Fox DHX2

Review: Fox DHX2

The silent achiever

Unless you happen to be using your bike for top-secret spy missions, talking about the sound a shock makes really doesn't matter. So suspension nerds everywhere may cringe when I say that the first thing I noticed about the DHX2 was its sound–or lack thereof. For a shock that moves this much oil and has such a large amount of adjustment, it's shockingly silent–so much so, that it's worth mentioning. If the sound of oil squishing around kinks your cable, then you'll be pleased to know that the DHX2 is by far the quietest of this test, and likely the stealthiest coil we've ever ridden.

At 786 grams with a 475-pound spring, it's also the second lightest shock in the bunch, which makes it a great candidate for use on an enduro bike, despite not being designed for this purpose. Because it's made for downhill bikes, there's no lever to enhance pedaling performance on the fly, but I found that the four-way adjustability allows it to be tuned pretty well for pedaling. Since it has both high- and low-speed compression and rebound, I simply added a lot of low-speed compression to provide climbing support. Still, I'd only recommend slapping the DHX2 on a bike that already pedals well.

Even with a lot of low-speed compression, the shock felt very supple on rowdy descents, indicating that the high-speed circuit is effective. And because it has a massive range, it was possible to strike a good balance between supple and supportive. Setting the rebound can be a challenge, especially with two adjusters–each of which has 22 clicks of adjustment–but once set, the shock was well controlled and I never had to touch the red valve again. I rode the DHX2 back-to-back with an air shock on the Santa Cruz Nomad and Evil's The Wreckoning and found that the coil shock improved tracking, traction and overall descending capability without massively changing the bike's ability to climb. However, like pretty much any coil shock, it makes the bike feel less lively. Since you can't make the coil ramp in the same way as an air spring, you'll trade a bit of pop and playfulness for ground-hugging performance. If that's what you're looking for, the $595 DHX2 is a great option, especially for the price.