Fox 32 Talas RLC QR15 review

Bar-raising cross-country for with new axle design

Our rating 
4.5 out of 5 star rating 4.5
GBP £659.00 RRP | USD $829.95

Our review

Great smoothness and control with plenty of stiffness to go with it
Skip to view product specifications

If the devil is in the detail, then the 2009 version of Fox’s 32 TALAS fork is a whole soul in debt with Old Nick – but the results are sinfully good.

Advertisement

While most of the changes are evolutionary, the obvious place to start is the big new feature: the Fox/Shimano co-developed QR15 quick-release through-axle.

Stiffer

There are all sorts of arguments about why they haven’t gone with the already established 20mm axle standard. After all, this has inherent stiffness and a wide range of existing hub bonuses, with very little increase (if any) in weight compared with a 15mm axle.

What we do know is that QR15 – along with other structural improvements in the crown, brace and lower legs – creates a noticeable increase in stiffness compared with 2008 Fox quick-release forks.

Even with big 200mm rotors and Shimano Deore XT brakes, there’s none of the slightly disturbing twist or flutter at the tips of before. You can lean it right over on its ear without any obvious sideways slop or shear, either.

Even the longer 150mm version we’ve tried feels more like the big bolt-through Fox 36 than the previous 32.

It’s all good from a practical point of view too, with a positive lock from the broad quick-release cam. Unlike Maxle, the closing angle is adjustable, and at 1768g with a cut steerer it’s no heavyweight either.

Simpler

Fox has also significantly changed the TALAS travel adjust system. You still click 20mm up or down with each quarter-turn of the dial (140-120-100mm or 150mm,130mm, 110mm), but now that’s all done with a single air chamber. This means a smoother, more Fox Float-like feel than the slightly notchy older TALAS forks.

It’s actually plusher in the shorter travel settings than the longer one, which aids climbing traction. The travel changes happen faster, too, and the simpler system promises even better reliability than before.

Smoother

As well as less of a two-part feel on the TALAS models, all Fox forks get further evolved damping for ’09. In compression terms, there’s more mid-stroke control to stop overdive under braking. We actually had trouble getting it to full travel at first, until we knocked a few more psi out of it than we usually would.

Small bumps are sucked up, step-downs swallowed and even fair old drops collected calmly and confidently every time. However, it’s the random mayhem of mogul fields, washed-out steps and old rocky riverbeds where the fork really shines. Better mid-stroke control and improved rebound flow, plus the improved chassis stiffness, mean the new fork stays totally composed and floated.

On test sections where we know every other fork in its category loses the plot, the TALAS stays on line and in control. Lockout threshold, low-speed compression damping and rebound are all independently adjustable for complete fine-tuning, too.

Advertisement

The only trouble we had is that having so much control up front really puts the heat back onto brakes, tyres and rider as you suddenly find yourself pushing new lines or going a lot, lot faster than you probably should!

Product Specifications

Product

Name 32 Talas RLC QR 15 (09)
Brand FOX

Weight (g) 1874
Available Colours Titanium
Spring Type Air
Disc Caliper Mount Post Mount
Min. Fork Travel 100mm
Max. Fork Travel 140mm
Damping Adjustment Compression Lockout threshold adjustment