Is there a premium to be paid for that Swedish gold logo?
Taken together, Ohlins claims that the Ohlins RXF 36 suspension fork chassis is stiffer than the equivalent RockShox Lyrik or Fox 36.
When Ohlins first introduce the RXF 36 it created quite a stir, not least because it was only available for 29ers. That’s since been addressed with the addition of a 27.5in version, but Ohlin’s still favours bigger wheels with its RXF 36 Coil.
Regardless of wheel size or spring medium, the RXF 36 has shared features, namely, the one-piece crown/steerer assembly, 36mm upper tubes, Boost dropouts, and a neat both-thru axle that helps with lower-leg alignment. Taken together, Ohlins claims that the RXF 36 chassis is stiffer than the RockShox Lyrik or Fox 36. That may well be true, but it’s also much harder to set up than either of those forks.
The RXF 36 gets a triple-chamber air spring, which has a regular positive air spring with a self-regulating negative, where the adjustable third chamber is used to control ramp-up without the need for volume reducers. It’s very smart, but it’s hard the get the spring curve to have a smooth, constant progression. As such, the fork tends to ride high in its travel, which is great for maintaining the geometry of the bike on steep terrain, but not so good for ironing out small bumps.
Ohlins has also been a bit heavy handed with the tune of its TTX damper, most noticeably in rebound, where lighter riders are left with no option other than to have the damping re-valved. In the hands a good suspension tuner you can really get the Ohlins RXF 36 to sing, but when RockShox and Fox are making great off the shelf forks, it seems like there’s a premium to be paid just for that Swedish gold logo.