Swedish brand Ohlins is now offering a selection of cross-country-specific suspension components with the aim of taking riders to the top of podiums on the XCO and marathon circuit.
Ohlins' new cross-country suspension range takes the form of four complete units, so that's two forks and two shocks, all to offer lightweight and performance to a range of different bikes and riders.
To create these new forks and shocks, Ohlins' designers took a look at what cross-country mountain biking is these days and noticed that bikes are longer and slacker to cope with the demands of the ever-increasing technical difficulty of the courses. The brand also noticed that bikes are being built with more anti-squat for better pedalling and that the bikes are equipped with more suspension and with bigger tyres.
With that, Ohlins set out to achieve three goals, the first of which was to make a performance difference for all riders. Secondly, it has created components that are compatible in terms of tune and fit, with the ability to play nicely with modern and old-school XC bikes. And finally, Ohlins wants to see its components top the podium at World Cups and the next Olympic Games.
To hit those points, there are two new forks and two new shocks on offer. Each of them benefits from Ohlins' XC system ride modes. Instead of offering independent high- and low-speed compression adjustments, these new suspension components get a system that offers three ride modes to support the rider as best as possible around a track.
The Open mode is what you would expect. It maximises traction and control while offering support, says Ohlins. This can also be tuned with low-speed compression. Pedal boosts efficiency, so the initial movement in the damper gets stiffened to do so. But this mode still allows the rear wheel to track the ground. Finally, Lockout is exactly what it says on the tin.
There's an air spring that uses a large negative air spring which balances with the positive spring in order to achieve better traction and small-bump sensitivity without sacrificing support, we're told. The shock then uses a serial shim stack which Ohlins says is a game changer that results in efficient pedalling and support.
Though what sets the fork apart from its XC focussed competition is that it uses a 34mm chassis that can accommodate up to 130mm of suspension travel. This should mean that this fork is stiffer than others on the market, and it can offer more travel, as Ohlins reckons that's where cross-country is headed. Though, the fork has to be upgraded to run such travel unless found OEM on a bike. As standard, the fork will come with 100 to 120mm of squish.
As for the shock, it uses a design that's based on the existing TTX damper but there are two versions of the shock available. The TXC2Air comes with remote and manual lockout options. The TXC1Air is built for the most hardcore of XC bikes with a slimmer end eye to help the shock fit into tighter frame designs. To aid the cause, it also uses a slimmer air chamber. Both of these make the TXC1Air lighter than the TXC2Air but it's more suitable for bikes with a more linear linkage.
Both shocks can house volume spacers and their strokes can be changed by the user using additional spacers. the TXC1Air is then claimed to weigh 245g whereas the TXC2Air is said to weigh 255g.
Moving onto the forks and they use a slim damper that employs a bladder reservoir. It offers three ride modes, and 12 clicks of rebound while the manual (non-remote) models come with another 12 clicks of low-speed compression. Like the shock, the fork uses a large negative air spring.
The fork comes in two builds, one using a carbon fibre crown that's said to drop the weight by 102g, then there's a race version that offers 100mm of travel which gets an even lighter crown that sheds 20g. The alloy model uses the same chassis as the RXF34.
They can then fit 0-4 to five positive spacers and 0-7 negative spacers, and they come with a 44mm offset and fit only 29-inch wheels. The maximum tyre size is 2.6in. As for weights, the 100mm carbon fork claims to tip the scale at 1,476g, the 110-120mm carbon fork is 1495, then the 110 alloy is said to weigh 1,598g. There is a 100mm alloy fork on the way, we're told.
Last but not least, Ohlins has developed a remote lever to work with the fork and shock's remote lockout - and also with dropper posts. Though what's cool is that this lever is modular, so if you do decide to run a dropper, you can add an additional lever. Another neat trick is that it pulls 7.5mm of cable, which makes it compatible with third-party lockouts. Ohlins is also working on an adaptor that pulls 5.5mm of cable to make it possible to run with the DT Swiss remotes that the BMC race team is using.
The TXC1Air and TXC2Air shocks will set you back €695 whereas the forks start at €1,495 and go up to €1,695.
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