It’s twelve years since the original Fox 36 hit the market, changing the face of mid to long travel bikes forever. With no wheel size options back then, its 150mm travel meant bigger, faster, stronger – a fork that could be used for charging downhill like no other single crown fork before it.

The 36 has been in and out of favour with us over the years but after a major overhaul a few years ago it was well and truly back.

Fox delivered, big style. As robust as any 160mm fork there has ever been, with damping quality that was both muscular and sensitive. It’s was a great fork and was truly back at the top of the list – and it’s remained there. RockShox has very strong competition with the Lyrik fork but for us the 36 is still king of the all-mountain and enduro fork category and remains our favourite.

So what has the 2017 generation of this single crown bruiser got to offer? With keenly priced options such as the Manitou Mattoc available, and the popular RockShox Lyrik chasing its market share, there is strong competition out there. Take a Fox fork from the box though and you are greeted with quality. Real quality that’s not just skin deep. These are premium forks, which combine not just excellent performance from a class leading chassis but show a no compromise approach to finish and detailing.

There are a huge number of options with the latest evolution of this fork (even a 26” option and e-bike optimized model) but one thing remains constant – the reassuringly stout 36mm legged chassis. This class leading fork in 27.5”/170mm spec weighs in at just shy of 2KG (sitting between the Pike and Lyrik at the weigh in) and packs a punch in all types of terrain. Alpine descents, bike park black runs and the most demanding of enduro stage races, this forks soaks it all up and is the our choice for a custom build long-travel bike for this type of riding. With numerous men’s and women’s Enduro World Series wins, the Fox 36 fork is a proven performer and justifies its high price tag.

With the three position FIT 4 or FIT HSC/LSC (high and low speed damping adjustments) options available, the slippery Kashima leg coating and plenty of travel and wheel size options the 36 will give any mid-long travel bike a serious performance boost. An excellent on-line tuning guide steers you through the settings making sure you get the most from your investment.

With longer-legged 29ers now an established part of the market this fork is now becoming a common sight. Bikes like the Orange Stage 5 and 6 are built around a fork like this and give these machines an edge that we had hoped would come.

Yes, it’s is a hefty investment, but if you want the best damping, easy tuning and excellent service back up, all rolled into an incredibly well finished package then it has to be the Fox 36.

PRICE: From £949

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Selected for Dirt 100 2017

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