Travel: 100/130/160mm / Adjustment: rebound, high-speed and low-speed compression / Steerer: aluminium 1.5 or 1 1/8in / Weight: 5.12lb (1 1/8in) / Spring: Talas Air / Axle to Crown: 545mm / Disc Mount: 6in post
On the outside, the ’08 Fox 36 Talas RC2 doesn’t look that different from last year’s fork, bar the Tullio-style 20mm QR system, which, according to Fox, is stiffer, lighter and stronger than its standard bolted set-up. The redesigned crown is also stiffer and, all in, the 2008 36 Talas is ¼lb lighter than its predecessor.
Talas 2 gives you an easy-to-use three-position adjuster, offering 160, 130 or 100mm of travel. In the 130mm position the 36 Talas is only 4mm taller than a 140mm-travel 32, so you could easily run the 36 on a trail bike for a burlier front end without messing up the geometry.
On the whole, the external modifications offer genuine improvements, but it is Fox’s unseen internal tinkering that makes the biggest difference. By increasing the low-speed damping, with a smoother transition to the high-speed circuit, the performance of the entire 36 fork line has been improved for ’08. Basically, the new fork offers better resistance to diving under braking, and increases available travel while improving chassis stability and handling. It is also less harsh on big, square-edge hits. In fact, the performance is way ahead of the original 36 Talas Fox from four years ago.
Of the five forks on test, we’ve had the Fox 36 Talas RC2 the longest. We’ve clocked up lots of miles in appalling conditions and we haven’t had a single problem. That’s not to say that it is designed to be maintenance free. In order to keep the 36 feeling box fresh you will need to perform regular TLC, as the lubrication fluid is designed to weep from the seals, so it will need topping up.
Fiddling with the compression adjusters at the base of the right leg doesn’t have a noticeable effect in the car park, so if you’re not prepared to do back-to-back runs on the same trail to experiment with different settings, buy a basic Talas R and spend the money you save on a fresh set of tyres and a pressure gauge. Alternatively, if you want a tuneable, travel-adjustable 160mm fork, they don’t come better than the Fox 36 Talas RC2.
MBR RATING: 9/10