Rock Shox Argyle vs. FOX 32 TALAS?

Hi lee
I am looking to upgrade my forks, I have Fox 32 Talas rlc on my 06 P.2 Cr-Mo. The talas feels flexi, always has, I want a 20 mm front axle what fork would you recommend. I don’t have tons of money. I remember a post where you said the guys from PUSH liked the 318 Argyle. Can you elaborate on that, I see 308, 318 and 409 I believe are the models. Just wandering what your thoughts are.
Thanks and keep on BRAAAPING

Hey Stefan,

I’ve heard great things about the Rock Shox Argyle forks. The fact the crew from PUSH rides and tunes them is worth noting. They tell me the new generation of Rock Shox forks have a solid platform with good damping.

There are three Argyle models:

302 – $400 – coil spring with only rebound adjustment, 5.5 lbs

318 – $450 – coil spring with adjustable Motion Control damping, 5.6 lbs

409 – $575 – air spring with adjustable Motion Control damping, 5.2 lbs

At a recent jump jam at Jimmy’s house, a mix of 318 and 409 Argyles were flying through the air.

Mike K styles a 409.

The underside of Nick’s 409.

318, quarter pipe style.

Jimmy Himself, a principle at PUSH, on an older Rockshox.

If you can afford a 409, that’ll be a great fork. I love the tunability of an air spring. But remember you need a new wheel, so add a couple hundred bucks to the price. Call it about $700-800 retail out the door. Ouch.

Or you can rock a 318. You settle for a coil spring, and you still have to build a wheel. $600-700.

Neither option is inexpensive, and both are more than a pound heavier than your 4.0-lb TALAS.

If you’re made of money, go ahead and throw down on a 409 and a new wheel. If you “don’t have tons of money,” ride what you have. A whole lot of people ride extremely well on FOX 32mm forks. Jared Graves comes to mind. Brian Lopes rode them when he was with FOX.

Until you ride your 32mm FOX fork as hard as Lopes rides his, don’t tell me your flexy fork is holding you back. His Lopesness pulls 2.5Gs on the original Fix pump track, circa March 2005.

I ride FOX forks. I feel the flex of my old TALAS and my new F100. Can I say the flex holds me back? Heck no.

Ride your bike.

— Lee

12 replies
  1. JoshG says:

    Lots of guys are running the Fox36 dropped in travel as a dirt jumper too. ZackDank (see ridemonkey/mtbr) Transition bike pro swears by them. Not that it would be a cheaper option…just another option with at 20mm.

  2. tony says:

    everytime I check in to this site, I get affirmations:

    #1 Lee knows MTB inside and out (sideways, frontways and slantways, just like willy wonka knows wonkavators)

    #2 Lee brings it back to the most basic and fundamental level of any MTB question–do you want to spend money on equipment, or do you want to ride what you have until you are the best rider you can be?

    just last month I was jonesing for a new shock (with 20mm, less flex than my TALAS, blah, blah, blah…). He gave me the techy downlow, as always dead on. I either didn’t read it or didn’t want to hear it, but now that I read the response here, the kick in the butt to be a better rider with the equipment I have is sinking in.

    It’s just too easy to fall into the trap of “up-grade-itis” in this sport. Lee is the voice of reason in the sea of marketing voodoo trying to sell us the new and improved must have stuff that makes MTB a dangerously expensive hobby for so many riders.

    Get out and ride, indeed!
    thanks again for sound advice, Lee.

  3. Chay says:

    Agree with you on the point that rarely people exceed the capability of their equipment. Particularly a Fox fork.
    But I must say for me, part of the fun in MTB is upgrading your parts/bike. Pimp it, improve it you know ….and see the difference afterward.

  4. chris says:

    hey stefan,
    I have a 05 Talas RLC. I do EVERYTHING on from trail rides some DJing and even a few DH races. sure its a little flexy, but that just forces you to get better. Just tune it to what kind of riding your doing and BRAAAAPPP the hell out of it.

  5. martyn says:

    Lee you have saved me from getting a pike as an upgrade, now, though I have crossrides, I’m 140lbs what’s a good upgrade to a set of crossrides, I’m happy with XT hubs but what rims 32 or 36 holes hard ‘all mountain’ minimum drops of 2 foot, I’m thinking of the new Mavic EN521?

  6. Nick says:

    I used to run QRs and never had problems with the “flexy” feeling. To an extent flex is good. But my problem was the hub. I would continually snap the axle, not the qr but the hollow axle that the qr goes through. I am a pretty smooth jumper but was actually doing the breaking in berms on the pump tracks. I have since gone to Pikes, Argyles, and now into a slammed 36 Float for 4X and slalom and dirt jumps and its nice to feel the added stiffness and strength. Another nice feature is it allows you to have a spare wheel for the DH bike. Any one of the previously mentioned forks will work great. Its tough to be a pike, argyle, or 36 as a DJ/4X fork.

  7. leelikesbikes says:

    This just in from Jimmy at PUSH:

    — — —

    Yo Lee how’s it going?

    Coming from a TALAS I would recommend the 409. It has an air spring making the spring rate super adjustable for different styles of riding, Pump it up super stiff for BMX style DJ’s and run it a bit softer for MTN X. It also has the full Motion Control with lock out which is another bonus for the same styles of riding I mentioned earlier.

    Hope that helps.


  8. Daniel says:

    Another option is if you are using a shimano front hub you can upgrade the axle to a Wheels Manufacturing cromoly nutted axle. I have done this with my Shimano/Fox combo and it has helped a little bit with the stiffness as well as giving a little added confidence in the front end. The axle is $10 and labor to have a pro install it is probably $20.

  9. Stefan says:

    Thanks for the feedback everyone. But I am not woried about over riding it, the paint around the crown and the arch is flacking off, I thought I cracked it. When I took it to my LBS they sanded the paint at the cracks and said it was only the finish that cracked. So I can see the flex as well as feel it. It’s a confidence thing, it breaking is on my mind when I hit something hard.
    Mind you I have had the 32 talas since the begining of 04 on my all mountain bike that had like 6000 kilometers on it.
    Thanks again for all the help, it helps so much.
    Keep on BRAAAPING

  10. Stefan says:

    ps I upgraded the 32 talas to a 36 talas at the begining of this past season and I could feel a huge diference in the stiffness, although the 36 feels sticky compared to my 32 (buttery smooth).

  11. chris says:

    If your looking for a good AM wheel. Take a look at the Mavic crossmax XL. I have a set of those on my bike and i absolutly LOVE them. There Tuff and light. ive sent them off of 10-12 ft drops without them even hinting that they need a truing. There ever great for 4X action. You can find a NEW set on EBAY for a decent price.

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