One of the best race forks out there.
The Fox Float 32 series of suspension forks has seemingly been overshadowed recently by the success of the Fox 34 and Fox 36 models but for 2017 Fox have given the 32 a major redesign, with the introduction of the 32 Step-Cast.
Step-cast refers to the distinctive fork lower design, which retains a narrow and lightweight fork chassis, with the ability to take 110x15mm Boost hubs, as well as standard 100x15mm axles. The fork is available with the usual QR15 axle or the new Kabolt axle helping to reduce weight by 40g but still allowing easy wheel removal with a single 6mm Allen key in the axle.
The main purpose of the step-cast design is to reduce weight, and at 1372g for this test fork, it’s a good 150g lighter than the normal version although this stepped design means that travel is limited to 100mm. With that limit in travel, it’s clear this fork is designed out and out for racers, or those looking to save weight wherever possible.
The Float air spring remains much the same and it’s possible to adjust the air volume with up to four volume spacers. There are three different damper options, including the top of the range FIT4 damper tested here, as well as the FIT iRD to allow handlebar mounted operation of the damper, and the new GRIP sealed cartridge damping at £629.00.
Obviously the first thing I noticed when riding this fork, is the low weight, the front end pops up without hesitation. In theory that weight saving will come at an expense in terms of stiffness, but wherever that stiffness has been lost, it’s hard to detect. In fact considering how narrow and skinny the fork looks from behind the bars, it’s impressively stiff even when pitching into the rougher stuff.
Despite the excellent damping and tunability with the FIT4 damper and volume spacers, with just 100mm of travel on offer, it’s not long before you find the limits of what this fork can smooth out, so for trail riding you’d be far better off with the standard 34.
As far as race forks go though, this is one of the best out there; the noticeable reduction in weight has come at minimal cost in terms of performance, it feels light, taut and fast, as well as looking the part. Fast and light never means cheap though and this particular model comes in at nearly £900.