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“Coil vs Air” is everywhere these days. I recently installed a new air shock (Float X2) and have been quite happy with it, but there’s always that unknown in the back of one’s mind. After several days of internal dialogue, I decided to go for it and bought a 2019 Fox DHX2 230x60 and a 425lb 2.5-2.75” SLS spring.
When it arrived, I was a bit nervous because I wouldn’t be able to use my beloved Shockwiz to help me tune it. I started out with Fox’s recommended settings and was surprised at how well they worked. Since the first ride, I’ve put a couple hundred miles on the shock. I’ve tried a lot of different settings with all four adjustments (or more if you count spring rate and preload), so I could really get a proper understanding of how they impact bike feel and each other. At this point, the shock is pretty dialed and I’m loving it! As far as the DHX2 vs the X2, I know it’s cliché, but it’s different. Both are phenomenal shocks but they’re both so tunable that you can get them feeling very similar in many ways but there are still some slight distinguishable differences, e.g. air is good but still isn’t the same as a coil when it comes to small bump compliance. At this point, I’ve decided to keep both my Fox DHX2 and my Float X2. Switching out shocks is an easy task on most bikes. For rough loose blown out trails or trails with lots of marble-sized rocks/gravel, I use the coil because it grips and is confidence-inspiring. For the hard-packed trails and bike parks, I switch to the Float X2 because the small bump sensitivity is quite good and the shock allows me to tune in more progression for jumps and drops.
Another cool part about the DHX is that Fox sells the SLS springs in 25lb increments. With my previous coil shock, I was in this in-between where a 450lb was just a little too stiff and a 400lb was a little soft. With the DHX I bought a 425lb spring and it’s been very good for all-around riding. I did later buy a 450lb spring from Worldwide for days where I want something firmer and to also experiment with different settings.
I should comment on weight: the DHX2 is actually pretty light at 762 grams (including 425lb SLS spring and mounting hardware). By comparison, the Float X2 is 551 grams and the RockShox SuperDelux is 1,009 grams (450lb spring).
All in all, I’m stoked that I bought the DHX2. It’s perfect for my style of riding and works phenomenally in the blown-out loose and dusty SoCal trails. Now I just need to find the time to ride more!!
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