FOX 36 and 34 Forks are both excellent forks in the biking industry, but depending on what you are looking for, one of the two is better than the other. Or rather, they have different strengths and weaknesses, which means that you may like one and not the other, depending on your needs.
For starters, the Fox 36 lineup features the 26”, 29”, and the 27.5” bikes’ Fox 36 Factory wheels. These forks come with an EVOL Float air spring. The 650B/ 27.5” bike forks come in two travel options, 150mm and 160mm, and there’s also an updated version, the FIT GRIP damper, and the FIT 4 damper. The fork has a tapered steerer with a Boost spacing. These forks come with 37mm and 44mm offsets.
Then you have the 26” forks which are designed to use different chassis, based on the older 36 fork design. There’s the 36Factory 831 26 forks available in 100mmtravel and the trail model with 160mm and 180mm travel options. They both make use of the FIT GRIP2 damper and the 15mm non-boost axle convertible to a 20mm axle. You can find tapered and straight steerer options.
The 34 forks, on the other hand, start from the 34 Step-Cast Factory fork, available in 29” and 27.5”, with a Boost Hub spacing, a 120mm travel, and a tapered steerer. It has Kashima-coated upper legs and makes use of the FIT4 damper. It also features a dedicated tune, as does the air spring. The 29er has a 2.6” rubber clearance while the 650B has a 2.8” clearance on the fork.
Out of the two, Fox 36 is a better option than the 34 as it boasts a higher level of stability, and it offers more support. Also, the 36 offers more stiffness for jumps.
Fox 36 Performance vs. Factory
Performance and Factory are the leading bike fork series from Fox. While Fox Factory series represents the highest Fox Fork level on the market (also an expensive series), the Performance series is the entry-level specification series of bike forks.
The Factory series features fork models like the high-end FIT4 and the FIT GRIP 3 dampers. They have a very distinctive golden coating – Kashima, present on their upper legs. This coating is meant to increase the fork’s wear life by reducing friction. The Kashima treatment does these by creating microscopic pores on the fork’s upper legs, hence the retention of the lubricating oil while the fork in question cycles through its travel. The coating makes the fork slippier.
The Performance Fork Series, on the other hand, represents the entry-level fork bikes’ specifications by Fox. These forks aren’t as complicated as the FIT GRIP dampers, and their upper legs are black anodized. Note that the lower legs of these forks look and work the same as the high-end Fox forks.
Fox 36 Rhythm / Rhythm Price
Rhythm is the other class of forks from Fox. The Fox 36 Rhythm is part of the original equipment (OEM) forks by Fox, and the forks in this range are the forks that you’ll only see specced out only on complete bikes. The forks in this category have their GRIP damper less adjustable, and the lower legs of the forks are cast from heavier materials. The forks are largely affordable, thanks to the aluminum construction, which keeps the cost of the forks down.
Developed in 2017, this range of bike forks by Fox is made of a 6000-series aluminum upper chassis. It also features a 34mm stanchion and shares the same air spring with the higher-end fork models.
These forks are a low-priced option, and the aftermarket price is around $500.
Fox 36 Rhythm Grip
Rhythm’s Grip damper comes as a closed-cartridge system designed to keep the oil and air separate, but in an inexpensive package, unlike the FIT4. What this means is that the main difference between the FIT4 and the Grip lies in their internal system. The GRIP cartridge comes with a small purge port allowing the excess oils to flow during the bottom-outs, and it doesn’t need to be vacuum-bled in the manufacturing process. The cartridge technology used is sealed, coil-sprung, and features an independent piston.
Note that there are two types of grips; one that comes with three adjustment levels and the other that features a firm/ open setting that comes stock on Rhythm forks. Rhythm forks make use of the red-anodized rebound knob fitted at the bottom (lower leg), and it offers 22 adjustment clicks. Fox 36 Rhythm is designed for the 27.5 and the 29ers.
Fox 34 Enduro
The 34 Fox forks come equipped with a GRIP2 damper, and Fox has taken it upon itself to enhance the performance of the bikes by adding their new patented VVC technology to the bike’s high-speed compression circuit, hence the best result.
The 34 Enduro is particularly a hard-hitting and a long-gravel specialist bike that offers the best performance. It’s optimized for use with the 160mm to the 180mm travel, and it’s packed in the same way as the 36 and the 38.
This bike boasts a very smooth performance; it’s more tunable compared to previous forks, as well as the smoother overall design.
Some of the features of the Fox 34 Enduro include the floating axle that boosts the performance of the bike. This floating axle has a unique ability to match the fork’s wheels mounting surface at the front hub flange, hence the perfect chassis alignment. This floating axle further eliminated the friction between the lower and the upper fork legs, hence smoother suspension movements.
The 34 Enduro forks are further fitted with lower leg channels that improve the performance of the bike by increasing the air pressure as the fork is compressed, and the air volume in the lower legs decreases. More fork compressions result in an increase in pressure, and the lower legs channels ensure that the full travel is attained. These forks also come with the best bleeders for pressure equalization, a lower leg arch for an increase in the fork’s stiffness to weight, as well as the GRIP2 that boosts the bike’s adjustability.
Fox 36 for Trail Riding
The Fox 36 forks offer more stability and a great overall performance thanks to the design of the fork with extra features. So, if you are looking for a trail riding biking that allows you to do all those high jumps and the hard pushes, then the Fox 36 would be a great option for you. The only catch is that the 36 is significantly pricier than the other bikes.
The 36mm FLOAT fork is highly adjustable, and this adjustment is made possible by the replacement of the air shaft’s assembly.
The Fox 36 fork is stiff, smooth, and it comes and air bleeders, a bolt on the fender, and a floating axle. All these features make the 36 an ideal option for aggressive trail riders, as well as the endure riders.
Fox 36 Elite
Fox Elite or Fox Performance Elite is a mid-range bike fork that features a high-end damper, as well as FIT4 and FIT GRIP2 options. The bike’s upper legs have an anodized black finish rather than the Kashima finish common with most Fox forks.
The 36 Performance Elite makes use of the FIT GRIP2 damper, and it works for both the 29er and the 27.5/ 650B, and it only has a 160mm travel. This bike also features a Boost-Spacing function, as well as a tapered steerer.
How much travel does a Fox 36 have?
The Fox 36 fork is available for 26, 27.5, and 29ers, and they only come with the EVOL Float air spring. The fork travel differs for these bike sizes. The 650b/ 27.5 bike has fork travel of between 150mm and 160mm; the 29er has a 150mm fork travel for the FIT4 and 150mm/ 160 mm fork travel for FIT GRIP2 bikes.
Then you have the dirt jump bike, the 36 Factory 831 26, with a 100mm Travel. The trail version of this bike has two travel options, 160mm, and 180mm.
The 36 E-Bike factory and the E-Bike Performance bikes have fork travel of 160mm for the 29ers. 36 Factory e-bike has a travel of 140mm, 160mm, and 180mm options for the 650b/ 27.5-inch bike.
In the case of the 36mm Speed-Ped-Elec and the Fox 36 831 forks, you can adjust the travel to a maximum of 160mm.
How do I set up my Fox 36?
- First, rotate your compression lever to the Open Mode – do the full-counter, clockwise rotation.
- Set your fork to the Open mode in case you are working with the 3-position remote fork.
- Then make a counter-clockwise adjustment for the adjusters if you an HSC or an LSC adjust.
- Overall, the steps you need to follow include:
- Mounting the disc brakes
- Installation of the front wheels
- Setup of the fork air pressure and adjustment of the rebound
- GRIP Compression damping adjustments
- Remote installation
What is Fox Factory Series?
The Fox Factory series is the high-end range of forks by Fox. These forks make use of the high-end FIT4 and the FIT GRIP 3 dampers, and they feature the distinct Kashima golden coating on its upper legs. As a result, the forks have reduced friction and increased performance life.
How do I increase travel on Fox 36?
You need a built-in damper to extend the travel of your Fox 36.
Where are Fox forks made?
The forks by Fox are made in Taiwan.
How do I add volume spacers to Fox 36?
- To add the air volume, you need to remove the air caps then cover the fork’s air valves before you release the air.
- Next, you need to horizontally slide the air volume spacers to remove or install the air spacers from its top cap.
- Reinstall the top cap by tightening it clockwise
- Add air pressure right to the setting desired, then reinstall your air cap.
Fox forks might be the most expensive bike forks on the market, but they are also the best forks. The brand has a very long history of great bike components, and the forks offered by the brand are ideal for mountain bikes, as well as Enduro and trail bikes. Fox 34 and 36 forks are available for 26, 27.5, and 29er bikes.