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2017 Fox 32 SC Fork

Tom Collier reviews the Fox 32 SC for Blister Gear Review.

2017 Fox 32 SC

2017 Fox 32 SC Fork

Wheel Size: 29”

Travel: 100mm

Offset: 44 or [51] mm [tested]

Axle to Crown: ~460 mm

Stated Weight: 2.99 lb / 1,360 g

Blister’s Measured Weight: 1,374 g

MSRP: $889 [as tested]

Available May 2016

Reviewer 1: Tom Collier 5’8”, 160 lbs.

Test Location: Park City, UT

Test Duration: 6 rides

Reviewer 2: Marshal Olson 6’2”, 210 lbs.

Test Location: Salt Lake City, UT

Test Duration: 2 rides

Intro

Fox has brewed up something special here with their new 32 SC fork. You’ve probably seen some sneak peeks of it—the odd forum post or instagram photo of a bright orange XC fork. Well, Marshal and I had the opportunity to put some miles on it over the course of the last month on dry trails between some excellent powder days.

The billing is simple: the 32 SC is Fox’s lightest XC fork ever. All too often, low weight comes at the expense of performance, but Fox’s marketing materials emphasize that effort was also made to keep some brawn intact and damping performance up to snuff. Of course, this isn’t the first time a suspension company has made that sort of claim, so I was a bit skeptical.

Tom Collier reviews the Fox 32 SC for Blister Gear Review.

Tom Collier on the Fox 32 SC fork, Salt Lake City, UT.

Let’s address it now and get it out of the way: the 32 SC is very light. It comes in at 1,374 g on my scale — 255 g lighter than the 2015 32 fork according to Fox (in 29” configuration). That means that it is lighter than RockShox’s SID XX World Cup by ~120 g. That is a meaningful chunk of weight, especially on an already light fork.

Weight weenies will either be compelled by the SC 32’s weight alone, or already have decided that rigid forks are simply the only way to go. I’m not overly concerned about weight, but feel strongly about fork chassis stiffness and damping. So I needed to get some time on the 32 SC to form an opinion. Marshal Olson is a much taller, bigger guy than me with similar inclinations toward fork performance, so together we offer a pretty good litmus test here.

Options / Features

  • 15QR x 110 Boost and 15QR x 100 Kabolt axle options
  • 27.5” and 29” wheel options
  • 100 mm travel
  • FIT4 and FIT GRIP three position damper for improved control
  • Lockout for increased efficiency
  • Factory Series models feature
  • Genuine Kashima Coat
  • Gloss Orange, Matte Black, Gloss White

Tom Collier reviews the Fox 32 SC for Blister Gear Review.
The Chassis

The design of the 32 SC is led by sculpted, hollow lower legs. These save weight and allow clearance for large brake rotors (203 mm on the 29” configuration and 180 mm on the 27.5” configuration). The stance of the 32 SC is 10 mm narrower than last years 32, and that also saves weight.

It makes for the sveltest boost spacing fork I’ve been on. Fox states that it is still wide enough to fit a 2.3” tire, and I had no trouble with a 2.35” Maxxis Ikon.

One downside to the hollow lower legs is that the rebound knob is a pretty long extension piece, and is still a bit buried in the leg. This made adjustment just a bit more cumbersome than on other forks.

The legs are held together by a nice, simple bolt-on axle. It works nicely, but I did find myself having to be very conscious of keeping a multi-tool in my pocket if I needed to swap out my front tire.

Stiffness

At 160 lbs, I don’t tax forks as much as some, but I can push a fork hard enough to notice a stiffer chassis, or be disappointed by a weak one. Marshal has 50 lbs on me, and offers an even better test.

On my first ride I did my best to run into obstacles that protruded from the side of the trail. The fork never surprised me by twisting off-line. I was impressed. No, it wasn’t as stiff as a Fox 34, but it didn’t feel any less stiff than the regular 140 mm 32 I was riding the day before. It helps that the fork is shorter travel, but still, this is the stiffest XC-race fork I’ve been on by a long shot.

Tom Collier reviews the Fox 32 SC for Blister Gear Review.

Marshal Olson on the Fox 32 SC fork, Park City, UT.

After a few rides, I handed the 32 SC over to Marshal, and was very interested to hear his thoughts given our weight difference. Turns out his impression wasn’t all that different from mine. He felt that the 32 SC tracked really well for its class, and offered nice lateral and fore-aft stiffness, especially given its weight.

We both agreed that the 32 SC doesn’t feel like it is just barely getting by in terms of stiffness. I was impressed to hear Marshal say that—a 210 lb, aggressive rider. He is even curious to try a 120 mm version of the 32 SC for trail riding. (Now to get Fox to make one of these…)
NEXT: Offset, Air Spring, Etc.

4 Comments

  1. Blister Member
    Tom April 9, 2016 Reply

    Nice concise writeup.

    Quote: “He is even curious to try a 120 mm version of the 32 SC for trail riding. (Now to get Fox to make one of these…)”

    +1 on that. At 195 myself, I really LOVE that Blister has Marshall wringing stuff out!

    Query: Having a new-ish Fox 34 in the house, I’m curious what your preferred stanchion lube is.

    • Tom Collier April 11, 2016 Reply

      Tom, glad you like the review!

      Both Marshal and I are using Finish Line Stanchion Lube.

  2. Jesse kelly January 9, 2017 Reply

    Thanks for the review. Did you use the Fox Fork this whole year or just during April? I’m going to get this (boost version) for my 2014 S-Works Epic World Cup (frame is still the same for the 2017 model though I think they are calling it the Stumpjumper now).

    The frame was originally designed for a 95mm fork, but I notice they’ve moved it to a 100mm fork with 51mm offset, slightly changing the geometry. I’ve seen no mention of this move in the blogosphere and no reviews on what difference it makes. I’m getting for the fork because I need one of course, but also that if I move to a different frame that there’s a better chance of this fork being compatible.

    As it happens one of the reasons I love the Epic is it’s still the best Full Suss xc machine with two full size water bottle cages. KTM and Cannondale now to two bottle cages in their full suss race machines but I believe one is for a small bottle. As a marathon rider who wants a nimble XC bike the World Cup has been the best option. My only heartbreak with it though is the races have gotten gnarlier and steeper, so the 27.2mm seatpost doesn’t offer the dropper options I want, and the steep head angle is too jittery. (however I can’t remember what I’m missing with a slacker head angle!) But I also like the idea of boost to stiffen things up even more. I’m hoping the 2018 Epic (stumpjumper) will be boost with a larger seat post.

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