Ohlins Announces Details of RXF38 Single Crown Fork and New OE Partners

Aug 27, 2020 at 6:30
by James Smurthwaite  

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.

Thok TK-01 Ltd
Mondraker Level RR
Mondraker Crafty XR

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.


129 Comments

  • 100 1
 What the Thok is that bike brand?
  • 22 0
 Every kid's dream. A Thok e-bike.
  • 168 3
 Made me remember my feet are cold. Better put on some thoks
  • 1 0
 @DaFreerider44: Hahahahah!!!
  • 44 0
 @Fuzfast: KawiThok-E, comes with throttle
  • 18 2
 kids these days and their Tic-Thok videos
  • 4 4
 is NOT a BIKE brand
  • 13 1
 I thok it looked like a session.
  • 19 0
 said in a Mike Tyson voice...
  • 7 0
 This is thoking news, on so many levels!
  • 4 0
 @swenzowski: As a kid, when people watch too much Tic Thok, their heads go completely wonky
  • 2 0
 I think anything thic thok is soon to be banned in America. Or at least I thok so.
  • 1 0
 Thok joking around guys!
  • 5 1
 @DaFreerider44: But can you wear thoks with jandals?
  • 7 0
 I don't know but I wanna see the thok-to-flat
  • 14 0
 If you buy frame only, does it come with a rear thok?
  • 5 0
 I thought it was Mike Tyson's new sock line?
  • 3 0
 @andyjtrow: you Thok kind of funny.
  • 3 0
 @DaFreerider44: I think Tony Thok not only makes skateboards but good mountain bike Thoks too!
  • 2 0
 @DaFreerider44 hahaha
I know mountain biking is getting expensive but it was a shock when I asked my bike shop for a pair of Cycle Thoks and they told me it would cost 12k!
  • 1 0
 Ohlins isn't thoking around with that fork
  • 1 0
 Looks like I wont be able to Thok myself.
  • 1 1
 The most hideously over surfaced bikes from Germany
  • 76 0
 It makes perfect sense to launch this new fork with an industry leader like Thok.
  • 20 3
 ohlins is now owned by tenneco, RIP ohlins
  • 9 0
 @jewpowered: Tenneco has been Marzocchi´s downfall. I'm not in great hopes for Öhlins ever since they got bought out
  • 7 3
 A bike brand nobody's ever heard of, a direct sale brand that's very popular but still not premium (depending who you ask), a brand that sells Astro bikes and a way overblown premium, and a brand that is continually behind the curve and hanging on by a string. Some interesting partners if you ask me. I will say however, partnering with the big red *evil* S was an absolute bust for Ö so maybe they wanted to try a different path.
  • 5 0
 @jewpowered: can't wait to see Rancho as an Ohlins sub brand soon. Maybe it'll use Clevite bushings
  • 9 1
 @jewpowered: tenneco: these ebikes are selling like crazy. Make an ebike fork. Ohlins: ok
  • 6 0
 @sjma: you are my people
  • 1 0
 @jewpowered: I'm an automotive nerd first and foremost. Mountain biking is just a vastly more expensive version of that hobby mixed with cardio and lots of car fresheners
  • 1 0
 Then trickles down to bamboo bikes
  • 1 0
 @sjma: Mountain biking is more expensive than cars? On what planet? I guess tracking an NA Miata is cheaper than buying and maintaining an SB150, but for my bike I can get new brakes, rotors, and tires for $360. That doesn't even get you a decent set of all season auto tires.
  • 2 0
 @4thflowkage: I just started getting into bikes last year and I'm finding the maintenance and repairs are more sporadic and nickel-and-diming compared to regular maintenance needed for my car. As an example, earlier in the season I finally decided my tires were worn out so I needed to get 2 new plus tires ($140), sealant ($12), new valve cores ($4), a valve core tool ($5), rim tape ($4), and coincidentally I needed a new floor pump to set the bead as my old one broke and the air compressor at the gas stations around here don't work on presta valves ($80). So right there I had to drop $245 on new tires & parts & tools for my bike after 7 months of riding and approximately 1000 miles. Coincidentally, it was time for new brake pads in the rear so I had to spend another $20 or so on those.

$600 will get me a set of Extremecontact DWS06's installed on my 2 series which will last 40,000 miles or more, and as an added bonus I don't have to explain to my girlfriend why there's Stan's spooge all over the apartment wall when I go to seat the bead on my tires.
  • 2 0
 @sjma: buy the little presta to schrader adapter then you can use any standard air compressor. They're like $2 at any bike shop.
  • 2 0
 @sjma: cant do months/miles as a comparison like you do cars. Your car wouldn’t last 1000 miles on those trails would it? I bet your bike, if ridden on the same roads your car traveled on during that time, would be just fine. Keep in mind too your HP output demands super light parts to keep the sum package light. Light stuff costs more lasts less.
  • 1 0
 @sjma: it seems your attempting to compare a high performing toy/hobby to a daily use tool (by the hard a/s tire you’ve chosen). It’s dissimilar. Comparing the acquisition and maintenance costs of a performance mountain bike versus a performance track car is more in line and a better comparison than a modern, soft Bimmer with hard tires. And anyone who has attended driving school and track days will attest a fat wallet is a requirement (and much better tires!)
  • 1 0
 @sjma: classic comment
  • 2 0
 @sjma: doing car trackdays is vastly more expensive. Once or twice a year new tires at $1300/set (in addition to having the initial cost of an extra set of wheels). Oil change after every event $80, diff fluid change after every event $40, track only brake pads once a year $500, new rotor hats as needed about $1500 (plus the additional $2500 to have the spare rotors to go with the track pads). Tranny fluid change as needed ($80 ish manual transmission). Brake fluid flush as needed with good fluid $70. If I go to the track 5-6 times in a season I'm spending thousands on maintenance. Plus the hours making sure that car is track ready. That's more similar to how these bikes are ridden rather than daily driving a car and that's with a car well equipped to go to the track. Ride a mountain bike 5-6 times a season and the only maintenance needed would be a $10 bottle of chain lube.
  • 26 0
 Ok, but does it come in pistachio?
  • 13 1
 Asking the real questions.
  • 22 0
 just macadamia for now
  • 13 0
 Come on guys, that’s just nuts
  • 2 0
 You can customize the looks, taste and smell of these forks with aftermarket decals. Anyone can do it. Peanuts!
  • 2 0
 Yes, if you're willing to shell out the cash(ew)
  • 20 3
 Why when you talk about forks with larger diameter stanchions you always leave out manitou with their mezzer. They were the first to release one while everyone else was on 35/36mm.
  • 15 0
 It's not that they leave out Manitou, but like nearly every bike website out there, they seem to think the suspension market exists of only Fox and Rockshox.
  • 6 2
 @Mac1987: Fox and Rockshox write the bigger checks.
  • 2 0
 RockShox was quite early with their Totem fork, but Manitou Travis was proper long travel too. Not sure whether the Travis had equally large diameter stanchions though.
  • 3 0
 The totem had 40mm stanchions in 2007....maybe earlier.
  • 11 0
 Kaz reviewed it already, the first mezzers had bushing play problems, which got fixed. Unfortunately, PB got one of the bad ones. Apart from that, Kazimer felt it was not as good as 36/lyrik. Then in the comments thread a lot of people said he set it up wrong, and Kaz doesn't think so. It seems to be a bit of a touchy subject now.

Since the bushing play got fixed, I have read a lot of people saying mezzer is one of the best if not #1. Which puts it in a tough spot for me to judge. I respect Kazimer as a reviewer and rider, but I also feel that amount of people singing the mezzer's praise is significant. So I don't know what to make of it.
  • 1 0
 @mtb-scotland yeh its annoying they keep ignoring Manitou. But Marzocchi and Rockshox did the whole 38/40mm stanchions back in the day with the 66 and Totem... I guess they stopped selling as they were too heavy and therefore too niche for most people... the same will probably happen with these forks eventually
  • 3 0
 @vinay: Believe the travis/ sherman forks were all 32mm
  • 2 6
flag zyoungson (Aug 28, 2020 at 3:04) (Below Threshold)
 @ctd07: Maybe if manitou got rid of the webbed fork brace, they were decent looking forks back in the day but something about the current ones just doesnt work
  • 1 0
 @SlodownU: cheques
  • 1 0
 @ctd07: not current forks though. That's what I was meaning.
  • 1 1
 @mtb-scotland: This is confusing. "They were the first if you ignore what others have done before them."
  • 3 0
 @vinay: what he probably meant is that they were the first to reintroduce larger stanchions after 35/36 was the norm for years.
  • 14 2
 The whole fork stanchion size wars is silly. Stanchion size is only one component that contributes to overall work stiffness. The Lyrik, DVO Diamond, some SR Suntour forks, etc have 35mm stanchions and are stiffer then the Fox 36 and probably some other forks with fatter stanchions. I'd be curious to see how the DVO Onyx compares for the Fox 38 and ZEB. It wouldn't surprise me if it was very close in stiffness while only having 36mm stanchions.
  • 1 1
 Yeah I totally agree, since there is not the beefier stanchions that is the only weak point. Both Fox and RS have forgot that it is a weak spot in the crown too. Actually the part between the crown and where the steerer tube is connected to the crown. Does not matter if the steerer tube is beefier or the crown for that matter, if it is a weak point there. And there is also still issues with stiction and binding too that still are not sorted out other then probably some oil transfer system and/or larger bushings. The bushings used for the majority of forks in the business is not particularly good design either. But as long as we consumers let us convince with large glossy advertising and "bike porn" you tube videos of pros going big, we think it will work for the amateurs as well.
  • 7 1
 E bikes have big downtubes, so they need big forks to please the eyes.
  • 3 0
 My humble gess is that they are going for a bigger stanchion because of the real state inside the air spring, Since the added can some rad suspension magicians debuted some time ago.
  • 1 0
 @faul: And weight is not really an issue. They can just add a few more amps Hush hush.
  • 1 0
 I have a cheap xcr 34 air on my hardtail. Trouble free for years. Crashes, jumps, and miles of dusty trail and it performs exactly like new. Not the greatest damper. But it has not varied one bit. And the suntour 15mm axle is really cool.
  • 11 0
 Just what we need. Thicker stanchions. We'll call it the Thick Thok. If Walmart doesn't win the war with Microsoft buying Tik Tok, maybe they can buy Ohlins since they're into MTB anyways with their Viathon bike brand.
  • 2 0
 They really should. What the hell.
  • 10 4
 It seems they realized too that nobody who pedals the bike by their own power will benefit from any of the 38mm forks. It's pure gravity (but then why not dual crown) or moped tech.
  • 5 1
 Perhaps we can call them E38s. That seems to be who they've been built for.
  • 3 1
 I will be. But then again I may just level up to a dual crown. My FAUX 36 in for servicing don’t just have creaking the steer tube is loose.
  • 1 0
 I've been wondering this myself.
  • 4 0
 If you had an e-bike with AXS, wouldn't you like to get rid of the AXS batteries, since you have a massive battery already? Sure, it means adding some wires, but they could easily go internal, and an e-bike is full of wires anyway.
  • 2 3
 Don't think there's any way for axs, however if you're running a shimano motor you can wire anything di2 straight in. I plan on upgrading from mechanical xt to xt di2 as soon as I can afford it, and use a m7000 shifter unit, it's buttons not paddles, I can't imagine how nice just little mechanical clicks for gear shifts will feel, especially at the arse end of a 40 mile ride struggling to hold onto the bars.
  • 6 0
 Adds wires to AXS... defeating part of the point. Also... if your battery dies it would be shitty enough to pedal 50lbs around, let alone 50lbs stuck in your tallest gear with the seat down
  • 1 0
 @inked-up-metalhead: definitely try before you buy. I've ridden electronic shifting a fair few times and for me I don't like it over traditional cable activated shifting.
  • 1 0
 @bigtim: I have done, I like the shifting, but for me the normal di2 shifter is pointless, why replicate a mechanical shifter when it can be little clicks of small buttons. I already changed the m8000 shifter for the motor to a m6000 because its got 3 little buttons, far and away a massive improvement if you ask me, and how clean will my bars look, brakes, 2 little collars with buttons on and a dropper lever. Nothing hanging off the underside of the bars to catch my knees on.
  • 1 0
 Since I've learned that Di2 has quirks with the RD and can fry the little battery, I'm betting on someone baking some AXS adapter for the e-bike battery. I don't know how, but SRAM eletronic shifting is trustworthier than Shimano.
  • 2 0
 @Notmeatall: obviously less of an issues when it's wired into the big battery, and it'll always cut off the motor before the Rd dies so less of an issue for riding back with a flat battery. I know someone who's put around 3k on his di2 xt on an ebike and its been flawless. I would prefer axs but di2 has major advantages overall if you have a shimano motor, it communicates with the motor to back power off when shifting gears.
  • 1 0
 @tkrug: Carrying a bunch of tiny batteries when you have a massive battery right next to them... kind of redudant, isn't it? Wireless is great when the the two little batteries are by themselves. And it would still be wireless to the handlebars: I'm only talking about power to the mech and dropper. The remotes (which are supposed to last for many many months on a coin cell), could stay wireless, while the mech and dropper could easily get an internally routed and almost (completely on the dropper) unnoticeable power wire from the main battery.

Doesn't AXS already have a thing to jump to a preset gear when the juice runs low? So you'd only be stuck in a climbing gear if you chose it.

However, it's a simple software solution to just reserve a tiny fraction of the big battery to keep the mech working. An entire AXS battery would probably get you maybe dozens of meters if used to power the big motor, so saving enough juice to keep you shifting for a while is a non-factor for the entire system.
  • 7 0
 Remember 40 mm stantions? Totems? Will have to wait a few years to work up to that.
  • 5 0
 I love my Totem!!
  • 8 0
 i went back to rocking totems (took my 2015 pikes off)... ive stuck fox 40 stickers on them and call them fox 40 freeride's.. really messes with people
www.pinkbike.com/photo/17583858
  • 1 0
 Yeah. What a weird world we live in. I get that 180mm travel forks didnt jive well with 68° HTA bikes with a STA of the same steepness. It seems like this would’ve been the time to bring something back.
  • 3 0
 @MrZ32: i had the same Cdale! Loved that bike!

Although i remember swapping my old Lyrik for the new generation Pike and being blown away by the difference, I couldnt imagine going back to a motion control damper Totem afterwards
  • 4 0
 @tkrug: with a 180mm coil fork.. it really doesnt need as good a damping... it charges through rock gardens so much better than my much new 160mm pike
  • 1 0
 @MrZ32: Thats funny! Good idea.
  • 7 0
 So now I can get an RXF for my RFX? Turner, may they RIP.
  • 2 0
 Dave is sill making bikes here and there, just not FS.
  • 8 3
 I love how industry marketing has advanced the name from ebike to e-mtb's, but it's still moped.
  • 15 11
 Now that Manitou has worked out issues with the initial release of Mezzers, why go with anything else?
  • 8 6
 Tired one as was. Less than Impressed. Sorry
  • 10 7
 Because Fox and Rockshox exist.
  • 10 5
 DVO Onyx, that's why
  • 2 2
 Midwest pride coming from the guy from Kansas
  • 9 3
 manitou has done so much damage to their brand with their low quality OEM forks from the early/mid 2000s, they just can't seem to dig themselves out of that hole. My vision still goes white with rage thinking of that POS manito axel that came on my first FS bike. Add to that a design language that mostly fall flat with the gen public (both in their insistence on keeping the reverse arch and their marmite graphic design) I can't see Manito returning its glory days when it was a close 3rd to the big 2. Add to that all the other players that have entered the market since they slipped and the picture is even more bleak.

The one ray of hope for Manito is their J-units. Get those on enough groms bikes and they can grow up with Manito and become the next wave of customers who bring the brand back.
  • 19 5
 Apparently making the best all around fork isn't enough in a hype based economy.
  • 9 0
 Back in the glory days manitou was one of the big 2- pre fox’s entry into forks
  • 7 1
 @velodonata: "hype?" Can you explain? Tough to buy a 'bad' fork nowadays even in the mid price range category. No single fork is that far ahead of others...just depends on your preferences on adjustments and dampers. Saying Mantiou or any other brand is 'Best all around' is 1) too vague and 2) open to too much debate.
  • 3 0
 @freeridejerk888: I had one before it launched and had the same bushing play everyone else did. That being said, it’s still one of the better performing single crown forks I’ve ridden, up there with the 38. The damping isn’t as refined but the triple air chamber and hydraulic bottom out make for a really good spring feel. I wish I could drop the dorado spring into my 38
  • 1 3
 @tsroark: manitou was always 3rd in Canada. 4th once FAUX arrived.
  • 9 4
 @bman33: Mezzer compared to anything from Fox or RS: Best chassis for combination of low weight and high rigidity. Best air spring in the Manitou IRT system, it's not even close. Very good damper, includes hydraulic bottom out circuit, holds up to the best the competition offers. Very versatile, every variant ships with the spacers needed to run any travel from 140 to 180. Easier to service than the competition. Good support from Manitou. Competitively priced. And more subjectively, looks cool and definitely isn't just another Fox or RS.
  • 3 2
 I’m in love with mine. Best fork I’ve tried @bman33:
  • 1 0
 @usedbikestuff: yeah moved here to teach law. I wish that I could just stay in mountains forever
  • 1 0
 @velodonata: whoa, whoa, hey there now. It's called marketing. It's real. Where's your imagination! ;-)
  • 1 0
 @onlyDH: I hear good things about the bbq
  • 4 1
 @velodonata: coming from a 36 Luftkappe, I have to agree--chassis stiffness-to-weight is great. I can run the main a few psi on the low side and the IRT a few on the high, and don't miss the split rebound damping on the Grip 2. The first thing I noticed was the axle design--very trick. The milling on the crown could be more striking or more subtle, and the easily removed brand decals are too much; whatever. If they could get Commencal or somebody to equip a model with it, they'd be back. Not that I have any sentiment invested in the brand.
  • 2 1
 @ceecee: I liked the decals in theory but the chrome letters didn't work on my bike, I scanned them and got some cut vinyl individual letters done in colors to match my bike. Looks great. PM me if you want the pattern.
  • 4 2
 With the latest from Fox and RockShox why would you even look at ohlins with their track record and having to deal with ohlins USA. . . . NEVER
  • 3 2
 What track record? I'm aware of issues with 36 rxf - they sorted it out and offered upgrade to Evo version free of charge. Is there anything else?
  • 3 1
 @Flinty: ohlins USA was terrible, hope you have better experience. I will never own another Ohlins product because of them!
  • 1 1
 Anybody here on the east coast feel the need to run a 38mm stanchion fork on their bikes for general aggressive trail riding? Clydesdales encouraged to reply. I have a Yari right now and was wanting to see what the consensus was for my next bike.
  • 1 0
 i would run a 150mm zeb..sometimes i can feel my yari flex a bit, especially under heavy braking in chunk after a big drop. i dont think its only tire squirm and wheel flex. but it seems all a bit overhyped, especially when the axle and crown size remain the same.
  • 4 1
 I think 37 is the sweet spot, save a little weight and gain a little stiffness over a 36
  • 6 1
 36.99
  • 2 0
 @tkrug: Don't go giving RockShox ideas...
  • 4 0
 479mm reach in XL. Very euro.
  • 3 0
 THOK combines the sexy allure of a women's thong with the comfort and reliability of the gentleman's business sock!
  • 8 0
 From where I'm sitting it looks more like they combine the sexy allure of a gentleman's sock with the comfort and reliability of a women's thong.
  • 1 0
 @Ozziefish: The bike looks like it was designed by someone who is at least ten years too young for making use of business socks or thongs. Probably using crayons.
  • 6 3
 So it’s for ugly bikes?
  • 1 2
 because everyone knows Mondraker makes hideous bikes!
  • 3 1
 Over/under 2800 grams? Why not just go dual crown?
  • 3 1
 Switchbacks.
  • 3 0
 Thok AF
  • 1 0
 Öhlins is now owned by Tenneco - the same company that bankrupted Marzocchi. RIP Öhlins.
  • 1 0
 Except, unlike Marzocchi, Ohlins is a successful brand.
  • 1 0
 One of the only forks that won't creak, because they made the upper unit a single piece.
  • 2 2
 Ohlins original MTB entry was with Cane Creek Double Barrel circa 2005. Get it right.
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