2018 Fox 36 Factory EVOL suspension fork for enduro racing

The new 2018 Fox 36 borrows tech from both its smaller fork siblings and the brands’ rear shocks to create an even more race worth enduro fork. Specifically, it takes the EVOL “extra volume” air spring concept from the shocks to increase the size of the negative air chamber, and it switches from a central air check valve to the Transfer Port found on the 32 and 34 forks to simplify positive and negative air chamber equalization. Throw in a new, lighter weight oil plus flow port and shim stack refinements, and they’re saying the 36 is better than ever…

Externally, the fork is the same as when it launched for 2015 (which was thankfully already updated to use a standard QR thru axle), carrying over the chassis, crown and stanchions. It also keeps the HSC/LSC, FIT4 and GRIP options, with the latter being OEM only.

In the cutaway above, the Transfer Port is a small notch on the inside of the stanchion that allows air to pass between the positive and negative air chambers, thus filling both equally when there’s no load on the fork. As soon as you sag into it, the piston’s seal moves above it, effectively separating the two chambers. This is how it’s been on the 32 and 34 forks for a while, but the 36 had used a central shaft that required an additional seal (see that system here). Extra seals mean extra friction and more weight, so switching to this system reduces both.

2018 Fox 36 Factory EVOL suspension fork for enduro racing

The FLOAT EVOL air spring design leaves the positive air chamber’s size as is, but increases the negative chamber’s volume. Lock step with the recently released 2018 RockShox Pike with DebonAir, the benefit is more pressure helping to ease the fork into its travel so it’s more sensitive to small bumps. Also helping with that are refinements to the shim stacks and flow ports inside the FIT4 damping cartridge, plus a switch to a lighter 5W oil that further speeds up oil flow.

The effect is not only a more plush fork, but one with increased tuning range because those refinements extend the “Open” mode’s open-ness, so smaller, lighter riders should really notice. Mid-stroke support and high speed, bigger hits are still handled by adjusting the air volume with their spacers and, on the Factory HSC/LSC model, using external controls. (HSC/LSC means you have external High and Low speed compression adjustments). The new oil also adds PTFE to the equation, helping keep everything lubricated.

2018 Fox 36 Factory EVOL suspension fork for enduro racing

Not shown, another new option is the ability to get the top level spec in the all-black Performance Elite level. Factory remains the top trim with Kashima, but riders were wanting the blacked out Performance Elite without having to give up spec, so now they’re offering both the FIT4 and HSC/LSC dampers at that level, too.

QUICK SPECS:

  • New FLOAT EVOL air spring
  • FIT HSC/LSC, FIT4 and FIT GRIP three position damper options
  • 15QRx110 mm, 15QRx100 mm, or 15/20 mm convertible thru-axle
  • Travel options:
    • 27.5” – 150, 160, 170 mm
    • 29” – 150, 160 mm
    • 26” – 100 mm (831), 160, 180 mm
  • 1.5” tapered or 1-1/8” (26” only) steerer tube
  • E-Bike-specific chassis available (thicker, stronger stanchions w/ same tuning)
  • Factory Series models feature Genuine Kashima Coat
  • Performance Elite models feature black ano upper tubes
  • Matte Black body (Team Orange might be coming later)
  • Pricing:
    • Factory – HSC/LSC $1049, FIT4 $979
    • Performance Elite – HSC/LSC $959, FIT4 $889
    • Performance – OE only (with GRIP damper)

Look for many of these features to spread across the rest of Fox’s line very quickly, and we’ll have more new product announcements from Fox on Wednesday and Thursday this week!

RideFox.com

13 COMMENTS

  1. Refinements for lighter riders. I’m so tired of reading about refinements for lighter riders. I can never get a full suspension bike tuned to actually ride where it should. I’m 240, and yeah, yeah, lose weight and you don’t have to worry about it, but I ride hard 2 to 4 days a week and I sometimes drop all the way to 236. SO, BIKE WORLD: Where are the refinements for heavier riders? I know you don’t want to acknowledge us because we don’t make your product look sexy out on the trail and therefore don’t help move units, but we’re real and we ride and we have money. (Women will say the same thing with more legitimacy, but I can only speak for myself.) There’s definitely a bell curve with air springs as to how they ramp up and whatnot. If I jack enough pressure into the air can, all it does is shorten the travel. Lower the pressure, and I lose middle and upper travel support. Higher volume cans help, but in forks, there isn’t an option out there.

    • Although I’m not as heavy as you, I found that removing spacers or keeping just one along with slightly higher pressure works the best. You get very sensitive fork that doesn’t bottom out as easily and still uses most of the travel all the time.

    • Well said and I fully endorse this message.

      That said, Fox 36 is really the best option as a real fork with stiffness and enough oil flow for us big guys. I am buying one for a 29er and they are one of the only who still offer a 20mm option.

  2. Great, another fork moving to a transfer port – so another fork with grease blockage issues on the transfer port, exactly the same as the pike has suffered from. This along with the refinements for lighter riders makes it feel like both fox and RS have given up on the trail/enduro market for heavier riders. Thank god that DVO and others are still making properly tune-able forks which don’t suffer from the issues the pike/36 have with heavier riders.

    • Pretty sure the 2016/2017 had the Transfer Port as well to equalize the negative chamber. I haven’t had any issues with it in 2 years of use at well over 260+. Air spring curve is a challenge , as is expected. But better than other alternatives, for sure.

  3. So, does EVOL Burrito sue FOX? Trek sued a wine touring company in Napa Valley for putting ‘trek’ in their name, so I don’t see why not.

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