Fatter fork legs and inline air sprung rear shock from the Swedish suspension masters
Öhlins and Specialized continue their partnership by announcing new 36mm stanchion fork and inline air shock.
We’ve seen teaser pics before but this is the official word from Specialized and Öhlins themselves.
First the new RXF 36 fork…
Öhlins RXF 36 fork
It’s essentially a fatter legged version of the Öhlins RXF 34. It’s air sprung with the usual positive and negative air chambers found on pretty much all air forks but combined with an extra third chamber.
This third chamber is for tweaking the progressivity of the fork. Other companies offer such adjustments by fitting volume spacers – such as Rock Shox bottomless tokens – but on Öhlins forks it’s done via an externally adjustable air chamber.
Pump up this third air chamber for more progression. Let pressure out for more linear action. The idea of such adjustment is to separate small bump sensitivity from deeper-travel progressivity.
The other externally accessible adjustments on offer are compression and rebound. There’s one or two fewer clicks on offer compared to the RXF 34 but still an ample range to cover a spectrum of riders.
It’s a Boost hub fork – 15x110mm – and will fit either regular 29in wheels or 27.5+ wheels.
It will be available in 120mm, 140mm, 150mm or 160mm travel options.
The RXF 36 has a 51mm offset.
It’s claimed to be stiffer than both the Rock Shox Lyrik and the Fox 36. Principally this is argued to be due to Öhlins’ forged unicrown design. It’s a one piece crown, steering tube and stem with no bearing races. Developed for maximum rigidity and for longevity, the process includes a one-piece forged unit which is then CNC machined and finished.
Claimed weight: 2,080g – 2,150g depending on travel option.
Öhlins STX 22 air shock
You’ve probably seen Öhlins’ TTX coil sprung shocks – they’re hard to miss with their beaming yellow coils after all!
The STX is basically the air sprung version that ditches the piggyback but adds Specialized’s Autosag feature. The STX was a project that was developed as OE for Specialized Demo8 models but is now spreading to other models.
It’s designed specifically for the Specialized Enduro models – and will be retro-fittable to previous Enduro models going back to 2013.
Air sprung to save weight and offer easier, accurate adjustment for rider weight.
The STX 22 Air features a large piston diameter balanced by a large compression valve that ensures internal pressures are kept under control.
It is also possible to tune the spring curve by adding or removing volume spacers or additional oil, for a more progressive or linear feel.
With a large-ish air can the internal pressure can be relatively low; which should be good for sensitivity, consistency and durability.
There’s less range of adjustment on offer, Öhlins say this is because the shocks are already custom tuned for the Specialized bikes that they’re fitted to. 9 clicks of low speed compression, 3 clicks of high speed compression, 6 clicks of rebound.
Anything else? The seals are supplied by SKF, which claim lower friction and smoother action.