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Suspension - Fox versus RockShox

April 16, 2018, 10:59 a.m.
Posts: 4
Joined: March 16, 2008

What's your take and why??

"I'm addicted to surfing."

April 16, 2018, 11:35 a.m.
Posts: 933
Joined: March 18, 2017

Both suck.

April 16, 2018, 12:10 p.m.
Posts: 522
Joined: Jan. 31, 2005

I've only ever had one set of Rock Shox, an early Pike, and it was great. I've primarily run Fox. I love having Suspensionwerx around the corner to help with custom tuning and great service. I've also been glad for paying full price on a few occasions because SW enabled a couple of voluntary warranty/recall services that got me a bunch of upgraded parts along with the complimentary rebuild necessary to install said parts.

My new bike comes with a Monarch Plus, my first RS rear shock. It's what comes stock and so I've no reason to replace it without cause; I'm curious to see how it does. I've had great service when I've sent stuff to Fluid Function also which is reassuring.

We should be thankful that we have so many great shops and service options.


 Last edited by: craw on April 16, 2018, 12:10 p.m., edited 1 time in total.
April 16, 2018, 12:16 p.m.
Posts: 14512
Joined: Nov. 20, 2002

running FOX front/rear and seat post, it all seemed to work perfect for its 1st season, before that it was a SPV lefty & 3 way swinger which also all worked fine so not much to compare the fox with

April 16, 2018, 1:04 p.m.
Posts: 1205
Joined: Sept. 30, 2006

Neither.  Cane creek front and back for me on my current ride.

April 16, 2018, 2:45 p.m.
Posts: 330
Joined: Nov. 25, 2013

I have Fox and SR Suntour on the front of my bike - like the Fox better.

RS Monarch on the back - once tuned with the right rebound and volume spacers - amazing.

I'm curious about the Cane Creek Helms...

April 16, 2018, 3:20 p.m.
Posts: 1205
Joined: Sept. 30, 2006

Im only one ride in on my Helm.  Its very nicely finished (as with most things CC) and has some well thought out features.  Small bump compliance is nice due to adjustable negative/positive chamber pressures.  It feels pretty firm at suggested sag (25-30%) as I cant get full travel out of it.  I have checked the CC equivalent of the 'token' system and it is at the minimum.  Hopefully it will break in a bit more over the next few rides, and I may have to run a bit more sag than I am at now.  I havent really pushed it yet, but I can see how it will likely shine the harder it is ridden.

April 16, 2018, 3:36 p.m.
Posts: 1331
Joined: Feb. 17, 2009

If you're sub 190 pounds, I can recommend the Ohlins stuff. I've been running it since last fall on my Enduro, coil front and rear. It's been good. My friend Kevin, who's 230 has the same setup and he's been having a harder time than me with it (185, not as aggressive of a rider).  Getting the right spring (fork and shock) has been an issue for him, due to the limited distribution - James has him on a loaner CC coil while waiting for the receipt of an OEM heaving weight rear spring.  Fortunately, Suspension Werx is a distributor/service centre, so they can get you sorted in short order and Arthur has some experience working with the setup of Ohlins products, so he's a good resource if needed.  

Previously, and on another bike, I had been running a 2017 Fox 36 which had been set up by SW, and to tell you the truth, performance wise it was awesome.  I can't tell that the Ohlins is any better, only that it has been just as reliable (for me).

As for me, the stock weight springs were bang on, so no problems there. 

My other bike has a 2015 Pike RCT3 - 29x150. Awesome fork.  Albeit less stiff than the Ohlins or the 36.

April 17, 2018, 9:01 a.m.
Posts: 260
Joined: Feb. 24, 2017

I’m liking my DVO Diamond 160 on my Bronson. The Pike was a good fork but had developed bushing play. The cost to fix that was prohibitive. New lowers I was told. And I had scratched one upper tube and again, a new CSU was too costly although I had buffed out the scratch well enough that it was not an issue. The issue I have often had with Fox forks is that the air spring is too progressive for a light weight rider like me. At 143 I rarely got full travel. I can bottom that DVO every now and then yet it stays pretty high in its travel. The OTT allows me to dial in the initial suppleness. It’s buttah.

April 17, 2018, noon
Posts: 2113
Joined: May 23, 2006

Is the Fox 34 adequate on the shore for an old person around 200# all up?

'cause, weight weenie.


 Last edited by: tungsten on April 17, 2018, 12:01 p.m., edited 2 times in total.
April 17, 2018, 3:56 p.m.
Posts: 330
Joined: Nov. 25, 2013

Yes - my fox 34 is adequate, and I'm 220# and ride/race it at fivers on my 140/120mm 29er.

Could it be stiffer for my size? yep
If I bought a new one would I still get a 34? nope - a 36 would likely be better
Is there enough flex to get me to upgrade? Nope
Is the stiffness noticeable? not really, I can feel my wheels flex more than the fork.

April 18, 2018, 12:27 a.m.
Posts: 1533
Joined: July 11, 2014

I really love my 2017 Factory 40 and DHX2 on my DH bike, stout chassis, smooth action and reliable damping performance. My old trail bike had a coil 36 VAN which was a bit too heavy but so nice and supple. New trail bike has a Pike RCT3 and Deluxe shock. At 210lbs I have trouble balancing the Pike, if I don't use enough spacers then I have to jack the pressure so high it loses all small bump. If I jam in spacers then I can lower the pressure but mid-stroke goes away. Currently getting a Luftkappe installed so will see if that helps. The actual damper seems decent. Can't complain much about the Deluxe although it does seem to get overwhelmed on long descents (as the Fox RP2 on old bike did). Thinking about a DVO Topaz upgrade.

If I was buying new frame up I would go Fox.


 Last edited by: grambo on April 18, 2018, 12:27 a.m., edited 1 time in total.
April 18, 2018, 7:08 a.m.
Posts: 768
Joined: June 29, 2006

I’ve spent the last five seasons on various Rock Shox Lyrik and Pike forks and Monarch Plus rear shocks. 

They were good and loads better than the stuff I rode the decade before.

All five forks had to be sent in for warranty at some point though. (Creaky CSU, bushing play from day one on one Pike)

My current bike came with 2018 Fox 36 rc2 Factory and Dpx2 Factory.

The fork is really on another level, compared to the RCT3 Charger forks. (non Debonair and 1gen Charger)

It is responsive and controlled, but the biggest improvement is how much my wrists don’t hurt. It’s much less harsh in rough stuff and on big compressions or impacts. And the setup is very easy. I didn’t have to juggle Tokens, the stock setting (1Token) just works. I bottom out slightly on the biggest features I ride, but have a plush fork that doesn’t dive or feel harsh when just riding some mellower stuff.

My Lyrik either had quite a bit of travel left and wouldn’t dive, or it would bottom but wallow when cornering or down steep stuff. The AWK and other after market upgrades to the damping made it a better fork. The 36 really does feel noticeably better to me from stock though.

Don’t know how much better Debonair forks or the new Rock Shox RC2 feel or how reliable they are.

The DPX2 feels really good. Due to a lot more going on with kinematics, pivots and all that stuff, I couldn’t tell how much of the performance difference is frame/rear shock related. 

What I CAN say is that the climbing settings on the DPX2 are absolutely helpful. It firms up really a lot, so the bike doesn’t sag too much on steep climbs. Still it opens up and maintains traction when needed. Clearly better for climbing a long travel bike that with a Monarch. The Fox rear shocks in my riding group don’t have a flawless reliability track record though. I hope the dpx2 will hold up.

In my experience only the top level Fox stuff is worth it also. Evolution or plain Performance (non ELITE) parts are rather so-so. And Fox aftermarket prices are a joke here in Europe. On my Orbea Rallon they were available as upgrades for a modest upcharge and well worth their cost so far. I’ll report back after a full season of riding ;-)

If you try to save some bucks get Rock Shox and make use of their warranty if necessary. They don’t remove as many features on the budget level stuff and the stuff is good, as long as it works. 

My GX Eagle (as a side note)  sucks. It’s not a bad concept in theory, but I can say after three (intense) weeks on the new bike: It probably won’t last. 

It is very sensitive to hanger alignment, lubrication and developed play in the RD already. The chain feels already worn and has gotten noisy, like a year old, worn out Shimano 11spd. I’ll wear it out and replace it with a Shimano 11spd drivetrain and not look back. 

I don’t race and am happy with a 28t 11-42 or 30t 11-46 or even a oneup 11-50 and a 34t on my 29er.

April 22, 2018, 7:04 p.m.
Posts: 214
Joined: Jan. 2, 2018

The monarch plus debonair on my Bronson pooped itself after about 4 rides. When I got it fixed on warranty i noticed there were many inline reports or failures. I bought  a fox dpx2 and never looked back. Performance and reliability are way higher with the fox. Dpx2 and x2 are such good shocks. 

Its still has the pike on it, the pike is fine, but my other bike has a 36 and I prefer it. 

So IMO both are fine for forks especially since rs has an rc2 damper now. Shock wise fox has the edge.

April 23, 2018, 3:17 p.m.
Posts: 1331
Joined: Feb. 17, 2009

Posted by: rnayel

If you're sub 190 pounds, I can recommend the Ohlins stuff. I've been running it since last fall on my Enduro, coil front and rear. It's been good. My friend Kevin, who's 230 has the same setup and he's been having a harder time than me with it (185, not as aggressive of a rider).  Getting the right spring (fork and shock) has been an issue for him, due to the limited distribution - James has him on a loaner CC coil while waiting for the receipt of an OEM heaving weight rear spring.  Fortunately, Suspension Werx is a distributor/service centre, so they can get you sorted in short order and Arthur has some experience working with the setup of Ohlins products, so he's a good resource if needed.  

Previously, and on another bike, I had been running a 2017 Fox 36 which had been set up by SW, and to tell you the truth, performance wise it was awesome.  I can't tell that the Ohlins is any better, only that it has been just as reliable (for me).

As for me, the stock weight springs were bang on, so no problems there. 

My other bike has a 2015 Pike RCT3 - 29x150. Awesome fork.  Albeit less stiff than the Ohlins or the 36.

I would like to amend my comments regarding Ohlins suspension. After talking to Kevin over the weekend, it appears that the issue was with his bike and not the suspension, after installing the updated Specialized Enduro link, the suspension (front and rear) doesn't bottom out anymore as it has balanced out the bike by improving the suspension ramp up.

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