In a whirlwind of new suspension products from Fox lies the new coil sprung DHX2 and air sprung Float X2 rear shocks.
The arrival of the new shocks is likely not a surprise to anyone avidly following the DH and Enduro race series. While somewhat similar in appearance from the outside, and carrying the same names as their predecessors, the new units have seen extensive changes both externally, and more importantly, internally.
In an effort to improve upon the performance of the previous generation X2s, Fox focussed on having a better range of control of the rebound damping, improved bottom out control and a swathe of other changes all over the shocks to up the performance.
The Float X2 and DHX2 are aimed at DH, Enduro and the heavy hitting end of trail riding applications and are available in a host of metric lengths, with or without trunnion mount, and also some imperial lengths to help with compatibility on slightly older, pre-metric revolution, bikes.Spring Changes
The air sprung Float X2 gets updated compression ratios meaning less spacers are needed to achieve same progressivity as the old shock. There’s a 300psi limit.
The coil sprung DHX2 uses the same SLS or standard spring, but now uses a full spring collar held in place with a C-clip. The preload collar now has indexed notches to stop the collar coming undone when using just enough preload to keep the spring snugly in place.
Lots of development has gone into the new bottom out bumpers. Durometer, shape, how the bumper compresses into the given space were all tweaked to give a better transition into the bumper and a nicer bottom out feel. Coil and air shocks each see their own specific bumper.Damper Changes
The new Float X2 and DHX2 use the same damper. The only difference being the Float X2 usually having a one-step-lighter compression tune to account for the inherent damping effect of compressing the air inside the shock.
The previous X2 damper design used a dished main piston that had a tendency to give a blow-off style characteristic. People were sometimes running excessive spring rates and damping to compensate for this feeling. The damper design also had poppet valves controlling the rebound damping in the head of the shock. This limited the rebound tunes available, although some people tinkered with stiffer springs in the poppet valves.
The new X2 damper design is still a twin tube layout, but uses a more traditional main piston design with a compression and rebound shim stack providing valving on either side of the piston. This means the main piston now does the majority of the rebound damping work and opens up multiple different rebound tunes.
On the Factory level shocks equipped with high speed rebound adjustment the adjuster was moved to the eyelet. It connects to a ramped plate on top of the main piston rebound shim stack. Turning the high-speed rebound adjuster rotates two propeller shaped leaf springs around the ramps on the plate and so exerts more or less force upon the whole rebound shim stack.
The ramped plate has two hard stops in the ramps to provide the limits for the adjuster and the whole sub assembly is internally adjustable to ensure that every shock off the production line or back from service will have the same rebound feeling.
The high speed rebound design is similar to that of the high-speed compression design found in the new 38. All adjusters for high-speed damping then see the same 8 clicks of adjustment to keep a common language in adjustment between the front and back of your bike. The remainder of adjusters in the neck, controlling low speed rebound and compression and high-speed compression now use smaller shimmed pistons too.
Located at the rear of the piggy back is the optional climb switch. It operates an independent firm mode circuit, which is separate from the high and low speed circuits. The firm mode now provides more solid resistance when pedalling compared to the previous tune.
There also a new damping oil specific to the newer generation X2 shocks and three stock compression and rebound tunes, plus others available that were developed with some of the Fox sponsored race teams.Chassis Changes
The Float X2 still uses Kashima for the Factory level shocks but the DHX2 now uses a low friction chrome coating on the shaft with new bushings designed to work hand in hand with the new shaft coating. All metric length shocks see increased bushing overlap.
The outer body on the DHX2 is now made from steel and the inner tube of the twin tube design has been beefed up with fins to increase its stiffness and stop the problem of the older inner tube coming out of its seat in the head of the shock.
Shock stroke is also now adjustable without having to take the shock apart - the spacers are accessible from the end of the shock and are held on with a plate and two small bolts.Versions, Lengths & Mounting Options
Factory level shocks are available for both the Float X2 and DHX2, with high and low speed compression and rebound damping. The Float having a Kashima coated shaft and the DHX2 having its chrome shaft.
Performance Elite level shocks have low speed compression and rebound adjustment but are only available for the DHX2. With the loss of the high speed rebound it sees a slightly different design at the eyelet and main piston to account for this.
Performance level shocks have low speed rebound adjustment and available only for the Float X2. It sees a black shaft coating too.
Fox still makes imperial length shocks for both the Float X2 and DHX2 with the 7.875” x 2” and 8.5” x 2.5” lengths available with the climb switch. 9.5” x 3” and 10.5” x 3.5” lengths available without the climb switch.
Metric sizes in Float X2 and DHX2 are available with the climb switch in 210 x 50mm, 210 x 55mm strokes, 230 x 57.5mm, 230 x 60mm and 230 x 65mm. Without the climb switch is the 250 x 75mm option.
Trunnion mount options in Float X2 and DHX2 are available with the climb switch in 185 x 50mm, 185 x 55mm, 205 x 60mm and 205 x 65mm. Without the climb switch there is the 225 x 75mm option.
All options are compatible with the 8 x 30mm bearing hardware kits for the eyelet.Price
Float X2 comes in between $639 and $669, or €849 to €889, depending on model.
DHX2 costs between $619 and $649, or €819 to €859, with the spring sold separately.We've got a DHX2 with a couple of days riding on it and a Float X2 on its way to give full reviews in the not too distant future. Performance so far is promising, so we're looking forward to getting more riding in on the two different shocks in a good mix of terrain.
THAT IS NUTS
You also can't compare a mono-tube EXT shock to a twin-tube VVC shock like this from Fox. Completely different ball game. This shock will almost certainly blow the EXT and it's decades old technologies out of the water. The EXT is a great shock, but they have pulled every drop of performance possible out of mono-tube architecture. Twin-tube and its lower levels of cavitation, and higher levels of external adjustments is just a superior design. Just go ask Öhlins.
Please don’t forget FAST SUSPENSION with their HOLY GRAIL SHOCK
Very good French company
It's something like this:
Air shock recommended service interval: 100 hours of riding. What you really need to do to keep it sweet: 10-15 hours.
Coil shock recommended service interval: 100 hours of riding.
What you really need to do to keep it sweet: just forget about the term "service interval" because it's pretty much meaningless.
To be fair, the SD I have at this point is a lot better, but not as good as either of the coil shocks I've had.
Can‘t find any shocks on that page?
I can’t remember the brands. Cannondale was definitely one, original cannondale that is. Lina I think was another but I could be wrong. GT didn’t care, IIRC. And we sold a ton of GTs.
A lightly used or takeoff DHX2 could be found for about £350. That’s about as much as I would be willing to spend. I would go a bit higher for a storia or TTX but they never seem to come up for sale in 230x65. I would try a bomber if it had a climb switch.
My 2018 DHX2 has a Kashima coated shaft.
That said, we went away from the Ti-Nitride because while it was low-friction and it did look amazing, it was not consistently holding up to our durability standards in the field and the last thing we want to do is leave a rider high and dry with a blown shock. The new hard chrome finish is a more durable surface treatment and when combined with our new seal, we get reduced friction and increased durability. Our goal is to provide the maximum possible performance and durability we can. We want all FOX riders to be able to spend more time riding and less time waiting to a shock to be serviced.
High speed rebound is typically only engages when the fork gets deeper into the travel. It allows the fork to recover quicker. Whereas low speed rebound is there to keep the forks composure over extended hits, to help eliminate the "pogo" effect. Once you have an understanding of what it does, and when it does it, you then know how to apply it. I learned this by talking to alot of elite DH racers over the years, where I would see their setup and think it was weird.
Thing is, just because it feels good in the parking lot, doesnt mean it feels weird on the trail.
If you currently have it, I suggest trying it out.
Fox goes about it differently, but aims to have the same effect. One thing I feel ohlins does much better (performance wise) is their air spring in the DH38. It is as close to coil feeling as I've ever felt. You can tune the spring rate and the bottom out separately, so you can essentially run a more linear spring rate to prevent the fork from packing out, while still keeping the fork from bottoming. Their compression stack does a great job of keeping the fork high in the travel. Something I felt was a little better than the Grip 2. In theory though, the VVC should allow for a more supportive tune without the harshness.
I am shocked that Fox would stoop so low as to sell fluff.
P.T Barnum said it best, A sucker every minute and a fool and his money.
Still lots of performance parts that are steel and will likely be steel for a very long time, like crankshafts, camshafts and valves.
Its the surface Ra or roughness that matters more than the material, although some materials can achieve a better finish than others.
Come by Dunbar Cycles one day and.ill pop an anodized shock and a Kashima shock in my hand dyno and you can feel for yourself.
Other coatings only offers marginal gains, if any, and always with big losses elsewhere.
Are you sure on this one? Compressing the air is actually compressing the spring. Isn't the difference rather here to compensate for the friction of the seals on the air shock? Just asking and challenging what sounds like a press release argument rather than science.
This is a hysteresis effect and is much greater in an air spring than a metallic coil spring (it is also bigger at low frequencies in an air spring than at high frequencies). The effect is approximately like increased damping with an air spring compared to a coil spring. Therefore it does make sense that an air spring needs less damping for a given nominal stiffness.
As you say there also tends to be increased friction which adds further damping effect.
Air has an inevitable progression to it, so generally speaking, it would require less damping in order to keep it riding higher in the travel. Given that this progression is adjustable too, it gives a broader range of adjustability. The one pitfall (performance wise) to the previous generation DHX2 was the lack of mid stroke support and bottom out control. Last season (If you watched Dialed) Loris Vergier kept going back and forth between the DHX2 and the Float X2. This is likely because the Float X2 had better mid stroke support, but lacked the small bump compliance of the DHX2. Also keep in mind that this was Fox's first attempt at a twin tube damper.
They took alot from cane creek who felt some serious pain in the development of this chassis for MTB.
Ohlins then came to the game being pioneers of this design, and having extensive knowledge, and understanding of the dynamics for this design; Improved the chassis for MTB. One issue I had consistantly was blowing the seal head on bug compressions. Now, consider that most people think about durability in design under heavy compression... The seal head only sees this under rebound load. Given that tracks are getting faster and faster, and architecture of dampers are getting better and better; Shocks are getting relatively good at isolating high speed and low speed movements.
On a heavy rebound, the old model went through the tubes (putting pressure between the underside of the piston, and the rebound valves. In between these is the seal head.
Fox have now relocated the high speed rebound to the main piston, allowing more room to build a proper HSR valve.
In turn that frees move space at the upper part of the shock to produce a larger and more effective HSC valve. This should allow you to essentially run a harder LSC setting to increase your mid stroke support, and maintain better small bump compliance.
They seem to have also narrowed the adjustability to a more effective range.
The new shaft is also a likely improvement, as I broke 2 and 1 was damaged trying to rebuild the shock. This was very common too.
Take a look at the newer Ohlins dampers, and compare them to this one. I'm certain you will find a lot more similarities than you would between this DHX2 and the old one.
These are very welcome changes.
Sorry... Coronavirus = no social interaction... Verbal diarrhea.. sorta.
Even if I thought I didn’t want or need HSC adjustment, for that price difference on a shock this pricey, I’d just get it anyway.
- Found a Fox RC4 Kashima 8.5" that fits on my "old" DMR Sled 2019.
- Found a Push Hypercoil that fits on that RC4.
- Bring the RC4 to a friend who is a expert in moto / car suspensions and now MTB too. Let him to do magic with that "obsolete shock".
Total spent : Equivalent to $ 300 USD, best purschase made in the recent time for my bike.
Any car shock or heavy machinery hydraulic strut.( chrome shaft) - hold my beer.
Interesting. Looks like the 2020 upper end sleds are coming with that. Wonder what that's all about. Thanks for that. Gave me something to get side tracked in and read up on. LOL!
However, if you take care of the maintenance on Fox and learn how the low and high speed adjustments affect performance then the suspension is a long term value and is actually very easy to tune.
When you can isolate the adjustments down to one specific effect, then you can tell exactly what your changes to rebound and compression are doing.
Isn't that really just "the air spring is smaller overall"? Lots of words...
X2 is the best air shock out there unless latest TTX Air gives it a run for it's money. Still not worth it over a good coil
Try Czarna Gora. You have to cross the threshold. Find the amplitude where you start gapping everything out of raw speed and it turns into Star Wars. I like it more than Hafjell World Cup track.
Very good French company
i have a capra with a flat x2 and ride with it open all the time
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