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Ohlins RFX36 M.2 Coil Fork: Performance Comes with Patience [Review]

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Ohlins RFX36 M.2 Coil Fork: Efficiency Comes with Endurance [Review]

At 50 years of designing suspension, Öhlins has realized a factor or two about creating methods to maximise traction, particularly on two wheels. Though the corporate is much from having a big share of the US market, the place RockShox and Fox are the inventory choice on virtually each bike on the market, and types like MRP and Cane Creek are first ideas for aftermarket upgrades, Öhlins is definitely acknowledged on the path by fanatics as a normal for suspension efficiency.

Öhlins has been pushing their mountain bike product improvement over the previous few years. With athletes like Loic Bruni, Nico Vink, and Fabio Wibmer representing the model, anybody who tunes in to Pink Bull TV goes to see that Gold O dealing with some severe abuse. Öhlins has widened their suspension choices through the years with air and coil shock choices, and 34, 36, and now 38mm stanchioned forks, nonetheless, they’re firstly a premium suspension producer. Affordability takes a again seat to tunability.

Concerning the RFX36 M.2

Gerow hung out on the air model of the RFX36 Evo air final yr, which is similar to the M.2 I examined. Each clearly have a 36mm higher stanchion tube diameter. Each his take a look at fork, and my coil RFX36 M.2, have a pinch bolt design for the axle for higher dropout-to-hub alignment. The pinch bolt and axle each use a 5mm hex bolt.

The RFX36 M.2 options Öhlins’ TTX18 damper although, like the brand new RFX38, with an 18mm piston for improved small bump sensitivity, which differs from the damper within the RFX36 Evo. From the RFX36 to the RFX36 M.2, Öhlins made a stiffer crown, added new offset choices, and have added SKF seals for higher efficiency in moist climate and for much less friction. The brand new lowers additionally widen what’s attainable for entrance tire decisions. They will settle for a 2.8-inch huge 29er or a 3.2-inch 27.5+ tire.

Öhlins isn’t utilizing mannequin years anymore and are tweaking issues on the go. Because the launch, they’ve up to date the oil and grease used within the forks and re-tuned the fork’s inventory settings. The model additionally works to make it possible for the modifications are backward-compatible, so older forks might be up to date with the brand new damper, seals in fact, and so forth.

There’s a preload knob on the starboard facet of the RFX36 M.2 fork to dial in sag, and there are 20 clicks out there for setting the sag. Öhlins recommends setting the sag at 15-20% on the fork. The entire fork’s preload settings are usable to regulate the breakaway pressure, sag, and to set the journey top.

The RFX36 M.2 has 15 clicks of low velocity compression and low velocity rebound. For prime velocity compression, there are three clicks out there, minus any excessive velocity rebound settings. Boiled down, that makes it adjustable in excessive and low velocity compression, low velocity rebound, and preload.

The RFX36 M.2 29″ coil is available in both a 44 or 51mm offset, is obtainable in 130-170mm journey choices, and may match as much as a 29×2.8″ or 27.5×3.2″ tire. The 27.5″ coil fork choice can even match a max tire width of two.8″ and is obtainable with both 46 or 38mm offsets. The value tag on the M.2 coil fork is $1,250. My coil-equipped 140mm journey, 29er fork weighs 2,300g.

The air forks can be found in several journey quantities nonetheless, with both 150-170mm for 29ers and 150-180mm for 27.5-inch bikes.

Öhlins suspension parts are sometimes on the expensive facet of the spectrum, which is why it’s refreshing that they got here out with a service information on their forks this summer time for savvy house mechanics. This consists of the RFX36 M.2 air and coil, for each 50-hour and 100-hour service intervals. This takes among the potential burdens off of shopping for a fork, contemplating that customers received’t must ship it to a certified supplier for service and may avoid wasting dough.

Öhlins additionally has a video on organising the floating axle, which requires extra consideration than a normal bolt-through. There’s a separate video on the right way to swap between an air spring and a coil spring, one other distinctive function on the RFX36 M.2, in comparison with different air and coil forks, which often can’t be modified again to air, after changing to coil.

Lastly, there are seven totally different spring charges out there for the M.2, out there in 5lb/in increments, overlaying rider weights each 20lbs, beginning at 100lbs, and dealing as much as a 220lb rider.

On the path

Picture: Hannah Morvay

I put in the RFX36 M.2 in June, and have been using the fork for about three months. I set it up with none points that have been out of the peculiar. Öhlins included the white, 55lb/in spring with the fork, made for a 180lb rider weight. With gear, I’m nearer to 170lbs on the bike, which places me in between the 50 and 55lb spring.

This fork was additionally put in proper after my take a look at with the Marzocchi Bomber Z2, a $500 fork with a 34mm stanchion. Immediately, I may inform there was an enormous distinction between the 2 forks, which one would count on because the Öhlins prices greater than twice as a lot because the Z2.

The stiffness of the RFX36 was obvious over rocks and chunky path, and the entrance finish felt far more responsive via corners. So as to add to my cornering confidence, the RFX36 felt extra supportive, maintaining my weight extra balanced, with none unnerving brake dive. Identical to that, with a touch of enhanced chassis stiffness and journey top within the fork, I felt like extra a heroic cornerer.

Just a few rides in a while some chunkier trails I spotted the white spring was too heavy for me, and even with the LSC and preload backed all the best way off, I couldn’t get into the highest two inches of my journey, so I requested Öhlins for the lighter, 50lb/in blue spring.

I put in the 50lb spring and set the sag and acquired again on to the path. This spring felt a lot better than the earlier, and I used to be utilizing extra of the journey. However, it nonetheless felt too harsh over bigger bumps. I backed off among the preload and once more opened up the LSC all the best way. The help was there, I may use all of my journey, but it surely nonetheless felt harsh and my palms have been hurting after lengthy and bumpy descents. So, I requested Öhlins for the lighter 45lb/in spring.

Deciding on the suitable spring price is commonly the tough half with coil suspension although and sadly, it may well take some money and time to search out the suitable one. This, and the truth that the coil is heavier than the air fork, will make it a troublesome determination for riders deciding between the 2, as they’re the identical worth. Fortunately, Öhlins has designed the fork to swap between air and coil springs, which is fairly superb.

With the third spring, I set the sag to round 20% on the 45lb spring, and upped the preload, selecting 15/20 clicks. I added eight clicks of LSC, proper across the center, and matched the rebound.

Lastly, the Öhlins was doing precisely what I wished it to do. I had help and responsiveness via corners. The small bump efficiency and traction felt nice, and with the rebound midway via its allowance, the fork felt very reactive and engaged. The mid-sized bumps, these which can be three to 4 inches in top which can be rolled over, have been lastly being rolled over with none undue harshness. That stability between small to mid-sized bumps took the longest for me to search out on this fork.

I’m unsure everybody must scale back their spring weight from the Öhlins suggestions, however this could possibly be a irritating expertise for the buyer who has already put some huge cash down. The primary spring was completely too heavy for me, and I could have gotten together with the second after a while, however who needs to be affected person after spending virtually $1,300 on a fork?

Via all the springs, the small bump sensitivity has been excellent, muting actual chattery rocks and knobs and offering a way of traction that stands out from an air fork. The extremely tunable nature of any Öhlins fork makes it attainable to search out these settings, however the person have to be affected person setting their LSC and rebound since it may well take some time to search out the right recipe.

The black dial controls the HSC.

I saved one click on of excessive velocity compression on with the fork, opening it when it wasn’t obligatory on smoother trails with much less impacts. Even with the lighter spring although, I wasn’t blowing via my journey and it felt moderately progressive on rides, saving among the prime stroke for when it was completely obligatory. I wasn’t bothered in any respect by the absence of an HSC rebound adjustment.

Closing ideas

Because it appears to be with any Öhlins fork, and the RFX36 Evo that Gerow examined, the RFX36 M.2 is extremely tunable and a rider will ultimately discover the suitable settings with time. The adjustability is there to search out the suitable tune however it could require some endurance. The RFX36 M.2 air is lighter than the coil model, however the coil definitely has its advantages and maybe essentially the most spectacular factor concerning the fork is that it may well shuttle. For $1,250, the M.2 isn’t low cost, however Öhlins has finished an excellent job at making the spring versatile, and the fork is definitely serviceable at house.

Because of Öhlins for sending the RFX36 m.2 for evaluate.


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