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.