Fox Updates 36 Fork With Lighter, More Durable Crown

Apr 6, 2022 at 7:07
by Seb Stott  

It's probably fair to say the Fox 36 has been overshadowed by its bigger brother, the 38. Most of used to think it was a perfectly capable enduro fork, but the arrival of the 38 has relegated it to shorter-travel bikes, despite Fox claiming the latest version (launched in 2020) is actually slightly stiffer than its predecessor. But with people asking ever more of single crown forks (go to any local DH race and half the field will be on enduro bikes, to say nothing of the insanity that is a modern EWS race course), it's no surprise that people are wanting burlier forks.


For similar reasons, it seems that a small but significant percentage of riders have had problems with fork crowns starting to work loose and creak where the steerer tube is pressed into the crown. When I asked various suspension companies about this, Fox was more candid than most about the problem: "We realize this can be a frustrating issue for riders", they admited, and hinted at a running change in the pipeline to help address it: "we’re close to introducing additional updates that we feel confident will provide an extremely robust long-term solution".


Today, Fox is introducing an updated 36 with a new crown. They say this crown features "updated design and engineering for more steer tube overlap improving durability and maintaining stiffness while dropping 20 grams."

The all-important region of overlap between the crown and the steerer has been lengthened by 4 mm. This should reduce the stresses on the join, and so reduce the chances of the steerer starting to work loose inside the crown and making that annoying creaking sound.

The claimed weight of the 2023 36 can be as little as 4.28 lb / 1942g (29”, 160mm Travel, KaboltX axle, Fit4 damper, 165mm steerer length with star fangled nut), which is just over 20g lighter than the claimed weight for the previous version. With a Grip2 damper and a less Hobbit-specific steerer tube length, expect the real-world weight to be north of 2,000 g.






147 Comments

  • 161 3
 The first manufacturer that releases a transparent chassis on their fork for real-world use wins all the money..
  • 19 0
 Only if they name it Slim Goodbody.
  • 55 2
 Step 1: Get a Scottish Starfleet engineer to travel back in time and give Fox's engineers the formula for transparent aluminum.

Step 2: All the money.
  • 1 0
 All the $$
  • 9 0
 @atourgates: ... That is the most foolish and ridiculous plan I have ever heard! Everyone knows that a profit plan must have THREE steps to work!
  • 2 0
 @kobold: First thing I thought of, but there was also Mario Cipollini's muscle speed suit.
  • 6 0
 maybe then people would service their suspension
  • 1 0
 @Nygaard: step 3: ????
  • 1 0
 @atourgates: step 3: Whales
  • 3 0
 Fox 36/38 Glass Edition.




* No warranty and don't recommend riding on, around, over, near or within sight of rocks.
  • 4 0
 @atourgates: there actually already is in existence transparent aluminium...it's called Aluminium oxynitride...
  • 2 0
 @AndrewFleming: half the crowd here has no idea what you’re talking about. I showed an episode to my kids and they were a little weirded out. LOL
  • 1 0
 Just coming to ask if the transparent chassis was available for limited run.
  • 1 0
 @Danzzz88: or sapphire
  • 100 3
 I would rather have a slightly heavier crown that never creaked. a fork crown is maybe not the best area to save grams.
  • 35 6
 This^^^. Weight weenism is the reason stuff like this is even an issue.
  • 8 0
 @cougar797: it’s simply to extract $ from the pockets of the ignorant Jerry.
  • 22 6
 Shaving weight was not the goal. The weight loss was a by-product of making a better CSU. Props to Fox for being open about an issue they have had for years, and trying to eliminate the problem.
  • 5 0
 Whatever happened to the one piece steer and crown made out of titanium. I want one!
  • 20 0
 @peterguns: open?!?! Have you tried getting a csu issue acknowledged and replaced? Especially in the past 2 years.
Fox have been plagued with this issue for about a decade now- theyve been anything BUT open, and us as consumers have not held them nearly accountable as we should have. Marzocchi all but disappeared for less 15 years ago.
  • 36 1
 @peterguns: Seriously? Fox crowns have been creaking for a decade and they finally come out with a solution that they claim will fix the problem and also lose weight (which is what they've been saying each time they release a new crown for the past decade) and we're going with "props?"

Forks are consumables at this rate. You have to replace them damn near as frequently as tires these days because of creaking crowns, on a product priced like it's built to last for decades.

If this fixes it, cool. But I donno if they should get "props" for fixing something that should never have been an issue in the first place, and I certainly don't know if they deserve props for claiming their revolutionary new weightloss trick (that was what started the problem in the first place) is going to fix everything after an actual decade of introducing new weight shavings that invariably increase creaking.

Next we're going to hear about Shimano fixing their wandering bite point and they'll get a "props" too I bet.
  • 5 0
 @William42: right on!!!
  • 3 0
 @peterguns: I think shaving weight was their get-out clause. A good way of detracting attention from needing to fix a known problem. Kudos for sorting it though Fox. I'm impressed with my Z1 coil so far.
  • 6 1
 @William42: Close man. Shimano has stated they've taken measures with new cranks to avoid them delaminated, while not admitting to having a delaminating issue. They're almost there, but as is historical with Shimano, they will never admit fault or issue.
  • 4 0
 @sherbet: I saw that. That's absolutely nuts to me. "It's just a small issue that Shimano wont tell us how many rider's it's effected." - It ruins the damn ride, it takes a long time to get parts in, and either the customer or the shop ends up eating the labor cost of replacing, and virtually every shop out there is intimately familiar with this issue because it's happened enough times. It's not some weird one off, and it's on a part that should essentially last until it's physically destroyed in a crash.

Not to mention there's a risk of injury with it, as cranks separating mid ride is a major safety concern and could lead to a massive injury or crash.

The amount of stuff the bicycle industry gets a pass on is nuts.

I get it. It's hard to build good long lasting products. Shit happens.

I'd way rather the company own up to it, be clear in communication, and fix the damn thing. Not pretend it's not a problem.

The musical chair blame game obfuscates so much too. "Oh it isn't our fork that's creaking, its your headset. Oh you tried that? It must be your brake calipers. Not that either? Maybe it's your crown race. Already switched that out? I bet it's your stem! Or your bars! Or your stem bolts! Or your rotor bolts! Not any of those things? That's crazy, you must be the first person to ever have one of our forks and have the crown start creaking. Anyway its 2.1 years old and our warranty is only 2 years, so that'll be $470 for some new crowns please."
  • 5 1
 Just get a Mezzer FFS. Lighter, no creaks, superior performance and cheaper. Fox can get f*ed.
Creaking forks ruins the experience of riding a bike.
  • 1 0
 @William42:
While I read a lot of these coments and reviews of creaky CSU and wandering bite points, I've never had them.

My shimano brakes are awesome, granted it's a two piston with gigantic rotors, and always on Suntour CSU, that never have creaked on me. I'm a heavy rider that is always fighting with rocks and trees.
  • 1 0
 @William42: I’ll be expecting my warranty replacement crown at my next Fox service regardless of whether mine’s started creaking yet or not.
  • 1 0
 @PB4UGO sorry, best I can do is a 40mm stanchion single crown.
  • 2 0
 @SIZ: i wholeheartedly agree with this statement
  • 1 0
 Bomber z1 / rhythm has been silent for me after dealing with 36 woes.
  • 2 0
 @tremeer023: me too! I’ve been blown away by my Z1 coil - best fork I’ve ridden…
  • 1 0
 @Eland: gotta appreciate the irony of people considering Marzocchi as more reliable than Fox.
20 years ago Marzocchi were the benchmark in terms of reliability. They were bombproof compared Rockshox and manitou, and fox weren't even a blip on the radar. They dropped the ball around 2006-7 ish and in 2-3 years lost that reputation and closed shop. Fast forward a decade, and they're bought by fox, and in manu ways are back to being more reliable.
  • 2 0
 @peterguns: they were only open about it once they had a new steerer to sell us. Before then it was nada
  • 1 0
 @sherbet: have they ever admitted there’s a wandering bite point on their brakes yet?
  • 39 0
 " 20 grams lighter" woah
  • 49 2
 if you rocked a piss before the race you're saving at least 69 grams of urine
  • 34 2
 @formerbmxguy: drop a deuce and take away another 420g
  • 5 0
 @formerbmxguy: unless you pissed your pants… but you could save a pound or more riding nekked, and be sure to aero- shave yourself
  • 4 0
 But that is before the drillium treatment Smile
  • 3 0
 I'm sorry but you guys have no idea how much bodily excrement weighs. A large pee is about 1L which means 1kg of weight saving, even the average "I should go to the loo before we head out" is 200-300 grams worth. Likewise, a bowel movement can easily weigh up to 1.5kg if it's amaazinngg (the type you remember for the rest of your life) and the average is 113-453 grams. If you piss before riding when you don't even feel like pissing you will save upwards of 20 grams.
  • 11 4
 @nofu: how much weight do you save not carrying a sense of humor
  • 9 1
 @Bro-LanDog: Depends how much weight you carry misjudging the tone of a message
  • 12 0
 @nofu: "A large pee is about 1L" What are you a horse?
  • 4 0
 @nofu:

what animal are you talking about?

Average human bladder is 400ml to 600ml, so 0.4 to 0.6 kg.
Average human poop is 113g to 450g.
  • 8 0
 Okay, everybody: Your homework assignment is to hold your piss until you can't stand it any longer, then piss into a graduated cylinder. We'll have this argument settled in no time.
  • 4 0
 @barp: I was stuck in traffic once and had to pee until I couldn't hold it. Used a graduated Gatorade bottle and it was nearly full, prob 700 mL, I got super nervous near the top cause I can't stop once I've started.. it stings
  • 1 0
 @nofu: that’s cos they normally work with imperial measurements which do t make and sense
  • 1 0
 @DizzyNinja: You should try doing it while normally pissing. It helps with other hmmm body functions.
  • 1 0
 @formerbmxguy: and if you pissed a rock, you'd be both much lighter and much happier afterwards.
  • 1 0
 @Notmeatall: just a Dumb n Dumber reference
  • 27 2
 Wish they would also move to the splined top caps like RS uses instead of the super thin and fragile hex. Rebuild for RS is a lot easier simply because you can use standard tools without being super nervous that you're going to wreck the top caps either functionally or aesthetically.
  • 3 0
 buy a cheap extra socket and grind down flat.
  • 29 4
 I also had a running change... to another brand.
  • 12 1
 I've found that the running changes between some '21 models and '22 models have been really solid. I'm 220lbs and used to get about 6-8 weeks out of a crown before the creaking ensued. My last 3 Fox forks have been run for almost a year now without a peep (one of which was ok an e-bike, which should make it creak quicker).
  • 2 0
 My 38 is completely creek free ridden through a summer and a winter.
  • 1 0
 that's good to know!
  • 3 0
 @onemanarmy: what about rivers
  • 4 1
 @diegosk: it's an ocean of fun.
  • 15 2
 Taking bets on it still creaking inside a year of ownership
  • 43 1
 I see your "inside one year" and raise you "just after warranty expires"
  • 1 2
 @spendtimebehindbars: You really should spend time behind bars after that.
  • 17 7
 Sr Suntour Aurons for the Win! lighter than fox, air release valves, feel smooth on the trail and the crown never creaks. Yep SR Suntours!!
  • 9 0
 Not to mention the Durolux which is awesome
  • 1 4
 whats your experience been with the plastic bushings and no oil in the lowers and after sales support? i like the idea of SR suspension, but cant get past those things
  • 4 1
 @GumptionZA: Bushings, no problems after 2.5 years. Bought new PCS damper off ebay (for like 1/3 of mrsp), after few months it failed, warranty took a bit long as they had to find the shop, but got new one in the end. I have added oil in the lowers by myself and it did not influence the warranty... Don't take me for granted but I've heard they cannot have oil in the lowers as they have not bought the patent for this, there are nevertheless oil foams in the fork so it takes few minutes job to add it aftermarket! Price/performance of my Auron is about 12/10 when compared to the two big names...
  • 2 1
 @winko: There is definitely no patent for running oil in the lowers. That's an industry standard that Suntour refuses to include. But I agree they are good quality/performance for the money.
  • 2 0
 @winko: That's my take on my durolux as well.

What oil are you using for the lowers?
  • 2 0
 @mammal: I remember Boxxers being sold also without an oil in lowers so you had to check that first
  • 1 0
 @bok-CZ: LOL! Yes, not a design choice, but a production problem. Most large-scale production companies have had that problem at one point or another. My latest experience is with DVO, great forks once they're lubricated.
  • 6 2
 About a flippin decade too late! ... And regarding prevention of the dreaded CSU creaking- i'll believe it when i see it. Until Fox gets that embarrassing issue sorted, I'm staying away from their forks. We should stop pretending this isnt an issue.
  • 5 0
 So no fox in your socks?
  • 2 1
 @DBone95: touche, my friend!
  • 1 1
 @DBone95: altough, come to think of it, we don't get presents in our socks in my neck of the woods. For us, socks are mundane and smelly all year round.
  • 1 1
 @DBone95: "A pox on your flocks!" cried the fox from the rocks.
  • 11 5
 I'd like to see a) a heavier thicker and thus stiffer crown or b) a dual crown to solve this creaking BS issue.
  • 8 0
 That exists. A lot of ebikes use the bigger steerer and crown. But also means a new standard so wont fit existing frames. Careful what you wish for
  • 7 0
 This is copying EXT who increased the steerer tube overlap from something like 20 mm to 50 mm. It's a really good idea to majorly reduce creaking potential. Fox didn't say how much they increased it by though.
  • 1 0
 @endorium: Bigger crown not a thicker steerer tube is what I meant.
  • 1 0
 .......
  • 3 0
 While increasing the 'overlap' of the shrink fit will increase capacity (more area of shrink fit), based on recent experience with some shrink fits I am starting to think that contact pressure is more important to prevent micro slipping (and thus, creaks) - the theoretical capacity of low pressure shrink fits (in the case I have been looking at, ~500kNm theoretical torsional capacity with a minimum contact pressure of ~3MPa) seem to be much higher than actual capacity when put to the the test. In order to increase contact pressure the easiest way to do this (without changing to a stiffer material) is to increase the OD of the female part. On that basis I'm surprised that Fox are still machining little bits of the crown away for weight reduction. Maybe they are just using Loctite too! I have not had the opportunity to test it in the application I am looking at.... yet.
  • 4 0
 Please dont use actual engineering, youre just confusing the bike industry.
  • 3 0
 People on every thread about Fox complain about this as if it doesn’t happen to every other fork manufacturer. Never had a problem warranty submitting any creaking CSU issue with Fox. Good on them for continuing to try and find a solution for an issue they’re vocally aware of
  • 1 0
 "Never had a Problem warranty submitting any creaky CSU [...]"

The problem is that you had to make use of the warranty in the first place.
FOR YEARS this has been a known issue with a known solution, yet Fox doesnt take the neccessary steps to fix it.
Other fork manufacturers selling creaking forks also doesnt make Fox any better.
  • 5 0
 Am I the only person being sceptical about "lighter and more durable" in one sentence?
  • 4 2
 The truth is that any SC fork can and probably will creak after a shorter or longer period of time. Steerer tube is not the only pressed in element so don't forget about the stanchions. Good thing Fox tries to improve that but the noise is also caused by corrosion between pressed tubes. Some suspension workshops can fix that for you and prevent creaks for a longer time than the factory does.
  • 1 0
 you have double the tubes with double the overlap each. But yeah, inverted forks work better in this regard.
  • 3 2
 Of all the parts I routinely thrash, the CSU creak isn’t an issue-but I know it’s common for bigger riders. Props to Fox for (hopefully) remedying that problem.

I’m guessing we’ll end up with dual crown trail/enduro forks at some point. If it means a reliable, straight tracking chassis at reasonable (compared to a 38 or Zeb) weight fork, I’m in.
  • 2 2
 Ive seen it happen on dozens of forks even on grom bikes.
It's far from being a rider weight issue. Not to mention that the energies exerted on the bike and fork depend more on speed than mass.

This issue should occur on maaaaybe 5% of their forks and 0% on their factory series. In reality it happens in much larger numbers and across their product line.
  • 5 1
 I guess I've been lucky to have owned 4 36s and not a single crown issue (pun intended)
  • 4 0
 I'd rather a a fork that weighs a bit more and isn't harsh. I've never ridden a 36 that I've gotten along with.
  • 3 3
 Get it set up professionally. The new 36 is the smoothest fork I've ever ridden besides my 38. There's zero initial stiction and the small bump compliance is crazy good. I exploded my left hand and have terrible arthritis in my right so those features are hugely noticed by my hands.
  • 2 0
 And what about backwards compatibility for all of us current 36 owners? Are warranty replacement CSU’s still going to the old version?
  • 4 2
 Too bad they didn't use that 20g to make it stiffer. I don't want to bulk up with a 38 but the fore/aft flex of the 36/170/29" has me considering it.
  • 7 4
 Between the creaking and the kashima flaking off within a year I have chosen to move on.
  • 4 2
 You have pictures of the Kashima flaking off?
  • 4 4
 I'll believe it when I see it. CREAKCREAKYCREAKYCRACKCRACKCREEKITY CRACKCRACKCRACK. I would love to see a class action lawsuit against fox to payback all the money consumers and bike shops have been forced to spend on shipping/handling /labor over the years. Stupid fox driving around with their tiny peeners in their lifted trucks. I do like Jordie though.
  • 2 0
 sweet - mine creaks like a bastard, not covered by warranty. I wonder how this one will do?!
  • 3 0
 "Less Hobbit Specific steerer tube length" hahahahaha
  • 5 2
 I'll stick with my creak free 180mm boxxer thanks.
  • 1 0
 This so much
  • 2 0
 Seem to recall at least a few of the EWS guys opting for a 170mm 36 over a 38 - Rude and Maes to name a few
  • 1 0
 did they mention why ?
  • 3 2
 They should do what EXT has done and have the crown extend up on the steer tube above the crown race seat.
  • 6 0
 X-Fusion was doing one-piece CSUs almost a decade ago:
www.pinkbike.com/news/x-fusion-trace-rl2-fork-review-2014.html
  • 1 0
 I think EXT patented the idea so to increase overlap they'd have to go down and not up
  • 2 4
 EXT is just using an X-fusion CSU
  • 3 0
 @vtracer: I think you're confusing CSU with lowers. Check again.
  • 2 0
 @Crossmaxx: I could easily be wrong, but I think the new EXT ERA fork has it's own lowers now
  • 1 0
 @VelkePivo: Yeah, as of the Era v2 I believe that's true
  • 2 0
 New and unproved . I love marketing!
  • 2 0
 Would anyone else buy a clear plastic fork?
  • 2 0
 That render is fukn dope.
  • 2 0
 Axle to crown height still the same?
  • 1 0
 I'm rehabilitated! First minor upgrade and I don't feel the urge to change my Fork.
  • 2 0
 How are the acoustics on this new crown?
  • 1 0
 Was about to buy a 36 after debating vs. the 38, now concerned I'll get one of the "old ones".
  • 1 0
 I love how fox sells a integrated mud guard that has a huge gap at the most critical part on the 36 (fits perfect on 3Cool .
  • 2 0
 So instead of creaking after 6 months, it’ll extend to 11.5 months.
  • 1 0
 Hats off to the people who raced out and bought 38's because you couldn't ride enduro without one.
  • 1 0
 Didn’t someone make a one piece steerer/crown? Wouldn’t that be better?
  • 14 14
 Waiting for the 140lb rider claim they NEED a 38 for all their rad sh!t they do at the weekend.
  • 8 1
 130lb pound rider here on a 38. I definitely don't NEED it but it came with the bike so why not.
  • 9 3
 @HeyBaumeister: Plenty of light weight riders will use the 38 to full potential. Part of the force equation is mass, true, but speed is the other part. Light weight riders regularly produce the speeds needed to apply the same force to a 38 as riders double the weight. In short, the original comment about weight is pretty ignorant, considering a rider's weight has nothing to do with the terrain they ride or the speed they ride it.
  • 2 1
 My son is 13 and a hundred pounds and he is running a 38 on his new Altitude. Thats what came on the bike so why not? All he does is shuttle and ride the park.
  • 2 1
 Nobody NEEDS a better MTB part, and I prefer a little lighter front end (at around 160 lbs) but for a light rider really pushing, the difference is there on a 38 chassis.

Horses for courses and all…..
  • 3 2
 @Lokirides: Hmm, I read that the 38 was developed for and from feedback from Richie, so I guess if you ride that hard and are 200+lb's that makes sense as you would ride it to its full potential. But lets be honest, 95% of riders will never require the full potential of a 38. Saying otherwise is also ignorant and and pure marketing fantasy BS. But like others said, why not, if it makes you feel good, do it and all power to you.
  • 2 0
 @noplacelikeloam: so only Richie Rude can use a product to full potential? Naaa, that's some elitist bs. The 38 has a different level of support through really rough stuff at speed, and a lot of us non pro riders can appreciate that. No, I don't smash as hard as a pro EWS racer, but I still push my gear plenty hard, as do many other ("light weight") riders. I don't know about how the fork is marketed, because I don't care, but I know it is the best fork I've ridden for really getting after it on steep, rough trails.
  • 1 0
 So are they using an anaerobic adhesive yet or still no?
  • 2 1
 Does it come standard with a bottle of Loctite 290?
  • 2 1
 Who would buy a dual crown 36?
  • 1 2
 I’d rather have a duel crown
  • 1 2
 Tonight is not about electricity its more about how the 38 is wayyy better the 36 who doesn't want to spend a other 1200 notes for stiffness
  • 1 0
 20g weight savings… more like 1.5k worth of loss in yo bank account!
  • 3 1
 Is this a joke?
  • 1 0
 Will it stop creaking?
  • 1 0
 I want one
  • 1 0
 Pinch bolts
  • 2 1
 Creaking news by Fox!
  • 1 0
 Is more means 1%?
Below threshold threads are hidden





You must login to Pinkbike.
Don't have an account? Sign up

Join Pinkbike  Login
Copyright © 2000 - 2022. Pinkbike.com. All rights reserved.
dv42 0.019797
Mobile Version of Website