Here in this review, our customer Chris goes all in on a Fox 36 Float 160mm RC2 fork for his Santa Cruz Bronson. Loaded up with some custom matched graphics, this Fox 36 looks pretty sharp. I think Chris would tell you it performs even better. Check it out!
The day had arrived – my fork had been delivered and I was chomping at the bit like a horse on ecstasy – rearing to install this bad boy on my Santa Cruz Bronson! I was replacing my RockShox 150mm Pike Solo Air with this Fox 36 RC2 160mm and while I’ve read other reviews, I really wanted to experience this for myself. But, alas, being a husband and father had ultimately taken another toll on my ability to spend the time needed in my man cave for the operation.
So, while I waited for my allotted man cave time to approach, I ordered some decals to match my color scheme in the hopes that it would make me a better rider.
Finally, the real day arrived! Time to install my fork! I managed to measure, measure, measure, re-measure and then cut the steerer tube with ease.The re-measure was just for good… erm… measure? It was on. Fitted the star fangled nut bolt, applied the right tension and boom! Then, because I tend to have the grace and composure of a gorilla on fire when riding, I inserted an extra volume spacer (it comes with a few in the box, and has one fitted already). Once that was done, I checked the recommendations in the included booklet for air pressure based on my post-Christmas-and-now-into-New-year-and-still-eating-and drinking-like-a-pig weight, did the whole shock-pump jiggle and presto! Incidentally, in the box were 2 booklets (one of which is used to tune the fork – that’s the important one), some volume spacers and a new shiny star fangled nut and bolt for the top of the steerer tube. I slowly removed the old decals with a heat gun and carefully applied my new decals. That was the most important step.
I kind of set the dials to the middle range on the low- and high- speed compression, as well as for the rebound. That didn’t work out so well for me – I think I may have shaken a few teeth loose. After a little tinkering and dialing, though, the results were impressive. Off the bat, I found it to be more supple and forgiving over the smaller bumps (like 1” – 2” raised rocks and roots) than its predecessor. Also, it felt a LOT more stable. While I really cannot complain about the RockShox 150, this Fox Factory 36 felt more solid and inspired more confidence. Mid stroke felt fairly linear (which I like) and with the 2 volume reducers, the progression was there when I needed it most.
Since the first ride or two, I’ve managed to dial this fork in nicely. What I like most about it is, uh, mostly everything! The fork is astounding and it feels more predictable than its predecessor, which precipitates a kind of confidence akin to that of a Jedi. Referring to the marketing material, the Kashima coat on the stanchions is supposed to provide ultra smooth strokes and durability but I just think it looks awesome. When buying this fork I was like, “oooooh, gold”, so that’s all I have to say about that. I have had a few noticeable thuds on full extension when popping the front wheel off the ground so I’m going to follow that up, but I gotta say, I love this fork. The quality of this fork is most noticeable on the jumps and harsh landings (well, my harsh landings), while still never failing to impress on the slower, smaller, technical stuff; It’s very composed and the fork is a great piece of technology to bolster your Enduro-style ride.