Spotted: Prototype Fox DH Shock - Mont-Sainte-Anne World Champs 2019

Aug 29, 2019
by Daniel Sapp  

One of our eagle-eyed readers spotted this prototype shock from Fox out in the wild this afternoon at Mont Sainte Anne. The shock is mounted up to a Santa Cruz V10 and is pretty different from the DHX2 currently in production.

Most notably, the knobs/dials that control the compression and rebound damping seem to be revamped and are now different sizes and in a different position than the current DH shock. The reservoir is also slightly different. Additionally, there's a third dial at the opposite end of the shock near the eyelet. The current DHX2 has independently adjustable high- and low-speed rebound damping - perhaps this prototype does too, but with a different adjuster configuration. It's also possible that the adjuster near the reservoir does something else entirely...perhaps mid-speed damping?

While it's still a prototype, it does seem to be pretty refined so it very likely could be a product that will soon see the DHX3, perhaps?

We reached out to Fox for comment and received the following response:

bigquotesIn an effort to continually develop highly advanced suspension products, FOX constantly tests prototype components in the field under the world’s best racers. Some of these components – or parts of them – eventually make it into production, many of them do not. Testing in real-world environments, such as in racing applications, is a critical part of how we determine what works best – not only for our professional athletes but ultimately for every rider who puts their trust in FOX products. This field testing protocol is part of our proven and longstanding RAD (Racing Application Development) program.Sean Estes - Brand Manager, Fox Factory

If any additional details become available we'll be the first to let you know.


  • 113 4
 This was a thorough deep dive into knob sizes, orientation, and colors. Kudos, PB.
  • 23 0
 Yes, but what about the shock?
  • 11 0
 In an effort to continually develop highly... blah blah Essentially "we aint sayin' nuffin"
  • 10 1
 It’s not the size of the knob. It’s how you use it.
  • 49 1
 Why didn’t PB just go right to the source; the Loris Soundboard for comment?
  • 13 0
 The additional adjustments really help you dial out the "cahcahcahcah"!
  • 13 0
 We've changed the knobs for adjusting high and low speed wehdehdeh as well as for kuhkuuh.
  • 12 0
 @shawnca7: We've integrated Loris Soundboard into the shock. Let's say two click of low speed rebound is a wehdedehhe. Then the rider can directly compare the sounds on the trail whether it is more a wehdedehhe or kuhkuhhcloc and immediately knows the suspension is dialed in.
  • 46 0
 So there'll be a press release for this shock tomorrow?
  • 12 3
 This post is shocking enough for me.
  • 6 1
 @chyu: I think it's actually pretty RAD.
  • 1 0
 Like +1
  • 3 0
 Pinkbike seem to specialize in this
  • 8 0
 Reader spyshots are more professional than 2/3 of the marketing photos here.
  • 25 1
 That bottom adjuster looks to be a nightmare to access. If you have ever owned a Devinci Wilson, you will know the feeling..... shock out to adjust the rebound with my sausage fingers.
  • 9 2
 Sounds like you need to get some smaller fingers bro. Or maybe get that strong hand like the little one from Scary Movie.
  • 4 0
 I once owned a 2006 Demo 8, and had similar feelings about my average sized fingers.
  • 4 2
 @youknowitsus: You know what they say bro..... big hands.... big gloves Wink
  • 5 0
 It has indents so you can use a rod or small allen key to adjust it. Just like rockshox vicid air
  • 2 0
 @ski-or-die: I hear ya, made an adjustment to the rebound on my demo 9 a couple weeks ago. Didn't have to remove shock, but it took far to long and was painful.
  • 4 0
 Bro, you don't travel with a mechanic to do the knob twisting for you?
  • 2 0
 Maybe the problem is the Wilson's arch design...
  • 3 0
 Seriously can we please have dials that don’t require Allen keys? Wtf?
  • 2 3
 Not sure why they started making the shocks with aleen-key-requirements. That’s not serious - on the trail i want to focus on riding and eventually do change something with my bare hands, not trying to keep the keys from not falling....@thenotoriousmic:
  • 1 1
 @hitarpotar: I don’t normally carry tools, I can’t adjust my suspension on the trails to suit the conditions without having to carry two Allen keys or the plastic disk that comes with x2’s for absolutely no reason.
  • 2 0
 @makripper: I'd say is a throwback to the Float X. Ahh the Float X.
  • 7 2
 I've seen monkeys using sticks to collect ants to eat. Maybe you could take inspiration from this. They are very clever.
  • 1 0
 @thenotoriousmic: Sure but they'll take up a lot more space.
  • 1 0
 @Bflutz625: or even the dhx air
  • 2 1
 @nagaredama: I am the mechanic...and sometimes the knob????
  • 26 0
 that knob on the bottom is for the Loris setting. it takes care of the bam bam bam and the pop pop
  • 1 10
flag Ampdup11 (Aug 29, 2019 at 3:56) (Below Threshold)
  • 7 0
 PB didn’t like my laughing emoticons but this is hilarious!
  • 1 0
 Vergier's terminology check check.
  • 15 1
 I think they copy and paste that same response every time someone spots a prototype
  • 16 1
 My guess is that new adjuster is for bottom out control.
  • 6 0
 I was thinking it might be for hydraulic bottom out control too but it doesn’t look like the rebound adjuster up top has both a 3mm and 6mm, just the 3mm, so maybe they moved LSR adjustment back to the mid valve??? Is the shim stack in the body called the mid valve?
  • 3 0
 I’d love for this to be true, but my money is on it being a high speed rebound adjust
  • 6 0
 Bottom out is some form of compression and should therefore be blue
  • 2 0
Yes looks like lsc is back on the main piston.
Top red adjuster is likely still hsr
  • 1 0
 If you look at the size of the rebound adjustment near the reservoir, you will notice only one hex adjustment- not the normal two. Compression still has both adjustments near the reservoir, but it looks like the two rebound adjustments are separated.
  • 1 0
 @kleinblake: meant to say yes looks like lsr is back on the main piston, Top red is probably the hsr
  • 7 0
 The best way to get mountain bikers to buy new things. Move the knobs around!
  • 3 0
 True, but for me it means thing like the DHX2 will be on sale. New tech is the best way for good gear to go on sale.
  • 2 2
 Owning a DHX2 is a good enough way to get you to need to buy new things...
  • 10 4
 It takes an Eagle Eye Reader to notice a completely different unbranded shock?
  • 14 0
 And that eagle eyes reader has pro-level photography skills! First look article dropping in 24,23,22...
  • 3 0
 Yes, he has to have one eye with 12 lenses like a bug with 10-50 focal length.
  • 8 0
 Photos of this shock have been arkund for a while, on vitalmtb and on pinkbike as well. This is just a tease for a press release. Bit sad to be honest. I wish PB were doing less press release articles. But maybe it's just me.
  • 5 0

already spotted a few months ago...
  • 2 0
 Dial by eyelet will be LSR and piston most likely now has a high speed rebound shim stack on the main piston and the poppet will be used to fine tune. So it’s now more similar to ohlins current offerings (i believe all their Moto ttx line is this way now). So possibly also a main compression shim stack as well which would mean Fox is making themselves a hybrid system (shim stack and poppets) similar to an 11.6
  • 2 1
 What a shocking development! That bottom adjuster looks like a pain to adjust. Good looking shock though not sure how much better it would be to the average joe.
  • 2 3
 Red is usually rebound for Fox, so I'm guessing high and low speed rebound plus high speed compression, as well as regular spring preload. Maybe just an advanced DH specific damper inside, vs the enduro-worthy DHX2 damper with the "lockout" lever.
  • 4 0
 black is the new orange
  • 3 0
 As for spotted things these photos are super sharp Big Grin
  • 1 0
 I know there's different dampers and bottom out control on coil shocks, but every time I see a new coil I think "yeah it is a coil shock."
  • 1 0
 F that, i'm not sticking my fingers back their to adjust that red knob the my V10, that is old school. A bit like stepping backwards.
  • 1 0
 i hope that the dial at the bottom adjusts the ram up that would be amazing
  • 1 0
 What's that other screw on the side of the piggyback? Is that another adjuster, or a ... preloader?
  • 3 5
 Looks like two rebound adjusters. I like the ability to tune beginning and end of stroke rebound on my Vivid coil. Would like to see new gen shocks with this feature.....especially with a progressive coil spring.
  • 8 2
 Both current DHx2 and float x2 have lsr and hsr. Or beginning and end stroke rebound
  • 5 0
 @avg-roadie: yup. Looks like they just moved the high speed rebound to the bottom of the shock
  • 3 0
 The DHX 2 already has L&HSR designed into the same valving head but I suspect on this shock they have separated them and taken the LSR back to the more traditional way of doing it to have better control over the individual systems.

Although I would prefer it if they have incorporated some kind of hydraulic bottom out control/progressive damping
  • 1 6
flag englertracing (Aug 28, 2019 at 23:39) (Below Threshold)
 @kleinblake: If you knew anything about shocks... You would know that's the low speed rebound adjuster or shaft bypass.
  • 1 6
flag englertracing (Aug 28, 2019 at 23:40) (Below Threshold)
No it's not a beginning or end stroke system
It's a velocity sensitive system period.
  • 7 0
 @englertracing: two different terms for the same thing. Rebound shaft speeds are highest when the shock is more fully compressed and the spring force is greatest (end stroke), shaft speeds are slowest when rebounding in the initial stroke because spring force is less (beginning stroke). For rebound only, position sensitive and speed sensitive essentially mean the same thing since the speed is going to be dictated by the position in the stroke and vise versa. This doesn't hold true on the compression stroke since shaft speed will be dictated by bump force which is variable, while rebound force will always be the same for a given shaft position at a specific spring rate. There always seemed to be some confusion for some riders whether RS was referring to beginning of the shock stroke or beginning of the rebound stroke which led to some people getting their adjustments backwards, for simplicity and consistency across the platform it probably makes more sense to refer to the adjustments as Fox has.
  • 1 0
 @ltrumpore: Do believe the needle adjuster in the shaft lets you stop top out a little better, no? Those things kinda top out, so maybe its to address that. Maybe they could ship the right size spacers with the V10s though, that'd be nice too, and less expensive.
  • 1 0
 @englertracing: if you knew anything about shocks you would know the only input for rebound is spring rate, so it’s the same thing as beginning and ending stroke rebound. And I concluded that it’s high speed rebound because the other one is a 3mm, and all fox low speed adjustments are 3mm
  • 1 1
 @kleinblake: Prior designs might suggest otherwise (see Vivid RC2 for example), however with the adjustment being a 3mm and Fox also using a piston based HSR system on the Grip 2 damper makes me wonder if they've done something similar here? But then why separate them? Maybe Jordi will spill the beans a bit on the next Dialed episode.
  • 1 9
flag englertracing (Aug 29, 2019 at 8:40) (Below Threshold)
 @kleinblake: well Chief here's the problem with that rolling through a huge berm, nearly full compression, but if you unload the suspension slowly you will still be under control of the low speed.

Quite different from a position sensitive system with zones like a bypass shock.

But you probably haven't worked on both.
  • 1 0
 @englertracing: get your hands on a grip2 36 or 40 and test it out
  • 1 2
 @kleinblake: I have a 36 with a grip 2 and I've had it apart as well.
  • 2 0
 @englertracing: if you unload the suspension slowly then you are the rebound damper
  • 2 2
 Oh my! What do we have here tup Looks really refined. Could this be a new 2020 shock?
  • 1 0
 Sneak Peak at the rear triangle from a Driver 9!
  • 1 0
 They need a hydraulic dial for those hard to reach places.
  • 2 0
 Ask Jordie....
  • 5 5
 Interesting. The current DHX2 is amazing already, I hope they don’t mess it up.
  • 11 7
 Um. No. It's not.
Can't get much lsc out of them without cranking down the hsc, the hsc blows open giving a huge hole in the mid speed damling and they hydraulic lock at high speeds.
That's the downside of a poppet based damper

Really all fox's current example of the twin tube has going for it is that the hsr is externally adjustable, meaning you don't have to re shim or as a mfg offer soft medium, and firm tunes. Fox absolutely loves not having to do soft medium and firm tunes. What do you get in return? A shit compression curve. Not a fair trade.

This is why the originators of the twin tube (ohlins) use a hybrid between a de carbon shock and a twin tube in off-road applications, they still use a mid valve and they use a proper shim stack on the base valve/high speed adjuster.

Simply using a shimmed valve in the high speed system like ohlins does will really be an improvement.

It appears that fox is headed that way with this shock, indicated by the apparently larger compression assembly. Fox appears to be keeping the HSR adjuster and judging by its size it's a poppet piston which works decent for rebound.

This will mitigate the downsides of the twin tube design while providing benefits from both designs.

BTW If you think your x2 is good send it to Craig at avalanche for the ssd mod,
You will see that in standard form it's actually garbage
  • 4 3
 @englertracing: I have no idea about valves and shim stacks. All I know is that I rode same bike with 2 different setups, my personal one eih Lyrik Charger 1 and CCDB coil and 36grip2 with DHX2 in the rear felt better. Plusher at the same time with more support in the middle. And I wan that support without needing to turn up SAG. I already run 17% up front and 27% in the rear so I am not a plow boy
  • 1 0
 Just concentrate on producing a CSU that doesn't creak after 2 weeks!
  • 1 1
 Shocks need more adjustments 9 would be nice to match different varieties of terrain
  • 1 0
 Nice to _not_ see Fox Orange that sticks out like a sore thumb.
  • 1 0
 It will be fun to replace those dials once people start stripping them.
  • 1 0
 Have you used them?
  • 1 0
 Obese dhx2
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