FOX Float X2 review

Now with a 2-position open/firm lever

FOX Float X2 ready to rip on 2014 Specialized Enduro 29.

FOX Float X2 ready to rip on 2014 Specialized Enduro 29 (click to enlarge).

Lowdown: 2016 FOX Float X2

Mtbr has been riding a FOX Float X2 for the past few months. This shock has received accolades from many riders, and we were anxious to see how an air shock sans climb switch handled our everyday riding. Yes, the X2 has been available for a while now – however, there was a bike missing from the fit list: late model Specialized Enduro. FOX has remedied that situation; as soon as a production unit was available, I stopped by their headquarters in Scotts Valley to pick one up (the test mule is a 2014 Enduro 29).

Stat Box
Adjustability: low/high compression and rebound Price: $595
Weight: 8.5×2.5: 493g Rating: 5 Flamin' Chili Peppers 5 Chilis-out-of-5

  • Superbly balanced feel
  • No climbing switch for All Mountain riding
  • Tunable air spring curve (via volume reducers)
  • Need tools to make any adjustments
  • Independent low and high speed damping adjustments for rebound and compression
    • Plenty of adjustment range (even when running 250psi, over 1/3 of the range still available)
      • Well-sorted look complements bike appearance

        Our trusty trail dog retrieved a nice nugget for us.

        Our trusty trail dog retrieved a nice nugget for us.

        Update: Climb lever is now available

        One of our key wishes for this shock has been fulfilled. The Float X2 and DHX2 shocks are now available with an optional 2-position X2 lever. New X2 2-position Open/Firm lever retains high- and low speed compression adjustment. X2 2-position lever available as an upgrade kit for any X2 shock.

        The X2 lever is an optional feature on these shocks and is available as an uprade.

        The X2 lever is an optional feature on these shocks and is available as an uprade.

        Review: 2016 FOX Float X2

        Wow – the Float X2 looks amazing! Its form factor is great, with the adjusters easily accessible and includes all damping adjustments that I’d hope for. Sturdy construction is immediately apparent when handling the shock.

        Technologies Employed in the Float X2

        EVOL Air Sleeve: The air can has a higher volume that is more tuneable. This allows a lighter spring rate when high in the travel (requiring less force to move the rear tire – good for small bumps), and via tuning the volume, the rider can modify how quickly the air spring’s rate increases during travel (to reduce bottom-out). FOX includes additional volume reducers with the shock, installation of which is discussed later in this review.

        Air spring force versus shaft displacement for different air can volumes.  Photo courtesy of FOX

        Air spring force versus shaft displacement for different air can volumes (click to enlarge). Photo courtesy of FOX

        RVS – Rod Valve System: The RVS introduces an intermediate shim stack to help when transitioning between the high speed and the lower speed paths. The two paths are quite different, with high speed utilizing a shim stack and the low speed using a valve. The goal is to slide between the two paths, rather than flipping a switch and having the damping characteristics change immediately.

        HSC, LSC, HSR, LSR: Four damping adjustments are provided, with 24 clicks of range. Damper adjustment on the bike is easy, but hex keys are required. The adjusters are angled, making access much easier than many competing products.

        HSR, LSR, HSC, LSC adjustors, 24 clicks of range.

        HSR, LSR, HSC, LSC adjustors, 24 clicks of range (click to enlarge).

        Both audible and haptic feedback are the best on the market. I never wondered if I’d really heard/felt a notch, it’s a definite CLICK even when muddy.

        The compression and rebound adjusters are nested together. The high speed adjustors are the outer 6mm hex heads, modifying preload applied to the shim stacks. The low speed adjustors are the nested 3mm hex heads and modify the orifice size for the low speed valves. Each path (compression and rebound) have one-way check valves to isolate them.

        Continue to page 2 to read more of the full review and verdict »

        About the author: John Bennett

        With 210 lbs of solid, descending mass, John is a good litmus test of what bikes and components will survive out there in the real world. And with a good engineering mind, John is able to make sense of it all as well. Or at least come up with fancy terms to impress the group.

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        • duder says:

          “No climbing switch is deal-breaker for me and most AM riders”

          Not those of us that ride bikes with good anti squat suspension systems…

        • Alex Vickers says:

          Hey there, I just picked up a 2018 version, I don’t really notice the climb switch, its like the one on the ohlins, very subtle. On my nomad I could totally feel it and it was the DHX2. I think I like the ohlins more, it was less active but the rebound only having like 6 clicks was nice, when jumping I could dial back a few clicks and not be in fear of getting bucked. Here I have to mess with two settings.

        • Dan says:

          Hi, can I ask what shock length the X2 shock was? I was told that you needed to use a bike yoke to fit any other shock for the enduro frame. Cheers, Dan.

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