Fox Racing Shox 32 Float Ti Fork - One Piece Titanium Steerer and Crown

Jun 24, 2011
by Richard Cunningham  
Fox Racing Shox brought a prototype cross-country fork with an investment-cast, integrated 6/4 alloy titanium steerer tube and fork crown to the Lapierre bike launch in the French Alpine town of Les Gets. The prototype fork, called the Float Ti will be seen as soon as September 2011 in production and on the World Cup racing circuit this season, but that is about all the information Fox officials were willing to commit to. Well, almost all. Pinkbike asked a lot of questions about the technology surrounding the fork - some of which were answered. The weight of the new fork is stated to be 1300 grams (2.866 pounds) with an uncut steerer tube in the RLC configuration. (update) Prices will range from $1240 to $1310 depending upon features options.

Float Ti in sky
Fox 32 Float Ti Fork Specifications

-Purpose: Pro XC racing
-Travel: 80, 100, 120 mm
-Damper options: RLC FIT, Terralogic FIT, Remote RLC FIT
-Features: Magnesium Sliders, Kashima coated 32 mm aluminum stanchion tubes, SKF seals, One-piece titanium steerer and crown
-1.5-inch tapered steerer only
-Post type brake-caliper mounts
-15QR through-axle or 9mm slotted axle options
-Weight: 1300 grams (2.866 pounds) in RLC configuration.
-Price: $2140/1310 USD

Of course, Float Ti forks will sport super-slippery Kashima-coated tapered aluminum stanchion tubes and their new SKF seals. Fox says that only a tapered, 1.125 x 1.5-inch steerer will be offered, as the integrated crown design depends upon the larger base diameter to provide strength and stiffness at the fork's reduced weight. The steerer/crown is a thin investment casting compared with the standard forged-aluminum items. That and the gray matte finish of the bare titanium uppers are a sure giveaway that this is no regular Fox XC slider.

Proto Float Ti sticker on crown
Look for this sticker at World Cup XC races near you. Reportedly, Adam Craig has been racing one during the development stages. The projected debut of the production 32 Float Ti is said to be Fall of 2011.
Float Ti crown det.
The inside of the Float Ti fork crown/steerer assembly is hollow and close inspection reveals very thin walls throughout the casting. The reduced diameter under the crown better transfers stress across the crown structure.

Fox states that the 6/4 alloy titanium casting is no off-the-shelf product and that the maker is in the USA, perhaps in Oregon. Those who know the gray metal intimately will tell you that making a strong, repeatable part from titanium is as much a function of controlling the alloy as it is manipulating the material through the manufacturing process. Fox gave no direct answer regarding the use of carbon fiber for the crown/steerer assembly as compared to titanium, but we can speculate that metal parts can be manufactured and tested in a repeatable, more controllable manner. We shall get the whole story soon enough.

Float titanium crown and steerer det.
Up close and personal, the Float Ti fork crown and steerer look unmistakably different than the stock aluminum two-piece items that grace the present Fox fork lineup. Forks will come with an expander-wedge because a star-nut is not recommended. Other goodies include a Kashima coated cap with a titanium bolt.

Will the Float Ti fork create any new problems for dealers, OEM bike makers or riders? Fox says that you'll need something better than a cheesy pipe cutter or a rusty hack saw to cut the steerer to length. Abrasive-appliqued hack saw blades are sold at industrial hardware stores that will make short work of titanium tubes, but unprepared bike mechanics will certainly get a thrill the first time they give it a go. Abrasive cut-off blades will do the task also, but that''s a lot of noise and hazard for a bike shop.

Pinkbike's Take on the Fox Float Ti fork
Fox is known for thinking its new developments through, so we can be sure that the new one-piece titanium steerer and crown have been in the works for a long time. As XC racing is on the far horizon for Pinkbike readers, the new Float Ti fork is not going to move the needle too much for us, but the reality that the titanium brings to the AM, park and trail segment of the suspension market is that a development like this could bring the weight of the Fox 36 160 or 180 fork down - and that is a development that would interest a whole lot of us.

Float Ti fork on table
The new fork looks very striking with its new uppers. Titanium weighs roughly half way between steel and aluminum, and it is nearly as strong as structural steel alloys, so it only takes a little titanium to produce a very strong, lightweight part - providing all is engineered well.


Contact Fox Racing Shox to watch the development of the Float Ti fork series as it goes through racing trials and initial production. If you have any thoughts on the benefits of an integrated titanium steerer and crown, don't be afraid to lay down some opinion.


135 Comments

  • 73 0
 theyre so light they actually float (refer to 1st picture)
  • 21 0
 wow so thats what way to much money looks like Eek
  • 14 2
 No! what the hell are them decals the old ones look so much more better, improved performance , but shouldn't left decals
  • 1 0
 That doesn't look too much like a decal. I'm guessing that to reduce weight they put on the very very slim decals you would find on a bike frame, and then covered it with a clear coat, like a bike frame. So they won't get scratched and peel off like they normally would.
  • 8 1
 If they are going to go this far why not do carbon lowers as well?
  • 5 1
 New decals look hot to me. Better than being just straight down the leg of the fork.
  • 2 1
 I don't think that decals would add much weight at all, nothing even noticeable.
  • 2 0
 its still a concept, the could very easily change the decals
  • 7 0
 at least when you cut the steere down you could sell the titanium
  • 1 0
 ^it's still a concept, they WILL very easily change the decals.
  • 1 0
 I think the decals look too much like Magura's...they will definitely be changing those, however light and minimalist they may be
  • 1 0
 I can't wait to hear the price of these in Canada. It will astound me to also see the american prices aswell....
  • 1 0
 They are already top of the line and price, just think about now. Good god Fox is going 5 years into the future, and bringing back a fork.
  • 2 0
 In Canada. Its weird though, Because Fox is almost Double your retail. So for us. We have a different perception of the brand and its price. The quality is great for sure. And Is no doubt the top of the line. But Some competitors like X-fusion are going to soon gain a large share of the market, because thier quality is almost catching up to fox. And The same goes for RS. The XC line and Air suspension line on fox though is almost unmatchable though.
  • 3 1
 no it isnt..im sorry for those who only see the name "fox" and love them because they are as expensive as ur life..but fox really isnt all that much that everyone says/think...ive had 40s, boxxers and 888s....888 better...Sektor, 32 Talas and the 44...first place goes to Sektor/revelation, then 44..fox 32talas last....Lyric, 55 and 36...well lets put it this way, between these three the fox is the best ONLY if u DO HAVE the RC2 models...if u have the R models (without compression adjustment) the fox simply sucks..then i would easily buy either the Lyric or the Zoke 55 instead..even if the ALSO dont have comp damping...theyre just better...and the 180mm class..u only buy a fox 36 180 talas if u want travel adjust, u only buy the float if u necessarily need the lightest...because if u dont need both of these features and really just want to schred and beat the hell out of the fork..then the Totem or the 66 will do a lot better of a job.....and i wont even start to talk about prices and shit*y fox service center....too much show..and no go enough for me...and i say that even NOT liking RS either....still would buy the RS first then a Fox...
  • 45 0
 lol thats going to retail for more than the price of most peoples bikes
  • 36 1
 Ha ha yea, great looking fork but, Titanium=Empty wallet.
  • 6 0
 All we need now is an affordable Ti version and we're set...
  • 30 0
 If by girly you mean sexy and if by sexy you mean "I'd ride that thing all day..." Then yes they're girly.
  • 3 1
 @ Greenwood. It looks petite because it's an xc fork.
  • 3 0
 i can't even afford the current fox F100. this one will be way beyond reach for mere mortals for sure. i bet only 100 will be made per every year, kinda like those exotic cars.
  • 11 0
 Titanium steerers have been done before, for two decades now in fact as far as suspension forks go. The tubing is actually not that hard to cut, yes its going to reduce the lifespan of your typical HSS hacksaw blade but its not going to just fail to cut at all. The only thing Fox has done that's different is produce a one-piece casting of the crown and steerer together (other efforts have involved seperate crown and steerer components being joined together, either by pressure/bonding fit, bolt/clamp type crowns, or welding).

As to that "cut your finger" off titanium ring myth...its just that... a myth. And as for flex/stiffness... titanium is not this flexy material that some idiots on here seem to think it is. Stop confusing a metal's natural spring like properties with its stiffness. Steel is quite stiff, but its also very springy. Aluminium is NOT a stiff a material, its only about 60% as stiff as titanium. But people get this crazy idea that because an aluminium frame is built stiff, then that makes the material itself stiff.
  • 3 0
 I bought a crossbow once that used aluminum for the bow limbs. It worked great, and looked so prison-shady.
  • 11 0
 Can't wait to see the price tag . Eek
  • 2 0
 The thing is that it wont go down like carbon. Carbon gets cheaper and cheaper, ti does not. It is still a bitch to work with so I doubt it will trickle down to lower end models.
  • 10 2
 Too bad it's only available as a tapered steerer tube...
  • 8 0
 Tapered steer but no 15mm axel? Fox seems to be all over the place.
  • 2 0
 fox is making a statement producing this fork: the lightest race XC fork. if they offered it in 15mm, it would add a bit weight. something rockshox might take aim at.
  • 1 0
 Fox is fasure, i wonder if it's as lite or liter then the old RS Sid back in 97. I wonder what mars is thinking, them 3 kings always trying to out smart each other.
  • 6 2
 2012 Fox F100 - for world fastest racers. The program is brought to you by riders with world's most lame skills and personality. We at Foks forks are very happy to notice that rich pricks, wankin their brains out how to make a second million to afford a Defender instead of X5, they turned their attention to MTB. We believe they find MTB to be a niche where they can be awesome among others of their kind, in case golfing doesn't go that good for them. We offer them this product with technology that they can't take the advantage of. But that is not the point. The price will give a potential asshole owner a sense of absolute confidence on the parking lot, oh no I see what you thought about. It will make them sure that middle-class owner of Opel Astra unloading his bike next to their X5 will not have the same fork.
  • 3 1
 You mad bro?

Lots of people will buy this. Having worked some big races people will spend huge amounts on bikes. Sometimes worth it, sometimes not. Without them, you wouldn't have a bike. Money keeps R&D moving forward.
  • 1 0
 If you give an example of a breakthrough in Fox R&D since like 5 years then I might be on the positive side. Flipping the damper upside down and Kashima bullshit don't work for me
  • 1 0
 geez tone down the anarchism man, Razz
  • 3 0
 Cool story bro.

Just because it hasn't been put to production, doesn't mean they aren't developing shit. The new 34's for 29'ers. The increases in stiffness and the dropping of weight. The implementation of a 15mm thru-axle.

This is an impressive piece of technology, casting Ti is very difficult, and it shaves 90grams. Kashmina is slippery, look at every brand out there, they are all trying and developing new coatings. The Black Boxxers, come to mind of current changes. Marz/RS/Man have all tried different coatings, from those gold ones of days gone by, to the polished 888's of now. Also they developed new seals for their forks, which run smoother with less stiction

In your world, they would make one fork for each genre of riding, and never develop anything or try anything new. This isn't communism...
  • 2 1
 Being amazed by the fact that someone made a cast of titanium for a bicycle fork chassis is as brilliant as being amazed they make toilets from gold. Nobody needs that but top racers looking for the edge in world champs. To us regular users it means higher price tag on all products.
  • 2 0
 If you look at the Universal Cycles link posted above, you will see the price is around $1,200. Granted it is a shorter travel single crown, it is not the most expensive fork out there. Fairly reasonable, for what it is, compared to a standard Float if you ask me. Not that I would ever buy one, just saying....
  • 2 1
 classic WAKI... Rolleyes
  • 1 1
 This product hasn't even been fully released yet. It hasn't even been thoroughly tested. That link doesn't have them in stock, they are just trying to pre-sell them. I will bet when you go through with the check out there is a note saying the price will fluctuate.
  • 2 0
 How in any way does it mean higher prices on all products? That doesn't make any sense. Trickle down. I bet at some point this will be the way of the future, just with alloy. Just because some random dude in Poland thinks its stupid, doesn't mean it is stupid. Lots of people will buy this, just because you can't afford it, or don't want to buy it is irrelevant.

Manitou Dorado costs a billion dollars and people still buy it. Fewer, but lots. It's a cool product, it is lighter, it is stiffer.

The Veyron didn't make the rest of the cars in the world more expensive, but they still bought that.
  • 5 0
 The price on these is about $1250 USD, all prices are listed on the Universalcycles website: www.universalcycles.com/shopping/index.php?category=701
  • 1 0
 Well, done. Hahahaha.
  • 1 0
 According to Universal Cycles website it does offer a 15mm axle option as well.
  • 2 0
 So for the Fox 32 Float Ti 100 Remote FIT Forks 2012 QR version
$1275 3.0 lbs

vs the non-Ti version
$830 3.25 lbs

So $455 to save 0.25 lbs or about 110g, seems this weight savings would be last on your list.
  • 3 0
 It isn't a secret where it is made, it is made by Ti Squared in Oregon.

Watch this video, it tells you more about this fork than some speculation, and supposed secrecy.

www.foxracingshox.com/2012preview/new.php?n=ti
  • 7 1
 another great product from fox!
  • 7 1
 This was at interbike 2010...
  • 1 0
 It was stolen at interbike 2010 if I remember correctly as well. Or was it sea otter....
  • 4 1
 You would be shaking like a shitting dog cutting the steerer to length on those. In fact I wouldn't go anyway near it with a hack saw. And if you did the cut off would probably cost more than my bike.
  • 6 0
 looks sweet!!!
  • 8 8
 looks cool but I dont like the fox decals that much, I liked the older ones
  • 23 2
 No one cares about what you like.
  • 3 0
 I don't know if anyone has already said. But pace suspension have been doing this for about 20 years. And fox have only just caught on the idea.
  • 2 0
 This is going to cost an arm and a leg! Amazing product though, major credit to the guy who cast it, the one piece looks super clean Salute
  • 4 0
 I just wondering how hard is to cut titanium steer tube...
  • 2 3
 well, put it this way, if you wear a titanium ring and something happens to your finger, they'll cut your finger off before they cut the ring. that should give you some perspective.
  • 3 0
 I have cut Ti handlebars before, and it's really not that bad.
  • 6 0
 @saturnine: you are thinking of Tungsten rings. Titanium rings can be cut off no problem.
  • 1 0
 Read the Article. It says you can use a regular hack saw blade, but recommended a specific blade, but still a hack saw. You can cut Ti with a little dremel if you want.
  • 1 0
 You just crack Tungsten rings off, same with stone rings. They are strong, but brittle.
  • 11 0
 Having machined various grades of Ti for 4 years in an Aerospace machine shop, it's not 'hard' to cut. The issue we had is it is a fairly 'gummy' material, and the modulus of elasticity of Ti supports this finding. Where you run into trouble is in heat dissipation (low thermal conductivity) , galling, and the chips gumming up the cutting tool, the later being the main issue I believe the author of this article is referring to. The way we (Certified Tool and Die makers) avoided any issues was by providing ample coolant to new, sharp cutters to remove both heat and chips. Do that and you’re left with a material that is no harder to cut than stainless steel (the SFPM is similar to certain common grades of stainless steel) and from experience much easier than a ‘super alloy’ like Inconel or Hastelloy X.

What you’d need to produce a good cut would be a fresh blade with the right amount of teeth per inch for the diameter used (say, 20-30 on a 1.125 tube), and a cutting fluid to remove heat and chips. For this just use mineral oil (cheap and available as you won't go buy drums of real coolant). Clean out the blade on each pass and you’ll have a clean cut ready for your hand file to deburr.
  • 4 0
 Atrokz, great comment. Thanks for the information.

Any preferences for cutting aluminum steer tubes?

Carbon is easy - I have an abrasive carbon hacksaw blade.
  • 4 0
 Thanks, glad to bring some real world knowledge in. For standard tubes I've just used a 16 TPI HSS blade, typicaly made by Starrett (because we order them in bulk packs) but most decent brands should do. Coolant isn't nessesary on aluminum in this application, but if wanted you could just use mineral oil or wax to keep the chips from clogging up the blades. A good sturdy vice and a cutting guide are pretty helpful.

Haven't cut carbon yet, but you're certainly correct in using abrasive blades.
  • 2 0
 Bury your head in the dirt if you ever cut that steerer too short. You should also find a metal scrapper for any steer tube cuts. Shame to waste it.
  • 1 0
 omfg ti ain't au...
  • 2 0
 I love titanium!! At least with it your scratch it and it won't lose it's "weave" over time as Carbon does! Cheers to Fox for unveiling this wicked innovative idea!
  • 4 1
 Cool. Now if only rockshox would follow suit and make me a Ti crowned 150mm revelation.
  • 4 3
 A Ti crown for your plastic damper kid's fork? Burn dude. RS is mass market, low grade but decent working stuff when it isn't exploding and waiting for 3 week warranty, but not in the same class as Fox. Not even close. No way RS would bother when they are selling plastic forks like crazy, I dont see it happening, RS is all about making the benjamins bro, thats what they are good at!
  • 1 0
 Hah. That's some serious sh*talkin' there. I'm plenty happy with my 150 revelation. They sell plenty o' high end forks as well.

I'll take the advice/experience of my trusted LBS mechanic who I ride with all the time over your internet comment, but thanks for the input.
  • 5 2
 its only going to be 300 USD
  • 4 0
 Yeah man! Totally!
  • 3 2
 u never no. i can dream cant i?
  • 19 0
 Imagine having to type XitsXokayXimaXdoctorX every time you log in !!
  • 3 0
 @boo, hilarious observation
  • 1 0
 @boo i dont type that in every time i log on btw i just use my email lol
  • 3 0
 well when u get the rythem down its really easy
  • 1 0
 I bet you have it written down somewhere in a text document and you just cope + paste it.
  • 2 1
 wonderful idea cant wait till this replaces carbon as the go to..... moots has had this figured out for years now, time to jump on the band wagon and switch to Ti !
  • 2 0
 Very nice indeed!!!, lets hope they are at an Affordable level to all, Not just sponsored racers..
  • 2 0
 Make a Float 34 based 831 with this steerer and you could have a sub-4lb indestructible fork. Smile
  • 2 0
 how does ti perform compared to scandium alloy? what is the cost difference? Any engineers out there?
  • 1 0
 I'm no engineer by any means, but I do believe that Scandium is lighter than Ti, but Ti is much stronger. As such, Ti alloys are usually mostly Ti, alloyed with small percentages of Aluminum and Vanadium (usually around 2-3% each), and Scandium alloys are usually *mostly* aluminum alloyed with small percentages of Scandium (less than 0.5%).
  • 1 0
 Scandium frames have only less than 1% of scandium, as said. It is because scandium corrodes as hell (even faster than steel), if they would put just a little bit more scandium in the alloy, it would fall apart very quick.
  • 2 0
 Hey FOX!. I want to see a Fox Ti 34 831 20mm internally adjustable from 80mm 90mm 100mm 110mm and 120mm! come on!
  • 3 0
 Wow. They're almost as light as lefty's now. Wink End lefty discrimination!
  • 3 0
 Please make the Talas with these decals.
  • 3 1
 The cannondale lefty is still lighter, stiffer and has more travel. good try though fox!
  • 1 0
 Nice fork, but expensive for not much weight saving. why not just get the RLC FIT Kashima!

I've one for sale! Wink

www.pinkbike.com/buysell/1083584
  • 2 0
 i want this for my hardtail..set it to the 80mm ...yeeeeaaaah
  • 2 0
 Can I have the stickers instead?
  • 3 1
 They should call it a floati, pronounced "floaty".
  • 1 0
 this is a really nice looking fork and it would probs be glorious on a super light cross country rig
  • 1 1
 It'd be sweet if you could take the uppers off this and put it onto an 831 fork, that'd be the ultimate 4x, dual slalom, DJ fork!
  • 1 0
 Hope the end product keeps the same graphic but has a white crown. You can paint titanium right?
  • 1 0
 you can but no one ever iseems to.. I think its so you cn see where your monies gone haha
  • 1 0
 Sad and ugly.I don't need a ti fork. I'm not interested in few grams. Maybe if it was cheaper and fr oriented . . .
  • 2 0
 ew fox should keep their classic design, this new one looks way worse
  • 1 0
 How many dirt/street frames have a tapered steerer?
  • 1 0
 Dartmoor shine Wink
  • 1 0
 not many at the moment... quite a few longer travel hardtails do now though
  • 9 0
 How many dirt/street riders want a flexier fork crown?
  • 1 0
 2011 and 2012 Specialized P.3 and Trek Ticket.
  • 7 0
 Agreed with crs-one - I'd rather have 5lbs stiff than 3 lbs squirrely (in addition to the obvious cost that's been mentioned) The 831 is solid for the DJ market. This is undoubtedly strictly a cross country application.
  • 2 0
 yah... but some weight weiny out there will do it, just to say his bike is sub 20lb
  • 2 0
 sexy
  • 6 5
 this is on the fox website as a 2012 product....
  • 32 4
 That's probably because it's a 2012 product. Any more amazing revelations?
  • 3 0
 I think that was directed at the statement in the article, "there is no plan to bring the fork to production until the concept has been proven thoroughly."
  • 2 0
 or the opening comment "Fox Racing Shox brought a prototype cross-country fork"

Thsi is price listed and available to order! No prototype about it
  • 1 0
 Well if you read the rest of the sentence, you'll see that the beginning of the article is indeed talking about a prototype fork. "Fox Racing Shox brought a prototype cross-country fork with an investment-cast, integrated 6/4 alloy titanium steerer tube and fork crown to the Lapierre bike launch in the French Alpine town of Les Gets."
  • 1 0
 so, what you're suggesting is that they have a 2012 ti investment cast fork in production and already hitting the shelves of your LBS AND another one at prototype status...
I think the article is wrong.
OR.. if the lapierre bike launch was pre sea otter (when this fork was actually in pre production status, then PinkBike need to hurry the f*ck up in getting their articles published.. but nope.. this was last week.. so the statement is wrong.
  • 1 0
 No, the statement is still right. The fork they brought to the bike launch was indeed a prototype, not a production version of the fork. Just because it's on the site and there are prices doesn't mean it's available for purchase. My guess is it will be available around August 2011.
  • 1 0
 DOSS is a protype... Float Ti is available to order.. do you really think that with the reseller control they have that FOX would allow pre orders on a prototype product?
Do you expect that fox are going to go from a product thats in protype status to having everything ironed out , put into production and out to stores inside 2 months.
Prototype phase is over!
  • 1 0
 Yes, the Float 32 Ti is available for order, but it isn't in full production yet. Nothing changes the fact that the fork that Fox brought to the bike launch was a prototype fork. As in "pre-production". As in "not the final product".
  • 2 0
 and a 160mm version ?
  • 1 0
 looooookin sickkkkkkkk i want one
  • 1 0
 anyone know where i can get some of those stickers?
  • 1 0
 No chance... Razz
  • 2 0
 You can make them for yourself, it's not that hard...
  • 1 0
 Google is your friend.
  • 1 1
 Having it made into one solid piece could of opened up the oppertunity for it to be abit more vunerable to cracks?
  • 1 0
 Not really. Propagation of cracks in a casting can and does happen from time to time, but as long as their method is proven to be developed through testing, and the process is followed it shouldn’t be at any more risk than any other cast part (current crowns, lowers, etc). The investment casting method sees fewer non-conformances as well, from my experience and understanding of the process.
  • 1 0
 That steerer tube will be a bitch to cut
  • 1 0
 Wow I'll put that on my yeti...it's Rocks!!!!
  • 2 2
 THAT is how a fox fork should look.... Salute
  • 1 0
 look expensive.....
  • 1 0
 wooohooo...
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