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