Upcoming Review: FOX Factory Series 34 FLOAT 29

In the battle of bike parts, a good old fork-off is the ultimate showdown, front suspension is an area of huge technological development, and can serve as a beneficial upgrade to an older model bike. So, what better than to put the two big guns together in the busy segment of trail riding, the RockShox Pike vs FOX 34. It’s ON!

Ahead of the full review, let’s take a look at the FOX 34 before we fit it to our Norco Sight.


Why Pike vs 34?

These two make up for the lions share of the market, sure there are other great options from brands like DVO, Manitou, Formula, Suntour, DT Swiss, Cane Creek, Girvin (ok, maybe not Girvin), but we want to cut it back to big guns of bounce.

FOX Factory Series 34 FLOAT 29, the top of the line.
You can’t beat that lustrous glow of the Kashima coated legs, it’s damn classy and gives the bike a high end appearance.

Looking back at the last five or so years, the Pike and 34 have both had their ups and downs with questionable damping, creaking crowns, faulty air springs etc, but 2018 would have to be the closest they’ll be to their best, even Stevens.


What’s new with the FOX 34?

It’s all in the fine tuning of the air spring and damper that lifts the 2018 FOX 34 that little bit higher, while the chassis remains unchanged. The EVOL air spring has a larger negative spring, and the damper is tweaked to suit the change.

The new EVOL air spring aims to be more sensitive than the 2017 version.
The new 2018 FOX forks have a tuning guide on the back of the leg, RockShox have been doing that for years. Yay!

We know this as earlier this year we took part in a very valuable testing session with FOX where we swapped out current 2017 internals for 2018 ones and tested them all back to back with very interesting results.

Check that out here: FOX 2018 fork and shock testing.

For more specs and options of the 34 range, FOX site has it all.


What bike will we fit the RockShox Pike and FOX 34 to?

The Norco Sight 9.2 long-term test bike is our test sled of choice for the trail bike fork shootout, 140mm travel, regular offset, Boost 110mm spacing, and 29″ wheels.

The Norco Sight will be fitted with both forks, for back-to-back testing.

Stay tuned for the full review!

Flow’s First Bite – Giant Trance Advanced 27.5 1

Not an all-night dance party for really tall people, the Giant Trance could be the most popular all-mountain bike in Australia, and for good reason. Over the years we’ve seen the Trance move with the times, and for 2016 it is seriously on the ball.

We’ve just received the Trance Advanced 27.5 1, the middle of the three carbon (or composite, call it what you like) models of the Trance that uses 27.5″ wheels and 140mm of Maestro rear suspension.

We’ll be putting in some seriously miles on this new Trance so expect a full review soon, but for now here is what we think of this tidy number.

*UPDATED – Read our complete review here: Giant Trance Advanced 27.5 1 review.

Giant Trance Advanced 27.5 1 23

As we discovered when checking out the entire 2016 range from Giant at their new season launch, there hasn’t been too many changes made to the mountain bike range, frames remain the same for the Trance, the bigger Reign and the leaner brother – Anthem. But what we see here is a clever speccing of the kind of parts we all want to be riding for 2016.

[divider]The Frame[/divider]

In Giant language ‘Advanced’ denotes that the frame is made in house at their own composite manufacturing facility from raw carbon materials. It’s a composite front end mated with an aluminium rear end joined by the Maestro floating suspension linkage.

It’s a 140mm travel bike front and back, great for comfort and control in a wide variety of terrain, but not too much to handle if the trails aren’t requiring much suspension travel.

Giant Trance Advanced 27.5 1 30

All the frame’s finishing touches are absolutely spot on, it’s a very tidy package when you look front to back. The bold paintwork with the blue and orange works really well, and in the sunlight you’ll catch the glimmering composite material shining through.

Giant Trance Advanced 27.5 1 5

Cable routing is internal, you’ll fit one water bottle on the frame and there are still provisions to mount a front derailleur if you wish.

Geometry wise the Trance uses 440mm chain stays, a 67 degree head angle and a 73.5 degree seat angle.

[divider]The Parts[/divider]

The previous 2015 version of this same model shared the same frame but was specced with a SRAM X01 drivetrain, a RockShox Revelation fork and the RockShox Monarch rear shock. Going forward it’s a real Shimano and FOX show, making the most of the recent return to the forefront of performance for these two brands.

Giant Trance Advanced 27.5 1 29

Shimano’s new 11-speed XT grouppo is kick arse, we have spent plenty of time on it now, here’s our in-depth review.  The Trance is setup out of the box how we’d love it. A 32 tooth single ring with the super-wide 11-42 tooth cassette is an excellent setup, quiet, smooth and has enough of a gear range for just about anywhere.

We haven’t had much experience with the 11-speed KMC chains, this one is black and uses hollow pins and links, there’s not much to it!

And as far as suspension goes the Trance uses the best that FOX has on offer, their premium fork and shock. Up front its a Float 34 Float Factory with the silky smooth Kashima coating, with all the bonus adjustments and dials as standard. The bigger diameter 34mm legs will give the Trance a lot more confidence when steering and braking through rough terrain, we’re glad to be seeing less 32mm leg forks in this travel amount these days.

Giant Trance Advanced 27.5 1 20

Giant Trance Advanced 27.5 1 21

It’s the rear shock however that has us very excited. In our experience the Trance has never been the most supple or sensitive suspension bike, with the earlier models using RockShox Monarch (gee they have come a long way, and much smoother than they used to be) or a FOX Float CTD shock. For 2016 we have the new Float DPS with the EVOL extra volume air spring.

Giant Trance Advanced 27.5 1 10There’s no doubt that the EVOL component of the rear shock alone will lift the suspension performance in a big way, the suppleness of the larger air can and the spring curve it delivers is excellent.

We loved the Trance Advanced SX with the FOX Float X – review here – so this will be a great comparison with the lighter and smaller Float shock.

Read our review of the exact fork and shock fitted to this bike here – FOX 2016 review.

Other spec highlights are the Giant carbon wheels, Schwalbe Nobby Nic tyres, the dialled Giant Contact SL Switch adjustable post and their new Contact SL saddle.

So that’s it for now, less typing and more riding. Stay tuned!

FOX Recalls Selected 2013 Model 32 And 34 Evolution Series Forks

With 40 years of suspension innovation for a wide variety of vehicles and disciplines, FOX’s design, engineering, manufacturing, and rigorous quality control tests have allowed us to consistently meet and exceed the industry’s stringent performance testing standards.

The recalled forks comply with CPSC and European safety standards, but at FOX your satisfaction—and more importantly, your safety—is our first concern. While we’ve found that a very small percentage of the approximately 42,000 forks identified in the recall might fail under a set certain circumstances, we feel that the right thing to do is to upgrade all of them.

We apologize in advance for any inconvenience and assure you that the damper upgrade will get you back on the trail safely.

IDENTIFYING YOUR 2013 EVOLUTION SERIES FORK

DO YOU HAVE AN EVOLUTION SERIES FORK?

  • Evolution Series appears on the largest left and right decals

OTHER DISTINGUISHING CHARACTERISTICS

  • Fork Colors: Black, White or Green
  • FLOAT
  • Remote or non-remote
  • Travel: 120mm-160mm
  • Decal Colors: Black & White with Silver, Grey, and custom PMS color combinations that are coordinated with the bike’s color scheme

WHAT TO DO

  • Locate the fork’s ID code on the backside of its left lower leg.
  • Enter the ID code in the interactive form at http://ridefox.com/recall
  • You will then be guided through upgrade process step-by-step
  • The next step, if your fork is identified as possibly needing an upgrade, will be to locate the serial number stamped on the underside of the crown. You will need to remove your front wheel to get this information. You may also need to clean this area depending on your bike’s use. If it’s a remote fork, you’ll need to remove the cable hanger to see the entire serial number. Please also note that the numbers 0, 3, and 8 can look very similar.