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FOX Factory Forks Review: 34 vs. 36 Mountain Bike Forks

By Bruce Lin

The FOX 34 and 36 Factory are both great forks with different strengths. We break down which one is right for you.

FOX 36 Float Factory Series
FOX 34 Float Factory Series 

FOX 34 Float Factory Series

4 comments


  • Hey Jesse,
    Thanks for the question. Depending on the trails and how hard you ride you may or may not need it. If your current fork worked well on rough Utah trails then it’ll probably be more than fine in New England too. 

    That being said, I always like stiffness. I think it just makes the front end of the bike feel more precise. It helps the fork move into its travel more easily too, so it feels more comfy. I’ve used the 36 on my last 4 trail/enduro mountain bikes and ride everything from smooth flow to pure downhill. I like having a bike that’s ready for anything so the 36 is my go-to fork for everything besides XC. Unless you’re a complete weight weenie I highly doubt you’ll notice the bit of extra weight. If you’re curious and can afford it, I would go for it. 

    I wouldn’t worry about messing up the ride. If you don’t change the travel, it won’t make your Occam handle any different. I even overfork nearly all my bikes by 10mm just for fun and they never handle any differently. If you get a high-end 36 with a tunable damper (like the Grip2) then that will give you a lot of tuning options which could change the feel for better or worse depending on how experienced you are at tuning. 

    Bruce Lin on

  • What are your thoughts on going to the 36 on the Orbea Occam H10? I’m currently in UT but will be moving to New England and wonder if I’ll want the extra stiffness for the trails back east. I’d just be concerned about it drastically changing the ride characteristics.

    Jesse on

  • Hey Kenny,

    Regarding the shock, it’s unlikely you’ll be able to change the stroke or travel in the rear without drastically altering the geometry or pushing the suspension beyond what it was designed to handle. When most people upsize forks, they leave the rear alone or go to a higher performance shock with the same stroke length. The DPX2 is fine and if I were you I’d just leave it. About the fork though, 160mm is a REALLY big fork to put on a 2020 Trance. I haven’t heard of anyone putting a fork that big on that bike. I don’t know how it will ride.

    Bruce Lin on

  • Hello, right now I have 2020 Trance 29er with a Fox 34 Perfomance Elite 130mm Fork and Fox DP2 115mm shock..I was thinking of going to a Fox 36 Factory 160mm fork by doing this do I need to up the travel to DP shock also?

    Kenny on


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