Ohlins Launches Updated DH38 m.1

Jun 3, 2020
by Dan Roberts  
Ohlins DH38 m.1

In downhill racing, Öhlins currently sit at the top of the tree, holding both the World Cup overall and World Championship titles with Loïc Bruni. But as a company founded in racing, they don't rest on their laurels and now release their updated DH38 m.1 fork with a host of improvements on its already astounding performance that are claimed to bring more comfort and control to the rider.

Designed as a race fork, the DH38 platform has also held its own in the likes of the Fest series and now even has the ability to be reduced in travel to offer dual crown options for smaller travel bikes.
DH38 m.1 Details
Wheel Size: 29" & 27.5"
Travel: 180 or 200mm, but possible to rebuild to 120 - 170mm
Offsets: 46, 50, 54, 58mm
Hub Standard: 110mm Boost DH
Price: €1,443 or $1600 for the fork, €316 or $350 for the crown
Availability: Now
More info: Öhlins MTB





Ohlins DH38 m.1


Details

Öhlins use a twin tube damper design across their suspension range, and have done for a very long time. For the DH38 m.1, they took a lot of cues and parts from their fantastic RXF36 m.2 trail and enduro fork. The new DH38 m.1 uses the same piston design to keep the damper performance consistent and there's a new low-speed damping needle design for the rebound and compression circuits, which increases the adjustability. The low and high-speed compression adjusters also now have a more positive click feeling, so it's easier to identify where you are in the range and how much you are adding or subtracting. They've also refined the one-way valve that controls the oil flow inside the twin tube damper, something that also comes across from the RXF36 m.2 fork.

On the air side, Öhlins use a three-chamber design. The normal positive and negative chambers are present, but so too is a third ramp up chamber adjustable with air pressure, which negates the need for volume spacers. The ramp up tube has a new construction to up its durability and lead to longer times in between its service. The negative chamber volume in the air spring can be tuned to have a larger volume for riders ultimately looking for comfort or be tuned to reduce its volume for those riders looking for more feedback and control.

Ohlins DH38 m.1
Four offset options are handled by different crowns.
Ohlins DH38 m.1
Protected by screw on caps, the rebound adjuster and ramp up chamber valve sit at the bottom of the fork.

The DH38 m.1 uses new lubrication and grease in an effort to reduce the friction in the fork and a new seal head design combines with the ability for more oil inside the fork to further work on dropping the friction and having a buttery smooth fork for longer.

Overall, there are now a lot of parts shared between the DH38 m.1 and its little brother, the RXF 36.m2, making it easier for home service or for the service centres when the fork needs to have its full service done by a trained professional. For the home mechanics the damper and air side both now use a cassette tool for removal, making it a doddle to keep on top of your forks lower leg service intervals or to swap out air spring or damper cartridges.

Ohlins DH38 m.1
The twin tube damper has seen many updates coming from the fantastic RXF 36.m2 fork.

The chassis is designed around the Boost DH hub standard with its 100mm width and slightly adjusted brake mount position compared to a standard Boost setup. The brake mount is ready for 200mm rotors with it being easy to add adapters to size up the rotors if needed. One feature found on all Öhlins forks is their floating axle. Many DH forks use this too, and now more shorter travel forks too. But the floating axle design stops any friction issues from hub width tolerances by always allowing the fork legs to be as straight as possible and slide up and down with ease. Up to 29 x 2.8" and 27.5 x 3.0" tyres can be run if that's your thing, otherwise there's a bunch of mud clearance for more standard tyre widths.

Öhlins have an online setup guide for all their suspension products with accompanying videos to make it easy to follow. They also have a huge bank of air and settings available for anyone with a particular preference or looking for a certain suspension characteristic. These can be accessed through their approved dealers and implemented into your Öhlins suspension unit.


Options & Price

The DH38 m.1 is available to purchase in 200mm and 180mm options. Although Öhlins are keen to point out that it's possible to rebuild the fork at 120 - 170mm travel. This then opens it up to aggressive riders looking to have a sturdier dual crown chassis on their smaller bikes and not to mention making it a very good options for e-bikes, with their upped weight and riding speeds.

Each fork is the same and Öhlins offer four offset options all taken care of in the crowns, 46, 50, 54 and 58mm.

The fork comes in at €1,443 or $1600 and the crowns are sold separately for €316 or $350.

The DH38 m.2 is available to buy from your local dealer or through Ohlins.se, Ohlins.eu or OhlinsUSA.com.






123 Comments

  • 242 3
 Can’t wait to get this, reduce the travel to 120mm and put it on my downhillcountry bike yeeaaawwww!!
  • 26 8
 Downduro!!!!
  • 22 6
 ...downcountry is the ''trending" term. Pleas use it wisely and sparingly.
  • 4 0
 Same
  • 32 3
 Im surprised that Ohlins/PB don't mention this but BE VERY CAREFUL about putting a dual crown on anything but a DH bike or a bike specifically approved for a dual crown.

The issue is that when you have a single crown and you have a bending moment forward or aft, the crown usually flexes a little which is where the stress goes. With a dual crown, all that stress goes directly into the headtube because of the upper clamp, so you can oval/snap the headtube with a hard enough impact.
  • 23 0
 I would love this on an extrapolated downcountry bike of the future... an down country grim donut. Slim DownNut?
  • 3 0
 @phops: Does this mean I shouldn't consider putting a dual crown fork on my Spesh Epic Evo to make it the real downhillers XC bike?
  • 7 0
 wiil be sweet on my DJ pump track bike
  • 5 0
 mtbr be like how do you barspin with a 38m2
  • 4 1
 You heard it here folks...
World needs "Slim DownNut"... NOW!
  • 4 0
 @seismicninja: lol... seems like we needed a new term for "Allmountain" Smile
  • 4 2
 @Ajorda:
Downduro is actually how I ride all the time. 2012 Giant Glory + 11-46 Shimano XT + 125mm PNW dropper + 30T front chainring = a good time. Just gotta Honey Badger the climbs and you're golden!

I could take some travel pucks out of my Fox 40, but I'm a masochist and I'm all about the DH!!

It's funny because people feel bad for me on the climbs, then once I get to the top they're like "DH bike, Dope!"
  • 3 0
 @Glory831Guy: People be like you must get a super deal for that Glory.
  • 2 1
 @chyu:
You can't beat the smiles/$$ ratio on a 26er DH bike.
  • 2 0
 i'll pass, keep waiting for the new version that can be lowered to 100 or 80mm so i can put it on my down jumper.
  • 2 0
 @phops: Ovalised headtubes was a thing in the early 2000s. Seems it is due for a comeback! Big Grin
  • 12 0
 Weight?

I'm seriously considering swapping my 170mm 29er fork for a lowered (possibly to 180mm) 29er DC fork.

Its cheapest/lightest to get a used 27.5 boxxer and swap the lowers for a 29er Yari, but the Bartlett is the new cool kid on the block. If I'm shelling out serious dough though, maybe this is the best option, lowered to 180mm.
  • 3 0
 Do you know if it's easy to stick 29 Yari lowers on a Boxxer? I'm considering exactly this modification but don't know if there are any subtleties e.g. bottom out control.
I thought the first 29er Boxxers were made using this combination, but I don't have details on how it was done.
  • 3 0
 I would like to do this to! Any information about compatibility of 650b boxyers with 29er yari castings?!
  • 6 3
 The Bartlett apparently doesn't ride well...
  • 4 0
 @jaydawg69: Source? Have you ridden one? The only complaint I've heard was that , like the Ribbon, they are noisy.
  • 2 0
 @renest: The only issue is the bushing overlap- i think the bushings are lower in the legs of the Yari lowers, so you can't run the fork at full extension and have to reduce the travel somewhat. There are good discussions in the MTBR forums, where they also talk about putting 29er lowers on regular, single crown 650b uppers to get reduced offsets.
  • 3 0
 Have you considered looking into front axle conversion? I have an i9 dh boost hub that weareone sent me the 15mm axle conversion. Offset would be question next. 20mm boost on a trail bike sounds like it could be fun.
  • 2 0
 @rojo-1: I've tried to research if boxxer lowers would fit on a lyrik/yari chassis. I haven't found anything concrete about it, but in theory it should work. The only way to know would be to have both forks and play around with swapping parts.
  • 1 2
 Barlet is like 3 years old now and no one buys them. Fox,rockshox, dvo, manitou all can take dual corned and drop the travel
  • 2 0
 @brassinne: don’t ask me why but I tried to fit the lowers of a 2020 Boxxer on a Lyrik and, surprise, it doesn’t. So I guess that what you have in mind won’t work either
  • 1 0
 @hamncheez: at least one review on a nsmb forum
  • 1 1
 One thing to consider, If you go with a dual crown spring fork, you can open up the spring preload for the climbs, then add some preload for the descents. As long as you're not rocking a bike-park spring rate, you can soften things up quite a bit for the climbs.
  • 11 0
 I see where Öhlins is going with this... reducing travel to maybe try to introduce double crowns to the enduro market? I don’t know if it’s needed but it’s something the pros might need?
  • 2 0
 There’s already double crowns for the enduro market
  • 2 0
 @toad321: Are there? Other than the MRP Bartlett, and awaiting the Mojo MORC36, is there any dual crown fork specifically for the enduro market?
  • 5 0
 @brit-100: Manitou Dorado can be reduced to 180mm.
  • 3 0
 @SintraFreeride: how does the dorado ride compared to the latest crop of lyriks, 38, etc? Have Hayes updated anything in the Dorado in recent years?
  • 9 0
 @hamncheez: Used to have a dorado pro with all the newer upgrades (IRT and MRD kit) probably the best dampening I've ever felt in a fork and didn't feel anymore flex than a boxxer though I'm pretty light. weight is on the heavier end of the spectrum tho. Im running a lyric with luftkappe now.
  • 11 1
 @hamncheez Fox and RS are almost caught up with 2015 manitou.
  • 1 0
 There have been a couple of options for shorter travel dual crown forks for a long time.
180mm Boxxers were fitted on the Specialized Enduro Expert Evo back in 2015.
Early 26” 200mm Fox 40s with coil springs had spacers inside that if you repositioned them you could set the fork at 160mm or 180mm, plus they have enough arch clearance to run 27.5” wheels and they have a 46mm Offset is could actually work on a modern Enduro bike.
  • 4 0
 @DH1977: i was also using dorado on my Enduro bike earlier. Originally it was 200mm travel for 26 wheels. Got it adjusted to work with 29er, with a travel of 180mm. It was crazy good. The damping on Manitou is still way ahead of the competition while it was launched in 2009, and there was not much change on it. Now I’m on the Mezzer because the frame supplier strongly suggested single crown. Some frames like Raaw Madonna are compatible with DC forks though. www.pinkbike.com/photo/18061243
  • 5 0
 @hamncheez: The Dorado has less flex under braking than any single crown fork currently on the market. Service intervals are longer due to it having more oil and it is plusher. The IRT feature is much better than the token system. The new Dorado Pro come stock with MRD kit installed and new boost spacing.
  • 1 0
 @SintraFreeride: dat weight tho

I can find a newish boxxer 650b for like $400 used, and probably yari/lyrik lowers for $50 or less. The Boxxer is the lightest DC fork I know of, except maybe the Bartlett but I've read conflicting reports on their respective weights. So for $500 or a little less I could have a 1 pound weight penalty to get a DC that will outperform any single crown fork on the market. If I went the Dorado route who knows? I'm seeing them for $700 in the buy/sell at the cheapest, and those are older models, and weigh nearly a pound more.

If I saw both options at the same price, I'd prob go with the Manitou tho.
  • 1 0
 @hamncheez: too bad yari/lyrik lowers won´t fit...
  • 1 0
 @hamncheez: I'd rather have a fork that is a heavier but works better than some lightweight noddle that I have to open every other week because there isn't enough oil in it to keep it feeling smooth.
Also the turning radius of the Dorado is pretty good where as that of the Boxxer is terrible. You will be struggling to climb up switchbacks!
  • 1 0
 @SintraFreeride: I already struggle to climb up switchbacks!

@Mondbiker there are people in the MTBR forums who claim to have done it
  • 1 0
 @hamncheez: I´m aware of that thread on mtbr and contributing and so far noone has done it on boxxer there, pre 2019 boxxer with non boost yari/lyrik could work but noone has confirmed that yet. 2019 + boxxer has completely different stanchion spacing to boost lyrik (that has also different spacing to pre 2019 boxxer so you cannot use boost lowers on either model year boxxer chassis without custom crowns).
  • 3 0
 @SintraFreeride: I usually agree with you but I cannot here, boxxer is far from noodle, it´s fair to say that it´s stiffer than any SC fork out there in all directions, torsionally it isn´t any less stiff than dorado for sure, fore/ aft any dh USD fork will be the stiffest solution, sure. Amount of oil in the lowers isn´t any less than modern SC forks either. Use suitable oil and you have all the lubrication you need, if you store the bike hanging by the front wheel oil will always be where it should be too. Turning radius on boxxer is hardly any worse than dorado too if you use same thickness bumpers, yes stanchion spacing on boxxer is 140mm vs 155mm on dorado I believe, but uppers on dorado where bumpers are is what, 40mm? In that case you have 5mm difference between the two, hardly ground breaking stuff and that is on old boxxer, new one is 150mm spacing yo that one will actually have better turning radius in theory, but crown offset will affect that obviously. Which brings me to the other "issue" of dorado, they haven´t changed offset since 2009, and while 49.55 is decent enough for 29er, it´s less than ideal for smaller wheels. Damper in dorado is great but still benefits from custom tuning because it´s fairly firm for modern enduro bikes with long front centers. You can buy the tuned cart for boxxer for less money than charger, also there are tuners doing tripple air chamber airspring for boxxers...On the other hand, Dorado will never be even close to boxxer in terms of weight, if it matters to you or anyone is totally subjective.
  • 1 0
 @Mondbiker: Speaking of offset, the boxxer 29 only comes in 56mm! Thats huge. You could probably machine custom crowns to reduce offset, but that would reduce steering radius.

Now I'm super curious about the 650b boxxer conversion. Maybe I'll try it just to see if it works, and if not put it back together and resell it.

Anyone got a beat up 650b boxxer they want to unload?
  • 2 0
 @hamncheez: nah the new one is available in 46mm too so not too bad, 36mm for 27.5 is pretty brave number as well.
  • 1 0
 @Mondbiker: I'm only finding it for sale in 56mm offset.
  • 1 0
 @Mondbiker: I'm in the USA tho.
  • 1 0
 @hamncheez: I just wanted to show you that they do make them in short offset, it´s not like they wouldn´t ship to USA either.
  • 1 0
 @Mondbiker: I didn't mean that the Boxxer was a noddle, I meant that dual crowns are stiffer than single crown.
The turning radius of the Boxxer is small because most of the offset is in the lowers rather than in the crowns.
Weight doesn't matter that much to me. I had a Shiver before so the Dorado is a lightweight upgrade! I run 50mm offset with 650b wheels and have no problem, it is just a matter of getting used to it. The Shiver also had 50mm offset and that was made for even smaller wheels!
  • 14 2
 "very good options for e-bikes, with their upped weight and riding speeds"

Uh no. In my experience E bikes don't go down faster than regular bikes.
  • 14 0
 This is for riders who need a dual crown for climbing.
  • 7 0
 E bikes weight more, so you definitely need stiffer components if you point them down.
  • 8 0
 @phops: did you forget an /s or did you forget that the sub-10kg weight difference between an ebike and a mountain bike is significantly smaller than the weight range for normalish humans?
  • 4 2
 @PhillipJ:

Turbo Kinevo weights 53 lbs. Most DH bikes/Enduro bikes are at 32. Thats a 20 lb difference, that is not dynamic like a rider who can maneuver around the bike and redestribute force between hands and feet.

While it won't affect riding performance, remember that things have to be engineered with a safety limit. Worst case is a 300 lb guy riding a Turbo Kinevo downhill.
  • 5 0
 @phops: do you know how many kg 20 lbs is?
  • 15 4
 I had a horrible experience with Öhlins on my 2017 enduro - the shock and customer service just straight up sucked.
  • 2 0
 Mind expanding on your experience? Turn around time? Responsiveness? Parts availability? Hoping they've turned it around a bit.
  • 3 2
 @OriginalDonk: no matter what you did to it, the '17 Ohlins fork was sticky off the top but blew through its travel too easily.
  • 8 0
 Free upgrade supplied from Ohlins did the trick when I had issues. The issue was more locktite on a topcap which is as minor as it gets. You'll never see other brands doing fre upgrades for everyone that bought them for such a small issue. Dealing with them was as easy as droping the fork at a bike shop, and logging onto Ohlins website to get a vouher for the free upgrade,
  • 2 2
 Yep, had shitty experience with Ohlins when I raced motorcycles. It may be different now, but when I wanted to order parts, customer service DGAF a fuck about you unless you were an authorized dealer, and parts weren't really available on 3d party websites. Only way I was able to get the part is contact a shop that dealt with them Whereas when dealing with Penske, I called them up and told them the shock model and bike, and they sent the package out that day with everything I needed.
  • 5 0
 you likely had the STX 22 rear shock right ? they have seen many updates to try and improve them and production has stopped on them. i don't know if its been made official yet but the current STx shocks are the last ones

the TTx22m and TTx22 air will become their flagship shocks
  • 4 0
 It's worth mentioning that a lot of the OEM issues lie directly with specialized. The pushed Ohlins beyond their oem capabilities and corners were cut to meet demand and cut costs. Specialized was also in charge of the warranty/customer service end on the oem stuff. I had STX22 shocks nonconsecutive years Enduros and they would blow out if a strong breeze came through. Lost about six months of riding time over the course of two years due to warranty and replacement. Eventually Specialized got sick of me and sent a Float X2. So, props to them for that. I just wish the bike had come with that shock in the first place.
  • 2 1
 I think it's always amazing when overpriced brands deliver bad customer service and some fanboys are defending them nevertheless. Really crazy considering that the more value oriented direct to consumer brands always get flak for it.
  • 10 1
 The Forking crowns cost extra? WTFork?!
  • 5 0
 World Cup and World Champs winning fork. Enough said. I'd love to know what riders would choose if they weren't sponsored and each manufacturer had the same support at races. That said Ohlins air stuff almost wiped them out. Sticky and unreliable and probably hated by more than a few Enduro riders when they were OEM equipment. That said, I've enjoyed the TTX on the back of my bike, but it's not life changing.
  • 4 0
 Thinking out loudly... Fox comes out with the 38, Oehlin comes out with a 38.. so given that RS is 1mm narrower, will they come out with a Fat Pike, or Fat Lyrik? 37mm stanchions?

has anyone ridden one of them 38s? is it worth the extra money and weight, over a 36th or a Lyrik? Or does it mostly look good????
  • 1 0
 Both Wink
  • 11 0
 Actually, Öhlins did the 38 before fox.... And marzocchi before them.
  • 4 0
 Totem
  • 10 0
 RS came out with a 40mm single crown a LONG time ago, it ruled the 26" world but is sadly long gone.
  • 4 0
 Ohlins was first with 38. Then Fox. Fox has had 40s for years and RS did 40s more than a decade ago. Most of the RS stuff is currently on 35mm. Rumors and spy shots of a 38mm Rock Shox seem pretty well founded, it's probably coming soon. The 37s are restricted only to the Manitou Mezzer to my knowledge. As far as 37
  • 8 1
 Watch Vorsprung's take on the Fox 38... if you like worse performance and more weight, then go for it! - www.youtube.com/watch?v=lS-VzI2JbrI&t=15s
  • 1 0
 @islandforlife: Better chassis, spring and damper vs my '19 36, dammit Fox, why?!?!
  • 5 1
 @islandforlife: Vorsprungs video is based off theory, not application. While i can't disagree with their statements, I also can't support them. Real world testing is always the determining factor.
  • 2 1
 @islandforlife: I'm not sure that the worse performance and more weight is strictly true. The main thing he said was that the hsc adjustment range seemed remarkably low. While that may not be a good thing it isn't limited to the 38 and the 38 has notable other upgrades over the new 36. You might instead just hate Fox's new damper, but considering how the current trend in fork setup seems to be more spring and lighter compression tunes it might be that Fox won't have any problems satisfying consumers.
  • 2 0
 @Trudeez: As Jacomba pointed out, Marzocchi was first with 38mm when they launched the 66 about 15 years ago. That was a big burly fork that compared will with the Totem on looks, and in my experience worked a bit better than the Totem.
  • 1 0
 @jaame: I could be wrong, but I believe the triple 8 may have preceded the 66.
  • 1 0
 @jomacba: Was that also 38mm was it? That's my knowledge for the day, thanks!
  • 1 0
 @jaame: It was indeed Smile
  • 6 0
 My next fork. What's not to like? Proper 20mm clamp on axles, 200mm brake posts, dual crown, 38mm. The perfect big guy Enduro fork for the discerning Nicolai rider.
  • 2 0
 I can tell you the air cap, and the protective caps on the bottom are gold. Maybe send an email to Öhlins or Tennaco. Once again, I cant disagree that öhlins are very exciting looking. I for one would love to see a but more flash.
  • 2 1
 Remove the sticker,Do you think this is the fork of Ohlins?
It looks like a RST, this is Taiwan style.I want titanium nitride coating and CNC technology.
Only in this way can it be called Ohlins.I miss 2003 year, when all brands of shock absorbers competed
in appearance, technology and materials.The products of that era have new technology, gorgeous design,
exquisite technology and materials, even the design of stickers is so beautiful.Take a look at the current products.
There's nothing left except technological.
  • 1 0
 "The chassis is designed around the Boost DH hub standard with its 100mm width and slightly adjusted brake mount position compared to a standard Boost setup" Wait what? There is a Boost DH 100mm too now?
  • 3 0
 Article wasn't proofed very well. And it would have been nice to include weight compared to original version...I know that's not a primary consideration for a dual crown but if you are saying it can go to 160 then maybe it is.
  • 1 1
 So they're charging full price for just the tubes, and an extra $350 for the triples?
I used to run Ohlins exclusively on my RR bikes, but with their 6-week don't ride your bike recall, and now this hose job, I'm done with 'em.
Helps of course that their single crown shit is inferior to Fox and maybe SRAM too for all I know
  • 3 0
 I'm putting a 120mm on my Blur.
  • 2 0
 I'll admit I didn't know there was a DH boost option. FML. What was wrong with the old 110x20mm?
  • 2 0
 Nothing!
  • 2 1
 Love the product features, but I’m not sold on ohlins
  • 1 0
 Can't wait to drop this bad boy to 120 and rip some XC.
  • 2 0
 Awesomeness!
  • 1 4
 I’ve heard bad things about their motorcycle products, but does anyone have a take on their MTB stuff? Loic Bruni’s suspension setup would be enough for me to switch over if it weren’t for the motorcycle stuff...
  • 2 1
 Huh? Ohlins moto stuff is consistently top notch, if anything the first gen mtb stuff is what soured my opinion.
  • 2 0
 Really enjoy my DH38 and Coil shock, best products I have ridden so far for me!
  • 1 0
 @NicoOfner: thank you for your feedback! I’ve never ridden them, but now I will test ride!
  • 3 0
 The TTX 22 coil is a great shock. Among the best in my opinion. I’ve also had the RXF36 m2 and the new TTX air shock on my bike for a while and I must say they are pretty good as well
  • 1 0
 I've ridden with the TTX22M since 2016 and never had any complaints. Early last year I built up a 2018 Demo with the new DH38's when they hit the market here in Australia, combined with a new TTX22M. I have had the bike just over 12 months and the suspension has blown me away. I have always been a Rockshox fan and raced for a good 8+ years on their World Cup forks, they simply do not compete with Ohlins. Mine are now due for a service and I will be upgrading the internals to the new version as soon as they are available, definitely worth the money and definitely worth getting set up by someone who knows what they are doing
  • 3 2
 As made by X-Fusion.
  • 1 0
 Just like most bike frames made by large factories. Same same
  • 1 0
 offset 58mm, interesting
  • 1 0
 fork it!
  • 4 5
 I think they forked up on this one.
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