Fox 34 Step-Cast Mountain Bike Race Fork
BIg news: Fox Factory has just announced a new, longer-travel version of the lightweight Step-Cast fork. The Fox 34 SC offers 120mm of travel with 34mm diameter stanchions for either 27.5 or 29er wheels sizes. The 27.5 version fits tires up to 2.8″ wide, while the 29er version fits up to 2.6″-wide tires. Weights start at 3.5 pounds, which is about half a pound heavier than the 100mm-travel Fox 32 SC.
While we’re making comparisons, the 120mm Fox 34 SC is claimed to be just as stiff as the 140mm Fox 34, but the new fork is half a pound lighter. Not only that, the Fox 34 SC is 15% stiffer than the standard Fox 32 long travel fork, but nearly a third of a pound lighter.
At launch, the Fox 34 SC is only offered in the Factory, Kashima-coated version with pricing set at $943 USD ($1,024 with remote).
With cross-country race courses becoming more and more technical, many competitors are seeking longer-travel forks that can take more abuse, and the Fox 34 SC seeks to meet those needs in a high-performance, lightweight package. Fox says the new fork is designed for “[the] BC Bike Race, Epic Rides, and marathon trail conditions.”
New FIT GRIP2 Damper
A new version of the Fox FIT GRIP damper, currently utilized in many Fox forks, is coming to select 2019 model year Fox 36 and Fox 40 suspension forks. The GRIP2 has many enhancements over the original FIT GRIP, as described by Fox below.
GRIP2 is our next-evolution sealed cartridge FIT system, our highest performing gravity-focused damper with category-defining ride characteristics that give more control and less friction. GRIP2 shares its roots with the original GRIP architecture, but has been seriously enhanced, adding friction-reducing treatments and a high-performance mid-valve. FIT GRIP2 now features highspeed rebound using our patent-pending Variable Valve Control (VVC) design with 4-way adjustability. Unlike normal adjusters that add valve preload, VVC uses a leaf spring to alter valve flex in the high speed rebound circuit. With the turn of a knob this gives a similar effect as revalving high-speed rebound but without the need for damper disassembly. Expanded rebound ranges are contained to ensure a desirable setting for any rider.
4-way adjustability (HSC/LSC/HSR/LSR)
Patent-pending Variable Valve Control (VVC) rebound adjuster changes valve stiffness – like changing high-speed valve shims rather than adding preload
Mid-valve design allows more effective shaping of compression damping curve – another level of refinement
Damper design reduces shaft friction vs. RC2 – remove friction and replace with valving for improved small bump compliance and control
Wider and improved range
Pricing for the Fox 36 with GRIP2 damper starts at $932 USD for the Performance Elite fork, and $1,699 for the Fox 40 Factory fork. Fox will continue to offer 36-series forks with the FIT4 damper as well.