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Swedish goldsmith Ohlins is getting into the downcountry business with the new Ohlins RXF 34 m.2. Or whatever sub-140mm travel suspension is called this week.
- Price: £1,185
- Options: 120mm, 130mm, 29in, 44mm offset
- Weight: 1,730g
- From: Öhlins
First of all, this is a 130mm travel fork in test of 140mm forks, but bear with us. It’s another four figure fork, but it’s got 140/150/160 sorta performance in a 130mm package.This is as much travel as Ohlins offer in a 34mm stanchion fork. If you want more travel, you’ll have to go with one of their RXF 36 offerings.
What does the Ohlins offer then, that grabs it a spot here? It’s not about what this fork does, it’s more about what it doesn’t do. It’s supple without being saggy. Unlike a lot of air forks that seem intent on showing off how soft-touch at sag-point they are in a car park/garage/bike-shop/trail-head, there’s ridiculously minimal stiction of the RXF 34 m.2, but it doesn’t sink an inch as soon as you look at it. It has firmness there.
It has that quintessential Ohlins feel. In the heart of the travel, where most of the interesting mountain biking happens most of the time, the RXF 34 m.2 feels a lot like a coil. Coil riders will appreciate what this means. Being ‘coil-like’ doesn’t mean it feels non-resist, collapsing, linear/falling-rate. Coils feel firm and supportive but with a super-low-friction free-motion. You don’t feel like you’re hitting the buffers when riding stuff that pushes the blue O-ring up to the crown either.
The new air spring was the most immediate thing we noticed with the Ohlins RXF 34 m.2. That and the slippery, easy moving-ness.
Any niggles? It still flexes fore-aft under braking like all sub-35mm stanchion forks do. It’s not as flexy as some other 34mm forks out there but there’s no way it’s on a par with 36mm+ forks. As to whether it flexes to any significant degree on any other plain, we can’t honestly tell you. It’s easy to witness fore-aft flex under braking (you just look down at the fork while you’re braking) but lateral flex is not something so visually obvious. Don’t go expecting any major leaps forwards in flex with this fork. Ohlins may be Swedish wizards but they haven’t squared that particular 34mm circle.
The Ohlins RXF 34 m.2 gives shorter travel forks a much needed reality check. It’s no longer good enough to be surprisingly not-bad. 120-130mm forks can be impressively damn-good now.
|Product:||RXF 34 m.2|
|Tested:||by Benji for Singletrack World Magazine Issue 147|