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.
Fox Shox makes some amazing suspension parts, some of the best in the business, along with some of the best they also make different levels. Many stock forks come with a Fox Grip Damper or a Fit4 Damper. And while those work great, the Fox Grip2 is a more tunable damper with both High Speed and Low-Speed Compression adjustments as well as High and Low-Speed Rebound adjustments. With the Grip2 Damper upgrade, you can take your stock Fox 36 fork to the next level as Ryan did. Read below for Ryan's full installation and Review:
My GX build Ibis HD4 came with a Fox 36 Performance fork which has the Grip Damper in it, it's a great damper but I felt like the Grip2 damper would give me more tunability. The Grip Damper is a single lever that controls both low-speed compression (LSC) and high-speed compression (HSC) together. It works well enough but I always felt like with it open, the HSC felt okay but the LSC felt too soft and once you started closing it up enough to get the LSC better, the HSC started getting harsh.
For a quick reference, compression is referencing the shaft speed and not ground speed. For example, you do not have to be going fast in order to have high-speed compression (HSC) damping come into play nor do you need to going slow to have low-speed compression come into play. An example of high-speed compression (HSC) is chop and chatter in the trail or hitting a curb straight on. Any bump that compresses the fork or shock quickly.
An example of LSC is pedal bob or pumping through rollers. Right from the start, I wasn't happy with it but after installing the Push ACS3 Coil Kit in the fork, the lack of support in LSC became even more obvious. I only made it a couple of rides before I ordered the Grip 2 Damper in hopes of rectifying the mushy feeling.
Installing the damper does require a couple of special tools.
Unless your fork is brand new, you may as well do the full lower leg service while you are in there and put new seals/wipers in. That can be found below:
Outside of those things, it is basic hand tools. There are a couple of very thorough videos on Youtube showing how to complete it if you aren't comfortable taking it apart. Nothing overly complicated. Fox is also notorious for over greasing the air spring too so it is a good idea to clean that up and get all the excess grease out which can negatively affect performance. Both the forks I have serviced had WAY too much grease in the air chamber. I cleaned them up and reapplied a thin coating of Slick Honey on them.
After getting it installed and the fork back on the bike, I set all the adjusters to Fox's recommended settings. It was immediately apparent that the LSC was very close to where I wanted right out of the gate. The mushy bobby feeling was much more controlled and the HSC still felt supple and compliant with no harshness. I have since backed both LSC and the HSC off 2 clicks each and I have been really happy with performance all the way around. The damper also has both low and high-speed rebound as well which can get a little confusing but I don't have any complaints with Fox recommended settings. Just make sure you write down your starting point before you start messing with settings so you can easily get back if things get away from you.
The Fox Float 36 GRIP2 Damper is definitely a worthwhile upgrade if you have a Fox Performance Fox 36 with a Grip or Fit4 damper.