Improved sensitivity and grip and much easier to set up
Hot on the heels of the recent launch of the RXF 36 Trail fork and TTX Air shock, Ohlins introduces the RXF 36 Evo.
As the name suggest, it’s an evolution of the current RXF 36 fork rather than a wholesale redesign. It’s moved on a lot though, which is good news, because even if we ignore the recent recall regarding the air spring cartridges potentially working loose, and the earlier undersized bushing issue, we’ve always found the RXF 36 a little over-damped compared to the RockShox Lyrik and Fox 36 forks.
- Split-piston damper design – Reduces breakaway force and controls pressure build up in TTX damper
- 30% lager negative air chamber – Increases small bump sensitivity
- SKF seals – Better performance in wet conditions and improved longevity
- Polished and sized bushings – Reduced friction
- New lubrication – minimizes breakaway force and extends time between service intervals
The underlying theme then for the new RXF 36 Evo is reduced friction and increased durability. And with the chassis remaining unchanged, all of the EVO updates are backwards compatible with the current fork.
Ohlins will offer the RXF 36 Evo in 27.5in and 29in options in both air and coil sprung versions. And even with all of the improvements, the price is still £1,085.
RXF 36 Evo travel options
Air 29in: 120mm, 140mm, 150mm and 160mm
Coil 29in: 140mm, 150mm and 160mm
Air 27.5in: 140mm, 150mm, 160mm and 170mm
Coil 27.5in: 140mm, 150mm, 160mm and 170mm
It’s also sticking with its triple-chamber air-spring design, which eliminates the need for volume spacers. Yes, it’s more complicated to set-up than a self-equalizing dual air design, but it offers a much wider range of spring curve options with nothing more than a pump.
And with seven unique spring option for the RXF 36 Evo Coil you shouldn’t have any problems achieving your desired spring rate with either option.
Riding the new Ohlins RXF 36 Evo
We were lucky enough to get a couple of rides on the new Ohlins RXF 36 Evo fork before the official release. And while it wasn’t enough time for a full test, we still managed to get a good feel of all of the changes. The most obvious being, that the Evo fork has a much freer action than previously.
Out of the box the fork feels silky smooth. And while the obvious advantage of the reduced friction is improved sensitivity and grip, especially on small bumps, it also makes the triple-chamber air-spring much easier to set up, simply because there are fewer compounding factors.
With the latest EVO design the fork still sits up nicely in its travel thanks to ample support from the air-spring, but the changes in the damper design, reduced friction levels and increased negative spring volume make the transition to the mid-stroke much smoother than before.
So much so, that we had to add some compression and rebound damping to help stabilise the fork on bigger hits. It still has that high-speed rebound catch though, which will probably make the return rate of the fork too slow for lighter riders running lower pressures. For everyone else though, you can finally tap into all the adjustments on the TTX damper.
It may be too little, too late for the Ohlins RXF 36 Evo though. With limited tyre clearance and only one offset option for each wheel size the Evo chassis is showing its age. And given that new RFX 36 Trail has improved tyre clearance, a new crown with multiple offset options, gets the latest generation 18mm TTX damper cartridge and it only costs £85 more than the RXF 36 Evo, we know which one we’d go for.