Fox DYAD RT2 shock – Instant Expert guide

The Fox DYAD RT2 is one of a new breed of adjustable-travel shocks that’s helping to change the way we ride in mountainous terrain. It’s appeared on ChopMTB a couple of times recently, on Mark Weir and Jerome Clementz‘s race bikes, so we reckoned it was about time we took a closer look. So what’s so special about it?

1 Teamwork

The DYAD is a collaboration between Fox Racing Shox and Cannondale. It was developed specifically for the Jekyll, to give the bike a dual personality – hence the name. Now it’s been extended to the company’s other ‘Over’Mountain’ bikes, the Claymore, Trigger and Trigger 29er.

Here's the DYAD in its natural habitat, nestled between the linkages of a Cannondale Jekyll. Picture by Jon Ashelford

Here's the DYAD in its natural habitat, nestled between the linkages of a Cannondale Jekyll. Picture by Jon Ashelford

2 A la mode

The shock has two modes – Flow, which offers full travel for downhills and big hits, and Elevate, which reduces travel for climbing and flatter terrain. And that’s not all that changes – Elevate mode makes the spring rate more progressive and cuts sag dramatically, steepening the bike’s angles and providing a firmer pedalling platform.

The DYAD's a chunky unit, but that's because there's lots going on inside. Picture by James Costley-White

The DYAD's a chunky unit, but that's because there's lots going on inside. Picture by James Costley-White

3 Two for one

How does it work? The DYAD is actually made up of two separate shocks, tied together with a central sub-body that houses a shared negative air chamber to adjust start-of-stroke suppleness. In Elevate mode, only the larger of the shocks is used. Switch to Flow mode and the second damping circuit and positive air chamber are activated to provide a higher-volume and more linear feel.

Fox DYAD RT2 mode comparison

4 Remote control

The last thing you want when you’re approaching a rock garden at high speed is to have to reach down and flick a lever on your shock. That’s why the DYAD comes with a handlebar-mounted remote to switch between the two modes.

The remote lever is simple but effective. Picture by James Costley-White

The remote lever is simple but effective. Picture by James Costley-White

5 On the pull

Most mountain bike shocks are push-shocks – ie. they compress when you hit a bump. The DYAD is a pull-shock – ie. it extends when you hit a bump. Why? This design reduces stresses on the frame and, because the shock is shorter than a push-shock when static, removes some framebuilding constraints. That’s why you’ll find features like down tube bottle bosses and an uninterrupted seat tube on the Jekyll.

Note how there's no gold, Kashima-coated shaft visible on the DYAD. That's because it's a pull-shock. Picture by James Costley-White

Something missing? The DYAD's shaft can't be seen when it's static. Picture by James Costley-White

6 Get it dialled

There’s not just a choice of modes on the DYAD – you can also adjust the compression and rebound damping of each shock, as well as the (separate) positive and (shared) negative air pressures. There’s a fair bit to get your head around at first but it soon all makes sense.

Rebound damping is easily adjusted using the twin red dials at the end of the shock. Picture by James Costley-White

Rebound damping is easily adjusted using the twin red dials at the end of the shock. Picture by James Costley-White

More info at www.cannondale.com and www.foxracingshox.com.