Back in November I built up my first FS 29er mountain bike and when it came time to select suspension components, I knew I wanted a fairly aggressive XC-style fork to complement the RP23 shock I spec’d. The Fox 32 Float 100 FIT Terralogic fork fit my needs perfectly with its quality design & materials, responsive performance, and set-and-forget operation – all important for a guy like me who just likes to ride!
Quality Design & Materials
The 32 Float 100 FIT Terralogic is part of Fox’s Factory series which means you’re getting the best of the best, including Kashima-coated fork stanchions. Fox makes a big deal about Kashima and with good reason – this hard anodized finish actually fills in the microscopic pores in metallic surfaces, resulting in a Crisco-smooth finish you can appreciate even with your bare hands. The upshot: no noticeable stiction when the fork engages and a more responsive ride.
Dirt slides right off the Kashima coated stanchions, reducing the chances of contaminants working their way into the fork. Fox proudly displays a “Genuine Kashima Coat” mark wherever it’s used and you can recognize it by the gold color on the stanchions.
While a version of the Fox 32 Float is offered with 9mm open drop outs, I chose the 15mm QR version which was really a no-brainer. The included thru-axle gives the fork greatly improved stiffness, allowing you to point and shoot technical lines at will. I love the simplicity of the design too; Fox worked with Shimano to come up with a tool-less design that places the locked lever in the same position every time. In my tests the axle feels just as stiff and flex-free as a much more cumbersome 20mm hex bolt axle.
At 1,860 grams for the tapered steerer model, the Fox 32 Float isn’t what I’d call a lightweight 29er fork so if you’re a pure weight weenie, this isn’t the fork for you. However, if you’re the type of rider who is willing to trade off light weight for improved performance, keep reading…
I’m generally not the type of guy to sit down and read an owner’s manual before playing with a new toy and after installing the 32 Float on my Tallboy I headed straight for the trail. Of course I first set the air pressure according to the chart provided by Fox and double-checked the sag but out on the trail I started to wonder where my compression knob went. On other forks I’ve owned, the compression knob is sorta like my go-to dial – stiff for climbs, soft for descents, and in the middle for rolling stuff.
It turns out Terralogic technology from Fox makes the compression knob obsolete. The idea is the fork senses when to lock itself out (climbing for example) and when to open up. Transitioning from locked-out to opened-up happens seamlessly and automatically and the blue knob on the bottom of the right stanchion allows the rider to adjust the lock-out threshold. In my own tests I found Terralogic worked extremely well on climbs, keeping the fork stiff and minimizing pedal-induced compression.
After several fast, bumpy descents I found I needed to dial the Terralogic all the way to the soft side to get the ride quality I wanted. I suspect the rider weight / air pressure chart is a little on the stiff side so I also decided to lower my air pressure a bit to find a happy medium.
And while the Terralogic controls aren’t accessible during the ride, it’s still easy to make a one-time adjustment before the ride. For example, on a flat race course I prefer a firmer Terralogic setting than on chunky, technical mountain rides. The knob provides good feedback so you can count the number of “clicks” to remember your favorite settings.
Rebound settings can be adjusted at the top of the right stanchion using the red knob. Every rider will have a different preference here based on feel and it took me several rides to find the right level.
Set and Forget Operation
Ron Propeil would love this fork because you can “set it, and forget it!” Cleaning, maintaining, and fussing over bike stuff just takes away from the time I get to spend riding. Fortunately the Kashima Coat makes it easy to keep the fork clean and the improved seals give me confidence I won’t need to rebuild this fork every few months. Most importantly, I haven’t had to click a single dial or remote during my rides thanks to Terralogic.
Admittedly the white finish on this forkis a little fussy, especially for a machine that spends so much time in the dirt, and companies like Fox must know this. The fact is, white is the hot color for MTB components right now so if you really have a problem with it, wait a couple years for the next color trend.
This is my first experience with a Fox fork and I have to say I really like it! Santa Cruz even specs the lower-end RLC version of this fork on their own Tallboy builds so clearly the fork is an excellent match for my frame. Built with quality design and materials, this fork is super responsive on the trail and doesn’t take a lot of brain power to operate.
Thanks to Fox for providing the Float 29 for review.