If you love the stiffness of the Fox 34 fork but could do without the weight penalty that comes along with it then you are in luck. Fox offers the Step Cast version of their popular 34 series forks that are quite a bit lighter but with the same stiffness. Our friend Matthew shares his view on the fork. Check it out!
As someone who prioritizes weight and climbing efficiency, I've dabbled here and there with XC bikes, but could never quite get comfortable pushing the limits on them. I love the confidence my trail bike gives me, and I feel like I can throw that bike up, down and around technical terrain without issue. But put me on an XC bike with a Fox 32 or RockShox SID 100mm fork, and all confidence goes out the window when things get hairy.
I recently decided to build up a Santa Cruz Blur to my liking. I was very selective with which parts I chose because I wanted an XC bike that could be ridden like a trail bike, with the efficiency and lightness of a typical XC bike. Choosing the Fox 34 Step-Cast was key. Having 34mm stanchions and 120mm of travel up front, with 100mm out back, is perfect for my local XC trails. I can still plow through big rooty sections and hit drops with confidence, but with the whole bike weighing under 24lbs with pedals. I've been crushing PRs on every segment I've tried. I was never able to do this on "full XC" bikes with the aforementioned forks because they always felt like a wet noodle as I'm over 200lbs.
One of my favorite parts about this fork is the fact that it doesn't feel any less stiff than the standard factory Fox 34 I have on my trail bike. If you're a heavier rider, or just like to push the limits but value weight and efficiency, the Fox 34SC is the way to go. Between the slacker geometry, extra travel, and the added stiffness, I'll gladly take the slight weight penalty over a Fox 32 SC in exchange for the amount of confidence this fork has given me.
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