RS forks recently and the GRIP 2 (current fork) is about on par with my previous Pike that had the Vorsprung Modification. I'd say either fork with the Vorsprung kit would be magical.
  • + 0
 You guys are silly, always looking for a conspiracy. If I'd preferred the Lyrik, everyone would be up in arms about how SRAM always wins. There's nothing underhanded going on here - the results are from hours of real world testing and nothing more.
  • + 0
 I would take the Fox, GRIP damper is 100% DBC from 2014+ Marzocchi's forks..
  • + 0
 BOOST only but that's good because BOOST has revolutionized mountain biking
  • - 3
 Nothing wrong with RS xc forks. Except for the laughable fork with inverted crown. The longer travel only work well if you do a full on maintenance every other week. Meaning the 100hr work every other week. Otherwise you are just riding a piece of wood. I moved to formula and could not be happier.
  • + 2
 Well I did very little maintenance on my 2016 Pike, and have done none so far on my 2018 Lyrik.... who knew I was riding a piece of wood because I didn’t do weekly maintenance.... thank you for educating me. I will now throw these forks in the trash.
  • + 0
 Good comparison but what’s each fork like under braking? I already have a Lyrik but I’d like to hear how the 36 reacts
  • + 0
 Real question is why the Fox is placed on a gravel stone....to make it look bigger?
  • + 3
 To make it sit up straight - the rebound knob extends further than the Lyrik’s, and that stone keeps it from having too much of a drunken lean in the photos.
  • + 0
 Did you know, EVOL is love backwards Big Grin
  • + 0
 You make some valid points... but I prefer red.
  • + 0
 Jeez just get the fox already!
  • + 0
 hum, just grab them both. one for AM build and one for Enduro build
  • + 0
 The forks are light years from the Rock Shox Mag 21. Haha.
  • + 0
 This is a shockingly good comment section without all the puns
  • + 0
 Somebody remember when Fox recommended a 25h oil change interval? Big Grin
  • + 0
 I ride my rs sektor and totally happy with it.
  • + 0
 I will just keep my 2014 Lyrik with a 20mm thru axle
  • + 1
 Manitou for life
  • + 0
 Marzocchi all the way. Razz
  • + 0
 What about spinner forks?
  • + 0
 Monster or red bull?
  • - 1
 I didn´t read anything..... fox is the winner
Period.
  • - 1
 Great review and comparison @mikekazimer. More reviews like these, please.
  • + 0
 Formula Selva
  • + 0
 I no longer give a fuck
  • - 1
 Coke
  • + 1
 Clip or Flat? rsrsr
  • + 2
 @groovebass: Flat for mountain, clip for road
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