Fox 34 Fork Updated for 2016. New FLOAT DPS EVOL rear shock.

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New Fox FLOAT 34 FIT Fork

After redesigning the Fox 36 fork last year, it’s now time for Fox to introduce the completely new 34. This fork features aggressive weight reduction and a completely new damper, more in line with that of the FIT RC2 36. Gone is the CTD (Climb, Trail, Descend) three position lever of old, replaced with a more familiar open, platform and lockout. The fine adjuster atop the cartridge now adjusts the fork in Open position and features 22 clicks of low speed compression adjustment. The first position has the least damping and the 22nd position is equivalent to the platform middle setting. Further tuning is possible with internal air spacers that clip together and reduce the air volume (and increase progressiveness).

Chipps in action last week, product testing in Peebles. Full story next issue. (Photo by Ian Linton)

The fork comes in 15mm axle only and comes in 120-160mm lengths and regular 100mm width – but this is where we can reveal that the new 27.5+ forks, announced recently, already have this new chassis and internals – so there’ll effectively be two versions – a normal and a wide (and tall) in 27.5in…

Don’t worry 29er riders, the fork also comes in 29in, complete with suitable weight reduction too. The estimated weights for both are as follows:

• 34 27.5 160mm = 1746 g / 3.85 lb
(Which is 219g / .48lb less than the current MY15 34)

• 34 29 140mm = 1769 g / 3.9 lb
(297g / .65lb less than MY15)

We’ve had a set for a couple of months now (expect a review in issue 97, out at the end of April) and the weight is definitely under 1800g for our 130mm version.

Importer Mojo is expecting the forks and shocks to appear in early May 2015. Prices are to be confirmed, though expect the 34 to be under or around £800 depending on configuration.

No more CTD. Expect a more easy to understand setup with better open performance.

 

An assortment of decal colours will be available too.

 

Fox is claiming that these are the “new benchmark for trail forks” and, based on our test riding, both in Calderdale and in places like the Tweed Valley, we have to admit that we’re impressed. The fork has a very capable feel throughout its travel – especially when going flat-out over rocks. The Factory version of the fork will come in silver and matte black with the slippery Kashima coating. The FIT (Fox Isolated Technology) closed cartridge is now in its fourth generation and the 34 carries everything Fox has learned from bigger forks like the 40 and 36. There’s a dual circuit rebound that allows “more controlled return from hard hits and quicker recovery from successive impacts” as well as the increased 10mm shaft size that allows more oil flow and better compression damping control.

And importantly, there will no longer be an Evolution version of the fork any more. This was the entry-level, open bath fork. That’s now gone, meaning that there will no longer be any Fox forks with open damping cartridges. All FOX forks come now with FIT damping cartridges: 32/34/36 and 40. Talking of the 32, there’s been nothing announced yet, but it seems a safe bet that we’ll see new and improved 32 forks at the Sea Otter in a couple of weeks.

Float EVOL DPS (Dual Piston System) rear shock.

This is another very exciting development. Glimpsed in photos of un-badged shocks under pro riders in the last year, this new shock design features a dramatically increased negative air chamber. That conspicuous bulge houses a much bigger negative chamber that helps the shock resist the initial stiction inherent in all air shocks (there’s a graph down there if you’re that interested). The real-world advantage is that the shock can be set up to resist big hits without feeling too harsh over the smaller stuff. Or another way of looking at it is that it can be set up to be comfortable on regular trail conditions, without bottoming out when things get big. Just read the manual, OK? It takes a little more setting up than just whacking 180psi in and going riding.
 
Visibly new and a different ride feel too.

 

 

This new rear shock also offers a three-position, on the fly adjustment of Open/Medium/Firm. Like the fork, the shock has adjustment of low-speed compression in the Open position. We weighed ours at 300g, which is a little more than the existing Float rear shock, but the feel is much improved. The guide price will be around £400 and, again, coming out after market in May, but you’ll probably start seeing it appear on production bikes soon too.

 

 

Chipps

Singletrack Editor

Chipps wasn’t around for the dawn of mountain biking in the UK, but he likes to claim that he arrived in time for second breakfast (about the time he shows up for work, then…) starting in the bike trade in 1990 and becoming a full time mountain bike journalist at the start of 1994. Over the subsequent quarter century, he has seen mountain bike culture flourish and diversify and bike technology go from rigid steel frames to fully suspended carbon fibre (and sometimes back to rigid steel as well.)

His riding style is best described as ‘medium, wheels on the ground, trail riding’ though he’s been spotted doing everything from endurance downhill racing to 24 hour cross country racing. He favours mid-travel trail bikes and claims to be wheel-size, gear, brake and tyre agnostic. In fact, his garage spans most bicycle flavours, taking in steel hardtails, carbon trail bikes, even a mountain bike tandem, along with road, touring and gravel/cyclocross bikes.

While he’s happy to chat about bikes all day, his real interest is in the people and places that bikes can introduce you to and he talks as fondly about the trails he’s ridden and riders he’s met as the bikes that took him there.

Comments (6)

    Whoop! Finally, Fox have listened to everyone in the know and gone back to offering compression damping adjustment.

    I did read that as 2016 forks and shocks being released in May 2015 didn’t I?

    I hope so as otherwise no one is going to be buying 2015 Fox forks…. the key question is if you’re in a showroom how to tell if the forks are 2015 or 2016? I’m assuming it’ll be that the 2015 still has CTD and the 2016 has open, platform and locked?

    Rickon, you want a set of 36 RC2s anyway 😉 They’re lush

    I wonder how many times a week you have to service them?

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