Chances are that you have seen, ridden, and might own one or both of these shocks. The Fox Float DPX2 and the Fox Float X2 are some of the more popular shocks you can buy. If you are in the market for a mid to high-end complete bike, there is a good chance it will be equipped with one of them. They are both top of the line when it comes to Fox rear shocks and why they have become so popular for both bike manufacturer’s spec and aftermarket customers.
The Float DPX2 is going to be more of your trail shock, available on 120-160mm bikes, while the Float X2 is more of a heavy hitter of an air shock, coming on enduro and downhill bikes with 150mm-200mm of travel. One of the biggest differences between the two is the amount of adjustment you get with the Float X2, about 24 clicks of HSC/LSC and 24 clicks of HSR/LSR. Yes, that is a lot of adjustment range. When looking at the DPX2, you have a more standard single low-speed rebound adjustment, and a 3 position compression adjust, Open, Medium, and Firm. Also in the Open mode, the Fox DPX2 features an “Open Mode adjust”, which acts as a low-speed compression adjustment, giving you the option to fine tune compression damping in the Open mode.
Both shocks are also able to be fine-tuned with volume spacers to get the exact ramp up you want. The DPX2 volume reducer kit comes with 5 different size volume spacers to choose from, while only one reducer can be installed at a time. The volume reducers used in the X2 clip together inside the air can and can be stacked alongside each other. Depending on the size of the shock, Fox has a chart listing the size and maximum amount of spacers you can fit.
Riding the DPX2 has been super nice so far. Considering it comes stock on a lot of the bikes we carry, I was fairly comfortable with it from the beginning. From the Yeti SB5.5, to the Evil Wreckoning, to the Transition Sentinel, all bikes with very different suspension designs, all with different trail feel as well.
First I would like to say that this shock is so dang consistent. Barely any fussing about when getting it set up. Since there isn't much adjustment for this shock, you add air,set your sag, and then adjust rebound, making setup super easy. One thing to note is these new shocks have a very large negative air chamber, so when filling the shock up from 0 PSI, you can lose up to 30 PSI or so when the shock equalizes. After adding air and compressing the shock a few times, I re-attach the shock pump and make sure I have the right amount of air pressure to get the right amount of sag. Then I adjust rebound. I prefer a very subtle rebound feel. From compression to rebound, I want the bike to feel balanced. Then you are ready to ride!
As I have said before, the Fox DPX2 shock is a breeze to set up. From the start, I could tell I might want to add a larger volume spacer but wanted to ride it in the stock configuration first. Getting out on the trail, I noticed how much mid-stroke support this shock has, much more than the previous Float X that this shock replaced. After riding the DPX2 on all types of terrain, it never felt as if it was overwhelmed or I was needing more shock. The DPX2 was impressive no doubt but especially because it hardly required any setup to get it dialed.
After the first two rides, I needed to add a larger volume spacer and adjust the compression in the open mode. You have 10 clicks of Open Mode Adjust, and I ended up with 3 out from closed. I do like to have a bit more support on the rear shock than most riders. You do lose a little bit of small bump performance at slow speed, but the support on slow bob and manuals is a higher priority for me. I also tried a few different volume spacers, and landed with the second to largest spacer (.8). I could ride the largest but was only getting full travel on stupid hard hits, and preferred the one down in size. It took about 5 rides, but all of these adjustments gave me the exact feel I wanted. If I wasn't reviewing the shock, I could have landed on my final setup in about 3 rides, but wanted to try the most setups I felt was needed.
I would say the highlight of the DPX2 shock was the consistency between bikes. No matter what bike I tried it on, the shock felt great and gave you little or no trouble on setup. I think that is huge for the everyday riders that likes to set it and forget it when it comes to shock setup!
The hardest part with the Float X2 was getting enough ride time on the shock just because of the fact it doesn’t come on a ton of bikes out there. My first experience with the Float X2 ended up being on a Yeti SB5.5. This is where I got most of my riding time. Recently I have spent time on the Yeti SB150, as that bike comes stock with an X2. I also have some time on the Santa Cruz Hightower LT and Canfield Toir with a Float X2. For comparison purposes, the SB5.5 was the best choice considering it can be run with both DPX2 and Float X2 shocks.
Once you have the X2 on a bike you immediately can feel a difference. The shock has a much more planted feel and really takes the characteristics of a DH feel. Now that doesn't mean you can't make it feel lively and poppy, but the first feeling I got when swapping was a more sturdy shock that really stays planted.
Setting up the Float X2 takes MUCH more time than the DPX2, mainly due to the fact that it has both HSC/LSC and HSR/LSR. With so many adjustments available, not only does it take longer to set up and get right, but it's really easy to make the shock not feel good. A few clicks of any adjustment in the wrong direction can be bad.
Going through the same setup procedures as the DPX2, I set up sag adjusting air pressure, and then I went into adjusting rebound. There are 24 clicks of both HSR and LSR. Low-speed rebound is going to be what you feel when compressing with your hand or in the parking lot. Many people tend to refer to this as beginning stroke rebound, as that is how it feels. HSR or high-speed rebound is the rebound you are going to get off a deep fast compression, so many people call this ending stroke rebound. So setting HSR is much harder than getting the initial LSR set. I looked at the rebound recommendations from Fox for the air pressure I was running and went from there.
I typically slow down the rebound a click or two from the recommendation, and that is exactly what I wanted to do for LSR. Once I got a feel for the low-speed rebound, I did the same for high-speed rebound. I started with the same Fox recommendations for both HSC/LSC and then adjusted from there in the parking lot. I mentioned before that I like a firmer LSC more than other riders, and that is what I did. I left the HSC as the recommendation, as it felt ok and wasn't too much. Adding too much HSC can sometimes feel like the shock is getting “choked” off or not having a smooth stroke on a fast sharp compression.
First ride out on the trail, I brought the X2 adjustment tool so I could make a change if I needed to while riding. At first, the bike felt really good. The Float X2 felt a bit more solid than the DPX2 and handled the bigger hits with more confidence. One thing I could tell right away on my SB5.5 was that I needed to add some volume spacers to the shock as the mid and ending stroke did not have much support. You could add some HSC to help with this but I would prefer volume spacers to get air ramp up vs. more dampening. Now when I was on the SB150, I did not have this feeling as the SB150 has been made to be more progressive than the older SB5.5. The SB150 felt pretty good with the recommended settings, just slowed down the rebound a bit and I was in a happy spot.
After installing the volume spacers on the SB5.5, I was able to get the shock to a setting that I was really happy with. Something I noticed was that the X2 helped handle the full bottom out compressions better than any other air shock I have ridden. From bike parks with jumps and drops, to our local trails with lots of chatter and steep chutes, the X2 really made a solid improvement when it came to pushing the bike to the limits (limits of the rider, not the bike). I was able to push harder, land farther out and recover from deep compressions better.
I wanted to feel this shock on a bike with a totally different setup, so I rode a buddies Hightower LT with an X2 on. I started from scratch again and did a full setup. One main thing I had that was different was the amount of LSC. With the VPP suspension system, I feel there is already support in the initial travel and actually takes a bit of force to get the bike into the mid-stroke then kinda mellows out. After riding the bike, I looked into the leverage ratio and found that it supported my feeling. The leverage curve starts with a falling rate and then ends with a rising rate. Needing more force to get into mid stroke then rises slightly, making it average with a linear rate. I was able to get a good feeling on the Santa Cruz bike with the X2 and ended up having the same conclusion that the X2 makes a bike feel very stable and planted over a more standard trail air shock.
Comparing the two is both easy and hard. First I will say neither of these shocks suck. Both work extremely well and do everything they are designed to. While the DPX2 is more aimed at the trail and light enduro use rider, the Float X2 is more focused on enduro use and DH riding. They do have some overlapping areas and that is where you can really feel the difference.
There are two main differences you should note when comparing the two. One, the DPX2 is so simple and easy to set up. It takes very little time and overall shock knowledge to make the shock feel good. The Float X2 has a lot of adjustments, and if you are typically not a rider who likes to write these down and test on the same trail, this might be an overwhelming shock to set up. Two, the Float X2 is for sure set up to take big DH impacts: harsh hits, deep compressions, and long descents. If you are not riding those kinds of trails frequently, you might not need the Float X2, as it has much more adjustments and also weighs an average of 100g more than the DPX2.
Another thing to note between the two shocks is the DPX2 is very easy to service yourself and do your 50-100 hour air can seal service. Coming apart without any tools and having the same seal kit that has been used from Fox for years, this is a home mechanics dream. However the X2 is not this way, it takes some tools from Fox to get the air can seal off and once you take the shock apart you will have to also bleed and service the damper, a much more complicated procedure. This makes the X2 not as enticing for the home mechanic, but if you like to send off your shocks in the winter to get them all fresh by a suspension service center, then this might not concern you.
Both of these shocks are pretty incredible. With suspension technology improving every year, we are at a great time to be riding trail bikes. It's hard to get a bad shock with every company pushing what can be done. If you are looking for a trail bike shock that feels good, easy to set up, and is extremely consistent, the Fox DPX2 check all the boxes for me. The shock does everything well from mellow trails to shuttle laps. If you are a rider who loves to tinker, try different setups and is riding more heavy trails, the Float X2 might fit you a bit better. It has all the adjustments you can want/need and does an amazing job at staying composed with big hits. If you are pushing it and riding the harder style trails, I would really suggest the Float X2.
7.25 x 1.75, 7.5 x 2, 7.875 x 2, 7.875 x 2.25, 8.5 x 2.5
210 x 50, 210 x 55, 230 x 60, 230 x 65
-Sizes: Trunnion Metric
185 x 50, 185 x 52.5, 185 x 55, 205 x 60, 205 x 62.5, 205 x 65
Lever actuated Open, Medium, Firm modes
Open mode adjust tuning range (10 clicks)
Air spring pressure
Starting Weight: 398G
7.875 x 2 (2-position lever only), 7.875 x 2.25 (2-position lever only), 8.5 x 2.5 (2-position lever only), 8.75 x 2.75 (HSC/LSC, HSR/LSR only), 9.5 x 3 (HSC/LSC, HSR/LSR only), 10.5 x 3.5 (HSC/LSC, HSR/LSR only)
230 x 60 (2-position lever only), 230 X 65 (2-position lever only)
-Sizes: Trunnion Metric
205 x 60 (2-position lever only), 205 x 62.5 (2-position lever only), 205 x 65 (2-position lever only)
Optional 2-position Open/Firm lever (retains high and low-speed compression adjustment)
Air spring pressure
Starting Weight: 493G