FOX High Pressure Digital Shock Pump

by Brian Mullin on December 12, 2012

This
is an easy to use high pressure pump, which has a simple readable
digital gauge, with a large numerical LCD readout. The gauge can show in four different pressure scales, and has many excellent features; the
foremost is the superb bleed button that allows precise air pressure
adjustments. I have thoroughly enjoyed using this device over the last
several months, and it has been incredibly useful and functional for
making suspension pressure changes in my vast array of test shocks and forks.

The
FOX Digital High-Pressure Pump is constructed with an alloy body, and
has an alloy pump handle, a large plastic digital gauge, and a swivel
mounted rubber hose with a Schrader valve connector and an air bleed
button. The LCD digital gauge outputs in four pressure scales: psi (pounds
per square inch), bar (100 kPa- from Greek baros meaning weight), kg/cm²
(kilogram-force per square centimeter), and kPa (kilopascals), the
latter is the SI (International System of Units). It reads up to 300psi
in small increments and retails for $70.

Features and Impressions
The extra long Schrader connector makes it easier to connect and thread
onto forks and shocks, which is especially nice on finicky valves and
those that have deep recesses. It always drive me batty trying to attach
up a simple pump to a Schrader valve, and more than a few cuss words have
been tossed out of my mouth using the standard variety connector. The
hose swivel makes is handy to get the proper angle for reading the gauge
and attaching the connector, and it also extends the life of the hose
since it’s not bent at odd angles, and therefore the rubber isn’t
repeatedly pinched and crimped. After three months of use, the swivel
has been bombproof and hasn’t leaked or shown any signs of wear. The
swivel rotates 270° around its connection point, and stops up against the gauge housing at its maximum
rotation. The hose is flexible enough to squiggle around things, yet
its thick enough for durability and robustness.

  Strokes required by each pump to reach a specific psi

Adding
air can take a longer time at higher pressures as the pumps chamber is
narrow so you can’t produce a lot of volume for each stroke. On the
other hand, this allows delicate adjustments of the pressure, so small
and precise additions can be done. The stroke was nice and smooth while
pumping the handle, and I didn’t have any issue bringing my rear shock up
to 150psi. There is a nice thumb indentation just in front of the gauge
so that you have something to hold onto for stability while pumping. The air release or
bleed button functions nicely, and you can punch it hard for dumping
big chunks of air, or use a delicate tap to drop micro amounts, and it’s
surprising how easy it is to perform any adjustment required.

A
short tap and hold of the On button gets the digital gauge booted up,
and it will auto set to whatever was the last scale that was being used.
Hitting the button again cycles through the pressure scales: PSI, BAR,
kPa and KG/CM². When reading pressures in psi, the readout is in
increments of 0.5 from 0-199.5 psi, and then it increments to 1 from 200 to
300 psi. The other scales stay at the same increments for their entire
range. I am not sure you’ll need the other scales (maybe the bar), as they seem
superfluous, and I certainly have never used any of the
others? The readout stays on for around 1 minute without any usage, and
will then auto shutoff, and I found that more than enough time to check
the readout, and sit on the bike to check sag, etc.

Output range:

  • 0-300 PSI (Increments of 0.5 for 0-199.5 psi, Increments of 1 for 200 to 300 psi)
  • 0-20.70 BAR (Increments of 0.05 Bar)
  • 0-21.10 kg/cm2 (Increments of 0.05 kg/cm2)
  • 0-2065 kPa (increments of 5 kPa)

The
pump is not a lab rated unit, so the accuracy is sort of ambiguous, but
it’s in the ball park, meaning its close enough for comfort. What the
pump has is rock solid stability (no drift) over time and usage. Once
you have become accustomed to the pump, and what its particular readings
are in relation to your bikes, just use those as a standard of
accuracy. Most any pump on the market has accuracy issues, but what
counts instead is the repetition of what value x means, and that every
time you use the pump again, the value of x is still the same pressure
(accurate or not). This pump nails that repetition on its head. A truly
accurate pump isn’t portable or practical for normal usage, since it
requires a larger battery, gauge, internals, and costs substantially
more. What really matters in the long run is that required sag gets set and/or that the suspension feels proper.

Side note => Like most any pump, there is always a small of
amount of air that lingers in the hose, so that when you disconnect the
pump, that air is lost in the total relationship to the shocks pressure
and the gauges last reading. The gauge measures a total pressure value
of x, which is a combination of the shocks value of y along with the
hose value of z. I found the value of the lingering air in the hose to
be between 2-4psi (or more) on this pump, which depends greatly on how
you disconnect the Schrader connector. Again, the lost psi during
disconnect is meaningless if you are always using the same method for
checking the pressure: connect, pump or bleed to your designated psi,
disconnect, check sag if needed, repeat. Once you have defined that
95psi is the sweet spot for your pump, your done.

I really liked the digital
gauge, since it was a no brainer to know exactly what the numbers
stated, as there was no guessing trying to interpolate between the
markings on the gauge and the needle. As my eye sight has gotten poorer
with age the analog gauge designs are tougher to use and read. The 0.5
increments for psi allowed very precise settings, making it easy to
bleed or add air to meet requirements. You get instant reinforcement of
what the pressure is with this design and format. Easier readability,
plain and simple, and the large size of the LCD numbers was a bonus.

Measured Specs:

  • Weight – 217 grams
  • Length – 240mm
  • Stroke length – 120mm

At
217 grams it weighs slightly more than some other pumps on the market,
and at $70 it costs nearly twice as much, but it is more durable (so
far) and the design and features are certainly very user friendly. Most
of the analog competition retails from $35-$50, and weighs between
180-220 grams. The battery for the digital gauge is not serviceable or
rechargeable, but FOX implies that the battery will outlast the shock?

Bottom Line
The FOX High Pressure Digital Shock Pump is a pretty nifty unit, and
the pressure gauge’s LCD display has large easy to read numbers that
give instant reinforcement of its output. This design is much handier
and user friendly to read then a traditional analog gauge, and the small
.5 psi increments allow for minor alterations in pressure. The pump has
some great features, including an extra long Schrader connector, which
makes it easier to thread onto the valve and connect it into deep recesses.
The highlight of the pump is the bleed button that allows very minute
amounts of air to be dropped for precise pressure adjustments.

The pumps
chamber is narrow and the lever has a short stroke, so it can some time
to get a shock to higher pressures, but that also makes it easier to add
small amounts. The pump is a bit more expensive than the
competition, but it offers a lot of great creature comforts, including the
bleed button and digital output. I do wish the battery was serviceable,
but FOX claims it will outlast the pump?

This is a great
functional pump, with an excellent Schrader connector and superb bleed
button, and the user friendly digital readout with large numbers is pretty sweet for
dialing in your suspension precisely.

Pros

  • Easy to read digital LCD gauge
  • Long Schrader connector
  • Durable
  • Superb bleed button

Cons

  • Not the cheapest on the market
  • Battery not serviceable or rechargeable
  • Short and low volume stroke – slow to fill shock/fork

Overall Rating: 4.5 Flamin’ Chili Peppers

FOX HP Digital Shock Pump Spec:

  • MSRP: $70
  • Accurately check and set suspension pressures
  • Connects to Schrader valve suspension products
  • Auto shut-off after 1 minute
  • Pressure release button to allow air to be removed while getting to the right psi
  • 270 degree rotating hose with an extended Schrader valve tip
  • Four Pressure Scales/Displays – PSI | BAR | kPa | KG/CM²
  • <= Operating Ranges =>
  • 0-300 PSI (Increments of 0.5 for 0-199.5 psi, Increments of 1 for 200 to 300 psi)
  • 0-20.70 BAR (Increments of 0.05 Bar)
  • 0-21.10 kg/cm2 (Increments of 0.05 kg/cm2)
  • 0-2065 kPa (increments of 5 kPa)

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