Öhlins XC suspension is official. We knew it was coming. We first noticed the prototype Öhlins XC suspension on the finish of final season main into the beginning of this yr. It wasn’t precisely hidden, what with the long-lasting yellow-Ö-emblazoned forks popping up on the cross-country World Cups, and slimmed-down rear shocks smaller than something we had seen but from the Swedish racing suspension firm that had confined their mountain bike choices to extra gravity-focused disciplines.
However now Öhlins XC suspension makes its official cross-country debut with just a few race-ready RXC34 forks and a few twin tube TXCAir rear shocks…
Created to carry their iconic race-focused efficiency, race-proven damping, and tuning capabilities to these shorter journey mountain bikes now tackling the most recent technical XC tracks, the Öhlins XC challenge has excessive hopes along with their manufacturing unit race companion Workforce BMC Racing. They’ve set this season’s objectives on World Sequence podiums, and have their sights firmly on subsequent summer time’s Olympics…
Öhlins XC brief(er)-travel mountain bike racing suspension
OK, so why is Öhlins moving into the XC recreation, and why did it take so lengthy?
Once we talked to the Öhlins MTB challenge growth workforce about their transfer into cross-country, it was clear that they had been eyeing the development of XC racing, analyzing how they might make their mark. For years (many years?) XC racing had been dominated by weight weenies – not one thing Öhlins particularly excels at. However XC has progressed.
Fashionable XC racecourses bought extra technical, and the cross-country race bikes developed to maintain tempo. Wheels bought larger in diameter (29ers), tires bought wider (now 2.4″ is nearly a brand new normal), geometry bought slacker, body kinematics superior with higher built-in pedaling effectivity (extra anti-squat), and suspension journey merely bought longer (120mm is the brand new norm). The result’s bikes with bigger unsprung mass, extra journey, extra supple suspension motion, and the important thing level right here for Öhlins… extra alternative to learn from extra superior air springs and higher damping.
Developed with Workforce BMC Racing to focus on elite XC race circuit
Higher performing XC suspension now holds extra potential to genuinely claw again actual tangible time-savings in a contemporary XCO or XCM race.
So Öhlins got down to create a system that may win World Cups, but additionally goal the 2024 Olympics.
That rapidly grew to become a prestigious purpose for the racing-oriented firm coming from motorsports. They by no means had a product earlier than that might goal such a premier world human-focused occasion just like the Olympics. To take action they wanted high athletes, and reasonably than attempt to develop a workforce, Öhlins approached Workforce BMC Racing, now with former World Champ Jordan Sarrou.
And as Öhlins tells it, BMC fortunately joined in with out making an attempt the brand new gear, trusting within the Öhlins racing heritage.
By way of the course of XC growth, Öhlins settled on 34mm chassis for his or her new fork with 120mm of journey up entrance. And the paired that to 120mm of splendid rear wheel journey with a lighter model of their twin-tube air suspension tech that merely delivered extra rear wheel management and higher efficiency (over two completely different single-tube designs they labored on), even when it did imply a bit of additional weight.
Efficiency management and exact dealing with grew to become the driving elements as Öhlins refined their XC suspension challenge – “enabling riders to push their limits on probably the most difficult XCO tracks“.
Each entrance & rear, Öhlins has developed light-weight new damping techniques with 3 compression modes – Open, Pedal, Lock – with particular person kinematic curves tailor-made particularly the distinctive weight steadiness and rider energy enter you get from XC racing in every of those modes. Weight again and standing over the pedals when descending in Open mode. Weight ahead and sure perched on the nostril of the saddle attacking the climbs in Pedal mode. And ahead out of the saddle sprinting in full Lock mode.
This vary has been in growth for a very long time, not solely is it raced on the highest degree, it’s now additionally obtainable for XC riders all over the world. Our concentrate on efficiency permits riders to have the arrogance to go sooner whereas being in management, on XCO tracks and on weekend rides.
– Thomas Westfeldt, Öhlins MTB Product Supervisor
RXC34 m.1 cross-country forks
Up entrance, the Öhlins RXC34 m.1 forks share an analogous stiff exterior chassis, the identical dimension stanchions, and the floating axle platform with the marginally longer journey RXF downcountry / path forks.
However inside it’s all-new.
The RXC fork will get an all-new OTX14 damper and an up to date 2-chamber air spring, designed to offer “next-level traction and wheel management in a stiff chassis with a superior really feel and glorious dealing with”. The brand new RXC34 fork is designed round 100-120mm of journey (with a 130mm potential for OEMs) and 34mm stanchions for extra stiffness, predictability & reliability.
(In a nod to serviceability, it’s potential to swap air spring & damper internals between the brand new RXC34 and the present RXF34.)
Typically, there are two variations of the fork – a normal mannequin with a solid alloy crown and pressed 1.5″ tapered steerer. Then, a lighter Carbon mannequin with a one-piece molded carbon crown & tapered steerer – saving a couple of hundred grams. Every will be internally adjusted for 100, 110 & 120mm of journey. And could possibly be prolonged to 130mm of journey sooner or later with a 130-specific air spring.
However there’s additionally a 3rd Race mannequin, which mixes the carbon crown/steerer with a lighter, shorter set of stanchions which can be 100mm of journey solely – saving one other 20g off the common Carbon fork.
Like within the new XC shocks out again, the RXC34 m.1 forks characteristic 3 experience modes: Open, Pedal, Lock.
-Open, ramps up progressively for extra help at increased speeds and rising forces.
-Pedal doesn’t construct up as a lot pressure seated, benefiting from the massive detrimental air spring so the fork & shock will be extra plush
-Lock is locked however nonetheless little or no motion for traction
The brand new RXC34 (and the TXCAir shocks) can be found with handbook mode sectors or a mixed distant lockout lever. Öhlins developed a modular distant that mixes with dropper publish remotes, but additionally wished to make sure compatibility with different present techniques. They function on normal 7.5mm of cable pull per mode to be appropriate with Scott TwinLoc & Orbea Squid remotes, and Öhlins gives a 5.5mm pull adapter so riders can use their new suspension with the DT Swiss distant just like the BMC workforce have been racing on.
Tech Particulars – RXC34 m.1 forks
The brand new XC forks characteristic:
- Light-weight OTX14 damper.
- Excessive adjustability with race-proven setting financial institution to match rider fashion and bike
- Hydraulics optimized for XC racing
- 3 experience modes developed and examined to avoid wasting seconds on the race monitor
- As much as 5 constructive quantity spacers to regulate progressiveness (relying on journey)
- As much as 7 detrimental spacers to regulate preliminary sensitivity
- Distant and handbook management possibility
- Handbook management possibility including 12 clicks of LSC
- 12 clicks of rebound
The usual aluminum crown Öhlins RXC34 m.1 fork is available in 110 or 120mm of journey, at a claimed weight of 1598g. A 100mm model will likely be supplied within the close to future. The 110/120mm RXC34 Carbon fork weighs in at 1496g. And the lightest 100mm journey Öhlins RXC34 Race fork with carbon crown & steerer is claimed to weigh simply 1476g.
TXCAir 1 & 2 cross-country shocks
Out again, the TXCAir shocks had been developed as a lighter, extra compact model of the Öhlins TTX twin tube know-how to offer XC racers the final word plush rear suspension efficiency and peak damper tuning for optimum rear wheel management. Öhlins says the TXCAir is extremely adjustable, and comes backed by a “race-proven setting financial institution to match rider fashion and bike linkage” throughout most trendy XC bikes.
Öhlins developed two shocks with quantity choices to suit extra constrained bike designs, but additionally to offer riders choices relating to their desired progressive nature. The TTXC1 Air is the usual quantity shock with a tapered finish to suit into tight areas (obtainable in 2 shorter strokes). The TTXC2 Air is a high-volume variant for extra customizability (37.5 40, 42.5, 45mm stroke settings).
The bigger quantity TTXC2 Air shock can have its quantity adjusted with inner spacers to dial within the excellent really feel. And each TTXC1 & 2 will be adjusted internally with easy clips to attain any of their potential stroke settings. Which means retailers have fewer shocks to inventory to suit extra bikes, but additionally that finish customers can mess around with the rear journey of the bike by tweaking shock stroke.
Each had been developed collectively as a single system, successfully combining optimized LSC & HSC for distant shock variations, and separating out LSC for handbook lockout shocks (within the Open mode solely).
Each can be found with normal or trunnion mounts to suit virtually any trendy XC bike. The TTXC1 Air is distant lockout solely, whereas the two is distant or handbook (however rebuildable between both possibility).
Tech Particulars – TXCAir shocks
The brand new XC shocks characteristic:
- TTX Hydraulics optimized for XC racing with serial shim stacks
- 3 experience modes developed and examined to avoid wasting seconds on the race monitor
- Rider-friendly quantity spacer system to regulate air spring progressiveness
- Reducers can simply be put in to regulate the stroke
- Lighter, slimmer, and extra progressive TXC1Air
- Bigger quantity, extra versatile TXC2Air
- Distant and handbook management choices
- Handbook management possibility including 16 clicks of LSC
- 12 clicks of rebound
The smaller quantity Öhlins TXC1Air shock will likely be supplied in 165/190mm lengths with 37.5/40mm stroke, or 185/210mm size with 47.5/50mm stroke. TXC1Air shock weights begin from 245g.
The complete-volume TXC2Air is obtainable in 165/190mm lengths in all 4 37.5/40/42.5/45mm strokes, and likewise in 185/210mm lengths with 47.5/50/52.5/55mm stroke settings. Claimed TXC2Air shock weights begin at 255g.
Öhlins XC suspension – Pricing, choices & availability
The brand new 29er Öhlins RXC34 m.1 Air fork with the alloy crown & steerer retails for $1190 / 1495€, in 110mm or 120mm journey variants in the intervening time. The lighter RXC34 m.1 Carbon Air fork sells for $1390 / 1695€ additionally with 110mm or 120mm journey. No phrase but on the even lighter 100mm RXC34 m.1 Race Carbon Air fork pricing.
It doesn’t matter what variant of rear shock you want, all variations of the brand new Öhlins TTX1 Air & TTX2 Air promote for a similar $565 / 695€.
Greater than only a cross-country race setup and blurring into light-weight path too, the brand new Öhlins XC suspension isn’t fairly obtainable simply but, however you shouldn’t have to attend too lengthy. Sequence manufacturing is predicted to be in full swing firstly of July 2023. So, the brand new forks and shocks will likely be obtainable via common Öhlins bike store retail networks, beginning in 4-5 weeks’ time.