Update: September 9, 2015
This video explains in detail how the Fox Float DPS system works. It provides full lockout without compromising the ride control and efficiency, allowing riders to adapt to any terrain. FOX DPS provides a wide range of on-the-fly compression settings and excellent bump recovery in a lightweight package making it ideal for the new crop of more capable Trail Bikes.
The 2016 FOX Float rear shock now has two damping pistons instead of one found in the old CTD. This allows the first piston to focus on compression and rebound. The second piston is dedicated to the firm mode exclusively. So now, there is better optimization for the Open and Medium modes. The the Firm mode, well it's really firm, giving the rider a hardtail-like pedaling platform.
The other new technology in this shock is EVOL which stands for Extra Volume negative air spring. It is a larger negative air can and it's visible from the exterior with a noticeable bump in the middle of the shock.
It increases the volume of the negative spring, which allows the shock to move more freely on the initial stroke. It also gives the shock more mid-stroke support. And with improved suppleness in the shock, FOX was able to tune the damping of the system to give it more support.
Another welcome change is the Low Speed Compression knob now takes effect in the Open mode of the shock. This gives the rider control of performance in the state when the shock is doing its best work. Shocks after all should be optimized and tuned for absorbing shock, not for pedaling.
Continue to page 2 for riding impressions and full photo gallery »
Vital stats of the Factory Series Float DPS shock
- Trail / all-mountain intended use
- Open, Medium, Firm compression modes
- Three-position compression in Open mode
- New EVOL air spring
- New Dual Piston System
- Remote compatible
We put this shock on our test Bronson and noticed the difference immediately. It was indeed more supple off the bat. It responded to braking bumps better than the 2015 model it replaced. Mid-stroke, we felt more support as well as the bike didn't wallow under pedaling load. It just sat there quietly until it was needed.
Damping seemed a bit heavier than before so the shock is quieter and more controlled. It really felt quite similar to the new RockShox DebonAirs.
With EVOL's extra negative spring air volume, the force to initiate movement is decreased. Mid-stroke support is increased as well (click to enlarge).
We rode almost exclusively in Open mode and that was a delight not to need to keep flipping the shock switch. That is a delight indeed as we always inadvertently leave the shock in the middle mode on a big descent. Or we're caught futzing with the knob at the start of a descent and get our fingers caught between the rocker arm and the water bottle. The bike felt just right on big climbs and descents with mid-stroke support in the middle and great bump compliance in the beginning of the stroke. It was great to have the Low Speed Compression adjustability tuning available in the Open mode since that is the setting where the shock is supposed to do its best work.
We did try the Mid mode but we really didn't hang around there as it did seem to have a heavier damping tune. The Firm mode is basically locked out and it made the bike feel like a hardtail. In a mad, paved sprint, maybe we'll use it. But we do know that there are some folks who really want a locked out mode that is this firm. It makes sense to us anyway, If a shock is going to have a firm/lockout mode, it should be this firm.
For more information visit www.ridefox.com.