Unlock Your Enduro Racing Potential with the FOX 38, FLOAT X2 and DHX2

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Modern enduro racing puts a lot of demands on its athletes. Those athletes in turn ask a lot of their suspension.

Jordi Cortes is the Global Race Department Manager at FOX. He spends most of his summer on the UCI World Cup DH circuit tweaking suspension settings for the world’s fastest downhill racers. He is also known to dabble a bit in enduro racing himself and is considered an authority on FOX suspension products when it comes to high-performance racing. 

Jordi in his element on the World Cup circuit 

In enduro, the descending performance of forks and shocks is a higher priority than weight. But unlike Downhill World Cup (where the winner is decided by as little as hundredths of a second over a single three-minute race run), enduro racers need to stand up to the fatigue of five timed race stages in a day, or in some cases, eight stages over the course of a weekend. That often includes pedaling their bike up to next stage start after a full-gas descent. 

Jordi: “Enduro puts riders through a wide variety of terrain and can be incredibly demanding physically. Not just strength-wise but cardio-wise as well. So, a good fork needs to address all of that by being stiff and precise but not beat you up.” 

The 38: Bred to Race 

As the geometry of enduro bikes evolved, it became clear that a long-travel, single crown fork was needed by racers pushing their limits. When the 38 launched in 2020, it created a whole new category of modern enduro forks. Its super stout 38mm chassis delivers unrivaled steering precision with the long-travel support for the steepest and fastest trails on the Enduro World Cup circuit. Smaller, lighter, or less aggressive riders may still opt for the more-than-capable 36, but when going big for the win is the only option, the 38 is the right tool for the job. 

Jordi: “All of our products are bred from the racing world; it’s the most uncompromising and brutal test you can put things through. I think the average rider would be surprised at how comparable their setup would be to a top athlete. Just because you’re fast doesn’t mean you have a stiff setup!”

The 38: GRIP2 Damper with Variable Valve Control 

GRIP2 is FOX’s flagship gravity damper and the benchmark for unparalleled ride quality and ultra-precise 4-way external adjustability. Our patented Variable Valve Control (VVC) technology allows for external fine-tuning of high-speed rebound and high-speed compression, without the negative aspects associated with preload (such as harshness at lower shaft speeds and lack of support at higher shaft speeds). If you want to get more into the tech of VVC, check out our in-depth explanation of the GRIP2 Damper on FOX Academy

Jordi: “VVC is an awesome tool that allows you to essentially ‘re-valve’ your fork with the simple twist of a knob rather than completely taking the damper apart. This lets you customize compression and rebound to whatever terrain the enduro stage throws your way.” 

The 38: Floating Axle 

The patent ending Floating Axle offers a distinct performance advantage by matching the exact width of the fork’s wheel mounting surface precisely to the front hub flange spacing. This creates perfect chassis alignment and helps eliminate unwanted friction between the upper and lower fork legs. The floating axle on the 38 comes with a quick-release, where spacing is locked in via a floating sleeve, allowing repeated front wheel removal and reinstallation while maintaining perfect fork alignment. 

An optional axle upgrade for both the 36 and 38 is Kabolt-X. This system increases torsional stiffness of the fork via its sleeveless, single-sided pinch bolt design, while saving a few grams over the quick release version. It also allows for perfect alignment, although alignment must be set each time the axle is removed. 

Jordi: “Floating axles are quite basic compared to the inner workings of suspension, but they make a big difference in fork performance. They also make up for any minute discrepancies in hub width.”

The 38: Bleeders 

Pressure buildup in the fork lowers can affect performance, preventing full travel from being achieved as well as and diminishing small bump sensitivity and responsiveness. Bleeders allow you to vent excess pressure at the push of a button, ensuring your fork is functioning optimally before you drop in for that next stage. 

DHX2: Ultimate Downhill Performance 

The choice of World Cup Downhill racers, the DHX2 is the ideal shock for racers looking for ultimate traction and suppleness that only a coil spring can provide. Loaded with 4-way external adjustability to match our GRIP2 fork dampers, you can dial in precise tuning specific to your bike, riding style and whatever terrain you happen to be racing in next weekend. 

Jordi: “The DHX2 is incredibly sensitive (to bumps), giving it the best grip. Once tuned to your preference, it will stay consistent. There’s no better choice when it comes to downhill performance.” 

FLOAT X2: Coil-like Traction. Air Spring Weight. 

FLOAT X2’s massive volume provides a more linear, planted ride feel that gravity riders desire, without all the weight of a coil spring. The FLOAT X2 also features the same 4-way external adjustability of the DHX2 (including VVC) for precision tuning with the added customization of air spring volume spacers, which are used to tune the shock’s progression.

Jordi: “This shock is designed for straight up Downhill and Enduro World Cup, gravity-focused riding and racing. The X2 is a significant jump up in descending performance from the FLOAT X. Once set up properly, riding over bumps will make your tires feel glued to the ground.” 

Whether you’re an enduro racer or just love tackling your local enduro-style trails, FOX has the right suspension to fit your needs. Most importantly, your suspension is only as good as your effort to set it up properly. Take the time to get your set up right with bracketing. Repeating the same trail and fine tune your suspension until it feels just right. If you are racing and your compression/rebound settings are not dialed in, you’re not reaping the benefits of World Cup Enduro-winning suspension. 

As our founder Bob Fox says, good luck and good racing!