Looking every inch (or should that be every two inches?) like a 90s MTB fork from Marzocchi, here is the Fox 32 Taper-Cast.
Fox 32 Taper-Cast Gravel Fork spec
- 40mm or 50mm travel
- FIT4 or Grip damper
- 12 x 100mm Kabolt axle
- Flat mount 160
- 180mm rotor compatible
- Max tire size 700c x 50mm (not 650b compatible!)
- Integrated fender mounts
- Longer steer tube to fit larger frames/longer head tubes
- 1 1/2” – 1 1/8” tapered steer tube
- 45mm and 50mm offset options
- Axle-to-crown 435.5mm – 445.5mm
- Claimed weight of 1226g
- SRP £849 – £1,039
Smoother, Faster, More Confident
The lightest suspension fork FOX has ever built, the all-new Fox 32 Taper-Cast Gravel Fork has arrived. It’s time to ditch the flex stem and undamped leaf springs; suspending the bike greatly improves rider experience, increases control, takes the edge off extended gravel rides and dramatically expands the terrain you can cover. Equipped with FOX’s proven FIT4 or GRIP damper options, this lightweight package retains all the tunability of its mountain lineage. From race day at Grinduro, to the pockmarked service roads outside your back door, the 32 Taper-Cast is the evolution of gravel.
Developed in conjunction with emergent gravel bike designs, the 32 Taper-Cast features a sleek drop crown profile and new knob shapes that drastically improve downtube clearance, for fitment on all frame sizes and styles, while the incredible 1226g weight retains functionality such as integrated fender mounts, 160mm and 180mm flat mount compatibility and adjustable travel options, up to 50mm. The lightweight, short-travel optimized air spring requires fewer, if any, volume spacers and the design employs our lower leg air/oil bypass channels.
Q: Why is the arch on the rear of the fork instead of the front?
A: Locating the arch on the rear of the fork puts the arch at a lower point on the tire, which allowed us to reduce the amount of material used and thereby decrease weight. And because the arch sits at a lower point on the tire, there aren’t any issues with downtube clearance on most bikes. We also felt the rear arch contributes to the overall sleek-aesthetic of the 32 Taper-Cast, which was one of the major design goals.
Q: Why do the lower legs taper down at the bottom?
A: Given the short travel of the 32 TC, the entire lower leg is not needed for upper tube overlap, this allowed us to taper the legs, saving weight and decreasing frontal area, making the fork more aerodynamic.
Q: How come the new 32 TC has a max of 4 volume spacers compared to the old TC which could accept as many as 7 spacers?
A: The old AX was, in essence, a shortened 32 SC, many volume spacers were required in order to achieve the correct air spring curve. The new 32 TC features an optimized short travel air spring, which means there is no need for more than a few spacers, max.
Q: How come the 32 TC is only available with a 1.5” tapered steerer tube?
A: Many modern gravel frames use 1.5” lower and almost all gravel frames that are currently in development use 1.5” lower. We realize there are some frames out there that do not use 1.5” lower bearings and we wish we could’ve offered a solution for those riders but due to the supply chain challenges of COVID 19 we had to pick the single most common size.
Q: Are the top caps/knobs from the 32 TC interchangeable with other FIT4 equipped Fox forks?
A: No, the 32 TC uses unique low-profile top caps and knobs to help aid frame clearance and for sleek aesthetics.
Q: Is the 32 TC compatible with fenders and if so what is max tire size?
A: It is compatible with fenders and in fact each fork comes with a set of fender mounting tabs in the box. Tire clearance with a fender installed is 700x45mm.
Q: is the 32 TC compatible with a remote lockout?
A: A remote lockout option is not available at this time. Our testing has demonstrated that locking out the fork does not improve performance in most scenarios and adding a remote lockout adds weight, complexity, cost, and cockpit clutter.
Q: Won’t mud get caught in the trussing on the lower rear fork legs?
A: Nope! Mud does not fling from the hub area, it flings off of the tire and sticks to the back of the fork brace. The brace on the TC is trussed on the front instead of the back specifically to aid in mud shedding.
Q: Is the rebound knob hard to access being partially tucked into the lower leg?
A: No. While the rebound adjust knob is fairly protected and hidden to maintain a sleek side profile appearance, it is also sized and knurled to easily spin and count clicks when adjusting.
Q: What rotor sizes is the 32 TC compatible with?
A: The 32 TC is compatible with 160mm rotors in the low position and 180mm rotors in the flipped position. The same exact “flippable” 140-160mm road flat caliper mount part is used on the 32 TC fork but the positioning is designed as a “+20” accepting 160 or 180mm rotors. 140mm rotors are not compatible with the 32 TC fork.
Q: Why is the 32 TC’s disc brake hose guide angled slightly off vertical?
A: Because of the 32 TC’s rearward-facing fork brace, the disc brake hose is fastened to the front of the lower leg at a slightly lower position than it would be with a forward-facing fork brace. The upper end of the disc brake hose guide is tipped outward by 8 degrees to prevent the disc brake hose from compressing inward towards the tire during its full suspension stroke.
Q: Why isn’t the Fox 32 Taper-Cast compatible with 650b wheels?
A: The narrowest point on the lower legs of the 32 TC – the reinforced area where the bushings press in – happens to be exactly the same place as the widest point of a 650b tire. This limits 650b tire clearance to approx. 30mm, which defeats the purpose of going down to 650b in order to allow for increased tire size and air volume. With 32 TC’s ample 700x50mm tire clearance there is no need to drop down to 650b in order to obtain more volume as you already have plenty of volume, and 700c’s larger diameter provides better rollover and smoothness, as compared to 650b. For these reasons, the 32 TC is optimized around 700c wheels.
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Can I get a 50mm travel one for my 90’s Kona please? Oh darn, they won’t do a straight steerer. I guess the don’t want their shiny new thing being bastardised by a load of retro-grouches!
I wonder how much it is to put a tapered head tube on an old steel frame?
You know you are getting on a bit when you see the same stuff coming round again.
Can’t believe is taken 28 years.
Those effing stupid box shaped shelves in the lower leg to collect 260grammes of mud and crap in them.
Do manufacturers even put a modicum of thought into stuff before they build it?
“… We realize there are some frames out there that do not use 1.5” lower bearings and we wish we could’ve offered a solution for those riders but because we treat anyone who wishes to ride the same bike for more than 2 years and avoid unnecessary adding to landfill with complete contempt, we decided to pick the single most common size that would ensure further obsolescence in order to ensure more and more resources are piished away ruining the planet unnecessarily, in order to maximise profit over conscience”.
There. Corrected it.
Looking at those open mesh lower leg castings, it would appear there are bolt holes on both legs (brake mount one side) so fox can charge an exorbitant amount for some bolt on plastic covers in the future ..
Design fail turned onto marketing/financial win?
What a curious thing to not make it 650B compatible. I regularly swap between the two wheel sizes depending on where I plan to ride my gravel bike. I would happily try one but would disagree with the blurb about better rollover and smoothness of a 700c compared to a higher volume 650b tyre. There is hee haw difference in height between the wheels I run. It feels a bit like the fork reached production and then someone realised they hadn’t accommodated 650b.
I think we need a new wheel size that is the same diameter as 700 x 50 when fitted with a 28mm slick. Will 27″ work?