2025 Fox Fork Updates | New Dampers + GRIP X2 First Review

The Fox 38 and current generation of Fox 36 forks were released almost exactly 4 years ago today, and between now and then, almost nothing has changed. But now, both of these mega popular forks get treated with some internal revisions and upgrades. In this video, we’re going to talk about the changes to the “new” Fox 36 and 38 and heavily cover the new GRIP X2 and GRIP X dampers.

Watch the YouTube video:

    The topics of discussion in this article are the "NEW" Fox 36 and Fox 38. Now, I’m hesitant to say the word “new” here because you’ll notice that these forks visually appear to be the exact same as the current generation of these forks. And that’s because the chassis of these model year 2025 36 and 38 have the exact same chassis as model years 2021 through 2024. Also, everything going on in the air spring side is the exact same as before. Fox went with the approach of “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it” for the overall chassis and air spring design of these new… or… revised forks.

    So what are the new revisions? There are two major changes to cover in this article: First, we’ll quickly cover the new limited edition color, but most importantly we will go into some in-depth coverage of the 2 entirely new dampers because they’re pretty cool and I think everyone is going to benefit from them.

Limited Edition Color: Podium Gold

    First things first, let’s talk about the gold elephant in the room, and that is the new bling bling gold paint you've seen splattered all over social media. This is a super limited color called “Podium Gold” which celebrates Fox’s 50th anniversary from when they started in 1974. Fox knows folks love Kashima gold, so they went full Austin Powers Goldmember with this new anniversary paint. We were a little weary when we first saw this paint in a presentation and worried it was just a little too much. But I have to say, once we saw these in real life installed on some bikes, it changed our mind instantly. We recently took a trip down to the Fox headquarters in Scott’s Valley, California and I saw the new gold forks installed on tons of bikes of different colors, and I don’t remember seeing a single bike color that this didn’t look amazing with the gold fork. The limited edition gold forks also include a matching gold decal kit so you can match your Fox rear shock. Also included is a snazzy gold authenticity number card which tells you the production number of your Podium Gold fork.

Limited Edition Color = Podium Gold - Somehow this looks good on every color of bike.

Shiny Black lower legs with new gold decals, plus the beloved Shiny Orange option.

MY25 rear shocks get the gold treatment with new decals. Not a huge change, but will match the new fork decals!

    Beyond Podium Gold, the same Black or Orange lower legs will be available just like before, but the Black forks will come with new gold decals which look really nice. The model year 2025 factory rear shocks also get a matching gold decal. The Black and Orange forks are in stock and ready to ship right now. However, the limited Podium Gold forks faced a bit of a production delay from Fox and will be available from dealers like us in late-May. We do have these product pages live on the website so you can sign up for a stock alert email notification to get a reminder to snag one once we receive them. If you want one, order one ASAP because once they’re gone, they are gone for good!

    While these cosmetic changes will really excite certain folks, let’s move on to the BIGGEST change in these forks that we’re most excited to talk about. And that is these all new GRIP X2 and GRIP X dampers.

New Dampers and eMTB Updates

    New for model year 2025 are three new dampers sprinkled throughout the Fox fork lineup, but we’re only diving deep into two of those which are featured in the all-mountain through DH forks which are our favorites. But really quick, you XC folks out there get a new GRIP SL damper which is super light and comes in the Fox 32’s and the Step Cast 34. The 32 Step Cast is also completely new and super light with a crazy spider web looking reverse arch.

    The GRIP X2 is replacing the massively successful GRIP2 damper, but still offers the same adjustments: high speed compression, low speed compression, high speed rebound and low speed rebound. This is a very free-flowing, highly adjustable damper meant for all out descending performance and tunability. The GRIP X is basically replacing the FIT4 damper. The GRIP X has high speed compression and low speed compression, but only low speed rebound. Also, the high speed compression adjustment knob enables a super firm mode in the last click clockwise to really stiffen up the fork, similar to the lockout feature previously seen on the FIT4. The GRIP X is a true all-mountain damper with a more simple set of adjustments than the GRIP X2, but still offers similar descending performance.

    The naming conventions are also meant to very easily correlate with the different models of Fox rear shocks. So we have the GRIP X2 fork damper meant for all out descending performance and adjustability, which is meant to match perfectly with the Float X2 air shock or DHX2 coil shock which have the same adjustments knobs and are built to focus on those same areas of descending performance and maximum adjustability. And the GRIP X fork damper directly correlates to the Float X air shock and DHX coil shock, because these shocks are designed for riders seeking more simple adjustability and focusing on all-mountain performance.

The GRIP X2 will be the only damper option for aftermarket Factory and Performance Series Elite models of 38 forks, and Factory 40 forks. It will also be an option for the Factory and Performance Series Elite 36 forks. Plus, it’ll also make appearances in the 34 forks, but only as an OE option on complete bikes. The GRIP X is an option for aftermarket Factory and Performance Series Elite 36 and 34 non-Step Cast forks, and will also be sprinkled throughout OE models of 38 and 40 forks.

eMTB Model Revisions

    The eMTB designations for model year 2025 forks have also been simplified. All forks are approved for eMTB use, and the new dampers have a wide enough adjustment range for ebikes. There’s only the option for an e-optimized 36 fork, which has a slightly more robust chassis and is only recommended if the weight of the rider and their bike totals out to 372 pounds or more. You will also see an “E” decal on some 38’s that come stock on complete e bikes, but that is just a OE designation sticker, and the chassis and damper are the exact same as regular 38’s.

    Now that we have the basics covered, let’s get into the nitty gritty of each new damper, starting with the GRIP X2.


Installation is EASY. This high-class saddle clicker just bolts between your saddle and seat post hardware.

    The GRIP X2 damper is basically an updated, beefier, higher-performing and more adjustable GRIP2 damper. The GRIP2 damper has been bright in the suspension spotlight over the years and has made tons of riders very happy - including me, I love the GRIP2 damper! It was released in year 2018, and has only received 2 small updates over the years. However, the GRIP X2 is the next evolution of this damper and increases the performance and adjustability to the next level. When looking at these two dampers side by side, the first thing you’ll notice is the much larger upper pressure tube. The GRIP2 damper used a 20mm base valve with seven valves, but the GRIP X2 uses an oversized 24mm base valve with twenty three valves. This larger area gave the engineers more room for physically larger circuitry, reducing overall pressure and increasing sensitivity. The increased valve count gave the engineers a wider range of internal tunability and also resulted in faster response time to bumps. This increase of internal tunability is said to stretch the range of external tunability of the adjustment knobs for lighter and heavier riders that are far off of the average rider weight of around 180 pounds. Also, since the the range of adjustments is wider from fully closed to fully open, each added click of damping also makes a more noticeable change, which is said to make the setup process a little bit easier for riders.

    So, I’m about 150 pounds and found the GRIP2 to be a little over damped for my weight, and I actually always ran my GRIP2 compression settings wide open, without any added compression. And often riders on the other end of the spectrum that are quite heavier sometimes felt like they couldn’t add enough compression. It still felt awesome and I was always happy with it, but a wider range of adjustability would have been nice for me. I’ve been riding the GRIP X2 damper for a bit now, and I can confidently say that this new damper definitely has a wider range of adjustability as I’m now riding with several clicks of added compression on my new 38. Also, the GRIP X2 damper is definitely easier to setup than the GRIP2 in my experience. Setting up the GRIP2 damper, I would generally have to turn the compression knobs 2 clicks at a time to be able to actually feel the difference, and this made set up a little tricky and took a few rides to get dialed in. However, each click on the GRIP X2 damper makes a noticeable change in fork feel, and I was able to feel confident in my adjustments with the new GRIP X2 damper a bit faster than the GRIP2. I’ll likely do a more in-depth performance review and comparison between the GRIP X2 and GRIP2 dampers, but so far I would say that the GRIP X2 definitely just feels a little more precise and a little more refined than the GRIP2. I don’t think it’s a life changing difference or anything, and I’m still super happy with the GRIP2 damper in my enduro bike’s Fox 38. However, I do feel like the GRIP X2 is a little more responsive, a little more precise and just overall a little nicer feeling, especially on firm, rough trails where every little bit of performance counts.

    We’ll have drop-in GRIP X2 damper cartridge upgrades in stock soon once Fox has them ready to ship out to us. So, if you have a Fox 36 or 38 with a GRIP2 damper and you’re the type of rider that loves to geek out on suspension performance, I think that upgrading to the GRIP X2 is a good option for you as I think you’ll be happy with the little bump in performance and tunability over the GRIP2 damper.

    There’s also a few other small changes to note in this new damper. VVC was a hit feature in the GRIP2 damper, which is basically a little leaf spring assembly that helps regulate the adjustment of damping circuits, and this was featured on both the rebound and compression circuits. The GRIP X2 still uses VVC on the rebound circuit, but goes away with it on the compression side. Instead, the compression side uses this blue cup and an additional spring to help control the compression valve assembly. Also worth noting is that the GRIP X2 has just about the same number of clicks as the GRIP2, but with 2 additional clicks of low speed compression for a little more fine-tunability with that increased damping range. And last but not least, there are new bushings in the lower legs of model year 2025 forks. These new bushings are made out of the same material as before, but the inner vertical grooves have now been removed to create a solid inner bushing face. The engineers said that removing the grooves decreased friction, and better supported the faster response rates of the new dampers, and just give them more control of the damper tuning as well. I am not an engineer… at all, and it’s always cool to learn about the fine details that happen in design and testing just like this.

Compression VVC has been removed and replaced with a revised system.

Lower leg bushing vertical grooves were removed, resulting in decreased friction.

    So that’s the rundown on the new GRIP X2 damper which we’re definitely excited about. But now it’s time to talk about the other new damper which we are equally or more excited about, and that’s the GRIP X.

GRIP X Damper

    It’s no secret that the GRIP2 and new GRIP X2 dampers are meant for utmost descending performance and maximum adjustability. While most riders have a strong desire for the best performance on their descents, not all riders need or want maximum adjustability. In fact, this is sometimes a hinderance for riders that aren’t well versed in suspension adjustments - and these riders might just end up getting confused with all of the knobs and unknowingly set up their damper to feel pretty bad on the trails. That’s where the new GRIP X damper slides in. It’s built for the best descending performance possible, but while simplifying the setup procedure to work best for most riders on the trail.

    While the GRIP X is basically replacing the FIT4 damper, which was the previous damper intended for all-mountain performance and used an expanding bladder design, the GRIP X is actually designed very similarly to the GRIP X2 damper. The GRIP X uses a spring-backed IFP just like the X2, and offers a super smooth, super sensitive reaction to bumps. From the outside, both of these dampers appear almost identical, but the GRIP X features some components that are a bit smaller and more simple to reduce complexity and save weight. The GRIP X has the same size of upper pressure tube as the X2, and also uses that big, 24mm base valve. However, the middle portion of the upper tube is smaller and uses smaller, more simple architecture on the inside. Also, the lower shaft diameter is 2mm smaller than the one on the X2. The rebound circuit only has a single external adjustment for low speed rebound which controls a simple, dual stage valve stack for the rebound damping. Overall, the GRIP X is 120 grams lighter than the GRIP X2, which is about 1/4 of a pound in weight savings which is pretty impressive for a fork damper. The GRIP X also uses a higher quantity of valves than the GRIP2 did, giving it a wide range of tunability.

The GRIP X has a lower shaft diameter that is 2mm smaller than the GRIP X2.

The GRIP X and GRIP X2 have the same base valve sizes.

    On top you’ll see the high and low speed compression adjustment knobs, and when cranked fully clockwise, the high speed compression knob closes off both compression circuits and basically serves as a lockout for riders who desire a super firm damper feel when climbing or pedaling on flat, smooth terrain. While most riders these days have no desire for a fork lockout, including myself, having this feature on a fork intended for all-mountain use definitely isn’t hurting anything, and a certain amount of riders out there will really like this feature.

    So if we’re primarily lovers of descending at The Lost Co, why are we so excited about the GRIP X damper if the GRIP X2 has more knobs and bigger thingamajigs inside? Well, we serve customers of all demographics that are riding different terrain, and we are constantly talking to customers on the phone who are very confused with suspension setup. While the FIT4 damper physically existed in the 36 for all of these past years, let’s just say it virtually didn’t exist because almost nobody ever considered it. This is likely due to the phenomenon of riders seeing the “ENDURO” gear and I feel like the GRIP2 was simply viewed as “the best” and everybody wants the best. While the GRIP2 damper was technologically more advanced and better served riders truly chasing performance points compared to the FIT4, it was often simply an overkill option for riders that either aren’t knowledgable on proper suspension setup or just aren’t riding hard enough to the point where a FIT4 damper was inadequate. And now that the GRIP X has stepped into the picture with a similar design, similar performance and even a similar name to the GRIP X2, I’m confident that riders purchasing a Fox 36 fork will be more willing to get a damper that will actually be more optimized for how they ride and how knowledgable they are with setup procedures.

The GRIP X damper is going to be an excellent weapon for any mountain biker's arsenal.

    While I was at Fox HQ, I asked Jordi Cortes the following question: Are you also excited about the GRIP X damper and how it would simplify things for riders that may not necessarily need too many adjustments to potentially confuse them? He replied with a full sentence, but I'll simplify it to one word: "Yes".


      For model year 2025, the Fox fork lineup has received a pretty beautiful limited edition color and some welcomed performance upgrades with new dampers. The GRIP X2 is replacing the GRIP2 damper and offers the same adjustments, but offers an increased range of tunability and even more sensitivity and performance which we've felt firsthand. The GRIP X is a completely new damper for the majority of riders who want nearly the same perforamnce as the descent-focused GRIP X2, but with a more straightforward set of adjustments to more easily wrap their head around. We're excited for the properly premium performance that riders will experience with the GRIP X, but without 17 hours of phone calls and Google searches to attempt to learn what damper adjustments do.

You might also like:

Got questions? Feel free to shoot us an email or give us a call!

(360) 306-8827




Mike Randol



Bellingham, WA

Current Bikes: S-Works Stumpjumper EVO 29" and Devinci Spartan 27.5

Bike Size: Medium

Favorite Trails: Dirt Merchant in Whistler, Chuckanut Mountain Trails in Bellingham

About Me: I grew up hucking my bike off curbs in the suburbs of Chicago. I moved out to the PNW in 2014 and opened The Lost Co in 2016. I freaking love riding long rough descents and really pushing my body to the limit. I'll straight up ride any type of bike but really prefer long travel 27.5" bikes. However, I've been choosing mid-travel 29r's for most of my trail rides these days!