Why Doesn’t Tarzan Have A Beard?
Fox 36 Forks 2009
Here we bloody go again. Seems like only yesterday I was trying to make a meal out of a can of oil and washers and air from this company. And why is it no one else has sent us any decent six–inch forks lately?
So here they are (half) the Fox 36 range, all totally too much money, I mean I could buy two Peugeot 106’s with 12 months MOT for the price of a pair of these bastards, but nevertheless by far the best range of six–inch forks that money can buy…seriously!
Starting with the Talas RC2, the most expensive and third heaviest of the range. But consider for a moment that at 5lb that’s still lighter than most of the opposition. Adjustable from 100–130–160mm it is one of those forks everyone keeps harping on about ‘well I need to lower the front for the climbs’, hey it’s a six inch bike you should be worrying about more serious matters like whether you’re going to make the downslope thirty feet away. I rode this fork in the Downieville Classic deep into gold mining country back in July. It is handy to push down to 100mm for climbs but as I was fannying around with my heart busting out Myles Rockwell breezed past. I’ve since discovered the wonder that is the Float and completely erased adjustable front ends from my head. The time difference climbing is hardly noticeable. More importantly the Float is a better fork.So swiftly moving on…
Look I’ve got absolutely no friggin idea why these Float’s are so good. Maybe it’s because they are so simple? Not burdened with the expectancy of hyper–adjustability. They’re not trying to be everything for everyone. Hey, what I said earlier about nobody sending us forks, well I was lying, I’ve ridden all the other brands, because this fork is undoubtedly the best 160mm air fork you can buy. At 50psi its absolutely incredible at low speed providing just the right amount of travel needed for the business of grip. Wind that low speed compression as way out as you want and it’ll still give you immense suppleness.
But not everyone rides slow, it needs the air to take the hits that will surely be expected of it when bolted on to an equally suspended pushrod. This fork has improved no end when compared to that first ground–breaking 36 of three years hence, and the new cartridge has, as they say, improved the mid and high speed damping, it’s just so much better than that fork of three years ago. Even with higher pressure it continues to perform outstandingly. I’d go as far as to say it’s better than a huge amount of downhill forks I’ve ridden, it simply grips and damps and steers immaculately. What the hell more do you want? Cheaper please. At 4.72 lb its only 3g heavier than the R version, but a hundred sheets more. Depends how fussy you are with settings.
And finally the Van. A while ago everyone swore this was the fork to get, now I’m not so sure. Ok it’s a massive tenner cheaper than the Float RC2 but a half-pound heavier. So why buy this over the Float? Don’t know. I wouldn’t…oh I tell you why, it’s because a lot of riders want their forks in black not white. And that’s pretty much how the decision is made. Do people really care about the subtleties in damping? Listen if you’re comparing a pair of BoXXer World Cups (air) to Teams (coil) go for the latter they’re so much better. The same rule doesn’t apply here. The Float and Van are ridiculously close to call. Got a lot of respect for the Van. But I don’t love it.
So why then? Why buy Fox? The new QR system? All about ten teabags lighter than last year. Well I guess Fox are the best people to tell us why. So here it is from them…“35 years experience” blah blah blah “vehicle dynamic” blah, blah “sponsored athletes”, oh come on who are you kidding? Come on why? “New dynamic pistons on all forks improve the deep stroke rebound performance, reduce damping related noise (shame they couldn’t sort the 40 spring rattle but then they do say ‘reduce’ not ‘eliminate’) and provide even more seamless transitions from the low speed to mid/ high speed rebound demands. FIT cartridges (here we bloody go again) found within our 36 and 40 platform forks receive a complete overhaul, resulting additionally in more compression stroke damping control, improved bottoming resistance and transition to the bottoming circuit, better distinction between the low speed and high speed external adjusters, and improved reliability and durability through a new sealing package.”
See I told you didn’t I?
TALAS 36 RC2 £749 5.08lb 100-130-160mm
FLOAT 36 RC2 £699 4.72lb 160mm
VAN 36 RC2 £689 5.21lb 160mm
Contact Mojo Suspension. 01633 615815