Following big news on the all-new FOX 38 and updated 36 & 40 forks, FOX announce updates to the 34mm stanchion fork and DPX2 shock. For the first time, the FOX 34 gets a GRIP2 damper option, with FOX’s patented VVC technology added to the high-speed compression and rebound circuits. The DPX2 shock is also updated for this model year with a new base valve providing more low speed compression support. What do these things actually mean? Fear not, we have all the info right here.

FOX 34 GRIP2

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The Factory model of the FOX 34 features Kashima coated stanchions

GRIP2 is FOX’s top-line damping system. It replaced the RC2 damper in 2018, offering unprecedented levels of on-the-fly adjustability of high and low speed compression and high and low speed rebound. Until now, your choice of damping on the FOX 34 was FIT, Live Valve and GRIP. FOX now add the GRIP2 damper option to the 34mm stanchion fork and it features FOX’s VVC technology on the high speed compression and rebound circuits. We got the scoop on this at Sea Otter in 2018.

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Cutaway images of the GRIP2 VVC from a FOX 36 fork: (A) Leaf Spring; (B) Adjuster Plate; (C) Mid-Valve

What on earth is VVC? Variable Valve Control is what it stands for, but what does it actually do, and what does it mean for fork adjustments? It is essentially a higher quality valving adjustment, feeling more like what you’d get by tearing down the damper and revalving it. It’s not a preload adjustment. The system runs a leaf spring (A) that puts pressure on an adjuster plate (B) that controls the flow of the high speed rebound shims. It effectively changes valve stiffness. This is said to give it a better range for covering the lower pressures run by lighter riders and the really high pressures run by aggressive riders and pro athletes.

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What else is new for the FOX 34? Not much, really. It hasn’t seen quite the same overhaul as the FOX 36. The lowers are of the same design. There’s no new floating axle, lower leg bleeder or elliptical steerer as seen on the all-new 38. On the spring side, it retains the FLOAT EVOL negative spring to keep it supple over small bumps.

2021 FOX 34 Tech Specs

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  • Available for 27.5″ and 29″ wheels
  • Travel Options: 120mm-140mm
  • Damper options: GRIP2 with VVC, FIT4, Live Valve, GRIP
  • Models: Factory, Performance Elite, Performance and E-Bike
  • 37mm & 44mm (27.5″) and 44mm & 51mm (29″) offset options
  • Axle options: 15QR x 110 Boost, 15QR x 100
  • Starting Weight: 3.90 lb / 1770 g
  • MSRP USD $749 – $979 / CDN $989 – $1289 / EUR €989 – €1299

2021 FOX DPX2 Shock

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The main update for the 2021 DPX2 shock is the new base valve design. This was a way of increasing flow through the system. As with any shock, flow is the limiting factor. Fox have redesigned the architecture inside the shock to allow them more freedom with the design of the piston. Fox say they have now been able to valve it more accurately, without getting constricted by the architecture or the flow of the shock.

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The new base valve uses a reed valve in parallel with the low speed orifice. As the low speed orifice chokes, the reed valve opens to provide additional area for shaft displaced oil to flow through. Fox say this additional area prevents pressure spikes during high speed compression events that could previously lead to discernable harshness.

The new base valve also has a selector plate that rotates when you turn the external 2-position lever. The selector plate is what directs this fluid flow to different circuits in the base valve. In open mode, the selector plate now opens two circuits instead of one; one circuit is the low speed orifice (same as last year) and the second is the reed valve (new for this year).

So what does that actually mean for how the shock rides? Jordi Cortes, FOX’s global technician, says it translates to more low speed support, one of the things they’ve always looked for in the DPX2, but with reduced high speed harshness. It essentially flattens out the damping curve.

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DPX2 Tech Specs

  • Three-position lever with adjustable Open Mode offers 10 clicks to fine-tune compression
  • EVOL air sleeve
  • Remote lockout version available
  • Imperial and metric sizes
  • MSRP USD $559 – $579 / CDN $739 – $759 / EUR €739 – €769
2021 FOX DPX2
Sizing 2-Pos Remote 3-Pos Lever
Imperial 7.875 x 2.0 / 7.875 x 2.25 7.25 x 1.75 / 7.5 x 2.0 / 7.875 x 2.0 / 7.875 x 2.25 / 8.5 x 2.5
Metric NA 190 x 45 / 210 x 50 / 210 x 52.5 / 210 x 55 / 230 x 60 / 230 x 65

 

RideFox.com

5 COMMENTS

    • Hi Keir. The GRIP2 damper is compatible with the previous iteration of the 34s. I’m waiting to hear back from Fox on how many of the previous models can be fitted with the GRIP2.

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