Fox Suspension has received a complete overhaul for 2021, with the launch of the all-new 38mm stanchion enduro fork, and mega updates to the discipline-leading FOX 36 and FOX 40 gravity fork. But as FOX say, “twinning is winning”, so they’ve also revamped the FLOAT X2 and DHX2 shocks for this model year. These updates constitute more than merely slapping some new graphics on; the X2 and DHX2 both rock an all-new chassis, damper system and high-flow piston. Let’s take a closer look at these category-defining shocks.

2021 FOX FLOAT X2

2021-FOX-float-x2-factory

  • All-new chassis
  • New damper
  • New high-flow main piston
  • 8-Click HSC and HSR adjustment
  • HSR with Variable Valve Control
  • Updated compression ratios, 300 psi max
  • MSRP USD $639 – $669 / CDN $789 – $879 / EUR €849 – €889

The 2021 FOX FLOAT X2 has an entirely new chassis, home to a new damping system and a new high-flow piston. In-line with the new Variable Valve Control (VVC) damper adjustment on the FOX 36, 38 and 40 Factory forks, the X2 now features the same 8-Clicks of adjustment of High Speed Rebound. This system replaces the previous Rod Valve System (RVS), bringing more tunability to the rebound circuit, adjustable externally.

high speed rebound vvc
Given its design, it will be interesting to see what the functional longevity of the HSR knob will be.

The High Speed rebound adjuster of the 2021 FLOAT X2 sits at the eyelet. It has to sit in line with the damper shaft, as the HSR dial is connected to a small shaft within the damper shaft, that directly adjusts the VVC unit.

fox-float-x2-factory-2021
The reservoir length has been reduced to allow for more clearance on more frame designs

The new FLOAT X2 features an independent firm mode circuit. This allows the rider to achieve an almost complete “lock-out” of the shock, without affecting the compression circuits of the open mode. The two modes are now completely independent of one another. The update should allow for a firmer closed mode and improved climbing efficiency.

fox-float-x2-2021

The air spring of the FLOAT X2 2021 has been completely reworked, such that it now has a reduced capacity for volume spacers. This usually translates to reduced tuning options but Fox say that the range of the High Speed Compression adjuster more than makes up for it. It now has a more significant tuning range that changes how the shock feels and rides on big compressions, reducing reliance on volume spacers.

Details on materials are thin on the ground but Fox do say the new Float X2 has an ultra-low friction, highly durable damper shaft finish. Also new is a lower friction air seal, which should reduce stiction forces. The inner body is finned for improved structural rigidity and reduced hysteresis. The new shock also boasts a progressive MCU bottom-out bumper to make sure you get to the bottom without ever bottoming out.

Availability

The FLOAT X2 2021 is available in imperial, metric and trunnion metric sizing, with or without the 2-position lever.

2021 FOX FLOAT X2 Eye-to-eye x stroke length
With 2-position adjust lever Without lever
Metric 210 x 50 / 210 x 55 / 230 x 57.5 / 230 x 60 / 230 x 65 250 x 75
Trunnion Metric 185 x 50 / 185 x 55 / 205 x 60 / 205 x 65 185 x 50 / 185 x 55 / 205 x 60 / 205 x 65
Imperial 7.875 x 2.0 / 8.5 x 2.5 9.5 x 3.0 / 10.5 x 3.5

2021 FOX DHX2 Coil

2021-fox-factory-dhx2-coil-shock

The 2021 DHX2 shock is bestowed with many of the updates seen on the FLOAT X2, distilled into a DH-ready coil shock. The High Speed Rebound circuit is now adjusted via the VVC bringing added tunability to the end stroke. It also sees the addition of an independent firm mode circuit, providing a much firmer lockout than that seen on the previous iteration.

2021-fox-dhx2-coil-shock

The aluminium outer body is replaced by a steel version. Though heavier, steel has a much higher modulus of elasticity. In other words, it stretches less than aluminum of equal wall thickness under high pressure. Fox say this translates to faster pressure responses to shaft motion leading to less hysteresis. Less hysteresis equals more grip and control.

mcu bottom out bumper

The DHX2 has an upgraded high-flow piston and a progressive MCU bottom out bumper. The latter is specific to the model of shock, and not interchangeable.

FOX have upgraded the finish on the damper shaft from tri-nitride to a hard chrome. This is because of their decision to use a lower friction seal for 2021. Shaft finish and seal design go hand-in-hand, and the hard chrome shaft coating performed best with the new seal, providing the lowest friction and longest durability.

2021-dhx2-factory

New detents on spring collar prevent loosening under light preload conditions. The detents allow the preload collar to be set just snug enough to hold the spring in place without the collar backing off due to movement and vibrations that occur while riding. However, Fox say that if more than a few turns of preload are needed then it is better to upgrade to a firmer spring.

FOX DHX2 2021

Availability

The 2021 FOX DHX2 coil shock is priced as follows: MSRP USD $619 – $649 / CDN $759 – $859 / EUR €819 – €859. Coils are sold separately.

2021 FOX DHX2 Eye-to-eye x stroke length
With 2-position adjust lever Without lever
Metric 210 x 50 / 210 x 55 / 230 x 57.5 / 230 x 60 / 230 x 65 250 x 75
Trunnion Metric 185 x 50 / 185 x 55 / 205 x 60 225 x 75
Imperial 7.875 x 2.0 / 8.5 x 2.5 9.5 x 3.0 / 10.5 x 3.5

 

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