Fox Racing Shox Vanilla 125RLC 2003 Front Shocks

3.94/5 (35 Reviews)
MSRP : $519.00


Product Description

  • Weight: approx 4.24 lbs. 32mm Hard Anodized Easton EA70 stanchion tubes
  • Forged 7075-T6 Aluminum hollow crown
  • One-piece Magnesium lower leg
  • Webbed-Truss fork brace
  • New High-Flow open-bath damper
  • FOX FORX oil seals with patented scraper-lip technology
  • Compression Lock-Out with adjustable Blowoff Threshold
  • 9 position Low-Speed Compression adjustment provides ultrawide tuning range
  • 12 click rebound adjustment


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

Reviews 1 - 15 (35 Reviews Total) | Next 15

User Reviews

Overall Rating:3
Value Rating:3
Submitted by chris mitchell a Weekend Warrior from henderson, nv

Date Reviewed: December 13, 2004

Strengths:    works very well when it works. takes the small bumps well and handles the big bumps like butter.

Weaknesses:    it flat blew up on me once. bottom of a short steep hill, shock rockets it's innards upward and shoots oil all over me.

Bottom Line:   
fox fixed it under warranty. unfortunately all three of the fox shocks products i have purchased have crapped out in under a year though. the engineering is quite simple so if you are mechanically inclined you can learn to perform your own service. it seems bike shop employees love fox shocks but they also get their stuff serviced free. one honest bike shop employee layed it out for me honestly, "the forks are great but you have to have a spare to put on while your other one is being serviced".

Expand full review >>

Favorite Trail:   bootleg canyon

Duration Product Used:   2 Years

Price Paid:    $500.00

Bike Setup:   jekyll

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by Jason Tan a Weekend Warrior from Auckland, NZ/KL, Malaysia

Date Reviewed: April 9, 2004

Strengths:    Not heavy for the amount of travel it's got, very good quality finish (anodized metal knobs, etc), super plush

Weaknesses:    Paint chips off real easily. No big deal

Bottom Line:   
Bloody plush fork, especially for someone like me who weighs 130lbs, it's hard to get a long-travel fork suited to my weight. Could only ever get 90mm travel from my DJs but that might have been solved with a lighter spring. Anyway, these forks are super-adjustable; use the correct weight spring and you'll be happy with it. They're not cheap, but worth every cent.

Expand full review >>

Favorite Trail:   Woodhill/Kiara

Duration Product Used:   6 months

Price Paid:    $680.00

Purchased At:   Adventure Cycles, Auckland

Similar Products Used:   Marzocchi DJIII, Manitou Mars, RST Gamma

Bike Setup:   Santa Cruz Heckler, Deore/XTR, Julie brakes, cheapo wheelset

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by Matthew McCulloch a Cross Country Rider from Las Vegas NV.

Date Reviewed: February 23, 2004

Strengths:    Everything. This fork is super plush, adjustments work, 5" of travel, not too hevy, and looks cool.

Weaknesses:    Makes a knocking sound sometimes, its just the springs rubing on the spacers.

Bottom Line:   
For a 5" travel fork, there is no better on earth. The knocking sound is not heard on the trail just when on the street.

Expand full review >>

Favorite Trail:   Bootleg Canyon

Duration Product Used:   3 months

Price Paid:    $500.00

Purchased At:   Bike Stuff

Similar Products Used:   Rock Shox and Manitu crap, and Z1 bomber and Durt Jumper 2

Bike Setup:   Santa Cruz Superlight, custem built with XT and LX parts. valant rims and avid brakes.

Overall Rating:4
Value Rating:3
Submitted by Dan Smith a Weekend Warrior from Rochester

Date Reviewed: January 12, 2004

Bottom Line:   
This is a update of a previous review I submitted ages ago.

The clunking gets worse but the sticking lock out has eased off, still sticks a bit though!

Overall I love these forks but that clunking really starts to bug you on a long ride.

Expand full review >>

Favorite Trail:   Covert

Duration Product Used:   1 Year

Price Paid:    $450.00


Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:4
Submitted by Paul Cormier a Cross Country Rider from Colorado Springs, CO USA

Date Reviewed: January 6, 2004

Strengths:    Stiff torsionally, good tunability, not a lot of pedal bob for a 5-incher. Seems more sturdy than RockShox with Tulio Thru-axle.

Bottom Line:   
I have noticed a little noise that sounds like the coil spring hitting the inside of the stantion tubes. It is subtle and doesn't bother me.

I weigh 210 lbs and the Yellow fat boy spring works great for me. I use all the travel on most rides. The sag is correct.

The compression and rebound knobs work well.

This is a great fork.

Expand full review >>

Duration Product Used:   Less than 1 month

Purchased At:   123bikes.com

Similar Products Used:   RockShox Duke SL U-Turn, Psylo Tulio

Bike Setup:   Turner 5-spot, SRAM, King, XTR, Mavic, Thomson, Easton, etc.

Overall Rating:2
Value Rating:3
Submitted by Francisco from Monterrey Mexico

Date Reviewed: December 30, 2003

Strengths:    Smooth on the small stuff

Weaknesses:    To much Flex. Compresses to much when pedaling. Terrible big hit capabilities.

Bottom Line:   
If you are an aggressive rider do not buy this fork. As much as I tinkered with this fork I could never get to the point where I felt comfortable. I tried different springs and when that didn’t do it I tried different oil weights but I just couldn’t get the feel I wanted. Another thing that annoyed me was that it moved too much under pedaling, you have to lock up the fork, if not you’ll feel your poggoing all over the place. When going through big hits such as jumps or G outs and the fork bottoms out it has a tendency to rebound in a very weird way that it just doesn’t inspire confidence. IF YOU WANT THE BEST TRAIL FORK OUT THERE BUY A MAVERICK FORK. I have been riding this fork for about a month and it’s the stiffest fork I have ever ridden. Imagine a fork that’s as light as a SID but as stiff as a Boxxer. I can climb better on this fork than I ever did on the Fox and descend like never before. If you don’t want to shell out big $$$ then go with the Minute or the Z1 or even the Talas but do not buy a Vanilla.

Expand full review >>

Duration Product Used:   6 months

Similar Products Used:   Marzochi Z1, Minute, Talas 125 RLC, Maverick Fork (the Best)

Bike Setup:   Foes FXR with the works (Curnutt Shox, tubless tires, all XTR etc)

Overall Rating:1
Value Rating:1
Submitted by Neville a Cross Country Rider from Hong Kong

Date Reviewed: December 29, 2003

Strengths:    Plenty available on the secondhand market.

Weaknesses:    Noise :
These forks have made a knocking sound since new. Sounds like a loose headset, and drives you nuts.

Fox Service Support:
Rebound adjustment broke under warranty. Shipped back to Fox in USA, but they refused to fix them unless I paid for it, even after purchase receipts were faxed over. Eventually I pursuaded them to courier back to me at their expense under warranty, but they still have not been fixed.


Bottom Line:   
Seemed good at first until the knocking became apparent, and the rebound adjustment broke. I was disappointed at the lack of response from Fox while the fork was under warranty. This lack of service is simply not acceptable.

Expand full review >>

Duration Product Used:   1 Year

Bike Setup:   Giant NRS.

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:4
Submitted by theodore jump a Weekend Warrior from austin, tx

Date Reviewed: December 26, 2003

Strengths:    Plush, reliable, stiff, tunable, easy maintenance, designed for 7" disc-brake rotors - yay!

Weaknesses:    slow-speed compression doesn't make MUCH change ( but does make a difference ), lockout adjuster usage usually changes slow-speed compression ( not that this really makes a huge difference ). Possibly develops crown-creak from constant hard use of a Clydesdale like me, original fork developed bad creak after two weeks. Fox replaced uppers w/o qualm very promptly and have over 1000 uninterrupted miles of service since.

Bottom Line:   
I've been very happy with the fork, changed oil / seals at 6 months usage and found it a lot easier than I expected. I would heartily recommend this fork to pretty much anyone, if they're weight-weenies than maybe send them to the Float.

The "infamous knock" I don't hear any of, but then may that is because I use a fair amount of preload and that keeps the spring pressured? Hard to say.

I got a pretty good price, but the MSRP is pretty dang steep.

Expand full review >>

Favorite Trail:   emma long metro park mx trail

Duration Product Used:   6 months

Purchased At:   Hammerhead Bikes

Similar Products Used:   Fox Terralogic, Fox Float, Rock Shox, Marzocchi Marathion, FR SL, MX Comp

Bike Setup:   Titus QuasiMoto 5.9" travel, Vanilla RC rear shock, Vanilla 125 RLC front, carbon stuff, aluminum stuff, CK stuff, big tires

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by Todd a Weekend Warrior from Pleasanton, CA

Date Reviewed: December 7, 2003

Strengths:    Adjustability you can actually feel, alot of tuning options. Very tight steering feel.

Weaknesses:    The knobs are a bit too tight, sometimes moving one will move another one. Not a huge deal...

Bottom Line:   
I love this fork! Works well on my current frame, bought it with the intention of going to a 03-04 Heckler in the future, which it should truly shine on. It does make the popping noise that some people complain about, but its not a nuisance for me at all...

Expand full review >>

Duration Product Used:   3 months

Price Paid:    $400.00

Purchased At:   eBay

Similar Products Used:   RockShox crap

Bike Setup:   Santa Cruz Tazmon - Risse Astro5 Rear, Fox V125 Front

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by Jose Rodriguez a Cross Country Rider from Littleton, Colorado

Date Reviewed: December 4, 2003

Strengths:    No flex. Maintenance free. No need to adjust stupid levers and knobs

Weaknesses:    It only comes in black

Bottom Line:   
I bolted this thing to my two bikes and I have never regretted doing so. The best fork ever. Plush, stiff, trouble free, and it works. I like to ride and I hate adjusting crap each ride. These forks were bolted to the bike as they came out of the box and since then I have put the long miles in them and they work as good as the fist day; all I do is keep them clean. I would not consider buying any other fork. I'm giving these forks five flaming turds because I'm as happy as a pig in mud.

Expand full review >>

Favorite Trail:   Indian Creek

Duration Product Used:   1 Year

Price Paid:    $350.00

Purchased At:   Janson

Similar Products Used:   Roch shox and Manitous for many years

Bike Setup:   Sugar and Paragon, good, usable stuff like XT and RaceFace

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by Greg a Weekend Warrior from austin, tx, usa

Date Reviewed: September 11, 2003

Strengths:    very plush with a good solid feel in hard turns.

Weaknesses:    audible "spring slap" inside stanchion when fork is unweighted. not a big deal though.

Bottom Line:   
this fork is amazing! one of the best i've ever ridden. been working in bike shops for about 8 years and get to ride a lot of different suspension setups. it's very solid in the turns, no noticable flex or stiction. extremely plush on landings. great damping features. the blow-off threshold adjustment makes for great urban sessions.
i know everyone wants to complain about that noise. it's not a big deal. just a little spring slap in the stanchion. an old shop trick to solve this is to find the thinnest diamter innertube you can get and stretch it over the spring. 700c tubes usually work great. this has solved "spring slap" problems in the past. a lot of other of other forks do this too. hope this tip will help others. if you can't handle a noisy coil spring, get an air fork so you can hear the constant sucking noises.

Expand full review >>

Favorite Trail:   street

Duration Product Used:   Less than 1 month

Price Paid:    $600.00

Purchased At:   bucksbikes


Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by jimmy amaral a Racer from gilroy

Date Reviewed: September 8, 2003

Strengths:    Its the best product on the market today. I came off a 6" travel jr.T and was skeptical about it, but after the first ride i knew i made the right decision. I went down in travel and i still got faster!

Weaknesses:    none.

Bottom Line:   
simply the best, no question about it. FOX did there homework and I give them an A+. THERE JUST THE BEST! DO NOT BUY ANYTHING ELSE.

Expand full review >>

Duration Product Used:   6 months

Similar Products Used:   marzocchi jr. t


Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:4
Submitted by Tony Rat a Weekend Warrior from England

Date Reviewed: August 21, 2003

Strengths:    Precise steering and very plush from the box, adjustable, different springs included, pretty light, look the business.

Weaknesses:    Lower leg paint finish flakes easily. Damping could be a bit faster, occasional slight noise over stutter bumps as if there is a air pocket in the damper. None are major.

Bottom Line:   
I have a 2003 fork and don't seem to to have the problems others have had.
The Enduro front & rear suspension now feel balanced allowing me to go faster than ever before with much more control.
I am far more confident thanks to these forks (and a decent bike behind them).

Expand full review >>

Favorite Trail:   Coed y Brenin or fast singletrack

Duration Product Used:   3 months

Price Paid:    $400.00

Purchased At:   Leisure lakes Cheltenham

Similar Products Used:   Marzocchi Z1 and Z3's. RS Judy's.

Bike Setup:   Specialized Enduro with Hope E4's & Hubs on 219's, Raceface & XT running gear, Thompson, Easton & WTB components.

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by Tim a Weekend Warrior from Dallas,Tx.

Date Reviewed: July 21, 2003

Strengths:    My fork came out of the first batch of 2003 forks. I had to wait 3 weeks for it, and it was worth the wait! I read all the reviews below, and have not experianced any of those problems. My fork is still as solid as the first day it was put on my bike.I have ridden it hard 2 to 3 times a week for 9 mos. now, and I am a Clyde at 242lbs. If anyone should screw one up, it should be me!

Weaknesses:    None,but I could have a complaint if I used the lock out.

Bottom Line:   
Love this fork, and would buy another in a heartbeat!

Expand full review >>

Duration Product Used:   6 months

Similar Products Used:   2002 Psylo SL, One flexy fork!

Bike Setup:   2003 Ellsworth Id with all the chi-chi's!

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by phil rowlands a Weekend Warrior from blackwood

Date Reviewed: July 17, 2003

Strengths:    extremely plush / laterally very stiff

Weaknesses:    slightly annoying that using the lockout upsets compression and rebound adjustment - I intend to invest in a remote lockout when available - I here there's one on the way

Bottom Line:   
Haven't had any of the issues seen by other reviewers - no knocking - even after 6 months riding / no problems apart from the one gripe about the adjusters this is one top piece of kit. This fork complements my O3 Santa Cruz Hecker perfectly.

Expand full review >>

Favorite Trail:   coed y brenin

Duration Product Used:   6 months

Price Paid:    $500.00

Purchased At:   stif

Similar Products Used:   manitou magnum r (pogo stick)

Bike Setup:   santa cruz heckler '03 with 5th element rear shock - 5" front and back.

Reviews 1 - 15 (35 Reviews Total) | Next 15

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


02 FOX Vanilla 125RLC spring question

I have the Vanilla described above and I hear a clicking upon compression. I've read this is probably the spring hitting the inside of the fork wall. I've also read I should open up the left leg and remove the spring and slide the plastic wrapper on the spring up in the middle of the spring again an ... Read More »

fox vanilla 125rlc for s-works fsr good/bad

i recently purchased a 2002 specialized s-works fsr and want to replace the front sid titanium with something alittle stronger, (im 200#) i was looking at a fox vanilla 125rlc and was just wondering how that would work with my bike geometry and other wise. seems like it wouldnt be bad for usual ridi ... Read More »

Marzocchi Z1 Drop-Off II vs. Vanilla 125rlc 04'

Marzocchi Z1 Drop-Off II or Vanilla 125rlc 04'... or 04' shiver sc which is better... for drops , jumps, and over-all value ..for a p.3 frame.Read More »

Vanilla 125RLC break in period?

Lovin' the new fork, but wondering if the swooshing sound will continue or if it's just a break in thing? I haven't experienced any of the knock/clunking noise I've read about, just the suction swoosh. A quiet bike is a happy bike :DRead More »

Vanilla 125RLC on 5.5 or not

Anyone here using Fox Vanilla 125RLC on their 5.5? I would like to hear your feedback good or bad. Also, why you'd choose Vanilla 125RLC than others? And for those who doesn't have the Vanilla on their 5.5. What don't you like about the Vanilla fork? Thanks in advance 2wheelerRead More »

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