FOX 32 TALAS 150 FIT RLC Review - Issue #34

That’s an impressive list of acronyms, but what do they all mean? Well, they all boil down to one thing really: versatility. The boffins at Fox have managed to squeeze even more out of, and into, this already impressive fork. New for 2010 is an increase in travel to 150 mm, a clever redesign of the internals to reduce weight and give more consistent damping (FIT), and a reconfiguration of the layout of the controls. I tested this fork on what I consider to be my most versatile bike–– my DMR Trailstar singlespeed. This is the bike that I do the greatest variety of riding on, whether it’s commuting to work, racing in the Redwoods or tackling technical descents around Wellington. I figured that––with its travel adjust, lockout, and relative light weight––this fork would be ideally suited to a long travel hardtail. I wasn’t wrong; this fork complemented the DMR perfectly. As you might expect from Fox, the performance was smooth and predictable. Although numerous, the controls were self explanatory and easy to use. The feature I found most valuable was the lockout force adjuster. This control allows you to incrementally adjust the amount of force that it takes for an impact to overcome the lockout and activate the fork. You can do this while on the fly and, uniquely, it can be set anywhere between almost no lockout to fully locked out. This, coupled with the travel adjust, meant that I was able to easily tune the fork specific to the section of trail or street I was riding without getting off the bike. Because of this, I rode with the bike locked out more often than I would typically, and actually preferred to have the fork locked out permanently for smoother trails. If you’re a set and forget type of person then this is not the fork for you. However, if you’re someone who needs or likes the ability to tweak your front end dependant on circumstance then you should definitely check it out. LEIF ROY and jono says... The 2010 Fox 32 TALAS 150 is aimed squarely at the new crop of ‘trail’ bikes that have been so popular over the past couple of years: 140–150 mm travel bikes that go everywhere. Having found my trail soulmate in the new DW-Link Turner 5.Spot earlier in the year, I was square in the crosshairs of the Fox marketing machine. Many forks have implemented the 15 QR standard, and the Fox incarnation is fab; you can customise where the quickrelease will point when it’s tightened, and it’s dead easy to use. Of course, the 15 QR dropouts mean that you’ll probably need a new hub. The upside is that if you’ve got a 20 mm hub already, it can probably be converted back to the new standard. It took me 10 minutes to swap the end caps and axle on my Hadley hub. So how does the fork ride? Fox has had pretty minimal compression damping adjustments in the past; the 2010 incarnation has a wider range of adjustment but it’s still not huge. On the upside, the fork travel feels nicely smooth, and I didn’t notice it diving on techy roots and steps or while braking. The 15 QR dropouts were noticeably stiffer than a 9 mm old style dropout. On the downside, it does have some fore-andaft flex when riding. This didn’t really affect the feel of my ride, but when I looked at the fork while on the trail it was flexing backwards quite a lot. I suspect that 150 mm of travel is getting to the upper limits for the 32 mm stanchions. I found myself using the height adjustments (150, 130 and 110 mm) a lot more than I expected to, and the new knobs were easy to use while riding and didn’t bind to each other like they have in the past. I really like the TALAS. It’s a light, very capable fork that felt plush and solid no matter where I rode it. JONO BADDILEY