It goes up, it goes down. Up and down the mountain, the FOX 36 TALAS 160 FIT RLC Fork offers up supreme performance. The beauty of it all is how easy the TALAS travel adjustment is to use and how it can transform your bike from a mountain goat to blazing downhill demon with the twist of a knob on the fork crown.Fox's TALAS or travel adjustable linear air spring system gives you the ability to drop the 36 from its 160mm (6.3") full-travel mode down to 120mm (4.7"). The advantage you'll feel is on the climbs. Drop the fork and your weight balance will be optimized. You'll wheelie less, have greater steering control, and your long-legged bike will feel more like a cross-country racer made for that kind of effort against gravity. One great aspect of the TALAS system is that your spring rate doesn't go ...one fork to transform your bike from downhill demon to agile mountain goat... through the roof when you make a travel adjustment. Up or down, you'll have similar sag and bump response, so set the air spring to your weight and preference and go ride.The FIT RLC damper in the right leg keeps things under control, even when you're getting rowdy on the descents. The FIT system uses a damper cartridge whereby the suspension fluid is sealed away on its own. There's no chance for any mixing of air and the resultant foaming and loss of damper performance. It uses less oil than open bath designs, so it's lighter, and the sealed nature keeps contaminants out of the fluid. Less junk in the fluid means better performance and longer service life. The FIT cartridge has a rubber bladder that allows fluid expansion as the suspension components heat as the fork cycles up and down. So for burly descents, the damping properties will remain consistent from top to bottom. The RLC damper offers plenty of external adjustments to satisfy even the most fastidious of suspension nerds.
I have been thoroughly enjoying the last couple of months testing the new 2011 Fox 36 TALAS 160 FIT RLC fork. It has been bashed, trashed and tossed into as many rugged conditions as possible, and it has turned out to be a light, stable and stout beast, that thrives in technical terrain. The features make it terrific package, and include adjustable travel (TALAS), the slippery Kashima coating on the stanchions, the new FIT RLC damper and a lighter crown. Continue reading →
Bike Setup: iron horse 2008 6 pont 4 with the talas way better then the 55 bomber maz.
a Weekend Warrior
from Laguna Beach, CA, USA
Date Reviewed: June 19, 2011
Strengths: Blingy, lighter, looks great
Weaknesses: 120 setting is a bad choice, hard to find sweet spot, brake dive
I have ridden this fork 15-20 times and I have to say I am a little disappointed. First, having the lower setting at 120 eliminates versatility. It’s fine for climbing where it’s steep, but otherwise, it’s too low to match a 140-160mm+ rear. The second setting should be 130 so that the fork is useable on upsy-downsy terrain like Gooseberry Mesa.
Second – the lockout blowoff force adjuster does not work. It turns but should only have ten detents. Mine turns infinitely, but has no effect on the lockout. If the lockout is on – it’s full force. Great for climbing on pavement, but otherwise useless.
Third – I cannot find the sweet spot. If I run the recommended air for my (85psi/210lb) weight, the fork is very harsh and I only use 4” of travel. If I drop to about 65psi, the fork feels great, but it dives under braking, even if the low speed compression is maxed. There’s only about a 3psi range between too soft and too firm – and getting that dialed in with a typical fork pump is difficult at best.
The Kashima coat does feel more supple when climbing in the 120 setting than did my 08 TALAS 36, but not real noticeable going downhill. The chassis is awesome – light and stiff - but not too stiff to deflect and actually lose lateral control such as I experienced with the Magura Wotan.
I may sell this one and wait for Fox to change the TALAS setting to 130. I see the 2012s are still 120. Disappointing.
Similar Products Used: 08 Fox 36 TALAS RC2, Magura Wotan, Fox TALAS 150 15mm
Bike Setup: Yeti 575 set up for AM 2x9, bashguard, DT Swiss 1750, DHXAir, etc
a Weekend Warrior
from Sacramento, CA
Date Reviewed: March 15, 2011
Strengths: Very stiff chassis, easy to use quick release, takes the big hits, and the Talas system works great.
Weaknesses: Long break in time! I was a little disappointed when I first received this fork because it had a lot of stiction out of the box and the small bump sensitivity sucked. After about 8 pretty abusive rides the fork feels nice and plush and the adjustments work very well.
This is a really well performing fork once it breaks in. I usually take it on 30+mile rides which include a lot of climbing and rough downhill sections with jumps. I've had no problem getting proper sag and being able to use full travel when it is needed. I won't lie and say that it is as smooth as either of the 2010 Marzocchi coil forks that I've owned, but it has features that Marzocchi doesn't offer. If I could have the "perfect" fork it would be a Marzocchi 55 coil with a easy to use travel adjust. Fox did a great job with this fork but I'm a sucker for the feel of good old coil springs.
a Weekend Warrior
from Asheville North Carolina
Date Reviewed: October 29, 2010
Strengths: Plush, smooth travel.....
Weaknesses: Travel adjust did not work as advertised....or at all actually....
We all know FOX makes a good product, but it is pretty discouraging to drop this kind of coin on a fork, wait almost three weeks for them to build it, and then right out of the box it doesn't work.
Unfortunately the steer tube was cut before we realized the TALAS adjust travel feature was useless, so FOX would only offer to have the fork sent back and fixed.....Awesome...I waited three weeks for the fork, didn't even ride it once, and now I will be without it for another three weeks.....
Not sure if anyone has ever dealt with FOX customer service, but lets just say I'm glad the shop I bought the fork at is handling it for me.....The only reason it gets 3 chilis is because the fork feels pretty nice, unfortunately it has only one setting.....160mm.
Save your money and the headaches and buy the Float RLC.....just sit a little further forward when climbing...I suspect you will be happier, at least you will be riding...just my two cents.
Similar Products Used: Fox Float 36 RLC, Fox Talas 32, Fox Van 36...Fox 32 RLC, Fox F100....
Bike Setup: YETI ASR 7...I-9, X-O, blah blah blah.....
a Weekend Warrior
from Southern Oregon
Date Reviewed: October 15, 2010
Strengths: Lightweight for the travel(2154g, 4.75lbs). Full range of adjustments works well. Low speed compression adjustment is very useful and helps compensate for brake dive. 120/160mm travel adjustment works great for steep climbs @120 and then gnarly descents @160.
Weaknesses: Expensive. Relatively taller axle to crown length than I'm used to in the 120mm setting compared a 120mm marzocchi fork that I've been riding. Not user serviceable! That's a huge compromise for me since bushings need to be replace every two years. I don't like paying some jack-off to do work that any monkey with the right tool can accomplish, nor do I have the patience for the down time on my rig while the jack-off at Fox does the service, since I ride 2-3 times a week.
Soaks up the big hits with ease, plush feel. High degree of adjustments that actually work, exactly what you'd expect from a fork in this price range. Buy this fork! (Or make sure your next ride comes spec'd with it)
Favorite Trail: custom trails: north mtn, pinky breaker
Duration Product Used: 3 months
Purchased At: don't care to rememb
Similar Products Used: Everything I used previously was more more xc oreiented so not really a fair comparison. XC forks feel like a wet noodle when it they take big hits and squirrley to directionless in the corners.
Bike Setup: '04 Specialized Enduro with BETD linkage 6" rear travel. '10 Fox Talas 120/160 fork (my initial impression - freakin' awesome fork). Drivetrain 2x9 20/34 front, 11-32 rear. Avid shifters and brakes, shimano derailleurs, LP? model Race Face crank and bottom bracket (awesome durability ridin' hard since '98), Easton Havoc stem and EA70 monkeybar, kenda nevegal DTC 2.3 tires(massive gription).