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2021 - A massive year for new product

Posted on July 08 2020

Rockshox's new ZEB fork comes to market during what has been an interesting year when it comes to new product releases. Thanks to Covid-19, the cancellation of all big events to showcase the best new products on a world stage, have left the big brand marketing teams in a frenzy trying to find the best way to communicate what new products have been developed, and what stands as the next best thing since 29" wheels... But, that shouldn't be too much of a downer on what has been the biggest year for new product releases in the suspension world as far as we can remember, and we are very spoiled for choices. But, where do they all sit, and what sets them apart? 

During COVID19, we have seen the release of the new Fox 2021, with virtually new products across the entire range including DHX2, FLOAT X2, DPX2, FOX 38, FOX 36, FOX 40, TRANSFER and more. We have also seen the release of the new SID ULTIMATE, updated PIKE and LYRIK, and an all new range of Rockshox SID shocks. 
So, whilst the flavour of the month may depend on the colour of your suspension brand alignment (is it RED for Rockshox and ORANGE for Fox?), there has been a whopping number of great new products to hit the market just in the last few months. Aside from what the marketing machine of each brand produces and hopes we absorb, here's a little run-down of where each sits when compared (on paper), against its rival brand equivalent. 
Note: Prices shown below are Suggested Retail Price. (SRP). Our web price is normally lower than SRP. 

Fox 38 vs Rockshox ZEB 

Rockshox ZEB Ulimate RC2 vs FOX 38 Factory GRIP2

  • Price (SRP) - Zeb $1799.95, Fox 38 $1999
  • Weight (29" 180mm) - Zeb ~2250g, Fox 38 ~2450g
  • Travel - Zeb, 150,160,170,180,190mm.  Fox 38, 150,160, 170, 180mm.
  • Hits / Misses - Zeb is lighter, cheaper and gets turned up to 190.  DebonAir C1 air spring gives lovely, plush feel that made Pike and Lyrik so popular.  The Charger2.1 RC2 damper is nice, but still offers limited adjustment when compared to GRIP2.  Fox 38 has the most external adjustability with the GRIP2 damper, bleed ports on lowers to maintain consistency run after run and allow better lubrication of bushings.  The floating axle keeps the fork aligned and tracking smoothly.  Will cost you more than a Zeb and take another 200g from your baggage allowance.


Fox 36 vs Rockshox LYRIK 

Rockshox Lyrik Ultimate RC2 vs FOX 36 Factory GRIP2

  • Price (SRP) - Lyrik $1599.95, Fox 36 $1825
  • Weight (29" 160mm) - both are around 2050g
  • Travel - Lyrik 150, 160, 170, 180mm.  Fox 36 130, 140, 150, 160mm
  • Hits / Misses - Lyrik wins on price and general suppleness.  Lyrik can still rock 180mm while the 36 tops out at 160mm now, however Lyrik is 150mm minimum while the 36 can be configured down to 130mm making it a viable option for the new breed of aggressive short travel trail bikes.  The 36 is definitely built and tuned for hard riding and doesn't feel as supple as the Lyrik when cruising green trails, feed your 36 a healthy diet of black trails for best results.  36 wins on external adjustability, with bleed ports, lubrication channels and floating axle being icing on the cake.

Fox 34 vs Rockshox PIKE 

Rockshox Pike Ultimate RC2 vs FOX 34 Factory GRIP2

  • Price (SRP) - Pike $1599.95.  Fox 34 $1649
  • Weight (29" 140mm) - Pike 1883g (w/Maxle Stealth axle).  Fox 34 2028g (w/ QR axle)
  • Travel - Pike 120,130,140, 150mm.  Fox 34 110, 120, 130, 140, 150mm
  • Hits / Misses - Pike steals a win with price and weight, and while personal, the silver colour option is a head turner.  The Pike Ultimate comes with the bolt-up Maxle Stealth axle.  The GRIP2 damper that is now available on the 34 wins out for external adjustability.  The 34 comes with a QR axle, so while tool free to use, it is heavier than the bolt-up Kabolt axle or the Maxle Stealth that the Pike gets.  Both forks win for ride quality, being really well tuned for trail riding.  Fox 34 has the FIT4 damper option for a quick on-the-fly lockout ability as well as being lighter and less costly than the GRIP2 damper.

Fox DHX2 vs Rockshox Super Delux Coil 

Rockshox Super Delux Ulimate Coil vs FOX DHX2 Factory 2-position

  • Price (SRP) Super Deluxe $899.95 + Spring.  Fox DHX2 2P $1115
  • Weight (210x55) - Super Deluxe 406g (claimed), DHX2 524g (actual)
  • Travel - Super Deluxe multiple Metric sizes, DHX2 still offered in imperial sizes as well as Metric.
  • Hits / Misses - Hardly a fair comparison, the DHX2 is a superior shock in every way save for price.  The Super Deluxe is typically only found on complete bikes, with the DHX2 being the logical upgrade.  More adjustment, more fitment options.  The Super Deluxe would trade blows with and generally outperform a Marzocchi Bomber CR, but $400 is a lot to spend for a climb switch.

Fox FLOAT X2 vs Rockshox Super Delux 

Rockshox Super Delux Ultimate vs FOX FLOAT X2 2-position

  • Price (SRP) - Super Deluxe $849.95, Fox FLOAT X2 $1125
  • Weight (210x55) - Super Deluxe 453g (claimed), Fox X2 610g (actual)
  • Travel - Super Deluxe is only available in metric fitments.  FLOAT X2 is available in both imperial and metric sizes.
  • Hits / Misses - The Fox FLOAT X2 is simply the best air shock on the market.  In terms of adjustment and features the Super Deluxe is really a competitor to the Fox DPX2.  The Super Deluxe is generally an OEM shock while the FLOAT X2 is a worthy upgrade.

Fox 34 Stepcast vs SID Ultimate 35 

Rockshox SID 35mm Ultimate Raceday vs FOX 34 Stepcast Factory

  • Price (SRP) - SID 35 $1499, Fox 34 SC $1569
  • Weight (29" 120mm) - SID 1533g (actual), Fox 34 SC 1600g (actual)
  • Travel - 100mm, 110mm, 120mm
  • Hits / Misses - The new 35mm SID takes a shot across the bow of the Fox 34 Stepcast.  SID is lighter and costs less than the 34 SC.  The SID has a simple Open or Locked compression adjuster while the 34 SC gets a FIT4 damper with 3-position compression, plus low speed compression adjustment.  The minimalist Charger RaceDay damper's long term reliability is unknown when compared to the proven FIT4 damper of the Fox.  

Marzocchi Z2 vs Rockshox Revelation

Marzocchi Z2 vs Rockshox Revelation RC

  • Price (SRP) - Z2 $799, Rockshox Revelation $799
  • Weight (29" 140mm) - Revelation 1903g (actual), Z2 2000g (actual)
  • Travel - 130mm-160mm
  • Hits / Misses - The new revelation is really a Pike, with a cheaper (moco) damper, making it a great fork for future upgradeability. Z2, feels better out of the box, has better spare parts support, but limited upgradeability. Revelation is a little lighter, and has a 2year warranty vs the Z2's 1 year. 

Fox Transfer vs Rockshox Reverb AXS 

Rockshox Reverb AXS vs FOX TRANSFER

  • Price (SRP) - Reverb AXS $1299.95, Fox Transfer Factory $615
  • Weight (31.6, 150mm) - Reverb AXS 683g + 60g lever, Fox Transfer 610g + lever of choice.
  • Travel - Reverb 100, 125, 150, 170mm.  Fox 100, 125, 150, 175mm
  • Hits / Misses - Reverb AXS is damn cool, no cables, easy setup and use, reset valve, and it can act as a spare battery if you're running a Sram AXS drivetrain.  That price though!  The Transfer is proven, with refinements for 2021 improving the fitment options thanks to shorter overall lengths, and Kashima!


This years winner for the worst (or best) marketing machine moments: 

"Features that count, Not Feature count" 

Rockshox 07/07/20 - Found in the recent marketing release of the new ZEB. Is that aiming at any particular brand? (cough cough fox36 and 38) Or is it just a play on words... lol
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