A new way to travel.
Ohlins holds such prestige in the moto sport world that top athletes willingly buy and use its products without the benefits of sponsorship deals. It's also been stealthily lending its expertise to some of the states' biggest bike and suspension manufacturers with rear shocks and replacement parts for years. Last year, Ohlins finally stepped out into the mountain bike spotlight with the launch of its RXF 34 line of forks, and expands on its offerings this year with the RXF 36 160 Boost Fork - 29/27.5 Plus and its ability to pair with both 29-inch and 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.
- Redefining all-mountain fork suspension
- 160mm of plush travel to smooth out bumps
- Twin tube damper separates compression and rebound oil flow
- Dual positive chambers allow external compression curve adjustment
- Compatible with both 29-inand 27.5+ wheels
- Ohlins brings it venerable moto sport expertise to the mountain bike world