Fox 36 Van R (2006) review£549.00

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 score5/5Find prices on Bicycle Blue Book

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.

Guy Kesteven

Freelance Writer, UK
Guy started filling his brain with cycle stats and steaming up bike shop windows back in 1980. He worked the other side of those windows from '89 while getting a degree in “describing broken things covered in mud" (archaeology). Dug historical holes in the ground through the early '90s, then became a pro bike tester in '97. Guy has ridden thousands of bikes and even more components the world over since then and can remember them all in vivid, haunting detail. Can't remember where the car keys are, though.
  • Age: 44
  • Height: 180cm / 5' 11"
  • Weight: 68kg / 150lb
  • Waist: 76cm / 30in
  • Chest: 91cm / 36in
  • Discipline: Strict sadomasochist
  • Preferred Terrain: Technical off-piste singletrack and twisted back roads. Up, down, along — so long as it's faster tfhan the last time he did it he's happy.
  • Current Bikes: An ever changing herd of test machines from Tri bikes to fat bikes and everything in between.
  • Dream Bike: His Nicolai Helius AM custom tandem
  • Beer of Choice: Theakston's Old Peculier (not Peculiar)
  • Location: Yorkshire, UK
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