Understanding the 2016 Fox Fork Lineup

Here we are in 2016 and technology has evolved to an incredible level, which is a really wonderful thing, but sometimes it’s a bit much to get through the fancy lingo and understand what’s really going on. This is especially true of Fox’s 2016 lineup, seeing as it underwent the biggest overhaul in company history. This year, Fox focused their energies on the growing enduro market as well as the new axle standards being introduced.

With the overhaul came the anticipated Fit4 damper, new air springs on all models, a completely new 34 fork line (including a 27.5+ fork addition), and 110mm hub spacing options. Nothing was left untouched…including the 32, 36, and 40.

fox in utah spring 2014.

Let’s start with the biggest and most important piece of Fox’s overhaul: the Fit4 damper. If you haven’t already noticed, CTD (Climb-Trail-Descend) is kaput, gone, “ancient technology” so to speak. CTD has been replaced by the Fit4 damper with Open, Medium, and Firm settings on a dial. On Factory-level forks (Kashima coated forks are all “Factory”), the Open mode has 22 (yes, 22!) clicks of compression adjustment that range from overlapping the Medium setting all the way to the lush, plush, and unhindered Open mode. The differences between Factory and Performance level forks are these two things: Performance-level forks lack both Kashima coating on the stanchions, and any low speed compression adjustment in the Open setting.

Designed to work better with the new Fit4 damper is an updated Float air spring that went into all 2016 models, including the 40. The new Float air spring design shaved about 130 grams (wow) off of the previous model and has moved away from being coil sprung. This self-equalizing spring now adjusts itself for any size rider (giving more consistent fork lengths), has smoother action (Fox removed an extra shaft and seal), boasts lighter weights, and is now highly tunable with the included and easy-to-use volume spacers. Simply remove the top cap and install the clip on volume spacer(s) to adjust the fork’s spring progression.

Fox’s entire 34 line of forks received an overhaul and is now over a half pound lighter than last year’s model, beating out the Pike by 80 grams for those who enjoy counting beans. Completely new lowers, crown, and even the steerer tube were thinned out and redesigned to save weight. With these changes, Fox was able to once again differentiate the 34 and 36 forks into two separate categories. A new addition to the 34 line is the 27.5+ fork, which fills the gap in the burgeoning Plus tire category and can fit tires as big as 3.25” wide.

Speaking of Plus sizes, Fox now offers 110mm hub spacing option on the following forks: Fox 36 29”, Fox 34 27.5+ forks, Fox 34 29” forks, and Fox 32 29” forks. This is not standard issue for those wanting to stick with 100mm hub spacing, but the idea is that a wider hub flange makes for a stiffer wheel, especially important on the 29” wheel sizes.

Fox’s new 36 line is very worthy of mention, seeing as there’s about infinity options and numerous updates. Options first…26”, 27.5”, and 29” wheels sizes are available for all the 36 forks. The thru-axle system is convertible for 15mm and 20mm axles, but has ditched a QR for a pinch bolt setup. Stock travel options range from 110mm to 180mm, including a coil sprung 180mm option. Offerings for steerer tubes range from 1 1/8” straight to 1.5” tapered steerers. Most models have options between either the new Fit4 damper or the tried and true RC2 damper, which has updated seals and suppleness. Travel on Float model forks can be adjusted as much as 50mm!! Want to run your 36 at 110mm of travel?! Nobody will be stopping you, but people may ask questions. Updates to the 2016 Fox 36 include the revised Kashima coating (included on ALL 36 forks), a lower crown to slim down the axle-to-crown height, revised steerer tube, and all new (lighter) lowers.

The 2016 Fox 40 gets the new air spring, reducing weight by 130 grams, making it Fox’s lightest 40 offering to date! It also received a new damper tune (with dynamic piston) which improved rebound characteristics and speed sensitivity. Lighter and smoother?! Yes please!

Did I mention that Fox has reformulated their Kashima coating formula to make it even MORE buttery smooooooooth!? Any Factory model Fox fork in 2016 will be even smoother than before…

Katrina Strand in Pemberton, BC

How does this all sound?! Still sound like too much?!?! Below is a breakdown of the 2016 fork updates/changes by model:

Fox 32:

– New Float air spring (better small bump sensitivity, mid-stroke support)

– Fit4 damper

– Volume spacer adjustment (progressivity adjustment)

– Lighter

– iRD fork options available (Di2 electronic suspension/shift controls)

– Fit4 remote adjust convertible

– 110mm hub spacing options

– Revised Kashima coating formulation (Factory models only)

 

Fox 34:

– New Float air spring (better small bump sensitivity, mid-stroke support)

– Fit4 damper

– New lowers, crown, and even the steerer tube make it 80g lighter than Pike

– Volume spacer adjustment (progression adjustment)

– ½ pound lighter

– Fit4 remote adjust convertible

– 27.5+ wheel size option

– 110mm hub spacing options

– Revised Kashima coating formulation (Factory models only)

 

Fox 36:

– New Float air spring (better small bump sensitivity, mid-stroke support)

– Shorter axle-to-crown

– Fit4 damper or updated Fit RC2 damper

– New lowers and crown make it stiffer and lighter

– Volume spacer adjustment (progressivity adjustment)

– Lighter than 2015

– Up to 50mm internal travel adjustment

– Pinch bolt axle // 15mm or 20mm convertible

– Lighter than 2015 fork

– Fit4 remote adjust convertible

– 110mm hub spacing options

– Revised Kashima coating formulation (all models)

 

Fox 40:

– New Float air spring (better small bump sensitivity, mid-stroke support)

– Simplified Low Speed Compression

– Updated Fit RC damper

– Revised Kashima coating formulation (all models)

– Lightest 40 to date

 

Bottom line: Lighter, smoother, and even more adjustable than before. I didn’t think it was even possible…

2018-01-04T11:52:23-08:00