Fox Racing Shox F32 29?er Talas Terralogic QR15 Factory Series Fork: Final Review- by M1
Awhile back, I went for a birthday ride with some friends, c_g included. While we were riding c_g commented that the FOX Terralogic seemed like a really good fork for single speeders and asked if I’d be interested in trying it out. Obviously, I agreed and now have ridden the fork off/on for the last 3 months.
The reviews and tech info from c_g can be found here and here. Overall, I have to say that I agree with his opinions and comments pretty much throughout. This fork offers an incredibly wide range of tuning options and can be set to anything from super direct and responsive to extremely plush and cushy.
Simply because I don”t have a 15mm compatible wheel myself I received the fork with the AMERICAN CLASSIC All Mountain 29″er wheels, that c_g had reviewed in the recent past.
The installation went smoothly in switching out my White Brothers Rock Solid fork for the Fox. Only my bike´s front brake line was too short to run the for in anything but the 95mm setting – which means all my comments are purely based on this configuration and on the FOX Terralogic only, not the TALAS part . In any case, the point of my testing the fork was to get my impressions of how the fork handles in single speed type applications (i.e. climbing and standing). In that vein, I’ll continue with my impressions.
(For those of you who sit the majority of the time to climb or for power, this review might not show much news over what c_g has already said, but for all those high torque cranking folks it may be rather interesting to read.)
For someone with a high percentage that climbing and riding standing rather than sitting, I was actually quite impressed with the Fox on most accounts. While standing to climb, I found that the front end tracks nearly as well as my rigid fork which is usually mounted to the IF Ti Deluxe. But the magic starts when things turned rough and the mechanism inside the fork realized whether or not you’re on bumpy terrain and reacts correspondingly without me ever doing anything. When ridden in a firm Terralogic setting (anything in the upper 1/3 of the range), there was very little to no bob on this fork when in or out of the saddle while climbing. In this respect the FOX fork is the first and only fork I didn´t feel like engaging the lock out lever on a constant basis.
Coming off the Bergamont Revox test (here) which had the Rock Shox RL w/Lock- Out (which I really liked) it was interesting to hop on this bike with the FOX Terralogic on and just ride … without having to manually lock-in/out the fork (which I frequently did with the RS SID). The Fox Terralogic system is absolutely intuitive and really does it’s job in terms of turning on/off (within the given tuning selection) without you ever doing a thing. Looking for simplicity (at least on my side, as the technology involved is anything but simple) in riding it sure added to my ride enjoyment.
Depending on your setting, the Fox kind of ignores the normal trail/gravel road chatter (meaning it will stay rigid), but when things get rougher (than the bump force you predefined by the Terralogic setting) the excellent damping and super slick Kashima coating makes for such a smooth action that you barely notice it’s doing it’s job. When going for a really low Terralogic setting the fork pretty much rides like a regular FOX F29 RLC with its ultra-plush and sensitive suspension, but for sure not my mode of choice for single speed use .
As I mentioned before, steering is spot-on. With the 15mm axle front it feels like you’ve got a really nicely buttoned up and stable front end. As you already know, one of the current trends in bike building is the tapered steerer.
My Indy Fab doesn’t have a tapered steerer and this particular test sample uses the standard 1 1/8” steerer (although a tapered steerer is available). Even without a tapered configuration the fork felt plenty stiff and precise. This was my first experience with the QR15 mm front which, once you get used to the system, is (nearly) as quick and easy to use as an old fashioned quick release.
Wrapping up my thoughts:
What did I like and dislike about the Fox? Well, I really liked the stiffness, the QR15 (something I never expected to say) and the Terralogic system. It was plain amazing to see how smoothly the fork transitioned from rigid to supple and did this with such ease that I frequently didnt even notice when it sprang into action. Top notch for the functionality and suitability for single speed riding. I have never encountered a suspension fork that suits this specific style of riding better, period. I see where FOX´s claim for this fork being the “fastest out there” is coming from.
What don’t I like so much? Well coming off a rigid fork there was the weight and cost of course (1870 g & around 1100 dollars or Euros). For me personally (being accustomed to rigid riding) I don´t feel blown away enough to accept either, but if you’ve got the cash and need a suspension fork that does all the thinking for you (once dialed in correctly), then the Fox F29 Terralogic QR15 (man, that’s a ridiculously long name) would be one of the best to consider. It is not cheap but well worth the price.
(Since I never touched the Talas feature, I won´t say anything about it, but it sounds intrigueing to me to have two fork and travel settings, both working well with only one set up – especially with 29″er being so more tolerant to minor changes in angles and geometry.)