Three new Grip dampers, aimed at delivering the ultimate DH, trail, and XC performance, use more sophisticated shim stacks designed to reduce response time and increase control.

Fox has completely overhauled its dampers for model year 2025 with three new Grip options tuned specifically to suit the differing priorities of gravity, trail, and XC riding. These new dampers replace the older Grip models, so you’ll see them appearing gradually over time as they trickle onto new complete bikes. They will also be available to buy aftermarket, and can be retro-fitted to the current generation Fox forks, many of which are already among the best mountain bike forks on the market.

Fox Grip X2, Grip X, and Grip SL dampers

Cutaway of the Fox 38 with Grip X2 damper. The spring-backed IFP is at the top, with the base valve just below.

2025 Fox Grip dampers need to know

  • Grip dampers across all forks (no more Fit4)
  • Grip X2 is four-way adjustable and biased to gravity riding
  • Grip X is three-way adjustable and designed for all-mountain/trail
  • Grip SL is lightweight and made for XC racing
  • Larger diameter base valve with more shims than previously adds damping control
  • Backwards-compatible, and will be available aftermarket for current Fox fork owners – Scroll to the bottom for pricing

Those new dampers are Grip X2 (replaces old Grip 2), Grip X (replaces Grip), and Grip SL (replaces Fit4 on 32 and 34 Step-Cast forks). Going forward, that means that the venerable Fit4 damper is now dead, and all Fox dampers use a spring-backed IFP design – no more bladders. Most obviously, they will be found inside the shiny new Fox Podium Gold limited edition forks ridden and raced by athletes, but mere mortals will be able to buy them later in the year.

Fox MY25 fork Jackson Goldstone

Jackson Goldstone shredding the new Podium Gold Fox 36 fork with Grip X damper.

The big news is that Fox has increased the size of the upper portion of the damper cartridge to accommodate a larger diameter base valve (the valve that sits immediately below the IFP at the top of the right leg). Now 24mm (4mm larger than previously), the increased size gives more space for additional shims, reduces pressure, and means that the valve has to move less while allowing increased oil-flow. Inside the base valve there are now 23 shims, up 16 compared to the old one, and this gives Fox the ability to fine-tune control over a wider variety of damping forces.

Fox Grip X2, Grip X, and Grip SL dampers

From top to bottom; New Fox Grip SL damper, Fox Grip X2, Fox Grip X, old Fox Grip 2, and old Grip damper.

Work on pressure balancing within the damper has, Fox claims, reduced the response time of the damper to bump inputs, so that movement takes place within 5-10 milliseconds of an impact. Which results in more grip and control while also being able to add support. Or, to put it another way, giving the opportunity to increase support without adding harshness.

Fox Grip X2 damper cutaway

Fox Grip X2 damper cutaway showing large volume cartridge and high and low-speed rebound damping adjustment.

Grip X2

This is the flagship gravity damper and comes with four-way damping adjustability (plus air pressure and air volume). So that means independent low-speed and high-speed compression, as well as low-speed and high-speed rebound. According to Fox, there is less ‘cross talk’, making them more independent, so changing one damping aspect will have less effect on another. Grip X2 will be available on 36, 38, and 40 forks, as well as the 34 at an OEM spec.

Fox Grip X2, Grip X, and Grip SL dampers

Cutaway of the new Grip X damper – you can see the enlarged base valve at the top of the cartridge.

Grip X

Designed to give great descending control with a little less complication and an easy-access climb mode, the Grip X damper will likely be found on a lot of high end trail bikes going forward. While it has independent high and low-speed compression damping control, there is a thumb tab built in to the high-speed adjuster that makes it easy to reach down and firm up the fork for climbing on-the-fly. The final click closes both high and low-speed compression damping to give a very firm climbing platform. On the rebound side, you get control solely over low-speed damping, which is intended to make tuning simpler and less confusing. Grip X is available on the 34, 36, and 38 chassis and saves roughly 120g over a Grip X2 damper.

Fox Grip SL damper cutaway

The diminutive Fox Grip SL damper is lightweight but sophisticated.

Grip SL

This new XC race damper can be found in the radical new Fox 32 Step-Cast fork with rear mounted arch, and will likely be ridden by some of the World’s fastest riders at the upcoming Olympics. It saves 60g over the discontinued Fit 4 damper it replaces, but claims to offer better control thanks to that upgraded base valve and shim stack. Unlike Fit4, it uses a coil-sprung IFP, improving consistency, and there’s a three-position compression damping dial (or optional remote) that can be tuned easily on-the-fly. Open and mid modes are said to offer supple performance with while gradually increasing support, while the firm mode gives a solid platform for sprints, while being able to blow-off smoothly if a bump is encountered.

All three dampers will supersede the old Grip units and will start trickling onto new forks going forward. There is no pricing yet from Fox on damper upgrades for existing owners. We’ll update as and when we find out.

Fox Podium Gold fork line-up

Testing the new Fox 36 with Grip X damper in Santa Cruz.

First ride impressions

I had the chance to ride for a couple of days on the new 36 Grip X fork in Santa Cruz, California, near Fox’s HQ. The fork was brand new, so still in the bedding-in phase, and I didn’t have the chance to back-to-back this new damper/chassis with the previous generation, so my early ride impressions are just that. I will bring a more in-depth review once I’ve had more time on the fork and the chance to compare it to the old model.

On the first ride I had the opportunity to do some bracketed runs on the same track playing with the low-speed compression damping. The track was fairly fast with a few wheel height steps along the way, but not too much in the way of small chatter. I started with halfway closed on LSC, then did a run fully open, then fully closed, finally 3/4 from fully open. Of all the runs I did, the fork felt best towards the open end of the range, with additional harshness being felt as I added more compression damping. So the opposite of Fox’s claims, but with the caveat that the fork was box-fresh and definitely started to free up over the following two days.

On the other hand, every click from fully open to fully closed was usable. And I was impressed by the level of support from the fork, keeping it propped up on steep lines, dropping off steps, and braking into steep corners.

It’s not a quiet fork. To get the desired damping qualities, Fox has had to accept a noticeable squelch on the rebound stroke. This is only on the Grip X damper – the Grip X2 is actually quieter than Grip 2.

I ended up dropping the pressure a touch, settling on 80.5psi for my 76kg weight, with 3 clicks of HSC and 3 of LSC from fully open. Chatting to Fox’s World Cup suspension tuning expert, Jordi Cortes, he said this was something some riders have done with the new dampers. By using the extra support of the damper, they have been able to run slightly lower air pressures. On the other hand, Jordi himself says he likes to keep his spring rate the same with the new dampers, then set the damping independently.


We’re still waiting on UK pricing on the damper upgrades, but here are UK and US prices for the forks:

Dampers (for upgrading existing forks)

  • Grip SL $280-295 USD
  • Grip X $320-340 USD
  • Grip X2 $380-450 USD


  • 32 Step-Cast $969-1,049 USD / £1,119
  • 34 Factory Grip X $999 USD / £1,129
  • 36 Factory Grip X or X2 $1,149 USD / £1,259 (Grip X), £1,349 Grip X2
  • 38 Factory Grip X2 $1,249 USD / £1,439
  • 40 Factory Grip X2 $1,849 / £2,089