FOX Shocks 2013

Forks Sea Otter Classic

FOX is revamping their forks and shocks again this year, and they are introducing the new CTD damper. The CTD stands for Climb, Trail and Descend modes, and will be available on all 32 and 34 forks, with 100 to 160mm of travel, and the FLOAT rear shocks. The CTD will work in synergy with the fork, shock, and adjustable seatpost for truly integrated system. The Climb mode has the firmest low-speed compression, and is meant for maximum pedaling power and efficiently, and would be combined with a fully extended seatpost. The Trail mode, has a moderate low-speed c0mpression, for pedaling efficiently, bike control and maneuverability on varying terrain and conditions, and uses the seatpost in the middle position, giving a perfect blend of control and pedaling. The Descend mode has an optimized low-speed compression, for an open platform, for better plushness and control when riding on steep and rough terrain, and works best with the seatpost at its lowest position. For further tuning, the Trail mode allows three additional adjustments (via an inner dial), for a soft, medium and firm feel within that mode, and that feature is available on select CTD forks and shocks. This latter tune is a bit like ProPedal.

The new CTD system should simply things, since outside of the 3 CTD clicks and the Trail adjust on some models, there is no lockout, multiple low-speed and high-speed compression settings, ProPedal, blowoff, etc. to tinker with. It does remove some of the fine tuning that previous iterations had, but I am looking forward to seeing how the system works in real time usage?


Forks
The 32 platforms FLOAT 26 and 29 went on a crash diet, and lose 50-100 grams and 200 grams, respectively, while still retaining their stiffness and performance. All the FLOAT forks, from 130 to 180mm of travel get an altered air spring curve, which is supposed to mimic a coil-like feel? All of the 32′s come with a 9mm or 15QR axle, except for the TALAS 29, which only come with a 15QR.

FOX FACTORY 32

  • 26 FLOAT – FIT Terralogic 100 (3.22 lbs)
  • 26 FLOAT – FIT CTD with Trail Adjust 100, 120 140 and 150 (2.99, 3.03, 3.66 and 3.85 lbs)
  • 26 FLOAT – FIT CTD Remote 100 and 120 (3.26 and 3.28 lbs)
  • 26 TALAS – FIT CTD with Trail Adjust 140 and 150 (3.66 and 3.85 lbs)
  • 26 TALAS- FIT CTD Remote 140 (4.1 lbs)
  • 831 – FIT CTD with Trail Adjust 100 (3.67 lbs)
  • FLOAT 29 – FIT CTD with Trail Adjust 100 and 120 (3.24 and 3.78 lbs)
  • FLOAT 29 – FIT CTD Remote 100 (3.49 lbs)
  • TALAS 29 – FIT CTD with Trail Adjust 120 (4.05 lbs)
  • TALAS 29 – FIT CTD Remote 120 (4.3 lbs)

The 34 platform has been extended to the 26 and 650B wheel sizes, with 160mm of All Mountain travel, come in FLOAT and TALAS versions, and 15QR thru axle, and a tapered steerer. The 34 is 20% stiffer than a 32, and approximately 200 grams lighter than a comparable 36, and they designed in an axle-to-crown that is 7.4 mm shorter than its 36 brethren. The 34 still comes in the FLOAT 29 and TALAS 29, with the new FIT CTD with Trail Adjust system. The 34 series should be their new crown jewel for 160 of travel in the smaller wheel size, and I am looking forward to trying them out. I spoke with FOX, and at this point in time, the only 650B fork is the 34/160mm model, but if there is a demand, that could change. I do wish they came with 20mm thru axles, as I am not a big fan of 15mm?

FOX FACTORY 34

  • 26 FLOAT – FIT CTD with Trail Adjust 160 (4.3 lbs)
  • 26 TALAS – FIT CTD with Trail Adjust 160 (4.49 lbs)
  • FLOAT 650B – FIT CTD with Trail Adjust 160 (4.38 lbs)
  • TALAS 650B – FIT CTD with Trail Adjust 160 (4.57 lbs)
  • FLOAT 29 – FIT CTD with Trail Adjust 140 (4.49 lbs)
  • TALAS 29 – FIT CTD with Trail Adjust 140 (4.68 lbs)

The 36 platform gets a subtle change, and the 160 FLOAT and 160 TALAS loose the FIT RLC in favor of the more traditional FIT RC2, which all the 36 line now shares. One of my favorite 36 forks, the VAN 160, has unfortunately been dropped from the lineup, and only the 180 VAN variant remains. Thankfully, the 36 have retained the 20mm thru-axle, but I am very bummed the VAN 160 is a goner.

FOX FACTORY 36 (26)

  • 160 FLOAT  – FIT RC2 (4.71 lbs)
  • 160 TALAS – FIT RC2 : 160/120 (4.79 lbs)
  • 180 FLOAT – FIT RC2 (5.27 lbs)
  • 180 TALAS – FIT RC2: 180/140 (5.37 lbs)
  • 180 VAN – FIT RC2 (5.94 lbs)

FOX FACTORY 40 (26)

  • FIT RC2 203 (6.93 lbs)

Shocks
The DHX series doesn’t get any major changes, while the FLOAT gets the full CTD treatment. The FLOAT head and air sleeve was redesigned for a slight weight reduction of 37 grams, and an increased air volume which gives a flatter spring curve and greater surface area for improved cooling. They tweaked the mounting system for the shocks, and added resin hardware which reduces fiction by 50%, and new o-rings and flanged bushing will keep out contaminants.

FLOAT FACTORY Rear

  • CTD BV with Trail Adjust
  • CTD BV Remote
  • CTD
  • CTD Remote

DHX FACTORY Rear

  • DHX AIR 5.0
  • DHX RC4

 

iRD
I first saw part of the Intelligent Ride Dynamics (iRD) system when I was at Interbike, and it combined a smartphone and an intelligent shock pump, which worked in synergy to allow a rider to fine tune their bikes suspension. This year they have added a simple smartphone app (iOS and Android), which identifies the specific FOX component, and then guides the rider through the suspension setup process. Once you have set up the sag, and it’s marked via the o-ring, the power of the app comes into play. The app utilizes the smartphone camera, and you overlay the viewpoint over your components stanchion, and there is a banded image, and if the o-ring is outside the middle green zone, air needs to be added or released.

About the author: Brian Mullin

Brian has been part of the Mtbr team since 2007, where he has become an integral member of the review and test staff, specializing in technical articles. He likes to push the limits in all the sports he obsesses in, whether it's mountain biking, whitewater kayaking, extreme skiing, or sport climbing. He takes those same strengths and a good dose of insanity to his reviewing and writing on mountain biking products, creating technical, in-depth and hyperbolic articles. Whenever he's not on the bike, he might be found watching MotoGP racing, otherwise look for him out on extremely technical singletrack.


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  • Izzy says:

    Why only 160mm for 650B? Is this the direction the industry (or at least Fox) would like 650B to take? I realise that the advantages of this wheel size over 29ers is in AM FS applications, but why limit the usage? X-Fusion’s 650B-compatible forks can be adjusted down to 70/80mm! I for one would like a 100-120mm travel FS 650B bike.

    • miwltone@gmail.com says:

      ^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^
      Can’t agree more. I ride XC and have the SOMA B-Side. I use an older FOX fork because it fits the 650b wheel size. it seems like not much of an investment for FOX to produce a different lower casting that mates to the same internals as the F series. Basically c’mon FOX throw us a friggin bone here.

    • Bret says:

      I read that Fox is making 160mm because that is what was ordered from them from bike companies. There will be other lengths soon to come when 650b explodes.

  • BikeThrasher says:

    I agree with Izzy why not some shorter travel 650b Forks? I don’t need or want 160mm of travel on my 26″ trail bike. Why would I want it on a bigger wheeled bike? This is the way I see the wheel size thing working out. 29ers are for Racing and xc 80-120mm, of travel, 650b is for trail and all mountain 100-160mm, of travel, 26″ is for freeride and DH 160mm and up. Like Izzy I would like some shorter travel options, 100-120mm would be great. Even better would be a more trail friendly 120-140mm version. Most of us, over 75% of us in fact are trail riders, and we want a 5inch travel Trail Bike. That’s all a compitent rider needs for over 95% of all trail riding. More than that is overkill and less than that just isn’t quite enough to handle bigger hits and drops with out a harsh impact. Fox forgot about its best customers. Trail Riders! We buy the most product form you. Why don’t we get what we want?

    • simon says:

      Well said. However the use of bigger wheels than 26″ is slightly daft even if it is the “direction” of the marketing mans campaign to make us spend more money. A competant rider has for years revelled in 26″ wheeled bikes. The smaller the wheel the lower the weight & the STRONGER the rim. Therefore the bigger wheels must be compromised? 150-160mm of suspension makes trail riding fun (just like you say).So why re-invent the wheel (excussing the pun)? The answers are simple. 1/ The many incarnations of rear travel technology have not blown the likes of Orange 5′s away so clearly they are of no real advantage! 2/ All manufacturers have made real strides forward due to the down hillers – because we actually as trail riders want to have fun off road. Therefore the frame angles have become so much better and likewise being able to upgrade suspension etc has made for real fun machinary. (Check out Nukeproof mega etc). 3/ Remember the phrase KISS (keep it simple stupid) that is why in a few years real world bikers who ride real world non man made tracks will shune all this high tech complicated rubbish that require a degree in engineerng to understand. I for one do not know a single rider who has enough knowledge to make Fox systems work. In fact 3 of our group are dumping fox forks for Rock shox due to reliability issues.

      Rant over!

  • Warp says:

    @bikethrasher… Get an X-Fusion. If Fox doesn’t listen to your needs, look somewhere else and let’s vote with out wallets.

  • bk says:

    Any idea regarding a release date or how long we can expect to wait before we see these being incorporated into complete bike models(next year I would guess)?

    I didn’t see one mentioned in the article.

  • P'd off says:

    No more Van 160! WTF is Fox thinking? I’ve been running a Van 160 since they came out in 2006? There is no comparable 160 trail fork in my humble experience.

    Here’s some news Fox, there’s a large population of trail riders out there that prefer the coil and oil of the Van. It’s more supple on small chatter than an air fork and has far better reliability than an air fork! I’m a huge Fox fan but they’re forcing my hand to go air or to another brand?

    I find it funny too they came back to RC2 than the stupid RLC they had on the Float and Talas 160 last year. I said at the time it was stupid to drop hi and lo speed compression adjust in favor of a stupid lockout on a 160 fork.

    Fox, you’ve got great engineering and quality control, but whoever is in product management calling these shots should be handed their walking papers. Must be the same guy that OK’d the ridiculous DOSS lever!

  • Miguel says:

    Yup, dropping the 36 Van 160 sure is an odd call? I can’t imagine the new Float 160 RC2 is comparable? Ok sure AM wants to be lightweight and air is usually stock on most 6″ rigs, but there are A LOT of riders trading them in for coil plush. You should keep on close eye on those others folks who appear to be ‘stepping it up’ again.

  • Picaro says:

    the Ti steerer is a great choice beyond plastic (carbon) and I will trust it more.

    650 “explode” on what customers wallets have done so already, it will need to be a penny deal – Marketing does.

  • spokes572 says:

    come on. it is already bad enough that there is no remote. Fox now just made their forks more thought to use. We all just want a fork and ride. all this hand moving back and forth is ridiculous. Bad marketing idea. when people start loosing fingers then what? I laughed at the comment that life just got better – what are you talking about. If they want to add a feature that is helpful, add a negative air spring so that we do not have to get beatup on the small bumps so much.

  • Drew1000rr says:

    My CTD Adjust shock is arriving tmrw…. Can’t wait..

  • paul rigby says:

    The artical says “The 32 platforms FLOAT 26 and 29 went on a crash diet, and lose 50-100 grams and 200 grams, respectively ” The 32 Float / Talas 150mm are the same fork as 2012 except the CTD side and work out heavier ! so where is the weight saving

    • Brian Mullin says:

      That was the information I was given by the FOX engineer last year. I have not weighed the final builds of the CTD vs. the pre-CTD versions for each model, so I can’t validate the specs. Please offer some of the weight values for each of those models so that we know the actual parameters?

  • Tom says:

    How expansive is maintenance of the FOX CTD ? I know that only FOX can do it. and how long it takes?

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