Fox 36 Van R (2006) £549

Fox's 36 TALAS (Travel Adjustable Linear Air Spring) air fork is a fantastic big hitter, but it's not the plushest and it's proper pricey.

BikeRadar score 5/5

Fox's 36 TALAS (Travel Adjustable Linear Air Spring) air fork is a fantastic big hitter, but it's not the plushest and it's proper pricey. Enter the cheaper, coil-sprung 36 VAN (Vanilla) R...

With no air seals to stick on the fat 36mm legs it's immediately smoother over small bumps than the TALAS, which increases cornering traction. It also has 10mm more travel and it swallows the biggest drops and blocks whole at any speed. The massive legs and lowers mean it doesn't stick or twist however hard you brake or turn either, keeping it totally controlled in even the most violent situations.

Softer and firmer springs are provided in the box and you can fine tune preload with the metal top cap. Fox distributors Mojo also do a weight-saving titanium spring upgrade for £119 that reduces the weight by 60g, though considering the fork's strength and capability, weight isn't excessive in standard trim anyway.

The damping circuit is the same design as the Fox 40 and it's available in basic R and twin-compression, tweakable RC2 (£649) versions. You can outrun the rebound control on big, epic descents but even the R model will cope with everything you could possibly throw at it this side of a Megavalanche run.

At over £500 it isn't cheap, but we reckon this fork is definitely worth it if you have the money.

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