Fox Talas RLC 140 – 15mm QR TA – Preview

Pro Reviews

Talas Header

Post by Robb Sutton
Mountain Biking by 198
http://www.mtbtrailreview.com/

I received the new Fox Talas 140 RLC in for review on Friday. This new fork from Fox has the controversial 15mm QR thru axle developed by Fox and Shimano.

First the stats:

New Features for 2009

  • Redesigned 32mm crown that is now lighter and stronger
  • New 140mm web brace lower that is lighter and produces lower friction throughout the stroke
  • Talas III – More ergonomic with better air spring curves for improved mid-stroke support in all 3 travel settings

Stats from Foxracingshox.com:

  • Claimed 4.13 lbs.
  • Talas Travel Adjust – 140/120/100
  • Low Speed Compression Adjustment
  • Lockout Force Adjust
  • Lever Lockout
  • Rebound Adjustment
  • Post Mount – Direct fit for 160mm rotors
  • Titanium Color
  • Weight of sample uncut with axle installed – 1899g or 4.19 lbs

15mm TA

I was right on board with the anti 15mm crowd from the beginning. It was actually my first post on this blog. The 15mm axle creates a problem for manufacturers and end users by creating yet another “standard” by which we have to live by. The increases prices and makes replacement parts harder to come by. On top of that, hub manufacturers are now struggling to catch up. Companies like Hope and Industry Nine have an easier job of just creating end caps for their existing hubs. However, companies like Chris King have to make new axle assemblies/front hubs to accommodate these new axles. The cynic in me wonders whether this is an attempt to create a Maxle (SRAM/Rock Shox) type axle without having to pay patent rights. With earlier reports putting the Maxle Lite at the same weight or less than the 15mm TA from Shimano and Fox, it does make you wonder.

Here is what I know is true…the traditional quick release system needs to be a thing of the past in mountain biking. Modern thru axles are light and much more dependable. As aggressive trail riding becomes more popular because our equipment is more capable, it is more important to have the front end of our bikes secure and stiffer.

With all of this said…if it takes a new 15mm TA to get rid of the conventional quick release, I am all for it. Fox claims that the new 15mm QR TA increases torsional stiffness by 15% and it increases transverse shear stiffness by up to 25%.

First Impressions on the Talas

Fox puts out an incredible looking product. The titanium finish and ano bits really look finished and of high quality. I recently got a chance to tear apart the F29, and the internals are what you would expect out of a high end fork. The improvements that Fox has made for ’09 are going to make it hard to beat.

In the suspension fork world, Rock Shox and Fox are battling it out for the top spot. The more they compete…the better it is for us. The Talas adjust feature is what I was hoping Rock Shox would emulate. The 3 settings are a perfect way to adjust the travel of your fork on the trail. I love the RS line, but the 2 step is too extreme and the U-Turn option is too many options. The “3 Step” feature of the Talas is a great compromise.

This fork is going to get bolted up to the Ibis Mojo build that you have seen previously in this blog. I figured it was the perfect test mule for this fork. Stay tuned for more updates on this review as it gets going.

I will be updating this review regularly. For updates, subscribe to my full feed RSS. You can also subscribe by Email and have new posts sent directly to your inbox. You can also follow me on Twitter. For instant updates from MTBR.com on this in depth review and other news, follow their RSS feed.

Fox Talas 140 RLC 15mm Video and Pictures

Fox Talas 140 RLC w/15mm QR TA Video from MTBTrailReview.com.

Fox Talas RLC 140Fox Talas RLC 140Fox Talas RLC 140Fox Talas RLC 140Fox Talas RLC 140

(Visited 12,363 times, 1 visits today)

NOTE: There are two ways to comment on our articles: Facebook or Wordpress. Facebook uses your real name and can be posted on your wall while Wordpress uses our login system. Feel free to use either one.

Facebook Comments:



Wordpress Comments:

  • Juan Sevo says:

    Nice looking fork but it’s bullsh*t they decided to come up with their own (and inferior) standard to 20mm. There is no “gain” other than Shimano being the only one making 15mm hubs that I know of. I’m sure it’s a nice fork, but is it nice enough for me to throw away all my nice 20mm thru axel wheels to switch?

    No.

  • John says:

    Why do people cry about standards? What standards? 20mm, 15mm boohoo. I’m getting one of these with for a Salsa El Baboing when they come out and I’ll put center lock brakes on it just to get a rise out of people. This fork is dope!

  • Anonymous says:

    Has anyone seen Fox publish anything on why they chose the arbitrary 15mm diameter over the established 20mm? I am thinking along the same lines as Robb on this (patent avoidance), unless Fox can tell us why it is better. Maybe 15mm is as big as they think you can go with a QR?

  • Anders Lund says:

    I agree with Juan – this new 15mm standard sucks. We the consumers are the loosers when the MTB compamies produce more standards. If it was 20mm fork I would consider buying it.

  • IchiDan says:

    Only half as stiff as a 20mm and still no hubs…. changing a standard in an economic downturn?!

    TOO LATE to the dance… and wearing the wrong shoes.

    I was Fox loyal until they went stupid.

    What are they thinking…. sheep and drones will buy just because of the Fox name? Then again, I guess thats the majority market…. sheep and drones.

  • russ barrack says:

    first off let me ask why for the love of god are the so called journos not looking at products from structural point of view. let me explain my question. the fox “15mm” is a load of toff and is absolutely rubbish. is have studied this with great detail and looked at it form as structural view point. the axle is 15mm but is held together by a normal “QR” and is “braced” about one inch inwards by the same 5mm QR so one end is 15mm but the other end and the whole axle “is” held together by the 5mm one inch length of qr. i have showed this to all who would look and not one has praised this once they have seen it for what it is. to all jurno who test product please properly test these as we expect you to. my apologies if i offend any journos for questioning there reveiws but when we as the buying public read these reviews some believe ever word that is written. but hey what do i know…. lol

  • hardmtnbiker says:

    I agree that the traditional QR should be a thing of the past. Hadley has a 9mm bolt-on TA that can be used on all of todays standard drop out forks. The smaller hub companys should look at making conversions for 9mm and 15mm QR axles.

  • Sancheez says:

    2007 was the last good year for Fox. I paid out the nose to get a Talas 36 rc2 this year and it is worth all the hype. this 15mm QR looks kinda simular to the Marzocchi 20mm QR, huh!

  • jfo says:

    This battle is gonna pan out the same as Blu-Ray vs HD DVD wars of late. One company (or group) will win out and the losers will be the poor consumers who bought into the other. I think RS has superior product but Fox has better marketing. The coup for Fox was getting Shimano involved. This is bad news for Maxle/lite.

  • Cavalier says:

    I think most of you are on the wrong path,Fox produces 20mm through axles for their larger forks, ie 36mm and 40mm. They are not trying to replace this standard, but instead supply a through axle for their lighter 32mm forks, which is stiffer and lighter than the current QR. This makes sense as you do not need the bigger heavier 20mm axle on 32mm forks. Makes sense to me and I will be buying! They still make the standard QR on all their 32mm forks.

  • Dave says:

    Hi.

    I think the QR 15 is a good idea. If you’re buying a new fork for a 3-5″ bike it will be light and stiff. I was very close to buying a new QR 15 base to bolt onto my 07 32mm Talas, it would only cost $200 upgrade then buy a new wheel. I love FOX forks but opted to buy a left over 36mm Fox RC2 Float with a 20mm T/A for my Blur LT and configure the Float for 140mm. WHY did I go this rout? The 32mm Talas QR 15 weighed 4.2 LBS and the 36mm Float weighs 4.7 LBS and I’m sure it will be another 25 to 30 percent stiffer than the QR for 1/2 weight gain. ALso I will sell my Talas for $450

  • Ed says:

    Why not test also the 150mm version, which adds alittle more travel and also uses the 15QR. I’d like to know how much stiff it is compared to the 140mm 15QR, and see if the 10mm more won’t make it a little more suscetible to torsional load than the 5.5-inch version tested above.

    But I totally support the new standard over the current 9mm QR. Many are arguing about it, but it’s not here to be compete with the 20mm TA. It’s an evolution that is very welcomed to our current trend of XC/Trail/AM bikes which demand stiffer and more reliable forks but remaining light or adding little weight. And it’s an open standard, so any suspension, wheels and hub manufactures can use it and don’t have any problem with legal stuff at all.

    Although I think it won’t hurt RS Maxle Lite, it may give an option for those who think that 20mm TA is overkill and demands heavier hubs or wheelsets (but to shut some mouths, Mavic is releasing next year a version of the Crossmax SLR with 20mm hubs), but we can’t tell for sure how it will impact the market right now – but I do hope for good. But try to remember they are trying to replace the current 9mm QR for some types of riding (Trail/AM/Agressive Trail/AM) that demands more strenght and stiffness and not 20mm TA, which will ramin king among the FR and DH people, because it’s still the strongest and most common standard used right now. I may hint that the current 9mm will still be the number one choice for those running pure XC or XC race, so all the standards will probably live happily together.

  • Anonymous says:

    I’ve never felt that the stiffness of a fork is an issue – who has ever taken a wrong line because the fork flexed? Strength is an issue though, so the odd fork in the past that seemed to be built too light and had problems staying in 1 piece was a serious problem.
    I’ve had 30mm forks that I could ride faster on DH sections than everyone I was riding with without flex being an issue. I’m more interested in how well damped it is.
    …maybe though I’ll buy a set of RS Lyriks & find there’s a huge advantage in the increased stiffness, and I’ll have to come back & take all this back…!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

*
*