Ohlins are well know in the Moto World and supply some of the biggest MX and enduro teams the finest suspension on the planet. So, surely the same can be expected for their MTB suspension. We decided to find out!
This was my first ever experience on a Ohlins suspension unit designed for mountain bikes. Previously having raced enduro motorbikes Ohlins were and still are big time since being founded by Kenth Ohlin in 1976. However whilst regularly observing other folks rides on the trails I rarely see them on mountain bikes. Whether it’s because most folk are happy with the shock that comes standard on a frame or bike they have purchased or thought it’d be more worthwhile upgrading other components.
Having ridden only air shocks on trail bikes and all of my experience on a coil shock have been on down hill rigs I was super keen to test out the Ohlins TTX 22 coil shock especially as quite a few of the top enduro have been running coil shocks for the last few years I’ve felt like I’ve been missing out on something.
The Ohlins shock had been supplied by Jtech suspension and tuned by owner Jim for my weight, riding style and bike. I’d highly recommend getting shocks set up by a specialist if you’re wanting to get the most out of your suspension and definitely if you are looking to pay £640.00 for this particular shock.
I highly recommend purchasing your Ohlins shock direct from J-tech as they will speak to you, ask about your riding/bike and set up the shock before your first ride. All for included in the purchase of the shock.
After all whats the point of spending all that money to have some chum at bike park wales tell you to run full high speed compression ending in a horrible ride! Get your suspension set up by someone who know!
J-tech know their stuff and will set your purchase so you get the most from it.
Click below to see more about J tech Suspension.
The unit was fairly simple to fit and used spherical bearings instead of the usual straight through hardware mostly used on bikes. This allows for any side load placed on the bike and in theory should also help the shock overcome any friction from alignment issues in the frame so that the shock can progress in straight lines reducing any possible stiction. Believe me when I say I’ve seen many frames that tolerances have been out when replacing bearings.
First impressions whilst out on the trail was the small bump sensitivity you get with a coil shock which helps with initial traction. With air shocks it takes slightly more pressure to get past the stiction of the seals whilst compressing. Coil shocks tend to be more linear/smoother than an air shock so was expecting quite a bit of pedal bob whilst climbing. I was pleasantly surprised that it didn’t seem to bob any more than my usual air shock, around 5-10mm of the stanction depending on the gear I am in.
The descents were where the shock livened up. It made my bike more poppy and playful allowing me to pre-hop obstacles easier and bounce out of corners rather than feeling like I was getting stuck in the middle of a berm. The confidence was definitely growing only to be reminded by the wrong tyre choice I had made thinking the trails would be bone dry. As I was collecting my thoughts and bike from out a bush I was contemplating whether to go full coil front and rear.
Ride It Out’s LOWDOWN
“Overall the initial ride felt good with a comparable difference to an air shock. The weight was a slight disadvantage tipping the scales at 777 grams, however that’s like carrying an extra 3 snickers bars out on the trails. I’m looking forward to the next few months of running this shock so that I can give a more in depth analysis rather than a one ride impression and go deeper into the inner workings of the shock testing all 3 of the high speed compression settings, the 16 clicks of low speed compression and 7 clicks of rebound in order to get to that suspension sweet spot we all dream of. Gone are the days of just making sure your elastomers were greased!”
Full review coming soon after a few inter months of thrashing
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