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When you're sporting a 180mm travel fork on the front of your bike, the descent is guaranteed to be a blast … the ascent, however, will be a wallowing, slow steering, uphill slog. But, this won't be true if you're equipped with the 2013 Fox Talas 36 RC2 FIT Fork. The ability to drop the front end 40mm to 140mm ensures keeping your line when climbing will be easy.

That climb is also enhanced by the FIT RC2 damper, a cartridge unit that uses an expandable bladder to seal suspension oil from air. This damper provides consistent action during heavy-duty use. It has separate, external low- and high-speed compression tuning. This means you can dial the fork to offer a bob-reducing, pedal-friendly platform with the low-speed adjustment. Or back it off for plusher, small-bump compliant ride, while the high-speed adjustment lets you find your preference for large hit resistance. This versatility lets you set the Float RC2 for optimum trail leveling performance.

The Talas is outfitted with an air spring that not only keeps weight down, it also has a highly refined curve. It's tuned to provide a plush ride at the top of the stroke with a progressive ramp-up to avoid bottoming at the end. While air springs are notorious for their added sticktion from the need for airtight seals, Fox reduces this as much as possible by using the Kashima coating, a process that fills any micro pores and makes the aluminum stanchions incredibly slippery.

The 2013 Talas 36 180 FIT RC2 Fork's lower legs and crown are powder coated in Black. It has a 1-1/8 to 1.5in tapered steerer tube and post mount disc brakes. The beefy 36mm chassis is stiff and strong, and made even better by the inclusion of a 20mm QR thru-axle.

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  • Familiarity: I've used it several times

So I?ve owned a couple of forks in my day, last two being Fox. I purchased this fork for a little more travel, capable of still riding uphill. I put this fork on my all mountain bike (including DH). Overall I love the fork, the kashima coat is certainly effective, if youre in the market for this type of fork I think anything else would be a mistake.