The Fox rear shock range features suspension units for all sorts of bikes from lightweight cross-country race machines to trail bikes to downhill brawlers. Here we run through everything you need to know about their range so you understand the differences in the Float air shock family, and we run right through to their DHX coil shocks for 2023.
Everything you need to know about Fox rear shocks
We run you through each of the 2023 models in the Fox rear suspension range so you know what bike the shock is for, which specs they come in, and which one is best suited to your needs. Scroll away or hit the link below to jump directly to that model of shock. If it's the Fox suspension fork range that you really want to know about, then click here.
The Fox Float SL is the company's super light cross-country racing thoroughbred shock. It shares the same internals as its siblings in the Float range, but Fox has put this model on a serious diet and slimmed it down to save every gram of mass from the EVOL unit to achieve a claimed weight of 249g (190 x 45 with bushings but without hardware). The Float SL features a new main piston, valving, and IFP for increased performance and consistency with better tuneability.
The Float SL has the option of a three-position blue anodised lever located on the shock to toggle between its Open, Medium, and Firm modes, or you can opt for a two-position (Open or Firm) remote lever. This shock also gives riders the ability to adjust the shock rebound via a red dial.
The Fox Float SL comes in two variants: the Factory and the Performance series. The Factory features a durable and super slippery smooth Kashima gold coating. The Performance series utilises all of the same features as the Factory spec shock; only it comes in a subtle anodised black finish instead. Pricing for the Fox Float SL Factory starts from £569 and Float SL performance is £399.
The Fox Float DPS is available in both Factory and Performance Series. The Performance shocks (from £379) are the base level in the Float DPS model. Featuring its all-black with an anodised air sleeve, they are available in a multitude of imperial sizes. The Factory Spec shock (from £549) features the same fundamental as the Performance series; only the shock comes in the Kashima coated bling gold finish and is available in both metric and imperial sizing.
The DPS shocks have either a three-position lever giving the rider the choice of Open, Medium, and Firm compression settings, or a two-position remote activated lever which allows the choice of Open or Firm. The red dial controls the rebound damping, and of course, as this is an air shock, you can adjust air pressure too. Alongside this, you can add or remove volume spacer tokens to further tune the feel of the shock and its bottom-out resistance.
The shocks get the brand's EVOL air spring. This is Fox's air spring system used across the entire range. The EVOL part stands for 'Extra VOLume' and indicates that it has a larger negative air spring than previous Float designs in order to make the initial part of the travel more linear.
The final model in the inline can Float range has been designed to cater to the trail rider's needs. This is a middle ground between the performance of a Float X and inside a lightweight package found with the Float SL. The feel and performance are close to a Float X shock, but its streamlined design allows for better frame compatibility whilst allowing space to still fit and use a bottle and cage inside the frame. On the scales, it only gives away 60 grams to the featherweight XC Float SL.
Just the like its stablemates in the 2023 Fox Float shock range, it comes in a Performance series (from £399) offering in black available in imperial sizing only and with the full Factory spec (from £569) with Kashima coating on the stanchion which Fox says is a hard anodised surface treatment created by Miyaka Company of Japan. It consists of "lubricating molybdenum disulfide deposited via electrical induction into the billions of micro-pores on the surface of hard-anodized aluminium for better lubrication and less abrasion and wear."
You get the same compression lever, only this time it comes in a two-position alongside the rebound adjustment on whichever series you drop your hard earned cash on.
The Float X shock grows in statutory compared to the inline Float siblings. To bolster the shock's capabilities to match everything from All mountain terrain to Enduro stages, the Float X has a piggyback reservoir design.
The Fox Float X gets a high-flow main piston, an MCU bottom-out bumper, and numbered, tool-free adjusters with a 12-click low-speed compression dial. There's an independent firm mode circuit, and an increased rebound adjuster range (over the DPX2), and each shock length gets a specific reservoir size. Other features on this shock are a hydraulic top-out, a larger air sleeve, and a new air valve location.
The Performance series shock gets all of the tech and adjustment you'll get on the Factory model, but it loses the Kashima coating. With pricing from £649 for the Factory spec shock and from £599 for the Performance model.
At the top of Fox's air shock range sits the Float X2 Factory (from £739); it's a flagship air shock built for longer travel enduro and downhill bikes. You get all the bells and whistles here, high and low-speed compression damping adjustment, high and low-speed rebound damping adjustment, and an optional 2-position Open/Firm lever that acts like a 'lockout' lever or climb switch.
Fox gave this model a few key updates, including a new chassis and damper, a new progressive bottom-out bumper, lower friction seals, plus an improved bearing ratio for metric sizes.
The new shock also gets something called Variable Valve Control or VVC, like you'll have seen on the modern Fox Performance Elite and Factory forks. This essentially alters the feel of the ride by having the same effect as changing the tune on a shim stack. Something that can only normally be carried out by a technician. The adjustments are made by the shaft connected to the high-speed rebound dial. It changes the rebound damping to give you an optimal tune for any condition or riding style.
The performance spec shock can be found as OEM kitted frames, and this shock gets all the same bells and whistles as the factory Float X2 minus the Kashima coated stanchion.
The DHX was part of Fox's updated range last year, and you'll find a lot of the Float X's kit here, but of course, the DHX is a coil shock. There's the high-flow main piston, numbered dials, optimised reservoir lengths per shock size, and the MCU bottom-out bumper. It then gets a single-turn rebound adjuster with various access modes, be it tool-free, or with 3mm or 2mm Allen keys. Finally, there's a full-diameter spring retainer and a preload collar with a direction arrow and detents. The DHX is available from £649 from Fox retailers and only comes to fit metric-sized frame applications.
The Fox DHX2 is the premium downhill coil shock in the family and is used by any of the world’s fastest gravity teams. The DHX2 sports a damper shaft and conventional coil spring rather for increased durability and feel whilst ensuring the highest level of grip and traction. There are all the adjuments present that you'd find on the stablemate X2 air shock, like high/low-speed rebound, high/low-speed compression, variable valve control, plus an Open/ Firm switch. The shocks are available in eye-to-eye lengths from 210 to 250mm and stroke lengths from 50 to 65mm for both the metric and imperial fitting, and this level of performance will set you back £739.
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