We get up close and personal with the single tube Öhlins air shock

Key Points:

  • Partnership between Öhlins and Specialized continues for 2016
  • Air shock significantly lighter than coil shock
  • STX22 optimised for enduro, TTX22M for downhill
  • Fitted to Specialized Enduro Expert and above models

Remind me, who is Öhlins again?

Öhlins is a Swedish suspension manufacturer famous for its work on motorbike and Formula One suspension. It recently formed a partnership with Specialized and is really starting to take our sport seriously.

Its first ever mountain bike air shock, the STX22, was leaked on social media a few weeks ago and here we have an exclusive first look.

What’s special about this air shock?

It’s the natural progression from Öhlins’ TTX22M coil shock. This is found on Specialized’s downhill bikes, the Demo and the Enduro Evo.

Ohlins STX22

The TTX22 and STX22 side by side

The TTX is reported to perform extremely well, but carries a significant weight penalty for anything other than downhill. The TTX weighs 450 grams for the damper without the spring whereas the STX weighs only 380 grams in total.

A weight saving of 400 grams is not to be sniffed at, especially when Specialized claims that the same level of performance can be found on both shocks.

Specialized has also brought its own tech to the party with the Autosag feature.

What do the different names mean?

TTX stands for Twin Tube and STX stands for single tube. Öhlins picked the single tube because it feels it is more optimised for enduro and obviously because it weighs less too.

Thanks to the lower damping levels compared to a coil sprung downhill shock, a less complex product could be developed that still maintained high-performance. This offers ride efficiency without tampering with downhill control.

You’ll be glad to know Öhlins hasn’t scrimped on the features though. The STX22 comes with low speed compression adjustment, rebound adjustment and a three position high speed compression lever.

The third position of the high speed compression is the “one more ride” click. This boosts the compression damping way beyond the level of the downhill shock to optimise climbing performance.

Another cool feature is a 100 hour service interval.

ohlins stx shot 2

The STX weighs 380 grams

Which bikes will this be found on?

The Öhlins STX22 will be fitted to 2016 Enduro Expert models and above from August.

If you currently have an Enduro and want to upgrade, it will be available aftermarket from September for £499.

We can only speculate at this point, but if this trickle down pattern continues it may not be long before we see Öhlins air shocks on Stumpjumpers too.