Fox Shox Vanilla 125RL 2003 Front Shocks

4.37/5 (19 Reviews)
MSRP : $465.00


Product Description

rebound adjustment
compression lock-out


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Reviews 1 - 15 (19 Reviews Total) | Next 15

User Reviews

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by Arcel a All Mountain Rider

Date Reviewed: May 21, 2012

Strengths:    still alive 2003-2012

Weaknesses:    make sure you adjust the travel when your going downhill if you forget you will damage the shock

Bottom Line:   
Heavy Duty for my 2006 Santa Cruz Chameleon

Expand full review >>

Favorite Trail:   Demo,skeggs,pacifica,waterdog,lake chabot,coyote hills,alum rock

Price Paid:    $200.00

Purchased At:   private

Similar Products Used:   XT,XTR,XO,XX formula brake, avid brake, hayes brake, magura brake

Bike Setup:   2006 Santa Cruz Chameleon all XT setup, chris king bottom bracket and head carbon easton handlebar, crank bro 4 adjustable seaport

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by Amir a Weekend Warrior from KL, Malaysia

Date Reviewed: March 2, 2005

Strengths:    Stiff, reliable, quite light for intended purpose

Weaknesses:    Max rotor diameter recommended is 185mm, no through axle version

Bottom Line:   
I alternate between the Vanilla and the Dirt Jumper depending on the ride. The Vanilla for trail riding and the DJ for more involved type of riding. The Vanilla is plenty stiff in its own right but I'd prefer the DJ for rock gardens. The Vanilla is however over a pound lighter.

I currently run an 8 inch rotor up front (the stopping power is incredible) but on the Vanilla it voids the warranty (not that the fork is still covered by warranty being more than 2 years old; but it means the drop out or the lawyer tabs are not designed to take the forces of an 8 inch rotor). So far it has been okay ie the wheels have not been forced out of the drop out.

Compression and rebound of the Vanilla is smooth and on par with the DJ.

Perfect fork for trail riding, epic rides and the occassional drop ins. Would not recommend for hucking.

I have not experienced the knocking noises mentioned elsewhere here. The shrink wrap like plastic around the spring probably is to mute this knocking noise. The lock out feature is still working. Apart from some nicks on the lowers, the fork functions just as smoothly as the day it was purchased back in late 2002.

Expand full review >>

Favorite Trail:   Kiara

Duration Product Used:   2 Years

Price Paid:    $350.00

Similar Products Used:   Marzocchi Dirt Jumper 1 2003, Psylo SL 2002

Bike Setup:   SC Heckler, Vanilla or DJ1, 5th Element coil over shock, xtr groupset, Mavic 3.1 UST rims, Hutchinson Octopus tyres

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by Aaron from Falls Church, VA, USA

Date Reviewed: September 27, 2004

Strengths:    Great for cross-country and freerider. I do a nice combo of both and this fork has yet to fail me. I've gotten 5 ft of air on this fork and barely felt it, but it also climbs well and the lock out is nice.

Weaknesses:    none yet!

Bottom Line:   
Awsome fork. Very versatile. Great for so many things, perfect for those without that the money for 2 bikes, one for freeride and one for xc but likes to do both.

Expand full review >>

Favorite Trail:   Fountainhead

Duration Product Used:   3 months

Purchased At:   mtbr classifieds (got whole bike there)

Similar Products Used:   Manitou Axel Super on my old bike (not exactly similar).

Bike Setup:   Stock 2003 jamis dakar xlt 1.

Overall Rating:4
Value Rating:5
Submitted by Liam a Cross Country Rider from Berlin, Germany

Date Reviewed: April 10, 2004

Strengths:    Excellent Ride!!! It sucks up all the stumps, bumps, humps, and cobble stones that are thrown in its way.

Weaknesses:    The Lockout stopped working after the third ride. I took it to the local bike shop to be fixed, but was told it has to be sent to the FOX distributer here in Germany to be fixed. $45 shipping! Ouch!!! And no telling how long it will take to fix!!! Still riding on it with out the lock out.

Bottom Line:   
I love this Fork, even with the lockout not working, it is still a fantastic ride. I would by another FOX before any other suspension Fork.

Expand full review >>

Favorite Trail:   Grunewald Forest Berlin

Duration Product Used:   6 months

Price Paid:    $420.00

Purchased At:   Jenson USA

Similar Products Used:   Rock Shox, Manitou.

Bike Setup:   2003 Giant XTC Frame w/Fox Vanilla RL Fork, Shimano XT Components, Mavic 517 Rims, Titec Bar, Stem, Seatpost, WTB Seat, Time pedals.

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by Bobby Curly from Toronto Canada

Date Reviewed: March 4, 2004

Strengths:    strong, better than average construction (no plastic!), straight forward design.

Weaknesses:    minor issue - top caps on forks are odd-ball size & a bit soft. just be careful.

Bottom Line:   
32mm stanchions, quality construction, easy to maintain (except those top caps are bit of a pain) and for the esthetically concerned - they're pretty low-key looking (rather than sporting some cutesy colour scheme of the year).

I weigh nearly 200 lbs and these forks have received a decent pounding w.o any failure or issues. Not sure what that 'broken drop-out' over a small root story is all about - but I have done 3 foot high drops and hit tons of roots of all sizes and I have had no problems.
There are lots of good deals out there on non-current versions these days - I'd buy another set if I needed them.

Expand full review >>

Favorite Trail:   Anything w/o dog poop on it!

Duration Product Used:   1 Year

Purchased At:   ~$350

Similar Products Used:   marz x-fly, old girvin vectors (doesn't really count?)

Bike Setup:   San Andreas DHS in trailbike setup w/ decent quality mixed DH/XC goodies.

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by W. Pete a Cross Country Rider from NC, US

Date Reviewed: March 2, 2004

Strengths:    The fork comes with three different springs and the ability to be run at three different travels. Right away you know that these folks want you ridding their fork. 32mm stantions are stiff, and the "webbed" or whatever crown tops it all off.

Weaknesses:    I've not had any toubles with mine -- I have changed the travel a number of times so perhaps some of the metal on the edges of the bolts have rounded -- no functional problem, just cosmetic.

Bottom Line:   
This fork has seen many different types of rides (from epic to urban) on both 5" travel trail bikes and lightweight hardtails. I have played around with other forks, but keep comming back for the combination of feel, stiffness, and weight. I don't know who the lightweight rider who had the dropouts ripped of his\her fork was, but it should be obvious to them that something was not right before hand -- I overtightend a skewer once on these (it was a ti skewer), but the fork ripped the head of the skewer and shot it against a near by wall after setting for 5min or so. Roots don't kill forks, people kill forks.

Expand full review >>

Duration Product Used:   1 Year

Similar Products Used:   psylo, various light weight zocchis

Bike Setup:   solid

Overall Rating:1
Value Rating:1
Submitted by Mike from Alameda, Ca

Date Reviewed: February 15, 2004

Strengths:    None

Weaknesses:    Great until the dropouts broke off, pile driving me into the ground...

Bottom Line:   
SO I took my brand new fox vanilla 100 out for a test ride today...
About 2 hours into the ride I hit a small root (about 2 inches high...) in the trail and next thing I know I'm going over the bars at 20mph. I get up thinking what the hell , a few minutes later after I regain my bearings.. I get up and check out my bike and the dropouts came clean off!!!!!
I'm just glad I didn't kill myself...

What the hell? I weigh 155lbs and ride a hardtails... the fork was installed yesterday and was brand spanking new...Now my bike is screwed up, my knee is killing me.... what a piece of *hit. The fork I had before this was a manitou flex-tastic mars cl that I rode for 4 years...

Expand full review >>

Duration Product Used:   Less than 1 month


Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by Mus a Weekend Warrior from Ampang, Malaysia

Date Reviewed: November 7, 2003

Strengths:    Very very tough and it will take a beating

Weaknesses:    none so far

Bottom Line:   
i had this fork for more than 1 year and i think i have abused it so many times that i think it calling out for more.

when i 1st got the fork it came it its default factory setting at 125mm. sent it to a local bike shop for it to be changed to 100mm - coz on a hardtail its a bit high to be setting it up on 125. though i had the right setting after changing it to 100mm, so i rode it for more than 6 months. during this time i had done xc, a bit of freeriding, epic rides and had a couple of bad falls with it. until a friend pointed out to me that the fork didn't seemed 100mm. i checked that the number of spacer that was remove was right (the 25mm) but the travel was more than 100mm. tried to open it up by myself but was unsuccesful and i was clumsy enough to lost one of the 3 tiny bearings on the blue lockout leaver. sent it back to a different shop (did trust the 1st one i went to), and he got it right. i told him that i've been riding with a faulty fork for more than 6 mths and was worried that there might be some other internal components that were damage in the process. he said everthing else was OKAY. it felt somewhat similar like before except less plusher on climbs and flats, which was a good thing.

remember the bearing that i lost? it made the rebound adjuster knob (the red cap) loose and the lockout adjuster (blue) a bit hard to dail. i thought it will hold until i find the bearing that i lost. but due to my stupidity (which was also due to the rush that had been accumulated for so long), i did a 5' jump (i also did several times when the travel wasn't 100mm like i mention before). i nailed the jump but the red knob came off and the blue adjuster was still hanging on its last 2 bearings.

set it to the shop and the guys said they can't get the replacements any time soon (all i need was the red knob and a bearing). instead he customise me special knob for the rebound and it worked just as good as the original one. been using it since for more than 6 months without any problems.

unlike other components on my bike, i think the fox is the most unluck one to be expose to so much abuse (besides my 5 yr old frame) and still functions flawlessly - sometimes i think its asking for more abuse that i can ever give it :) well it time for its 1st oil change, hope it'll last me till the 2nd one as well.

ONE AWESOME FORK


the 1st ride was plush on bumps but stiff on coners and during clims. though

Expand full review >>

Favorite Trail:   Kiara

Duration Product Used:   1 Year

Price Paid:    $280.00

Purchased At:   local bike shop

Bike Setup:   cannondale hardtail

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by Mus a Weekend Warrior from Ampang, Malaysia

Date Reviewed: November 7, 2003

Strengths:    Very very tough and it will take a beating

Weaknesses:    none so far

Bottom Line:   
i had this fork for more than 1 year and i think i have abused it so many times that i think it calling out for more.

when i 1st got the fork it came it its default factory setting at 125mm. sent it to a local bike shop for it to be changed to 100mm - coz on a hardtail its a bit high to be setting it up on 125. though i had the right setting after changing it to 100mm, so i rode it for more than 6 months. during this time i had done xc, a bit of freeriding, epic rides and had a couple of bad falls with it. until a friend pointed out to me that the fork didn't seemed 100mm. i checked that the number of spacer that was remove was right (the 25mm) but the travel was more than 100mm. tried to open it up by myself but was unsuccesful and i was clumsy enough to lost one of the 3 tiny bearings on the blue lockout leaver. sent it back to a different shop (did trust the 1st one i went to), and he got it right. i told him that i've been riding with a faulty fork for more than 6 mths and was worried that there might be some other internal components that were damage in the process. he said everthing else was OKAY. it felt somewhat similar like before except less plusher on climbs and flats, which was a good thing.

remember the bearing that i lost? it made the rebound adjuster knob (the red cap) loose and the lockout adjuster (blue) a bit hard to dail. i thought it will hold until i find the bearing that i lost. but due to my stupidity (which was also due to the rush that had been accumulated for so long), i did a 5' jump (i also did several times when the travel wasn't 100mm like i mention before). i nailed the jump but the red knob came off and the blue adjuster was still hanging on its last 2 bearings.

set it to the shop and the guys said they can't get the replacements any time soon (all i need was the red knob and a bearing). instead he customise me special knob for the rebound and it worked just as good as the original one. been using it since for more than 6 months without any problems.

unlike other components on my bike, i think the fox is the most unluck one to be expose to so much abuse (besides my 5 yr old frame) and still functions flawlessly - sometimes i think its asking for more abuse that i can ever give it :) well it time for its 1st oil change, hope it'll last me till the 2nd one as well.

ONE AWESOME FORK


the 1st ride was plush on bumps but stiff on coners and during clims. though

Expand full review >>

Favorite Trail:   Kiara

Duration Product Used:   1 Year

Price Paid:    $280.00

Purchased At:   local bike shop

Bike Setup:   cannondale hardtail

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by rog a Weekend Warrior from USA

Date Reviewed: September 10, 2003

Strengths:    Very plush, nice fork, everything works very nicely on it

Weaknesses:    clicking noise, soft spring (all forks these days have them though)

Bottom Line:   
THis fork is awesome, the rating of this fork was low because of 1 bad review who probably got 1 of not very many. I would suggest this fork for anyone. Besides the clicking noise that doesn't really matter (which probably is because it was overlubed), this is a flawless fork.

Expand full review >>

Favorite Trail:   Hidden ones

Duration Product Used:   Less than 1 month

Purchased At:   stock on Jamis xlt 1.0

Similar Products Used:   never felt anything like it

Bike Setup:   Jamis xlt 1.0 stock (vanilla RL forks, vanilla RL shock, hayes hydraulics, etc.)

Overall Rating:4
Value Rating:5
Submitted by 2slow a Weekend Warrior from philippines

Date Reviewed: August 20, 2003

Strengths:    -very plush
-not very heavy


Weaknesses:    -clicking noise

Bottom Line:   
Very nice fork. Feels alot better than my boxxer. The only thing i hate about it is the clicking sound. Still dont know how to get rid of it.

Expand full review >>

Duration Product Used:   Less than 1 month


Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by Wyrm Jerry a Weekend Warrior from Provo, UT

Date Reviewed: August 2, 2003

Strengths:    Very stiff and Plush

Weaknesses:    Riders ablity to keep up with it.

Bottom Line:   
The fork is probaly my most prized part on my bike. When I bought it I was in love with just the reviews it recived, and had to own one of my own. My previous fork 2001 JudyXC was my second fork I ever owned. It served me well and I had just grown out of it. I had been just to hard on it and it wouldn't take the abuse I dished out.
Out of the box it was a little too plush and I had to switch out the coil to a heavier coil that it came with. How many companies give you extra parts to tune to your specs? My brother had to buy his coil separate after he bought his fork. The pre-load was a cake walk to set and I haven't had to touch it since. The rebound was a little fun to find since I had to put time on the machine to find its sweet spot. Now that I think I have it I have been doing bigger stuff that I have never even had the idea or inclanation to even try. My dropping ablity is getting better and bigger. I've gone from two stairs to about six.
When I started riding I was more into the XC side of things and now I have slowly migrated over to Freeride/Urban Assault. My ablity may not be poster or magazine worthy but I play a least.
Buy the forks and trick your mind into doing things bigger and crazier. Earn a few broken bones, scrapes, cuts, and bruises, and wear them proudly.

Expand full review >>

Favorite Trail:   Ridge Trail 157 to Tibble Fork

Duration Product Used:   6 months

Price Paid:    $440.00

Purchased At:   123bikes.com

Similar Products Used:   Old Rock Shox Judy, 2001 Judy, 2001 Z1.

Bike Setup:   2001 GT hardtail. I bought the bike as an Avalanche 1.0 and have basicly cutomized the entire bike by buying new parts for it over the last 18 months. Its a mix of XC parts and FR parts. I'm slowly switching over from XC to FR. XT parts, Truv Stylo BB & Crank set, Rynolite XL rims, Avid Mech Disc, Easton stem and handle bars, Titec seat post, Cane Creek C-2, 2.1 Panracer Fire XC. About 26lbs...I think.

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by Mark a Weekend Warrior from Huntington Beach, CA

Date Reviewed: July 3, 2003

Strengths:    Buttery smooth travel and lots of it! Lock-out and 32mm sanctions are a plus.

Weaknesses:    none yet

Bottom Line:   
Man this fork is awesome, dial it in to riders specs and go! Very plush fork; just as good or better than the Marzocchi's. Don't buy this fork if you're into XC or have a bike that has less than 5" of travel because your geo. will get f@#$%up.

Expand full review >>

Favorite Trail:   Skeggs Point SF

Duration Product Used:   3 months

Similar Products Used:   Marzocchi FR SL, Psylo SL,

Bike Setup:   '03 James Dakar XLT 1.0 Fox forx vanilla rl and Fox shox vanilla RL. Shimano XT's and Easton package

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by malibu barbie a Downhiller from berkeley

Date Reviewed: June 21, 2003

Strengths:    Plush and a whole lotta travel. Great for downhilling.

Weaknesses:    The lockout works sometimes.

Bottom Line:   
Not ideal for a small XC hardtail setup--used for DH riding...but is a great slolom bike. My setup makes it difficult for uphill XC riding due to the tall 5" travel.

Expand full review >>

Favorite Trail:   juaquin miller

Duration Product Used:   3 months

Purchased At:   The Missing Link

Similar Products Used:   Marzochi Z-4

Bike Setup:   Rocky Mountain Hammer Race

Overall Rating:3
Value Rating:4
Submitted by Dana a Weekend Warrior from Mesa

Date Reviewed: June 19, 2003

Strengths:    Plush travel and lots of it

Weaknesses:    Starting to make squishy noises after compression.
Some flexing when braking (Disk).


Bottom Line:   
Flexier than my old Marzocchi and makes a squishy noise after only 3 months of use... Not sure if I would recommend this for bigger guys (say over 220) but very plush travel and the lock out feature is very nice too.

Expand full review >>

Duration Product Used:   3 months

Purchased At:   Stock on bike

Similar Products Used:   Marzocchi CR1

Bike Setup:   Jamis Dakar XLT 21"

Reviews 1 - 15 (19 Reviews Total) | Next 15

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


Fox Forx Vanilla 125RL model year?

Hey everyone, I just got my hands on a used Vanilla 125RL fork and I was wondering if there was any way of knowing which model year it was? Any distinguishing features from the outside? I plan on changing the oil & seals before riding this thing (or at the very least, go and check the conditio ... Read More »

Vanilla 125RL travel question.

Can this fork ('03) be made to run at 80mm of travel for a XC hardtail? Thanks.Read More »

So I got a good offer on a Vanilla 125RL...

My question is whether the Adjustable Blow-Off feature the RLC has is worth the price difference. I've never had a fork with a lock-out so please forgive my ignorance. I assume a locked out fork still compresses a little bit when hitting a bump. However, is the compression significant enough to r ... Read More »

Fox Vanilla 125RL Changing Travel

I have a new Fox Vanilla 125RL, I'm trying to change the travel to 100mm but have a problem. On the left spring side I drained the oil and removed the spacers and the spring. Then you're supposed to turn the bottom nut near the dropout 6 times to unscrew it, the problem is the nut turns but doesn't ... Read More »

Best price on Fox Vanilla 125RL or RLC?

What the title said. Anybody know of any place that sells Fox Vanill 125RL or RLC cheaper than other places? A LBS said they might price-match if I find it cheaper online.Read More »

Read More »



 

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