Strengths: Great when works. Looks nice. Good adjustment capabilities.
Weaknesses: Service from FOX - appalling. Got stuck within 50 miles of use. Lost rebound after longer time of inactivity. Total of 100 miles ridden and now I have trouble with service center claiming I broke it! Insane!
Crap incarnate. Customer service is... what service? There is none!
Strengths: over 1400 all trail miles on this and no failure/no problems.
This shock has never let me down. All the adjustments work well. The three settings for Propedal make a huge difference in the feel of the bike. I'm 210 lbs and hard on parts but Fox products have allways held their own, in my opinion. Doesnt take a Rocket surgeon to set it up.
Similar Products Used: Specialized Brain - Float R
Bike Setup: 05 Titus Racer X 100, RP3, F100RLT, King, XT, Thomson, SDSL
a Cross Country Rider
from Phoenix, Arizona
Date Reviewed: August 21, 2006
Strengths: Haven't found any yet.
Weaknesses: Rebound adjustment does not work. Repeated trips to Fox for warranty work without success.
This shock hasn't worked properly from day one and Fox has not been able to fix it. Purchased the bike at the end of May and the shock is having to go back for the third time.
1st trip - No compression, blowing through travel and bottoming while rolling off of a 4 inch curb. Rebound adjustment doesn't work ,no difference between full fast and full slow. Fox got almost all of my information incorrect and took 3 weeks to return shock. Name, phone number and complaint all incorrect. Listed no compression as "losing air". Compression was repaired, but not the rebound. Bucks wildly. Dangerous to ride.
2nd trip - Rebound adjustment complaint listed by Fox as "no compression". Received a phone message from Fox that the rebound was working properly so they "assumed that I wanted the compression increased, were making the change, and it would probably affect the way that the bike was made to handle in an adverse way." I called Fox and they said that this information was wrong and to install the shock and try it.
Well...No change in the rebound adjustment. No matter where it is set it rebounds violently, kicking the rear end up over anything but the smallest bump.
So now I am trying to find a shock to put on the bike so that it can be ridden while the shock goes back for the third time. I am also having a rebound problem on another bike with a 3 week old, 2007, 36RC2. Too bad you have to purchase a back up when you buy a Fox component and would actually like to ride your bike. It makes the cost of using Fox components the worst value out there.
Similar Products Used: Float RL, DHX 5.0 Air, Vanilla Coil
Bike Setup: Santacruz Blur XC, Manitou R7 super fork, King headset, American Classic wheels, Easton seatpost, stem, and bars, XT Hollowtech II, XT drivetrain
from Calgary, Canada
Date Reviewed: June 10, 2006
Strengths: Works great! I wonder whether it gets enough shock oil lube on top though...The three settings work perfectly once it's broken in properly and set to the correct pressure.
Weaknesses: Three way switch sucks a lot! It's too flimsy and easy to tap it accidently. Furthermore, mine decided to just fall off completely on the second lap of the first race I did this season. Still waiting for a replacement part from my dealer, which isn't covered under warranty...
It works great!! The three way switch is a bother though...I hope it's a cheap replacement fix! It's a great XC shock. 100mm of travel.
Similar Products Used: None, other than bog standard SID XC can which was poor.
Bike Setup: Marin Rock Springs, SPDs, Mavic Crossmax Enduro & 2.1 Panaracer Trailrakers, Manitou Black forks.
from Denver, CO
Date Reviewed: December 13, 2005
Strengths: My BLUR shipped with a Fox Vanilla. I thought I would Upgrade to the RP3, but the truth is, I can't tell the difference! Can someone help me out here? I've adjusted everything back and forth, I still can't tell the difference between one RP3 setting and the next. I get the same amount of bob in all 3 RP3 settings. PLEAAAAASE, if you ride a Santa Cruz Blur, and you've got this shock dialed, cut me an e-mail. I can't figure it out worth a darn. I've read the manuals, adjusted the rebound, adjusted the preload air, nothing, nada. Same ol same ol.
Weaknesses: I can't tell any difference over the Fox Vanilla I had previously. Is Propedal useless on a Blur? HELP!!!
The shock is solid. It's built well, hasn't blown out or bottomed out. Since I can't figure out the Rp3 (or lack there of), I can't really comment on its platform abilities. It costs a fair amount if you buy it after-market (around $300+). Test ride it first. If you figure out the pro-pedal, let me know.
Bike Setup: Santa Cruz Blur, old-school model (original), size XL. Manitou Minute 2 up front. Lots of race-face. I weigh in at about 180lbs.
Date Reviewed: December 1, 2005
THIS IS A FOLLOW-UP REVIEW: The shock has continued to work great. I love it! BUT...it developed a "squishing noise". I sent it to Fox and they serviced it. BUT...I still hear it once in a while. I have NOT noticed a negative change in performance. It just seems funny that I still hear it even after Fox serviced it. Oh well, I'd still buy it again. Great upgrade for my Santa Cruz Bullit!
a Weekend Warrior
from Kirkland, WA
Date Reviewed: November 30, 2005
Strengths: Light, reliable
Weaknesses: very much an air shock, not very plush
The bottom line is that for weight weenies or true cross country riders, this is probably a really great shock. It's very light and I have never had to add air. However, if you are into rough trail riding, or are used to a good quality coil shock, you will be disappointed. I was trying to keep my Switchblade as light as possible, yet be as trail worthy as it could be, but I just can't find the love for this shock. I even took the step of sending the shock into PUSH Industries. I've sent a Fox Vanilla RC rear shock into PUSH and the front fork on this bike and could feel the difference immediately. Not with the RP3 however. It still feels like a not so special air shock.
I've got an Intense 5.5 that has a Fox DHX Air, and while it is heavier than the RP3, it is the hands down winner in comfort. The DHX Air is the first air shock that is close to a coil in comfort.
Here's the deal. If you're a cross country rider or a weight weenie, this is a five star shock. If you value comfort and control more than weight, then its a three star shock.
Weaknesses: Very difficult to install on an older bike like mine (see below); poor technical and customer service support from Fox.
I was considering upgrading to a 4" XC bike with platform damping, such as the Fisher Cake or Trek Fuel EX, when I decided to upgrade my trusty Sugar with this beauty. To put it briefly - I no longer need a new bike. The Float RP3 tranformed the Sugar, already a decent climber, into a match for any hardtail. I'm not a huge fan of lockouts for rear shocks (unless they are remotely operated), as it's too easy to forget to unlock it before you start your descent, and then it's too late once you start bombing down the hill at 25+ mph to try and reach down and find it, while navigating with one hand. This is a "set it and forget it" shock - find the right air pressure, rebound, and ProPedal settings that work for you, and you're done. The Cane Creed AD-5 that originally came on the bike had a very harsh rebound cycle, and was non-adjustable except for air pressure. The Fox Float RP3 never blows through it's entire travel like the AD-5 did, nor does it kick back harshly in a transition as a result of too little high-speed rebound damping. The thing just works, and works well.
On the down side though: Fox put me through hell trying to get this thing ordered and installed. First, they said they shipped it; when the shop asked for a tracking number, they changed their story to "backordered". Then, they refused to ship it at all until I acknowledged there was "no warranty" on this shock, since the original Sugar design ('99 - '01) was not one that Fox officially provided aftermarket support. Then, when it finally did arrive, it took 8 different special orders between Fox and Trek to get the right spacers and bushings to make this thing fit the bike correctly. This despite the fact that the shock was the same length and travel (6.5" x 1.5") as the original AD-5, and despite the fact that my shop provided Fox with the exact specifications on the linkage and bushing requirements. Trek was immensely helpful in providing the required spacers and bushings to make this thing fit properly; I ended up rebuilding the entire rear end of the bike in the process. I can't completely blame Fox for this, as I was trying to use the shock in a "non-supported" application; but still, the resistance we recieved was unreal. The bottom line was, my bike was in the shop for 2 months, forcing me to ride a 100-mile MTB race on a hardtail; but when I finally got it back on the dirt, all of that waiting was worth it. My hardtail may never see a race course again!
This shock is really ideal for the XC racer or serious recreational XC rider looking to upgrade an older suspension system. Even with all the grief that Fox put me through to get one of these, I'm still glad I did it. And if Fox gives you the same line of BS they gave me about it being an "unsupported aftermarket application" - tell 'em to keep their warranty and just ship it! The shock is completely rebuildable by any decent mechanic, and there isn't much inside to fail, other than the seals (which are easily and inexpensively replaced). You'll feel like you own a new bike, at a fraction of the cost.
Bike Setup: 2001 Gary Fisher Sugar 3 w/Marzocchi Z.3 Air; upgraded to Avid Mechanical discs, flat bar w/bar ends, RaceFace Next LP crankset/Taperlock Cro-Mo BB
a Weekend Warrior
from Waterloo, Ontario
Date Reviewed: November 14, 2005
Strengths: RP3 really works, super light, smooth
Weaknesses: perhaps durability as I freeride it but it's held up so far
I was amazing when I got my warrentee replacement frame and it came with this shock. I've never been a big pedalling efficiency guy but this shock really opened my eyes. There is a world of difference between the propedal extremes, on a suspension design like my switch that isn't intended to pedal amazing like say the VP-Free you'll notice a huge difference. I would still suggest that freeriders go for the DHX air but my experience with this shock has been awesome over this short period.
Similar Products Used: Manitou swinger, 5th element
Bike Setup: standard
a Cross Country Rider
from Manila, Philippines
Date Reviewed: October 25, 2005
Strengths: Light weight, plush for an air shock, simple yet effective adjustability.
Weaknesses: Gets really hot over long rough runs, which probably speeds up seal wear. Fastest rebound setting not quite fast enough in some conditions.
Replaced the much overhyped 5th Element coil which required such a big spring for my fat butt that I was losing half of my travel to ramp-up. Put 200 lbs of air in this puppy and took off - beaut. The three settings are noticeably different, with the pro-pedal or firm setting providing a ice blend of compliance and pedaling efficiency, and the soft setting feels as plush as a coil spring.
I have one mild beef and one concern. The concern, expressed by others on the shocks discussion board, is that this thing really heats up over the course of a steepish, rough ride. After 10 km of steep washed out fire road full of baby heads, the body of the shock was HOT to the touch. I wonder if this translates into shorter seal life? My Cane Creek Cloud Nine, which does not pedal as nicely, never heated up like this.
My mild beef is that for steep chattery descents, the rebound, even fully open, is a tad slow so the shock tends to pack up until you hit a smooth spot and it has a chance to recover stroke. This only happens on fast washboard type or rough washed out dirt road conditions.
All in all, I am very happy. If this thing goes for more than a year without service than it will be the equal of top offerings from Cane Creek in terms of durability. It is far superior in terms of adjustability and overall ride feel.
Similar Products Used: Cane Creek cloud nine, 5th Element coil, Romic T2, various other Fox
Bike Setup: 2003 Heckler, SRAM X.0, Z1 FR, Thomson and Race Face
a Cross Country Rider
from malverne ny usa
Date Reviewed: October 18, 2005
Strengths: works as advertised, light, quiet, 3 way adjuster very usefull
WOW!!! It's like I'm on a new bike...before to get the bike efficient I had to pump up the shock and take the beating. Now I've got comfort and efficiency. My single pivot bike has new life. The shock is very quiet and the 3 pro-pedal settings work well. I love it. the best upgrade I've ever made....was considering buying a new bike..now I don't need to.
a Weekend Warrior
from fort collins, CO
Date Reviewed: October 10, 2005
Strengths: this rating is for the 2006 rp3...excellent product, light, easy to adjust, functional. buttery feel. made my ride enjoyable, soaks up all the bumps...i'll provide review on this product in the future given i've only rode with it about 20 trail miles. rp3 and rebound settings work beautifully and easy to be reached.
Weaknesses: this shock provides the full travel (1.5 travel)even if you put in more air than required for the proper sag...bottoms out on me all the time just riding rough rocky trail. light riders (like me #140) may find it difficult to get it dialed in just right.
buy this product if yu are a trail rider who dont mind the bottoming out issue.