Outfox Karoo gravel roads with a lightweight suspension upgrade

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This Fox fork is for taming gravel roads, not tacking steep downhill singletrack. (Photo: Fox)
This Fox fork is for taming gravel roads, not tacking steep downhill singletrack. (Photo: Fox)
  • Fox has created its lightest suspension fork, using taper cast construction, for gravel and touring bike riders – not mountain bikers.
  • These new Fox 32 forks are short – having about half the suspension stroke of a conventional cross-country mountain bike fork.  
  • If your hands or arms fatigue from hours on rough rural gravel roads, this is a bike upgrade that will reinvigorate your adventure cycling.

For many years the shortest mountain bike suspension forks were 80-100mm, designed for sprint and endurance racers.

Product planners couldn’t imagine the need for lighter forks with less suspension travel. But then the gravel bike movement came into being.

As drop handlebar gravel bikes surge in popularity, more adventurous riding has triggered demand for short travel suspension forks. The latest is Fox’s dedicated gravel bike fork, the 32 Taper Cast. 

With this new design, engineers at Fox wanted to create the lightest possible air-sprung suspension fork, to smooth out those gravel roads.

mountain bike
At only 40- or 50mm of suspension travel, this fork is designed to smooth mild off-road terrain, instead of mountain bike trails. (Photo: Fox)

Having suspension is now lighter than going without 

The Fox 32 Taper Cast is available in 40- or 50mm of suspension travel – and weighs only 1226g. To put that into perspective, most rigid steel forks – frequently used by gravel riders – weigh 1500g or more.

How did Fox create a gravel bike fork with all the comfort of suspension action that weighs so little? The secret becomes apparent when you flip any Fox 32 Taper Cast over – and see the hollowed-out lowers.

gravel bikes
Grams were saved by using a truss structure on the back of the fork. (Photo: Fox)

Don't put it on your mountain bike

Fox’s industrial designers and engineers know that gravel bike riders aren’t going to be jumping their bikes, or charging them down drop-offs. Engineers could remove material from the fork’s lower structure by recognising the lower gravel riding suspension fork loads, thereby reducing weight.

The Fox 32 Taper Cast is configured to roll a maximum tyre size of 700x50mm and will fit brake rotors up to 180mm. So no - you can't use it on your 29er mountain bike. 

This new suspension fork will make your ride much comfier and reduce fatigue if you love touring corrugate Karoo gravel roads.

Although some ardent gravel riders might question the purity of a suspension fork on a bike with drop handlebars, there is no arguing with the Fox 32 Taper Cast’s lightness.

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