2018 looks to be a year of evolution for FOX, rather than one of wholesale changes, with all the details of next season's forks and shocks just released.
So, what is new?
The headline item is the introduction of the EVOL air spring system to the FOX 36, which we already took a look at here. EVOL was introduced last year with the new DPS Float shocks, which we tested in-depth on a Yeti SB5 – read our Float DPS shock review here, and our review of the Yeti SB5 here.
Other new tweaks include a lighter weight EVOL air can for DPS shocks, and the release of a funky 40mm travel version of the 32 Step Cast fork intended for use on 700c gravel grinder bikes. This concept of bunging a suspension fork on to a gravel bike is interesting – we tested the Cannondale Slate about a year ago, which runs a 30mm version of the Lefty, and it was super cool, so we can see this trend catching on.
What’s EVOL all about?
EVOL is a snazzy abbreviation of Extra Volume, in reference to the increased volume of the negative air sprung found in EVOL forks and shocks. What does it mean on the trail? The most noticeable benefit is a reduction in breakaway friction i.e. it takes less force to get the fork moving, meaning less shock is transferred to the rider.
What about this rumoured 29er downhill fork?
If you’ve been trawling the web, you might well have seen some rather obvious indicators that FOX has developed a 29er version of their 40 downhill fork. We fully expect to see a number of FOX teams rolling on 29er downhill bikes this World Cup season, but for now a big-wheelin’ downhill fork is not available to the public.