Following Thok's early tease of the new Ohlins 38 RXF fork
, we've been eagerly awaiting details of the beefed-up single crown offering from the purveyors of Swedish gold. We were told at the time that it would be an OEM product available "only via a number of top MTB brands" and, true to their word, Ohlins have now allowed it to be specced on some 2021 bike models.
It may seem like an unusual move to launch a product via OE manufacturers first, but that's how Ohlins first got their start in mountain bikes through their partnership with Specialized and the TTX shock back in 2013 so it's a model they follow to this day.
With the Fox 38 and RockShox Zeb both offering forks with thicker stanchions, it was only a matter of time before Ohlins got involved in the game too. As they announced four new aftermarket partners, Commencal, Mondraker, Intense and Thok, we also got confirmation of some details of the RXF 38 fork too. Ohlins says the fork is aimed at "long-travel gravity bikes and hard-hitting e-MTBs" however at the moment, it looks like the RXF 38 will only be found on e-MTBs. The bikes specced with the new fork are the Thok TK-01 Ltd, the Mondraker Crafty Carbon XR and the Mondraker Level RR.
From the forks we've seen, the RXF 38 comes with either 170mm or 180mm travel and all the bikes that use it have 29" front wheels, so we're not sure if a 27.5" version also exists. Other confirmed details include that the TTX 18 damper has been carried over from the RXF36, however its twin-piston, three-chamber air spring system has been re-tuned for the demands expected of a burlier fork. There's clearance for a 29x2.8" front tire, and all the forks we've seen come with a 44mm offset.
On the adjustment side of things, you can tinker with: high speed compression, low-speed compression, rebound, air preload and the ramp chamber - basically everything you get on the RXF36. The fork is said to weigh from 2,390 grams, which is slightly heavier than the offerings from RockShox and Fox.
An aftermarket version of the fork is due to be released in Q1 of 2021.