Quick Review: Fox Digital Shock Pump

Fox Digital High Pressure Shock Pump review

The Fox Digital High Pressure Pump debuted at Interbike last fall and alongside the prototype iRD suspension set up app/shock combo. Quite simply, it’s a high pressure shock pump with a digital pressure gauge that makes it far easier to get super accurate air pressure in your fork and shock.

The readout shows air pressure in PSI and BAR in tiny increments (0.5psi below 100psi, 1.0psi increments over 100psi), letting you fine tune the pressure. The pump’s body is durable alloy with a 360º rotating hose. Stroke is nice and smooth. It’ll pump up to 300psi, which should satisfy the needs of any modern suspension component.

UDPATE: Comments about accuracy and tolerances from Fox’s engineer added at bottom!

Retail is $69.99, available now. More pics below…

Fox Digital High Pressure Shock Pump review

Instructions? You don’t need no stinkin’ instructions. What you see is what you get. All that print on the inside of the box is just FCC and CE disclaimer jargon.

Fox Digital High Pressure Shock Pump review

The hose rotates very freely, which makes it incredibly easy to hold the pump in a natural position. Yes, $70 is a bit much for a shock pump, but if you use one a lot like we do, having that extra bit of accuracy and easy to read numbers is a real treat.

From David Crum, Fox’s engineer for such things:

The gauges in the digital pumps are calibrated at the factory. In our testing, they show next to no drift in their readings over many hundreds of uses. It is important to note that these gauges, while highly repeatable – each gauge will read quite accurately the same known pressure and display the same value each time – are not able to achieve lab levels of accuracy. When compared to a calibrated master gauge, the gauges in the hand pumps will have some variation.

If perfect accuracy is required from a digital gauge, there will be three factors which prevent it from being selected for a hand pump:

  1. Cost – lab quality gauges (+/- 0.5% or better) start at a few hundred dollars US – and that’s just the gauge without a pump attached.
  2. Portability – most lab quality digital gauges require more power than a small battery can supply, often they are either 24 VDC or 110 VAC.
  3. Size – the pressure sensors and control electronics required by lab gauges prevent the gauge from being small enough to fit on a lightweight hand pump.

He concurred with the comments regarding accuracy and repeatability and recommends using the same pump all the time, which means once you find the setting that works for you, repeating that pressure with the same pump yields the same result whether it’s 100% accurate or not.

Comments

Pete - 08/21/12 - 5:43pm

I really wonder how accurate this will be. Across three of my shock pumps, of the same brand and model they would read 5-10psi differently. Putting a digital readout on an inaccurate measuring device just serves to convince the gullable it’s reading accurately.

To read to 0.5psi increments it’ll have to be pretty well made internally, between a $70 price and low volume production I can’t imagine this is so sophisticated.

I’d like to see a lab test across ten of them.

Andy - 08/21/12 - 5:55pm

The key to setting up your suspension is to use the same pump all the time. This way any inaccuracy between pumps is negated because 175psi (just an example) is correct for your pump and shock. I apply the same philosophy to tire pressure. It’s all relative to your pump.

Bill C - 08/21/12 - 10:39pm

Gauge aside, it’s good to see that Fox is using the same shock pump as everyone else- those things last more or less forever…

gringo - 08/22/12 - 5:29am

+1 for Andy,

true accuracy is not as important as consistency.
always use the same pump and you will be fine.

Detlef - 08/22/12 - 5:48am

@Andy: Normal pumps have high tolerances, so even if you use the same pump you will have high inaccuracy. Different ambient temperature and other factors will influence the measurement if the gauge has no compensation.
After all, it’s pretty senseless to show two decimal places, when no range of tolerances is given.

Bob - 08/22/12 - 10:25am

I agree with everyone, same pump and gauge for consistency. Over 100 psi I use the gauge on the shock pump. Under 100 I slightly over pump then use a 0~100 psi dial gauge with a bleeder valve to bleed it down to what I want. Same with tires, I took a dial gauge and cut the end off the hose and installed a presta fitting to set my tire pressure. I record my settings and after riding I make notes so I can adjust if needed the next time.

I have purchased 3 digital gauges and was not happy with any of them. Having to reset to check after adding or removing air took too much time.

RUSTYDOGG - 08/22/12 - 12:12pm

I must be a caveman, but I don’t really use the gauge much. I go by the amount of sag. The gauge gets you in the vicinity.

Roger - 08/22/12 - 2:24pm

I’m really glad so see such innovation in the cycling community. I need to get one of these because I always believed I would be an awesome mountain biker if I could get 94.3 psi in my front shock. Now I can!

JAVI - 08/24/12 - 10:28am

What is the fox item number of this pump?

Smith McKenna - 10/29/12 - 7:18am

Fox is becoming the Apple of the biking scene. I won’t be buying anything else from them. They are getting ridiculous.

Graeme - 12/11/13 - 2:41pm

I bought 2 of these pumps, they work great BUT, after 6 months the battery is dying.
GUESS WHAT YOU CANT REPLACE THE BATTERY, YOU HAVE TO BUY ANOTHER NEW PUMP AT $70. I JUST CALLED FOX AND THAT IS WHAT THEY TOLD ME.

DO NOT BUT THESE, WHOEVER THOUGHT THE BATTERY WILL NEVER GO DEAD IS A …… AND THEY DIDNT TELL YOU ONCE ITS DEAD BUY A NEW PUMP AT $70 A POP.

DONT WASTE YOUR MONEY

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