RockShox overhaul the BoXXer DH fork, but existing owners can get most of the new upgrades for way less $$$

A mountain bike and rider on a trail
(Image credit: RockShox)

RockShox built the first prototype BoXXer in 1996 and evolving versions of this iconic triple clamp / twin crown fork have made it the most successful downhill MTB fork ever. The latest version looks similar to previous generations, but it’s actually an all-new, significantly more expensive fork.

New tubes

The big change is a move to a twin-tube air-spring design with a 14mm rather than 10mm air-spring shaft to let RockShox tune positive, negative and casting (the air outside the spring sections) air volumes. The linear, coil mimicking DebonAir+ spring floats between a larger negative air chamber and a tapered ‘jounce’ bottom out bumper for the biggest hits.

Oil flow ports have been added in the lower legs to better recirculate lube through the bushings for minimal stiction on long runs or relentless lap days. The design also helps equalize air volume above the bushings to stop unwanted ramp up on the heaviest compressions.

Close up of a mountain bike and rider

The all new BoXXer also gets a new shade of red (Image credit: RockShox)

Joining the Charger

The BoXXer also gets a longer stroke version of the Internal Floating Piston Charger 3 RC2 damper design introduced on the last generation of RockShox Lyrik Pike and Zeb forks. That should mean a more consistent, much quieter performance and minimal ‘cross talk’ between high and low speed compression damping, so you don’t have to compromise between comfort, grip and high speed control. ButterCup vibration reducing rubber shaft tips are built into the new BoXXer too. 

The machined crowns have been redesigned for lightness with RockShox claiming a 2,680g complete weight. That makes it 90g lighter than the Fox 40 but 115g heavier than the previous Boxxer Ultimate.

Detail of a triple crown fork

New machined crowns limit weight increases over the previous BoXXer (Image credit: RockShox)

Same size, different build

While RockShox have stuck with 38mm diameter legs, the whole structure has been balanced between stiffness and smoothness over two years of testing. Markings on the fork legs make balancing leg heights super easy if you’re playing with length and geometry. Crucially, for letting people know you’re running the latest gear, RockShox have tweaked the iconic BoXXer (and Judy DH) red to create ‘BoXXer Electric Red’.

A mountain biker hitting a jump

Vali Holl is already winning on the new BoXXer (Image credit: RockShox)

New BoXXer options

The latest BoXXer Ultimate is available in 27.5 (44 or 48mm offset) or 29in (48 or 52mm offset) sizes, and 180, 190 and 200mm travel with stroke change kits available. At $1,899 / £2,029 / €2,279, it's just $71 more than the previous BoXXer Ultimate in the US, but the price increases by £259 in the UK and €188 in the EU.

However, if you’ve already got a BoXXer, then you’ll be very interested to learn that the Charger 3 RCT dampers ($358 / £356 / €399) and DebonAir+ springs ( $104 / £101 / €113) are available as aftermarket upgrades.

There’s a bolt-on fender that comes in the box for shop bought forks and is available as an extra if you buy a complete bike with a BoXXer on. There’s also a complete bike only BoXXer with the same air-spring and chassis, but a simpler Charger 3 damper and no Buttercup rubbers.

Tech specs: RockShox BoXXer

The RockShox BoXXer Ultimate fork 2023

The RockShox BoXXer Ultimate (Image credit: RockShox)

BoXXer Ultimate

  • Damper: Charger 3 RC2 w/ButterCups
  • Spring: BoXXer DebonAir+ w/ButterCups
  • Wheel size: 27.5”, 29”
  • Travel: 180mm, 190mm, 200mm
  • Fork offset: 44mm (27.5”), 48mm (27.5”, 29”) 52mm (29”)
  • Weight: 2,840g (200mm travel, 48mm offset)
  • RRP: $1,899 / £2,029 / €2,279

The RockShox BoXXer fork 2023

The new RockShox BoXXer (Image credit: RockShox)

BoXXer

  • Damper: Charger 3
  • Spring: BoXXer DebonAir+
  • Wheel size: 27.5”, 29”
  • Travel: 180mm, 190mm, 200mm
  • Fork offset: 44mm (27.5”), 48mm (27.5”, 29”) 52mm (29”)
  • Weight: 2,680g (200mm travel, 48mm offset)
  • RRP: Available on complete bikes only
Guy Kesteven
Technical-Editor-at-Large

Guy has been working on Bike Perfect since we launched in 2019. Hatched in Yorkshire he's been hardened by riding round it in all weathers since he was a kid. He spent a few years working in bike shops and warehouses before starting writing and testing for bike mags in 1996. Since then he’s written several million words about several thousand test bikes and a ridiculous amount of riding gear. To make sure he rarely sleeps and to fund his custom tandem habit, he’s also penned a handful of bike-related books and talks to a GoPro for YouTube, too.


Current rides: Cervelo ZFS-5, Forbidden Druid V2, Specialized Chisel, custom Nicolai enduro tandem, Landescape/Swallow custom gravel tandem

Height: 180cm

Weight: 69kg