Looks like the Öhlins DH38 is about to get smoother, and probably faster. The company is updating their current DH fork with the new m.1 edition. Thanks to a number of internal improvements and new lubrication, the fork promises increased sensitivity and adjustability just in time for DH racing to (hopefully) start again soon.
Still offered in 180 or 200mm travel with the possibility of being rebuilt to 120-170mm of travel, the DH38 m.1 has an updated air spring as well as changes to the damping cartridge. A few of these developments are borrowed from the RXF36 m.2, which not only will improve the DH38, but will allow the two forks to share more parts. Along with mechanical improvements to the internals, the forks will use new low friction fluid and functional grease to allow the fork to break into the travel with less force for better small bump compliance.
List of key improvements & enhancements from Öhlins
- New lubrication and functional grease to decrease the breakaway force and make the fork feel smoother.
- New seal head design with reduced friction that also enables increased oil levels for better lubrication.
- Option to tune the negative chamber to be bigger for improved comfort or to add spacers for increased feedback and control.
- Utilizing the pressurized piston design taken from the RXF36 m.2 ensures even more consistent damper performance.
- New needle design to increase adjustability of low-speed compression and rebound.
- Improved durability and serviceability, both in terms of construction and because more parts and kits are shared with RXF36 m.2.
- New construction of ramp up tube to increase durability and minimize service down time.
- Redesigned high-speed and low-speed compression damping adjusters for better click feeling.
- Cassette tool interface implementation on both damper and air spring for easier take-down servicing and lower risk of scratching during maintenance
- Refined one-way valve controlling twin tube oil flow, another design developed from the RXF36 m.2.
Many of the key specifications of the fork remain the same including tire clearance for up to 29 x 2.8″ or 27.5 x 3.0″, 110 Boost DH hub spacing, a floating axle with dual clamps, and 46, 50, 54, and 58mm available offsets. Note that the fork is e-bike approved, and requires a 200mm disc rotor. Retail pricing is set at $1600, with availability later this month.