Our "Rider Review" article series features the honest reviews from verified purchasers of Worldwide Cyclery. They contain the photos, thoughts, feedback & overall review you are looking for.
There are a lot of great value forks out there that ride really well but if you're looking at the top end of the market, Fox Racing Factory Suspension has you covered. The Fox Factory 34 GRIP 2 Fork provides more adjustability and flow than anything in its market with an amazing finish and Andrew is here to tell us about it.
As the 2020 riding season wound down I found myself planning out my bike maintenance to-do list for the forecasted snowy week ahead. My bike, a 2019 Niner Jet 9 with a Fox Suspension 34 Rhythm fork, had been through the wringer this season with well over 1000 trail miles in hot, dusty conditions so shock maintenance was high on the list of priorities. As I planned out my maintenance a video I had watched during a recent trip down an internet rabbit hole about the new Fox Grip 2 dampers keeps coming to mind. In fact, as I took advantage of a brief unseasonably warm snap for a few December trail rides I found myself thinking, “Maybe being able to independently adjust high and low-speed compression would have made that last rocky sluice nicer…” and “is my rebound too fast? This feels like a pogo stick… I wish I could adjust high and low-speed rebound independently.”
Maybe it was the holiday magic in the air, or maybe the ruthless effectiveness of internet marketing, but I soon found myself shopping for a deal on a Fox Factory Suspension 34.
The plan made sense to me- upgrade my shock, rebuild and sell the old shock and then ride off into the sunset with more comfort and control than a mob boss in a tracksuit.
The choice between a FIT4 and Grip2 required another YouTube journey and I chose the Grip2 based on my riding preferences. During an online chat with a Worldwide Cyclery team member to ensure I was ordering the correct shock and making the best choice between FIT 4 and Grip2 it was mentioned that Worldwide was running a fundraiser for the National Interscholastic Cycling Association with purchases so, being the season of giving, it felt right.
Once installed the differences between the Rhythm FITGrip and Factory Grip 2 were immediately evident. First of all, there are more parameters to get initially set up and dialed in: air pressure and sag, high and low-speed compression, and high and low-speed rebound. I went with the Fox recommended settings to get started and on my initial ride, I found myself entering and exiting corners quicker due to the increased control and confidence this shock inspired.
Braking felt more stable, descents, and drops simply felt easier.
I adjusted the low-speed compression to limit how much energy was taken out of pumping and diving into corners and left the high-speed compression on a more plush setting to soak up the bigger hits. After a short ride, I was thrilled with the potential but felt that I was getting too much travel out of the fork overall and grabbed some air volume spacers to fine-tune some progression. After some tweaking with spacers, air pressures, sag measurements, compression, and rebound settings I am feeling like this fork may be the best upgrade on this now heavily upgraded bike to date. The bike feels connected and in control on washboards, big hits, rock gardens, and even while climbing.
Often I read reviews and get the impression that the writer is trying to convince himself and others that the money he just spent on an upgrade was worth it even though the performance difference is seemingly negligible. This is not one of those reviews- with the guidance of Worldwide Cyclery I have transformed my ride into what feels like a new bike.
Looking for more information on the Fox 34 Suspension fork in general? Check out our in-depth look at the 34 fork here