Review: 2022 Fox 34 Fork - A Short Travel Standout

Jul 14, 2021
by Mike Kazimer  
Fox 34 2022


There's been a lot of focus on bigger, burlier forks for enduro and e-bikes over the past two years, and it seems like every couple of months another option emerges that's supposed to be even stiffer and stronger than anything else. Given all the hubbub surrounding the quest for stanchion superiority, it's easy to overlook a shorter travel fork like the Fox 34, which quietly received several updates at the beginning of this season.

Those updates include revised lowers, a new air spring, and an updated crown shape. It still sits firmly in the downcountry / trail bike category, and is available with either 130 or 140mm of travel, with other travel options attainable by swapping out the air spring. Fox also offers the Stepcast 34, a lighter, more XC-oriented option that has less tire clearance, a maximum rotor size of 180mm, and comes in 100 or 120mm options.

Fox 34 Details
• 130, 140mm travel (shorter air springs are available)
• 34mm stanchions
• GRIP 2 damper
• Air sprung
• Wheel size: 29"
• Externally adjustable low-speed rebound, high-speed rebound, low-speed compression, high-speed compression
• 15 x 110mm spacing
• Max rotor size: 203mm
• Offset: 44 or 51mm
• Weight: 1820 grams (actual)
• MSRP: $969 USD
foxracingshox.com

Fox 34 review 2022
The arch has a rounded profile that matches the look of Fox's 36 and 38 forks.


Details

The 34's lowers are the most immediately noticeable difference between the new version and the previous iteration. The arch lost its edges, and it now tips forward slightly in order to ensure there's enough room to clear larger diameter head tubes at full bottom out. Channels have also been added at the back of the lowers in order to increase the amount of lower leg air volume. That extra volume is said to reduce the amount of unwanted end-stroke ramp up, and make it easier to use all the travel when warranted. Volume spacers are still used to adjusted the air volume in the positive chamber.

The leg channels also provide a way for the lower leg bath oil to reach the foam rings and bushings in order to keep everything moving smoothly. The 36 and 38 both have valves installed on the lower legs to let out any trapped air, but the 34 forgoes that feature in order to save some weight.


Fox 34 review 2022
The negative volume of the 34's air spring has been increased for improved mid-stroke support.
Fox 34 review 2022
Fox's Grip2 damper provides plenty of tuning options.


Inside, the 34 retains the familiar GRIP 2 damper, which provides externally adjustable high- and low-speed compression and rebound adjustment. The 34 has 8 clicks of high-speed compression and high-speed rebound, and 16 clicks each of low-speed compression and low-speed rebound. In typical fashion, the compression is adjusted by the two dials at the top, and the two rebound dials are accessed by unthreading the aluminum cap on the bottom of the right leg.

On the air spring side of the fork, the negative volume has increased yet again, a step that was done to increase the amount of mid-stroke support. With a larger negative chamber, the spring curve of the fork becomes more linear, with a more consistent ramp up as it goes through its travel. It's worth noting that if you're planning to do any air spring swaps on this fork, you'll need to make sure to purchase the 2022 version – prior models won't work.


Fox 34 2022
A look at the 2022 Fox 34 air spring.

Setup

I started out with the 34 set at 140mm, and installed it on a Specialized Stumpjumper. After a month or so with that setup, I installed a 120mm air spring and moved it over to a Transition Spur, where it currently resides.

Fox's setup guide providing a good place to start, although the air pressures were a little on the soft side for me – I ended up around 7 psi over the suggested settings. I'm 160 lb, and I ran 87 psi. Counting clicks from closed, my other settings were: HSC: 5, LSC: 12, LSR: 8, and HSR: 5.


Performance

The overall feel of the 34 is closer to what you'd expect on something with more travel – this isn't just an XC fork with more adjustments. It does an excellent job of managing its relatively short amount of travel, with a nice smooth, predictable ramp up. In the 120mm configuration, I ran 3 volume spacers out of a possible 6, and was able to use full travel when necessary, while still having plenty of support to keep from sitting too close to the bottom of the stroke.

It's the way the 34 responds to impacts, particularly smaller bumps that really makes it stand out. The Grip2 damper combined with the revised air spring creates a fork with a sensitive beginning portion of the travel, and an uncanny ability to melt away bigger hits without blowing through the travel. There's a suppleness to it that's not always found on forks in this travel bracket - more XC-oriented forks tend to feel a little firmer off the top in order to appease the efficiency-is-everything crowd. For riders who do want that extra beginning stroke support, the StepCast version of this fork does allow some negative air spring tuning that should make that possible.

What about stiffness? For its intended purpose, I'd say the 34 is right on the mark. I didn't experience any distracting flexing or twisting, and I took this fork on plenty of rugged trails. Yes, a 36 is noticeably stiffer, but it's also heavier by nearly .75 lb, a significant weight penalty, especially when you're trying to choose a fork for a lighter, shorter travel bike.

Fox 34 review 2022
Air pressure and rebound settings are found on the left leg.
Fox 34 review 2022
The 34 uses a 180mm post mount, and is approved for use with up to a 203mm rotor.


How Does it Compare?

The regular Fox 34 sits in its own little niche when compared to what RockShox has to offer, slotting in between the SID and the Pike. The SID is lighter, at 1537 grams, but it also doesn't have nearly the same range of adjustments as the 34 – it has rebound, an on / off lockout lever, and that's it. Realistically, the 34 SC is the SID's direct competitor, and in that match-up the weights are much closer, with a 40 gram difference in the 34's favor between the two.

The standard Fox 34 is approximately 40 grams lighter than a Pike Ultimate, although it also costs $70 more. On the trail, I can't detect a noticeable stiffness difference – the 1mm variation in stanchion size isn't enough to drastically affect the handling, at least not in my case. As far as adjustments go, high speed rebound is the only adjustment the 34 has that the Pike doesn't. Personally, that wouldn't be enough reason for me to choose one over the other, but it's a point worth mentioning.

On the trail, the Pike seems to sit a little higher in its travel initially, while the 34 settles a little further into the mid-stroke – I think it'd be fair to call the Pike 'sporty', and the 34 more 'supple'. Which one would I pick if I was building up a 120mm downcountry machine? It'd be easy to sit on the fence for this one, since I'm able to find a very usable setup for both forks, but if forced to choose I'd go with the 34. It smooths out the faster, rougher hits a touch better than the Pike, and that makes a difference when you're doing long days on a little bike.




Pros

+ Extremely smooth and silent operation
+ Very usable range of adjustments

Cons

- More expensive than closest competition
- 27.5" fans will need to look elsewhere





Pinkbike's Take
bigquotesThe regular 34 sort of flies under the radar, sandwiched between its racier StepCast sibling and the stouter 36. It shouldn't be overlooked, though, especially considering how well suited it is to the latest crop of modern, shorter travel fun machines. It punches well above its relatively light weight out on the trail, and is a standout option in the 140mm-and-under travel bracket.  Mike Kazimer









165 Comments

  • 42 1
 Honestly, my 34 (2020) was a pretty good fork. I put about 3000km on it and surprisingly it didn’t creak on me. The bike it was on doesn’t get pushed too hard and I’m a big guy. I expected it to start chirping within days. My 36 and 38’s made noise almost immediately. I got a deal on a new mattock though and it’s on a whole other level, I wouldn’t be disappointed if my next trail bike came with a 34.
  • 18 0
 130-140 is the right travel for it too. My bike came with 150 and it’s a bit too flexy
  • 29 9
 Nah stick with manitou bro!!
  • 22 0
 @DizzyNinja: at 150mm, a Pike is going to be noticeably stiffer than a 34.
  • 24 1
 @DizzyNinja, agreed - the 36 makes more sense for 150mm of travel and above.
  • 5 0
 @DizzyNinja: yep. Mine was 130mm. 150mm I can imagine having not enough overlap. A bit like my 180mm 36 sucking big time, but my mate runs his at 150 (or 160, I can’t remember) and he hasn’t had any problems with it.

@Theysayivebeentheone: I plan on it. It’s a great fork. I just meant I wouldn’t be unhappy if I was stuck with a 34.
  • 3 0
 @vanillarice19: yea, I had a 150 pike on a previous bike, definitely stiffer
  • 2 0
 @mikekazimer: Is that a 3D printed tool clip made by @brianpark I spy on the Spur ?
  • 1 0
 @mikekazimer: how would you put this new 34 up against something like the DVO Sapphire D1?

I have a 2020 Fox Factory 34 FiT4 collecting dust in my garage because nothing could make it ride nicely for me. Swapped it for the DVO Sapphire and I was blown away by how much better the DVO rode.

I’m assuming this new air spring does not fit the older model 34’s?
  • 3 0
 @Afterschoolsports: Not really about the overlap, since the bushings are fixed in the lowers, so the distance between them doesn't change for different travels. More about overall length: extra 20mm of leverage through the smaller and lighter stanchions and lowers is the issue, not the bushing overlap.
  • 2 0
 Can you comment on the Mattoc performance wise and why you like it so much? Interested
  • 4 7
 @mikekazimer: Seriously a "supple" and silent Fox? I have yet to experience a Fox of any stanchion size that was anywhere close to its RockShox competition in terms of plushness off the top, and they've all hissed and wheezed like 19th century locomotives. Did Fox completely re-invent itself from one model year to the next?
  • 4 1
 Last i checked the Mattoc was a tank by comparison to the 34 or Pike. It weighs nearly as much as a 36 or Lyrik, or, its 180 travel big brother, the Mezzer. If Manitou could apply Mezzer tech to the Mattoc and end up with R7ish weight but 140mm Id be all over it.
  • 2 0
 My 2017 34 creaked and so did 2 other replacements the following year. On an MRP Ribbon now. Couldn’t be happier. If they can confirm it’s fixed I’d be willing to try Fox again.
  • 4 0
 @seismicninja: it sits a lot higher in the travel without giving up small bump compliance. It’s actually significantly smoother over small bumps (and larger hits) than the 34. I had decent balance and performance with the 34, but the mattock just does everything noticeably better.

With a Fox or RS fork, I will get it serviced and tuned after break in. The mattock, hasn’t needed any attention to unlock performance. I change the oil and lube it a couple of times a year, but it’s been faultless over the past two years and approximately 5500km. I’ve had bushing reaming tools made for all of my forks. I am just waiting on new bushings to arrive in case I mess up the process. I will give it a go in a few months when I next change the oil.
  • 1 0
 @Bigbangus: maybe I got lucky? I know the 36 and 38’s I’ve owned all creaked inside a fortnight. Even the Mrs (who weighs almost half my weight) managed to make her 36’s creak riding the same daily loop that my 34’s survived. After two warranty replacements, I took them to work to use a press and loctite to silence them.
  • 2 0
 @FrankS29: yeah I had the same problem with my 34. Just couldn't get it to perform the way I wanted to, had a full service done, no change. Seriously considered buying a 36. Did some shopping and I found a G2 damper upgrade. Took a chance (1/3 of the cost of a new fork) , bought the upgrade, installed it and was blown away by the difference in performance. I had asked local people if the upgrade was worth it and every one said no and to buy the 36. I am very pleased with the result and I didn't buy the 36.. My caveat n=1
  • 1 0
 @teo7z: I did consider upgrading to the Grip2. But I got so fed up with the fork that I finally decided just to try something new rather than risk spending more $$$ on it and still not being happy. I might put a Grip2 in it still and give it a try again if I build up a hardtail.
  • 25 1
 Put another 7 oz of grease in the negative portion of the air spring and it would be more accurate to how they ship them. Seriously though, the new Fox stuff is really good as long as you tear them down brand new to clean up the negative spring and lube them properly.
  • 18 1
 Free $20 worth of Slick Honey...
  • 2 1
 Can't agree enough on that comment.
  • 12 1
 Fox increased the negative volume chamber so that they could stuff even more grease in there at the factory. *points at temple* You don’t need a lock out if you don’t have any small bump compliance.
  • 1 0
 Is this why I got top-out clunk on my nearly new 36's after a handful or rides? I'm gonna see if I can reclaim some grease and kill the clunk...
  • 3 0
 @Steventux: That typically comes from not having the negative spring equalized properly. It could be the port is blocked with grease or that you just pumped it straight up. If you haven't inflated properly by adding 10 psi, equalize, add 10 psi equalize, add 10 psi equalize then try letting all the air out and starting over. You don't need to remove the pump when you equalize FYI.

If it doesn't equalize at all the negative port is blocked. You can try pumping it up to 150 psi and then trying to equalize it which may blow the grease out of the port.
  • 2 0
 @salespunk: excellent advice. I’m going to try it on the Mrs 36. She’s complained that it clunks on top out and I know that it’s not blocked by grease. Thanks for the info.
  • 2 0
 @salespunk: Thanks for the great advice, I'll give it a go.
  • 14 0
 There are three universal laws of mountain bike ownership.
1. The appropriate number of bikes is n+1.
2. Riders buy light bikes until the average weight of their collection reaches about 27-30 lbs.
3. Riders, on average, add components to make their bikes heavier until they violate law 2.

This fork fulfills the third law.
  • 13 0
 Great review, but after reading, I’m still on the fence as to whether the 3/4 lb weight savings is worth the lower stiffness when choosing between the 34 and the 36 for a 140mm travel trail bike. The old 34 was not stiff enough for me (180lbs) at 140mm, so I put a 140mm spring in my 36, but I’d love to save the weight if the new version is better in this regard, so I’d be interested in a direct stiffness comparison between the old and new 34.
  • 5 56
flag jaame (Jul 13, 2021 at 8:49) (Below Threshold)
 I don't see the point of this fork. If you want light weight, you go 32. If you want longer travel, you go 36. This is kind of... Why?
  • 63 5
 @jaame: Nobody outside an XC race wants a 32.
  • 2 35
flag BoneDog (Jul 13, 2021 at 9:05) (Below Threshold)
 @jaame: 100% 34 just doesn't do it for me, its splitting hairs. Besides, its reputation has been sooooo meh since day 1, I'm not sure how they have managed to keep it in the lineup.
  • 33 0
 @jaame: Cause I'll be hucking nothing off of anything. A 34 does exactly what I need it to.
  • 4 0
 completely agree with your experience
  • 28 0
 @MarkJ70, a lot of it has to do with how you'll be riding the fork. At 180 pounds, if you're planning on riding a shorter travel bike like it's an enduro machine, and found the previous 140mm 34 to be too flexy, the 36 would be what I'd recommend. However, if you're building up something for general trail riding, where covering ground will be more of the focus than racking up air miles, that's where the 34 comes in.
  • 13 3
 The issue with the 34 is that the Pike is so much stiffer for a very small weight penalty. I kinda wonder if Fox would be better off making a 35mm fork and dropping the 34 non-SC version. I generally prefer Fox forks over RS but on a short (120-130mm) travel bike I'm going with a Pike. For 140mm I'd go Pike or 36.
  • 14 5
 Skip it and get a Manitou Mattock. Same weight as a 34, much stiffer, and the suspension action is significantly better.
  • 6 2
 @BoneDog: OEM sales, that’s how. I bet it’s probably Fox’s highest volume seller. I also bet they sell next to none of them aftermarket.
  • 2 5
 It's more about consistent nomenclature than any real world reason to have that fork.
  • 18 0
 @jeremy3220: SRAM approached that segment and separation of segments a bit differently than FOX did.

I don't see fox making a 35mm fork any time soon. It would push up against the 36 too much. The 34 is built for a specific segment and I think Americans and pinkbike users forget that a huge part of the world is still on XC and light trail bikes. Huge.

This new 34 is perfect for those bikes.

Take a look at Eliot's riding recently on it. He's got it on his tallboy. I'd run a 36 on that bike because I weigh like 80 pounds more than he does. Hell, I have a 36 on my chameleon. But for him that fork is perfect. He's smashes the hell out of it.

So you'll see 34's on lighter trail bikes and burlier XC forks.
  • 2 0
 @mikekazimer: When it came out, I read (I can't remember where) that the new 34 was more flexy than the old one. Have you had a chance to do a direct comparison?
  • 1 0
 @mikekazimer: on that topic, I see you are running a Ground Control front tire on that Spur. What is the rear tire and how do you like it for trail riding on a short travel bike?
  • 7 0
 @babathehutt, I'm currently testing the Ground Control front and rear. I'm really enjoying it so far - there's a good amount of traction considering how minimal the tread pattern is, and they're a little more predictable than the new Wicked Will in the loose over hardpack conditions that are prevalent where I live right now.
  • 6 0
 @jeremy3220: So you're wondering why they don't go 35 and cut into their own 36 model, give up the 34 domination and to do what? To try and build their own version of the Pike? That's what you're wondering?
  • 13 0
 @onemanarmy: Spot on with your comment "I think Americans and pinkbike users forget that a huge part of the world is still on XC and light trail bikes."

Your trail/AM bike begins to be a slow tanker when you say, I have to have a 36 fork, DD casings, Cush core, blah, blah blah and then you wonder why your slow on climbs with a 33-38 lb short travel bike... Smile
  • 2 1
 @will-burr: I don’t think they’re still on XC bikes! Back in 2010, there were a number of British riders that were over-shocking and over-forking 100-120mm bikes.

I think Rock Shox hit it on the sweet spot with the 35mm Pike and the 40mm Totem. All they need to do now is put a better damper in SID 120mm fork.
  • 5 2
 @jeremy3220: Diameter is only half the equation. I can make a 34mm fork stiffer than a 40 by simply increasing wall thickness. If Fox wanted to, they could do the same but they are trying to hit a weight/stiffness balance.
  • 4 0
 @Reno233: Stanchion diameter is a small part of a bigger system, think of the axel width and diameter, bushing overlap, CSU interface. I did some calculation for max stress due to bending, by adding 1mm of wall thickness to a fox 34 stanchion in bending, you can reduce the max stress in the stanchion by as much as 25%. to put this into perspective, this would make the tube bending max stress in a 34 less then a fox 36... but remember, we are only talking about tube strength and as mentioned above is such a small part of the equation. the fact is, the stanchion is already overbuilt, it really comes down to the overall chassis. Fox knows this, and that's why wall thickness is not the solution for overall stiffness. wall thickness throughout the line up is similar, there is a reason!

Want a practical example? How many 30mm fox forks have you seen with broken stanchions? I have seen many in my life. Those stanchions are thick as balls, the forks were still flexy as hell, and they still broke. Stanchions aren't the reason your fork flexes these days, its overall chassis design.
  • 1 0
 @Reno233: *30mm Marzocchi forks * www.pinkbike.com/photo/3606566 we cant forget about these old days lol
  • 2 0
 @chakaping: A surprisingly large part of the XCO field this year run full fat SIDs and 34SCs
  • 2 1
 @Reno233: Yes, everyone knows this! You must be an engineer? It would result in a fork no one would buy!
  • 1 0
 @Reno233: right that's what I'm getting at. The Pike is significantly stiffer and the weight penalty is very small.
  • 1 0
 @Jules15: I suspected as much, but it wouldn't have made for such a pithy response.
  • 12 0
 I considered all the options for my own Spur build and went with the Manitou R7. I wish it had a 125 or 130mm travel option, but for a 120 travel fork, it seems to be the most rigid/ reliable/ well damped with a middle of the road weight at around 1660 grams.
Haven't ridden the bike yet, darn parts shortages, so I can't yet give a ride report.
  • 3 0
 I also went with Manitou R7 Pro for Spec Epic Evo build and can’t be happier… I like it more than the 130mm Pike on my other bike
  • 15 1
 "27.5" fans will need to look elsewhere". Why couldn't you use a 27.5 wheel on a 29er fork? Stack height would just be a little higher by 17mm.
  • 18 0
 And think of the mud clearance! (Scottish ears perk up).
  • 4 0
 I think it has to do with the bulge where the seals are. Affects tire clearance maybe?
  • 5 1
 Different offset impacts handling, but you absolutely can use the fork with a smaller wheel
  • 10 0
 @kleinblake: I just look for any opportunity I can use the word ‘bulge’
  • 2 0
 @Themissinglink83: bulge is one of those words if you say a hundred times it has no meaning anymore
  • 3 0
 @SterlingArcher: Profile name checks out.
  • 9 0
 The 34 is definitely an overlooked product. I have a 2018 year Fox 36 on my all-mountain/enduro bike but like the lower weight of the 34 on my trail bike and will happily accept the lower overall stiffness for that application.

I think lots of people would be very well served with the 34 in spite of the current trend for big single crown forks.
  • 3 0
 Well said. There's way too many over forked people riding around, haha! I'm loving my 34. Look at Cody Kelly and Eliot Jackson with a 34 on their trailbikes. Okay I know, it's commercial videos but still... Too many over forked people out there!
  • 2 0
 Agree 100%, there does seem to be a tendency to "need" more travel. I have a 2019 34 performance on my Instinct and it does everything from commuting to park days without complaint. Never had an issue with deflection
  • 5 0
 I wonder if folks still waiting for 2021 bikes that they ordered will see these new forks rather than the prior year version. I'm confused on how these factories are producing new products if they can't supply the ones that were needed last year!
  • 1 0
 Because they stopped producing the old ones? It probably only takes them a few days if that to switch to slightly different manufacturing parameters.
  • 7 0
 Rando question. So when we are talking rider weights and you say 160 is that what you weigh or weight with all your gear? curious...
  • 4 0
 Rider weight means weight riding. So all gear counts. However, al out of pink biker testers don’t use camelbacks, so their rider weight is very close to their actual weight.
  • 8 0
 Short travel or 140mm. Pick one. Honestly, for some of us, 140mm is more than we will ever have. 80mm is short travel
  • 2 0
 Well technically these days, you have travel from 100-200mm, so 140 is still on the shorter side. Plus 140 is kinda the limit for the 34
  • 3 0
 I'm not even sure Fox offers 80mm...back in the day, yes, but the Stepcast 32 is 100mm. 100-120 is short travel nowadays.
  • 7 0
 27.5 fans need to look elsewhere, looking somewhere else. Guess I'm done with fox.
  • 5 0
 The Pike was noticeably stiffer than the previous 34 so I wonder if the revised arch, and whatever else they did to it, helped close the gap.
  • 3 0
 I'm about 180-185lbs/ 83kg and I was surprised by how much stiffer and more supportive my Pike Ultimate was compared to my 2019 34 (rhythm, not sure if that affects stiffness). It was way harder for me to set up the Pike for my liking, but once I did I felt that my pike was waaay better than the 34 and comparable to the 36 I had. Though, the Pike lacks in "suppleness" compared to the 36.
  • 3 0
 I was a bit confused that the article says the Fox 34 Stepcast have a maximum rotor diameter of 180mm.
If i get the Fox website right only 32 Step Cast 27.5in forks have a maximum rotor diameter of 180mm.


“Maximum brake rotor diameter for all 32mm and 34mm FOX forks except 32 Step Cast 27.5in is 203mm. 32 Step Cast 27.5in forks have a maximum rotor diameter of 180mm.”

www.ridefox.com/fox17/help.php?m=bike&id=689
  • 3 1
 The article is correct. 34 StepCast only supports up to a 180mm rotor.
  • 3 0
 Was exited when my first full suspension bike had a Fox Talas 32 RL. After riding a Manitou Minute for two years, the Talas totally disappointed me. An air spring upgrade (because of failing travel adjust) only marginally improved things. Then two friends bought Canyon Strives with Fox 34 CTD's, which were supposed to be the bees knees according to nearly every review. They sucked just a little bit less than the Talas...
Then I bought my current Cube Stereo 160 (yes, go laugh about it Wink ) with a DPS and Fox 34 GRIP. Both were supposed to be simply amazing and the best for their money according to most reviews. While the DPS was just disappointing, the 34 was finally somewhat decent. Not very supple, not the best at repeated hits, lacked a bit of support when trying to achieve some comfort, but very rideable none the less. Replaced it with a Mattoc Pro though and the difference was staggering. Installed IRT and the Mattoc was even further ahead.
Maybe the new GRIP2 models are finally actually as good as the reviews say. With all my previous experiences, I'd rather trust another brand with my hard earned money though...
  • 6 1
 I'm looking at this or the Pike for my Spur. SID lasted a half dozen rides before I got bushing play.
  • 2 1
 Interested in what kind of riding you were doing? Read speculation that would happen but you're the first I've come across that have experienced it.
  • 1 0
 I'd definitely give an edge to the current grip2 damper in terms of overall smooth ride. The grip2 is an open bath so different from the charger 2.1 cartridge. So on my trail bike I have a 36, my long travel bike a Zeb. For a short travel bike...I'd probably choose the 34 just because it is really rocky where I live and I'd want all the fork smoothness I could have.. But if I lived someplace not so rocky, I'd likely go with a Pike.
  • 5 2
 @WR404: I ride in Colorado, so lots of rocks, but I'm also pretty easy on forks... I don't smash my front wheel into stuff that hard. I weigh 195lbs + gear and used about 90 psi in the fork, came within a half inch of bottoming a few times but never bottomed it out at all. SID suspension is also too firm up top and the damping is really basic, rebound is poorly controlled. Rear shock has a tiny air volume, it heats up too much, as well as leaking air and oil. Overall SID is a big FAIL for me. SID fork bushing issues are common unfortunately.
  • 4 0
 @davec113: Probably trying to sell people xc racing components on trail bikes is a fail in general just to make a bike lighter. If you watch the Transition video on the Spur the owner is riding his with a dpx2 (or dps) and 34. That makes so much more sense than spec'ing all the bikes with xc stuff. Unless you're out racing there's no reason to go that light-duty. To me the suspension is such a big part of how you will enjoy your bike, not a place to cut weight.
  • 4 0
 @davec113: interesting. I have over 700 miles on my Spur and the stock SID has been amazing, I sure hope this continues. I’m over 200 lbs fully kitted.
  • 6 0
 Interesting, I have nothing but good things to say about my SID. I put the SID ultimate on my Epic Evo the day I got it and have loved it ever since. Only 500mi so far though.
  • 1 0
 My friend had a pretty bug bushing play straight out of the box.
  • 1 0
 @simekfilip: then he would warranty it, right?
  • 1 0
 @foggnm: Lars is sponsored by Fox and Shimano. You’ll always see his bikes built that way, regardless of what specs are available as complete builds from Transition.
  • 4 0
 ...find it funny that Rock Shox is advertising the SID SL 32 on PB the same day this review goes live

PB: "New Fox 34...short travel standout!"
RockShox: **hold my beer**
  • 2 0
 I'm running the 2021 version on my Stumpjumper. Very good allround fork. I ride pretty much everything with it around here (Netherlands, Belgium, Germany). Trails, some enduro stuff, bmx style jump trails, lots of jibbing, etc. Going to ride some rowdier stuff with it in the Pyrenees soon to see how I like it and how it holds up.
Mine started creaking pretty soon after i got it but I got a replacement crown under warranty.
Would love to get the '22 version but I'll just keep the '21 fork in the '21 frame, haha!!
  • 1 0
 27.5 and 150 mm would be a great option for more nimble trail bikes. The 36 is just a bit too much on some bikes but 140 mm might just be to little (in the heads)

I'm still on an old 26 34 with 150mm travel and still like it a lot. Although I have a 2021 36 factory on another bike.
  • 1 0
 I have a Stumpjumper Comp Carbon with the 34 Rhythm and I’m now really on the fence as whether to get the Factory 34 or the 36 and convert it to 140mm travel. I definitely push the bike, but would rather avoid the extra weight if this fork can handle what I need it for!
  • 6 4
 Looks great. I’ve been tempted by the Sid but felt it was a bit too light duty. This will fit the bill nicely. If I can ever get hold of one.
  • 16 1
 Have you actually ridden the SID? I have it on my Spur and do not feel like it is light duty, per say. It has 35mm stanchions, so it is basically a bit simpler of a Pike.
  • 2 0
 @HB208: no, I haven’t. I wish I’d been able to give it a try!
  • 4 0
 @HB208:
Agreed, its Legit.

New SiD is not to be confused with the previous versions or the SiD SL.
  • 2 0
 @Richt2000: no compression adjust though? Or have I got that completely wrong?
  • 3 0
 @ProperPushIrons:
No, just lockout. But its so dialled out of the box I haven’t felt the want for a compression adjust...
  • 1 0
 @Richt2000: hmm yeah that’s the problem for me.
  • 4 2
 @HB208: This may be an unpopular opinion, but it's about 300g less than a Pike and all of that results in an inferior fork in every aspect except weight. The air spring seems like it has no neg chamber at all, the damping feels like a 2005 Rockshox Psylo and it's much more flexible despite the same stanchion diameter.
  • 2 0
 @davec113: Well, yeah, but to some the weight is the benefit and they are willing to make the tradeoff for a slightly less high performing fork. I am riding the SID Select and have no issues with it so far, but I also am not obsessed with tinkering. I just got the rebound, token, and air pressure set and have been happy with it.
  • 2 0
 @davec113: it imo flexes much more than old 34, plus all of those I tried had pretty big bushing play
  • 6 5
 I don't think the GRIP2 damper is "naturally" more supple than the FIT4 so if you're one of those "factory settings" riders get yourself the one with the lockout, more isn't always better Smile .
  • 2 0
 I would agree. I've used both and I can dial in a Fit 4 very quickly where the Grip2 is just painful. End result is both feel good but I don't see a huge difference. I suppose it can also depend on the riding style.
  • 3 0
 @Tinshield: I had a FIT4 (the older one before they made it even worse with the narrow shaft) and it was quick to get it ok but impossible to get it good. The LSC adjust was like a two-positon dive/harsh switch and the other "modes" are useless.

If you like the FIT4 you might as well save some dollars and hassle and get a GRIP 1 fork.
  • 3 0
 @PhillipJ: I've had both Grip 1 and Fit 4 and must say that I agree that the Grip 1 offers a better ride. I am not a FIT 4 fan, I've had three and could never get them right. My Fit 4 F36 was decent after a rebuild, but not great.

It's an added bonus that Grip 1 remote works really, really well with the TwinLock remote on my Spark.
  • 3 0
 I've got the Fit 4 version of the 34 from about 2017. It goes from "fully locked out", to "strong platform" to "still quite sporty" in the open position.
It suits my 110mm trail bike very well, but then that has a very poppy & responsive suspension set-up as well.
The same damping would be infuriating on my enduro bike, but horses for courses innit.
  • 5 2
 And still no factory supplied mudguard, guess Fox designers don't ride when it's wet.....
  • 3 0
 mudguard colour schemes seem to be more of a personal preference.
  • 1 0
 would be nice to see a comparison to the other rugged-yet-light XC forks. I am thinking of the MRP Ribbon (or SL), Many people have ridden lot of other options that are out there for the same cost or less...
  • 1 0
 Mike - thinking about a Spur or Blur 115 - I am an aggressive 200 lb downcountry rider and need a lockout.

120 - 34 SC, SID, PIke or 34.

I think this leans towards regular 34?
  • 1 0
 i'm around the same weight and ride XC (I'm also eyeing a Blur for the next bike....salmon plz). Personally I would go with the Stepcast 34 in the 120mm but a regular 34 in the 130-140mm would be great if you focus a bit more on the downs. I have the Stepcast 32 on both of my bikes (factory on my hardtail and performance elite on my FS).....love them both and have no issues with the shorter travel but every now and again I desire a bit more.
  • 2 0
 I aint the one who was asked, nor that i would be an expert, but get a normal 34. 34 SC is deadass xc fork for 120mm, because 32 flexes like a noodle even with 100mm
  • 3 0
 27.5 wheels are usually for the smaller sizes with lighter riders, perfect for this fork...yet not offered.`
  • 2 0
 Sort of flying under the radar, punching above its weight, the arch is an arch. Cons: sandwiched
  • 3 0
 If it ain't orange, why would I buy one?
  • 1 0
 These will be available in orange, haha!
  • 3 0
 Its going to be so weird seeing it with a reverse arch.
  • 1 0
 I have an old 34 Fit4 on my hardtail, from before the evol airspring, I think this in 140 with grip 2 will be pretty sweet.
  • 1 0
 I had a 2017 Fit4 34 on my Chameleon and ran it on my Stumpy when my 2021 Grip2 34 was back to Fox for a new crown. The Grip2 version is way better.
  • 3 4
 This article states the 2022 fox 34 stepcast supports up to 180mm rotors.
The fox website states the 2022 fox 34 stepcast supports up to 203mm rotors.
www.ridefox.com/family.php?m=bike&family=34
  • 1 0
 The article is correct. 34 StepCast only supports up to a 180mm rotor. There's not enough room to run a 200.
  • 1 4
 @mikekazimer: Thanks for the reply! I run a 203 on mine without any issues. It is a 29” wheel model. Im happy to send you a picture. Fox is correct and the article is incorrect.
  • 1 0
 @Pacificashredder, is yours the 2022 model? I double checked with Fox and they confirmed that the max recommended rotor size for a 2022 Fox 34 StepCast fork is 180mm.
  • 2 3
 @mikekazimer: Thanks for checking with Fox. You are correct it seems. Fox has just now updated their website to show the new correct information on the 2022 is 180mm max. My new fork code identifies it as a 2021.
I blame fox for their failure to have the correct information on the website until they are specifically called out on it. Glad we could help them with that.
  • 1 0
 The price for the 2021 model is bumped up to around €1430 in Europe, doubt that this one will be cheaper.
  • 1 0
 Fox and Rockshox get lots of suspension reviews. What happened to that EXT fork that was supposedly the best thing ever?!
  • 1 0
 Looks like a direct competitor with the Ohlins RXF 34, although that might be slightly heavier...?
  • 2 0
 I'm old enough to remember 120mm being a DH fork... Oh god, no!
  • 2 0
 I remember upgrading to a 100mm Marzocchi Bomber back in the day (2000-2001?) because I needed longer travel for freer riding. Razz
  • 1 0
 @mikekazimer Do you think this 34 would be a big upgrade from a 34 Rhythm?
  • 3 3
 if your gonna do a 34 non step cast, just get a 36...
  • 3 0
 36 would be a bit much for an XC bike. 130-140 is a pretty nice range for aggressive XC riders (though more travel then I need)
  • 5 6
 Still haven't sold me on yer sus Fox.
Manitou & Suntour still have my name on them.
  • 1 2
 Are those metal shavings on the air piston seal? That seal isn't sealing anything looking like that.
  • 1 0
 *Excited
  • 1 1
 …And sold out already
  • 15 1
 Production runs were limited to press release models
  • 4 0
 @DizzyNinja: No, they made two actual retail ones. I got one and my buddy Steve snagged the other. See ya next year.
  • 4 6
 I'll stick with my Fox 34 FiT4 fork thank you. I don't care for the confusion and complexity of the Grip 2.
  • 2 4
 but does the CSU still creak?
  • 3 5
 does anyone over 170lbs ride 34 mil stantion
  • 2 0
 I am 175-180 depending on how indulgent I'm feeling with my diet/opportunities to get out on the trails and have a 150 mm 34 performance on my only fs bike. If I could stomach buying a better enduro rig and a ht that I like, I wouldnt ride a 34 on either, but that's because I dont want to overpay for two bikes right now.
  • 2 0
 I do on my downcountry bike. At 120mm it's more than stiff enough for me at 220lbs provided you are staying in the realm of what a 120mm bike "should" be riding...
  • 2 3
 And it'll still creak.
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