FOX have updated their family of 34mm stanchion trail forks with a lighter, stiffer chassis, smoother internals, and they are more tuneable than ever. Of note is the Fox 34 SC with the new Step Cast design making it their lightest iteration ever for uncompromising XC race performance. Eliot Jackson shows us just how capable the 2022 FOX 34 fork is…

2022 FOX 34 Trail and XC Forks

2022 fox 34 fork updated stiffer arch more headtube clearanceTrickling down from the MY21 FOX 36 and 38 enduro forks are a host of features said to improve the stiffness, smoothness and tuneability of the 2022 FOX 34 Trail and XC fork. The chassis has seen a complete redesign, with the lowers featuring that same leaning arch shape we see on the longer travel siblings.

The 2022 FOX 34 Fork with the FIT4 Damper and redesigned lower leg arch with increased head tube clearance

That arch is said to optimize the stiffness to weight ratio. You’ll see it also juts out further forwards than the arch of the MY21 FOX 34; that’s to accommodate the trend for burlier head tubes, ensuring sufficient clearance at full travel.

2022 fox 34 lower leg channels lubricate bushings reduce pressure ramp

At the back end of the lowers you’ll find channels that serve to increase air volume within the lower legs. The consequence of that is reduced pressure ramping, ensuring the fork is able to achieve full compression. The channels also serve to circulate bath oil to the upper reaches of the lower legs, continuously lubricating the foam rings and bushings as
the fork compresses. 

FOX 34 58MM CROWN DIAMETER
The FOX 34 fork gets a new 58mm crown diameter for MY22
  FOX 34 FOX 34 SC
Intended Use Trail XC
Travel 120-140mm 100-120mm
Wheel Size 29″ 29″
Damper Options GRIP2, FIT4, GRIP FIT4, GRIP
Starting Weight 1698g 1496g

 

Why Step Cast?

my22 fox 34 step cast xc race forkBecause it’s lighter. The Step Cast chassis has shortened upper tubes making them lighter, though still long enough for sufficient bushing overlap. The shorter tubes raise the floor of the lower leg assembly creating a hollow lower section.

2022 fox34 sc xc race fork 100mm-120mm travel

The Damper Side

fox 34 trail fork grip2 vvc damper

The FOX 34 is available in 120mm-140mm travel options, with the GRIP, FIT4 and top-of-the-range GRIP2 damper. The latter features FOX’s patented Variable Valve Control (VVC) technology. That brings 8-clicks of external adjustment to the high speed compression circuit, in addition to the rebound circuit. Basically, it adds a higher quality of valving adjustments, feeling more like what you’d get by tearing down the damper and revalving it.

eliot jackson corenring hard fox 34 2022 model

The more race-ready FOX 34 SC doesn’t get a GRIP2 damper option. FOX say the FIT4 damper is the best option for XC and Marathon riders, as it’s 75g lighter than the GRIP2 damper while still offering three on-the-fly compression settings. And it’s remote compatible.

Updated EVOL Air Spring

2022 fox 34 larger evol spring negative chamber

The EVOL spring in the 2022 FOX 34 forks now has an enlarged negative air spring said to assist with mid-stroke support. Both the standard FOX 34 and the 34 SC benefit from this, but only the latter has the option to run a volume spacer in that negative air spring. 

fox 34 sc evol air spring negative chamber bigger volume spacerFox say this gives riders the option to run a firmer off-the-top setup for XC racing, or a more supple trail feel for downcountry style riding. Adding and removing a volume spacer to the negative spring isn’t as straight forward as doing this for the positive spring, however. It requires disassembly of the lower leg assembly and removal of the air spring. That said, it simply clips onto the air spring shaft like a regular token.

Why doesn’t the 2022 FOX 34 have lower leg bleeders or a floating axle?

While the new FOX 34 gets a stiffer arch and lower leg bypass channels to match those of the MY21 FOX 36, it doesn’t get some of the other features such as the bleed ports or the floating axle. That’s because weight places higher up the list of priorities for these trail and XC forks. 

2022 fox 34 lower leg chassis

Bleeders, while offering an advantage in certain conditions, do add a marginal amount of
weight. FOX encourage riders looking for this feature to move up to the burlier FOX 36.
In shorter travel applications, there is less opportunity for chassis misalignment, therefore they deemed the floating axle unnecessary.

Pricing & Availability

The 2022 FOX 34 and 34 SC run boost spacing only. However, FOX are continuing to offer the previous model of the 34 in a non-boost configuration. 

The MY22 FOX 34 fork is available in Factory, Performance Elite and Performance models, retailing at $769 – $969 (USD) / $1079 – $1399 (CDN) / €1069 – €1389.

fox 34 sc performance model grip damper
The MY22 FOX 34 SC Performance model with GRIP Damper

The FOX 34 Step Cast model is available in Factory and Performance models only, retailing at $849 – $1089 (USD) / $1149 – $1469 (CDN) / €1129 – €1459.

RideFox.com

9 COMMENTS

  1. I am amazed that they would discontinue the (seemingly popular) 32SC, but I was also amazed by how flexy and how bad the steering precision was on the 32SC when I bought one. At 190lbs it was scary compared to my 2018 SID. The damping on it was nice though!

  2. New features should be not having to change the oil every 100 hours and seals that don’t leak. And bushings that don’t get loose or loose out of the box. Also a fork that’s not over damped when the settings are turned all the way down even for me as I ride fairly aggressively and I’m 155 lbs. That said, what about lighter riders? They only seem interested in making a fork for Enduro racers who get a new fork every 6 months it seems.

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