Some riders prefer the simplicity of a "set it and forget it" fork with preset compression settings. Well, the latest FOX 36 Float 29 160 Grip 2 Performance Elite Boost Fork isn't for those riders who don't dial in every last detail, seeing it's packing more tuning options than ever with its Grip 2 damper offering control over high and low-speed compression, as well as high and low-speed rebound. This independent four-way control over compression and rebound is what FOX refers to as Variable Valve Control, which gives you four separate knobs for dialing in the fork's riding characteristics to the exact level of precision you're seeking for everything from fast flow trails to rowdy descents over thousands of vertical feet.
Providing an additional high-speed rebound damping circuit helps to control how fast you'd like the fork to rebound after taking a bigger hit, so you can better prepare for bike park days and fast downhill runs where you'll be maxing out your fork's travel. On the high/low-speed compression side of things, there's a bit wider range in tunability, so you can precisely dial in you level of support without any harshness detracting from your ride. This particular model of 36 Float Factory Fork continues to use FOX's EVOL air spring, which has increased negative air spring volume for better traction and higher levels of small-bump compliance when you're riding over rocks and roots.
Looking at additional improvements, you'll find the newest 36 Float with Grip 2 has a lower friction level for improved small-bump sensitivity and heightened traction on rugged trails. FOX aimed to lower the friction from their previous 36 Float by using lower friction seals. Another update is a revised mid-valve design of the Grip 2 damper, which makes the fork resist brake dive when you're coming in hot and need to scrub some speed before leaning into a berm or rolling down a steep rock line. Both of these updates are subtle improvements that aim to make this fork smoother and more composed without being a drastic overhaul in the design and operation of the 36 Float itself.
Please note, this particular 36 Float with Grip 2 damper is the Performance Elite version, which forgoes a more expensive Kashima coating for black anodized stanchions. The result is a more affordable fork that's still extremely supportive and plush throughout its travel, albeit lacking the extra sensitivity you'd experience with the Kashima-coated stanchions of a Factory Series Fork. Additionally, it comes with a 51-millimeter offset, which helps to quicken the steering of 29ers that would previously be a bit slow to respond to low-speed maneuvers on the trail.
- FOX's premiere enduro fork is more tunable and smoother
- 160mm of supportive travel for enduro and all-mountain
- Performance Elite is more affordable without sacrificing support
- Grip 2 damper with Variable Valve Control of HSC/LSC and HSR/LSR
- Independently tune high/low-speed compression, high/low-speed rebound
- Updated mid-valve design increases support for reduced brake dive
- Low-friction seals, EVOL air spring increases sensitivity to bumps
- 110mm Boost thru-axle for precise tracking over rough terrain