Ultimate Fox DPX2 Review – Jeff Kendall-Weed
Check out this insightful Fox suspension review! Jeff Kendall-Weed gives us the low down on the DPX2 shock, by handily comparing it to the performance of two other Fox shocks. See how it fares on all different aspects of riding, from climbing, all the way through to sending!
Check out the Fox DPX2 shock at Jenson USA here: http://bit.ly/2wtinU8
Let’s hit the trail and review this thing! For context, I’ll be comparing this to the Fox Float X2 and to the Float DPS.
Climbing: riders may set the blue compression adjustment lever in either open, mid, or firm settings. Fully open is often the best setting for my Ibis bikes. On many other bikes, the mid-setting is great for trail climbs that aren’t too technical, and firm is great on pavement or gravel.
The DPS has the same type of adjustment, and I’d say the DPX2 loses nothing to the DPS on the uphills. The big X2 has a climb switch, so it’s either way firm or fully open. The open is great on bikes such as the DW Link equipped Ibis models, where minimal damping is required to avoid bobbing. However, on bikes with poor pedaling characteristics, the X2 will present some challenges by not having a mid-damping adjustment. I’d say the DPX2 is the best all-around option for a bike that needs to perform well up hill as well as downhill.
On flatter sections of trail that require a lot of pumping to maintain speed, the DPX2 feels great. The volume adjustment is key for getting this right. Since the DPX2 has a larger volume than the DPS, it will require a little more tuning to dial in the correct mid stroke support. With the 10 clicks of low speed compression adjustment the shock can be fairly precisely dialed in to provide enough support for this type of riding. The DPS only has three clicks of adjustment, thus limiting riders in comparison to the DPS. The X2 is a different beast, and I honestly prefer the DPX2 over the X2 for most of these flatter sections of trails. The 2018 and older versions of the X2 require a bit more of an impact to move the shock, and they feel like they are valved more firmly. This can be great on aggressive descents, but it can be a little harsh on regular, flatter trails.
Descending: Let’s break this down into three categories: cornering, jumping, and smashing.
Cornering: the DPX2 corners great as well, and those 10 clicks of damping adjustment should provide a precise enough adjustment to avoid an overly harsh feeling for even the lightest of riders. My wife is about 110 pounds and with the compression fully open she loves how her bike corners. The little DPS can corner really well! For a while, at least, until it starts to get hot. The X2 can be a tad over damped for really light riders, but it’s not a huge issue.
Jumping: a good shock for jumping has a consistent feel, meaning no surprises on steep lips or on flat landings. Beyond that, it needs enough high-speed compression to keep from bottoming on both the take off and the landing, and enough progressively to similarly avoid bottoming. The DPX2 does great for this. The little Float DPS lacks high speed compression adjustment and can therefore bottom on both take offs and bigger landings. The X2 jumps great, and has plenty of adjustment. However, there is the possibility of adjusting the X2 to be too firm and creating a mushy feel that’s hard to get off the ground.
Smashing: I have not pushed the DPX2 to the extremes of temperature, meaning the longest descent I did was only about 2100 feet, or 700 meters. For something truly long and gnarly, the X2 will always have the advantage. Not only can it be dialed in very precisely, but it has much more oil volume than the DPX2. The little DPS can overheat pretty quickly. That overheating is caused by tons of really aggressive hits forcing that small amount of oil through the damping orifice really quickly.
In conclusion, the DPX2 is a great all-around shock. I would recommend it for anyone who considers themselves a trail or enduro rider. The DPS is indeed lighter, and still feels great in many situations. The DPS is cheaper as well. For someone riding more rolling terrain, on a shorter travel bike, and happily using a 34 or 32mm stanchion fork, the DPS will be just fine.
For someone who primarily is concerned with downhill performance, and who needs that high speed rebound adjustment, then the X2 is the way to go. If I rode bike parks a ton, or if my bike was real long travel, then I’d stay with the X2. On my ~150mm down to 130mm travel Ibis bikes, the DPX2 is an awesome shock, and I would gladly recommend it.
Jeff KW rides an Ibis Mojo 3: http://bit.ly/2Oodh2X
Jeff KW wears a Camelbak Kudo: https://bit.ly/2tHs5ku
Jeff KW wears the Kitsbow Trials Jacket, Ride Tee, and Origin short: https://bit.ly/2N2SeTY
Jeff KW is protected by the Kali Maya helmet: https://bit.ly/2KmcCgJ
Jeff KW runs the PNW Components Bachelor 170 post: https://bit.ly/2IvG0zA
Music by Birocratic: https://soundcloud.com/birocratic/
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