Fox Racing Shox Vanilla 125R 2003 Front Shocks

4.7/5 (23 Reviews)
MSRP : $399.00


Product Description

rebound adjustment


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Reviews 1 - 15 (23 Reviews Total) | Next 15

User Reviews

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:4
Submitted by Adam Turner a Cross Country Rider from Abergavenny, South Wales, UK

Date Reviewed: August 15, 2006

Strengths:    Extremely plush ride, low rebound, very forgiving fork, awesome matte black look

Weaknesses:    I guess if I HAD to find a weakness, it would be a lack of a lockout feature, but as i'm an XC rider it doesn't make any difference to me really.

Bottom Line:   
Awesome fork for the price, you need not buy or even consider any other fork for XC.
Fox has converted me from air to springs with this fork.

Expand full review >>

Favorite Trail:   Blorenge Keepers

Duration Product Used:   3 months

Price Paid:    $390.00

Purchased At:   Gateway Cycles, Abergavenny

Similar Products Used:   SR-Suntour MG91

Bike Setup:   Carrera Hellcat, Tioga carbon fibre handlebars / headset, Shimano Deore's, Magura Julie hydraulics, full sus.

Overall Rating:4
Value Rating:5
Submitted by Andrew Greener a Weekend Warrior from Norwich/Norfolk/England

Date Reviewed: May 2, 2006

Strengths:    plush travel, takes big hits, ajustability

Weaknesses:    none really

Bottom Line:   
overall a good fork takes abuse and has a lot of ajustability.... enjoy

Expand full review >>

Favorite Trail:   Ringland hills

Duration Product Used:   Less than 1 month

Price Paid:    $170.00

Purchased At:   second hand off a friend

Similar Products Used:   dukes, rlc, psyco

Bike Setup:   gt ruckus frame/fox forks 125r/discs/

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by Kyle a Cross Country Rider from Napa

Date Reviewed: December 14, 2005

Strengths:    Plush ride, Low rebound, Sleek black look, pure disc.

Weaknesses:    None, except for the price for some.

Bottom Line:   
What an unbelieveable fork! I've waited to do my review to see if anything has failed and no problems at all. I love the oversized stanchions and the pure disc look. After carefully considering the other forks, this one suits my needs perfectly. Of course in-town riding is severe overkill but trails is where the fork belongs. No slop or excessive rebound. All the seals are holding very well. Fox has made a believer out of me. The only downside is the price for those who can not afford the fork. If you can and are considering them, I'd highly recommend you take the Vanilla line for a spin.

Expand full review >>

Duration Product Used:   2 Years

Price Paid:    $400.00

Purchased At:   JensonUSA

Similar Products Used:   Manitou Black Elite, Manitou Skareb Super, Fox Float 100R, RockShox Sid World Cup

Bike Setup:   00' S-Works FSR, XT drivetrain, RF Turbine, oversized Avid 203 discs, King headset, Easton bar and stem, Thompson post.

Overall Rating:4
Value Rating:4
Submitted by Simon a Cross Country Rider from Byron Bay, NSW, Australia

Date Reviewed: August 3, 2005

Strengths:    Plush 125mm of travel. Super Stiff fork with 32mm stanchions.

Weaknesses:    Lack of Lockout feature.

Bottom Line:   
I was lucky enough to pay $300 AUD (also switching my OEM manitou Axel's 100mm) and buy these of my mate/riding buddy/bike mech James. It's made my bike and myself "all-mountain" rather than just plain XC (although I still love that). The preload and rebound are extrememly effective, in addition the 3 springs (soft, medium, hard) allow further adjustments w/o the cost. I run mine with the medium spring and a 10 weight oil. It's just a stiff yet beautifully plush ride. My only complaint is that it doesn't have Lockout (I know, there's the RL and RLC models)... but it still performs exceptionally well. It's survived 3" jumps/drops... and is just makes my bike so much more sweeter to ride.

Expand full review >>

Duration Product Used:   6 months

Price Paid:    $200.00

Purchased At:   Ridding buddy James

Similar Products Used:   Manitou Axel, Marzochhi EXR Air Pro.

Bike Setup:   2005 Avanti Barracuda

Overall Rating:4
Value Rating:4
Submitted by Simon a Cross Country Rider from Byron Bay, NSW, Australia

Date Reviewed: August 3, 2005

Strengths:    Plush 125mm of travel. Super Stiff fork with 32mm stanchions.

Weaknesses:    Lack of Lockout feature.

Bottom Line:   
I was lucky enough to pay $300 AUD (also switching my OEM manitou Axel's 100mm) and buy these of my mate/riding buddy/bike mech James. It's made my bike and myself "all-mountain" rather than just plain XC (although I still love that). The preload and rebound are extrememly effective, in addition the 3 springs (soft, medium, hard) allow further adjustments w/o the cost. I run mine with the medium spring and a 10 weight oil. It's just a stiff yet beautifully plush ride. My only complaint is that it doesn't have Lockout (I know, there's the RL and RLC models)... but it still performs exceptionally well. It's survived 3" jumps/drops... and is just makes my bike so much more sweeter to ride.

Expand full review >>

Duration Product Used:   6 months

Price Paid:    $200.00

Purchased At:   Ridding buddy James

Similar Products Used:   Manitou Axel, Marzochhi EXR Air Pro.

Bike Setup:   2005 Avanti Barracuda

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by Alex Kelly a Cross Country Rider from Lawrence, Ks

Date Reviewed: December 17, 2004

Strengths:    Everything

Weaknesses:    Factory springs not stiff enough

Bottom Line:   
Best fork ever, would totally recomend this to everyone except the extreme downhillers. without a doubt the most plush thing in the history of time, only takes about a week of riding to break it in, after that you'll realize why everyone likes them. The only downside of the fork is that the factory springs are a litte wimpy. i weigh about 160 and it bottoms out on a 5ft drop. other than that it is just about perfect. At just over 4 lbs it makes a pretty good cross country fork but if your gonna buy this it is your civil duty to take it off at least a couple of drops. one last note, the rebound is really adjustable, it goes from lightning fast rebound to...well...almost zero.

Expand full review >>

Favorite Trail:   amasa back

Duration Product Used:   1 Year

Price Paid:    $320.00

Purchased At:   CBO

Bike Setup:   k2 funky monkey, RF turbine, xt drivetrain, wierwolf 2.1, avid sd7

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by Ivan Mishev a Weekend Warrior from Toronto, Ontario, Canada

Date Reviewed: August 14, 2004

Strengths:    Super Plush and is lite. The Adjusts are great u can adjust for xc, hucks, dj and any thing else. Awsome desigh and graphics. Super stiff stantions and lowers witch make it super stiff even without the trough axle. Andjust the fact that its Fox

Weaknesses:    None except the price but t dosnt really matter cause its just such a good fork that you ride it for 2 days and then u totaly forget

Bottom Line:   
AWSOME FORK PERIOD. Its amazing and i recomened it to any one who want to mountain bike with the plushest fork around. amazing performance for any type of riding. Really good for free ride dj xc and good for downhill but what do u excpect its not a dual crown. Really strong. I dont know what else to say its just such and anazingly awsome fork. All of my friend were thinking i was crazy to spend so much for a fork because it was like 2 times as expensive as there whole bike but they all took one ride around the street going of curds and bouncing around and just that made them relize y i spent so much. Dont get my wrong though its not all that expensive just that expensive for me cause im only 14 but for u older guys with jobs its not to much. Best and most plush fork around is all i can say. FOX RACING SHOX RULES

Expand full review >>

Favorite Trail:   Dirt Jumping

Duration Product Used:   3 months

Price Paid:    $600.00

Purchased At:   Cycle Solutions

Similar Products Used:   Rock Shock Judy C. Dosnt compare at all

Bike Setup:   Norco 4x4

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by David a Cross Country Rider from Vancouver, BC, Canada

Date Reviewed: July 21, 2004

Strengths:    1, Beefy and burly legs which translates to a very stiff fork!
2, CNC precision quality manufactured knobs which are easy to turn.
3, Rebound control very well setup for a wide variety of terrain from stutter bumps to stair riding and occassional big hits.
4, Improves steering precision and handling without effecting frame geometry so much.
5, FULL advertised travel -- no 50% or even 30% of claimed advertised travel.


Weaknesses:    Pricy if not bought on sale. You get what you paid for I suppose..

Bottom Line:   
I was never happy with my GT Idrive bike when I first got it.
It never lived up to its fame as being a point and shot bike. The downhill is great on the bike, but riding tight switch backs and negotiating rocky technical descents were another story. When I replaced the rear shock with the Cane Creek, it added 50% to the fun. Then when the front stock Judy went dead this year, I decided to replace it with something burly like my old Marzocchi Z3 lite that I had on my old hardtail. When on Cambria site to shop for a Marz Comp ETA when I hit the wrong button! It took me to their clearance site where they had this fork on sale for a bit cheaper! Bought it in a heart beat, came and installed it. Took it out for a spin on the same trails I do with the Judy and oh my GAWD, this is one BLOODY awesome fork. Not only it improves steering but 100%, fast tight switchbacks were no longer a noddly affair anymore. This is also one stiff fork where there is little to any detectable deflection from hitting rocks and roots. And the rebound control is so well designed, so much so that riding down stairs now made me more confident and more aggressive, that I am thinking of adding the front disc, which I would never do with my stock Judy.
Last but not least, I am ACTUALLY getting the travel that I paid for. Not so with the Rock S**T!
This is one awesome XC fork for the money and it is a great keeper!

Expand full review >>

Favorite Trail:   Anywhere I can ride

Duration Product Used:   Less than 1 month

Price Paid:    $299.00

Purchased At:   Cambria Bicycle Outfitter

Similar Products Used:   Rockshox Quadra 21R, Marzocchi z3 lite (65mm travel), Judy 100 Hydracoil

Bike Setup:   GT iDrive with Fox Forx 100R (100 mm travel; not 125) with a Cane Creek Cloud 9 at the rear. Stock cranks and Vbrakes only.

Overall Rating:3
Value Rating:4
Submitted by Colin a Weekend Warrior from UK

Date Reviewed: July 9, 2004

Strengths:    Feels solid & well made*.
Reliable.
Good over a variety of trail obstacles.
Adjustments make a difference.
Reasonable price. Good looks.


Weaknesses:    None really.... But its a bit of a pain having to remove the wiper seal(s) each month to lub the foam ring, particularly the LHS bushing (the seal flange steadily gets deformed/damaged & the paint begins to chip away with repeted prising).
Worth noting that on my set, the LHS top bushing has worn away the anodising in a localised patch. You can only see this when you strip it down. Its be well lubed & kept clean so I think there's been a manufacturing defect that's taken a long time manifesting itself.... Forks out of warranty now but I'll see what they say!


Bottom Line:   
These have been very good forks, & I'm only disappointed that they have developed a major fault after 2 years (Re: Product Weakness).
On the trail they do everything you could want & than some. They’re easy to set up, and have totally reliable out on the trail.
Even though I've experienced a potentially costly problem. I really can't fault then technically.
Over the long term I'd like to recommend them, unfortunately I can’t.

Expand full review >>

Duration Product Used:   2 Years

Purchased At:   c/w bike

Similar Products Used:   RS Duke U-turn XC, Marz MX Comp ETA (If the warranty doesn't come up I'll be replacing the Fox with these).

Bike Setup:   Orange Sub 5. Deore, XT, Hope.

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by Eli Hopper a Cross Country Rider from Concord NH USA

Date Reviewed: June 25, 2004

Strengths:    Plush ride, 32mm stanchions, quality manufacturing, decent manual, relatively inexpensive.

Weaknesses:    None so far

Bottom Line:   
I love this fork. Yesterday I went riding of a buddy of mine and we traded bikes for a while, I was blown away how much nicer the Vanilla was compared to his pilot. It was like night and day! He didn't want to give me my bike back :)
He's off to buy one as well. It may not be fair to compare the pilot to the vanilla I realize but that doesn't stop the fact that this an amazing fork for a great price.
Changing the spring and travel was easy and I like that fact that I can still use the same fork when I get a new FS frame.

I can't attest for the durability of this fork since I haven't had it long enough, but I will say it's taken some pretty hard hits already and hasn't flinched.

I'd give it more flaming chili's if I could =D

Expand full review >>

Favorite Trail:   hell trail

Duration Product Used:   Less than 1 month

Price Paid:    $330.00

Purchased At:   Jensonusa.com

Similar Products Used:   Rock Shock Pilot, older manitou's

Bike Setup:   Chromo hardtail, vanilla r, sram x.9 drivetrain, avid brakes, etc.

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by G Bramling a Cross Country Rider from La Honda

Date Reviewed: June 16, 2004

Strengths:    Smooth through entire range, and it *uses* the entire range of motion.

Weaknesses:    A little seepage at top seal on left side.

Bottom Line:   
Maybe it's normal now to have a fork that uses its entire range of motion, but it's new to me. Y'know: a 3" fork that moves maybe 1.5", or a 5" fork that uses maybe 3". But this fork can use the full range of motion (and doesn't hurt much when it bottoms).

Oh yeah, it's way smooth and useful, too. The damping works. The adjustments make useful differences.

I'm posting cuz I wanted to see if anyone had been having problems with blown seals. I'm thinking the seepage I'm seeing is just that (seepage), and not the sign of impending disaster. Hoping.

Expand full review >>

Duration Product Used:   6 months

Price Paid:    $1.00

Purchased At:   LBS

Similar Products Used:   shorter throw forks, and no suspension forks

Bike Setup:   Heckler, 5th coil, 200lbs rider.

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by DB Coupe a Weekend Warrior from Seattle

Date Reviewed: May 14, 2004

Strengths:    Super plush, stiffness even at 5" travel, no stiction

Weaknesses:    None so far

Bottom Line:   
This is a sweet upgrade for any all mountain type of riding. It's not the lightest but neither is my bike. I've already tried things I've never tried before. The travel is so smooth. The fork tracks straighter than any other 5" for I've tried. It has less stiction than the stock Marz. MX Comp that came oem on the bike.

Expand full review >>

Favorite Trail:   Fruend, Galbraith

Duration Product Used:   3 months

Price Paid:    $340.00

Purchased At:   cambriabikes.com

Similar Products Used:   Mostly Rockshock but never again!

Bike Setup:   '03 Spec. Enduro, Fox Vanilla 5"

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by Wyatt Waro a Weekend Warrior from Kailua, Hawaii

Date Reviewed: March 18, 2004

Strengths:    Very stiff, Quality travel, excellent bump sensitivity and big hit capability, all precision machined aluminum construction, Rebound and preload settings work very well, Beautiful finish.

Weaknesses:    Small leak at the bottom nut on the rebound side of the fork. Can't stop it for some reason. Extremely difficult to fill oil on the rebound side of the fork -probably have to take the rebound damper knob off in order to make it easier -too much hassle.

Bottom Line:   
Awesome fork! I really would recommend it to anyone especially if you can get a good deal on it. I've been on this thing for almost 2yrs. and I'm still impressed w/ it. The travel is just amazing you get excellent small bump sensitivity when going fast or slow. Big hits and drops feel great w/ this fork. Just make sure you get the right spring for your weight. Do not change the oil wt. in this fork. It has to have 7wt. oil to work correctly. Just get the right spring and everything will be perfect. There's some minor annoyances but they are really overshadowed by its top-notch performance. If you get a deal on this fork (and they're out there) I must give this product 5 chillis all around! This fork inspires FREERIDE confidence!

Expand full review >>

Favorite Trail:   Aiea Loop, St. Louis Hgts.

Duration Product Used:   2 Years

Price Paid:    $309.00

Purchased At:   Bikesmart

Similar Products Used:   Rock Shox Jet, Manitou SXR, Manitou X-Vert, Marzocchi Z1, Z3, Z5

Bike Setup:   Trek Bruiser 1 w/ Fox 125 w/ heaviest spring (yellow), Avid Mechs 8 & 7 in., FSA DH Pig & BB, RF Prodigys, Alex rims, WTB 2.5 Weirwolf, IRC Kujo 2.25

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by Brow_teeth a Cross Country Rider from Morro Bay CA

Date Reviewed: March 16, 2004

Strengths:    Drives great very stiff and rebound works on every click

Weaknesses:    None really unless the drop off don't last, what I see so far looks like this fork is a deal! Started off a bit sticky but really smoothed out after a few hard rides

Bottom Line:   
Takes a while to break in like 120 hard miles but then its so smooth and wow so easy to service, hard to fault anything that outperforms and its light for a oil over coil. Running a solid front axle on a super wide 36 hole 3x rim and this fork is like having power stearing mated with a king! At 210 pounds my life is reborn and I didn't have to give up beer! Best bang for $ I spent in the last year.

Expand full review >>

Duration Product Used:   3 months

Price Paid:    $270.00

Purchased At:   cambriabike.com

Similar Products Used:   Manatou, zokes

Bike Setup:   Marin Trail pro, xt/xtr 6 in the rear fox 5 on the front

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by dan from truckee

Date Reviewed: March 9, 2004

Strengths:    Plush like none other. Seriously though, it's really, really plush.

Weaknesses:    Not burly enough for real big drops and too heavy for competitive xc racing. This isn't really true though, because the fork can take much more abuse than most can give and is only too light for guys who are too big of sissies to pedal uphill with an extra half pound on their bike.

Bottom Line:   
I haven't had this fork for too long, but it is better than anything I've ever tried before.The action is sooo smooth...I get excited just thinking about riding it. For what it's worth, this is probably the best single crown fork on the market, unless you race world cup xc. Buy a dual crown if your into real nuts downhill and big drops. Don't get me wrong though, this is a SOLID fork. I read one review where a pro rider had it on his hard tail freeride bike for six months with absolutely no problems after SERIOUS abuse, much more than I could dish out. Don't get me wrong though, I still love doing things with my bike that normal people would find questionable. It's just that I limit my drops at around seven or eight feet and take a more surgical approach to abusive technical sections. That will all change once I get my new frame (either a new heckler or chaparral, 5 or 6 inches of travel, respectively), because with this new Vanilla I can tell that only my 3.5 " travel rocky mountain is holding me back. I'll post another review if anything goes wrong, otherwise it's basically perfect.

Expand full review >>

Duration Product Used:   Less than 1 month

Similar Products Used:   nothing compares. My roommate has a Marzocchi Dirt Jumper 1 that could take more abuse, but feels like garbage compared to my vanilla


Reviews 1 - 15 (23 Reviews Total) | Next 15

Review Options:  Sorted by Latest Review | Sort by Best Rating


Fox Vanilla 125R

How can I increase the travel from 100mm to 125mm on my 2003 Fox Vanilla 125R fork? Thanks.Read More »

Fox Vanilla 125R Yellow (175lb-200lb) spring (cross post)

[I]i posted this in the suspension forum, but thought i'd give it a try here as well.[/I] i just replaced the spring in my 2004 vanilla 125R fork with the yellow spring, part number 039-05-14. when i pulled the old spring out of the fork and compared it to the new one, i saw that the new one was ... Read More »

Fox Vanilla 125R Yellow (175lb-200lb) spring

i just replaced the spring in my 2004 vanilla 125R fork with the yellow spring, part number 039-05-14. when i pulled the old spring out of the fork and compared it to the new one, i saw that the new one was about an inch longer. i run the fork in the 100MM travel configuration, which means i hav ... Read More »

2002 fox vanilla 125R rebound settings

i know that this is not the best fork for XC use, but it's what i got cheap from a friend who has an account with the distributor. i'm 185lbs and don't do big jumps or drops, just mostly rolly terrain and some long fire road climbs and descents. the forkis on a santa cruz superlight with a simple f ... Read More »

Does 2003 Fox Vanilla 125R have V-Brake Bosses?

Just want to check before I purchase. I know a guy offering one and am thinking of offering cash for it today. Before I get too excited... Anyone know if an '03 Vanilla 125R has V-brake bosses? needs to have it. I'm thinking of offering 175. Guy said it's in "good shape". Thoughts?Read More »

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