A new take on plush.
Until last year, Ohlins Racing kept a low profile with its mountain bike endeavors, using its considerable expertise in moto sports to build replacement parts and rear shocks for some of the largest bike and suspension manufacturers in the states. That all changed with the introduction of Ohlins' RXF 34 line of forks, which brought the brand's signature blue and yellow to many a mountain bike near you. This year, Ohlins expands the range with a 36mm stanchion option, the RXF 36 140 Boost Fork - 29/27.5 Plus and opens up the ability to run either 29-inch or 27.5+ wheels.
Since Ohlins is so exclusive that it doesn’t even offer top moto athletes free gear, we're not surprised that it came up with a design that's truly unique in the mountain bike field. The RXF 34 and RXF 36 are the only forks on the market to feature a twin tube damper, which separates the rebound and compression oil flow. Since the twin tube design lets the oil flow parallel and independently, the fork maintains optimal pressure at all times, riding higher with a smoother initial stroke. It maintains consistent, predictable small bump compliance across successive hits to leave you more in control of your lines and with more responsive traction.
The fork also includes an addition to its other leg, adding an extra positive chamber to the typical air spring loadout of one negative and one positive. The presence of two positive chambers means that the resistance can be dialed externally — yep, without internal spacers — to alter the compression curve, so the fork can be set to maintain that initial suppleness but ramp-up harder to avoid bottoming out on big hits. The RXF 36 climbs with confident traction but won't sell you out by diving on rowdy descents. Given the host of absurdly versatile all-mountain 29/27.5+ bikes we've been seeing unveiled over the past year, we suspect this added versatility in fork suspension will quickly become a necessary feature.
The RXF doesn't feature a proper lockout switch, but the high-speed compression adjustment will effectively smother travel when cranked all the way. It's also built with an integrated crown race, so the list of compatible headsets isn't as long as with forks that make you supply your own race. Given those limitations, lower headset bearings with a 40mm internal diameter (52mm external) and 45-degree bearing angle are the only compatible option.
- A new take on all-mountain fork suspension
- 140mm of travel smooths out the bumps
- Twin tube damper separates rebound and compression oil flow
- Dual positive chambers allow external compression curve adjustment
- Compatible with 29-in and 27.5+ wheels
- Ohlins brings decades of moto sport expertise to the mountain bike world