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RockShox Super Deluxe Ultimate VS Fox Float X2 | Which Is Best For You?

Watch this video or read the blog post below:


The RockShox Super Deluxe and Fox Float X2 are the most popular aftermarket rear air shocks on the trail, both of which offer ridiculous performance and adjustability.

But what are the real differences between these shocks? And which is best for you?

Stay tuned, and you'll find out!

INTRO

When it comes to aftermarket air shocks for mountain bikes that like to go up and down hills, the RockShox Super Deluxe Ultimate and Fox Factory Float X2 are two of the most popular rear shocks on the trails. Both of these shocks offer amazing performance, great longterm durability and good looks to boot. While we always refer to the Fox Float X2 as the best air shock on the market, the Super Deluxe comes ridiculously close and may be a better option for some riders which we’ll discuss in a minute.


But before we pin these shocks against one another, let’s do an overview of each individual shock to get to know them better.

rockshox super deluxe ultimate vs versus fox float x2

OVERVIEW

The Fox Factory Float X2 is the premier shock offering from Fox with tons of adjustments and aims at the most performance possible. There are two models, one with a climb switch and one without, but all other adjustments are the same between both versions. The climb switch model offers a 2 position switch to either run the shock in open mode to go down the hill, and a locked out position to really stiffen up the compression to go up the hill. The highlight of this shock is the independently adjustable high and low speed compression, and independently adjustable high and low speed rebound. These adjustments mean you can extremely fine tune how this shock feels. The air can’s bottom out resistance can be tuned with 2-piece volume spacers, with a maximum of either 2 or 3 spacers, on the size of your shock.

fox float x2 rear shock mtb mountain bike comparison



The X2 is made in a wide array of sizes to fit most mid travel trail bikes, downhill bikes and everything else in between. A common misconception we often hear from customers is that the Float X2 is just a “downhill shock” but this just isn’t true. Sure, it looks a bit more beefy and different than the conventional trail bike shock, but the extensive adjustability of the X2 makes it possible to make your trail bike, all mountain bike, enduro bike or downhill bike’s suspension feeling perfect.



Then, there’s the RockShox Super Deluxe Ultimate. This shock offers a 2 position climb switch to ride either fully soft and open for the most sensitivity, or locked out for climbing. It also has adjustable low speed rebound and low speed compression to adjust how soft and sensitive the shock feels in open mode. The air can’s bottom out resistance can be tuned with stackable tokens, allowing multiple tokens in the can at once. This shock is available in pretty much every size out there to fit on short travel bikes all the way up to downhill bikes.

rockshox super deluxe ultimate rear shock mtb mountain bike comparison

Plus, there’s an additional upgrade that RockShox offers, and that’s the MegNeg air can. If you install the Super Deluxe on your bike and wish you had more mid-stroke support, then you can upgrade your air can to the MegNeg, which is super simple to install. Basically, the MegNeg (MEGa NEGative) increases the shock’s negative air chamber volume and is designed to increase mid stroke support while retaining all of the small bump sensitivity. This also allows you to to tune your negative air chamber with up to 4 bands. We’re stoked that RockShox offers the MegNeg upgrade since it adds just another level of adjustments to make the shock work better for those riders who desire a more supportive ride feel.

rockshox super deluxe ultimate fox float x2 rear shock mtb mountain bike comparison megneg upgrade kit meg neg transition patrol

A Super Deluxe with the MegNeg upgrade kit


So now that we’re familiar with each shock’s features, let’s pin these shocks head to head.

First we’ll cover the setup procedures, then we’ll compare the performance on the trail, and finally the values.


ON THE TRAIL DIFFERENCES

I’ve been riding a Float X2 for several years now, and I’ve grown very familiar with the crazy good performance you get with it. When I got my newest bike, a Devinci Spartan, it came with the RockShox Super Deluxe Ultimate. And honestly, I was prepared to ride the bike with this shock and have the urge to swap it out for a Float X2 after just a couple rides since I mentally had the X2 as my benchmark shock. However, that was not the case. First off, the setup time took about half as long as it would with a Float X2. The X2 generally takes me about eight to ten rides to get super dialed, but the Super Deluxe only took about 4 rides to get dialed, which was pretty convenient. This is because the Super Deluxe has 2 less external adjustments compared to the Float X2.

rockshox super deluxe ultimate fox float x2 rear shock mtb mountain bike comparison megneg upgrade kit meg neg transition patrol


On the trail, the Super Deluxe has crazy good performance all around. The small bump sensitivity is amazing, it’s super consistent, and the performance is far above average and extremely impressive. I was beyond stoked with this shock and had pretty much written off going with the Float X2. Well, at least for a few weeks…

After riding the bike with the Super Deluxe for a few weeks and getting fully comfortable on my new setup, I did notice one thing. I wanted my high speed rebound to be just one or two clicks faster. But, since you can’t adjust that from the outside of the shock, I was left to either having Russ install a new shim stack at the shop or going with the Float X2 to gain that adjustment. We tried to source a tuning kit for the shock from RockShox, but at this time they are unavailable. Since we wanted to do a comparison video on these two shocks, and potentially fine tune my rear shock setup even more, I installed a Fox Factory Float X2 on my bike.

devinci spartan mountain bike custom build bike check fox racing shox fox factory 36 v vs versus 38 fox fork comparison
devinci spartan mountian bike custom build bike check fox racing shox fox factory 36 v vs versus 38 fox fork comparison

This was my first time on the brand new 2021 model of the X2 which has just been redesigned, and holy crap this shock is good, but more on that later. After spending a few rides getting the shock setup, I was able to set every parameter exactly how I wanted and was able to get the rear suspension 100% dialed. This made me realize that with the Super Deluxe I was at about 90% dialed, and that extra adjustability of the X2 helped me easily squeeze out that last 10% of performance I was wanting.

devinci spartan mtb mountain bike fox racing shox fox factory 36 v vs versus 38 fox fork comparison


So in a nutshell, the Super Deluxe Ultimate is easier to throw on your bike and ride and the adjustments are capable of getting your rear end feeling about 90% perfect. The Float X2 has a more involved set up procedure which requires some confidence in suspension tuning, or the will to learn, and the adjustments are capable of getting your rear end feeling 100% perfect.

Ok so so here we are today, I have both a Super Deluxe Ultimate and Fox Factory Float X2 that I setup as perfectly for me as possible.


So which one performs better?


Performance

After logging quite a bit of trail time and running these shocks back to back to back, I can confidently say that both of these shocks offer top-shelf performance, and one isn’t necessarily “better”, more so each are just different and better for different types of riders. Comparing how these shocks feel is just like comparing a top tier Fox fork to a top tier RockShox fork. The top tier fork offerings from both brands offer best of the best performance, but the Fox just feels slightly more traction-y while the RockShox just feels slightly more active and poppy. And those same guidelines apply to their shocks as well. The Float X2 feels like you get a little more traction overall, while the Super Deluxe feels a little more active and poppy. The X2 feels like it absorbs every little bump a little better, and the Super Deluxe feels like its a little more inclined to use it’s stroke more resulting in a little more pop.

rockshox super deluxe ultimate fox float x2 rear shock mtb mountain bike comparison megneg upgrade kit meg neg transition patrol
rockshox super deluxe ultimate fox float x2 rear shock mtb mountain bike comparison fox float x2


And when I say a little, I’m talking very small differences that many riders would never even notice.

You can of course tune either shock to feel a bit different, but those are their natural personalities due to how they’re designed. And it may sound like I’m doing a lazy review, but seriously, when it comes to high end shock performance, both of these shocks are amazing when it comes to small bumps, big bumps, smashing through chunky stuff, hitting drops and everything in between. The performance is so close, in fact, that I had a darn tough time planning out this video because the shocks feel so freaking similar after having them set up properly.

In the last section we talked about all of the pro’s of each shock’s tunability, but now we wanted to touch on the potential con’s of each shock’s tunability which ultimately effects the shock’s performance. If you’re confident in adjusting suspension with high and low speed compression and rebound, then you’ll be able to make either of these shocks work at their full potential.

rockshox super deluxe ultimate rear shock
fox float x2 rear shock

But what if you aren’t confident in suspension setup? Well if not, then there’s a chance you might just start turning knobs while not knowing what they do. In this case, the Super Deluxe can end up feeling bad, but the Float X2 can end up feeling terrible. This is because there are two more knobs to adjust on the outside of the X2 compared to the Super Deluxe, and randomly turning 4 knobs is worse than randomly turning 2 knobs. So overall, if you aren’t super comfortable adjusting suspension and aren’t inclined to learn, there’s a greater possibility that you make your bike feel terrible since there’s two more knobs to adjust.

So overall, both shocks offer amazing performance which is sure to make every rider happy. The X2 is just capable of a little better performance IF you’re good with suspension tuning or have the will to learn.

Alright, next let’s compare the value of each shock and then finally figure out which shock is best for you.


Value

The Fox Factory Float X2 is the top shelf air shock on the market and sells for $669. The RockShox Super Deluxe Ultimate comes in a bit more affordable and sells for $499. So is the X2 worth the 25% price increase over the Super Deluxe Ultimate?

Besides that little bit of extra performance the X2 is capable of, it’s also more versatile from the amount of adjustments it has. The Super Deluxe Ultimate comes with an “off the shelf tune” of medium compression and medium rebound. The high speed rebound and high speed compression are set internally with shims in the damper. You’ve probably heard the term “custom tune” when it comes to rear shocks, and bike manufacturers will often have suspension companies use a custom tune on the shocks they install on their complete bikes that are tuned to work best with their suspension design.

rockshox super deluxe ultimate fox float x2 rear shock mtb mountain bike comparison megneg upgrade kit meg neg transition patrol
rockshox super deluxe ultimate fox float x2 rear shock mtb mountain bike comparison fox float x2


This means if you wanted to change those settings, like how I wanted to make my high speed rebound slightly faster, you’d need to have the shock custom tuned. Or, if you have a frame that works best with a different tune, then the “off the shelf” tune may leave you with less than optimal performance. With the Float X2, every parameter can be adjusted externally, and you can easily move this shock between different frames, assuming they use the same shock size, and simply adjust the knobs accordingly, so no custom work is needed. Technically, Fox offers 3 different internal compression tunes, but the range adjustment on the X2 is so wide that we rarely ever have customers desire switching them.

This is a point that most shops would never bring up as it’s pretty nit picky, but we’re all about high performance suspension so we wanted to mention that to get you a shock that’s great for now and great for later.


Alright, now onto the big question, which shock is best for you?


Which Is Best For You?

We’ve put together some simple guidelines to help you decide which shock is best for you by taking every aspect of both shocks into consideration.

If you’re confident with suspension tuning and want the absolute best performance possible from an air shock, go with the Float X2. You’ll be able to get your bike 100% fine tuned and you’re going to be extremely happy with your choice.

But if you want a shock that performs incredibly well, is more affordable and you’re totally satisfied having your suspension feel 90% perfect, then go with the Super Deluxe. There will be less worrying about setup and fine tuning, more time focused on just riding your bike, and the performance is still pretty incredible.

rockshox super deluxe ultimate vs versus  fox float x2 rear shock mtb mountain bike comparison

Alright well there ya have it! We compared shocks!

We’ve got both of these shocks in all the sizes, so if you’re ready for a rear shock upgrade and want one of these guys, don't hesitate; they are moving fast!

Alright until next, we’re going to keep comparing bike parts for you guys.

Happy Trails!

(360) 306-8827

info@thelostco.com


WOULD YOU LIKE TO
UPGRADE YOUR REAR SHOCK?

RockShox Super Deluxe Ultimate (B3) - The Lost Co. - RockShox - 00.4118.283.007 - 710845834899 - 205x65 (For Transition Patrol)) -
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2021 Fox Float X2 w/ Climb Switch - The Lost Co. - Fox Racing Shox - 979-01-037 - 821973393315 - 7.875x2.0 (200x51) -
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ABOUT THE RIDER/WRITER

NAME AGE HEIGHT LOCATED

Mike Randol

29

5'7"

Bellingham, WA

Current Bikes: Mullet Devinci Spartan 27.5 Custom Build
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, mid-travel 29r's are growing on me...