Our "Rider Review" article series features the honest reviews from verified purchasers of Worldwide Cyclery. They contain the photos, thoughts, feedback & overall review you are looking for.
Not only are Enduro bikes blurring the lines with DH bikes, Trail bikes are also blurring the lines between All Mountain bikes. Fox is offering forks that suit the demands for those bikes, like the Fox 34 with the Grip2 damper. See what our customer thinks about the fork!
After my purchase of the Fox 34 29" 140 travel Factory Fork with the Grip2 damper from Worldwide Cyclery, the crew personally sent me an invitation to do a rider review. Like most riders, I purchase these "gucci" bike parts with high expectations that they will improve my weekend warrior riding skills, so this is a great opportunity to give my honest thoughts.
A bit of background - I am a petite female rider who is extremely picky about my bike setup and I'm always on a constant search for parts that will improve ride quality and trail feel. Being on the light end of setup ranges and small bike sizes, suspension setup has always been a struggle, as most forks out of the box have too stiff of damping for me. But, no more. Enter the Fox 34.
Let's start with first impressions. I chose the fork with the orange lowers for that second kind of cool (now I can look like I'm going as fast as Nina Hoffman, right?) The finish is flawless, the color is vibrant, and of course the Kashima coated stanchions scream out high quality Fox. I couldn't wait to get it bolted on my S-Works Stumpjumper home build. This is the fork spec'd on the complete builds so I surely hoped that it would be the perfect fit. The engineers at Specialized are way smarter than me, so if they say this is the preferred fork for this model, who am I to argue? Turns out, they are correct.
Right out of the gate, ahem, onto the trail, and I was stoked at the performance. Simply following Fox's recommended clicker positions and pressure as my baseline settings had me closer to my preferred ride feel than I've ever gotten before. I also own a Pike Ultimate fork which I will use to give some comparisons. On the Pike, I had to remove volume spacers and run my compression clickers wide open to get full travel and not have mid-stroke harshness. However, on the Fox 34, I have not seen a need to remove any spacers, which is not the norm for my setup. The Fox fork also handles the mid-stroke range better than the Pike, feeling less harsh as the bike hits small drops, g-outs and chunky terrain. This fork is also lighter than the Pike, with a claimed weight of 100 grams less. With bikes getting heavier every year, it's nice to save weight whenever possible.
If there was one improvement I would like to see, it would be the low speed compression clicker feedback. It feels a bit vague and less "crisp" as I make adjustments, turning with very little resistance and the actual "clicks" being difficult to perceive, if nearly impossible to perceive with gloves on. (I checked to make sure the LSC knob was tight, which it was.) This makes a quick adjustment while riding not an option for me. The detents on the Pike have a very positive and audible feedback that I find helpful when making adjustments on the trail. The HSC knob on the other hand turns with more resistance and has that positive click I expect to feel with a premium fork.
In summary, the Fox 34 fork rocks. From a performance standpoint, it's hard to beat. The ride quality, especially from mid-stroke to bottom out, is exceptional. I can't wait to find more trails to put it through its paces.