Travel 140mm / Axle to crown height 515mm / 32mm stanchions / Springs: air positive, fixed coil negative / Damping adjustments: rebound / Weight: 3.8lb
Fox produces its 32 range of forks with three spring options. The most expensive is the air-sprung Talas 2 that allows you to choose between 100, 120 and 140mm of travel at the flick of a lever. Then you have the fixed-travel Float series and the coil-sprung Vans, the latter being the heaviest of the line.
There are also three tiers of damping adjustment to consider: the all-singing, all-dancing RLC, the RL (only available on bikes) and the basic R. So why did we choose the bottom-of-the-line 32 Float R to test? First up it’s the lightest fork in the range, it’s relatively cheap and it’s super-easy to set up. But what really clinched it for us is that having ridden pretty much every version of the Fox 32 family, the Float R is quite possibly the best-performing air-sprung fork in the Fox line-up. Ridden back-to-back with the Talas forks — be it 32s or 36s — the basic Float R comes out top every time.
Small tweaks for 2007 see the introduction of tighter bushings that take slightly longer to bed in but eliminate any play and that loose-headset feeling that plagued some Fox Forx. To further reduce flex and bring the 32 in line with the 36 in terms of styling, Fox has increased wraparound at the brace. The new forging also gets the neat but fragile integrated cable guide. Finally, the dropouts have been beefed up to better withstand braking forces and fork-mounted roof racks. All in all, the best fork just got better and to reflect the strength of the pound against the dollar, the price has also been reduced.
Setting up the 32 Float R couldn’t be easier; set the sag with the shock pump provided, dial in the rebound and go. If you want the fork to ride higher you simply add more air, or if getting the full 140mm of travel is your main concern, you simply run it with 30 per cent sag. The simple spring curve is progressive and predictable and the damping provides a good balance between comfort and grip.
Every product is a compromise — weight v strength v value etc. While the Fox 32 Float R doesn’t do one thing in particular that makes it that much better than the others on test, it is, in our opinion, the best compromise. Could this be the reason that it’s the only fork that Fox isn’t modifying for 2008?
MBR RATING: 9/10