For those unfamiliar with motor sports, Öhlins is one of the worlds premiere manufacturers of automotive and motorcycle suspension. Their products are used by Moto GP champions such as Jorge Lorenzo and Marc Marquez, and have proven successful in events ranging from Global Rallycross to Super Formula.
Two years ago, the brand announced a partnership with Specialized that brought its twin tube rear shock technology to popular models such as the Demo and Enduro. Building off that successful relationship, Specialized helped provide Öhlins with feedback, as they began working on their next project — a trail fork.
The new RXF is the first mountain bike fork to utilize Öhlins’ twin-tube design, which has parallel but separated oil flows to help equalize pressure for a more responsive ride. You’ll also notice three air chambers, two positive and one negative. According to Öhlins, this allows the shape of the spring force to be adjusted by the rider, such as increasing sensitivity without bottoming out.
The chassis utilizes 34mm stanchions, which are claimed to be comparable in stiffness to competitors’ 36mm platforms due to the “unicrown.” Unlike traditional forks where the steerer is pressed into the crown, the RXF uses a one piece forged unit much like the X-Fusion Trace has done since 2013.
At launch, the fork will only be available for 29ers with either 120, 140, or 160mm of travel. Also of note, the forks use 15x100mm spacing. That’s good news for anyone looking to upgrade an existing frame, but unusual since most of the industry is moving towards the new 15x110mm Plus size standard.
MSRP for the RXF is $1,150 and they’re available now through your local Specialized retailer. For more information, visit Öhlins USA.
Do you believe that this new fork can outperform what’s currently on the market? Let us know in the comments.