[Tested] New Fox 32 SC
[Tested] New Fox 32 SC
After a great deal of hype from leaked photos online, FOX finally is showing off details on their new “step cast” version of the 32. In both 27.5 and 29″ wheel sizes, the 100mm travel fork is the lightest production fork they’ve made to date. Details below.
- 15QR x 110 Boost and 15QR x 100 Kabolt axle options
- 27.5” and 29” wheel options
- 100mm travel
- FIT4 and FIT GRIP three position damper for improved control
- Lockout for increased efficiency
- Factory Series models feature Genuine Kashima Coat
- Gloss Orange, Matte Black, Gloss White
32 SC Chassis Design
The distinct shape of the lower leg design isn’t just for looks. The 32 Step-Cast (SC) chassis uses a narrow stance to save weight and the step design makes room for the spokes and brake rotor. The 32 SC features 32 mm upper tubes and ample bushing overlap for a quality ride and the hollowed out lower legs provide even more weight savings.
• 120mm upper tube spacing (32 model uses 130mm)
• Max tire size 2.3”
• Max rotor size: 27.5”- 180mm, 29” – 203mm
• Rake: 27.5” – 44mm, 29” – 44mm or 51mm
• 32 SC 27.5 100mm = 1,355g / 2.98lb
**225g / 0.49lb less than MY16 32
• 32 SC 29 100mm = 1,360g / 2.99lb
**255g / 0.56lb less than MY16 32
• Upgraded to our proven FIT RC2 10mm shaft architecture
• 10mm shaft provides more oil flow through the base valve
• Dual circuit rebound allows more controlled return from hard hits and quicker recovery from successive impacts
• 32 SC-specific cartridge design and damping tune
• 3-position on-the-fly adjustment – Open, Medium, Firm
• Fine tuning in Open mode with wide range low-speed compression adjuster – 22 clicks
• Forks with optional remote will retain fine tuning in Open mode with wide range low-speed compression adjuster – 22 clicks
Inspired from moto, the new GRIP damper uses our FIT sealed cartridge technology combined with a coil-sprung, independent floating piston. GRIP allows excess oil to purge through specially designed ports at the top of the damper to maintain consistent damping and increase durability. Performance Series forks provide Open, Medium, and Firm modes with additional micro-adjust between settings.
Float Air Spring
• Self-equalizing positive/negative air spring
• Utilizes our patented FLOAT shock transfer port technology, first introduced in our circa 1999 FLOAT shock
• Smoother performance with reduced friction
• Less vibration feedback through handlebar
• Highly tunable with air volume spacers
• Adjust the amount of mid stroke and bottom out resistance
On the trail
Fox provided us a 27.5″ 32 with boost, and a Heist 24 boost Easton wheel. Our bike of choice was a Bianchi Methanol 27.1 that, with the new 32 and without pedals, tipped the scale at 8.980 grams. The fork weighed 1.357 grams, after we cut the steerer. We have to admit that the weight let our jaws drop, and that we were quite concerned about the rigidity of the fork when riding. Well, we were wrong: the new 32 is stiffer than the older one, and it’s precise both in the turns and when braking. Remember that feeling of the front wheel getting closer and closer to the down tube when braking at the limit? That’s not the case with the new 32.
Let’s be clear: we are talking about an XC fork, not to be confused with a sturdy 36. All of our considerations are relative to the intended use of this product, but we feel pretty comfortable to say that there has been a big improvement in structural stiffness. This is probably a combination between the new chassis and the boost system.
The damping is quite similar to the 34, and that’s because the FIT4 cartridge is pretty much the same in terms of feel : very sensitive to small bumps, sits high in the travel even on steep tracks and as progressive as a race fork should be. Our test fork had only one spacer in the air spring, and that’s the setup all production forks will ship with. Still, the progression felt perfect, especially if we consider the short travel (100mm) and therefore the ease of using it all on technical trails. All in all, it’s almost like a safety feature, knowing you are not to bottoming out when you are racing at 180 bpm heartrate.
The black fine tuning knob for the low speed compression didn’t affect the damping as much as we expected: the difference between the full open and full closed positions is quite small. However, the “firm” position of the blue knob is a complete lockout.
The through axle has no quick release, and that is ok on a racing fork. If you are competing in a marathon race (granfondo), where you don’t have a mechanic waiting for you at the tech zone, this could cost you a few seconds.
Fox rounds up its revisited single crown forks lineup with the 32: after putting on the market great forks like the 36 and the 34 in the past two years, the Californian brand follows up with a high performance XC product. The low weight will attract a lot of cross country riders who will be quite pleased that the weight is only one positive aspect of the new 32. The new hydraulics and the new chassis set the mark for high performance in the XC segment. Now it’s up to the competitors to respond.