2018 Fox 36 first ride

The 36 gets better

26er 27.5 29er Forks
2018 Fox 36

2018 Fox 36 on a test Evil Wreckoning with 160mm travel on 29er wheels

What are the updates

Three years ago, Fox launched what would become one of the most dominant forks in the market with the Fox 36.

Today, the fork was updated with a more supple and better controlled EVOL air spring. The fork loses a bit weight with a bit of gram shaving. More price points and adjustability options are introduced with the availability of the FIT GRIP adjustment. And more travel and chassis options are made available.

2018 Fox 36

2018 Fox 36 descending down a rutted, rooty section.

How does it ride

We’ve been lucky enough to ride this fork for the last month on our test Evil Wreckoning in the trails of Santa Cruz. We tested it in a 29er 160mm configuration mated to a RockShox Monarch Plus and a Push ElevenSix on the rear.

We started with the pressure on the low side and added in one volume spacer token. Small bump compliance was better than the previous generation, not mind-blowing but noticeable. We experienced less hand fatigue and the cockpit was calmer than usual. What was surprising was we noticed increased traction during carving and cornering maneuvers. Traction seemed to be improved with this new 36 on rough and braking bump filled corners.

RockShox, Fox and Öhlins Forks

RockShox Lyrik, 2018 Fox 36 and Öhlins RXF 36. The competition delivers lots of options for the All Mountain rider today.

Another observation is new Fox 36 seemed to have improved mid-stroke support. With the fork tuned for plushness, we were ready to observe the fork dive and blow through its travel but it never did. Once at sag, it was efficient with its travel, hardly bobbing while pedaling. On small drops, it was a guiding hand as it didn’t stray far from its sag position and upset the fore and aft balance of the rider. And finally, on the flow trail exit of our test loop, the front fork stayed supported as we pumped the bike for speed instead of using the drivetrain. This complemented the qualities of the Push Elevensix rear as it exhibited similar qualities without ever having to turn a knob.

2018 Fox 36

2018 Fox 36 with HSC/LSC damping adjustment knobs.

On big hits and high speed runs, it performed about the same as our previous, trusty Fox 36. Stiffness was awesome and big hit absorption was excellent

Color us pleased as it complemented our test Evil Wreckoning perfectly. Here was a rig that performed efficiently on big hits, chatter, flow trail, jump trails and climbs. It’s no featherweight fork but with this level of performance and stiffness will have many All Mountain riders asking, “Why not step up to the 36?”

2018 Fox 36

2018 Fox 36 with with uncut steer tube and no axle.

The color

Orange is attention grabbing but this is an athlete and media color only at this time. The consumer version is matte black or gloss black with attractive orange decals. That shouldn’t be a downer as this pantone version of orange is a bear to color match anyway with any frame color.

Adjustability

The two big dials with HSC and LSC will still be available along with the trusty 3-position Fit 4. What’s new is the addition of the FIT GRIP for the Fox 36 on OEM versions.

2018 Fox 36 and Öhlins  RXF 36

2018 Fox 36 and Öhlins RXF 36 on test Evil Wreckonings.

Pricing
  • Factory – HSC/LSC $1049
  • FIT4 $979
  • Performance Elite – HSC/LSC $959
  • FIT4 $889
  • Performance OE only (with GRIP damper)
EVOL Details

A more linear air spring curve gives EVOL forks plushness off the top, extra mid-stroke support, and more tunable bottom-out progression.

  • EVOL is Extra Volume in the negative air spring
  • Creates a more linear spring curve through first 25% of travel
  • Increases small bump sensitivity
  • Greater mid-stroke support
  • More tunable bottom-out progression
  • Used in MY2018 32, 34, 36, and 40 forks
2018 Fox 36 in black with new decals.

2018 Fox 36 in black with new decals.

Details
  • New FLOAT EVOL air spring
  • FIT HSC/LSC, FIT4 and FIT GRIP three position damper options
  • 15QRx110 mm, 15QRx100 mm, or 15/20 mm convertible thru-axle
  • Travel options: 27.5” – 150, 160, 170 mm; 29” – 150, 160 mm; 26” – 100 mm (831), 160, 180 mm
  • 1.5” tapered or 1-1/8” (26” only) steerer tube
  • E-Bike-specific chassis available
  • Factory Series models feature Genuine Kashima Coat
  • Performance Elite models feature black ano upper tubes
  • Matte Black

For more information, visit www.ridefox.com.

Photo Thumbnails (click to enlarge)

About the author: Francis Cebedo

The founder of mtbr and roadbikereview, Francis Cebedo believes that every cyclist has a lot to teach and a lot to learn. "Our websites are communal hubs for sharing cycling experiences, trading adventure stories, and passing along product information and opinions." Francis' favorite bike is the last bike he rode, whether it's a dirt jumper, singlespeed, trail bike, lugged commuter or ultralight carbon road steed. Indeed, Francis loves cycling in all its forms and is happiest when infecting others with that same passion. Francis also believes that IPA will save America.


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