Now onto the heart and soul of the Fox 36, the GRIP2 damper. The 36 is available with two damper options: the FIT4 and the GRIP2. If you’d like to learn more about the difference between the two dampers in a non-technical way, click this link.
Basically, the FIT4 is a less adjustable sealed cartridge damper, and the GRIP2 is a super adjustable, semi-sealed cartridge damper. Personally, I’m running the GRIP2 damper and I’d recommend that pretty much everyone getting a Fox 36 runs this damper as well. No, you don’t get a lockout lever like the FIT4 damper, but the way the GRIP2 damper is designed makes it feel, in our opinion, much better than the FIT4 damper when you’re riding terrain that warrants riding a Fox 36 over a Fox 34.
Also, everybody I ride with, myself included, doesn't ever wish we had a lockout, or use one on previous forks we’ve had with them. We do super long pedals to get to the top of the trails up here in the PNW and this is just something that is not an important factor to us.
The GRIP2 damper uses a new sophisticated oil which is infused with PTFE (Polytetrafluoroethylene) to make the oil super slippery, and since this is a semi-sealed design instead of a sealed cartridge damper like the FIT4 fork, this means that fluid works itself in and out of the damper while you’re riding which results in less stiction and overall more sensitivity. The semi-sealed design lets oil come and go freely from within the damper, which means the tolerance of the seals don’t have to be so super-tight, resulting in less stiction. Some past forks from Fox have been known to be over-damped, meaning they had too much compression and rode pretty stiff. However, the GRIP2 damper is totally new and rides much softer and more sensitive than past Fox dampers.