29ers topping five inches of travel can comfortably handle some pretty impressive terrain at speed, but they're hampered by floppy steering when techy or steep trails make for low speeds. FOX Racing Shox's 34 Float 29 140 3Pos Adj Fit4 Fork with 51mm of rake helps bridge the divide between high speed, high travel abandon and the times when discretion or unfortunate gradients dictate the pace. A fork with 51mm of rake decreases the bike's trail, which results in less dead space between the steering axis and the hub. The design is an attempt to offset the floppy, low speed steering issues that arise from the longer trails produced by taller wheels and slack geometries, so handling stays 26er sharp at all speeds, whether climbing, ripping, or navigating switchbacks and tricky terrain. Instead of the Climb, Trail, and Descend settings of CTD, the new 3 position Fit4 system toggles between the more descriptive Firm, Medium, and Open settings. While this change may read like an exercise in semantics, it actually entails a radical realignment of the 34 Float's capabilities to make sure the fork rides high for quick, controlled recovery during everything from big, square hits to successive, small impacts. The most welcome change is that Fit4 migrates the adjustable sub settings from CTD's median Trail mode to the new Open setting. Open encompasses the range once divided between Descend and Trail in order to take full advantage of the fork's high riding tendencies, combining better small bump compliance with more confident tracking across successive impacts and rough terrain. The Medium setting is much firmer now, handling duties ranging from rooty trails to climbing, and the Firm setting is now largely relegated to fast hardpack and fire road transitions. FOX's tinkering wasn't just confined to the damper, though, as the Float air spring now omits the negative coil in favor of a self equalizing air assembly. This is similar to the air spring chamber system that...
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