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Polarized opinions on wheel size aside, nobody can argue with the pure speed of a 27.5in wheel in comparison to the old standard 26in fare. For those of us looking to harness that speed while maintaining some of the low-speed nimbleness of smaller wheels, FOX Racing Shox offers the 2017 34 Float 27.5 Plus 120 3Pos-Adj FIT4 Boost Fork with 51mm Rake.
A fork with 51mm of rake decreases the bike's trail, which results in less "dead" space between the steering axis and the hub. The design is an attempt to offset the floppy, low-speed steering issues that arise from the longer trails produced by taller wheels and slacker geometries, so handling stays 26er-sharp at all speeds, whether climbing, ripping, or navigating switchbacks and tricky terrain.
Instead of the Climb, Trail, and Descend settings of CTD, the 3-position FIT4 system toggles between the more descriptive Firm, Medium, and Open settings. While this change may read like an exercise in semantics, it actually entails a radical realignment of the 34 Float's capabilities to make sure the fork rides high for quick, controlled recovery during everything from big, square hits to the kind of successive, small impacts that bigger wheels thrive on.
FIT4 migrates the adjustable sub settings from CTD's median Trail mode to the new Open setting. Open encompasses the range once divided between Descend and Trail in order to take full advantage of the fork's tendency to ride high, combining better small-bump compliance with more confident tracking across successive impacts and rough terrain. The Medium setting is much firmer, handling duties ranging from lightly rooted trails to climbing, and the Firm setting is largely relegated to fast hardpack and fire road transitions.
The Float air spring omits a 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 claimed weight loss compared to past versions.
- Item #FRS003Y
- Q & A
- Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer
This fork… holy cow. It belongs on every mid travel bike. I know, I know, blanket statement, but I think the fork is THAT good. I used to be nervous of square edges, rock gardens, roots, ruts, and plain old crap, this thing just soaks it up. “Confidence inspiring” doesn’t do it justice.
This fork tracks where I want it to go, doesn’t feel like dead weight, and is supple. I truly feel that at every moment, this fork is setting me up to literally overcome my obstacle.
It's also so light for how capable it is! Performance/weight ratio is spot on with this guy, it doesn't mind big climbs.
With the new FIT4 damper, this fork has truly useful Compression modes and is simple an intuitive to adjust and tune. Unless you really like to geek out on suspension (I’m guilty!) the LSC, Rebound, and Air Volume adjustments are all you’ll need and are super easy to get dialed in.
And yes, I’ve ridden on a Pike. And yes I’d take the Fox. Every time.
Building a new bike? Upgrading the current whip? Give me a shout and I’ll make sure you get the perfect build.
Even if you’re not ready to pull the trigger, reach out if you have questions like:
- What do all the knobs and dials do?
- How do I set my suspension for me?
- Which fork is right for my bike?