The Fox 34 Stepcast is as good as it gets when it comes to XC/trail forks. For how light it is, the fork is seriously capable as we found out during our video review. In this write-up, our customer adds one to his Santa Cruz Tallboy. Read on for more!
First thoughts: they forgot to ship the fork — seriously. The box the new 2019 Fox Step Cast 34 shows up in is so light, you’re going to think they forgot something. I was relieved when I opened it and found not only a shiny orange fork, but the usual manual, volume spacers, and star nut as well. If you haven’t seen it in person, the new shiny orange finish on the lowers is tremendous. I’m a big fan of being “matchy-matchy” with my bikes, so the orange finish and the orange highlights on my Tallboy are a perfect pair.
Once I cut the steerer to size and mounted it to my bike, I was blown away at how much lighter the front end of my bike felt. It really changes how the bike handles, in a more-direct-steering-feel-is-always-better sort of way. The Step Cast 34 drops an entire half pound from the standard Fox 34 Fork and it is noticeable. I’ve swapped all sorts of parts on my bike, but I’ve never had such an immediate change in bike weight. The first run for this fork was an all-day, 30-mile trail epic so that half a pound missing on every hill was a delight.
Out on the trail, the Step Cast 34 performs flawlessly, just like the standard 34. The fork’s 120mm of travel is buttery smooth, as we’ve all come to expect from Fox’s XC/Trail fork. I did lower the air pressure about 4 PSI from the older, broken-in 34 that I was using, but I chalk that up to any new fork needing some break-in hours. I didn’t notice any additional flex from the lighter lowers, and that’s a great thing. The front wheel tracks solidly through any trail chunk and I never wavered from my standard lines despite knowing I was on a far lighter fork than usual. I run no spacers for a nice, linear feel up front and the fork performed just as I’d expect — if you were riding blindfolded (not recommended), you’d be hard-pressed to tell you were riding a lightweight fork.
Overall, the Fox 34 Step Cast fork is perfect for my marathon XC and trail bike needs. 120mm of smooth, smooth travel in a lightweight package that looks absolutely stunning? Sign me up.
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