Two of the most popular dampers on the market are the Grip 2 and the Fit 4. For many of those looking to pick up a quality damper for their mountain bike, they will choose one or the other. So, what’s the difference between the two? Let’s take a look as we compare Grip 2 vs Fit 4.
The Grip 2 Is Better
Right off the bat, we want to point out that almost everybody that has used both of these dampers will tell you that the Grip 2 is better. You will see a bit more as to why this is the case as we go through the Grip 2 vs Fit 4 comparison.
However, right away, we want to tell you that if you are looking for the absolute best damper that money can buy. If you are looking for the damper that will give you the most superb riding experience, then you need to pick up the Grip 2. Don’t even bother looking at the Fit 4. While the Fit 4 certainly does have its uses, it isn’t really a competition. The Grip 2 is smoother. It provides more stability.
The Grip 2 Provides More Adjustment
The main reason why the Grip 2 is superior is that you have a lot of adjustments that you can make to it. We will expand upon these adjustments as we go through the differences on this page. however, if you are the type of person that really wants to customize their ride, then we think that the Grip 2 is going to be nigh on unbeatable for you.
The Fit 4 Is Easier To Use
When it comes to the Grip 2 vs Fit 4 comparison, this is one of the areas where the Fit 4 wins out.
Because the Fit 4 isn’t as sophisticated as the Grip 2, it is often easier to get to grips with. If you are new to the world of MTB, then you probably don’t want to be spending hours and hours making adjustments to your damper. You just want to get out there on the trails and start riding. The Fit 4 allows this.
The Fit 4 is something that you can really get hooked up to your bike and use right away. You may need to make a few minor adjustments here and there, but nothing too crazy. It just works. While the Grip 2 can also accomplish this to some degree, we really feel that to get the most out of the Grip 2, you do have to spend a bit of time tinkering about with it to ensure that it is right for the routes you are heading on. Although, of course, if this is something that you can do and you can spare the time for, then the Grip 2 is superior.
With the Fit 4, you can pretty much just set it up and leave it. If you pick up the Grip 2, then you are probably going to be addicted to making adjustments. With the Grip 2, it is also a whole lot easier to get a bad set-up with it than if you had opted for a Fit 4. So, if you don’t really understand how dampers work, then you may find that the Fit 4 is going to be a much superior choice for you.
The Fit 4 Works Best With Fork Lockout (Or On Cheaper Bikes)
We aren’t going to go too far into the pros and cons of fork lockouts here. If we did that, we would probably be here all day, and we are sure that many people would disagree with our statements (but a fair number would also agree). Basically, the only time that a fork lockout is really that beneficial is if you do a lot of standing up on your bike, and even then it is debatable. However, the fork lockout is going to severely limit how what dampers you are able to use, which is going to be a problem if you are looking for a smooth ride while out there on the trails.
All you really need to know is that the Fit 4 is often best used when you have a fork lockout. While you can use a Grip 2 on a bike with a fork lockout, it doesn’t work quite as well. This is because you are going to be losing the adjustment that makes the Grip 2 work so well as a damper.
The Grip 2 Provides a Smoother Riding Experience
Being out there on the trails is bound to get bumpy. It is why we love to MTB, after all. Of course, nobody wants to be dealing with any unnecessary roughness in their ride.
Those that have a Grip 2 hooked up to their bike tend to find that the riding is a lot smoother. They tend to find that their bike is a lot more responsive. You are still going to feel those bumps in the trail. You never want to eliminate those completely. However, if you are seated on top of a Grip 2, you will find that you are going to be getting off your bike with a lot fewer aches and pains, which is always going to be a plus when you have been out on those trails for hours and hours on end!
Low-Speed Jump Compliance
While both of the dampers can be tuned for low-speed jump compliance, it is much easier to do ‘out of the box’ with the Grip 2. Many of those that have attempted to accomplish this with the Fit 4 tend to need to have their damper custom-tuned, and that really pushes the cost up. Sometimes, it is nice to be able to make all of the adjustments yourself, particularly if you are dealing with a variety of different riding conditions.
Better Grip on Tight Corners With The Grip 2
Generally speaking, when it has been properly tuned, you will find that the Grip 2 tends to provide a lot more grip and stability when you are going around tight corners. A lot of MTB lovers favor the Grip 2 for this reason. It is less prone to giving you an awful jolt as you zip around a corner. This means that you can focus more on your riding rather than whatever jolt is going to be shocking you next.
In our mind, better grip on tight corners is important when you are biking, particularly at blazingly fast speeds. So, for this point in our Grip 2 vs Fit 4 comparison, the Grip 2 clearly wins out.
As we said, the Grip 2 offers a lot more in the way of adjustment. This means that you stand a far better chance of getting the riding experience that you want. With the Grip 2, you will be able to adjust the following:
- High and low-speed compression
- High and low-speed rebound.
In comparison, for our Grip 2 vs Fit 4 differences, you will only be able to adjust the low-speed rebound and low-speed compression on the Fit 4. You also have a lever on the fork that you can adjust if you are climbing.
As we said before, in the Grip 2 vs Fit 4 comparison, adjustment is always good, but only if you know what you are doing when you are adjusting things. The Grip 2 is clearly a much more versatile damper, but it is also a damper where things can go very wrong if you do things incorrectly.
Finally, if you are very budget-conscious, then the Grip 2 vs Fit 4 is pretty much going to be a no-brainer. Yes, the Grip 2 is a superior damper and you should try and stretch your budget if you can. The Fit 4 is still going to be a damper that performs reasonably well for the price. Some people have described it as the ‘best budget damper on the market’.
The Grip 2 and the Fit 4 have their pros and cons. However, if we had to tell you to buy one when it comes to the Grip 2 vs Fit 4 comparison, then we would tell you to pick up the Grip 2. Yes, it is much more expensive. However, it is a far superior damper. It is the sort of damper that can grow with you and, as you learn more about how bikes work, you will learn to squeeze the most out of the tech.
The people opting for the Fit 4 tend to be those that are a bit more concerned about how much they are spending. It is still a good damper, just not as good. We reckon that because the Fit 4 has a lot less adjustability than the Grip 2, it is also going to be better for those that are new to the world of MTB. It is a damper that very much takes the ‘set it up and leave it’ approach to things.
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