Fox 36 Float Factory GRIP2 Review

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Conclusion first: the Fox 36 Float Factory GRIP2 is the best air-sprung trail fork out there. By quite a margin too.

  • Price: £1,299.00
  • From: Silverfish UK
  • Tested by: Benji for 18 months

The one and only negative aspect of this fork is that price tag. Which, while it’s all well and good saying ‘Well, all top forks are four figures these days aren’t they?’, it is still bonkers money.

The next bestest fork (in my opinion) is the £849.00 Marzocchi Bomber Z1 Coil. Cheaper. But still not cheap (unless you find one in the sales).

Back to the pure performance assessment of this here Fox 36 Float… it is the only air fork that feels good throughout the whole of its travel stroke.

All other air forks I’ve encountered force you to pick two from the Holy Trinity (sag point, mid-stroke and end-stroke). The 36 air spring – allied to the excellent and fathomable GRIP2 damper – actually has a really good amount of mid-stroke support.

And it deals with the aforementioned Holy Trinity very smoothly and predictably. The whole stroke feels consistent and well delivered. It’s not a supple sag that vanishes into a mid-stroke vagueness only to reappear again and the end-stroke being all rampy and harsh.

You don’t actually notice what the Fox 36 Float GRIP2 is doing. It disappears into the ride underneath you

In terms of set-up, I ran the pressure that Fox recommends on the handy sticker on the fork leg. And it was bang on. As a 73kg rider, I removed all the volume spacers to access full travel properly and appropriately. I also ran pretty much all of the damping adjusters in their most open position (I occasionally dialled in more low-speed compression for super steep slow tech tracks). Fully open damping dials is not zero damping, it is just the least amount of damping on offer. It is still very much controlled by damping circuits. Significantly lighter riders may find the fork rebound too slow even when fully open.

In conclusion again: this incredibly expensive fork is incredibly good.

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Review Info

Brand: Fox
Product: 36 Float Factory GRIP2
From: Silverfish UK
Price: £1,299
Tested: by Benji for 18 months

Orange Switch 6er. Stif Squatcher. Schwalbe Magic Mary Purple Addix front. Maxxis DHR II 3C MaxxTerra rear. Coil fan. Ebikes are not evil. I have been a writer for nigh on 20 years, a photographer for 25 years and a mountain biker for 30 years. I have written countless magazine and website features and route guides for the UK mountain bike press, most notably for the esteemed and highly regarded Singletrackworld. Although I am a Lancastrian, I freely admit that West Yorkshire is my favourite place to ride. Rarely a week goes by without me riding and exploring the South Pennines.

More posts from Ben

Viewing 14 posts - 1 through 14 (of 14 total)
  • Fox 36 Float Factory GRIP2 Review
  • reeksy
    Full Member

    Erm … that seems like a very short review based on 18 months of riding.

    I’ve just recently swapped my XFusion Trace 36 for one of these.

    I’m not sure yet whether it’s worth it, but probably need to get it dialled in.

     

    Northwind
    Full Member

    The damping range thing is fairly ridiculous tbh, these come as OEM on some bikes as well, imagine taking your new expensive bike home and you’re too light for the fork to work properly. You can get them tuned of course but you shouldn’t have to.

    mmannerr
    Full Member

    It really can’t be the best fork out there, the damping seems to be somewhat different per each fork, it might not be possible to have it work on big and small hits on same setup and some haved needed bushings readjusted.

    Sold mine and got different fork with different issues – I only miss the 36 on bike park days which I do 1-2 per year.

    chakaping
    Free Member

    Erm … that seems like a very short review based on 18 months of riding.

    Might be useful to add a bit about chassis stiffness, ride feel on different surfaces/types of trail and effectiveness of adjusters.

    Editor should have pointed this out really.

    The damping range thing is fairly ridiculous tbh

    Agreed, if a slightly below average weight rider has the damping fully open, that doesn’t bode well for lighter riders.

    I used to have compression full open on a lot of my forks, but rebound as well is a bit worrying.

    julians
    Free Member

    I feel like I should provide some constructive criticism for this review, because recently I’ve felt a lot of STW reviews have been pretty poor quality – they never used to be like this, hopefully they can improve.

    – This review reads like the final conclusion section of what should be a much bigger review, it feels like its missing the beginning and middle and just skips straight to the end (I know it says conclusion first, but it doesnt even have the beginning and middle at any point) . For example it doesnt describe much about the fork itself, for example
    – what travel lengths is it available in?
    – what wheel sizes is it available in?
    – what offsets?
    – What model year , travel, offset, wheel size etc was this particular fork that was tested?
    -what bike did you test it on?
    – How heavy is it?
    – what size if the brake mount of thefork?
    – what is the max brake disc size it can take?
    – How often does it officially need a service?
    – what are the damping adjustments that are available to the end user? do they have a good range of adjustment?
    – What are the air spring adjustments that are available to the user?
    – Does it have bolts for a mud guard?
    – Can you easily adjust the travel, if so how?
    – WHat sort of riding does the tester like, how was the fork tested?
    etc etc

    I feel the quality of reviews on STW has dropped quite a bit recently, so please take this criticism the way its intended, constructively.

    BadlyWiredDog
    Full Member

    It does read a bit like someone from Fox has rung up and said, something along the lines of ‘Oi! You’ve had our fork for 18 months now, could you maybe write something about it now please or no more test kit for you guys’.

    And what is it with the toddler speak stuff. ‘Best’ is a perfectly good word, ‘bestest’ is something lisping three-year olds say about ice cream.

    crossed
    Full Member

    I got as far as the use of “bestest” and gave up reading.

    reeksy
    Full Member

    This review reads like the final conclusion section of what should be a much bigger review

    I actually kept scrolling up and down to see if there was some more.

    jimmy748
    Full Member

    I’d like to know what other forks the reviewer is basing his “best air sprung” fork upon? As “sag point, mid-stroke and end-stroke” are all adjustable on other forks.

    Pauly
    Full Member

    Totally agree with @julians points above.

    This smacks of “quick, we need to fill up some space and keep Silverfish/Fox happy or we won’t get any more stuff to test…”

    Id be interested to know more about recommended service intervals, how much are the service costs, how easy is it to service yourself, do Fox have a YouTube channel that’s an equivalent of the generally good SRAMTech channel?

    chakaping
    Free Member

    I wouldn’t necessarily want to see all the tech stuff in a review, though I appreciate it might save me going to the Fox site.

    I’d just like a bit more about what it feels like, perhaps making the stuff about mid-stroke support etc. a little more context specific – rather than just in the abstract.

    Like Julian, I hope this helps as constructive criticism.

    kelvin
    Full Member

    Unlike Julian… all those dry but important measurements are out there already, I don’t need them here… I want opinions on the ride, not copy and pasted stats. More about the ride would be welcome though… although I already moved to this fork (well, a cheaper version of it) based on Benji’s advice in the past.

    Northwind
    Full Member

    In fairness, in its original context- ie the magazine- this is just one out of the 7 pages of reviews, where it gets a full page, as much as an entire bike. On the website it feels small and a bit odd, on the page it feels to me concise and to the point, and way more comfortable in company.

    tall_martin
    Full Member

    I liked the style of review

    All the details about the fork are on the product page of fox. I don’t need to read a regurgitated press release. I’m interested in how they ride.

    I like stw reviews.

    I’m very happy to see the grinder back in the magazine 🙂

Viewing 14 posts - 1 through 14 (of 14 total)

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