Floating on AIR
The 2019 version offers some minor upgrades from last years model including a revision to the Dual Piston System (DPS) adjustment range for improved small-bump sensitivity. The original DPX2 was released in 2017 and superseded the Float X and is firmly targeted as being the ultimate Trail and Enduro shock.
Having upgraded an RP23 to a DHX Air on my Santa Cruz Nomad alloy in 2007 and then having the first release of the Float X CTD on my Santa Cruz Nomad Carbon in 2013 it seemed like the obvious upgrade for my Yeti SB5C from the Float DPS it was built with.
The DPX2 combines low internal pressures and a recirculating oil damper from the FLoat X2 and has a separate lockout circuit from the Float DPS so you have the small bump compliance combined with a firm mode when you need it. The Extra Volume (EVOL) has extra volume in the negative air spring which means that for the first ~25% of travel you get a much more linear spring curve.
I opted for the non-remote version as I wanted the extra low-speed adjustment which isn't available on the remote version. The guys at R&D Speed Shop ordered me one in and fitted it up for me. Lazy eh!
As soon as I got it home I got to work installing a larger volume spacer to increase bottom out resistance. Volume Spacers are an easy way to dial in your suspension and get it tuned to perfection. I have always had a problem of bottoming out and blowing through my travel so I opted to replace the 0.4 Volume Spacer with a 0.86 one.
The Fox Volume Spacer Set contains 5 spacers in 0.2, 0.4, 0.6, 0.86 and 1.02 cubic inch volumes. Replacing them is very straightforward and can be done on the bike. After depressurising the shock and unscrewing the air canister the factory installed Volume Spacer is exposed. By prizing it out with a blunt screwdriver the replacement volume spacer can be inserted before the main air canister is hand tightened.
Pressurising the shock to recommended 230psi for my body weight in 50psi increments to allow for the positive and negative air chambers to equalize I found that I needed more pressure to get to the recommended 15mm sag for a plush ride. Ultimately I increased the pressure to 265psi to get the correct sag. This seemed excessive and I can't recall ever having pumped up a sho so high. A quick bounce around the carpark though and it all seems fine.
The compression adjuster is a lovingly large knob (be careful how you read that!) and is the first adjuster that Fox have included that is easy to feel and set. There are three settings from firm to open and in the open setting the shock really frees up. With the same ethos, the rebound dial is much larger than any predecessor and can be set on the fly if you need to. I set mine to the recommended 5 clicks open for the pressure I am running. Low speed compression requires a 3mm hex to dial it in and I opt to just leave it factory set before I start fiddling with things.
Saturday's forecast promised a light shower and should keep things nice and damp. As soon as I set off however the heavens open and it ends up being a torrential downpour for a couple of hours! Not the best day to play with new gear and certainly not the day to be opening up the shock to try different volume spacers! I will leave that to another day and set up the shock properly with the ShockWhiz.
I hit the first flowing single track and the Flaccid Ashback trail gives me a good opportunity to open things up. Wow! This thing really sticks! The rear wheel never seems to let go however loosely I smash into the turns. I give it one more click of rebound and on the Mercury Street trail, I set the compression to open to free things up as the trail gets a little steeper and faster.
Dropping through the rocks the main thing that is obvious about the DPX2 over the Float DPS is that the shock seems to continuously recover however hard or long the rock sections are. Sensational stuff!
This is a shock to be abused and hit hard but is light enough to be raced. It's ~150 grams or so heavier than a Float DPS but you will never notice the difference.
I will write another review in a month or so when I have dialed it in. For now, it's time to go and wash the bike.
If you like riding aggresivly through rocks then this shock is for you! If you have been running a shock for a couple of years and need an upgrade then go get!
Available now at ridefox.com