Leaner and meaner.
If you've been following the world cross-country racing, you're probably well acquainted with FOX's 32 Step-Cast Fork that was introduced a couple of seasons back to shave every last gram for racers seeking an advantage in terms of all-out weight savings, albeit with some sacrifices in stiffness and support, seeing it's only packing 100 millimeters of travel and features narrower 32-millimeter stanchions. Well, FOX is at it again, proving they're never really content with the status quo in creating one of the lightest 120-millimeter forks available in the 34 Float SC 29 120 3-Pos-Adj FIT4 Boost Fork.
The secret to its incredibly lightweight disposition lies in the stepped lowers of the 34 Step-Cast, which are hollowed out to reduce weight, complete with shortened shaft lengths and the same 8-millimeter damper shaft as used in the 32 Step-Cast Fork. In terms of actual weight savings, you'll find it's approximately 4.8 ounces lighter than a comparable 32 Float with 120 millimeters of travel and a whopping 8 ounces lighter than a 34 Float with 140 millimeters of travel. Both of these figures might not seem like a big deal, but they're pretty significant seeing the lengths some racers go for weight savings, especially in a world where carbon components will cost you a pretty penny and likely not reduce as much weight as running this 34 Step-Cast Fork.
Instead of being solely intended for cross-country domination, the 34 Step-Cast sets its sights on everything from epic trail rides to marathon events and adventure races where you'll find a mixture of trail conditions ranging from smooth-buffed dirt to bumpy root and rock sections. Seeing it's packing 34-millimeter stanchions, it's inherently stiffer than the more spindly 32 Step-Cast. In fact, FOX claims it's a whopping 15 percent stiffer than a 120-millimeter Float 32 Fork and it's on par with a 34 Float with 140 millimeters of travel, in terms of stiffness and support on bigger hits and technical terrain. Ultimately, this means you'll be able to use a trail-worthy fork on your cross-country race bike or shorter travel 29er without compromising efficiency or sacrificing the support and plushness you've become accustomed to with a 34 Float.
Delving into the air spring and damper available with the 34 Step-Cast, you'll find it's similar to what you've likely been riding on FOX for the past couple of seasons, which is a good thing if you enjoy bump-smoothing compliance and traction, as well as three on-the-fly adjustable settings and separate low-speed compression tuning. The Float air spring has EVOL, which is FOX's term for increasing the negative air spring volume for a more supple feel that's more responsive to soaking up bumps, rocks, and roots along the way. FOX then uses their Fit4 damper with 3-position adjust, which is carried over from 34 Float to give you Open, Medium, and Firm settings with the simple flick of a knob, plus the ability to dial the low-speed compression to your exact liking in the Open mode.
- Feathery-light efficiency without sacrificing trail chops
- Designed for marathon events, adventure races, and trail rides
- 34 Step-Cast with 120mm travel and Kabolt 110 (bolt-on) axle
- Stepped, hollowed-out lowers significantly reduce its weight
- Stiffness is similar to that of a 140mm 34 Float Fork
- Float air spring with EVOL for small-bump compliance
- Fit4 damper with Open, Medium, Firm settings
- 29in 34 Step-Cast clears 2.6-inch tires