Ohlins enters XC racing with a new 34mm RXC34 m.1 fork and two TXCAir shocks

A women rides up a rock step with the new ohlins suspension
(Image credit: Ohlins)

Earlier this year Ohlins signed as the suspension sponsor for the Team BMC XC race team which sparked speculation that the brand was developing suspension dedicated to cross-country. Ohlins have now officially launched the RXC34 m.1 fork which comes with either a carbon or alloy crown and two TXCAir shocks.

Ohlins comes from a racing heritage, whether it's motorsport or suspension forks and rear shocks for gravity mountain biking, it is a brand with a history of producing performance suspension. Having had a lot of success in downhill being ridden by the likes of current World Champ Loic Bruni, it was only a matter of time before the Swedish brand moved from downhill and enduro racing to enter the world of cross-country. Ohlin's goal is to win races and cross-country presents a unique opportunity for them to be involved with the next Olympics, which will take place in Paris in 2024.

Thomas Westfeldt, Product Manager MTB at Öhlins said: “This range has been in development for a long time, not only is it raced at the highest level, it's now also available for XC riders around the world. Our focus on performance enables riders to have the confidence to go faster while being in control, on XCO tracks, and on weekend rides”.  

The fork and shock in the woods

Ohlins developed the fork and shock together for consistent ride feel and performance (Image credit: Ohlins)

Up front, the RXC34 m.1 forks come in two formats, one has an alloy crown and the other has a carbon crown and steerer design that saves around 100g and has a claimed overall weight of 1,496g. In its heaviest 110-120 alloy format, the RXC34 m.1 is quoted to weigh 1,598g.

Ohlins have been taking into account the trends in XC and thinking about what they can bring to the table. They settled on the same 34mm chassis as their RXF34 M2 downcountry fork in order to make a model that was stiff and controlled on the descents. The fork will be available in either 110mm or 120mm of travel, but can also be rebuilt to 130mm if needed. There is also a 100mm Race fork with an optimized carbon crown and steerer which will be the best XC fork for short track and less gnarly courses, Ohlins says that a short travel alloy-crowned equivalent will be available in the future too.

The new Ohlins for and shock fitted to a bike

The fork comes in travel options between 100mm to 120mm (Image credit: Ohlins)

All the folks use the same lowers as the 34 RFX downcountry fork as well as some features from the upper. The damper is all-new though, however, the XC damper and downcountry internals are retrofittable between the two forks.

Inside the RXC34 is an OTX14 damper with an updated two-chamber air spring, which has a large negative air chamber for better initial sensitivity and traction. There's 12 clicks of rebound but the fork foregoes the classic LSC (low speed compression) and HSC (high speed compression) adjustments that are commonly seen on performance suspension. Instead, adjustment revolves around three ride modes; open, pedal, and locked out. These are pretty self-explanatory and give the rider the control to quickly adjust their suspension platform based on the terrain. This is controlled by a handlebar remote, though there's also a non-remote equipped fork that will still have 12 clicks of LSC adjustment.

There is still the ability to tune the performance by adding spacers, with the option of four to five positive spacers (depending on travel) to adjust the progressiveness of the fork, and zero to seven spacers in the negative chamber to adjust initial stroke sensitivity. Adjusting the negative spring isn't a simple process though, so Ohlins recommends the task is handled by their service center.

The shocks in the woods

The TXC shock comes in two formats (Image credit: Ohlins)

There are two shocks with differing air volumes which are based on a Ohlins TTX models and use a twin tube style damper. Ohlins tried a number of different formats when developing the shock but felt the twin tube setup gave better results.

Unlike the forks, where it's a material or travel choice that differentiates the models, the shocks cater for different purposes. The TXC1Air is a lighter slimmer shock designed for short travel soft tails or frames with tight clearances and offers a more progressive ramp-up. The TXC2Air has a larger air can and is more tuneable and versatile. Both shocks come in remote and manual control options, but the manual control can also be retrofitted with a remote.

The shocks use the same three-position open, pedal, and locked-out ride modes as the forks, although there are 12 clicks of rebound and 16 clicks of LSC on the non-remote equipped shock.

Both the shocks use reducers which are easily installed to adjust the stroke, while serial shim stacks can also be adjusted to change the pedaling and shock support when pumping through trail features.

Both shocks come in 165/190mm and 185/210mm shock lengths. The TXC1Air comes in stroke lengths of either 37.5/40mm or 47.5/50mm and the TXC2Air 37.5/45mm or 47.5/55mm. Ohlins states the weights of the TXC1Air are from 245g and TXC2Air from 255g.

The new Ohlins TXC1Air shock

The shock uses Ohlins' TTX twin tube damper (Image credit: Ohlins)

Pricing and release

Both the TXC1Air and TXC2Air shock, with or without a remote, have an RRP of $565 / €584. The RXC34 m.1 fork starts at $1,190 / €1,256 for the alloy crowned version, and the carbon crowned fork is priced at $1,390 / €1,424.

Ohlins say the new forks and shocks are due for a release this summer.

Graham Cottingham
Senior reviews writer, Bike Perfect

Graham is all about riding bikes off-road, based in Edinburgh he has some of the best mountain biking and gravel riding in the UK on his doorstep. With almost 20 years of riding experience, he has dabbled in downhill, enduro, and gravel racing. Not afraid of a challenge, Graham has embraced bikepacking over the last few years and likes nothing more than strapping some bags to his bike and covering big miles to explore Scotland's wildernesses. When he isn’t shredding the gnar in the Tweed Valley, sleeping in bushes, or tinkering with bikes, he is writing tech reviews for Bike Perfect.

Rides: Cotic SolarisMax, Stooge MK4, 24 Bicycles Le Toy 3, Surly Steamroller

Height: 177cm

Weight: 71kg