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Rockshox vs Fox : quelle fourche choisir ?

In this Article

Rockshox vs Fox: which fork to choose?

In this Article

Published on March 24, 2024

When you're not too familiar with mountain biking, the topic of suspensions can be tricky to understand, whether it's for forks or rear shocks for full suspension MTBs. And we understand you ... 😬 Even though for some people, the suspension model isn't a determining factor in buying a bike because the priority remains having a fork with a travel that suits your riding - if you're interested in the topic, don't hesitate to read our guide on how to choose your fork - it's a plus to know the different fork models to better identify your needs, make your choice, and simply know what type of fork you own and what range it belongs to. And if you ever want to change it for one reason or another, we hope this guide can help guide you. 

RockShox and Fox

By the way, if you're a mountain biking enthusiast and into components, we have some articles that might interest you, such as the one on groups or suspensions in general. 

RockShox and Fox: 2 leading brands in the suspension market 

Indeed, these two American brands have become references in suspension over the years and are now very well established around the world. The SRAM brand actually acquired RockShox in 2002. 

Choosing your fork according to your practice

To help you understand the rest of the article, it's necessary to have in mind which type of fork corresponds to which practice for each of the 2 manufacturers. What will change between the different models is the travel, which corresponds to the maximum compression of your suspension. That's why it differs according to the practice because the lower the travel, the more efficient it is uphill, hence the fact, for example, that the Fox 32 is recommended for XC because it has a travel of 100mm. And conversely, the higher the travel, the more efficient it is downhill, which is why for DH MTBs, a Fox 40 with a travel of 203mm is taken. 


Here's a small summary table of the different models: 





32 Step-Cast



SID Ultimate














DH (Downhill)




If some are tempted to venture into Enduro, we have an article on the subject.

  • You may have understood it, but at Fox, the models are distinguished by the diameter of the stanchions.
  • At Fox, the difference between "normal" and "Step-Cast" models lies in the weight. The Step-Cast (SC) are lighter and are more for performance-oriented purposes.
  • When you visit the RockShox website, you'll see that there are 2 tabs: one called "Signature Forks", which includes the brand's high-end forks (SID, SID SL, Pike, Lyrik, ZEB, BoXXer), generally designed in collaboration with or for high-level athletes. Whereas in the other tab, you'll find all the forks.
  • In terms of prices, they range from €300, for the cheapest like the RockShox Recon, to €2000 for models like Fox 40 or RockShox BoXXer. Note that prices also vary depending on the range and technologies used, which we'll see just below 👇


RockShox and Fox: the different ranges










Performance Elite






  • The differences between these ranges lie in the finishes of the forks, particularly depending on the cartridge and settings.
  • For entry-level models from Fox, such as the 32 Performance, the price will be around €800, while for a RockShox SID Select RL, it will be around €500.
  • For high-end models from RockShox, the price can go up to €2000, for example, with the BoXXer Ultimate, and for Fox, the 38 Factory fork, for example, is roughly the same price.
  • Entry-level forks like the Rythm from Fox and the RC/RL/Select from RockShox are generally supplied with complete bikes and are not available for individual purchase.

What criteria influence the range?

There are 4 elements that explain the variations in the ranges:

  • The cartridge: it's an internal component of the fork that controls the compression and rebound of the suspension. It generally contains oil and valves to regulate the flow of oil through specific orifices, allowing the suspension response to be adjusted to different terrain conditions. Cartridges can be adjustable to allow cyclists to customize the behavior of their suspension according to their preferences and the type of terrain they ride on.
  • Possible adjustments: they allow the cyclist to customize the fork's behavior to optimize their performance and/or have a more enjoyable ride. A few examples of adjustments:
    • HSC (high-speed compression) -> responsiveness: this adjustment controls the speed at which the fork compresses when encountering a high-speed obstacle, such as roots or rocks, especially during jumps and heavy compressions.
    • LSC (low-speed compression) -> responsiveness: it's the same principle as above, except here it's for obstacles encountered at low speed on softer and less rugged terrain
    • HSR (high-speed rebound) -> speed: this adjustment controls the speed at which the fork returns to its initial position after being compressed at high speed. It affects how quickly the suspension readjusts after significant impacts.
    • LSR (low-speed rebound) -> speed: same principle as above but at low speed during less significant impacts.
  • Fork alloy and coating: this ensures the operation of the fork. Generally, the stanchions are made from an aluminum alloy because it's more resistant and the stanchion coating is anodizing, which is a protective layer to improve their resistance to wear and reduce friction.
  • Weight

These criteria are quite complex to understand and very specific; this could be the subject of a future article.


Understanding the elements of a fork well

It may seem very trivial as a section, and yet when you go on the resellers' websites to buy a fork, the product titles are very often long, lengthy, and we don't understand much. To help you, we will dissect together an example of each brand.


Rockshox Pike Select 27.5'' Charger RC DebonAir+ Fork | Boost 15x110mm | Offset 44 |

  • Of course, you recognize the brand, model, and range: “RockShock Pike Select”
  • “27.5”: corresponds to the wheel size for which the fork is designed
  • “Charger RC”: this is the type of suspension cartridge used in the fork.
  • “Debon Air+”: type of air spring
  • “Boost”: through-axle standard
  • “15x110mm”: are the dimensions of the through-axle, 15mm in diameter and 110mm in length
  • “Offset 44”: refers to the distance between the wheel axle and the steering axis, which is 44mm here



Fox Racing Shox 38 Float E-Tuned Factory Grip 2 Fork 29'' | Boost 15x110 | Offset 44 |

  • As with the fork above, you now know the brand and model, here: “Fox Racing Shox 38 Float E-Tuned Factory”. Here, there is also the “E-Tuned” which indicates that the fork is specifically tuned for use with an electric mountain bike.
  • “Grip 2” corresponds to the type of cartridge used
  • “29”: tire size
  • and for the rest, it's similar to the RockShox fork we detailed just above.



Bicycle manufacturers : which brand do they use?

For bicycle brands, the choice between Fox and RockShox often depends on several factors: cyclists' preferences, riding characteristics, partnerships, and pricing strategies. Therefore, it's difficult to associate one of the 2 suspension brands with a specific manufacturer.


Conclusion: which brand to choose?

It's difficult to make a choice and to decide between the two brands which as we told you are quite similar. Even the different bicycle manufacturers have not made a choice between these two very equivalent brands. The most important thing is to choose a fork according to your practice, the type of riding you want to have, and above all, one that is well suited to your bike.

If the subject of suspensions raises questions for you, you can go read our guide on how to choose a full-suspension or a hardtail mountain bike.

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