Fox has released details of its 2016 model range this week.
Chipps was one of the privileged few who got their hands on a 2016 fork/shock pairing a few weeks ago and his initial impressions are very positive – to read more, you’ll need to get hold of a copy of issue 97, which is out next week.
In the meantime, here’s details of what Fox has been up to. First up, the new forks and shocks come in three levels: “Performance” (entry level), “Performance Elite” (MOR), and “Factory” (ALL the dollars). And then…
Forks: no more open-chamber damping or CTD
It’s goodbye to the open-chamber damping previously found on Fox’s lower-end forks. The familiar FIT (Fox Isolated Technology) damper now spans the whole range, from Performance to Factory, and in its new FIT4 guise it’s been given a new damping adjustment system – Climb/Trail/Descend is now a thing of the past, replaced with Open/Medium/Firm. Top-end Factory series kit also includes low-speed compression damping in Open mode.
All forks feature a new, twin-chamber FLOAT Air Spring. Positive and negative air chambers are claimed to offer smoother performance with reduced friction, and be 125g or so lighter depending on model. Performance is tunable with volume spacers, too.
A fork for all seasons
The nomenclature of the range remains familiar, although it’s still enormous. Here are the basic fork features with technology and rider type – remember there’ll be Performance, Performance Elite and Factory versions for most of these, too:
- 32 Series = 32mm stanchions, 100-120mm travel, cross-country, new FLOAT air spring and FIT4 damper
- 34 Series = 34mm stanchions, 120-150mm travel, trail, new FLOAT air spring and FIT4 damper
- 36 Series = 36mm stanchions, 150-180mm travel, all-mountain/enduro, new Factory FIT4 damper/RC2 damper on Factory version, current 36 Float air spring, QR15 axle option
- 40 Series = 40mm stanchions, 203mm travel, downhill, triple clamp, available in 27.5 and 26in, new FLOAT air spring.
There’s also a 34 27.5+ fork in 120/140mm travel options (which will accommodate a maximum tire size of 3.25in), and a 36 831, which will be of interest to 26in die-hards and those running older frames. It’s a dual slalom/dirt jump fork, but it’s only available in 26in, and has a straight 1 1/8in steerer option as well as the now-standard tapered.
Shocks: all change!
The new air shocks are visually striking, with a bulbous EVOL (Extra Volume Air Sleeve) body increasing the volume of negative air, which should reduce the force required to initiate travel and speed up actuation. Fox claims that it will provide a more linear spring curve – which will also be adjustable via volume spacers.
CTD is gone here too, with full lockout being added to the new Open, Medium and Firm settings. Positive and negative air chambers also feature. The shock range is as follows:
Float DPS: The do-everything shock. DPS stands for Dual Piston System; this damping system has five damping circuits – yes, five – to manage high and low-speed compression/rebound and lockout, and Fox says it “provides full lockout without compromising bump compliance, ride control and efficiency”. The Float DPS has the EVOL air sleeve, and the Factory version also has low-speed compression adjustment on Open.
Float X: Aimed at enduroists and enduroistas, with EVOL air sleeve and a new damping tune “for compliance and control”. Again, the Factory version has low-speed compression adjustment in Open.
Float X2 Air: Top-end air shock, with RVS (Rod Valve System) damping technology: a new damper with independent high and low-speed compression and rebound damping. There are also reversible twin valve stacks to change the tune.
Float X2 Coil: For the gnarly dudes. As above, and with new SLS (Super Lightweight Steel) spring option – thinner wire, fewer coils, and proprietary surface treatment and stress relief process.
And of course there’s the Kabolt axle we reported on recently, which allows you to replace your 15QR with a claimed 40g lighter, one-piece bolt-thru (and of course the 6mm hex key to fit/remove it with).
We’re looking forward to seeing how the new technologies are received – Fox has been pretty quiet of late and now it’s apparent why. We’ve only seen US$ RRPs so far, so stay tuned for UK pricing…