Vorsprung Announces Smashpot Coil Conversion Kits for Öhlins RFX36 m.2

Feb 28, 2022 at 10:42
by Vorsprung Suspension  

PRESS RELEASE: Vorsprung Suspension

Yes, we are aware that Öhlins has/had a coil version of this fork. Due to Öhlins experiencing challenges with their supply chain and discontinuing their coil fork for the foreseeable future, we received a number of requests to create a Smashpot fitment for the RXF36.

The Smashpot Coil Conversion System allows you to convert your fork from an air spring to a coil spring system for ultimate bump-eating capability and ground-hugging grip. The performance benefits of coil are clear: low friction, improved mid-stroke support and consistency. If you want outright performance from your fork, the Smashpot is your ticket.

We have also had a number of requests for the Secus air spring upgrade for the RXF36, however due to the stock Öhlins spring design, the Secus is not compatible.

For those not on Öhlins forks who are unsure whether a coil or air upgrade is best suited to their needs, check out this article here.

• Compatible with the Öhlins RFX36 m.2 (other models TBC)
• 11 spring rates available (instead of 6) for riders weighing from 45kg (100lbs) to 125kg (275lbs)
• Available in a whole kit or as parts (topcaps, footstud) if you're switching forks.
• Purchase from your nearest Vorsprung Dealer or our website.

The Smashpot is also available for:
• Rockshox Pike, Lyrik & Zeb
• Fox 36 & 38
• Marzocchi Z1 (2019+)
• DVO Onyx SC

Please see our website for full compatibility.

Instagram: @VorsprungSuspension

Photos: Rob Perry

Author Info:
VorsprungSuspension avatar

Member since Jul 13, 2013
44 articles

  • 13 0
 For what it is worth, I have fitted a Smashpot to my 36 and Lyrik. Words cannot describe how much better performing they are. Firstly the small bump compliance is sensational, which means you can up the spring rate and have a little more support and keep good compliance. Secondly ironing out the non liniarities is like having another 10mm of travel - on my 36 in particular, the air spring characteristic is terrible (you can either have it too harsh or not enough support).
I can't thank Vorsprung enough for this transformative product. People bang on about how good a coil shock is... well a coil fork is like 10x better. Given you need the confidence to weight the front of your bike, it cannot be understated how important a good performing fork is.
  • 1 0
  • 4 1
 Totally agree on shock vs fork. The fork weight does get to me sometimes, don't be fooled by those who say it's "not noticeable". It's certainly noticeable, but well worth it in my opinion.
Smashpot in my Lyrik was a fantastic upgrade. In addition to performance, I like never having to mess with air pressure and the decreased service requirements.
  • 3 0
 @rojo-1: glad to hear you're liking it!
  • 3 0
 @jpat22: It's not noticable for me, first ride yes, you can feel its heavier, but after that I haven't once thought about the weight.
So I guess it depends..
  • 1 0
 @Plancktonne: Obviously at first you notice it but just like anything, you become accustomed to it over time. If you were to remove the weight, you'd go through the same process again.
  • 10 2
 I kind of just want this for the Smashpot name.
Franz: "Oi Dave, what should we call this new suspension thingy-ma-jig?"
Dave: "Not now Franz, I just smashed this pot"
Franz: "Nice, that'll do, Dave, you pot smashing bell end"
Dave: "Eh..?"
  • 18 0
 Hahah we figured a few people would enjoy that. It was also a bit of a play on "dashpot" which is a very simple open-bath type of damper (not a million miles away from the Smashpot's hydraulic anti-bottoming system), and "smash" because who doesn't love a good smash.
  • 7 1
 I am waiting for the elastomer version. Why use air or a coil when you can sequester fossil fuels in your suspension.
  • 5 0
 Ooo, new product idea!
  • 1 0
 " want the benefits of a rigid fork and the look of a $2000 top end fork, We will jam old seals from our suspension fork services in the fork until it moves like butter in the artic" Ask for the MOrigid upgrade on the service ticket and receive a free MOdrop helmet as you will need it!
  • 4 0
 Curious what an aftermarket company thinks is the best fork platform to begin with.
  • 53 1
 Assuming you mean if you're installing a Smashpot, so the stock spring side isn't relevant - it depends on your weight and the type of riding you do really (largely meaning how much stiffness do you demand). The Lyrik is great for lighter riders (lighter because its stock damping is very light and it's hard to get enough rebound control or compression support with the stock tune if you're on the heavier side), the 36 gives better rebound control but has the same issues on the compression side, the Ohlins RXF36 has a great damper with a broad enough range of controllability, the Onyx also not a bad option. The Zeb can also be a pretty solid option for lighter riders but if you're looking to purchase a fork alone they wouldn't be my first choice because if you're light enough for the damping range to be adequate then the Lyrik is likely to be stiff enough. The 38 has the same damper as the 36, which at least in rebound has a great usable range, but has the same issue with the compression range being very soft, and when the air spring friction/hysteresis disappear you notice that a lot more because in most air sprung forks, the majority of the low speed compression "damping" is coming from friction and the spring, not from the damper.

With that said, nobody really makes a "bad" fork these days. We can sit here and pick holes in them til the cows come home but to be completely frank, if you're someone who buys forks/shocks with HSC/LSC adjusters so that you can back it all the way off twice instead of just once (this is not a slight against anyone - many people prefer it that way, especially if their fork is a bit sticky), then the soft compression damping on the VVC Grip2s and Charger 2/2.1s probably won't bother you too much. However, if you ride a lot of steeper terrain and/or stuff with big hits, and/or you're heavy and/or you charge unusually hard, then particularly soft compression damping starts to feel very unsupportive.
  • 3 0

Thanks for the great breakdown, much experience with the DT swiss Fork?
  • 30 0
 @Garradmiller: I saw a photo on the internet once, that's about it.
  • 1 0
 @VorsprungSuspension: have you guys seen a rulezman RRT fork? They say they reduce the fork friction, not just adjust the damper. I'm just wondering if any suspension shop has experience with them.
  • 8 0
 @mdinger: I do not think Vorsprung is going to comment on the work of their competition but since I am in the same line of work but not related to any of the two you may have an answer from me.

The amount of friction in a fork is dictated by general design, lubrication and tolerances / alignment. Especially the latter two can be worked on. Rulezman does both, same as any other suspension guy. He is just better at marketing.

What rulesman does additionally is changing surface treatments (reanodising), however I do not understand why. Noone uses crappy surface treatments these days, at least not in the high end segment. Friction problems, as I said, are more about alignment and general tolerances.

Just throwing out the air spring with all its intrinsic problems like friction, striction, hystereis (=damping), velocity dependend spring rate you might call it, will propably do more for your fork than anything a suspension guy can do even if he gives your fork the "worldcup treatment", which would be giving the fork the tolerances and lubrication it is supposed to have from the factory.

When I order a new fork for a customer I do the same. I rip it apart and make sure it works as the manufacturer designed it, not how he manufactured it - and so does every reputable suspension guy.

Rulesman just gives it a nice marketing spin and adds some fancy anodising. Marketing bashing aside, I expect those forks to perform very well.
  • 1 0
"if you're someone who buys forks/shocks with HSC/LSC adjusters so that you can back it all the way off twice instead of just once"
You just nailed it (and make my day)!
My experience with coil vs air on shock (X2 2020 vs DHX2 2020 with same factory settings on Knolly Warden) is that air spring friction account for at least 3-4 clicks in LSC on coil spring.
That being said, I can run the X2 with HSC full open thanks to air spring progressivity instead of closing HSC 1/3 from full open on the DHX2.
So, my point is air spring got more friction BUT allows you to run less HSC, which finally account for a more sensitive suspension.
Maybe I'm wrong but I do prefer to rely on air spring progressivity rather than hydraulic to maintain pitch attitude and support because of speed-based shock filtration is constant and doesn't account for speed of bike, weight distribution, shock compression (i.e. not position sensitive), topographic variability of trail, up, downs, etc...
That's only my opinion, I got to thank you because I learned a lot from your Tuesday Tune, so I will be very happy to get edified on my points.
PS : I've set a luftkappe on both of my 36's to fix harshness and mid-travel support and it worked really great.
  • 2 0
 @VorsprungSuspension: Great info. What ranges of weight do you consider a "lighter" and "heavier" rider to be? I get a little hung up on this being 170lbs naked which seems to usually be right in between the two, then I don't know which direction to go. Or maybe I just start eating a lot more donuts?
  • 2 0
 @jpat22: ha, keep an eye on our social media in the next few days, we have some stuff coming explaining exactly that.
  • 2 0
 @gnaralized: nothing wrong with preferring an air shock to coil, in some cases the frame's geometry and spring curve works a lot better with air than coil for sure. You aren't "wrong" to prefer anything, though it's possible that the reason why you prefer it is a reason different to what you think.

Air springs have an inherent amount of compression damping built-in due to their polytropic behaviour, they are essentially a form of heat pump. For the exact same damper settings, an air shock actually has more LSC and HSC (and friction) than a coil shock (not just a different spring curve + more friction). Unlike a hydraulic damper though, the air spring has an upper limit on how much quasi-damping it can generate.
  • 1 0
 @Helmchentuned: worth noting that a large part of the reanodization done there is the outer tubes, which are not a sliding surface and don't make a difference to the performance - that one is a cosmetic thing. With that said, you can certainly make improvements in friction with different seal compounds, bushing clearances etc.
  • 1 0
 @VorsprungSuspension: Right, was totally ignoring that he does that to the dorado where it does not do anything at at all. It might make sense on some MX Forks with sliding upper bushings but unfortunately noone in the bike industry does it that way. the rest like goods seals, tolerated bushings and proper alignment does 99% of the work.
  • 1 0
 @VorsprungSuspension: do you plan on making a Coil kit for the DH38?
  • 1 0
 @NicoOfner: Maybe at some point, it's not currently on the cards however - there are not huge numbers of dual crown forks out there these days, and very few of the DH38s.
  • 1 0
 @VorsprungSuspension I bought a Smashpot kit last year and have been extremely happy with it. However, there is a small issue with torquing the bottom nut to spec on the lowers, at a certain point it just spins the damper shaft. There is no oil leak with a new crush washer and it functions fine, but pehaps a thicker oring could make this easier?
  • 1 0
How do you address top out on a coil spring system, whether it be in a fork or shock? Seems like closing the rebound enough to eliminate top out leads to a compromised setup.
  • 2 0
 Shocks often use a hydraulic topout circuit that increases the rebound damping near topout, but the shocks that don't use that rely on a bumper of some sort. Forks usually have adjustable travel that precludes a hydraulic system, so they use a mechanical system (topout spring usually, sometimes a bumper).
  • 1 0
 @VorsprungSuspension: Steve - once you have converted to coil I assume you can convert back to air - like the Ohlins coil.
  • 1 0
 @fartymarty: correct for the RXF36 - it has a standalone drop-in air cartridge that won't be affected if the stanchions get scored. Likewise with the Zeb and 38, we use a stanchion liner that makes it highly probable that converting back to air would be no issue should you want to.
  • 1 0
 @VorsprungSuspension: thanks. Good to know the Zeb and 38 can be converted as well.
  • 1 0
 It the VS coil conversion a better handling system than the stock coil? I'll assume it is with the longer spring, weight be damned. And if it is, are there any plans for a conversion for the MRP Ribbon?
  • 1 0
 I'm not really sure what you mean by a better handling system? It isn't currently planned for the Ribbon sorry.
  • 1 0
 MRP offers their own coil conversion kit, or installs it for you…
  • 1 0
 im looking for a kit for my original older rxf36 the non m.2 version. will this one fit or is there some difference that makes it incompatible? i already have the new ttx18 damper but would love to switch to coil as well.
  • 3 1
 I find it kind of odd that this kind of upgrade has not gone mainstream yet. Especially with all the coil shocks we see now.
  • 4 0
 There's a lot of things that make it difficult to offer coil forks as OEM - the number of spring rates required (and the number of fork SKUs that results in), the potential for noise, and the additional weight are the big ones. Based on sales figures I've heard from the bigger players and knowing our own market figures, it's fair to estimate that only around 0.03-0.05% of people out there buying high end MTBs end up converting their fork to coil - and about half of them post on Pinkbike regularly, whereas for sure most people who buy a bike aren't getting stuck into the comment section here. If you were Fox or Rockshox and someone said "hey let's double our fork SKUs for probably less than 0.1% increase in fork sales revenue" I think that would probably not seem worthwhile.
  • 1 0
 @VorsprungSuspension: I meant more towards the consumer side of things. A lot of people are raving about coil shocks, but choose to ignore what makes coil great exclusively for the fork ?

Maybe (I hope), we'll see a new trend coming for coil forks in the future as well.
  • 1 0
 I think I missed why this product needed creating, Ohlins comes coil as standard and you can buy the kit to convert your air RXF to coil from Ohlins too.
  • 3 0
 Yep, you did miss it, but it's understandable as it's right in the first paragraph and then there are some sexy pictures to look at.
  • 1 1
 @Plancktonne: thanks, missed that, first paragraph is normally a load of yawn.
What are Ohlins playing at?
Damn annoying as my (now sold) 29er RXF M2 coil was sublime, I only didn’t get another pair in 27.5 because of availability, I bought another brand, so Ohlins are missing out on sales, who’s going to want to buy one of the most expensive forks only to have to spend out more for a coil, come Ohlins you made the RXF epic and now you can’t supply it WTF!
  • 1 0
 @DG370: coil forks are a much lower seller than air forks (particularly OEM), and right now it's so difficult to get certain parts and materials (including the wire for coils, among many other things) that, from our understanding, Ohlins have decided not to continue manufacturing the coil version of their forks at least for the time being. It says a lot that they never even offered a coil version of their DH fork.
  • 2 0
 I'm now quite glad I bought a coil m2.
  • 2 0
 Damn no smash pot for my $68 Aliexpress k coat fork
  • 1 0
 Just curious, if it fits a Lyrik, shouldn't it fit a Yari too?
  • 5 0
 It does, they are the same chassis.
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