First Look: 2014 FOX TALAS

27.5 29er Forks

For the 2014 model year, FOX has made two impressive changes to their suspension lineup, including the revised TALAS fork and the new FLOAT X rear shock. The TALAS is an acronym for Travel Adjustable Linear Air Spring system, and although the TALAS has gone through many changes throughout its lifetime, this latest revision is fairly substantial and sweeping compared to its predecessors. The complete TALAS redesign gives better ride performance and alterable travel settings, and it utilizes an updated air spring and a new travel adjustment system and fewer seals.

Read the 2014 FOX TALAS follow up review here.


The CTD has the three on the fly adjustments (Climb, Trail, Descend), and in addition, there are three fine tuning settings for the Trail mode (soft, medium, firm). For 2014, they increased the compression damping on all CTD models, and the Descend mode has more support and better control and keeps the fork up higher in its travel, while the Trail mode has an all-around tune and the Climb mode gets a firm tune. The 32 and 34 FOX chassis retains the CTD damper, while the 36 versions get the RC2.

Air Spring

The updated air spring uses a similar design to the 2014 FLOAT, with fewer seals (from three to one) for smoother and lower friction movement. The left graph shows how much easier it is to initiate or activate the travel due to lower breakaway friction, while the lower dynamic friction makes the first 2/3 of travel closely mimic a coil spring, before ramping up at the end for bottom out support. The right graph shows how similar the long and short travel are, and that the short mode is just as rideable in a wide variety of conditions.


Taking inspiration from the 2003 TALAS rear shock, they have decoupled the travel adjustment from the air spring, and now use an inline hydraulic adjust system that is cartridge based for easier serviceability. The two-position travel adjuster uses two check balls to regulate the oil flow, and the oil doesn’t cycle except during travel changes.

The difference in travel (between long and short) can be altered by adding 5mm plastic clip-on spacers, and it’s easily done by un-threading the top cap and popping them on the cartridge shaft. For example, you could change the default long/short travel settings of 140mm/110mm to a 140/115 or 140/120, opening up a slew of tunability for the TALAS. In addition, the total travel is customizable by adding 10mm shuttle bumpers at the bottom of the air spring assembly, to a maximum of 30mm for the 32 and 34 chassis, and 40mm for the 36.

The TALAS lever has been upgraded, and is easier to use on the trail, with a shorter 55-degree throw.

About the author: Brian Mullin

Brian likes to push the limits in all the sports he obsesses in, whether it's mountain biking, whitewater kayaking, 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 articles. Whenever he's not on the bike, he might be found watching MotoGP racing, otherwise look for him out on the trail.

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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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