FOX's New Lightweight Mountain Shocks

March 2020 Feature

Wow! If you're a shock nerd like us, you'll appreciate this news:

FOX has lightened its FLOAT air shocks by 15 percent, and lightened its coil-spring shocks by 21 percent. 

"The weight reduction of a snowmobile is a huge factor because the lighter the sled, the closer you equalize the rider weight versus the snowmobile weight. Weight is something that benefits everyone, regardless of skill set or size. That results in less fatigue, less spent energy and inspires confidence overall,” says Carl Kuster.

The new Lightweight FOX Mountain shocks are physically about 21 percent (coil) and 15 percent (air) lighter than last season’s shocks that FOX says it's replacing, making its FLOAT air shock the lightest available. Where the weight savings really comes into play is over the duration of the day on the sled. Flicking a 400-lb sled at altitude accelerates fatigue, so any and all weight savings is critical. 

As a reference point, about .63 lbs each was removed from fully featured FOX QS3/QSR FLOAT ski shocks, and about .75 lbs each was removed from fully featured FOX QS3/QSR coil ski shocks. 

With input from FOX's Backcountry Team, the new FOX lightweight mountain shocks improved ride quality is as significant as their weight savings. While it may seem like a stretch, this technology has trickled down from FOX's trophy truck engineering successes. Simply put, they've freed the shock to move comfortably by using internal grooves to bypass oil around the piston in the ride zone while providing increased bottom-out resistance for those big hits by eliminating the grooves in the last 30 percent of travel. This provides the plushness to ride all day with the control you need for maximum fun. 

"My goal is always to build the lightest, most efficient sled possible because when we ride in the backcountry, we want a sled that is quick, gets up on the snow, is easy to ride and doesn’t beat you up all day. So anytime we can increase the power-to-weight ratio we are winning,” says Chris Burandt.

From the FOX press release:

FOX Next-Gen Lightweight Mountain Snow Technology 

We focused on four key components to shave weight, improve ride quality and maintain the same durability you expect from FOX. These include: 

Aluminum Mounting Hardware 

  • Significant weight savings over previous steel reducers; 
  • Incorporated reducers – no more reducers dropping on the garage floor during installation. 

Position-Sensitive Damping 

  • Internal grooves placed in the shock’s ride zone improve small bump comfort; 
  • Small top-out zone reduces harsh top-outs; 
  • Bottom-out zone dramatically increases damping force in the last 30% of travel; 
  • Black Type III hard-anodized aluminum protects the bodies from nicks and scratches and gives seals a smooth, consistent surface to ride on. 

1.5"-Diameter Reservoir 

  • Optimized inside diameter and wall thickness for maximum weight savings. 

Lightweight Springs 

  • Our new 95-lb per inch springs weigh 0.78 lb compared to last season’s 1.53 lbs; 
  • Optimized high-pitch springs were designed specifically for their respective application; 
  • We chose a new spring material to retain the correct spring rate with less coils, while at the same time maintaining durability under harsh use. 

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