2024 RockShox BoXXer

2024 RockShox BoXXer

Travel Options: 180, 190, and 200 mm

Wheel Sizes: 27.5’’ and 29’’

Available Offsets: 44 and 48 mm (27.5’’); 48 and 52 mm (29’’)

Stanchions: 38 mm

Stated Weight:

  • BoXXer: 2,680 g
  • BoXXer Ultimate: 2,840 g


  • BoXXer Ultimate: $1,899

Blister’s Measured Weight: 2,893 g (BoXXer Ultimate, 29’’, 200 mm travel, 52 mm offset)

Reviewer: 6′, 170 lb / 183 cm, 77.1 kg

Bolted To: Commencal Supreme

Test Duration: 4 months

Test Locations: Washington & British Columbia

David Golay reviews the 2024 RockShox BoXXer for Blister
2024 RockShox BoXXer Ultimate


The fact that a new RockShox BoXXer was coming hasn’t exactly been a surprise — their athletes have been openly riding prototypes for over a year now — and the updates that RockShox gave to their single-crown fork lineup last year gave us a pretty good idea of some of the internal changes that RockShox had in store. But the new BoXXer isn’t just a dual-crown ZEB (though it shares the latter’s 38 mm stanchion diameter) — there are a lot of details that separate the two.


First off, the BoXXer gets an all-new chassis with 38 mm stanchions (up from the 35 mm ones that have been used on the last several generations of BoXXers). It’s common for companies to hype up just how much stiffer their latest and greatest forks are — especially single crowns, where stiffness is at more of a premium than with dual-crown forks like the BoXXer. But RockShox is more measured in their claims, saying that they sought to hit the right balance of stiffness and compliance, rather than go all out to make the BoXXer as stiff as possible.

The new BoXXer is available in versions for 27.5’’ and 29’’ wheels, both of which default to 200 mm travel, but separate air shafts are available for 190 and 180 mm travel as well. A 20 x 110 mm Boost axle is still used, and the new BoXXer is still available in black or red, as with the prior-generation model, and the 200 mm brake mount carries over as well.

But RockShox has found a lot of details to refine. Unlike the prior-generation BoXXer, which had a massive 10 mm jump between the offset options, the new fork gets 44 and 48 mm offset options for the 27.5’’ fork and 48 and 52 mm ones for the 29er version. Dual-crown fork offsets have been slower to coalesce on standard numbers than single-crown ones for some reason, but those numbers seem sensible and modern while giving folks who are inclined to experiment room to do so. 

David Golay reviews the 2024 RockShox BoXXer for Blister
2024 RockShox BoXXer Ultimate
Tall and short upper crowns are available, both of which are included with aftermarket forks; OE specs are up to the frame manufacturer for forks that come on complete bikes. And to make it easier to line up the crowns, RockShox has added a series of anodized lines onto the stanchions to keep track of the crown heights on both legs — a nice touch to take the measuring and/or guesswork out of the equation.
2024 RockShox BoXXer, BLISTER
2024 RockShox BoXXer — Crown Marks
Another interesting tweak to the BoXXer is the addition of a pair of holes near the bottom of each stanchion, which are meant to help migrate oil past the lower bushing to the upper one for smoother sliding. RockShox says that they have the added benefit of helping air move past the lower bushing more quickly on a rapid compression, reducing the effect of air pressure buildup in the lowers by effectively increasing their volume to include the space between the upper and lower bushings. RockShox has also added lower leg bleeders to the BoXXer, though they appear to be threaded knobs (knurled, to be turned by hand) rather than push-button valves as featured on RockShox’s latest crop of single-crown forks.
David Golay reviews the 2024 RockShox BoXXer for Blister
2024 RockShox BoXXer — Stanchion Transfer Ports
RockShox has also developed a bolt-on fender for the BoXXer, which uses four points of attachment to keep it secure. Its coverage is significantly broader than that of the bolt-on fenders for their current single-crown forks (including extending forward of the arch) and it’s great to see those sorts of fenders finally becoming standard after years of companies including threaded bosses on the fork castings for them, but not following through with the fender itself.

Charger 3 Damper

Unsurprisingly, the Charger 3 damper that RockShox debuted in their Pike, Lyrik, and ZEB forks last year has made its way over to the BoXXer, in a version repackaged for the bigger dual-crown chassis. And since it’s the same design in a bigger package, I’ll just quote what we wrote in our First Look on the Pike, Lyrik, and ZEB from last year:

“[The Charger 3 is] a full redesign from the outgoing Charger 2.1, including a switch to a coil-spring-backed IFP design (from a bladder on the Charger 2.1). RockShox had two main goals for the new damper: (1) decoupling high- and low-speed compression adjustments, so that one truly doesn’t impact the other and (2) reducing the amount of harshness / high-speed spiking that occurs on sharp and repeated impacts.

In most dampers, the high- and low-speed compression adjustments act predominantly in their nominal range (though exactly what counts as “high” and “low” speed is fairly subjective), but aren’t fully independent, either — for example, changing the low-speed adjuster still has some effect on high-speed damping, too. In short, varying the amount of oil that can flow through the low-speed circuit changes the threshold at which the high-speed one has to take over and start taking on some of the oil flow, which in turn means that the amount of oil flowing through the high-speed circuit, and therefore the amount of damping force that it generates, isn’t constant at a given shaft speed, depending on how the low-speed adjuster is set.

RockShox calls that phenomenon “cross talk,” and says that they’ve reduced it to the point where the amount of damping at 300 inches per second of shaft speed (squarely in the high-speed range) only varies by 5% across the entire range of the low-speed compression adjuster. And along with that, they’ve done something pretty interesting with the adjusters: rather than indexing them from fully closed and counting clicks from there, RockShox has set the middle of the range as the default, index position — and says that those middle “0” positions are consistent from one fork to the next. The idea was to simplify tuning, by having a consistent and repeatable baseline that’s actually a middle-of-the-road, viable setting for a lot of riders (instead of fully closed compression damping, which few folks would actually run in practice). The compression adjusters are labeled with that zero position clearly defined at the center of the range, with tick marks to either side of it to give a quick and easy visual confirmation of where they’re set, without needing to sweep through the adjustment range and count clicks from fully closed.

A secondary goal was to make the damper quiet — “slurping” noises on rebound are pretty common in a lot of forks and shocks, and RockShox made a point of eliminating those to keep the bike quiet and avoid distractions to the rider.”

David Golay reviews the 2024 RockShox BoXXer for Blister
2024 RockShox BoXXer Ultimate

We’ve been very impressed with the Charger 3 damper in the ZEB, Lyrik, and Pike, and having it ported over to the BoXXer makes good sense. Our full review of the ZEB, linked above, goes into a lot more detail, but RockShox has done a great job of making the Charger 3 offer a relatively wide range of tuning potential while still being impressively straightforward to set up and working quite well even at the extremities of the adjustment range. The Charger 3 feels pretty similar as implemented in the Pike, Lyrik, and ZEB, so we’d expect the same for the BoXXer — which we’re definitely not complaining about — but will have to get on one to find out for sure.

The Charger 3 damper is offered in an RC2 version with adjustable high- and low-speed compression and adjustable rebound in the top-tier BoXXer Ultimate, and an RC version with a single compression adjuster in the base BoXXer, which is offered on complete bikes only (i.e., no aftermarket sales).

DebonAir+ Air Spring

RockShox has given the spring side an update, too, and in keeping with their newer single-crown forks, they’ve called it “DebonAir+” though this version features some notable differences from the iterations that rolled out last year in the ZEB et al. Specifically, RockShox has done some trickery to better balance the positive and negative spring volumes within the bigger dual-crown chassis. For starters, the spring shaft is now 14 mm in diameter (up from 10 mm) and hollow, with the interior volume used to increase the negative spring volume. And instead of using the inside of the stanchion as the sliding surface for the main air piston, RockShox has added a secondary tube inside the stanchion to reduce the overall amount of progression in the spring. The idea is that the smaller-diameter piston necessitated by the inner tube displaces less air than a stanchion-sized one would, while the inner tube stops well short of the top of the stanchion, opening up a higher volume (relative to the diameter of the inner tube) chamber above the top of the tube.

It’s basically the same idea that Fox uses in the 38, but it’s interesting to see it applied to a dual crown, where the added volume from the longer stanchion goes a long way toward achieving the same goal already. In any case, RockShox says that the BoXXer’s version of the DebonAir+ spring is the most linear air spring they’ve ever offered, but their standard gray volume tokens still work in the new BoXXer if you want to bump the progressivity back up.

David Golay reviews the 2024 RockShox BoXXer for Blister
2024 RockShox BoXXer


Unsurprisingly, the vibration-isolating Buttercups that have been in RockShox’s recent single-crown forks carry over to the BoXXer as well. In short, they’re rubber elastomers in a little machined aluminum housing at the bottom of the spring and damper shafts, which allow both to float vertically very slightly and in doing so help mute high-frequency chatter that contributes to hand and wrist fatigue — by about 20%, according to RockShox’s own testing.

The top-tier BoXXer Ultimate gets Buttercups on both legs; the base BoXXer has to make do without. RockShox will sell Charger 3 RC2 damper kits and DebonAir+ spring ones with Buttercups for folks who want to upgrade their base BoXXer, but neither is backward compatible with earlier generations of the fork. Running a single Buttercup in one leg or the other is fine, and RockShox says that should provide roughly half the benefit of running two.


David Golay reviews the 2024 RockShox BoXXer for Blister
2024 RockShox BoXXer Ultimate

When RockShox updated their Pike, Lyrik, and ZEB forks for the 2023 model year, it came as a bit of a surprise that the BoXXer didn’t follow suit. A bunch of their pro riders had already been spotted spending time on what appeared to be the next-generation BoXXer, and given that RockShox has historically shared a similar damper platform between their flagship single-crown forks and the Boxxer, a new Charger-3-equipped version seemed like a safe bet.

It turns out that RockShox just needed another year to dial everything in, and having now spent a lot of time on the new BoXXer, it does indeed bear a real family resemblance to the ZEB. But RockShox hasn’t just slapped some longer stanchions and a second crown on that fork and called it a day. So how does the new BoXXer perform, and how does it compare to a bunch of the other high-end dual-crown forks out there? Let’s take a look.

David Golay reviews the 2024 RockShox BoXXer for Blister
David Golay riding the 2024 RockShox BoXXer


We’ve been impressed with RockShox’s latest-generation single-crown forks, with the newer Charger 3 damper generally performing well while being notably easy to tune (especially given that it offers quite a wide total range of settings). The new DebonAir+ air spring is quite a bit more supportive through the middle part of the travel and offers better small-bump sensitivity than the prior iterations.

So I was quite curious to see if the new BoXXer would feel like a continuation of what RockShox has done to their shorter-travel forks or something more notably different — especially since the BoXXer’s version of the DebonAir+ spring has some significant design differences from the single-crown iterations.

As implemented in the BoXXer, the Charger 3 damper feels a whole lot like the single-crown implementations that have been around for a while now. The tuning range feels broader and overall more useable than that of the Grip2 damper in the Fox 40, in particular. As someone who tends to like moderately firm compression damping settings, I’m generally running the somewhat lightly damped current-generation Grip2 forks at or near closed on high-speed compression and on the firmer side for low-speed as well; with the Charger 3, I’ve mostly run the middle high-speed setting (i.e., the “0” baseline one) and the low-speed at either 0 or +1.

The chassis of the new BoXXer feels excellent. It’s noticeably stiffer and more precise in how it tracks than the prior-generation one, but the biggest improvement has been in reducing friction and improving the sliding interfaces in the fork. The new BoXXer is appreciably smoother and more consistent in how freely it moves than the outgoing version.

The level of stiffness also feels nicely tailored — I’ve rarely been one to find a fork to be too stiff, but riding the BoXXer back-to-back against a Fox 40, the BoXXer does feel like it transmits just a little bit less sharp feedback in certain situations, particularly over off-camber chatter. It’s, of course, hard to isolate that to just chassis flex when every part of the forks differs, but it does feel like the BoXXer is a touch less stiff overall and rides a little more smoothly for it.

[Quick Aside: In our initial Flash Review of the BoXXer, I mentioned noticing a little bit of stickiness that felt like it was slightly hampering small-bump sensitivity and traction. It turns out a simple reset of the crown installation and torquing procedure took care of that. RockShox says that it’s critical to follow a specific procedure and sequence when tightening the crown bolts to achieve proper stanchion alignment, which is laid out in detail in their service manual, starting on page 155. I must have gotten things slightly misaligned when messing with the crown placement for ride-height purposes early in my testing, but it wasn’t an issue with the fork itself.]

It’s a small detail, but I’m also a fan of the markings for crown height that RockShox has put on the BoXXer’s stanchions. Its upper and lower limits are clearly defined, with gradations between them to make it easy to set both stanchion heights evenly and keep track of settings when tinkering with ride height.

David Golay reviews the 2024 RockShox BoXXer for Blister
2024 RockShox BoXXer — Crown Markings

The new DebonAir+ spring also feels like a big improvement over the version from the prior-generation BoXXer. It’s got a much more consistent, linear feel, with far less of a soft “hammock-y” feel through the midstroke. Small-bump sensitivity has improved substantially, and the new spring feels more consistent and predictable than the old one. The BoXXer’s midstroke support doesn’t feel as firm as that of the Manitou Dorado Pro or the Öhlins DH38, with their more complex dual-positive air springs, but it’s pretty good, and a notable improvement over the outgoing one. The BoXXer also feels like it rides a touch lower than the Dorado or DH38 in a lot of dynamic situations, but it’s still quite composed and reasonably supportive, just with a little more dynamic sag to get there.

Especially compared to the DH38’s spring, the DebonAir+ one in the BoXXer feels much easier to tune to not be quite progressive in the last 20% or so of the travel. I’ve found the Öhlins to ramp up harder than I’d ideally prefer when set up to feel the way I want it to earlier in the stroke; the BoXXer was a lot easier to set up to my liking. The fact that the BoXXer runs relatively high pressures also makes it a bit easier to fine-tune, and a little less sensitive to minor changes in pressure than a lot of other forks, including the ZEB — 1 psi makes a big difference in that fork (where I’m running less than half the pressure that I do in the BoXXer).

The BoXXer’s massive bottom-out bumper was fairly effective in terms of letting me use full travel without any super harsh bottom-out events (with the stock configuration of zero volume spacers) but felt a bit wooden deep in the stroke. That effect felt most pronounced when carrying speed into a flatter, rougher section and slamming the front wheel into a hole that hung up the bike and made me do a push-up on the bars. That never feels good, of course, but I felt like I was using the last bit of travel too easily and the fork was a little slow to recover from those deep compressions, with rebound settings that otherwise felt good the rest of the time.
Adding a volume spacer (and keeping the same 142 psi that I ended up running, just a touch under RockShox’s recommendation for my weight) solved that issue and made the end part of the stroke feel better controlled. With those settings, I found myself rarely able to use the last ~7 mm or so of travel but was more than happy to give that up for the increased composure when getting deep into the stroke.

2024 RockShox BoXXer, BLISTER
David Golay riding the 2024 RockShox BoXXer

Overall, I’ve been quite impressed with the new BoXXer. The chassis is great, the revised spring works well, and the Charger 3 damper that I’ve gotten along well with in RockShox’s latest single-crown forks feels like it’s carried over to the larger package nicely.

In particular, RockShox has done a great job of making the latest BoXXer easy to set up and live with, while still performing quite well and having a fairly broad overall range of adjustment. That’s no small feat and makes the BoXXer an easy fork to recommend to a wide range of riders. It stands out less for being truly exceptional at any one thing in particular, and more for just being well-rounded and consistent in its performance, with very few rough edges or quirks that’ll make it hard to set up well for most folks. It’s a real improvement over the prior-generation one on a bunch of fronts, and a very worthy competitor to the other high-end dual-crown forks out there.


Here’s a quick rundown on how the new BoXXer compares to most of the more common dual-crown DH fork options on the market. Of course, if you want to chat about which of these forks would work best for you, or have any other questions about gear you’re interested in, you can become a BLISTER+ Member, send us a note via the Member Clubhouse, and we’ll work one-on-one with you to get you sorted.

RockShox BoXXer vs. Fox 40

Both the BoXXer and the 40 are well-rounded forks that should work well for a wide range of riders, but there are some notable differences in their performance and feel. The BoXXer has a slight edge when it comes to small-bump sensitivity and muting smaller chatter; the 40 feels a touch more direct in how it transmits feedback to the rider, I think down to a combination of its chassis being a bit stiffer than that of the BoXXer and differences in their air springs.

The BoXXer also has a wider overall range of compression-damping adjustability, especially on the firmer end of the high-speed range. The Grip2 damper in the 40 arguably has finer resolution to tune with, especially at more moderate compression damping levels, but some riders who’d prefer firmer high-speed compression damping settings will have an easier time getting there with the BoXXer. And despite having a wider range of compression adjustability, the BoXXer feels appreciably easier to set up — the Charger 3 damper is notably straightforward to work with.

RockShox BoXXer vs. Öhlins DH38

These two feel pretty different. The DH38 has a firmer compression damping tune than the BoXXer, and a more supportive and progressive air spring that tends to ride a bit higher in its travel (but also may be hard to get full travel out of for some folks). The BoXXer has better small-bump sensitivity and generally feels more plush and compliant while still offering good support; the DH38 is more emphatically on the firm and supportive end of the spectrum. The chassis stiffness between the two feels pretty close, but if anything, the BoXXer is probably a little more stout.

RockShox BoXXer vs. Manitou Dorado

The Dorado, on the other hand, has an edge on the BoXXer when it comes to initial sensitivity and grip, while still offering a highly tunable air spring that can be made quite supportive (the Pro version especially, and to a lesser extent the Expert). The chassis and steering feel, on the other hand, is quite different between the two, with the Dorado being quite noticeably less stiff and precise torsionally. As I wrote in my full review, I did find that aspect of the Dorado’s performance to be easier to adapt to than I might have expected (and it probably does help with it feeling especially smooth and grippy in the early part of the stroke) but it is a very noticeable difference.

Bottom Line

The new RockShox BoXXer is a very well-sorted DH fork that performs well, is pretty easy to tune, and has a wide range of damper adjustability on offer. Its air spring and chassis, in particular, are a big step up from the prior-generation version, and it has held up to a whole lot of park and shuttle laps while continuing to perform well.

It’s an easy fork to recommend to a lot of riders looking for a dual-crown DH fork who don’t have any super specific needs that would steer them in another direction — the BoXXer just works well, is quite tunable and easy to live with, and generally feels well-rounded and well-sorted.

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