Back at the Sea Otter Classics Festival earlier this year, FOX unveiled some rather interesting new parts for their 2016 collection, including the new Float DPS air shock. We’ve now had opportunity to haul it along trails and here are our first impressions.

Den neuen Fox Float DPS hat Dauertester Pirmin in dem neuen Centurion Trailbanger für uns getestet.
Long-term tester Pirmin attached the Fox Float DPS onto the new Centurion Trailbanger.

The technology of the Float DPS in detail

Standing for “Dual Piston System”, the DPS refers to the reinvented dual-piston damping system. With one piston dedicated to the open/medium mode, the second takes care solely of the firm mode, thereby tuning the shock to perform better in the climbs without compromising its ride in the downhills. The new shock still allows choice between the three settings: open, medium and firm. Tweaking compression is now done in open mode, rather than in the former trail mode, and this makes it even easier to tune the downhill settings to suit your style.

Die Dämpfung im offenen Modus lässt sich am neuen Float DPS in drei Stufen einstellen.
In the open setting, the Float DPS has three stages of compression adjust.

While one major change is hidden in the inner chambers, the second is more than visible to the human eye. We’re talking about the new EVOL air can, which has a bigger negative air chamber that results in more small bump sensitivity (similar to the RockShox Monarch and Monarch DebonAir). Tucked beneath the black covering on the shock, it’s primarily the reason for the new look. The bigger air chamber also renders the spring more linear, but there’s still a simple way for riders to alter the progression by adding spacers. A further plus is that the bigger air volume and extra suspension oil mean it’s less likely to result in over-heating, which is particularly advantageous on long descents.

Die Evol-Luftkammer mit ihrer größeren Negativkammer ermöglicht ein noch feinfühliges Ansprechverhalten.
The EVOL air can with the bigger negative air chamber ensures more responsive and supple shock behaviour.

How it rides

Whilst climbing in the firm setting, it’s immediately evident just how much firmer the new FOX shock is compared to its predecessor. Effectively reducing the sag, it also prevents your rear tyre breaking away and enables a better performance on the ascents.

Wurzelfelder verspeist der neue Float DPS zum Frühstück, steht dabei hoch im Federweg und vermittelt ausreichend Feedback vom Untergrund.
The new Float DPS slaughters root sections for breakfast, works smoothly at the top of its travel and delivers a tidy portion of ground feedback.

As our tester Pirmin weighs just 65kg, he really benefits from the super responsive nature and the added smoothness at the top of the new FOX DPS’s travel in the open setting. Overall, the shock is really sensitive and easy to define. This worked to his favour as he was able to balance the compression damping despite his light weight.

Die Dämpfung des Float DPS arbeitet effektiv, vermittelt gutes Feedback, könnte aber im mittleren Bereich noch etwas mehr Support liefern.
The compression of the Float DPS is effective and responsive, although its mid-stroke range could be more supportive.

As Pirmin is on the light side, it’s hard to pass verdict over how well the new shock resists heat build-up, but it survived a descent of 1,000 metres in altitude completely unscathed in terms of performance. During our testing, we didn’t have opportunity to perform a direct comparison between the new DPS and the former CTD shock. However, based on our collective experiences, we can attest to significant performance gains in compression and responsiveness.

Leichtgewicht Pirmin hatte während des gesamten Tests keinerlei Hitzeprobleme mit dem Federbein.
Our featherweight rider Pirmin didn’t encounter any negative heat build-up.


Fox have succeeded in progressing the Float shock even more by equipping it with the new DPS (dual-piston system) and EVOL technology. Costing 569 €, some riders may be hesitant to upgrade their current shock, so we’ll leave the decision up to you. But, if you’re buying a new bike and it happens to come with this out the box then you’ll be laughing all the way to the next root garden.

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Words: Pirmin Fischer/Christoph Bayer | Pictures: Christoph Bayer

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