The Fox is the only fork here with pre-set travel positions, but cycling through them is quick and something we used when climbing. The 2009 lever has a smoother action and is easier on the hand than last year’s.
Fox teamed up with Shimano to make the 15mm QR. It functions like a regular QR, but gets a ratchet nut that lets you position the lever where you wish and adjusts for discrepancies in front hub widths. Fox is the only firm that runs the lever on the left dropout, which some say increases the chance of using the rotor for extra leverage, though if you’re sensible you shouldn’t have any problems.
In theory the 15mm bolt thru is stiffer than a QR but you really have to do some back-to-back runs to feel the difference — testament to the stiffness of the original TALAS chassis. Weight is less noticeable, being only 10g between the lowers, but the price isn’t to be sniffed at — there’s a £65 difference.
We did a lot of experimenting with the sag set up on this fork. It has a slightly linear spring curve, and while not as flat as the DT, it still dives through the mid-stroke on steeper terrain. Propping the fork up with more air pressure and increasing the low-speed compression did reduce dive but this made the fork less compliant. We implemented a few factory tweaks that importer Mojo told us about, which did improve the sensitivity, but it isn’t as comfortable as the Marzocchi or Rock Shox. But where the TALAS really outperforms its rivals is hammering rocky or rough terrain; it’s controlled, stable and never out of its depth. We’d also say it was the stiffest 15mm fork amongst the three.
The TALAS RLC is the most versatile trail fork on test because it has an intuitive travel adjuster, combined with exceptional performance.
Mbr rating: 9