The Fox RP23 has pretty much become the benchmark shock for all-mountain riding and thanks to leaps forward in technology is only looking to get better. The Factory Series RP23 that you see here has all of the latest goodies that Fox has to offer – slick Kashima coat, Boost Valve compression damping and the neat little ‘Adaptive Logic’ ProPedal lever.
Some love it, some hate it – but you can’t deny that shiny gold finish is more than just a pretty colour. The Kashima coating is an anodising process which coats the shaft and fills in the bigger holes not visible to the eye, making the seals slide along it with less effort. What does this mean for you? On the trail the upgrade is immediately obvious and the shock is noticeably more supple over small bumps and has less stiction at the start of the travel.
Adaptive Logic ProPedal
Anyone switching from an older RP23 will immediately notice that the ProPedal has changed and a neat little diagram on the shock body explains what you need to know. Essentially you still get three choices of low-speed compression damping at the flick of a lever. Flick the lever to the left and you get number ‘3’ (firm) damping – perfect for uphill slogs as it allows the shock to move over bumps, but stops any annoying pedal bob. Flick the lever to the right (or off/open) and you can choose from ‘fully open’, ‘1’ and ‘2’. I tend to keep it simple – flick it to the left on the ascent, then open it up to ‘0’ on the downhills to let rip!
Bolted to an Orange Five and occasionally swapping between a non-Kashima RP23 equipped Five it’s immediately obvious that the Kashima Coat is the big story here – no great surprise right? The difference is worth the upgrade, especially when it comes to the smaller bumps and stuttery sections that would leave a less-supple shock bouncing you all over the place. Whilst our Five test bike is no DH rig, the RP23 allows you to get away with much more than you’d expect on an all-mountain rig.
I’ve had this shock for a few months now and with a few big bumps and compressions out of the way I can happily say that the shock ramps up nicely towards the end of the travel, avoiding any expensive sounding thumps and staying predictable in its action… just what you need for a confidence inspiring ride.
Summed up, if you’re looking for an air shock for something other than a downhill rig, this is the one. I came into this review having only used an air shock on an old XC bike over six years ago. I had bad memories of seals leaking, damping all over the place and overheating on even the smallest descent. I came away pleasantly surprised… the RP23 is sticking around and Fox have drawn a line in the mud for all other air shocks to be measured by.
If you’re going to get the most out of a top end shock, be sure to speak the UK’s experts on Fox tuning at Mojo. www.mojo.co.uk
Tested by: Wideopen’s Web Editor Jim
URL: www.mojo.co.uk www.foxracingshox.com
RRP: Up to £469
The word: The benchmark in air shocks. It weighs 200g less than your steel spring alone and offers top notch performance that will more than cope with gnarly trail riding. If you can afford the upgrade look in to investing in the Kashima version – it’s worth the extra cash.
(Via wideopen magazine.)