The battle for the 120mm lightweight trail fork is heating up, and Fox is quick to match competitors with an all-new 34 Step-Cast 120mm lightweight race fork. Designed using several of the weight saving features found on the 32 SC, they say it drops half a pound off the weight of the 140mm 34 without giving up any stiffness or strength. The result is a very light, trail worthy fork designed specifically for the 120mm travel segment. Here’s how and why they did it…

2019 Fox 34 SC 120mm lightweight trail mountain bike suspension fork first look details and weight

Fox’s North American marketing manager Mark Jordan says “We wanted a 120mm fork and the 34 chassis made the most sense. We knew if we limited the travel to 120mm and used a step design we could shed a bunch of weight. It’s aimed at the marathon and epic rides events, and all around XC/Trail riding.”

2019 Fox 34 SC 120mm lightweight trail mountain bike suspension fork first look details and weight

One of the big differences between the 32 and 34 Step-Cast forks is that the 34 maintains the same width between the stanchions, leaving room for 27.5×2.8 or 29×2.6 tires, depending on which fork you pick. They’re dedicated per wheel size, which means the 29er is not rated for 27.5+ tires.

2019 Fox 34 SC 120mm lightweight trail mountain bike suspension fork first look details and weight

2019 Fox 34 SC 120mm lightweight trail mountain bike suspension fork first look details and weight
So…the iPhone’s portrait mode does some weird things with Depth Effect. All photos ©Bikerumor.

The new Step-Cast lowers indent on the outside, rather than on the inside like the 32. But the snipped, hollowed out aesthetic remains. Yet the new shaping means it’s 15% stiffer than the long travel Fox 32, and it comes in 140g lighter, too. So, not much reason to choose the 32 anymore unless you’re running 100mm travel or less.

2019 Fox 34 SC 120mm lightweight trail mountain bike suspension fork first look details and weight

The 34 SC 120mm will come as Factory and Performance Series forks only, which means Kashima coated or black ano stanchions and your choice of Fox Gloss Orange (Factory only) or Matte Black (both) paint.

2019 Fox 34 SC 120mm lightweight trail mountain bike suspension fork first look details and weight

Inside is the FIT4 damper, with an optional remote available. The fork gets a dedicated air spring and damping tune, and thankfully comes with a handy air pressure guide sticker on the back…something we’ve long wished Fox (and all manufacturers) would provide. Theirs goes a step further and offers starting settings for the rebound and compression knobs.

34 SC Factory pricing is $934 without remote, and $1,024 with it. Claimed weight is 3.5lb (1,590g) for the 27.5″ fork, and the 29er with standard thru axle and uncut steerer hit our scales at 3.74lb (1,698g). The Performance level comes with a GRIP damper and is 29er only, price is $789, weight TBA.

Factory level forks come with the KaBolt tooled axle to save a few more grams, Performance comes with the QR thru axle shown here.

How do the Fox 34 SC and regular Fox 34 compare?

comparison between Fox 34 SC and regular Fox 34 mountain bike forks

Because the lowers are notched at the bottom, a quick glance makes it harder to tell them apart. While the internals are different, with the new 34 SC getting its own air spring and damping tune, the external bits really do have quite a few differences once you take a closer look.

comparison between Fox 34 SC and regular Fox 34 mountain bike forks

The long, machined rebound knob and indent show just how far up the lowers get their diet treatment.

comparison between Fox 34 SC and regular Fox 34 mountain bike forks

The rebound knob itself shows the attention to gram shaving detail they paid to cut ounces. The dropouts are similar:

comparison between Fox 34 SC and regular Fox 34 mountain bike forks

comparison between Fox 34 SC and regular Fox 34 mountain bike forks

The front of the arch looks similar, with the 34 SC losing the notch at the top.

comparison between Fox 34 SC and regular Fox 34 mountain bike forks

From the back, there’s much less bracing material there. You can also see that the crown gets more angular shaping.

comparison between Fox 34 SC and regular Fox 34 mountain bike forks

From the top, the differences in the crown are far more dramatic. Note the slimmer shape and indents near the steerer. This extra shaping is likely how they maintained the same stiffness while also saving weight.

The standard 34 on the right has 130mm travel and came off a Niner JET9 RDO. The new 34 SC has only 120mm travel, so the extra stanchion length visible in this photo is expected. But note how the arch height is a few millimeters lower on the 34 SC, which explains the lack of 27.5+ compatibility.

comparison between Fox 34 SC and regular Fox 34 mountain bike forks

Just picking the forks up reveals all you need to know about why the Fox 34 Step-Cast was made. The half pound weight savings is immediately noticeable, and on the bike it’s dramatic. Stay tuned for our first ride review and weigh-in!

RideFox.com

19 COMMENTS

  1. This will be going on my Procaliber ASAP. The 32 SC doesn’t quite cut it for my 190 poundage.

    Thanks for blowing my toy budget, Fox!!!

  2. i’m confused. It says 27.5 x 2.8 will fit and then says 27.5+ will not fit? Then you point out the lower brake arch, but a 29×2.6 is larger in diameter than a 27.5×3, right?

    • Fox are saying 27.5×2.8 max for the 650b model and 29×2.6 but no B+ tyres at all for the 29er models. I’m sure once they’re out in the wild that will go out of the window but for now that is Fox’s published specs.

      • confused as well… I’m thinking of buying a bikepacking rig, steel thing with carbon stiff front fork. The bike is specced to run on 27,5/2,8 tires or 29/2,3″ max. I’m looking for a fox that fits both. So I would opt for the 34 SC 29″ version if this fork fits both rubbers.

  3. Yep!! Awesome. Going on my next HT build. The new longer SID is cool too but no available in 27.5 in 120mm version WTH is that all about. Great job Fox! This looks like a sweet fork and exactly what I was looking for.

  4. Strange that they put the step on the outside of the lowers this time so the fork is as wide as the regular 34. The main benefit (for me) of the 32 SC is the narrower chassis. Yes, it doesn’t fit as wide a tire, but for agressive XC (where this fork is aimed at I think), that wouldn’t be a problem. As long as 2.35″ tires fit, no need for 2.6″ 29ers.

  5. Oh Man…I want to replace my Fox 34 on my Rocky Mountain Element with this ASAP!…its the perfect fork to complement this trail-capable XC bike!

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