The new 2019 Fox 34 StepCast fork is setting a new benchmark for that XC/Trail market, delivering 34mm chassis stiffness, at the weight range of many 32mm options with less travel. At 120mm travel (Max), the StepCast 34 will be the ultimate XCO and Trail fork that may likely even be seen on the XCO world cup circuit.
But for us mere mortals, the 34 Stepcast fits the common void for an agressive but lightweight XC / Trail fork, that can happily be at home on a playful hardtail, or the ultimate full suspension all day trail bike. Bikes where the 34 SC is perfectly suited include the Santa Cruz Tallboy (and new Blur), Yeti ASR, Giant Anthem, Rocky Mountain Element, Trek Fuel, Cannondale Scalpel - just to name a few.
The StepCast 34's claimed weight of 1.59 kg (27.5') made us just a little bit excited, so we took to the tools, and have made some comparisons of the new 2019 Fox 34 Stepcast, versus the 2018 Fox 34, both in the 120mm 29" travel option.
From a weight perspective, the new 34 Stepcast is the lightest 120mm travel fork on the market. It's even over 140g lighter than the current model 32 series 120mm fork!
See below for this exclusive break down of where Fox were able to remove weight from the already groundbreaking 34.
See Australian Mountain Bike's first ride impressions here:
Fox 34 2018 120mm 29" - 1845g
Fox 34 2019 StepCast 120mm 29" - 1705g
(Note, Factory models will come with a Kabolt axle as standard, which is 45g lighter than the QR version pictured)
CSU Length Change - Fox 34 2018 (below) Fox 34 2019 SC (above). Slightly scolloped out upper crown on the SC, significant change in the tube length.
CSU Weight - Almost 100g's taken from the 2018 CSU to the new, and shorter 2019 CSU. 2018 Pictured above, 2019 34 SC Pictured below:
Lower Leg Change - 'stepcast' hollowed out lower leg on the new 34 SC. Note how the 'stepcast' is taken from the outside of the leg, rather than the inside of the leg like the current stepcast 32 for example. Factory models will come standard with the Kabolt axle (not QR as pictured), and performance GRIP models will come with QR Lever axle.
Lower Leg Crown Change - Less material, equalled stiffness according to Fox. The 2018 Fox 34 has more material in the arch section of the lower crown.
Lower Leg weight - The change to stepcast lowers takes around 40grams out of the existing 34 chassis. Remember, the existing 34 chassis went on a diet quite recently in 2016, shedding over 200gr from its 2015 version!
Kashima Tubes - Unchanged in 2019, but shorter as above.
Air Shaft - EVOL - Minor changes to overall shaft length in accordance to the shorter CSU.
Damper - FIT4 damper in the new 34 SC uses a 32mm style upper assembly and the smaller 8mm shaft diameter as found in older model CTD and RLC FIT dampers. Existing FIT4 32, 34 and 36 use a 10mm damper shaft. We expect this is to save weight, and to be honest - Its a good place to start as a smaller shaft often means less friction. The damper tune has also been revised for the 34 SC.
Available May 2018 in the following specs: (Boost axle only)
- 27.5 120mm FIT4
- 27.5 120mm FIT4 Remote 2P PTU
- 29 120mm FIT4
- 29 120mm FIT4 Remote 2P PTU