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 only so many single upgrades you can do that will have a massive impact on the way your mountain bike will feel and perform out on the trail. One of which is the rear shock and our friend Mark Doolittle takes us through his thoughts of the Fox Float DPX2 Factory Rear Shock. Check it out!
Some information about me and my bike. I am 6’2” and 225 pounds and the bike is a 2018 Santa Cruz Hightower in the XL size. There is 135mm of rear travel and this bike model has the VPP suspension design one generation previous to Santa Cruz’s current design, the shock DOES NOT go through a tunnel in the seat post. The bike is used for general trail riding, no huge jumps or drops.
The Hightower has always been a really good middle-of-the-category trail bike, however, being a larger rider when I built the bike up three years ago I chose a Fox 36 150mm front fork while using the Fox Float DPS rear shock. I have been negligent in having the old shock serviced and the Kashima coating had actually started to rub off in one spot. After 3 years of riding with that shock, it was time for a replacement.
After quite a bit of research, I decided to upgrade to the Fox Float DPX2 Factory Rear Shock model. A lot of reviews said that the DPX2 was more supple with better damper performance due to the external oil reservoir. I also considered RockShox but the Super Deluxe does not come in the correct size so if I wanted RockShox it would have to be the Monarch model. The DVO shock was another possibility but in the end I decided to stick with Fox and get the DPX2. Due to COVID-related availability issues bike parts can be hard to find so when I found the correct model DPX2 at Worldwide Cyclery I bought it.
In addition to the correct size, another spec requirement I had was that the shock has the larger top eyelet versus the standard size. This is noted by the LV in the product title. The advantage there is the larger top will fit the larger volume spacers, whereas the standard sized eyelet will only allow up to the 0.4 spacers. For reference the volume spacer sizes are: 0.2 0.4 0.6 0.86 and 1.02. This is an important feature because if I want to install a volume spacer to tune the performance of the shock I now have a shock that will fit all the possible sizes. Once I received the shock I went to Fox’s website on the service page and typed in the four-letter code on my rear shock and discovered that it has the 0.4 size spacer installed, good to know.
The rear of the bike maintains better contact with the ground over fast bumps.
Setting up the shock I followed Fox’s recommendation and started with my body weight in air pressure. 225 PSI was WAY too low and the sag was almost 30mm. So I have been experimenting with different pressures in the shock. Right now I am at 245 PSI and it rides pretty good, but I still have about 19mm of sag and the shock should have 15mm of sag to be plush. It doesn’t seem to matter how much pressure I put in the shock, I cannot seem to get the sag down to 15mm.
Overall I am very happy with the Fox new shock. It is definitely more supple than the DPS. I run the shock in the open mode with the 10 clicks of adjustment all the way open or plush. I have the rebound set at 7 clicks from fully closed, the middle of the adjustment range. Despite the deeper sag, I have not bottomed it out, and it is supportive. I have a trip to North Carolina planned and will get a better evaluation of the shock on some proper downhill trails versus the trails we have here in Florida. My Hightower bike build is now further improved with the newest Fox DPX2 shock. The bike goes well beyond the capabilities of the 1st generation Hightower with its 34 140mm fork and Monarch shock.
I believe that upgrading and improving your bike is part of the sport. Thanks to Worldwide Cyclery for working hard to have the products we want in stock and getting those parts shipped out quickly. Keep up the good work.