Fox Shox AVA 03 Rear Shock

3.93/5 (15 Reviews)
MSRP : $399.00

Product Description

Air Volume Adjuster
  • Micro-adjustable spring curve to achieve a linear or progressive spring rate
  • Starting spring rate still adjusted via air-spring with Schrader valve
  • By opening the sleeve up (fully extended) the spring curve is most linear.
  • By closing the sleeve (fully compressed) the curve is more progressive at the ending stroke

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Reviews 1 - 15 (15 Reviews Total)

User Reviews

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:4
Submitted by Mark a Cross Country Rider from Bend, OR

Date Reviewed: May 5, 2005

Strengths:    really smooth, linear/coil like feel, works as advertised, Works well with Blur

Weaknesses:    Leaks a small omount of grease from air sleave.
DU bushings require replacement...This might be because the VPP linkage of Blur puts more stress on them than other FS designs.

Bottom Line:   
I have had my 04' Blur for just over a year and have logged ~2000 miles in that time. So far the Fox Float AVA R has been a great part with no problems at all.
I have preformed the reqired maintance for the shock as described in the owners manual...
I wipe down residual air sleave grease after each ride and have prefromed the air sleave maintinace 2 times diassemble, clean & relube) so far.
I ordered the seal kit from Fox but I have not replaced any seals even after 2 tear downs. They have not needed to be replaced as they have not show any signs of damage.
If this part is kept clean and maintained it is as good as a shock can be...
I have also replaced the DU bushings and eyelet reducers 2 times Check out the reviews for the CTS bushing tool that makes the DU bush replacment job easy.

Expand full review >>

Favorite Trail:   COD, GS all around CO

Duration Product Used:   1 Year

Purchased At:   LBS

Similar Products Used:   Float RL, Vanilla

Bike Setup:   '04 Blur with Fox Float AVA R & Float Forx RLC

Overall Rating:4
Value Rating:4
Submitted by George a Cross Country Rider from Basalt, Colorado USA

Date Reviewed: May 1, 2005

Strengths:    Paired nice with Intense Spyder

Weaknesses:    Lost pressure after 2nd season.

Bottom Line:   
This is my third season on the bike/shock.
Shock worked great for 18 months then started losing air.
The guys at Push Industries rebuilt it with their tuning kit and now it works better than stock.
Save your money buying a new shock, just get it rebuilt at

Expand full review >>

Favorite Trail:   Whatever I am on today...

Duration Product Used:   2 Years

Purchased At:   123

Similar Products Used:   none

Bike Setup:   2003 Intense Spyder (medium) ; full xtr + wheels

Overall Rating:1
Value Rating:1
Submitted by Taylor Lyne a Racer from Chester, Va. Usa

Date Reviewed: June 22, 2004

Strengths:    Could Not tell you only lasted three rides.

Weaknesses:    Losing pressure. Customer service piss poor

Bottom Line:   
Used the shock Three times befor it started losing pressure. The shock has been rebuilt three times. Each time it came back the shock loss pressure after the second or third ride. Now fox is not wanting to back their product. I needed the shock to race in 24 hrs. of Snow Shoe.They could not give me a response on when it would be sent back. Now let me tell you about real customer service. I called ROMIC explained my problem. I needed a shock in less than a week. They custom built a shock to my wt. and riding tech. and said it would be there befor the race. Thanks ROMIC. Catch me on the Podium representing your product. 4 Towers of Power (Clysdale cat.)

Expand full review >>

Duration Product Used:   Less than 1 month

Purchased At:   Elllsworth Bicycles

Similar Products Used:   Ad-12

Bike Setup:   Ellsworth Truth

Overall Rating:3
Value Rating:3
Submitted by Tony a Weekend Warrior from Fillmore, CA

Date Reviewed: May 30, 2004

Strengths:    - Plushness

Weaknesses:    - Bobbing
- Difficult to adjust spring rate (at least it was for me)

Bottom Line:   
I would stick to Manitou spv swinger shocks. They work much better than the Fox AVA's as far as less pedal induced bobbing. The Fox is definitely plush, but it just doesnt reduce the bobbing like the Manitou.

Expand full review >>

Duration Product Used:   Tested or demo'ed only

Similar Products Used:   Manitou Swinger 4-way

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by Eye a Weekend Warrior from D.C.

Date Reviewed: May 16, 2004

Strengths:    Works solid!!!
a year and a half - not a squeek of a broblem- Touch Wood..

Weaknesses:    hard to know the exact pressure you need - my weekness!!
well - mabye it tells that more is happening on the ground than realy is - Maby ...

Bottom Line:   
Working horse. reliable. AVA Works - use it !!
got about 2500- 3000 miles on it. I do up to 5 footers to flat and have 176 lb of body.
If it shows signs of loosing air ...spray some lub and you set for many more trails.

Expand full review >>

Duration Product Used:   1 Year

Similar Products Used:   Cane frog

Bike Setup:   03 S.C. Heckler Z1...

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by Guy a Cross Country Rider from Bristol, England

Date Reviewed: March 4, 2004

Strengths:    really smooth, linear/coil spring feel, makes the most of the bike's potential travel

Weaknesses:    none so far

Bottom Line:   
Great product. I upgraded the Float RL shock on my frame with the AVA air sleeve kit. Result is a linear feel, buttery smooth air shock that has dramically improved the rear suspension feel of the bike. It now physically has more travel than before, as shown by the movement of the shaft indicator ring which now moves about 5mm further than before. Basically I now use more of the travel more of the time without noticing any more mush or wallow.

Because it doesn't ramp up at the end as much as the basic Float shock, I feel more stable and confident on bigger hits and haven't lost any small to medium bump plushness at all. It still saves you from sharp bottoming out at the end of the travel, but overall the balance between full use of the travel and a progressive air-shock stroke is now much more to my liking.

I'm around 12 stone, I run it at 30% sag with the sleeve at full volume (all the way out). Can't remember what pressure that is as after 500 miles its still set at 30% sag without having to top it up, and I'm pretty hard on it, riding harsh local and Welsh mountain trails, drop-offs and the odd 2-3 foot jump (nothing big). I also ride it every day.

Had it for about 500 offroad miles and had no reliability issues at all.

Expand full review >>

Duration Product Used:   3 months

Price Paid:    $150.00

Purchased At:   Mojo Suspension

Similar Products Used:   Basic Float RL, Vanilla R

Bike Setup:   Marin QUAD frame, Fox TALAS R fork, XT, Hope Mini's and XC hubs, Easton Carbon bits, Mavic X217 rims, etc

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by TCM a Weekend Warrior from Dallas

Date Reviewed: January 6, 2004

Strengths:    Adjustability and plushness

Weaknesses:    yes the reducers are pressed in really tight. some penetrating oil, a shop rag, pliers, and some patience was all they took to get out.

Bottom Line:   
i have only used the ava a few times but i have had many rides with the fox float rc. the biggest difference is the plushness of the ava. i am a big guy and if i set the sag correctly on the float i never got full travel. now i can set the sag perfectly with the ava and still get full, plush travel. this shock is really light but feels just like a coil over on my tracer. i run the shock in the maximum volume setting and really crank up the air pressure. it has made the tracer really feel bottomless and the 4" of travel available seems like much more now.

Expand full review >>

Favorite Trail:   rcp

Duration Product Used:   Less than 1 month

Price Paid:    $275.00

Purchased At:   Ebay

Similar Products Used:   2000 fox float rc

Bike Setup:   2000 intense tracer, full xt with avid mechanical discs front and rear. marzocchi z1 up front.

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by Samsun a Cross Country Rider from Wales, GB

Date Reviewed: January 2, 2004

Strengths:    Good adjustability. Easy to set up. Quite light.

Weaknesses:    None that I have found.

Bottom Line:   
Price paid is in £. Although this is an air shock and should be used for XC I have to admit to taking it off quite a few drops. It takes a lot of abuse but is still as plush as the day I put it on. On my sub-5 I dont really notice any bob yet it is still able to take a 6 foot drop. The AVA sleeve is a bit of a gimmick but a good one. If you are an out and out XC rider you will love the way you get butter smooth travel with the AVA engaged. If you like the rougher stuff dont engage the AVA as much and the travel will ramp towards the end to allow for the odd jump/drop, but still get smooth travel. A very nice shock which doesnt lose air.

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Favorite Trail:   Local

Duration Product Used:   6 months

Price Paid:    $270.00

Purchased At:   Sunset

Similar Products Used:   RockShox SID XC.

Bike Setup:   Orange Sub-5, Raceface, Hope, Fox, XT.

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by speedy a Weekend Warrior from oz

Date Reviewed: October 23, 2003

Strengths:    (This review is for an '04 Float AVA R with Propedal)
- I can stand and pedal without bob. This bike now wants for nothing - no disad to the Hardtail now. When I need to, I can now stand up and pedal. I can very rarely feel the shock moving at all. even though I have learnt to stay seated on my bike (the Vanilla bobs like crazy when standing), it is still useful to be able to stand to power up an un-anticipated steep section (in wrong gear), or to overtake in tight places.
- much lighter than a coil (saves a pound in weight)
- arguably, except in the situation described in weaknesses below, the AVA is even plusher than the Vanilla RC. The way I have it set up at the moment, I'm running 30-35% sag, even for XC racing. the low speed damping of the Propedal damping is enough to keep the bob to a minimum, even at this sag. As a result, the rooty sections of the recent 24 hour race were smoothed out unbelievably. Bumps really did just disappear, moreso than the Vanilla.
- even with my little experience with conventional progressive air shocks, the more-linear spring rate of the AVA is much much better than the suspension stiffening that you get with other air shocks as they go through the travel. With the AVA, it is almost undetectable where you are in the travel - the shock just smoothly goes through it's travel very easily. If I start to find that it is bottoming out too much (it isn't at the moment), I have the option of reducing the volume to make the shock more progressive.
- there is absolutely no need for a lockout - unless you have a really crappy pedalling motion, or a bike that is very poorly designed. I'm glad I saved the $, and reduced the number of dails to play with (I use the travel adj on the fork quite a lot, and the lockout very very rarely). Apparently, non-lockout floats are traditionally more reliable than the lockout versions too. (I'm not just saying this because I didn't get the RL version)

Weaknesses:    - loses small bump sensitivity when you take your weight off the back wheel (i.e. shift your weight forward). This helps with no-bob standing pedalling (weight shifted slightly forward), but makes the back wheel skip a little when braking and cornering at the same time when going down hill (weight shifted forward). I didn't notice this skipping with the Vanilla. (but it also might have something to do with the skinny light tyres at higher pressure and the whole bike being lighter)
- shorter shock stroke than Vanilla (2" vs 2.25"), meaning slightly less travel (about 5.1" vs 5.6"). I'd like to look into getting a longer stroke float with AVA with propedal. I think fox makes this size for Geminis, but I haven't been able to locate one.

Bottom Line:   
This shock works better than I expected. It works great for me (average weight, about 160 to 170) on my bike (mid-travel more-active-than-most 4 bar). Given that the propedal compression damping is not adjustable (except maybe on the '04 Vanilla RC), some people may find the shock does not work for them very well at all (i.e. the compression damping is too much or too little). Most 4 bars are less active than Ellsworth's ICT, and thus, the compression damping of propedal is probably too much for them (eg. turner, titus).

I rode it for nearly a third of a 24-hour race (in a team) 2 weekends ago. I started at about 120-125 psi (about 30% sag) but reduced it to about 110 (35%+) by the end of the race. And it still didn't bob. By the end of the race, lack of sleep was causing concentration probs, but the AVA helped greatly by erasing bumps like I've never seen. for racing, I have the Talas Fork set up a bit stiffer than the AVA rear (it bobs if set up plush), so i find that: I'd see a mid-sized bump, then feel a slight bump in the handlebars, then feel nothing in the rear. absolutely nothing. I couldn't imagine it being plusher.

I got this shock to use as a Race-only shock, and keep the Vanilla for everything else (trailriding, rock gardens etc). However, the performance of the AVA is just so much better (except for the decreased sensitivity under brakes), that I'm thinking about ditching the Vanilla altogether, especially if I could get the 2.25" stroke AVA. Alternatively, I'm thinking of upgrading the Vanilla to Propedal when Fox makes the upgrade available.

If you have an Id, get this shock. It'll probably work well on a Truth as well.

It has completely transformed my bike. Romic users probably won't notice as much a gain as I have.

Expand full review >>

Duration Product Used:   Less than 1 month

Price Paid:    $275.00

Purchased At:   Larry's

Similar Products Used:   Fox Vanilla RC. I have not tried any of the SPV-type shocks.

Bike Setup:   Small ’03 Id, ’04 Fox Float AVA R Propedal, Fox Talas RLC, King headset, Thomson 120mm stem & post, Hugi 240/CX-rays/DT-swiss XR4.1d, ’03 XTR cranks/ders/pedals, ’02 XTR shifters, monkey lite, Hope Minis, light tires (Pythons or Explorers) and notubes. 27lbs, I reckon, maybe lighter.
my trail riding setup has: heavy tyres and wheels, shorter stem and Vanilla RC. About 4 pounds heavier.

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by glen a Cross Country Rider from santa fe, nm usa

Date Reviewed: September 26, 2003

Strengths:    Simple, solid design, easy adjustment, looks OK and so on....

Weaknesses:    none to speak of

Bottom Line:   
Shock works very well on the Blur despite not needing to actually ever adjust the air volume. Plush and smooth. Great shock for the frame. I have replaced the bushings and eyelet sleeve. The parts are only a few dollars and it takes very little time and effort to replace the bushings & eyelet sleeves.

Pro Mechanic in the area says hard riders on Superlights are replacing eyelet sleeves 2X a year, so it's not really all that big a deal IMO. I've worn my bushings out after about 1800 miles this season, so I think the durability seems OK for a big hammerhead like myself.

Discrediting and knocking the whole shock based on it's frame interface seems irresponsible and has unfairly skewed the rating.

Expand full review >>

Duration Product Used:   6 months

Purchased At:   came on '03 Blur frame

Similar Products Used:   fox float on 2K enduro

Bike Setup:   Blur with parts....

Overall Rating:4
Value Rating:4
Submitted by Sean C a Cross Country Rider from Reno, NV

Date Reviewed: September 24, 2003

Strengths:    -Excellent Rebound Control
-Air Volume Adjustment
-Held up under heavy riding with no problems
-Smooth movement

Weaknesses:    -Does leak a very small amount of oil after every ride from the air sleave
-Need to be sure the air sleeve is really clean after every ride. Not a complaint but something to watch for.

Bottom Line:   
I haven't had any problems with this shock at all except for some minor oil/grease leaking from the air sleave. I have the shock serviced every 20-30 hours of riding (for $15 bucks it's worth it) which appears to keep this problem from getting worse. Some people have mentioned that the bushings are a problem. I haven't encountered this whatsoever with mine. Personally, I'd look more at the bike than the shock as the cause. The shock has performed flawlessly over rough riding conditions for 400 miles now. I'll update my post if I ever have any problems, but right now I would recommend the shock to any rider looking for a plush, smooth ride and who likes the idea of adjustability in both the air volume and the rebound. The lockout is nice but on my bike I hardly ever use it. A good shock producing a good ride.

Expand full review >>

Favorite Trail:   Anything in Tahoe

Duration Product Used:   3 months

Bike Setup:   03 Ironhorse Hollowpoint Team

Overall Rating:1
Value Rating:1
Submitted by RandyP a Cross Country Rider from Irvine CA

Date Reviewed: August 12, 2003

Strengths:    Shock action is very smooth, auto compensating negative spring

Weaknesses:    Bushings made of cheese

Bottom Line:   
The good news is that the shock works very well. The bad news is that I wore through a set of bushings in 600 miles on my Blur! The bike is well maintained and the pivot cleaned and lubed. Never rode the bike in the wet or rain. Both Santa Cruz and Fox are pointing fingers at each other as to whose fault it is. I paid $40 for the LBS to replace the DU Bushing and reducers. No warranty being offered as Fox claims it is a wear item and S/C says it's a shock issue. At the rate I ride, I will need to replace the bushings at least 3x or 4x a year. Maybe I should just step up and but a Progressive 5th Element.

Stay away from the Fox AVA on the Blur if you can. If you have one already, pay close attention to the rear shock to swingarm connection so you don't waste the rear shock axle too.

Maybe what other posters have claimed about Fox is true. Customer service from both companies is pretty poor.

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Favorite Trail:   SJT

Duration Product Used:   6 months

Price Paid:    $1350.00

Purchased At:   Bike Company with Blur frameset

Similar Products Used:   RockshoX SID

Bike Setup:   Santa Cruz Blur XT/XTR, Fox TALAS fork

Overall Rating:1
Value Rating:1
Submitted by Eric a Cross Country Rider from Los Alamos, NM, USA

Date Reviewed: August 11, 2003

Strengths:    Easy to adjust

Weaknesses:    Reducers/eyelet bushings (read below)

Bottom Line:   
Another person listed this same problem for the Fox '03 Float RL ...
The Reducers in the eyelet bushings were pressed in incredibly tight. They are supposed to spin freely inside of the bushing! This caused the shock to pivot between the outside of the bushing (metal) and the bike frame itself (also metal). Hmmm .... metal pivoting on metal with no lube is a BAD way to go. Took me a long time to diagnose where the creaking was coming from. Called the folks at fox, and they said the bushings/reducers are not warranty parts. They charged me for the replacements. You make the call. I'll never get another fox product again.

Expand full review >>

Duration Product Used:   6 months

Purchased At:   Came with Santa Cruz Blur frame

Similar Products Used:   Cane Creek AD-5 (great rear shock)

Bike Setup:   Santa Cruz Blur with all the fixins' ...

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:4
Submitted by Mark A. Lohnes a Cross Country Rider from Skagway, AK USA

Date Reviewed: July 28, 2003

Strengths:    Fox quality means confidence in sticky situations, heck any situation. It is so nice to have good equipment and this shock is such an asset to this bike. It offers a great range of adjustability, low weight and great performance...ultimately money well spent!

Weaknesses:    None so far. Although the ablity to adjust the volume is not easy if you run 100#'s or more. I have had to drain the pressure, then adjust the volume, and finally pump the shock back up. Kinda annoying, but nothing more. Also, everyone comments on the premium price and I have to agree.

Bottom Line:   
This is a great shock! I am quite impressed in the quality of this shock over the stock Float. I was pleasasntly surprised to really notice the difference in the small vs the large air volume settings and subtle increments in between. The rebound settings are also noticeable and this makes the shock very tunable. Granted my bike is not very high in travel, but the AVA allows me to use every centimeter of it. I am still learning to adjust the shock and find the magic settigns, but so far, even in the middle range settings this shock performs better in everyway.

I give it 4 chili's in value because it is rather pricey, but 5 chili's overall because it flat out works.

Expand full review >>

Favorite Trail:   any

Duration Product Used:   Less than 1 month

Price Paid:    $300.00

Purchased At:   123 Bikes website

Similar Products Used:   Fox Float and Float R

Bike Setup:   02 Trek Fuel 90, upgraded to Full 02 XTR and Manitou Black Elite.

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by Micky a Cross Country Rider from Albuquerque, NM

Date Reviewed: December 15, 2002

Strengths:    Compliant, easy to set up, lockout.

Weaknesses:    Air volume reducing dial. What for?

Bottom Line:   
This shock is strong and compliant. It's like a Float RL with more air volume. There is a dial to reduce the air chamber volume - but why would you want to? I weigh 190 lbs and run 150 psi in the shock with rebound set 16 clicks from full. Air is a natural progressive spring. The increased air volume makes the rear of the bike more compliant and the shock stroke is smoother.

Expand full review >>

Favorite Trail:   Cedro Peak

Duration Product Used:   3 months

Purchased At:   Colorado Cyclist

Similar Products Used:   Float RL

Bike Setup:   Santa Cruz SL, Float R, Float AVA, Avid mech., 317s on CKs, Fizik Nisene.

Reviews 1 - 15 (15 Reviews Total)

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