Öhlins has today announced a 36mm version of the RXF fork that is said to boost stiffness over the current 34mm version.
The company’s long-running partnership with Specialized has produced the class leading TTX coil shock so our expectations are always high when we see a new product from the Swedish suspension gurus. Let’s look at the details:
So what’s new? Well, other than the wider stanchions, there’s also the possibility to have a 27.5+ version (the RXF 34 was 29 only) – is this a sign of things to come for the Big S? Aside from this, the RXF seems to share a blueprint with its skinnier brother offering a forged unicrown steerer, a TTX design and a three air chamber system (two positive and one negative).
The RXF 36 comes in 120, 140, 150, 160mm travel options with 110mm Boost spacing. The wider stanchions will cost you a claimed 10 grams in weight over the 34 RXF and you also lose the slightest bit of tunability.
It’s an interesting move as Öhlins previously said its 34mm forks were equivalent in stiffness to current 35/36mm forks such as the Lyrik and the Fox 36 – that surely makes this one of, if not the, stiffest single crown forks in production.
So, is this needed? Well, we’ve had a good amount of time on the RXF 34 and we felt like it wasn’t outgunned by the Fox 36 in terms of stiffness but it didn’t quite have the same smoothness in the first third of its travel. It will be interesting to see whether a boost in stiffness will overcome this problem for the RXF 36 and makes it a genuine class leader. Stay tuned for a full test as soon as we get one in.