First Look: Fox’s New 36, 38, 40, X2 and DHX2 Suspension Lineup

Today FOX unveiled their all-new trail, enduro and gravity lineup of forks and shocks.

It is always a great day when the technology that has been tried and tested at the pinnacle of the sport makes its way into consumer production runs. This 2021 lineup from the suspension giant FOX includes new lowers, dampers, materials, offsets, mudguards, axles, a ton of new tech and the beguiling all-new FOX 38. Get stuck in.


The 2021 Fox 36 suspension fork for mountain bikes as being ridden.

The all-new FOX 36 ‘Enduro Fork’ features a new chassis, new lower leg bleeders, new air/oil channels with a new floating axle design. The arch is reshaped to improve rake numbers and provide clearance to meet the shift from bike designers to bigger head tubes. Damper options include the popular GRIP2 with VVC, FIT4, Live Valve and Grip. The 36 also features an updated EVOL air spring, is available in 150mm or 160mm travel options for 27.5″ and 29″ wheels. Offsets range from 37mm to 44mm to 51mm and the weights start at 1965g. Fox have increased the crown diameter to match modern frame shapes. It is available as a Factory Series with the Kashima Coat, a Performance Elite version and an E-Bike specific model.


the new fox 38 mountain bike suspension fork as being ridden

The brand-new FOX 38 features all the new tech of the 36 but is packaged into a super-stout chassis aimed at meeting the demands of the hard-hitting, long-travel, Enduro-style rider. Additional tweaks include a new elliptical steerer tube which is shaped to maximize stiffness to weight. FOX says the 38 is 31% stiffer than the 36. Both the 36 and 38 have an (optional) mudguard. The 38 is also available in Factory (Kashima), Performance Elite and E-Bike options as a 27.5″ or 29″ fork. Starting weight is 2180g and the travel options are 160mm to 180mm.


Aaron Gwin test riding the new Fox 40 mountain bike suspension fork with grip2 technology.

The FOX 40 has also been completely redesigned. The big-hitting downhill fork features an updated Grip2 damper, an updated Evol air-spring unit with new chassis, lower leg bleeders, new air/oil channels and a new arch that is shaped to offer more head tube clearance. Adjustability is through the 8-click high-speed compression dial and the 8-click high-speed rebound whilst the damper options include the Grip2 with VVC (Variable Valve Control) and the standard Grip damper. The 40 is a 203mm travel fork, available for 27.5″ or 29″ wheel sizes with offsets of 48mm, 52mm and 56mm. This is a Kashima only fork and the starting weight is 2816g.





The new Fox 38 mountain bike suspension fork as featured in Bike Network
We all know that pressure build-up in the lower legs dramatically decreases fork performance, preventing full travel from being achieved, and diminishing small bump sensitivity and responsiveness. As a quick-fix to this issue, the new forks feature a lower leg bleeder for atmospheric pressure equalization at the simple press of a button. Neat!



The new Fox 38 mountain bike suspension fork as featured in Bike Network
The FOX 38’s elliptical steer tube is one of the ways FOX have optimized stiffness-to-weight numbers. Simply put there is more material where it is needed, and less material where it is not needed.


The new Fox 38 mountain bike suspension fork as featured in Bike Network
The Grip2 damper allows riders to make significant performance adjustments, externally. For 2021, the GRIP2 features the patented VVC technology which is a proprietary variable valve control system that adds external fine-tuning adjustments to the fray. The FOX EVOL technology basically increases negative air spring volume to optimize small bump sensitivity. The linear spring curve delivers plushness off the top, extra mid-stroke support, and more tunable bottom-out progression. FOX says the benefits of EVOL are further enhanced by the new Lower Leg channels and Bleeders.



The new Fox 38 mountain bike suspension fork as featured in Bike Network

The gravity orientated air shock from FOX has been completely redesigned with a new chassis, damper unit, bottom-out bumper and the high-speed rebound VVC technology. The reservoir is slightly shorter to improve fit, the lockout provides a firmer ride than the previous X2 and the shock has a new air seal which FOX says reduces friction. The X2 also has a new finned inner body to improve structural rigidity and to reduce hysteresis which FOX says improves grip and control.


Aaron Gwin in California in March 2020 test riding the new FOX 40 mountain bike suspension fork

You guessed right. The DHX2 is all-new too. New chassis, damper with more tunability, a bumper to control end-stroke and a new ‘high-flow’ piston. As the flagship gravity race shock from FOX, the new DHX2 promises lower friction, a more durable damper shaft finish and a firmer lockout. The reservoir is a little shorter to provide a better fit on more frames and the shock has a steel outer body to reduce hysteresis. The spring collar has indents that prevent it from loosening, especially when being used under light preload settings.


The exact dates on local availability and pricing are to be announced a few days after the lockdown. The stock has been shipped already so it shouldn’t be a long wait.

| IMAGES: supplied by FOX |

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