I recently purchased the Fox DPX2 rear shock from the guys over at World Wide Cyclery. As usual, their service and pricing were excellent. They were able to get my order delivered to me in the nick of time before a weekend trip out to Fruita and Grand Junction. Thank you!
165lbs (with gear)
Semi-aggressive trail rider; I realize I am a mortal.
Bike – Santa Cruz Bronson CC v1
Area – Denver area. Our Front Range trail profile is a generally a steep climb over rocky and loose that is a mix of flowy to technical.
I purchased this shock to replace the Fox Float CTD that originally came with my bike. I was never impressed with this shock even after I did the Evol aftermarket upgrade. The Evol upgrade did make it more acceptable in terms of small bump compliance, less noticeable pedal feedback and improving traction, but I still felt that it wasn’t allowing me to maximize the potential of the bike nor did it give me the flexibility to modify the compression to meet the needs of trail riding in my area. My main complaints were that this shock’s performance decreased considerably over long-technical descents and that the CTD compression settings were essentially indistinguishable right from the start. Anyway, I had a bit of extra cabbage so I decided to pull the trigger and scoop up a Fox DPX2 to put on my trail stead. I did consider an X2, but I am not even close enough on the badass scale to justify that one.
I have had this shock on my bike for a couple of months now. I have put close to 500 miles on it to date riding a myriad of trails through out Colorado. It took me a bit of time to get it dialed in to my liking. Initially, I had went with running 20% sag (180 psi) 11 clicks of rebound (Fox recommendation for this psi), 5 clicks of Low Speed Compression and the standard spacer (0.2 cubic inches; this was the included spacer). I found these settings to be a little to firm on the front end (i.e., traction suffered, small bump compliance was ok, and pedal feedback was still very noticeable) plus I was still bottoming out on occasion (flat to flat 3-4’ drops or really rowdy rock gardens). To make a long story short, here’s where I ended up for my riding preferences: 30% sag (150psi), 8 clicks of rebound, 3 clicks of LSC and a 0.6 cubic inch spacer. These setting made the front end of travel more active (i.e., great traction and less noticeable pedal feedback – not that will ever go away with VVP), solid and controlled mid-stroke support and excellent bottom out resistance.
Out on the trail the first time, I noticed this shock was a vast improvement over its predecessor on a descent of the Long Horn Trail at White Ranch Open Space Park near Golden, Co. It’s a blast to bomb and one of my favorite trails on the Front Range. This trail is a roughly a 1500’ and 3 mile rocky technical descent filled with chundery corners, rock gardens, loose, nice drops, little kickers, etc. All the fun goodies that will put your suspension to the test. Throughout this descent the Fox DPX2 remained a cool customer. It was composed, traction was great, it didn’t bottom out and the performance remained constant through the descent. It felt like my front and rear of the bike were in harmony for the first time (I run a 160 pike RTC3 on the front. 50 psi, 1 spacer, 12 rebound clicks and 5 LSC clicks).
As far as ascending (Yawn! Just kidding, I enjoy the climb and place a ton of value in a bike’s climbing prowess since I like to put in all day adventures once the snow melts out of the alpine), this shock’s matched up with the VPP suspension design quite well. Personally, I prefer my bike to be a bit more active when the compression is fully open. The larger negative air chamber and adjustable LSC really met my goals for the active rear end. It allows me the flexibility to adapt the suspension to the terrain (i.e., open for rocky, loose, or steep bursty type climbs, medium for undulating moderately bumpy, firm for those smooth steady climbs). The other notable change in this shock is that the compression modes are very distinguishable between open, medium and firm. The firm setting is, well, firm like it should have been all along. Not that I spend a ton of time in that setting but it is so nice when you have to climb a long section of smoothed out terrain. Plus, if you forget to turn off the firm setting the blow off valve feature does work.
As for the design layout, I think it is set-up quite well. The knobs are all nice and oversized. The rebound adjuster is in a much better place than the Float X. Plus I can still fit a water bottle in my front triangle. I think that may have been a challenge with any of the piggy back option shocks on the market for my bike other than the DPX2. The water bottle conundrum seems trivial, but after owning a bike for a few seasons that has no reasonable place to store a water bottle (cough, ….Yeti. I like their bikes, but the water bottle location is a bit ridiculous.), I have learned the value of that simple luxury. Swapping out spacers is simple. Just release the air and unscrew the air can.
Overall, I am quite satisfied with this shock to date.requirements. It is simple to set up yet tunable and has performed well once I got it dialed in. I think it would work well with most of the suspension types available. If I had one complaint, it is that the volume spacers aren’t included with the shock. That would be nice for Fox to do from a customer perspective. That’s rather minor complaint though by my book.
At any rate, I hope you find this review helpful. I will try post an additional update after I get a full season on this shock.