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The FOX Racing Shox 36 TALAS 29 160-130 3Pos-Adj FIT4 Boost Fork with 51mm of Rake is the front-end equivalent of a dropper seatpost for the front end of your all-mountain 29er. Wagon wheel bikes have gotten more and more versatile over the past few years, so they're no longer relegated to hardpack and fire roads. The TALAS's Travel Adjust Linear Air Spring empowers today's slacker, bigger travel 29ers by letting you alter the fork between 130mm of speed-oriented squish and 160mm for enduro-grade descents.
While the shock is, obviously, a pretty big deal, the fork's other half is just as important. The latest FIT4 damper's shaft is beefed-up to 10mm for increased oil flow to the base valve. The system also replaces Climb, Trail, Descend (CTD) with Firm, Medium, and Open. While this change may read like an exercise in semantics, it entails a radical realignment of the 36 TALAS's capabilities to make sure the fork rides high for quick, controlled recovery during everything from big, square hits to successive, small impacts.
The fork is practically bottomless with just over six shining inches of glorious travel that the new Open setting takes full advantage of. In the tripartite hierarchy that FOX usually uses for its dampers, Open would take the spot of Descend; however, Fit4 is so radically different from CTD that Open encompasses the range once divided between Descend and Trail. This huge range is further adjustable with the damper's 22 adjustable sub settings, and we find ourselves spending most of our time in Open. The Medium setting is much firmer than Trail — which it effectively replaces — handling duties ranging from rooty trails to climbing, and the Firm lockout returns as the ideal setting for fire road transitions or the final sprint.
Finally, raking the axle out by an extra 51mm decreases the bike's trail for less "dead" space between the steering axis and the hub. The design offsets the floppy, low-speed steering issues that arise from the longer trails produced by taller wheels and slack geometries, so handling stays 26er-sharp at all speeds, whether climbing, ripping, or navigating switchbacks and tricky terrain.
- Item #FRS005H