First Look | Fox Unveils All-New 36, 38 & 40 Forks For 2021, Plus New DHX2 & Float X2 Shocks

It might seem a little ridiculous that we’re just 12 weeks into 2020, and yet here we are talking about 2021 model year product. Such is the way of Fox & RockShox though, two brands that need to announce their new stuff a little earlier in the year before all the bike companies start announcing their new stuff. And besides, with everyone practicing their social distancing at the moment, we’re not exactly complaining about a bunch of new mountain bike gear to get frothing over. And holy mackerel is their some new stuff to froth on!

The New 38, Floating Axles & GRIP2 Update

The headline story of this announcement is the arrival of the brand new Fox 38 fork, which as you can probably guess, is an enormous single-crown fork equipped with 38mm diameter stanchions. The 38 comes with 160-180mm of travel, fulfilling the ‘Super Enduro’ segment while bridging the gap between the 36 and the 40.

That’s not all though, because the 36 and 40 are all-new too. Both forks get a host of updates, with completely redesigned chassis’ that come with new arches, lower leg bleeders and air/oil channels. There’s also a brand new floating axle design, which ensures that the lowers aren’t bent inwards when they clamp down on the hub axle. This means the lowers stay in better alignment with the crown, allowing the fork to slide up and down more smoothly.

The GRIP2 damper has also been updated, and now features the Variable Valve Control (VVC) system inside the compression circuit as well as the rebound damping circuit. You’ll also see that VVC design integrated into Fox’s gravity shocks – the DHX2 coil and Float X2 air, which also get new bodies and internals. Additionally, Fox has also updated the HSC and HSR adjusters on the new shocks and GRIP2 forks to provide 8-clicks of adjustment each for simpler tuning.

Ready to get your froth on? Here’s a rundown of what to expect from the Fox gravity lineup for the coming year!

2021 fox 36 grip2 fork factory series
The 36 gets an updated GRIP2 damper, along with a new chassis and a floating axle design.

2021 Fox 36 Fork

The venerable 36 carries on into 2021 with an all-new chassis and four different damper options. The flagship GRIP2 damper now features VVC in both compression and rebound circuits, and new 8-click adjusters for the high-speed damping. You also get the new floating axle design, bleeders on the back of the fork legs for purging any air pressure that builds up inside the lowers, and new air/oil channels that help to lubricate the bushings during riding.

2021 fox 38 grip2 fork factory series
With 38mm stanchions and 160-180mm of travel, the Fox 38 is an absolute beefcake! Also available in not-pistachio colours.

2021 Fox 38 Fork

Upping the upper tube size to 38mm, the Fox 38 is a brand new fork designed for long-travel enduro and bike park applications. It’s absolutely massive, and it even gets an elliptical steerer tube that uses thicker wall alloy at the lower end for added stiffness. According to Fox, this new beefcake is 31% stiffer in transverse shear, 17% stiffer fore/aft and 38% torsionally stiffer than a 36 fork. So there you go.

2021 fox 30 grip2 fork factory series
Costing nearly three grand, the Fox 40 is only available in a Factory Series version with Kashima stanchions and the GRIP2 damper.

2021 Fox 40 Fork

Like the 36, the Fox 40 is all-new for 2021. It gets new architecture for its magnesium lower legs, along with a double pinch-bolt floating axle arrangement. This allows for more even chassis alignment for smoother sliding, but it does require resetting each time you remove and install the front wheel. Being a flagship race fork that costs nearly three grand, we suspect owners of this fork will be able to afford a mechanic to do that for them though.

2021 fox racing shox float x2 air shock
The Float X2 shock is completely new, and now features an independent firm mode circuit for a stronger lockout.

2021 Fox Float X2 Air Shock

The new Float X2 shock has been doing the rounds for a little while, but it’s now officially available and we can confirm that it is entirely new from the inside-out. The damper borrows the VVC from the GRIP2 fork damper, and Fox has also added a new high-flow main piston and MCU bottom-out bumper. The piggyback is also smaller, and that’s to allow for more clearance with certain frame designs.

2021 fox racing shox dhx2 coil shock
The premium downhill coil shock, the DHX2, brings GRIP2-style damping circuitry to the back of your bike.

2021 Fox DHX2 Coil Shock

The coil equivalent, the DHX2, also gets the same updates as the Float X2. So you’ll see a more compact piggyback reservoir, along with an independent firm mode to provide a firmer lockout. There’s the new VVC damping circuit, along with a steel outer body and a finned inner body, which supposedly strengthens and stiffens the whole structure.

Mo’ Flow Please!

Enjoyed that article? Then there’s plenty more to check out on Flow Mountain Bike, including all our latest news stories and product reviews. And if you haven’t already, make sure you subscribe to our YouTube channel, and sign up to our Facebook page and Instagram feed so you can keep up to date with all things Flow!

It appears you're using an old version of Internet Explorer which is no longer supported, for safer and optimum browsing experience please upgrade your browser.