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While the majority of the FOX Racing Shox fork lineup returns for 2017 relatively unchanged after the massive 2016 overhaul, the 32 Float SC 29 100 3Pos-Adj FIT4 Boost Fork drops in as the one big exception. It boasts a completely redesigned chassis and returns leaner, meaner, and chomping at the bit to hit the trail and shred. Touted as one of the lightest suspension forks in production, the 32 Float SC incorporates FOX’s all-new Step-Cast lower leg design and a narrowed stance.
Step-Cast presents as stepped cutouts in the lowers of the fork that open up extra clearance for rotors and spokes while simultaneously allowing the fork's stance to narrow by 10mm. This means less overall material and weight, which, when paired with hollow construction, results in claims that this fork clocks in as one of the lightest on the market. Whether you're out for a social spin with friends or sizing up the competition on the start line, this fork’s featherweight construction paired with its stiff Boost axle makes for precise, responsive handling and flat out fun on almost any trail.
The FIT4 damper returns unchanged from last year save a few minor tweaks and additional machining to fit within the new stepped lowers. This includes the puffed out, 10mm shaft, which increases oil flow to the base valve and allows the fork to ride high for quick, controlled recovery during everything from big, square hits to successive, small impacts. The 3-position Fit4 system also takes the reins from the old CTD system, changing the names from the overly-prescriptive categories of Climb, Trail, and Descend to a graduating scale covering Firm, Medium, and Open. While this change may read like an exercise in semantics, it entails a radical realignment of the 32 Float's capabilities that addresses virtually every issue we've had with CTD's damper in the past.
FIT4 also migrates the adjustable sub settings from CTD's median Trail mode to the new Open setting. If you were to lay the FIT4's settings on top of the CTD, Open would encompass both Descend and Trail in order to take full advantage of the fork's high ride by handling most compression duties. This makes the fork that much more relevant to five-inch situations, combining better small-bump compliance with more confident tracking across root lattices and rocky moonscapes. We're not saying that we regularly push four-inch forks into five-inch territory, but, well, yeah, we are actually saying that, and the 32 Float SC doesn't wallow and handling stays on point when we do.
The Medium setting migrates much deeper into the firm side of compression than the Trail setting did, so it'll suffice in most conditions that don't require use of the big-bottomed Open setting. The Firm setting remains self-explanatory: an XC lock-out for turning on the afterburners when terrain allows. It'll likely see much less use in the new system, but we still appreciate Firm while riding to the trailhead or transitioning on fire roads.
FOX's tinkering wasn't just confined to the damper, though, as the Float air spring now omits the negative coil in favor of a self-equalizing air assembly. This is similar to the air spring chamber system that made the re-worked 36 series such a success, and its omission of a steel coil is a key contributor to the overall weight loss. Finally, its system of spacers lets you easily temper the air shock's volume for dialing the mid stroke.
- FOX's cross-country fork gets an all-new chassis and loses weight
- Step-Cast lower design narrows stance and opens up rotor clearance
- Deftly navigate bumps with four-inches of high-riding travel
- Adapt to changing terrain with three damper settings
- Float Air spring allows mid-stroke customization
- Stiff Boost axle width resists torsional flex
- Item #FRS004R
- Q & A
- Familiarity: I've used it several times
Bought this fork for my 2016 Niner jet RDO and it handles so well compared to my old fork. I have not noticed any cons but it is buttery smooth on the downhills even though it's 100mm. I do weigh 125lbs so a good 100mm fork is fantastic. It has plenty of adjustments for rebound and compression.
- Familiarity: I've used it several times
Narrower; significantly lighter, and stiffer? Yup.
I was rather concerned about how this fork would ride after seeing it on the bike I was demoing, but it turned out to not only shatter expectations, it put all concerns of flex to rest rather quickly.
Even after dropper 3/4 pound compared to the standard Float 29, there was zero noticeable sacrifice in performance. Fox claims that the Step Cast forks are stiffer than the standard float, and I would be inclined to believe them.
If you are looking for the ultimate XC race fork, look no further!
If you have any questions, feel free to get in touch with me directly.
Customer Account Manager
Will this fork fit a plus 29er tire (3inch) . Is there a handle bar lockout made for it?