To address the fast developing world of long travel trail bikes, all-mountain bikes and enduro racing bikes, FOX have released an air shock that combines the qualities of their lightest air shock, the FOX Float CTD, and the impact gobbling downhill shock – the FOX DHX.
We’ve mounted it in our Yeti SB66 Carbon test mule, replacing a Float CTD w/Trail adjust. So far the wide range of compression adjustability, and coil spring-like feel that it exhibits has made the bike feel even more like a plush downhiller. The lockout is nice and firm for tame uphills, and road sections, and the three micro adjusted ‘trail’ settings are clearly defined and super effective. Even descending in each mode still reveals the right amount of sensitivity to keep traction, without unwanted compression.
The rebound dial is tucked away out of finger’s reach and will require a small allen key or even a stick on the trail to adjust. That may irk some people, but at least rebound adjustment isn’t really needed to be adjusted during the ride. Plus we find that on some Float shocks with light resistance on the rebound adjuster, the little red dial can creep open and unwind at times, speeding the rebound up without us realising. This won’t happen with this shock.
From the outside it appears that FOX have taken the large volume DHX Air, with its piggyback chamber, and added the very user friendly on-the-fly compression adjustments found on current FLOAT shocks. The large blue lever is off to the side of the piggyback chamber, making for very quick and effective adjustments. But there is more going on than that inside this advanced piece of equipment, as we plan to figure out as our testing continues. We just need to find some mega long downhills to push its limits.
Our shock exhibits a little squeak on hard compressions, as the oil flow moves through the damping unit, which we’re sure will vary from shock to shock. Of the Float X shocks we have ridden so far, this is the first with a squeak.
So stay tuned for more, but for now our first impressions are very positive and we just love the way suspension companies are pushing the development of this relatively new area of the market. It will let us ride lighter bikes harder, further and safer!