Viewing 29 posts - 1 through 29 (of 29 total)
  • Old Fox, new tricks- Grip2 vs Fit4 vs aftermarket
  • Northwind
    Full Member

    I have a set of venerable 2015 Fox Factory 36s, with the Fit RC2 damper- not the best, but with a vorspring coil conversion which has helped balance out the chokeyness of the RC2. Anyway, a big service is due so having thrown out the entire contents of one fork leg, time to do something about the other

    (ordinarily I’d maybe consider a fork upgrade at this point but I have 3 sets of nice wheels and good interchangability with my other bike so I’m not keen to switch to boost, since it’d mean spending damn nearly £100 on boost adaptors and still losing the ease of swapping with the hardtail. It’s almost as though standards are a good thing. But, for all this particular 36 really wasn’t the best fork even in 2015, it’s still a good chassis and it’s in decent shape so worth squeezing a few more years out of)

    Use- Big 29er, #enduro- usually tons of tweed valley peril, some racing, uplifts etc, did the mega on it and 3 other alps trips. 65kg rider weight. I like a pretty reactive fork, even more so since I broke my wrist as it’s still a bit twingey (not divey, just as smooth off the top as poss) And I can set stuff up pretty well so not scared of dials. Going into a Rocketmax with a CCDB coil.

    So anyway. The FIT RC2 damper has pretty limited upgrade options now. I can get an Andreani piston, for £125 but that still leaves it a pretty frictioney fork by all accounts. Or I can go all out and go Avalanche, which looks to be somewhere in the region of £600+/- taking into account customs randomness. The Andreani’s really just a polish and arguably what I should have done years ago but I think not right now, the Avy is of course a totally new custom damper of legend.

    But it’s a “new thread” fork meaning that it has modern Fox interchangability too. I can put the 2021 Grip2 VVC damper in it for £400 on the nose. That’s probably the best “single action” swap and is pretty attractive for its relative simplicity. Though I saw Vorsprung’s review of it was a bit cutting on the compression damping adjustment, most reviews are good and I should be at the light end of the range anyway

    I can fit a 2021 FIT4 damper, for £230. A reasonable saving. In particular it loses the full compression adjustability for a 3-position climb switch style setup, which is something I literally never use on my other forks that have had it. And I’ve never met a FIT4 that felt as smooth as I’d really like.

    (in fact I can fit pretty much any Fox 36 damper I want from 2015- the Bomber one, or a Grip, or whatever)

    But, the FIT4 also opens up the options that my current damper doesn’t have, such as the Vorsprung Fractive. Which still mostly works out cheaper or comparable to the Grip2 and lets me tailor things a bit, and is basically why FIT4 is still on the table.

    I’m leaning towards the Grip2… Any thoughts? I suspect the Avalanche is still the best outright but it’s a fair bit more and has its own foibles. The FIT4 is nice for its options but the damper really seems like it’s not in the same league. But Grip2 seems like a good feature match for me, people rate it, and I like that it’s OEM stuff (ie also OEM backup, easy warranty, easy parts, every fork tuner understands it).

    Anyone got a real world perspective? Particularly Avy vs Grip2 would be awesome. Grip2 vs upgraded FIT4 would be handy too. In fact positive and negative opinions of any of ’em would be good.

    argee
    Full Member

    I do prefer my grip2 over the fit4, i’ve got 3 x fox forks and the grip2 just feel the best, and once setup, don’t tend to need much more done.

    Fit4 works though, but i do struggle to balance it the same as the grip2, and that damn lockout lever annoys me, managed to somehow lockout twice in the last few weeks without knowing it due to how light the action required to operate it is, then again it’s a 2020 so maybe they ironed that out in the 2021.

    mboy
    Free Member

    FIT4 is meh… Why on earth anyone needs a lockout on a 160mm travel fork is beyond me, but there we go. Fox think they know their customers, so… 🤷🏻‍♂️

    My usual response to this would be just to bin/sell your current fork, and buy a 36 Factory GRIP2, but I understand your predicament. Not easy when you’re still invested in an older wheel standard, and have little to gain moving forward.

    Then I read your weight… Crikey! Makes things a bit easier though… GRIP2 is much more reactive for lighter riders than RC2 was, but even then, I’m 50% heavier than you kitted up and I’m still at the lighter end of all the damper adjustments, and I ride quite hard! Where I’d not usually recommend a GRIP fork to a harder rider in long travel format, for a lighter rider (weight rather than style) such as yourself, you could save yourself a LOT of money potentially and fit a GRIP damper (loads on ebay for cheap from people who’ve upgraded to GRIP2), and it would still be a significant improvement for you. The only thing I’ll say is there’s little to no useable compression damping adjustment before it becomes a lockout though, but at 65kg this probably won’t be of too much concern for you, and you already have a coil spring anyway which will give you more midstroke support already…

    BearBack
    Free Member

    grip1 is the darling child for weenie riders.
    we had ours tuned so the lockout position is after the furthest lever turn making it better through its available compression adjustment range.

    Northwind
    Full Member

    Ohhh. I hadn’t given the grip 1 a moment’s thought, thanks- definitely worth looking into! Less twiddly knobs than I like though 🙂

    andy4d
    Full Member

    I am certainly no fork guru whatsoever and not much help . I have a 32mm grip2 on my hardtail and a fit4 34mm on my full suss. I am happy with both as they do what I need and have served me well, on totally different bikes so not easy to compare.

    mboy
    Free Member

    I am certainly no fork guru whatsoever and not much help . I have a 32mm grip2 on my hardtail

    You’re not wrong you know… Cos that fork doesn’t exist! 😉

    grip1 is the darling child for weenie riders.

    It really is… Plenty good enough even for us larger people in shorter travel applications too!

    Ohhh. I hadn’t given the grip 1 a moment’s thought, thanks- definitely worth looking into! Less twiddly knobs than I like though

    I know where you’re coming from, but I’d take simple reliable performance over adjustability with potentially worse performance every day. I think GRIP2 is superb, but like I said, I’m 50% heavier than you and I’m still running the damping adjusters most of the way out.

    I have a GRIP damper on the Fox 34’s (120mm Step Cast version) on my XC bike, and they have come in for way more abuse than they were probably designed for and have lapped it up!

    Scienceofficer
    Free Member

    I had the Andreani piston in in a set of 140mm 29er pikes – you’re right, it is a polish only.

    Like mboy, I really do like GRIP2, but also like mboy, I’m 50% heavier than you.

    I’d love to know the truth about an Avalanche cartridge but theres no way I would pony up the cash.

    kelvin
    Full Member

    Grip1 on both of mine.

    One was a 2018 Factory I took the ‘better’ damper out of unused, and popped the cheap Grip1 in.

    andy4d
    Full Member

    Mboy you proved my point 😂 I checked the order on the website (it’s too wet outside to check the actual fork) and it’s just a grip not a grip2. Whenever I see what I paid for them though I cannot believe I got them for just €205, new, now that was a great PSA on here a couple of years ago.

    Northwind
    Full Member

    Just thinking about the comments so far… I was half joking when I said about liking knobs and dials to play with, but, it does also sometimes mean you’re stuck with settings that don’t suit, or with bodging things with oil. That’s my main concern about the standard Grip from looking around, otherwise I think considering how cheap they are I’d have already jumped on one, it looks a great option that I’d missed. A little surprised that the damper hasn’t acquired much of an aftermarket, it seems ripe for it.

    Back to the Grip2, maybe I should eat some pies? Actually pretty interested though in people’s experience of the adjustment/power of the adjusters- Vorsprung did a pretty detailed writeup of the grip2 in the 38 and their dyno showed that the gap between max and min adjustment was small, and a lot of it happening down low, does that match what you’re seeing?

    (or put it different- if you normal weight people are down at the light end of the adjustment, that’s more of a worry if it’s a damper that has a full range of useful adjustment. But I’ve had plenty of forks where there’s “24 clicks of adjustment” in the marketing but it’s mostly at one end, and so you could be “near the end of the adjustment” with 3 clicks or whatever but in reality using much of the power of adjustment. Does that make sense?)

    Just going to totally rule out the FIT4, it was only really in there as a “change damper + upgrade damper” option, which I feel pretty happy to rule out now. I like its wide aftermarket but I don’t like the base damper and tbh I’ve a feeling that the reason it’s got a lot of aftermarket is people trying to fix it rather than it being a good tuner’s option. I could work with it if I had it but I’m not fitting it just to be a starting point.

    Onzadog
    Free Member

    Not sure just how helpful the following comments might be but I’ll chuck my thoughts in the pot.

    I used to have a 2006 Fox 36 Van with an avalanche damper. It was an amazing fork. I only stopped riding it when I got a 2016 Pike and bigger wheels. The Van was still the better feeling fork, just on a 26″ wheeled bike that I didn’t ride.

    I’m now on a 2021 Lyrik and, although I’ve not tried them back to back, I still think of the avalanche equipped 36 fondly. I like the idea of a damper tuned for me with a much smaller range of adjustment.

    Having said that, I’ve improved the Rockshox forks dramatically by honing the bushes to give a better clearance and using superglis oil in the lowers. I’m using superlube in the air spring but would like to try slickoleum.

    While not directly related to the damper, what I’ve done does make a massive difference to how smooth the fork is which in turn has allowed me to run the damper just for damping duties rather than overly soft to try and compensate for an inherent lack of smoothness.

    I’ve tempted to go for an avalanche hybrid cartridge for the Lyrik, my only reservation is that, with everything feeling so smooth now, do I want anything other than superglis in one of the legs?

    mboy
    Free Member

    Just thinking about the comments so far… I was half joking when I said about liking knobs and dials to play with, but, it does also sometimes mean you’re stuck with settings that don’t suit, or with bodging things with oil. That’s my main concern about the standard Grip from looking around, otherwise I think considering how cheap they are I’d have already jumped on one, it looks a great option that I’d missed. A little surprised that the damper hasn’t acquired much of an aftermarket, it seems ripe for it.

    As I understand it, the main issue with the GRIP damper is that there isn’t really very much for the tinkerers to tinker with, so to speak. Aside from a couple of rebound shims, and changing the oil weight slightly, there’s not a lot to do with the GRIP damper. The general consensus is that for heavier riders, it doesn’t offer enough control options, but for lighter riders, it’s the bargain performance damper of the decade!

    Back to the Grip2, maybe I should eat some pies? Actually pretty interested though in people’s experience of the adjustment/power of the adjusters- Vorsprung did a pretty detailed writeup of the grip2 in the 38 and their dyno showed that the gap between max and min adjustment was small, and a lot of it happening down low, does that match what you’re seeing?

    At 65kg, you’re almost certainly off the bottom of the narrow band of adjustment I’d say… I’m somewhere around 70-90% out from full in on all the adjusters myself, running a slightly lighter oil than stock, at 95kg+ suited and booted… It feels absolutely incredible to me, but I can see how if I didn’t have the mass behind me it would start to feel pretty dead, pretty quickly!

    Besides… Yours is a 6yr old fork… I’d be concerned about chucking £430 or whatever a GRIP2 is into it, and then something failing (lowers, CSU) that you can’t get spares for any longer… Put a 2nd hand GRIP damper in for about £70, buy me a pint, stick the rest in Bitcoin, everyone’s a winner! 👍🏻

    Just going to totally rule out the FIT4,

    Good…Pointless damper in a high performance Enduro fork!

    Mboy you proved my point 😂 I checked the order on the website (it’s too wet outside to check the actual fork) and it’s just a grip not a grip2. Whenever I see what I paid for them though I cannot believe I got them for just €205, new, now that was a great PSA on here a couple of years ago.

    Wow, absolute bargain! Mind you, CRC were chucking out GRIP Fox 36 Performances for £350 (and I got 10% extra discount off one with BC membership!) 2 years ago!!! £350 wouldn’t buy you a ropey 2nd hand one now, and new they’re fetching £650+ on ebay! 🤦🏻

    bigfoot
    Free Member

    sorry for the hijack but all this damper talk has got me wondering, what is the actual damper in my fork? its a 2018 factory 36 HSC/LSC. all the differant dampers confuse me😂
    i’ve had it push tuned but also wondering if a grip2 upgrade is worth it, also toying with the idea of converting it to coil.

    Northwind
    Full Member

    mboy
    Free Member
    Besides… Yours is a 6yr old fork… I’d be concerned about chucking £430 or whatever a GRIP2 is into it, and then something failing (lowers, CSU) that you can’t get spares for any longer… Put a 2nd hand GRIP damper in for about £70, buy me a pint, stick the rest in Bitcoin, everyone’s a winner! 👍🏻

    It’s a reasonable concern but they were making forks with totally compatible iterations of the chassis up until at least 2017. So parts aren’t a problem, nor the consumables.

    Though tbf it probably makes no difference considering the cost of those parts. But it also means I could get a newer chassis and swap in my upgraded parts if need be. Like, even if I’d replaced the fork today I’d be putting the vorsprung in the new fork anyway, and it’s a straight swap into most newer 36s. It so happens that right now the chassis is a better option for me than newer ones but none of these options tie me more to it.

    pothead
    Free Member

    I have a 2017 36 Factory FIT4 on a 27.5 hardtail and a 2019 36 Factory Grip2 on a full suss 29er. The grip2 is far better

    Northwind
    Full Member

    OK so, Grip obtained and fitted, it’s a swing and a miss I think. In some ways it’s really good- it definitely nails the sensitivity I wanted, that’s night and day compared to the old FIT and the best this fork’s ever felt for that- almost up to mission control dh standards. I can see why people like it so much.

    But the lack of adjustability is stopping me from finding a good compression setting, which to be fair I knew was a risk. I can have a setting I really like for flat out rock bashing, or one that’s not bad for steep tech, but not both at the same time. That’s not a massive criticism since really, I’m asking for a lot from it- I suspect that if I had the same damper in a 34 on my hardtail, I’d get on pretty well with that.

    At this point I’d probably experiment with oil, but Fox only sell the PTFE oil in 5W so that’s not ideal (maybe it’s not that important… but it means piling up unknowns.)

    I’ll give it a couple more rides but I’m pretty sure I’m just going to call it a bust and move on to another option. It’s too compromised, the FIT was better overall even though it does something I really don’t like- the one thing the GRIP does better really is good but it does other more important things worse. But, was definitely worth trying!

    samsmedium
    Free Member

    Formula Selva/ ext era time?

    datsunman
    Full Member

    I missed the OP last week but at your weight I would avoid the Grip2 VVC – I’ve got a 2021 36 Factory and the rebound is far too slow, and I weigh 68kg without gear. I’ve serviced the lowers and removed the big blob of grease and it’s a little better, but the damper needs some work at my weight. I fell for the expensive marketing, bit gutted really.

    BearBack
    Free Member

    What lockout lever do you have? 3 position or open sweep?
    The lever is the compression adjust and you can remove the indexing to give it a modified sweep.
    My kids grip doesn’t have full lockout now and as a result has an even lower compression setting.
    But no, it’s no grip2 for high and low speed adjustments, but maybe a modded shim stack could give you 2-3 setting that work for those specific conditions?

    Northwind
    Full Member

    samsmedium
    Free Member

    Formula Selva/ ext era time?

    Jtech recommended a retune with the Ancilloti piston in the FIT to me, which is something I’d ruled out so it came as a bit of a surprise… Might give that a try.

    Still got a lot of doubts about the grip2, I probably run a bit more spring than most people would at my weight but while I think that might be enough to make it work out, I don’t have £400 worth of confidence in that risk.

    I’ve even lost weight since the start of this thread so it’s got worse!

    howsyourdad1
    Free Member

    I have a fit4 damper you can try if ya like @northwind

    mboy
    Free Member

    OK so, Grip obtained and fitted, it’s a swing and a miss I think. In some ways it’s really good- it definitely nails the sensitivity I wanted, that’s night and day compared to the old FIT and the best this fork’s ever felt for that- almost up to mission control dh standards. I can see why people like it so much.

    But the lack of adjustability is stopping me from finding a good compression setting, which to be fair I knew was a risk.

    I think I’ve got a couple of shims somewhere from when I ordered my Diaz Runt (my fork was already GRIP2 but a mate whose fork is GRIP might have wanted them but didn’t, and they were free) that they suggest to fit to the compression stack in the GRIP damper… I’ll dig them out, if they’re any use just pay for postage…

    I missed the OP last week but at your weight I would avoid the Grip2 VVC – I’ve got a 2021 36 Factory and the rebound is far too slow, and I weigh 68kg without gear.

    I’m over 95kg in riding gear right now, and running lighter oil in the damper too. Still got the LSR almost all the way out, and the HSR somewhere near the middle… It works amazingly for me, but I’ve got a lot more force acting up and down on the damper than you have!

    I’ve even lost weight since the start of this thread so it’s got worse!

    Will you stop sending it my way… Please?!?! ☹️

    Northwind
    Full Member

    @howsyourdad, that’s a hell of an offer, ygm!


    @mboy
    , thanks, I feel like I’ll probably just move on from the grip and try another option, I’m sure I could get the balance I want with enough work but there’d be too much trial and error involved in trying to find the exact setting I want with reshimming, I don’t have the patience for that 🙂 External adjustment has ruined me.

    Northwind
    Full Member

    Thought a followup might be called for- Jtech recommended I stick with the RC2 damper but put their andreani piston upgrade in it, decided to give it a go. And it’s very good! £125 for the piston, and fitting was included with a full service. I’m still running the high speed damping at absolute minimum so it’s kind of just barely working for me, but it’s removed almost all of the chokey sticky feel that the RC2’s so known for and that alone basically transforms the fork, and it’s still got plenty in reserve for saving me from gigantic screw-ups, cases, nosedives etc.

    It might be just slightly less good off the top or with chatter than the grip was, but having a full range of adjustment means it’s better with everything else. Definitely the best fork I’ve ever used and also nice and simple/transparent to set up.

    sharkattack
    Full Member

    This thread has returned just as I’ve started thinking about my own fork again. I’ve got a 2017 36 Factory with Grip 2 running at 180mm. I’ve always had to choose between comfort and bottoming out or a nice ride height with no small bump sensitivity. I think volume spacers just make them ramp up harshly. They’re also pretty flexy when you’re diving into steep stuff.

    I don’t know whether to start modding them or drop them on ebay and hope for a feeding frenzy. Then I could pick up a Selva or Ohlins and maybe experiment with a 29″ front wheel.

    mboy
    Free Member

    I’ve got a 2017 36 Factory with Grip 2 running at 180mm. I’ve always had to choose between comfort and bottoming out or a nice ride height with no small bump sensitivity.

    You’ve already modded it with a GRIP2 and you’re complaining about it? The GRIP2 came on 2019on forks (you have probably got an RC2 damper if you haven’t retrofitted the GRIP2) so you are aware…

    GRIP2 isn’t perfect, but it’s a huge step on in sensitivity over the RC2 FWIW.

    sharkattack
    Full Member

    Yeah sorry I’ve got an RC2, just got mixed up. Last time I looked a Grip 2 damper was 400 quid so not exactly a small sum of money for something I might not be happy with.

    At the minute I’m leaning towards selling up and trying something new to be honest. Especially if I can get a stiffer chassis.

    Northwind
    Full Member

    TBF, I think I’ll always want a coil in a big fork, air springs have got pretty good these days but imo the performance of a coil is waaaay worth the weight

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