Top 5 MTB Air Shocks


Choosing the right air shock can be a daunting task, with new companies popping up left and right with their take on the perfect air shock. Luckily for you, we’ve spent countless hours riding just about every air shock under the sun, and these are our top 5 air shocks for your trail, enduro, or downhill bike! For those of you who are coil curious, check out our coil v air blog or our top 3 coil shocks if you’re not sure if an air shock is right for you. But if your heart is set on the air shock, keep reading to get help making your decision.

With options from Fox, RockShox, and Ohlins, we can guarantee that any of these shocks are going to offer premium performance, incredibly adjustability, and reliability to last in between those services. To choose between these shocks, we recommend finding one that has the damper adjustments you appreciate in a shock as well as fits in your price range!

1) RockShox Super Deluxe Ultimate

Super Deluxe Ultimate Quick Specs

  • 484g (210x55 w/ HBO)
  • $599

  • RC2T Damper w/ optional HBO

  • Progressive or Linear air can

  • 50 hour air can service interval, 200 hour damper service interval

  • Metric sizing to fit all strokes from 37.5 to 75

  • Custom damper tune options

Completely redesigned for this generation, the RockShox Super Deluxe is an established name in rear suspension, and builds on its legacy. The Ultimate version of the Super Deluxe uses the RC2T Damper that features independent high and low speed compression circuits as well as a rebound adjuster. There are a few different versions of this iteration of the Super Deluxe, with different air cans as well as an optional hydraulic bottom out. At the moment, all after market Super Deluxe Ultimate shocks use the linear air can and do not feature the hydraulic bottom out, but can be rebuilt with other parts during a full service.

The highlight of the Super Deluxe Ultimate and really any RockShox product is how easy it is to set up. Of all the shocks on the list, I was able to get this shock set up and feeling amazing faster than any other, and have had an incredibly easy time tuning the shock depending on what I’m riding. Both compression circuits are physically distanced from each other in the RC2T damper, which means that adjusting one of them doesn’t affect the other, like in air shocks from other companies.

2) Fox Float X

  Float X Quick Specs

  • 479g (210x55)

  • $599

  • Tool free low speed compression and rebound adjusters

  • 125 air spring and damper service interval

  • Metric sizing to fit all strokes from 37.5 to 75
  • Factory, Performance Elite, and Performance versions

Fox Racing Shox is synonymous with performance, and the Float X is no different! This is their newest air shock, and comes in a few different versions. Most recognizable is the Factory series, which features the Kashima coating on the stanchion as well as Low Speed Compression and Low Speed Rebound adjustments. The other two versions of the Float X are the Performance and Performance Elite models, which use the black stanchion coating instead of Kashima. Besides that, the Performance Elite offers identical features to the Factory, and has nearly indistinguishable performance on trail.

The Performance model does not have an adjustable compression circuit, but can be uprgraded very easily and is potentially the best value upgrade you can make on your rear shock! The Performance model is only found as an OEM shock and can’t be purchased after market, so if you’re looking for more tunability out of your Float X Performance, then the upgrade kit is a no brainer!

3) RockShox Vivid

  Vivid Quick Specs

  • 660g (210x55)

  • $699

  • RC2T Damper with Adjustable HBO and TouchDown

  • 200 hour air can and damper service interval
  • Metric sizing to fit all strokes from 37.5 to 75
  • Kits for popular bikes with cutom tune and mounting hardware included

  • Ultimate, Ultimate DH, Select+, Select, and Base options available

  • Aftermarket RC2T damper upgrade available for non Ultimate versions


Resurrected from the old days, RockShox has just recently brought back their highest performing air shock, the Vivid. With similar features to the Super Deluxe Ultimate, we knew instantly that this would be one of our favorite air shocks. Just like the Super Deluxe, the Vivid uses the RC2T damper, but adds TouchDown technology to disengage the damper for the first 10% of travel for an ultra supple initial stroke. Additionally, all Vivids are packed with an adjustable hydraulic bottom out, just like the Super Deluxe Coil Ultimate that we love so much.

Additionally, that absolutely huge air can gives the shock a more linear feel than other comparable air shocks. By the laws of physics, compressing this larger volume the same amount as a smaller volume results in less progression, giving you an unbelievably plush feeling rear end. Or if you want to get that progression, stuff it full of volume spacers and go huck some cliffs!

4) Ohlins TTX2

  TTX2 Quick Specs

  • 477g (210x55)

  • $780

  • Metric sizing to fit all strokes from 37.5 to 65
  • Toolless high speed compression adjustment and tooled low speed compression and rebound adjustments

  • Heavily damped feeling is great for racers

  • 100 hour air can and damper service interval

Our favorite Swedish suspension manufacturer, Ohlins has been at the forefront of motorcycle and auto suspension for decades, and has gotten into mountain bike suspension relatively recently. But they’re putting what they’ve learned to work in their TTX2 platform, with all the adjustability you can expect from an expensive air shock. Also offered in a progressive and a linear air can, this shock can be configured to suit just about any bike on the market.

With low speed compression, high speed compression, and a rebound adjuster the Ohlins shock is highly tunable and will feel great no matter the terrain you’re pointing it into. We also recommend pairing this fork with an Ohlins RXF fork because both Ohlins’ fork and shock platforms feel more heavily damped than their competitors, and complement each other very nicely on the trail.

5) Fox Float X2

  Float X2 Quick Specs

  • 600g (210x55)

  • $699

  • Metric sizing to fit all strokes from 47.5 to 75
  • High and low speed compression and rebound adjustments

  • Large range of adjustability is great for racers and enthusiasts alike

  • 100 hour air can and damper service interval

  • Large air can gives more linear spring rate and bottomless feeling

At the forefront of gravity performance is the Fox Float X2. This shock has been through several iterations over the years and has been the benchmark for gravity focused air shock performance for as long as it's been around. While it has been plagued with reliability issues in recent years, the 2024 model year has been updated to remedy those issues and let the Fox Float X2 offer consistent performance throughout its service life.

Riders have come to appreciate the supple off the top sensitivity as well as almost infinite tuning options with all of those dials, and this shock has become incredibly popular among racers looking for a blend of tunability and traction, as well as enthusiasts looking for the highest performing air shock on the market. Fox only offers the Factory version of the Float X2 to be purchased aftermarket, and that demonstrates their commitment to the Float X2 being the highest performing air shock

Which Shock Is Best For You?

The good news is that all four of these are great upgrades from earlier generations of air shocks, and we’re lucky to have so many great options. For anyone who’s looking for the ultimate downhill performance and isn’t concerned about weight or cost, the RockShox Vivid is the cream of the crop right now. The massive air can gives the shock a bottomless feeling on trail and the features of the damper really set it apart from the rest. But if you want to save $100 and about 200 grams, the Super Deluxe Ultimate offers incredibly similar performance in a smaller package, and has been the go-to shock for most of us working here at The Lost Co!

No matter which shock you decide to buy, make sure that you have all of the right tools to set them up! That includes a shock pump, volume spacers, and mounting hardware to get everything bolted up securely.

Shop MTB Air Shocks

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

(360) 306-8827



Tor Weiland



Bellingham, WA

Current Bikes: Chromag Lowdown

Bike Size: Medium/Large

Favorite Trails: Oriental Express, Galbraith

About Me: Hailing from the sunny landscape of California, Tor headed north and landed here in the cloudy town of Bellingham, WA. His riding style is "PINNED" and he loves to scope out those seemingly impossible triples. He loves riding and also loves sharing his experiences with others. You can catch Tor in front of the camera or behind the keyboard, but best of luck catching him on the trail!