Our "Rider Review" article series features honest reviews from verified purchasers of Worldwide Cyclery. They contain the photos, thoughts, feedback & overall review you are looking for.
Fox is often considered by many to be the best of the best when it comes to mountain bike suspension. The Fox 36 fork specifically, has become almost legendary over the years with countless EWS racers winning aboard it. Our customer Tyler was lusting after that high end performance knew the 36 was the right fork for the job. Check out his review to get his thoughts!
As part of my recent bike build I opted for the 2020 Fox 36 Factory Grip 2 with a 170mm of travel, and wow, I cannot say enough about this fork.
My riding consists of mostly your basic trail / cross country type of stuff but I do love an occasional visit to the bike park, so versatility is very important. This fork checks all the right boxes. With the almost infinite adjustability of the GRIP2 damper you can easily fine tune the setup to meet your needs. While all these settings may seem overwhelming, it’s actually an intuitive design that provides some trail side fun to tinker around with. It’s an incredible feeling when you get your bike super dialed in and you can certainly do that with this fork. You’ll immediate find it’s extremely supple off the top, which is perfect for all the small bump chatter, and it’s plenty supportive enough for big hucks to flat. If you find yourself going through the travel faster than you’d like (I did), adding the provided volume spacers literally takes a 32mm socket, ratchet, shock pump and 5 minutes (make sure to let your air pressure out first!). I highly recommend experimenting with this--along with all the other adjustments--as it’s super easy and will really make a noticeable difference in your bike’s performance. A quick YouTube search on the matter will produce some great resources on setup.
Serviceability is also important to me. I live in rural eastern KY and I’m a couple hours away from a bike shop, so I’ve quickly had to become a pseudo bike mechanic. Servicing the lowers is a breeze (if I can do it, anyone can). It’s a rewarding feeling to only spend a few bucks and maybe 30 minutes in the garage to give your fork the TLC it needs. Check out the service guide.
So how does this fork stack up against other forks I’ve had? Well, I came off of 2016 Fox 36 FIT4 and prior to that I was on a Fox 34. Starting with the 34 comparison (this will be brief): for me this one is easy. The 36 IMO is far superior, whether it be the FIT4 or the GRIP2. For my riding style and preferences the performance of the 36 far outweighs the weight penalty. If you’re currently using a 34 but thinking about making the switch to a 36, I think you’ll be glad you did.
The Fox 36 FIT4 was a great fork, but I didn’t find myself using the FIT4 compression adjustments (i.e. your “climbing” switch). The fork was supportive enough without utilizing it, so that wasn’t too important. The GRIP2’s adjustability provided way more value to me, and just like the FIT4, it’s plenty supportive for the long climbs.
In summary, I couldn’t be happier with my 2020 Fox 36 GRIP2 fork. From the nearly infinite adjustability, ease of serviceability, and superior nature to any other fork I’ve been on, it truly does succeed all of my expectations. If you give one a try, I think you will find the same to be true. Happy riding, my friends!