Fox combines the best elements of the X2 and DPS to create the mother of all air shocks
Fox has just announced the latest in its range of shocks, combining the Float DPS with the Float X2 to create the DPX2.
The likes of BOS, DVO and Ohlins might make some of the most desirable shocks on the market, but if the market is the best judge of performance, it’s difficult to look past the two dominant players, RockShox and Fox.
Many trail bikes are now coming fitted with the highly developed Float DPS shocks, while at the gravity end of the market the X2 has been making inroads into the domination of coil shocks in the DH market for a couple of years.
With the latest breed of longer travel trail, and enduro bikes, manufacturers and riders are taking different approaches to the shocks they’re using — either swallowing the weight and bulk increase of the X2 for the improved aggressive terrain performance or perhaps compromising a touch on gravity performance for the weight and sleeker shape of the DPS shocks.
This is where Fox is pitching the DPX2 — it’s basically an air shock for aggressive enduro and trail riders. The size and weight is between the DPS and X2 shocks, and Fox says that it’s drawn performance and adjustability benefits from both.
The DPX2 combines features from the DPS and X2 shocksOliver Woodman / Immediate Media
The most noticeable addition to the trail shock is the extra bulk behind the piggyback cylinder. This is the Base Vale Assembly, and is where the compression and rebound dials and pistons are found, taking its technology from the DPS shocks.
The damper is taken from the X2, and runs on a low pressure system for better small bump sensitivity. The X2’s damper offers decent mid-stroke support, and this is said to be carried over to the DPX2.
The piggyback contains the IFP and sits in front of where the adjusters are heldOliver Woodman / Immediate Media
Lower down the body, the EVOL air can is easily distinguishable. Comparing the DPX2 and the Float X2 there’s a noticeably smaller piggyback, however I reckon that the Base Valve Assembly will be a little too bulky for some of the more compact or complex suspension linkage designs.
As you’d expect, the top-line Factory shock gets the full Kashima coating treatment, which in my experience does reduce friction in the system, resulting in a more supple feel.
An EVOL air can gives extra volume to the negative air spring for a supple and supportive strokeOliver Woodman / Immediate Media
The EVOL air can is present on a wide range of Fox shocks and adds extra volume in the negative air spring. This reduces the breakaway force required for the shock to start moving, through a more linear spring curve at the start of its travel, meaning suppleness and small bump sensitivity is improved.
It also adds mid-stroke support to the shock’s suspension curve — having this as part of the new DPX2 is no surprise. Adding volume spacers then allows riders to tune the end-stroke progressivity.
For the DPX2, Fox has make the EVOL air can lighter and has tuned each can for the specific shock sizes. There’s also better bushing overlap, which should help reduce shock wear through side-loads and twisting of the shock.
Adjustment and options
As ever, Fox’s shocks are beautifully finishedOliver Woodman / Immediate Media
As you’d expect, there are rebound and compression adjustments.
There are three main compression damping positions, which are switchable on the fly, and the top-end Factory shock gets an additional 10 clicks of adjustment in the Open setting — adjusted with a 3mm hex key. There are 14 clicks of rebound damping.
The shock (in 8.5 x 2.5 (216mmx63mm) size) weighs 430g with a 0.2 volume spacer installed, and there’s a tune specific to the Nicolai Geomotron G16.
The DPX2 will be available in imperial, metric and trunnion mounting options, so most suitable bikes should be covered. The shocks will come in at £589 / $549 / AU$829.