Specialized Gravity to run Ohlins in 2017 with all-new downhill fork
Shocking changes on the World Cup circuit
Specialized Gravity has announced it will be running Ohlins suspension in the 2017 season. The package includes an all-new downhill fork.
Photos: Micahl Cerveny
The team was previously running RockShox suspension but will be changing to the Swedish motorbike legends' kit for next year's World Cups. Ohlins has been in an R&D programme with Specialized since 2012 and in that time has produced the TTX 22 and STX22 shock as well as the RXF forks.
The biggest change for the downhill team is the all-new downhill fork. The yet-to-be-named damper looks radically different from the prototype, inverted fork we saw when we went to visit the factory back in 2015. At the moment the new fork is a total mystery but we've reached out to Specialized to provide us with some details. We'll let you know as soon as we get any info.
You can almost guarantee it will be a great piece of kit though. Ohlins' attention to detail and cleanliness borders on psychotic and their list of previous athletes (Valentino Rossi, Casey Stoner, Marq Marquez, Alain Prost, Tommy Makkinen and Dani Pedrosa) reads like a who's who of motorsport. Their suspension is legendary for a reason.
Loic Bruni said: "It's great to see such a legendary brand enter into MTB, and being the chosen team to put the products on the top step is a big honor. They've been working hard and close with the guys at Specialized and we are all very confident about the products. I'm pumped about this relationship and I know we will be successful on it."
When Steve Jones raced the British and World Champs this year he had the choice of any bike and suspensions combo in the business. He chose a Specialized Demo and Ohlins TTX shock, simply because we believe it is the best pairing currently available on the market. In fact, he went so far as to call it "laughable" that the yellow damper wasn't on more pros bikes.
It could be time for RockShox and Fox to start watching their backs. With Bruni, Iles and Miller all potential race winners, the suffocating headlock they have on the World Cups could soon be over.
Torkel Sintorn, of Öhlins, said: “We are super excited to work together with Specialized Gravity – one of the world’s best MTB racing teams. Öhlins has a long and successful background in motorsport but this is the first time we are going into mountain bike racing. We believe that together with Specialized and their top athletes we can supply and develop next generation, race winning products."
The Specialized Gravity team will also be wearing Fox Head clothing and running CeramicSpeed bearings for 2017.
Interestingly, the team are still using SRAM components in their drivetrains in these shots despite announcing the end to their partnership lsat week. Are they buying them in like Gwin and the YT Mob reportedly did last year? And there's one final question, can anyone identify those brakes?