Compare FOX Factory 38 Fork Options

Designed for aggressive riding the FOX Factory 38 GRIP2 Forks are available in both 27.5″ and 29″ in a variety of travel and offset configurations.

Let’s look at the FOX offerings as well as some configurations from by swapping air shafts to get you the perfect fork for your Enduro or All-Mountain rig.

Already know the FOX Factory 38 you need? Scroll down and shop In-Stock Forks or use the contact form to let us know exactly what you want!

FOX 38 GRIP2 Fork

All of the Factory 38 Forks share the GRIP 2 damper

GRIP2 Damper

The most popular damper across a wide range of rider disciplines the FOX GRIP2 provides the ultimate in quick external adjustment to fine tune your ride.

On the fork uppers riders find the FOX 38’s compression controls.

FOX Factory Fork GRIP2 Compression Control

FOX GRIP2 Compression Controls

The inner black knob controls the FOX GRIP2’s Low Speed Compression while the larger diameter blue dial controls the High Speed Compression.

High-Speed Compression – 8 Clicks (now with VVC)
Low-Speed Compression – 16 Clicks

The FOX GRIP2 damper provides Low and High speed compression controls to fine tune support.

Compression circuits hydraulically damp (or slow) the fork’s input assisting the air spring in providing appropriate mid-stroke and bottom out feel.

Low Speed Compression helps provide mid-stroke support. This allows a bike to ride taller in the travel in cornering while resisting brake dive, rider weight shift and other slow shaft speed inputs.

High Speed Compression works to fine tune bottom out feel as well as other high shaft speed inputs also known as square edge bumps. Example: if you sprint straight into a curb you’re likely to engage the High Speed Compression even if you’re not using full travel. This is due to the speed of the shaft moving oil to compensate for the hit.

FOX Factory Fork GRIP2 Rebound Control

FOX GRIP2 Rebound Controls

The larger diameter (higher) red knob controls High-Speed Rebound while the smaller diameter (lower) knob controls Low-Speed Rebound. (These have a black cover threaded over the assembly)

High-Speed Rebound – 8 Clicks (now with VVC)
Low-Speed Rebound – 16 Clicks

The GRIP2 damper provides both Low (LSR) and High (HSR) rebound controls.

The addition of the High Speed or HSR control provides increased rebound control to account for the higher PSI produced by aggressive or heavier riders.

Typically riders will adjust LSR, Low Speed Rebound, to suit riding style and taste and refer to FOX’s guide for the appropriate HSR, High Speed Rebound, pairing.

The FOX Float EVOL air spring has been fine tuned over the years to provide riders exceptional performance.

Using volume spacers the FOX Factory 38 fork can modify its progression rate creating either a more linear (less volume spacers, more total air volume) or more progressive (more volume spacers, less total air volume) feel.

FOX 38 Fork Maximum Volume Spacers

Do not use more volume spacers than FOX specifies. Severe damage to the fork and or loss of control will occur.

FOX 38 Maximum Volume Spacers

180mm: 4
170mm: 5
160mm: 6
150mm: 6

Check out more details on the FOX 38 tuning guide.

FOX 38 Factory Fork Shared Features

Along with the GRIP2 damper all of the Factory 38 Forks share the following features:

Upper Tube Finish: Kashima Coat

FOX Factory Fork Bleeders and Channels

Air Channels & Bleeders: Yes.

Shown above the FOX 38 provides riders a simple way to eliminate any air buildup in the fork lowers. Simply push the bleeder valve to release any pressurized air in the fork lower. Since pressure in the fork lower creates a harsh ride these small bleeders provide a notable improvement in performance and are especially valuable on lift access mountain days, races or days with big heat input changes.

Air pressure can build in the lowers from heat saturation or if the fork “gulps” air past the seals during operation. Either way, these bleeders have you covered.

The channels improve flow through the fork for more consistent performance across a range of terrain and ground speeds.

FOX Factory 38 GRIP2 Rebound Control and Floating Axle

Floating Axle: Yes.

Floating axles do not need to be adjusted each time a wheel is removed. However, having the ability to set a floating axle to a new hub or wheel will greatly improve performance.

Rotor Size: 180 Direct Mount with compatibility to 230mm

Mud Guard Mount: Yes. 4 point direct mount for optional Mud Guards

Air Spring: Float EVOL

FOX Factory 38 Eliptical Steer Tube

Steer Tube: 1.5″ Taper with internal elliptical design.

A focus on details – with material where its needed and less where it can be eliminated the FOX 38 Factory Fork is a thought out product from top to bottom. Literally.

FOX Factory Fork Revised Arch

Revised Arch: Yes.

Designed to be lighter, strong while accommodating revised bike geo a lot of attention went into the fork arch.

FOX Factory 38 Fork Configurations and Part Numbers

Both the 27.5″ and 29″ FOX Factory 38 are offered in shiny black or shiny orange lowers.

The gloss orange lowers are available from FOX only in the 170mm configuration.
However, we can swap the air shafts to produce an Orange FOX 38 in 180mm or 160mm travel as well!

FOX Factory 38 Fork with Shiny Orange Lowers

Gloss Orange: FOX 38

The following are the details for the FOX Factory 38 Shiny Orange forks available from FOX.

27.5″ FOX Factory 38 GRIP2 Shiny Orange

170mm Travel with 37mm Offset Lowers
FOX Part Number: 910-20-201

29″ FOX Factory 38 GRIP2 Shiny Orange

170mm Travel with 44mm Offset Lowers
FOX Part Number: 910-20-200

BikeCo Available Configurations:

As mentioned before BikeCo can deliver a Factory 38 with shiny Orange lowers in 160, 170 or 180mm travel. If your new rig would look perfect with that 160 or 170mm gloss orange fork let us make it happen for you!

Gloss Black: FOX 38

The following are the details for the FOX Factory 38 Shiny Black forks available from FOX.

FOX Factory 38 Fork with Shiny Black Lowers

27.5″ FOX Factory 38 GRIP2 Shiny Black

180mm Travel with 37mm Offset Lowers
FOX Part Number: 910-21-027

180mm Travel with 44mm Offset Lowers
FOX Part Number: 910-21-028

170mm Travel with 44mm Offset Lowers
FOX Part Number: 910-21-031

29″ FOX Factory 38 GRIP2 Shiny Black

180mm Travel with 44mm Offset Lowers
FOX Part Number: 910-21-020

170mm Travel with 44mm Offset Lowers
FOX Part Number: 910-21-022

160mm Travel with 44mm Offset Lowers
FOX Part Number: 910-21-024

160mm Travel with 51mm Offset Lowers
FOX Part Number: 910-21-025

BikeCo Configurations:

Looking for a 27.5″ in 160mm travel? Or a 160 or 170 27.5″ in 37mm Offset? Chat with our team about getting the perfect fork spec on your rig for your riding.

Check out a quick video to learn more about how your MTB suspension functions and how each setting interacts with the others.

The FOX 38e is available in Factory Kashima, both 29″ and 27.5″ at 170mm with a 44mm offset.

BikeCo offers a range of air shafts to accommodate FOX 38e in 160, 170 or 180mm travel.

Designed for heavier bikes the FOX 38e is spec’d with an additional volume spacer installed at the factory. The volume spacer maximum quantity does not change with the 38e spec. (see Float EVOL tab)

The eMTB FOX 38e is also spec’d with a traditional 1.5″ taper steer tube.

Float 38: FOX Performance vs. Factory Kashima

Let’s look at some differences from the Factory 38 compared to the FOX Performance or a OEM Performance 38.

Float 38 Defining The Differences

FOX Factory

FOX Factory 38 forks feature the Kashima coating as well as the top tier damper GRIP2.

They’re called Factory or Kashima options. And they’re pretty easy to spot with the dark brown hue.

The FOX 38’s GRIP2 damper offers riders control over both High and Low-Speed Compression as well as Rebound for the widest range of tuning and setup options.

FOX Performance ELITE

FOX Performance Elite forks typically feature the top tier damper systems, with all the adjustments of the Factory fork, but have a black ano coating.

FOX Performance

Some forks are available from FOX in a Performance configuration. The FOX Performance forks tend to have a less sophisticated GRIP damper, generally without as many compression controls as the Factory or Performance Elite shocks are spec’d with. The damper body has a black ano coating.

OEM FOX Float 38

You might see take-off shocks in a variety of configurations. Manufacturers can spec differences in the body, dampers, etc so understanding which damper is spec’d on an OEM fork will allow you to compare “apples to apples” so to speak.

FOX Factory 38 versus Performance 38

Improved Compression Setup

This is the biggest difference.

The FOX Factory 38 GRIP2 provides 8 clicks of High-Speed compression adjustment and 160 clicks of Low-Speed Compression tuning.

The Factory forks use the low-speed and high-speed compression with volume spacing to control support and bottom out.

The Performance 38 GRIP damper has some adjustment to compression, however the circuit is simplified compared to the GRIP2 option.

Therefor a Performance fork leans on the volume spacing and PSI to produce support and bottom out characteristics.

This added Compression control is exceptionally notable as your ground speeds increase as well as for larger riders.

Kashima Coating vs Black Ano

Without access to all of FOX’s testing I’m referencing my years of experience riding both FOX coatings as well as our background on custom shock manufacturing and tuning.

The Black Ano coating works well. I ran a Performance Elite fork and shock with the black ano for years without noticing any wear in the coating.

The Kashima coating is slightly more “slippery” – which means less stiction – probably more notable for smaller riders.

When BikeCo has done custom internals or custom branded shocks we work closely with our coating specialists. Many of the additive packages aimed at producing a surface with less surface friction have an additional benefit that they work really well at negating or minimizing heat input on the shaft. This helps minimize performance changes to the shock during a fast run with thousands of shaft inputs. BTW: these additive packs tended to produce a rich, brown color… Just saying…

So in conclusion: Factory forks have notable advantages in overall tuning setup as well as direct benefits for large and small riders on different sides of the spectrum!

Comparing the FOX 38 to other forks

What steers a rider towards the FOX 38? Let’s look at some of the most common factors.

FOX product. There’s a reason we push FOX like we do. It works great. It’s reliable. Parts are available.

FOX products are particularly sought after by aggressive riders looking for suspension that can perform confidently and competently from the start of the drop to the bottom.

The most common fork debate for Enduro and Trail / Enduro bikes is FOX 38 or FOX 36?

The FOX 38 is a bit more robust than the FOX 36 and is available in longer travel setups than the 36. The 38 weighs in a bit more, but in my experience I haven’t noticed it on trail. Since the air shafts can be changed easily you might consider if your bike has the option to increase the travel or decrease the travel and if that makes the decision easier. (For instance, my bike can run 160 or 170, but the 36 max’s out at 160 – so the FOX 38 was the choice – and I did end up with the slightly longer fork!)

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Buy with BikeCo: Advantages

Shopping suspension? There are notable reasons to work with The Bike Company. We care about Expertise & Experience: Yours!

Our staff is excited to help you get the right product, setup for your riding. Whether you’re looking to understand your product front to back or simply want to know you got the best product for your needs dialed in for your riding we are here for you. Pro Tune Suspension

Ready to take your Fox 38 fork’s performance to the next level? Then it’s time for BikeCo’s Pro Tune Suspension.

BikeCo’s suspension tuners take Fox’s excellent performing forks and shocks and personalize the tune parameters to your specifics.

We will contact you for a riding bio to assess your riding level, terrain, riding disposition, ground speeds, etc. Our proprietary modifications then narrow the fork’s performance window, and thus improve the adjust-ability for you!

Out of the box Fox makes a great product. But it has to “fit” everyone. From the lightweight, smooth rider to a biggest, burliest basher. And everything in between. Well, chances are you’re somewhere in a narrower window with your riding… Let’s dial it in for you.

After Sales Service from

Another aspect that sets BikeCo apart is our after sales service. The best components for each budget is the first step. Dialing in the exact setup combination is the next step. No other shop has the experience to help you understand and setup modern mountain bikes.

Our team will reach out with a variety of loaded questions to help you find that “ah-ha” moment with your bike. A click here, a turn there, a bit of stack, a couple PSI – it can be intimidating. But not for BikeCo clients. We’re here by phone, email, chat or in-store to help you enjoy your MTB.

Contact Me: FOX Factory 38 Fork

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