Bilstein 5100 vs Fox 2.0

Bilstein 5100 vs Fox 2.0

The 5100 is a classic for any off-road warrior whereas Fox shocks’ is way lighter and had better heat-resistant aluminum construction that increases cooling capacity and is rust-resistant. But it is also true that fox 2.0 is expensive compare to the Bilstein 5100 series.

For improved ride quality, vehicle stability, and smoother riding, upgrading to monotube shock absorbers will give trucks, Jeeps, or SUVs to improve ride performance.

Let’s get some things right first.

Car enthusiasts talk about Bilstein 5100 vs Fox 2.0 performance. But there are many good reasons to consider when you want to choose any of them.

Fox 2.0 vs. Bilstein 5100

Feature(s)

Bilstein 5100

Fox 2.0

Body size

1.95”

2”

Piston size

46 mm

48 mm

Rod size

½”

5/8”

Built material

Steel

Aluminum

Finishing

Zinc

Anodized

Recommended for

Daily/ Offroad

Offroad

Bilstein vs Fox- The Battle: Fox shocks vs Bilstein Shocks

Bilstein 5100

Bilstein 5100 shocks are high-pressure mono-tube design with a complex digressive auto-adjusting valving setup. They offer lovely handling, control, quickest responsiveness than any other. Their zinc finish prevents them from quickly fading.

Bilstein 5100 itself is a classic off-road player.  But if you are planning to perform some dance move with the car, then it’s not for you. Moreover, Bilstein manufacturer already told that it is better not to use a spacer with the shock as it was not designed for that. They recommend using the height adjustment on the shock. If you plan on keeping your spacer from your level then Bilstein 4600 is a great solution.

The Bilstein 5100, best off-road shocks on the highest setting will ride stiffer than the Fox 2.0 because of the “preload” on the spring.

Bilstein is trustworthy best off-road shocks that perform smoothly and are quite cheap to have.

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The Fox 2.0 Performance Reservoir Shock Set

The Fox 2.0 comes out of the box with a 2″ lift and offers external compression adjustments through its CD Adjuster. Fox 2.0 allows tuning through eight (8) different levels at the tips of your fingers with a simple twist knob.

If you plan on going higher than 2″ on the coilover the Fox 2.0 will also ride rough if you compress the spring to much trying to get the max lift out of the coilover.

Fox 2.0 easier to install and gives you more piston surface area, expanding the damping capacities of the shock.

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Features: Fox 2.0 performance series shocks review

  • Built with 2″ diameter aluminum bodies, 5/8″ hard chrome-plated heat-treated alloy steel shafts 
  • 100% re-buildable and re-valveable internal design allows adjustable with full nitrogen-pressure, compression- and rebound-valving adjustability
  • They’re 100% re-buildable and re-valveable

Fox 2.0 coilovers are easier to modify even after installation for super rotating spring collar feature. Spring preload ring features let an easy ride height. Moreover, preload adjustment retains a top-quality racing coil, selected to deliver the optimal spring rate.

That’s the reason, why I’d recommend Fox 2.0 over 5100 Bilstein, despite the latter coming with more height adjustments. Fox 2.0 has added a new spring. And it isn’t being preloaded and that leads a faster ride response than the stock spring and lifted Bilstein.

With standard monotubes, mono-tube shocks have some distinct advantages over twin tubes.  

However, the 5100 series is less expensive compare to fox 2.0 for off-roading performance.

5100 series shock will have an extended length over stock shock absorbers, to accommodate an already lifted vehicleup to 6″ in many cases.

Why Fox 2.0 Performance Coilover & Shock is the Winner

Ist # Reason – The bushing, a composite bushing that isolates noise and vibration. The upper mount of the IFP Coilovers comes with a composite bushing. And that feature helps with noise isolation and reduces vibrations significantly.

Yes, you’re going to need that when you’re conquering those insane bumps out there in the open.

2nd # Reason – Preload tuning hold a top-quality racing coil, selected to deliver the optimal spring rate. Fox offers its QAB optional adjusters for the compression and rebound reservoirs 

3rd # Reason – Height adjustment. Locking, spring pre-load rings that allow easy ride height adjustable preload ring can make Coilover lift height up to 2″ of lift.  These are 100% bolt-on shocks with no modifications needed.

4th # Reason –  the ease of installation without the need for major fabrication. and Fox 2.0 Series Coilover IFP provides better performance and a more comfortable ride.

let’s see!

How Joe Moore, FOX Offroad Division Race Department Manager defines Fox 2.0 overall performance. (Image credit)

fox 2.0 performance series shocks review
fox 2.0 performance series shocks review

But wait!

There are so many facts to go with bilstein 5100. If your ride is happy rock crawling, trail riding and off-road rallying then bilstein 5100 serios gives your vehicle greater stability and safety on the tough trail runs. 

The Bilstein 5125 is a universal fit shock that works well with lift kits and larger diameter tires. And without no doubt, cars and trucks equipped with Bilstein 6100 shocks take home the top prize more than any other shock. For the price point and warranty Bilstein is the way to go they are an absolute night and day difference over fox 2.0 performance.

Why would love Bilstein Shock

Reason #1 -With a high-flow piston and independent compression and rebound tuning it performs more consistently even under extreme conditions.

Reason #2 – Bilstein shocks 5150 have a piggyback reservoir and The Bilstein 7100 series have a remote reservoir that can be positioned where you want. The Bilsteins still throw your UCA, CV, LCA, and tie rod angles

Reason #3 – Bilstein shocks work better on a heavier Jeep though, it’s a stiffer shock but handles great and rides well

Chris Gauss, National Sales and Marketing Manager, Tenneco (Rancho) describes the only drawbacks - “A mono-tube’s only drawback is that the pressure tube is the outermost layer of the shock, exposing it to the hazards of off-road driving.and for that reason many of us use durable shock wraps and covers.”

Note 1: Struts and coilovers just get you a better ride and general performance. A spacer is solely for ride height and tire clearance.

Note 2: The difference between the Fox and Bilstein is the Fox is a specialty shock that can be designed with the ability to customize according to your need. Fox versions like 3.0, 3.5, and 4.4 can be had with adjustable valving (springs, shims, and orifices in the piston to control the flow of oil through the piston) and spring choices.

Fox 2.0 vs Bilstein 5100 Overview

Do you ever hit the ceiling of your car or feeling unstable in your bike during a bumpy ride? Probably not, thanks to a pair of adjustable metals, called shock absorber. These things are here to ease your on road or off road performance. If you are still hitting the ceiling, you may like to consider getting a new pair. Here we will compare two excellent shock absorbers with more features.

Bilstein 5100 Overview

Bilstein 5100 is a classic one of the best off-road player.  Manufacturers forbid to use a spacer, which is not suitable for it. They also recommend using the default height adjustment settings of the product. They offer you a different product (Bilstein 4600) if you are a big fan of the spacer. Even though Blistein 5100 is still one of the highest-selling ride stiffer worldwide.

Bilstein 5100 shocks Reviews

Bilstein 5100 Monotube Gas Shock Set
Bilstein 5100 Monotube Gas Shock Set

But if you think Blistein shocks out of the park, then you are mistaking. There are also many facts to pick Bilstein. Those are happy with rock crawling, off-road rallying, and trail riding, then Bilstein 5100 series will be your pick. It ensures better stability and safety to your ride. 

Great features

  • No need for a spacer
  • Provide professional performance
  • Self-adjusting, no need to customize
  • Fast response rate. 
  • Durable

Bilestein shocks are a great and less expensive and way better than spacers. Let’s review some 5100 Bilstein series shocks-

Key Features:

  • Fitment: Universal
  • Design: Monotube
  • Item weight: 11.3 kg
  • Product Dimensions: 10*10*30 inches
  • Compatibility:  4WD vehicles with w/2 front lift and 0-1” rare lift
  • Replacement: With factory-like zinc-plated shocks
  • Unboxing- 2* Ride height adjustable struts, 2* shocks, 2* black boots and necessary nuts, washer, bushings 

Key Features:

  • Internal Design: Monotube
  • Shaft diameter: 14 mm
  • Lower Mount: Eye 14.12 mm
  • Upper Mount:  Eye 14.12 mm
  • Shaft Diameter:14 mm
  • Reservoir: No
  • Boot included: Yes
  • Collapsed Length(in): 16.14
  • Extended Length(in): 26.15
  • Travel Length(in):10.01

Key Features:

  • Internal Design: Monotube
  • Fitment: 4WD vehicles with 0-1” rear lift with 0-2.5” rear lift
  • Item weight: 11.3 kg
  • Product Dimension: 10*10*30 inches

Bilstein 5100 Silverado Review

Key Features:

  • Design: Monotube
  • Fitment: Only vehicles with torsion Key lift only.
  • Compatible: 4WD vehicles
  • Item Weight: 11.3 kg
  • Product Dimension:10*10*30 inches
  • Warranty:  Product lifetime

Key Features:

  • Compatibility: 4WD vehicle
  • Internal design: Monotube
  • Item Weight:11.3 kg
  • Product Dimension: 10*10*30 inches

Bilstein also makes some universal-fit shock i.e., Bilstein 5125. It works exceptionally well with lift kits and large-diameter tires. Above all rides with Bilstein 6100 can beat almost every other shocks. The price point and after-sale service Bilstein provides is way better than Fox 2.0 

Are you getting puzzled?  Ok, now fix the issue. There some significant concerns to choose Bilstein shocks

  • It has a high flow piston and independent compression and rebound tuning. It is ready for whatever the trail can dishes out.
  • Bilstein shocks have freely adjustable reservoirs,  i.e., piggyback of 5150 and remote reservoir of 7100 series. The Bilsteins still throw your UCA, CV, LCA, and tie-rod angles. 
  • Despite being a stiffer shock, it handles quite well and rides well. These work tremendously on big boys like jeeps.

Note-1: Coilovers and struts are for general performance where a spacer is only for ride height and tire clearance.

Note-2: In a nutshell, the main difference between Fox 2.0 and Blistein is Fox is easily customizable, and some of them come with adjustable valving and changeable springs.

Every shock Bilstein makes is built on the monotube shock design. The 5100 Lifted Truck/SUV Series are designed specifically for lifted trucks, Jeeps or SUVs to help improve ride performance, with the right tuning and length for your specific lift.

Ride Engineer Shane Casad from Bilstein stated, “the difference between twin-tube and mono-tube performance can be significant. A twin-tube will cavitate (become aerated) due to oil not being placed under direct pressure.”

Bilstein 5100 vs 5125

Feature

Bilstein 5100

Bilstein 5125

Built material

Zinc Plated Steel

Zinc Plated Steel

Hose

10*10*30 inches

4*8*28 inches

Weight

12.7 kg

6.8 kg

Piston size

46 mm

46 mm

Rod material

Chrome Plated Steel

Chrome Plated Steel

Rod Size

14 mm

14 mm

Performance

Fast Transition

Smooth Transition

Bilstein 5100 Coilover

Though ride quality depends on various factors and components, still coil-over shocks provide the highest number of damping and suspension control of the ride. They are way better than using a spacer. Though these are hardly adjustable, they still perform smoothly. Above all, these are quite cheap to have.

Bilstein 5100 tundra

Tundra itself a five seats full-size truck. Typical  Bilstein shock may not be able to hold a truck-like tundra.  That shock is adjustable without a leveling kit. You will need two pairs of them, one for front and one for the back. Fantastic zinc finish on the top with a self-adjusting digressive piston with a marked lift capacity makes it an easy pick for tundra rides. Besides these, you are getting the uncompromised performance and warranty of Bilstein

Fox 2.0 overview

If you are looking for an adjustable one, you may like to consider Fox 2.0 coil-overs. That has a built-in 2″ lift without any preload. It is quite easy to adjust even after installation, thanks to the super rotating spring collar features. It is possible to get beyond 2″ lift height. The spring preload rings ensure comfortable ride height. Preload settings retain a better quality racing coil to deliver optimal spring rate.  

Fox 2.0 is a performance series of lightweight shock. It comes with customizable facilities. The thing was missed in the Bilstein series. It is one of the entry-level products of Fox lineup 

Cons

  • Unusable for heavy vehicles
  • Need to upgrade and maintain regularly 
  • Not as suitable for daily use

Brian Godfrey, marketing manager, FOX Shox described the benefit of size, saying, “A mono-tube shock gives you more piston surface area, expanding the damping capacities of the shock.”

Key Features:

  • Internal Floating Piston (IFP) mono-tube design separates the shock oil from the high-pressure, nitrogen-charged gas chamber. 
  •  IFP eliminates oil aeration.
  • Front end 4″ up, and the rear 1.5″ to level off front to rear
  • Set of 4 Shocks – compatible with 2WD & 4WD Vehicles 1.5-3.5″ Front Lift and 1.5-3.5″ Rear Lift JK
  • Shock boots & Roost Shields sold separately.

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Fox vs. Bilstein – The final Verdict

Recommending a Fox 2.0 over Blistein 5100 is quite easy. Sometimes, it is easy to install, height options, and ensure a better ride in many cases. Let’s dig deeper into why Fox 2.0 begging a win over Bilstein.

  • The bushing: Composite bushing is necessary to conquer the bumps inroads. The upper mount of IFP coil-overs reduces vibration and noise as it comes with composite bushing. 
  • Preload adjustment: Preload adjustment retain a better quality racing coil and can be set up to deliver optimal spring rate
  • Height adjustment: Spring preload rings, locking ensure comfortable ride height with an adjustable preload ring. These are built-in bolts with shocks, so here we don’t have to do any welding or similar stuff.
  • Ease of installation and performance: These are super easy to set up and provide almost equal comfort in any every situation.    

Bilstein – About the company

Bilstein is a German brand founded by August Bilstein in 1873. Being inspired by Americans, Bilstein started in the automobile sector from 1927. They started manufacturing mono-tube gas shocks from 1957. But their fate completely changed when Mercedes-Benz installed their shock absorbers in a championship and won the title. Till then, motorsport becomes unthinkable without Bilstein products. Today Bilstein is a unique automobile giant with worldwide recognition for its uncompromised quality. 

Fox company

In 1974, a Physics teacher, Geoff Fox, started a small motocross parts and accessories business in Campbell, California. His business was booming from the beginning. Within two years, they have started manufacturing parts for racers, i.e., suspension and engine. In 1977 Fox’s owned motocross made the first appearance. In 1980 they had registered their first title till then Fox sponsored riders won 40 titles. Despite a massive success over the decades, Fox remains a family business.  With love and understanding, that tiny family business has conquered the world and still ruling the world with innovations and performance.

FAQ on Bilstein vs Fox

  1. Which is better Fox or Bilstein? 
  • Fox is the winner here. Though both provide lifting support, Bilstein is not as functional as Fox. Above all, Fox provides smooth control, better damping on the truck. Moreover, Fox can be customized with a spacer.  
  1. Are Fox 2.0 shocks worth the money?
  • The main problem with the Fox is, it is made for offroad and entirely unsuitable for daily use.  You may need an adjuster component for daily use. So if you are a regular off-road driver, it definitely will worth your money.   
  1. Are Bilstein shocks worth it?
  • Bilstein is famous for its prolonged service life. Other competitors of Billstein need to change every 3 to 5 years. But Bilstein promises a decade long performance. So it definitely worth the money. 
  1. Why are Bilstein shocks better?
  • Bilstein is famous for uncompromised comfort. Moreover, they are cheap, high response time, and perfect for daily use. They are long-lasting and a perfect package with handling, control, performance. You can quickly improve the performance of your ride with it. 
  1. Is Bilstein a good brand?
  • Definitely, Bilstein is one of the trusted brands in terms of the shock absorber. They ensure a smooth ride with comfort and provide a lifetime warranty, but you may never need to claim it.
  1. Why are Bilstein shocks so expensive?
  • Bilstein ensures three times more service life than other brands. They also provide top-class build material and lifelong after-sale service. That’s why Bilstein shocks are a bit expensive than others.  
  1. Are Bilstein shocks better than OEM?
  • OEM shocks are shiny and soft. But in terms of performance, Bilstein is still better. Bilstein is also more comfortable than OEM. 
  1. Which is better KYB or Bilstein?
  • Bilstein is better. However, KYB shocks are a bit stiffer than Bilstein. But Bilstein provides more comfort and a smoother ride. Moreover, the durability and lifetime warranty of Bilstein outperformed KYB. 
  1. Are Bilstein shocks better than Rancho?
  • Yes. Bilstein shocks are better. Rancho can not create the same pressure as Bilstein. As a result, Rancho will fail to provide the same performance as Bilstein. You may get compromised performance in every possible sector. 

Conclusion 

Fox and  Bilstein both are doing business for an extended period. Both target a separate audience. If you are passionate about your ride and want customizing facilities, then Fox is for you. On the other hand, if you are dame care about your ride or have no free time to maintain it. Bilstein shocks are kind of plug and forget. In terms of quality, both of them are equally performable, and both provide excellent after-sale services.

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Dencan Brain
I, Dencan Brain BOŽIDAR, call myself a Torque master. I've always been fascinated with cars and tools accessories. You can call me gearheads or petrolheads. I recently started a blog about welding gear.I am also a DIY welding enthusiast because it is affordable for any household work. Follow me on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn and tumblr.

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