First Look: 2014 FOX TALAS

27.5 29er Forks

Impressions

I have been using the 2014 Factory 34 TALAS 29 140 FIT CTD w/Trail Adjust on my Ibis Ripley for a couple of weeks, and I am pretty impressed with this revised fork. The new TALAS is very FLOAT like, and even with back to back comparisons it would be difficult to discern any difference between them. The travel is smooth and supple, without any of the drag issues of its predecessor, and has noticeably less stiction throughout the stroke.

Transitioning from long to short modes happens quickly, and the new lever is easier to turn and has a more defined click with a shorter throw, although it’s now in engaged in the reverse direction. You just engage the lever, dump some weight on the fork and your in short travel mode. In the short travel mode, it feels pretty close to the same as the long with perhaps a bit more firmness, and it certainly doesn’t have the previous models grinding into mud feeling riding. There were a few times I forgot to swap out the setting between long and short, and it wasn’t that noticeable. This is definitely a fork that could be ridden in the short mode for more extended periods of time, without any undue loss of performance. The revised CTD with the increased damping is really is spot on, and it’s especially a highlight in the Descend mode, with less diving and a more supportive and controlled feel. Slamming the fork through gnarly terrain in full-on aggressive mode shows how much better the performance is with the new spring curve and reduced seals. The Trail mode with its three micro adjustments of soft, medium and hard, gave a lot of additional tunings for the CTD, although I preferred just leaving it in the soft mode. The Climb mode is quite a bit firmer and feels close to a total lockout, and it really only useful for but smooth trails and fire roads. Another oddity with the new system is that you can’t switch to shorter travel while in climb mode since you can’t compress the fork. It was nice to have a fork that doesn’t sacrifice performance for travel adjustment. Dropping the fork from 140 to 110 was greatly appreciated on really steep climbs and tight technical terrain, and it kept the same progression throughout the stroke. Compared to earlier models, the air pressure requirement has increased, so while my 2013 TALAS needed 65 psi, the 2014 wanted 120.

Preliminary Rating: 5 Flamin’ Chili Peppers 

2014 TALAS Key Features

  • Improved Air Spring – improved air spring curve and reduced seal friction
  • New Travel Adjust System – adjustable travel,  adjustable total travel, easier to use 55-degree throw lever
  • Retrofittableto older fork models
  • Easier servicing cartridge – no unique tools required
  • Pressure range – 100 to 200 psi
  • Updated CTD damper with increased compression tune
  • Remote option available

 

First Look: 2014 FOX TALAS Gallery
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2014 FOX TALAS

2014 FOX TALAS - TALAS lever and CTD adjusters
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2014 FOX TALAS on Ibis Ripley
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2014 FOX TALAS

2014 FOX TALAS - air spring assembly and travel spacers
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2014 FOX TALAS

2014 FOX TALAS - cutaway showing oil flow between long and short throw transitions
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2014 FOX TALAS

2014 FOX TALAS - air springs curve graphs
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2014 FOX TALAS

2014 FOX TALAS - CTD compression graph
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2014 FOX TALAS - front view
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About the author: Brian Mullin

Brian has been part of the Mtbr team since 2007, where he has become an integral member of the review and test staff, specializing in technical articles. He likes to push the limits in all the sports he obsesses in, whether it's mountain biking, whitewater kayaking, extreme skiing, or sport climbing. He takes those same strengths and a good dose of insanity to his reviewing and writing on mountain biking products, creating technical, in-depth and hyperbolic articles. Whenever he's not on the bike, he might be found watching MotoGP racing, otherwise look for him out on extremely technical singletrack.


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  • patrick says:

    I feel like most of these reviews for fox products feel a little like advertisements since the last several years have gone like this: “this new fox fork has totally solved all those issues the last model had. oh no wait, this new one now solves all the issues… oh, oops, now this year it’s finally right….”

    • Brian Mullin says:

      Yes, we all suckle from the FOX marketing teat. I can only gloss over some of the stuff that gets passed along to me, and then make comparisons with real product usage. I don’t think any product ever solves things, nothing is perfect. Better then the previous year? Sometimes and sometimes not.

      They have been adding better seals and the coatings to their shocks and forks in the last several years, and in direct comparison the differences are sometimes notable. Before MY14, the differences between the FLOAT and TALAS were sort of glaring, now things are subtle.

      • Patrick says:

        That’s good to know that they are getting better. I don’t harbor any ill will towards fox or you guys. I just get a little jaded some times. Good to hear an honest evaluation!

  • yaniv says:

    i have a 120mm fork in my bike.
    i was always wondering if it posible to have a talas that can get me more travel in downhill and still keep same geometry of the bike in the parts where i need it to give me good pedaling and steering. wouldn the change in head angle heart the chassis?

  • Francis says:

    I believe Fox are offering some sort of deal to upgrade 2013 model to 2014? not heard much more about it

  • r1Gel says:

    I was just wondering earlier today how I wished some travel adjustable fork (TALAS or RS DP) would have a 140/120mm travel adjust option. And lo and behold! Way to go Fox!
    What do you mean by “the total travel is customizable by adding 10mm shuttle bumpers?” You can make it 130/110 or 120/100…?

  • Jeff says:

    I love Fox Products but for $1000 for a fork you should get a free upgrade once.
    I really like how it’s $1000 for just a fork or its $3000 for a complete bike with a xt drivetrain. sorry just venting I know everyone wants to drive a Mercedes on someone else’s dime!

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