Never underestimate the power of a new suspension setup. Just ask our customer Brad who recently upgraded his Rockshox Lyrik for a shiny new Fox 36 GRIP2. In this review, Brad gives us his thoughts on the fork and how it compares to his stock setup. Enjoy!
I recently purchased a 2019 Fox 36 from Worldwide Cyclery for my 2017 Trek Sash 9.8. I’m an intermediate rider who rides a lot of BC North Shore trails. I stick mostly to blue and black trails, with the occasional double black thrown in to keep life interesting. That said, although I liked my 2017 Trek Slash 9.8, I wasn’t completely sold on the fork it shipped with (a 2017 Rockshox Lyrik Solo, which could be set to either 130 or 160). The Lyrik was okay, but I wasn’t content with the feel of the shock, particularly at moderate to higher speeds over small bumps.
My brand new 2019 Fox 36 GRIP2 160mm fork arrived, and I eagerly took it to my buddy who helped me install it. All went well, except that I needed a new adapter for the SRAM brake. A quick trip to the bike shop resolved that problem and I was ready to try the new fork.
I followed Fox’s suggestions for the settings, and as it turned out, all the settings were pretty close to what worked well, although occasionally I like to run a little lower psi than Fox suggests. I tend to be a “set it and forget it” kind of rider, but this fork encourages experimentation with settings. I often run the fork with the high-speed compression wide open, and two clicks in on the low-speed dial, though I’ll tweak the latter more often depending on the day, and trails.
I’ll be honest. I wasn’t completely sure I’d notice a big difference between the stock fork and the Fox. After all, I’m not one of those riders who fly down trails at insane speeds with wheels barely touching the ground. But, to put it simply, I can definitely say that you don’t have to be an all out expert rider to appreciate the difference a great fork makes! I already liked my bike before I bought this fork. Now I love it. After two months of riding this fork at the Whistler bike park, to Whistler trails, to Squamish to Fromme to Seymour and others, I can say that this fork is the best upgrade to a bike I’ve ever made in terms of overall ride improvement! Even adjusting air pressure settings, rebound and compression are enjoyable.
The difference on the small chunky stuff at speed is very noticeable compared to the stock shock. One of my riding buddies even noticed that I’m faster than I used to be. What also surprised me was how much better the fork feels on moderately big hits. The biggest drops I ever take are no more than five feet, but the fork feels amazing on these. I use almost all the trave and when set right, there’s no harsh bottoming out and my knees don’t complain. The fork is certainly stiff enough - the bike goes where I point it (even though I sometimes point it in the wrong direction).
Fox has hit the nail on the head with this fork for 2019 and it’s definitely a worthy upgrade! I’m looking forward to riding this fork for years to come!
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