Setting apart Fox Factory from Fox Performance/Elite suspension forks


Fox had a suspension fork range consisting of three models, but from 2017 the manufacturer changed names and thus Factory, Performance Elite and Performance appeared, while Evolution vanished. The new denominations clearly draw the destinations. Factory  sits at the high end, with the World Cup proven brand engraved, Performance Elite steps down a bit, while the Performance line suits those who do not have tons of money to spend on forks, still keeping themselves in a higher price zone.

After having the chance to ride all three versions of the Fox forks, ending with the new Rhythm entry-level, we made a good idea about how things work around here.

They don’t get any lighter and better – Fox Factory forks feature an air cartridge and carved stanchions. Low weight, high price

In the case of the Factory version, things are straight-forward. The manufacturer used top of the line materials, including Kashima coating, which made the product even more appealing, fitted it with tons of settings and shaving off every single gram of extra weight. Then there’s the Performance Elite version that is not available for all models, but only for the 34 and 36. In these cases, specs sopy the ones of the Factory version, meaning you have the same settings, travel lengths, but an extra 150-200 grams. You can recognise them by the oh-so „Fox”-ish stickers, but also thanks to the stanchions’ coating, which is black in this case. Both use the FIT4 cartridge and the price difference revolves around 200 euros.

36 Performance Elite works soundly, bearing virtually no differences compared to the Factory version, with its black stanchions and lots of settings. This models features 170mm of travel and eats downhills for breakfast

Things change in the case of Factory vs. Performance. The latter uses a GRIP cartridge and does not have as many settings. It gains around 150 grams in weight, but keeps the same black coating as in the case of the Performance Elite.

Rhythm lowers the bar – light coloured stanchions, basic settings, decent performance, but still far off the feelings provided by Factory or Performance Elite. You can find here the GRIP cartridge.

During rides, all forks worked excellent. In regard of the Factory version, we may say that it’s an option suited for the likes of persons who have a very generous pay day and enjoy spending time setting it up in detail. If you don’t fall into neither of these categories, then Performance versions of the products are the best match. Featuring the rebound setting and 3 operating modes (locked, trail and fully opened), they don’t behave like Factory or Performance Elite on the tracks, which is something we can live with just fine. Rhythm range forks use the same GRIP cartridge and the way is works has been revealed in other reviews.

The basic facts

Factory and Performance Elite feature a better air cartridge, lower weight, more settings, accurate and sensitive functioning as well as demanding price. Be prepared to spend more than 1.000 euros for this

Performance and Rhythm feature the recently developed GRIP cartridge, fewer settings, but in the same time better understandable for beginner users, bigger weight, different coating, and a somewhat more affordable price, that runs between 700 and 850 euros