2010 Fox Float 150 15QR For My Mojo Review and Comparison
For the last 2 years I've been riding on a 2007 Fox Talas 140 RLC 32mm Fork. I've transferred it between 3 bikes, my 2010 Ibis Mojo being the latest. I've likely put a few thousand miles on that fork riding all throughout California doing mostly XC and All Mountain riding. Before transferring it over to my Mojo a few months ago when I got my SL, I changed the oil, fork seals, a rubber o-ring travel guide, and had it painted white with new stickers. This fork worked fairly well and was always dependable. There were a few things though that I never liked about it. I had to run low air pressure in it to make it plush and dial in more compression dampening to get it to feel controlled, however I could never achieve that perfect balance of small bump compliancy, plushness, and high speed control. As well the fork would get very progressive and would feel like it was binding when really trying to float though rocky stuff when you were in the deepest part of the travel.
So fast forward to yesterday and I finally upgraded to the new 2010 Fox Float 150mm fork with 32mm stanchions and the QR15mm Axle. I almost got the Talas with the Travel adjust but I wanted something more simple this time around and wanted to make sure I had the plushest fork possible without the the extra seals that the Talas Cartridge uses. (although I hear thats not as big of a problem these days)
The biggest differences between this new Fox Float 150 and my old 2007 Talas 140 were:
1. 10 more Millimeters of travel
2. 1/2 degree slacker Head tube angle because of the added travel
3. Quick Release 15mm Through Axle
4. The new Fox FIT valving system
5. A more linear Air Spring
6. complete system is about 135 grams lighter
I only have 1 ride on this fork so far. Yes, that's right, only one ride. Some might say a review is too soon since I haven't ridden the fork long enough which is true to a point. However I feel that you notice the biggest differences immediately, and over time you get used to it and they are harder to notice. As well I will update this thread as time goes by with more impressions.
To run the 15mm Quick Release Axle you must have a front wheel with a hub that is compatible. Luckily I bought my Easton Haven wheels with the intention of running a 15TA in the future so it was merely just a matter of changing out the insert inside of the hub. This was done easily within 10 minutes with just a few wrenches.
Although the new Fox stuff does not use the 20mm axle like the Rockshox stuff does, when you hold the 15mm axle in your hand, and then look over to the side and see that puny little 9mm old quick release skewer, you know why they called it a skewer, the only thing that thing is really good for is maybe Shish Kabobs I don't think I need an engineering analysis to tell me that the 15mm axle is quite sturdy. As strong as the 20mm? Maybe....maybe not. Either way it feels plenty strong on the trail and in my book is a solid upgrade over the old 9mm skewer.
So far the ride quality has improved greatly. Its not life altering better but the bike feels very well rounded now. I really feel as if it has finally achieved a perfect balance. The front fork now compliments the Push tuned dampened DW link action rear suspension. The front wheel tracks more true and gives me more confidence. Especially when plowing through rocks and/ when cornering or changing lines along off camber section with rocks and roots. The wheel stays pointing straight with no vagueness or nervousness, no flexiness or unpredictably. I think is this mostly due to the stronger axle up front.
The Air Spring feels much improved, even just pushing down on the bars in the parking lot, you can feel the fork go through its travel much more linear without that "packing up" feeling that I would get from my old fork. Right off the bat I had to up the air pressure to 75 PSI from my previous 60 PSI (I weigh 180ilbs) The trail I rode on today, has some rocks.roots, a few small berms, but nothing that would warrant using all the travel. I only used about %75 of the trave (no, the o-ring in the pics does not reflect the travel used )l on this trail as expected but I'm looking forward to see how much travel I use on a trail with more rocks, bigger and faster berms, drops and stunts. I might play with dropping the air pressure another 5 PSI if it doesn't bottom out on 4 foot drops/jumps (which is about the most I'll do )
One nice thing I noticed about the 2010 Fox forks, is that they finally got a clue and installed a rubber O-ring Travel indicator on these forks out of the box, no more having to disassemble or install a zip tie. About time Fox.
For 2010 Fox gave all of their 32mm Stanchion forks the new FIT Valving system. Instead of filling the right leg full of fork oil for the valving, which is known as an "open bath system", they now employ a sealed bladder for the valving. This supposedly eliminates aeration and foaming of the oil when you hit washboards and multiple bumps, meaning you will get more control and less chatter, the fork will be able to control the movement of the wheel better making the bike feel more planted and stable. Another side benefit is that you lose about 70 grams of weight doing this because you don't need nearly as much oil. Also the oil is sealed so you will not get any contamination from any dirt or crud that leaks past the fork seals. Fox has been using this technology for a few years on their 36mm line of forks and it now has just trickled into their 32mm line.
For me one other added benefit was the extra 10mm of travel, I can now run more sag on this fork which gives it more travel in both directions getting a lil deeper in its travel giving it a more plush ride. As well it props the front of the bike a bit higher giving you just a tad more bottom bracket clearance which helps with the pedal strikes. It also slackens out the head tube angle 1/2 a degree. It only afffects both of these aspects just a little so you get the added benefits without sacrificing any of the great cornering abilities that you get with a bike like the Mojo.
All in all, I'm pretty stoked right now on this new fork. For the most part my bike is complete. It feels so balanced and solid it really is a fun bike to ride. While stability and plushness don't always go hand in hand, with the 140mm of Push tuned travel on the rear, having the 2010 Float with 150mm of travel on the front just balances out so nicely and the fork really shines in both departments. I'm looking forward to putting some more miles on this fork and getting it a bit more sorted out
And yes its super muddy out here in the bay area right now, and yes thats my pink garage door, don't make fun of it
Last edited by Yody; 02-10-2010 at 11:29 PM.
You know my steez...
Nice review and pictures.
I have a 2008 model TALAS and have been looking at the 15QR. I like the FLOAT for the same reasons you went with it over another TALAS.
Now all I need is an extra $750 or so dollars....
I'm unique, just like everyone else....
Yeah and to compensate for the extra 10mm of travel and fact I can't drop the travel anymore I took out 2 spacers from under the stem, the bars are roughly in the same place, maybe just a tad lower. So far I'm not missing the Travel Adjust at all Can't help ya on the moola tho, they're not cheap!
Nice writeup and pics, thanks. I have been running exactly the same fork you just replaced, and have been eyeing the Fox Talas 150 QR. I have considered the same rationale you mentioned for going with the Float, but since I'd be raising my front end and lowering my head angle with the 150, seems like I'd want the flexibility of dropping it for some of the steep climbs around here, and also for my occasional races.
I'd be interested to hear your impressions in a future post of the 150 Float (vs. 140/120/100 Talas) on some steep climbs. For example, I see you're in the Bay Area, so maybe you've climbed (and will climb again) Repack or Gunshot in Marin.
I'm sure at some point along some grueling long firetrail or really steep section of trail I'll be cussing because I can't drop the front end like I used to be able to. Personally I try and minimize climbs like that if possible, I'm more concerned with bar height for short technical sections, I'm pretty sure I can compensate by scooting farther up the seat and keeping my weight over the front end for that stuff though. I'll for sure post up my experiences on longer firetrails since they're inevitable BTW I tried to find gunshot before as I was told that takes you to the top of the mountain so you can take Solstice back down. The only firetrail I saw off of Drake was the Old railroad trail though?
I've had both the 2009 Talas 140 and 2010 Talas 150QR15 on my Mojo. The 2010 is much improved over the 2009, and I noticed many of the benefits that Yody mentioned.
Originally Posted by getbusyliving
For me, the big improvements were:
15QR is easier to use than a normal QR, and puts the wheel in the same position every time. I can't say that I noticed a huge difference in stiffness, but I'm not super tuned in to front end flex as much as I am to climbing performance and fork suppleness. Purchasing a 15mm adapter for my bike rack added to the cost of the upgrade.
Able to run more sag for better small bump compliance; the fork just feels more plush.
Able to get closer to full travel; when sagged properly on the 09, I had a hard time getting that last inch of travel, and I can't say that I ever did. I got pretty darn close on the new one, after a near endo coming off of a stack of logs in the local demo forest. I'm still trying to find the perfect balance of sag, small bump compliance, compression dampening, and lack of dive. I still have a bit of a fight between brake dive and compression dampening, when I have the sag dialed. Too much compression = increase in harshness. Nothing horrible, but a little bit off from where I'd like it to be.
Better ergonomics for the Talas lever - last year's sucked, and it was difficult to eyeball which setting you were in, due to the symmetry of the dial.
Swapping the control dials on the top and bottom of the right leg - they are now more logically laid out.
I don't notice an increase in front end height, due to the extra sag that I run. The middle travel setting (130mm), seems to be a bit more usable than than the old 120mm setting; it's appropriate in more rolling and gradual climb situations. I still like the ability to drop it all the way for the really, really steep stuff that we have in my neck of the woods. Due to the type of riding that I do, I would not like my Mojo nearly as much with a fixed travel fork. I would not be happy if I had to leave it in the 150mm setting all of the time.
Hope this helps,
I think to get the valving perfect you would have to have PUSH or that new fox protune program custom tune the compression circuit as FOX has to design the stovk system to work with a large variety of rider weights and styles etc. As it is out of the box, its pretty damn good all things considered much better than the shocks. Then again more of ur weight is on the back of the bike so a shock is going to really have to be a compromise to suit all rider weights I suppose.
I have noticed the higher ride height, on flat turns I have to weight the front just a little moreto keep the front down to keep it keep carving on its line. I'm assuming this will be beneficial on downhill bermed turns inparticular because it will be higher and keep a slacker head tube angle so it will be more stable, instead of diving excessively losing its travle and steepening
Last edited by Yody; 02-11-2010 at 06:37 PM.
I have the same 150mm 15qr float and agree totally with the review. I considered the Talas but figured that less cost, complexity and weight (although minimal) were good. Don't regret it at all - the fork is way more stiff than what I had before and very confidence inspiring. I am used to tucking my elbows and using weight movements for a climb so perhaps talas would be nice but I have never missed what I have never tried. For my style of riding the 150mm fork and short stem is great.
don't take this the wrong way, but.....
I wanna lay yo bike down and make sweeeet luuuuuuv to it all night long, chillren
Took out for its second ride today, I hit up Rockville in Fairfield, CA. As the name implies there are sections with a lot of rocks, perfect for testing and tuning. As well if you know the shortcuts you can rip the same trails over and over without much of a climb back.
First thing I noticed today was that like somebody else mentioned in a separate review, the rebound was suddenly WAY fast. I suppose the fork broke in and since there was less stiction the rebound sped way up. So I ended up having to dial in 4 or 5 more clicks of rebound.
Speaking of messing with rebound, whoever gave the "okay" to move the rebound to the bottom of the fork leg and put the lockout force adjustment on the top of the fork should be demoted to toilet cleaner. Its pretty muddy right now and only halfway through the second ride the rebound knob is all crusty and tight, can barely even turn it and you can hear all this grit and nastiness. Also who cares about the lockout resistance, that something that you can set and forget, lockout is for roadies anyway After getting the bike home and cleaning it up today I disassembled the rebound knob and found a whole bunch of caked up mud and stuff clogging everything. I cleaned it all out and its as good as new. Really though, I would way prefer to have the rebound on top as I adjust that much more often that lockout force
After bombing a few rock gardens, hitting a few small drops, and floating some single track I found that the fork feels super stable, but that I think I might of had just a little too much air in it. its just not quite as plush as I think it could be. I'm a little worried though as I'm still getting a decent amount of brake dive. But only when I'm really hard on the brakes, when floating stuff and hitting chop the fork never feels like its diving, it rides higher in its travel. I'd probably say when braking hard it probably uses up about half of the travel but I'm talking full on brakes from 20+mph, need to spend some more time on the bike to figure out if this is acceptable or not.
When I got home I checked the air PSI and it was just under 75 PSI so I bumped it down to just under 70. After measuring sag again my standing up out of the saddle over the front fork I'm actually getting a more accurate sag rating at about 33% Sitting down its about 25%. So I'm looking forward to getting back out there and seeing if its not just a little more plush but hopefully still really stable.
Again I'm totally feeling the difference with the 15mm axle, there are so many instances now where I can feel the improvement. Again when on off camber trails or where there are ruts or obstacles the steering is just direct and the wheel tracks so well, not nearly as many "oh shyt" moments wondering if the wheel is going to tuck due to the front wheel flexing and losing the tires contact patch.
So right now @ about 180 pounds I'm running
Just under 70 PSI
6-8 clicks of rebound out from full slow (in) (trying to figure out what works best)
4-5 clicks of compression out from full soft
How did you like it for XC type riding? ALthough nice on the down hills I found the front end pushed too much with a 150, especially on hard pack. Have you experienced this also? I ended up going back to a 140.
I did notice that on flat stuff (first ride) it will push if you don't put some body weight over the front to keep it compressed and tracking through turns. Not a huge deal jI ust gotta adjust my weight bias a little. I would suppose if it really bothered me, I could always run more sag to keep the front a lil lower. If you're cornering style is to shift your weight rearward like you were Downhilling I could see the pushing feel being more pronounced. Cornering like that really has its limits tho since their is no weight to keep the front tire planted, so I try not to ride like that. Still only 2 rides on it though, we'll see how things progress
Well I'm about 6 rides in on the fork now and think I have it dialed pretty good. Ended up dropping the PSI to just under 70psi and I've found a good balance. Fork feels plush, not coil plush but really good for an air fork. I'd say so far the biggest difference is how well the fork tracks now and how the rebound cirucit works much better (probably due to the FIT system) because over washboards and small mulitple bumps the fork sucks it up nicely. Similar to the difference I felt when I first put on my PUSH fox shock compared to the stock one. Pointing and shooting through choppy sections feels much better, and going hot into turns feels much better due to the fork feeling much more stable, ridgid and supple. I also noticed that with the front a bit higher due to the extra travel and anti fork dive, that hitting kickers and lips was more confidence inspiring, the bike just kinda sucks them up allowing me to approach them with more speed, not catching any major air or anthing but going down Cinderella @ JMP in Oakland, I definitely noticed an increase in speed hitting some of those kickers.
Some people were asking about how the bike is on steeper sections without having the travel adjust and having 150mm of travel. Well I can say for sure on longer steep climbs the front does wander more than it used to with the 140 fork. I've correspondingly dropped my bars about 15mm (took out all the spacers under the stem) which helps but I do have to use more effort to keep the wheel from coming up on steep climbs. On technical steep climbs its no big deal since I just scoot way up on the seat, I can still clear plenty of hard uphill challenges/switchbacks, etc but on the steep firetrails it is a bit of a hinderence. I'm okay with it though as its not a huge detriment, it didn't suddenly transform the bike into a DH bike that is just unbearable but it noticable. I'm talking steep stuff though, typical uphill firetrail climbing was fine, just when it gets steep the front wants to wander.
Ride More Work Less
Where did you end up on rebound and compression?
Rebound is 7 clicks out from full closed (slow)
Compression is right in the middle at 4 clicks out 8