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 DetailsWheel Size:
29" & 27.5"Travel:
180 or 200mm, but possible to rebuild to 120 - 170mmOffsets:
46, 50, 54, 58mmHub Standard:
110mm Boost DHPrice:
€1,443 or $1600 for the fork, €316 or $350 for the crownAvailability:
NowMore info: Öhlins MTB
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.
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.
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